Category: Just me rambling on

Nothing but Treats for October

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It’s the first day of October and Halloween will here before you know it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about Halloween but this year it’s different, maybe it’s the effect of all these the oils, Bawhahaha (that was my witch laugh).

We’ve even put up our Christmas tree that will transition from now through December as a Halloween Tree to a Thankful Tree to a Christmas tree, this should be fun!

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Things to look forward to this month; lots and lots of Halloween events, the new schedule for the  FREE Jr. Chef classes and Technique classes at Williams-Sonoma, some really great Science/Stem events. (Halloween and Science go so well together), and some awesome educational events.

October is also Red Ribbon month, so you’ll also see several posts about Red Ribbon week/month (I already started with a few of those posts), don’t forget about Kidvasion (kids get free, food, rides and admission)  all over in San Diego this month.

And of course you’ll get to hear all about my Essential Oils and adventures in Girl Scouting. So, get ready because all of my volunteer hats are on!

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30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

So here it goes…lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed. Between all of the volunteer hats I have taken on, being a mother, homework, trying to home school my 4 year old, trying to keeping up the with house, cooking, etc, etc, etc., I am definitely over whelmed with “to do’s”.

As a direct result of my “Yes, I can help” attitude I now must learn to come from a “No, I’m sorry I can’t” place.  I must learn to take time out for me. I was looking over my last few weeks and didn’t see any “me” time anywhere.  I must learn to say “no” to opportunities to help or volunteer with anything else (my plate is full), I must learn to ask for help and back out of commitments that will put me over the edge.  I must learn to focus on the things and volunteer opportunities that bring out the best in me without cutting my self short.

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As God’s timing is perfect, I just happened to find this post from marcandangel.com, I think I’ll print this out and put it on my forehead through out my home.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself.

A Rush of Emotions

Birthday’s and Anniversary’s are always hard. Contrary to the popular saying, I know first hand that “Time does NOT heal all wounds”. It’s hard for people who have never lost a son or daughter to understand the tremendous grief that resides within you.
     Time teaches you to walk with your grief. It’s hard for the people around you to understand and my hope is that they would never understand, for that would mean they are suffering the same pain.  
     Today is my handsome Son’s birthday. I remember all the wonderful, funny and silly things he did. The sound of his guitar ringing through the house, his slicked back hair and 501 jeans. I love you and miss you everyday may you play your guitar with the angels, until we meet again my son. 
Michael
 Originally posted in  MADD.org.blog, September 11, 2014

As with any tragedy, there comes a time to observe the traumatic event’s anniversary. Many people believe that grief will wane with time. However, feelings of anger, guilt, isolation, loneliness, sadness and despair often occur long after the disaster. 

On the anniversary of the September 11th disaster, many people find themselves once again contemplating the event and its tragic consequences.

Life threatening trauma, including learning that a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, can provoke unsettling emotional or behavioral reactions over a long period of time.

We always say: First there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.

For many victims the anniversary of a tragic event, no matter how many years have gone by, may make the loss more real and bring out a rush of emotions.  Often the pain increases and becomes more intense following the first anniversary.  This is a normal reaction. Grief is a journey and everyone grieves in their own way.

hands-support-2Here are a few tips to keep in mind for an anniversary of a tragic event:

  • Talk.  Unspeakable trauma becomes more manageable when it’s verbalized. Individuals who were personally affected by a tragedy, but have not talked to anyone should seek support. Those who were not personally affected but are experiencing some hypersensitivity, should also talk to someone who understands trauma.
  • Honor individual differences in trauma reaction. Your way is not the only way. Respect the different ways in which people continue to cope. People cope the best way they can.
  • Reach out and remember those more directly affected. Many people who are grieving feel that friends, family, and their community have “forgotten” about them. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reach out and listen to their stories. Although they may say the same things over and over, honor these experiences by listening rather than giving advice or telling them that “time heals all wounds.”
  • Do something to help. Recognize the possible reactions to the anniversary. Remember that those directly affected may not be the only ones to experience anniversary reactions. Emphasize that people can be helped by small deeds.  Plant a tree or perennial plant in memory of a loved one who died or in honor of someone who was injured.
  • Seek professional support.  Recognize that grieving is normal, but encourage people to seek professional support when they need it.

If you are struggling with grief, call 877.MADD.HELP to speak with a victim advocate, day or night.

– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/september/anniversary.html#sthash.Eps0WI9n.dpuf

Back to Scouting and my Girl Scout Leader Jitters.

I have the most adorable Girl Scout Troop! 11 bouncing Brownies, full of energy, opinions and spunk.

Tonight, is our first meeting after taking a summer break. At our end of year celebration in June, I fully intended on getting together for at least one meeting during the summer…but we didn’t. Summer was busy and I took my Girl Scout Leader hat off, I’m glad I did. I really needed the rest, leading a troop meeting can be exhausting.

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10 of my brillant Brownies at Carol Fallon Riding Center

As I am preparing for tonight’s meeting I find myself feeling nervous. Why I am feeling so jittery about leading 11 girls through an 1.5 hour meeting? Quality. I really believe in the Girl Scout program. I love what it does for the girls and the opportunities it presents. I want to give them the best experience, the best quality I can possibly provide.

I want them engaged, learning and having fun. I want them to want to be involved in Girl Scouts, even if I’m not their leader. So, I feel the pressure of providing good content. I’m usually exhausted at the end of meeting because I give it everything I’ve got for those 1.5 hour meetings, which is good but exhausting. These girls  have no idea how much they motivate me to do better.

Tonight’s meeting agenda is set. Today, I will be shopping for everything needed to complete our badge work and I will (as I always do) continue thinking of ways to make it better….all day.

As with all things in my life, I am my biggest competition. My jitters come from a desire to have these girls look back at these times as some of the most refining times in their lives. So, with this in mind – please pray for me and I’ll update you on our meeting next week.

Until then, Happy Scouting!

To be like the Praying Mantis

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This morning, right after my husband left for work he sent me a picture of a Praying Mantis at our front door. 

mantisImmediately, I went back to a time when my oldest Son was little. He would keep, feed and observe them, he was fascinated with them. It was always amazing to me how graceful and purposeful their actions where.

I looked up the meaning of having a praying mantis at your door, lo and behold there are several descriptions found on the subject.  I thought it was fitting to share this with you. As you know (from my blog’s name), I am working in refining my life. I strive to have many of the same qualities the Praying Mantis represents. (minus eating your friends and spouse) 

Praying Mantis Meanings in the Realms of Animal Symbolism

The mantis comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. Usually the mantis makes an appearance when we’ve flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us because of the external din we’ve created.

After observing this creature for any length of time you can see why the symbolism of the praying mantis deals with stillness and patience. The mantis takes her time, and lives her life at her own silent pace.

A Quick-List of Praying Mantis Symbolism

  • Stillness

  • Awareness

  • Creativity

  • Patience

  • Mindful

  • Calm

  • Balance

  • Intuition

These traitshave lead the mantis to be a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In fact, in China, the mantis has long been honored for her mindful movements.

The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.

Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds.

An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.

image and information from whats-your-sign.com

The Controversial Girl Scout Barbie Doll

The new Girl Scout Barbie is due to roll out in stores this week. Consumer groups, as well as some people involved with Girl Scouts, are pushing back against it. Last year, a “Barbie, I can be anything” fun patch for Daisies and Brownies came out. Which created some very mixed feelings.

The requirements for this fun patch are that the girls complete a booklet to match up their character traits with the careers they’re best suited for. The girls then come up with an idea for a Girl Scout badge and possible real world applications. It really is a great fun patch, but my troop has not worked on this “fun” patch as my troop’s focus has been in earning official Girl Scout Badges and Journey’s.

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Some believe that this is not a good match or model for our girl scouts, saying this Barbie undermines the Girl Scouts mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character. Others believe this is a great way to get girls interested in Girls Scouts.

In a clip from the Today Show, one Mom said “I think if girls didn’t identify with Barbie, it might create a problem for us as parents, but girls love them. They represent what they love, it’s a win-win.”

 In March, Ana Marie Chavez, CEO of GSUSA told Parade magazine “I see girls lobbying town hall to build a safer crosswalk for their elementary school. My world, when I was a kid, was my backyard. Their world is the globe”. “We are tying the fun girls have playing with Barbie to an opportunity to gain insight into the careers of today and tomorrow, through patches and discovery along the way,”

I looked up all of Barbie’s careers on Wikipedia, she’s been portrayed as everything from a babysitter, a teacher, a pilot, a military officer, an Ambassador for World Peace, a  Scientist, to a Computer Engineer.

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Upon seeing a picture of the Girl Scout Barbie, my initial thought was “why couldn’t they have made her a troop leader (since she’s obviously an adult) and made younger Barbie dolls as the girl scouts (her troop) and what’s with all the pink?” However, when I showed my daughter a picture of Girl Scout Barbie, she said “oh, that’s neat”.  So, Girl Scout Barbie is obviously Girl Scout approved. Just like the Girl Scout Build-a-Bear. Maybe it’s just a feeling of being represented in the world.

I am not going to sit here a bash on Girl Scout Barbie or GSUSA for this partnership. I don’t think my 7 year old wants to grow up and be Barbie any more then she wants to grow up and be a Build-a-bear. However, I do believe that the mere thought of  Barbie brings to mind a definite stereotype that Girl Scouts volunteers work so hard to overcome.

It is just a toy but I do wish that GSUSA could work up a partnership to endorse other types of toys: explorer toys, scientist toys, detective toys, how about some veterinarian toys or….. camping toys.  I think those types of toys would better represent some of what Girl Scouts do at the Daisy, Brownie and Junior levels (the target audience for Barbies). It would also sit so much better with the volunteers that guide the Girl Scout programming and consumer groups alike. on the flip side,  If my daughter wants a Girl Scout Barbie, that’s fine with me.

I must say this again, I am not trying to bash on the Girl Scout Barbie or GSUSA. I love Girl Scouts. I love the program and everything it does for our girls. I love the overall message it sends. I am not going to let a Barbie get in the way of my overall thoughts of such an important part of my girls life. I am proud to represent Girl Scouts by being a volunteer for my service unit and to be a Troop Leader. Girl Scouting helps more then the girls involved, it helps the adults involved as well. By the way, Barbie, I love the handbag.

What are your feelings and thoughts are on this partnership and the possible image it creates?

S’more $1.00 books, $1.00 coffee and the word please.

On Sunday, before heading to church we made a visit to the One Dollar Book Store  in Lake Forest. Its was great! They have a wide selection of books, novels, cookbooks, comics, some DVD’s & videos.

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Be prepared, you have to search. Everything is organized by genre however at this time only novels are organized by author. My daughters made themselves at home, took a seat and looked through the books. My oldest daughter scored some American Girl books, my youngest wanted a bible and I found a great little book on Aromatherapy/Essential Oils. We could have stayed there much longer but we had to get to church. I can’t wait to visit again.

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 When we arrived at church we were greeted by the heavenly scent of coffee from Frijolitos Mobile Coffee truck. We quickly decided to take in services outside on the comfy chairs and enjoy a cup of coffee. My husband and I both had the “Mariachi Loco” coffee drink. We were pleasantly surprised when they told us all coffee drinks were only $1.00! I love a deal.

As it turns out, Frijolitos will be there every Sunday at the 6 pm service with drinks priced at $1.00! Life is good. Back to our Sunday, the message was incredible and at the end of service we had yet another surprise. They turned on the fire pits and had smore’s kits for everyone. Families were able to enjoy the evening, make s’mores and fellowship. It was a wonderful evening and I wouldn’t mind having s’more Sundays just like it.

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What a powerful video!

In a world where women are judged so harshly by what we look like and music videos of women prancing around barely dressed this video is so very refreshing.

Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, Colbie Caillat, was tired of being photoshopped. She recently released “Try” a song that addresses today’s beauty standards and how women/girls “try” to be liked/accepted based on them.

 I get it, it’s easy to get confused. It’s even easier when women who should stand together against stereotypes of what a woman/girl “should” look like are busy  judging each other. Judgement’s based on clothes, weight, looks, hair. It’s a shame that more women aren’t lifting each other up instead of tearing each other apart.

We should be looking at each other and saying she’s such a wonderful/kind hearted women, she’s so faithful to the lord and her faith, look at how much she gives back to her family/her community.

When we, as women stop judging each other maybe we can force a change in others around us. Maybe we can start focusing on what’s really important. There are very impressionable young girls and boys surrounding us, looking at us, learning from us. Make the right choices of what’s really important in a person and surround yourself with people who feel and act the same way.

I hope you enjoy the video and the powerful message it sends.

20 Pharses to Encourage Your Children

As parents It’s easy to get into the habit of saying “good job” or “you’re so smart!” as words of encouragement to our children.   

I thought I’d share this printable list of 20 encouraging phrases from http://rachelwojo.com/  these phrases focus on the value of kindness, hard work, improvement and perseverance.

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You can click on the link to get the printable PDF Encourage Your Children Printable.

“Your never persuasive when your abrasive” Rick Warren

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It’s amazing how whatever stays on your mind throughout the week is addressed at church. God’s funny that way.

This past week my mind keeps a going back to several moments when people around me have been less then kind. Actually, down right abrasive with no good reason.

Their behavior leaves me feeling baffled. You see it’s not just one person this week its a few. I can’t help but think that it must be so hard to carry the burden of being mean on purpose. To be unhappy on purpose requires so more much energy then just smiling.

When faced with these moments I need to remind myself not to let their actions ruffle my feathers. As always, God reminds me I need to extend grace to these people and be a better person.

So if for some reason you suddenly see me stand back, you just may be the person who’s being abrasive. Don’t worry, I’ll be praying for you.

Sharing my life message from my deepest hurts.

“Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts” – Rick Warren

This mornings message from our Pastor confirmed what I already knew. I wrote this post but had been holding back on releasing it because it’s painful. I know that my pain will help someone, someway, somehow. I am looking for ways to channel this hurt and to get my message across. I NEED everyone to understand that your actions can deeply affect other peoples lives. My topic: DRINKING AND DRIVING. I know some people will read it and think, this does not apply to me but it does.

We either have done it or know someone who has. Just because you’ve done something in the past doesn’t mean you can’t change it. You Can! You can help stop it. You can be the designated driver, you take away the keys. You can call 911 if you see someone driving erratically. Some people just keep doing it because they haven’t caught or the they think their past experience drinking and driving is funny.

Recently Jason Priestly was on the Chelsea Handler show and they gave each other a high-five while talking about their past drunk driving experiences. This is NOT funny! It’s not a laughing matter. This is nothing to be proud of. I will take my pastor’s message and run with it.

Here’s the post I’ve been holding back on:

Just about everyone knows my story. I lost my son because some man didn’t  have enough sense to know not to drink and drive. Furthermore, this man didn’t have fear of what would happen if he was caught drinking and driving. The main reason he didn’t fear: there were no repercussions for him.

This man had been “allegedly” caught drinking and driving more then twenty times – that’s right, that’s not a mistype – more then 20 times! He had the system figured out.  He gave different names, changed his name around ( first name as middle name and middle name  as first, etc, etc.)  He didn’t show up for court dates. They can’t convict you if you don’t show up to court.  Bench warrants didn’t scare him either. He had handfuls of warrants. He’s girlfriend wasn’t scared. She let him borrow her uninsured car on the night of the crash. The entire 6 years of the trial, I didn’t see any scared look or reaction from him at all. I never saw any compassion or regretful looks from this man. Believe me, I looked. As much as I hated looking at him, I looked for something that would indicate to me that he was sorry or regretful.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against someone having a drink but don’t drink and drive. I get so upset every time I see people on Facebook giving their friends the “heads up” of a DUI checkpoint. I immediately think “UNFRIEND” but than I get a hold of myself, I know I can’t reach people with my message if I “UNFRIEND” them. So please, If you think your friends are drinking and driving, let them get caught. Let them become afraid of the consequences prior to hurting or killing someone. You could save someone’s life.

This post and picture are from Tustin Police Department’s Facebook page

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On May 9, 2014, the Tustin Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Irvine Blvd. west of Jamboree Rd. As a result, 923 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, 322 drivers were contacted and no DUI arrests was made. Officers issued eight citations for unlicensed drivers and various other California Vehicle Code violations.

The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.In California, this deadly crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 people are killed each year were killed from impaired driving. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 3 lives and resulted in 51 injury crashes impacting members of our Tustin community,” said Sgt. Brian Greene.Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Tustin Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.

For the love of a child.

Twice a week I attend an early learning preschool program with my youngest daughter. The program is run through an organization called “Think Together”.  Parents/Grandparents/Aunts attend with their child twice a week. One day you attend a parent component (workshop) while your children are in the other room learning and the other day you take an active roll in child’s education by assisting in all lessons, craft time, play time, carpet time, etc. I have seen tremendous growth in Ava since attending this program.

The program is planned and led by the director and the wonderful woman who facilitates the weekly parenting workshops (both of whom I just love). The “Teachers” are all volunteers through AmeriCorps (all of them are great!). Each Thursday, we are sent home with bag full of books to read to our children. Our children then draw a picture of their favorite book . On the following Tuesday, we share it. It is so amazing to see all of the children’s growth through their pictures. We then have our weekly parenting workshop that teach you parenting methods and exercises to try at home.

Some how, the weekly parent component classes have turned into so something special. The woman who facilitates the parent component has given the Moms a chance to not only learn and share parenting skills but also to share everything that is going on in our “Mom” lives. Our thoughts, struggles, proud moments and ideas. This has quickly become a place of growing but more important a room full very different women who have become friends. Some of us have become very close.

Today, we made sock puppets for our children. The sock puppet is to be used by our children or us to express feelings or to talk to each other; not as ourselves but as the puppet (I think this could work). The room was quite with all the busy moms/Grandma’s/Aunts working and sharing to create the perfect sock puppet to delight our children. I thought it was great, A room full of women brought together, creating sock puppets all for the love of a child. Amazing!

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http://www.thinktogether.org/early-learning/

http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps