Amber Alert

A Time for Reflection

Each new year is the perfect time to pause and reflect -- to think about what we have done in the past year and think about what we want to do in the next year. What are you satisfied with and what changes would you like to make? Do you have new goals for the new year?

There are many things to think about, and reflection deserves your precious time, especially if you want to set goals for the new year. Without a plan, life just happens to you.

Would you like to spend more time with your family or with your friends? Would you like to eat healthier and exercise more? Do you want to learn more? Do you want to break a bad habit? Do you want to become more organized? Is there some place you've always wanted to go? Are there relationships you need to nurture or mend? Is there something you've always wanted to do but have put it off? Decide the changes you want to make and write them down. You are more likely to accomplish them if you do! Make the most of your life so it is fulfilling and full of the things you want and care about most.

They say your thoughts become your words -- your words become your actions -- and your actions become your destiny. Take time to make your life all YOU want it to be!

Thought of the Day - 12/31/09

Start living your life . . . stop looking at what you haven't got and start being thankful for what you do got!

Thought of the Day - 12/30/09

The fact is I regret my past, and I'm afraid of the future. But this is the present and I'm going to do the best I can to make it all worthwhile.

Thought of the Day - 12/29/09

I have bite marks on my tongue from all the things I should have said but didn't.

Thought of the Day - 12/28/09

Life isn't like a pencil, your mistakes can't be erased. Life is more like a pen, you can use whiteout to cover it up, but you'll be reminded of where you were mistaken.

Thought of the Day - 12/27/09

Your past is not who you are, it's who you were.

Thought of the Day - 12/26/09

I hope that, through my blogging (and photography and scrapbooking), I have been able to pass on my appreciation of the beauty of words. As adults we all need to stop occasionally and look at ourselves and our circumstances with an open mind and a sense of humor, and remember to appreciate the simple things in life, which are often the most important.

Thought of the Day - 12/25/09

Wish List

To our enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, our heart.

To a customer, service.
To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.
To ourselves, respect.

~~ Oren Arnold ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/24/09

The light of God surrounds us.

The love of God enfolds us.

The power of God protects us.

The presence of God watches over us.

Wherever we are God is and all is well.

Thought of the Day - 12/23/09

Changes you want to make might not be the changes you need to make.

Thought of the Day - 12/22/09

Sometimes it is the quietest moment in your day that carries the biggest impact.

Thought of the Day - 12/21/09

It's never too late to believe in the unbelievable.

Thought of the Day - 12/20/09

No matter what anyone else tells you, you really know what's best for you. Your friends and family mean well when they give you their opinions, but in the end, it is up to you.

Thought of the Day - 12/19/09

Forgive quickly.
Kiss slowly.

Love truly.
Laugh uncontrollably.

Never regret anything that made you smile.

Thought of the Day - 12/18/09

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

Free 2010 Blogging Calendar

Don't you just hate it when you really need to update your blog and draw a blank? Well, one of the best ways to jump start those creative juices is to simply look at the calendar. How simple is that?

Every month, week, and day, there are some really strange, fun, and downright funny holidays and observances celebrated everywhere. In fact, you can even make up your own 'holiday' to celebrate on your blog with your readers - that's how easy it is to come up with days of posts at a time. But you don't have to make it up yourself. It's hard enough coming up with a post. Here's a blogging calendar I found that feature some of these holidays. The other nice thing is, it has room to jot down your own ideas and you can use it to literally plan out the year's content - or just a month or two ahead if you're not the planning type. This really helps keep your blog going without rushing to write last minute posts.

Download and check it out for yourself. I bet you can find a couple of posts just off those dates you can write about. In fact, you can write about them right away and schedule them. Your readers will have fun and marvel at how you are so on top of the holidays and seasons.

Thought of the Day - 12/17/09

Be kinder than necessary . . . because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Thought of the Day - 12/16/09

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . it's about learning how to dance in the rain.

Thought of the Day - 12/15/09

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just a little extra.

Thought of the Day - 12/14/09

If you spend all your time organizing your life, you can miss the joys of experiencing life.

Thought of the Day - 12/13/09

Believe in yourself -- in the power you have to control your own life, day by day. Believe in the strength that you have deep inside, and your faith will help show you the way. Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring -- let a hopeful heart carry you through. For things will work out, if you trust and believe there's no limit to what you can do.
~~ Emily Matthews ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/12/09

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
~~ Albert Einstein ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/11/09

You have to Be the change you want to see it in the world.
~~ Mahatma Ghandi ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/10/09

Always laugh when you can. It’s cheap medicine.
~~ Lord Byron ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/10/09

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/9/09

Practicality aside, we have to follow our hearts. Never giving up is a virtue.
~~ Bruce Price ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/8/09

A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Always with the same person, but deeper and deeper every time. Each time on a whole new level you together open in love and discover the truth of your beloved anew. There is no limit to the beauty of your beloved. If you think you've reached the end, stop generalizing.

Thought of the Day - 12/7/09

God sees.

The problems we encounter that no one else seems to understand.
God sees.

The pain we feel.
God sees.

The tasks we perform for which no one thanks us or pats us on the back.
God sees.

Thought of the Day - 12/6/09

We can choose to accept the things we cannot change and learn to act on the things we can change. We gain self-respect when we decide to stop blaming others for our dilemmas and start taking responsibility for our own choices.

Thought of the Day - 12/5/09

The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.
~~ E. B. White ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/4/09

Having a dream is what keeps you alive. Overcoming the challenges make life worth living.
~~ Mary Tyler Moore ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/3/09

Strength and confidence comes from within.

Thought of the Day - 12/2/09

It's never too late -- never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.
~~ Jane Fonda ~~

Thought of the Day - 12/1/09

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
~~ Thomas Edison ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/30/09

Often you just have to rely on your intuition.
~~ Bill Gates ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/29/09

Being strong can be feminine. I don't think feminine equals being weak.

Thought of the Day - 11/28/09

Just living is not enough . . . one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~~ Hans Christian Anderson ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/27/09

If you want your dreams to come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up.
~~ Debbie Tenzer, friend of mine ~~

Counting My Blessings

This holiday season, remember the things that matter most. Here are 20 things to inspire gratitude.

I'm thankful for...

  • Sticky kisses.
  • Our nation of abundance.
  • Chocolate.
  • Reruns of my favorite shows.
  • Loveys.
  • Your child's many talents.
  • Naps.
  • The babysitter who is willing to come over a second time.
  • The prepared food counter at the supermarket.
  • Baby wipes. What would we do without them?
  • The Internet. When it's 3 AM and the baby is coughing, you can quietly look up croup, and have a chat with another mom who's hovering over a sick baby.
  • Videotapes or DVDs. Sometimes that 30 minutes of respite is all that stands between you and total insanity.
  • Photo albums.
  • Antibiotics. Imagine having to worry that every disease might turn into something life-threatening.
  • Vacuum cleaners. It's nice to know you can clean the cookie crumbs and pet hair if you really wanted to.
  • A king-size bed and snuggling.
  • Smile, especially when your child knows he did something wrong.
  • Friends who understand everything without a single word said.
  • Family.
  • The sublime disorder of a home full of children and laughter and love.

