Saturday, May 31, 2008

vote now

If you feel so inclined...

please go and vote for my photo in Are We There Yet Mom's photo contest. Voting ends at midnight TONIGHT!

Thank you =)

Friday, May 30, 2008

color my world

I'm entering this photo into Are We There Yet Mom's photo contest. Looks like she has one each month with different themes. This month's is Color My World. I took this picture a few weeks ago after a friend of mine gave me a bouquet of beautifully colored flowers.


After the what's happened this last week with the little boy being "voted out" of his kindergarten class and finishing up the book 19 Minutes, about a school shooting carried out by a teenager who was bullied, I wanted to ask a question along these lines.

My question is...
Were you ever bullied during your school years? If so, share a little bit what it was for you, how you dealt with it, and how it affected you.

Don't worry how long your comment ends up being. And if you prefer to write a post about it, let me know so I can come read it.

Being a youth worker, I saw it a lot. I dealt with it as a mother of a daughter who lived through it. I even was a victim myself during my middle school years.

My family moved, just prior to my seventh grade, into a house that had been previously occupied by a popular girl who had a lot of friends - all in the "popular" group. Somehow they thought it was mine and my family's fault that this girl had to move away [stupid, I know].

Some kids vandalized our yard by burning a profane word into the grass and they made my life tough at school for the entire 7th grade. Luckily, it didn't get physical, but emotional bullying is worse. When the popular kids make it known that they don't like you, it's hard to convince other kids that you're an okay person who is worth having as a friend.

Luckily, I was used to being the odd man out. Being in a military family meant that I moved just about every year. I had previous experience with being the new kid and not having a bunch of friends. This was part of my reality of growing up and I actually think it made me stronger and a more flexible person. Would I change this part of my past if I could - yes. But I can't. And I think we have to embrace all of our past because it's made us who we are today.

Anyways, that's my story. What's yours?

Kailani, of An Island Life, hosts Aloha Friday each and every Friday. My question today is a little heavier than it's supposed to be, but I'm interested in this subject and took the liberty of using this forum for asking it. Be sure to visit the other participants and answer their interesting questions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

use it as a phone

In the last two weeks, I've been taking all kinds of pictures. There was prom, graduation ceremony, grad party, and time spent with relatives. These are all occasions where other people were taking their share of pictures, too.
And I started noticing a trend.

I was surprised to see how many people took pictures of these events - pretty important events in my opinion - with their cell phones!

I know the phone companies are putting better cameras in their phones but I don't think they compare with a hand held camera. Even most of the little point and shoot cameras take better pictures than a cell phone. Watching these people made me wonder all kinds of things; Do they have a camera? Did they just forget it [for such an important event]? How do they use the pictures they're taking? It's hard to believe that they would use such pictures in a photo album.

I have a pretty nice camera in my new phone but I wouldn't dream of using it for any of the events I mentioned above. I have used it, and plan to use it, on occasions where I don't have my camera with me. You know, those times when something happens and you quickly need to snap a picture. I think that was the intention of putting a camera in a phone.

So let me suggest something to anyone who is using their cell phone to take numerous pictures of special occasions...

Buy yourself a camera! You'll be glad you did.

link of the day:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I don't usually support law suits. The only ones are where there is obvious gross negligence. I learned of a situation today and it makes me so upset that I want to sue this teacher on behalf of a little boy.

Here's the unbelievable story. A five year old boy was "voted out" of his kindergarten class after each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about him. After he was asked to leave the classroom, he went and sat in the nurses office for the rest of the day.

This is so wrong on so many levels and it makes me so mad - and sad. What is crazy about the whole thing is that a teacher instigated this. What in the world was she thinking!? This little boy is in the process of being diagnosed with Aspberger's Syndrome, which is a highly functioning form of autism. But whether this student was challenged in some way or not, why would you have some kind of process where you vote a fellow student out of the classroom?

