Amber Alert

ABCs of Me - 2

A - Age: The Big 4-0!

B - Book(s) you enjoy: Mysteries and Christmas are the type of books I enjoy the most.

C - Can't live without: My family and friends, the Internet.

D - Dessert you'll spoil your dinner for: Anything chocolate. Yes, I'm a chocoholic!

E - Essential start to your day: Waking up.

F - Favorite genre of music: I don't have one favorite. I love Christian, Christmas, Country, 80s, oldies.

G - Greatest vacation you've taken: When my mother took me to Nashville, Tennessee, for my graduation from boot camp gift.

H - Hope you have for the future: To watch my children grow up and have children of their own.

I - Incredible sight you'll never forget: Looking into my children's eyes for the first time after their respective births.

J - Job title you currently hold: Educational Advocate and Consultant, Mom.

K - Kids in your family:
My siblings consist of 3 older brothers, 1 younger sister.

L - Last movie you watched:
I don't remember.

M - Month you love the most:
September because its Autumn and the children go back to school.

N - Newest piece of clothing you own:
A shirt bought for $6.99 at Kmart.

O - Opposed to:
Child abusers and molesters.

P - Phobia you wish you could conquer
Heights.

Q - Quote you love:
"Today is a gift. That's why we call it the Present."

R - Right or left-handed:
Ambidextrous.

S - Scent that reminds you of childhood:
No particular scent reminds me of childhood.

T - Time of day you love most:
8:30 PM because all the children are in bed.

U - Unique talent you possess:
Being organized.

V - Veggie you love:
I love corn on the cob.

W - Want to accomplish: Getting my Master's degree.

X - Extra fun hobby you have:
Scrapbooking.

Y - Yummy food you make:
Cornflake Chicken.

Z - Zoo animal you are most like:
Platypus because I'm all mixed up constantly trying to multi-task and because I'm unique.

Dyeing Eggs Naturally

It is more work but very fun.

Deep Gold
Boil eggs in turmeric solution, 30 minutes.

Sienna
Boil eggs in onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.

Dark, Rich Brown
Boil eggs in black coffee, 30 minutes.

Pale Yellow
Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes.

Orange
Soak eggs in room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.

Light Brown
Soak eggs in room-temperature black coffee, 30 minutes.

Light Pink
Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes.

Light Blue
Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 minutes.

Royal Blue
Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution overnight.

Lavender
Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 seconds.

Chartreuse: Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 5 seconds.

http://www.marthastewart.com/dyeing-eggs-naturally

Scrapbook Tips

These are a some of my favorite scrapbooking tips:

Always make a second set of your photos.

Try to use papers that show off your photo, versus take away from the photo. After all, the focus should be on the photo, not the design of the paper.

Add dates to the back of your photos so that when you're ready to add them to your scrapbook, you'll remember when they were taken.

Always test the stamp prior to stamping onto the final paper.

Keep all those old buttons. Buttons make great embellishments on scrapbook pages.

To take photos of your layout, put the page on the floor and stand above it. Always take the photo in daylight.

Keep a disposable camera your trunk or glove box for those unexpected photo opportunities.

Make your own "Prima" flowers by using flower punches.

Quotes of the Week

Past Quotes of the Week

Each week (give or take) I share some inspirational quotes; some serious, some fun, some quotes by famous authors, some by me, all shared from the bottom of my heart.

After the quote's rein on the home page of the blog, the quote is moved here. Enjoy.

To the World you may be one person but to one person you may bethe world.
~~ Author Unknown ~~

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~~

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
~~ Abraham Lincoln ~~

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are... it is ourchoices.
~~ Professor Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ~~

The positive thinker constantly sends out positive thoughts, together with vital mental images of hope, optimism, & creativity
.~~ Norman Vincent Peale ~~

One of the greatest techniques of human well-being is surrendering yourself to the recuperative power of God.
~~ Norman Vincent Peale ~~

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.
~~ Charles Buxton ~~

Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself.
~~ Susan B. Anthony ~~

Words can flow like a river, washing away the pain and carving a new valley, breaking down the boulders that mar the path.
~~ Kristi Tencarre ~~

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
~~ Alexander Graham Bell ~~

One minute you think you can see forever, and then the clouds move in and obscure everything.
~~ Tess Gerritsen, The Mephisto Club~~

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.The days are long, but the years are short.
~~ Author Unknown~~

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they will not be here tomorrow. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
~~ Og Mandino, 1923-1996, Author of The Greatest Salesman In The World ~~

Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift
That's why we call it
The Present
~~ Author Unknown ~~

God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.
~~ Author Unknown ~~

To celebrate the heart of Christmas is to forget ourselves in the service of others.
~~ Henry Link ~~

Life brings simple pleasures to us. Every day. It's up to us to make them wonderful memories.
~~ Cathy Allen ~~

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
~~ Anne Bradstreet ~~

Seek wisdom of the ages but look at the world through the eyes of a child.
~~ Author Unknown ~~

Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!

Tips for an Exceptional Life


Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

Tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement:
My purpose is to __________ today.

Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

Watch more movies, play more games, and read more books than you did last year.

Always pray.

Make time to exercise.

Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of six.

Dream more while you are awake.

Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured.

Drink plenty of water.

Try to make at least three people smile each day.

Clear your clutter from your house, your car, and your desk. Let new and flowing energy into your life.

Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive, in the present moment.

Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

Eat breakfast like a king.

Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

Life isn't fair, but it 's still good.

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

Go on and burn those 'special' scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china, and wear the fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

Forgive everyone for everything.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!

However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch with them.

Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides!

The best is yet to come.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

Do the right thing!

Call your family often.

Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished _________.

Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Live, love, laugh.

Where's the Joy?

I have so many clients, friends, and family members that from outside appearances seem to have it all. They may have successful careers, good friends, a good marriage, healthy and happy children, things that many others strive for. But the "happy" piece of the puzzle is missing. They don't experience joy, and they have difficulty pinpointing exactly why this is. After asking many questions, I find it fairly obvious why they are not ultimately happy.

Many individuals get caught up in the trap of creating and living a life that they feel they are supposed to live. Maybe they strictly followed the advice of others, or possibly they wanted to make others happy first, or they wanted to do what they thought they should be doing. But in the process, they put their own desires and passions aside. They neglected their own inner voice and guidance system. I believe we all ultimately know what makes us happy. We know what brings joy and peace to our lives. We also know deep down what our purpose is, the one thing that brings meaning to everything else. You may be sitting there reading this going, "I have absolutely no idea what my purpose is", but I have to disagree. Knowing and doing are two separate entities.

You may know deep down what brings you joy, but fear and ambivalence hold you back from creating it. By giving themselves permission to finally live the life of their choosing, they found their purpose, they found a reason to get up every morning excited about what the day has in store for them. Here are some basic tools to get you started as well:

1. What are you afraid to admit?

Typically it is our fear that holds us back from pursuing our purpose. Maybe you feel your purpose is unrealistic. Possibly you do not have a good support system intact to help you take the steps needed. What feelings do you contain deep down that you haven't felt comfortable sharing with anyone else? The first step in moving forward and getting some answers, is listening to that inner voice and giving it an opportunity to talk to you. List any desires and dreams you have that you haven't admitted to anyone.

2. Doing vs Being

Do you feel as though your life is on autopilot? Are you spending the majority of your time doing things that do not have much value to you? Remember, there is absolutely no right or wrong answer here. If you are doing something that does not resonate with you, then you might want to let it go. Doing everything for everyone will deplete you over time. It is important to fill your time with activities that bring you joy. Stop the rat race if it is not taking you where you want to go.

3. It is never too late

Know that it is never too late to make changes in your life. Living a life without purpose or passion is draining and unfulfilling. You can absolutely begin to make necessary changes, a little at a time. It is a matter of commitment and vision. You need to be willing to take some risks and open yourself up to unknown possibilities.

I'm Part of a Blogroll

Thanks, Nydia, for the honor of being listed in someone else's blogroll. I was so excited to see All Things Cherished on your blog. You are the first blog to list my blog. Thanks for accolades!

To check out Nydia's blog go to http://bringingupsalamanders.blogspot.com/.

Getting To Know Me Better

Thanks, Jessica, for tagging me. Welcome to the 2008 edition of "Getting To Know You Better."

1. What time did you get up this morning?
I woke up around 7 AM. I got out of bed at 8 AM.

2. Diamonds or Pearls?
I don't have any pearls but I do have some diamonds. Thanks, Mom. I like diamonds because "they are a girl's best friend" and because they are Cameron's birthstone.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Bee Movie. Cute, funny. The kids enjoyed it.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Dancing with the Stars, Criminal Minds, NCIS. Too many, I know.

5. What did you have for breakfast?
Scrambled eggs and toasted doughnuts.

6. What is your middle name?
Storm.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Italian, American mexican, chicken.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Seafood (except fish)... it totally freaks me out! Spinach, radishes, turnips, squash, brussel sprouts, asparagus, ham. Too numerous to list.

9. Your favorite Potato chip?
Herr's kettle chips, Lay's Classic potato chips, Snyder's Hawaiian Sweet Onion Kettle Chips.

10. What CD is in your car stereo at the moment?
My car is so old there is not CD player in it.

11. What kind of car do you drive?
Old, beat up, rusted, "gets me from point A to point B," white Ford Tempo.

12. What characteristics do you despise?
Liars, bullies, snobs, and just plain mean people.

13. Favorite item of clothing?
Anything that fits.

14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
Since I cannot afford a vacation down the road let alone to another country, I cannot fathom where I would go.

15. What color is your bathroom?
White with blue and burgundy accents.

16. Favorite brand of clothing?
Anything that fits.

17. Where would you want to retire to?
The Carolinas... beach on one side, mountains on the other. Best of both worlds.

18. Favorite time of day?
About 8:30 PM... all the kids are in bed. Peace, quiet... stop and breath... relax... ME time!

19. Where were you born?
In a hospital. Lol. Altoona, PA.

20. Favorite Sports to watch?
I don't watch sports anymore.

21. What laundry detergent do you use?
Tide and Borax.

22. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl. Though, lately I have my doubts about that. Lol.

23. What size shoe do you wear?
10... look out big foot, here i come. Dress shoes are smaller, depending on the style.

24. Favorite animal?
Penguins, platypus.

25. What did you want to be when you were little?
A teacher and a housewife with 6 kids.

26. Favorite candy bar?
Reese's mini peanut butter cups (not the big, regular size ones), Dove chocolate, 3 Musketeers Mint, dark chocolate.

27. What are your favorite childhood memories?
I have much of my childhood blocked out of my memory for good reasons. Camping with the whole family -- both sets of grandparents, friends, lots of cousins at Kinzoo Dam.

28. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Nanny, babysitting, administration, preschool teacher, elementary school teacher, TSS, BSC, counselor, therapist, adult teacher, sales, and advocate.

29. Nicknames?
Storm.

30. Any Piercings?
3 in each year.

31. Eye color?
Blue. They change color from hazel to more intense blue to a little green depending on my mood and what colors I am wearing.

32. Ever been to Africa?
No.

33. Ever loved someone so much it made you cry?
Yes, definitely.

34. Ever been in a car accident?
Yes.

35. Favorite restaurant?
King's, Olive Garden (though, I haven't been to one in 15 years).

36. Favorite ice cream?
Chocolate, chocolate with peanut butter.

37. Favorite flower?
Lilacs, daises.

38. Disney or Warner Brothers?
Both.

39. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell.

40. What color is your bedroom carpet?
Dirty tan.

41. How many times did you take your drivers test?
Once.

42. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Credit card? What is that? Lol. Wal-Mart so I can buy the necessities I need for my family.

43. What do you do most often when you are bored?
Who has time to be bored?!?!?!

44. Bedtime?
Sometime after 8:30 PM. SOme nights it's early and sometimes its late. Usually around 12 AM.

45. What are you listening to right now?
Still the One in my playlist.

46. What is your favorite color?
Blue.

47. How many tattoos do you have?
Now I have 0.

48. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
The chicken since God created the animals.

49. What materialistic thing would you ask for if you had one wish to make?
A new house that is totally furnished and with a pre-lanscaped yard.

50. If you had to pick your wedding party, who would be in it?
I don't believe I will be getting married again.

51. What is your favorite song?
I have many. Check out the playlist at the bottom of the page.

52. What would you name a son if you had one?
I cannot have any more children. My son's name is Cameron.

53. What would you name a daughter if you had one?
I cannot have any more children. My daughter's name is Cassandra.

54. What are you doing tomorrow?
Spending time with my children, doing Easter crafts, doing chores around the house, blogging,...

55. What are 5 things that made you smile today?
(1.) Jessica's sharing stories about Ivory and Ivory's pet fish, Melma. (2.) The kids decorating Easter eggs. (3.) That I woke up this morning. (4.) Champ standing on his hind legs trying to look out the kitchen window (he could barely reach the window sill). (5.) The lame blonde joke a friend told me.

What Do You Do All Day?

What Do You Do All Day?

It’s a tough question. If you’re a mom, you can have days so busy you never sit down. Yet when someone asks what you do all day, you can’t really point to what consumed your time. Well, we have a humorous account of how one stay-at-home wife and mom conveyed to her husband what she does all day.

Her husband came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud. The front door was wide open and there was no sign of the dog. Inside the house, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded up against one wall. The TV was blaring a cartoon channel, and toys and clothes were everywhere. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, dog food was all over the floor, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She smiled again and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?' 'Yes,' was his incredulous reply. She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

After you've had a good chuckle, please accept thanks on behalf of your husbands/significant others and your children. Kudos from me for all you do!

Happy Single Parent's Day

Did you know that today is Single Parent’s Day?

If you know a single parent, you may not realize the unending struggles they face. Maintaining a house, a career, and chauffeuring the kids to little league are hard enough when there are two parents sharing the work. But single parents do it all themselves. If only they had some relief in sight...

Well, you can give that relief -- treat their family to dinner, babysit so they can have time to themselves, fix their car, or mow their lawn. Your help will be appreciated and will let them know somebody cares.

Remember your family first.

4 Things

1. Four places I go over and over.

Bed, school (drop off and pick up kids), Wal-Mart (to buy groceries and all the other every day things I can't afford), my office.

2. Four of my favorite places to eat.

My kitchen (can't afford to go out much), anyplace someone else will pay for, King's, Wendy's.

3. Four places I would rather be right now.

Sleeping, reading, vacation (anywhere), ???

4. Four TV shows I could watch over and over.

CSI: Miami, Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, CSI



Now it's your turn. I want to get to know my reader's better, so, please, share your answers in the comments section. Or share the link to your blog so I can read your post with your answers.

World's Best Kept Automobile Secret

One would think I would have noticed the little secret on my dashboard after driving for 24 years. It was staring me right in the face the whole time.
Q: Which side of your car is your gas tank on?

If are like most people, you probably can't remember right away. Is your solution to uncomfortably stick your head out the window and look? If you don't do this in your own car you probably have done it in a borrowed or rental car.

Well, ladies & gentlemen, I'm going to share with you my little secret so you will no longer look like Ace Ventura on your way to the gas station or put your neck at risk of discomfort or injury.

If you look at your gas gauge, you will see a small icon of a gas pump. The handle of the gas pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the pump. If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left. If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right side of little tank in the dashboard. It is that simple!

I don't know how you feel right now but when I found this out last week I felt cheated. Why don't the dealers share such important information with car buyers? I don't understand why this isn't in the driver's manual.

God's Yellow Pages

Let your fingers do the walking through the Bible and read about Christian virtues & character. Here is a great scriptural reference:
http://web2.airmail.net/dpelc/yellow/

Our Favorite Recipes -- Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C vegetable oil
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1- 16 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 T pumpkin pie spice

Cream eggs. sugars and oil until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients. Beat well.

Bake in 3 greased 7X3X2 loaf pans for 45 minutes.

Around the 'Net - Wowio

At WOWIO you can download FREE books with a FREE membership. You can download up to three books a day for ten days out of every month.

There is a great selection: homeschooling, children's, mysteries, cooking, law, crafting, history, and so much more.



Hall of Trees



Check out these beautiful Christmas trees by clicking on the title of this post.

The Power of Your Imagination



Today's affirmation: My thoughts are focused on what I want to happen.

Thankful Thursday #2

I am thankful for being loved this much...


Tainted Pet Treats Left Teen Fearing for His Life

Brandon Jacklin will never handle a dog treat the same way after contracting salmonella from contaminated pork treats, now the subject of a voluntary national recall.

The 13-year-old lost 15 pounds during the ordeal that initially baffled health officials and frightened his family.

Only after an official with the Calgary Health Region remembered a similar contamination problem involving dog treats nine years earlier did the family start to get answers.

Brandon's mother, Debbie, said the family often bought the Rollover pork tenders for their two dogs -- a chihuahua and a chihuahua-Shih Tzu cross -- including two new packages purchased in February.

"The dogs go insane for them. We've used them for years."

And the family never gave a second thought to how they handled them until Brandon was suddenly afflicted with a high fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea about six weeks ago.

"He couldn't have anything to eat or anything to drink, not even a sip of water," she said.

After the teen's condition grew steadily worse, his parents took him to the urgent-care centre in Sundance.

"When we took him to urgent care that night, I didn't think he was going to make it," Jacklin said. "Brandon did think he was going to die."

But all medical staff could do was rehydrate Brandon after blood tests failed to indicate what was wrong with him. He was sent home, but told to come back if his condition worsened.

The next day, Brandon was in fact worse, and more tests were ordered.

"We had absolutely no idea what was going on," Jacklin said.

Later that week, the Jacklins received an urgent call from a health official with the Calgary Health Region saying Brandon's illness had been diagnosed: he had two rare strains of salmonella.

After writing out an extensive list of all Brandon had done and eaten in the three days prior to falling ill, there were still no answers on what caused the poisoning.

And then the health official -- familiar with a salmonella outbreak at the High River-based Rollover Premium Pet Food plant back in 1999 -- asked if the family had dog treats.

After testing the two bags of treats the Jacklins had, he was able to confirm they were contaminated.

"I had no idea that normal dog treats you take out of a bag could make someone so sick," said Jacklin of the diagnosis.

The Calgary Health Region would not comment on the case until it received more information from the health official who investigated.

The family's two dogs also showed symptoms of contamination.

High River's Rollover plant and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have warned consumers not to purchase or use the treats and dispose of any they have.

Rollover has also voluntarily recalled the 50-gram packages of pork tender dog treats.

According to the food agency, one illness associated with the treats has been reported.

While Brandon is now back at school, the ordeal continues to have an effect on him and the family.

Salmonella continues to be contagious for four months after symptoms have subsided and the Jacklins have to be extra cautious.

Brandon also had to drop out of his foods class at school.

And now, the Jacklin family is extra vigilant after dealing with dog treats, ensuring they sanitize their hands afterward.

By Gwendolyn Richards at the Calgary Herald

Fall in Love

fun quizzes and meme for blog

Lets101 Quizzes - Fun Quiz



Too bad this is just a fun quiz, and, most sadly, not true. ;) :)

My Personality

The Recipe For DawnLyn
3 parts Bravery
2 parts Brilliance
1 part Style

Splash of Intensity

Shake vigorously

My Piggy Bank

This is my piggy bank after I bought gas yesterday...







Wordless Wednesday #4




My Hometown Helper Project

Butler is a family-oriented community that was built on industry. As production industries have deteriorated, so has the ability to maintain some of the city's facilities that once flourished. The S.O.S. Team was developed to raise funds for the revitalization of the Memorial Park Pool. The children from the neighborhood school, Broad Street Elementary, as well as the teachers and other community members have been involved in raising money for this renovation.The pool has been unusable for the past three summers because of its need for an upgrade. This community would like to see their pool open so that it will be a safe environment for city kids and their families. Another goal includes the children learning the importance of community service. This project will impact the 15,000 residents of the City of Butler, especially the children of the West End section of the city. The school has been participating in fundraising efforts since May 2007. We have raised $7,395. The total needed for the project is $199,000. As you can see, we are far from our goal, but we have succeeded in spreading community awareness. We would like to have the pool open for the summer of 2009, so if we are chosen to receive this grant, the money would help us to reopen the pool by that time. Our request may not be unique, but it is always special when a group of citizens, including children, are committed to enhancing their community and bringing pride to their neighborhood.

Sponsored by Hamburger Helper, MyHometownHelper.com is giving away up to $100,000 to help fund projects in hometowns all across America. You can show your support by simply adding your comments to this request:
http://www.myhometownhelper.com/ViewProject.aspx?tell=1&id=39726

In order for my children, the neighborhood children, the local school, the local community to win this grant we need to show our support. The more comments left, the greater the chance of us winning this grant.

Won't you help us?

Photo Evoking



This photo evokes so many erratic, random, opposing thoughts.

How sweet and handsome my son is (of course)...

how playful my son can be...

how serious my son can be...

how young my son is (and has so much to look forward to)...

how brave my son is (dealing with all of his mental health issues)...

how he is a lot of life ahead of him...

how hard life will be for him (due to his mental health issues)...

how caring my son is...

how charming my son is...

My son... I love him more and more each day!

A Secure Love

Saying that we love our children and doing certain things that communicate love isn't enough. We've got to love them in the way that God loves us -- when they're unappreciative, when they don't deserve it, when it's inconvenient, when it is costly to us, even when it's painful.

There are three things that, done consistently, have a way of giving your children a sense of security that keeps them from doubting. It minimizes their need to search for the shallow love that the world system offers. It builds an authentic love in their hearts that speaks to them long after we are out of the picture.

1. Children feel secure when they know they are accepted as they are. Let me qualify this before we clarify it. There are attitudes our children might develop that we never have to accept. Selfishness, disrespect, deceit, and other wrong behavior does not have to be condoned or tolerated.

The "acceptance" I'm talking about is for those things that are part of our children's personal makeup. These are the unique things that make them individuals -- the emotional, intellectual, and physical DNA. These are also the things that have no moral problems affixed to them. Many of our kids do things that annoy, frustrate, or embarrass us, but they are not wrong.

Every time we point these things out, we tell them that they don't measure up. This builds a foundation of insecurity in them.

Boys are often berated because they are noisy, messy, or aggressive. Girls are often criticized for being too emotional, picky, or overly sensitive. Some kids are criticized for being slow, forgetful, or inquisitive, or for saying whatever pops into their heads. Some boys don't care for sports. Some girls don't like to play house.

Kids have always had their own way of communicating -- their unique style of clothes and hair and distinctive music. They go through awkward times where they don't think they're attractive, smart, or interesting.

What is key in all of this is that a parent should communicate nothing but acceptance for the unique characteristics of their children.

When they do that, a child senses the kind of acceptance that God has for us in our uniqueness.

Kids inside homes where non-moral issues are elevated to a level of big problems don't get to experience the kind of acceptance that makes a heart feel securely loved. Instead they live with a barrage of nitpicking criticism, receiving put-downs because they are curious, anxious, excited, helpless, carefree, or absent-minded.

When we receive our children as they are, we reflect the kind of love that God has for them. It's the kind of love that will carry them through the good times and the bad times for the rest of their lives.

2. Children feel secure when they know they are affiliated with a loving and honoring family. Homes of honor see the other person's time, their gifts, their uniqueness, and their dreams as gifts to be cherished and stewarded. Homes of honor still have room for sibling rivalry. Homes of honor occasionally entertain arguments and disappointments, but for the most part, these homes give children a deep sense of being loved in a secure environment.

All children are important, along with their opinions and concerns. Their time is respected, their ideas are respected, their space is respected, and their vulnerabilities are respected. There is a present-tense commitment to making each day an asset that builds on the day before.

The best way to see this become a reality among children is to make it the way parents deal with each other. Homes of honor understand forgiveness, they are committed to virtue, and they place high value on every individual in the circle.

Kids who live in a home where honor for each other rules the day grow up to be children with secure tucked safely into their hearts.

3. Children feel secure love when they receive regular and generous helpings of affection. Why is it that when someone you love scratches your back, it always feels better than when you scratch your back yourself? Allow me to let you in on a secret. God has hard-wired our skin to our souls. Somehow, He saw fit to configure our outer covering to be one of the greatest tools for transferring a sense of secure love.

Everyone was designed to respond to affection. With rare exceptions, children are especially responsive to meaningful, tender touch. The hugs and kisses they receive from their parents from the moment they are born create a reservoir of security in their hearts.

Both genders need it from both parents. Sons and daughters fare far better if they receive plenty of lap time from their moms and dads. They sleep better at night when their parents have stopped by their rooms to tell them how much they love them, to pray over them, and to kiss them good night.

That type of parental love shouldn't stop as they move into the teenage years. While they might be self-conscious about receiving affection from you in front of their friends, they still need meaningful touch. It might be a hand on their shoulder, a playful punch on the arm, or some wrestling in the pool. They still need touch, and deep down in their hearts, they want it. They want to know that someone isn't ashamed or afraid to touch them.

It's a crucial gift they need at a time in their lives when many feel unattractive and untouchable.

Healthy, meaningful touch toward our sons and daughters makes it easy for them to give and receive affection as adults. It also gives them a clear sense of the counterfeit that masquerades as affection. It helps them to transfer the legacy of love they have received from you to the next generation in your family tree.

If they're forming a line for parents who have fallen short, and you feel that you should be in it, you'll have to get in line behind me. We've all fallen short. We've stolen our children's joy unnecessarily more times than we'd like to count. We've turned non-issues into crises. We've sculpted molehills into mountains. We've reached inside our children's hearts and pinched them simply because we could.

You might need to ask your children's forgiveness. You need to let them know that you recognize you've failed them, that you've hurt them, and that at times you've stolen their joy. Be specific. Even if you have to go back years, let them know that you know you were wrong. It doesn't make you smaller in their eyes. In your humble contrition, you will demonstrate something they desperately need if they want to have a love that is secure -- grace.

Don't be surprised if you find yourself overwhelmed with the urge to offer acceptance, affiliation, and affection to your children on a daily basis. These are three gifts that keep on giving... long after you are gone.

Adapted from the book Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

J.K. Rowling's Site

J.K. Rowling's Official Site - Harry Potter and More

J.K. Rowling has updated her website. This official site is now all spruced up with an animated front page (dancing butterflies, spiders, and more). This site still contains her biography, but now has an interesting Wizard of the Month archive, featuring brief bios and images of some random wizards from the Harry Potter world.