Remember to count your blessing and be thankful for what you do have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thought of the Day - 11/26/09

Love is just a word . . . until you find the one to give it definition.

Thought of the Day - 11/25/09

You have the courage to reexamine your beliefs, so use it.

Thought of the Day - 11/24/09

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 parent. But, I'll never be a perfect parent and that's okay, because my goal is excellence, not perfection.

Thought of the Day - 11/23/09

A happy childhood is one of the best gifts that parents have it in their power to bestow.
~~ Mary Cholmondeley ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/22/09

May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have.
~~ Richard L. Evans ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/21/09

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets so love the people who treat you right and forget about those who don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance take it; if it changes your life let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.
~~ Jeffrey Watts, friend of mine ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/20/09

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
~~ H.L. Mencken ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/19/09

Self-confidence is the name of the game. Keep in mind, confident people are unflappable. If you don't want to share something, just take it off the table. What you disclose (or choose not to) is entirely up to you. If others don't respect your privacy, you may have to resort to hiding things.

Thought of the Day - 11/18/09

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.
~~ Thomas Edison ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/17/09

People say that you are going the wrong way when it is simply a way of your own.


The body sags in sadness and dejection,
The eyes shut in depression,
The smile turns unhappy,
The joy of conversation has ended,
The rapture of intimacy is now over,
The heart burns with loneliness,
The brain is anxious with neglect,

Then . . .

The memories sustain until I see you again.
The brain defends until I see you again.
The heart champions until I see you again.

Thought of the Day - 11/16/09

Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thornbush has roses.
~~ German proverb ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/15/09

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.
~~ Joe Clark ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/14/09

Try to believe like you believed when you were five . . . when your heart tells you everything you need to know.

Thought of the Day - 11/13/09

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
~~ Robert F. Kennedy ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/12/09

Make every day special.
Have faith in your abilities
Be in prayer for those who are in need.
Remember that nothing is more precious than this moment.
Tell those you love what they mean to you . . . always.

Thought of the Day - 11/11/09

Let yourself be impressed by the magic that surrounds you every day.

Thought of the Day - 11/10/09

If you supply the willingness,
God supplies the power!

Thought of the Day - 11/9/09

Laughter heals so remember to laugh each day.

Giving Back

God Bless This Home

God calls us to be generous givers . . . not only with our money but also with
our time and talents.
Karla has wanted to use her talents to promote a few charities over the years and now she is.

The house was painted as a blessing for those of us who do have home in order to bless those who don't.

I am honored to announce that from now until December 1st, 100% of the profits from the sales of this print will go directly to Open House Ministries.

Open House Ministries Logo

Their program focuses on equipping homeless families with life skills and foundational tools to help them regain healthy, independent lives. For more information on this special ministry, go to Open House Ministries.

(The print is designed to be personalized with your last name
hand-lettered above the front door or you could choose to have it personalized for a friend or family member as a housewarming, wedding, or Christmas gift... a gift that keeps on giving.)

Grateful Heart Giveaway

Karla wants help to spread the word about her new book, Give Thanks!

I know the message in this book will not only be a blessing to the reader but the praise and thanksgiving that goes up because of it will bless the heart of God. As always, Karla's book is superb in its praises for God and your heart will be humbled and grateful.

As you meditate on the scriptures and dwell on God's goodness and grace, you're heart will be stirred to count your blessings . . . and you will find yourself thanking God and giving Him praise maybe even for some things you hadn't thought of before!

Check out Karla's book and her great art at her site.

Thought of the Day - 11/7/09

A fine line exists between devotion and obsession -- so make sure you are not spending too much time on activities that ultimately could be holding you back.

Sing to Me Saturday #8

The reason and meaning behind this song can be found here.

Please join me in sharing songs that touch your heart. Add your link to Mr. Linky below.

Thought of the Day - 11/6/09

Vanity is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but it's something to indulge in with careful consideration.

Thought of the Day - 11/5/09

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
~~ Aesop ~~

Thought of the Day - 11/4/09

Revising your opinions and beliefs is necessary from time to time.

Thought of the Day - 11/3/09

The person you might not have been counting on can turn out to be the real deal. This is the one who decides how she can help you and then just does it. She climbs over her fears and yours, and just shows up. One individual's selfless act of coming to your side without your having to ask creates an unexpected space for you to get a sense for how you feel.

If you have just one friend like that, you are lucky an you have a lifesaver. If you have several friends like that, you have a lifeboat.

Taken from Hope Journal written while dealing with cancer, 2003-2004.

Crafters Free Holiday Ebook

The holiday season inspires the crafter in all of us. Whether you’re trying to save money, want to create homemade gifts & decorations, or simply enjoy the art of crafting, this ebook with over 25 quick and easy crafts will inspire you. In this ebook you’ll find Christmas Ornaments, Home Decor, Greeting Cards, Kids’ Holiday Crafts, Gift Giving Ideas, and more. You can pick up your copy here.

Thought of the Day - 11/1/09

There's only an R between friend and fiend.

Thought of the Day - 10/31/09

Allow even the smallest bit of encouragement to be the thing that keeps you afloat.

Thought of the Day - 10/29/09

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
~~ Willa Cather ~~

Thought of the Day - 10/28/09

You can be proud of being a bit wiser than certain people -- but if you get too cocky about it, you're sure to end up making a fool of yourself.

Thought of the Day - 10/27/09

Single but fine when we go out to dine,
Your always there with us so we don't make quite a fuss!
~~ Cassandra, 8, written for her mother (me) on 10/17/09 ~~

Thought of the Day - 10/26/09

People respect other people who can keep it real.

Just Do It

It was probably a busy mom who handed Nike that successful line of advertising, "Just do it." It wouldn't surprise me if she'd thought of it while racing between the grocery shopping and picking up her kids, before heading home to knock out the second half of her sixteen-hour day. We busy moms don't waste a single minute moping or calculating how hard it will be -- we just do it. I believe most families have little awareness of how much Mom really puts into handling the details of their lives. If you need to get something done -- and done right and in record time -- go hand it to a busy mother.

Thought of the Day - 11/2/09

Cancer is the worst thing that you will ever need to explain to your children. Telling them the news of your own impending death is plainly not right. You shudder internally. It shakes you to your core. It helps to read up on what the experts recommend, but in the end, you, the parent, must rely on your intuition, strength, and faith to see it through. Even then, it will be a horribly painful experience, one which there is no way out of, one that you must go through. Like all storms, it must be faced directly, and headed straight for, lest it chase you down. This conversation is not a storm you can outrun.

Taken from Hope Journal written while dealing with cancer, 2003-2004.

Thought of the Day - 10/30/09

Hope is a powerful thing.

Between Me and the River

Between Me and the River
Living Beyond Cancer: A Memoir
by Carrie Host

"I do have a future, and the picture of that future is made up of a multitude of tiny dots called 'right now.'"
~~ Carrie Host ~~

"Carrie knows that the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness takes a split second to change your life, as well as the lives f your partner, partners, children, and all who love you. Packed with inspiration, advice, comfort, and hope Between Me and the Rive is Carrie's candid and uplifting memoir of how she found the strength and fortitude to triumph over a rare form of cancer, and craft a new and meaningful life."

When I got this book I was really nervous because I have dealt with cancer personally. (I had cervical cancer. My father, my aunt, my grandmother, my godson, and more had cancer.) I was afraid I would cry throughout the whole book. Yes, there were times that I needed the Kleenex. There were many more times where I sat there nodding my head up and down, totally understanding and connecting with Carrie. The book is poignant and tender, honest and insightful.

This is a beautiful, compassionate story about a woman who is supported by friendships, love of family, and dedication of doctors. This powerful, thought-provoking book stays with you.

Excellent book!

Rating (1, lowest; 5 highest): 5+

Thought of the Day - 10/25/09

The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

Today I Am Thankful - 10/24/09

Today I am grateful for...

My friends:

  • Thank you, Alan, for showing up in the middle of the night so I could go take care of a sick and hurt friend.
  • Thank you, Mike, who despite your own life's tribulations and being six hours away still calls every day to check on the kids.
  • Thank you, Marcy, for starting a new adventure with me.
  • Thank you, Rick, for fixing my car despite the fact I didn't have enough money to pay the bill. (Yes, I will be making payments.)
  • Thank you, Teresa, for the support of my Christmas passion and helping host our annual Christmas Open House.

Make a BIG Difference!

Big Brothers Big Sisters Makes a BIG Difference

Teachers who were surveyed about children who are matched with a Big Brother, Big Sister, or Big Couple said:

  • 83% have improved their academic performance.
  • 66% have better self-confidence.
  • 32% are better able to make decisions.
  • 33% have better relationships with their peers.
  • 33% are better prepared for school.

Big Brothers Big Sisters' mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth and to assist them in becoming confident, competent, and caring individuals by providing committed volunteers.

Thought of the Day - 10/24/09

Too much credit is given to the end results. The true test is the struggle that takes place between the dream and the reality. That struggle is a thing called LIFE!

Gas Vouchers

I need your help.

Gas Vouchers Program

The cash earned from this program will benefit SOS/Save our SplashPark (local pool at Memorial Park, Butler, PA) and also help me get a more secure vehicle for my family.

This is an never-ending program at this time. Send your gas receipts to me. Email me at storm2c [at] zoominternet [dot] com for my address.

Duplicates of receipts can be used if you need the original receipt for personal or tax reasons. For security, you can black out the credit/debit card numbers (though the receipts only show the last four numbers).

Anyone in the United States can participate.

Ask family, friend, neighbors, and colleagues for their receipts too.

Receipts/vouchers are turned in on a monthly basis so please mail your gas receipts to me on a regular basis.

I will update you on our progress monthly.

Thank you for your help. The children of Broad Street Elementary School and the neighborhood children thank you.

Have You Ever Been Grumpy

Have you ever been grumpy for what seemed like no reason?

Well, there is probably a reason. It could be that someone triggered something inside of you or someone is mirroring a part of you that you have not accepted. It could simply be that you need to drink more water or you ate a food that your body did not digest properly.

When you feel grumpy for no reason, take a few minutes to do have some meditation time, i.e., One Minute Meditation, with the intention to get clarity. Because there probably is a reason. Before getting quiet, ask what is in the way of my being happy or what does my body need to feel better? Then do your meditation and let go. After doing the meditation, pay attention to what shows up in your life. It may show up now or later . . . be open.

Let me know what you notice.

Thought of the Day - 10/23/09

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
~~ Mahatma Gandhi ~~

Thought of the Day - 10/22/09

Family is everything to me. My children make me rich in that aspect.

Today I Am Thankful - 10/21/09

I am thankful today for...

  1. Lilly because of her perseverance and faith in God.
  2. Alan because of his humor, help around the house, and kindness.
  3. Marcy because of her acceptance of me, faults, quirks, and all.

Thought of the Day - 10/21/09

The ONLY difference between a good day & a bad day is your attitude.

(This is a hard one for me to remember.)

Thought of the Day - 10/20/09

Fear is a habit; so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, and resignation. You can stop all of these with two simple resolves: I can and I will!

Thought of the Day - 10/19/09

God determines who walks into your life. It's up to you whether or not you let them stay, let them walk away, or refuse to let them go.

Today I Am Thankful - 10/18/09

Today I am grateful for...

  1. Mt. Dew.
  2. The hugs I got from Joe.
  3. The late night conversations with Marcy, Teresa, Joe, Mike, and Bobby.

Thought of the Day - 10/18/09

The people that matter in life are the ones who, even after you've treated them like shit in the worst way possible, come back loving you without expectations.

Today I Am Thankful - 10/17/09

Today I am thankful for...

  1. The ability to read.
  2. The ability to write.
  3. Internet service/access so I can blog, write, surf, and chat with friends.
  4. The power of hugs that can cross the miles via the Internet.
  5. The power of hugs from my children.
  6. Telephone service so friends can help me through the rough nights, through the transient global amnesia episodes, through the pain.

Thought of the Day - 10/17/09

Believe in your dreams. Speak them out loud; put them out to the universe and they will be realized.

Today I Am Thankful - 10/16/09

Since the decline of my health and the death of my mother, I have found it very difficult to be thankful for anything.

Today I am grateful for...

  1. A gracious and patient God.
  2. New online friends.
  3. A working washing machine and clothes dryer so I don't have to lug my clothes to a laundromat.
  4. Facebook which has offered me a lot of happiness, new friends, and games to distract to me.
  5. The loss of 20 pounds.

Thought of the Day - 10/16/09

Always keep enough love in your heart so that there's no room left for hate.

Thought of the Day - 10/15/09

I am glad I am a strong woman or I would be broken by now.

Thought of the Day - 10/14/09

Tip of the day:
BREATHE! In with the good, out with the bad! Great friends (and good sex) will take care of the rest.

Thought of the Day - 10/13/09

I feel a bit like a duck. Gliding gracefully on top, but paddling like crazy underneath!

Thought of the Day - 10/12/09

Worry not about the hand you are dealt, but play that hand to the best of your ability and you will still be a winner.

Thought of the Day - 10/10/09

Never make someone a priority when that person considers you to be just one of many options!

Thought of the Day - 10/9/09

It's important to have friends. Friends make the good times better and the bad times easier.

Thought of the Day - 10/8/09

It doesn't matter how many friends you have. It's quality, not quantity, that counts!

Thought of the Day - 10/7/09

Don't forget to be your own best friend.

(This one is very hard for me.)

Thought of the Day - 10/6/09

It's not the size of your friends that counts. It's the size of your heart.

Thought of the Day - 10/5/09

If you look hard enough, you can find friends anywhere...

Thought of the Day - 10/4/09

1. one attached to another by affection or esteem
2. acquaintance, a favored companion
3. confidant

synonyms: acquaintance, ally, alter ego, associate, bosom buddy, buddy, chum, classmate, cohort, colleague, companion, compatriot, comrade, consort, cousin, crony, familiar, intimate, mate, pal, partner, pen pal, playmate, roommate, schoolmate, sidekick, soul mate, spare, well-wisher.

Thought of the Day - 10/3/09

Save your strength for things you can actually change.

Thought of the Day - 10/2/09

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back.
~~ Abigail Van Buren ~~

Thought of the Day - 10/1/09

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
~~ Michael Steward, a friend of mine ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/30/09

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
~~ Thomas Edison ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/29/09

I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
~~ Michael Steward, a friend of mine ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/28/09

Life is not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Thought of the Day - 9/27/09

Remember that no matter how much greener the grass looks on the other side, it took a lot of manure to get that way.

Thought of the Day - 9/26/09

There is no such thing as failure, only early attempts at success!

Thought of the Day - 9/25/09

I can't control my destiny. My only goal is just to be. There's only now, there's only here, there is no other path -- no day but today.

Thought of the Day - 9/24/09

Nature needs to step up its natural selection process, cause there are some people in this world that should be in the recycle bin.

Thought of the Day - 9/23/09

Everyday may not be special but there's something special in everyday.

Thought of the Day - 9/22/09

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower, you hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.
~~ Paul Myer ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/21/09

The sweetest music to any one's ears is the sound of his own name.

Thought of the Day - 9/20/09

When we were kids, we took it for granted that there was always a friend on the other end of the teeter-totter. Now, I realize what that really means. How do people get through life if they have to go to a playground by themselves?

Thought of the Day - 9/19/09

Before you were conceived I wanted you.
Before you were born I loved you.
Before you were an hour old I would give my life for you.
This is the miracle of life.

Thought of the Day - 9/18/09

I do have a future, and the picture of that future is made up of a multitude of tiny dots called "right now."
~~ Carrie Host ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/17/09

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

Thought of the Day - 9/16/09

There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore, and who always will. So, I'm not going to worry about the people in my past, because there's a reason they didn't make it to my future.

Thought of the Day - 9/15/09

An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
~~ Edward de BonoWant ~~

Are you an expert?

Thought of the Day - 9/14/09

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.
~~ Helen Keller ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/13/09

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
~~ E. E. Cummings ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/12/09

Family is not an important thing, it's everything.
~~ Michael J. Fox ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/11/09

Courage is being afraid, but going on anyhow.
~~ Dan Rather ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/10/09

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Thought of the Day - 9/9/09

Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.

Thought of the Day - 9/8/09

There are four things you can't recover:
The stone after the throw,
the word after it's said,
the occasion after it's missed, and
the time after it's gone.

Thought of the Day - 9/7/09

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
~~ Walt Streightiff ~~

5 Ways to Grow Your Faith

With the school season in full swing, there's no doubt that you're already overwhelmed with the demands of homework, Boy/Girl Scouts, church events, fall sports, and other activities . . . not to mention the time and budget constraints that make things even more challenging.

I encourage you and your family to grow closer to God and each other this season with the following free resources from

Family Devotionals
Build your family's faith and Christian walk by studying the Bible together with FREE family devotionals.

Kid-Friendly Movie Reviews
Read the latest kid-friendly movie reviews for new releases and DVDs from a Christian perspective. Create regular family movie nights that everyone will enjoy.

Online Bible Study Tools
Whether you need to do a quick verse search or an in-depth Bible study, makes it easy to understand Scripture. Start growing in Biblical knowledge with an extensive library of FREE resources like popular commentaries, concordances, study guides, parallel study bible, and more than 29 Bible translations.

Free Christian Music Online
Listen to today's top Christian music hits on the go with Crosswalk radio. Find your favorite artists and bands featured on 10 different radio stations including Praise & Worship, Christian Top 40, Classics, Southern Gospel, and more.

Christian Book Reviews
Catch up on the latest Christian fiction and non-fiction books for family members of all ages with Crosswalk's reading finds.

Thought of the Day - 9/6/09

I think the secret to a happy life is a selective memory. Remember what you're most grateful for and quickly forget what you're not.

Stop Smoking

Though, I don't smoke as often as I used to (a pack a day in the Army), I do still smoke when I am terribly stressed. This summer has been a very stressful summer so my smoking habit has dramatically increased over the past few months. I have several friends and my children who wish I would quit all together so I need to find the motivation -- and willpower -- to quit.

I think one of the main reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem so very far away.

To help me (and you), I put together this timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect my body RIGHT NOW.

  • In 20 minutes, your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
  • In 8 hours, the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half and oxygen levels will return to normal.
  • In 48 hours, your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
  • In 72 hours, your bronchial tubes will relax and your energy levels will increase.
  • In 2 weeks, your circulation will increase and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
  • In three to nine months, coughs, wheezing, and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
  • In 1 year, your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
  • In 5 years, your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 10 years, your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 15 years, your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

I do (and you do) have more immediate things to look forward to if I quit now, besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke.

My promise to Sandy and Michael (and others) is I am going to quit RIGHT NOW!

Thought of the Day - 9/5/09

Is it better to be lonely or afraid?

Thought of the Day - 9/4/09

We can bury the past, but it never really dies.
~~ Richard Paul Evans ~~

Thought of the Day - 9/3/09

We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.

Thought of the Day - 9/1/09

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God.
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.

Save a Child

If you are concerned about the welfare of any child, tell the authorities. Please report your concerns to anyone and everyone who will listen to you. If they don't listen (and your concerns continue), call again and ask to speak to a supervisor. The miniscule risk of invading another's personal affairs is trumped by the reward of saving a life.

If each of us truly believed we are personally responsible to help the most vulnerable population -- our children -- we would follow our intuition and go the extra mile to protect them. Any one of us could be the hero who saves a child from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Freebie of the Month - September

Keeping your kids safe is a number one priority! If your child is young, you have a lot of safety skills to teach. You can start now by picking up a child safety kit for each child under 14 in your home. Click here to find out more about the kit.

Thought of the Day - 8/31/09

When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present . . . we experience heaven on earth.
~~ Author Unknown ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/30/09

A smile is a sign of joy.
A hug is a sign of love.
A laugh is a sign of happiness.

Thought of the Day - 8/29/09

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
~~ Miss Piggy ~~

Today, find EVERYTHING beautiful!

I Have a Dream

"I have a dream." It was one of the most dramatic lines of the 20th century. Spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the summer of 1963, it cut deeply into the culture's consciousness when America was deeply divided and at war with itself.

It was 46 years ago yesterday (8/28/09) that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, spoke passionately about his dreams and hopes for equality in the United States.

Thought of the Day - 8/28/09

If you see a difference between where you are and where you want to be - consciously change your thoughts, words, and actions to match your grandest vision.
~~ Neal Donald Walsch ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/27/09

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

Cut Energy Costs

Now many people are trying to cut costs and stick to a stricter budget. Since the electric bill can be quite high for families and small businesses, it’s a good idea to cut the energy consumption as much as possible.

The trick to lowering the electric bill is making smart purchases and using good strategies. To start cutting your energy costs and saving our natural resources, download these free goodies from EnergySTAR.

Do you want to teach your child about saving energy? Check out the kid-friendly downloads and kids page.

Do you need coupons to help you start the “saving” process? You can get coupons just by taking the GE lighting pledge. If you don’t want to sign up, you can visit the rebate locator to find deals in your local area.

Thought of the Day - 8/26/09

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.
~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

Invisible Illness Week

Wordless Wednesday #31

First day of school is today.

Of course, we had to have one silly photo.

For more photos, go to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Thought of the Day - 8/25/09

Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. Not something to wish for, but to attain.
~~ William Jennings Bryan ~~

What Does It Say?

What does it say about me when the first thing I do every morning is check my Facebook messages?

What does it say about me when the last thing I do every night is check my Facebook messages?

What does it say about me when I also check my cell phone at those times?

All in the hopes that I get a message, however brief it may be, from you.

What does it say about me that after 25 I still love you?

What does it say about me that during these 25 years I have missed you during all that time?

Thought of the Day - 8/24/09

In solitude the mind gain strength and learns to lean upon itself.
~~ Laurence Sterne ~~


Grace by Richard Paul Evans

"She was my first kiss. My first love. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She as a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

There are things that become clearer to me as a I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have."

This is a story of a young runaway and the boy who hides her from a frightening world too large and unfathomable for him to comprehend. As usual for Mr. Evans, it is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Get out the tissues.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 5

What is Your Mom Blogger Status

I’m curious. Has anyone else seen a trend in the SAME mom bloggers who are being handpicked for special events, conference panels, or incredible business opportunities? With the web overly saturated with so many fabulous mom bloggers, it seems that only a select few are being recognized over and over again. Why is this happening? This observation has me intrigued as to how one determines blogger status, and if that method is fair.

I am not a marketing or PR guru, so I do not know or understand the formula for figuring out one’s status or influence. Maybe it is calculated by Twitter followers or subscribers. Maybe it is based on years of experience, college degrees, or frankly, who you know. I personally have nothing against the “high status” mom bloggers, and I think it is awesome that they get to share in these experiences. My only qualm is why do companies and PR firms want to pick the same groups of bloggers? Would it not be more effective to target a completely different pool of mom bloggers, each time, who have not previously worked with companies A, B, & C, and who do not have current obligations with those companies? Would it not be smarter to tap into a new circle of bloggers that would soak up a special opportunity, and thus, put their heart into it more than, say, a blogger who has already been to 10 events that year?

I have no idea what my mom blogger status is, and I honestly don’t care. What I do care about is building positive, meaningful relationships, whether it be in friendship or business, and not worrying about what may follow monetarily.

Thought of the Day - 8/23/09

Love not who you are but what you may become.
~~ Miguel de Ceruantes ~~

Hold Tight

Hold Tight by Harlan Coben

"Tia and Mike Baye never imagined they'd spy on their kids. But their sixteen-year-old son Adam has been unusually distant lately, and after the suicide of his best friend Spencer Hill, they can't help but worry. Within days of installing a sophisticated spy program on Adam's compute, they are jolted by a cryptic message from an unknown correspondent that shakes them to their core: Just stay quiet and all safe.

As if Mike Baye isn't dealing with enough, he also learns that Luca Loriman, the sweet kid who grew up next door, is in urgent need of a kidney transplant. As the boy's doctor, Mike suddenly find himself in possession of an explosive secret that threatens t rip the Loriman family apart at the seams.

Nearby, while browsing through an online memorial for Spence, Betsy Hill discovers a surprising detail about the night of her son's death. Before she can find out more, Adam disappears, taking the truth with him and sending shock waves through the neighborhood.

As the lives of these families collide in tragic, unexpected, and violent ways, long-hidden connection in their small suburb begin to work their way to the surface. And when an unidentified Jane Doe is beaten to death no far away, those connections threaten to turn this quiet community upside down -- and force these desperate parents to decide whether there is any line they won't cross to protect those they love most in the world."

The book raises the question how well do you know your child(ren). Harlan's promise of a thriller falls a little short in this book.

Rating (1, lowest; 5, highest): 3.5

Happy 10th Birthday!

Thought of the Day - 8/22/09

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep walking.
~~ Buddhist teaching ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/21/09

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

Thought of the Day - 8/20/09

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
~~ Albert Einstein ~~

Just Stay

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

"Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent.

He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement. The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

"Who was that man?" he asked.

The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.

"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."

"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?" asked the nurse.

"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell
whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."

The next time someone needs you . . .
just be there.

Thought of the Day - 8/19/09

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/18/09

Sometimes grace can overcome sorrow, a smile can give peace, and a hug can say more than words.

Thought of the Day - Bonus #6

You have to take the good with the bad, smile when your sad, love what you've got and remember what you had. Things go wrong but remember life goes on!

Thought of the Day - 8/17/09

Without human affection, we cannot survive.
~~ The Dalai Lama ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/16/09

Home . . . a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
~~ James Montgomery ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/15/09

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.
~~ Pearl Bailey ~~

Family Minute #55

Are you a thermostat or thermometer?

A thermostat sets the temperature, a thermometer reflects the temperature. Too many parents are thermometers... they reflect their child's mood. If David is nice, they are nice. But if David is nasty... well, you get the picture. Effective parents should be thermostats... setting the climate of the household by how they react, or don't react, to their child's behavior. They choose to be joyful when their child is hurtful. They choose to be calm when their child is out of control. And they choose to love, when their child is unlovable.

Remember your family first.

Thought of the Day - 8/14/09

Everyone is in such a hurry these days. People haven't found meaning in their lives, so they're running all the time looking for it. They think the next car, the next house, the next job. Then they find those things are empty, too, and they keep running.

