Amber Alert

Prayer for the New Year

Grant me the strength from day to day
to bear what burdens come my way.
Grant me throughout this bright New Year
more to endure and less to fear.
Help me live that I may be
from spite and petty malice free.
Let me not bitterly complain
when cherished hopes of mine prove vain,
or spoil with deeds of hate and rage
some fair tomorrow's spotless page.
Lord, as the days shall come and go
in courage let me stronger grow.
Lord, as the New Year dawns today
help me to put my faults away.
Let me be big in little things;
grant me the joy which friendship brings.
Keep me from selfishness and spite;
let me be wise in what is right.
A Happy New Year!
Grant that I may bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end.
Let it be said I've played the friend,
have lived and loved and labored here,
and made of it a happy year.
~~ Edgar A. Guest ~~

Family Minute #48

Is your family's motto, "I want that?"

The list of "I wants" can go on and on. For kids it's, "I want that video game." "I want that scooter." For us, it's, "I want that car." "I want that couch." No matter what we have, there's always more. So how do you change perspective? Henry David Thoreau said, "We make ourselves rich by making our wants few." Ahh, it's the old "being content with what you have" lesson. To get there, adjust your expectations. Most of us already have what we need . . . it's just a matter of controlling what we want.

Remember your family first.

Family Minute #47

Who is the greatest man who ever lived?

Born in an obscure village to a peasant woman. He worked as a carpenter until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book or held office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. While still a young man, popular opinion turned against him . . . he was nailed to a cross, died, but rose again. Twenty centuries later he is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, and all the kings that ever reigned, have not affected mankind as powerfully as this "One Solitary Life". . . Jesus.

Merry Christmas.

Remember your family first.

Favorite Cookie Recipe

I love the taste but love that there is no baking . . . oh, so easy.

1 stick of Margarine
2 c Sugar
4 Tbs Cocoa
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Peanut butter
2 1/2 C quick oats

Melt margarine. Add sugar, cocoa and milk. Bring to boil and let bubble for 1 1/2 minutes. Add peanut butter, oats, and chopped nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let set in refrigerator.

A Month of Stuff

I was able to participate in 31 Days of Holiday Crafts at Angela's blog. Each month has a different theme and every day features a blogger, like you and me, related to the monthly theme. Go to A Month of Stuff to check out my interview.

According to Today in History, on December 22, 1882, Thomas Edison created the first string of Christmas lights.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Fastest

Share something funny with us -- a note, a video, a poem, a picture, a joke, a riddle, whatever you think is funny -- by adding your link to the post (not to the front page of your blog).

Thought of the Day - 12/20/08

Living on purpose is the only way to really live. Everything else is just existing.

Our momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (II Corinthians 4:17).

Absent . . .Yes? No?

I apologize for being absent here at All Things Cherished. What little time I do have lately has been spent at 365 Days of Christmas. Between my arthritis, fibromyalgia, the weather, Renee's (foster daughter) surgery, cleaning, and doctor appointments I have no energy to do anything. Cameron is now sick. My throat has been sore (and can barely talk) for several weeks. Ugh.

In the midst of all the chaos, I got my Christmas decorating done despite some major setbacks. Please join me at 365 Days of Christmas and Boomama to celebrate and ooh & ahh over all the wonderfully divine Christmas trees, lights, decorations, and nativities.

Works for Me Wednesday #10

White vinegar will set the colors of towels/sheets on new linens so they don't fade in future washings. Add 1/2 to 1 cup to the wash when you add your detergent.

101 Things

I just discovered that another friend has a blog and, of course, I had to go check it out, so this was snagged from Welcome to Michael Land .

After you read this, copy and paste to your blog. Then bold the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument

There are some items I wish to do, especially the traveling, and some I wouldn't bother with. I would love to see your list.

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Head on over to my Christmas blog, 365 Days of Christmas, to see all of my Christmas trees and decorations.

Happy Veteran's Day

Be sure to thank a veteran today for keeping our country free and preserving our freedom.


Get Your Kids Hooked on Books

Young people now spend an average of only seven minutes a day reading for pleasure, reports the National Endowment for the Arts. That is one reason 12th grade reading scores are declining.

These web sites can get your kids excited about books -- and help them think outside their required-reading lists.

Book Adventure - Created by Sylvan Learning, this site's Book Finder matches kids (grades -8) with reads they will enjoy. Acing book quizzes lets them win prizes, like Highlights subscriptions and free access to e-books.

Guys Read - Author Jon Siezka (The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs) launched this site to connect boys of all ages with literature relevant to them. Siezka encourages reading which includes non-fiction, comics, and magazines.

Reading is Fundamental - Kids can rate and review books they have already read. Each month there is a featured book and a featured author.

Teen Reads - This site posts extensive lists of upcoming books and interviews with popular writers. There are also tips on how to start a reading club.

13 Days of Halloween

Check out my 365 Days of Memories blog for a countdown to Halloween using vintage Halloween postcards.

Mommy Test

I was out walking with my then 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and asked her not to do that. "Why?" my daughter asked.

"Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty and probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked,
"Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You are so smart."

I was thinking quickly and said. "All moms know this stuff. It's on the mommy test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a mommy."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, as she was evidently pondering this new information.

"Oh...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the daddy." "Exactly," I replied back with a big smile on my face.

What Does Your Birth Month Mean?

Your Birth Month is July

Introspective and intense, you tend to be a deep thinker.

You are quiet and spiritual - and you have a unique perspective on life.

Your soul reflects: Lightness, luck and an open heart

Your gemstone: Ruby

Your flower: Larkspur

Your colors: Green and red

Thought of the Day - 10/14/08

With a compassionate state of mind, your actions will always carry a tone of kindness ands oftness, which is useful inovercoming difficultly with anyone, child or adult.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Getting Into Shape

I am going to get into shape in no time! I thought you would like to try the program that I am on to "tone-up." I really like it.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface where you have plenty of room at each side. While holding a 5-lb potato sack in each hand extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold your arms out as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute and then relax. Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then, move up to 50-lb potato sacks and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level now.)

After you feel confident at that level, put one potato in each sack.

Share something funny with us by adding your link to the post (not to the front page of your blog).

Thought of the Day - 10/6/08

The greater the difficulty . . .
the more glory in surmounting it.

Make Me Laugh Monday - What Will They Sell Next

I wonder how many they sell.

Join me in the fun and post a joke, a riddle, a video, anything funny to get us all through our hectic Mondays. Share the link to the actual post and not to the front page of your blog. Thanks.

Works for Me Wednesday #9

For icy steps in freezing temperatures get a bucket of warm water and add a squirt of Dawn dish washing liquid. Pour the mixture all over the steps. They won't refreeze!

Wordless Wednesday #19

Last day of school (6/2008).

Thought of the Day - 9/22/08

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~~ Albert Schweitzer ~~

The Elegant Gathering of White Snows

The Elegant Gathering of White Snows by Kris Radish

"For eight women, friendship is the first step of the most remarkable journey of all . . .

Just after midnight in a small town in Wisconsin, eight woman begin walking together down a rural highway. Career women, housewives, mothers, divorcees, and one ex-prom queen, they are close friends who have been meeting every Thursday night for years, sharing food, whine, and their deepest secrets. But on this particular Thursday, Susan, Alice, Chris, Sandy, Gail, Mary, Joanne, and Janice decided to disappear from their own lives.

Their spontaneous pilgrimage attracts national attention and inspires other women from all across the country. As the miles fall away and the women forge ahead on their backroads odyssey -- leaving small miracles in their wake -- each of their histories unfolds, tales of shattered dreams and unexpected renewal, of thwarted love affairs and precious second chances.

In luminous, heartwarming prose, Kris Radish deftly interweaves the women's intimate confessions into the story of their brave history-making walk."

A rallying cry for the empowerment of women and a celebration of the strong bond that exists between female friends.

Rating (1, lowest; 5 highest): 5

Make Me Laugh Monday - CDC Alert

Sorry for being MIA this past week for Make Me Laugh Monday. We lost electric due to 80 mph wind. The biggest surprise was that we were not expecting a storm in this area.

Subject: CDC Alert

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically. This virus is called Weary Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from anyone, or any of your colleagues, or anyone else via any means whatsoever DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises.

Take two good friends to the nearest grocery store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take these antidotes repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

Join me in helping others get through the manic Mondays by sharing in the laughter of funny posts. Share your link to your Make Me Laugh Monday post (and not to the front page of your blog).

Around the 'Net - Going Green

Going Green

At their 74-year-old home in Los Angeles, the founders of the eco-awareness website Low Impact Living have been practicing what they preach, making energy-saving improvements and incorporating sustainable and organic materials. The results? Lower bills, a healtheir house, and proof that you can live green without sacrificing style or comfort.

Family Minute #46


When you can’t be anything else, you can still be kind. No matter how you’re feeling, or what you want to communicate to your friends or spouse, there is always the option to say things kindly and treat them kindly.

Here’s a simple tool for remembering what kindness is all about.

K – Keep a soft heart. If your heart is hardening toward your friend, examine the way you’re choosing to think about their faults and weaknesses.
I – Indulge your friend or spouse every once in a while. Let them have their way.
N – Notice what’s going on in their life. Be attentive and supportive.
D – Decide to be kind, even when you don’t feel like it.

Kindness is like a spa treatment for your friendship, it soothes and calms. It can also improve your friendship.

Family Minute #45

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?

Today is Patriot day, seven years after the horrific terrorist attack on our nation. What will you remember most about September 11th? Thousands of people perished in the attacks and in the rescue efforts. It’s important that we remember them... who they were, and how suddenly they were lost. And it’s important to remember that on that day, in a matter of minutes, our world – and the lives of thousands of families – changed forever.

Remembering can sometimes be painful, but it helps us to realize what’s really important – our faith... our family... our friends.

Remember your family first.

The Price for Freedom

Thousands of Americans died in the terrorist attacks of September 11,2001. The lives of the ones they left behind were changed forever. Because the events of that day, many military families’ lives are still being changed; mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, away from home for months and years on active duty.

Today is Patriot Day. To honor those who lost their lives on September 11th, talk to your kids about the price of our continuing freedom and safety.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Prayer For Girls

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
Please no wrinkles, please no bags,
And please lift my butt before it sags.
Please no age spots, please no gray,
And as for my belly, please take it away.
Please keep me healthy, please keep me young,
And thank you dear Lord for all that you've done.

Please join me in showing others that laughter is indeed the best medicine. Add your link to your Make Me Laugh Monday post (and not to the front page of your blog).

How To Be A Great Mom – 12 Awesome Tips

I’m a mom.

I am also a woman, a wife, a daughter, and a friend.

Recently I started blogging. As it turns out, I am a writer too.

I am wearing many hats and doing so is not always easy. I was grateful to discover a fun article by Leo, where he shares useful tips on how to be a great dad. When I read Leo’s article, I was curious: do these tips apply to moms? Can I incorporate his advice into my own life?

Obviously, a great mom loves her kids, takes care of their basic physical and emotional needs, and spends quality time with them. But what are the subtler, less obvious ways to become a great mom?

1. Stay true to yourself. You don’t have to give up your own passions and interests once you become a mom. It’s important that you find time for what YOU love to do. Reading, writing, exercising – make these a priority and find a way to incorporate those into your routine. Easier said than done, I know, but you should at least aim to keep doing what you love, even if you don’t get to do it as often as before. If you take care of your own needs, you will be happier and will function better as a mom.

2. Don’t be a martyr. The kids didn’t ask for it, they don’t need it, and they certainly don’t need to pay the price that comes with being mothered by a martyr. Need some time alone? Let the kids watch TV for an hour and go read a book. Getting to the point where you are utterly exhausted is not good for you or for your kids.

3. Don’t try to be perfect. This is true for life in general, and is a major personal goal of mine, regardless of motherhood. Striving for perfection is always a bad idea, because life is messy and unpredictable and full of surprises. Trying to create perfection, or to maintain complete control, is simply impossible and should never be your goal. Once you become a mom, life is messier and crazier than ever before, so it’s more important than ever to let go of that perfectionism. You need to accept that the house will sometimes be untidy, that once in a while dinner will be takeout, and that the kids will sometimes have to entertain themselves while you recharge and regroup.

4. Ditch the guilt. Guilt seems to be one of the most common side effects of motherhood. A friend once told me that she feels guilt every single day. I too am often guilty of feeling guilty. But I am working on it: guilt is unhelpful and a terrible waste of time and energy. Once you make a decision, whether a major one like staying at home vs. going back to work, or a small one like allowing the kids to play a computer game while you have some time for yourself, try to avoid second-guessing yourself. You are doing the best that you can. No one is perfect, and you are not expected to be a perfect mom or to never make mistakes. As long as you love them and provide their basic needs, your kids will turn out fine. Really!

5. Be Patient. Raising kids is hard work. Kids are noisy, messy, and incredibly demanding. Yes, you will lose your patience once in a while. I do. But for the most part, try to take a deep breath and see them for the small, helpless people that they are. I am not a patient person by nature, but motherhood has taught me to be more patient than I ever thought I could possibly be.

6. Listen to your children. REALLY listen. This is a tough one for me, but I keep trying. We tend to assume that we know more than our kids do, which is true to some extent of course, so we don’t really bother to listen. In addition, we often act as problem-solvers, dishing immediate advice, when all they need is for us to listen to them. A couple of months ago, my then 9-year old told me about problems he was having with friends at school. I immediately offered a solution, and it was obvious he was disappointed. He wasn’t looking for a solution. He simply wanted me to listen.

7. Be their mom, not their friend. Set limits. In a way, it was easy for previous generations. Parents were parents. Kids were kids. Families were patriarchal. Everyone listened and obeyed to the father. Now, families are democratic. We negotiate, talk things over, and listen to each other. We make important decisions together. This is great, but kids still need us to be their parents and set clear limits. We should listen to them and respect them – but we are not their peers. When I was a pre-teen, I used to snap at my mom, “I’m not going to be your friend anymore!” She would look at me calmly and respond, “Well, you are NOT my friend. You are my daughter”. It used to drive me crazy, but she was right. Our job is to be our kids’ mothers – not their friends.

8. Teach them simplicity. You will do them a big – a HUGE – favor, if you teach them at a young age to avoid associating happiness with the accumulation of material possessions. The younger they are, the more likely they are to listen to you, so start early. My kids are 7 and 10, and I often feel that now is the time to instill my values in them, before they are teens (or pre-teens) and peer pressure takes over. When it’s time to declutter, I allow my children to be part of the process, and we talk about how we don’t need all that STUFF. We never go shopping as a fun outing. They know that shopping is a necessary evil, something that you do when you really NEED something. Instead of buying books, we borrow books at the library. We reuse as much as we can. Together, we take pride in living in a clean, airy, uncluttered home.

9. Don’t push them too hard. I do want my kids to be successful. I want them to reach their full potential and to be financially secure. But I am trying not to push them too hard and to maintain a relatively relaxed approach to success at school and to after-school enrichment activities.

10. Teach them self-esteem. I am borrowing this one from Leo’s list, because it is so important. In fact, I agree with Leo that high self-esteem is the single most important gift that a parent can give their kids. A person with a high self-esteem values herself and will not get into, or stay in, an abusive relationship. A person with high self-esteem is more likely to be happy and to reach her full potential. How do you teach your kids self-esteem? Exactly the way Leo said: by showing them that you value them, by spending time with them, and by talking with them and listening to them.

11. Teach them to be self-reliant. Another one that I struggle with every day. It’s very tempting to help your children in a way that robs them of the opportunity to help themselves. At every developmental stage your child reaches, she can do things by herself. If you do them for her, you are not really helping her, but rather holding her back. Gently teach her independence and let her do what she can do, and what is appropriate for her to do, by herself. The sense of accomplishment that comes with being independent is immensely important for a child. As much as I like to feel needed, I try to let my kids be as independent and self-sufficient as they possibly can. Ever so slowly, I am working myself out of the picture.

12. Laugh and have fun! When you’re a mom, it’s easy to become so absorbed in the logistics of taking care of your kids – what Leo refers to as the “mom stuff” - that you forget to relax and have fun. But kids are fun. They give you a wonderful opportunity to be a child all over again, and to do things that you never thought you would do as an adult (jumping in puddles is so much fun!) and see the world through their innocent, curious eyes. Haven’t noticed interesting insects and colorful butterflies in several years? You are going to start noticing them again once you have kids.

While both lists emphasize being good to your kids and to yourself, my list places more emphasis on the “be good to yourself” part. I think that the biggest mistake dads make is that they become so absorbed in their careers that they do not spend enough time with their families. The biggest mistake moms make, in my opinion, is that they become so absorbed in their families that they do not spend enough time on their own passions. Leo’s list helps dads find their balance. My list, hopefully, helps moms find theirs.

Whether you’re a parent or not, how many hats are YOU wearing? Do you have any tips for doing it all and keeping your sanity? Do you ever feel guilty because you are not giving 100% to any single aspect of your life?

Family Minute #44

Are you ready to celebrate Grandparents Day?

Grandparents Day is this Sunday. Grandparents play a vital role in our families – in fact, one in 10 kids is raised by grandparents, and that figure has risen over recent years. Help your kids honor their grandparents. Structure the day around their grandparents’ pleasures – cook their favorite meal, take part in their favorite activities, and ask them to share pictures and stories from their lives.

Show grandparents how much you appreciate them.

Remember your family first.

Thought of the Day - 9/5/08

When a child goes to school, he takes his parents with him in the form of their discipline, their expectations, and their values. Regardless of how often you visit your child's school, you are there every day.

Clutter For a Cause

Donating to charity is a win-win situation. You'll turn a chore into a feel-good mission (and possibly get a tax break). While Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross are great places to donate most items, consider these outside-the-donation- box ways to get rid of space-hoggers.

Winter Coats - One Warm Coat
Donate them to One Warm Coat which sponsors coat drives around the country.

Musical Instruments - Operation Happy Note
From piccolos to guitars, Operation Happy Note sends secondhand instruments to soldiers deployed overseas.

Computer Equipment - The On It Foundation
Computers with at least a Pentium III Processor can be donated to the On It Foundation, which provides computers and Internet access to low-income families.

Books - International Book Project
The International Book Project will ship your old books for use in schools, orphanages, and libraries all around the world.

Sneakers - Let Me Play
Old sneakers (the rubber part) is used to create play surfaces for kids around the world.

Furniture - Help 1 Up
The NFBA (National Furniture Bank Association) will give your couch and other furniture to anyone who needs it including domestic violence victims.

Cell Phones - Collective Good
At Collective Good, you choose the charity, such as the Center for Domestic Violence Prevention, that your donation of a used phone will support.

Random Knickknacks - Excess Access
Got something you don't know what to do with, but you're sure someone would want? Excess Access matches your items with local nonprofit wish lists.

Thought of the Day - 9/4/08

It Takes Time

It take a full season for fruit to mature and ripen...

Although God could instantly transform us...
He prefers to work in incremental steps in our lives.

God began doing a good work in you. He will continue it until it is finished. Philippians 1:6

Thought of the Day - 9/3/08

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi ~~

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
~~ Michael Jordan ~~

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
~~ Maya Angelou ~~

I never regret anything. Because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end.
~~ Drew Barrymore ~~

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
~~ Dolly Parton ~~

How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.
~~ Anasis Nin ~~

Reprint from

Thought of the Day - 9/2/08

Motivation comes from doing, not thinking.

The longer you sit and think about doing something, the harder it becomes to do it. If you think too much, excuses may paralyze you.

Today is your day to stop thinking and start doing!

When you start doing something, positive energy flows and you become more motivated. Don't think about how you're going to exercise; just put on your running shoes and run. Don't think about how you'll learn a new skill some day; go out and sign up for a course, right now.

Stop procrastinating! Start doing! You'll find a motivation that can change your life!

What are you going to do today?

Family Minute #43

Do you know the real meaning behind Labor Day?

We all enjoy a day off, but many people overlook the meaning of the holiday. Labor Day celebrates the contributions workers have made to the strength and well-being of our country. Use Labor Day to reward your kids with a special family outing to celebrate their efforts and accomplishments at home, in school, in extracurricular activities, and at work.

Emphasize working hard, taking pride in what they do, and working well with others.

Remember your family first.

Make Me Laugh Monday - No Sex Tonight

I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women with their heart.

One evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed. Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me."

I said "What?! What was that?!"

She says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear... "You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man." She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?"

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.

The next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take so I told her we'd just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We went onto the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you...she was so excited. She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement.

Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, "I think this is all, dear, let's go to the cashier."

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it." Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled look.

I then said, "Honey! I just want you to hold this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman."

And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"

Apparently, I'm not having sex tonight either.

Please join the fun and share the laughter by posting a link to today's individual Make Me Laugh Monday post (and not to the front page of your blog).

Life is Short

Joseph loved, honored, and respected his father, so he introduced his father to Pharaoh. This most powerful man in the world, Pharaoh, asked Jacob a common question, "How old are you?" Jacob was an old man who lived a hard life. It was right for Pharaoh to admire him.

Jacob counted the length of his life in days. But a day is short, it ends quickly. Yet, we can live only one day at a time. All our days add up to a lifetime. Even though Jacob had lived for 130 years, he said his days were few. This means that life just doesn't last long enough.

Jacob told Pharaoh that his life was a pilgrimage (a journey or trip to someplace very special). He saw himself as a stranger in this world. He was traveling to his real home in God. This earth was like a hotel to Jacob. It was not his home. This is true of all people who have come to know God as Jacob did. We are sojourners. That means we are not here to stay. We will only live a short time and then spend forever with God in Heaven!

Next time, you hear yourself complaining about how short life is remember that life here on earth is temporary. This life is just the beginning. We are here a short time -- a very short time -- but to balance our short life on earth we have a long life waiting for us in God, in Heaven if we just believe!

Based on the scripture Genesis 47.

Where I've Been

Blog Tag

4 jobs I've had in my life:
1. Cryptanalyst and Personnel Administrative Specialist for the Army
2. Owner and Director of a daycare center
3. Teacher and Counselor
4. Mom

4 movies I could watch over and over:
1. Pretty Woman
2. Independance Day
3. Any and all of the Harry Potter movies
4. American President

4 places I've lived:
1. Erie, PA
2. Louisville, KY
3. Ft. Dix, NJ
4. Butler, PA

4 TV shows I love to watch:
1. CSI: Miami
2. Desperate Housewives
3. (reruns of) Murder, She Wrote
4. Grey's Anatomy
There are many more but only four for today.

4 websites I visit daily:
1. 12 Months of Christmas
3. Christmas to the Max
4. My Yahoo

4 of my favorite foods:
1. French bread pizza
2. Chocolate
3. My mother's pot roast, shoepeg corn, mashed potatoes & gravy... yummo!
4. My friend Jonel's potato salad

4 places I'd rather be right now:
1. In bed (sleeping)
2. New York City
3. Cuddling with my children
4. Getting a massage

Now your it! Please share your answers or a link to your blog.

Reprint from 3/18/07.

What Kind of Flower Are You?

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Personal Mission Statement

My personal mission statement:

  • I will always seek to improve the depth and quality of my relationships in my personal and professional life.
  • I will never be afraid to stand up for what I believe is right.
  • I will be committed to lifelong learning and self improvement.
  • I will seek to treat others as I would wish to be treated.
  • I will not take myself too seriously and will have a life filled with laughter and fun.
  • I will be committed to seek the wisdom of my Lord, my Savior to be a better Christian.

What is your personal mission statement? Please share here.


Neuroblastoma is a cancer that primarily affects children. It begins in the nerve tissue in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. It usually originates in the abdomen in the tissues of the adrenal gland. By the time it is diagnosed, the cancer often has spread, most commonly to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, bones, and/or bone marrow. Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumours of early childhood usually found in babies or young children.

For more information about Elijah, please visit his web page at

To see a scrapbook page I made in honor of Elijah go to 365 Days of Memories.

Be Paid What You're Really Worth

I asked more than 150 high-earning women, "Are you doing this for the money?" The overwhelming response was a definite no. What drove them were passion, recognition, challenge and independence. At the same time, they wanted to be well-compensated, because they felt they were worth it.

But that's not the case with most of us. We instinctively devalue ourselves. Those little voices in our heads insist: "Who do you think you are? No one's going to pay you that much." And I'm convinced self-depreciation goes right to the heart of our financial ruts.

You can easily learn negotiation techniques and assertiveness skills by taking courses or reading books. But the truth is this: If you're going to command more money, you have to truly believe you're worth it. Without that conviction, we lack the confidence to take a strong stand and the certitude to convince others. People always respond to our vibes far more than our words.

Many six-figure women admitted questioning their own value. Yet they didn't let that stop them. These women built their confidence like weightlifters build muscles -- by continually pushing themselves to take a stand, ask for more, demand what they're worth and say no when appropriate despite their trepidation.

Confidence-Building Tips

This advice directly from these women will help you pump up your self-worth along with your net worth:

Think Big, Then Think Even Bigger
Most of us, especially women, unwittingly limit our earnings by lowering our expectations. Even in studies where women are trained in negotiation strategies, they set their sights lower and end up with less money than men. The idea is to value yourself fairly compared to others in your field or at your level.

Do Your Research
One of the worst negotiating mistakes people make is picking a random number and then discovering it was way too low. The smarter ones avoid that pitfall by doing their homework. They discover their market value by researching going rates, and then asking for more than what's offered to give themselves wiggle room.

Quantify Your Value
You can counter the tendency to downplay yourself by presenting tangible evidence of what you bring to the table. Maybe you saved your company $X or had an idea that generated so many sales. Keep a file of everything you've done. Don't wait for your review. Go in and ask for work, ask for responsibility, ask for challenge. Let your supervisor know exactly where your sights are set. Taking initiative is an effective means of demonstrating your value and intentions to an organization.

Practice Daily Affirmations
These positive statements are expressed as if they've already happened. Two examples: "I have the confidence to ask for what I want." "I welcome more money in my life." Write your affirmations down. Post them where you can see them easily. Say them out loud, as often as possible. As one affirmation enthusiast told me, "The more often I hear the words coming out my mouth, the more I internalize it, and the more my psyche knows it's going to happen."

Challenge Yourself in Areas Outside Your Job
Stretching yourself in any area of life has a ripple effect. If you can't quite get yourself to ask for a raise, try signing up for an art class or running a marathon. Anything that puts you out of your comfort zone builds confidence and self-worth.

Fake Confidence If Necessary
Asking for top dollar takes a lot of nerve, which most of us won't feel at the time. But that doesn't mean you can't fake it. Even six-figure women have doubted their worth, but they appear undaunted. Acting as if you're confident is a surefire antidote for weak knees, a pounding heart or a deflated ego. Besides, when you act as if you're worth a lot, you'll eventually convince yourself as well as others.

By practicing these tips, you'll begin to notice a shift in how you feel about yourself. Making more money becomes not something you should do, but something you have to do -- because you know in your heart you're worth it.

Adapted from Be Paid What You're Really Worth by Barbara Stanny

The Parents Affirmation of Imperfection

It is perfectly okay for me to be imperfect. This means that it's okay that I have already made a lot of mistakes as a parent and that it's okay that I will make other mistakes in the future. What's not okay is for me to pretend that I am perfect and to thereby hide my mistakes from myself. Instead, I will catch my mistakes with a smile rather than a kick and learn what they have to teach me. That way, I won't make the mistakes too often, and I'll become a better and better parent. But, I'll never be a perfect parent and that's okay, because my goal is excellence, not perfection.

100 More Things About Me

1. I have blue eyes and think my eyes are my best feature.

2. I have 3 holes pierced in each ear.

3. I pierced the second holes by myself using an ice cube to numb my ear. I was a young teenager attending church camp at the time.

4. My dad was my best friend and I miss him terribly (died in 1996).

5. I played the piano when I was a young child but couldn't practice since we had no piano at home.

6. I was born tone-deaf and pitch-deaf.

7. I turned 41 this year.

8. I love to speed when driving. When I was younger, I had many tickets to proof this.

9. I have to follow the arrows and lines painted in a parking lot.

10. I want to live in a state where there is no snow and no cold.

11. I drink 3-6+ cans of Mt. Dew every day.

12. I am a cancer survivor!

13. While going through chemotherapy my doctors recommended that I don't stop drinking the Mt. Dew.

14. I'm scared of dentists.

15. I have fibromyalgia.

16. I cannot work a "regular" 9 to 5 job due my health issues so I started my own businesses.

17. I am a scrapbook artist.

18. I'm just as likely to be driving down the road blasting classical music as I am rock or country. Even with the kids in the car.

19. Though, I played piano, I never really learned how to read music.

20. I am extra sensitive to temperatures. I cannot be too hot nor too cold.

21. I am not good at sports.

22. I have failed math classes since fourth grade.

23. I have several college degrees... a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

24. I'm a very organized person -- even the trunk of my car is organized.

25. I started an organizational business called "Get Organized Now."

26. I'm deathly afraid of spiders.

27. I'm an excellent speller.

28. I had ear reconstruction surgery in 2004.

29. I had a hysterectomy in 2005.

30. I love to make lists of things.

31. I am a single mother to two wonderful children.

32. I love quotes and collect them. I even have an album dedicated to just quotes.

33. Thunderstorms scare me.

34. I am a generous friend.

35. I hated high school.

36. I love freebies.

37. I hate cleaning/doing dishes.

38. I think it's wrong for a woman to use their married name after they have gotten a divorce.

39. I gave my children my last name.

40. This is one of my best decisions ever!

41. I really want a tattoo.

42. I think I am creative, but don't believe I am artistic.

43. I have won awards for my scrapbooking.

44. My favorite all time meal is my mother's roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, and shoepeg corn.

45. I don't like coffee.

46. I did drink coffee when I was in the Army.

47. I give great massages.

48. I am a Christmas fanatic!

49. In 2006, I had 22 Christmas trees up and decorated in our house.

50. I love my handwriting.

51. I have progressive polyneuropathy.

52. This happened due to lack of Vitamin B. (Take your vitamins, ladies!)

53. Now I have to get Vitamin B12 shots.

54. I gave a child up for adoption in 1987.

55. My daughter is a twin. I lost the twin in utero.

56. I go through cravings for weeks, months at a time.

57. Right now its egg salad. I'll eat it almost every day for several weeks. Then I won't want it for several months.

58. I've never been drunk or inebriated.

59. I'm really out-of-shape.

60. I'm looking for a motivational partner so we can encourage each other get into shape.

61. I have anxiety/panic attacks.

62. I have taught many different subject to many different audiences.

63. Topics include scrapbooking, mental health issues, child development, Christmas, advocating for your children, organizational tips, and more.

64. I am a "night owl."

65. I hate waking to an alarm clock in the morning.

66. I moved 8 times in a twelve month period in 1997-1998.

67. I was in the Army.

68. I am proud to be a United States citizen!!!

69. I hate the stigma that mental health issues can create.

70. I don't think I will get married again.

71. I still hope my "knight in shining armor" will "sweep me off my feet."

72. I am only 5 ft. tall.

73. I love to read.

74. I read every day before I go to sleep.

75. I am a Christian.

76. I sell Usborne (children's) Books and Memory Works (scrapbooking) products.

77. I can speak some German.

78. I love naps.

79. I have to wear a watch at all times.

80. I used to have very dark brown hair.

81. I used to be bald (due to chemotherapy).

82. My natural hair color is now gray/dark brown.

83. Now my hair color is dark auburn with brown. Thanks to the hair coloring box.

84. I want to write a novel.

85. I'm ambidextrous.

86. I write with my right hand.

87. I cut my meat, shoot a gun, play basketball, and more with my left hand.

88. My favorite seasons are fall and spring.

89. I love spring for the renewal and rebirth of everything, warmer weather, birds singing.

90. I love autumn due to the colors, the start of the holiday season, the aromas, the crunchy leaves on the ground.

91. I hate winter!

92. I am/was the author of a monthly newsletter titled The Connection.

93. I am/was the author of a monthly newsletter for my county, called Family Focus.

94. I used to be a big NASCAR fan.

95. I miss my Chihuahua, Champ.

96. I have a son who is diagnosed with Bipolar, PDD-NOS, Sensory Integration Disorder (now called Sensory Processing Disorder), ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder; as well as speech delays, gross-motor delay, and more.

97. My daughter is part African-American.

98. I hate the term "mulatto."

99. I hate wearing my glasses.

100. I have trouble wearing contacts since I had my children.

Gifts Every Child Needs for a Lifetime

Affirmation. Affirm your child daily whether it is a calm or stormy day.

Belief. Believe in your child and help him believe in his dreams.

Commitment. Stand by your child no matter what.

Discipline. Let your child face the natural consequences of his actions whenever possible.

Encouragement. Be your child's biggest fan and head cheerleader.

Faith. Instill your values and beliefs in your child. Help your child work through his doubts without judging.

Generosity. Teach your child to give of his time, money, and talent by example.

Happiness. Your child will be happiest when he knows his boundaries.

Imagination. Help your child learn to dream, create, and imagine.

Joy. Look for fun and joy in everyday things of life.

Kindness. Speak a kind word even in the midst of an argument. Soft words help diffuse a disagreement.

Laughter. It makes a heart merry and the day brighter. A sense of humor adds sanity to the childhood years.

Money. Provide an allowance and help your child learn to control his money.

Nurturing. Your child may have been out of diapers and able to read for many years, but he hasn't outgrown the need for nurturing.

Opportunities. Provide opportunities for your child to experience the arts, sports, employment, short-term missions, and so on. Help him develop a well-rounded lifestyle.

Praise. Keep it short and genuine and you'll win your child's heart.

Quietness. Help your child learn to slow down, relax, and be at peace.

Relaxation. Take time away for family fun.

Success. Give your child every opportunity to succeed. Assign household tasks that accent his strengths.

Time. Set aside time each day to listen to your child.

Understanding. Think back to how you felt as a child and how you wish your parents would have reacted in certain situations.

Value. Lay the groundwork for self-esteem by helping your child find and develop his strengths.

Warmth. Make your house a haven in the storm. Work toward peace.

eXpections. Children usually live up to our expectations --make them high but obtainable.

Youth. Your child might want to be grown up but help him enjoy being a child.

Zeal. You can never relive your child's early years.


"I need you."

We all need to hear those words and need to feel that we are needed. Don't be afraid to ask for help... you will feel better and the person helping will feel better too.

When someone needs help with something and they ask for help, I am so grateful. Aren't you?

Check It Out

There are some great gift ideas and craft ideas over at 365 Days of Christmas.

Thought of the Day - 8/29/08

For in the final analysis,
our most basic common linkis that we all inhabit this small planet,
we all breathe the same air,
we all cherish our children's futures,
and we are all mortal.

~~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), Speech at The American University, Washington, DC, June 10, 1963 ~~

A Tribute to Our Flag

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world. Look up and see me.
I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.
When I am flown with my fellow banners, My head is a little higher, My colors a little truer.
I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped.
I am saluted.
I am loved.
I am revered.
I am respected and I am feared.
I have fought in every battle of every war for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill, the trenches of France, in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome and the beaches of Normandy.
Guam, Okinawa, Korea and KheSan, Saigon, Vietnam know me.
I'm presently in the mountains of Afganistan and the hot and dusty deserts of Iraq and wherever freedom is needed.
I led my troops.
I was dirty, battleworn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me
and I was proud.
I have been burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt for I am invincible.
I have been soiled upon, burned, torn
and trampled in the streets of my country.
And when it's done by those Whom I've served in battle - it hurts.
But I shall overcome - for I am strong.
I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.
When I am torn into strips and used as bandages for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.

Go to to hear Elvis Presley sing "America, the Beautiful." As an American and as a veteran, this page created by Bob Thompson truly touches my heart.

In God I Still Trust

Do you?

This song is performed by Diamond Rio. Sadly, major radio stations won't play This song because it is considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song was never released to the public. If this song speaks to your heart, share it with friends and loved ones. Then let us cease being the silent majority and join together -- not as a particular political party, but as Americans!

Check out the song In God We Still Trust by following this link:

Family Minute #42

The Pareto Principle

Discovered in 1906 by the Italian economist, Alfredo Pareto, this business principle says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities. Also called the 80/20 rule, this principle applies to raising children too. Of all the things that sap your time and energy each day, maybe only 20% really matters... so focus on those things. Instead of watching TV, get some exercise with your child. Instead of obsessively cleaning the house, sit with your child and talk about their day. Instead of checking your emails, throw the ball with your child.

Remember, your family first.

Family Minute #41

Want to increase your children’s memory?

Then enroll them in music lessons. That's right. According to a new study, children who learn a musical instrument fare better in memory recall than children with no musical training. In fact, a child's brain wiring starts to change after taking music lessons for just one year. You may even find that your musical children improve in literacy, math and general IQ level. So look for a music teacher or community music program in your area. And don't worry whether your children have natural talent or not -- they don't have to be a Beethoven to reap the benefits of learning music.

Remember, your family first.

10 Commitments of Parenting

Have you heard of the 10 Commitments of Great Parents? Just like the 10 Commandments, these 10 things can make a positive difference in the lives of your children.

One of them is as basic as meeting your kids’ physical needs; others get to the heart and soul of being a great parent.

The Ten Commitments of Great Parents

There are ten commitments that remind us of the most important sacrifices parents can make to raise highly healthy children. These commitments (with perhaps the exception of number 7) are choices each of us can make, regardless of our personal life circumstances.

1. Provide for physical needs. Growing children need healthy diets, adequate clothing, quality health care, and protection from harm.

2. Be there for them. When your children talk to you, turn off the television/computer, face them, and really listen. As much as possible, attend Little League games, school conferences, and band concerts. Your presence, attention, and availability will make a significant difference in the lives of your children.

3. Give them "roots and wings." Children need to try new things. They need the opportunity to try and to learn from the experience. Supportive family "roots" will soften any falls and give them a stable place to land.

4. Balance individuality with absolutes. Each child is unique. Celebrate individual strengths and try to see life from your child's perspective. Show respect for personal preferences and fears. At the same time, operate from the strength of your convictions. Children need the security of unmovable boundaries and guidelines for behavior.

5. Hold them accountable. Children want to do what's right, and they want to be accepted. If they've done wrong, encourage them to make amends. Doing so restores their self-respect and lets them know that their behaviors have consequences.

6. Admit when you're wrong. As parents we make mistakes, and our children can see it -- whether we admit it or not. If we're willing to say, "I blew it; I'm sorry," our children learn that our relationship with them is more important than maintaining the upper hand. It gives them the freedom to admit their mistakes as well. Facing the truth is a key to good emotional health.

7. Love your spouse/significant other/best friend. Your children need the security and example of your love for another.

8. Practice what you preach. Actions speak louder than words. If you tell your children to respect their teachers while you bad-mouth your boss, don't expect good behavior reports at school conference time!

9. Demonstrate a love of learning. If you read for enjoyment and self-improvement, your children are more likely to enjoy learning. Read with them and discuss new ideas to stimulate their thinking. Help your children reach conclusions for themselves. Also, expose your children to new opportunities for learning, such as going to the library, surfing the Internet with them, and taking them to museums.

10. Never give up on them! As our children grow up, some of them will make us think we have done a good job; others may make us wonder if we did anything right at all. The time comes when we have to back off and let our children make their own decisions and mistakes. But we must never stop loving them or encouraging them to be the best they can be.

Adapted from Walt Larimore, MD, and Todd E. Linaman, PhD.

Family Minute #40

How often does your child get your undivided attention?

Too many kids don’t get it enough. When they’re home, their parents are online, on the phone, watching TV or reading. In the car, the radio’s on or that phone is back in the picture. Some parents half listen while doing other things: cleaning, going through paperwork or fixing dinner. Of course, you can’t give your undivided attention all of the time, but you can make a point to stop what you’re doing, look your children in the eye and make them feel like they’re the most important thing in your world.

Because after all... they are.

Remember your family first.

Blogs Can Change Lives

If you’ve spent some time in the blogosphere, you have most likely learned that blogs can and do change lives. This past week the lovely ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom had the chance to change a life and now they want the chance to change another.

This post is an answer to the find another family who truly needs a new laptop and printer. I believe that I qualify for this chance to change some things in my life and the life of my children.

I have done all I can to bring in money so I am on track with bills each month but I'm not having great success. I don't have the money to pay for the extras (though, they are necessities to me and not extras) have all been turned off.

I was renting a desktop computer since my old computer finally died an unrelenting death. The cost was over $200 per month. Since this is way over the current budget, I had to return the computer.

Since my access to a computer and the Internet is sporadic I had to quit the two online jobs that I had because I couldn't meet the deadlines. That was, at this time, half my income. . . the financial situation here continues to get worse.

I currently have sporadic access to the Internet, depending on the generosity of my friends, during this time.

I am currently trying to get Social Security Disability for the following health issues: bipolar, ADD, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, TMJ, IBS, migraines & other chronic headaches, polyneuropathy, and transient global amnesia. In the past two months, heart problems (cannot remember "official" diagnosis) can be added to this long list.

This past month, the insurance company changed their formulary without notice and Cameron was started on a generic version of Risperdal, a mood stabilizer. Unfortunately, the generic chemical formula makes him very aggressive and very very mean. I filed a grievance and found out that I am the 6th family in this area who has experienced this problem. I have spent many days with Cameron having to be right next to me because he cannot be trusted. Two prime examples of how bad its gotten: (1.) he broke the kitchen window, and (2.) he climbed out the bedroom window and was walking around the rooftop. Yikes! We are currently fighting the insurance company for brand necessary medication but for now he is not on the mood stabilizer.

School starts in 9 days. The transition to a school schedule is rough on Cameron.

My son, Cameron, 10, has numerous mental health issues. His diagnosis includes Bipolar, Aspergers, ADHD, ptosis, mild Cerebral Palsy, photosensitivity, PTSD, ODD, OCD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Sensory Integration Disorder. Based on these diagnosis he needs constant care.

I also have a daughter, Cassandra, 7, who has severe asthma and chronic bronchitis. Thankfully, this is well under control.

I am a single mother and with no contact from the fathers so I never get a break from my children with the exception of school.

In the past few weeks I have had many doctor appointments.

I finally went to see a dentist -- yes, I have a major issue with dentists and am deathly afraid of them (stupid, I know) -- and I have many teeth and gum problems. The dentist was nice and his staff stupendous. They do put you to sleep to perform all their dental work which is why I went there. Novocain has very little effect on me. Now we are waiting for approval from the insurance company. I have 6 upcoming appointments to take care of everything. I need two root canals, possibly a third, one tooth removed, gum surgery and a bunch of other stuff that I cannot remember right now.

I am in a very serious depression (and the bipolar as well as the fibromyalgia is really kicking my butt). Yes, all the appropriate medical professionals know.

The nerve damage in my hands has gotten worse so I will be starting PT soon to help my hand and the bursitis in my right shoulder. I see a musculoskeletal specialist in a few weeks too.

This past week I had to have a cardiolite stress test done at the hospital. It was not a good day. I won't bore you with all the ugly details. There is a problem with my heart. . . it is not beating at a regular rhythm. On the 4th of September, I will be having a heart cath and chances are I will have a stent or two placed while I'm there. This terrifies me, especially since I don't help with the kids.

I have a hearing on 9/8/08 in which I am innocent but because of the state of the justice system, I will probably be found guilty because there is no evidence to support me. If you want more information, please email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can with all the details you want.

There is a hearing on 8/19/08 that I have been subpoenaed to attend. I try to help a friend who has been abused and I get hurt in the end.

If I had the laptop and printer I could work again from home so that I could take care of my son and myself (and my daughter) financially and physically.

Thank you in advance for all the prayers. Thanks for your support and for stopping by my blog.

Let Sleep Help You Accomplish Your Goals

Every evening, write down the six most important things that you must do the next day. Then while you sleep your subconscious will work on the best ways for you to accomplish them. Your next day will go much more smoothly.

Hodge Podge of My Favorite Blogs

5 Minutes for Books

5 Minutes for Going Green

5 Minutes for Mom

5 Minutes for Parenting

5 Minutes for Special Needs

8 Things About Me

Absolutely Bananas

A Daily Dose of Debbie

Alexander's Heart
12-year-old Haily created this site in remembrance of her brother Alexander.

Charmed Life

Kristen shares her journey in life, both physically and emotionally, with hopeful and encouraging words as she deals with CIDP (Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy).

Confessions of an Apron Queen
Stop in for some fun contests, antiques, beautiful photographs, delicious recipes, and, of course, vintage aprons.

Critique My Blog
Billy takes the time to critique the various blogs he sees as he goes hopping through the blogosphere and I was lucky enough to get a
good review.

Extravagant Grace
Elisa encourages women of all ages through sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and God's message of extravagant grace, love, forgiveness, hope, and transformation.

Faith Lifts

Grace Comes By Hearing
Tracey shares her daily life -- infertility, adoption, prayer, and more -- with strength and grace.

Heart of Wisdom

Just a Mom

Max's Mom
Join Rachel as she shares her life as a wife, as a mom, and as a woman.

Mom Musings

My Friend Amy

My Life As Annie

Real World Mom

Real World Mom Unplugged

Refuge for a Single Mom
Christina offers encouragement and empowerment for single mothers.

Scrapping Servant

Scrappy and Happy
Phyllis shows her creative and crafty side via her sewing and scrapbooking hobbies. Phyllis also shows her inspirational side with her thought-provoking posts and participation in many memes.

Self Talk Soul Talk

Slurping Life
Melody is a mom by birth and adoption shares and through photography, writing, and humor she shares her daily struggle with parenting boys who live with autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, cerebral palsy, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Melody's inspirational posts remind us that children with special needs are kids.

The Love List
Jessica describes the The Love List as "a running list of daily discoveries in design and living."

The Mommy Project
Norma Ann shares her projects, crafts, recipes, and photographs through "living thoughtfully."

The Scrap Princess

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum
"Musings of a Christian author and mom, Sheila, who knows God cares more about us than He does about the size of the dust bunnies under our bed."

We are THAT Family

Weary Parent

What I Think
Melody from Slurping Life hosts blogging reviews, giveaways, and contests.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Thesaurus

If you want to join in the fun and laughter, please sign Mr. Linky below. Please leave a link to your Make Me Laugh Monday post and not to the front page of your blog so we can read your post more easily.

Family Minute #39

We all want to be popular, right?

We want to be liked. We want to fit in. We want to be invited. We want to do what others are doing. Well, so do our children. And they’re especially vulnerable during their impressionable teen years -- a time when they are seeking their identity as a person. So we need to show our children, by example, how to stand against what is wrong and stand for what is right... no matter what others may think or say.

And we need to plant a moral compass in our children that will help them safely find their way through this sometimes dangerous jungle called life.

Remember your family first.

Family Minute #38

Parents’ Day

Do you honor your father and mother? Sunday is Parents' Day... a day established by Congress for the purpose of “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in bringing up their children.” If you’ve had a good relationship with your mom and dad, use this day as an opportunity to thank them for one important thing they did to impact your life in a positive way. If your relationship with them has been more difficult, use it as an opportunity to open up the relational door that’s been closed for so long. Find something... be it ever so small... to thank them for. Forgive them... if you need to... seek forgiveness... if you need to. Honor your mom and dad for who they are and for what they’ve done in your life.

Remember your family first.

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