Have we not learned anything from school shootings, such as Columbine, or from best selling books explaining how bullying affects a child? Don't teachers see these affects on a daily basis and therefore have a deeper compassion for the plight of students? I just don't get this teacher. And then what was the school thinking letting this child sit in the nurse's office the rest of the day? It breaks my heart to think what was going through this boy's mind as he sat all by himself for any period of time.

Evidently, the mother filed a complaint but the state attorney's office concluded that the matter didn't meet the criteria for emotional child abuse and therefore no criminal charges were filed. I don't get that either. What was done to this innocent little boy constitutes emotional abuse in my book. The mother is considering suing and I hope she does. I think the teacher and the school need to be held accountable for what they did.

And I pray for this little boy. May he come to know compassion, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and support. If a student can't get these things in a kindergarten class, we as a society are in trouble.

link of the day:;jsessionid=0000S18uPElev8SOQ4MRXaroxza:11krg1m6a?locale=en_US&site=../olympics/index.jsp

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

body crash

Wow! It's been a crazy week and a half. I felt like I was going non-stop. First, I got sick which made doing anything more difficult. There were days where I didn't feel like doing anything and therefore did less than I had planned. But somehow everything got done.

The graduation ceremony was very nice and the party two days later went off without any major hitches. It was nice having family come into town and help out so much and to help us celebrate. Things wouldn't have been as nice if they hadn't been here.

Jake's party was Saturday, we all went to church Sunday morning, and then by Sunday noon, I hit a brick wall [figuratively]. I had made it through all the major stuff and somehow my body knew it, and so it crashed. I couldn't do anything but fall into bed and sleep. And sleep I did - for hours!

It definitely helped but I still feel like I'm in a fog. My mind and body don't quite know what to do. One way that is apparent is that I'm having a hard time getting back into blogging. My brain seems to go blank whenever I sit down and try to figure out what to write. I'm sure I'm just out of practice. I just need to start writing again - writing anything.

So I went over to 10 on Tuesday to see what today's prompt was. It is the 10 movies you're looking most forward to seeing. Since I'm a movie person, I figured I could do this. Here they are:

1. Indiana Jones
2. Prince Caspian/Chronicles of Narnia
3. Young At Heart
4. The Happening
5. Get Smart
6. Hancock
7. Wall-E
8. Mamma Mia
9. X-Files/I Want to Believe
10. Henry Poole is Here

link of the day:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

dear jake

Dear Jake,

How can I put into words how I'm feeling? I won't be able to do so completely, but I'll tell you a little of what's been going through my head and what my heart's been feeling.

Pride! I am so, so proud of you. You have made it through thirteen years of going to school, working hard on everything that has been asked of you, and proven yourself to be a very smart person. You have excelled and persevered through the last four years of a rigorous curriculum.

But you haven't kept your nose in the books the whole time. I'm so glad that you are a well rounded person. You have a social life which includes friends and a girlfriend. You play sports. You're in a band. You do volunteer work. And you have a job. You are amazing!

Sadness! Yes, I am feeling sad. I am sad and nostalgic when I remember the last seventeen years. So many memories have flooded me over the past few days, from when you were a toddler to last week escorting your girlfriend to your last prom. There have been so many good memories and I will hold them in my heart forever.

I'm also sad to think that you will be moving out of this house and most likely not live here again except for extended visits. It's going to be so quiet and empty. I'll miss hearing how your day was and what you learned in one of your various classes. I'll miss our late night chats. And who am I going to nag? I think I will be sad for some time to come.

These are all natural feelings for a mother while watching her son graduate from high school, knowing that said son will be going off to college in a few months. They come from a basic foundation, and that would be love! One day you'll be a parent and know what it's like to love a child with such depth. It's fantastic and it's frightening.

For the last 20 years, you and your sister have been my number one priority. Every day was a blessing. To watch you grow up and into the young man you are has been a true gift. A gift I will always treasure. Even though a certain aspect of my mothering job is over, I will always be there for you. I will always be standing in your corner, cheering you on. And I am very much looking forward to watching you as you navigate your future, to see what amazing things you'll accomplish and the lives you'll touch.

