Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Life Well Lived

About a month ago, my grandma passed away at the age of 93. At her funeral there was an open mike time where people were allowed to get up and share anything they would like about my grandma. At her funeral, I was INCREDIBLY sick with a sinus and ear infection. I did not get up at that time and make any comments because they would have been peppered with constant coughing, nose blowing and probably would not have made much sense since my ear was completely plugged and I could not hear very well at the time. :-)

Anyway, here are some things that I might have shared had I not been so sick at the funeral.

My grandma was SMALL in stature (in fact a rite of passage as a grandchild was growing taller than Grandma.) However, her height was the only thing about her that was small. She left a BIG legacy in so many areas.

As a 4th grade teacher, she had a BIG presence in the classroom. I saw this first hand as a kid who went to the same school where she taught (along with my mom....I didn't dare misbehave because I knew one of them would find out immediately. I am not sure who I was more afraid of disappointing...MOM or GRANDMA.) :-) Through the wonders of Facebook, I saw numerous people post about how she was one of their favorite teachers. Pretty amazing legacy to leave!!

She left a BIG legacy with her family. She and my Grandpa raised 8 children and after all their children were gone they decided to foster another child who is now just as big a part of our family as anyone else. I am not sure I would have the heart or the energy to do that after raising 8 children. I have one child and while I am not rushing her to grow up I am not sure I would have the energy to take in another child once Anna is out of my house. She was always concerned about the safety of her family...just ask anyone who spent the night at her house. I guarantee they could tell you the best way to escape her house in the event of a fire. :-) As the only grandchildren who lived close by growing up, my sister and I have many memories of fun times with Grandma whether it be road trips, overnight visits at the house or going to movies.

She left a BIG legacy when it comes to food (of course this is a topic that is near to my heart.) :-) She was an amazing cook and I have great memories or blueberry pies, apple squares and bacon and eggs fresh from the chicken house. A few years ago, I asked her to write down a few of her recipes for me. She went several steps beyond and made tons of recipe cards with all of her recipes plus numerous others. Those recipes are one of my most treasured possessions and I hope to put them into a book form of some sort this year.

Finally, she left a BIG legacy in the area of faith. She loved and served Jesus faithfully for many, many years and wanted the same for her family and friends. She was truly an example of a life well lived for God. I know that when she met Jesus he said, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I feel like my life will have been well lived if I can leave half the legacy that my grandma left.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Years Resolutions!!

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! It is the Year of the Dragon! I am sure that you are impressed with my knowledge of Chinese culture considering I have absolutely no Chinese in my genetic lineage (although Anna did look Asian as a newborn...so maybe there is something somewhere.) :-) However, I am not that well versed in Chinese culture (other than the fact that I think their food is delicious), but I have mad skills when it comes to googling something. :-)

Anyway, you may be wondering where I am going with all this Chinese New Year stuff. I have found that it is helpful to me if I publish my New Year's Resolutions/Goals on my blog as a way holding myself accountable to the throughout the year. However, we are already 23 days into 2012 and most people have already given up on their resolutions and I haven't even started or articulated mine. There are plenty of good reasons for this including being sick with a sinus and ear infection since January 2.... on top of the fact that we had house guests and a funeral in the midst of this 3 week illness. If I had tried to blog about my goals during that time, the goals would have been something like:
  • "Make sure to have tissues, Advil, Mucinex and cough drops on your person at all times"
  • "Take a nap"
  • "Invest in Kleenex corporation"
So, I decided to hold off on the blog until I felt a little better. While I am still nowhere near 100%, I finally feel like I am beginning to recover from this crazy bug and can begin to formulate and work toward my goals in this area so I am declaring them my CHINESE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS for 2012: The Year of the Dragon:

  1. Exercise at least 3 times per week-This will probably be a goal for me every year for the rest of my life. I was doing well with this in 2011 until the holidays hit and then I got sick. Definitely need to get back into the habit.
  2. Develop a will-With the hundreds of millions of dollars that I have, I really should allocate where it should go. Seriously, we don't have much and have the proper beneficiaries listed on things and have talked to who we want to care for Anna in the event of our untimely demise...just need to make it legal (and I realize this should have happened already.) :-)
  3. Organize/Improve My House-I was not blessed with the domestic gene so I am very challenged when it comes to decor and home organization (which is weird because I think I am a fairly organized person overall.) However, I know I don't like any space in my house right now so hoping to rectify that. I do not have a huge budget for any major projects, but I know I can do some things like paint, organize closets and spaces, and pitch/purge/sell things we don't want/use/need. I also want to convert our junk room, I mean office, into a playroom so that every room in the house isn't overrun with toys.
  4. Read 100 books-Last year, my goal was to read 40 books and I far exceeded it so going to try to challenge myself on this one.
  5. Complete 2 digital scrapbooks-I have not started on Anna's 2 year old scrapbook and she is almost 3 so I want to finish Age 2. I also have several recipes that were my grandma's that I want to make into a cookbook (if you are related and want a copy I will post the link when it gets done...even more motivation to finish it.) :-)
  6. Unplug-I love my electronic devices!! However, I have found that there is almost never a time in my life when I am not using something electronic and I am not sure that is healthy. I had jury duty a couple of weeks ago and cell phones were not allowed in the courthouse and I think I might have been twitching a little by the end of the day because I was away from my phone. :-) Because of this, I want to make a commitment to unplugging from everything for at least 1 hour a week (and it cannot be while I am sleeping.) :-) I also want to take at least 2 days where I unplug for the entire day.
  7. Read through the Bible in a year-I love YouVersion as tool to do this.
I also have 2 more areas that I want to work on but I haven't quite figured out the details on how to make it happen yet.
  1. Some sort of Sugar Fast-I don't struggle with things like alcohol or recreational drugs, but sugar is my drug of choice. I need to fast from sugar at some point. I am not sure if I give it up completely, fast one day a week or do something like a lenten fast. Still trying to work through this.
  2. Financial Goals-I want to figure out how to spend less and save more. We do an OK job at this, but I want to do better. Not sure if that is through couponing, eating out less, selling non-essential body parts, or some other manner.
I think that is it!! Happy New Year and enjoy an egg roll in honor of the Year of the Dragon!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

This is my AMAZING Husband, Mark. He turns 39 today (yep, I am cougar and got myself a younger man.) :-)
These are some many things about this man that you may or may not know and that I love about him:
  • His friends in college called him "Oster Monkey" because of his tree climbing skills (hence the sock monkey hat he received from my mom for Christmas.) :-)
  • He has taken in upon himself without being asked to take responsibility for the dishes, laundry, trash, cleaning the bath tub and taking care of our cat (including the litter box.) Ladies, I know you are jealous!!
  • He is an AMAZING dad and will even be "Princess Daddy" when Anna is playing dress-up.
  • He is an incredibly talented musician.
  • He likes to go Disney World (not as much much as me, but still likes it.) :-)
  • Every year he WANTS to be the one who frosts his birthday cake.
  • He has incredibly high standards as to what he will watch/listen to in terms of entertainment.
  • He loves Jesus!!
  • He puts up with all my crazy (which can be extensive at times.) :-)
Happy Birthday Honey! I LOVE YOU!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Am Second

Hello 2012! I have several posts for floating in my head for 2012, but have had several things happening that have kept me from posting (house guests, illness, funerals, playing "Words with Friends", etc.) I promise they are coming! :-) In the meantime, here is a book review thanks to the folks at booksneeze.com:

I was very excited when I saw that I AM SECOND was offered in book format. I became familiar with I AM SECOND when our church did a series of the same title in 2010. We based that series off the the website that features videos of people who have faced adversity and how they overcame it by putting Jesus first and themselves second. I really enjoyed the stories when we did the series and was hoping I would enjoy the book. The book did not disappoint. It was very inspiring to read the stories of many different people....from musicians to athletes to everyday people. It was amazing the read the stories of how their faith helped them to overcome many trials in their lives. This book was a quick and easy read. One feature of the book that I really liked was at the end of each story there was a web address as well as a QR code for your smartphone that linked you to the video of the story you just read and ones that were similar.

I highly recommend this book and if you are not a reader at least check out the website to hear these amazing stories!!

Happy Reading!!