Friday, August 31, 2007

it's friday

It's late Friday night. Don and I got home an hour or so ago from Jake's cross country meet. It was up in Boulder, about an hour away. We've gone to this same race for four years now. Always on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. That's the way the whole season will go; the same races in the same order.

On the drive up there, it dawned on me that this will be the last time we make the trip up to this particular race. It made me sad. It's just another realization that Don and I are in the process of leaving a very big part of our life behind and heading into a new phase of our lives. This next school year, Jake's last, will be passing by very quickly. Then Don and I will be empty-nesters.

I think we're fairly ready for it. We're already experiencing it a little because Jake is gone so much. We're spending more time just the two of us... around the house, going to church, eating out, and it looks like we're going to take a vacation - just the two of us - this fall sometime (I will write more when I know more).

On a lighter note (not that the other note was heavy), Danielle is coming home for the weekend. She really doesn't want to because she's loving her new home and enjoying life so much. But since it's a three day weekend and most of her roommates are going home, she thought she would, too. She's already informed me that she doesn't think she'll come home again until Thanksgiving. Guess I'm going to have to go down to visit her more often. Hmm... I wonder if she's bringing her laundry home with her this weekend and expecting me to make all her favorites for dinner?

As many of you noticed, I changed the layout to my blog (yes, I did it myself). I like it. I'm the type of person who likes change. Even though I like this layout now, I will probably get tired of it at some point and feel the need to change it. I'm already thinking of ideas for a holiday layout.

Why didn't anyone tell me that the poem I posted yesterday didn't make sense. I had copied some of it incorrectly. My bad. The last 6 or 7 lines should have read "every woman should know" instead of "a woman should have." Next time, just tell me when I don't make sense ;)

And lastly, check out my link of the day because it's a great video. It's a father singing about parenthood; the words comical and so true. You may have seen it on other's sites, but if you haven't, take the time to watch it.

Okay, this is lastly... I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.

link of the day:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

a woman should have...

My mom sent this poem to me today,
so of course, I felt like I should share it =)

A Woman Should Have
by Maya Angelou

A woman should have...
enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own,even if she never wants to or needs to...

A woman should have...
something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A woman should have...
a youth she's content to leave behind...

A woman should have...
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward toretelling it in her old age...

A woman should have...
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

A woman should have...
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

A woman should have...
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

A woman should have...
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

A woman should have...
a feeling of control over her destiny...

Every woman should know...
how to fall in love without losing herself...

Every woman should know...
how to quit a job,break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...

Every woman should know...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

Every woman should know...
that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...

Every woman should know...
that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...

Every woman should know...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

Every woman should know...
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

Every woman should know...
whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...

Every woman should know...
where to it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

Every woman should know...
what she can and can't accomplish in a day...a month...and a year.

link of the day:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the contrast is too much

Yesterday, I visited the Parade of Homes. I don't know if this is something that every big city has, so let me explain it to you. Every year, a group of new construction homes are picked to be showcased. These homes are designed and decorated beautifully and open to the hordes of lookie-loos for their viewing pleasure.

I decided to go this year because it's practically down the street from me. We have a reservoir near us where we used to take the kids when they were younger. These showcase houses were built on the far side of the reservoir, overlooking, of course, the lake. So I thought it would be fun to walk through these grand mansions.

Because that's practically what they are - mansions. They are beautiful, but as I was walking through, I kept asking myself, "would I want to live here?" or "what kind of family would live here?" and definitely thinking, "I wouldn't want to clean this place!" For my taste, they were just too big. Too over the top. Here are some pictures I took.

Then today, the two year anniversary of hurricane Katrina was all over the news. A lot of reports of how there are still so many people who haven't been able to return or rebuild their homes. The conditions down there are just so sad. If I had money, I would be giving it to these people who have found themselves caught in a situation that makes them feel so hopeless.

That made me think of these houses I saw yesterday. Here are these extravagant homes that cost at least 1.5 million to buy, and even more to furnish and maintain. And, of course, there are million dollar homes all throughout the country. There are people all over the place looking to buy a million dollar home when there are people in the south who are living in a FEMA trailer.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the wealth could be distributed more evenly. Wouldn't it be something for the rich people to settle for less so that the less fortunate could have a little more. I know I'm not saying anything new or anything that most people wouldn't agree with. It's just the contrasts were so strong. I just can't get it off my mind. And when I can't get something off my mind, I usually end up blogging about it.

link of the day:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

what a wonderful world

I just loved this video. Hope you do, too.

**Thank you to those of you who wished my sister a happy birthday. She and I both were surprised and appreciative. She wrote a very nice response to my post and I invite you to read it as it is a comment to the post right before this one.**

link of the day:

it's august 28th

to my sister, Karen

Karen, I want to wish you a very happy birthday. I hope your day is filled with happiness and love. I wish I could be with you to help you celebrate.