Good luck, son. I know there are great things waiting for you. Enjoy this part of your journey. Laugh a lot and love much. Remember your faith and how much God loves you. And never forget that dad and I are always here for you.

I love you, Jake. Once again... congratulations!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

God is like...

A fifth grade teacher in a christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Here are some of the results:

God is like..
He works miracles.

God is like...
He's got a better idea.

God is like...
He's the real thing.

God is like...
He cares enough to send His very best.

God is like...
He gets the stains out that others leave behind.

God is like...
He brings good things to life.

God is like...
He has everything.

God is like...
Try him, you'll like Him

God is like...
You can't see him, but you know He's there.

God is like...
He's ready when you are.

God is like...
You're in good hands with Him.

God is like...
VO-5 Hair Spray
He holds through all kinds of weather.

God is like...
Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did?

God is like...
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

busy.. busy.. busy....

I've been busy the last few days (and I've still been sick). My mom came into town on Thursday. She'll be staying with us for a week and a half. I have more family coming in later this week. All for Jake's graduation.

Friday night, my mom, Danielle, and I went to see Chorusline at the beautiful Buell Theater here in Denver. We first had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Although my mom and I had seen this show before, it was fun seeing it again and Danielle thoroughly enjoyed herself. It was a great evening.

Last night was Jake's prom. His group met here at our house for pictures and for the limo to pick them up. All the parents were here, too, to take their share of pictures.

First, this is how Jake asked his girlfriend, Hollee, to prom. If you don't know, girls nowadays want to be asked in some special and creative way. Since Jake works at Cold Stone, he handmade this ice cream cake for her and surprised her with it the next day. It was dessert after they went out to eat.

Jake and Hollee. They looked so nice together, matching colors and all.

The group. These four couples have all been together for some time. And although the Prom is a romantic time, they wanted to make their senior Prom more fun than romantic. This was evident by where they went to dinner and their after-prom event. They then came back and spent the rest of the wee morning hours crashed out on my couches. When they wake up, we'll have a big breakfast ready for them.

I'm glad Prom is over and I can concentrate on the next big event - graduation. Now all I have to do is finish cleaning my house, do some landscaping, and get through all the graduation festivities, which includes the ceremony and open house/party.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

i smell nothing

Susan @ Penless Writer just posted this meme and since I had nothing to write today, I'm playing along.

I am - a one-of-a-kind creation. Like a snowflake, God made me unique and special.
I want - to be used by God in a way that benefits others.
I have - so much to be thankful for.
I wish - I wasn't sick - or that Don wasn't sick.
I hate - when kids are cruel to each other.
I miss - the beach.
I fear - heights.
I feel - blessed.
I hear - my son laughing (a beautiful sound).
I smell - nothing. Partially because of a cold, partially because there's nothing to smell at the moment.
I crave - Chili's molten lava cake.
I search - for truth, meaning, and understanding.
I wonder - what my immediate future looks like.
I love - with a heart God has given me to love with.
I ache - for hurting teenagers.
I care - what other think of me.
I always - procrastinate.
I believe - in God.
I dance - with my daughter.
I sing - not very well... but I still sing.
I cry - a little. Tear up a lot.
I find it hard not to cry - when I feel one's pain.
I don't always - do what I'm supposed to do.
I fight - not. I'm not a fighter.
I write - posts for my blog.
I never - say never.
I listen - to others as they talk. That's one way of respecting and ministering to them.
I need - a vacation!
I am happy - most of the time. I am a happy person.

Feel free to play along, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

he was loud and scary

I took this picture while at a student's birthday party last Saturday. It was one of the first pictures I took with my new phone. It takes pretty good pictures. Anyways, this bird was a pet but he didn't like me or me trying to take his picture. He squawked and he hissed and it was a little scary. But I kept clicking away.


here and here

link of the day:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a little bit of this and that...

