Friday, November 30, 2007

Fun Friday

To my darling husband,

Before you return from your trip I just want to let you know about the small accident I had with the pick up truck when I turned into the driveway. Fortunately, not too bad and I really didn't get hurt, so please don't worry too much about me. I was coming home from Walmart, and when I turned into the driveway, I accidentally pushed down on the accelerator instead of the brake.

The garage door is slightly bent, but the pick-up fortunately came to a halt when it bumped into your car. ! I am really sorry, but I know with your kind-hearted personality you will forgive me. You know how much I love you and care for you my sweetheart.

I am enclosing a picture for you. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again.

Your loving wife.


P.S. Your girlfriend called.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures here & here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesdays In "Other" Words

There are times that I tell my clients that they not only have the right to say NO, but also the responsibility to say NO. We, especially as women, often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of daily tasks in our lives. Unfortunately, many of us add even more to the list when we take on the “favors” that others ask of us. Not that helping others out at times is a bad thing, but when it takes away energy and time from what we should be doing we have the responsibility to say NO!

So, how do we know what we should be doing? For about 3 years I worked for a cancer support agency that offered free counseling and support groups for individuals with cancer and their family members. We had a board of about 80 members who had all contributed financially to the center and all had ideas about what we “should” be doing with their money. It would have been chaos to try to implement all of their ideas, but how do you say no to someone who is funding your salary!? Our executive director had a method that I use to this day. She listened to each request and then pulled out the mission statement that each board member had signed off on. If their idea fit within the mission statement of the organization we did what we could to implement the idea. If it didn’t, the executive director would look at the board member and say, “That is a great idea, and someone should be doing it, but it’s not us…it doesn’t fit with who we say we are as an organization.”

There are times that others have a great idea about how I should be spending my time and energy. I have to keep my life mission statement in mind and filter any new activities through it. If saying yes would take away energy or time from what I believe God has called me to do, I have the responsibility to say no…even if the new activity is for a good cause or it won’t take long to do it. Submitting my list to God helps me keep my life in balance. Others may be disappointed, but if God is pleased that’s all that matters!

Check here to read "other" words.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

thanksgiving gourds

"Thankfulness is not something God gives us. It is not a spiritual gift and it is not a spiritual fruit. We can receive God's peace, joy and love, but thankfulness is something that we give to God and to others. It is a choice that we make. Let us thank Him today with songs of celebration, hearts of strong devotion and acts of admiration." Roy Lessin

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

How to know when you're driving TOO fast!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Marriage Monday

I was home last week and spent some time watching Oprah. She had a couple on the show who had spent the past 40 years writing love letters to each other - every day! Their letters, according to Oprah consisted of three parts:
Part 1: How I feel today."Dear Alton," Patricia wrote after a fight. "I still feel separated from you because of last night.""I feel honored you think I'm a great parent," Alton wrote.
Part 2: "I love you because…""I love you for giving the children their baths," Patricia wrote."I love you for fixin' my supper plate tonight," Alton wrote. "It was good."
Part 3: A question of the day.Alton says these questions could be, "How do I feel when you're sick? How do I feel when you're short with the children? How do I feel when you do something special for me?"

I wondered how this would work for many couples and decided to do some research. Here's an article from Marriage Partnership Journal that suggests something similar. Penning a Marriage: The Power of Interactive Journaling. I think anything that gets couples talking is a good thing, and maybe by writing instead of speaking couples can open up without worrying about interruptions, immediate reactions, or being overheard.

Give it a try!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

The very fact that a man is thankful implies someone to be thankful to. ~ John Baillie

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Thanksliving Tips

  1. Describe what you are thankful for. Some families go around the dinner table and have everyone name something they are thankful for. Others keep a guestbook that everyone writes their thanksgiving in.
  2. Spend time volunteering. A good way to teach our kids how blessed they are is to volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner in a homeless shelter. It is a good way to remind ourselves, too, that others have it far worse than we do.
  3. Delegate. Have a potluck instead of doing it all yourself. Let everyone bring their specialty dish to the dinner and not only share in the work, but also share in the compliments and fun.
  4. Use your ipod. Download some inspirational instrumental music and play it in the background to set the stage for a relaxing day.
  5. Set up a craft area for the kids with paper, crayons, glue sticks and fall cut outs like pumpkins and leaves.
  6. Keep your perspective. Thanksgiving should be more about a chance to be with people you care about than the perfection of the meal that is served.
  7. Pace yourself. Don’t wait until the last minute to start preparing. Buy your supplies early and ask for help when you need it!
  8. Focus on what really matters. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, so keep that in mind when the little irritations arise.
  9. Moderation. Most of us eat Thanksgiving dinner like it is our last meal and we end up feeling awful and hating ourselves for stuffing more than the turkey! Enjoy the meal, but be conscious of how much you’re eating.


The art of Thanksgiving is Thanksliving.It is gratitude in It is thanking God for the gift of life by
living it triumphantly.It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them
as obligations to be invested for the common good.It is thanking God for all that men and women have
done for you by doing things for others.It is thanking God for opportunities by accepting them as
a challenge to achievement.It is thanking God for inspiration by trying to be an
inspiration to others.It is thanking God for each new day by living it to the fullest.It is thanking God by giving hands, arms, legs, and
voice to your thankful spirit.It is adding to your prayers of Thanksgiving, acts of Thanksliving.

(Wilfred A. Peterson)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen Toddler Activities

  1. Record your child singing and play it back.
  2. Finding Colors - Ask your toddler to go around the house and get things of certain color: green, red, blue.
  3. Sink or float. Pull together some waterproof toys and a tub of water. Teach your child which things sink and which ones float.
  4. Make a Mask – Using paper plates and a piece of elastic
  5. Cereal Box Dominoes – save your cereal boxes, line up empty boxes like dominoes and have your child knock them down and line them up again.
  6. Paint chip color matching. Go to a local hardware store and pick out paint chips in recognizable colors (2 or 3 for each color). Have your child match colors.
  7. Gift bag Drop - Line up some open gift bags and have your child drop cotton balls or marshmallows into the bags.
  8. Water Bottle Noise Makers - Put some pennies into used water bottles. Screw the lid on tightly and shake away.
  9. Playing Card Fun - Use cards that you don’t mind getting bent. Drop the cards and let your child pick them up. Put them number side up on the floor and have them find the 5 or the 2, etc.
  10. Gone Fishin’ - Cut some fish out of craft foam. Get a fish net from your local pet store. Have your child “catch” the fish in the bathtub.
  11. Beans - Give you child a bowl full of dried beans. Give them measuring cups and spoons to transfer the beans into different containers.
  12. Grocery Store – save empty boxes of cereal, dried pudding mix, any type of boxes or cartons that can be emptied or rinsed out. Tape them closed with packing tape. Let your child go grocery shopping for the ingredients for dinner.
  13. Mirror, Mirror – Use erasable markers to write on a mirror. Try drawing a mustache on your child’s image in the mirror.

Click here to view other T-13 participants!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other great pictures here and here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


A teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their vacation. One child wrote the following:

"We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live here in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida and now they live in a place with a lot of other retarded people.

"They live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on big tricycles and wear nametags because they don't know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wrecked center, but they must have got it fixed, because it is all right now.

"They play games and do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool, too, but they all jump up and down in it with their hats on. I guess they don't know how to swim.

"At their gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out. Then they go cruising in their golf carts.

"My Grandma used to bake cookies and stuff, but I guess she forgot how. Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And they eat the same thing every night: Early Birds. Some of the people can't get past the man in the dollhouse to go out. So the ones who do get out bring food back to the wrecked center and call it potluck.

"My Grandma says Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded some day, too. When I earn my retardment I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Marriage Monday: Retired Husband Syndrome

According to Wikipedia, Retired Husband Syndrome (RHS) is a psychosomatic, stress related illness which has been estimated to occur in 60% of Japan's older female population. It is a condition where a woman begins to exhibit signs of physical illness and depression as their husband reaches, or approaches, retirement.

"Retired husband syndrome" is one of the leading causes of divorce among older couples in Japan. The symptoms include irritability, ulcers, rashes, and the recurring urge to toss one's husband out the window.

OK, so living with a retired husband isn't that bad, but it is an adjustment. To be honest I'm sleeping better because he doesn't wake me up getting ready for work at 6 a.m., and it is kind of nice to come home from work to find him doing the laundry or cooking, but there are trade offs!

We have spent the past 33 years seeing each others only evenings, weekends and vacations. Now we spend every hour that I'm not working together. I'm sure that he is adjusting too...his identity for 33 years has been in his job, but until we start building our new house in the spring he doesn't have a lot to do.

As much as we look forward to retiring, retirement can be one of the most stressful events in life. There are a lot of losses in the transition from working to retirement – the loss of routine, work, income and identity. Unfortunately most of us only plan on our financial needs, not our emotional ones as we move into the next phase of life.

If you are approaching retirement age, there are a number of things you can do to prepare for an emotionally healthy retirement, states Elizabeth Holtzman in her seminar on The Emotional Aspects of Retirement:

  • First, begin by talking to someone – spouse, significant other, children, or all of the above about how you feel regarding the impending change in your life. Look at all the aspects, but particularly the emotional part.

  • Begin now to think about what you are passionate about. Is it politics, sports, finance, art or music? Many possibilities are available, but you need to focus on what excites you.

  • Get an emotional checkup. Many couples consult a marriage therapist before taking the big step. In a similar perspective, retirees may want to talk to a therapist about their situation and gain insights.

  • Don’t make other big decisions during this transition time. For example, people who retire and immediately move to another state may wind up suffering two major losses -- the loss of their work-related identity, and the loss of their relationship network.

Achieving a successful retirement is a process that takes planning, time, and experimentation. Retirees who achieve emotional integration learn to know themselves and what will make the coming years satisfying. They are confident in their ability to cope, and they can appreciate the possibilities within themselves. Retirement can then become a passage to new opportunity and self-fulfillment.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

A retired husband is often a wife's full-time job. ~Ella Harris

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bad Day at the office! (HILARIOUS)

Stressless Saturday: How NOT to handle stress!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fun Friday

Why men should never take messages.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Thanks to Cathy at Mine for awarding me the Egel Nest Award for Blog Excellence
I am honored to receive this award and grateful that someone is reading!! Thanks Cathy!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” William Shakespeare.

As I was teaching my Bible study this morning we discussed the need to have someone in your life who knows everything about you. Someone who has seen you at your worst and loves you anyway. That is a tall order when we have some things in our past that cause us shame. In our shame and guilt we build walls of protection around ourselves brick by brick, hurt by hurt. Unfortunately the walls we build for protection become masks that keep us from being known, from loving and being loved. If I am hiding behind a mask I will not believe that I am truly loved. I will always fear that no one would truly love me if they really knew me. It is in confession of my sins to God and a trusted friend that I create a clean conscience and dismantle the wall that keeps me hiding away from intimate relationships.

"Disconnection can be regarded as a state of being, a condition of existence where the deepest part of who we are is vibrantly attached to no one, where we are profoundly unknown and therefore experience neither the thrill of being believed in nor the joy of loving or being loved. Disconnected people may often be unaware of the empty recesses in their souls that long to be filled. They often mistake lesser longings for greater ones and settle for the satisfaction of popularity, influence, success and intense but shallow relationships. Disconnected people are unaware of what God has placed within them that if poured into others could change lives." Connecting - Larry Crabb.

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Life Goals

I have been thinking a lot about my goals in life. My husband and I are in transition in our lives. He retired September 1st; we are getting ready to sell our house and move; I closed one of my offices; and we are planning to change churches. I guess this could be a time in my life that I sit back and think about retiring myself, but at the age of 53 (did I say that out loud?) I still have a lot I want to do...

So, I thought I would start a list of things that I want to accomplish. So here goes!

  1. Become a life coach
  2. Send birthday and anniversary cards to family and friends every year
  3. Learn to be frugal in most things and extravagant in the important things
  4. Spend quality time with my mom
  5. Find someone to mentor in counseling
  6. Publish a book
  7. Create a blog that is widely read
  8. Use the things I already have instead of saving them
  9. Maintain my weight
  10. Eat healthy
  11. Have friends to my house at least once a month
  12. Go out to lunch with one person every week
  13. Listen to music every day
  14. Complete continuing education in something that really interests me every year
  15. Teach a women’s Bible Study group
  16. Develop a group of colleagues to brainstorm business ideas
  17. Find a trusted group of friends to give me yearly 360° feedback
  18. Improve business skills
  19. Keep an accurate Christmas list and mail Christmas cards every year
  20. Read through the Bible every year
  21. Get in the habit of exercising 30 minutes a day
  22. Create an oasis in my home for studying/meditation/prayer
  23. Organize photos
  24. Watch less TV
  25. Read at least one book a month
  26. Pursue photography
  27. Get regular physicals
  28. Lower BMI from 24 to 21
  29. Celebrate my Golden wedding anniversary
  30. Work at home
  31. Take inventory once a year to make sure I am staying true to myself
  32. Give gratitude
  33. Increase my follow through on new ideas
  34. Teach at a university
  35. Update my family tree
  36. Simplify my life
  37. Introduce others to Jesus
  38. Stop procrastinating
  39. Live in intentional community with good friends
  40. Learn to make good pie crusts

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

Every heart has its secret sorrows which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Fall Y'all bloggy giveaway: The Winner

And the winner of the book Your Best Year Yet is:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Parenting Tips: Parenting Your Adult Children

As our children become adults our role as a parent changes. They no longer need us to keep them safe, to set boundaries, to provide for them financially, or to “kiss their boo-boos”.

Navigating the parent/adult child relationship can be treacherous if we forget our role or if they want to remain dependent. I had an adult child in my office a few years ago that was still living with mom and dad. She was complaining that her dad treated her like a child and was taking away privileges like her cell phone and car. I told her that at the age of 21 she should not tolerate that kind of behavior from anyone!! After all, she could go out and get a job, move out, purchase her own car and phone, and not have anyone tell her what to do!! For some reason she wasn’t too happy with me.

I have also had parents in my office who are still trying to figure out how to solve their adult children’s problems. One family came to me to help them figure out how to pay their son’s medical bills. It wouldn’t have been so obviously wrong if mom hadn’t been in her 80’s.

So, how do we parent and let go at the same time? Here are some suggestions for managing the transition from parent /child to parent/adult child relationship:

Don’t take responsibility for your adult children. We are responsible TO our children; to feed them, educate them, give them shelter, clothe them, etc. But we are not responsible FOR the decisions they make as adults.

Allow your adult children to suffer their own consequences. The principle is, if I rob a bank, you shouldn’t have to go to jail! Right?! Unfortunately, when it comes to our kids we sometimes feel responsible for their messes and try to fix them. Don’t bail them out of financial messes, don’t intervene in their relationship messes, don’t buy them out of trouble!

Separate love and acceptance from approval. Your kids may decide to do something that you find morally wrong or at least irritating. You can love your adult child without approving of their behavior. Our kids need to know that they are loved and accepted regardless of what they do.

Give advice ONLY when asked. I know this is a tough one! We have much more life experience than they do, and we love them so much we just want to save them the heartache of making the same mistakes we did. But think about it…how do you learn best? Most of us learn the hard way…I don’t drive the speed limit because I think it’s a great law! I drive the speed limit (most of the time) because I have had a few tickets in my life, and I really don’t want to pay the fine again!!

Don’t try to guilt-trip your adult children. Don’t try to make them feel bad if they don’t call as often as you would like. (By the way…the phone lines work both ways! If you want to talk to them, pick up the phone and call them!) Don’t try to guilt them into coming to your house for EVERY holiday. If they are married they will have to divide their time.

Let them parent their own children!! Check out this post to read more about your role as a grandparent.