Once you start running, it is hard to slow yourself down.

Thought of the Day - 8/13/09

There is no experience like having children. There is no substitute for it. If you want the experience of having complete responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest way, then you should have children.

Thought of the Day - 8/12/09

The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people may stand today if it isn't the family. If you don't have the support and love and caring and concern you get from a family, you don't have much at all. Love is so supremely important.
~~ Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom ~~

Find Your Fragrance

Thought of the Day - 8/11/09

Without love, we are birds with broken wings.

Thought of the Day - 8/10/09

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
~~ Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom ~~

Memorial to My Mother

Tomorrow is my mother's funeral and burial. I was asked today to speak at her service. Below is my memorial to my mother.

Be strong. Be intelligent. Smile.

Know that beauty has everything to do with how you feel about yourself and nothing to do with looks or other people's opinions.

Never do anything just because everyone else is if you believe it's wrong.

Always be true to yourself.

Stand up for what you believe in.

Expect the best from life and that's what you'll get.

Learn from your mistakes and failures.

Believe in magic and wish on stars.

Love and trust and be compassionate.

Make faces. Play in mud puddles. Take bubble baths.

Turn off all the lights and watch lightening storms.

Dance, laugh, cry, and sing when you want to.

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Stand up for what is right especially if you stand alone.

Don't allow yourself or people around you to tolerate prejudices of any kind.

Don't be afraid to try something new.

Do something daring at least once a week.

Run through snow drifts.

Spin in circles and roll down hills.

Pet puppies, hold kittens, and talk to/cuddle babies.

Take afternoon naps. Stay up to watch the sunrise.

Never apologize for being a woman or for being yourself.

Never forget that I love you more than any other person in the world, no matter how far apart we are you will always be my daughter.

Her last words to me were, "I've always loved you. I love you forever and always."

Thank you, Mom, for everything you taught me, for loving me no matter what I did.

I love you, Mom.

Thought of the Day - 8/9/09

Don't assume that it's too late to get involved.

Thought of the Day - 8/7/09

Accept the past as past, without denying it or discarding it.
~~ Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/6/09

Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
~~ Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom ~~

Letter to My Family

In case you haven't heard the sad news, my mother died on Monday, August 3, 2009, after fighting lung cancer for 9 months, 8 days.

Because I did not show up to see my mother as often as others wanted me to, I have been judged by my closest relatives.

Here is my response to the negative posts on Facebook and nasty emails I received:

Just because I was not physically there for my mom as often as you and others does not mean I did not care or that I was ignoring the problem. At least, I admit I cannot/could not handle it. My mom knew why I wasn't around and she accepted it. You can ask Dayna, my sister, about it.

I've been through having a sick parent (open heart surgery, twice) before with my dad and I did it all alone. But for whatever reason that is okay. But I didn't/haven't held it against anyone in the family.

If you would like to know more about my life then ask. So much has happened to me and my mom taught me to be an independent,self-sustaining, self-supporting woman, so there is much my family does not know.

The few times I have asked for help, the answer was no, so I quit asking.

I love my family but I don't show it in the way you want or others want so I get judged. But this is me... this is who I am.

To see the obituary, go to Boylan Funeral Home.

Thought of the Day - 8/5/09

Thought of the Day - 8/4/09

The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

QOTW - Purse

Each week (at least, every other week), I post a QOTW (Question of the Week) so you can join in and we can get to know each other better.

This week's question:

What is the one thing you always carry in your purse?

My answer:
Wallet, camera, Tylenol, pen, gum, lipstick. There is a lot more but those are my basics.

May You Be Blessed

Combining soothing music with soul-stirring messages of inspiration, hope, and love, this brief movie will relax your body, rejuvenate your mind, and renew your spirit.

Thought of the Day - 8/2/09

Men have always been afraid that women could get along without them.
~~ Margaret Mead ~~

Thought of the Day - 8/1/09

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be... If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.
~~ Thomas Jefferson ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/31/09

In honor of my birthday today...

The importance of birthdays is not how many you've had but rather how well you've celebrated.

Birthdays are days for reflection . . . to celebrate who you are and who you will become.

Thought of the Day - 7/30/09

Your confidence is an important tool in life, and it's vital for you to appreciate the value you bring to the world. Cherish who you are, because there is no one else on earth who has your unique blend of sophistication, intelligence, and compassion!

Thought of the Day - 7/29/09

Appreciate the past. Make the most of the present. Live for the future.
~~ Becky Higgins ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/28/09

Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry; our lives are woven together for a reason.

Thought of the Day - 7/27/09

Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Thought of the Day - Bonus #5

As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on -- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.

Death ends a life, not a relationship.

Build a Subculture

People are only mean when they're threatened and that's what our culture does. That's what our economy does. Even people who have jobs are threatened because they worry about losing them. When you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of our culture.

Build your own little subculture. Don't disregard every rule of your community. Don't go around naked. Don't run through red lights. The little things, like these, can be obeyed. But the big things -- how we think, what we value -- those you must choose yourself. You can't let anyone or any culture or any society determine those for you.

It's the same for women not being thin enough or men not being rich enough. It's what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it!

Step Away

Step away.

I think about how often this is needed in everyday life. How I feel lonely, sometimes to the point of tears, but I don't let others see those tears come because we are not supposed to cry.

Or how I feel a surge of love for a friend but I don't say anything because I'm frozen with fear of what those words might do to the relationship.

Then at other times my approach is exactly the opposite (especially at night after the children are tucked into bed). Turn on the faucet. Wash myself with the emotion. It will help, I think. If you let the fear inside, then you have to say to yourself, "It's just fear."

Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely, eventually say, "That was my moment of loneliness. Now I'm going to put that loneliness aside and try not to feel afraid of being lonely."

It is getting harder and harder to step away.

Parent's Day

Do you honor your father and mother? Today is Parent's 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 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.

Thought of the Day - 7/26/09

To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says "Leave no stone unturned."
~~ Author Unknown ~~

Gobble Up

Wherever I went in my life, I have met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. Then they want to tell you all about it.

These people are so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material tings and expecting a sort of hug back. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.

Money is not a substitute for tenderness. Power isn't not a substitute for comradeship. Neither money or power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.

Thought of the Day - 7/25/09

Responsibility can seem an awful lot like a four-letter word. Haven't I done enough? Isn't there someone else who can help pick up the slack? How can I answer these questions as a single mother (financially, emotionally, physically). Sadly -- and fortunately, -- I will have to grit your teeth and simply soldier on through the next new tasks.

Thought of the Day - 7/24/09

The good news is that you can only make the future positive by building on the past, so even if you've resolved to forget it all, the best will stay with you.

Blogging Tips #2 - Badges, Buttons, & Widgets

There's just something about badges, buttons, and widgets that bloggers cannot resist but put them up on their blog.

Pay attention to bumper stickers then think how you can slant it towards your blog.

Always make sure the button links back to your blog.

Keep the widgets related to the topic of your blog. If you blog about pregnancy, create a pregnancy countdown ticker. If you blog about Christmas, create a countdown to Christmas ticker. If you blog about books, create a reading list.


Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

Inkdeath is the conclusion of the Inkheart trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath).
"Ever since the extraordinary events of Inkspell, when the enchanted book Inkheart drew Meggie and her father, Mo, into its chapters, life in the Inkworld have been more tragic than magical.

The fire-eater Dustfinger is dead, having sacrificed his life for his apprentice Farid. Now, under the rule of the evil Adderhead, the fairy-tale land is in bloody chaos, its characters far beyond the control of Fenoglio, their author. Even Elinor, left behind in the real world believes her family to be lost -- lost between the covers of a book.

Facing the threat of eternal winter, Mo inks a dangerous deal with Death itself. Yet there remains a faint hope of changing the cursed story -- if only he can fill its pages fast enough."

Cornelia's stunning and spellbinding descriptions keep you in suspense and filled with magic. You will feel joy, pain, suspense, anger, hope.

Rating (1, lowest; 5 highest): 4.5

Distribute Cycles

Before I read the book Storm Cycle I did not know about computer cycles.

Does your computer spend most of the day running screensavers or otherwise wasting its computing cycles? Why not use those spare cycles to help solve some huge problems?

Distributed computing is a science which solves a large problem by giving small parts of the problem to many computers to solve and then combining the solutions for the parts into a solution for the problem. Recent distributed computing projects have been designed to use the computers of hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world, via the Internet, to look for extra-terrestrial radio signals, to look for prime numbers so large that they have more than ten million digits, and to find more effective drugs to fight cancer and the AIDS virus. These projects are so large, and require so much computing power to solve, that they would be impossible for any one computer or person to solve in a reasonable amount of time.

The concept of distributed computing has been around for more than a decade.
There are currently hundreds of worthwhile projects that pool the resources of personal computers and game consoles all over the world. To find a cause meaningful to you and contribute your cycles to a worthy endeavor go Distribute Computing.

Storm Cycle

Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

"Rachel Kirby is a computer genius whose personal life is falling apart. Even as she stands on he brink of a stunning technological breakthrough, her beloved younger sister is plagued by a rare chronic illness that will eventually kill her, laving Rachel all alone.

But thousands of miles away archaeologist/adventurer John Tavek has made a priceless discovery in an Egyptian tomb. A discovery, Rachel realizes, that humankind has been seeking throughout history -- a secret that may save her sister's life and many thousands more. But a powerful organization is also in hot pursuit, led by a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Against all odds, Rachel joins forces with the brilliant, enigmatic Tavak in an adventure that will take them across three continents. They have but one piece of a much large puzzle, and it will take all of their wits, instincts, and cutting-edge technology to bring to light an ancient civilization's most amazing legacy."

The details and research and charismatic characters live up to the usual "can't put the book down" writing of Iris Johansen. With her son's help they put together a captivating tale. It is a whirlwind of an adventure and the technological details are gripping.

Rating (1, lowest; 5 highest): 4

Thought of the Day - 7/23/09

You feel pleasure when you want something and you get it. Or when you don't want something and you remove it. Pleasure is always relative. Happiness is absolute. Happiness is the understanding and acceptance of life as it is in this very moment as completely perfect, because every creation of God is perfect. The degree to which you do not accept life in all of the Divine forms is the degree to which you suffer.

Thought of the Day - 7/22/09

We all share the love of peace, but our sons and daughters must learn two lessons men everywhere, and in every time, have had to learn that the price of freedom is dear, but not nearly as costly as the loss of freedom, and that the advance and continuation of civilization depend on those values for which men have always been willing to die for.
~~ Author Unknown ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/21/09

You can motivate by fear. And you can motivate by reward. But both of these methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.
~~ Homer Rice ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/19/09

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/18/09

As I live each day may I do my part, to make a difference and touch one heart.
Each day it is my goal to bring smiles and laughter into a soul.

Thankful Thursday #14

I've been missing from this meme for a long time. Though, I do have several posts about various things I am thankful for.

I am thankful for...
  • I am thankful for having a decent house to live in. I have lived in dumps and have lived in the "projects" so this is really nice to have.
  • I am thankful my daughter is a bookworm like me.
  • I am thankful my son is doing so well at ADHD camp (day camp) this year. He has earned honor roll and other fun camp awards.
  • I am thankful for the pharmacist who is trying her hardest today to get the medication I need for my pain.
  • I am thankful that I am no longer sick so I can take care of my children instead of my young children taking care of me.
Sadly, Grace Alone is no longer hosting this meme. The co-hosting for Thankful Thursday is being shared. Unfortunately, my fibro fog brain gets easily confused as to where I need to go so lamely I have not been participating as I should. Thanks to the all the co-hostesses.

Share what you are thankful for by going to Spiritually Unequal Marriage.

Thought of the Day - 7/17/09

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
~~ Judy Garland ~~

I Am a Victim

More of my private thoughts for the day.

I am a victim. You are a victim. We are all victims from our past due to how we were raised and experiences we have had. I often feel like a failure, but somewhere in my heart I know I am not. I often cannot make others happy, but can only be myself. Being myself cannot be all bad because I am a precious gem from God.

Thought of the Day - 7/16/09

If you're going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.
~~ Marie Osmond ~~

Computer Tips #14 - Top 4 Was To Protect Your Computer

1. Keep your firewall turned on. Learn about firewalls.
2. Keep your operating system up-to-date. Learn about operating system updates.
3. Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Learn about antivirus software.
4. Keep your anti-spyware technology up to date.

Thought of the Day - 7/15/09

You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chance are you won't be happy anyplace.
~~ Ernie Banks ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/14/09

Staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that.
~~ Eartha Kitt ~~

Do You Stumble?

Here is my StumbleUpon identification:

StumbleUpon helps you discover the best sites on the web. Come stumble and surf with me.

Thought of the Day - 7/13/09

Your regrets aren't what you did, but what you didn't do, so take every opportunity.
Adapted from quote from Cameron Diaz

Thought of the Day - 7/12/09

Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.
~~ Sarah Caldwell ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/11/09

A Belief is something you hold onto.
A Conviction is something that holds onto you.

Thought of the Day - 7/10/09

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon, instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.
~~ Dale Carnegie ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/9/09

This moment, right here, right now, wherever you are, is all that matters. This is it. Our whole lives have been leading up to every moment. Think about that: every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low, and everything in between -- it has led you to this moment. Everything that has happened in your life has led to this point.

The Mental Side of Fibromyalgia

Many who suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at one time or another find themselves depressed over how they feel, the difficulties in finding effective treatment, lack of energy, the ongoing pain, or how loved ones respond to their illness. For many just being “happy” is a daily task in itself.

The most common question I hear from fellow is ”how to stay positive and deal with depression when you’re always in pain and hurting”?

Here are a few tips:

1. Keep moving.
Many suffering from these conditions find it difficult even to do the simplest of daily tasks, yet lying in bed all day doesn’t seem to help the pain and often leads to even more depression. Staying active is essential! Walking 3-5 minutes a day will keep your body active, even if it’s as simple as walking from one room to another. As you begin to feel better, increase your time slowly to 5-7 minutes and see how simply staying mobile can help with depression.

2. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated for even a healthy person is essential, but even more importantly for someone suffering from fibromyalgia. Make sure you drink plenty of water so that your muscles can nourish themselves and not tighten up and cause more discomfort.

3. Reach out for support.
There is a host of wonderful chat rooms and support groups that meet online and in person. Reach out to those groups that are designed specifically to help you, and allow the positive effects of simply sharing with others. You’re not alone, others have, or are experiencing similar feelings so don’t be afraid to lean on a support channel when feeling down.

4. Keep a journal.
We have all heard the power in writing down our feelings and thoughts. Make a point to write down your personal journey… the good and the bad days… and see how simply verbalizing your emotions will help you feel better.

5. Engage your higher power.
Whatever your personal beliefs are, engage your higher power for help in that moment, minute, or day. Ask your higher power for the strength to overcome your feelings of hopelessness and frustration.

6. Get educated.
Educate yourself on the treatment options available to you and get proactive in your recovery. It’s easy for many of us to wallow in the pain, but by educating yourself you will see that these conditions CAN be treated! You don’t have to suffer ongoing, talk with others who have recovered, read testimonials, and make an appointment and a goal to start recovering.

7. Re-evaluate your diet.
Diet and nutrition are key components in treating Fibro. Take a personal inventory of your diet and make sure you have eliminated sugars, white flour, caffeine, and alcohol -- all of which have a negative effect on sufferers.

Here are a few articles and helpful resources available if you would like more tips and information on dealing with depression:

Adapted from article from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Centers.

Thought of the Day - 7/8/09

Making a decisions to have a child is momentous -- it is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.
~~ Elizabeth Stone ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/7/09

Silence is the best language for communication. It helps us understand and realise the eternal truths about the self, God and the world. In silence we are able to comprehend and express sincerely and powerfully the true values of the soul such as peace, love and joy. Silence is not the absence of thoughts but it is a state in which the mind is engaged in pure elevated thoughts that nurture these values within. The power of silence develops all mental and spiritual powers that are needed to tackle various situations successfully.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Reverse Psychology

Join me in the fun and giggles of making Mondays a better day by sharing some laughs. Add your link to your Make Me Laugh Monday post to Mr. Linky below. (All links not leading directly to your post will be deleted.) All posts should be funny in some way. Yes, this is up to interpretation. Ideas include riddles, funny family stories, comic strips, jokes, silly graphics, funny lyrics, hilarious photos, etc. Please don't leave me to snicker all alone. I'm sure YOU have something funny to share.

Thought of the Day - 7/6/09

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.
~~ Earl Nightingale ~~

Thought of the Day - 7/5/09

QOTW - Name of Blog

Each week (at least, every other week), I post a QOTW (Question of the Week) so you can join in and we can get to know each other better.

This week's question:
How did you come up with the name of your blog?

My answer:
I have so much to share and God has blessed me with so much. One of my favorite words is cherished.


  • care for: be fond of; be attached to
  • to treat with affection and tenderness; hold dear
  • to keep fondly in mind; entertain, appreciate
  • to keep or cultivate with care and affection, nurture
  • to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely
  • to hold or treat as dear; feel love for
  • to care for tenderly; nurture
  • to cling fondly or inveterately to
  • to take good care of; protect
  • to cling to the idea or feeling of

    My blog description: I share my daily living and struggles as a single mother. I share a part of me and my family. I share my children, motherhood, being single in my 40s, Christianity, fibromyalgia & other health issues, advocacy, my passions, my hobbies, my love of reading, and my love of Christmas. I share what all is cherished in my life.

    Thought of the Day - 7/4/09

    In God We Trust

    This is a powerful presentation about the roots of the USA. It takes a short 4-5 minutes to watch, so take the time to pause in your busy-ness of the day and view this. Enjoy.

    Aloha Friday #11

    In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is a day to take it easy, so Kailani thought that Fridays is a good day to take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

    The question for this week:
    Based on my last post, I got to wondering about trust. Who is the one person you trust the most?

    My answer:
    My friend, Sandy. She tells me the truth no matter what, even if I don't want to hear it. She's not mean about it but matter-of-factly will tell me what needs to be said. Thanks, Sandy, for your honesty and friendship.

    If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

    Snopes - Trustworthy or Not?

    A group I belong to was discussing the cons of Aspartame this week. One of the members, then replied to a message that said they had checked Snopes to see if there was any validity to the discussion.

    After realizing so many people rely on Snopes for their fact checking, and wondering where does Snopes get their information, I did some fact checking of my own. It turns out that Snopes is just a husband and wife team named Barbara and David Mikkelson. Barbara does most of the fact checking herself, but does not list her sources. In other words, the place that most Internet users rely on to check their facts is not as reliable as most of us thought And, sadly, really subject to the biases of only two people. Think about that, they have the power to sway the thinking of a very large number of people on some very important stuff, including health and political issues.

    I think Snopes may be a good starting point, but I think i you are looking for information you should dig a little deeper. I know the topic of Aspartame i no closed in my group, but I suggest that anyone interested in the subject go to Google and type "Aspartame dangers" or something similar and read more than one source, then make up your own mind.

    I must say, I'm really alarmed by how quickly our society accepts whatever they hear. I'm even more alarmed by how much we hear these days that is either flat out untrue or, at least, skewed to fit someone's agenda. I believe this is partly why our country is in the mess it's in right now. It's unfortunate, but we just can't trust anyone anymore, including our oldest and once most trusted news sources.

    Thought of the Day - 7/3/09

    Ever walked into a gourmet ice cream store and been excited by the sheer number of flavors available to you? Ever noticed how like that ice cream store, life offers an equally astonishing number of choices? And not just the big, dramatic ones either -- the amount of options you have when it comes down to the moment is truly amazing when you think about it.

    Thought of the Day - 7/11/09

    Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    ~~ Dr. Seuss ~~

    Thought of the Day - 7/2/09

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

    I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

    I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they are gone from your life.

    I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

    I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

    I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.

    I've learned that whenever I decided something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

    I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

    I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back.

    I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

    ~~ Maya Angelou ~~

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