Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time Away

Oh the hysteria. We are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off as we (well, I) try to pack the boys things, my things, the cooler, run to the store, dye my hair, and write a post before we take off for an extended weekend up north. It is hubby's birthday today and it has become a tradition to make the three hour trek to the cabin every year on his birthday weekend. I love it when I'm up there. But I certainly don't like this part.


Without a computer present I know I will be able to be in the moment with the boys, soak in the sun, do a little fishing, swing on the porch swing drinking tea, and read the remaining two books I picked up from the library. I'm counting on this being a fabulous weekend. Which is a dangerous thing, really. It always seems that when I think we will all have a wonderful time, it ends up being dreadful. And when my expectations are extremely low we ended up having the best time ever. I guess we'll just wait and see.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WW- Running Out Of Room

I think we're gonna need a bigger tub.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm a Winner!!!

After having the kind of day that made me want to lop my own head off I found out that I won one free YEAR of Picnik Premium from Maria at Immoral Matriarch! Can you stand it? I can't! Woohoo!!!
I've already been testing it out on my header pic. There are just so many different things I can do and add that I am just overloaded. I'm trying to keep with the less is more theory, but it is just too much fun. And it is so easy! Even a complete computer dolt like myself can do it. I can't wait to do more.
Thank you so much, Maria! You made my day!

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Wise Decision

My husband used to live a very exciting life. His college years are filled with tales of travels all over the world, spending time on boats and motorcycles, throwing huge parties with his fraternity buds, living in London and New York, sky diving, skiing, scuba diving, and whatever else pops into your head when you think of adventure. It was quite a life. He worked hard in order to play hard. And he had a great time.

Then he met me. On our first date I can recall his questions:
Todd: "Do you ski?"
Me: "No, but I'd love to learn!"
Todd: "Have you ever been to Europe?"
Me: "No, but I'd love to go!"
Todd: "Have your tried scuba diving?"
Me: "No, but I've always wanted to."

And so on and so on. He walked away from the date feeling like he'd come across as an arrogant ass (though I didn't see him that way) and I felt like a boring, simple, little girl (and he swears he didn't see me that way). Time and our relationship went on and we flew to Europe together. And then he taught me how to ski. We went on motorcycle rides. And we'd hike through the woods too. He was always so good at making my life, our life, exciting.

When we got married the motorcycle was sold to save some money. And after we had children the ski trips became less frequent. Our thrifty nature and our three kids kept us from buying another motorcycle or taking more trips to Europe. In the past few months I could feel a pulling from Todd. A pull toward that life he used to know. Never did I doubt his love for his family, or for his life now, but I knew he missed a part of himself too. And I know how that can feel.

He had talked before about buying a motorcycle but knew it would be a few years before the boys would be able to go for rides with him. He felt selfish for looking into an expensive "toy" that would be strictly for his use no matter how much he would enjoy it. When he thought about buying a boat he knew it would be something the whole family could enjoy. When he started looking on Ebay for boats I knew he was on to something. I could feel his excitement ready to bubble over at the prospect of having this kind of fun back in his life.

After months of searching, a mechanics inspection, and several phones calls and emails to the owner, Todd brought this home on Saturday.

Needless to say, the boys were thrilled. All four of them.

We immediately took it down to the harbor for our first ride as a family. Todd was a happy man. And I was happy for him and his dream, realized.
Todd often talked about how he and his friend would anchor the boats on the sandy beaches of Oshkosh, drinking, playing football, eating, and having a good time. So on Sunday, despite Tommy's pukefest the night before, we headed out to Lake Winnebago to do just that. Well, minus the binge drinking, of course.
I was a little nervous that Todd's memory of the fun and the reality of doing it now with three little ones in tow might clash, but it didn't. The water was horrendously choppy, we were bouncing around the boat like popcorn in a kettle, and Tommy was still a bit under the weather, but it was still a great time. The boys were in heaven. We anchored our boat and the boys jumped into the warm sandy water and splashed and played with our friends' children to their hearts' content. Even little Tommy was too excited to be sick.

And Todd, well, he was grinning from ear to ear. It seems the wife and three little boys made his warm memories of boating even warmer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

PSF- It's A Mystery

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Ever since we had our bathroom remodeled and our shower completely overhauled Joey and Tommy have been constantly begging to take showers. They love going in there together whistling, singing songs, and playing around with buckets and scrub brushes like a crazy naked duo version of the seven dwarfs. Come to think of it I should give them tile cleaner and toothbrushes to scrub every nook and cranny next time they are in there. What? They'll think it's fun and I'll have a sparkling clean shower!

Anyway, it is one of life's great mysteries to me why when I make them stick their heads under the warm spray of the shower head they scream as if I am administering some kind of medieval torture devise, and yet they have no problem doing this...

or even this... in the freezing cold sprinkler water. Why is that?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WW- Have Fork, Will Eat


Maybe I will get to eat a hot meal again someday.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Randomness

After trying to eat away my migraine all weekend (and gaining 4 freaking pounds because of it!) I am desperately trying to get myself back on track. Apparently it is not enough to run 4 miles every other day. You also have to eat healthy. What a rip off!

Yesterday was the first day my head was feeling normal and I was able to get in a pretty decent run. Now I just need to stop stuffing my pie hole. The problem is that running makes me hungry. I eat less when I don't run but I don't loose any weight. When I run I eat more and then I still don't loose any weight. And there's the rub.

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I also wanted to let you all know how much I appreciated your wonderful and supportive comments on my last post. The response was overwhelming. I was so nervous writing it. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me, or think I was trying to get attention, or I don't know. Whatever. Just thank you. Really.

For all of you that expressed interest in taking off those fracking torturous word verifications I have put a little linky on my sidebar with instructions on how to do it. It is under Join the Revolution. Click on Here's How. And thank you for your cooperation. :)

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You know you're a mother when your kids are talking about Ironman and it reminds you that they need to take their vitamins.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An Explanation- Dyslexia

When most people think of dyslexia they think it is reading numbers and letters backwards or scrambled. And that is part of it. But it is much more than that too.

When I went looking on the internet for a definition of dyslexia that I thought summed it up I really couldn't find one. They were all very vague. The closest I got to a good definition was this:

A learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words. -American Heritage Dictionary

But I really felt drawn to this description:

Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. We are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because we think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words. - Ron Davis of The Davis Dyslexia Association International

No, it is not all the positives I'm drawn to in that definition but the last sentence that says it is hard for us to understand letters, numbers, symbols and words. So many definitions make it sound like it is just about reading and it is not. Not for me, anyway. I'll switch whole words around making the sentence mean something completely different than what was actually written. I'll cut other words in half making the sentence confusing. Other times I just won't understand the meaning of the sentence until I slow down and read it two or three times.

Growing up I never believed I had dyslexia. My mom (who also has dyslexia) had told me a few times (very nonchalant-like) that I had it and she worked with me on slowing down my reading and writing so that I didn't have as many problems as another dyslexic might. I got all B's and C's (a few A's in art/English/gym) in school and my dyslexia pretty much went unnoticed. The only classes I really struggled in were Chemistry and Geometry (well, and probably History as well). I knew what I was doing, but with all of the written steps somewhere along the way I would switch some numbers around and always get the answers wrong. I think I just barely passed both of those classes.

Against my pleading my mom had told my Geometry teacher that I had dyslexia and he was wonderful and supportive. He told me I could take all the tests after school so that they wouldn't be timed, and that I could have all the extra tutelage I needed. I refused. My silly pride not only didn't believe I actually had dyslexia but also did not wanted special treatment.

The first time I knew I had dyslexia came when I was 19 years old. I was looking for a full time job to keep me busy until the waiting list was over for the nursing program I wanted to get into. I applied at a bank and they informed me that I was hired. All I had to do was take a dyslexia test and then I could start on the following Monday.

I went in to the bank to take the test the next morning. I sat down at the desk and was told the test was being timed. I was handed a sheet of paper with two very long columns on. It looked like this,
9i3lse 9i3esl same or different
jd5w6 jd5w6 same or different
nvdx4 nxvd4 same or different

but all the way down the page. I was to take a glance at the numbers and then circle the corresponding same or different appropriately.

I looked at it and thought, "Easy!" I matched my fingers up and read each column carefully as I went down the paper. I didn't quite make it all the way through the columns when my time was up. I handed the paper over and went home satisfied. That was so easy!

The next day I got a call from the human resources director. He nervously told me that they had scored my test and I failed. Miserably. I could tell he was having a very hard time telling me just how poorly I had done. He probably thought that he was giving me brand new life changing information. I remember feeling badly for him having to "break" the news to me. He kept saying he was sorry, but the results weren't even close to what they should be. They couldn't hire me.

I hung up the phone and let out a stunned chuckle. I guess I had always thought my mom was being dramatic. How is it possible that someone with dyslexia could make it through school as well as I did? Why didn't any of my teachers ever notice? What other jobs would I be turned away from because of this? Should I even consider going in to nursing now? I just didn't know what to do next. I knew nothing had really changed but I still felt a little differently. Clearly there are levels of dyslexia and I was not on the completely debilitating end nor was I on the barely recognizable end. I was somewhere in the middle.

The following week I had another interview. This one was at a credit union. I went, and this time I was nervous. I was really scared that they would give me a dyslexia test and that I would be turned away from this job as well.

As it turned out they did not give me the test and I was hired as a teller. I worked there for one year as a teller and my cash drawer was never off despite working more drives than everyone else. I worked my way over to the loan department as a processor and then a loan officer. I then moved on to a larger banking company as a mortgage loan processor/underwriter. After Todd and I got married I wanted a job in the city where we lived so I found a job as a personal banker. When my current job heard that I was leaving they begged me to stay and bent over backwards to find me a position at one of the branches where I lived. They made me a supervisor and assistant branch manager. To this day they still ask me if I would consider coming back as branch manager.

Needless to say, I thrived. And after working flawlessly with numbers for 8 years I got my confidence back. I knew that I could do anything I wanted to, just in a different way than everyone else. The feeling of being "less than" had finally faded.

Having dyslexia really doesn't affect me in a big way. There are things here and there that need some attention, but nothing drastic. Some examples of my amusing little quips with dyslexia:

- When I was in 1st grade the teacher was helping us learn our left hand from our right hand. She told us to make a fist with our hands and then stick out our thumbs and index fingers. The hand that makes an L is your left hand. I remember thinking she was nuts. They were both L's! To this day they still both look like L's. To know my left from my right I always told myself that I write with my right. That helped.

- For some goofy reason my mom and dad always had cutesy word play games with each other. A whole bunch of words or phrases that they said mixed up or backwards. I don't know if they did this to "make fun" of my mom's dyslexia but they always enjoyed themselves with it. For instance, they used to call a cup of coffee a coff a cuppee. To this day I still have to think really hard about which way is the correct way. Even writing that down just now was difficult.

- There are times when I get really mad at a commercial that has a logo or catchphrase that doesn't make any sense. I'll go on and on about how stupid the commercial is until Todd stops me and says, "Um. That's not what it said." And then I'll realize I read it completely wrong. Dur.

- Sometimes when someone tells me to go left I'll go right and vice versa. It can be really annoying when I'm driving.

- There are times when I forget how to spell the easiest words like, "can" or "use".  It is crazy.  In my mind I KNOW that it is an easy word and that I know it, but I just can't think of how to spell it.

- Same thing with actually writing a word out.  Sometimes I will write or type a word out and it will just look so wrong to me.  Is "kind" really spelled "k-i-n-d"?  It just doesn't look right.  And yet when I spell check or ask someone else, sure enough, it is right. 

- If I come across a word that I am unfamiliar with it takes me a fair amount of time to figure out what the word is and what it means.  I really have to stop, sound it out slowly in my head, and then put it all together.  I think this is why I've always had a difficult time reading proper English like Shakespeare and Jane Austin.  It is exhausting.

- When reading I'll chop words in half and make it a totally different word in my mind. For instance, just recently the word was romantic and I read Roman. Yep. Capitalized and everything. Very strange. Sometimes I'll even chop a sentence in half and combine it with another sentence further down the page.  It almost feels like the words are jumping or moving around the page.  I do this all the time when I am trying to read too fast or if I've been reading for a long time. It almost seems as though my eyes aren't working together and are not coordinating.  I really need to concentrate when I'm reading.

- That said, I'm not that slow of a reader. Probably just a bit slower than average. However, I am married to a super speed reader. When we went in for our premarriage counseling we were given a 200 question compatibility test to take to see if there were any areas we needed to work on. Todd was done in about 25 minutes. It took me well over an hour.

- Many people who have dyslexia have a difficult time memorizing facts or information that has not been experienced. Dates can be a problem. Memorizing a large volume of text can be near impossible for some with dyslexia. I don't seem to have this problem as I never had any trouble memorizing my lines for plays or musicals, and memorizing music has always come naturally to me. However, do not ask me to sight read. My lack of ability to sight read is one of the reasons I knew I would never pursue a career in singing. It is near impossible for me to watch the notes and the words and put them together to make sense. However, if you play the song for me once or twice I am able to pick it up very quickly.

- I recently found out that some of my verbal "stutters" are from dyslexia as well. I just thought I was talking too fast.  But there are so many times when I am talking and I get stuck on a word and have to stop, clear my mouth out (bluh, bluh, bluh), and then keep going.  It isn't stuttering, per say, but more like jumbling my words.   I noticed that Jay Leno did it quite often in his monologues (he has dyslexia too) and I looked into it.  Apparently, it is very common for people with dyslexia.  I had always laughed it off before as me being a bit too excited, but it all makes sense now.

- Dyslexia, to me, almost feels like my brain is trying to work too fast and then skips a beat or two and scrambles up. Almost like when you would play a cassette tape and the tape player would eat the tape making that werrble-werrble-whoop sound. If dyslexia had a sound that would just about sum it up to me. Werrble-werrble-whoop!

So. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, in the past few weeks I have made some errors while reading blogs and I made some comments that didn't really make sense. I think it gave off the impression that I wasn't really reading the blogs or paying attention. I tried to clear it up and say, oops, and move on but it has been bothering me. I don't want anyone thinking I am being flippant about any of their posts and I don't want anyone to think I'm a complete idiot either. I'm kind of embarrassed about it. This isn't an excuse. Just an explanation, I guess. Probably more for me than anything else.
It is really strange that I am pouring all of this out in a post, actually. I have mentioned it in prior memes before and was unnerved even doing that. I have gone back and forth about whether to even post this. You see, most of my family and friends have no idea I am dyslexic. I just don't talk about it. When I have told people about it I have never gone in to detail. It is usually just a "I have dyslexia" and that is the end of the story. Even Todd has not gotten much detail.

So anyway. More than you really ever cared to know about me or dyslexia, but I just wanted to clear that up. Blogging has been so much fun for me, but it is also very challenging. I want to get to everyone's posts and in order to do so I try to read a bit faster than I normally would. Unfortunately, when I do that I make more errors. But I am reading, and I am concentrating! I promise!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Exhibitionist

When we were starting to potty train the boys we would let them pee outside on the trees up north. They thought it was the coolest thing and really helped to get them excited about potty training. And I'll admit that when we are in a jam, say, at a park with no bathrooms, or on a walk at the lake, and the boys have to go potty I'll walk them over to a bunch of bushes and let them do their duty. Classy, I know, but when a little kid has to go, he really has to go. Plus, peeing outside is part of the bonus of being a boy. Or so I always thought.

Just recently my mom brought my dad over to our house to visit and watch the boys play in their swimming pool. We were all sitting in the backyard enjoying some pink lemonade when Tommy announced that he had to go to the bathroom.

"Come on Tommy, let's go!" I said, leading him to the door. As I turned around to ask mom to keep an eye on the other guys I saw Joey pulling his swimming trunks down.

"Honey, don't pee out here! Come inside with me!" I scolded.

"But, I don't have to pee." Joey said very nonchalant.

"Yes you do! Let's go!" I demanded.

"No I don't!" Joey insisted.

"Well then why are your pants down?" I asked.

Joey looked over at me as he was pulling his trunks back up and said, "I'm just getting some fresh air."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Awards and Memes!

Okay. I have been such a freaking slacker. I have gotten some really frackin' cool awards and I never even acknowledged them. Ugh! I know. I rot.
The first one was from Kristen at Loving Our Simple Life. She made her own award to hand out to people who also love their lives. I think this is the best idea and I am so honored that she gave it to me because I really do LOVE my life. I'm glad it shows.


The next award came from Elaine at The Miss Elaine-ous Life. Sharing the love. Isn't that sweet? Thanks for sharing your love with me, Elaine. I can always use more lovin'.

The last award came from Sandy at Momisodes. I can't believe she considers me a must see blog! I freaking love Sandy! She is so smart, funny, and sweet. Not to mention beautiful. I love reading her blog and it is definitely a must read for me.
I am supposed to pass this award on to 10 blogs that I consider must see blogs, so here it goes:

1-Sandy at Momisodes
2-Brittany at 4 Little Men...and twins on the way!
3-Laskigal at From the Cheap Seats
4-Stephanie at A Little Bit of Suger & A Whole Lotta Spice!!
5-Molly's Mom at Bitchy and Ranty
6-OHMommy at Classy Chaos
7-Holly at Anglophile Football Fan
8-Michelle at House of Lime
9-Kristen at Loving Our Simple Life
10-Elaine at The Miss Elaine-ous Life
11-I'm Being Held Hostage


So there ya go. My list could have gone on and on, but these are all definitely must see blogs! Yes, there are 11 instead of 10, but you all know I am a rule breaker, right? Thank you, Kristen, Elaine, and Sandy! I am very appreciative of these lovely awards.

Okay. I know I said that I wasn't going to do any more memes, but I found FOUR memes that I had done a while back but never posted. So... I thought I would post two of them now and two of them some other time. I'm sorry, I have no idea who tagged me. If anyone wants to step up and take the blame I'll be happy to link you.

This is the "Finish the sentence with the 1st thought that comes to your mind" meme.

I know.... who I am
I believe... in miracles
I fought....for the right to parrrrrrrrr-tah!
I am angered.... by my anger.
I love.... life.
I need.... my family.
I take.... responsibility.
I hear.... music.
I drink.... a lot. HA!
I hate.... the word "hate".
I use.... coffee to help me wake up in the morning.
I want..... chips.
I like.....chips.
I feel....like eating chips.
I wear.... my hair up all the time now that it is getting long enough.
I left.... my heart in San Fransisco. But not really, since I've never been.
I do.....everything!
I hope.... everyone appreciates it. ;)
I dream.... in color.
I drive... an old lady vehicle.
I listen.... to the voices in my head. we-eh-oh-ahhhh!!!
I type..... fast.
I think.... I'm alone now. (I told you I hear music)
I wish... I were on a tropical island.
I am.... frackin' hilarious! But only in my own mind.
I regret.... nothing.
I care.... too much sometimes.
I should.... eat something.
I said... I'm hungry!
I wonder.... if we'll have another baby.
I changed....my hair color again.
I cry... when I watch the news.
I lose.... my faith in the goodness of people sometimes.
I leave... my life in God's hands.

-There. Wasn't that fun? Only one more to go!


This is the "Finish the sentence with the first WORD that comes to mind" meme.

Where is your cell phone? Purse
Your significant other? MineYour hair? Brown
Your mother? Best
Your father? Fading
Your favorite thing? Family
Your dream last night? Paradise
Your favorite drink? Captain
Your dream goal? Nurse
The room you are in? Basement
Your ex? Which?
Your fear? Loss
Where do you want to be in six years? Content
Where were you last night? Couch
What are you not? Perfect
Muffins? Puffins?
One of your wish list items? Camera
Where you grew up? Here
The last thing you did? Baked
What are you wearing? Pervert!
Your TV? Large
Your pets? Gone :(
Your computer? Crap
Your life? Lovely
Your mood? Calm
Missing someone? Yes
Your Car? Minivan
Something you are not wearing? Socks
Favorite store? Target
Your summer? Fun!
Like someone? Many
Your favorite color? Peach
When was the last time you laughed? HAHAHA!
Last time you cried? Everyday

Weehoo! You made it! For all of you that read everything without skipping to the end please go back and grab the Spreading the Love award! For the rest of you consider yourselves tagged!

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And seriously. What IS up with Favre? What is he thinking? So disappointing. Many of you asked what I thought about the whole situation and I basically think he is giving up his chance to go out with style. He has been in the NFL for 16 years with the same team and he wants to give all of that up. He said just a few short months ago that the only way he would return for another year is if he could guarantee a trip to the Superbowl but that it was just not realistic. Now he thinks that it is realistic learning a whole new offense with a different team? Come on! He isn't being very loyal to the most loyal fans in the league. And I don't like that he is blaming it on the Packers organization for making him decide so early. Of course they need to know early. It impacts the whole team in a huge way. I will always be a big Favre fan, but I really feel that he is tarnishing his image.

Come on, Brett. Use your head. You have had an amazing career. Longer than most guys would ever dream of. Go out on top. Go out with the team and the fans that have stuck by you through it all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Perfect Summer Day

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
 

The day starts out with a crossword puzzle at the kitchen counter. This morning I had a helper.

Then we head out to a local lake for some fun in the sun. Nothing better than digging in the sand,

or being pulled around in the warm water on a lobster while older brother lugs his deer into deeper water. Yes. My children have strange taste in floaties.

Time to quickly gulp down lunch so we can get back into the water as soon as possible.
A few more hours in the water and it is way past naptime. Anyone getting tired? A spacey stare tells me it is time to go.
After naps and more playtime outside, one by one, the sweaty boys climb on top of mommy for some snuggle time.
And hopefully the day ends like this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm Back

It has been a full and busy week. The hubby took off of work this past week and we have been having a great time. We have packed so much into every day and still found some time to relax. The fourth of July was everything I was hoping it would be. We went from fireworks, to picnics, to friends houses, to parades, to festivals, to fireworks again. The boys stayed up until 11 at night for a few nights in a row and still managed to be well behaved and have a great time. It was fabulous.

I think this may have been the longest amount of time that I haven't written a post or commented on blogs. But I made a decision. I decided to relax and enjoy every moment with my kids instead of taking a million pictures and thinking of how I could write about it. I decided to lie outside in the sun with a good book instead of chaining myself to the desk in the basement to comment on each and every post my bloggy friends wrote. I decided to snuggle with the hubby at night instead of sneaking downstairs to write a post about how cute the boys were that day. And, man, I really enjoyed the week. I felt like I was finally enjoying the summer the way I should be.

And maybe it opened my eyes a bit. This week reminded me to be more present every day. And I guess that means I need to spend less time on the computer and more time living life. I've decided to post less. Maybe only a few times a week. I'll still be commenting on your posts but maybe not EVERY post the way I was. I don't know if this will be permanent or just a phase I'm going through. But life seems to be flying by, and I want to catch it.

So, I guess I'm asking for your patience with me. I'll still be here, just a bit less.

And while we are at it I'd like to ask for something else too. Your prayers. My mother-in-law is going through a health scare (think of the C word), and is in fact in surgery right now. I didn't mention anything before because she is a private person and I didn't know if she would be comfortable with it or not. But the truth is that she is very important to me and I would like to have as many prayers for her as I can get. I have a good feeling about this, but I know prayers always help.
Thank you, my dear bloggy friends!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!



The 4th of July
is one of my favorite
days of the whole year.
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Our town goes all out.
Parades, festivals, live bands,
and huge fireworks.
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Love showing my boys
things they haven't seen before
and fun things to try.
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The whole day is fun
from beginning to the end.
I can't wait to start!
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Hope everyone has
a wonderful holiday
filled with friends and fun.


Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson