Friday, March 30, 2012

Here's to Being a Kid at Heart

"Act Old Later"

That inscription was on a pencil my friend gave me the other day...what good advice. We have plenty of time to be "old". Being a kid at heart is not such a bad thing.

My good friend is an example of that everyday. A lot can be learned from watching the way she approaches life.

When on our walk this morning, she stopped to admire a brilliant display of color on the wet road. It was a spot of oil that made a beautiful rainbow on the pavement. I would have walked right on by. "Small things amuse me," she said. 

I had to chuckle as I thought back on some of her favorite things to do while we walk. A frozen puddle is her favorite...even in it means getting off of our walking path so she can go break it.

She old of another day she went on a hike and couldn't resist rolling rocks. How many puddles and rocks do you walk by?

A card isn't complete unless she puts something in it...usually confetti. I can't count the number of times I have opened a card from her in my car and confetti spills everywhere...I just laugh.

Thanks dear friend...for keeping me young!

Growing old is inevitable, Growing up is optional!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

O Lilly

I chased her into the bedroom, she ran to the living room. I chased her from the living room to the family room, she went back into the bedroom. This circle went several cycles before I got smart. I chased her into the bedroom and closed the door. Sooner or later I would catche her, she wasn't getting out of the bedroom!

Success! I caught her and she knew exactly why she was in trouble. Just minutes before Nana was in the kitchen working at the counter, Lilly decided to jump up on the counter and watch. She knows she is not "allowed" there. She loves to test boundaries and push buttons. She has been this way since she was a kitten.

Lilly is about 10 months old and I have a love-hate relationship with her. I often say she is not the brightest bulb in the box, but I think the opposite is the problem. She is too smart for her own good and she loves to push my buttons.

A couple of weeks ago, she jumped on the counter and my husband caught her. He grabbed her and put her head under the sink and turned on the faucet. Most cats would go nuts. Not Lilly! She remained completely still and let the water run over her head. 

Lilly is a hunter in every sense of the word. Our lawn looks like a killing field. She is in heaven living on a ranch. We literally see her with 10 rodents every day and a couple of birds. Problem is she doesn't eat ALL of them and she leaves them on the lawn. The ones she does eat, she leaves a few unpleasant remains on the door mat. 

Last week, she put a dead mouse in my husband's boot!

I could write an entire book about Lilly and her adventures. Her personality doesn't stop. What I am wondering is what I am going to do when my daughter leaves and doesn't take her cat to college!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bring on Spring!

I love the off seasons..Fall and Spring are my very favorites. I am patiently waiting for spring to actually act like spring. It seems the last few years winter arrives late and over stays into spring. I am not complaining about the much needed rain...I am just anxious to get on with some springtime activities.

I love the new life of spring. Baby calves are in plentiful supply in our pastures. It is entertainment just to sit and watch them run in the fields. Soon there will be goslings hatched and the baby chicks will be available at the local farm supply.

Gardens will come to life and springtime flowers are beginning to bloom. Trees are in various stages of budding and the birds are beginning to chirp. I even heard a frog the other day. 

Today I got excited about planting a garden again. We even talked about getting some new chickens. I see a multitude of projects waiting for me outside s soon as the ground dries bring on Spring! I am ready! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Giving and Receiving

This is a story about how one idea from one person can turn into something that benefits an entire community. If you have an idea or it, pursue it, make it happen. The reward will be more than you can ever imagine!

Tools, jewelry, clothing, yarn, craft supplies, electronics, house wares, toys and more. You can find all of this at the Mayers Thrift Store in Fall River Mills, California. If you need a place to donate your goods, this is the place. If you need to find a particular something, this is the place. It is not just for women looking for wardrobe enhancements. It is for men, looking for a tool. It is for children wanting a toy or book. It is for the crafter in need of embroidery thread. They have it all.

The great thing about this store is “We help the community, the community helps us.” Said Lyn Palmer, one of the volunteers and minds behind developing the project. Palmer who contacted Margaret Truan, Mayers Director of Volunteer Services, conceived the idea of Many More Happy Days Thrift Store 18 months ago. After being required to develop a business plan and getting that approved, the store opened its doors on August 10, 2011.

