Saturday, January 31, 2009

Journal entry 175--Superbowl

With the superbowl fast approaching, describe how you feel about pro-athletes salaries.

I have always been annoyed that professional athletes get paid so much money. It's not that I think I should get the money, it just seems ridiculous that someone makes millions for playing a sport. What about our teachers? People who are working with and training our children. It all comes down to what am I getting out of this and sports bring in the money. That's why art and music programs are always the first to go in a public school. Athletes make so much because we help fund their salary. Society places such a emphasis on sports instead of music and arts and teaching that sports become the number one priority.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Journal entry 174--Like a...

Start your journal today with the sentence "There is nothing like a..."

There is nothing like a hug. I love getting hugs when I'm sad or congratulated or just because the hugger loves me. My children give great hugs, especially my little 6 year old who likes to give bear hugs that sometimes hurts my ribs! Every night when my husband comes home the first thing he does is hug me. Even if I'm in the middle of making dinner, I still enjoy his hugs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Journal entry 173--Growing up

Have you changed any behavior or attitudes from when you were younger?

I used to be very contradictory in nature, always looking for an argument. I enjoyed saying things that could possibly lead to a heated debate. I later married someone who was a little more passive than I am and eventually our personalities switched places. Now I'm a lot less argumentative, although I'm still up for a healthy debate! My husband is more aggressive now and speaks his opinion more. As I've grown older, I just get tired of controversy and have learned that you rarely can change someone's mind. I also hate apologizing so I usually try to avoid arguments for fear I might say something I'll regret.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Journal entry 172--Well lived

How would you define a life that is lived well?

A well lived life is one of service. Serving others, you family, children, and friends are what in my opinion is the most important part of life. I believe we're here to learn and grow and teach others so they too can grow and become better people. A well lived life is one where, if you have children, you've been an active parent in their lives. A parent who sets boundaries and teaches them with love so that one day they can venture on there own and raise their children. Do I do all this? I try. Sometimes I have moments of selfishness and want to be served, but for the most part I try. And that's all we can do.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Journal entry 171--Laughter

Describe someone in your life that makes you laugh.

My son, Chris is the most hilarious person I know. He comes up with the most random things to say that always catch me off guard and just make me laugh. He's not afraid to act silly and laugh at himself. Whenever I'm feeling down, I can always count on Chris to perk things up. He's witty and smart and I love to be around him.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Journal entry 170--Passionate 7

Last day to write about something you are passionate about.

Music is my passion. I love playing and listening to music. Music has been in my life since I can remember. My grandmother was an organist and her house held two huge organs and a baby grand piano. I've been playing the piano since I was 4 years old and also played violin, cello, and flute. I'd love to play the harp but will have to do it through my daughter who wants to play it. Music is calming when I'm stressed and motivating when I need to exercise. What kind of music do you listen to?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Journal entry 169--Passionate 6

Write about something you are passionate about.

I love to travel with my family. My kids are older now so it makes traveling a lot easier and they can do more things with us. For instance last year we went on a cruise with my brother-in-law's family. It was the best vacation I've ever had! We had a great time with the kids--snorkeling, seeing Mayan ruins and going down river in the Belize jungle. Traveling always brings our family closer. My kids get along with each other better, they enjoy being around us and everyone is a little more relaxed. Hmmm...maybe I'd better start planning our next vacation!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Journal entry 168--Passionate 5

Write about something you are passionate about.

I am passionate about my Sundays. Sundays are my day of rest. The day of the week where I do nothing but go to church, take a nap and spend time with my family. It is the most relaxing day of the week for obvious reasons, and my kids have learned to enjoy Sundays as well. By morning my boys are planning out the day which usually involves snuggling by the fireplace and playing a board game or cards. We spend the day reading and resting, which gets us all ready for the week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Journal entry 167--Passionate 4

Write about something you are passionate about.

I am passionate about my husband! He's my best friend and makes me laugh constantly. I think that I'm a little bit of a strange person and he puts up with all my quirkiness. We've been married for 17 years and still make it a point to go out on a date once a week. He's a great father and I know and the kids know how much he loves them. I grew up without a father around and also with the thought that he didn't love me. That was extremely difficult. I love seeing my husband's relationship with his children. It's helped me see how father's should treat their children.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Journal entry 166--Passionate 3

Write about something you are passionate about.

I am passionate about my children. I want them to grow up in a healthy environment and become successful loving parents to their children. Isn't that what everyone with children wants for them? I want to help them avoid making the same mistakes I did as a child but I know they need to learn from their own mistakes. It's hard sometimes to watch them fail but I know in the long run they will learn. I'm passionate about their health. I don't know what I would do if I lost any of them. They as well as my husband of course are my life and I can't imagine life without them. My kids can drive me crazy but it's usually when I feel out of control. Just and out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Journal entry 165--Passionate 2

Day 2 to describe something you are passion about.

I love doing genealogy and family history. So much so that I started this blog so that others as well as myself can keep a record of their own personal history. Genealogy is like a treasure hunt or a mystery. You never know what you'll find and what it will lead to. Through genealogy, I've learned that I'm related to Pochahontas. My husband is related to a woman named Rebecca Nurse who was accused and hanged for being a witch in Salem, Mass. It's a way for me to connect to my past and learn about the people I'm related to. Plus I think it's just plain fun!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Journal entry 164--Passionate 1

For each of the next seven days, write about something you are passionate about.

Monday: I am passionate about reading. I love to read and try to read any chance I get without ignoring my children. The only problem with my reading is that if the book is particularly good then I read it non stop, even staying up into the wee hours of the morning. Usually my house will stay a mess if I'm into a good book. I try to mother myself and say, "After you finish your chores, then you may read." However, like my children I don't listen to myself and consequently have a messy house with a lot of books read.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Journal entry 163--Love

Describe what love sounds like to you.

Love is the sound of children laughing or a brand new baby cooing and talking to their mother. It's my children and husband asking me if they can help or playing a game together. Love is the sound of beautiful music, especially piano because that's what I play. It's the sound of my son winning his soccer game and feeling so good about how he did. It's my other son's voice when he gets a great idea and is so excited to tell me that he talks too fast to understand. And then there's my daughter and her sweet voice telling me that she thinks I'm beautiful! Lastly the sound of my husband telling me how much he loves me. It may sound sappy, but to me those are the sounds of love.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Journal entry 162--Connections

How do you stay connected to the people you care about most?

I talk on the phone. I have always been a phone talker. Every day after school, my best friend and I would talk on the phone for hours. This, of course was before texting, email and facebook. Sometimes I miss receiving letters in the mail as opposed to email. It's something to look forward to. Blogging is another way I've found to stay connected to friends. We're able to read about each other's struggles and successes and see their children grow. It still is rather impersonal but certainly works well for long distant friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Journal entry 161--Grandfathers part 2

Describe one or both of your grandfathers. What were they like? Did you know them well? What influence did they have on you?

I only knew one of my grandfathers. He was my mother's father and was the true patriarch of our entire family. My grandfather was an entrepreneur who was always thinking of some way to make money. He was the example I had for handling money and taking risks with it. I loved my grandfather, who whenever he took us out for brunch would tell terrible jokes to the waitresses. I felt sorry for them, having to pretend to enjoy these jokes for a good tip. He was funny and would often say, "Oh for gosh sakes." My grandfather was generous and kind to me and I will never forget the way he treated me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Journal entry 160--Stress

Describe what you do to alleviate stress.

Sleep is always nice to escape from the craziness of stress. A good book, hot cocoa, yummy food and my dog are all the things I use to cope with stress. It also helps to have a good friend to talk to or a blog! The best way I alleviate stress is by trying very hard to avoid it. I used to be a newspaper reporter and constantly had deadlines to keep. Now I stay home to raise my children and I cannot think of a better, stress-free life. This all changes, of course, during Christmas season when the hustle sets in. But like I mentioned earlier, I simply try to avoid stress.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Journal entry 159--Disappointment

Describe how you handle disappointment or bad news.

I don't handle disappointment well at all. I had a lot of disappointments as a child and consequently it didn't teach me how to deal. However, one thing I have learned is prayer helps me the most. Whenever I receive bad or disappointing news I quickly kneel down in prayer and ask for help through this tough time. It doesn't take away the problem but helps me deal with it. I'm able to think a little more clearly, and feel a little bit more peace of mind. That's the best way I've learned to handle difficult situations. Other than that, I turn to chocolate and my children's Wii!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Journal entry 158--Failure

Describe a time when you flunked or failed at something.

School was always easy and a bit boring for me. I seemed to coast through high school without ever learning proper study skills, so when college came I was in trouble. My first "F" was in my college Chemistry class. I couldn't believe it! Of course, at the time I thought it was all the teacher's fault. "He was a bad teacher," I told my mother, "and therefore I didn't learn the material." Yet the bottom line was I didn't know how to study. I retook the class with a different teacher, corrected my mistakes and poor study skills and got an "A" in the class. Now, I can see this pattern with my own children. They hardly ever study and still get "A's" in their classes. It may take an "F" to wake them up!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Journal entry 157--Admiration

Describe a quality that a close friend of yours possesses that you admire.

I have a friend that has a lot of hope. No matter how bad her life is, she is always optimistic. She also has a lot of faith and I think that plays into her optimistic attitude. Her faith that things will turn out okay despite how dreary it looks. I wish I had that ability. I lean a bit the other way with a more cynical look at things. I also worry about the "what if's." That is something I'm trying to eliminate and take on my friend's more positive attitude.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Journal entry 156--Gossip

Have you ever been on the giving end or receiving end of gossip?

If I have been a victim of gossip, I've blocked it out of my mind or I never knew. I've had my share of bratty comments made about me from behind my back. Of course these comments have upset me. I can't stand when I'm being represented unfairly or just plain wrong. Ashamedly, I have spoken about someone behind their back, not so much to be mean but to try to understand why they did something. I suppose many of us are afraid to confront each other when there's a problem but that sure would eliminate the back biting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Journal entry 155--Negative

Describe what you do to fight off negative thinking.

I have some people in my life that are real Debby Downers. Anything I say they have a comeback of something negative. Usually when this happens I try to say nothing but positive things. If this person says that someone is doing something wrong, I counter it with, "I think they are nice or have good intentions." It usually gets the negative person to either change their comments or they stop talking to me because I won't participate with the negativity. It's difficult to be around a constantly negative person because it brings you down and is just plain annoying. Hopefully I'm not like this.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Journal entry 154--Home

What can you find at home and nowhere else?

If everyone is home, I can certainly find my family and that's makes me the happiest. I can find relaxation at home after all the work is done. My cozy bed is found at home and a spiritual peace that helps me through the day. The older I get, the more of a home body I've become. Once I'm home from running errands, I don't want to leave again! Unfortunately there's never a day that I don't have to go somewhere.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Journal entry 153--Mornings

Write about the first thoughts that come to your mind in the morning when you wake up.

My thoughts are usually, "Ughh, is it morning already?" I'm not a morning person and when I wake up, I like to lounge in my covers cuddling with my dog. I have to cuddle with my dog because my husband is a morning person and gets up early. Many times my daughter will crawl under the covers and snuggle which makes it more difficult to get her going. I also think of all the things I have to do that day and try to decide which to start with. So I trudge out of bed and start getting the kids ready for school and then myself. Once I'm moving I'm fine and ready to take on the day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Journal entry 152--Sundays

Finish the following sentence: To me, Sundays are...

To me Sundays are literally a day of rest. I love Sundays because it's the day I attend church and can feel spiritually uplifted and it's a day to be with my family. After church, we come home, put on cozy clothes and cuddle under a big blanket while watching a movie. We also use that time for playing family games together. There are times when we invite some good friends over for dinner and games or we might go to other family's house for dinner.
Whatever we do, we try to stay together as a family and make Sunday a special day of the week. Our life normally is so busy with soccer, piano, and scouting that I look forward to a day of the week where I don't have to be anywhere except church and that's a place I want to be.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Journal entry 151--Illegal

Have you ever done something illegal? Did you know it was illegal at the time of the crime?

I did the kiddie crime of taking a piece of candy from the bulk candy section of the grocery store when I was 5 years old. Once my mother found out, she hauled me back to the store and I returned the candy and apologized. I never took another piece of candy. The worse illegal activity I did was when I was 13 years old. Now let me preface this by saying that at the time I honestly didn't think I was doing something wrong and illegal. It was just a typical clueless teenager time for me. On a Saturday, my friend and I rode our bikes to our Jr. High School and there we found a piece of chalk. What else could we do with a piece of chalk except write on the back of the lockers, "I love Brad" or "Brad is a babe." I had a big crush on this boy and I guess I wanted to tell the world. Although I didn't leave my name. Looking back on the occasion through adult eyes, I can see how terrible I was for doing this regrettable act. Now I would faint if I found out that my children ever vandalized!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Journal entry 150--Moms

Is there anything your mother did while you were growing up that you swore you'd never do with your children, but actually do?

I've copied a lot of my mother's sayings and facial expressions. Funny words like "honyak"or "skiwampus" seems to infiltrate my vocabulary often. I'm particular about the way my bed is made and presents need to be wrapped tight and neat just like my mother did. I also have a look I give to both my kids and husband when they've been naughty, which is the same look my mother gave to me. And if my dog is being troublesome, I usually say an exasperated "Awwhh" in a tone of disgust, which again I picked up from mom. However, my mother died when I was 20 years old, so my children have never known her. So I try to say and do things that she did and point out to them that their grandma used to say this or that. I figure it's one way for my kids to know their grandma.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Journal entry 149--Resolutions

When was the last time you kept your New Year's resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of each year?

I rarely keep my New Year's resolutions. I don't know if it's that I make the resolutions too difficult to keep or if I'm just lazy. Yet, I can't stay I don't try. This past year, I've tried to find my great grandfather's personal history and who his parents were. It's been a very difficult journey. He was from Sweden and had an extremely common name so that is presenting a huge challenge for me. Another resolution I've never kept is getting a bedroom set. My husband and I have gone 11 years with a bed frame. We just keep pushing it aside for other fixers around the house. Maybe this year? I can only hope.