For most people they have gone through two thirds of their summer with children home. Were you one that when the kids first came home you were wondering if you would survive the summer and now you are thinking that the summer is going too fast and are not ready for the summer to end? It might be that you are not ready for the homework again or maybe it is the early morning hours or you have found that you have really enjoyed having your children home. For other parent's they might be feeling guilty and wishing that they would have done more with their children over the summer.
Regardless of where you are at with the summer, remember that you do still have a month. You can get up everyday and enjoy the time you have with your children. If you wished that you would have worked with your kids on certain school skills or reading, but haven't, it's not too late. Do you wish you would have gone to the local public pool or played at the park with your children? Then do it. Maybe you had visions of working with your children on their bedrooms over the summer, but haven't gotten around to it. Take time and do it.
You might be thinking that it isn't that easy due to your schedule or even your children's schedule. Don't live with regrets or with pressure to do it all. Remember you have each day, one day at a time, to decide what you are going to do. Your children are going to grow up despite what you do so enjoy some time with them. Teach them, love them and have fun with them. Some of the best memories and lessons learned in life are times when my parent's spent time with me doing something that we both cared about. Sometimes it was working hard and other times it was having fun. There is a balance. Don't regret another day. Remember twenty minutes with your children can be invaluable to your children then you can get back to the pressing things in your life.
Have you ever been so sick that you were willing to go through whatever the doctor told you to do? Maybe it is bad knees so you have to have knee replacement surgery. Maybe it is stomach problems so you have to go on a strong medication to fight off whatever the problem is. For me I have fought endometriosis since I was a teenager and have had surgery a couple of times. It had gotten to the point where I was in pain over twenty days of the month that caused me to have to take pain medication on some of the days. I was to the point that I was willing to do whatever the doctor said I needed to do.
So, I go to the doctor and when he gives me the options I decide to go with the "simplest" way to start with the pain. I take medication to curve the pain. It has worked. I haven't had severe pains since a couple of weeks on the medication, but what I didn't think about is the other side effects that could come. The headaches, extremely tired, lack of motivation, some depression and pulling away from things. As I read about the medication and side effects I find several people who have posted the same things and are swearing off the medication. I start thinking that I am going to do the same. Then I start to think about which is worse. What am I willing to go through to get rid of the severity of the pain that I had gone through for years? Am I willing to put up with some of the side effects?
As I have thought about my situation I have thought about a friend of mine that would commonly talk about the pain she suffered in her knees. She had decided that she was going to have a knee replacement done because everyone she talked to said it was worth it. It has been a couple of weeks and as I have read her Facebook posts she has had to do therapy, can't walk up and down stairs, can't get around, is in a lot of pain and is now missing the freedom that she did have before this. Was it really freedom? She was suffering a lot of pain to the point it held her back from doing things. Now she is in a different kind of pain and it might feel like it is out of reach to feel better, but she is actually on a better road to recovery.
So, where are you at in life? It might not be a physical pain, but an emotional pain. Maybe it is a struggle with what to do and you might be thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It can be, but it is important to recognize that there are growing pains on both sides of the fence. Just because you decide to take the leap and hope for better there might be pains to get to the better life. It will come, but patience is what is necessary. It is important to not blame people or your decision, but go into it with high hopes of things getting better.
Just think about this quote, "Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious." Bill Meyer
What seeds are you planting as you go through your challenges whether it is health, emotional, financial, relationships, etc? The mind can win.
I have known of this song for sometime, but I just come across it again and thought you might like this. It is great and very true!
Internet Privacy InfoGraphic
Internet privacy is an issue of our time. More than ever our privacy is under attack. I saw this infographic on the internet privacy issues and thought that I would share. I will let each of you determine what you choose to keep private and what you do not, but education about what is happening is what we all need to have the level of privacy that we would like.
The controls are in place for us in many cases to control our privacy, but we must take that control and not leave it up to someone else to decide for us. Click to see a larger version of the internet privacy infographic.
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Today in Sacrament Meeting there was a very wise 13 year old that spoke. She said, "Sometimes I want to be unhappy, but that doesn't make any sense. Why wouldn't I want to be happy?" That might seem pretty basic, but have you ever had a time that you have felt frustrated, depressed, hurt, guilty or mad? You might feel justified and you probably are for a time, but then as you start to calm down and see things differently you are determined to hold onto the unhappy feelings. You figure you are going to punish those around you or the person that did you wrong. This is your way of getting even. Why? Does that make sense?
Think about this quote as you ponder that thought: "Resentment is like you drinking poison and waiting for it to kill your enemy." It will probably never kill your enemy and when we are unhappy or hold onto anger this is exactly what it does. It will kill us long before it kills anyone else. It isn't worth it. Other people will move on and if they choose to be happy they will choose a different direction.
So, the next time you are having a rough day make a choice to be happy. Decide to look for the good. Think about this story and be just like this child. A boy comes up to bat in a baseball game. He goes at the ball with all of his might, but when it comes right down to it he ends up striking out. He looks a little discouraged, but then he says, "Boy that boy is a great pitcher."
I have 2 brothers and 6 sisters. Then 8 of us are married so that makes for 7 in laws and my great husband. Then you throw into the mix 25 grandchildren all under the age of thirteen. When you think about this large group of people you might wonder how often they can handle being together. In fact, I will often talk to others about family and they will comment that their children don't know their cousins or they only see their family once a year. The amazing thing about my family is that we love being together. We are together on different Sunday's and then several days of the week. The cousins are some of my children's best friends. They know all of their aunts and uncles. They see their grandparents several times a week. When you ask my children about some of their favorite memories or traditions most of them are tied to family. When my children are upset with dad and mom we will ask who they would turn to and it is their grandparents or aunts and uncles.
This might sound like the ideal world, but trust me, there are challenges along the way. We all parent differently. We are all different personalities. There are times that we disagree or have our feelings hurt. Sometimes some of the children will make choices that we don't all agree with. Other times there are toes that are stepped on along the way whether it is intentional or unintentional. The reality is that nobody is perfect.
That is the bottom line. No one is perfect and it is important that we recognize and accept that. Wouldn't we want people to look at the good things we did instead of the dumb choices we make? Wouldn't you want to live with hope and look for the good things in others instead of worrying about when the next person is going to make a mistake? Maybe you feel like someone in your family is using you too much. Isn't that alright? Isn't that what families are for? Wouldn't you want them to be there for you if you needed them? In reality, if you look at it more than likely there is someone that you are probably relying on more than others. You just need them and they do it because they are a true friend and love you.
When it comes right down to it everyone has their positive traits. It goes back to the saying I heard so many times as a teenager, "God doesn't make no junk." He didn't and he wouldn't want you to think that of anyone else and you wouldn't want people to think that of you. I could sit here and list things that I love about every single person in my family. Of course, there are those things that might drive me a little crazy or even hurt my feelings once in awhile, but I love them the same. I just want to enjoy the good in every way that I can. Deal with the challenges as they come and pray that they blow over quickly. They are my family and I couldn't imagine life without any one of them - parents, siblings, in laws, nieces or nephews.
Try it - sit down and write something good about every person in your family. You will be amazed at how it makes you feel and give you a little something to reach for.
Here's a quote to think about: Here are 4 things I know you can't recover: The stone...after the throw. The word...after it's said. The occasion...after it's missed. The time....after it's gone. Don't let time pass by without making great memories!
Does just the thought of that bring you a happy feeling or one of frustration and a deep thought of how you can motivate them to clean? I sent my children to go clean their room and the game room and here is what I hear after 30 minutes. My two youngest are playing around and laughter and eventually crying due to someone getting hurt. Then my two oldest are silent. I hear absolutely nothing from them. They have learned that mom will get focused on something else and have high hopes they are doing what they are supposed to and proceed to go in my room and watch television quietly.
As a parent it is always nice to hold out hope that your children are learning cleaning skills and you can focus on another part of the house and things can get done quicker. We might be holding out hope for a very long time. As I have looked for tips on how to motivate my children to clean in a positive way instead of the garbage bag, loss of rights, grounding, tears, screaming, frustration, fighting and then just giving up I once read that it is best to work with your children. To put a focused effort into making things look good as a family. It is teaching them to work together instead of a punishment and sending them away from you. Most children want to spend time with their parents and family when they are young. This can instill family together time as they become teenagers. The bottom line might be that they don't know where to put things or what to really do to make things clean and they might have just as many frustrations.
I remember reading that and thinking that was just a frustrating tip. In fact, I closed down the article and felt that didn't apply to me and they were living in an idealistic world. Then as I think back on my memories as a child of cleaning and working in the yard some of my fondest memories are working together. The laughter, stories and learning to work as a team are things that have stuck with me. Then I think on the better times of getting my own home clean and it seems to me that when we have worked together it has seemed to be the most positive experience.
So, as I am sitting here typing this blog with most frustration of getting the house clean I am realizing it is time to take my own advice and go work as a team and see what happens. More than likely it will turn out to be a positive experience. Maybe I can make positive working memories for my children like my parent's did for me.
12 Years ago today I had a son that was 10 months old, only been married a couple of years and I get a phone call from my dad, who is in New York with my mom that the house was on fire. He tells me that the phone line was burnt so he didn't have a lot of information. Basically, things he told me was that I was guardian, he didn't know if everyone made it out and he had no idea the extent of the damage in the home. We raced over there to find tons of fire trucks trying to put the fire out and chaos. The house was a total loss and all of the belongings from all of the years growing up there were mostly gone. My siblings that lived there had lost almost everything they cherished.
At that very moment you realize what things you might take for granted. My family ran out of the house very fast. They didn't think to grab shoes, blanket, pillow, clothes, toothbrush, etc. All of a sudden you don't have any of these things. They had what was right on their backs and that is all.
There was sadness, but my dad is the eternal optimist. When they arrived home the next day and he assessed the situation and met with the insurance company. The insurance company told him that it could easily take at least six months to rebuild. He told them that he would rebuild in six weeks and his family would be back in by Labor Day. It wasn't even a question. Guess who was right!
Within hours it felt like hundreds of people showed up to help. The volunteer hours far exceeded any hours that were paid. Even subcontractors altered their schedules to be there and get in and get things done quickly. The meals poured in, love, support, hard working volunteers, people to inventory the losses, friends to listen and support and family that grew much closer. Not only that, but small miracles were found along the way. Temple books that my family had assembled that were right in the middle of the hottest part of the house were untouched. Pictures of Christ hung on a 2 x 4 with a small amount of smoke damage. Everything around them was a total loss. We were always grateful for those small miracles along the way.
Our regular lives came to a halt and long 12-15 hour days are what came about. I wouldn't trade any of those hours. The laughter, friendships, memories made will never be replaced. My parent's were amazing and made this such a positive experience. We actually looked forward to all arriving early in the mornings and staying late because of the time we had together and the miracles that happened each day.
As a family, for 12 years we have gotten together on July 8th to "Celebrate and Remember" that time in our lives. We don't talk about the "things" that were lost, but the memories that have been made. We have learned that family and friends are what really matter. We also have learned that turning potentially bad memories into long lasting lessons and positive memories are really what matter and that "things" will come and go.
Remember to claim today and make it a positive memory. Learn something from the tough times. Remember to laugh. No matter the situation or the loss amazing things can come about. Look There are miracles in all things, good or bad. It's all in the attitude :).
Have you ever heard the saying that you should "Make lemonade from Lemons?"
The best time to hear that is when you are in the midst of a challenge. Maybe you have just lost your job, had a tire blow, a child get really sick, woke up on the wrong side of the bed, had a fight with your spouse, a teenager that stayed out too late, been turned down for something you were really excited about and the list goes on and on. Basically those challenges are the "LEMONS" that are dished out our way. Of course, we use lemons as a comparison because they can be sour and might feel like they don't have too many uses all by themselves. They might look pretty, but then you take a bite and realize that they are just sour.
When we are feeling the weight of the challenges we might feel like we want to stomp on the lemons instead of nicely squeezing them. I am sure that most people are telling us that we should nicely cut the lemons, squeeze them and maybe even add a little sugar and we will get great tasting lemonade. Instead of that process, we might think about STOMPING on the lemons. Would you feel better if you could take a bunch of lemons and put them on the ground and stomp on them? If you had them in a large container there is one thing that is for sure. You would still come out with LEMONADE.
The process is different, but the end result could potentially be the same. Which way will make you feel better? Maybe you start with STOMPING on them, then you choose to pick up the lemons that haven't completely been stomped on and gently squeeze them to get the most out of every lemon. Then you add a little sugar and you have come up with LEMONADE.
Life's challenges usually come out with great tasting lemonade, but it is a different process for everyone and some things take longer to taste good. Which process are you using? It's alright to use some of both.