What to do when Life interrupts your Goals and Resolutions

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Schedule Word Circled on Calendar Appointment ReminderOn January 2nd, I was so pleased with myself. I had made great plans for the new year, scheduled my calendar and time, and made a to do list to get things done. I was on task and feeling great. On Wednesday, January 4th, I’d blocked out the day to take down my tree. On Friday, January 6th, I planned to spend the whole day celebrating my anniversary and had scheduled things so I would get my to do list for the week done on Thursday.

Then Life Happened!

depositphotos_6867023_originalLife for me came in the form of the stomach flu that hit the evening of January 3rd. I don’t normally get sick, and I hadn’t had the stomach flu since I was in my teens. I was unprepared for how hard it would hit. When the worst of it was over three days later, I decided it was a momentary set back. I would get back on track. I was naive to recover so quickly. It was a full week before my fever broke, and I felt up to doing anything or going anywhere. Even now, I’m still weak and a little out of sorts.

Whatever life event happened to mess up your plans this year, I understand. These are things we can’t control no matter how great our plans. But there are lessons to learn during these times of our lives.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of GodGod is in control. I’m not. Sometimes I like to pretend I have it all together, but I don’t. Neither does the perfect Christian sitting in front of you in church. The truth is those who have it together are ripe for God humbling them. And that’s okay. Knowing we rely completely on God and can’t do anything on our own is a good place to be.

Blogging conceptDo what you can. When life interrupts your plans, it’s not the end of the world. God will get you through it. If you can’t do everything you planned, do what you can when you can. My tree isn’t down yet. Physically I’m not ready to tackle that, but it should be soon. I am up to working on my blog posts, so that’s what I doing. I’m doing what I can when I can, and not worrying about the rest.

Regroup. After life throws up on your plans and things start to get back to normal, it’s important to prayerfully regroup. If normal has been forever altered, adjust accordingly. You may have to cut some things from you list or you may have to adjust your timelines and due dates. That’s okay. What is not okay is throwing up your hands and giving up.

God is still in control. When life happened, it didn’t throw Him for a loop. It’s time to get back to work and trust God with all of your life.

How has life happened to ruin your plans this year?

A Season to Read!

by Carole Brown

Voltaire once said, “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.”

December is here, and Christmas is part and priority of this month. What a beautiful month to share a few favorite stories and poems with readers. Here are five for your enjoyment:

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1.  Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore Clark. Fun, lighthearted poem that thrills the hearts of both adults and children.

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2.  The Three Kings by Henry Wadsworth Longsfellow. An entertaining story of the Three Wisemen. What a gifted poet Longsfellow was!

 

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3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss  Who else? The children’s poet with imaginative characters, rhyme and trisyllabic meter. What child doesn’t delight in his books?

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4.  Away in a Manger–unknown, but attributed to Martin Luther, German reformer. Sweet, sweet children’s hymn that is sung world wide. 

 

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5.  ‘Jest Before Christmas by Eugene Field.  This is such a fun, old-fashion poem that I’ve always enjoyed reading. Whether modern boys or those from by-gone, this child’s reasoning give me plenty of smiles, along with fond thoughts of how they look upon life. 

Stop for a bit and take a breather. Hum a hymn or tap your feet with the rhythm of the beats. Read one or more to a child. Play with a child. Kick up your heels. Dream for awhile. Ponder life and the meaning of Christmas. Rejoice in your faith. Enjoy the month. Reflect on your blessings. Give praise. Hope in the impossible. Keep the peace. Love all. 

And wishing you a very Merry Christmas. 

My Thanksgiving Day

thanksgiving_03_ai10-1113vv-vI love Thanksgiving. Aside from the historical and spiritual significance of thanking God for His many blessings, I enjoy just about everything associated with the day.

When I get up tomorrow, I’ll watch the Macy’s Day Parade while getting the capon stuffed and in the oven. We usually cook a couple of capons instead of turkey.

I love the parade. I’ve been watching it since I was a little girl. Of course, I always looked forward to seeing Santa’s sleigh, but my favorite part of the parade has always been watching the Radio City Rockettes dance. I took twenty years of dance lessons, and when I was young, I wanted to be a Rockette.

img_1017After the parade, I finish preparing a feast for my family (husband, daughter, son-in-law, sister, mom, and my daughter’s friend). Not everyone enjoys spending all the effort and time doing this, but I love it. I set the table with a cloth tablecloth and napkins, china and crystal, and a Thanksgiving centerpiece and candle. Here’s the menu for the day.

  • 2 capons
  • Homemade gizzard stuffing
  • Homemade sweet potatoes
  • Homemade mash potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Homemade gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin Pie and Chocolate Pie (made from scratch by my husband who enjoys baking)

After supper and dessert, we play cards or board games and end the day with a Christmas movie. Usually we watch It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. We’re not big sports fans.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Forever and Forever!

Then and Now. 

DAN N CAROLE 8 6 1976

Then.

August 6, 1976 

Young. In love. Celebrating Life. Inexperienced. In our own world. Sure that we could conquer all. Foolishly unafraid.

 

Carole & Danny 10 2014 appreciation dinner

Now. 

August 6, 2016

Experienced. Been through many ups and downs. Lots of adventure. Lots of misunderstandings and problems. Parents of two sons. Grandparents of three grandsons. Parents-in-law of one strong and lovely daughter-in-law. Well traveled. Met tons of people from all over. Many friends. Many memories. Much loved and much love given. Listened to many problem-troubled people and counseled. Shared burdens. Cried with the hurting. Laughed with our friends. Faithful to each other,. and loyal. Impatient at times, but always willing to forgive. Still in love . . .

roses from danny after my surgery 6 25 2916

FOREVER  and  FOREVER. Happy anniversary, sweetheart!  

10 Fun Things to Do Before the Kids Go Back to School

Summer vacation is half way over. If you’re like most parents, you’re racking your brains trying to figure out some inexpensive things you can do with your children to create memories and family bonding time.

Go to the playground at McDonalds. You can buy the kids a cheap lunch and spend the day watching them play.

Go backyard camping. There is nothing more fun for kids than to take them camping, but many campsites have become expensive or are too far away to make it practical. Why not set up a campsite and tent in your back yard. The best thing is you have all your supplies in the house if you forget anything, and if it rains, you can run inside and camp out in the living room.

Go for family bike rides. There are bikes, tricycles, or wagons you can pull for every age, and learning to ride a bike is a skill every child should know. There are bike trails in parks and most cities where your children can safely ride their bikes without worrying about traffic.

Join your local library’s summer reading program. The best thing you can do is teach your children to love books.

Go for a train ride. Most areas of the country have places where you can take a train ride exclusion for a couple of hours. Children can get really excited about riding on a train.

Visit virtual historic sites. Check your state’s tourism website to find out if there are any virtual historic sites around where your children can learn about candle making and glass blowing among other things.

Visit the nearest zoo. Learning about different animals always lend for a fun time. Another idea is to visit a petting zoo.

Go for hikes at local parks. Most areas have parks nearby, and some have summer hiking trails list where you can keep track of your progress. One cool thing to do would be to buy or make your children hiking sticks and carve out a notch with initials for each trail they hike.

Make your own water slide park and invite the neighborhood kids. This is pretty easy to accomplish. You can buy plastic tarp painters use and douse them with water and dish washing suds. Then have a wading pool and water games. You could also set up an obstacle course with sprinklers you can borrow from all the neighbors. If you don’t have sprinklers, use hoses. Finish the day with an ice cream bar with lots of toppings.

Have your children attend every VBS in the area. Each Vacation Bible School has different activities. It’s a fun way for your children to learn about God.

10 Ways to Spring Clean without It Devouring Your Life

Spring is almost here. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather enjoy the nice weather than be cooped up in the house doing heavy cleaning. But it’s something that needs to be done. Here’s some of the things I’ve tried to keep it from devouring my life and my time outdoors.

1. Make a plan. Spring cleaning goes better if you make a plan of attack. Write out a list of what you need to do and the order you’ll do it in. This link will take you to a site to help you make a plan for cleaning and organizing your home.

2. Start at the front door. The easiest way to Spring clean is to start at the front door where company sees and move from room to room until you’re finished.

3. Have three bins or boxes marked Put Away, Give Away, Store, and a trash can for throwing things away. It will be much easier than having to stop to put things where they belong.

4. Avoid distractions. Let family and friends know this is the time you’ll be Spring cleaning. Turn off your phone, and don’t answer the door. And don’t turn on the television or check FaceBook or you’ll whittle away the whole day.

5. Turn on some loud music. It’s much easier for me to clean when I’m jamming to my favorite music.

6. Get family to help. After all, they live there too. Decide on a week for your family to help you. Then give them each a list to complete in that week.

7. Have a yard sale. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something if you have a yard sale at the end of your project. It will empty the house of clutter and fill your pockets with spending money.

8. Make plans for meals. Use your crockpot or order pizza. You won’t feel like cooking after a day of cleaning.

9. Spread it out. There’s no law you have to do all your cleaning in the Spring. Decide on a room to clean every month. Or download the My Home Routines app or use the app online at this link.

10. Hire help. I’m serious. It costs an average of $25 an hour for a housecleaner to come in and do your heavy cleaning. For $100, you could get everything done but the organizing and be free to enjoy your life. Isn’t it worth the $100?

Now that you’re done inside, enjoy the beautiful weather.

10 Things You Can Do To Show Your Husband You Love Him

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My husband, Rick Kraft

Valentine’s Day is in two weeks, so we could all use ideas to show our spouse love. Here are 10 things you can do to show your husband you love him.

1. Write love notes and tuck them in his lunch, briefcase, or on the visor of his car.

2. Text him on the cell phone and say “I miss you”.

3. Tell someone else how much you respect him or how proud you are of him in front of him.

4. When he shares his dreams, don’t tell him why they won’t work.

5. Say I love you everyday and mean it.

6. Initiate sex, and tell him you can’t get enough of him.

7. Wear nothing to bed.

8. Let him decide which movie to watch.

9. Ask him how his day went.

10. Make him his favorite meal and serve it on your best dishes.

So what’s on your top 10 list?