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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

political call

Last week, the day after the election, my phone rang and when I looked at the caller ID, I was shocked. It said POLITICAL CALL. How can that be?, I wondered. The election is over.

I am so thankful for my called ID because it kept me from having to listen to countless political calls. I was in the same mode that day after the election so I didn't even have to think about answering. My internal auto-pilot kicked in and told me, we do not answer those calls. But as the third and last ring was sounding, my brain kicked in and I couldn't help but wish I had picked up just to see what the caller would say.

My chance came a few days later. [I don't know why it took them so long to get back to me.] My phone rang, the caller ID showed POLITICAL CALL, and I answered it.

It was the Republican Party. They asked me one question, "Are you satisfied with the results of the election or are you disappointed with the outcome?" I gave them my answer, they said thank you, and that was that.

I was wondering if anyone else got a similar call. I was also wondering to what purpose they were going to use this information. I'm always wondering. And I hope the political calls are done with, for at least a couple of years.

Dani called me today not because she needed anything, but just to talk to me, to catch me up on her life. It's a blessing to have the kind of relationship I have with my daughter. A close relationship where she wants to stay in touch with me and share her life with me. Thanks Danielle.

Blessing #11 in a month's worth of blessings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

thank you

Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Did you know that there are over 19 million war veterans in the United States? (according to the Department of Veteran Affairs). Picture 380 football stadiums full of people and you've got the picture. That's a lot of veterans.

These veterans come from both World Wars, as well as the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and our current war. These are the men and women we celebrate today. These are the people we need to honor and thank.

How can we do that? I can think of two ways. Fly an American flag today as it shows respect for our veterans and country, and personally thank a veteran (or two or three).

My grandfather served in the Korean Conflict and my father in the Vietnam War, both in the Air Force. My grandfather is deceased, but my father is very much alive. Thank you dad for your service to this country and for the personal sacrifices you made. I'm sure the relatives of those who were wounded and you flew out of harm's way to medical facilities would also thank you, if they could.

It is a blessing to have men and women who are willing to fight for the freedoms I, and other citizens, have here in America.

Blessing #10 in a month's worth of blessings.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

love of my life

Here's a meme I've seen around and thought it would be fun to put a spotlight on my better half, Don.

1. He's sitting in front of the TV. What's on the screen? His favorites would have to be a NASCAR race, Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, and Survivor Man.

2. You're out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? His first choice would be a Caesar salad. If that wasn't available, he'd have ranch dressing.

3. What's one food he doesn't like? There's only one thing I can think of that he doesn't like, and that would be chocolate. I don't understand it, but it's true.

4. You go to a bar. What does he order? We don't go to bars, but he has occasionally ordered a beer with his dinner, especially if we're out with friends.

5. Where did he go to High School? All of his schooling was in Torrance, California. High School is where we met and started dating.

6. What shoe size does he wear? 10 1/2

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Hmmm... maybe guns.

8. What is his favorite kind of sandwich? He loves sandwiches so to come up with a favorite is hard. If I can only pick one, I'd have to say Pastrami.

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Another hard one (he likes to eat). I'll say pork chops.

10. What is his favorite kind of cereal? (What's with all the food questions?) He doesn't really eat cereal. If he wants to eat cereal, he'll have whatever is in the pantry.

11. What would he never wear? I don't know... a kilt? Although, now that I think about it, he did put on a cheerleading outfit one year.

12. What is his favorite sports team? He's not a big sports fanatic but he does root for all the home teams... Broncos, Rockies, Avalanche, and the Nuggets. We were die hard Dodger fans when we lived in California.

13. Who is his best friend? I think he would say me.

14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Probably spend as much time on my laptop as I do. I might just have to ask him this question. Maybe I don't want to know =)

15. How many states has he lived in? 2 - California and Colorado

16. What is his heritage? Mostly German and Spanish.

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday. What kind of cake? White with vanilla frosting (see #3).

18. Did he play sports in High School? Nope. He grew up as a surfer, skateboarder, motorcycle rider, and fisherman.

19. What could he spend hours doing? Listening to live music and being involved in the band scene. Fishing. Talking to teenagers. Research on the computer. Preparing a lesson. Reading.

It is a blessing to be married to my best friend. We were high school sweethearts, married at the age of 21, and have been married 27 years (28 in January). He's a wonderful husband, an amazing father, and an awesome ministry partner. He is truly a blessing.

Blessing #9 in a month's worth of blessings.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

what are we unhappy about?

I received this in an email today from a good friend. She passed it on to me as it was passed on to her. The email claims it is written by Dave Letterman but I have serious doubts that that is true. It just doesn't sound like him. Still, what is written hits the mark and that's why I'm posting it here.

David Letterman wrote this; it's the David we don't often see...

"The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?'

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H.. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like OJ. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.

With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

It is a blessing to be an American; to have the luxuries, the privileges, the rights, and the freedoms that this country affords each and every one of us.

Blessing #8 in a month's worth of blessings.

Friday, November 7, 2008

pass the popcorn

My Aloha Friday question this week is:

What are three of your favorite movies?

Even coming up with three is hard for me. I really had to ponder it for a bit. But here's what I've come up with:

Moulin Rouge ~ this was a no brainer. I can't imagine loving a movie more than I do this one. It has everything I would want in a movie... romance, music, fun, good acting, good story. It's a movie you either love or don't like. I love it.

Freedom Writers ~ based on a true story of a teacher who changes the lives of her low-income, high-risk students by believing in them and giving them the tools and opportunity to succeed. I'm inspired every time I watch it.

The Sound of Music ~ yes, an oldie, but a goodie. Part of the appeal here, I'm sure, is that it is a movie from my childhood and has a warm and fuzzy place in my heart. I'd say this movie, along with Mary Poppins, gave me my love for musicals and this movie is a great musical.

I usually don't watch movies more than once, so for me, one of the tests of a good movie is if I would want to see it a second, not to mention a third, fourth, or fifth time. The above movies pass this test and I have watched them many times.

Today's blessing is having two good friends and getting together every week. If there's a good movie out, we head to the theater (which I'll be doing today). When Christmas shopping needs to be taken care of, you'll find us in the mall. Sometimes it's just lunch, in which we can spend hours in a booth encouraging and supporting each other. I am so thankful for these two long-time friends.

Blessing #7 in a month's worth of blessings

Thursday, November 6, 2008

home is where the heart is

My blessing today is the fact that Don and I have a nice home to live in.

I see that so many people in this country are losing their homes because of the economy or mortgage problems. Of course, our fate could change at any moment and we wouldn't have enough money to keep our home, but hopefully nothing that tragic will happen.

So today I choose to thank God for the blessing of my home, and what a nice home it is. We were lucky to find it five years ago, have enjoyed hosting parties and youth group meetings, raised teenagers here, had a basement for a band to practice in each week, and now look forward to our kids coming back occasionally and filling it with laughter.

Blessing #6 in a month's worth of blessings.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

my day off

My blessing today was TODAY! I work both Tuesday and Thursday each week, so I've come to look at my Wednesdays as my day - my day to sit back and not do much... all day long. I am thankful that I don't have to work every day yet have a small job that gives me something to do and brings in a little money.

Today I spent most of my time reading. For part of the day, it was my current book, The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve. The weather was cloudy and cold and it felt good to curl up with a mug of coffee and a good book.

I also spent some time reading blogs. Foolishly, I thought once November 4th came and went, we would be done with the emotional opinions and smears about candidates, parties, and politics. But I read a lot of rants today, and that's okay (with me anyways). Blogs are a good and appropriate place for that. I think it will take a little bit of time to move on to other subjects. It will take some time to process what has happened and how to move forward from here. I also read a lot of posts where bloggers wanted to do just that - move forward.

I would just like to say that I was touched by both McCain's and Obama's speeches at the end of the night. John McCain was gracious and inspiring in his loss and Barack Obama was humble and inspiring in his victory. It was obvious that they both love this country and they are both honorable men, which I never felt otherwise.

The other thing that touched me was not only the fact that history was made with the election of our country's first African-American President, but how it has affected the spirit and moral of the African-American population. It has given them hope and pride. I don't think most (if any) of us white folk can imagine what this means to them. I don't think this election was a race issue, but to see the reaction of the black community has been touching. I think Obama will be an inspiring figure to many.

Blessing #5 in a month's worth of blessings.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I walk in the sunlight and the warmth of the day.
The calendar says November and it's warm enough to walk in shorts and short sleeves.

The trees around me shimmer with brilliant color.
Orange, red, gold - a feast for the eyes.

The wind picks up.
The last of the leaves fly through the air in a whirlwind around me.

The unseasonably warm weather here has been a wonderful blessing. And I have been blessed by the vivid colors that surround my home and neighborhood for nearly a month now. I literally watched the last of the leaves blow off the trees as I took my walk. There goes the color, and a storm is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Blessings will come in new forms.

Blessings #3 and #4 in a month's worth of blessings.

Monday, November 3, 2008

oh no! not another political post...

Don't worry... I'm not going to talk about any particular party or candidate. I think we've all had enough of that and I know I'm not the only one that is glad to see the election process end today. But this is the last time I can say anything about politics for awhile because it would sound silly to talk about it after today. Bear with me.

I am amazed I would want to say anything at all. Before this election, talk about anything political would not have happened with me. I have never felt comfortable with politics, and there's still a part of me that isn't. I have found that most political conversations don't accomplish much except judgement and division.

But this election was different from previous ones. I have found an interest in politics that I have never had before. I've been trying to figure out why and I've come up with a couple of reasons.

One, this election has been so different in that a we saw a popular woman running against the first African American and a fairly large number of republicans throwing their hat in the ring in the beginning. Then history being made with the first African American candidate who ends up having a good chance at being elected President. And not to be outdone, the Republicans picking a woman - a pit bull of a woman - for the role of Vice President. From these standpoints, it's all been very exciting and I didn't even mention some of the major issues that have become so important to the country.

The second reason I accredit to the Internet. It has been so easy for me to research candidates and issues. Facts and opinions are plentiful if you're willing to dig a little and keep an open mind. I've spent a lot of time online reading up on both candidates and many, many issues. It has helped me get a clearer picture of who our two candidates are.

There's a third reason, and that is that both of my kids are voting for the first time in their lives. They're new to the process of listening to the candidates, doing their own research, and deciding who they want to vote for. We've had many conversations over the last 21 months (yes, it's been that long since the campaigning first began) and I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed the great discussions we've had and watching them form their own opinions.

A few days ago, Don and Danielle were discussing some of our local amendments. Don was explaining some of the intricacies of some complicated issues. She listened intently and asked many questions. I loved watching this interaction. A little bit later, she asked me something about one of the issues and then told me she didn't know if she agreed with her dad on some of the issues.

Woo-hoo! This made my heart smile. I want my kids to be independent thinkers. I don't want them to think a certain way or make any decision just because that's the way mom or dad think. And I am thrilled that they've taken this election seriously and see voting as a privilege that they want to be a part of.

My blessing today is that I live in a country that is built on democracy and gives it's citizens the freedom to vote for it's officials. The added blessing is that my children are now a part of this process.

Blessing #2 in a month's worth of blessings

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Both of my children are such a blessing to me. I love having them home and interacting with them on a different level than I had when they lived here and I had to be more of a "mother." I see how they are maturing and finding their place as adults in this world.

There are times when Danielle will cook a meal for us while she is at home. It's so nice to sit back, watch your kid cook, and then sit down to a meal that you didn't have to lift a finger for.

This weekend Jake and I got into a conversation about music as I was looking for some new stuff to load onto my ipod. He ended up burning a custom made CD for me with music he thought I'd like. Danielle then made me one, too.

When he was to take his girlfriend home last night, he asked if he could take my car. I'm always a little anxious when letting my kids take my car but I said okay. This morning when I got in to it to go to church, the CD started playing and there were a handful of smarties candies in my cup holder. The candy was from Hollee, Jake's girlfriend, because she knew how much I loved that particular kind of candy. I'm so glad I allowed him to use my car.

We did our best to teach our children to care about others and it's so wonderful to see this come to fruition. It's not only wonderful.... it's a blessing.

Blessing #1 in a month's worth of blessings

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Why in the heck do I do these things to myself. The only answer I have is that I like challenges. And this one will definitely be a challenge.

I have joined NABLOPOMO, which stands for National Blog Posting Month and the challenge is to post each and every day during the month of November. That's 30 straight days of blogging. Oh, I'm already having second thoughts. But I'll give it a try.

Part of my thought process on this is that I have struggled a bit lately in coming up with things to write about on a regular basis. If I know I have to write something, I'm forced to dig a little deeper and come up with something.

But don't expect every post to be some deep thinking. I have a feeling I will be using more memes and photos. I thought I would write under the theme of 31 days of thankfulness. After all, it is the month of Thanksgiving. But I didn't want to be limited to just that. I'm sure I will be posting about the many blessings that are present in my life.

Wish me luck.