Treasuring my Husband {Happy Birthday!}

Today is about more
than celebrating
your birthday,
it’s about celebrating you
and all that you are…
as a man, as a friend,
and as my husband.

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Happy Birthday Honey,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Twilight Series}

First of all, let me say for all of you Twilight bashers non-likers out there, I have not written a post about Twilight in a very long time. As a matter of fact, it has almost been a FULL year!  Yep, I checked and my last post about Twilight was on June 20, 2010.  My second blog post ever written on August 17, 2008 I wrote:

In the beginning...

It’s weird to look back.  It’s now 2011 and I have seen Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse at the movie theater.  I realize the majority of my early blog writings were about this fiction series.  However, the reading of this book series was a huge turning point in my life {happened to be when I began this blog.}  It gave me something else to be excited about outside my job as a Family Manager.  Not to mention spurred my love of reading fiction to this very day.  Twilight also positively impacted friendships, strengthened my relationship with my oldest daughter and added some sizzle & romance into my marriage.  Absolutely!  Hubby has benefited as well from Twilight. 😉I realize many people are tired of it.  That is entirely fine…to each his own.  All I have to say is PLEASE don’t rain on my parade.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying a book or movie.  It has been controversial…yes.  Yes, we have freedom of speech.  However, if I don’t like something as trivial as a fiction book; I don’t go to blogs, forums, websites, Facebook or Twitter and whine about it.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  If you don’t like the opinions expressed, then just don’t read them.  I can’t tell you how many times I found people on Twilight forums who were extremely negative.  To them I ask, “Why are you here?  This forum was created for fans of Twilight, so why would you come here and spread all this negativity?”  Honestly, after a few months of finding more negative than positive comments on Twilight forums I “bagged” them!  I was going there to talk with other fans and instead was finding the opposite.  In other words, be kind.  If you don’t like Twilight, please don’t write a comment saying how much you hate it. It is unfortunate I feel the need to write this.  Nevertheless, this is why I stopped writing about it a year ago.  Negative or rude comments will be deleted.  I know my very sweet and loyal readers would not consider doing such a thing.  However, my blog is open to all and you never know who will stumble upon here.  Enough about this.

My daughter asked me at the dinner table tonight, “Mom, have you seen the new Breaking Dawn movie trailer?”

“WHAT!?!!!!  No…{excitement and huge grin on my face} It’s out now?!”

Guess what I watched tonight?! {couldn’t wait until Thursday to share!!}  For all of you who do LOVE the Twilight series as much as I do, this is for you:

November 18th can’t come soon enough now!
Joy, joy, joy,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Daughters}

This edition of Treasure-Trove Thursday was delayed due to preparation for Birthday & Baptism festivities held yesterday.

Since we celebrated my baby’s {meaning my youngest child} birthday yesterday, it is only natural for me to want to feature Daughters as my treasure.  I had excellent intentions of writing a post yesterday.  But if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to share these precious photos of her with you today. 🙂 {Trying to look at the positive side of things.}

Sheet cakes were few and far between at the store {no time for baking a cake these days} so I ended up buying two smaller ones.  My daughter likes chocolate cake and I like white cake.  So we had two cakes…one white and one chocolate.  It worked out well because we had one for the family party at the restaurant and one prettier one for the baptism.  Both were cut & shared with friends and family after the baptism service.  I dolled up the green one with real flower mums.  I LOVE the look of real flowers on a cake, so lovely, don’t you think? 😉

I just can’t imagine my life without any of my children.  This includes my youngest daughter.  I shared on Mother’s Day how I had a miscarriage between my Son {whom I am indeed grateful for & intend on featuring Sons as a treasure of mine in the future. :D} and the daughter I am referring to.  My first born was a girl as well, so I am blessed with 2 daughters.  After the miscarriage, my husband and I debated whether we should try again.  After something so tragic happens, you tend to wonder if it is a sign. {at least I did, maybe not everyone who experiences a miscarriage would.}  I wondered if this was a sign telling me to not to have another child.  I was completely heartbroken.  Usually, while you are grieving it is not the best time to make decisions.  The doctor told us how common miscarriages are.  Every one in three pregnancies end up miscarrying.  I had no idea.  Anyway, to make a long story short, we prayed and decided to try again as soon as we could.  The beautiful girl above is the miraculous result.  Sometimes when I consider how my life would be without her, my heart aches deep inside.  I simply can not imagine our family without her.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted a daughter.  Even when I was a little girl I thought about things I would say to her.  I wanted to share my experiences as a girl with her.  How grateful I am for the opportunity to do this with not just one daughter, but two!  Since their personalities are so different, it’s interesting how I find myself sharing different stories with each of them.  Having my own daughter has increased and strengthened my relationship with my own Mother as well.

In regards to my oldest daughter, I am very happy to report that she made the varsity color guard team!  Thank you to all who prayed on her behalf! It means so much to me! I walked up to the school and she sauntered out of the building so carefree.  One look on her face, the huge grin and I knew the results!  I was so happy to NOT see tears running down her face like the last two years, that in turn the tears were streaming down mine. Tears of joy and gratitude. Tears of seeing her receive the culmination of much perseverance and effort on her part. How very proud and pleased I am with her.

So celebrate Daughters with me today.  Take a moment, if you have been blessed with a daughter, and tell me about them.  I will end with a very sweet song from Martina McBride.

Love my girls,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Perseverance}

There is a reason I chose to write about the value of perseverance today.

My sophomore daughter will be auditioning for a spot on her high school’s varsity color guard team for next year this afternoon.  This is not her first time to try out for the varsity team.  This will be her third.  I am in awe of her determination, persistence and perseverance.  It is heart wrenching to see your child in tears over the loss of such a worthy goal.  For two years I have witnessed her devastation at finding out not making the varsity team.  Fortunately, the first year she tried out, there were so many students auditioning, they began a junior varsity team.  So she has been a valiant member of the junior varsity team the last two years.  Junior varsity color guard only performs during the pre-game show of the football games instead of during the half time show.  However, the junior varsity members assist the varsity members by moving their equipment for the half time show.  When the marching band and varsity color guard goes to competitions, the junior varsity is still required to attend and assist the varsity, even though they do not perform.  After my daughter’s  first year of junior varsity she received the most improved award at the end of the year band banquet.  So it was quite a blow when she did not make the varsity team last year.  I wasn’t sure if she would continue to try out for varsity upon not being chosen for two years.  However, she is.  This whole last year she has practiced and practiced.  I admire her perseverance and hope for a successful outcome at today’s audition.  Will you please join me in saying a prayer for her today.  Please pray for her to remember her routine confidently and with a smile on her face.

Perseverance is demonstrated by those who keep going when the going gets tough, who don’t give up even when others say it can’t be done.” James E. Faust

There is a strong presence of perseverance in my family history.  Let me share an inspiring story about my paternal great grandparents from my Grandpa’s memoir.

Harley & Aurilla's Family

Harley, whose parents had both died by the time he was nine years old, worked for the Canadian Pacific Railroad.  One night he worked as a switch man to assist the switch engine crew moving train cars.  “He signaled for the engine to go forward, but instead the crew backed up, and he was knocked down between the rails.  When the engine stopped, he tried to get up.  He put his right hand on one rail to push off.  His legs had fallen on the other rail.  Then the train started up again and ran over him.  The engineer and fireman were both drunk and left him there to die.  Luckily, however, someone heard him moaning and got him to the hospital.  The accident fractured his skull, dislocated his left shoulder, cut off the fingers of his right hand except for a stub of a little finger and a stub of a thumb, cut off his right leg a few inches below the knee and took the heel of his left leg and part of his foot.”

Aurilla, my great grandmother of Iowa, bumped her left leg on a bench and bruised the shin bone.  This accident led to gangrene and an amputate leg within 8″ of her hip.  “She was only eight years old at the time, and the operation was performed without the benefit of anesthesia.  After the leg healed, she wore a peg leg fashioned by her father.  In spite of this handicap, her main ambition was to run up the stairs.  She still managed to do most everything that a young girl could do.”  Later in life, Aurilla was blessed to purchase the first artificial leg made by the Erickson Limb Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The company asked Aurilla to write Harley of Canada and recommend their artificial legs.  Erickson Limb Company sent her the address of the hospital where Harley had been taken after his train accident.

Harley’s nurse wrote his reply to Aurilla because he had lost most of his fingers on his right hand. “Dad {My grandpa speaking of my great grandpa, Harley} thought it was odd that a woman should write to him about such a thing as an artificial leg.”  Aurilla and Harley corresponded for about a year while he was in the hospital.

Harley then traveled to Minneapolis where Aurilla and Harley met and became engaged.  After they were married they moved back to Canada.  “Harley decided he would like to go to college and learn about raising pure-blood chicken.  He enrolled at the college with a special stipulation.  Since he was not yet able to write, he talked them into letting Aurilla go with him to take notes for him at no extra tuition.”  My grandpa says, “I can just see it now, these two cripples going to college and only one real, ‘good’ leg between them.”

The story of my Grandpa Harley and Grandma Aurilla does not end there, of course.  There are many other instances where this family, which eventually became 6, displayed perseverance.  For the sake of not writing the longest blog post in history, I must postpone the rest of their story for now.  I am eternally grateful that my Grandpa wrote down the story of his parents and their life together.  I never met my Great Grandpa Harley & Great Grandma Aurilla.  They both passed away before I was born.  Nevertheless, I am able to relay their legacy of perseverance {thanks to my Grandpa who has now joined his parents on the other side} to my children, their great, great grandchildren.

My Maternal Grandparents

My maternal Grandfather valued perseverance as well when he wrote, “The most important thing to me, is to be a survivor.  Your Grandma is a strong example of a survivor.”  She most certainly is!  {Hi, Oma…love you}

Something to ponder: What is something that you hope to still achieve in your life and what and who will support you along the way as you persevere to the end? {You can also use this as a writing prompt for a journal entry}

Perseverance pays,

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Benevolence}

Thanks to Elegant Word Art by Bethany

Benevolence: disposition to do good, a : an act of kindness b : a generous gift.

This is a simple, but beautifully profound song:

I want to be kind to ev’ryone,
For that is right, you see.
So I say to myself, “Remember this:

Kindness begins with me.”

Children’s Songbook, 145

I would like to invite each of you to do at least one act of kindness today.  It may require you to reach beyond your usual friends.  To go even further, you can courageously choose to serve someone who doesn’t treat you well.  I promise if you will extend yourself beyond what is easy to do, you will feel good inside.  Benevolence will begin to become a part of your everyday life and you’ll see how it will bring joy and unity to your home, work, church, and the world.

“Sometimes being benevolent is most difficult in our own families. Strong families require effort. “Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. Many problems in the home are created because family members speak and act selfishly or unkindly. Concern yourself with the needs of other family members. Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel.” Mary N. Cook

Expand your benevolence to all.  Both young and old can be blessed by your service.  Be mindful of the elderly.  It doesn’t take much: a simple “Hi!” or smile, open a door or offer to help in some way.  A simple task for you can be an overwhelming one for an older person.

We have the following hanging up in our home:

Love this Quote

Sometimes we are more motivated to complete a worthy task when we are held accountable.  Family Brings Joy can help.  Come back and share with us what act of kindness or benevolence you did today. {or any day, really :)}

Kindness begins with me,

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,