The links section (click on the glasses on the homepage) goes to a big bookshelf which includes summaries of articles and books she has read.

There's a Wombat exam identification card. I couldn't get in because I didn't know the code.

This is great fun, especially for Harry Potter fans.

Comment Policy

I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave a legitimate comment here on my blog. Especially, since no one went to my last blog (due to the web hosting site). Unfortunately, I get comments that do not contribute to the discussion. I reserve the right to delete a link from a comment or to delete a comment all together if I feel it’s necessary. Also, if you leave keywords instead of your name in the name field, your comment will be deleted automatically. If I end up deleting a link or comment that was well-intended, I apologize in advance, but I’m sure you’ll understand and you’ll be back to contribute again!

Make Me Laugh Monday - Wrong Weight



I can't believe I was doing it wrong all these years.

Family Minute #7

So, your child’s angry and won’t talk?

My 9 year old son sometimes has a hard time expressing his feelings. He doesn’t understand what’s going on inside. So I'm teaching him five basic emotions: sad, mad, glad, ashamed, and afraid. When he clams up and won’t talk, I ask him which of these emotions he’s feeling. If he says he is mad, then I can ask why he is mad. By doing so, he can better understand what made him feel that way and I can teach him how to avoid or deal with the situation if it happens again.

Remember your family first.

Blog Addiction

71%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

100 Things - My 100th Post

In honor of my 100th post, I completed another list of 100 things all about me.



  1. My name is DawnLyn, the English female version (Dawn) of my father’s name so I can say I am named after my father. His name was Donald.
  2. My first name when I was born was Dawn.
  3. My middle name when I was born was Lynne.
  4. My family has always called me Dawn Lynne.
  5. I hated explaining to teachers, doctors, friends, co-workers, etc., that they should call me Dawn Lynne. They couldn't understand that I preferred being called Dawn Lynne instead of Dawn.
  6. When I turned 18, I got my name legally changed on my birth certificate.
  7. My birth certificate now says my first name is DawnLyn.
  8. I prefer the spelling DawnLyn (one name) over Dawn Lynne (two names).
  9. In honor of my 30th birthday, I added the middle name of Storm.
  10. I am single.
  11. I am a mother.
  12. My oldest child, a boy, was given up for adoption.
  13. My oldest child is now 20 years old.
  14. I wish I could find my son and tell him that I loved/love him dearly.
  15. My youngest child was/is a twin.
  16. I lost the twin during my pregnancy.
  17. My "now" oldest son was planned down to the day I conceived him.
  18. I dislike most vegetables, especially turnips, radishes, spinach, onions, peppers, squash... need I go on?
  19. I was always embarrassed of my toes... I have webbed feet.
  20. Because I was embarrassed of my toes I didn't wear sandals until I as 35.
  21. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Psychology.
  22. The radio is always on in the car or in the house.
  23. I hate complete silence.
  24. I was once bald.
  25. Now I have long salt-n-pepper hair.
  26. Thanks to Clairol my hair is usually the dark brown (with auburn highlights) that used to be my natural hair.
  27. I've always wanted to have auburn hair.
  28. I get nervous talking in front of a group.
  29. I have spoken in front of large groups (Head Start conventions, classes, local politicians, etc.) many times.
  30. I'm a huge Harry Potter fan (both books and movies).
  31. I had a tattoo.
  32. I had the tattoo removed.
  33. My ears are pierced 3 times in both ears.
  34. The first ear piercing was a gift from Grandma when I was five years old.
  35. The second ear piercing was done at church camp when I was a tween using an ice cube, heated needle, and an orange.
  36. The third ear piercing was first done on just one ear because that was the cool look in the 80s.
  37. A few years later I got the other ear pierced for the third time so everything would be matched and even.
  38. I am very tickelish.
  39. I prefer big plastic hangers to the wire variety.
  40. I love getting snail mail.
  41. I will sign up for freebies just to get mail in the mailbox.
  42. Lilacs and daisies are my favorite flowers.
  43. I hate to sweat.
  44. I love my Mt. Dew.
  45. I drink 4-6 cans (12 oz.) Mt. Dews a day.
  46. My doctor told me to not stop drinking Mt Dew, though, I can cut back, because my body would go into shock.
  47. I have been drinking Mt Dew as my main drink for over 15 years.
  48. I love to read.
  49. I read a lot... magazines, books, blogs, brochures, manuals.
  50. Some of my closest friends (online friends) I have never met face-to-face.
  51. I also studied business in college.
  52. I also studied encryption and administration in the military.
  53. My first job didn't last more than one day.
  54. My first job was working in a dry cleaners.
  55. I am a Christmas fanatic.
  56. This past year I had over 30 trees in my home.
  57. Each tree had its own theme.
  58. I think my nose is too big.
  59. I think my belly is too big.
  60. I think my thighs are too big.
  61. I have three brothers.
  62. I have one sister.
  63. None of my grandparents are still alive.
  64. I don't really like to cook (since I have such picky children).
  65. I like doing dishes even less.
  66. I use paper plates a lot.
  67. I don't really like reality shows.
  68. I really like office supplies.
  69. I hate being late.
  70. I was taught by my father to always be 10-15 minutes early for any appointment.
  71. In all other ways, I'm a procrastinator. Why clean today if I clean it tomorrow?
  72. I love the color blue.
  73. My second favorite colors are red and purple.
  74. I am very organized.
  75. My friends make fun of me because I am so organized.
  76. When I was younger I could tell when my nosy brother was in my room because things would not be put back the "right" way.
  77. Even the trunk of my car is organized.
  78. I am not very good with names. I have a hard time matching the name with the face. I have to repeat the name in my head over and over.
  79. If my daughter had been a boy, his name would of been Noah.
  80. If her twin had survived and had been a boy, his name would of been Stephen.
  81. My daughter's middle name is the middle name of her twin. I switched middle names when my daughter was born.
  82. I wanted to give my daughter (and her twin) a name with the same initials as her big brother.
  83. Both children have the initials C. S. L.
  84. When I sneeze, I always sneeze twice.
  85. I am ambidextrous.
  86. I write with my right hand.
  87. I cut with scissors using my right hand.
  88. I cut with a knife using my left hand.
  89. I bat, shoot a gun, etc., with my left hand.
  90. I love all kinds of music. Check out My Playlist at the bottom of the blog to see my eclectic (Christmas, Christian, country, oldies, rock, 80s, etc.) mix.
  91. I believe in the power of prayer.
  92. I believe in God.
  93. I believe in the Holy Spirit.
  94. I believe in baptism.
  95. I am the owner of a Chihuahua named Champ.
  96. I decorate for most every holiday.
  97. I decorate a Christmas tree for every major holiday (Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Fall, and, of course, Christmas).
  98. I leave, at least, one Christmas tree up all year. This year one of the trees still decorated is the scrapbooking tree .
  99. My favorite past time (besides blogging) is reading.
  100. My second favorite past time is scrapbooking.

What Your Shamrock Says About You?




What Your Shamrock Says About You



You have a logical mind, and you pay a lot of attention to details. You are very organized.



Sometimes you find thinking creatively to be a challenge. You prefer to deal with the facts at hand.



You don't really consider yourself a lucky person. In your view, people create their own luck.



You are traditional, easy going, and appreciative of the simple things in life.

Miracle -- Birth of a Panda

What a miracle! Isn't God amazing?! Awesome photos!




















Sunday Scrappin' - My First

I like the idea behind the Sunday Scrappin' blog: a group of people, mainly scrapbookers (but it can be any crafters), who share their Ta Da's (the past week's goals they completed) and their Ta Do's (goals they want to complete in the coming week). I like that there's not a lot of pressure but some accountability; some support and no grumbling.

Click on the Sunday Scrappin' graphic on the right hand column or the title of this post to get to the Sunday Scrappin' blog.

Question:
How long could you keep on crafting without buying new supplies?

My answer:
Probably for a year if I was creative enough to use up my old supplies. Lol. I have lots of pattern paper, quite a bit of cardstock, as well as my fair share of embellishments. But I am in a creative rut. Sad, but true.

Ta Da's:

I didn't get any scrapping done this past week. There was so much housework to do since the previous several weeks were very chaotic with appointments.

  1. Many phone calls back and forth to various agencies have been completed to get services, therapy, testing, etc., for Renee.
  2. I got all the Christmas stuff down, packed up, organized, and mostly put away.
  3. Some of the Easter decorations have made an appearance. Its about time since Easter is a week from today.
Ta Do's:
  1. I hope to get some layouts done this week. I would be happy with 1 or 2 layouts at this point.
  2. I also want to get challenges, activities, etc., posted at my scrapbooking forum.
  3. I still need to do some Christmas inventory before getting all the boxes stored in the basement.
  4. I want to finish the Easter decorating.

 
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