A Definite MUST SEE

We just returned from seeing the movie Soul Surfer.  I am completely blown away by this movie and the main character {Bethany}, who is a real person.  To say I was inspired is a complete understatement.  Bethany has an unbelievable amount of faith, courage and perseverance.  Movies like this are special and rare…I might even say life changing.  I completely recommend this movie. As a matter of fact, whenever I feel down or I feel a pity party coming on I should watch this movie.

Not only was I impressed with Bethany, but with her family.  They had such unity and passion for life.  The relationship between the parents and their children was beautiful and endearing.  Now I know, this was a MOVIE.  Movies don’t have time to share all the unhappy moments when the kids might talk back to their parents or fight with their siblings.  I also know how sometimes movies might not portray things the way they really were in real life.  However, I have a distinct feeling their family had to be very similar to the one in the movie for Bethany to have the strength, desire and support to continue after such a set back.

I believe the PG rating, from my point of view, was because of the shark attack. I hope my sensitive youngest daughter will not have bad dreams about that part.  It was tastefully done, not too gory.  I was glad for her to see the movie, though.  I believe she will come away from the movie with the understanding of how to keep her faith through challenges.  I am grateful we were able to go as a family {minus one daughter, we miss you ;)} and the language was not bad.

The only thing I didn’t like about the movie was how much it made me miss the ocean and the beach, my favorite place on earth.  The scenery was exquisite and breathtakingly beautiful…of course, it was in Hawaii.

Thank you to my sweet husband for suggesting we see this movie.  He says he remembers when the news story broke about Bethany.  I wish he would have shared it with me.  This is the kind of news I LIKE to hear.  Nevertheless, maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated the movie as much knowing so much before hand?  No, I still would. 😀

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any form or fashion for this review. All content in this post are my opinions.
This movie definitely brought me JOY,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Etiquette}

I have noticed many writings in every venue on the subject of etiquette.  I know the reason why…because there is an extreme LACK of it.

Not too long ago, my youngest came home from school giving me a ‘run down’ on a friend’s birthday party.  I told her it sounded like fun and asked her what day the party would be held.  She preceded to tell me it would be held later that day.  I blurted out quickly how that was not a lot of notice, but we should go get a gift.  “I was not invited,” she replies.  Fortunately she did not seem very sad.  However, I was.  Sad because etiquette was not involved.

I was taught from a very early age by my parents and Girl Scout Leaders that you should not talk about a party to people who are not invited to the party.  It made sense.  It only takes one case of this happening to you to understand why.  It hurts to be left out.  As humans we have an innate desire to belong.  We don’t want to feel left out.  Therefore, if you don’t know about it, then you won’t feel left out.  It is also important to note, it is not proper etiquette to talk about a party around those who did not attend.  I can not stand when I am in a conversation with several people and they proceed to say,  “remember when we did___________? {insert activity}  That was so funny when _______ did ________.” {laughter etc.}  Next thing you know it is like I’m not there.  I might as well be invisible listening to them talk about all this fun they had together.  To me, this is incredibly rude.

I believe another major etiquette faux pas being under taught is the subject of talking on cell phone or texting at inappropriate times.  This also stems from earlier etiquette training as well.  I was taught it is not proper to talk on the phone to another friend in the presence of another friend or guest.  For example, if I had a friend over to spend the night, I wouldn’t pick up the phone {back then phones had cords and were hooked to the wall} and call another friend.  I think of it this way, if I were at a friends house, I wouldn’t want them to spend time talking to another friend while I was there.  As a matter of fact, many times I gauge doing things to others on how I would feel if someone did that to me.  {This includes gossip.}  So here we are in modern day times where everyone has a cell phone with them.  Fortunately, many people of my generation will continue to respect not texting or “shooting the breeze” with someone while speaking with me.  I really appreciate that.  If I’m engaging in a conversation with someone and my phone rings {either signaling a text message or actual phone call}, I will politely look to see who it is and silence it.  I make a mental note to call or text them back when I am alone.  However, children who have cell phones don’t seem to understand this form of etiquette.  I’m not sure if they are being taught phone manners and they are refusing to follow them or if they have not been taught at all.  Honestly, I have a feeling it is the latter.  The majority of my 7 year old’s friends received a cell phone as a Christmas gift this year.  This has wreaked havoc in our family.  My daughter is insisting on her having one as well.  I’m getting side tracked, though.  This is a whole different story and post.  I can’t tell you how many times we have invited a friend of my daughter to go somewhere with us or spend the night and the friend is on her phone talking to another girl.  To be quite honest, this is infuriating to me.  It is, again, saying to the person you are currently with that they don’t matter.  Ouch!  That hurts!

Personally, I treasure etiquette.  We teach it in our home and in our family.  I wish many others did as well.

There are many other forms of etiquette or manners I see being ignored in this modern day society.  Is there one that comes to mind as you read this post?  What other forms of etiquette do you feel need to be re-taught or learned today?  How do you feel about these social rules of conduct I have mentioned?  Am I being extra sensitive?  Do you teach good manners at your home?  I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject.

“Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

Clarence Thomas, US Administrator & Lawyer


May the code live on,

Perspective, Planning and Preparation

before we began

A change in your perspective can make a HUGE difference in your family. At the beginning of last week I told you about our decision to stay home for Spring Break.

In the recent past {say the last 3-4 years} I would have looked at this as torture. My kids don’t get along very well.  There it is.  I am admitting it.  I am being vulnerable by sharing how my family is indeed NOT perfect.  All three kids are in completely different stages in their life.  Honestly, for a while I had sort of given up on my dream of having a joyous family.  It seemed every time I would think things were going to be great, they wouldn’t.  Instead, we would have kids bickering and quarreling.  So, subconsciously I decided, what’s the point?  What’s the point in trying if it’s going to be a disaster?  I didn’t truly realize I had been thinking this until reevaluating last weeks Spring Break.

LOTS of soil

Last week was one of the most enjoyable Spring Breaks with my children.  It hasn’t been perfect, by any means.  Sure there was the usual, “Mom, he did this and she did that.”  There was still the whining and back talk…but not as much.  So I asked myself, why do you feel this way?  What is different?  I am here to tell you, it had everything to do with the three P’s: perspective, planning and preparation.



My perspective about Spring Break was completely different than my deadbeat counter part.  I made the decision to make the best of this week for my kids.  Let’s rewind a bit.  I think my change of outlook or “awakening” began the week my children were home from school for snow days.  During that time, I consciously decided I was going to make the most of the time my children & I had to spend together.  I didn’t worry so much about chores.  I thought of things we could do together and we did them.


This leads me to the planning part.  This is as simple as thinking about ideas of what we could do.  During snow week I thought of us building a snowman together.  I thought it would be fun if the girls and I played spa and did each others nails.  I thought about certain crafts we could do together, etc.  It’s basically a brainstorming session of what I thought I would enjoy doing as well as something they would enjoy too.  This is exactly what I did for Spring Break.  I knew the kids have been wanting to do a vegetable garden for a long time.  Why not now?

Work, work, work


In regards to the garden, I did a little research online about a family vegetable garden.  Each child chose some vegetables or fruits they wanted.  We decided together how it should be mapped out and I printed out our plans & supplies.  Monday we went shopping and bought the majority of our supplies.  Tuesday we put together the cedar boards for our above ground garden.  {We ended up making it bigger than we had planned.}  Next, we filled the bed with top soil, compost, planting soil and fertilizer.  Wednesday we took a break from the garden.  Thursday we set up a soaker hose & planted the seeds that could be planted in the ground {cucumbers, peas & peppers}.  We found out many needed to be started indoors or could not be planted until next month.  Preparation was KEY, not just in preparing of supplies and physically, but also mentally.  I mentally prepared myself for this task with my children. {Not to mention MANY prayers being offered}

Without changing my perspective, without planning and preparation, this week would have been a disaster.  Instead, it was filled with special times.  Special times filled with my youngest saying, “this is so much fun, Mom.”  Special times filled with good conversation, meals and love.

I am reminded, again, that joy doesn’t just happen.  You have to cultivate it with the 3 P’s.

our new vegetable garden {without the fence}


{I joined the pity party at Thirty Handmade Days}
Peas are good for you too,