Monday, May 18, 2009

End of the Semester!

Today is a thrilling day for me! I have really worked hard this semester, especially the last few weeks, but today is my last final. I am tired and ready for a break! It feels especially good to be finished with my last essay, a ten page research paper. I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. I'm a little disappointed because I was planning to go out to dinner with a friend tonight to celebrate both of our birthdays, but she is sick, so we have to reschedule. I'm hoping to run away this weekend - even play hookey from church - and go camping with my wonderful kids or something like that. After a little break, I have a lot of things to do that have put on hold and have been waiting for my attention. I'll have about 4 weeks to "catch up" before my summer class begins. Have a great summer everyone!

Monday, May 11, 2009


There are many ways of getting someone to do something. For me, manipulation is probably the worst one. I've lived with manipulation for many years and can spot it a mile away. As soon as I see it, I dig in my heels and maintain the opposite position no matter what it takes. I really resent someone trying to force me to do something, especially when they are trying to do it without me realizing it. It seems really disrespectful. It totally disregards my thoughts and feelings in favor of yours. If you respected me you would come right out and ask me. Then I have the choice to say yes or no, and we both have the opportunity to discuss why it is important, or what the consequences may be. I'm naturally pretty easy-going and helpful, but I guess that is when there is mutual respect. If I wouldn't mind doing it, no problem, it gets done. If try to manipulate, it won't get done. If it is something that I wouldn't want to do, you have a much better chance of getting me to do it if you are open, honest, and direct. Otherwise, you can just do it yourself.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Video games

This weekend I just needed to decompress. Last week was really stressful, studying 24-7. So, I did some homework, but mostly I got distracted playing mindless video games. It was probably what I needed, but it bugs me because it feels like it was a big waste of time. I think that there were probably much more productive and effective ways to unwind. I wish I'd taken the time to find them. I need to make sure that I unwind more effectively and frequently so that I can avoid a total mental shutdown.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More school

With the end of the semester approaching, I've been looking forward, trying to plan my future school schedule. My goal is to get into the Occupational Therapy program at Sac City College. They take applications in the fall and the program begins in the Spring. I've been thinking that I could get my GE done and put in my application this fall (Fall '09). After this semester I'm rethinking my plan. In order to apply this fall I would have to take 6 units this summer and then 12 units this fall. Maybe that's no big deal for some of you, but I know that would be really stressful for me - mentally, socially, emotionally, and financially. It's looking like a much better idea to take fewer classes and go an extra year. It would enable me to work more hours which would ease the financial stress. It would also ease the homework load which would ease the mental stress and allow more time for a social life, which would all ease the emotional stress. I believe that I could finish by this fall, but at what cost? It seems that a one year delay would not be too much to sacrifice for personal sanity and well-being.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing the best in people

Usually I'm a pretty easy-going type of person. I have an amiable personality and, except for a very limited number of cases, give people the benefit of the doubt and see what's good about them. Lately, I hate to admit, I've been really struggling with two particular people. Everytime I'm around them, all I can see is their faults. Sometimes my mind is bombarded with negative thoughts about them even when they aren't around. Grumble grumble grumble. I really hate it. I don't want to be that way. It isn't Christian, it doesn't really bother them at all, and it really isn't an effective way to be a happy, positive person. I've really tried to forgive and let go, but I haven't been able to figure out how. So I've been doing a lot of pondering and praying. Last week I got an answer. It was one of those times that I knew that it was not my own thought, but was inspiration given to me because I asked and had been striving for it. My epiphany, once realized, was pretty obvious and simple, unless you're an imperfect human being. The answer was to look at these people as if they were my children. Now, unless you're a parent (a good one - there are not-so-good self-centered parents out there) you can only begin to guess how much one person can unconditionally love another (spouses can come really close, but parenthood is different). I can look at my children, and even though I know their faults, weaknesses and the mistakes that they've made what I see is what is great about them. I know their true character and who they're striving to become, and because I love them what I want for them is their success. I want them to learn and grow and overcome their weaknesses and become that truly great person they have the potential to be - and I would do anything I could to help them to achieve that. It's also how I want my children to see each other. It now seems like a no-brainer that that is how God sees us, his children, and that is how he wants us to see and treat each other.
Now come the more difficult part - proving myself ... by actually putting this new perspective into practice - not just when I'm alone, but when I have the "opportunity" to interact with these particular people. I know it's the right thing to do, so I know that God will help me, too, to overcome my weaknesses.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Great Weekend

What a great weekend! On Friday night I went to see the movie "Monsters vs Aliens" with 5 of my kids. We watched it in 3D. I thought it was a really fun movie. There was no great moral or great purpose for it, but it was really entertaining. One really strange thing was that throughout the movie there was one character that I kept thinking that I knew - it was someone that I knew. Finally, as my kids and I were talking after the movie, I figured out who it was. It was amazing, because even though the character was a reptile, it looked and acted so much like my son's friend, John, that I would swear that the movie writer must have known John and based the character on him. Then we all wore our 3D glasses to the store and got some ice cream. We ate it together at my son's house, while we watched a Bali-wood movie called "Salameishk" (I'm not sure of that spelling). The next night I went with my youngest son to my daughter and son-in-law's house for dinner, movie, and a sleep-over. Tonight I get to hang out and go bowling with another son. Yeah, for family and for spring break!

Monday, March 30, 2009


I love being out in nature. Sometimes I get so busy with homework, housework, etc. that I literally CRAVE time outside in nature. I love to be outside at night, just laying on the grass looking at the stars. There is something totally soothing and grounding about it. I think that it is a great way to put life into perspective. I'm really glad that I live in the boonies so that there is very little light pollution. One of my big dreams is to someday have a special room in my house where I can go "outside" at night to look at the stars - in the winter - without freezing! I haven't quite figured out the best way to do that yet. I guess as I get closer to being able to afford it I'll study it out some more.
I'm looking forward to spending some time outside during spring break. Maybe I'll grab my youngest son and go camping for a night or two. Camping is one of my favorite pasttimes. As a child we used to go camping on a regular basis - and not the fake camping using a motorhome, but real tent camping. It was sometimes quite an adventure as the weather in Illinois is not quite as predictable as it is here in California. Last summer I stole away to Lake Tahoe with a couple of my kids and had a great time hiking, swimming, and canoeing. We discovered the absolute best way to make smores! I used to like to eat everything separately because otherwise the graham cracker and chocolate would crumble to pieces. This time, I put the chocolate on the graham cracker and then set it on the grill above and to the side of the fire. After cooking the perfect marshmallow, I added it to the top of the now softened graham cracker and semi-melted chocolate. Whoo-ee, was it good. In case you want to know how to roast the perfect marshmallow, my dad taught me, so I'll clue you in. First get a good, long roasting stick so you don't have to burn your arm and face in the heat. Second, hold your marshmallow over coals, not fire. Watch closely, and when the marshmallow starts to smoke, start turning it slowly until the whole marshmallow is a puffy toasty golden-brown! Yum, yum. My dad is a great teacher.