A few posts ago I shared how much I had on my plate for the next couple of weeks and how overwhelmed I feel trying to get everything done. Well, wouldn't you know it... I think I'm catching a cold and hopefully it's only a cold because it looks like Don has come down with pneumonia. If you feel so inclined, please say a prayer for our health.

Since all I want to do is go to bed (and it's only 10:15), I'm just going to share a couple of things. This was my mother's day present from Don. I know, I know... I'm not his mama. But as he would way, I am the mother of his children =)

It's a Blackberry Pearl. I've never had such a fancy phone. I can get the internet on it! So if I really wanted to (and let's face it, some times I do), I can look at my blog - or your blog. I also like being able to check my email. It's very nice and I love it. Thank you my dear.

And Mighty Mom posted this video the other day in dedication to me (she is so sweet). She picked up on the fact that I'm feeling the weight of being at a crossroad in my life. The lyrics are beautiful and the video difinitely lifted my spirits. Thank you so much, Sarah.

Link (in case video isn't working)
When everybody's in and you're left out
And you feel drowning in a shadow of the dawn
Everyone's a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself not what other people say
When it seems you're lost alone and feeling down
Remember everybody's different, just take a look around

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Be who you want to be, be who you are
Everyone's a hero, everyone's a star

When you want to give up and your heart's about to break
Remember that you're perfect, God's make no mistakes

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far (I say welcome)
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far (welcome)

Maybe we're all different
But we're still the same
We all got the blood of Eden running to our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You're caught between just who you are and who you want to be

If you feel alone and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning is some beginning's end

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are

Oh, and this post won me a USB Flash Drive from 5 Minutes For Mom. It was one of 10 winners from the Motherhood Moments themed contest.

Monday, May 12, 2008

new challenges

More of HIM Mondays is hosted by Heather @ Not A DIY Life. Participants always appreciate support and encouragement in the form of comments.

A couple of things have happened in the last week that I feel God has arranged to challenge me and move me back on a path where I become more reliant on Him.

One of the ladies from my Moms In Touch group confessed something to the leader and myself and asked us to hold her accountable. As I sat there listening to her tell her story, all I could think about was, how can I help her? How can I help her from falling back into a lifestyle she wants to be out of? It's been on my mind ever since with the main question being, how do you keep an adult accountable for something?

I started feeling ill-equipped and a little frantic. But then it dawned on me (it was probably the two by four God wielded at me) that I don't have to come up with some great game plan. I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to feel like it all falls on me.

The answer: put it in God's hands, walk close to Him, and He will show me how I can help my friend. That, along with being present in my her life. Show her I care and let her know that I'm there to walk her journey with her. I am praying that I can follow God's lead on this and am excited to see how He will direct me.

The other thing that I'm excited about is a new venture of Susan's of Penless Writer. She has felt called to start and run a 24 hour prayer blog. She is heavily involved in a prayer ministry in her home town and knows the value and power of prayer. She is looking for anyone who is willing to commit to praying every day for the requests that are left on the blog.

At first, I didn't think I would want to do this. I mean... every day! I didn't think I could follow through with such a commitment. But then I felt like this would be good for me. Something I need to be more disciplined in. Susan explained that she didn't want it to be a legalistic commitment, so if I miss my appointed time, I can find another time that day that works better for my schedule. I'm excited to be a part of this new endeavor.

She is still looking for volunteers, so if you think it's something you'd be interested in, leave her a comment or email her.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

my heart

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

I love that quote because it is so true. It describes how I feel... how I've always felt, ever since the day that each of my children made their grand entrance into this world - and into my life. They are my heart, and I love them beyond words.

This is the last Mother's Day that I will have either one of my children living in my home. I've been reflecting on the past 20 years and all the Mother's Days where I've been honored and celebrated. I remember the little handmade gifts that were made either at school or church. I remember being taken out to lunch, or a movie, or a bike ride. I remember the flowers. Each gift and celebration meant a lot to me as it was my family's way of saying 'I love you' or 'thank you.'

