Raising Teens in Today’s World

It is never easy to raise a child-especially a teenager. Anyone who has experienced this can relate to this statement. I  am often grateful that my years of raising my five children is over (yeah-right)!  Watching the struggles of my kids, now parents, raising their own children is hard enough but I can turn the ringer off of my phone and pull the covers over my head at night if I want to. No waiting up to make sure everyone is home and tucked in for the night.  I sometimes cringe when I recall some of the conversations I had with my teens. Occasionally, however, I can smile with a hint of pride on how other discussions turned out. I tried my best but, as you probably know (either being a teen once or raising a teen), things do not always go as planned. It was all very hard work-a true labor of love-but not one I would like to try again anytime soon!

Today I felt more than a twinge of pride when I read my daughters Facebook post. Her courage touched me deeply and I wanted to share what she wrote:

Hi Mom,

I know you aren’t on Facebook anymore. This is what I posted this morning. It was a wow moment. Thought I would share! Love you.

Please read! I have always had open and frank discussions with my children about safety, danger, peer pressure, life in general. Sometimes, I get the eye roll implying “mom, we’ve already heard this”. With my son now licensed and driving, and my daughter in middle school, I continue to, from time to time, remind or reiterate these dangers, providing tips, advice, and love. Last night after my son got home from the football game, I decided to sit him down for another talk. The question often is “why don’t you trust me?” My reply is always the same, I do trust you, it’s the rest of the world that I don’t trust. He became a little irritated by the conversation of what to do if someone is drinking, not getting in cars, call us if you are ever in a bad situation, never let others drive, etc. I am not in any way condoning underage drinking, however I am not naïve to believe such situations aren’t happening at some time or that our children are not at some point being exposed. I felt bad for irritating him, especially following a fun evening for him and a safe return, my timing probably wasn’t great. This morning I got up and was doing my usual reading the news online and came across this story.

‘We felt invincible’

Irritate your children! Talk to them! Pound it into their head! Say it and then say it again!!!! It’s worth it. They are worth it!

Wow is right!


Guess she was listening after all.

A work in progress…

I have officially reached the age to receive Medicare. When I was younger it seemed a place so far away that surely if I ever reached this ancient age I would be used up and simply plant myself in a comfy chair to wait out my remaining years.

images (3)

Guess what?

I don’t feel that way at all. In fact, I have now reached a crossroads where I need to decide…

What do I want to do with the rest of my life?

If a normal reasonably healthy woman in the US has a life expectancy of 89 years old, I may have another 20+ or so years left. I realize that death came come “like a thief in the night, we know not when” as it states in the Bible, but just for argument sake, let me assume I will hang in another 20 years with at least moderately decent good health and a few good brain cells working.

So now what?

If you have read my blog you know I have a fabulous husband, many grandchildren, great kids, friends, am active in my church, and between all of that I am pretty busy with events, camping, birthday parties, vacations, and various outings. I also like to sew, get some reasonable pleasure from cooking, some gardening, and have recently started reading again (after a long dry spell).

Where do I go from here?

The first year of retirement  life seemed so clear. I had a purpose-I was now free of a daily required schedule and had the gift of life that retirement allowed. I jumped out of bed every morning relishing in the newness of not having to go to work every day. I was free to pursue the joys of life within my moderate budget. I don’t jump up quite so quickly these days. I joyfully  embraced the time I now had to spend time with those I loved and cared about. That has not changed at all. I was dedicated to getting to the gym regularly. Not so much any more (to be honest less and less). I sewed almost daily. Not now unless I have a specific project. I explored  and planned new adventures, combed blogs and the internet for ideas, and created new creations in the kitchen. Now-well, we have to eat so I have to cook. I blogged regularly. You can see that is not happening these days. I am lucky if I post twice a month. I was energetic and enthusiastic about almost everything. Now, yawn, is it naptime yet?

What happened?

I know, I need to eat better and exercise more.   I tried a crash exercise plan to get back into a groove with little success. Confession time-I have been slacking. I  know I thrive better on a routine so I have been attempting to tighten the reins on my daily activities-but remain somewhat flexible for unexpected opportunities.  (Isn’t it 5:00 somewhere?)

What now?

I crave to find a passion. Should I seek a new passion or revive an old one? Or a combination of both? Should I embrace a cause, volunteer,  get out more, or focus on the projects here at home? Is it all in my head or is it this aching body that seems to have slowed me down? Or is it all connected? Am I just finding a reasonable stride or am I really considering turning into that couch potato I was so worried about becoming? My kids laugh that I am so busy they can hardly keep up with my schedule. Am I being too hard on myself?


Life is a journey to be continued…


3 days 3 quotes challenge-day 3

The 3 day quote challenge has been so interesting for me. Many terrific quotes have been swimming through my mind. Researching quotes has allowed me to open myself to admire those who are so profound and share or have different points of view.  I have received such encouragement and insight from many of you and I am deeply touched. Thank you for indulging me these past 3 days.

It was difficult to decide what my 3rd and final quote will be. I have decided to allow the quote to speak for itself but do not know who deserves the credit. Perhaps its is a paraphrase from a Bible verse or Dr. Martin Luther King.

Either way…


3 days 3 quotes challenge-day 2

“If you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got”

Isn’t that great? I just love this quote! Working in the social service field for many years, we were often trying to motivate people into making positive changes in their lives. These goals were to help people become self-sufficient as well as self-reliant.  Perhaps this quote was more inspiring to those of us working there than to those to whom we said it… but… it is still a great quote and something I often think about as I strive to reach my own personal goals.

When I began to  research where this quote originated from, I found that it was first said by Henry Ford….

….and then I found a slight variation of this quote said by Albert Einstein:

“If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.”

Others think Mark Twain was the originator!

Still others give credit to the motivational guru Anthony Robbins!

I think we can safely assume Anthony came on the scene much later and was definitely not the first to use this quote.

Regardless of who said it first, I think it is a great quote and a reminder that change is inevitable if we want a different outcome.

3 days 3 quotes challenge

People say the most interesting things don’t they? I just love quotes so last month when I was challenged to participate in the 3 days 3 quotes challenge from a blogger friend,  masgautsen  over at The thoughts of life and me, I couldn’t wait to jump in. Yeah right, you might be thinking! Well here I am a month later. Quotes have been swimming around in my mind so I decided that today is the day to take the challenge.

Here are the three simple rules:

  1. Post 3 of your favorite quotes, 1 per day, for 3 consecutive days. The quotes can be from other people or may come straight from your heart.
  2. Nominate 3 bloggers to participate in the challenge.
  3. Don’t forget to thank the person who nominated you.

First, let me thank masgauten for this challenge. Ordinarily this might be something I would take a pass on but if you follow my blog you might have noticed that I actually enjoy these often witty and thought provoking one liners. I am certain it stems from my father who had a variety of quotes he used to keep us kids in line as well as inspire us to follow a straight path. In honor of him I will offer my first quote. This is something he often told us:

It all depends on where you sit how the picture looks

I just love that quote! It is a such a great reminder that we don’t all see the things in quite the same way. I have searched for the actual author of this marvelous quote but unable to confirm it. Possibly Dad cleaned it up a bit and took it from a line in the book by Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye.  That would make sense as he was an avid reader. Regardless, it is a favorite of mine-in fact our entire family!

 Let me say that  will in no way be offended should you not choose to accept the challenge. Accept only if you would enjoy doing so. If anyone else would like to take the opportunity to take part, please feel free to jump in!




Looks good from here!

2014-02-23 10.10.34

(1st quote)

Not just another road trip!

Whew! We just returned from a whirlwind 9 day road trip. Our goals were to visit a cousin in Northern Idaho and to see Yellowstone National Park. We kept our plans somewhat flexible and managed to see at least parts of California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada with over 2,000 miles driven. It was a marvelous trip but I am exhausted.  I have decided to share just a few highlights of our trip and allow the pictures to do most of the talking.

Mono Lake, California


You can see the effects of the drought clearly here.

A night in Boise, Idaho at an adorable guest house



A 2 night visit with family in Sand Point, Idaho.


Lake Pend ‘Oreille

The cousins lovely home on 28 acres


We really appreciated their hospitality.

Next stop…

Yellowstone National Park




Geysers and Paint Pots dot many parts of the park.




Buffalo sighting!


I didn’t know about this gem.



A view of the valley taken from the canyon edge.


Impossible to express the vastness, diversity, and beauty of this place with just a few pictures.

Our Kamper Cabin located at Flagg Ranch was just outside the park. A new take on camping but very convenient. Just the basics.


Possibly my favorite of all was The Tetons



View of The Tetons from Lake Jenny

We came across this quaint chapel in the middle of Wyoming


Looks more like an old ranch.

Of course I could go on and on but I will spare you. I know we all have busy lives, blogs to write and blogs to read. I do appreciate you taking a moment to stop by for a snapshot of our trip.


Until next time…

Blessings & Flaws

On my way home from the gym this morning I had a thought-I am blessed with bad knees and jiggly arms. You might think I have lost my mind as you read this but please let me explain.

As I finished my workout in the pool and headed to the locker room, I noticed a beautiful woman fixing her hair and probably soon heading to work. As she put on her finishing touches she spoke kindly to another gym member and all of a sudden I was focused on her inner beauty and not how she looked. I soon finished up  and as I headed out, said good morning to a slim and fit woman who merely scowled in return. As I was driving home I noticed an older woman briskly taking her morning walk  and I thought how nice it would be to be able to walk like that. Another walker I observed was obviously very out of shape but she was giving it her all and that is when I had an epiphany!

I have arthritic knees with one knee replacement under my belt and another looming on the horizon. For the most part these aching knees get me where I need to go (even if sometimes not quite where I want to go)! My knees remind me of the many miles they have traveled, the ropes they have jumped, the hopscotch they have hopped, the runs to a crib side,  and the bending and stooping they have endured for the past 60+ years. If they need a little relief from time to time, who am I to complain? I have abused them too. Carried too much weight, not exercised them enough,  and in general took them for granted.

My jiggly arms are part genetics but  mostly too many years of not enough dedicated attention. These arms have hugged loved ones, cuddled babies, waved goodbye, and carried just about anything I have asked of them. I am thankful for their years of service.

So what would my world look like with good knees and firm arms? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that poor exercise habits are to be commended. Not at all. In fact, I do work out fairly regularly. I am saying this is where I am in life and I have decided these flaws are a blessing after all. I spent years covering up these flabby extremities and now I wear the clothes that I want to wear. In the past few years I have decided to focus on the person I am rather than my physical self. I wonder why it took me so long to figure these things out? Would the sun still rise tomorrow if the world got a glimpse of my arms? Would I be judged by those I care about? I think not. Would I be looked at by a stranger who might snicker? Maybe. If they saw my inner self would it change their opinion? Maybe, maybe not. Does it really matter? I hope not. Can I learn humility and work as hard on being the person I feel God called me to be? Even if this does not fit the image the world might expect of me?

Will my knees still scream for mercy sometimes and will I miss that hike to the top of the mountain? Probably. Will they still carry me to my husbands waiting arms or for a walk along the sandy shore? I think so. If someday they give out all together can I sit along the shore and just enjoy the crash of the waves, sit in a forest and appreciate the song of the birds and the whoosh of the breeze in the trees? Absolutely! Many have endured much more.

Will my beloved Thommmee lean over to offer a kiss? I know that he will.

No, I am still too proud to post a picture of my flaws-so perhaps I still have much to accept. I don’t run and hide when they pull out the camera anymore. I want people to someday reflect on me in these photos…. to remember the mom that  I was, the role of grandmother I so treasured, the friend, sister, wife, and the smile and kindness I offered to those around me. That is my prayer. Let me make a difference and someday be remembered for the person and not the body.


If we can appreciate the beauty of each flower and not the flaws of each petal, what would our world look like? What have you been blessed with?