Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"

Years and years ago, there was an article in the New York Times that answered the question, "Is there really a Santa Claus?" In answer to the little girl's question,she was assured that yes, indeed, there is a Santa.

Thinking back over this year I am mindful of the ways our pleas for assistance have been answered. But instead of Santa, our answers have come from a loving, and kind, Father in Heaven.

In May we were blessed with our eighth grandchild, Kiley. What a sweet, special little baby she is. Nothing melts my heart as fast as when she recognizes me, and gives me big smiles and kisses. We are so thankful for her in our lives, and we know her parents, and big sister, Shelby love her very much.

We are grateful that a good doctor discovered what was making little Kiley sick, and thankful that it is something that can be treated. I feel confident that all will be well with this special baby girl.

We had the privilege of loving and holding our ninth grandchild, and then returning him to live with his Heavenly Father. Tanner was much loved, and much wanted. Perhaps he was so perfect that he didn't need to be here very long. I am grateful for the presence he was in our lives, and look forward to meeting him again one day. When I visit his tiny grave, I am reminded of what a gift life is, and how quickly it can be taken away. We are grateful Tanner's mother was protected and watched over. We are grateful for the way in which Dave handled everything in such a spiritual and thoughtful way.

Today we learned that Xander has PDD, which, with therapy, is treatable. I am so grateful for good doctors and medicine that can help us all be well. Xander is a special little boy. Right now, he is the only Stephenson boy in our family. He is a lovable and sweet tempered little boy. As he receives the therapy he needs, I know he will progress. I'm thankful for people who are trained to work with special needs children. They are angels in my book.

This year, my kidney function improved to the highest it has ever been. When I was so sick, three years ago, they told me my kidneys would never improve. But they have, and I am so grateful to enjoy improved health, and pray that heavenly Father will keep me on this earth for a long time. I want to live to hold great grandchildren, see my grand kids go on missions, and be married in the temple.

Back in May, I would not have believed that I would still have my mother here. Mom had a massive stroke. In the beginning she couldn't even lift an arm. She was unable to talk,feed herself, move her head. It was terrible. It was awful to watch her suffer, but she has hung in there and came through hell. I'm so proud of the way she has tried, and not given up. I am extremely proud of my dad, and the way he has stepped up and taken over mom's care. I know this is hard for both of them. But I am grateful to still have both my parents. Mom's birthday is on Monday, Dec. 27th. I cannot believe she has lived to see this birthday.

Matthew about tore his finger off in an accident this year. But the finger has healed, and Matt has continued to amaze us. He is one of a kind. I don't think you could find any better 10 year old boy. He is so loving and kind. I'm so proud of him and his accomplishments. He is now singing in a choir, and playing basketball.

Talia has taken to reading like a fish takes to water. She is doing so well. Talia is a very deep thinker, and a girl with her emotions on her sleeve. She was so tender and sweet at Tanner's funeral. I will never forget catching her in a moment when she was alone at the grave site with Tanner. She looked so thoughtful and angelic as she sat by the brother she never got to know. I'm proud of Talia in so many ways. On Jan. 1, 2011 Talia will be baptized.

Emily just got baptized last week on Dec. 18, 2010. She stood and sang a song with her mother. The song was in separate parts, and Emily did so great. I can remember when Emme was about 3 years old, and painfully shy. Now she sings, plays the piano, and dances in a dance group. She is amazing also. She is at the top of her class, and is also an outstanding student. Emme and I have a special relationship, and she knows how much I love her.

What can I possibly say about our Cicily? She is a sweetheart. Everyone wants to be Cicily's friend. When you are around her, you can sense the caring feelings she has for those around her. She too, has done well in school. She is a great example and loves the little ones. I'm proud of Cicily. She teaches me by example, and I know she is a great help to her mom and dad.

Nate is my farm boy. He and I love to play farm and cars when he is over. Nate is very meticulous. he lines those cars up perfectly, and is a great pretend farmer. Nate loves the dirt as much as any little boy can love anything. he plays for hours with his trucks in the dirt. When I see him in his overalls, he reminds me of my grandpa who wore overalls much of his life. Nate too is a sweet boy, and doing great in pre-school.

Shelby is definitely one of grandma's top fan club members. Shelby and I have played farm, furniture, zoo, babies, music people, witches, worker men, and many other things, people, and situations. She is so bright. She remembers everything you say or promise. There is no way to fool Shelby. She has a million questions. I get such a kick out of her, and the funny things she says from her perspective of things. Shelby and I are tight:)

I mentioned Xander earlier. He is a sweet boy, and very lovable. He looks so much like Dave did as a little boy. Xander is going wide open all the time. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day for him. He too likes playing cars, puzzles, and running, running, running. I swear he has one speed only...FAST! I have a feeling that Xander is going to teach all of us some more about life, and I love him for that.

Kiley, our baby, couldn't be any sweeter. She is a little angel. She loves her mommy and daddy, and Shelby can always get her to giggle and laugh. Kiley is everywhere. She is crawling and pulling herself up to everything. She has started baby food, and loves the little puffy snacks. Kiley has the most kissable neck and face. I just can't get enough loving in:)

In November, my baby, Jonathan was in a one car rollover that could have killed him. I cannot tell anyone the depth of worry and despair I felt when we heard that he had been in this accident. I know that God protected him, and heard our prayers and pleas for his safety and well-being. I wish more than anything, that Jon can be happy and feel the love that he desires. I'm proud of his progress in college. I have seen him buckle down and work for hours on end. I know God has a plan for him.

This year I was able to reconnect with many of my old friends. We also had a class reunion. It was great to see everyone. I have been able to reconnect with my oldest, and dearest, childhood friend. It has blessed my life when I needed a friend.

Speaking of friends. I am blessed with wonderful in-law children, and a daughter who continually amazes me. My boys are all good men, and work hard to provide for their families. I hope they know how pleased we are with them. And lastly, I am blessed with a good man. Larry takes good care of me, and I know he loves me. I hope I can be a better wife and companion.

Thank you to all my special friends from here to Minn. , Washington State, Texas, and beyond. You people are the cream of the crop, and you have blessed my life for years.

So for me, there is a Santa all year long. I see him in the faces of my grandchildren. In the kisses and hugs from my parents. From the concerned phone calls from Mark each day. I see Santa in Facebook, and the friends I have gained there. In the thoughtful ways in which Pam takes care of me, and checks on me. Santa is in the example I see of Rachel...going to school full time, and being a great full time mother. I don't see how she gets so much done in a day!

When I hear compliments about Dave, Tab, Jon, Justin, Mark, Pam, Rachel, and Larry I am so proud of my family. Each and every one of them is unique and important to this family. So yes indeed, there is a Santa. Thank you Lord for watching over me and those I love.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ying and Yang of My Life

Tonight is one of those nights; but today has been one of those days. Let me tell you exactly where I am going with this. Every day we have ups and downs. Sometimes it is easier to focus on the "downs" because they are right there in our face. But upon reflection, there are so many more "ups" than downs in our days.

My day went something like this. Got up and did my thing. Went to Kohl's for a little retail therapy ( and Christmas shopping.) Then went and saw Dr. Mitsokowa about getting my tooth implant. What a nice man he is. He always treats you like a family member. Even though he is expensive; he is still the best guy in town.

Next I headed across the thriving city of St. George, and went to Ivins to stay with mom. I fixed her lunch and got her electric blanket out for her. She is always freezing, and she was so grateful for that warm blanket. And, by the was a spectacular sandwich. When dad returned, I called Pam and tracked her and the girls down. We met at Wal-mart and I pushed a cart around for her. Shelby was chatting the entire time, and I loved every minute of it! Three year olds can say the most interesting comments.

Then Shelby and I dashed home to get a broiler pan for Pam to use. She is going all out tonight with dinner. I fed Shelby some "mac-a-moni" for lunch, then we loaded up and went to pick up Nate from pre-school. When he saw me and my yellow car he was thrilled. He always yells, "GRANDMA!" It's wonderful. I packed up Nate and Shelby and headed for Pam's house. The kids love to play together. Their favorite thing to play is "dog catcher." I left Pam with three kids, and a nutty dog, and headed back home to tutor my third grade student.

Upon arriving home, I checked in with my health counselor, who is a jewel. Her name is Maria, and she is absolutely wonderful in helping me stay motivated. I scheduled family photos, and a hair appointment. Then I was ready to tutor.

This tutoring is the most amazing thing for me right now. I am able to use my skills and training, and hopefully make a difference in this little girl's life. She did so well tonight, I got misty eyed and had to fight the tears. What a full day. Full of great people, and people I love and care about. Then there are all the people that I am thinking about, and care about. Those friends I love, and family I worry about.

All in all the day was great. I like to stay busy, and I was feeling so pumped up about tutoring. Then I went downstairs to check on my youngest son, and in less than 30 seconds he completely attempted to ruin my day. Mean, rude, and cruel are the words that come to mind. If I did not completely love this kid so much...I wouldn't still let him live here. But herein is my challenge; to reflect back upon the positives of the day, and not let one person define how I feel.

I watched a little of Marie Osmond on Oprah today. My heart ached for her as she told about losing her son to suicide. He was depressed, and held it all inside. So maybe I am blessed that my son acts out, because at least there is some dialogue. You can see I am really reaching to understand him, and keep my own feelings in perspective.

Life is an interesting experience. When I think that I could have missed out on the last ten years of my is very sobering. I am thankful to be alive. I'm blessed to still be here, and have a great family. Yes, we have our problems like everyone else. But we are blessed with so much....especially one another.

So if your day seems to be up and down, take time to reflect and ponder upon the ups, and refuse to let the downs define you. Life is a journey, not a destination...enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reflections on Fall

There is nothing quite as beautiful as the leaves of fall. I love to get up in the morning and look at the different colors of trees in our yard. I don't know if you have noticed, but there is also a special and unique smell of fall.

The air is so crisp and clean, it reminds me of being up in the mountains. I miss the sounds of the rustling quaking aspen, and the smell of the pines. However, I do enjoy the leaves when we rake them together and let the grandkids jump in them. That always brings back fond memories to me of being at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Milton. We would play in the leaves until they became wet, and then Grandpa would insist we rake them up for good. But what fun we enjoyed with just was so much less complicated then.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Tribute to Tanner Stephenson

With the loss of our grandson this last week,; the question has been raised about when life really begins. Some say life begins when the baby is born and the spirit enters the body. Others believe it is when you begin to feel the baby move inside you. And others like myself, believe that life begins at conception.

However, if you really contemplate this idea, you could say that conception is sparked by a simple kiss, a special look, a yearning of the spirits of two humans to share intimacy. Really, it is the fore=play of a couple that is responsible for the conception. And isn't that fabulous! To think that life is created from love.

I suppose that is why we all loved this baby so much. He only survived 5 months in the womb, but his parents felt him, and watched him move on the sonogram. They listened to his heart beating. His grainy, in womb picture, is all I have of him. Its on my phone. At first I wanted to delete it, but I just couldn't. It would be like denying he had ever lived on this earth.

Losing this baby and pregnancy is something new to our family. We have been blessed to have had normal pregnancies and births. Our grandchildren happy and healthy. They represent life to me ever day of my life. Each morning when I wake up; I am so thankful for another day. To watch my children grow into responsible adults, and my grandchildren into my best friends.

Life is a journey, not a destination. And although through life we come across some hard, and difficult things...if we think of the Atonement,and our love of God, we can get through these things, and merge stronger and more committed. I want to live better so that one day I can meet this grandson and put my arms around him. I know that if I do my part, I will see Tanner again.

He was such a special spirit that maybe God decided he did not have to go through the travels and hardships of life. One day we will know.

So my little Tanner. Tomorrow when we say goodbye, it will only be for a moment in time. We know where you are; in the arms of our Savior. We will try to live our lives to the best of our abilities to honor your name. I love you my precious angel baby.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Am I too old to learn?

The other day, after watching hours of GCM and CMT with my parents, I decided I wanted to learn a new skill. I've decided I want to learn how to play the guitar; and no....I do not want to be on CMT or be a "music writer." I just want to strum along to basic songs for the grand kids at camp outs, or holidays.

I announced this plan on Facebook. Big mistake! Now I have to try. My questions to myself is, "Am I too old to learn a new thing like playing the guitar?" Debating this issue finally lead me to Barns and Noble where I purchased a book with a CD. Now I really feel committed. Usually shopping and buying is such a high for me, but this time I knew it would be different. It would mean COMMITMENT!

The young man who rang up my purchase looked at me with a smile, and ask if I was getting it for myself. I wanted to lie and say no, but being like old George...I could not tell a lie. Immediately, upon admitting to this temporary bout of insanity, he started telling me his life history of playing the guitar. He played bass, he played electric, he played for his Spanish Class at PVHS, he played for the little children at the Lutheran church. On and on and on. I was waiting for him to say he had played at Woodstock, but he was too young for that!

I left Barns and Noble with a new sense of determination...I will learn the guitar. Don't expect Blake Shelton, Johnny Cash, or Carrie Underwood. Maybe I'll shoot for ,"Row, Row, Row Your Boat," that sounds right down my guitar strings ...if you know what I mean! If you see me with bloody fingers, you'll know I have went over the top. But I am going to give it a try. I never said I would play the guitar well...just play it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Walking in the park the other day, I was amazed to come upon several flocks of little tiny birds. They had bright yellow, or bright red breasts. I'd say they were the size of a twinkie. As I walked quietly by, all of the birds immediately took flight...except one little bird.

Now, although I know I posed no threat to this tiny bird, I was surprised at how long it just stood there and watched me. I stopped and watched it back. I wondered why this one bird would dare to stay behind, when all of the others had taken flight and perched in the branches of the trees for safety?

Later in the day, I watched as two new baby calves raced across the field; ignoring the other cows and fence lines around them. They were having unabashed fun. I'll confess; I envied them for a moment. It must be nice to run and play, and not have responsibilities to fulfill.

When I arrived home after observing these events of nature; I felt compelled to stop and really take a serious look around me. I walked around the yard and really looked at the yard and our home. It brought back fond memories of when we ran and played with our children. There were times of unabashed fun, and silliness. Now our children have grown, we have the blessing of each of our grandchildren near by. They can make me laugh quicker than anything. They can help me enjoy even the boring, mundane things of life.

Yesterday, Shelby walked in our kitchen, and noticed a bowl of figs that Larry had picked and put in a bowl. She hadn't seen figs before, and they reminded her of something more common to a three year old. She looked at the bowl of figs, and asked, "Grandma, are those poops in the bowl?" Sincere as she was; I couldn't helping cracking up.

My grand kids teach me something about life every day. My oldest grandson Matt teaches me compassion, and empathy. He is quick to show affection, and is a very intelligent boy. Emily has taught me to try. She is excited to learn and do new things. Nate is a living lesson plan on how to enjoy the great outdoors...specifically DIRT!

Talia has taught me the value in cracking up over nothing! She brings a smile to my by just walking in the room. Cicily is such an example of kindness. She shepherds those younger than her with love and gentleness. Our little Xander has shown all of us the fun and joy in running. Although I cannot run, I love to watch him take off across the room. He finds sheer delight in the freedom to move.

Shelby has taught me about love and devotion. She compels me to be silly, and to play, play, play. And then comes Kylee. What a sweet, gentle spirit she has about her. When I hold her I feel peace and sweetness that is unique to infants. In February I'll become acquainted with our newest grandchild. I can hardly wait to see what special things she or he can teach us.

So why am I writing about grandchildren, birds, cows, and poops...I really don't know. But maybe you can find a message in this tale, that will inspire you to enjoy life even more fully than you do now. There is always something new to learn, and experience. We need to have the faith and wisdom of a child, and learn to appreciate the simple things of life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grateful for the Journey

Today I was listening to a Carrie Underwood Song that I have listened to many times before. But today, it just hit me right in the heart. I wish I could remember the title of the song, but basically it talks about how our time here on earth, is just a part of our journey.

As I have sat with my mother endless hours over the last eight weeks; I have come to realize just how important this part of our journey is. I've also decided that we don't partake of this life nearly as much as we should. It seems like we are all caught up in just making it through the week, so we can rush through the weekend, and start all over again on Mondays.

There is, and has to be, more to life than just making it to the finish line. It is more about how we get's about the journey. My brother, Mike, blogged about a run he shared with his youngest son, and how wonderful it was to enjoy that journey with him. Several times I've mentioned how I have these ah ha moments with my grandchildren. Feeding fish, looking in the bushes, marveling at a bird's nest...that's the journey.

Now that my journey is most likely half way done; I find myself wishing that I could have a few do-overs. Not a lot mind you...just a few. At the top of my list would would be to spend more time with my children. At the time you are raising them, it seems so difficult to stay on top of everything. But what is most important isn't the stack of laundry, or a messy room crying for attention; it is the time with your children.

It seems like only yesterday that I had four little ones. Now my baby just turned 24, and I've had to accept that I can no longer claim to be 29! I often wonder where all the time went. So parents, enjoy your children. One day they will be adults, and won't need you quite as much as they use to. They too, become caught up in the wheels of life, and before you know it; they are parents too.

Remember the old expression, "take time to smell the roses." I use to roll my eyes when I heard it. But I have come to realize how true it is. Take time to lay on the lawn at night, and point out the stars. Make time for those walks in the park, baking cookies, serving others. Teach your children a silly song, or a nursery rhyme. Create and take those teachable moments, and make them memorable.

I am so grateful for a mother and father who made time to do things with our family. Some of my fondest memories are of going to the Unitah Mountains to camp and fish. Those trips didn't cost a lot of money, but they created valuable memories. Memories of our journey as a family. I hope and pray that I am helping those I love to enjoy the journey. To look for opportunities to love life; so that when we come to the finish line we will have no regrets.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Breaking a Heart

Have you ever experienced a broken heart? If you have, you can understand how I am feeling tonight. There are several reasons for my broken heart. Let's begin by listing them.

1. Watching your mother struggle to stay alive, while her body wants to give up...but her spirit doesn't. It is heart wrenching. She can no longer do the simplest things in life: reach with her arms, wiggle her toes, walk with her legs, stand on her feet, or tell you she loves you. She'll never again sit at my dinner table for Sunday Dinner. We'll never go shopping together again. We can't even watch a movie together. She lays in her bed, with her eyes looking far beyond me, and cries, and cries, and cries. I don't know if it is pain, depression or fear that makes her cry. I only know it is breaking my heart piece by piece, and I don't know how to help help me. I know my mom, as I have known her for 54 years, is gone, and I have a different mother to care for and about. So it goes, broken heart number one.

2. I have a nine year old grandson who I love more than life itself. He is a sweet, caring young man. He is perfect in my eyes. But this last year at school, kids began calling him names because his ears stand out a little more than most people. Watching this sweet boy be hurt by names such as Dumbo is the second breaking of my heart. Because of the cruelness of others, he is having ear surgery early in the morning to correct his ears. All this because of the rudeness and stupidity of others. It not only breaks my heart; it brings out the mother bear in me. Let anyone come near this boy with any negativity, and someone will have to hold me back. This part of my heart will mend, but it will also ache for my boy who doesn't deserve to experience pain because of others who are thoughtless.

3.Now I suppose you are thinking, what possibly could be a third heart breaker for this woman of tears. Well, my heart breaks over the loss of a friend. A friend that mattered to me. A friend whose e-mails brightened my day, and gave me courage to move forward. The last e-mail from my friend, seemed a little off. Something is wrong, and I haven't heard anything for a week. Dear friend, my heart aches for you. I hope you are all right. Brighten my heart again. I need your friendship.

4.Could I possibly have another piece of my heart broken? Unfortunately yes. It is broken over what has been lost in my life. It is broken for the health problems that worry me day in and day out. For the friends and loves I have lost. My heart breaks over the loneliness I feel, even in a group of friends or family.

The question is, "How do you mend a broken heart?" This is hard to do when you are in the middle of this. It isn't like you can run over to Wal-mart and buy replacement parts. You can't eat or drink your way out of it, nor do you want to. There is no magic pill that will heal a broken heart. So where does one go, when things are falling apart, (and it isn't just the four things mentioned )

My own answer to this question is, "Go to the peaks, and look back at the valleys." When we do this we can look back at what we learned when things were going better ( at the peaks), and use our knowledge to climb out of the valley where things aren't so good. So for know, I am climbing out of my personal valley, attempting to reach a peak. I know I can do this, even with a broken heart. Because...even though my heart is is still my heart, and I still care about the happiness of my heart. So off I go to seek the answers to my questions, and if along the way you spot me, wave me on with words of love and encouragement.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Child

I spent a good part of my afternoon today playing with my three year old grand-daughter. It started with watching a little of "Alice in Wonderland," then reading 12 books to her on her bed until I about fell asleep, which then moved to Grandma's House. From there we fed the pigs, (Spotty and Pinky), checked out the chickens and pigeons, man-handled the cat, played on the swing-set, and then came inside for treats and "playing furniture" ( the doll-house.) It was a great afternoon.

Whenever I have these precious moments, I stop and wonder if I was this attentive to my own children. Did I take the time to sit and play? Did I give them enough memories for a lifetime? Was I the mother I wanted to be? I hope I can answer positively that I did. But I do know, that I am a far better person because of these sweet little people called grand-children.

From them I have learned to look at things through the eyes of a child. A lizard in the bushes isn't just's an exciting adventure. Not just to see it, put to "REALLY SEE IT!" Questions come as quickly as falling water. Dripping with the standard why, where, how, and when. Then comes the looking, the examining, the discussion. I find myself seeing a teaching moment in everything that happens during our times together.