But my best gifts are my kids. I can't imagine my life without them. I'm not a poly-ana; it hasn't always been easy or fun. My family has had it's share of struggles and heartache. All families do. But the joy of watching my two little babies grow up to adulthood, the fun times we've shared, and the memories that I will always cherish, have been the blessings of being a mother.

I want to wish all the mothers out there in bloggyland a happy Mother's Day. I hope you all are having a wonderful day with your family.

... and a special Happy Mother's Day to my mom.
I love you and will see you soon.

Friday, May 9, 2008

wonder-ful vases

Kelli of There's No Place Like Home hosts Show & Tell Friday.
Be sure to check out all the cool stuff being shared this week.


I have something interesting to share for today's Show & Tell. It's called WonderVase and I bought a package at the women's expo I attended a couple of weeks ago.

The package contains three separate plastic looking bags
that transform into vases.

Here are the instructions:

~fill with warm water
~hand form vase into desired shape
~empty warm water and re-fill vase with cool water
~place flowers in vase!

To re-use:

~empty vase
~rinse in warm water; smooth flat

The plastic is pliable when in contact with the warm water but then the cool water sets it and the vase then keeps it's shape.

You can decorate the plastic with paint pens or anything you want to glue to it. I thought they were pretty cool
and figured I'd get a lot of use out of them.

link of the day:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

mixed bag

As I sit here, I realize I am a mixed bag of emotions.

Tonight (which was really last night) was the last Wednesday night youth group for Don and I. On one hand; I am glad, thankful, relieved. But on the other; sad, reflective, and there's a little bit of second guessing.

I have so much to do and get done this month. Mother's Day, Jake's prom, Jake's graduation, vacation planning, family coming into town and staying here at my house, cleaning, cooking, and more cleaning. I'm so overwhelmed that I feel paralyzed.

And I'm tired. I haven't been sleeping very well. Probably too much on my mind.

Jake's graduation announcements haven't been sent out because we can't decide on when his party is going to be... and he graduates TWO weeks from today!

Okay, glad I got all of that off my chest. I'm gonna kick butt today and get a lot done. I have to! And I have something to look forward to.... JUNE =)

link of the day:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

brought to you by the letter P

Mrs. Nesbitt of Mrs. Nesbitt's Place hosts ABC Wednesdays on of all days - Wednesday! Today's letter is P.

Yesterday I made this PIZZA for a brunch I went to. As you can tell, it's not a normal pizza, but a fruit pizza (also known as a dessert pizza in the Pampered Chef cookbooks). The fresh fruit made this pizza very yummy.

I used to sell Pampered Chef products. For those that may not know [which is hard to imagine], Pampered Chef is a line of cooking utensils and gadgets sold at fun at home parties. I believe Pampered Chef is still around, but not as popular as it was 10 years ago when I was a consultant. Their product is top notch and I still have a kitchen full it.

I did this gig for about a year. It took me about that long to realize that getting up in front of people, prepare food items, and then try to sell the stuff, isn't for me. I had fun since home parties where women and food are involved are crazy fun, but I didn't like the scheduling and all the detail work involved. And I'm not a salesperson.

Sometimes you learn what's right for you by first finding out what's not right for you.

link of the day:
(thanks Kailani)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

trends, fads, and fancies

The Silent Generation: people born before 1945.
The Baby Boomers: people born between 1945 and 1961.
Generation X: people born between 1962 and 1976.
Generation Y: people born between 1977 and 1989... and beyond

Why do we call the last one generation Y?
I did not know, but a caricaturist explains it eloquently below...

I think I've been pretty tolerant of youth and their trends, fads and fancies, but there are a few things that have always bothered me. One being the way boys wear their pants - just like the cartoon depicts. It's fashion now and most don't even know where it came from and don't care how it looks. If you want an explanation of where this fashion trend started, email me and I'll be happy to let you know. I just don't want to do that here on my blog [it is a family friendly blog after all].

Another is the way young kids think it's funny - cool - hip - whatever, to pretend to be gangsters. Again, it's a fad and it's commonplace. Most kids don't give it a second thought. They have the mentality of everyone does it so why not. If they only knew, or more importantly, understood how violent and deadly gangs in this country are. I don't understand why they would want to emulate a member of a gang. But they don't see it the same way an adult does.

And the last thing that bothers me is how commonplace swearing and profane language has become. Teenagers today hear this kind of language all day long (if they're in a public school) and don't think twice when the same words come out of their mouths. And how can we blame them for using such language when it's everywhere (except churches).

I am shocked when I hear this kind of language used on late night TV shows. Of course, it's bleeped out, but you know what they're saying. Students have told me they have teachers who use profane words. Of course, if a kid has parents talking this way, how would they not. I've heard it from store clerks, waiters, and even the Starbuck's barista.

If kids hear it everywhere, how can they keep from using the same kind of language? I honestly don't think some of them realize they even use certain words. The more you hear it or say it, the less you're aware of it coming out of your own mouth.

Don't get me wrong, I love teenagers and even some of their quirky ways. It's just that I wish some things were diferent for them. These are things I wish would change about this generation. I don't see it happening, though. Sad, but true.

link of the day:

Monday, May 5, 2008

we dance

5 Minutes for Mom is hosting another Mother's Day contest and carnival, and the theme is motherhood memories.

Being a mom has given me so many treasured memories. I share this one not because it's the best or my favorite. It's just something that means a lot to me and keeps my daughter and I bonded in a fun way.

I don't know when it started, or even how it did, but for as long as I can remember, Danielle and I have been dancing together. At least that's what we call it. We put our arms around each other and sway back and forth to the music that may or may not exist at the moment.

We only hold this position for a little bit, long enough to get our hugging fix. The fun thing is where we do it. We dance whenever and wherever we feel moved to do so. We've danced in restaurants, in clubs, on the street, in theaters, in the mountains, on the beach, at Disneyland, and in my kitchen. The list could go on and on. There's really no place or time that isn't right for one of our little spins across the imaginary dance floor.

All these special little moments add up to one great motherhood memory. A memory that I will always cherish and that I can bring out whenever I need to feel close to my daughter.

link of the day:

Friday, May 2, 2008

free money

Kailani hosts Aloha Friday each and every Friday. Join in the fun by posing your own question and leaving your link over at her place.

My question this week has to do with the Economic Stimulus Tax Rebates that are being handed out in the next week or so. The government wants us to go out and spend the money on consumer goods in order to stimulate the economy.

My question is:
What are you going to do with your rebate money?

Not everyone is receiving a rebate. If you fall into this category, just answer the question, what would you do with the money?

For me, I think I would use most of it to pay off some debt. Not that we have a lot of debt but I think that would be more important than going out and buying something big. Maybe it's because we really don't need anything "big" right now. But even if we did, I'm thinking it makes more sense to use it to lower our debt or help pay for two kids in college. Sorry Uncle Sam.

link of the day:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

my apologies...

I assumed when I wrote the below post that most Christians would have known about the National Day of Prayer. I shouldn't assume such things. My bad.

I think it's sad that most people have heard of such days as Grandparent's Day and Secretary's Day and we celebrate days like National Nurses Day or National Clergy Recognition Day, but a day as important as the National Day of Prayer is not well known or publicized. Maybe it's because it's a day designated by the U.S. Congress and not Hallmark.

My link of the day on the below post was for the site of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. It's the official site for this day and gives you a lot of information on what the day is and how you can participate - even a single pray-er sitting in your own home. I also found the background information on Wikipedia interesting.

So, now I'd like to know if you had heard of the National Day of Prayer or knew what is was. And if you had/have any plans to participate in any way.

one voice - one day

Pray for what you cannot see.
Pray clearly
for what you can only faintly grasp.
Pray silently
from the core of your being.
Pray for healing.
Pray for humanity.
Pray lovingly
Pray deeply ---
pray so deeply that
the prayer and the praying
become one.

~Charlie Elkind


Join the millions who are coming together as one voice in prayer this one day.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
Psalms 28:7

link of the day: