2020's Word of the Year

2020 word of the year- Release
Release control of what I can't control. Release worry. Release fear. Release...

Thursday, April 19

Rethinking a problem

In January I wrote a post about giving up a dream that I had. I was fully prepared to give it up but a dear friend of mine suggested that maybe I needed to take another look at the problem and see if it could be solved from a different direction. And that got me to thinking. What if I could approach it from a different direction? Could we make it work?

All of a sudden the dream was back in full force, I just couldn't let it go. I talked to my husband and told him that I wanted to go for it. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But if I don't try I will never know. My husband was all for it, so we are working full steam ahead.

I currently have a purchase agreement on a business here in our hometown and we hope to close next month. Life has taken a big change of direction and my days are full of forms that need filled out, cost projections, product testing and consulting with other business people. Aside from filling out all of the government forms I am enjoying every minute of it. I hope to tell you more about it later! Until then, I am back to work. Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 6

A Little Piece of our Lives

 I saw this the other day and it made me chuckle. Here in our little town we have an excellent band teacher. He teaches band at two schools, the middle and high school so they keep him busy going back and forth. He still manages to help kids to love band and they do very well when they compete with other schools.

I was very happy this fall when it was decided that my youngest son would be able to join band because if you don't know this kid has a fascination with marching bands. He loves a good marching band the way I love a good steak dinner. We have watched hundreds of hours of marching bands on YouTube since he was just a little tyke. So the fact that he got to be in band made him a very happy boy. We chose the euphonium for one basic reason, we didn't know if he would have the capability to play and the school had one he could use for free. Yeah, I didn't know what a euphonium was either, I had to look it up.

Last night the middle school had their band concert and my boy got to play. Here is a poor picture of him (lighting was not great) playing his horn. He did so well my heart just about exploded! And then I bawled. Because here was my son, the boy that the dr's said would never develop and should be put in an institution to make life easier for us, sitting in the back row with his classmates playing his horn like every other "normal" kid! Yes, okay, he will never be like the other kids, and really we're okay with that because he is a very special boy who loves babies and kittens and is one of the most honest people you will ever meet.

After the concert we got to watch videos of the concert that other parents had posted on Facebook. I told Alex that I was very proud of him because he played every song and paid attention. He looked at me and said, " I made a few mistakes Mom." I quickly reassured him that everyone made mistakes and that's okay.

At the beginning of the year I told Alex that if he stuck with band for the whole year and learned to play that I would buy him his own instrument. Honestly, I thought he would have gotten tired of it by now and be wanting to quit. But no, not him. He has been looking online at trombones. When I look at his history on his Kindle I see that he's been watching lots of videos on how to play the trombone. Who knows what the future will bring for this young man? I really can't even guess but for now we're just going to enjoy the journey. :)

Monday, January 29

Book Review

I picked up this book at the library a couple of weeks ago. I already know a little bit about Ben Sasse as he is our senator and has been in the news quite a bit as a conservative Republican who does not flinch when it's time to tell the President that he's wrong. Sasse is a strong conservative who is more about protecting our Republic rather than sticking to party lines so I thought I'd pick up his book and see what he had to say.

Before I start I should say that I don't care to read non-fiction. I actually have to force myself to read non- fiction for work so the fact that I read this at all is probably a compliment to the author. I do like most of what I know about Ben Sasse. He and his wife homeschool their children and as a former college president he obviously takes their education very seriously. Anyway, about the book...

The gist of the book is that our children are spoiled, pampered, self centered and are not prepared for adulthood. The author addresses how they got that way and he is not letting parents off the hook here. If our kids are that way it's because we have made them that way by giving them the best of everything without requiring effort on their part or simply going with the flow of society because it's easier. As a historian he is very thorough in explaining the roots of how our country was in the beginning and how we got to here, but the best part is he is that he also offers some real life solutions to try to get our children to become better adults and thus better citizens. You know what I mean, like working for what they have or learning to serve others and (gasp) even reading a book that isn't in the YA section of the library. He suggests that we teach our children to learn how to solve problems and to be more self reliant. 

Need vs Wants- this is a conversation every person should have with themselves and then with their children.

One thing that stuck with me is how quickly things have changed. He compared college kids today to his experiences 20 years earlier. As a parent raising two different generations I can really relate to this. The things that kids are dealing with now are totally different than what my older children had to deal with. Yes, some things are the same, but many are different.

He also touched on the fact that kids today for the most part are totally removed from the work part of their parent's lives. They don't see their parents working hard all day just to provide for what the family needs. My husband and I were both raised on ranches and we not only knew how hard our parents had to work we were right in there working with them. We understood how much work it took to earn that money so we understood why we didn't waste it on frivolous things. I see that many kids today have no idea about work.

I thought the book was a good read. I did get a little lost in the chapter where he talked about his European travels. I was looking forward to his suggested reading list. This is a list of books he would like his children to read by the time they are 18. Um, well, this is one tough list and I hope his kids are a lot more focused and smarter than me. I did agree with his suggestion that teens should read Shakespeare. When I was in high school we read three Shakespeare plays and I learned not only about how to read and dissect harder materials, I also learned a lot about life and History. I don't think they read Shakespeare in high school now, at least not around here.

One of my favorite parts of the book was at the very end where he wrote a speech that Teddy Roosevelt might have given to a high school graduating class were he alive today. I've always been a fan of Teddy so I enjoyed the speech and even found myself hearing it spoken in what I consider to be Teddy's voice in my head.

So what did I take away from the book? That I need to be more diligent in teaching my kids and grand-kids how to learn to solve problems, to encourage them to be more self reliant and to take opportunities to serve others. That making great adults also makes great citizens.

Note: This morning my 14 year old son asked me when I was going to get him a phone. I said you have a phone. (he has a phone called a Gizmo that can call 4 numbers and only the numbers we programmed in) He said, "No I mean when are you going to get me an I Phone or something like it?"
"Hmm", I said,"Why don't you ask the older kids when they got phones, and trust me you aren't going to like the answer."
By the way I never bought my older kids smartphones. The oldest was in the Navy when she bought her own phone and the younger two had a "dumb" phone when they were 17 and 15 that they had to share and they only used it when they left home since we lived 20 miles from town. Until that time, if they were going out I just loaned them my phone to use. (gasp)

Tuesday, January 23

Too Many Pills?

Awhile ago I had a friend comment on how many pills she would have to take if she used the Plexus TriPlex regimen. Now if you look at the catalog you might think that you have to take all of the products but you don't. You only need to take the things that your body needs help with. If you aren't used to taking pills it may seem like a lot but it also seems that most people my age are taking lots of different prescription medicines. Talking to a friend last year and she is on 13 different medicines and to be honest looks and feels terrible.
So, I will tell you what I take on a daily basis. First thing in the morning I take 2 BioCleanse pills with my Slim drink. At lunch I take 2 XFactor multivitamins and at bedtime I take 2 BioCleanse and 2 ProBio5. Yes, that is all, 8 pills taken through the day. But I am not taking anything else. No prescription meds, no over the counter meds. Nothing else and I feel better than ever before.
Plexus- entire days supplements

My husband takes Slim in the morning with Nerve, then at night he takes BioCleanse, ProBio5 and Nerve. It doesn't have to be a lot and it doesn't have to change how you live, but it might just make you feel better.

The best thing  to know this month is that Plexus has given me some codes to share so that you can become an ambassador free if you join by Friday the 26th. I have one code left and I would be happy to share it with you if you would like to join my team.

If you want to just order some products and try them you can do that too! Plexus has a 60 day money back guarantee. So you aren't going to be out anything if you give it a try and don't like it.

The link to my store is on the sideline of my blog. If you have any questions you can contact me through email or even call me. I would be happy to help you find a health regimen that works for you!

Saturday, January 20

There's a winter storm coming...

We're expecting up to a foot of snow by tomorrow night. This isn't anything that really concerns me because where I grew up a foot of snow wasn't much. But apparently it concerned a lot of people because when I popped into the grocery store earlier it was very busy with people stocking up.

Now, I tend to keep my pantry pretty well stocked with the foods that we usually cook. The downstairs pantry has items that we canned from the garden and then the bulk dry goods like wheat, beans and such. The freezer has meat in it, although not a lot. (note to self: focus on  adding to this) My upstairs pantry contains the foods that we eat frequently. I have a simple system, if I take something out of the pantry I put it on the shopping list to restock. This system really works for me and I rarely run out of things this way.

Many people I talk to seem surprised at my system which I find to just be kind of a common sense approach but then I grew up on a ranch 20 miles from town so you didn't just run to town if you ran out of sugar or cinnamon, you prepared ahead of time. Or you did without.

The last time there was a storm coming I saw my neighbor at the library with a large stack of books. She wanted to make sure she had something to read. I usually have a couple of library books checked out at all times but I also have a large library of my own so it's pretty unlikely that I will run out of reading materials. We also have a large game selection so we can entertain ourselves pretty well if we are housebound.

So if a snowstorm comes and I can't get to the store for a few days I will be prepared, as long as we have electricity.

I'm curious, what do you do to prepare for impending storms?

Wednesday, January 17

Getting Real: Letting Go of Dreams

For a long time I have had a specific dream. About twelve years ago I thought that dream might actually happen but God had other plans for me. Let me tell you, I did not accept the loss of the dream without wailing and gnashing of teeth. I continually reminded God that I had already made plenty of sacrifices and I didn't need to make this one. Honestly, I spent many hours in tears. I was angry at the circumstances that kept me from my dream and I was angry at God because I felt He hadn't kept his part of the bargain. And just like that, the dream was dead, and I had to find a way to reconcile my heart and trust that God had a better plan.

But deep in the recesses of my heart that dream has still had a little spot. I didn't think about it often but it is still there. And I have kept these pictures in my computer to give me a glimmer of hope.

It's not very hard to find these kinds of images and sayings. If you're in the direct marketing business as I am they are everywhere. And they are a good thing, something to keep you motivated but sometimes they can lead you away from the most important things in life. It's got to be a careful balance, making sure we don't neglect the things that God has entrusted to us, for me that would be  my husband and my children. These have to be non-negotiable.

Motivational images and graphics shouldn't be taken as great wisdom or compared with scripture. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will make straight your paths." That is quite a bit different than what this sign says. Now I'm not saying this sign is wrong, I liked it enough to buy it and keep it in my office. What I am saying is that motivational quotes should not be our guiding light, the Word of God should be. I would think God wants us to dream big, to want to do great things through Him and for Him. The Bible says to seek wisdom and I am trying to do that.

So, this leads me up to my current dilemma. A few months ago the dream came back. The opportunity rose again. The time seemed right since I have a lot of free time on my hands now. My husband is 100% behind me, and people I have talked too seem to think it's a good dream so I started to get excited again. From a business standpoint, from a worldly standpoint it's a no-brainer, I should be moving forward, but...Oh Lord, why is there always a but? But...people I love may be put at risk and that scares me much more than my dreams do. I have wrestled with this for weeks, considering all the pros and cons and last weekend it became clear to me that this is not the time for this dream. Considering my age, this might be the end of my dream. I would be lying if I didn't say this was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make because it was my decision, not someone telling me I couldn't do it. These are the sacrifices we must make sometimes because the needs of others are more important. I am not a martyr, I am not a saint, I am just a mom who knows that my kids need me more than others need what I have to offer. There is a big difference this time, I am not angry at God or the circumstances. I have learned that God's plan is usually always better than mine and I can lay this dream aside without bitterness. Sadness yes, but not bitterness.

Now, the big question is, where do I go from here? God and I are still working on that one. I'll let you know when I have an answer. ;)


Thursday, January 11

My Word of the Year

I have been thinking about what I want to focus on this year then Sunday our pastor was preaching about the importance of encouragement it hit me like a brick. Encourage! I am very quick to correct and criticize but I am really weak at encouraging people, especially my children.

I see other people who are so positive, people who build my kids up when they talk to them. We have a neighbor who is especially good at this. I swear you can actually see my boys get taller when they talk to him because he is so good at building them up. I am so grateful they have these kind of people in their lives but I also see that I need to be more encouraging also.

Wednesday, January 10

Books I Read in 2017

I didn't read as much this last year. I had decided to do a couple of reading challenges and I didn't do any of them. Apparently telling myself that I have to read something is equivalent to rebelling and not getting it done. For the first time in my life I just didn't have any interest in reading. I hope that this changes this year because I really miss reading, just can't seem to focus long enough to get into a story.

Here is the list of books that I read. I I had to choose my favorites of the year they would be:
Nonfiction- Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
Fiction- This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

  • Get Over Your D*mn Self by Romi Neustadt
  • The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy
  • Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
  • Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
  • The Cottage by Michael Phillips
  • Well Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George
  • Threads of Suspicion- Dee Henderson
  • Queen Esther and the 2nd Graders of Doom- Allie Pleiter
  • Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George
  • If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock
  • The Shadow on the Quilt by Stephanie Grace Whitson
  • Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
  • This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
  • The High Calling of Motherhood by Chimene Dupler
  • Lilac Girls- by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Next Year Country- A Woman's View by Alma Phillip
  • Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
  • The Four Color Personalities for MLM by Tom Schreiter
  • Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkens
  • Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig & Sally Fallon
  • Rain Song by Alice Wisler