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Archive for the ‘Family Time’ Category

      It is only a matter of days before we see the United States presidential switch…it will be; out with the old and, in with the new moving day done in style.  This is quite an ordeal for the White House staff…the transition must be accomplished within a matter of about 6 hours; during the swearing in ceremony, and all that goes along with it.  Before all of that begins, the current President and his wife have a traditional  sit down tea with the incoming President and his wife.

       Did you ever stop to think about the quick transition that the actual living quarters must go through during this time period?  The way that i understand it, the furniture and personal belongings must be swapped out…from one presidential family, to the next.

        There are only two elevators to handle the workers in charge of the ebb and flow of the personal belongings of each family.  This is no easy task.  For when the new leadership steps into the residence for the first time after the switch…it is to appear as if it is home; for that is what it will be, their new home for the next four years.

         Just this past week it was announced that Barack Obama’s mother in law, Marian Robinson, will be moving in with the new first family.  Wow…that was a surprise.

           Although his mother -in- law took off time to help with the grandchildren during the presidential campaign…I don’t think that too many people thought that she would be moving into the White House, once the family took residence.  I am sure that this will be a wonderful thing for Malia and Sasha to have their grandmother right there with them.  It will help to ease their transition to a new life and all of the personal changes that will go along with that change.  Living in the family quarters, I am sure can be lonely for children of the President.  Having Grandma Marian there will be a wonderful gift for the family.  

       On the other hand, there will be those who question who pays for her stay.  I could be wrong…but, it seems to me that I remember a news program once talking about a previous presidency and how the first family pays for all of their own food ,and such, when they are eating in residence.  Of course, that doesn’t include all of those big public dinners that Presidents and their families are required to endure.   

         It is going to take some time for things to settle down after this transfer of power takes place.  How long will it take before the White House feels like home to the new first family do you think?  I know every time i have moved in the past it took a good couple of weeks before i felt like i wasn’t staying in someone else’s home.  If some comfort can be found it will be a blessing in the early days as I am sure it will take quite a bit of time to get used to the loss of privacy that this new phase of life will require. 

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       November is here finally, I am glad for several reasons.  One, the election will be over and things will attempt to settle in the political world.  It will be traumatic for a time; no matter who wins, i am sure. 

       One of the other reasons i am glad…is that it is the first of November and it was near 60 degrees in Michigan and, it will remain in the 60’s during the day for most of the week…Yeah!  That is cool…often by October 31st we have seen our first signs of snowy weather; not this year, that is a blessing.  November begins the holiday season and kicks off spending family time together. 

        But, my November cheer just took a slight turn when i remembered how many days till December; not enough, and by December…we will definately have snow.  In the meantime, I have spent two days raking leaves…with many more days of raking to go.  There are still alot of leaves hanging onto the trees; and, i dont want to go out and rake them when the temperatures drop into the 30’s.   So, come on winds…knock them down so that i can rake in sunshine & warmth with a smile on my face…saying-how lovely fall is!

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Stand Up To (2) Cancer

        Do you know anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer?  Did you know that 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime…1 out of 2 men.  So unless you are a family of one, with no friends and you are the luckiest person in the whole wide world…cancer is going to touch someone you care about, at some point.  If you haven’t had to deal with the enemy cancer yet…consider yourself blessed beyond reason.  There is a movement afoot to Stand Up To Cancer.  It doesn’t matter if it is breast cancer, colon cancer, blood cancers, brain cancer,ovarian, or any other kind of cancer…it is a destroyer and needs to be eliminated.  Please join forces to battle a plague on the world that we live in…help fight cancer.

        The goal is to Stand Up To Cancer and understand it…take it apart…so that we can more efficiently battle it and WIN!  That is the end goal.   Cancer is the enemy…it is a thief…it has stolen enough, artists, doctors, mothers, muscians, pilots, cab drivers, babies, teachers, clerks, lecturers, fathers, students, writers, researchers, husbands, factory workers, miners, fire fighters, sons, nurses, daughters, child care workers, politicians, sisters, waitresses, brothers, lecturers, speakers, wives, caregivers, grandparents, role models, athletes, neighbors, librarians, friends, social workers, police men & women, military men and women, designers, dancers, clergy, you get the idea…Cancer is not picky about who it chooses to invade and try to destroy. 

          It could be you next, or someone you care about.  Cancer claims one life a minute each day!  Can you believe that?  One person a minute per day is too many loses! That is 1,500 deaths per day… that is unacceptable.    Protect your health best way that you can, eat right, exercise, protect your environment, take your vitamins, stay away from contaminants, be aware and educate yourself.  Honor those who have fought with everything they have…help out someone in a health crisis with cancer…be a supporter to someone in need. 

          Once cancer strikes…there are many needs, physical,spiritual, medical, emotional, financial, transportation, and daily care needs.  Do what you can to lift someone up!  Life is precious.  Will you make a commitment to be a force to be reckoned with and help make an impact in the fight against cancer?

         For us to win the war on cancer it requires courage, support, awareness, education and funding.  The television networks are joining together to bring those tools to the public and try to create a historic event that will hopefully rev up the odds of winning.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/StandUp2Cancer/  There are many celebrities who are adding their voice and their talents to the project.  They have a wonderful website that you can view here that will explain more.  In the meantime, look for the program to hit the networks on Sept 5th, at 8 pm.  You can go to the website and read up on the idea here:  http://www.standup2cancer.org/  Let’s not be idle and let others do the fighting…there is something that we all can do…what are you willing to do to help?  Let’s envision a future without cancer!!!

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       Raising children is one of the most important things a person can do.  It not only impacts a family; it impacts communities, businesses, organizations and individuals.  Raising children well; it is an art form.  In our world today, there are many things pulling at a family unit trying to divide it and conquor it.  It’s become the norm to expect families to break up; it is almost extra-ordinary to see a family survive all that life throws at it.

       There are those around us who struggle in ways that we cannot see.  There are stresses that are normal; and then, there are those which have the ability to wreak havoc on our inter-personal relationships. 

        Un-expected pregnancies are one such stressor.  Un-planned pregnancies, no matter the age or marital status of the parents, can overload those involved; due to financial pressures, health issues, as well as, the emotional well-being of the parents. 

        Making a choice to become a parent is an important step; whether you become a parent biologically, or through the adoption process.  Each life that is conceived is precious and full of promise.  A pregnancy should be cause for celebration; however, sometimes circumstances can complicate the miracle of life.  Those type of situations are when the adoption option becomes a lifeline for those affected.

         Organizations such as Bethany Christian Services are just, such a lifeline.  Of course, they offer more than just adoption services; there is counseling, foster care, estate planning, pregnancy counseling, post adoption care, orphan care, infertility ministry and embryo services.  They are all about building, healing, and restoring families here in the United States and around the world.

        If your heart if full of blessings…or if you have a need…go to this link and check them out.  If your heart has been burdened by the complications of life; and, you have been touched by something greater than yourself…can you find a way to give back?  Support Bethany Christian Services either through a financial donation or maybe just by volunteering your time.  Check them out here:  www.bethany.org.  

          Do you see the suffering of those all around the world and feel helpless to do anything about it?  Those who are lonely, without the basic necessities of life, poor, starving, homeless or just without someone to love them; they need help.   Many of us do see the conditions of the world and suffer a sense of guilt at our own good fortune.  Do you feel something within your heart calling you to make a difference?  We all do…don’t turn off that sensitivity to the hurts in the world.  You can make an impact!

          Maybe you already have the gift of making an impact; but, you wish to find ways of increasing that skill…may i suggest a book that will open windows into the system or skill set that will broaden your abilities to impact the world in a positive way?  It was written by Ken McArthur…a man who has felt the need from childhood to impact the world in a positive way.    The world is a big place with lots of needs.   You have a lot to offer, even if you don’t think that you do.  Find out what it is that you were created to do and be.  Read the book, make a commitment to channel positive energy into some kind of a lasting legacy…and make it happen!

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        For those of you who have been depressed, despondent, abused, neglected, suicidal, victimized or just oppressed; know this, the human spirit is subject to change at any moment…it is resilient.  The absolutely amazing thing about going through any of those difficulties in life, is that it has the potential of either destroying a person, or strengthening them, like steel that has gone through the heat of a fire. 

          What causes a person to either become submerged under the weight of negative influences; or, to spring up and bounce back even stronger ? 

           I believe it is a combination of things.  We are all products of our past; we have been taught many things throughout our childhoods and young adulthood that influences how we perceive things.  Most of those things are unconscious and basically invisible, but, still they are there; determining how we interpet the challenges in life; and, therefore, how we handle those same challenges.  We have to make a personal committment to ourselves to change the direction our lives are going if we wish to live a life that is full of the good things life has to offer.

          If we have been lucky enough to have a strong healthy foundation during those formative years we have a huge headstart.  If we were instead rooted in poor soil and unhealthy relationships during those years; we often have alot to overcome. 

          It is not impossible to overcome those things.  It is by strength of will and determination that we learn how to channel our inner self to go in the direction of love, health, and personal well-being.  It is a matter of retraining how we think about things and learning not to focus on the obstacles and the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis.

          I was reminded of these things today, when i read about Elizabeth Fritzl, the young Austrian woman held captive by her father in a basement for 24 years.  She was forced to endure loneliness, sexual abuse, emotional damage and physical confinement.  She was raped repeatedly by her father and gave birth to seven children during this time.  They grew up without “normal” human interaction. 

        At this point they are receiving treatment in a  psychiatric facility.  The family is getting help learning how to bond together; how to communicate with others, how to function outside of their basement prison.  Elizabeth, the mother of the children grew up at home, with her mother and father…until she was 18 years old.  At that point, he forced her to live in the basement while explaining her “disappearance” to the rest of the world by saying that she had run off to join a cult.

          Elizabeth and her children are bouncing back in amazing ways.  One would think that they might never recover.  After all, some of them didn’t speak as we know speaking; they communicated with grunts and noises.  However, they survived against all odds.  Their healing and renewal will happen with good guidance and therapy.  It should be encouraging to us all that the human spirit is resilient; it is meant to sustain us in times of devastation.

            At some point in life we have to “choose” to overcome the negative forces that have gone before and “decide” to grow, heal, strengthen; and, claim victory over the things in life that hold us back from who we were created to be.   It is work, it isn’t easy and often professional help is necessary; but, it is so worth it to have the freedom to once again live life fearlessly, and fully, with joy!

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        Today I went to a mother/daughter celebration sponsored by a church ladies group.  I celebrated motherhood with two of my daughters and with my granddaughter as well as my mother and one of my sisters.  It was great.  We had a good time, we took pictures, we played games had good music and food…but, the biggest gift was just the opportunity to spend time together.

      My mother has had a very difficult couple of years with health issues.  I was gifted with a good and loving mother.  I try to make it a point to say and show how much she is loved and needed.  I could have lost her several times in the last several years…so, i dont want to waste any time that i have with my mom.

        I think how fortunate I am.  Mother’s day is meant to be a celebration but sometimes it is very painful.  For those who have lost their mothers or for those from dysfunctional homes…mother’s day can be painful.  For parent’s who have lost their children…mother’s day..is a reminder of the lack of future and present time with their deceased children. 

       Fathers and husbands are parents because of their wives…the mother of their children…celebrate them—no they aren’t your mother…but you chose them to be the mother of your children so honor them.  It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift…just acknowledge the importance of what they do…day in and day out! 

        So, if you are lucky enough to have a mother figure in your life….feel blessed…share your day with someone who doesn’t if you know they are hurting.  Say a prayer for those who are lonely or sad  on this special holiday.  If you need to mend fences with a mother/step mother; and, it is a healthy or safe thing to do; do so (if it will cause no further harm to you or her) then, mend those fences.  Life is too short.  You never know how long you will have with the mother or mother figure you have in your life…dont find yourself with a plate full of regrets or should’ve, would’ve, could’ve  done this or that.  Most of all, connect with the special people in your life!  Tell them what they mean to you.

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         Yesterday, Wesley Snipes was sentenced for 3 years for tax fraud; for not filing his tax returns for approximately three years.  Wow, they are really making an example of him.  I am sure…Joe Smoe will think twice about it if they are tempted not to file; or, not to pay when they owe taxes.   This conviction will have a huge IMPACT on those tempted not to pay.   No-one wants to, willingly, go through this kind of trauma, if they can avoid it…unless they got screws loose.

         On the radio this morning, i heard that Mr. Snipes allegedly paid the court 5 million dollars in back taxes….with something like 30 million, or so to go!  Wowee, how many zillions of dollars does a person have to make to OWE that kind of money in taxes and penalties?  I, for one, don’t want to ever be in that position.  Maybe it isn’t so bad being a middle class Joe Smoe!  🙂 

         I am sure that Mr. Snipes’ lawyers will appeal this sentence; but, more than likely, that will only delay the event.  There was plenty of star power personal references presented to the court, attesting to Mr. Snipes character…but, it didn’t seem to make a difference.  The government is going to hold up this conviction so that the public will pay close attention to the consequences.

        I feel badly for Mr. Snipe’s family.  The stress of paying that kind of money plus, worry over their loved one going to prison has to be overwhelming.  If Mr. Snipes was a victim of poor tax advice…that is bad enough.  However, if he choose to put himself in this position, rebelling against having to part with his money…then the sentence is deserved.   It was alleged, in court, that he not only willfully was rebelling, he was hiding money overseas and through friends and family.  Understand that the prosecution presented evidence that this was not just a whim or a mistake…they alledged that this went on for a decade.  In that case, three years of prison time, should allow for enough time to reflect on the error of his ways.

          None of us have the ability to read his mind and determine his actions; thankfully, that responsibility was up to the judge and jury.  If nothing else, this conviction just reinforces the old saying…there is nothing sure about life, except death and taxes!!!

         

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