Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reflecting on Our Words - Part 3

It's that time again. The time when we - my fellow Scrapblog sisters and I - reflect on our words for the year. It has been an interesting year so far, and if I hadn't agreed to do this exercise in personal growth, I wouldn't have realized all the wonderful things that are going on around me. (Contrary to popular belief and every Facebook personality test I have taken, I can be quite the pessimist.)

This month we decided that a picture's worth a 1000 words. Although, being Scrapbloggers, we had to throw a couple of words in there. :-)

Let's start off with Peggy's photo about Balance:
Next up is AVTCoach's thoughts on Abundance:

Roban (Flygirl) has chosen to live a life of Faith and Joy:

Here's my take on Discipline:

And last but certainly by no means least is Octamom's most wonderful shot of Excellence at its finest with a photo of her 7 of 8 showing us reach her goals in recovery of her neonatal stroke:

Isn't our God an Awesome God?

Please remember to go by each of these lovely ladies' blogs to let them know how great their photos are.

(Post note: Yesterday, I had thought about using the song IF by Bread on my playlist and then changed my mind until this morning when something strange happened. I was driving to work with my radio tuned to my usual station. Only, an "oldies" station with the same spot on the dial from over 4 hours away came in as clear as a bell over my regular drive time station. As I pulled into the school parking lot - what to my wondering ears should begin to play but Bread's IF. So there it is on my playlist. Go figure.)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who's That Girl??

Today was my daughter's dress rehearsal. The girls looked great!

Here are the photos I took of my girl.

The girls' contest is this coming Sunday! I know they will rock it out!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's a Beautiful Morning

This morning is QUITE breezy, but it is also very beautiful. I will have to go out and take in the sights.

Another day this week, I came out f school and was greeted by this lovely sky. Being on a military base and being surrounded by tanks and other armored vehicles on a daily basis, it could be really easy to forget see the loveliness that is always around us.
Take a moment and look around your world and find the beauty. It's easy to do when you just look up!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ever Just Have One of Those Days?

Due to confidentiality issues I can't discuss the current issue at school that makes me want to lay like this elephant seal, but I know that this too will pass.

I just saw the photo and it made me smile - something I needed today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kiss Me I'm Irish???

What's a Puerto Rican American girl doing with a blatantly IRISH blog background?

Well, growing up, I spent a lot of time visiting with my mom's sister who loves everything Irish as does my mother, even though they were both born and lived in Puerto Rico the first few years of their lives. This all came from the fact that when they were in grade school, their father put them in a children's home run by Irish Catholic nuns in New York. You can't get any more Irish than that.

The Irish people have certainly known their share of hardship and trials from the Potato Famine of the 1840s which lead to many leaving their homeland in the late 19th Century to come to the United States of America only for many of them to find opportunities here to be not much better. Even until recent times there has been civil unrest between the Nationalists and the Unionists in Northern Ireland. Yet, my mother and her sister love the Irish.

Maybe it's the hardships they, too, endured like losing their mother at a very early age or living for most of grade school in what amounted to be an orphanage. Maybe it was my mother being sent to a posh private school on scholarship without means to fit in such as nice clothes or jewelery or all the other things teenagers find important even in the 1950s. Maybe it was her sister not being allowed to go to the posh school because the nuns didn't like her wild ways and refused to send her, leaving her to get a job in a cleaners picking lint out of people's pockets for a living. The list goes on and on...

Regardless, these two lovely ladies love everything about St. Patrick's Day - from the wearing of the green (even though we are now Protestant) to Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner (not my favorite fare for sure.) My aunt, who decorates her house for EVERY holiday will hang green "jello-like" shamrock stickies on the front window and make centerpieces out of leprechauns and more shamrocks. When we have our traditional supper, the plates will be green, the napkins will be green, and I bet even the beverages will be green.

My aunt is currently recovering from hip surgery in a rehabilitation center, so this year we may have to bring St. Patrick's Day to her. Knowing her strong constitution, however, that crazy lady will be home in no time and serving up the corned beef and cabbage for all of us.

Éirinn go brách!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ahhh, The Family Road Trip

My parents loved the family road trip.

Since my father was in the military, he would have 30 days off a year for vacation. He always waited until summer to use them.

The trips always started with Dad getting out the old Rand McNally, a Best Western Guide and a pad of paper. (These were the days before Mapquest.) He would then map out our route correlating travel times with Best Western Motel locations. Dad knew he would be doing most of the driving while mom read the map, and my brother and I sat in the back of the metallic blue Chevy Impala station wagon continually saying, "I'm not touching yoouuuuuu." It's a wonder dad never pulled the car over.

Lunches at roadside parks consisted of foods that would survive long times out of the refrigerator. Mom found something called "deviled ham" and another product known as "Cheez Whiz." She would use these together to fashion a ham and cheese sandwich with mustard on the white bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth. (Ah memories!) The best thing about these lunches were that we got to have chips and soda - two items we rarely saw at home. I think these counterbalanced the weirdness of the "ham & cheese" sandwiches. Once again, in mom's attempt to make this trip as economical as possible she found these cheese puffs that came in a canister made by Planters.

All of these things are what made the trip so memorable. There were no hand-held electronic devices, no dvd players for the back seat. Instead, my brother and I played Mad Libs and state license plate bingo. Sometimes we even sat in the cargo area of the station wagon - no seatbelt laws back then.

The best part of the trip was in the evening when we pulled into the Best Western Motel. My brother and I would race to the room to change into our swim suits and jump into the pool until suppertime - usually in the motel dining room or the nearby associated local greasy spoon. Afterward, we would go to bed because we knew Dad would want to get up before the birds. This is when my brother and I both found out we talk in our sleep. What would we say? Some secrets are best left unsaid.

As I grew older, I spent less time on these family trips, choosing to spend my summers in New York with my crazy cousins.

I miss those times. More importantly, I miss the simplicity of those times.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Boy

Yesterday was my son's birthday. He turned four even though he still says he is three when people out and about ask him.

I think about the day he was born - 8 weeks early. It was such a surprise. I had everything planned out to a tee. He would be born in May, I would use my sick leave (I had accrued 30 days which would give me six weeks) that would carry me through the end of the school year. This would allow me to not have to go back to work officially until the new school year. Well as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men.

That Friday night I awoke to early labor and spent the first three days of spring break in the hospital trying to keep him from coming, but nothing was holding that little fighter back.

Although he spent the first 6 weeks of his life in the hospital, since that time he has hit the ground running. He's a whirling dervish, a determined boy who knows exactly what he wants and how to get it.

Case in point (Overheard Saturday morning):
Daddy, you NEED to go to the store and get me a Thomas birthday party and bring back my Thomas birthday party so that I can have my Thomas birthday party. You NEED to bring back presents and Thomas cake and ice cream...."
Fortunately, I had already ordered his Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake the day before, but not without a few difficulties. As usual, I procrastinated. Friday turned out to be one of the wettest, coldest days of the month. I went to the grocery store and stood at the bakery wondering where the baker was. Ten minutes passed when I finally found someone who worked in the grocery store. This person went and found the manager who tried to help me. I pointed to the cake I wanted in the catalog and said, "I would like the Thomas the Tank Engine cake please." Little did I know, the manager didn't bother to look at the picture and ran off to the store room to find the kit.

"I'm sorry ma'am we don't have any right now."

I can feel my frustration begin to rise. "Are you kidding me??

"I couldn't find any."

Off to the side was a different Thomas cake shaped like the actual train, so I point to that one and then notice it is $40. Never mind!

While I am calling home to see if a Lightning McQueen cake would suffice, the manager went to the storeroom again returned holding the correct Thomas birthday kit, saying, "We do have a Thomas & Friends Carnival."

I looked at the kit and looked at the catalog and said, "That is the kit I was asking for in the first place."

He said, "Oh, I heard you say Thomas the Tank Engine and went looking for a TANK!"

He and I finally get the cake order completed - 1/4 sheet cake, white cake, white butter cream - not whipped cream - I hate whipped cream, THOMAS the Tank Engine design, "Happy Birthday, James" etc. In walks the baker - "Oh by the way, we have no butter cream and won't have any until next week. We only have WHIPPED CREAM"

By this time, I am tired, cold and ready to begin my spring break. I give up. Just give me the cake. I don't have time to run around in the rain to the local SuperMegaMart that I am still boycotting. No one else makes birthday cakes in town with out special ordering them way in advance. (This is where procrastinatiion has come to bite me in the butt.) The one thing I do know is that I CANNOT come home without a Thomas the Tank Engine birthday cake. So, a whipped cream cake it is.

In the end it didn't matter. James got his Thomas birthday party. He didn't care what type of frosting he got, just as long as it was a Thomas birthday cake.

Presents were opened. The birthday song was sung. Candles were blown out. Cake was eaten.

That little baby who was determined to come into this world on his own terms continues to rule our world.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Life in a Jar

This video was sent to me in an email. It made me want to know more about this remarkable woman.

In the fall of 1999, a rural Kansas teacher encouraged four students to work on a year long National History Day project which would among other things; extend the boundaries of the classroom to families in the community, contribute to history learning, teach respect and tolerance, and meet our classroom motto, “He who changes one person, changes the world entire”.

Students from rural Kansas, discover a Catholic woman, who saved Jewish children. Few had heard of Irena Sendlerowa in 1999, now after 270 presentations of Life in a Jar, a web site with huge usage and world-wide media attention, Irena is known to the world. How did this beautiful story develop?

When people say, "I am just one person. What can I do?" Look at this woman.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Global Food Crisis Day

One person in seven
• goes to bed hungry every day.

One-third of the world’s population
• is undernourished.

There are
• 25,000 starvation-related deaths each day.

Each night
• more than 300 million children go to bed hungry.

Every day,
• over 12,000 children (one every 7 seconds) die from hunger-related causes.

• 146 million or 27 percent of children under age 5 in developing countries are underweight.

Nearly 17 percent of babies
• in developing countries are born with a low birth weight compared with only 7 percent of babies in industrialized countries.

More than 4.4 million children
• die from malnutrition each year.

• 161 million preschool children suffer chronic malnutrition.

Today is Global Food Crisis Day
Millions are going hungry.

Click here for more information and some powerful videos.

$13 can feed a kid for a month. Please think about clicking the Donate Now Button
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