Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I really want to express my gratitude for the freedoms I enjoy living in the United States.  I am grateful for military men and women and their families for the sacrifices they make to maintain my freedoms.

I am grateful for men like my father-in-law who fought in WWII.  He has shared many stories of the war with me.  He has made it very real to me.  Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank as a teenager. It was the first time I got a real picture of how the Holocaust affected families.  It is a very moving book.  Another good reason to keep a journal, but I digress.

Several years ago, The Holocaust museum brought a traveling exhibit to Kansas City.  I went to it.  It was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had.  Pictures, video and survivors gave me a reality check.   I believe it is important to know about and remember the Holocaust.  There is much to learn from it.  

I encourage you to check out the website below for more information.  Take a moment to remember and pray for those who were affected by the Holocaust.  Take a moment to express gratitude to our Heavenly Father for what we have.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just a little bragging

My daughter tried out for a part in Romeo and Juliet.  She got the part of the nurse.  She is very excited about it.  The funny part is she will be dressed in a fat suit and they will be enhancing her figure.   Anyone who knows my daughter knows she does not really need enhancing, if you catch my drift.  lol  The play is March 5th and 6th, 7pm at SVJH.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A great Christmas present

This Christmas we gave our dog, Mitzi a new toy.  The only toy she loves is a duck that is made by the American Kennel Association.  The duck is very durable and lasts a pretty long time and most importantly  it squeaks.  My hubby put the duck into a paper lunch bag.  Christmas morning we gave her the bag and she stuck her nose in and got really excited.  She dragged it around trying to pull out the duck.  It was so cute and funny.  We all laughed and laughed.  When she got the duck out she ran around prancing with it in her mouth.  Then she jumped up on the couch and laid her head on it.  She was so happy.  I wish everyone was so easy to please. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

#3 1/2 An Exercise in valuing fathers

In the book I have been reading I searched for an exercise about fathers.  Unfortunately I did not find one. Since it was really good for me to think of things I learned from my mother, I thought I should do the same for my father.  I am going to list 5 things I learned from my father, or that my father did to contribute to the person I am today.

1.  The importance of being honest.   My father used to say there was nothing he disliked more than a liar and a thief.  My sisters and I knew that if my dad asked us something, we better tell the truth.  If we were lying and he found out (which he had the uncanny ability to do)  we would be in more trouble for lying than for whatever we had done or not done in the first place.

2.  To do a job well no matter how small or big. My father used to say, "If you are going to do something do it right."  I think this was so important to him because he was an Ironworker.  If he made a mistake doing that there could be terrible consequences.  My dad was good at being sure that I knew exactly how to do a task.  He would teach me and then he would expect me to be able to do it.  I always knew that I would have the opportunity to redo it if I did not do it right.  Practice makes perfect right?     

3.  To work hard for what you want and to take care of it.  My dad was a hard worker.  He held a full time job and then he would work on his house.  He was not an educated man, but he was not stupid.  He learned how to be handy around the house.  He could do everything from carpentry to wiring.  I do not think there was a job that was too big.  Every weekend he would work around the house always improving something. 

4. To never let a man treat me with disrespect.  One time when I was about 10 my dad found out that my step-grandpa was mistreating (hitting) his mother, my grandmother.  So he went down to their apartment and invited Don (my step-grandpa) outside for a discussion.  We never saw what happened, but we saw the effects of their discussion.  Don had a bloody nose and black eye.  I was glad because I did not think it was right for my grandma to be hit.  I did not like it when people fought.  Unfortunately I heard and saw it a lot.  When my parents were married they fought a lot. I think that they must have had a lot of love for each other at one time as they displayed a lot of hate for each other.  That much passion does not come from no where.  They fought terribly and actually when they got a divorce it was a relief not to hear or see the fighting anymore.    So I was glad to see my father stand up for his mother.  I told myself then I would never let a man hit me.

5.  The ability to change. In my early years my father drank a lot and when he did he became a different person.  A person that I learned to fear.  But years later my father stopped drinking to excess and he changed.  He married a good woman and they built a very nice life together.  He became a grandfather and he was loved by many.  One day he came to my house for Mike's birthday party.  There was an incident and my father lost his temper.  I made him leave.  Later he called me and apologized.  It meant a lot to me to have him apologize.  It showed me that people can change, that he changed.

When my father passed away in 2006 we were not speaking. In fact we had not spoken in nearly 10 years.  I wish we had made amends before he died.  My heart aches for the father I missed out on. I love you dad.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Task #3: Instant Choirs, An exercise in Valuing Moms

Ok first off, what happened to the spell check option?  I cannot see the best and I use spell check all the time.  However I seem to have lost the ability on the blog.  Excuse my spelling or help me.  lol :)  

Task #3:  Instant Choirs, An exercise in Valuing Moms
Write down 5 things your mom has done to help you become the person you are today.  Share the list with her if possible.  

     My mom passed away in 1992 so I cannot share this with her, so I will share with you.  I always think about her around the holidays.  Actually starting around Halloween as her birthday was the 30th of October and through the holiday season.

  1. Unconditional love and acceptance.  My mother always showed me unconditional love and acceptance even when she disagreed with my choices.   This helped me to make my own choices without fear of losing her love.  I remember once in high school I did something I was very ashamed of, I got caught and had to face the consequences of my actions.  I was devastated, embarrassed and humiliated.  I ran home to my mom crying and told her all about it.  She did not try to fix it, she did not criticize me for it, she did not even reprimand me.  She listened, hugged me, dried my tears and asked me what I wanted to do about it.  I will never forget how she made me feel that day.  When I think about how she handled this situation I realize how differently it could have gone if she had not supported me. It may have even changed the course of my life. Not only did she teach me about love but also about taking responsibility for my own choices. I have often thought about her response when I have had to deal with disappointment from my own children's behavior.  I can only hope that my children know that I love and accept them even if I do not agree with their choices. My mother set the bar high for me.
  2. Resiliency.  My mother taught me to be Resilient.  Resilience is defined as a dynamic process that individuals exhibit positive behavioral adaptation when they encounter significant adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress.  I will not go into great detail, but suffice it to say that I experienced great trauma, tragedy, threats and significant sources of stress while living with my mother.  Some of these things were because of choices my mother made and some were because other people made bad choices.  However through it all I saw my mother push on, trying to make her life better even if she never quite got it right.  I learned that tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to try again. I learned that happiness does not come from the situation you are in, it comes from inside of you.  I learned to pick myself up and try again.   Even though I would not wish my childhood on anyone, I would not trade it. It taught me to be independent and strong. The experiences I went through have made me who I am today.  For that I am grateful.
  3. To be a decent cook.  My mother could be a good cook if she took the time to do it.  When she was in a hurry or impatient it was not that good.  I do the same thing.  I tend to get sidetracked or impatient and can burn things.  But if I take my time and do it from scratch, like she taught me, it can be a good meal.  Three of my favorite meals are meals she taught me to cook.  Lasagna, her best meal, I use her recipe to this day.  Goulash, think I will make some today.  Potato soup, one of my favorites in the winter.  She made her own spaghetti sauce from scratch.  I remember smelling the sauce simmer all day long.  It was fabulous.  We always teased that she could not cook, but really we did not go hungry.  She could throw together a meal out of basically nothing.  That has helped me more times than I can count. 
  4. Organization.  OK those of you who know me well will laugh at that.  But really she did teach me how to be organized.  I just struggle with it.  She was organized.  She kept a clean house and knew where everything was.  She started everyday with a cup of coffee, a cigarette, paper and pen.  She would make a to do list every day.  She would cross of her accomplishments.  I do that as well.  I am a list maker and I learned that from her. I also learned that making lists and crossing off my accomplishments helps me feel productive.  Maybe that is why she did it?
  5. Creativity.  My mom taught me to be creative.   My mother taught me to sew at a young age.  She used to sew for us a lot.  I wanted a vanity once. My mother made one for me out of fruit crates, fabric curtains she sewed and painted wood for the top.  She hung a mirror on the wall above it.  I did not feel cheated because she did not buy me a new one.  In fact I loved it and loved her for making it for me.  My mother taught me to buy things second hand and fix them up.  I learned to look at things not only for what they were but for what I could make them become.  It has given me much joy in my life.  I am proud to say that I furnish my home Early American Garage Sale.  I love the hunt for that perfect piece.  I love the process of making something work for me.  I love that I can save money this way. 
  6. The value of  work.  (I know I said 5 things, but I wanted to add one more) We never had much money, but I never really felt like we were poor.  I always felt like we had what we needed.  My mother taught me to appreciate having a job and how to stretch a dollar.   I had a paper route when I was 9.  Then when I was 12 I bused tables at the restaurants she worked at.  The waitresses would pay me with tips, food and drinks.  Mom taught me how to get a job, she showed me how to fill out an application and explained an interview to me.  I went to my first interview when I was 15 and got a job at a local theater.  I got it because I had worked in a Mexican restaurant with my mom before and learned to speak a slang street Spanish to the locals.  It was a most coveted position.  It was great because I could see all the movies, free popcorn, pop and all the kids in school came there.  I loved it!  I learned to save to buy what I wanted with my own money. I learned that if I wanted something I needed to work for it. 

I miss my mom.  She was my best friend.  I loved her.  I grieved the loss of her a couple of years before she ever died.  The death of her mother in 1989 changed her and that year I not only lost my grandmother, but I also lost my mother.  I am so grateful for the influence she had on me.  I am grateful for this opportunity to think about her in a positive way.  Love you mom.

I hate it when exercise is the answer.......

I received this book for Christmas this year, it was on my wish list.  I just love it.  It is a quick easy read, however reading it is not the only thing to do with this book.  This book gives the reader 31 tasks to do while reading the book.  I decided that I liked it so much that I would blog about my experiences as I accomplish the tasks outlined in the book. 

First as a  brief introduction to the author, the book and the tasks in it:  Emily Watts is a member of my church, so we have the same basic belief system.  She is a grandmother, I am not yet, but old enough to be.  :)  What I have read about her I like.  Her writing shows a great sense of humor and she seems like someone I would like to know.  On my blog I will include her site and you can read about her for yourself.  Now the book is subtitled "A Fitness Program for the Soul".  The title intrigued me because of course I have been told so many times that exercise is the answer to what ails me.  LOL  I guess it is true not only for my body but for my soul too. 

What Sister Watts says prompted her to write this book was she had hurt herself and was sent to a physical therapist for help.  While the therapist was performing his torture, he mentioned that the exercises he was going to give her would help her to strengthen her core.  He told her as long as her core muscles were weak they could not do what they were supposed to do and the result would be pain.  He told her once she got her core strong her other muscles should feel better. 

She says the phrase "strengthen the core" was an epiphany for her. She said "When the core is strong, everything works as it should.  When it's weak, life is harder than it needs to be."   

I do not know about you, but that was powerful for me.  It really made me think.  I know it is a true statement.  My faith has helped me cope so many times.  But like everyone else, I need a reminder and need to improve.  Thus reading this book. 

I will be writing about some of the tasks I will do. I do not plan to write about all of them as some are personal.  I will write about them in no particular order, so if you get the book, do not try to follow with my thought process as you do the tasks.  :)  It really is all about me, or you if you do the tasks laid out. So if you want to continue with me on this journey, read the next blog.  I will do the tasks in separate blog entries. I hope to strengthen my core in more ways than one.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I have always craved sunshine

now I know why.  I long for the days when I used to lay in the sun and just absorb the heat.  I want to do it right now in fact.  It is so cold right now I can hardly stand it.  But here is one more article on Vitamin D deficiency.  I am so excited about taking Vitamin D and the stuff I am learning about it that I am going to become a broken record this year.  I am goign to be an advocate for making sure my family takes their Vitamin D.  Wow is all I can say.

New Year

It is 2010! Wow last year went fast. I was just looking over my last year of blogging, not too many entries. I did make one last January in regards to the beautiful snow. Well let me say that my opinion has changed slightly this year. I am sick and tired of the cold and the snow. I am ready for summer right now. But I do have to admit it is pretty. I just really want the kids to go back to school and to get some semblance of sanity back in my house. Not really sure that will happen but it is worth a shot.

Now on to my new year goals. I am starting a new blog about my crafting. I love doing paper crafting including but not limited to scrap booking and card making. In fact I have started selling Stampin' Up products to try and support my hobby. So I am going to start a blog to display some of my creations and to share ideas that I find fun to do. I will put the link on this page when it is up and running. This is my number one goal this year to devote time to my creative side.

My number two goal is to work on our family togetherness and happiness. That does sound vague but I have more specific things in mind for that. For example, eating one meal a day together as a family. We have set goals as a family to accomplish certain activities for the year together. (I will put those on the blog when we are done with the goal list.) We are making a list of 10 things we want to do as a family this year. The activity cannot cost much and it must include everyone. Then I am going to make a scrapbook page for each activity. When the year is up we will have a record of these activities for us to look back on. It will be good to see what we can accomplish as a family when we work together.

Number three goal is to become healthier. Of course this goal is the reason I started this blog in the first place. Right now I have reached a point in my life when my health is affecting my ability to do everyday activities. I cannot even stand in my kitchen to prepare dinner without feeling extreme fatigue and pain. The worst part is the way my brain has not been working like it used to. I thought I was getting dementia or Alzheimer's. Really it was beginning to worry me. So much so that I have resigned as PTA President at my son's school. That was not an easy decision to make.

The last few months have been really bad for my health. I have basically been sick since I got pneumonia in September. I am not complaining just explaining. I have experienced a variety of symptoms. Extreme fatigue, muscle spasms, pain in all my joints, forgetfulness, and iritis (eye inflammation), to name a few. My doctors have tested me for many things thinking I may have an auto immune disorder, even got some positive results. So I have been referred to a rheumatologist again.

However, I could not get into the rheumatologist for some time, so I pressed my family doctor to rerun my blood work. Originally my eye doctor ran my blood work. My family doctor even stated that I may have fibromyalgia. Boy was she excited when my blood work came back the week of Christmas. Turns out I have several vitamin deficiencies. According to her these vitamin deficiencies are such that they can give me all my symptoms. Wow! how weird. So my new goal of getting healthy will include getting in all my supplements.

Now the deficiencies are such that she said that it is something that my body has been lacking for several years in order to get to this point. Some of the deficiencies are due to my stomach condition which probably has lead to my inability to absorb all the nutrients from my food. What deficiencies do I have you want to know.

Vitamin D
Vitamin B12
Folic Acid

Not only can these deficiencies contribute to the symptoms I have been experiencing most recently but also to my depression and anxiety. I did not know that these things can do so much to your body. I am taking supplements for the vitamin d and folic acid and getting shots for the b12. The doctor said I am so deficient that it will take 3 to 6 months before I will really start to feel a difference and feel better. However, emotionally I feel so much better. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and am hopeful that by the end of 2010 I will be a healthier me.

I am including in my side bar links to places to get more information about these deficiencies. Check them out. These deficiencies are becoming more prevalent in the US. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that it can cause have a simple blood test done. You might be surprised at what you find out. I sure was.