A lot of planning, research, visiting other facilities and recruiting volunteers was necessary to get the doors open. According to Truan, the volunteers make the business a success. “We have the most dedicated, hard working volunteers. We are successful because of these people. They love what they do.” Currently there are about 14 volunteers who operate the store. Truan also added that many of the ideas for the store come from the volunteers.

There are usually 2-4 volunteers working each day. They are responsible for sorting incoming items, cleaning, displaying, and helping customers and the everyday functions of the business. “We receive donations regularly which need to be sorted through. We make sure everything is clean, in good condition, free of missing buttons or parts, free of stains and tears. We want to provide good quality items.” Truan emphasized. Items that don’t meet the standards are delivered to other facilities.

Items are accepted by appointment and there are a few things that are not accepted, such as fabric furniture, large appliances, computers and undergarments. All donors receive a receipt for their tax-deductible donations.

This is where it gets fun. All proceeds from sales are put directly to work for the community. “We are always looking for something to fund at the hospital and the volunteers get to help select those items.” Said Truan. Part of the proceeds goes directly to Hopsice, as many items are earmarked for the Hopsice program. Other funds are run through the Intermountain Healthcare Foundation. Volunteers meet quarterly and accept and reviews grant applications. Items such as an electronic scale for the OB unit, television for outpatient services, Doppler scanner, oxygen analyzer and lobby renovations have all been funded through thrift store profits.

Truan also noted that sometimes donations come in, such as a DVD player, which was needed in the long-term unit, “we will give these items directly.” Craft supplies and other items are also given to the long-term care to help with resident activities.

Providing for community need is also something that is a priority. “We had a situation from a house fire in which there was great need for clothing and other goods. We were able to provide for those needs. We have also had situations around the holidays where we were able to help.” For these types of circumstances, Truan should be contacted.

The store is always trying new things. Recently, they have started a silent auction of a few select items. “These are special and valuable things we are not sure how to price.” Said Truan. The plan is to do this at least once a month. Volunteers are also looking at ways to coordinate prom dresses, athletic shoes and other needed items.

Many More Happy Days has exceeded their projections and is looking at another good year thanks to the support of the community. “It is a great thing to know that your donations or purchases can be helping with the needs of the hospital, Hospice or community needs.” Palmer said.

If you haven’t yet, drop in. Currently all jeans are half off. They also have a 50% off table on items that have been there for over three month. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they maintain a wish list and can notify you if something comes in. If you are starting your spring-cleaning, call for a drop off appointment at 336-5511 ext 1202/1244. Store hours are Monday through Friday 10 am – 4 pm. They are open the first Saturday of each month from 10 am – 2 pm. It should be noted that the Saturdays are available through the volunteer efforts of the Pine Grove 4-H club.

Truan says they are always looking for new volunteers and would even appreciate other organizations, like Pine Grove 4-H, getting involved.  There are great plans for the coming year. “I have to say it again, though, this project is successful because of the dedication of our wonderful volunteers.”

 If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. 
 ~Albert Einstein

Monday, March 26, 2012

I Am Still Here!

I have been missing from action for several days. There has been a lot going on with the family and that was the priority in my life. So I will get back to my writing this week. It is a part of my daily routine I miss.

For now...hug those that you love, let them know you love them, support them and cherish every minute. Family and friends are so important....remember to appreciate them.

Have a wonderful Monday...back to blogging tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Your Magazine Says About You

Stacks and Stacks! I have a hard time parting with them. They have been read several times through and end up in one of the many piles throughout the house…magazines! I have tried to come up with a system for clipping and filing, so far nothing that works out too well. I was looking at the magazines I have now and reflected back to my magazine “growing cycle”.

The magazine I was reading at the time was very indicative of how old I was or what stage of my life I was at. Here’s a little sampling…

Seventeen…You guessed it I was seventeen! That was the magazine I read in high school. I enjoyed looking at the latest styles of clothes, prom dresses and hair and make-up trends. I never was really able to keep up with those trends, but I did my best. Fortunately, I grew up in a very small town, so the pressure wasn’t as great. The magazine these days looks a little more like a teenage Cosmo!

BRIDES…I skipped reading many magazines in college, enough reading was required in class! The next magazine was BRIDES. First it was purchased to drop a MAJOR hint…it took a while. Finally the day came that I had a reason to be reading. My wedding was on a much smaller budget, but I gathered great ideas from this beautiful magazine!

Parents…That magazine was a life saver for me, especially with our first child! The tips, ideas, coupons and articles made me at least FEEL like I knew what I was doing. I had the Parents magazine as a regular for many years.

CRAFTS…As the kids got older and the budget got tighter, I started making more gifts for our family and friends. The Crafts magazine was my current favorite. I also loved it because there were ideas for crafts I could make with the kids.

GARDEN…Many varieties of garden magazines graced my magazine racks. I suddenly became very interested in my flower and vegetable gardens…the crafts went on the back burner. I tried replicating many of the gardens I found in these magazines.

Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal…I was approaching late 30’s, early 40’s. Crockpot recipes, time management, budget ideas and health tips were what I was looking for and these magazines had all of the answers.

PEOPLE, US and In Touch…for a brief spell I was wishing I was younger and more elegant. I followed the celebrities for a while, but the drama became too much. I even had a friend buy me a subscription for my birthday…I never renewed…I realized I could never (and didn’t want to) be like those stars!

PREVENTION…Okay, so I hit 40! Now I needed to know how to take care of myself…I was getting older and out of shape….that led to…

SHAPE, WEIGHT WATCHERS AND FITNESS…If only I could have done everything those magazines said!

Taste of Home, Rachel Ray and Food Network…I finally, after 20 years of marriage decided to spice up my cooking style and menus. I am still in this mode. My family has enjoyed the change and knows when I have been reading a new issue.

Woman’s World and FIRST…my current favorites. They boast a new diet each week, great recipes and short articles.

I found it kind of funny looking back on this cycle…I wonder which magazine will come next? What is your current favorite…maybe I can guess your age

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

There Really Are No Excuses..To Eat Healthy!

Not too long ago I would have said let's just get a pizza tonite because I didn't know what to cook. 

That is the old me...the new me has a plan and isn't willing to take backwards steps. This afternoon I didn't know what I wanted to cook. That was easily solved by a quick scan of my bookmarked websites and Pinterest. There really are no excuses for making great food. 

"Back in the day" recipes required a cookbook, recipe box or slips of papers tucked away in the drawer. Now it is easy. Yesterday I had a head of cabbage I wanted to use, so I searched "healthy cabbage recipes" and came up with a great apple and cabbage salad at

Apple and Cabbage Slaw


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a salad bowl, combine and whisk together the yogurt, sour cream and honey. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Add the cabbage, apple, onion, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve chilled.

Speaking of apples....I needed a recipe to use a bag of bruised apples...not too hard to find at 

2 cups apples (peeled and shredded = 2 small)
112 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
23 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
112 tsps baking powder
12 tsp baking soda
12 tsp salt
12 tsp cinnamon
12 cup milk
2 tbsps vegetable oil
Cook for 15-18 minutes at 375 or until finished (use a toothpick as always!).
Here are few really good recipe sites.....

If you have ingredients and don't know what to make, try this website... 

So here's a start for you...more will follow...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Where Are you Living?

When browsing this morning, I saw this poster and it really struck me. How many times have I wasted precious time worrying about what has already happened? How many times have I not focused on today and worried about what will happen tomorrow? Life is full of adventure, happiness and PEACE right here, right now in the present.

Really, we cannot change what has happened in the past, we can only learn from why dwell on it or let it ruin today. We can't always control or predict what will happen in the future, so why be anxious?

Focus on what is at hand. Don't work so hard at living that you forget to have a life. Worry less and pray more. Take time to "smell the roses" and appreciate what you have in your life. Instead of wanting change, wanting more or always looking and appreciate what is right in front of you.

I am guilty of all of this...This poster was meant for me this morning! I have so many things to be thankful for and I have an amazing day ahead of me...a day to live, to love and to laugh...for that I am thankful!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Now Hiring

Day Care, Cook, Dishwasher, Dry Cleaner, Maid, Tutor, Recreation Coordinator, Bookkeeper, Secretary, Taxi Driver, Gardener, Referee , Nurse and Magician! Accepting applications now – must have experience in all areas and be able to perform multiple tasks at one time.

I have heard the term “Domestic Engineer” when trying to define a mom’s job description. Whatever you want to call it, the required list of skills is long and to pay for these services would make a mom’s annual wage around $2,325 per week or $125,900 per year!

Here’s how we will break down your pay according to your job duties performed:

Daycare: Provide care and comfort to your children. Schedule play time, nap time and meals. $182 per week.

Chef/Cook: Responsible for family meals in a timely fashion. Also responsible to feed those unexpected friends your children bring home. $238 per week.

Dishwasher: Responsible for washing and putting away all dishes. Will also include some food prep and menu planning. $225 per week.

Dry Cleaner: Responsible for all grass stains, white whites and will take a vow to not shrink your daughter’s favorite sweater. Will wash, dry and fold laundry. $199 per week.

Taxi Driver: Will transport children to ball games, opens house, school activities and birthday parties. Every effort will be made to be on time…no guarantees. Conflicting schedules may pre-empt above guidelines. $362 per week.

Maid: Keeping the house tidy…vacuum, dust, clean restrooms, change sheets…and anything else that comes along. $182 per week

Tutor: Responsible for assisting with homework. Must be proficient in spelling, writing and math! $228 per week.

Recreation Coordinator: Organize play dates, camping trips, water park days, picnics and all other family fun activities. $303 per week.

Bookkeeper/Secretary: Balance banks statements, pay bills, take messages, handle all correspondence and make sure there is enough in the budget for family fun. $389 per week.

In addition you will be a nurse to take care of all boo-boos, gardener, referee (when children bicker) and magician (to find everything family members have misplaced). If these duties are performed well, you will receive a 3% bonus.

You always knew you were worth a lot, right?  No amount of money or huge salary can replace the fantastic job and the love you provide in the occupation of MOM!

Any takers?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Eye

I have joined the club...the "Old Eye" club. As I sat down to write my blog today, I didn't have my glasses on and I could barely see the screen! I put my glasses on and I am still having trouble focusing.

I finally gave in a few months ago when I literally could NOT read the directions on a medicine bottle. I held it out as far as my arm would allow...I still couldn't see it!

When I saw the eye doctor, he said it is "normal" to experience this after 40, I made it to 45. Not only did I need glasses for reading, one of my eyes was working harder than the other. So I got "progressive" lenses. It is amazing, I can actually see. 

I don't even bother picking up a box or bottle with instructions without my glasses on. Why do they make the print so tiny on these packages? 

So, since my arms weren't going to grow longer and the print on the packages wasn't going to be made any bigger...I needed to accept the fact I needed glasses. It is ironic, when I was young, I wanted glasses, but didn't need them. 

The "Old Eye" club isn't so bad...I am sure I will have more of my friends joining me sooner or later!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No More Encyclopedia

The book-form of Encyclopaedia Britannica has been in print since it was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1768. It will stop being available when the current stock runs out, the company said. In honor of the resource books that got me through school, I give you this blog...

What?  You want me to help you with that homework?  You need direction with your research paper?  You need assistance identifying bugs?  Well, let me tell you how it was for me....

So sweetie, have you ever seen, heard of or opened an encyclopedia?  Do you know what the Dewey Decimal System is? Typewriters and white out, you've never heard of those either.  How about a dictionary to find out the correct spelling of that word?

The last few weeks of school have been full of school assignments. We have had the research paper, the entomology collection and a variety of other final projects.  Not that they aren't hard, but really, how much easier is it now to complete these assignments.  When I was in school, back in the day, there was no such thing as the internet or a word processing computer with spell check. 

My grandma had a full set of encyclopias and I really enjoyed using them.  Most of my research papers involved spending a lot of time at my grandparents.  I used their encyclopedias and their electric typewriter. Other research was obtained by going to the library and looking for books.

While completing applications for scholarships, my son had to type a few that weren't available on the internet.  My daughter was perplexed at what she saw when I brought home a borrowed typewriter. "What is that?!? Do the words print out on the paper?" She asked.  It was then, I realized how much things have changed.  Today's student has a wealth of information and technology available to them within seconds. 

When completing her entomology collection, my daughter used the internet and her IPhone.  She took pictures of some of the bugs and while we were away from home, looked them up online and emailed the information back to her email address at home.  Then it was a copy and paste and print to identify the bugs on her board.  

When I went to college I didn't have a computer, I had a typewriter.  Now, each of the kids have a laptop and we have two other computers in the house.  We have no encyclopedias.  

So, do I want to help you?  I will turn on the computer for you...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Don't Look Back!

A lesson in life from cutting hay...a blog worth re-posting!

We have a cattle and hay ranch. Cutting hay is a big part of the farming season. My husband is a hay cutting perfectionist. His rows are arrow straight. Mine, not always..

When I first started cutting hay, I thought "How hard can this be? Drive the swather straight, turn at the end, go back and big deal!" I was wrong. One of my first experiences, left the evidence of my handy work right along the driveway where everyone could see. Why couldn't my first assignment been a field at the back of the ranch, hidden from the eye? I didn't go straight. Not even close.

Husband's instructions were to start the row and look clear to the other end and pick out a focus point. Keep your eye on that focus point and drive. For my first row, I picked out a tree. Problem is there was more than one tree at the other end! Once you mess up your first row, it's hard to get straight. What's the big deal...nothing really until you get to the levee and end up crossing it on an angle.

I learned that the steering on a swather (hay cutting machine) is nothing like a car. The small back wheels turn and direct the machine. The steering is very touchy. You can't cough, sneeze or get a drink of water and slightly move the steeriing wheel without making snake row. When you get to the end of the row you have to lift up the header, turn, then put it back down. 

That first hay cutting exposition, I kept lifting the header too soon and leaving little strips at the end. Husband hadn't seen that yet, so I went to the house, got the weedeater and was preparing to cut those strips down. I got caught..."Why are you doing that?" He asked." I think he realized I was trying to leave perfect rows like his, but it was going to take more than a weedeater.

After a few more fields, I eventually got better. I have a crooked row every now and then. We really should have taken a picture of that first field. What made it get better? Well, practice of course. Really, what helped the most was what husband told me...

"When you are cutting, Don't Look Back! The more you turn around and look back, the more you mess up and the more crooked your row gets. Keep focused on what is ahead and work to get straightened out. What is behind you will be raked and baled up in a few days and it will be hauled off of the field forever. You can't change what is behind you." Hmmm....seems like that lesson applies everywhere in life.

 The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. ~L. Thomas Holdcroft

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Ball

This is a post from last year on another site...but is worth being re-visited.  I LOVE softball season!

I had never thought about it before, but this particular day sitting and watching my daughter in the dugout getting ready for the coming game, I had this overwhelming feeling of respect for her. She sat there by herself with her glove on and "the ball" in the other hand. I really focused on her hand holding that ball. She doesn't have a big hand, but she looked confident and in control.

This is the girl that wouldn't even consider t-ball or coach pitch because she was afraid to stand in the batter's box, because she was too embarrassed. Then in the 5th grade, a coach talked her into playing...and she WANTED to learn to pitch. So, since the 6th grade, she has been taking pitching lessons. She has gone from trying to throw a pitch over the plate to being in control of the plate. It amazes me what she has to to hold the ball, where to step in order to throw one of her six pitches hitting one of five locations...whew! All of this while holding a tough mental perspective...more than I could ever do!

I am proud of her and I have so much respect for her and how she handles pressure. This has made me think about my kids and the many other kids in our community and other communities that get involved in a variety of activities. Whether it be sports, clubs, music and arts or any other activity, these young people step out of their comfort zone to try new things. They work hard and practice to become better. They learn the value of teamwork and commitment. Without always knowing it, they are developing life skills. They take "the ball" and run with it. They experience the ups and downs of winning and losing...all of this a big part of preparing for the real world.

The next time you have the opportunity really take a look at what your child or another child you know is doing. Recognize the work they put in, the responsibilities and commitments they have shouldered and the way they have taken and managed "the ball" that has been put in their court. You will find a new respect for these young people, as I did that day in the dugout.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Didn't Do It....

One, two, three, four, five! Wow! Five bounces without falling off. Grab the crayon, write the number on the wall. Let's try it again. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven....record it in blue on the wall. It went on for a while. Long enough to cover a big portion of the bedroom wall. It didn't seem like it was any big deal. It actually looked pretty good on the wall...I liked mom didn't!

I was about 4 years old and had just learned how to write numbers and was working on letters. I was minding my own business in my room. I was playing a bouncing game and was keeping track of my progress. All was well, until my mom decided to check in on me.

You guessed it, she was mad. "I didn't do it," I told her. "Chrissy did it!" The only problem with that was, Chrissy was my baby sister. She couldn't sit up or walk, much less write numbers on the wall. I was in trouble, but then I was in more trouble for lying than the writing on the wall!

You would have thought I learned my lesson. Not exactly. A few months later I had learned how to write my name. I loved to write my name. V-A-L-E-R-I-E it looked so neat. I loved to write it everywhere...even the window sill. I didn't just write it, I CARVED it with a key in the window sill. It looked good. 

It didn't take long for my mom to find guessed it, I was in trouble again! Well, the good news is I didn't blame it on my baby sister. The bad news, I blamed it on my friend that lived an hour away! To top it off, my friend hadn't been at our house in months!

You guessed it again...I was in more trouble for lying than the carving. This time I learned my lesson.

Placing blame didn't work, lying didn't work...especially when the writing was on the wall!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cupcakes, Calories and Character

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes! I am surrounded by cupcakes. Cupcakes full of calories. Cupcakes that are definitely building my willpower and character!

I was out of town last weekend and I got a text from a friend. We are helping each other be accountable and it is working. "Help, I am surrounded by cupcakes and I want to eat on!" She said. She had made cupcakes for a birthday and had to handle and look at each one as she frosted them.

"No, No, No," I replied to her, "It's not worth it!" I told her how I had just turned down a Cinnabon in the mall. (Something that used to be a regular stop!) The intervention worked. Every time each of us thinks we want to cheat, we gently remind each other how much exercise we have to do to burn off those calories.

This is what you get in a cupcake....

Bakery Cupcake

Calories: 585
Total Fat: 20 g
Saturated Fat: 12 g
What you get: Just one of these contains more than half the recommended daily saturated-fat limit.

Store-Bought Cake Mix & Frosting

Calories: 298
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
What you get: Most cake mixes and frostings contain artificial flavors, artificial colors and trans fats too.

How much exercise to burn one off? Approximately 276 calories are burned walked at 3.0 mph for 60 minutes. Do the math.

So I know all of this. Why do I torture myself with watching cupcake wars every day? It is a habit that I can't break. I don't eat them, I watch people bake them. I think this builds my willpower and my character. It helps me to know I CAN do it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pizzas Don't Have Legs

He sounded mad and I was sure someone was going to be fired. He was a gruff guy and I was intimidated... 

It was my first night of work and I was nervous. I would be delivering pizzas in a college town. This wouldn't be that bad in today's world, but 25 years ago was a different story. There were no cell phones, no GPS...only a big map on the wall and an address in hand.

Pizzas to be delivered were put in an insulated carrying case. This pizza parlor featured the giant sized party pizza. At the time I drove a 2-seater Honda and the party pizza barely fit in the back of my car. 

It was actually turned out to be a great job. I made an hourly wage plus $2 per pizza delivered for gas and any tips. On a weekend night, driving a car that got 40 miles per gallon, I made pretty good wages for a college kid. We mostly delivered to families, because the pizzas were a little more expensive. There were the occasional college student deliveries. These were not my preference, since the college kids didn't tip too well. 

One time I had to deliver seven party pizzas to a fraternity house.

So back to the mad boss...

"Who did this?" he hollered. I looked over and wondered what he was talking about. As I caught a glimpse of what he was talking about, I knew my first night would be my last. "Who stood this party pizza on it's side?" Oh boy, it was me! I had sat it down and it didn't even dawn on me that a pizza stood on it's side would slide to the bottom of the box. Pizzas need to be kept flat!

I was just about to take the blame, as it was my rookie mistake. Before I could get the words out, one of the other employees said, "Oh sorry Hector, that was me, it won't happen again." The boss grumbled and instructed a new one to be made. 

I thanked the other employee...He said, "No problem, we get to eat this pizza now. Just remember, pizzas don't have legs!"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Never Say Never


It was my turn. I climbed up on the medical looking chair. I took off my shoe, rolled up my pant leg and stuck my left foot out."What am I doing?"  If you would have bet me a million dollars a few years ago that I would do would be a millionaire now. This is something I said I would NEVER do. Never say never.

A couple of years ago my daughter asked me to do something very special with her. Something that would give us a bond like no other. When your teenage daughter actually wants to do something with you, how do you say no. At the time, I told her I would think about it. I told her if it was meaningful to both of us, I would consider it. 

In her mind, she knew that meant on her 18th birthday we would be getting matching tattoos.  We would talk about it a lot, but it always seemed so far off. Then 2012 came, the year she would turn 18. She would remind me that it was only a couple of months until we would get our tattoo. 

We found a design that we both loved. It was meaningful to us both for a couple of reasons. It referenced Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Faith is a big part of our lives. It is something as parents we have worked at really instilling in our children. Our faith in Christ is the center of our lives. The "ones" have significance to us too. We have always seemed to randomly look at the clock at 1:11 or 11:11 and look at each other and smile. We had read years ago that the "ones" meant angels were with you. This was definitely what we wanted.

The design was picked and the date was set...but would I be able to go through with it? As I sat there on the chair...after Mandy had already had her artwork placed so delicately on her foot...I thought "what a special time." My daughter wants me to share something that is permanent. She wants a bond with me, something that only her and I can treasure. Of course I can do it.

I was scared, I thought for sure I would cry. The artist was great, she told me to breath and relax. At that time I realized I had given birth to the beautiful daughter that sat beside me. Childbirth was pain...but a pain that brought great joy and a treasure that I have had in my life for the last 18 years. I could handle this brief pain to share a bond with my child. I could stand this pain to do something she really wanted to share with me. 

As it turned out, it wasn't that bad at all. It hurt, but it was worth every minute. Eighteen years after God gave me the gift of a baby girl, I sat there with her and held her hand and we both experienced something new together. I learned then and there...Never say never.

Friday, March 2, 2012

One More Day of 17

She will be an "adult" tomorrow, but she will always be my baby girl. My beautiful daughter will turn 18 tomorrow. For today, I am going to enjoy one last day of her being 17. I cannot begin to say how proud I am of her and the young lady she has become. She is a true blessing. 

I can remember so clearly the day she was born. She was a stubborn little girl from the start! She didn't sleep all night for the first two years, she wouldn't give up her bottle and she waited a little long to walk. Looking back, I am thankful for those extended "baby" moments because since then she has grown up way too fast.

We begin a weekend adventure today. Each year my sister and I take my daughter and my niece on a birthday weekend. We were lucky to have the girls with birthdays right next to one another. These trips have provided many fun memories and I don't think this one will let us down. 

It's hard for me...but it is fun each step of the way. I am thankful for a daughter who is beautiful inside and out. I intend on cherishing each moment of the weekend and each memory with my almost "adult" daughter!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Game

What time are you going to "the game?" Are you eating before "the game" or at "the game?" We better walk in the morning since we will miss exercise class because of "the game." See you at "the game." You better get their early if you want a good seat at "the game." Save me a seat at "the game." 

"THE GAME." If you live in a small community you know exactly what I am talking about. There is something about sports and small towns that bring people of all ages together. 

Last night in our town was no exception. It has been since 1997 that our boys basketball team has been in this position. After winning a league title, we had advanced to the third round of the section playoffs...last night was "the game."

Aside from the excitement of a great group of boys playing in the postseason...the feeling of community was a large part of the evening.

Do these boys know they did way more than have a winning season? Do they know that they contributed to bringing an entire community together?

"The game" ended with a disappointing loss...but in my opinion it was more of a big win. The boys succeeded in packing the gym with people from at least four visiting schools, local community members, students, parents and visiting team fans. 

Looking across the gym and seeing generations of the past and generations of the future was a special sight to see. I would venture to guess that local businesses were very slow last night, everyone in our community was packed in the gym for "the game!"

So thanks boys for a fun season. It was great to see an entire community come together and support our school and athletes for "THE GAME."


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