Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Right Where

We are all human.  We all have moments where we question what we are doing and why we are doing it.  If we don't have a good "why"; then we have trouble with life.  People are meant to have a purpose.
Right now, my "why" is changing.  It's shifting from being behind to planning ahead.  On the surface, we weren't behind on anything really.  Rediscovering truths about debt shined a light on the fact that we were in fact behind.  We weren't free to do as we pleased because "the borrower is servant to the lender".  We are working on the house next.  And while we work on that, life is shifting.  So much is shifting.
It looks like nothing on the surface.  This isn't the shifting change that is visible like when a tide changes and the waves show the new direction.  This is a shift inside us.  It is empowering and freeing.  And at times, a little scary.  When you in the chains of debt, you know where you are going - you are going to work and you are paying your bills. Or else you are going to be in a world of trouble.  When those chains are gone, you have a whole world open up.  Where to go now?  So many ideas!  The excitement peaks and ebbs.  And it takes time.  I'll be awhile because I get rather stuck in patterns of work, work, work!  Especially now because I have so many plans that are to change so much!  There is so much to do!
I look at my family, and it isn't just me.  They are ready for new and exciting things too!  We've been on this journey together!  And we are ready for the next adventure together!
Two steps forward and one step back sometimes.  Or so it seems.  I get rather impatient with this in between stuff sometimes.  I try to keep in mind that this in between stuff is a very important part of life!
Then there are moments like today when I am reminded that we are right where we need to be.  If we had skipped over this journey or if we were to skip this in between stuff right now; we would be lacking because of it.  I'm watching my daughter, who made a very responsible, very mature decision, deal with the stress of standing up to questions about her decisions.  And she is rocking it.  It is wearing her down a bit.  But she's doing amazing!  I am so proud!
We are all where we need to be to learn to be strong and steadfast, faithful that God is always with us and there to help even when we do mess up in life!
Tonight I am thankful for the journey of life, yes.  Tonight though, especially for our recent journey.  We are all learning and growing as a family.  And that is invaluable!

Visitor!

We have a visitor.
The kids love when Uncle Bill comes to visit!!
Tonight's blog is short because it's late and I've been up chatting.
Tonight I am thankful that Bill is here to visit!  The kids are thankful too!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What a Night!

It was several weeks ago now that I first saw a thing online for a dance show at the Fox Theater.  I thought it would be great to surprise the girls with!
I couldn't wait.  I told them about it the day that I ordered the tickets.  I was so excited to take them!  The girls have never been to Detroit, let alone the Fox theater.  I've taken the boys to Tiger's games and to see the Lions play.  So this was extra exciting that it would be the girls' first time to such a big city!
It was a fun drive there, listening to the girls as they took in all the city sights!  The show was wonderful!  The theater amazing, of course!  The drive home was a blast, listening to the girls laugh and joke with each other!
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful night with my girls!  This is a night that I'm sure they'll remember for a lifetime :)  And the girls were very happy that we didn't get mugged ;)


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Worth the Wait

My youngest child is not known for his patience.
10 seconds seems like 10 hours to him.
Last weekend he received a birthday gift of a gift card to Toys R Us.  It has been driving him absolutely crazy that he hasn't been able to use it yet.
He's gotten online and picked out things a couple times.  But he kept changing his mind.  Today, a week later, the boy finally got to go to Toys R Us!
He made a beeline to the Skylanders.  "This way mom!"  He didn't want to stop and look at anything else.  He even walked by the Pokemon cards.  He did give them a half second stare on his way past.
When we walked up to the Skylanders, he was so excited to find that they were on sale!  Up to $10 off some Skylanders!
Tonight I am thankful for a good sale at Toys R US.  This sale made his long wait much more worth it to spend his gift card and get another extra Skylander!!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Unwinding

I have officially given this week everything that I have!
I called it a day a bit early today and escaped to a nice hot tub with wonderful Epsom salts!  The problem with doing that too early in the day is that I had to get out and put on real clothes and still do stuff.  I prefer to leave a nice, relaxing bath, put on pj's and go to bed!  :)  I'm even thinking about a second bath; from which I can go right to bed this time!!
After the first bath and the putting on of real clothes, there was a little dance party here in my office.  Two of my kiddos came in; we turned the music up and had some fun :)
Tonight I am thankful for unwinding a bit tonight!  I'm glad for a lot of good progress this week!  And I am thankful that tomorrow morning this house is sleeping in!!!



Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Big Day!

Tomorrow is the big day!
Let me digress for a minute.
Last year I worked like crazy with a huge goal in mind to become debt free!  And we did it!  This year I wanted to work less.
I worked less for about two months.
Then we've had some ongoing tenant/rental home issues.  We have more repairs to do to our own house.  There are just these big ticket items staring at us that make me cringe at the thought of working so much again.  But it seems almost necessary.  But I won't do it.
There had to be a better way.
I'm working on it.
I found two major overhauls to my current system.  And time just seems to be dragging to get them implemented!!  One overhaul is with a start-up company.  They have a wonderful product.  But they do not have the staff to keep up with their demand.  Once I realized this, I've been calling them regularly.  I'm being polite.  But I'm keeping myself at the top of their list!
I started this quarter of 2017 with specific goals for business improvement and I intend on hitting them!
Tomorrow, over a breakfast meeting I will roll out the new systems to my gal who keeps me from going crazy with all this work!  We're going to get this thing down pat soon!  And I'll keep looking still for ways to improve!
So far I've had to delay this meeting twice now.  Two weeks have gone by waiting for a break in work and waiting for the new systems to be in place.  Two weeks of working my butt off knowing that it should be easier if the new systems were in place.  Two weeks of begrudgingly trying hard, wishing for a break in time enough to make improvements.  Two Weeks Ends Tomorrow!
Tonight I am thankful that tomorrow is the day!  I know there may be some hiccups still.  I'm not expecting perfection.  But I'm looking forward to improvement and efficiency for sure!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Apologizing for My Temper

Here's something you may or may not know about me:  I can have a bit of a temper.  I sometimes have to apologize for this temper because I can be really blunt and snarky.
About a week ago I got very mad at someone I've known for a long time.  The truth of the matter is that I know we aren't the same level mentally.  I've known this for some time.  Perception of a situation can make or break relationships in life.
I guess I just didn't know exactly how far apart we really were from eye to eye.  We are more like eye to foot.  And there are some topics that I just plain get touchy about.  I am human.
This person hasn't taken my calls for a long time now.  He doesn't reply to messages.  But the few times I've seen him in person the last few years, he has seemed genuinely happy to see me.
Well when I got mad, I figured a text would be the way to go.  I figured I'd lose my cool if I called and he happened to answer this time.  So I wrote and deleted; wrote and deleted; wrote and deleted.  Finally I was ok with what I wrote.  It was to the point, honest, and void of any phrases that tend to slip out of my mouth when I morph in to angry-Jessie, the sailor-mouthed, fire breathing dragon.
Nothing.  No response.
Was he even getting my messages?
Yep.
I got one sign.  The message went thru.
No response.
I have spent the last week or so continually bringing myself back to prayer.  I can not fix this.  I can not do anything but pray.  So I have been.  I even wrote his name down.  So when I get mad or sad or think of him at all, I will remember to pray for him.
Today was the day to make things right.  I sent another text today.  I apologized for being mean.  I didn't bring up the past.  The past is the past.  It would be wonderful to reach some place where he understands my side and I understand his side.  But it isn't going to happen.  So I just reminded him that I love him.  That's all I can offer, love.
I haven't heard back.
I doubt I will.
But tonight I will sleep good.  I didn't leave things as they were.  I've done all I can do.  Tonight I'll pray for him.  Tomorrow I'll pray for him.  That is all I can do now.
Tonight I am thankful for laying this to rest.  I haven't been at peace since I sent that last message.  Now, I've found peace.  I hope he can find peace also.  I'm praying for that.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Have To

I said I wasn't going to do it again.  I wasn't going to do another night with just 4 hours of sleep.  But I did it . . last night.
I had client files that had to be done.  I had appointments today.  And one very important meeting first thing this morning.  I just had more to do in a day than hours in the day.  
I still have a lot on my desk.  I was going to come home from my evening showings and bust out some more work.  But guess what?  It ain't happening.
Aside from a few extra yawns, I've actually hung in there pretty well today.  But now, it's over.  I'm heading to bed.
Tonight I am thankful for bedtime.  I'm thankful for the state of being tired where I no longer care about this work on my desk . . . I'll get to it tomorrow.  Good Night All!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bed Shopping

Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a couple who had a dog who was getting older.  He had arthritis and was moving around slower and slower.  The couple decided they should get a puppy.  Maybe the puppy would encourage the older dog to be a little more playful again.  And with two kids still very young, the puppy could grow up with the kids.The husband wanted to get a pit bull.  The wife wasn't 100% on board with the idea; but reluctantly agreed.
The puppy came to live with them and was the sweetest little dog!  Over the years, two more children came along.  The puppy grew up.  She had puppies of her own!  One litter with the older dog as the father.  The wife wanted to keep one of the puppies from her favorite old dog.  And one sad day, the older dog passed away.
The pit bull proved to be the picture perfect dog!  The children of the house are her kids.  And she loves her kids more than life itself.  She watches over them.  She waits for them.  She's protected them when she didn't trust strangers who came to the house.
Every night she climbs the stairs to sleep with the kids.  The last several mornings she has had a very hard time coming down the stairs in the morning.  Quite frankly, I'm getting concerned.  She'll be 11 this summer.  She does really well for her age!  Especially considering the girl got shot in the spine with an arrow years ago.  But I think it's time to put up a gate and keep her off the stairs.  I'm getting worried that she is going to fall one of these times.
Tonight I am thankful for my Molly girl :)  She is the best dog I could have dreamed of to help me raise the kids.  Yes, she helps me.  This weekend I'm going to reorganize our bedroom and make room for a new doggy bed.  If you have any dog bed recommendations for a dog who is used to sharing twin size beds with children, please pass them my way.  We have the regular dog beds in the living room.  But I think I'm going to need a deluxe model.  She's going to be heartbroken that she can't go upstairs with the kids!

