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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My dear blogging friend, Judy, over at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings, hosts this meme every Wednesday. Simply list five things (or a prayer or any thoughts) for which you are truly thankful this week. Voicing my thanks helps put my life in perspective & realize that, no matter how bad things might be, there is still MUCH good surrounding me.

1) I'm thankful for an AWESOME retreat this past Saturday w/ my small church community...so much inspiration, faith-sharing, tears, & laughter. This group was formed about 20 years ago & I've been a part of it for 12 years. Like many long-term groups, we kind of got stuck in a rut recently. We thought this would be a great opportunity for our little group to get back on track.

2) I'm thankful for the opportunity to participate in a criminal trial for jury duty this week. (I just hope the trial is over by Friday!) I learned more in the first day than I learned in my whole senior year of high school government class.

3) I'm thankful for HelpfulGrammy & my dear Mom Therapy friend for helping out w/ babysitting this week. They've been a tremendous help & relief.

4) I'm thankful for the easy route I have to & from jury duty. Going downtown is not always a pleasant experience & can get quite confusing. However, access in & out of the parking garage has been so easy.

5) I'm thankful for all of Casinodad's help this week...laundry, cleaning dishes, helping w/ the munchkins, & so much more.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Part Two of "On Turning the Big 4-0"

I forgot to add this "dear" comment from The Prophet to yesterday's post.

Occasionally, I will view online photos of stars celebrating their birthdays. Yesterday, William Shatner turned 81 & Andrew Lloyd Webber turned 64. When I looked at their photos, Andrew looked a lot older than William (I'm sure he's had much work done).

The older boys were looking at the photos w/ me & when I made that comment, The Prophet looked at William's photo & said, "He looks your age, Mom!" Gee, thanks Son!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Turning the big 4-0

Well, I'm coming up to the end of my first month of being 40! I thought I'd list some of my thoughts on being "Over the Hill" as people like to say.

  • Sure I joked to others about being old now, but truthfully...it really did not bother me to turn 40. Basically, it was just another birthday to me.
  • I began to feel old long before my birthday w/ all the lower back pain I've had the past couple years. I think the Move Free supplements have really helped. My back does still bother me if I'm on my feet a lot, grocery shopping, or am not careful w/ how I sit or hold myself.
  • Despite feeling old, I really don't look my age (unless you get close & observe my gray/white hairs). When I was 13, someone thought I was 18. Now, many people are shocked to hear that I am 40 & have four children.
  • My genetic history is taking root...I'm on medication for underactive thyroid (from HandyGramps) & high blood pressure (from HelpfulGrammy). Also, at my physical last week, there were some irregular heartbeats during my EKG. (Heart problems are on both sides of my family.) I am currently awaiting the results of the 24 heart monitor I had on the other day to see if it's a fluke or a problem.
  • Blood work from my physical showed the medications I'm on are working. However, my cholesterol & fat levels are up. Instead of medication at this time, my doctor wants me to try diet & exercise for the next 3 months first.
  • My first gray hair didn't appear until I was about 31. For years, I only had a couple of them here & there. Now, there are many stray, wiry strands sticking out around my head. They're not as visible if I wear my hair down, but when it's pulled back or up, you can definitely see that gray growth. Also, I keep finding white hairs in my eyebrows. For every one I pluck, it seems two more appear! I'm thinking I will follow the maternal side of my family when it comes to hair color. HelpfulGrammy's hair is beginning to show more shades of white than gray. Her mom & her sisters had beautiful, white hair...well, except for the one who was a HEAVY smoker & had more of a dull yellow tint to her hair.
  • Is it just me or does the number 40 in my profile (see the sidebar on the right) look really BIG compared to the rest of the text there?
Am I where I thought I'd be at this age? Not really, but I'm definitely in a much better place! When I graduated high school, I had plans to be an elementary music teacher, married w/ maybe two kids. While I did get that college degree, I chose not to go for a teaching job. Now I am happily married & we've been blessed w/ four beautiful children. I homeschool the munchkins, work a part-time job on Saturdays, keep our home running, & though much prayer, strive to be the best wife & mother I can be. Sure I fail many times & we have those rough days (more than I care to count!), but I wouldn't trade this life for anything!

Small Successes

Sherry, at Chocolate for Your Brain, hosts Small Successes each Thursday. Check it out to see others' successes & share your own. Recognizing the small things we accomplish each week helps us realize that even when it doesn't seem like it, we are getting things done!

1) With Casinodad & the munchkins help, we got the garage cleaned out on Sunday. We took everything out, swept the floor, tossed or donated stuff, & put everything else back in neatly. And...it's still looking good!

2) I found & downloaded some free educational apps for the iPad AND the munchkins are enjoying them, esp. Presidents vs. Aliens (if you get the question right, you can launch a president at an alien to save the planet).

3) I fixed our new vacuum cleaner. (Yes, I said new!) When vacuuming a couple of weeks ago, someone accidentally sucked up the hat to a stuffed bunny. The hose portion still worked, but the regular part did not. HelpfulGrammy suggested it might be the belt & sure enough, when I took the vacuum apart, the belt had snapped. So, off to purchase a new one & voila, I fixed it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Random Thoughts - A Middle School Memory

Every once in a while, a random thought invades my mind, bringing back a long forgotten event from my past. Usually, they're not anything significant & are usually forgotten again just as quickly as they were remembered.

This afternoon, I remembered one of those fads that went around when I was in middle school...Slam Books! Anyone remember those?

A Slam Book was a small stack of notebook paper stapled together or a spiral notebook. Each page was blank except for a topic at the top & numbers listed along the side. On the first page, you wrote your name beside a number of your choice. Then on subsequent pages, you were to write something next to that same number that went w/ the topic at the top of the page.

For example, say I chose the number 15. On the first page I would write my name next to 15. The next page's topic is Name Your Favorite Movie & I would write Somewhere in Time next to number 15 (of course back then it was probably something w/ the Brat Pack like St. Elmo's Fire or Sixteen Candles...I was a tween & teen in the 80s, of course!) This would go on for maybe 15-20 pages & my answer for each topic would go next to the number 15.

Topics would include things like Who Do You Think is the Cutest Boy in the 8th Grade?, What's Your Favorite (Song, Color, Book, TV Show, etc.)?, What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?, etc. They were fun ways to get to know your friends & acquaintances better.

Now that I'm remembering all this, I wonder if these might be early versions of some of the fun memes that go around these days & that's why I like to participate in them so much!

NOTE: I just did an online search for Slam Books & apparently some of them were not as nice as the ones I remember participating in. One site said that they were used to write mean things anonymously about other students...80s bullying tactics, I guess. Some of those commenting said that the ones they did were not that bad & were just surveys of their friends (like what I remember). Others said they went all the way back to the 40s & 50s.

A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings

My dear blogging friend, Judy, over at A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings, hosts this meme every Wednesday. Simply list five things (or a prayer or any thoughts) for which you are truly thankful this week. Voicing my thanks helps put my life in perspective & realize that, no matter how bad things might be, there is still MUCH good surrounding me.

1) I'm thankful for our great family doctor. I've been going to him since I graduated from college. Over the years, Casinodad & the munchkins have been added. It's great to have a doctor who looks at more than the numbers on the charts. He also considers my genetics, as my parents go to him, too.

2) I'm thankful for
the great staff at our doctor's office. The nurses & receptionists are like family to us & it's always been sad when the great ones move on to other things. One of the nurses recently told me that she's expecting. I knew she'd been trying for a few years, so this was wonderful news. She said she couldn't wait to tell me after she'd found out. I gave her a big hug in congratulations.

3) I'm thankful for 99 cent bags of ripened bananas from Giant Eagle. Yes, this is a repeat from last week!
I got two more bags yesterday. My "Mom Therapy" friend & I always do a Happy Banana Dance when we see them in the store. (Okay, we don't REALLY dance around the store, but we're a-dancin' inside!)

4) I'm thankful for The Saint's attempts at imitating us during Mass. This past Sunday, he started to walk into our pew, turned around, bowed toward the altar, & attempted the Sign of the Cross. Then as we knelt to pray, he also knelt w/ his hands folded & eyes closed tightly.

5) I'm thankful for the blossoms & growth of green that have appeared so quickly w/in the last week. What was recently dry, brown, & bleak has become new, bright, & beautiful.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lovin' My Husband

It's Tuesday...time for Judy's new meme! As she says, "In a world where people are always griping and complaining and the 'norm' for women's get-togethers seems to be to 'down' the husbands, we have taken the reins in an effort to do the opposite: BUILD UP THE MEN WE LOVE!"

So here I am to do just that...sharing about my dear hubby, Casinodad. If you'd like to participate, share about your husband: 3 ways you've been blessed by him, what makes you love him so, pictures, stories, anything! Then, go to Judy's meme blog to link up!

Oops! I missed last week again! You're probably wondering if I only love my hubby every other week, aren't you? LOL

1) Lovin' my husband for helping get the garage cleaned on Sunday afternoon. All of us worked hard & got it done in just a couple hours...no big arguments between anyone either!

2) Lovin' my husband for his care & concern for me. I had my annual physical on Fri. Mon. morning, I got the follow-up call from my doctor's office. There were some irregular heartbeats in my EKG, so I am currently on a 24 hour heart monitor to see if it's a recurring thing or just a fluke. (There are heart problems on both sides of my family, so this isn't a total surprise for me.) Also, my cholesterol & fat levels were pretty high. No medication at this time though...I'm going to work w/ my diet first. Casinodad has been great at trying to keep me calm, while I know he's pretty worried about me.

3) Lovin' my husband for listening to me, esp. when I get to talking non-stop. There are some times when I become a big chatterbox, talking about anything, everything, & nothing. Usually this happens when we're in bed, he's ready to fall asleep, & I get a second wind for the night. Thankfully, he loves me enough to put up w/ my incessant chattering!