Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Scrabble Slam!

With winter here, we’ll be playing more games inside. I found this one today. It is so much fun and fast moving. It keeps your mind active too! Because it’s really just a deck of cards, it’s convenient to take traveling.  Maybe you’ll like it. index

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I really like these time saving ideas that I came across this morning on Real Simple. Maybe you will too.

1. Send gift certificates for presents. Order online—no shopping, no wrapping, no exchanges.

2. Buy bagged salad greens and rotisserie chickens, two cornerstones of quick, healthy dinners. Add shredded chicken to casseroles, salads, soups, and pastas.

3. Ask for the earliest appointment. The later in the day you book a doctor’s visit, a haircut, or a meeting, the greater the chance it will be delayed.

4. Keep a stash of all-purpose birthday cards on hand, at home, and in the office.

5. Put a list of movies you want to rent and books you want to read in your wallet or smartphone.

6. Keep doubles and triples of things you use all the time (scissors, tape, reading glasses, cleaning supplies) in every corner of the house. This will prevent extra trips up and down the stairs for minor projects.

7. Get an electronic tag for your car if it is accepted at toll plazas in your area.

8. Invest in a wireless handheld e-mail device (such as a BlackBerry). Keep in touch with friends during unexpected downtime.

9. Sign up for automatic bill paying at your bank’s website.

10. Buy a case of your favorite olive oil or wine so you don’t have to make last-minute trips for hostess or birthday gifts.

11. Buy movie tickets in advance using Moviefone or Fandango to avoid wasting time on lines.

12. Whenever possible, double a recipe. Eat half right away, and freeze the rest for a future meal.

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I am so excited to blog after a bit of a break. I just picked up a soy latte and now I’m jumping right back in. A couple significant things came about this summer.

1). I went to the McKenzie Delta (North of the Arctic Circle) for 16 days and did volunteer work in two aboriginal communities.  I used up most of July planning for the trip. I needed to pack my food, clothing and supplies for 16 days and the airline weight restriction was 50 pounds. I managed to stay under the 50 lbs. The community members I worked with were so kind; generous; and soft spoken. I arrived home in mid August.  I’m still processing the trip and will write about the fabulous experience in another post.


(Me at the Arctic Circle marker in the Yukon)

2). Gerry and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary a few days ago. We had dinner out with our daughters and their boyfriends. Lindsey, my eldest, put this quote on a card she wrote to us “A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes in it”. I really like the wisdom it contains.  We’re looking forward to the next 30!


3). I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in May. After 20 years of being lactose intolerant and many years of having wheat sensitivities – I now know the culprit. It’s amazing what a change of diet can do – my energy level is right back to where I like it to be. Yippee.

Well that’s a bit of what’s been going on. I’m getting caught up reading other blogs right now. It’s exciting to see how the blogs have evolved and I’m enjoying reading the new ones.

Have a great day. Linda

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Today I was reading motivational notes that I wrote down a long time ago. I came across this bit of wisdom.  Maybe you’ll like it as much as I do.

Life is a game in which you are juggling 5 balls in the air. Name them work; family; health; friends; and spirit. Work is a rubber ball, you drop it and it bounces back. The other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. You drop one of these and they will be scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. (Paraphrased –  Brian Dyson CEO of Coca Cola Enterprise)

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I was browsing through an older journal of mine and came across this poem that I added in 2002. Its a good reminder that life is fragile. I hope you like this as much as I do.

GeorgeMichael Grossman

If I knew it would be the last time
That I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say ” I love you,”
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be ther to share your day,
Well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say ” I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our ” Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day,
That you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, hug, or a kiss
and you were to busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them you’ll alway hold them dear
Take time to say ” I’m sorry,”
“Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or ” It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

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I just love my little digital camera. It fits nicely in my purse and I’ve always got it with me. There are many benefits of using a digital camera verses film – mainly cost and protection. A big disadvantage I’ve discovered is the time it takes to download; review; store; and retrieve photos.  I also miss having easy access to our photos in a photo box.  To overcome the obstacle of not having printed copies, after downloading, I transfer a few photos to a file folder on my computer that I call ‘Photos for Printing’. A few times a year, I send the ‘Photos for Printing’ file to a copy center to have prints made. I sure like this system. Once again, I’m enjoying paper copies of my photos. I hope my post has inspired you to print some of your photos. Have a nice day, Linda

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You know, during the last few months, I’ve been researching my family history. Unfortunately, of the 30 or so old photos I have, only a few have names written on the back. I’m saying over and over ‘why isn’t there a name of this photo?’

Give a gift to your descendants, and write on the back of your snapshots now. I admit, many of my photos are going to be orphaned if I don’t get the last few years caught up.

Have a wonderful week. Linda

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You know ladies; I really like to support my husband when he has his guy time. He’s become good at balancing his free time between our family and his personal interests.  Sometimes he and his friends go fishing; golfing or hiking for a few days. Other times he attends the hot rod car club meeting; joins his friends for Friday morning coffee (going on 11 years now); and most recently he’s playing hockey. Men need there time, just like we do.  Give your husband the freedom to fulfill his interests; it will add value to your marriage.

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You know, it’s good for the soul when we intentionally look for things we have to look forward to. No matter what’s happening in our lives, there’s always something pleasant on the horizon – if we just look for it. During a family meal recently, I asked my husband and two daughters ‘what are two things you’re looking forward to in the upcoming year?’  The four of us were so happy to share our hopes and dreams.  We listened with great interest as each one spoke. I shared that I’m looking forward to having minor medical issues resolved. I also shared that I’m looking forward to being more available to participate with them as they engage in life. Now it’s your turn, what are two things you’re looking forward to?

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On Saturday, I went to the mall with the intention of watching youngsters visit with Santa.  I bought a coffee, found a good seat, and just watched.  It was such a delight to see the wonderment on the faces of the children. I think I’m going to do this again and again in the years to come. Why don’t you do the same? To see children believe is so heartwarming.



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This month I’ve been keeping a secret list of things I love about my husband and each of my girls.  Every few days, I take the time to think of what I admire most about them, which I then record in a journal.  Come Christmas day, I’ll include the list in a personal card addressed to each.   Why don’t you do the same for those who are special to you. A kind word penetrates the heart – forever, I think.   Merry Christmas, Linda

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Last night, as I was reading inspirational Christmas stories in a magazine, my mind drifted to my own Christmases past. I felt so much joy as I recalled wonderful times. I had a few chuckles too. Memories are so wonderful to share. You know, they can be a real inspiration to others. Would you like to tell about a special Christmas time right here?   All you need to do it type it up in the Comments below.   Go ahead and inspire someone today.  Don’t worry about spelling and grammar.

Here is a memory that warms my heart and makes me laugh.

On Christmas Eve, when the younger children (& grandchildren) were just put to bed, Dad would go into the pantry and bang on the wall – making all kinds of ruckus. Mom would play along and say frantically “Andy, what is all that noise!”   Dad would holler back “I don’t know Sheila, maybe its Santa and his reindeer on the roof!”  Then he would add something like “I think Santa is coming down the chimney”. Mom and Dad managed to fool the younger children over and over again. What I find amusing now is that we never had a chimney but this never stopped the children from believing.

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It is so important to express gratitude to your mother (or mother in law or a woman of influence).  If your relationship with your mom is a little turbulent now, it’s vital you get the pen out right away.  As I was sorting through my moms belongings, I came across a few notes that I had written to her over the years. They were notes that expressed the gratitude I was feeling towards her.  For example, here are the words I wrote during a very difficult time in her life and on her 71 birthday:

Hi Mom,

This year is a year of new beginnings for you. Thanks for all the sacrificesyou made for all of us throughout your life. You endured a lot of hardship when we were young in order to keep our family together. I wish you happiness like you have not had before in all your years. Love you, Linda

I found this note, and others like it, in her top dresser drawer. I like to think they brought her comfort over and over again.  Ladies please, write your mom a note today.  I can’t think of a richer gift really.

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Yesterday, I came across an older prayer journal that I created several years ago.  As I looked through the pages, I came upon this prayer that I’d cut out and taped next to photos of my girls. As I read the prayer again, I remembered the many times I prayed this when my girls were younger. Maybe you’ll be blessed by it today.

Watch O’ver My Flock (Ruth Bell Graham)

Like other Shepherds
help me keep
watch o’er my flock by night,       
mindful of each need,
each hurt, which might
lead one to stray –
each weakness
and each ill –
while others sleep
teach me to pray.
At night the wolves and leopards,
hungry and clever, prowl
in search of strays
and wounded, when they howl,
Lord, still
my anxious heart
to calm delight –
for the Great Shepherd watches with me
over my flock
by night.

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I was recently reminded of how important it is for me the pay attention to the urgent and non urgent activities I participate in.

I find that if I am not paying attention, my activities can easily be consumed by someone else’s urgency. For example, when someone calls me with a concern I may feel I must respond and help solve the problem. It really has nothing to do with me, but now I am involved. If this continues to go on day after day, these demands can make me feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it is best to say ‘I am sorry I don’t know …..’ I find that paying attention has helped me to see what a valid need is and what drama is.

The daily activities that are most important to me are the ones that have no urgency.  If I am not careful, these activities can be very difficult to fit into my life – but they are the ones that have the most value. They are things like: spending time with my girls; talking with my husband; physical fitness; developing relationships; responding to a valid need & taking care of my soul.

Ladies, why not take the time to write out your daily activities for a few days. Are you spending more time on other people’s urgencies or on the activities you value?  Give urgency to the things that are most important to you. Have a wonderful day. Linda

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This morning, I headed out to walk Beni, my daughter Erin’s dog.  It was a crisp snowy morning for the third day of Spring. I was content listening to inspirational music on my MP3 and I was nice and warm in my parka. As I walked, a car approached from behind, hugging the curb and on the wrong side of the road! I noticed the driver was talking on her cell phone. She parked the car (pointing the wrong way) in front of a home where child care is provided. Next, she exited the car alone; crossed in front of me; and proceeded to march towards the house – all the while on her cell phone. As I passed by the car, I was startled when the rear passenger door swung open and out jumped a little boy – about 4 years old.  When the little boy saw Beni, he began to gleefully repeat over and over ‘puppy puppy” – trying to get his moms attention. (more…)

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Hello Ladies, I hope you are having a good week. Recently,  I prepared our ‘ICE – In Case of Emergency’ document – should anything happen to both my husband and me. This document is valuable as it outlines important contact information and the location of significant documents. After I recorded the necessary information, I put the papers in a clearly labeled file folder and told special people where to find it. To compile a document like this, you do not need a specific form, just write down the details on plain  paper and put it where it can be found. Here is a list of items to include: (more…)

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Ladies, please do not fill your life up so much that you are rarely available for a friend or family member.  Pay attention when someone occassionally needs a listening ear, assistance or a visit. Recently my daughter asked me to meet her at a store to shop together. She seemed to be a little lonely that day. Well, I was not looking for anything at that particular store; it was in an area that I am not familiar with; and I was also a little hesitant to drive that day. Regardless, I went to meet her. I really enjoyed the drive into the unfamiliar area. The shopping was great too. Afterward, we had lunch together – what a bonus. My daughter  needed companionship that day. Sometimes as women, we just have to put the wellbeing of others first. We all need someone to call from time to time. You too can be that ‘call’ person. Make yourself available now and then – you will be blessed for it.

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One thing I like to keep beside my bed is my ‘Pleasant Things’ journal. Before I go to sleep, and when I remember, I like to recall something pleasant from the day and write one or two lines that describe it.  Sometimes, when life seems is a little gloomy, I will read my ‘Pleasant Things’ journal. This reflection helps keep life in perspective. Other times, I just read it and remember wonderful things I have forgotten.  Ladies why not start your own ‘Pleasant Things’ journal.

Here are a few entries from my journal:

August 30, 1998 – Erin drawing funny pictures and writing funny notes to me in church.

January 28, 2003 – Peacefulness, Lindsey painting, Erin making a CD, Gerry puttering around the house, Mojo snoozing.

October 1, 2007 – Watching my funny birds, walking in fall leaves, making a meal for a friend.

January 25, 2010 – Gerry’s warm smile.

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It is so much fun to have a nice table when the family sits down to share a meal.  I have collected a few sets of dishes and I like to use different ones depending on the occasion, and also the presentation of the food.  For instance, when I plan a supper, I consider food color as well as plate color. I like to use white dishes for everyday use, but sometimes a meal can look very anemic on a white plate.  I picked up a set of 13 antique plates at a thrift store for 6.00.  These plates are beige in color with orange flowers.  I love to use them for Thanksgiving or anytime my white plates will not do.  I also have a mix of china plates that are various patterns – some of these I picked up at garage sales or thrift stores. I like to use these for a special occasion like Easter.  Another easy and economical way to add interest to a table is by using placemats. I use placemats with every meal.  You can collect a few sets over time. Placemats are also easy to make, if you sew.  Serving bowls also add interest. I have various colors like red, green, and beige. I like to serve food from a dish – a pot is almost never seen on my table. When my girls where very young and I was home with them, I set the supper table at different times during the day. Sometimes, I set it right after breakfast if that was the convenient time. Now that I work from home, I often set the supper table right after lunch. Setting an eye pleasing table is one simple way to show your family they are important.

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