Shelby's favorite question is "what cause?" It is so sweet and innocent. She is so excited to learn about her world around her. I take seriously my opportunity to be one of the people she receives her input from. Additionally, it forces me to be continuously aware of my surroundings.
It keeps my "child eyes" open. It gives me an appreciation for the world around me.

The next time you see something for the first time, challenge yourself to really see it. To ask the "what cause" questions. Share your knowledge and questions with those around you, be they young or old. In other words, see life through the eyes of a child, and you will see a marvelous world waiting for you to explore.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Should Be Every Day

Call me a sap, but every Memorial Day I feel such great love for my country, and those who have served to protect us. My father was a Navy man. I love to look at pictures of him in his uniform. I'm remined today of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us. We shouldn't have to have a day to remind us. Every day, we should remember those in the Military, and their families.

From the time I was in elementary school, I've cried when the flag passes by. My emotions get the best of me when I see soldiers carrying the flag in a parade, or scouts posting the colors at the Court of Honor. Patriotic songs REALLY get to me. Each year I would teach my fourth graders all of the patriotic songs, and then bawl when they sang them. It reaches somewhere into my soul that I can't explain.

I love my country. It saddens me to see the type of leadership that makes decisions regarding its care. Give me the Constitution anyday.

Thank you to all of you who have served our country. Thank you Dad for instilling in me the love for the flag and the USA. We truly are blessed each day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Why do want, what we can't have?

Despite being totally exhausted today, I have wondered why we can't always have what we want? In a perfect world wouldn't it be great to always get what we wanted? I say this, meaning within reason...what you want. For instance, my wish list would include great kidneys, enough money to be able to go where I want, more beautiful grandchildren, and a romantic and caring man.

Now I ask you...does that sound unreasonable? Just once in awhile, I wish one of my dreams could come true. This last month, I did get one of my wishes; a beautiful new grand-daughter. As I held her today, I marveled at how perfect she is, her beautiful complexion, her sweet little lips, her fine baby hair. She is a wish come true.

But back to my personal wishes. I wish there was a way to take your body to a body shop, and get brand new tires. In my case, I would pull up, and get a new set of kidneys. That would be awesome! I quess my challenge is to find what I want, in what I have.

Duke Ellington said; "A problem is a chance for you do to your best." That is the secret to facing trials and adversities, and coming out a stronger and better person for it. I just read a book titles, "Peaks and Valleys" by Dr. Spencer Johnson. In it he refers to our low times as valleys, and our better times as peaks. When we are in our valleys, we want to come out of them having grown stronger, and better for the experience. That way, when we reach our peaks, we can appreciate them all the more.

In other words, less time in the valley, and more time on the peak will make us happier. Perhaps then we can look back and see that we really have gotten what we wanted. I once heard someone say that a bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn.

I for one, am not about to miss the turn. I've ran off the road a few times, but that isn't going to keep me from moving forward. Yes, there are things I wish I had. Things I wish I could change. But the biggest change I can make is in myself. Remember this, that "every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." ~Og Mandino

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Value of One

Watching citizens of America, making their voices known, has caused me to reflect upon the value of one. Think of all the things and people in our lives, in which we only have one: one mother, one father, one God, one vote, one constitution, one mind, one moment.

Yesterday I had one of my little grand-daughters for a few hours. Talk about the value of one!
She just turned 3, which will only happen once, and she says and does some of the funniest things...that may only occur once. She is one of those big thinkers, in a little body. It's never enough to just answer, "just because." You have to give her the entire enchilada! We have had conversations around one question that lasted for over half an hour, but I wouldn't trade that moment in time for anything.

We've been planning our 36th year class reunion; another one ...your graduating class. Now that was a time in my life filled with events I'd love to have more of, and ones I'd like to forget. Isn't that how it is with everything? We have to take the bad with the good. Aren't we blessed if we have more good times than bad to remember and look forward to. I've had one marriage. We've had good times, and not so good. But we are still together, and will celebrate our 34th anniversary this year. Where does time go?

One day, one hour, one minute. Are we appreciating the ones in our lives? I recently read an excerpt from , "The 100/0 Principle", by Al Ritter. It explains that the best way to appreciate others, and interact positively with others, is to adopt the 100/0 principle. This means you take full responsibility ( the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing ( the 0) in return. Instead of giving your marriage 50%, and expecting an equal amount back from your spouse, you give 100% freely without judgements, or expectations. This whole principle reminds me of the definition of charity. To quote from the book,

"When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship transforms into a 100/100 relationship." Get it! Here again, the value of one. If one person makes an effort, it can be the catalyst for others to do the same.

Today and tomorrow, take time to notice all of the "ones" in your life. You'll be amazed...I was.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Living for Another Day

The other day I was sitting in the doctors office surrounded by four senior citizens. I would guess they were all over seventy years old. They were complaining back and forth to one another about how busy they are, needing to plant their garden, and their volunteer work. As they complained on and on; I wanted to stand up and tell them just how lucky they are. I wanted to say, "Do you realize what my mother would give to be able to be busy instead of home bound and handicapped?" Too often we take life for granted. I am grateful for every day I wake up in the morning and have a new day. Perhaps, having almost died twice, and living with kidney disease, has made me extra sensitive to this issue. Every new day is a day I can be with my family, talk to the ones I love, enjoy my home and surroundings, and live as good of an example as I can be. I remember waking up in the hospital three years ago, and wondering what had happened to me. The day before I had been at the gym, cooked dinner, and went about my daily chores. Now here I was. In a hospital , and completely and utterly sick. I have never been so afraid that I wouldn't see my family and home again. Mark would come in almost every day and tell me, "Mom, you have to hang in there so you can meet Shelby." (She was born exactly a month later.) The thought of not being able to see my new grand baby was heartbreaking, but motivating to me. I tried very hard to get well. When Larry drove me home after my hospital stay, I was shaking like a leaf. The minute I saw our home come into view I just lost it. I hadn't known if I would see my home again; and I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have another day. So when we feel overwhelmed or frustrated, let's all take a minute and be grateful that we are here for those moments...another day.

Thoughts About Spring

I love Spring! It is the time of year that everything seems new. The flowers are peeking their heads out of the wet soil, trees are beginning to bud and leaf, and there are new baby animals everywhere. Watching baby lambs are my favorite. As soon as their little legs can carry them; they are running and jumping around the pasture like a bunch of little boys. Hearing the birds chrip the in the morning, and watching our two turtles sun themselves by the pond, just makes me feel better about this world. Maybe we all need to renew ourselves in the Spring. Recommit ourselves to what is important, enjoy the blessings of where we live, and express gratitude for our many blessings. I think it's also a time to be like the turtles....come up out of the water ( or whatever is holding you back,) and warm ourselves under the glow of the sun. Oh what a life that could be.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whose computer is this anyway?

Have you ever noticed how children ( especially older ones), take ownership of your things? For instance, I have a computer in my wanna be office. But nine times out of ten, I either can't get on my computer, or someone is telling me to hurry and get off the computer. So it begs the question, "Whose computer is this anyway?"

Not only are there children who think they own my computer; but I also have some who tell me what I can and cannot post on the computer. Believe me, there is plenty I COULD post if I wanted.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I said, "THIS IS MY COMPUTER, AND I'LL POST WHAT I WANT ON IT!" Would the world fall apart? Would I be arrested? Would my children haunt me in my sleep?

Well, to keep the peace I'll continue to share. I'll also let the computer gang have imput on my postings. But, I will not be stopped from dreaming about what it would be like, to actually enjoy what is rightfully mine. Oh happy day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Watching People at Church is Entertaining

Have you ever seriously watched the interaction of children and parents at church? Because I have been there, done that....I have observed different ways that parents keep their young ones in a church meeting.

1. The Open Door Policy. This is where parents sit at the end of a row, and whenever the child even leans on their leg, they swing over and let the child escape.

2. The Divide and Conquer Parents. These are my favorites because they really are trying. One parent stations themselves at both ends of a row; thereby correling the kids.

3. The "I don't care how loud you bawl," parents. These brave souls determine that no matter what, they are not letting their chhildren out of the meeting. "If I have to stay, you have to stay!" You have to love these guys as their children discover their lung capacity.

4. The "I will be the one to sacrifice, and take the kid out." These are typically dads who still like to eat the kids treats you brought, and play cars out in the hallway. Funny how they go out, and never come back!

Of course, I'm just kidding. Keeping children reverant and quiet is difficult, and all in all I think most parents make an effort to keep the kids happy and in the meeting. So...pass the cheerios!