Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This"

How many times have you said when I get this done then I'll be happy?.... when I am married, ...when we are making more money....when my kids are older, ...when I get a bigger house....when, when, when. Do you know that "when" never comes? When you get close to it, it magically changes and it is still ahead in the future? I have lived this way most of life. I was always waiting for this or that to happen. I am now trying my best to enjoy the journey, and not wait to be happy when I get to the destination.
If I am not happy and fulfilled today, with what is,...... then I won't be happy and fulfilled tomorrow. People can be happy in dire circumstances and be miserable in the best. Happiness is a state of mind. It is not determined by the things we achieve or where we are in life. We can really just choose to be happy. I heard it growing up but never believed it. But I have put it to the test and can tell you it is absolutely true.
"You're Gonna Miss This" reminds me of me. I couldn't wait to get out of school, get married and start a family. While I was wishing ahead I was actually cheating myself out of enjoying the present.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer Homework

On Mother’s Day I asked my kids to tell me 2 things I do good and 1 thing I can improve on. My 18 year old son thanked me for teaching him how to read when he was 4 and thanked me for giving him the support to try anything he wanted try.
Sometimes you do so many things for your kids and don’t know if they care. This was nice to hear. Before I go on, you are probably wondering what I could improve on right? OK….he said I can get too uptight. (He’s probably right.)
My kids get pretty good grades. The only thing I have done to help, is to teach them to read before they went to school and do homework packets every summer. I thought some of you might be interested. (It takes all of one day and they are done for the whole summer)

Here are the packets I have been putting together today. I make a packet for each of my kids that take them about 15 minutes to complete. I make 1 packet per day, per kid, for the summer.
The day after school gets out I give them math facts tests and spelling tests. I do the math orally and whatever they hesitate on goes on the sheets. Then I type it up, make copies, and staple each day. The math facts worksheets and spelling lists are made for each child so they only work on the things they don’t know.
Here are the things I put in the packets.
Tracing things so they are able to control their pencil
Simple dot to dots so they learn to count and write
Writing numbers 1-10
Then 1-100
Trace abc’s
Simple words dog, cat, dad, mom
Writing numbers 1-1000 they are able to understand how numbers progress
Name piano notes
States and Capitols
Spelling words
Cursive (tracing)
Multiplication tables
Math facts (add, subtract, multiply, divide)
Junior High
Spanish words
Prime numbers
Memorize adverbs
Memorize prepositions
Memorize scriptures
Square roots
Spelling words (20 per week that they write 5 times each per day)
I also get those big curriculum books at Costco that is grade appropriate and tear some of those pages out.
When school starts my daughter is taking Spanish. I found some great links that have the words, plus the audio. I am going to have her do one link per day. Here is a sample:

Listen to each day 5 times
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

If you have any questions about this don’t hesitate to leave me a comment and I will give you more details. I have done it for years and I think it has really paid off.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunshine Acres Children's Home

There is an orphanage close to my home. I had heard about it but had never gone to visit. Yesterday my mother took me there to meet her high school friend Priscilla. Her parents are the ones who started this children’s home called Sunshine Acres. All these years I had pictured these children having a really sad life with a bleak future. What a surprise to find out the opposite was true. It was one of the most special places I have ever visited!
It was not hopeless at all. These 70 children have a pool, church, library, doctors office, mechanic shop, wood working shop, computers, horses, pool tables, and big screen TV’s. More importantly the people taking care of them are loving dedicated people. There are about 15 kids per home which have permanent house parents in each one. The kids each share a room that is model home perfect and they keep the entire place spotless! I couldn’t believe it. Each room in each home was neat, clean, smelled good and felt good.
This part really blew me away. There was nothing on the counters in bathrooms, nothing out and not a bed unmade. She said that a design team had come in and decorated the houses for a total cost of $374.000. I’m talking, these home were NICE! The furniture was donated by model homes. It was humbling to think that a children’s home was nicer, and cleaner than my own.
What also blew me away was the fact that nobody knew we were coming and we went in home after home and looked in the bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas and there was not a thing out of place. The only way I could tell that any people lived there was a graduation gown out with an honors award by it.
When I am cleaning to make my home look this perfect, my kids always ask who’s coming over? Hmm

She told us story after story of the miracles that have happened there. Including a story when there was a huge drop in temperature and the children were cold. A lady dropped off 30 blankets in the middle of a storm and disappeared. (The exact number they needed) She was their angel. It felt so good in the houses I wanted to move in myself. They call it their miracle in the desert. Priscilla said in all the years of running Sunshine Acres, they have never once sent out a letter asking for money. She said everything is always provided. In the early years, the State put kids in and out of the home on a whim. She said that one 13 year old girl made her home there and the State came in and made her move to Phoenix. She cried and screamed when they took her away and later attempted suicide. After hearing this, Pricilla’s dad said he will never take State money again and they will never take anymore of their kids away. Children can come to Sunshine Acres for any reason and stay as long as they want, including when they go to college. The people working there are good, good people doing an amazing service. She said they have had more than 1500 children live there through the years. Pricilla’s sister said she came to help out as a house parent for six weeks and she has stayed for the past 48 years. These people are as good as gold.
The couple that started Sunshine Acres had a dream of helping kids. They didn’t know how it would turn out, but they had passion and hope. Priscilla’s mother was called Aunt Vera by all the kids and was the best storyteller around. They have a picture of her 4 months before she died with all the kids gathered around listening to her tell stories. Next to it are her words, “Don’t worry about anything but pray for everything”.
I came away wanting to do more. What a wonderful life it must be to work around good people, working for a good cause. The people there were the real deal. I met many of them and they were all like family. I could see why. One lady I met at their Thrift shop had been a house mom for 19 years.
Priscilla was proud to tell me of the accomplishments the children made and who they had become today. She said when some of them show up they had never slept in a bed. They were given a beautiful room and bed, and would still find them curled up on the floor. They even have a school on the premises to help the children catch up so they can go to public school. I guess you can see what an impact this all had on me. I am inspired to do more.
We and our children are so blessed. Thank goodness there are special people in the world that rise to the call, and help children. These people are the angels. This place is truly a miracle in the desert. Thanks to all the Aunt Vera’s, for leaving the world a better place than they found it. I hope we can too!
There website is

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Way to Be!"

This is the cabinet next to my refrigerator. When kids are filling up their water glasses this is what they get to look at. The Be's are taken from the book "Way to Be! Nine Ways to Be happy and Make Something of Your Life" by Gordon B. Hinckley.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Soo Sweet!!!

This came out of a book called prayers for children copyright 1942. I just thought it was really sweet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Great Quotes from Great Leaders

Here is a slideshow of great quotes set to music. It is relaxing and inspiring.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Mother's Day Tip

My husband used to be a terrible gift giver. The night before a holiday, he would run up to the corner drugstore. He did this because he had procrastinated, and it was the only place open at 11:00PM. It was a pretty steady practice for him. He just wasn't used to gift buying, because like most women I handled every gift that any person in our family was required to buy.
One of the first gifts I received was a taco holder. I am probably the only person who has gotten such a gift. I was newly married and hadn't learned the art of accepting gifts, sooo...I basically gave him the lecture of a lifetime. I told him that I don't make tacos, I don't eat tacos and if I ever decided to make tacos, I certainly wouldn't need a holder for them. I used the taco holder for laughs at parties and to one up the other wives when talking about the stupid gifts they had received. Months later I even had a hard time selling it at a garage sale for 25 cents. This made the story even juicer.
I never really liked any of my Wallgreen gifts and I told him so each and every time. I finally told him that I didn't need any more gifts. I made a deal with him that I would just buy my own. This was actually a great plan because he was happy that he didn't have the pressure of pleasing a perfectionist wife. I was happy because I knew that I would get the gift that I wanted. I quit fantasizing; dreaming of him picking out the perfect sentimental present. I quit having expectations. I wasn't sad or mad anymore. I thought we had a nice arrangement. But because of this I haven't gotten very many gifts.

Many years later my husband and I were in a fancy boutique killing some time (not something we normally do) and I saw this purse. I went crazy over it. I told Kyle that this was the most beautiful "me" purse I had ever seen. If it didn't cost $300.00, I would buy it in a second. He looked at me and said, "I'm going to buy you the purse." I said that it would be ridiculous to buy such an expensive purse. I tried to talk him out of it, but he bought it anyway.
I couldn't believe it! It was the sweetest thing ever! He was so happy and it made me so happy. I couldn't quit crying because it was such a caring gesture.
Here is a picture of the purse. I love it! I love the color, style, fabric, broach, everything! It is a Glenda Gies. I get 2 or 3 compliments on it a day. Everywhere I go people love it. Whenever I am with him he sees everyone raving about it. This reinforces what a hero he was to buy this beautiful gift. (Guys love to be a hero.)
He was so excited about the great thing he did and how much I appreciated it that he got on ebay and started looking at Glenda Gies purses and started buying me more and more and more.
These are all my purses to date. I try to get him to stop but they keep showing up in the mail.

Here is the tip and what I learned. Men like to buy their wives gifts. Some of them just don't know what to buy. When they do something right, acknowledge it, and like me you might get more and more and more. If you are like the old me, making fun, unappreciative, guess what you get? Nothing! Make sure and let your guy know how great he is in spite of what he gets you for Mother's Day, and appreciate the thought as well as the taco holder. I wonder what would have happened if I started crying over the taco holder?
Oh know........ I would probably have a whole house full by now:)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thanks for Making my Day!!

OK, I got home yesterday and found the most beautifully wrapped gift on my doorstep. It was white shiny paper tied with pink gingham ribbon. I was confused because it was not a holiday. I couldn't understand who would be leaving me a gift. I opened the card and it said this. "I was just thinking about you. Now you will be able to record all of your spiritual and inspirational thoughts. Love your friend. And no signature! Can you believe there are such nice people in the world? What a nice thing. I love the surprise and the unexpected part, but I also think it is soo sweet that someone would go to all the trouble of shopping for me and thinking about what I would like, picking out a pink leather journal and wrapping it so cute. I am blown away. The card was even adorable. It had a cherry with a crystal on it. If you are the one who bought me this beautiful gift. Thank You So Much!!!!!!!

This made me realized that I need to do more anonymous giving. It is such a happy thing to do. Gifts and notes make the giver feel good, and the receiver. How great is that? Thanks friend for making me feel so loved.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wendy Soderman is an Amazing Crusader

I heard Wendy Soderman tell her story on the Bob Proctor Cruise last year. Her story helps people know that they can do anything, if they have enough passion.
Wendy faces her challenges head on and turns them into gifts for the world. If you are in the education profession in anyway, you have to read about the school she has created. I hope someday every child in the world has a chance to get an education this way. Her school is positive and beautiful, not only that, her students learn faster and gain a total education, as well as, self esteem.
Her schools blow public school education out of the water in every way, including test scores, and she is a hero in her community.
She got started when she couldn't find a preschool that would take her wheelchair bound son. Instead of giving up she started her own. She loved her school so much that when her son began to out grow the preschool she started an elementary school. She has a preschool, Ideal Elementary School and Dream Middle School.

Check out the pictures of her school. I wish an artist could come and paint every child's school this way.

About her schools