November 27, 2012

Things you never knew you needed to know!


 
It is normal to reflect upon your life when birthdays are approaching. One the eve of mine, I would like to share some of what I have learned over the years. And perhaps, some observations, truths and just plain good advice.   

  1. Go to church.
  2. Don’t spoil your children, but do spoil your husband.
  3. Act irrational and crazy once in a while around your husband so he doesn’t get spoiled.  
  4. Play games. (Oh, not "play games" but "play" games like UNO, Yahtzee, checkers, wiffle ball, etc...  )
  5. Don’t gloat when you win, or pout when you lose.  
  6. Ask for forgiveness when you gloat when you win and pout when you lose. 
  7. It is impossible for your children to only inherit just your fabulous, wonderful qualities. 
  8. Love your children. 
  9. Don’t judge people. 
  10. Double check that your clothing or bathing suit covers up your birth control patch. 
  11. If you are going to wear a thin skirt and be outdoors in the sunlight, it is a good idea to wear a slip. 
  12. Don’t wear tan pantyhose with white pumps. Actually, don’t wear either.
  13. Don’t wear your husband’s camouflage fleece, pajama bottoms, and slippers when driving your children to school late. You will surely have to go sign them in at the school’s front office. 
  14. If you decide to get spunky and wear shorts on that warm mid-winter day, remember to shave the legs you have neglected for 2 weeks. 
  15. Enjoy the rain, it brings the sun. (If live you in Seattle, go to a movie and get a coffee.)
  16. Try growing a garden and camping, at least once.
  17. Be thankful for your parents. 
  18. It is okay to go to therapy. 
  19. If you have the option of laughing or crying, laugh. 
  20. Apologize when you should. 
  21. Appreciate your friends. 
  22. Dog is a man's best friend. 
  23. Ombre style hair is not when your dark roots grow out 4 inches, so book your next hair appointment as your leave your last hair appointment. 
  24. Watch hoarders occasionally if you need help getting rid of things you don‘t use, need or like. 
  25. Go to college.
  26. Nothing good happens after midnight. 
  27. Don't drink and drive.
  28. Don’t let yourself get over-served. If you do, drink lots of water the next day and take ibuprofen, because you will wish you followed #26. 
  29. Nap and occasionally sleep in. (also helpful for #28) 
  30. Come to a full stop when a school bus has the “STOP” sign out. 
  31. Donate money and/or time to a charity.  
  32. Eat dinner as a family. 
  33. Eat cereal for dinner if you don’t want to cook; teach your children to cook. 
  34. A serving of ice cream is ½ cup, but a serving of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies is 1 sleeve. 
  35. Exercise. 
  36. Brush and floss your teeth. 
  37. Read something. 
  38. Be thankful and keep pity parties short.
  39. Smile.   
  40. Pray. 
So I am not really 30-something,
oh wait, I am  for a few more days! 



October 1, 2012

It's not what you think

You are in the grocery store check-out line, you glance over and see this the lady's cart in front of you.


 Let's get a closer look.

You are thinking... really, COUPONS????
 Why do I always get behind the lady with the coupons. 
She probably is paying with a check too. 
Oh, wait....she has some issues
Well, folks it isn't always what you think! 

So we drove by church last Saturday and saw it was "garden clean up day." We stopped to help and all the kids were out by the road (with adults) helping clean up trash....then, this little white, scruffy, Benji-looking dog ran across the main road, dodging cars, right up to all the kids there. Happy as can be, so friendly. 

I am not one to let a dog get run over, so we made a leash out of a scarf. 

First thought, no collar = not very good parents. (Yea, MY dog has gotten off her collar before and run away, but we live in a gated community and she looks clean, there is a difference...) 

Then I start to hear about this family across the street, people see LOTS of different dogs there. Um hum....they would explain why he was in tact if you know what I am saying....

By the way, they haven't even looked for the dog, do they even care?


So he hangs out with us awhile, we actually come across a real leash. When it is time to leave, we drive across the street to find out what is going on. I go walking up these peoples driveway with my "I am better than you" attitude, polite, but definitely an heir of I know better.

"Excuse me, Sir, is this your dog I found without a collar? He almost got hit by a car crossing the street."

"Oh, my daughter brought it home last night, I am not sure what is going on...."

Here we go I thought. Um hum... Keep in mind the dog is in the car with my husband because I am not about to give it back.  The man's daughter comes out...

"Yes, Mamn.  He was at the gas station up the road.. They said he was there for two days and had to go, so I brought him here with me. He was so thirsty he cried when I got him water. I bought him some food too. He was very hungry. I didn't have time to get him a collar. I gave him a bath too."

My face and heart melted..... I was so ashamed. We started talking about church and I told her about a youth concert we were having next month. She was very involved with youth at her old church but it was too far, she may attend the concert and bring a friend. I offered to take him and help find him a home.


 Shhh, don't tell my husband, but he may not leave! 

And back to the Preparation H, you can also use it for "eye cream" on a puffy day. So next time you are quick to think someone may have or be a pain in the you know what... think again.... I sure will. 

Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

  



September 11, 2012

Grief ~ It's Simple



  1. . 
    Yes, this is a wood block.
    We are off to a good start. 

    PHYSICS 101     Work = Force x Distance. 
    The unit of force being Newtons. 

    (don't go thinking I am all of a sudden a genius, 
    they teach this stuff in 4th grade)

    So the Newton is the measure of energy it takes  to move an object.  

    Say you push or pull the block on the left, you are going to use a certain amount of energy or force or newtons. 


    Say you add wheels to the object, making it a SIMPLE MACHINE. Why golly, it takes less work...newtons.... & force!
    What on earth do you ask, does have to do with Grief??? 
    Earlier this year I attended my Uncle's  funeral. He was in the Marine Corp. There must have been twenty marines in uniform that were standing guard at his funeral. You could see the sadness on their faces, as they mourned with our family.  I hope their presence helped my Aunt that day with her grieving...each marine being like a wheel on the block, making her load easier to carry. 

    I saw it again when my best friend's parents were tragically killed in a car accident this year. People helped her and her family as they grieved. Whether it was a hugs, cards, meals, babysitting, prayers, each person was like a wheel on the block helping make their load lighter... 
  2. I saw this again when a friends mother passed away shortly after that. When I stopped over she mentioned how a stranger brought brownies and a neighbor mowed their lawn. Again, people were the wheels on the block to help pull them through.  

    Today, 9/11, eleven years after the tragedy
    it still sits heavy on every one's hearts today. 

    And it sits much heavier on the hearts of those who lost loves ones in those awful events or were helping with rescue efforts. 

    Hopefully those families feel a nation mourning with them 
    and it is helping pull them through today, like the wheels on the block. 

    Well, I am sure Grief is still sitting heavy on the hearts of my Aunt, my bestie and my friend and their families now and for sometime to come. Just as we haven't forgotten about 9/11, we mustn't forget about the other people so we can be the wheels to help pull them through.... it might be a little weird if you were to run over and mow their lawn at this point, but you can surely share a laugh or a smile. 


       

August 27, 2012

Trampoline Assembly for Dummies





Kids: "How long will it take?"

Husband: "It says it takes three really fit people to put it together."

Kids: "I'm hot" 

Me: "Let me know when you need some help." 


Kids: "Can I have a popsicle?"

Husband: "You just supervise, honey."

Me: "I'm only siting down so I could be out of your way"

Kids: "Can I have another Popsicle?" 




Me: "I gotta write this down, it would be a funny blog post."

Husband: "I could use your help."





Kids: "Are you actually writing this down for the blog?"

Husband: "That's all she does now is blog."

Me: "Did you read the instructions?" 
Kids: "Did you read the instructions?"
Husband: "I should have written the instructions."
The supplied tool on the left broke trying to pull  springs
Our tool on right, worked much better
  • Kids: "I think Daddy cussed." 
  • Me: "Maybe you need a break honey."
  • Husband: "Hey, I'm in charge of this!" 
  • Kids: "Are you taking a break Daddy?"
  • Husband: "Just get working."
  • 720 Minutes Later
Kids"Mommy's getting mad now. Mommy, maybe you need a popsicle?" 

Husband: "This...is the final frontier." 

Kids "That wasn't too hard." 




August 21, 2012

The World has Winners and Losers

I am sure you fellow parents can agree, you get tired of hearing your kids whine about what they can't do or don't have.... "Why don't I know how to do _____ like so in so", "How come so in so gets to do ____ ", "How come they are better then me at _____"

After what seemed like hours of that one afternoon (okay, it was 12 minutes) I said, "Ya know what? (good parenting with the proper grammar already) There are winners and losers in this world."

The reply, "Are you calling me a loser?"

"No, but you have a decision to make about how you feel, sit here and feel sorry for yourself or start practicing what it is you wish you knew how to do and make a change for the better."

Oh, I felt real good (more awesome grammar) like maybe I had hit a home run. Let that sink in your little head. We are not gonna feel sorry for ourselves in this house!


The next day I was trying on clothes... hmmm, maybe if I lean this way the back fat won't be there, ooo, if I can just suck my stomach in, hmm, where did that come from? Maybe I can just find some  full body SPANX

I stared right in the mirror.... it rang in my head, "there are winners and losers in this world." I thought, how many times have I said to myself, "Why don't I look like so in so...." "How come I don't have ab's like so in so..." "How come my _____ doesn't look like that?" Well, because I am not really working at it. 

Well, I have decided in this instance, I am going to be become a LOSER and then I will be a WINNER.

What has been weighing on you that you need to change?  

           


August 12, 2012

Hope through Adversity. Why I love the Olympics.


As I was watching Oscar Pistorius cross the finish line in the 400 meter Relay last Friday, I couldn’t help but remember the story about his family they had aired a week prior. That although he was born without his fibula bones and was a double amputee at 10 months, his parents never treated him any differently and he was a very active child.

I had a flashback of me as a child at our local city pool.  I was watching a mother and her baby intently. Her baby was in a carrier, wait, it may have been a stroller, when were baby carriers invented? Anyway, the animated mother was attentively and lovingly moving her baby’s legs and arms up and down, and massaging them.

It was an older baby and I didn't realize it had a birth defect and didn't respond or move any limbs.

An adult nearby me who knew the mother, said (and I  am not quoting verbatim as this was almost 100 years ago) but the jist was, “that child will never be able to do anything, I don't know why she is doing all that.”  




I remember thinking as a child, because she has HOPE...and love.

So many Olympic stories are of athletes and their families making it to the Olympics despite all kinds of adversity, from living in poverty to being victimized to being shot…or being born without their lower limbs in tact.

And I know, not every person who has Hope through
Adversity is going to be an Olympic “Success”.
 

But in my book, if you are able to be loving and maintain HOPE through ADVERSITY, YOU ARE A SUCCESS! 

So, as I mourn the end of the Olympics, sniffle, sniffle, you let your Hope grow like a mustard seed. 

Mark Chapter 4: Verse 31-32. 
31. "It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you can plant in the ground. 32. Yet, when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”


  


August 9, 2012

The 3 Rules of Marriage



I am not sure what I enjoyed the most out of my brother's wedding last weekend...quality time with my husband and kids, great memories with my whole family, or the "3 Rules of Marriage" Wedding Ceremony.

Oh, who am I kidding... the Wedding Ceremony. The Irish Catholic Priest had a great Maine accent and a surprising comedic humor. It started out familiarly with Readings, Prayers, and my brother and his wife kneeling, kneeling, and kneeling some more.

Then the Priest spoke about his 3 Rules of Marriage, and this is where the good stuff began.

1- Forgive your spouse. 

"If your spouse is truly sorry for something, and asks for forgiveness, then they shall be forgiven by you."
Simple Enough.

2- Don't go into your Marriage thinking it is 50/50.

"Don't go into it thinking everything is 'supposed' to be equal. Then you start keeping tabs..I did this, they didn't do that... and you both get angry and you should be giving, not keeping score."
Simple Enough.

3- Don't air your dirty laundry in public. (my favorite)

My husband starts elbowing me on this one. I can't imagine why? Well, honey, I am truly sorry for every time I made a joke about something you did to all my friends, so I shall be forgiven, right?  


What I have learned:
There is usually only one person at a party
with
a lampshade on their head


The Priest continues, "For example, now I don't know if the groom ever takes a drink" 
(the whole congregation on both sides starts laughing aloud, we had a keg at the rehearsal) "but if he does, say they are at a paatty (party), and it is really late in the night, 
and he decides to put a lamp shade on his head. 



We all know he would look like a jerk. But his wife has to smile and claim that he looks like a cute jerk.....or a funny jerk......or even a sexy jerk. Then when they get home, she can chew him out. But not at the paatty...." 

Then my husband whispers, "You think he has been married?" I responded, "No, it's all the marriage counseling he has done!"

I don't think there was a dry eye in the house, and as my husband and I were holding hands and I had my head on his shoulder, it was a nice reminder of 3 things we needed to remember.


So best wishes to my brother and his new wife, and all the couples that were there who took something meaningful away from their ceremony....


    

May 1, 2012

Have more Senior Moments

We were blessed this past weekend when my in-laws brought up my husband's grandparents ~ Granddaddy is 88 and Grammy is 87, and they had not traveled far from home in years.
Grammy doesn't look a day over 83 my youngest says 
Prior to their arrival, I was praying the lilies would open. We have plenty of other people come to our house, but I knew if the lilies opened for them they would take them in like a breath of fresh air.

 
They opened while they were here...

And as we were about to take Grammy on a drive through the mountains, she said, "I am going to put my glasses on so I don't miss one branch blowing in the wind."
And we enjoyed all the scenery,
including these beautiful wild flowers.
 
And when it rained, she saw the plants bigger the next day, "because there was nothing like God's rain on the plants to help them grow."

And an early Mother's Day Brunch at the Country Club turned into an afternoon on it's back porch in rockers ~  watching the kids play, laughing at the chipmunks running around, and listening to the birds chirp.

Well, Grammy walks real slow and deliberately, saying , "she walks like she is one hundred." She claims she does this because she fell a couple of years ago and broke her arm and she wants to be careful.  

I am on to her though, I think she walks like she is one hundred because then you have time to enjoy every moment and the beauty in the world....So I encourage you to walk (or ride) like you are one hundred and I can assure you will see the world in a different light.  


The only thing that could have made the weekend better is if my Grandma in New York were here too, but her scooter doesn't travel that far....
Happy Mother's Day Grandma!


  


April 23, 2012

Is your Faith in a box?


We have been blessed with new neighbors!
They are busy unpacking boxes as you can see 


 And in my usual style, I got to thinking..
did you unpack your Faith after your last move? 

Or is your Faith taped up in a box, sealed tight and placed on a shelf at the top of your closet so 
NO ONE CAN SEE it?  


...or do you wear it out on RARE occasions, like a fancy dress or suit?


Or do you only wear it when you NEED it, like a snow jacket? 


Or is it under your clothes like SPANX, no one else knows you are wearing them, but you no longer have unsightly bumps, it just smooths everything out and you LOOK & FEEL BETTER.  It's not like you are wearing a sign that says, "Hey I have Spanx on," but YOU KNOW IT and you just feel good. 
(I guess for you guys out there, this would be the equivalent of the drawers with holes in them you still have from college, we know you have them and love to wear them.) 

Or do you wear your FAITH on your FEET? The actual shoes you are wearing, they go everywhere with you, PROTECTING you EVERY MOMENT. 
And people can SEE them too. They might say, "Hey, I really like your shoes, where did you get them?" 

Or is is like the over-sized bag high on your shoulder and you keep HITTING people with it and they get annoyed.  And then furthermore, you have to comment on the size of everyone else's bag or lack thereof too. 

Well, I have to run and do some unpacking myself...and go warn the neighbors they need to be careful what they put out in their trash, 
I might take a picture for my blog.

  

April 9, 2012

Are you "Root Bound"?

Recently I pulled these plants out of the ground because as you can see, they weren't exactly thriving. They are "root bound", meaning their roots are all intertwined, tangled, and suffering without water... really slowly dying.

I got to thinking
How many of us are "Root Bound"?

How many of us out there are tangled up in our lives so we can't thrive and grow, bound by unneccesary people or things, even suffering in our day to day life?

As we celebrated Easter Sunday, and I taught the lesson in the kids Sunday School class
(mis-pronouncing Pontius Pilate "Pilates", in my usual style)

It hit me like a ton of bricks ~ isn't that why we celebrate Easter,
because Jesus died on the cross for our sins and so we don't have to be "root bound" anymore?






So Believe

Unburden yourself
Set yourself free
Live
and
    Thrive      






 




March 8, 2012

It's a Small World after all!

Sometimes I just wanna SCREAM!



(and clearly should go to the dentist) when I see the big bad news about the economy, murder, war, these crazy people who are called parents (using the term loosely) who don't feed their children and lock them in cages, or these wacko pedifiles that I wish I could line up execution style 
(yea I said it) 

or when I just try to understand insurance policies and why you pay for them yet are advised that if you file a claim it could be held against your 'record'
Then why do we pay???
  
At those moments the WORLD SEEMS LIKE A HUGE, BIG
place, that quite frankly, I fear for my children's future in!   
Right when I feel like that, that's when of course God has a way of stepping in and I am reminded... that no, actually it is a small world, and there are kind people full of smiles and faith
I recently was getting majorly OCD about having some furniture for our back deck (one of the things my husband loves ~ and can't stand ~ about me is that when I put my mind to something, well, there ain't nothing else I think about!) Not afraid of a good deal, I happily looked on ATL Craigslist.

I ended up getting a deal on a wicker loveseat and two chairs from this lovely family, and low and behold they lived right outside my neighborhood. Our children go to the same doctor right across the street. We both had sick children that day (yes, I dragged my sick child to pick up furniture, don't judge if you don't know what being *obsessed* is) 
and talked about family and church.

After our little visit, the world appeared a little smaller.


And then Tuesday when I was having a blah day
(where I am driving around trying to remember where I am going...
thinking, what am I doing...oh going to VOTE) 
After going to the wrong voting place, I finally ended up in the right place and *randomly* saw a friend and got to visit for a minute.
It's amazing how a smiling face can lift the spirits.

Then I *randomly* saw another friend at a store AND got a text from a friend who was just thinking about me
(although she was eating sushi without me, I will bring that up with her later!!)

Okay, the world is getting even smaller and I feel 
grateful, thankful, safe, happy, and .....taken care of.....


  

February 14, 2012

"Where did the love go?"

"I ate it."



As I am counting my Valentine Blessings and being thankful for the love in our home (and trying not to eat every wonderful sweet in sight!), I can't help but remember a conversation I had with my oldest when she was four years old.

It was time for bed and we had read our books and she said, "Mommy, tell me how your parents aren't married anymore..."

I said, "Well, they were married and when I was two, then they got divorced, which means you break up."

She said, "Mommy, no, I don't understand."
I said, "Well, sometimes when people are married, they don't get along..."

"Mommy, no, I don't understand."
"Well, you are married on a peice of paper and you have to go to a lawyer to get divorced."

"Mommy, no, I don't understand."

At this point I am like Help! "You go to a judge...."

Again, "Mommy, I don't understand, I mean... Where did the LOVE go?"

Sometimes as a parent you know God is by your side and helps you find the answer. I tearfully said, "Sweetie, I don't know where the love went, but what I do know is that your Mommy and Daddy love each other very much." It might not sound profound, but I know I had help when I said it! 

Oh, and we will have a whole different conversation when she is 14...like you can't date till you are 30, get to know someone really well... make sure you get along... and any boy will fill out the "Application to Date my Daughter"  as my husband cleans a gun at the coffee table... but I have time...

So you as you celebrate Valentines Day, I hope you feel loved and celebrate the love it your home, and remember the sweet verses below, also read at our wedding ~ 
 
13 Valentines & 13 (or something) pounds later ~
Happy Valentine's Day Honey!




Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act  unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails... But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13







  

January 26, 2012

Keep on Trucking

So this post is really for all of us out there who are trying to make something happen, who are getting inspired by all the quotes people put on Facebook, like, "Better to try than say you never did"... Or the new page quotes people are "pinning".. and I have to confess I also get inspired by American Idol! The singer in me who was not ever good at singing just loves that show!
A picture from my days in a singing group "Keep on Trucking"
Okay, not really, but look what you can get at Goodwill!
 So I am forever working on marketing my labor of love and I had to giggle yesterday as I worked all day  fancy-ing up my website and making a new YouTube video, while I had cleaners here cleaning the house around me!
I didn't even move for the vacumn.

Clearly if I didn't have the tunnell vision obsession for my sweet book,
I technically would be cleaning the house. 
BUT we all know which is more fun.
P.S. Thank you to my husband for indulging this dream of mine!
And truthfully, I was never very good at cleaning, but that is another blog post!
And I have added some new vocabulary to my Marketing 101
  • Embedding is not something a tick does
  • A mouseover is also quick like a rodent
  • Pinning is very time consuming just like sewing, but they have nothing to do with each other...Oh I take that back, you could PIN sewing!  
It doesn't matter what your dream or passion is, just keep it alive...Alas, here it is....



  

January 3, 2012

Think before you speak

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the 2011 Savannah Children's Book Festival. There was an awesome reception the night before where I and the other "Coastal Authors" a.k.a. mostly self-published,  were in the same room wih the "Famous Authors", a.k.a. Publisher represented.

It was such a empowering feeling to be side by side and recognized with such talent, we even got to sign the wall in the library!

The event was a success with thousands in attendance and I even got to sell my book to a sweet little girl named Haven.


Well, to tell you a bit about myself, I have been told many times during conversations that I don't preface the topic I am speaking about...I just jump right in...leaving some slightly confused.  A few close friends have no problem following "Katie Talk" (my husband isn't always one of them!) 

So here I am at this wonderful event, and this man comes up and asks, "How did you come up with the name Haven for the book?"

I respond, "Well, when my daughter was born, it was her name for about two hours, then..."

He looked so sad, and said, "I'm so sorry.." I stood there confused and it took me a second, then I said, "Oh, no, what I was about to say was....then we changed her name. She is seven years old. It was only her name for two hours because my husband had another name in mind!"  

You and I may not have the same sense of humor, but I sure got a chuckle out of that conversation once we were all straight. 

And what I should have said was, "Haven is is my father-in-laws middle name and the perfect name for my first book." 

A Happy New Year to all as we embark on the adventure 2012 brings.....

  
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