OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZzzzzz….ahhh….sleep!!!!

Last night I got the best night of sleep in about a week.  I felt more refreshed than I have for a while.

It got me thinking about how important a good night’s sleep really is.

When Ian was first born, I got almost no sleep.  I know that all of you who’ve had children can relate to this!!  How do we survive this?  Somehow we do since the Lord gives us the strength to do what we need to for our precious new person.

I had the new mommy fog each morning and would try to remember to sleep when he did.  Sometimes that worked, and sometimes not.  It all depended on what I had going on.

I do highly recommend sleeping when your baby sleeps!!  Anything else, like laundry, housework, time on your computer, etc. can wait.   (Pictured above is a sleeping Baby Ian.)

When Ian turned about 1-year-old, he finally was sleeping better and I slowly but surely started to feel like myself again.  Having 5 or 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep was such an amazing gift!!

This past week, both Ian and I have been sick.  I have a sinus infection and he has a viral thing — mainly cough.  So, our sleep has been interrupted, to say the least.

A few nights ago, he was awake in the middle of the night for a few hours.  He kept coughing and finally settled down with some milk.  We both slept on couches since we needed to have our heads up. I tried not to have us bother Kirk, but that wasn’t totally successful.

Last night, we both had a better night of sleep and I hope we are on the road to recovery and normal sleeping again!

For years I couldn’t take naps.  They didn’t help me at all.  Well, I took a few last weekend when I first started getting sick.  They did help as they had when I was pregnant and Ian was a baby.

Now I truly appreciate my sleep and feel that it is a gift.  The nights when I can sleep for 6 hours without waking up are fabulous.  I need more like 7 or 8 each night but often can’t sleep for all of that time.

I hope and pray that you can sleep at night!!

A few quotes on sleep:

  • “People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”  ~Leo J. Burke
  • “There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.”  ~Edward Lucas
  • “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”  ~Irish Proverb
  • “People who snore always fall asleep first.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.”  ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

A Calendar By Ian

Ian's CalendarWith only a few days left of February, I realized that I needed to go ahead and post this great calendar that Ian made.

He wrote the letters and numbers all by himself.  I told him what a great job he did.

He is 5 years old and still learning to read and write.  So, the backwards numbers are to be expected.

It is amazing all of the things he is learning every day.  He certainly is my little sponge.  I love to watch his mind working and his discovery of his life around him.

What a privilege I am to be on this journey with him and my husband!!

A few quotes about children:

  • “Children make your life important.” ~Erma Bombeck
  • “Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.”  ~William Stafford
  • “Boy, n.:  a noise with dirt on it.”  ~Not Your Average Dictionary
  • “Children seldom misquote.  In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt

What is your child doing that you are proud of and think is really cool?  I’d love to hear from you!!

Say What?!!

questionHave you ever been told something by someone who so floored you, you were speechless?

I had that experience recently.  And, boy was it a surprise.

A week or so ago I mentioned that I have a negative person in my life.   Well, this person recently told me during a heated argument that I am an extremely selfish person and all I think about is myself.  The person didn’t say this to me, but instead yelled it to me.

My first thought was “that sure is the pot calling the kettle black” since this person is borderline narcissistic.  After that comment, I was so stunned, I honestly didn’t have anything to say in return.  I did think to myself, I often put my husband and son ahead of others in my life.  Is that being selfish or being a good wife and mother?  That in itself is something to ponder.

My next thought was, am I selfish? I have never thought of myself as being selfish.  By no means am I perfect, but this was a shocking thing to hear.

I am bad about sending out thank you notes in a timely manner, I don’t keep in touch with friends and family as much as I would like to, I get busy and often forget to contact loved ones, I procrastinate about things, I am messy, and sometimes lazy, and the list goes on.  But, I have always tried to be kind to and considerate of others.

Prior to this argument, I had been worried about the health and well-being of several family members and friends and have been praying for them.  My mind was focused on them but my actions and words apparently did come across as I wanted them to during this heated discussion.

Having been yelled at, I was livid, as you can imagine.  But you know what my third thought was?  A person like this is the very one that I am called as a Christian to love and pray for.  Jesus told us to love all people, including those who frustrate and anger us.

I have to admit how hard that is to do with this particular person.  The more you keep hearing something negative from someone, the harder it is to like and even talk to the other person.

I do know, without a doubt, that I need to try to do just that.  I will only be able to with the love and heart of Jesus.

There are some extenuating circumstances at work here.  This particular person eats a lot of carbs and sugars, drinks wine regularly, and very little protein.  And, there seems to be stress and other health problems at work for this person.

I have been praying for the person for a long time now and will continue to do so.  Lord, please give me the strength to do that and keep trying to love this person.  Amen.

How about you?  Do you have someone in your life who is difficult?  How do you deal with it?  I’d love to hear from you and hear about some suggestions.

1000 Pieces

PuzzleLast night my husband and I finished a 1000-piece puzzle!

Have you ever worked on a puzzle that big?  I never had — until now.

We had been working on it on and off for several weeks.  It was one of those projects when we’d work a little while watching television and/or talking and then step away and come back later.

We actually found some distance was helpful at times to work on this puzzle.  In addition, it was calming and relaxing and fun to do.

The puzzle is so large that it took up almost the entire card table.  Above is a picture of the finished puzzle.  It is all about television history and the history of a variety of programs.

I know quite a bit about TV and the shows which helped us in doing the puzzle.  It is a who’s who of actors, newsmen and women, sportscasters, game show hosts, late night hosts, and entertainers.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAmong people pictured on the puzzle are:

**Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather, Huntley and Brinkley, as well as a picture of Nixon, the moon landing, and 9/11, the Beatles, and Kermit.

**Bill Cosby, the cast of Friends, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, ER, MASH, Charlie’s Angels, Star Trek, Chips, Kojak, Hill Street Blues, and Dukes of Hazard.

**Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Jeffersons, The Love Boat, Magnum P.I., The Honeymooners, That Girl, All in the Family, The Rockford Files, The Simpsons, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Wayne and Garth.

**Howard Cosell, Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, Lucille Ball, Barney and Andy Griffith, Barney and Elmo from Sesame Street, Mr. Fred Rogers, Bert and Ernie and Big Bird, Phil Donahue, Milton Berle, Carol Burnett, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.

This is by no means the entire list of people or shows that are included.  It would take way too long to list all of them.  You, however, get the gist of all of those who have been on TV throughout its history.

Among these stars are some of my favorite people and shows ever to be on TV.  How about you?  One of the funniest shows I have ever watched is The Carol Burnett show.  The sketches were always funny.  Another favorite as a child was Sesame Street.  I was among its first audience.  Now my son enjoys it!  And, I liked the adventures of Magnum PI and the family on The Brady Bunch.

Here is the puzzle on the GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAcard table with the box next to it.  You can see how large it is.

My son and father-in-law also helped us some throughout the week.  Most of the work, however, was done by Kirk and me.

I had the honor of putting in the last piece of the puzzle!  Wasn’t that sweet of Kirk?!  I sure thought so!!

We worked well on this together and it was fun.  However, I don’t know if we’ll be trying this again.  It may be a while.

Hope you have fun with your puzzles!  I’d love to hear what you have worked on.

Whole Lotta Love

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis week I have felt very loved!   And, that is something I am very thankful for!

I hope that you too have a whole lotta love in your life!

Here is a picture of my family at the restaurant where we had lunch on Valentine’s Day.  We all wore red and enjoyed our lunch and our afternoon out.  A change in the routine was just what we needed.  It was fun to enjoy a relaxed lunch, talk a walk, shop, and enjoy being together.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband gave me the teddy bear with a rose that Ian is holding in the above photo and a card.  We will go on a date sometime soon but decided on Valentine’s Day that it would fun for our family unit to be together.

We enjoyed our special time out, but I like even better the fact that we always tell each other we love one another.  This morning, Ian woke me up and gave me a big hug and said, “Mommy, I love you so much.”  What a great way to start the day!

From Ian I received a sweet card and these three items that he made at preschool. He had fun making all of them.

About the picture he painted, he said, “Look Mommy I included some flowers for you.”  Isn’t that the sweetest?  I also like the puzzle heart that he made and the beads and design on the other heart.

Ian decided to name my new bear “Chocolate.”  I told him that sounds good to me. After all, we all like chocolate.  Dark chocolate with mint is my favorite and peanut butter with chocolate is Kirk and Ian’s favorite.  How about you?!

We regularly tell each other throughout the year, not just on special days as we celebrated this week.   Special days are great but more importantly is just living a certain way.

All in all it was a great day full of love and spending time with two of my favorite guys!

Thank you Lord for the blessings you have given to me!!

The Greatest of These is Love

Our Wedding DayHappy Valentine’s Day to you!

There are many things I could write about Valentine’s Day, but the main one is that the day is all about love.  Love is a beautiful and wonderful thing.

I love the people in my life.  They include my husband, my son, my parents, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends.  All of these people are dear to me and well loved.  Each one holds a special place in my heart!!

The best definition of love to me is the Love Chapter in the Bible — 1st Corinthians 13.  At my wedding to Kirk, this chapter was read.  It was meaningful then as it is now.  The picture is from our wedding.  As you can see we look like kids.

This chapter is quoted below from the New International Version——-

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

“If I give all that I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

“But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; and where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

“For we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When  I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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

I especially like the part that says — love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Think about that — always loving like that can be tough at times but that is exactly what love is.

On this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can appreciate this kind of love if you have it in your life.  If not, I hope and pray that you will find it one day.  God Bless!!

Love You Pam and Bob

Patti and PamLife is so very precious!!

This thought crossed my mind last night as I heard about my cousin Pam’s husband Bob.  He’d had a mild heart attack and was at the hospital.

I was concerned, worried, and my mind reeled and the praying began.  Last night, he had surgery to repair his aorta.  As of this morning, Bob is doing well and recovering.  That is truly an answer to many prayers!   And, I must say how relieved I am.

My cousin said that he made quick friends with one of his nurses who later dropped down on her knees and prayed for him.  Isn’t that awesome?!  I sure thought so.  The prayer support for them and their daughters spread like wildfire!!

Pam is one of my absolute favorite people.  We have been close since we were teenagers!  The picture is of the two of us at the beach in San Diego a few years ago.  I love her like my sisters.  And, her husband is one of the nicest, friendliest, and funniest people who I have ever met.

I remember the first time that Kirk and I met him, it seemed like we’d know each other forever.  Have you ever met someone who you instantly clicked with?  We had that instant connection with Bob.

Thanks to the good Lord above, and a great staff of doctors and nurses, and much prayer support that Bob came through this ordeal with flying colors!!  I too am so happy for Pam and their beautiful family.

Love you both so much!!  I am so looking forward to seeing you in a few months and enjoying many laughs!!

A Week Of Words

calendarHello and Happy Friday! Are you as happy as I am that it’s Friday?  I am so ready for the weekend.

This week I heard and read a lot of things that I have been thinking about.  I decided today I would publish some of those random thoughts, ideas, and quotes.

Some of these items are from my journal that I re-read this week and some are new items.

***”Dear Jesus, I love you God and love all in the world, except those who are bad,”  Ian said in a prayer.  I wrote this in my journal since it was one I wanted to remember.

He is at the age of learning the difference between right and wrong and there is no compromise or in between for him.  I told him that we still should love the bad people too, since that is something that God tells us to do.  They need love too, I told him.

***Another prayer of his that touched me was — “Dear Jesus, please don’t take me up to Heaven for a long time.”  This prayer made me cry, to be honest.  The fact that he is thinking about Heaven and leaving the earth already is amazing to me.  Also, it is amazing that he already can believe that there is a Heaven.  Jesus did say to have faith like a child and Ian certainly has that faith.

I wrote it down since it was such a beautiful prayer.  Little did I know the next day, there would be a death in the family.  As they say, from the mouths of babes.  He is such a sensitive little soul.

***At some point in the Super Bowl, there was a boy doing an activity who represented children who have taken a pledge to get one hour of activity per day.  At first this struck me as a great idea.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I though oh brother and how sad that things have changed so much.

We have truly changed in this country when a child has to plan to be active.  I remember growing up this was never an issue.  Since television was limited and we didn’t have our own phones, iPods, iPads or even computers, we had lots of time to play both inside and outside.  We didn’t know any differently and often had to be dragged in at dark from playing outside.  I remember Mom yelling at us to come in for dinner.  “But, we aren’t finished playing yet, Mom.”  But she insisted.

It is sad that we no longer can safely have our kids play outside on their own but instead have to be constantly watching them.  The innocence has gone, I guess and that is very telling.  In my family, I have noticed how much happier and better Ian can sleep at night when has been active during the day.  He loves to run outside around our neighborhood and also play at the playground.  I do my best to let him be active each day.  After all, I need it too!

***Here are some house rules that I saw a while ago and re-read again this week.  They are ideas of truly what I want to have in my family.  We try each day to live like this:

  • In this house, we do second chances
  • We do grace
  • We do mistakes
  • We do real
  • We do I’m sorry’s
  • We do loud really well
  • We do hugs
  • We do love
  • We do family

Isn’t this cool?  I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up in a house like that?  Teaching and showing Ian that we do love him, we do say we are sorry when we make a mistake, and that it’s okay to make mistakes is very important!

We also have been teaching him that as part of a family, there are jobs for him and all of us to do and others to think about.  He is a great help in the kitchen and with laundry.  He’ll tell me, “Mommy, I want to cook with you.”  I say, “Okay Ian.”  Even though it’s often a messier kitchen, I so think it’s worth it.

***Books A Million posted a picture on their Facebook page this week about the birth date of Laura Ingalls Wilder.   She wrote a series of books that I loved as a young teenager — starting with “Little House on the Prairie.”  This series was a fascinating look at her growing up years.

I especially remember how excited Laura and Mary were one Christmas at getting a doll, an apple, and a peppermint stick.  That was all they received and they were thrilled and over the moon with excitement.  It was a good reminder that having a few gifts of real value are much better than a load of stuff that you don’t really appreciate or even remember a few weeks after you receive them.

This Christmas my motto was “It’s not the presents, but the presence.”  We in my family took this to heart.  It was great to spend a lot of hours together and visit, have a few gifts for the children to open, and raise money and help some needy and worthy causes.  You know what?  We all enjoyed it, including Ian who was thrilled with the items he did get!

*****What are some of your words of inspiration, thought, or appreciation from the week?  I’d love to hear from you and I am sure the other readers would like to as well!  Have a great weekend and God Bless!!!*****

“Find The Good and Praise It”

booksah“Find the good and praise it” is one of my favorite quotes by Alex Haley.

Haley was a Pulitzer-prize winning author of “Roots,” “Queen,” and co-author of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

The thought of finding good in something or someone is such an important skill to have, at least in my opinion.  And, then praising it is even better.  It can be difficult at times but this quote reminds us to try.

This is a great way to live one’s life since you are looking for positive traits rather than dwelling on those things that may irritate you or concern you about someone.

I have someone close to me who is a pessimist.  This person always seems to see the worst part of a situation or person.  This, to me, can be exhausting since I am by nature a more positive and upbeat person.  I often have to remember that this person sees life in a very different way than I do.

Also, having a 5-year-old child who is still discovering so many things and learning each day helps me to stay open and positive to all that life has to offer.  The beauty of watching a child find his or her way is very good and to be praised.  Thanks Mr. Haley for these amazing words of wisdom.

Sunday, February 10, is the 21st anniversary of Alex Haley’s death.  He died in 1992 at the age of 70 years old.  He definitely made an amazing mark on the world with his books which were turned into movies.

I remember watching “Roots” on television.  I think it was the first time that the story of slaves coming to America was so vividly depicted.  I was surprised and shocked and saddened to realize that this was our country’s history.  There were several scenes which were very hard to watch.

Having said that, I was fascinated with Kunta Kinte and how brave he was despite his circumstances.  And, Kizzy, Mathilda, and Chicken George among many others were  wonderful as well.  They all truly knew how to make the best of awful circumstances, or at least try to do so.   This story was based on Alex Haley’s real family.

At the time of Mr. Haley’s death, I was working at a small newspaper as a general assignment reporter.  We were located in the county where he had a home so there was a definite tie to our community.  In Knoxville, Tennessee, there was an auction of his property, books, and many other things.  I had the privilege of going and covering it for my newspaper.

I will never forget seeing the real Chicken George’s hat, or the notes that he and Malcolm X made on the transcript for “The Autobiography” or seeing artwork that he had collected.  Unfortunately I don’t remember all the details but do remember feeling what an honor it was to see so much amazing history.

I still have the program of the items that were auctioned.  One of Mr. Haley’s sons were there as well and I got to meet him.  What an amazing experience for a girl only two years into her career.  This experience has stayed with me.

A few weeks ago, I watched “Queen” on BET.  This movie was based on Mr. Haley’s book about his grandmother’s line.  It starred Halle Berry as Queen.  She did an amazing job.  Her character had a slave owner as her father and a slave as her mother.

This movie was inspirational yet sad at the same time.  Being of a mixed race, she never fit in anywhere and lived her entire life trying to find her way.  This to me was heartbreaking and hard to watch at times.  She was treated poorly and ridiculed for something that she had no control over.

I know several people who are of mixed race.  I hope that their path is better than Queen’s was.  I hope that they are accepted and loved for who and what they are.  And, I pray that we as a society can truly love, respect and honor those who are different from ourselves.

During this Black History Month, I want to honor, praise, and thank all of the people who fought for the rights of others.  We all matter and all are created equal.

I hope and pray that we never forget that!  As my sister said, this is all of our history.

Happy February!

love noteHappy February and Happy Friday!

Can you believe that we are already starting the 2nd month of the year?  I sure can’t!   January went by so fast.  I wonder if the rest of this year will fly by too?!

I am very glad that it is Friday and nearly the weekend!  Should be a fun one too since the  Super Bowl is on Sunday.  Looking forward to the game and the commercials.  It is always a fun evening.

Also in February are the Grammy Awards and the Oscar Awards.  I enjoy those shows as well!  I must admit I don’t know a lot of the current artists but hope to find out more about them.  I also usually don’t see very many of the nominated movies but did see Lincoln and hope to see a few of the others as well.

And, don’t forget Valentine’s Day!  I will have to see what Kirk and I want to do.  The great thing about my husband is that we celebrate each other throughout the year and he has surprised me with flowers on random days.

For this Valentine’s Day, Ian can give out cards to the kids in his class at school.  I will need to get the list of all of the names so we can hand those out.  The beginning of a new era for us!

Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope it’s a good one and lots of fun.