Have you ever let life and the lists take over? Has the list ever taken precedent over the important things in life? You know, like spending time with your spouse, children, parents, family, friends, neighbors, or someone in need of a friend? Personally, I can say yes. If you are honest, there has probably been a time in your life when you can relate, right? If not, please share in a comment below to encourage and help the rest of us because those who never lose focus have a gift and wisdom to impart on those of us struggling.
I know it's possible because I can think of a couple woman mentors in my life that appear to have their focus where it is supposed to be, 24/7. But then I think, there are some that believe I have it all together. Appearances aren't all they are cracked up to be. I'm not a mess or falling apart yet my focus gets off track and distracted like all of you. The past fourteen months have been crazy busy and full of blessings yet hidden behind and in front of the blessings are obstacles, challenges, and hurdles. Some of which were self-inflicted (unintentionally) and others come with the territory of writing and speaking for God, and Heidi.
An area I want to focus on today is our need and benefit from daily time with God. I am ashamed to admit this time slowly worked its way out of my routine. Do I pray throughout the day? Yes. Do I thank, praise, and look to God during the day as different things enter my life and the lives of those around me?
Yes. BUT, setting aside time each and every day to spend time with God, like I do a friend has slipped from the routine. Part of this struggle came from my lack of sleep and late nights, making it difficult to get up in the morning. I like to start my day with God.
We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith,
Do you have a healthy habit of daily time with God?
I would like to say, "We found him right away", but I can't. As Ed and I drove in to Mexico, looking intently at each vehicle we passed in hopes we would see him. We drove by and in the parking lots to all the stores in town just in case he was sitting there, trying to remember why he was there or how to return to where he came from.
As we turned around and scanned the parking lots one last time while driving on Route 104 out of Mexico and towards New Haven, I found myself mentally back in history, twenty years prior. Emotion, fear, and "what ifs" started to flood by brain.
I share this morning's activity because there are some of you that may not be aware of this valuable resource and tool when vulnerable adults go missing. I also share this for another reason, to illustrate how God works in all situations and circumstances.
In April, 1994, my only sister disappeared from the D & W Convenience Store while working alone on Easter Sunday morning. Once I arrived at the store, I was frozen in time. Rain and snow pelted my cheeks to wipe away the tears. Others jumped in their cars to go aid in the search, I only stood and cried.
Today, as soon as I heard friends needed help locating their missing father, I responded and we started to search. I have no concept of time (similar to 94') but I remember the relief when the call came and we were able to help bring him home.
The greatest difference in all of this, my response. Twenty years ago I lacked a faith foundation. I relied on law enforcement, my parents, Ed, friends, volunteers, and media. Today, I relied on God! Before the front tires ever touched the road, we were praying for God to place a hedge of protection around our friends' Dad.
The moment his son's phone rang to say he had gotten lost, I lifted a praise to God. The one who protected and returned this wonderful man. Two decades later, we still wait and search for Heidi yet today was a reminder...God is everywhere, all the time, and in control.
I don't know why Heidi was kidnapped. I don't know why people go missing. BUT, I do know God is in charge and today instead of falling to my knees in tears because someone else close to me was missing, I was riding in the car and aiding in the search. (Before I even realized what was going on)
To see the relief on our friends' faces and watch the stress erase from their father's face when they embraced brought tears to my eyes. I'm thankful God used Ed and I this morning to help them. If someone told me I might do something like this, I would have said, "No, I'm not strong enough."
This is a true statement, I'm not strong enough but God always is.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Can you relate? Do you have a personal experience you can share?
This book is for everyone, a children's book with potential to be read as a read aloud for your toddler or your high school age child. How can this be? Easy, as the reader, you decide how in depth you take each page. The characteristics and traits shared in this book are necessary at age five, or eighty-five.
A sneak peak at a couple of the pages is included in the book trailer below. This was a fun book to create, research, paint, and develop. Last week I had the opportunity to read this book aloud to our class of kindergartners. Talk about an attentive, honest, and exciting group of Beta readers. I was nervous before sharing with them but to look into their eyes as they listened...the joy and excitement returned.
Not only were they my Beta readers, they were also the first to receive a copy of YOU are a Rainbow. The last page of the book changes from "you are" to "I am" and includes a place for parents, grandparents, teachers, or whoever to glue a picture of their child in.
On this page, I included a collage photograph of the student with each of their teachers so they remember when they were given the book, and of course their kindergarten teachers. The look on their faces brought Mrs. von Holtz and I much joy.
I hope the kiddos and their parents enjoy time reading this book together. The book in itself is an acronym, for RAINBOW. For each letter, there are eleven adjectives to describe who your child can be, when illuminating their inner rainbow. As I read the book aloud to the kids, I tried to make eye contact with each of the kids. This became a challenge as my eyes watered to look into their eyes knowing it was our second to last day together, as a kindergarten class.
My hope was to give the kids their book the same day I read it to them but the late delivery prevented this. But, the next morning, the kid's excitement overwhelmed me. As they entered, instead of sadness because it was the last day, we heard, "Did the books come? Are they here?" and then they would look at the rainbow covered table in the front and smile from ear to ear because their books were there, waiting to be handed out.
it was a special time. As I gave each of the kids their books, Mary took a picture of me with each kiddo. When everyone had their books, we did a class photo too. These pictures will not go online but will be used to create an 8 x 10 to display the cover of my first children's book and the kiddos who inspired it to reality.
You are a Rainbow is available on Amazon.com today. My copies won't arrive until July 11th at the earliest. Once I have my books, a book release celebration will be held at the New Haven Town's Farmer's Market. If you can't wait, you can order online now.
Thanks for sharing in the excitement. In back of the book is a fun page for teachers, parents, youth leaders, and others. It's a resource page of ways to use this book as a spring board for other activities to spark a higher level of thinking and reflection with your students and kids. I hope you'll check it out. There is another idea in process, associated with this last page. The goal is to have this "Extension Activities" book available this summer too.
Who can you think of to give this book to as a gift?
Is there a kiddo (or adult) that might need to know they are a RAINBOW? We're never too young or old to receive encouragement.
Lisa's Baccalaureate Mass - 1989
Each year, we attend the Baccalaureate Mass held in our district, inside the school. This is one way we can support the graduates and remind them, they are never forgotten. I remember attending this as a senior, although I didn't have a career of teachers there, the ones who did come, encouraged me. I hope to do the same for my previous students, friend's children, and those I've yet to meet. We all need to know someone is there to encourage and pray for us, especially at such a life changing moment in our lives.
Our school district does this service different than our school did, twenty-five years ago while some things are the same. One aspect I enjoyed about ours, we planned it all. Since we chose the theme, readings, colors, location, and all the details under the supervision...we were invested.
Another thing that is different, the reception after the ceremony was for our families whereas my home town school opens the Baccalaureate Mass to the public. I think this is wonderful, it allows the community to support the graduates and let them know there are more than just family, friends, and past teachers supporting them.
This is one of my fondest memories from senior year, I hope it is one your school district takes advantage of. An opportunity to inspire and pray for your graduates. Our mass was held in a church whereas now, it is held right in the school auditorium. This is so cool!
Another photo from my mass - a great night!
Does your school
You are a RAINBOW: Lisa's first children's book. The main idea of this book is to share the positive characteristics, traits, and attributes our children can strive to have and model, using the acronym for RAINBOW.
In the back of the book are suggestions to take the book to a higher level, using this book as a spring board for activities ranging from Kindergarten to Adult.
Whether you read it as a bedtime story or to ignite a spark with your high school students, "YOU are a RAINBOW" opens the door for communication between you and your child and/or students.
Help them recognize they are bright, brilliant, and have the ability to amaze others by being the best they can be, focusing on the good within.
Do you remember the crayons Mary and I peeled, melted, and reshaped? We made rainbow crayons for each of the kiddos too. This has been so much fun. It has been an exciting journey creating this book and a challenge not to let the secret out. I love sharing the steps along the way but didn't want to chance any of the kids or their families finding out before the big reveal. So hush was the word. To teach is to inspire and be inspired. I hope this book reflects this too.
Thanks for sharing in the excitement as I teased along the way. Now I can start sharing some of the fun in creating this book. Stay tuned for more.
I wonder what happens when you click on one of the pictures? Hmm...hint hint....
Are you ready to learn more about my first children's book?
there are sixteen
individuals who will
know what this
is but for now,
it's still a surprise.
I'm bubbling over with excitement!
What are you thinking?
Are you excited?
Can you add to the list? If you missed yesterday's blog, click on "yesterday" to read it.
Have a great day! Let's get this week started ~ tomorrow is the big announcement!
As one of the vendor tents, it was a very slow day. I was thankful for catching up with some old friends, meeting some new people, and visiting with the vendors near me. Yet, six hours is a lot of time to fill when there aren't really many visiting the tents, but, I brought a book to read, writing to do, school work, and my Kindle...just in case. Even though my bag was full of things to do, I found myself just watching the families interact and make memories. The quiet and talking about Heidi all day triggered the nostalgia...Where's Heidi? Where is my sister?
My tent was directly across from the playground so I had a front row seat to laughter, tears, and memory making all day. Towards the latter part of the afternoon is when the conversations from earlier in the day started to weigh on my heart. With the day winding down, and the playground crowd thinning out I noticed some familiar faces. These lovely ladies and their children, sisters laughing and loving on each other's kiddos.
Sisters making memories together, and setting the tone for the next generation to do things together. I'm thankful to have watched their joy, memory making, and love between each other. This reminded me of the plans Heidi and I had, to have our kids play together, to spoil them, and to never stop doing things together. These thoughts took me from the park and into the day dream state, each time my mind came back to the reality of the moment...tears burned down my cheeks. I missed Heidi yesterday, a little more than most days.
This was encouraging. I also saw my best bud from growing up and we spent a hour catching up. So there were happy and encouraging moments but somehow, in the nostalgic and emotional moments of wanting to make memories with Heidi, I only could repeat the words of others over and over in my head.
I had the banner with Heidi's updated age progression, by Diana Trepkov, displayed. This always has an effect on people. Either they shake their head and keep walking or they share a memory or comment. One gentle man stopped and said, "Funny about Carol Wood, 18 years, you never find someone after that long. Weird." I just looked at him and calmly said "My sister has been missing 20 years and we will never give up.", he looked at me to say "Didn't know it was your sister, sorry" and walked away.
This shook me quite a bit last night. Then Ed worked late and Mary wasn't home so I came home and replayed the statement over and over again. I know this gentleman's statement isn't true, while the majority of cold cases are not discovered (at least to date), many are. They are on the news every week. Yet when our emotions get involved, reality seems to get fuzzy. Have you experienced this?
Well, one woman asked "Who is that?" I pointed and explained it was Heidi and I, the day of my wedding. The woman disagreed with me because she knew Heidi and she didn't look like that. I assured her it was Heidi, it was my sister and wedding and it's one of my happiest memories. She looked at me, picked up one of the buttons and said, "This is how I remember her." I agreed with her because many remember her from the missing person posters and buttons.
She picked up a button, looked from the button to the photo, from each and back to me, then said, "This is Heidi." holding up the button. I agreed and said, "Have a nice day, thanks for stopping and remembering Heidi." What else could I say?
These type of statements happen all the time. My Auntie M and friend Laurie, her sister, Rose Gayhart has been missing twenty-nine years, both reminded me..."When you put yourself out in the public eye, you have to expect the comments - both positive, negative, encouraging, and insensitive." They are right and I'm used to all of them. I think it was just the emotion of the day had my defense down.
I don't usually share these side of returning from a speaking event, book signing, or day event. They happen and before I go to an event, I always pray for God's protection, wisdom, and open doors. I never know if I might talk with the person who holds the key to bringing Heidi home. People are not purposely negative. That man didn't realize I was Heidi's sister and he appeared shaken he'd upset me. The woman wasn't trying to rile me up, she simply remembered Heidi differently...as the face on the flyer...not sisters sharing a photo-op.
I promise, I'm okay. I'm still a little emotional today but then again, I'm tired. And when I'm tired, the emotions run a little higher and more out of control. But you probably never experience anything like this, lol. Emotions are natural, it's how we react and deal with them that is the most important. If my upset, emotional, and missing-my-sister moments are usually shared, then why did I do it last night and again today?
Simple, I'm hoping this will encourage us all to be careful with our words. To think before we speak. I am just as guilty as the next person, trust me. I wonder how many times I've said something with innocent curiosity or concern and it was received as the opposite. We are human. Live and learn but one thing I won't do...is hide again.
Others need to know there is hope and Heidi, and her kidnappers, need to know her family will NEVER give up or lose hope. One day, Heidi's remains will be discovered and she will be given a proper burial and memorial. You hear the statistics of how many children go missing each day, but there are also missing children found everyday...it's just the number that disappear is far greater than the ones recovered and discovered.
We can read the paper for the dirt, or we can seek the truth.
Sometimes it requires looking within rather than just what is highlighted. If we only hear the words spoken and forget there is a caring person with a heart speaking them, we might miss an opportunity to respond in love, grace, and mercy.
Have you experienced a similar situation? Will you share?
Carnival and Vendors Event to Benefit "Make-A-Wish" and "Wounded Warriors" TODAY- June 21st 12 - 5 in Mexico, NY
TODAY ~ June 21st
12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
At Mexico Community Park, State Route 104
Crafts & Games
$1.00 Cotton Candy, Hamburgers,
Hot Dogs, Soda, and Water!!!
All proceeds will be donated to
The Make A Wish Foundation
The Wounded Warriors Foundation!!!
All are invited!
See you there!
I'll have some of my parent's
wood working too!
3, 4, 5...Our kiddos have started to thrive
6, 7, 8...Each one is truly great
9 and 10...I wish we could do it again!
Today is the last Friday of the school year. It's a bittersweet time. As much as we look forward to the summer, just like the kiddos do, we grieve seeing them each day and watching them grow.
If you enjoy working with children, you understand what I'm talking about. They are caterpillars when the school year starts and by the end of the year, they burst forth as butterflies of beautiful colors.
Is the end of the school year bittersweet for you too?
Some of my favorite memories as a child were working in the garden, shop, or outside with my Dad. It's probably one reason I enjoy being outside to pray, write, and prepare for upcoming events. In addition to the excitement of new growth, is the opportunity to spend time with a loved one.
I personally learned many lessons while working alongside my parents. It seemed to be easier to talk about the tough stuff in life when "doing" something while in conversation. You know, like when you are driving and your son/daughter asks you a question that before you respond to them, you say, "Thank you God that I'm driving." because you can't make eye contact. Yet, regardless of the location of these precious moments, there is one piece that is vital...they must happen.
If our youth don't have adults they can dig deeper with, then how do they know right from wrong, risky versus safe, or learn common sense? The answer is, they'll seek answers from someone else, someone who may not have our child's best interest as a motivation. I'm thankful for our moments and the tough discussions, they molded and guided me to be the woman I am today. Thank you Mom and Dad! Thanks to my aunts and uncles too!
Don't worry so much about getting dirty or planting the seeds incorrectly, just spend time with your kids and plant seeds of truth, love, compassion, hope, encouragement, wisdom, and so many other possible seeds to plant. Then nurture them as they grow, watering them with daily reminders (not nagging) and love. It's up to God to change them and their hearts, we have the simple pleasure of watching the process.
Did/Do you have a favorite spot to have talks with your kids?
"If you’re running a 26-mile marathon,
remember that every mile is run one step at a time.
If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time.
If you’re trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time.
There are 365 days in the average year.
Divide any project by 365 and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating."
~ Charles Swindoll ~
Not a marathon...
Photo from the Cider Run 5K
To train required dedication, perseverance, and effort.
It was worth every moment!
The sequel to
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey...
Outlining, organizing, & planning
A woman asked me this past Monday at the New Haven Farmer's Market,
"Do you have the sequel?"
She encouraged me as she shared how reading Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey encouraged her, and the excitement for a sequel.
The good news, there is one in the works...
Here are a few I've thought of, maybe you can add to the list:
1) You get engaged and the wedding is in a year
2) You have debt and financial obligations
3) Your son/daughter leaves for college within a few years
4) Next year is a loved one's 50th, 75th, 80th, etc. birthday or anniversary and you want to throw them a big celebratory party
5) You want to own a car without taking out a loan
6) You desire to have money saved for retirement
7) ....what can you think of?
The point - when you divide anything by 365 days, or if you have a couple years to save for something, then divide it by 730 days. Example, you want to purchase a new-to-you car in two years, $6,000 divided by 730 days is $8.22 a day you need to save to pay cash. If you have three years, then you only need to save $5.50 a day. We can do this. Notice I said we?
Maybe you are striving to write your first book, the average word count is 64,000. They recommend writing an 80,000 word rough draft because you will cut thousands of words out during the revision process, even at 80,000 words for a year...this is only 220 words a day. So a paragraph a day and you have your first book written. For me personally, if I wrote 220 words a day on the sequel, I could release in 2015? Hmm...now this smaller view, mini-goal...makes things feel more achievable. Don't you agree?
Maybe you want to take your family on vacation but money is tight. Rather than think you need to save $4,000 (set it high) with a mindset "we'll never go on vacation", say, "If we save $11 a day for one year, we'll have enough to take a nice vacation." That is two people eating at McDonalds. Do you want to treat your child to fast food or Florida? It's about choices, will power, and determination.
I don't claim to have this mastered or be an expert. If anything, I'm blogging encouragement and hope to myself. I'm one to say, "We'll never be able to take a vacation" or "When does living paycheck to paycheck end?" but this quote by Charles Swindoll inspired me. I've broken some of our higher bills down using this philosophy.
I'm a visual person so I wrote the cost per day on our calendar in the kitchen. For instance, the cellphone plan cost $9 a day, cable cost $5 a day, and etc. When we are planning things to do, is stopping for fast food or ice cream work not having cable/Wi-Fi/phone? It's a matter of perspective.
We are a work in progress and there are days I shed pointless tears because of choices made in the past yet with this new way of looking at things...God reminds me it is possible - I might just need a smaller bit of reality because sometimes to look at the big picture discourages us, God used Charles Swindoll as a huge encouragement to me and my family. I hope it helps you too, the ultimate prize is Eternity in Heaven yet while here on earth, let us run the race of living a Godly life...It's not too late, divide it by 365.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
What race, book, project, or goal are you facing?
How does dividing by 365 help it be a reality?
Why didn't I look for a school offering education after graduation? I'm not really sure but I honestly didn't think I wanted to teach like the three generations before me. I wanted to do something creative and fun. (I just heard more laughter because teaching is 24/7 creativity and fun!)
My initial major was "advertising design". For those young pups reading the blog, that's anyone like twenty-five and under...advertising design didn't involve computers or technology. This was the stone age after the Flintstones, we had to take the ideas in our head and transpose them to paper using pencil, paper, crayons, paints, oil pastels, and etc. It was a degree of art classes accompanied by marketing and electives.
My marketing ideas and plans were top too BUT...the drawing...well...let's just say my fruit looked like it sat on the counter too long. I agreed with them about my weak drawing skills and thought extra classes or tutoring could help but the field was growing so fast at the time, I was leaps and bounds behind my peers. Most came with art backgrounds, which they used as a spring board, a board I was lacking. I took the advice of the professionals and my parents, switching majors.
I chose business communications because it was easy and I was able to catch up rather quickly. This allowed my electives to still qualify towards my degree. If only there was the technology of today back in the 80's, I think I would of rocked the advertising design but I wasn't meant to be in an office, the classroom is a perfect fit and I'm glad I figured it out, even if I was an adult when I returned to school for my Associates in Humanities and my Bachelors in English and Professional Writing. Lessons learned.
So why have I told you any of this? Well, the announcement I'll reveal next Tuesday utilized the inner-creativity I was starting to expand twenty-five years ago. Let me see how much can I tell you without revealing the surprise. I could list my shopping list: watercolors, water color paint brushes, starter paint tray, and water color paper. Mags is always sketching so rather than wasting money on something that is already in our house, I asked to borrow one of her drawing pencils and the special eraser. She was gracious and said yes, phew. Her initial comment, "You sketch?" triggered the above story. She enjoyed it so much, especially the part that it wasn't mostly technology usage.
Ed, Mags, my parents, and I look forward to sharing this exciting and first for me next Tuesday on the blog...only a few will know before then. The plan is to have a celebration at the New Haven Farmer's Market one Monday. My hope is to have this date for you next week so you can mark your calendar. You'll be able to stop and say hi, celebrate, enjoy some cake, AND visit the farmer's market all at the same time.
Are you excited for next week's big "reveal"?
Do you like them all?
There not your style?
Each has something that stands out and is special to you?
Why did you decide to purchase or read the book?
If you have the book but haven't read it yet, why?
If there is to be a sequel to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, what is something you'd like to read more about?
You don't have to answer these specific questions, these are to just get your mind thinking. I hope you'll leave a comment on the blog or via a Facebook comment below. You never know when your idea or insight might inspire someone else to pick up a little hope and read. There is also a quick multiple choice if you don't like to leave comments.
If your answer is Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, is there a chapter or aspect of the book that is your favorite? Is there a sentence or two you underlined or marked that you could quote below?
Thanks for sharing, your answers will help with the sequel to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, and future books.
Or stop by the New Haven Farmer's Market this afternoon
New Haven Farmers’ Market
Mondays 3 - 6
New Haven Town Hall
4279 St Rt 104
Thanks for taking time to leave a comment about your favorite book and why. Thank you for voting.
Thank you for following the blog...
Happy Father's Day 2014!
Some men can't have children of their own so they invest time, energy, and their talents in the lives of other children. And yes, there are some men that don't have children because they opt to continue being a child themselves. Then there are the boys, yet to grow into the father role, we'll pray you are the man God's called you to be when you get to that part of your life. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, if you are male, I extend a "Happy Father's Day" to you.
I could go on and on about the importance, value, and respect I have for men investing (yes, I've used this word a lot today - thank goodness this is a book going to edit, lol) in the lives of the children, both young and old, in their lives but there is another aspect of Father's Day we can't forget...the father unable to celebrate with or spend the day with their son or daughter.
My only sister, Heidi M Allen, disappeared on Easter Sunday 1994 and remains missing today. She spoiled my Dad on holidays, especially Father's Day. I, of course, teased her for sucking up yet it is these memories and memorabilia that remind Dad of his youngest daughter, Heidi.
It isn't all depression and sadness today, don't misunderstand, yet there is a different feel to the day. I can tell Dad "Happy Father's Day!" and shower him with compliments, time (learning how to golf on the X-Box), and make as big of a deal about today as anyone BUT I can't give him the one thing he probably misses the most...Heidi.
I'm not a dad, or even a parent, living each day after losing a child yet I understand the pain, grief, and sadness of losing my sister and the impact this has on me. As I listened to K-Love earlier today a woman called in and shared how she accidently called her father-in-law a week early to wish him a Happy Father's Day. She forgot to tell him "I Love You" but decided to wait since she planned to call again, on Father's Day, the next week. He passed away before she could tell him those three and vitally important words. Her message to the listeners, "don't wait until tomorrow, just do it today". (my paraphrase)
This is a motto we try to live out. We had a Father's Day dinner last night and spend most of the evening/night together yesterday and we'll get together again today (once I finish the blog, lol) but to be honest, this isn't much different than any other weekend. We don't wait.
As you celebrate father's day this year, remember the Dad's who can't spend time with their son or daughter because they have passed away or remain missing. My heart breaks to think of Carol Wood and Cora Kalous's famlies this weekend. Both finding out their beloved missing daughters have been found, deceased. There is cause for joy as the not-knowing is over yet the grief of knowing must be a great weight this Father's Day weekend.
For the father/sons/daughters out there who "aren't talking" right now", use today as an opportunity to call, text, message, or stop by and reconnect. The bond between parent and child is meant to be loving, forgiving, and forever.
On this father's day, I pray a special gift for the father and dad grieving the loss of a child - if it's in your power to re-establish communication...do it. If it's out of your control, pray. If your son or daughter has passed away, share a memory, photo, or something with others as a way of remembering them. If your son or daughter is missing...I'm sorry and pray and hope that by this time next year...you have answers to your greatest thought...Where's ...?
I'm off spend time with my parents. What about you? If today's blog inspires you to call and reconnect with your son, daughter, or father...will you let me know. I'd love to pray for you and celebrate the possibilities of healing and love waiting for you. If today's blog inspires you or brought you some comfort, thank God...He inspired me to write this post.
How has someone encouraged you after a loss?
So rather than writing a long blog, writing, or researching for future books while Mags was at work. Instead, I visited with my husband in the kitchen while I sketched with a toothpick on white frosting so I could bring Elmo to life on top of the cake. I took a couple cake decorating classes, "back in the day", with my cousin Missy. We had fun and learned a lot. It was great to use and revisit these skills.
Looking forward to seeing family and watching the one-year old dig in.
For now, we are off to the Relay for Life. I posted pictures of the cakes and a video from this morning.
My friends Stacy and Mary are known for saying, "Children don't go missing just on sunny days."
As I watched the clouds roll in, the wind pick up, and the rain start this morning I thought about this evening's Relay for Life events happening tonight. People don't only get cancer when it's sunny either so we are still going to walk some laps at the track and support this great cause.
Do you know when to say "no" to support your family?
I agree but I'm not talking in the literal, one word at a time. For instance, in my newest dictionary, the big red one, there are MANY words on one page. I alphabetized my word list before starting to save time in the "look up" phase. Time wasn't saved using my phone or computer because there were some words that might be on the same page or a simple turn of the page. The hand held devices or computers work in a pinch but I must tell you, it felt good to use an "old fashioned" (as one teen told me) method of picking up a book.
Yes, the one with the duct tape holding it together. It is a pocket size resource, not weighing a lot, looking like it has lived a tough life, and still my go-to dictionary...the red one is beautiful and new yet this MacGyver version of knowledge is always picked first.
I often work on projects during my lunch and wasn't prepared for the conversation my MacGyvered dictionary started. One person said, "I love it, that's great." Another said, "If you need a new dictionary, I have a few at home, you can have one."
I appreciated her offer and chuckled out loud because, well...I use the duct taped dictionary out of preference, not necessity. The first picture in today's blog is of my beautiful bookshelf my parents gifted me two Christmases ago - the middle row is all dictionaries, grammar helps, and other "word" related resources.
Have you asked, "Why are you using that raggedy dictionary when so many other choices are at your finger tips?" or possibly, "Why do you have so many dictionaries?"
My little, ripped, and well loved dictionary is my favorite because of the memory. My Aunt Nancy and Gram gave this to me when I transferred to a private high school, Bishop Cunningham Jr./Sr. High, in Oswego, New York. They wanted me to have a "new" one to start my new journey. Is it outdated and worn? Yes, but it is always my starting point.
Why do I have so many? Well...for some reason, when we go to book sales or yard sales, I gravitate to the books. I love dictionary and word type helps. I have rhyming dictionaries, word list dictionaries, and so much more. Did you notice the HUGE, and yes, duct taped dictionary to the left? This is my husband's family dictionary...old and outdated like my little one yet a family memory. The word "aint" isn't in that one! Thank goodness.
It was invigorating the past couple weeks to sit with a dictionary or two or three on my lap and the table around me. To play with words, so much fun. It might be easier to pick up our cell phone, I-Pod, I-Pad, or whatever handheld device you are using but I still believe there is more value and joy found in opening and good ol' book. What do you think?
What type of dictionary do you use?
I'm waiting to reveal what it is because this treasure is a gift first and foremost to my students at school - dedicated to them and they will be the first to see, hear, and touch my new...They will be the first to know I have my first ??? Oh the excitement...
I hope they are as excited to receive as I am to give...a little over two weeks!
There are many clues in this short blog - Heidi's smile and personality was a RAINBOW to anyone she met. I pray this next endeavor shares this RAINBOW of encouragement with others, especially our future ~ the kids!
What do you think will be revealed on June 25th or 26th?
the family’s continued efforts to find Morgan Nick.
Will you share this blog on your Facebook page. They are hoping to reach more people than they did last year. Each photo has a link. The episode of Home Makeover for Morgan's family is included also. You can leave the family a message here or visit their Facebook page - thank you in advance for remembering, praying, and sharing for Morgan today. May she and all our missing come home. Fireflies of hope today.
"19 years ago on June 9th, a beautiful little girl, Morgan Nick, was abducted from a Little League playground while she was catching fireflies. Morgan is still missing. Her mother, Colleen Nick , is a very dear friend of mine and a strong advocate for the missing. We ask everyone to honor Morgan by catching 19 fireflies and taking a picture of them to commemorate the moment of HOPE. I hope you will join me in catching the fireflies and post your picture on Facebook or send it to me.
We would love to let Morgan's family know how many people around the world are thinking of Morgan and sending positive thoughts of HOPE to help bring Morgan home. If there are no fireflies in your area, please spend a moment to think of Morgan and her family light a candle if you are able. To find out more about Morgan and see the amazing good work Morgan's mother does every day, please visit http://www.morgannickfoundation.com/
This year I am sending out the invitations a bit earlier to see if we can top our previous years attendance- please invite your friends and family to take part as well- let's get this going world-wide! What if the person you invite is the one who has the information to bring Morgan home??
Please take some time to speak with the children in your life about safety. Education is key to combating crimes against children. You can find helpful publications on this at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website: www.missingkids.com. Consider enrolling your kids in a self-defense/empowerment course so they have knowledge about how to protect themselves, no matter what their age. Catching fireflies is such an iconic childhood pleasure- let’s work together to keep all children safe and joyful!
Thank you my friends!!
To those of you who participated in this event last year- Thank You!! Your thoughts, prayers, best wishes and pictures meant more to this family than words can say."
Leave a note for Morgan's family, friends, and community below to encourage them today - tragedy to butterflies...
We will never give up on our missing loved ones.
When birds are sold, two small birds cost only a penny.
But not even one of those little birds can die without your Father knowing it.
God even knows how many hairs are on your head. So don’t be afraid.
You are worth more than a whole flock of birds.
Matthew 10:29-31 ERV
A reminder from watching birds move in to their new home this weekend...thank you Mom and Dad! It's beautiful...
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