As I woke up this morning and realized it was your birthday, I thought about trying to hop on a plane and surprise you by showing up on your doorstep or at work. Of course, I can't do this, but, boy, would I love to. I miss you a lot. I would love to be able to spend the day with you. Is my memory correct, was the last time we were together two years ago? When I came and stayed the week with you? It can't be that long ago, could it?
No wonder I miss you.

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me. ~Mary Montagu

I think most sister relationships are special. I know mine is. Even though we were fairly close as children, I think we're even closer as adults. It doesn't matter how much time has passed between our visits or phone calls. When we come together, it doesn't feel like any time has passed.

My sister would tell you that she always looked up to me and wanted to be more like her big sister. As we grew into adults, it was I that looked up to her and saw characterstics that I wanted more for my life. She is so smart and articulate. She has such a heart for diversity. She also has a heart for the elderly and is a wonderful companion to those whose health is failing. She's a wonderful mother, not to mention, wife, daughter, granddaughter, and, of course, sister.

Thank you, Karen, for being my sister.
I love you and hope you have a great day!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

sunday musings

Are you feeling like life has sped up a little? After the long, lazy days of summer have wound down, we begin the season of school and holidays. This time can fly by without us even knowing what hit us. I came across this prayer and wanted to share it. May it be a comfort to you.

Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations - of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to smile at a child, to read a few lines from a good book. Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values, that I may grow toward my greater destiny. Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well. -Orin D. Crain

On another note, I started another blog. I'm not sure why I did it, or why I'm telling anyone about it. It's no big deal. I've seen a lot of blogs where people only post photos. I love taking pictures so I thought I would give it a try. It will be like an experiment. If I like it and can keep up with it, then I'll continue. And you can guess what happens if it's not my thing. We'll just have to wait and see. If you want to check it out, it's here:

link of the day:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

natural disasters

Jen, over at Pen of Jen, wrote about her experiences with natural disasters today. She asked if any of her readers had experienced any themselves. All of my experiences have been from afar - thank you Lord - but, I thought I would share them anyways.

This would be a good place to say that one of my reasons for blogging is to record history for my future generations. So when you come across one of my posts and want to scream, "why is she telling us this? I don't care!," that is why.... recording history =)

I used to live in southern California where earthquakes are a regular occurrence. Growing up there, you just got used to them, maybe even looked forward to them. There was one that measured a 7.1 when I was in 6th grade. I remember being woke up by the shaking and my bed bouncing over the hardwood floor. That was a little nerve racking but I was young and got over it pretty quickly.

Living here in Colorado, we mainly have to deal with tornadoes. They usually occur further east of us, out on the plains and into the next states. We get quite a few sitings of funnel clouds and a good amount of alarms, but rarely does a tornado touch down in the city. But one day I was pulling into the parking lot of my daughter's school, looked up towards the horizon and there it was, a full force tornado.

It was a ways off and since I was looking east, I knew I was fairly safe. But I wasn't sure how far it was and it was in the direction of where I and many friends lived. I have to admit that I was a little scared. By the time Dani got in the car, the tornado had dissipated and we drove on home. We found out that it touched down not too far from where we lived. Luckily, it hit in an area where there was new construction and no people. There were just a lot of scared kids because it happened right as schools were letting out.

I want to include a funny story here. We moved to the Denver area during the month of April, when there are a lot of tornadoes. We hadn't been here but a few weeks when we were out running errands. The skies were dark and it had started raining. We stopped by Dairy Queen to get ice cream and were just leaving the store when sirens started going off. Don and I looked at each other wondering what the heck the sirens were for.

We drove home and as we got out of our car, noticed a couple of neighbors out, looking towards the skies. Being the friendly neighbors that we are, we said hi and then asked them what the sirens were all about. Thankfully, they didn't laugh at us. They just simply said, "those are the tornado alarms." Thankfully, we didn't laugh at them. We just said, "oh," and walked on into the house.

We were in shock. Shock with a capital S. You see, we had NO clue that we had just moved someplace that had tornadoes. Not only did we feel stupid, but maybe second guessing our move to such a foreign place. A place where there are TORNADOES!! lol - we're pretty used to them now.

link of the day:

Friday, August 24, 2007

do you FROG?

Welcome to Show and Tell Friday!" Do you have something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Share photos and if there's a story behind your special something, that's even better!

A little bit after I started working in youth ministry, I started collecting frogs. But not necessarily because I like frogs. It was because of what frog stood for. F.R.O.G. - Fully Rely On God.

Not only did I start to collect them for myself, but for others as well. I have given so many frogs out to teenagers that I've lost count. With each frog, I either tell the recipient or write up something telling them what the acronym stands for and how important it is to rely on God for our every need. I thought having something tangible, like a stuffed animal or a frog in some other form, would remind the teen of the message that not only should we rely on God, but that God is worthy of our reliance. He is there for us at all times.

I've stopped collecting the frogs because I have so many. Occasionally I will receive one as a gift or I'll buy one if it's unique or just so adorable that I can't resist. Here are a few of them that I have just sitting on a shelf above my desk. I grouped them together for their first and only photo op.

This one is very special. It was an anniversary gift from my loving husband. He and Dani were out of town one year and he took the initiative to walk into a Build-A-Bear store, have this frog made up, picked out the clothes (and dressed him!) and even recorded a message on a chip located in one of the frog's legs. All I have to do is press the leg in a certain place and I hear Don's voice wishing me a happy anniversary and telling me how much he loves me. Aawwww!

So the next time you see a frog - whether it's stuffed, drawn, sculptured, or even a real one, remember this simple message...

link of the day:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

some thoughts on blogging

I've been doing a lot of thinking about blogging. The more blogs I read, the more I reflect on the whole phenomenon of blogging. Here are just some of my thoughts.

Ginger, of Just A Thought, posted some statistics the other day that were pretty amazing. She shared that in the year 2005, the total daily posting was roughly 500,000. One year later, it was nearly 1.2 million. At that rate, it should be somewhere around 2.5 million this year. That's a lot of people blogging.

And just as God made each and every one of us unique, it should go without saying that each and every blog out there is unique. I think that is why I read so many. They are all so different - as different as we all are from each other. I think we learn more about the people of this world by reading about their individual worlds.

I came across something interesting this week. It's called blog for a year and I encourage you to check it out because, who knows, it may be something you're interested in. In a nutshell, it's a site that is trying to raise money so they can then award a portion of it to whoever is the top blogger, by means of votes. The winner gets $80,000 (or half of whatever is raised by January 1, 2008) to blog for an entire year.

I'll be honest, I thought about tossing my name into the hat as I perused the site. I decided not to for several reasons. The biggest one being that I didn't want the pressure of having to post everyday and having those posts good enough that people would want to read.

That makes me wonder what all it takes for people to find your blog and then continue reading it. I think I have a good handle on what it all takes, but just wanted to mention it because I'm always thinking about it. Like when I visit someone's blog, I look around, read a few posts, and wonder, "what makes this blog so popular?" Sometimes I can figure it out, sometimes I can't.

I didn't give my post of the week for last week. so here it is: a mom's prayer for the first day of school.

I was honored to be a guest blogger this past week. I wrote a post for Multi-Tasking Moms about something that is close to my heart.... families. If you haven't read it already, hop on over there.

Have you noticed anything about this post? Different from any of my previous posts? Look around before you read the next paragraph.

Did you spot it? I used capitalization! I haven't used it before because that was the way I was used to typing. See, I type to a lot of teens online - sometimes 3-6 at a time. It just got easier and faster to type without having to capitalize. But I've come to the conclusion that blog posts are easier to read when the proper words are capitalized. Harder to type, but I'll get used to it.

link of the day:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

i don't think he likes his picture taken

it's wordless wednesday. this is all i got today. but i say it's enough ;D

by the way... thank you everyone for your suggestions on what i should i do with all my cloud pictures. they were all great and i might just try them all.

link of the day:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

look up... what do you see?

first off....
click here to see where else i've been today.

as most of you know, i live in the beautiful state of colorado. i moved here in 1990 from southern california and absolutely love it here. one of the many reasons is the clouds. yep, the clouds.

we have some of the most beautiful clouds here in colorado. and i am fascinated by them. i can't quite explain why i am so fascinated but if they're up there in the sky, i could sit and watch them all day long.

at some point, i wanted to try to capture their beauty on film. that is one reason i wanted my smaller camera; so i could have it with me at all times to take pictures of clouds whenever i feel the need to. the problem is, pictures don't capture the beauty nor the grand scale of them. but i still try.

it's an all year thing. unless it's snowing, the sky is usually full of clouds of varying types. my favorites are the ones that build up to massive size and are many times the start of a thunderstorm. you see, they start forming as the air sweeps over the mountains and hits the warmer air of the flatlands of denver and beyond. they can form quickly and give us a good storm or they can continue to build and the storms hit further east, colorado, kansas, and beyond.

my dilema now... what do i do with all the photos i have of my beloved clouds?

link of the day:

Monday, August 20, 2007

a greater importance

pam, of pinnacles, pitfalls and pottychairs, today posted a story and her personal thoughts on the story. both make you think about perspective on any given situation. please go on over and read it.

it reminded me of something that happened to me last winter. i really felt like God was trying to teach me a lesson on that particular day and i thought i'd share it. i wrote the following in the blog i had at that time.

i was running late for a meeting. it was my own fault that i got started later than i should have, but you know how it is... when you're in a hurry, everything seems to go wrong. it was one of those kind of mornings. and when i finally pulled out of the driveway, i was late and feeling very rushed.

i turned the corner of my street and saw two little oriental boys on the sidewalk. as i got closer, i could see that they were only in their pajamas and the youngest was bare foot. for those of you reading this that don't live in denver, we had about 10 inches of snow yesterday and it had just started melting. so even though the sidewalk was somewhat cleared, there was snow everywhere else and the temperature was cold.

i was running late and feeling rushed, so i almost kept driving, thinking, "who would be stupid enough to let their kids stand outside like this." but i guess it was that thought that made me stop and pull over to where they stood.

the youngest, i'm guessing around 2 years old, was standing about a house away from the other boy, probably around 4 years old. i pull up to the youngest and rolled down my window and asked him where his mother was. he just stared at me, even after asking a few times. so i then moved up to where his brother (i'm guessing it was his brother) was and asked him several times the same question, "where is your mom?" he wouldn't or couldn't answer me either. but i noticed that the front door to this house is wide open.

so i put my car in park, turned it off, and walked up to the house. i knocked on the open door and yell out, "hello... hello," hoping that nothing serious had happened to their mom or dad. finally, an elderly man inside turned the corner and saw me there at the door. i explained that i found the two little boys outside in the cold and snow. he first called in a foreign language to someone upstairs, who never appears or answers back. he then came to the door and called out to the boys in the same language and they went scampering back inside. he did say thank you, but that was all he said to me.

as i drove on to my meeting, i reflected on what had just happened. i couldn't help but think that if i hadn't been running late, i may not have come across those two little boys. who knows what might have happened if i hadn't. maybe nothing but cold toes. but maybe worse. maybe God caused me to be late so i would be at the right place at the right time. something i need to remember the next time i'm running frantically late for something.

pam ended her post with a great thought that went something like, "as i get busy with the 'important' things in my life, i don't want to forget that there is a greater importance surrounding me all the time." i challenge you to reflect on this and ask God to show you the greater importance.

link of the day:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

the race

it's been a busy weekend. our church had a festival for the neighborhood and being the procrastinator that i am, there was a lot of stuff for don and i to get ready for the "youth ministry" booth. but we got it all done before we went to bed last night and had a great time today. i think our booth was the most popular so there was no down time. and it was hot. i had to come home and take a nap.

jake had an interesting 24 hours that i wanted to share. he is a runner. he runs on his school's cross country and track team. he has a coach that runs a 100 - YES! i said 100 - mile race. it's called the leadville 100 and it takes place up in the mountains. that means a lot of climbs and a lot of descents.

he runs this race every year. and every year, he invites students from his cross country team, both male and female, to go up and help pace him throughout the race. so, this is what happens each year. and each year, he finishes the race, much to the amazement of all of those who thinks 100 miles is just CRAZY!

anyways, jake ran with him for two separate legs of the race, totalling about 30 miles. yep, i think that's crazy, too. the rules of this race is that you can't have any pacers for the first 50 miles of the race. jake was the first pacer allowed. when his coach came into that check point, he was in bad shape. he was hurting and his attitude (understandably so) was that he didn't think he could go on. he rested a awhile and nourished his body with food and drink and then was ready to give try again.

jake said this next leg was grueling. going up a steep pass where most of the time was spent walking, not running. at some point, he stopped, thinking he couldn't go on. they rested some more before he thought he could try again. from that point, his spirit lifted and his body was able to go on and finish the race. he had a total of five boys pacing him for that last 50 miles. three of them took two separate legs. all five of them were there for the last few miles.

as jake related what all this looked, and felt, like and some side stories, two things came through loud and clear.

one) if his coach didn't have those boys there to help him - just to be there to encourage and support - he may not have finished the race. we are sometimes called to run a race (figuratively speaking) but we don't always have to do it alone. the example here is that the race gets easier and the odds of finishing is greater if someone is there to run with us, to pace us, as we try to get to the finish line.

two) i'll be honest; i wasn't thrilled with jake doing this. he would be running in the mountains on a course he wasn't familiar with, sometimes in the dark, and a large quantity of miles. but i knew how much he wanted to do it so don and i said yes. thankfully (thank you God), everything went well and there were no injuries. and the result was a once in a lifetime experience, one he will remember always. it also gave him the opportunity to be part of the journey - the race, that his coach - his friend, was on.

jake was part of the process that God wants for all of us. just to be there for someone as they're running their race.

link of the day:

Friday, August 17, 2007

my m.e. shrine

this is show & tell friday, hosted by kelli. if you would like to share something, check with kelli on the rules and add your name to the list of participants. it's fun to see the different things that are shared each week.

i'm not sure how many will be interested in what i have to share this week, but it's something that i love, therefore, it's something i want to share.

have you ever heard of the artist mary engelbreit? if you don't think you have, chances are that you've seen her work somewhere around. her trademark is bright colors, checkerboards, flowers, cherries, and whimsical sayings. i've included a link to her website under my link of the day.

i love ms. engelbreit's (known as m.e.) art so much, i've made a shrine of her work in my main level bathroom, much to the chagrin of my family. when we moved into this house, i was told by all three of them that i couldn't decorate the main bathroom (as i did in the old house) with m.e. i said, okay, then what other room in the house would you like me to use? the kitchen? the basement? our bedroom, dear? they all looked at each other and made the unified decision that i could do the main bathroom - after all, it's the smallest room in the house.

so here's what my bathroom looks like. just about everything in it is m.e.

i love m.e. and her artwork. i love my bathroom. i wish it was bigger (and it's good size) so i could put up more of her beautiful creations. looking at her handiwork and reading the different sayings takes me to a happy place ;)

link of the day:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

you'd think it wouldn't be this hard

i tried to not think about it for the past couple of weeks. i knew the day was coming, but if i didn't think about it maybe it wouldn't happen. i think that's called wishful thinking denial. and you guessed it, the day did come. that day was yesterday.

yesterday was when danielle officially moved into her new home, ready to start her sophomore year in college. she has her own room in a house with four other girls attending the same college. all five of them are involved with the navigators organization, which is a comfort to know that they are all christian girls.

she, her dad and i took down a load of her stuff last sunday. it was pretty comical. we had to strap her mattresses on the top of the car. we took the back road down to the house so the mattresses wouldn't fly off as we sped down the highway - or was it so we wouldn't be embarrassed to be looking like the beverly hillbillies.

but sunday was just a quick trip down and i didn't have to deal with my feelings surrounding the event. it was yesterday that she and i took the last of her stuff down and spent time unpacking and fixing her room the way she wanted it.

and it was last night into today that i'm having to deal with my feelings. it should be easier than last year, right? i've already gone through this. but, in some ways, it's harder because i know this is a step that takes her further away from being my little girl who lives with me and plays with me and calls me mommy (okay, she calls me mom). reading blogs today about moms and their young kids just about did me in. i just wanted to turn back the hands of time and spend the day playing dolls with my little girl.

what has also made it hard is the fact that i got used to her being around this summer. i've enjoyed spending time with her as a young adult. we've enjoyed going to movies, out to eat, pedicures, or just hanging around the house.

we're not going to see her as often this year. she's not planning on coming home as much. she has started the process of establishing her life in a new place and with a new church, new friends, and new job. she may even stay down there next summer. she's planning on living in this house until she graduates.

today, the house seemed too quiet... and empty. i kept wondering how she was doing and what her day was looking like. i'm sure i'll get used to her not being here. it will just take some time. i'm very happy that she's someplace she likes, someplace she wants to be. i just have to remind myself that this is part of the process of growing up. and that God will be watching over her.

danielle, i love you and am very proud of you.
woof woof

link of the day:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

jake was not happy!

be sure to check out all the wordless wednesday participants.

link of the day:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

interesting websites

this week's ten on tuesday is 10 interesting websites you'd like to share. i think i can come up with ten. here they are and in no particular order.

1. make you own snowflakes at it may just be me, but i love snowflakes and i visit this site often just to create my own.

2. (which stands for virtual magic kingdom) is a fun site where you can virtually enjoy disneyland. you create your own character, earn credits, play games, ride rides, and experience the happiest place on earth (kid friendly).

3. if you haven't been to, i encourage you to check it out. it's one of the most honest, gut-wrenching sites there is.

4. of course, i need to include myspace and facebook here (i know, i'm lumping them together as one). and i know they've gotten a lot of bad press and they're not for everyone, but they are the present and future of internet networking and social gathering. as testimony, a childhood friend of the family, that i haven't heard from in years, found me today on facebook. cool, huh.

5. i find a fascinating site. here is where you can build your own page on your specific passion. i haven't built my own page, but i've spent a lot of time browsing and reading through the many offerings.

6. is another interesting site. it allows you to save stories, photos, and videos on a collaborative timeline. i use it to write about certain times in my life; stories i want to remember and to keep track of different places i've lived and jobs i've had. i keep all of my information private, but you can make it for friends or family viewing only, or for the public eyes.

7. being a youth worker, i visit often. enough said.

8. is a site where you can list 43 things - usually goals, however important or frivolous. you can then get inspired about those goals by reading others who have listed the same or writing about the process you are taking to reach your goals. i did it for a while but lost interest mostly because of the lack of time i had. it's still a cool site.

9. i use to keep track of all the blogs i read. it's very similar to bloglines or igoogle (which i considered putting on this list). i just add the rss feeds of my favorite blogs and all i have to do is check one page however often i want and it shows me any posts that have been made. i love it.

10. and to end my list of 10 interesting web sites, i give you just because it's fun.

link of the day:

Monday, August 13, 2007

nice does matter

susan, of penless writer, has awarded me the NICE MATTERS award. although i feel very honored, i don't necessarily feel worthy. but i am very thankful that susan thought of me.

if i hadn't written the post i did yesterday, in response to this award, i would write something along the same lines today. but susan put it well and i totally agree with her.

"In the current day and time which we find ourselves where NICE seems to becoming more and more of a scare commodity I do think it is important for all of us to stand up and loudly proclaim.........NICE does MATTER!!!!"

and if we truly believe that nice does matter, then we need to be the instrument of change. we need to make being nice a priority. we need to be more aware of when we're not being nice. we need to model being nice to our children. and we need to be a witness to those around us. okay, enough of the preaching ;) let's move on.

i'm supposed to pass this award on to seven new people, but as with other awards, i find this difficult. i wouldn't want anyone to feel left out. because i truly feel that you all deserve this award. when i started this blog (because there have been previous ones), i never would have thought i'd meet so many wonderful people. i know there are unkind people out there in blogland, but i don't communicate with them, nor them with me. so all of you who read my blog and are kind enough to respond to my posts - i am passing along this award to you.

let's keep passing this award around as a reminder that kindness is contagious, that we all can can stand to be a little nicer, and that nice does matter.

it is not true that nice guys finish last.
nice guys are winners before the game ever starts.
-addison walker

link of the day:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

honor all

don's been teaching our youth group the ten commandments. today's was the fifth commandment - honor your father and mother. as you can imagine, this was a tough one for some of the kids. a lot of kids don't want to have to honor their parents. some don't get a long with them. some have parents that don't really deserve the honor and respect. but, God doesn't qualify it for us and no one is exempt.

someone asked don why he thought God gave us this command. part of don's reply was that he thought God wanted us to honor all people, and we learn to do that by honoring first those we know, our mom and dad. of course, there is more to why God gave us this command, but this was the part that i've been reflecting on today.

this poem was a part of a devotional i read this past week and after this morning's lesson, i went back to reread it and wanted to share it.

The Little Boy and the Old Man
by Shel Silverstein

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the little old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.

i will be honest here and share that i am not always comfortable around elderly people. i've never wanted to spend too much time with them - it puts me out of my comfort zone. but to give a little perspective, how many people would describe being in their comfort zone spending time in a room of teenagers. my point is that God wires us all differently. i'd rather spend time with teens, others would rather be with infants while others with the elderly.

but that doesn't excuse us from not honoring those that we don't always feel comfortable with. God wants to stretch us and shake up that comfort zone. sometimes, He wants to kick us completely out of that comfort zone.

He wants us to honor everyone; our parents and our grandparents, the young and the old, those we agree with and those we don't, that homeless person on the street and all those in authority positions - EVERYONE! i challenge you, this week, to think about who you are honoring, and who you are not.

and mom and dad.... i'm sorry i haven't always honored you. i love you both.

link of the day:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

reflecting on my week

here are some of my thoughts as i wrap up the week...

jake had his senior pictures taken tuesday. for months, i only viewed this as something on the "to do" list. as i followed around and helped the photographer, watching jake pose and crack his million dollar smile, i realized this was the last time i had to go through this process and that it signifies the beginning of a new stage - jake's senior year. i need to remember to enjoy each and every day for this next year, because then he's gone.

danielle and i experienced the titanic exhibit and imax movie at our local museum. she has always been interested in the titanic and the exhibit was great, really giving you an idea of what it was like to be a passenger on this famous ship. i've been reflecting on something that was said in the movie.

it went something like this; once you know a little bit about the titanic, you measure your life against it. how would you have handled the fact that the ship was going down? would you have been panicked and manic? or would you have been cool, calm and collected? would you have done anything to get into a life boat? or would you have accepted your fate? would you have helped those around you? or would it have been all about you and saving yourself?


61%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
i took this little test this week and the results show that i'm 61% addicted to blogging. i'm not sure about that. i know it's just a 'canned' survey, but i figured i was more addicted than that.

i'm going to start doing a POST OF THE WEEK. this will be a post that i've read sometime during the week and really think it should be read by everyone. so this week, it's reflections on life and parenting by

i feel bad that some of the people i tagged yesterday had already been tagged. and since i enjoyed making those names so much, i wanted to make some more. so i'm tagging three more people.

pam of pinnacles, pitfalls, and pottychairs. i am blessed by you and your blog.

diane of a watered garden. i am blessed by you and your blog.

sarah of shortstop. i am blessed by you and your blog. **sarah is pregnant and is presently in the hospital. please keep her in your prayers.**

and one for my daughter and her blog, living life, loving life.

and we'll be wrapping up our week by listening to jake's band, good clean dirty fun,. they are playing a gig at starbucks tonight. should be fun.

link of the day:

Friday, August 10, 2007

tag, you're it!

we've made it to friday! yay!

i've had a busy week. i tell you that as my reason excuse for not following up on jen's, of pen of jen, tag. she is the originator of this tag and it has been fun to see what fellow bloggers have come up with. here's how she describes the tag:

"My challenge to my blog friends is this: write 8 of your blog friends names in a unique way and post them. Then come back over and let me know. You must write the blogger's name that tagged you, then add 7 others. Be creative and if possible use the natural wonders of the world! "

and here's how she spelled out my name. she made it with soap bubbles in tribute to my profile picture. i marvel at how creative she was and i know it couldn't have been easy to do. her words to me in the tag were very nice and i appreciate my name. thanks jen.

i was thrilled to be tagged. i thought it would be fun to come up with some creative way to spell out names. well, it would have been fun if i could have come up with something. my first thought was find something in my house that i have an abundance of and use that. hmm... what do i have a lot of?

there's a lot of dirty clothes in my laundry room. maybe i could use those. naw. i looked over at my kitchen floor and noticed all the dust bunnies (the dog is shedding big time!). naw, no one wants their name spelled out with dust bunnies. hmm. something i have a lot of. the litter box needs to be cleaned. no! we won't even go there. it's obvious i started to get desperate.

then, for some reason, i got the idea of using aerosoal cheese to write out individual letters on crackers. i spent a good amount of time last night doing just that. it was harder than i thought and i didn't like the end result. there wasn't much contrast in color between the cheese and the cracker and it all looked too sloppy to me.

but i didn't have anything else and didn't know what else i was going to post, so i went ahead with it. then, as luck or fate would have it, i wasn't able to post because blogger seemed to be having problems. i finally gave up.

then, as luck or fate would have it (i'm thinking fate at this point), i came across an on-line generator that creatively spits out names or words. i don't think it was what jen had in mind. she wanted us to try to use the natural wonders of the world. the only way my creations fit that description is if we consider the computer a natural wonder of the world. for me, it's close.

jen, you're first. thanks for the tag. i am blessed by you and your blog.

lyndy of fiddle-dee-dee. i am blessed by you and your blog.

ginger of just a thought. i am blessed by you and your blog.

kelli of there is no place like home. i am blessed by you and your blog.

lynne of mi casa es su casa. i am blessed by you and your blog.

lori of bloggin' with lori b. i am blessed by you and your blog.

aisha of just mom. i am blessed by you and your blog.

ruth of reign from above. i am blessed by you and your blog.

these were all created with flickr photographs. it's an easy to use generator and once you have typed out the name, you can click on one, or more, of the letters to change them to a different image. and the image fits nicely in your sidebar. i have included the generator as my link of the day.

link of the day:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


this is my daughter's cat, snickers. he doesn't get much attention around here since the boys in the house claim they don't like cats. every once in a while, dani and i dress him up or put fun stuff on him and then send the pictures into stuff on my cat dot com (link).

when we sent this photo in, there were a lot of people who commented that he looked like the girl on the famous national geographic cover with the mesmerizing eyes. that, or a jedi warrior. what do you think?

head on over to wordless wednesday to check out the list of this week's participants.

link of the day:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

it's a meme

as i mentioned in my last post, there were three questions we were given at the women's retreat that i attended last weekend. so i'm going to post them as a meme. i would love to hear your answers. pick one, two, or all three. post it on your own blog as a meme and invite others to play along.

1. what was your most memorable trip and why?
2. what is your favorite room in your home?
3. if you could go into the future, what part of the future would you go?

my most memorable trip had to be a camping trip i made with don and his family... when i was 15. it was memorable for several reasons.
1) i had never really been camping before, so the whole camping experience was new to me. not only did i adapt well, but i fell in love with it all. living in the mountains for a week and all that came along with that. there are too many little adventures and experiences to name here, but i had a blast. don and i have been "campers" ever since and where we went that week is one of our favorite places.
2) it was a wonderful way to get to know don and his family better. don and i had only been dating a month or so when they invited me. it meant a lot to me that they thought enough about me to ask me along. they are a wonderful family and i became their second daughter that week, and have been treated as such ever since.
3) don and i fell in love with each other on that trip and we declared it to each other at a special place and a special time. i can still remember how we did it and how i felt. obviously, it was a life changing trip.

my favorite room in my house is actually my living room, even though i don't use it much. most of the time, the family room which connects to the kitchen is the room most used. but i enjoy the time i do spend in the living room. it's just so comfortable; from the way the room is decorated to how comfy the couches are. most of the time spent in this room is when i'm reading, but we also use it when company comes over or when we hold church meetings.

if i could go into any part of the future, i would go ahead several decades. i would like to not only see who my kids marry, but i would want to see who their children marry and what their children are like. this probably isn't answering the question properly, but i'd like to be able to witness that whole timeline.

so now it's your turn. let me know if you've posted your answers to any or all of these questions so i can come on over and read them.

link of the day:

Monday, August 6, 2007

time well spent

i had a wonderful time this last weekend. i went to a women's retreat held in a great cabin on grand lake, colorado. it was a small group, since we're a small church, but that was one of the reasons it was so nice. the size, the place, the topic discussed, the balance of time spent with the larger group, the small groups, and by myself - all made for an enjoyable weekend.

i left early on friday so i could spend time by myself and in the great outdoors. i had a nice time doing so; sightseeing, hiking, sitting and enjoying my surroundings, and taking pictures.

the retreat was well thought out and went according to schedule. the cabin we stayed in was owned by one of the ladies and it was absolutely incredible. it sat right on the water and had a huge deck with four swinging double chairs. i could have spent the whole weekend on that porch.

the theme of the weekend was 'our journey with God.' there were three sessions, covering our past, present, and future. there was a speaker who spoke for a short time before we each went off to have our own reflection time. we then came back together and separated into small groups of three to discuss the topic and share certain aspects of our alone time. like i said before, it was a good mixture of time spent.

to start off each session, we were asked an icebreaker type of question. i thought they were good, so i'm going to post them tomorrow as a kinda meme. i'll give my answers and if you feel like playing along, you could share your answers. so look for those tomorrow.

here's some of the pictures i took. i did take a lot of the women who were there, but didn't include them here. didn't want to bore you with oodles of pictures. and i love my new little camera - in case you were wondering =]

link of the day:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

my eyelids are very heavy

i'm home!

and i'm tired. i had a great weekend, but i'm very tired.

i was in the process of formulating what i wanted to write about (but not really getting very far), when our power went off due to a large thunderstorm rumbling through. it was only out for a half hour or so, but long enough for my eyelids to grow even heavier and my brain to tell me it's time for my head to rest on a comfy pillow.

i will say, though, that i enjoyed the time when the power was off. the lit candles bathed the room with a warm, comfortable glow. the fact that the tv was dead and we couldn't use our computers meant that all my family could do was sit and talk to each other. i was able to share things about my weekend and they were able to share theirs with me. it was very nice. maybe i should simulate a blackout on some kind of regular basis.

anyways, i need to get to bed. i will write about my weekend tomorrow and hopefully include some pictures of God's country here in colorado.

good night.

Friday, August 3, 2007

yes, i needed it!

once again, a big thank you goes out to kelli for hosting show & tell. make sure you check out the long list of all who play along.

this week is going to be short and sweet for me. i'm on my way up to the mountains for a women's retreat. but i wanted to get this post in, so here it is:

this is my newest camera. what!? a new camera you say. yes, a new camera.

i have a very nice camera that i absolutely love. but i wanted something small that i could just keep in my purse or the car, in order to catch any quick and spontaneous photo ops. i'll be taking this with me this weekend to see what quick and spontaneous shannigans i can capture ;)

a couple of people asked what kind of camera and/or lens i have in order to capture the pics of the lions a few posts ago. i have a canon digital rebel xt slr. like i said, i love it. it was a christmas present from don and the kids a couple of christmases ago. then on mother's day, they gave me a zoom lens which i had been dearly wanting. it is a canon 70-300mm. and i love it, too.

so there you go. i'm off to the mountains. hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

you can't stop the beat

winners of the caption contest are:

1st place: dana a/k/a/ sunshine said...
maybe "jump on the bandwagon" wasn't the phrase i should have used.

2nd place: anonymous (too bad i don't know who this is) said...
where are the clowns?

3rd place: lynne said...
need a lift? hop on - we've got plenty of room!

thanks everyone for playing.

and about that beat...

i just got back from seeing hairspray with my daughter, dani. it was a fun movie and i really enjoyed it, as did dani. it's one of those upbeat musicals that had my toes a tapping all the way through it.

after we left the theater, i made a pit stop at walmart to pick up a couple of things. the store is right next to the theater and as i parked and then walked into the store, i was still humming the finale song from the movie, 'you can't stop the beat.' as i watched people walking into the store, i had this weird image of people breaking out in song and dance, as if that's a normal occurrence. i even chuckled to myself.

i entered the store and guess what!? the song they were playing over the store's sound system was the very same song - 'you can't stop the beat.' it was so surreal. i had this feeling that i was supposed to start dancing and that the lady picking out a card or the guy looking over the jewelry, was going to join me.

i'm telling you, i was laughing out loud the whole time it took me to walk back to the camera department.

link of the day:

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

it's all about the zoom lens

not only is it wednesday, but it's wordless wednesday. i took these pictures at the denver zoo last november. i could have spent the whole day at the lion exhibit. but i'm glad i didn't, because i got some really good pictures of the polar bears and a grumpy ole grizzly bear, too.

link of the day: