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Posts Tagged ‘Celebration’

This weekend was certainly an eye-opener for me regarding teen activities when parents aren’t around.  I work with youth all of the time, I am the parent of 6 children-three of which are adults and three are under the age of 18.  I took my younger three children, plus 3 ten year old girls to the movies with my husband to celebrate the 10th birthday of my youngest child.  I took them to a family movie-a PG movie.  It should have been safe right?  Wrong!

The movie was fine…don’t get me wrong here…the problem was a couple of audience members.  We were seated in the back of the small theater because of the size of our group…there were 8 of us.  We were spread out because the teens didnt want to sit with mom and dad (of course) and the girls didn’t want to sit with the teen boys (of course) and so we took up the end seats of three rows.  A group of three teens approached my  teen boys, who happened to be in the last row in the back, and asked them if they would mind moving down to the end the line.   They did move with no fuss.  There were two girls and a boy; no parental guidance, I might add.

As the movie began, so did the engines of one of those girls and the boy.   Right from the get go, it was obvious why they wanted my sons to move farther down the line and to the inside wall of the theater.  They were not interested in the movie shall we say.  They were there for one reason only…even though they had a chaperone…a female of about the same age.  What age is that, you may ask?  Well, they appeared to be all of about 12 or 13…at the most 14 years of age.   Understand what I am saying here…they were approximately two to four years older than the birthday girl and her friends. (more…)

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       It is a historical moment in time, this presidential inauguration of 2009; just like every other presidential inauguration since the beginning of the United States.  Yet, this one feels different.  It feels as though this particular inauguration is getting more attention than any other one, in my memory.

          I did not personally vote for Barack Obama…still, i can appreciate this moment…as it will be a moment of history as well as a moment for our future in America.  There is hope, excitement, fear and anxiety, as this nation faces huge difficulties.  That hope and excitement creates an air of expectancy; yet, we must temper that.

          To hear the media tell it…Obama is the answer to all the issues facing the nation.  That can not be,  he is just one man after all…even though he is a powerful man.  It isn’t fair to put that kind of pressue on him.  He cannot fix all of the issues facing this country in a way that is going to satisfy everyone.  There will be frustration, there will be disappointment…and, there will be a reality check for those who believe that things can only go up from here.

           The reason for that is…President Barack Obama is human; he is not God.  I believe that he realizes that…but, there is such a building up of who people think he is; that i think it builds a false sense of what he will be able to do.  He will represent the people…not just the black population, not just the white population or the male population.  I do think he will do his best.  I do think that he will accomplish much…but, it will be in partnership  with the Senate, the Congress,  and even the citizens of the United States.  This country will change…for better or worse who knows?  History many years from now will be the judge; when we look back to this period of our history we will have the advantage of knowing what came before and after.

          The Presidency is also a conditional thing; people forget that you must balance your expectations with reality, because reality is based on the conditions during that president’s time of the leadership.  The reality is that there are foreign governments, there are terrorists, there are internal struggles that create situations that each and every President must face during their term in office. 

     What we as a nation want to know is that our leader is a strong person, a person of good moral fiber, a person of commitment and a person who we can trust; we want a president who is wise, who knows good counsel when he hears it, a person of integrity who knows how to balance compassion and strong leadership.

          I say for now…let’s enjoy the excitement of the moment.  Let’s celebrate with the Obama family at this accomplishment. Things will get real soon enough with all of the demands of the office on the President, his family and friends.  This is a huge accomplishment and honor; but, let’s not forget it is also a sacrifice.

            The sacrifice comes by way of a sacrifice of schedule to have family time whenever they want it; it comes with pressure like no other job, it comes with a lack of privacy, it comes with media scrutiny that is justified; and, with scrutiny that is not. 

          So for now, can we not just honor the new President of the United States…acknowledge his tipping of the hat towards President Lincoln and his respect for the man and the office…while quietly considering the possibilities before us? Let’s celebrate our patriotism with our fellow citizens and not let ourselves be divided at this time…let’s look forward to the future and it’s impact on us and those around the world.

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     President Elect Barack Obama has started out the first day of the inaugural celebrations by taking the train.  He is recreating the trip that President Lincoln took in 1861.  It is a 137 mile trip from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.   It is a deliberate attempt to rally the citizens of the United States.  Obama has called on the American public to rebuild this country and he called for a new declaration of independence.  He acknowledged the issues facing this country and said that we need to make a new declaration of independence not only in our country but also in our personal lives.  This day is a historic day in our nation and one that needs to be viewed as the kick off to a new beginning.

         The things that made this country great when it began can help us to regain it’s strength and pride of achievement if only we can get back to the basics and build upon those things that are the foundation of our country…namely perserverance and ideology according to President Elect Barack Obama. 

       The train stopped and picked up Sen. Joe Biden and his wife in Wilmington, Delaware with just a small misstep.  Joe tried to get on the train to greet Barack and Michelle Obama…but they were not in the caboose when he opened the door.  With a trademark self-effacing grin…he stepped back off of the train when informed that the Obama’s would step off the train to the platform for a meet and greet.  Slightly awkward…but very “real person-like” moment…not one overly rehearsed and performed like many public figure robots.

        Sen. Joe Biden also is acknowledged for his pledge to raise his boys in Wilmington, Delaware  after his first wife and daughter were killed in an accident.  He has a rich history of his dedication of riding the Amtrack train back and forth from Wilmington to Washington daily so that he could keep his commitment of raising his sons in his hometown.

     January 2oth is coming upon us.  There is excitement and hope…and an awareness of the work ahead that must be accomplished to put this country back on the right rails to greatness.

    

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      Today a totally spectacular emergency landing in NYC.  A plane on it’s way to North Carolina from New York radioed the controllers and communicated that the plane was struck by birds twice and the pilot stated that he wanted to return to the airport.  This flight was on a wing and a prayer at this point.

       He never made it to the airport as he was forced to land the plane…in the Hudson river.    With a splash reminiscent of a water park ride in overdrive the plane plowed a trough in the center of the river.   All in all…there were over 150 people on that flight.  The pilot landed that plane as if he was on a runway…only it wasn’t; it was the river said Robin Roberts who lives in an apartment near the site.  She witnesses the landing and she described the scene for the news programs on ABC.  She along with many others called in the incident to 911.

        The rescue of over 150 people is indeed miraculous…through God’s will as well as the skill of the pilot, Chelsey Burnett Sullenberger III and the quick thinking of the ferries operators who immediately went to work rescuing travelors who were forced to stand out on the wings of the plane as it bobbed in water as freezing temperatures swirled around them.

         It is a good day…all things worked together for good and allowed for nothing but amazement and a lot of celebration of  joy tonight!

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     Have you ever noticed how a baby can change the whole environment of a room?  You can be standing in line somewhere thinking that you would rather be anywhere else in the world…frustrated beyond belief; and, a mother or father can walk in with a baby and people just seem to smile a little more.  Babies have the ability to change the world.

        If the baby is old enough to interact with those around them…they can lift the spirits of the grumpiest person nearby.  Everyone is that baby’s friend and while they may not want to leave the safe and secure arms of mom or dad to let a stranger hold them…they will generally smile, coo and try to engage those around them.  That baby has already changed everything about life for both mom and dad; as well as those in the life of mom and dad.

         Every baby is special.  But there is one baby that is even more so; it is baby Jesus.  Today is his birthday and he changed the world more than any other child born.  He was born to bring life and love everlasting to the world.  He loves everyone and wishes for them to live in heaven.  For this to happen…we must accept him as our savior; and, live a life that is worthy of being saved-the bible is our road map…it teaches us the way to live.   We live to be of service to others and to worship God. 

         Babies are a gift from God…just as baby Jesus was a gift.  So this Christmas, please remember him in your celebration.  He is the reason for the whole holiday…celebrating Christmas without celebrating Christ Jesus seems like an empty holiday to me.  May you be blessed this Christmas and in this New Year!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  How do you plan on celebrating Christmas?

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       Do you know a holiday saboteur?  You know who I’m talking about don’t you?  It is the person who agitates others during holidays.  It is the person who argues with everyone…about everything.  It is the person who has a permanently unhappy disposition in life.  It is the person who grumbles about things that really don’t matter in the larger scheme of things..  It may even be the person who checks you out, as you hum a little holiday cheer, while you purchase your gifts.   Bah Humbug!

         Why, for goodness sake…this holiday saboteur may even be a member of  your own family!  Egads…what are you going to do?   Uninvite them immediately…move out of state…get divorced so you don’t have to deal with them anymore?  Surely, you aren’t going to take it that far to avoid the holiday saboteur?

           Assure me that you aren’t going to let them do it this year; don’t let them steal your joy.  Not at the office, not at the local gas station, not in the llllllllllloooooonggg line in the post office, not on the highway…not on the subway, not at the Christmas/New Year’s eve party………most certainly tell me that you aren’t going to let them get to you when you visit them….and definately, don’t let them bring you down in your own home!  Why, that is your happy, safe place…or it should be.

          Instead, might i suggest a little something- something to change it up a bit?  Why not, throw them off balance with a holiday super charged, joyful, in your face celebration? 

          Maybe they will do one of two things…perhaps they will get so shocked by such a display of holiday cheer that they will come over to the dark side and actually CELEBRATE; or, they will get totally annoyed at the lack of indulgence of their perpetually bad behavior; they will get up and leave, when no-one feeds the flames of discontent by politely listening to their moody, morose …angry and controlling ways! 

          Either way…you are free to have a happy holiday get-together any way you choose to celebrate it!  Unless the holiday saboteur lives inside of you….egads…I hadn’t even thought of that…did you?

         

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      This week we celebrated two very special things here in the United States: one was Monday, November 10th which was the Marine Corps Birthday…and yesterday, which was Veteran’s Day.  Both dates give honor to our military men and women.  We should celebrate our armed forces because they sacrifice so much for us.  We have men and women who are seperated from their families, often in dangerous situations; defending our country and those in other countries who need defended.

       We have some pretty awesome troops who need support.  I have heard about a wonderful program that does just that.  It is a program that would be a wonderful project for school children or teen youth groups across the nation.   Activity directors in nursing homes would also be a great source for this project.  Even former Veterans can continue to serve their country by reaching out to those who presently serve our great country in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and the Marines. 

       The idea behind http://www.make2tell2.com is to make 2 cards of love and tell 2 others about the project.  They can be holiday cards or just cards that express respect and caring.  This is a great way to lift the spirits of those serving our country when they need an emotional pick me up.  These cards can express patriotism, faith, gratitude, caring, support, encouragement, and communicate comfort to those who need it!

         Please spread the word…get involved…support our troops today.  It doesn’t take much effort and it can mean so very much to the individual who receives it.  After you make the cards…please send them to:  Make 2 Tell 2, 991 Road
325, Harvard, NE 68944  This is also a great way to teach young people about service and about community.  We all need encouragement at times…this is a wonderful way to do that for our troops overseas; it can have a tremendous impact on our military personel.  Thank you!

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          Do you remember in the old days when someone won gold in the Olympics; they maybe made the cover of a cereal box or got a television commercial?  These days, with all of the open access to micro media (social networking)…a savy person, or someone with the bucks to hire a  skilled publicist, has the whole world at their feet if they so choose.

           Michael Phelps must be either very savy with the micro media, or he has the bucks for the publicist :).  News came right away that he was going to be working on writing a book.   Keeping his name in the forefront of the media is a wise thing; it will help him to sell his book in large numbers; which publishers love!   He has done the traditional celebratory thing and went to Walt Disney World for a colorful photo op.  He has even been making the rounds in the traditional media mags like People who try to dig into his personal life…like the romance department. 

          Evidently, he has been in training for more than the Olympics as he learned somewhere how to evade direct responses to requests for said information on his love life, haha.  I say go for it Michael…it’s is no-ones business unless you choose to make it public knowledge.  Of course, that doesn’t stop the speculators who suggest that he is involved with a former beauty queen from California, by the name of Nicole Johnson.

           Michael Phelps is also keeping busy by expanding his skill set.  He is going to be on Saturday Night Live on Sept 13th.  It appears that Michael is going to avoid that typical emotional let down, that many feel after competing in the Olympics, when all of the attention shifts from the competitors and their accomplishments to other news of the day.  Smart move…it is never a pretty thing to see a role model who is accomplished, wither on the vine, not knowing what goals to set their sights on next.  Good luck Michael Phelps with your exploration of the world; you seem to be enjoying the experiences as you go, as you should!

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         Don’t take this the wrong way or anything…it isn’t like i am saying she should have won the nomination…because as I have said before…i haven’t been terribly thrilled with any one of the choices we have had, put before us as a Presidential candidate; however, i was in my mind’s eye, thinking how “interesting” it would have been if when Hillary got up to give her speach for unity, if she would have said…ummmm..ya know…i have had alot of support thrown my way and well…i was thinking…maybe i will run on the party of a DemoPublican ticket.  LOL  I will just take my supporters and run with it!  Wouldn’t that have made a statement?  We all know how dissatisfied the Clintons have been with the process.  Still, from all reports, Hillary stood her ground and called for unity…and buried her alledged upset at the situation.

          I just hate the way that this whole thing has played out.  People will vote who they want to vote for and that is as it should be…vote your conscience.  However, i just don’t like all of the political maneuvering that has seemed to take place behind the scenes.  I don’t like all of the celebrity hoopla that has gone on in this campaign.  I am not a fan of let’s play pretend and say that we are a united party when you know, at the truth of it all…there was probably intense pressure, power plays, and promises for future support or endorsements; if only you do this for us…then, we will do “that” for you down the road.  Who do they think they are fooling with all of this circus entertainment?  It is detracting from the candidate and the foundation of his campaign.

            If the point of a national convention is to make the candidate stand out and shine in their moment of nomination…why  do we have all of the distractions that we have been hearing about for the last week?  Trot out the old school and relive the glory days, have the national anthem sung by a former American Idol contestant, negative attack political commercials, bring in the star power endorsements, celebrity poker games to benefit world hunger, twist the arm of a former competitor to push for unity from her supporters, placate her husband and give him a podium to voice a message that we all understand is crucial to our country’s well-being…terrorism…instead of his forte, which some claim is strengthening the economy, pick a running mate that can growl like a tiger…say what you really want to say and take the flack for it, tout the experience of said running mate who is embedded in the old school ways of running the country; all the while, taking the focus off of the inexperience and uncertainty of whether the nominee is qualified to run the country in his own right.  Don’t forget to add a little flash and dance celebration and emotional triggers about how historic this moment is to the evolution of our country to finally have both a black man, and a woman, running for President of the United States. 

           I could buy how far we’ve come as a nation, just for that particular milestone; if in fact, we didn’t pit those two “historic” candidates to run against each other in the same party, at the same time; and, if we didn’t have other members of the black culture calling the black candidate the “N-word” when they should have been extending him the respect he deserved as the candidate of choice.  The Republicans are getting ready for their moment in the sun soon…wonder what we can expect from that particular convention?  Oh man…isn’t it November yet?

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       There is something special and unique about the bonding that takes place when people bond through their shared experiences.  Something that i noticed when my parents each went through their cancer diagnosis and treatment sessions…intense bonding with fellow cancer patients and their families.  That bond in those relationships was a lifeline at times.  The fear of the unknown, the medical traumas, the difficult side effects, the kindness of strangers it all blended to remind us that we were not in the situation alone.

         During hospital stays, during chemo treatments, and doctor appointments; my parents and other patients would share things about their families, about their experiences, their struggles, medical information, tips on how to overcome nausea, or how to cope with some of the side effects of the treatments.   Some patients were alone…they had no family or else their family members lived in distant places.  We would adopt them and visiting and trying to support when we could.   It was all very intense. 

        In what amounts to a, down in the trenches, fight for their lives; cancer patients bond in very intense ways.  When fellow patients would struggle…my parents would ask for prayer for them, from us.  We are blessed with a strong family unit.  We would honor the request …knowing that if we needed the favor returned…it would be given automatically by those same cancer patient friends and their families.   We were all in a fraternity; that none of us wanted to be in….but still, we were in it together.

       The losses hit hard.  The emotions were so deep for my parents and for our family.  Each loss, it was understood, could have been ours as well; but for the grace of God.  Each milestone was celebrated.  Waiting for the results of testing was, and is, filled with anxiety and fear.  It is no less worrisome to hear of others around the world who struggle with the same issues.  http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcinthenews.htm (more…)

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