Monday, December 29, 2008

it's mimosa for 2009

Did you know that there is a color assigned to each year?
The color for 2009 is Mimosa, which is the color to the left.
Mimosa embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change. (Source)

"Pantone, an X-Rite company, and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, as the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.

"The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."

Best illustrated by the abundant flowers of the Mimosa tree and the sparkle of the brilliantly hued cocktail, the 2009 color of the year represents the hopeful and radiant characteristics associated with the color yellow. Mimosa is a versatile shade that coordinates with any other color, has appeal for men and women, and translates to both fashion and interiors. Look for women's accessories, home furnishings, active sportswear and men's ties and shirts in this vibrant hue."

Personally, I can't think of a better color. Yellow is my favorite color and I do associate it with the sunshine, with warmth, and with optimism. In case you were wondering, the color for 2008 was Blue Iris (PANTONE 18-3943).

Friday, December 26, 2008

day seven

It's late Friday night here in California. It's the day after Christmas and I spent most of the day with my brother and sister and their families. It's so wonderful to spend time with my siblings, their spouses, and their children. And I love watching the six cousins play and interact with each other. I sure wish we all lived closer to each other.

I know it's late Friday, but it's still Friday and I can still do Aloha Friday. So here's what I want to know....

Tell me something you received for Christmas.

I received a blanket with the logo of Danielle's school on it, from who else... Danielle. And I received a pair of pajama bottoms with the logo from Jake's school on it, from who else.... Jake. I love and will cherish them both.

I had three very nice Christmas celebrations. One at home before we left with our immediate family and Jake's girlfriend, Hollee. The second one was with Don's family. And the third one with my family. I hope everyone had a wonderful day(s) of celebration.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's that time...

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas
and a
blessed New Year

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the pier

Yes, we are enjoying our visit here in southern California. The past two days have felt so relaxing and care free. Both kids have mentioned how good it feels to be on break from school and not to have to think about classes, papers, or professors. For Don, the much needed break relieves him of the stress he's endured lately.

Today we went down to the pier and enjoyed walking around and observing everything going on. It's a fishing pier with shops and restaurants, so there's a mixture of fishermen, tourists, and wildlife. This pier holds so many memories for us all and we will most likely spend more time there this week.

Pelicans seemed to be in charge as they were everywhere. Most of them would you let them walk right up to them. Tourists were snapping pictures left and right. As Dani and Jake approached this pair, they scooted over, not wanting to get to close, which was fine with Dani, who was a little freaked out being that close. This pier holds so many memories for us all and we will most likely spend more time there this week.

We've enjoyed how care-free these past two days have been because we now go into visitation mode. We'll be traveling to see my side of the family and Don's brother and sister will be here in a couple of days. Let the celebration begin.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

what time is it?

You know how it is. Rushing around trying to get yourself - and your family - ready to walk out that door to get to the airport on time. Last minute running around, figuring out what clothes to take, making sure whatever needs to be taken is in the suitcases, and making sure all that needs of the house are taken care of.

Jake got home Thursday afternoon and had about three weeks of laundry that needed to be done. I had the whole day to do laundry, pack only for myself, and get all those last minute details done. And yet, as the hour of departure neared, I was more frantic. As usual, for our family, we were late walking out the door and drove frantically to the airport in fear that we would run out of time.

The first potential problem is parking. There is limited parking at our airport and there are many times that the signs say "parking lot FULL." Usually when the signs show state this status they aren't actually full but it means you'll be driving around for a while looking for a spot. As we approached the airport and could see the signs, we were relieved to see each and every lot's sign said "OPEN." Phew.

Don drops us off and drives to the economy lot. The plan was for us to go in and grab a place in the long, long lines and by the time Don gets the car parked and takes the shuttle back to the airport, we may have moved close enough to see the top of the heads of the agents who stand behind the automated kiosks.

As the kids and I walk in, we're pleased to see that the lines are medium in length. There were quite a few travelers, but nothing like we've experienced in the past. We then innocently check the monitors and realize that our flight had been delayed by an hour. Ugh!

All that frantic frenzy the last hour at home. Had I known the flight was delayed, I could have used that extra hour. At least we then weren't worried that we would be able to get our bags checked, get through the dreaded security lines, and to our plane in time for it's departure.

After checking in the bags and before going through security, we stopped to eat a quick meal at one of the many fast food eateries. But we didn't want to linger too long because we still would have to stand in the long security lines. At our airport, you have to pass through one of two security areas before you can board the underground train that take you to the the gates.

After eating, we head over to one of the security areas. It's CLOSED!! Great! We figure the other one is going to be a mad house. But as we approach the other one, we realize that there are NO lines. None. Zip. Nada. We wind through the empty rows only to walk straight to the agent and screening area. On to the train. On to our plane.

As the escalator ended at the platform and the monitors stared at us with their useful information, we realized we were in for a longer wait. As we sat at the gate, the plane was delayed a couple more times and we finally boarded nearly two hours after the original departure time, which wouldn't have been a huge deal except our original flight time was 9:00 pm, which meant we didn't touch down in California until 12:20 local time, which was 1:20 our body time.

I'll spare you the part of the story where we had to then go get our rental car. Let me end by saying that it felt wonderful to finally fall into bed at my mother-in-law's.... at 2:30 - which my body was screaming... it's 3:30!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

did you know...

I opened this over at Susan's and now I'm obligated.... as are you!

50 random things about you! If you opened this, FILL IT OUT! Learn 50 things about your friends and let them learn 50 things about you!

1. Do you like cheese? Of course
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes, for a couple of months back in middle school
3. Do you own a gun? Not me. but my husband does (and I'm not crazy about that. I don't like guns)
4. Do you like listening to Christmas music? Some. Not a lot. It gets old after a while.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? No
6. What do you think of hot dogs? The best place to have a dog is at a baseball game, where I usually always have one.
7. Favorite Christmas song for all time? O Holy Night
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Usually nothing
9. Can you do push ups? I'm not sure. It's been a long time.
10. Who is your favorite Grey's Anatomy Character? Have seen it only once or twice so I don't have a favorite.
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding/engagement/anniversary combination and my diamond pendant necklace.
12. Favorite hobby? Blogging and photography
13. Do you eat "exotic" foods? No
14. Do you have A.D.D.? No
15. What one trait do you hate about yourself? Procrastinating
16. Middle Name? Lynn
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I love Christmas decorations; Everything I need to do before getting on a plane; I should go to bed.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday? A book, a shirt, and a gift card... all Christmas presents.
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Diet coke, ice tea, and water
20. Current worry right now? Getting everything done in preparation for our trip and not forgetting anything.
21. Current hate? My weight
22. Favorite place to be? Hawaii
23. How will you bring in the New Year? Not sure. I like it more on the quiet side.
24. Where would you like to go? To see and experience Central Park
25. Name three people who will complete this? I don't know
26. Do you own flip flops? Of course
27. What shirt are you wearing? a sweatshirt with a cute snowman on it
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Never slept on them, but I'm guessing no.
29. Can you whistle? Kinda
30. Favorite color? Yellow
31. Would you be a pirate? I don't even know how to answer that
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't really sing in the shower
33. Favorite girl's name? Besides Danielle... Jolene
34. Favorite boy's name? Besides Jake... Jason
35. What's in your pocket right now? A dime and a gum wrapper
36. Last thing that made you laugh? My daughter (she's a natural born comedian)
37. Bed sheets as a child? Don't remember
38. Worst injury you've ever had? I have been relatively injury free all my life. Probably a sprained ankle.
39. Do you love where you live? Yes! Not just my home, but my city and state.
40. How many TV's do you have in your house? 5
41. Who is your loudest friend? I don't think I'll reveal that here =)
42. How many dogs do you have? One, and he's enough
43. Does someone have a crush on you? I think I'm past that
44. Do you get embarrassed easily? I guess I do
45. What is your favorite book? Besides the Bible... Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
46. What is your favorite candy? Milky Way
47. Do you know all the words to the Fresh Prince theme song? Nope
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Sunshine on my Shoulders by John Denver
49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Writing a blog post
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Why does the dog have to wake up so darn early!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


(+) I heard this story this morning and I don't know if I find it heart warming or disturbing. It seems that a four year old boy left his home at 3:00 in the morning, walked across six lanes of traffic to get to a dollar store. He first tried one door, but it was locked. He then went to the second door and much to his surprise -or not - it was unlocked. He walked right in, tripping a silent alarm, and headed straight for the toys (my assumption). When the police arrived, they found him sitting among the toys, playing to his heart's content. (source)

(+) We have been experiencing frigid weather here in the Denver area. We broke a record the other day with an overnight low of minus nineteen. That was Monday and we didn't get above 5 degrees that day. Brrrr! It's warmed up a little each day since and we hit mid thirties today. It looks like we're getting out of Dodge just in time. The state will go into the deep freeze again this weekend. I'll be thinking about that as I'm walking on the beach in California [smile].

(+) I've entered a give-away over at Mile High Mamas that I would really love to win. They're giving away a Wii system along with the Wii Fit program. I've been hearing a lot about this system and the Fit program lately and I think it would be something I'd use. Anyways, I get extra entries by mentioning the give-away on my blog. So that's what I'm doing. Even though my chances of winning diminish if anyone reading this goes over and enters themselves. Oh well. It's all luck anyways.
Contest ends at noon, December 20th. For more info, go here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i'm a junkie

Yesterday I wrote about my first Christmas tree and how special a tree and the ornaments are for me, but not enough was said about the ornaments. I think I could be considered an ornament junkie.

I love each one of my ornaments because most of them have some kind of sentimental value. Many were given to me and I attach the love I have for the giver to the ornament. Some have been on the tree each year since the kids were babies, including those that represent their childhoods. And others are ones that I bought because they struck my fancy in some way. They symbolize something or were just beautiful in my eyes.

My mom has bought me an ornament every Christmas for as long as I can remember. It's always fun to see what her pick for the year is and they become special because they're from her. My dad and his wife have also given me some beautiful ornaments. Ornaments from friends mean so much.

I usually buy myself an ornament each year, too. Here's this year's...

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is lower the lights and sit looking at my tree. I let the muted glow of the lights wash over me while reflecting on the people and times represented by the many ornaments. I ultimately come to a place where I reflect on Christ and His glorious birth and what it means to have Him in my life. That's the reason for the season.

oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...

I remember my first Christmas tree. The year was a few years after I moved out on my own. Don and I were dating and I had my own apartment. We picked out the tree from a local lot and brought it home. It was a perfectly shaped Noble Fir. Even though I had the perfect tree, I had no ornaments for it.

Except one. My boss had given me an ornament along with his wishes for a Merry Christmas. It was a cheap looking plastic globe type with a little ice rink scene within the ball. I'm sure it was inexpensive and not much thought went into it's purchase, but I loved it. Ever since that first year, it has been one of my most prized and loved ornaments and it holds a prominent place on my tree each year.

But my beautifully shaped tree didn't go unadorned that year. Don asked his mom if she had any extra ornaments that she would be willing to give me for my tree. I don't know if they were "extra" or not, but she gave me a small collection of ornaments that instantly became very special to me. She never asked for them back and I still hang many of them on my tree every year.

My first Christmas tree will forever hold a special place in my heart. I can close my eyes and still see it, remembering exactly how it looked with it's twinkling lights and the few ornaments hanging from it's perfect limbs. That first tree started my love for the Christmas tree and ornaments.

Not having a tree up this year has left me with an empty feeling where there normally would be an awe and love for the many ornaments displayed. I didn't realize how big of a part my tree would play in connecting me to the Christmas spirit that seems to elude me this year. I will take this as a lesson learned and plan to always put up a tree each Christmas. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

are you ready?

My Aloha Friday question for this week:

Are you totally ready for Christmas?

That means tree and house decorating, gift buying (and mailing), card writing and sending, cookie baking and giving, and whatever else you need to do to feel "ready."
If you're not ready, tell us what you still need to do.

for me....
NO! I am not ready in any area.
and yes, I know Christmas is less than two weeks away.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ho ho hum

I'm having a problem. I can't seem to get into the Christmas spirit. I think I know why, but it hasn't helped me get into the season the way I usually do.

Because of our decision to go to California, I decided not to put up a tree this year. I figured I'd just pull out a select few decorations, but I haven't even been motivated to do much of that.

I think the biggest reason I haven't been motivated is because the kids aren't in the house. Even though I'd like to have the house filled with Christmas cheer, I figure it's just Don and I and the need just isn't that great. The kids will come next week but within a matter of days, we'll be on an airplane. I'm sure I will put more out this weekend. But the change in the house from previous years is very noticeable.

The other thing that I'm not motivated to do is shopping, and this is very unlike me. I L.O.V.E. to shop. Again, there's a couple of reasons for this, and they go hand in hand. Knowing how bad the economy is, we've decided to scale back on our gift giving. Part of my extended family's gift giving is, instead of doing a gift exchange, we're taking that money and giving it to a worthy charity or cause. We have done this in a couple of ways already but most of it doesn't include going into a store and buying large amounts of merchandise.

I have decided that the few gifts I need to get for nieces and nephews will be bought in California so I don't have to transport bulky gifts in my luggage. And maybe it's because I can't get into the spirit, or because of my attitude about spending right now, or that I just can't find anything to purchase that brought me home yesterday, after hours of shopping, empty handed. I need to get just a couple of gifts for friends and a family and I couldn't find anything.

So here I sit, on December 11th and only two weeks before the big day, having purchased only a few little things for gifts and in a home that doesn't reflect the Christmas spirit. My attitude isn't bah-humbug, but it's not where it should be. It might not be until I get to California that I finally feel festive, spiritual, and wanting to celebrate the true reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my heart breaks

When it comes to teenagers, many situations break my heart. But one of the biggest heart breaks comes when seeing teens without hope. I've seen this in varying degrees and varying time periods. One day the kid thinks all is lost, and the very next day they can be on cloud nine. The longer you work with teens, the more you can recognize these mood swings and know that they are different than true hopelessness.

In a church/youth group environment, when a teen is experiencing such hopelessness, Don and I (individually or collectively) have been able to combat that condition with the hope that Christ gives us all. Not only have we prayed for the teen, but we could pray with him/her as well. I think this alone gave some hope to them. We could give them scripture to hold on to and meditate on. We could take them out for a coke and let them pour out their heart. We had so many resources, and I felt comfortable and knowledgeable.

I no longer work officially as a youth worker, but have a job where I have the privilege of working with middle school teens. I have now seen this hopelessness in some of the kids I work with. There's two girls that I really feel is suffering right now. They haven't shared much of their personal life (as a youth group kid probably would) but it's clear that they aren't happy, and that it's more than just a mood swing.

One symptom is that they have lost all motivation to be at school. They just don't see the need to be there, to learn, to push on to higher education (and at this point, that's high school). They don't do what's required of them, they don't participate in discussions, and they're grades are almost at rock bottom.

When I talk to them, I feel helpless to help them. I can't bring my faith into the conversation. I can't share the hope that God gives me. I can't even take them out for a coke to allow them the opportunity to talk. About all I can do is pray for them and continue to show I care by engaging them in conversation.

This has been weighing heavily on me. I want to help. I took this job with a request of God to use me, as He sees fit, to help the kids I come in contact with. Am I supposed to help these two girls? How? My prayer will continue to be that if this is what He wants, He will show me how and give me the opportunities.

In the mean time, my heart breaks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

monday musings


Outside my window... the clouds are inching ever closer. Rain and then snow will arrive some time this afternoon.

I am thinking... how could I forget my hair appointment! I know; I usually schedule them for Wednesday. For some reason, I scheduled this one for a Monday. Good thing I can get in later this afternoon. Still.....

I am thankful for... for such a kind and understanding hairdresser. This isn't the first time I've done this.

From the kitchen... nothing. I just loaded the dirty dishes in the dishwasher so it looks cleaner than usual.

I am creating... nothing. Unless you consider decorating and wrapping presents.

I am going... to California next week!

I am wearing... jeans, long sleeve t-shirt, and vest. No shoes or socks yet.

I am reading... Twilight. I enjoyed the movie and wanted to know more about the characters. So, here I am reading a book I never thought I would.

I am hoping... to get a phone call from my son today. (He said he would)

I am hearing... I have the news on but I'm not really listening to it.

Around the house... not enough Christmas decorations. I don't want to put them all out since we will be away for a good portion of the holidays.

One of my favorite things... Christmas

A few plans for the rest of the week... a trip to the mall tonight, work, mailing some gifts, small group meeting, meeting with some friends, and a Christmas party at the end of the week.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... here's what you get when you try to fit three on a [small] couch....

The Simple Woman's Daybook originated at The Simple Woman.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

random act of kindness?

Don and I were waiting in line to pay for our merchandise. It was one of those types of lines that there's just one line and the cashier calls you up once he/she becomes available. It was late and there wasn't much business going on. There was one cashier who was ringing up a customer and we were next in line.

All of a sudden a little old lady comes up from behind us, says "excuse me," and as we move, thinking she wanted to see some of the merchandise displayed there at the cash registers, she moves past us to stand right behind the current customer at the cash register.

So my question is...
Am I practicing Random Acts of Kindness by not telling this rude sweet little old lady that she just cut in line and that she should go to the end of the line and wait her turn?

Because I really am looking for ways to practice R.A.K., especially during this holiday season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

it's the time of the year for traditions

What is one of your Christmas traditions?

We have a a few, but I'll just share one today. This is how we spend Christmas Eve...

We attend a Christmas Eve service and depending on the time of that service, we plan to eat dinner either before or after. We usually eat afterwards, but it's always dinner out at a nice restaurant. We then drive around (length of time varies) and look at Christmas lights and home displays. We try to find those houses that are literally dripping with lights and decorations. Some years we've done this in our pajamas with travel cups full of hot chocolate.

Once we get home, we each open one gift (our choice). By then, it's usually getting late and it's time to get to bed. We don't want to be up when Santa comes visiting.

Visit Kailani at An Island Life each week for Aloha Friday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

i did it!

I made it! I posted everyday during the month of November as a NaBloPoMo participant. There were a few days I didn't feel like posting, but for the most part, I was able to find the time and content to post each and every day. And contrary to the graphic here, I have a great sense of accomplishment.

One of the things that helped was posting a blessing each day with the goal of having 30 different blessings at the end of the month.

Here's a recap of my 30 blessings:

1. my children
2. the opportunity to vote
3. unseasonably warm weather
4. the beautiful colors of the season
5. not having to work everyday/my days off
6. my home
7. two very good friends
8. to live in America
9. my husband
10. to have men and women fight for my freedom
11. my relationship with my daughter
12. gas prices continuing to fall
13. owning the cameras I do
14. when it snows and the beauty of it
15. the luxury of Saturdays
16. getting together with good friends
17. my prayer group
18. that Don's mishap in Canada wasn't worse than it was
19. Don's company and how much they helped him to get home
20. healthy teeth
21. good health/dental insurance
22. my current level of health
23. being a mother
24. being around kids (my job)
25. Don being able to provide for our family
26. feeling better after catching a bad cold
27. enjoying Thanksgiving with friends and family
28. being able to go to California for Christmas
29. blogging friends
30. my faith

Now I look forward to the Christmas and the season of advent. Christmas will be here before we know it. For me, it's important not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and to take time to reflect on the reason for the season.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the end

It's the end of a long holiday weekend, the end of the month, the end of my daily blessings (in writing only - I count my blessings every day).

Blessing #29.... I really enjoy being a part of the blogging world and meeting so many interesting and nice people. But the blessing is the small group of bloggers who stop by my blog frequently, leaving me comments that affirm me, make me smile, add to the conversation, encourage me, open my eyes, or simply to say hi. If you leave me comments, I'm talking about you. Thank you for your support and friendship. I do count you as a blessing.

Blessing #30.... I've thought about this every Sunday during this last month and knew I would leave this for my final blessing. To put it in one word, it would be my faith. It encompasses everything that goes along with that; having Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, having the Bible as my instruction book and the freedom to read it without be persecuted, the opportunity to sing my praise to Him (even though I don't sing well), the gifts He has blessed me with and opportunity to use them, to fellowship with other believers, to know that my sins are forgiven and I will spend eternity with Him, and the list goes on and on. It is such a blessing to know His love and to love Him in return.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Blessings #29 & #30 in a month's worth of blessings.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

i did go out this weekend

It's tradition for my family to see one of the many movies that comes out during the Thanksgiving weekend. We kept that tradition going this year seeing the movie Australia on Thanksgiving night.

All four of us enjoyed this movie, which doesn't always happen. It's an epic story that includes history, love, war, and the culture of the aborigines of Australia during the 1930s and 40s. I loved it because it's a great story that kept me interested for all 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was well done as it made me feel all the emotions portrayed on the screen. I even cried. I would recommend this movie to anybody. (rated PG-13)

Dani and I then went to another movie on Friday. This one I can't recommend to everyone even though I enjoyed it. It's the movie Twilight, which is based on Stephanie Meyer's top selling book by the same name. Twilight is the first book in a series of four all based on a love story between a normal teenage girl and a boy who is a vampire.

I have not read the books, although Dani is on the fourth one. I know how incredibly popular they are with the teenage and young adult crowd, but I haven't had any desire to read about vampires. As much as Danielle has tried to get me to read the series, I've consistently said no.

She saw the movie at midnight when it came out last week, along with hundreds of other eager book readers, but since she is such a fan of the books and loved the movie, she wanted to see it again. She kept asking me to go with her. I finally relented and agreed to go see the movie with her, and guess what.... I actually liked it.

I don't know if I should be ashamed of that or not, but I must be honest and say that not only did I like it, but I'm now interested in the story enough to be contemplating reading the books. Oh my! That's the first time I've said that out loud. Stay tuned....

Friday, November 28, 2008

two tales

There are two stories in the news right now that has me thinking about the contrast between the two.

The first is a local story here in Denver (source). There may be similar ones around the country. It is about a couple who put an ad on Craig's List inviting anyone who didn't want to spend Thanksgiving alone to their home for a Thanksgiving meal. They had over 30 people respond to the ad. The couple decided that instead of picking a few, they would extend the invitation to all of the respondents.

When word got out about this couple's good will, food and chairs and tables were donated for the occasion. Last year at this time the couple was living in a donated tent camper after losing their business and home. They have been able to pull themselves out of the harder times into a modest townhome and minimal income. Still, they felt like they wanted to help out those less fortunate. And that, they did. Thirty plus strangers gathered in the small townhome to enjoy the food and fellowship that so many of us take for granted.

The second story tells us about the consequences of the frenzy of Black Friday, a day that is all about consumerism and materialism. In New York, an employee of WalMart was trampled to death by a horde of shoppers who stormed the doors (source). Once the employee fell to the ground, he was simply and tragically ran over by a crowd of eager shoppers. Others were hurt, including a pregnant woman.

My questions are; Did anyone not notice they were trampling over a body laying on the ground? Did anyone try to help this man up? Was that bargain worth this man's life?

I know the Friday after Thanksgiving has always been a huge shopping day, but I don't always remember it being called Black Friday. When did it get this name? How did it become such a frenzy for both the retailer and the shopper?

To be honest, I don't know what else to write. I don't want to offend anyone. I'm not saying that if you went out shopping on this day, that you're a bad person. I know many who love going out shopping on this day, and I would not think of judging anyone for this.

I'm just wondering how this all happened. I'd like to blame the retailers for inciting such a madness, but doesn't part of the responsibility need to be taken by the consumer? And I guess we can say that this year, it's the economy that's playing such a large role in our craziness.

There's no real point to this point except to write a commentary on the times we live in. There will always be the spirit of giving and caring. There will always be the reality of consumerism and the fact that we feel like we "need" something. Maybe the bottom line is that we need to figure out what we really "need."

It is a blessing that we will be able to spend the next holiday, Christmas, with our extended family in California. We're all looking forward to this trip.

Blessing #28 in a month's worth of blessings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

overflow of blessings

I've been remiss in my daily blessings but knew I would have time to catch up. And what more perfect of a day to do that than Thanksgiving.

Blessing #24... A couple more weeks of my job under my belt and I'm finding it a blessing to be around kids again. I'm getting to know them on a personal level and am hoping that my presence has a positive effect on them.

Blessing #25... In these hard economic times, it's a blessing to have our family provided for through Don's job and hard work. There are so many families who are hurting to the point that they may not have the money or resources to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. I did not forget this as I ate the food upon my table.

Blessing #26... I caught a cold some time toward the end of last weekend. I felt pretty crummy for a couple of days, but woke up Wednesday morning feeling as if the worse had passed. I am thankful that I didn't feel sick while preparing for the Thanksgiving festivities. (I'm still not 100% but was able to get everything done and enjoy the day.)

Blessing #27... Sitting down to a table full of yummy food with close friends. Even though these friends are close, we don't see them too often, so it was extra special spending the day with them.

Blessings #24-#27 in a month's worth of blessings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

gobble gobble

Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later 'twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o'er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.

(Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer)

Wishing you all a very

Monday, November 24, 2008

dear mother

This is my letter to a young mother as part of the Mother Letter Project. Please read my previous post for more information.

Dear Mother,

I am a mother who recently became a mother living in a house void of children. My youngest left for college and I found myself unsure of what my mothering role would now look like. It is different, but I have been reassured that I am still a mother. Once a mother, always a mother. It is just a different phase of motherhood.

This has caused me to reflect on the past 20 years and take note of the different phases of motherhood. There are a few. Just as our children go through phases, so do we. I think if we, as mothers, are aware of this, it gives us permission to grow and transform ourselves right along with our children.

We also need to give ourselves permission to not be perfect, to fail at times, to be human. Not only do we personally need that grace, but our children need to see that we make mistakes and that we can learn from our mistakes. Our children learn so much from us, as parents, and so much of it is from who we are as people, how we treat others, and how we conduct ourselves.

When I think back on the different phases my kids and I have gone through, there are two constants that shine brightly. The first, when I made my children and our family a priority, everything else fell into place appropriately. If I kept my agenda focused on them, it was easier to know what was truly important and what was not. Motherhood is constantly being selfless, but the benefits and blessings are infinite.

The other thing that I feel is very important is making sure you nurture yourself in small (or big) ways on a regular basis. It's important not to lose yourself and/or get to a place where you feel so overwhelmed that you can't be an effective and loving parent. Give yourself a break every once in a while. Find a way to tell yourself that you are more than just a mother. Find a way to find the joy in life and in being a mom. By doing this, you become a better mother.

Before you know it, your kids will be grown and will leave your home. Enjoy each and every stage you encounter while you're with them. There will be heartache, and there will be immeasurable joy. Love them unconditionally, and the love flows back to you. And know that your job as mother is the most important thing you'll ever do.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

mother letter project

A few days ago, I came across something that really grabbed my attention. It's called the Mother Letter Project, with a tag line of Letters from Mothers to Mothers.

It was started by a husband who had the idea of giving his wife letters from a few mothers lending her encouragement and support. He wanted to give her a special Christmas present without spending any money. After getting some letters from acquaintances, he thought how much more he could make this gift if he opened it up to the blogging world, which his wife is a part of, asking for letters from bloggers who would be willing to share their stories.

He is asking anyone that is interested to write a letter either in a comment on the blog or through an email. If you send a letter via email by Christmas, you will receive a copy of all the letters that have been collected.

What a concept! What a loving gift! What a great collection of advice, encouragement, support, and motherly love! My next post will be a copy of the letter I will send. I've written it and re-written it. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Maybe I made it harder than it needed to be. I came to a point where I figured I'd probably never be completely happy with it, so I'm leaving it as it is. I hope this young mother will find encouragement from it.

Maybe you, too, would like to be a part of this worthwhile project. If so, just follow this link; Mother Letter Project.

Being a mother is one of the biggest blessings I can think of.

Blessing #23 in a month's worth of blessings.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

one word answers

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? husband
3. Your hair? dyed
4. Your mother? motherly
5. Your father? fatherly
6. Your favorite item? computer
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your favourite drink? diet
9. Your dream car? Sequoia
10. The room you are in? family
11. Your ex? who?
12. Your fear? heights
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? alive
14. Who did you hang out with last night? family
15. What you're not? expert
16. The last thing you did? laundry
17. What are you wearing? blue
18. Your favourite book? Bible
19. The last thing you ate? tacos
20. Your life? good
21. Your mood? sad
22. Your friends? bestest
23. What are you thinking about right now? Thanksgiving
24. Your car? Toyota
25. What are you doing at the moment? typing
26. Your summer? done
27. What is on your TV? news
28. When is the last time you laughed? earlier
29. Last time you cried? Tuesday
30. School? history

I took a walk today. November 22 and it was a beautiful day with the sun shining. As I was walking, I was reminded how blessed I am to have good health. Yes, I have Diabetes, but that is nothing compared to what many people deal with.

Blessing #22 in a month worth of blessings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

every 6 months

After reading the many responses to my Aloha Friday question yesterday, I was reflecting more on my own dental history. My mom wrote how much dentistry has improved in her time and I believe it, because it's changed quite a bit in my time.

As a child, we had our every 6 month dental appointment and I don't remember exact numbers, but I pretty well had cavities at every appointment. And not just one or two cavities. I'm talking about 3, 4, 5, maybe 6 each time. And I was considered to have the better set of teeth among my siblings. They had even more cavities than I did.

I hated going to the dentist as a child for the obvious reasons, but I never really had a fear of them like some people do. When I became an adult and was responsible for my own dental care, I slacked off and didn't go very often. But that changed about the time I moved here to Colorado, around the age of 30.

My teeth started bothering me and I made my first dentist appointment after a long hiatus. I had to have some intense cleaning and the doctor told me that most of my numerous silver fillings were breaking down and would need to be replaced.

To put the next 19 years in a nutshell; I've had a lot of dental work done. Most of those silver fillings have been replaced, one of them this last week. I've also had a few crowns put in and a couple of root canals. And to be honest, I've been okay with it all. There's a lot of things I'd rather be doing than going to the dentist, but I don't have a fear or a loathing for the good men and women who have a DDS following their name.

And something has changed since I was a child because kids today don't get those large amounts of cavities like my generation did. My kids have only had one or two cavities each. I think it's because of the fluoride in the water. Whatever it is, our children of this generation have been saved from the torture of Novocaine, the sound of the drill, and the smell of burning teeth. Most of them will never know how lucky they are.

It's a blessing to have a mouth full of [mostly] healthy teeth. It's also a blessing to have dental insurance and the ability to pay for regular dental visits, for not just me, but for my family, also.

Blessings #20 and #21 in a month's worth of blessings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

it's friday and don is home

In the midst of all the commotion this week, I had a big dentist appointment. I spent 3 hours in the chair while the dentist took out part of one tooth, made a crown (a permanent one, not temporary), and then fitted the crown in my mouth. While the crown was being made (yep, in the office), I had a filling replaced in another tooth (same side of mouth).

So, in honor of my trip to the dentist, my Aloha Friday question this week is:

When was the last time you were at the dentist and what did you have done?

::~:: DON UPDATE ::~::

He's home! He was able to get on a plane. He had to jump through some hoops for the TSA, but they finally let him board. He flew to Minneapolis to get on another plane for his last leg home, but he didn't have to go through security again, so it was smooth going there.

We're both very happy that he's home. Thanks again for everybody's prayers and support.

Many of you expressed what a great company Don works for. I haven't always felt this way, but they really came through for Don over the past 2 days. I think it's apparent that it was a blessing us to have them work so hard to get Don home. It's a blessing that he works for such a company.

Blessing #19 in a month's worth of blessings.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

he's getting closer

Well, here's the update on Don (read previous post for an explanation of the situation) ...

After many phone calls, it became apparent that the easiest (not all that easy) and fastest (wish it was faster) way of getting out of Canada and into the United States was driving to the border, over the border, and into the US.

His company made him a new company ID badge and both the Winnipeg and Denver office wrote up letters explaining who he was and why he didn't have any identification. They called ahead to the border and explained the situation. They gave him some money and a cell phone charger. They even hired a limo to drive him through the border and onto Grand Forks, North Dakota, where they had a paid hotel room reserved for him.

They also called Northwestern Airlines and booked a flight for him to fly a one stop trip home. It's not a given that he'll be able to get on the plane. That has been the biggest roadblock; airlines demand identification to board their planes. I can't blame them. We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning (which is today by the time you read this) to find out if he'll be able to get on.

If he doesn't, there's a plan B - but it's not a sure thing either. His company is trying to secure a rental car for him to drive himself home. But I question this, too. I would think a rental car would demand a driver's license for someone to be able to drive one of their cars. But, we'll see what happens.

So if neither of those two work, then plan C would be that I drive or fly up there, pick him up, and drive home. I would rather fly one way, rent the car myself, and then drive the 1,000 miles home as opposed to driving up and back. I hate driving long distances. I can only drive five hours max before I have to take a long break (like a nap!).

It looks like the thief made a $1000 purchase at WalMart with Don's company credit card. They couldn't cancel it right away because his hotel and rental car was still on it. They were in the process of getting that cleared up when they were notified of the transaction. I hope they catch this guy.

Thank you to all of you for your prayers and encouraging comments. Besides family, you were my support system. I appreciate each and every one of you.

Even though this situation has been a headache and there may be longer repercussions, it's a blessing that it wasn't any worse and that Don is at least here in the states now.

Blessing #18 in a month's worth of blessings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

i want him home

I had a different post I was working on tonight. But one phone call not only changed this post, but the way I ended up spending the evening.

My husband, Don, left for a business trip to Canada on Monday and is supposed to return Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, his rental car was broken into Tuesday night and his briefcase was stolen. In his briefcase was his work laptop, his wallet with over $300 and credit cards in it, his passport, his cell phone charger, and his car and house keys.

So I have spent the evening calling credit companies, the bank, and relatives, as well as trying to figure out how he can get home without any kind of identification. We haven't figured out how he's going to do this, so if you are inclined to pray, please say a prayer for Don and this situation.

I'm also worried about identity theft. Oh, I hope we don't have this problem in our future.

Monday, November 17, 2008

talk, talk, talk

From the prompt from 10 on Tuesday, here are 10 things I love talking about (in no particular order):

1... my faith
2... my kids/family
3... teenagers
4... movies
5... blogging
6... parenting
7... my past
8... certain TV shows
9... youth ministry
10... Hawaii

It was a blessing to get together with my prayer group and spend time in prayer.

Blessing #17 in a month's worth of blessings.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

this post is "meh"

If you've ever heard someone say or use the word "meh" but wasn't sure what it meant, you will soon be able to look it up in the Collins English Dictionary.

Publisher HarperCollins just announced that the word "meh," had been chosen from terms suggested by the public for inclusion in the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition.

The origins of "meh" are murky, but the term grew in popularity after being used in a 2001 episode of "The Simpsons" in which Homer suggests a day trip to his children Bart and Lisa. They both just reply 'meh' and keep watching TV.

The dictionary defines "meh" as an expression of indifference of boredom, or an adjective meaning mediocre or boring.

"Meh" was selected by Collins after it asked people to submit words they use in conversation that are not in the dictionary. Other suggestions included jargonaut, a fan of jargon; frenemy, an enemy disguised as a friend; and huggles, a hybrid of hugs and snuggles.


Blessings today included sharing two meals with two different groups of friends. Don and I had lunch with two families that we just love and don't get to see each other enough. And then we were invited to dinner to celebrate a friend's 18th birthday. It wasn't about the food, it was about the company.

Blessing #16 in a month's worth of blessings.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

up, up, and away

Jake started his education as an aerospace engineer nearly three months ago. He tells us he's enjoying it and I know his grades are good. One of his classes is called Gateway to Space and the main focus of the class is to design and build a mini-satellite that will perform certain tasks while being launched by a high altitude balloon.

Jake and his team have been working hard on their satellite and today was launch day. The balloon expands to the size of two (yes, I said 2!) football fields. The students can watch it as it climbs in altitude. Once the balloon bursts, the parachute deploys and brings down the satellites that are attached and the students are in hot pursuit.

Jake drove his team over 200 miles round trip to collect the payloads. Everything from the launch to the pick-up was a success. They will now interpret the data they collected. The launch was at 5:00 in the morning and he didn't get home until after 6:00 pm. Long day.

The following pictures were taken from Jake's satellite, which was one of the tasks that his project had to perform. Other tasks included measuring light intensity with photo diodes and solar panels, measuring internal and external temperature, and measuring internal humidity. They figure that outside temperatures reached -40 F. In order to keep everything working, they installed some kind of internal heater.

The following pictures show: (1) a couple hundred feet up (2) a couple thousand feet (3) probably around 70,000 feet (4) 100,000 feet (estimate) (5) 110,000 feet - 20 miles! (6) coming back down. Pretty amazing stuff. Well done, Jake.

I love Saturdays. It's a blessing to be able to sleep in a little bit without having the dog wake me up, telling me he wants out. On Saturdays, Don gets up early and takes care of the dog. I can sleep until my internal clock wakes me up and then if I want to stay in bed and read, I can. Blessing indeed.

Blessing #15 in a month's worth of blessings.

Friday, November 14, 2008

bottles, spoons, and frogs

My Aloha Friday question is:

Do you collect anything?

I used to collect glass bottles and glassware (mostly old/antique) but haven't in a long time. What I have sits in a box in the basement.

I collected antique salt and miniature spoons for quite a long time. I had them displayed on a rack that hung on my kitchen wall in my old house. When we moved into this house (5 years ago), there was no convenient place to hang the rack so they, too, are sitting in a box in my basement.

I have a small collection of frogs but really don't collect them. I decided I didn't want frogs all around my house so I've kept my collection small and personal. Most of them were gifts. This post explains what frogs mean to me and shows you a few of my furry friends.

It was a blessing to wake up to snow today. It was on the ground and it was still floating down from the sky. As I drove west, I was blessed with the breath-taking view of snow capped mountains. Snow isn't always my friends, but it is truly beautiful.

Blessing #14 in a month's worth of blessings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

new york in the 1930s

I love history. I love photography.
Combine the two and I'm giddy with delight.

I came across this Flickr profile with over 80 pictures of New York during the 1930s. I think I spent over a half an hour going through them all, looking at each one a few times. There's some amazing photos. Hope you'll go take a look for yourself. (There's a slideshow icon for your viewing pleasure.)

It's a blessing to own the cameras that I do. I think it's also a blessing to have the technology of digital photography. When I think back on taking pictures with regular film I remember the limited usable pictures I'd end up with or how many pictures I may have missed because I didn't keep on clicking like I do now.

Blessing #13 in a month's worth of blessings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


It's a blessing to have gas prices continue to fall.

Blessing #12 in a month's worth of blessings.