From the Mouths of Children

Have you ever listened to a young child speak? Or listened to them give their ideas and point on view on life?  I do every day and love it.

Ian always has something interesting to say.  He is really quite insightful on a lot of things. That is quite amazing for a 4-year-old.

Yesterday morning, he said, “Mommy, I have a boo-boo in my throat.” He was speaking of a sore throat and I loved how he put that.

Since he is discovering reading more and more, he keeps asking us, “What does that say?” “Can you tell me?”  I love watching his mind at work.

This morning while pointing to his head, he said, “God made me and he putted my brain in there.”  Very sweet.

Although I as his mother am continually trying to teach him new concepts and ideas, he is the one often teaching us.

From Ian, I have learned to truly live in the moment. He savors and enjoys each experience and isn’t spending his time worrying about something in the future or the past.

I have also learned to be content with the little things.  He is happy with his toys, a pencil and paper, a book, and his hot chocolate. The simple things and the simple life is something that works for him.

I have learned to love unconditionally and give out hugs. He does this most of the time and his hugs and loves are very special.

I have enjoyed laughing with him as well.  I didn’t have to learn that as I have been laughing for years.  But, there is something very special in hearing your child laugh.

I do have to say I love to see when he thinks something is funny.  He grins from ear to ear with his precious dimples and his entire face and body are happy.

This morning I saw a great quote about children from Marianne Williamson, “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called ‘all the things that could go wrong.'” That really is true.

Please take the time to truly listen to the child or children in your life.  You will be glad that you did.

I wonder if we can enjoy life as much as a child does.  I am certainly going to try.

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And the Oscar Goes To…

“And the Oscar goes to…” is what we’ll hear a lot tonight.

Tonight is Oscar night!  For years now I have enjoyed this biggest night for actors in movies. I always look forward to the broadcast, who is wearing what, and who will win.  Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume, Best Song, Best Director, Best Picture.

I have loved movies for a long time — especially the older ones.  So celebrating those involved in them is fun for me. I enjoy the glitz, the glamor, and seeing the winners often be genuinely surprised and touched by winning.

I remember the year that Halle Berry won and how amazed she was.  I have watched the clip of when Sally Field won and she was truly moved as well.  And there have been numerous others through the years.

It will be interesting to see who wins this year.  Many of the nominees say it is an honor to just be nominated, but I would imagine they would love to hear their name called.  An actor’s career is certainly impacted when they win.

This year I haven’t seen very many of the nominated movies – just one, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”  This was a great mystery based on a very popular book which we went to with several family members — all of whom had read the book. I hadn’t so I was glad to sit next to someone who could explain a few points. But it is quite violent and not for everyone.  I am glad, however, that I saw it.

Several of the nominated movies that I haven’t seen and want to are “The Help,” and “The Descendants,” and “Moneyball.” There are some great nominees this year from all of these movies! It will be interesting to see who will win.

Not seeing many movies at the theater has been the case for the last several years.  With a young child, it is more difficult to go out to see something.  So we wait until they appear on video.  As a result, we often don’t get to watch these Oscar-nominated movies until after the awards are given out.

Sometimes I agree with Hollywood and the Academy on what is “the” movie or cast of the year and other times I don’t.  In 2005, an amazing movie about forgiveness, love, and giving people second chances was released.  It was called “The End of The Spear” based on the book of the same name.  This movie was a true story of Christian missionaries, yet the powers that be said almost nothing about it.  It is a movie that will truly move you.

I enjoy movies that speak to me as that one did, but I also enjoy movies that are just plain funny!  Like “Grownups” — with Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade.  This movie reminds me of my childhood and the fun and crazy things we used to do.  And these five guys are just plain funny — they play well together.  My husband and I just laugh each time watch it.

And, as my family knows, I love musicals — “The Sound of Music,”  “Grease,” “Hello Dolly,” “White Christmas,” “Holiday Inn,” “South Pacific” and the list goes on.  Each of these has something very memorable to me about my family and friends.  And, a few like “South Pacific” also have a message — this movie has a song about prejudice and that it is taught and something that shouldn’t be.  I enjoy singing to all of the songs and could probably quote each movie word for word.

My favorite movies are the oldies  — like “To Catch A Thief,” “Roman Holiday,” “North By Northwest,” and “All About Eve.”  These classics have become some of my favorites which I enjoy watching over and over again.  Cary Grant was the ultimate in class and a fine actor so I like almost all of his films.  Other actors in these movies were Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Bettye Davis, and Eva Marie Saint.  All of these actors were great and enjoyable in numerous roles.

When I was in college, I took a film class which was very interesting. It was great to study different kids of movies and learn what it takes to make them.  We studied westerns (“Stagecoach” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”), science fiction (which I don’t remember), and film noir (one of my favorites). One of the best movies ever made in the film noir genre, in my opinion, is “Double Indemnity.”   Very well made and well acted by Barbara Stanwyck (from Big Valley) and Fred McMurray (from My Three Sons).  I highly recommend this movie.

There are many movies which I also enjoy for a variety of reasons — some because of the interaction with the characters, the friendships, and others because they are romantic — “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Why Did I Get Married?”, “Waiting to Exhale,” “Return to Me,” “The Bodyguard,” “Sex and The City (1 and 2),” “The Notebook,” “The Wedding Planner,” “Love Actually,” and “Casablanca.”

I also like suspenseful movies/mysteries such as “A Time to Kill,” “Rear Window,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Lincoln Lawyer” among others.  These have been well acted and were very interesting to me.

And, there are many others which I haven’t mentioned in this posting.  I don’t have the room to list all of the movies that I have enjoyed for whatever reason.  I enjoyed watching “Cars” with my son — that was lots of fun.

No matter who wins tonight, I will enjoy the show!  Because, it is the Super Bowl of acting and movies.  Truly a magical night.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I wonder what some of your favorite movies are. Please share them with me and our other readers!

Life is Good

As this headline says, “Life is good.”  And that is something I am truly thankful for!

Not that it is perfect, but for the most part, my life is full of blessings.  I have a husband whom I love and who loves me back, we have a son who loves to learn and discover something new each day.

I can write and publish my thoughts as I want to. I can listen to an amazing hymn at church and sing in praise. I can dance to a favorite song on the radio.  I can read books of my choosing as well as the Bible.  I can eat healthy food and enjoy exercise. I can walk at the beach (when at the beach) or around my neighborhood and talk to the neighbors.

And, I have friends and family who are very special and dear to me.  Many of my friends I have known for a very long time — decades even.  And, in those years, we have had more fun and laughs than I thought possible.  But, we also had pain and hard times too. For those times, it has helped to know these friends and family members were there to help me through! And that I was there to help them.

Isn’t it great to have people in your life that you can count on — no matter what?! What an amazing treasure that is. I hope that all of us have people like that in our lives!

It means the world to me to know there are people who can offer prayer support, talk to me, or just listen when that is needed.  Also, in those tough times, having someone to give a hug or a smile is so very precious.

It is also a blessing to be able to help them and pray for the needs of my friends and family. I have many people who I lift up in prayer each and every day.  I believe in the power of prayer and God’s amazing love for us.

Over the past few years, a few of my friendships have changed or suffered a bit for lack of time and effort.  I am, however, making a conscious effort to become reacquainted and make a point to spend time with them again.  I am blessed that with my friends, we seem to pick up right where we left off and continue from there.

I came across a great quote this morning, “Live Life, Laugh Lots, and Love Forever.”  That truly sums up a great way to live and something to strive for each day.

I wonder if I can live life the way my son does — in the moment and savoring each experience that I am given.  I truly want to try because that in itself is a blessing!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Time to Lose and Other Things

Time to Lose Week 7

Hi!  I am a day late in writing for week 7 of the weight loss quest. No loss or gain this week. Staying the same is something I am happy for this week.

I missed not writing last week, but the time got away from me. And, then we were busy with a lot of items yesterday.  Hope you have been well.

I have really appreciated all of the feedback and support I have been getting on this journey! It helps keep me motivated.

Eating the better food choices is still going well — although I occasionally like a treat that I shouldn’t probably be eating. I try to limit those items to just once a week.  I guess it’s all a matter of balance, isn’t it.  The item that I continue to struggle with is finding the time for exercise. I am over being so lazy but can’t seem to get out of my rut.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This time of year is a lot of time spent inside and sitting. I need to move and get out more.  My entire family seems to do better when we do.  So, this next week, I am going to strive to make a point of exercising each day.  Even if it’s just 15 minutes of walking or dancing, that is still better than nothing.  I know that I need to be doing at 45 minutes of cardio each day and am working back to that again.

Other Things 

I had to share a few milestones for my four-year old son in the last two days.  Yesterday he woke up talking about dinosaurs and how much he wanted to learn about them.  He then added that he wants to learn to read.  How exciting is that? I love that he wants to learn!!

Today, he asked me to first write and then sound out Pre-si-dents’ Day. He then sounded it out.  I told him, you are reading, and he grinned from ear to ear. I think we have a breakthrough.

He then asked me what sound F makes.  He so wants to learn and is ready to take off!  YEAH IAN!!!!  Mommy is so proud of you.

Isn’t it great how children are so excited when they learn something new and can understand it?  He was so proud of himself, and rightly so.  I am going to try to have that same excitement about the items that I am learning on my journey!

I wonder if in this next week we can be excited about learning something new each day?  I am going to try to continue to encourage Ian as well.

God’s blessings to you on this first day of Lent!

Happy Presidents’ Day

Hi!  Hope you have been having a great Presidents Day!

I fondly remember the 3-day holidays when I was working full-time.  They were always to be enjoyed and treasured. The thought of skipping Monday of the work week was always a treat!

Why is it that we dislike Monday so much? I know several people who have Mondays off, so I am sure they don’t feel the same as the people who are starting another week of work on Monday.

I am writing this a bit later than I meant to, but I was just enjoying my lazy time over the weekend with family too much. It was great – a birthday party, another dinner with family, two lunches with family, watching some good shows on television (like the season finale of Downton Abbey as well as an old episode of Simon and Simon — another blog on these sometime), and attending church and having a nice lunch.  I also saw some friends that I used to work with and that was really nice as well.

This is the weekend when lots of stores have sales. So I suppose, you could spend your time buying new things at a reduced cost. That is always nice to do, but we didn’t need much this weekend.

But, the main reason is to honor our first president, George Washington, as well as president Abraham Lincoln — and all other presidents. Each president contributes something and I think it’s nice to stop and think about what they do.  I also think that this position is to be respected.

As you know there is an election this year. Please be sure and vote! It is important for us to have our voices heard. It is great to be a part of the choosing of the next president.  At least, I think it is.

In America, we have the freedom to vote the way we each feel we should. Some around the world don’t have that freedom.

I wonder if we realize how fortunate we are to have the freedoms that we do.  I hope so and I hope you enjoy the holiday!

Our Own Cup…

I heard a great quote yesterday.  “We all have our own cup of crazy.”

At first I laughed and thought that is really funny.  But then I started thinking about it, and realized how true it is.

I thought about the fact that everyone has their own stuff to deal with and their own issues. And, we all have craziness in our lives.  All of these things can take many shapes and forms.

Maybe a statement like this can make us more sympathetic. Perhaps we can think about others and what they are dealing with — the loss of a job, the loss of a precious family member, a serious illness, too many activities each week, or the fact that someone’s childhood wasn’t idyllic, but painful and messy.

And somehow people figure out a way to cope with all of these problems and issues and make it through each day. I think most of us are stronger than we realize.

We can also realize that these cups don’t have to take over our entire lives but are instead a part of us.  We can learn from these experiences and hopefully come out the other side with some changes and some new insight.

In addition to cups of crazy, I think we have other cups — like cups of sadness, cups of difficulties, and cups of real struggles.  But on the flip side, we have cups of happiness, cups of love, cups of contentment, and cups of joy.

What cups do you have? And, what are you dealing with?

I wonder if we can be more considerate of others and realize that each of us has cups to deal with. I certainly hope we can.

The Greatest of These Is Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today I wanted to write about love instead of weight loss.  (I will write on that tomorrow.)

Hope you are spending this day with the ones you love. I am blessed to be doing just that and it’s wonderful.

There are many definitions and quotes about love that are meaningful and that you may have heard. In addition, there are many kinds of love — romantic love for your spouse or mate, parental love for your children, familial love for family and friends, and compassionate love you have for others.

There is one, however, that bothers me since I don’t agree with it.  The quote is from the movie “The Love Story”– “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

In my mind, that is the total opposite of what it means to love someone. Love means saying you are sorry when you make mistakes, that you will honor and respect them, that you will take them as they are, and help them through trying times and celebrate with happy times.

The finest explanation about love for me is from the Bible — 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 – also known as The Love Chapter.  This was a part of my wedding and it still means as much as on that day I started my married life with a wonderful and very loving man.

Here is one version that I found of The Love Chapter:

“If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become a sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing.

“If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

“Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

“But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with.

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things.

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

“But now faith, hope, and love remain — these three.  But the greatest of these is love.”

Wow, isn’t that an amazing explanation of love? The fact that Love Never Fails is amazing to me. I hope and pray that you have a true and amazing love!

Thank you God for giving us the gift of love! Happy Valentine’s Day to my love.

Time to Lose Week 5

Hi again.  Another week, another 2 pounds! YEAH!

I am always excited when a little bit of progress is being made.

This week I have had five servings of fish – fish tacos and baked fish at home. Fish tacos in the southeast aren’t quite as good as in San Diego but they are better than not having them at all.

I am also eating more fruits and vegetables. I am enjoying all of the colors.  Healthy food sure is pretty. All the bright greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and blues. A rainbow of yummy eats!

The bad news this week was that my cholesterol is up a bit. My doctor said I have 3 months to make some definite and clear changes with my diet and exercise before I see him again. I am really going to try to do well with this so I don’t have to go on any medication.

I already am on blood pressure meds and they are really helping. But as this great doctor has advised me, the ultimate goal is weight loss. So that is what I am trying.

The challenge with the cooler weather continues to be exercise. My goal this week is to schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise every other day and then actually do the exercise.

I really need to get out of my lazy pattern and make the movement/exercise part of my daily routine. Any advice or suggestions? I enjoy playing outside or walking around with Ian, but clearly that isn’t enough or exactly what I need.  I need time to myself to focus totally on that.

I wonder if this better way of living will eventually become my habit and natural routine.  I sure hope so. Have a great week!

Practicing Numbers

Today Ian has been focusing on writing numbers.

He is doing a very good job! As you can see from this picture, he wrote the numbers 1-12.

We have flash cards that we have been looking at as well.  He told me a few minutes ago what each number from 1 to 10 was.  Then on the back of the card, there are that number of items (such as kites, frogs, alligators, and red wagons).

He is having fun learning new things but sometimes get frustrated since he wants to know how to do it correctly the first time.  We are doing our best to encourage him to practice and realize that since he is learning, it doesn’t have to be perfect at first.

The learning adventure continues! I wonder what else we will learn today. I can’t wait to find out.  If you have kids who are continuing to learn, I hope you enjoy that adventure as much as I do.

Wear Red Day

Today is National Wear Red Day to recognize the fight against heart disease.

Are you wearing red? I am.

Red is one of my favorite colors.  And, I seem to get compliments when I wear this vibrant color.

But the meaning about today is very important.  According to the American Heart Association’s Wear Red web site, heart disease is the number one killer among women, and kills more women than all cancer combined. Wow, that is a shocking fact to me.

It is important to check our numbers — blood pressure and cholesterol. Both of mine have been too high and I am trying to lower them. Thanks to a great doctor, I am getting the help I need.

These numbers can be lowered with changes in diet and exercise. As you know from my postings on Tuesdays, I am working on these changes.

It is a daily effort but I am committed to do so. I want a healthy heart and an overall healthy body.

I wonder if we one day can beat heart disease that claims our loved ones. I hope and pray that we can do exactly that.