*Here is a picture of her stealing the little dog's bed.  We really do have a giant doggie pillow for her . . . she occasionally likes to feel cozy though :)


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Two for One

I was worried about today . .. for almost a year.  It was some time around April of 2016 when my boy realized that in 2017 his birthday would be on Easter.  He was so excited!  His favorite holiday is Easter, and has been for some time now.  He likes Christmas, don't get me wrong.  But he LOVES Easter.
This is our first birthday and holiday combo.  I wanted to make sure there was enough specialness for each kiddo with two special days combined in to one!
About three weeks ago, the soon-to-be-birthday-boy came to me with a cake book.  He had selected a cake for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner.  He was pretty adamant that he should be able to do this since it was his birthday and Easter.  It took awhile to get thru to him that we would only be doing one birthday cake!  Fortunately, once he accepted the news; he was ok with it.
We had vague plans for dinner.  But after a huge Easter lunch with grandparents, we weren't really feeling like dinner.  The birthday boy then decided he wanted Pizza Hut.  I called.  And they were open today.  Well, why not?  So the birthday boy and I took off to get some Pizza Hut.  Besides the pizza, he like the one on one time with Momma too ;)
Back home, his sister had asked if she could make his presents in to a game.  On Easter, the kids always have clues to follow to find their baskets every year.  I love this tradition!  It was one that I used to do when I was a kid too.  And sister wanted to expand the tradition to his presents this year.  It was a great idea!
His clues led him around the yard, back and forth.  And while he was outside, the kids moved the presents in to the table where we had just sang to him and gave him his cake.  When he got back in, he found the irony of running all around outside to come back to the same table he had started from :)  That was funny!
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful day today!  Everyone seemed to have a wonderful day enjoying Easter and C's birthday!  Happy Easter everyone out there!!  I hope you had a wonderful day too!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Kitties

I have always been a cat person.  When I was a kid I always had a lot of barn cats.
I've seen numerous kittens right after they were born!  I've seen Momma cats when they were getting ready to have babies.  But, I honestly don't think I've ever seen kitties actually being born.
I've seen the dog have her puppies.  She tried to climb in my lap to have them.  I appreciated the trust . . but, that wasn't on my agenda!  But never a cat.
Today my oldest barn cat was acting very ready to have her babies.  This morning she found herself a nice spot to lay in.  I went away for a few hours.  When I came back she was laying there snuggling with another cat.  I went away for maybe an hour.  When I came back she was by herself and she was having some big contractions.
Three of the four children came to see the babies being born.  I heard "Ew!" and "Gross!".  One child turned and ran out of the barn.  Two children were pretty concerned!
This Momma cat is a pro.  And she was fine with the audience.  But, I didn't want to push her patience.  So I shewed the kids out of the barn after the first baby was cleaned up.
Tonight I am thankful for healthy baby kittens today!  I was hoping for something other than black.  We have like 500 black cats already.  Alright, maybe not really 500.  All the barn cats except one are black.  I'm still heavily considering a plaque for the yard that says "Black Cat Farm" :)


Friday, April 14, 2017

Good For You!

I see you there!  Look at you!  You made it to Friday night!!  You worked hard all week long!
Maybe you'll be working this weekend?  Yeah, me too.  Don't worry about that right now.  Right now be happy you made it to now!
This was a long week!  Here on my end I was working hard to keep up with lots of work while working on new stuff to make the lots of work take less time.  One of those things . . I can't have more time until I take extra time to make the things work that will take less time.  Did you follow that?  ;)
Tonight I am thankful that we all made it to Friday night!  Woo Hoo!  Congratulate yourself!  You did it!  Good job!!





Thursday, April 13, 2017

At the Edge!

I've never rode a wave.  I've never climbed a mountain.  But I have been feeling lately like I'm on the verge of something great!  A feeling like I would imagine I would have if I were to jump on a wave or break over a hard place with a clean path to the top of the mountain!
I've been chomping at the bit with all these ideas lately!  In the past, when I've gotten so many ideas, some would fall by the wayside.  And some of these may not work out.  But most of these are going to be great!
I sat in my car yesterday while my daughter was at dance and I wrote out three major action plan items for both of my businesses and for my personal life for this second quarter of 2017.  Now I am working on the sub points to make these action items happen!  I want to make sure no great idea is left behind in the tornado of excitement that is going on inside me right now!
Tomorrow I have a rather long conference/meeting thing to set up something which should save me hours every week.  HOURS . . . . EACH WEEK!!!!
I have an email sitting in my inbox with a new idea.  And if it works out; it would save me even more hours each week!  This is good stuff!
I am learning to give my goals better direction and better consideration.  I've always thought that I'm pretty good at goals and working towards them.  My new studies are showing better ways.  And I'm working on it!
Tonight I am thankful for this excitement driving me forward!!  I hope tomorrow goes wonderfully!  And this weekend I will have time to review all the new information sent to me today!  These are game changers!  Big game changers!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Inspired

I recently signed up with a mentorship program thru Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership division.  I wish I had hours on end to spend pouring over the materials!  The little I've been involved in so far has been amazing!
Today was my first video conference meeting of the Mastermind group.  W.O.W.  It was good :)  I was rather reluctant to even call in.  I'm not fond of meetings.  And I am even less fond of talking to strangers in formal group settings.  But, I was pleasantly surprised today!  This particular group will meet virtually once a month.
I have a call in every week.  So it must be a different specialty of group next week?  I'm sure that information is in there somewhere.
Today's meeting though had members reporting back on their first quarter goals that they made at the beginning of the year.  Some met their goals.  Some did not.  But the conversation was positive for all parties!  People were sharing ideas and strategies.  It was quite exciting!
Tonight I am thankful for the EntreLeadership program!  I had decided to try it out just to see if there was anything of value.  Oh yes, there is more value in this thing than I am paying for.  And I love a good deal :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

No Lunch

I was ready for a fight this afternoon.
It started this morning.  I don't know if it was the lack of candy this morning perhaps?  Whatever the reason, my boys had the ambition of snails this morning while getting ready for school.
One child in particular chose to ignore every time I said "pack your lunch".  I heard how we have nothing that he likes to eat.  I heard how he planned on buying his lunch today - although he had no money for that.  When it was time to go, I begrudgingly took pity on him, threw some food in a container and gave it to him in the car.
Then I got a phone call around lunch time.  My children cannot charge their lunches at school.  I set this up this way after lunch abuse last year.  The school just wanted to check, as my son was there trying to charge a lunch.  He said he didn't have his lunch.  I went out to the car to look.  And sure enough, there was the lunch sitting there in the seat.  I said, "No, he cannot charge a lunch today."
When he got home today, he said he really did forget his lunch.  I asked why he didn't put it in his backpack.  And he said he was going to carry it, then forgot when he was rushing out of the car.  We were a little late this morning.  So maybe that's true.  BUT, that doesn't negate the fact that he could have packed his own lunch and put it in his own backpack at any point this morning.  And yes, I pointed that out to him.
Tonight I am thankful for lessons learned the hard way.  Believe me, I would much rather have my children learn lessons the easy way.  But sometimes that just doesn't happen.  Today's food-less lunch seems to have made an impression on a little tummy.  I suppose I'll find out tomorrow!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Go Kiddos!

The first day back to school after a break is never easy.  Or, at least it isn't usually easy.
This morning my kids all got up well.  Ok, so I bribed them with Hershey's Kisses.  They were all up and at 'em in record time!
Somehow they all kept up a good momentum.  They ate breakfast.  They got dressed.  They brushed their teeth.  And somehow all four children were ready for school early today.  I was impressed!
Tonight I am thankful that this morning went so well!  It was a great way to start any day; especially the Monday after spring break!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Beautiful!

I am not complaining.  This winter has been fairly mild.  So I'm really not complaining at all.  But man, the sun and warmth was wonderful today!!
I had a little work to do.  Driving around I saw so many motorcycles!  I saw people sun bathing.  I saw people in bathing suits . . . I didn't think it was quite that warm myself.  But I'm a typically cold person anyway.
I was driving with my windows down!  Without the heat on!  Sometimes I roll down the windows in like 50 degree weather and blast the heat; just to get that fresh air in the car.
Tonight I am thankful for an absolutely beautiful day today!  It was wonderful!  I hope you all had got to enjoy the weather too!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Let It Die

I am a dreamer.  I dream and I hope for the world to be a nice place and the people in it to be loving, caring and kind.
I am a realist.  I understand that this will not happen.  But I hold out a hope that in my corner of the world, maybe things can be a little brighter.  Maybe if I'm patient enough and understanding enough, love can prevail.
I am a fighter.  I fight for the things I believe in; knowing that sometimes the fight is simply standing strong and letting everything else swirl around me.
I am human.  As hard as I try not to, I hurt sometimes.  I remind myself that most things are not intended to destroy my faith.  " Father forgive them for they know not what they do."  It's a truth.  So many people hurt others without knowledge of their actions.  I try to keep this in mind - the unintentional pain caused by selfish and self-centered behavior is just that . . unintentional; because the other person wasn't thinking about me.  Wasn't thinking about how I'd feel or what I care or think or want.  It isn't a flattering thought at all.  But it's a true thought that I learned at an early age in life.  It doesn't make hurt any less.  But I suppose it takes a little sting off.  And it certainly makes the hurt not last as long. . . sometimes.
Tonight a part of my heart is seared . . maybe that's the right word?  Not broken.  It's already been broken.  There's been cracks.  They've been growing larger.  Today it became blatantly obvious that my heart needed some boundaries.  Some people, we are just meant to love from afar.  Some people can't be trusted to care for a heart because their number one concern is themselves . .  and they can't see me when they are looking at themselves so much.
Oh yes, I am loyal too.  That's a problem sometimes.  I am drawing a boundary there also.  Some people we are just meant to love from afar.  Loyalty can be deceiving when it is spent on someone who doesn't appreciate it . . let alone notice it.
Turning one's back is much, much different than stepping away to make a safe boundary from destructive and manipulative behavior.  If the cold is what was felt, it was because the accuser built the ice damn around their heart first.  My heart is still warm.  It is still glowing.  But it is no longer available to you.  I will love from afar.  I will love you for the person that you used to be and the person that you could be in life.  I wish you all good things.  But I no longer ever expect or desire to be a part of them.  Your actions have shown your priorities in life.  And someone who wouldn't allow themselves to be used or support your self-destructive behavior just didn't make the list.
Tonight I am thankful for good memories.  I forgive the bad memories.  But I remember them also.  I have to, because honestly, I really don't have the best track record for concrete boundaries.  Because I am a dreamer.  I hope and dream for things to change.  But I am a realist.  I see they won't.  I've believed things would change too many times and all I've done is put cracks in my heart.  I wish you well.  I want you to have a good and happy life.  But I'm simply not going to be a part of it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Understanding

This hangs on my wall in my office.  I can look over at it all day long if I need to.  It is sometimes easy to lose motivation until I glance to my left.
Like this week.  This week has been spring break.  And I've been working like a dog.  I am very thankful that the kids and I went off and had fun yesterday!  To allow for that, I haven't slept enough all week.  And I am even more thankful that the kids have had fun just being home and being kids.   Today there were Lego villages and blanket forts and popcorn parties.
I remind the kids now and then.  I want them to understand.  Their father and I working so much is with a purpose.  We are working thru these steps.  We have a good end goal here . . . peace.  Financial peace.  I hope they see all this trouble we are going thru because we once lived like everyone else.  Credit cards and loans are "normal".  And we were normal.  We decided two years ago that we don't want to be normal anymore.  We don't want to worry about money anymore.  We don't want to live like that.  We want to be able to help those that need help.  We want to be able to enjoy things.  We decided not to just stick our heads in the sand and hope that tomorrow would be better.  We did research.  We made a game plan.  We have fallen down and gotten back up countless times.  But we have been going forward.
I pray that my kids take note of this time.  I hope they think of this when they grow up and someone offers for them to buy something on credit.  I hope they remember that "the borrower is the servant of the lender".  I hope they choose to wait until they have the cash for what they want.  I hope they live in peace, even and especially financial peace.
This week I have sat in a courthouse with people 20 years older than myself who aren't sure where they are going to live in a month.  They have no financial peace and they have no plan.  I plan on giving them a copy of Dave Ramsey's book.  This week I have listened to people 30 years older than myself who are going to lose their house because a life of debt was "normal", until they retired and life happened.  This week I have prayed for these people and have been thankful that we can learn from their mistakes without going down that road ourselves.
Tonight I am thankful for a conversation with a kiddo today that reminded me that maybe the kids are paying attention.  He was looking at our 6 Month Emergency Fund chart and asking questions.  He liked that this would be our safety net is something unexpected were to happen.  He's understanding some steps to live with peace, financial peace . . it's important.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fun!

Today was our day of fun adventure for spring break!  The start of the morning was stressful and uncomfortable.  But then, I changed my pants in the gas station parking lot, my shirt at a red light, and my shoes in the Burger Kind parking lot where I met the hubster who handed off the kiddos.  I was out of professional clothes, in to my jeans and we were headed east for some fun!
LegoLand was fun!  The Sealife Aquarium was fun!  And, because we had bought our tickets online ahead of time, we got in the short lines :)  I like the short lines!
The kids and I have had talks before about souvenirs and how they are usually over priced.  I was inspired by the reasonably priced Lego people.  The kids got to build their own Lego people out of a whole tub of pieces!  And if you bought two, the third was free!  At the aquarium I found a clearance section . . . and a cheap, adorable jellyfish by the check-out!  Ok, maybe I have a small problem!  But, we didn't over spend.  The Lego people have been a huge hit already.  And my new little jelly fish has such a cute smile!  I think I may hang him from my office ceiling to greet people!
Tonight I am thankful for our day of adventure of fun!  I am thankful for finding reasonably priced souvenirs!  But I am even more thankful for the absolutely free memories that we will all have for years to come!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Personal, not Business

"It's not personal, (it's business)."  "What is that supposed to mean?  I am so sick of that.  All that means is that it wasn't personal to you.  But it was personal to me.  It's personal to a lot of people.  And what's so wrong with being personal anyway? . . . Whatever else anything is, it out to begin by being personal".
That is from You've Got Mail . . one of my favorite movies!  Regardless if you like the movie or not, it's a good quote.  We are trained to go to work and play a game and lose the personal aspect of ourselves to become a mold of what a "good employee" is.  I can tell you right now that I'm always too personal.  That plays in to my working for myself thing.  I don't mold.  And I don't play games well.  Oh, and I have lots of opinions, a lot of questions and a big mouth ;)
Anyway, there are times when business being personal is hard.  I would love to remove myself a little more from my day to day work sometimes.  It's just not who I am.
This would play in to the constant re-setting I've been doing with myself lately.  Tomorrow morning is court day.  I know I'm right.  I've felt mean and guilty for awhile.  I reviewed my file and I've actually been extremely lenient and patient.  I have no doubt I will ruled in favor of tomorrow.  I'm not worried about that.  I'm not looking forward to being there and seeing the other people - if they show up.  Then it gets personal.  They've made it personal on several occasions.
Even personal, I'm still right.  I have several documents to show that.  I keep reminding myself of that.  I tried to help them.  But you can't save people that don't want to be saved.
Deep breaths . . deep breaths . . . perspective is key and reminding myself of facts.  It'd be easier if I could switch off the personal aspect.  Nope, not gonna happen though apparently.
Tonight I am thankful that something being personal doesn't mean being a push-over.  If I could leave my feelings in a manila envelope and shove them in a drawer for tomorrow, I totally would!  But, I can't.  So tomorrow it'll be personal; it'll be business; and it'll be one more step to being over.  I can't wait.

Reminding

Sometimes you choose to make things a little rough to enjoy things later.  The first part of that sentence would be where I'm at right now.  With large repair numbers floating thru my head, I am accepting all work that comes across my desk.
Accepting all work and kids home on spring break involves a bit of guilt on my part.  Now mind you, they are doing fine.  I mean my blog last night was completely truthful about them having fun and just enjoying life.  *sigh*  I still don't like the thought of work so much when they are home this week.  Next week?  Sure, why not.  But this week?  Bleh.
Well I have one adventurous day planned this week when we will leave the house and try something new!  BUT, to do that and continue on with all this work I've accepted, that means I'm working even more right now to squeeze a day of fun.  It will most definitely be completely worth it!  And, this whole experience once again solidifies the idea that the next time we have a rental property, we will have a very different procedure in place!
Tonight I am thankful once again that I have a job that I can make work around my family.  I have to remind myself of that often.  It comes up here in my blog often because I have to remind myself to be thankful of this.  Sometimes it seems like a complete drag to have an office here at home that always has work that needs to be done.  I'd rather punch a time clock on some days.  Ok, not really.  The thought sometimes sounds alluring.  But I've been there and done that and this is much more my style.  So when this job seems like a complete pain in the bum.  I remind myself to be thankful that I can take on more work when my family needs more income.  And I remind myself to be thankful that I can move things around in my schedule so that on nights like tonight, we can go as a family to a used book sale (2 filled to the brim bags for $18!) and we can have dinner as a family before I headed back in to my office.  This job is a blessing and I do remember that even when I don't want to admit that fact.  Good night all!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kids Being Kids

One of the things I absolutely love about being a mom is watching my kids just be kids!  There is so much push in this world to grow up too fast and to plug in to any technology available.  I like when the kids forget those things and enjoy life by just being themselves!
Today was one of those days.  The tv was on this morning.  Then it got turned off around 10ish.  Phones had to stay here in my office.  And the kids had to go play.
They played outside for awhile.  The found a mouse in the barn.  They kicked the ball around.  They had a sword fight with the pine tree.  And when it started to rain, they came inside.
One boy played with his toys.  One boy tried to clean his room so he might be allowed to play the Xbox later in the day.  The girls invaded one of the attics and made their own secret area :)  They did a pretty good job, I must say!
Tonight I am thankful for my kids just being kids and enjoying life today!  I hope the rest of their spring break is just as fun; with nothing given to them but an empty day and their imaginations!




Sunday, April 2, 2017

Inspiration

Life is so busy, it is easy to lose inspiration.  Some days I wake up with great thoughts and dreams!  And then after muddling thru a never-ending to-do list, I find myself at bedtime with no recollection of ever touching my dreams for the day.
Part of me just thinks, well that's just life right now.  But a part of me knows there is a better way.  There are some things that I simply cannot change.  But there has to be enough that I can change that it would make a difference!
So I've set different goals this year.  I've been working on restructuring things.  I want things different, and thing will become different.  Still, it gets rather defeating some times.
The past few weeks I've been trying not to get disheartened by our rental property.  Some things have happened there that I am trying to keep in perspective of what a great lesson we will/have learned here.  That is the only good light I have to shine on the situation.  Maybe after court this week, I'll have more light to shine on it . . . but I truly doubt it.  This thing is just going to be put in the "Lessons Learned" category when we can safely put it all behind us.  After all our hard work last year to pay off debt; frankly it just sucks to be looking at some rather large upcoming bills.  And although this situation isn't associated with my businesses; it certainly is taking my time, peace, and thoughts away from the changing and restructuring that I want.  We do have much better insight now on things to do differently next time.
Last Wednesday was when I signed up with the mentoring program thru EntreLeadership.  Today was the first chance that I had to spend time with the program online.  Oh My Gosh!  It is amazing.  There is SO much good information!  I had to stop myself after a few hours.  I could spend weeks immersing myself in this Lake of knowledge and ideas!  This is the kind of thing I need!  I have my first weekly meeting this week with the peer group.  This is wonderful!
Tonight I am thankful for another source of inspiration to keep pressing forward!  I will not get distracted!  And although sometimes I'm crawling along; I'll keep moving forward!  After time like today, I'm skipping forward with an inspired smile on my face!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Burned

I was in the bathroom . . (sorry if that's too much information, but that's where I was), when I heard the scream.  It was one of those screams when you know the kids are really hurt and not just faking.  Of course from where I was, I couldn't go right away to help.
My darling daughter was trying to make instant mashed potatoes.  She had boiling water in a bowl in the microwave.  She grabbed the bowl with her bare hands and started to remove it from the microwave.  I don't know if the bowl slipped or if she let go when the hot bowl started to burn her little hands :(  But the bowl fell and broke, spilling boiling water on her hand, wrist, and chest.
She was very red.
It looked like her chest was starting to welt.  I had her hold her hand under the water and we had a cool washcloth on her chest.  After ten minutes or so, we headed off to Urgent Care.  On the way there, I glanced over at her hand and noticed that it looked a little better.  I pulled over and inspected her, she seemed to be getting better in areas.  And her chest didn't look really welt-ey anymore.  So we changed directions to the store to get some burn lotion.
She's still a little red in places.  The wonderful world of the Internet suggests first degree burns from the pictures available.  She'll be ok.
Tonight I am thankful that minor burns is all that happened - and that the burns were only in a couple places.  This could have been a LOT worse.  We reviewed how to remove hot things from the microwave, or stove, or anywhere.  And we reviewed that this one incident should not invoke a fear of all things hot.  I pray she wakes tomorrow even more healed and feeling better!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Crap-Tastic

Today was the Monday-ist Friday I've had in a very long time.  Seriously.
But we won't get in to all that.
The part of this day that IS worth mentioning is this evening.  We had a "Girl's Night Out"!  Just me and my girls :)
We did some quick shopping.  And a quick bite to eat.  Then we were off to see Beauty and the Beast.  The popcorn was delicious, as always!  The recliner seats were a dream.  I should've brought a blanket . . I always get a little chilly.  And the movie was better than I expected.  I have to say that I liked it better than I liked the cartoon!!  One of my daughters laughed when she saw me crying.  Mean girl . . . making fun of her mother!  I'll eat her next serving of ice cream!  Ha ha ha!
Tonight I am thankful for a fun night out with my girls!  It was a perfect way to brighten up an otherwise crap-tastic day!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Don't Forget

I am still so excited about my announcement last night about my VIP ticket :)  There is so much information out there by excellent teachers.  I feel like I'm on the cusp of where I am and where I want to be.  I know it will take a good deal of time.  But, it's exciting!  I wish I could pause life and put more time in to learning right now!  It will come . . . a little at a time.
With all this learning and re-structuring of things.  I need to make sure that I don't lose how far I've come!  Last year was a working year, to break free of debt and mindsets that were holding us back.  We made so much progress!
And now, here we are on March 30th and I have not made a budget for March!  I know we've spent more than we should have on some things . . things that a written budget would not have accounted for.  But, there is always next month!  I told the hubster that our weekend plan entails working on April's budget.  There are definitely some things that we need to change around.  This goes back to the learning from last year that a budget is always going to be changing and being revised to fit life.  I wasted so many years not budgeting because I thought it would be a written in stone set of numbers that I just couldn't make work.  But that's not what a budget is for at all - feel free to shoot me a message if you missed any of my last year's blogs about this!
Our dinner planning has been non-existent the last few weeks.  We've done more take-out as we've ran here and there.  I've been making better take-out choices on my quest for health.  But home cooked is still better.  A big red flag was when my child asked me when we were going to start dinner plans again.  Even she was getting tired of take-out!
Tonight I am thankful for the reminder to not lose the planning and lessons and organization that we've worked so hard to find!  With those things in place, moving ahead to the next lessons is much easier!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

EXCITED!!!

I am SO EXCITED!!!
Last week I signed up for a one day seminar just outside of Chicago.  It is going to be a good one!  I got a general admission ticket.  The VIP ticket looked nice; but it was sold out.
Today I had a web conference with the same company to talk about some of the other things they offer.  And guess what?!?  I got upgraded to a VIP ticket the day of the seminar for free!!
That means that I will be having breakfast with the other VIP ticket holders for a networking event and an exclusive lesson taught by Chris Hogan.  There was also mention that a certain Dave Ramsey may stop in at the breakfast!  AND with the VIP ticket I get reserved seating near the stage!!!!  AHHH!!
I was going to get up early and drive down that morning.  But, in light of my new breakfast event, I am going to leave the night before.  I may even order room service!  I am so excited!!!  This is going to be so awesome!
Did I mention that I am excited?!?!?!?
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful company that will help my business get where it is going; that will help me get where I need to be for the business to get where it is going; and that cares about helping others succeed!  Oh yes, and I am thankful for being upgraded to a VIP ticket for free!!!!  AHHHH!!!  :) :) :)   I'm going to get so much good information!  And I'll have a front row seat for it all!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Calling Bull*&#$

Something from a conversation last week has stuck with me.  I had mentioned part of the discussion in my blog that night.  My friend had mentioned how people run around always in a rush, with adrenaline pumping.  And although adrenaline is good and has a purpose in our bodies - it is not meant to live with.  Our bodies weren't meant to have adrenaline coursing thru our veins the majority of our waking hours.  That's not what it's for.  But that's how we live.
For a body to naturally absorb and "handle" adrenaline, it takes many, many hours.  So we are giving our bodies no recovery time.  One night's sleep is not enough.
Man, that has stuck with me.  At this point in my life, I choose not to slow down many things.  I choose not to slow down kid activities - although I do strongly encourage them to think about how much they truly want to participate in activities.  I choose not to slow down my work.  Ok, well this is the year to slow down appraisals, but not the brokerage - that I want to grow.  I have chosen to work my businesses around the kids, which makes things a bit more complicated.
Life is just fast right now.  And I am working much harder on consciously choosing the things that are involved with making life fast.  I want them to be worthwhile and to a good end.  I don't want to be running around just to run.  I am working harder on saying "no" to things.
Let me switch gears for a minute please.  On my recent quest to become healthier (not just skinnier or lighter), exercise has been hit or miss.  I do love the quick work-outs thru Sweat Flix.  Although I still have a touch of asthma from all the respiratory crap over the last several months.  I suck at asthma.  My hat is off to those who live with it day to day.  I don't like the inhaler.  I really don't think I use it correctly, but seriously it isn't a complicated device.  So I choose to gasp and wheeze for 10-15 minutes rather than use it.  Ok, not the best of my decisions.  So, in turn, I also have not been working out so hard.  And the asthma stuff is improving.  The doctor said a few months and I should be back to normal.
But, when to work out?  Years ago I was a morning work-out person.  Then I was an evening work out person.  As life got busier, I'd squeeze it in whenever.  In all my reading on this new found quest for health, I've been reminded how good it is to work out in the morning.  I've set goals for myself there . . and failed.  And then felt bad about myself.  "Anyone who really wants it can make time" . . um . . . I call bullshit on that.  When a night's sleep is still physically not enough rest for my body, what time can I make?
For someone who has not slept enough for the past 7 years, NO, I shouldn't get up early to work out.  It is a struggle for me to allow 8 hours for sleep.  And this is something that I am working hard at allowing for myself.  And this is healthy.  I have seen the effects of my lack of sleep on my overall health and no one will convince me that going back to my old ways to exercise and push my all ready fatigued body is good for me.  It simply isn't logical.  Yes, I want "it".  And yes, I'll make time . . but on my own time, and in the way that is healthiest for me.
In my current state I can't do long work outs.  I can't breathe well enough to do it.  And, my organs are still healing inside from being poisoned with medicine.  So I don't feel like pushing my body thru my hour long Zumba dances or my miles around the track.
I've been focusing on strength training instead and throwing in a little cardio here and there in small amounts.  But, I'm not consistent.
So here's where I threw out everything I read and decided to use my brain.  I will do a few little exercises in the morning.  This morning I did lunges thru my house as I got ready to leave.  Then I dropped and did some push ups before brushing my teeth.  That was all.  Until this afternoon when I had a little dance party at my standing desk while my files uploaded.
And then (here's where I'm tying in the adrenaline talk) tonight I took myself down to my basement gym to do a little stronger workout.  Physical exercise is good to rid the body of a lot of bad things.  And now, it seems more logical to me to do this at night after a stressful day!  I'm not giving up on my Epsom salt baths by any means - they are wonderful to relieve stress as well!  But I don't have time for those every night.
My new plan, while life is like it is now, is to break up little things throughout the day.  I'll keep this body moving without hurting it further.  And at night, I'll try to fit in a few extra minutes to unload on my punching bag and work these muscles a little more . . and maybe in the meantime I'll sleep a little better, free from of a lot of the things my body has held on to throughout the day.
Tonight I am thankful for thinking logically rather than believing what I've been reading.  Every body is different.  My body used to respond well to morning work outs and strict diets.  In the past several months, they have made me worse.  Why?  Those things aren't what is healthy for me right now.  And that is what I want . . I want to be healthy again.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mac N' Cheese

I've been doing fairly good at healthier eating.  Weekends are a struggle.  Especially weekends when I simply don't care about eating healthy!  But week days I've been doing remarkably better.
All thru today I had grand visions of a healthy dinner done in our Instant Pot!  Guess what though?  The clock hit about 3pm and all I wanted was macaroni and cheese.  Yep . . . not really healthy.  Seriously, the thought of meat was not appetizing at all.  This is odd for me because I am a huge meat eater.
Here's the difference between how I am eating now and when I've "dieted" in the past.  This time I am trying to listen to my body.  NOT, my taste buds mind you.  I will not be diving in to a tub of Oreos and eating my way out . . . well maybe when I'm dreaming at night :)
Anyway, tonight we did have macaroni and cheese for dinner.  I ate mine with corn in it.  Yum!  BUT, I didn't eat half the pan.  Sometimes a body craves a certain food because your body needs something that food has.  I honestly don't know if that could be the case tonight, because I don't think mac n' cheese is high in anything nutritious.  But, I was still reasonable with portion size.
Tonight I am thankful for choosing something healthy (portion size) when all I wanted was something unhealthy (mac n' cheese).  I was definitely ready to beat myself up about this while I was eating.  But, I paused and reminded myself that what I am doing here is not a quick-fix diet.  I am working on a lifestyle change.  And I can guarantee that in the remaining years of my life I will have mac n' cheese again.  So making that choice manageable is a good thing.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ignore Tomorrow

It's Sunday night.  That means I have a child up past bed time to finish a project that is due tomorrow.  It also means that I have two Friday folders on my desk that I haven't looked at yet.  And, I'm really not sure what the children will eat for lunches this week.
Ok, so we'll look at the good stuff instead.  This school week is only four days long!  Then it is Spring Break!  Woo Hoo!
This weekend we got a little farther on our house spring cleaning.  We have a ways to go.  But I figure by the time the weather is warm, the house will be squeaky clean and we'll be ready to move on to the yard!
We had a nice Sunday morning breakfast as a family this morning.  Oh yeah, the best part, I wasn't cooking!  We went out and had someone else make us breakfast :)  Seriously I love to make breakfast . . sometimes.  Other times I like being cooked for.  The hubster specializes in cereal.  I really wanted eggs, bacon, and hash browns, so we went out.
Tonight I am thankful for a nice Sunday with a little bit of relaxing and a little bit of cleaning.  I am thankful for ignoring tomorrow . . because sometimes you just have to ignore tomorrow and enjoy today!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Good for the Soul

Today was funny.
I had shopping plans with my mom and grandma.  I called when I was on my way to meet them and I got word that my grandma was super excited about our shopping trip!  She was up this morning full of attitude and energy!  You gotta love a 90 year old woman excited about shopping!!!
At the store, she was cruising along at top speed!  My mom made grandma sit and rest at one point.  Grandma still wasn't ready to rest, but she complied while she looked at greeting cards.
Our regular lunch stop at Big Boy had grandma and mom refueling with hot fudge brownies!  I am always the fuddy-duddy here and I get fish and fries :)  Yum!
We were sitting there talking and decided we needed more shopping!  Our last shopping trip ended after lunch.  But this time grandma was ready to keep moving!   Mom was getting a little concerned, but grandma was adamant that she was not too tired yet :)
Tonight I am thankful for a wonderful time with my mom and grandma today!  I love our shopping trips :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Storm

Momma ran out of patience today.  It happens.  Mommas are human after all.
Too much work this week.  Too much go-go-go.  Today there was too much telephone and too many emails with too much work already on my desk.
By the time the kids got out of school and argued about every little thing that a person could possibly argue about . .  yep, I had enough.  Chores were done, but attitudes were still present.  So the Xbox went away.  Then the tv turned off.  Kids were kicked outside.  Kids were sent to bed.  Fortunately all kids are still alive.
Every once in awhile a momma just loses her cool.  The hubster came home and wisely removed himself and the children from the volatile situation a.k.a.  his wife.  In the quieter house after normal business hours, I was finally able to finish what was necessary to be finished today.
Then I went outside for a bit.  I let the goats out of their pen and they munched on the grass while I did a little yard work.  It was quite therapeutic.  And it was nice to watch our newest goat, BJ.  He was a petting zoo baby last year and had always lived inside a fence.  He was pretty excited to be out in the yard with no limits :)
The sky was lightening, scaring the goats.  I had just put them back in their pen when the hubster and children returned.  I was brought my requested alcoholic beverage.  And now I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up.
Tonight I am thankful for moments of calm after my storm.  I'll be better tomorrow.  Or else I'll be in handcuffs . . . we'll wait and see ;)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rest

I love how God leads certain people and discussions in to life.
2017 has two majors goals for me.  One is to grow Ethos Real Estate West (which requires a huge transition of mindset on my part, I['m learning).  And the other goal is to get myself healthy and balanced.
Healthy sounds so easy at first.  I need to eat healthy.  I need to sleep more.  Blah, blah, blah. Right?  Maybe not.
I thought at first about doing a diet.  Then I decided no, the goal is health, not just skinnier.  So I'm working on healthier choices.  That is a hurdle itself.
I need more sleep.  That is a painfully obvious truth.  After weeks of getting a little more sleep, last week of not enough sleep was eye opening.  My body was doing things and having issues that it hadn't had in weeks.
I've read correlations between thyroid and adrenal glands.  And I am pretty convinced that any and all of my thyroid issues are lifestyle driven.  There are things to help thyroids.  But I need to change the cause.  I don't know how long it will take me to get enough sleep that my body is finally fully rested.  Mostly, I don't know this because I don't get many opportunities to get extra sleep.  My first goal is to get "enough" sleep per night.  7-8 hours is a goal.  Then I'll go from there and work on recharging myself.
A few days ago I posted on facebook about protein.  Everyone was very helpful!  Then a good friend brought up, why was I looking at protein?  Why?  Well, because that's what a person should do, right?  My dear friend pointed out that a large portion of my diet is protein high foods.  Maybe I don't need to be looking in that direction.  Hmm . . good point friend.  I think I could live off meat and dairy and be a happy gal.
Then I felt a bit lost.  I can't just switch and love all sorts of veggies . . because I think they taste gross.  I'm sorry veggie lovers.  Some of the pretty, colorful plates of veggies make me want to vomit when I get close to them.  I do have a green powder drink of ground up veggies that I sneak in to my day sometimes.  And I have these capsules of ground up veggies that take almost daily.  I try.
Another wonderful friend offered to do a zytoscan for me.  If you haven't heard of that, it is impressive.  I've had it done before and I've watched her do it to others.  You just put your hand on this machine.  It reads your body's frequencies and offers suggestions of what could help.  Today had some more stressful events for me.  My read suggested things that center and calm.  My read also suggested one essential oil to help creativity and resourcefulness.  This is so spot-on with where I am right now trying to maintain life and make these big plans to grow the business this year.  This thing is seriously amazing.  How could it know that about me?
Beyond the scan.  I had a wonderful conversation with my friend.  She is very knowledgeable about essential oils.  And she studies things that go back to the base of people-kind.  We talked about our kids for a bit too.  I mentioned how we have a phone-turn in time for my two phone toting kids.  And I talked about why - the break-away from the drama and stress of others.  The kids are around so much all day at school, they need to come home and unplug and decompress.  And for the first time I turned that thinking on to myself.
I mean, I've known that I don't allot myself a ton of time to relax and unwind.  I have my moments here and there.  But it's not daily.  And it should be.  I have continually pushed myself past my own limits; and been proud that I could do so much.  And I am still proud.  But, the cost is bearing on me.  Which is why I set this year's goal to find health and balance.  My friend brought up how people used to exist; how adrenaline needs time to leave the body and these days we seem to demand a life that exudes adrenaline as we race from one thing to the next . . that wears down the body.  Our bodies weren't designed to function at the constant levels like that.  This I know in my head, but I don't remember nearly enough day to day.
Tonight I am thankful for good friends how have reached out in my stumblings to find health and balance.  This isn't something that should take so long . . but it is going to.  I have pushed so hard for so many years, I have habits to undo and mindsets to unlearn.  Reconnecting to who God intended me to be, is remembering that rest is a big part of that. I mean, on the 7th day, God rested.  And I don't.  That is not the brightest move on my part.  I need to relearn how to rest again, and not just sleep, but actual rest that reaches my core . . . and I will relearn ;)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Watch Me

I have a special place inside me that doesn't take any crap.  When I was younger, I didn't notice it.  I was shy and quiet.  And it wasn't until these last few years that I look back and see that I had a point, even then, where I had enough and would stand up for things.
I think everyone has that point, and some just spend years, or a lifetime, hiding it.  You can pile fear, anxiety, and a whole lot of what-if's on top of that spot and never give it any light.  I found that the more light I gave to it, the better I felt.  It grows, and it gets easier to stand up for what is right.
When you learn how to take the naysayers and turn them in to fuel for your fire; then there is no stopping you.  I have had several moments in my life where I was told I couldn't reach my dreams.  To those people I said simply, "watch me".  It doesn't have to be a fight.  And it certainly isn't worth an explanation.  Those people can't reach their dreams because they've already defeated themselves with their attitudes.  They wouldn't understand.  They won't do it . . but I will.  Don't tell me I can't . . or go ahead and tell me; you won't stop me either way.
Sometimes you just know that something is the right thing for you.  It is so real, that it is like you are already there.  Those are the good ones.  Those are the things that you go after.  Those are the moments when you find that spot inside you that doesn't take any crap.  Any hurdles in the way are just speed bumps.  Any voices or efforts to stop you are just stones to be kicked out of your way.  You stand up when you need to keep those things away that would be against you.  The rest of the time, you charge ahead, with your eyes on the prize, ignoring the jeers from the sidelines that try to distract you.  And that moment when you reach the finish line . . oh that moment is just as good as you knew it always would be!
Tonight I am thankful for dreams and goals.  Big or small, they are important parts of life.  Don't be afraid to reach for what you've been dreaming about!  My newest goal?  Well, there is a conference that I want to attend in Florida - Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership Summit .  It won't be this year.  My house just isn't ready for me to be gone for that amount of time.  And, just learning about it, I haven't budgeted for something that big.  But next year . . . oh next year, it's ON!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Skunk

Do you see the picture?  Do you know what that is?  Yep, it's a skunk.
The picture isn't be best, sorry about that.
This skunk made my son happy today.  What, you say, how can a skunk make a boy happy?!
Well, it's easy.  All the boy has ever seen have been squished skunks on the side of the road.  Think about it, there really isn't a place to see live skunks and not be scared.  They don't keep them at the zoo.  I only knew of one lady that had one as a pet - don't worry she had the stink sack removed.  There is just no place to go play with live skunks.
Today we were located safely inside the car.  We came along side of a field with a skunk!  I stopped the car and pointed the skunk out.  My son was so excited!  The man standing in his yard across from the street from the skunk looked at me like I was a crazy lady.  I mean seriously, who stops so the kids can look a skunk and take a picture?  Well, this crazy lady does!
Tonight I am thankful that we can now cross "see live skunk" off the to-do list!  And I am thankful that we can cross that off the list without having to take baths in tomato juice!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Tomorrow

I have a boy who has been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) to have a field trip.  And finally, tomorrow is the big day!  The first field trip for him this school year!
Sadly, I did not look at the calendar when I scheduled my work.  So although, I am chaperoning the field trip; I am also up late to get my work done up so that my phone doesn't explode while I'm out field tripping tomorrow too.
Tonight I am thankful that I get to chaperone the field trips with my children!  It's worth the lack of sleep and the dark circles that I will have tomorrow!  He is excited to go and he is excited that I get to go!  That is all I need to know :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

This Time

Three weeks ago I made a great effort to give up pop.  This is a big deal for me because I'm rather picky.  I don't like tea or coffee or 99% of fruit juices.  So I take away pop and I have water and milk.  Yep, that's it.
I wasn't crazy enough to go absolutely no pop.  Seriously, I don't see that happening as a lifelong goal.  One on the weekends would be ok.  I did pretty good.  So I decided to move to the next phase of transforming the unhealthy parts of my life.
Last week was my first week of eating better.  I decided to watch carbohydrates since my real love is apparently sugar.  I say apparently because when I cut out pop I craved candy to a ridiculous extreme.  And really, if you cut out carbohydrates, it is very easy to eat healthier.  Almost everything processed has extra carbohydrates it seems.
Yesterday I gave myself a free pass though.  Getting up early after a week of not enough sleep and driving in a snow storm to be at a competition on time just dissolved any cares I had to be healthy.  I was actually very naughty yesterday and had 4 pops.  I am not going to beat myself up though.  It was ok.  One day is allowed.
And now I'm back on track.  This is part of a renaissance of sorts within myself.  2017 is the year I listen to my body and get healthy again.  I have spent so many years pushing my body.  I have learned that this will be a process to get back to listening to my body.
It's actually rather eye-opening the things I've noticed about sleep.  For months now I've been sleeping more "normal" amounts of sleep at night.  So this week back to my old ways of not enough sleep have brought back some negative physical aspects that I don't miss.  I am really trying to pay attention to what affects my body.  And sleep definitely affects me more than I would admit for years.
So here I go, back on track and moving forward!
Tonight I am thankful that this is the year that I get myself back.  It's not just a smaller pants size that I'm after.  I could diet and get there - I've done that before.  But this time my goal is healthy.  This time I'm after a healthy life that can't be derailed by a day of four pops or a week of not enough sleep.  This time is different.  This time is lifestyle changes, not temporary changes to get to a certain number.  This time I win for good!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Accomplished

I am so far beyond exhausted that I can't even look back and see where I started getting tired.  This week has ran me right in to the ground.  I took selfies with the kids today and I can't believe the dark circles under my eyes.
BUT, it was all worth it.  Miraculously everyone was healthy for today!  Even with horrible road conditions, we made it to the Science Olympiad competition on time.  Here at the home front, the hubster and other kiddos got themselves all prepared for the last basketball games.  And all the kiddos did great!
Tonight I am thankful for a long week coming to an end with each kiddo getting a medal today and feeling accomplished with their efforts!  Now, if you will please excuse me, I'm going to bed and not waking up until I absolutely have to . . . Tuesday would be good!



Friday, March 17, 2017

Who You Are - Please Read This One!

Life is hard.
Life will take opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to question who you are.  And to make YOU question who you are and what you stand for.
It's hard as an adult.  It's hard as a kid.  It's just hard.
I saw a video awhile ago of a dad standing his little girl in the mirror and having her repeat good things about herself.  This is good.  This is what we all need to do.  We need to remind ourselves of who we are, that we are important, and that we deserve good things in life.
And here's why it is important to remind ourselves, and to dwell on these thoughts until they are always upfront in our minds - because it's true.  And because voices we hear, our own voices, circumstances, and life itself will tell us lies.  They will drag us down.  And there is one person who can change all this - you.  You can change you.  I can change me.  And that is where it starts.
A support network is good.  A support network can be strengthening.  A support network can remind you that you are good enough.  But you have to believe it.  You have to remind yourself of it when you don't feel it.  You need to remind yourself why you are good and why you are worth it.  You need to take some time on this.  You need to forgive yourself of things you have done and things that you believe you should have done differently.  You need to see the good.
You need to do this daily.  You need to remind yourself until it is so ingrained in your mind that there is no question about it.  Because it's true.  Because everything else is a lie.
The time in my life when I felt the worst about myself, the most unlovable, the most betrayed, and the most useless, I would replay this every time I felt like nothing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRFsg50lykk   27 years old and I watched this clip over and over.  Sometimes several times a day.  And I would cry.  I would cry and cry and cry.  I was healing.  And I was remembering the truth.  And I was letting it become a part of me.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are meant for great things!  Yes you.  I'm talking to you.  I can judge your cover because I've read the book (lyrics borrowed from a good song).  You need to understand this.  This can become life and death, you NEED to understand that you are meant for love and goodness and great things.  Because it is TRUE.
And parents, we need to understand this because there are young people watching.  Guess what, if you don't think you deserve great things, your kids are watching.  And they are thinking that they don't deserve great things either.  Example is important here; it carries so much more weight than words sometimes.
And parents, tell your children.  Tell them they are good, they are loved, they are destined for greatness just being who they are - that they were made for wonderful things.  Tell them this because its true.  And because they need to understand.  They need to be built up so high they can hear angels singing along (lyrics borrowed from another good song).  And when they fall, that's why they have parents - to build them back up again.  That is growing up - two steps forward and one step back at times.
This week has pulled my heartstrings.  We are fortunate.  We are praying for so much and for so many. We are still building.  We are blessed to be here, to be present, and to be a voice of truth amongst so much noise.
Tonight I am thankful to have learned some time ago that who I am is more than who I think I am.  Who I am is more than who I feel that I am.  It is more than people say I am.  Who I am is designed by God to be good, to be loved, and to be great.  Who am I to question that?  And who are you?  You are designed by God to be good, to be loved, and to be great.  You have your special gifts.  Remind yourself of this.  Let it become such a part of you that no one can ever take it away . . Because it is true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRFsg50lykk

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monday thru Friday

I saw a thing online today.  It said "If you are living for vacations or the weekend, your shit's messed up".
This one kind of got to me.  For years I have made a point to try and enjoy life as it comes.  Because, I don't want to need a vacation from life.  I want to enjoy life every day.
These last few weeks though, I've been feeling like Monday thru Friday are just a race to get everything done.  And sometimes, on the weekend, there is a little rest.  Either that, or I get to catch up on things I've gotten behind on during the week.
A part of that is because we've had so much going on in the evenings.  This Saturday is a big day for all four of my children with last games and competitions.  After this Saturday, the calendar clears up a bit, which is good.  And I am working on so many business things right now: restructuring, new accounting, new infrastructure.  It's just going to take a little while to have everything up and running like it should.
I agree with the statement that I found on line today.  But I want to quantify it.  Lately I feel like I'm living for the weekend.  But, I don't feel like we have things messed up.  We are just in a busy season.  Things will slow.  New ventures will get smoothed out and running well.  And then, yes and then, we can enjoy Monday thru Friday not just because they are days in life; but because we've worked hard to make them part of a soundly built life.
In the meantime, I will be thankful for our busy time.  I will be thankful for a calendar that bursts at the seams Monday thru Friday because it means that we are working, the children are learning new skills and doing things that they love.  And believe me, it means that we will be every so thankful when things slow up a bit!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Not God

I have a problem.  I've had it my whole life.  I try to do too much for people.  I see where I can help, and I just go straight ahead.
This is bad for a couple reasons.  First of all, even if the people want my help; I'm helping people that need to help themselves.  So pretty much, I'm not doing any good by enabling people to be less of what they need to be for their own lives.
Secondly, it almost always blows up somehow.  I mean, how could it not?  Just in principle that I am over-stepping boundaries of personal accountability . . how could it not?  I have problems keeping my thoughts in this "big picture" kind of mentality when faced with certain situations.
So I have this thing going on that has been getting more and more stressful.  I have tried to help the other party since mid-December.  And I have been on the understanding side of their situation since September.  6 months.  6 months later and nothing has changed.  They are fairly good people that are involved here.  But I'm not helping anything trying things my way.
Last night I laid down to sleep, so very tired.  I could not sleep.  I just kept thinking of how I can fix this situation.  And the more I thought, the more I stressed.  I'm not God.  I can't fix other peoples' lives.  So I started praying instead.  That is always a better way to go.  Especially when I, myself get more of the "what can I do to fix it" sort of mentality.  I prayed asking for wisdom on what to do here and strength to do what needs to be done.  And I put this in God's hands; because he can handle this and I can't.
I slept well last night.
Today I talked to an attorney.  Tomorrow I'm going to talk to these people.  Hopefully we can resolve things quickly.  If not, I see what needs to be done going forward.  By the way, the attorney was very helpful and very reassuring.  If I do need to take this farther legally, it shouldn't be the complete nightmare I was worrying about.
Tonight I am thankful that I am not God.  Seriously.  I would suck at it.  I am thankful that God is God and that he is good at who he is!  I keep praying, every time I start worrying.  I'm taking myself off the Fix-It Crew and moving forward as an adult, talking to other adults.  This is sometimes hard for me!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chauffeur

Confession - I have spent the last two nights sleeping on my office floor.  We have two fold out cots in the attic, but I haven't been motivated enough to go get one.  I used to sleep quite well on the hard floor.  I feel like I still do.  I mean, I'm not waking up at night or anything.  But I have been getting very tired during the day.  I guess I don't sleep as well on the hard floor as I used to!
Today I had several appointments.  I was driving around for about 6 hours in the beautiful sunshine.  I'd get out and freeze at a house for a few minutes.  Then I'd be back in the warm car with the beautiful sunshine.  Sometime around noon I started yawning and yawning and yawning.
Tuesdays are a particular busy night here in our house.  With the hubster still down with the man-flu, I am the only kid-chauffeur at the moment.  I was running out of steam quickly.
For activities at the school, I don't always stay.  I drive back and forth.  We don't live far from the school.  The last kiddo activity tonight was the next town over.  So I wasn't going to be running back home.  I thought about running some errands.  An even better idea was a nap!
This is not the first time I've napped while waiting for children.  I've found it actually to be a good use of time to sleep while children are practicing things :)  It was a perfect use of time tonight!
Tonight I am thankful for a nap in my car!  45 minutes of car snoozing made me feel ready to finish the night!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sports-Filled

This year none of my kids wanted to play basketball.  We got the sign up sheets home from school, and the answer was no.
After my son's friends started talking about practice at school, he wanted to join.  But at that point, it was too late to sign up.  Then we got the sign up sheets home from school for another basketball program, Connect Sports thru the local churches.  We have done a few different sports programs thru the local churches and I have been very pleased with them.
Ok, so we told him we would sign him up.  Upon hearing this, my daughter also decided to sign up.  We went from a sports-less winter season to two ball players.  Totally ok though, they were excited!  (Yes, I look forward to sports-less seasons . . our calendar looks like a novel sometimes . . )  Both kids have greatly enjoyed their seasons!  This is the last week.
Tonight was my daughter's last practice.  They practiced about half the time and then they had ice cream :)  This was so neat.  All the kids have a little party after their last games this weekend.  Tonight was extra, the coaches decided that the girls had behaved so well this season that they deserved a treat.  How neat is that?! :)  And my boy's team is doing something special beyond their after-game party because of how hard they have worked this season!
The kids don't need the extras.  They don't need a party.  I'm not here to get in to a big debate about such things.  I'm just saying that from watching my kids this season, they are feeling pretty proud of themselves to have earned extra recognition for their efforts!
Tonight I am thankful our sports-less winter season transformed in to a sports-filled season.  The kids have loved it.  It really didn't take up too much time.  And oh yes, the kids loved it ;)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

No Play

With my Friday blog-stated weekend goal, I feel like I should report in that my entire upstairs is not clean yet.  We have made fantastic progress though!
I find it very draining to go thru the mess that my children make.  I'm only good for a certain amount of time and then I'm just done.  Today, for example, I ran away from home.  I was working upstairs for a bit.  Things were looking good.  I came downstairs and on a whim checked my phone.  A movie I wanted to see started at the theater in about a half hour.  I told the hubster I was running away and I took myself to see a movie :)  The younger version of me would have never gone to the movies alone.  But in more recent years, I find it very peaceful.
After the movies I drove out and met my parents at my latest idea.  I feel like a tease, but I really can't say too much online here.  Some things have to be approved for this to happen.  I will say that I'm very excited about it!  My mom and the hubster are the voices of reason to my crazy ideas - sometimes . . . when I listen to them . . . I'm rather stubborn.  They both were skeptical about this one.  But when I laid out my plan, they are both thinking positively!  So we'll see what happens next!  Honestly, I've been quite distracted by this idea since yesterday afternoon when it first hit me.
So yes, back home I came.  The hubster is the most recent victim of the flu in this house.  I have been putting Thieves oil on myself like crazy since our first flue case on Thursday.  So far, so good.  Tonight I am sleeping in my office.  Paranoid?  Maybe.  I have this week scheduled already though, and "flu" is not on the calendar!
Tonight I am thankful for not getting the upstairs all clean.  Ok, truth be told, I'd be very thankful if we HAD gotten it all clean.  But instead, I had fun running away and relaxing in a movie theater.  Then I had fun sharing my latest and greatest crazy idea :)  All work and no play makes for a not-so-fun Sunday!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fighting

A couple weeks ago I signed my girls up for this completely awesome seminar for girls.  I read thru the sessions available and the mentors who would be there speaking.  One woman had a high up belt in a karate type.  And she had a belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
I've been thinking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ever since reading that.  I've watched matches before.  I know a few people who have done Jiu Jitsu.  They've all been men.  Now, believe me when I say that I have never once in my life let anything sway my resolve because I'm a woman and something I want is for men.  It's just never been logical to me that I can't do what I want if I'm willing to work towards it - no matter what "it" may be.  For whatever reason though, I never thought how much I would enjoy Jiu Jitsu.  But reading about that woman has had me thinking.
I have always enjoyed wrestling.  I never did real wrestling as a sport or anything.  I enjoyed the rough-house kind of wrestling that the boys do in the back yard.  I was always game for that!   I'd watch people to see what would work best against an opponent.  And I'm fairly stubborn and scrappy.
My punching bag in my basement is one of my favorite items in my home gym!  Somewhere there may still be surveillance videos of me at a past job where I wrestled a guy just out of boot camp in the front of a store . . . I always stand back up very lady-like though.  So it's all good ;)
Ok, so I've made this decision that this is something that I want to do.  I found some classes for a place nearby.  They even have day time classes so I can go when the kids are in school!  There is only one thing that makes me nervous . . . my knee.
I haven't really done a ton to build it up lately.  I do the exercise bike now and then.  And a few other exercises.  But I haven't done much to focus just on building my knee back up.  And to do Jiu Jitsu, I would want to feel confident that I wouldn't re-injure myself.
So I've set a goal for the fall!  One thing I have learned about my knee is that I can't push improvement to happen faster than it naturally will.  And, I don't want to start these classes in the summer when the kids are home from school.  I have promised to do a 15 mile bike race with the kids this August.  That'll be a good step in the right direction.
Tonight I am thankful for realizing a good goal for myself!  40 pounds and a stronger knee in 6 months is definitely possible!  And it will happen!  I don't want to go in to my first classes and feel like I can't handle it.  I want to go in, in my best shape possible.  So I will ;)  Look for updates in September!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Unspokenfor

My children's area, the second floor of our home, is a disaster.  It looks like a hurricane went thru there.  
In all honesty, I remember how I used to keep my room and it was messy.  Actually, it was only messy up until age maybe 11 or 12.  That was a good age.  I used to clean when I was mad.  And in those preteen years, that happens a lot.  Sadly, I've lost that trait over the years.  Even more sadly now, my children don't have that trait.
They have had numerous chances to clean their rooms.  Like probably thousands of times of them hearing "clean your room".  I have tried every trick in the book to get this to happen.  Like to make a clean room be a regular occurrence . . I don't know.  I think I give up.
Ok, I'm a mom.  I can't really give up.  Mom's can't do that.  Or kids would never learn.  So, instead I will take advantage of a weekend with very little on the calendar!  I will arm myself with trash bags (for trash and donations), thieves cleaner, and four kiddo minions!  And we will clean the upstairs!!!  
Even writing that, I'm doubtful the entire upstairs will get done.  So let me try again:  And we will clean the majority of the upstairs!  Woo Hoo!  There we go!  Good Goals!!
Tonight I am thankful for a weekend with time unspoken for!  I have hope!  I don't know how I'll feel at this time tomorrow . . . but for now, I have hope!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Metal

I got a text from our tenants yesterday that the about half the roof had blown off the barn.  Yep, on the very rental house that I posted about just a few days ago with the awesome response after going up for sale.
I drove by the house today.  A good deal of siding was also blown off the house as well as the barn roof.  Our buyers are having their home inspection here shortly!
Short and sweet tonight, but I am thankful for home insurance!!  Replacing a little siding would be ok.  Replacing a metal roof on a barn . . . um, not really in the budget!  Like a good neighbor State Farm is there!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Disney

Ok, I'm going to go off here just a little bit . . so please bear with me.
There is so much going on right now with Disney and Beauty and Beast.  I try to stay out of politics and the like with media attention whining.  But this one is funny to me.
I have read people bashing all Disney things.  And how the stories are unfair to women.  And how yada, yada, yada.  Here's the deal.  They are.  And who cares.
If I am concerned that my daughter is going to watch Sleeping Beauty and then wait for her prince to come save her in life; then I have failed as a parent.  If my boys watch this movie and think that they need to grow up and save a woman, then I have failed as a parent.  If one movie that my child watches can make him or her believe that he or she needs to be rescued or be a maid, or a hero , or whatever; then seriously I am a bad parent.  Here's a fact which shouldn't be a surprise - these are stories.  These are completely fictional stories.  And I would hope that I have done a good enough job communicating with my children that they can tell fiction from real life.
I enjoy Disney movies.  I enjoy other movies too which are not completely equal to all parties involved.  That is life.  And for the time these stories were written, they are par for the course.  How self righteous to declare that a movie in a time where women were not equal to men be changed to have the women equal!  So we are just going to rewrite history now to satisfy our own self needs?  I don't think so.  Why not point out to our children how far we have come?  Why not celebrate that things are not now as they once were?  And why not celebrate that there are all types of people in life and that is what makes beautiful?  God enjoys variety and you cannot honestly look at this Earth and disagree!
When they were littler, my girls dressed up in fancy dresses and had fun pretending to be princesses.  That is childhood.  Guess what else they did?  They climbed trees in the fancy dresses.  They put on the dresses and ran outside to the barn to play.  They were not brainwashed by Disney.  They were inspired to dream by Disney.
We, as people, can sit in our living room chairs and look at any certain thing in this world and pick it apart until there is no wonder or excitement in anything.  But, why?  Aren't there other things in the world that need our attention more?
So if you want to see the movie, go see the movie!  If you don't want to see the movie, don't go see the movie!  Don't bash the company who made the movie for making the movie.  Do you know how many movies I don't agree with?  I mean, I would need to hire assistants to protest all the movies out there that I don't like.  But I don't.  I'd rather enjoy life.
And if you love the movie, don't bash the people who don't want to see the movie.  Not everyone likes the same movies.  Not everyone agrees.  You cannot change this and make people agree with you.  Not everyone likes jelly on their grilled cheese sandwiches either, but I don't hate people for this  . . .seriously, try it once though.  Yum!
Ok, to summarize; tonight I am thankful for choice.  I am thankful for the choice to parent my children to believe in themselves and to believe that there are no limits to what they can do or be in life.  I am thankful for the chance to let them make believe, dream, and play; because there is a specialness to life when you let that happen.  And I am thankful that movies are seriously just movies.  They are stories meant to entertain.  And if we parent our children, they understand this as well.
Oh yes, and I am thankful for grilled cheese sandwiches with jelly on top.  Yum :)  I stole this picture from the internet because I wasn't going to make a sandwich just for my blog.  But, yum :)