Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Silent Moments

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Life, it is what it is anymore. It seems like so many things are changing all around me each and everyday. When the world can be too much, it is at these times that I retreat into my silent moments.

I don’t have to go very far to find quietness in my life. I can be almost anywhere. When I feel the need, I just quietly talk to God in my mind. It is in these silent moments that life always takes on new meanings for me. Through prayer, I am able to see things more clearly. The power of prayer is my only remedy for a heart that stirs from within. Afterwards, I am left refreshed and renewed with a sense of direction that only God can give.

Praying and talking in my mind, I can visit anyone I want. Many of times, I talk with my loved ones that have passed. While they don’t talk back to me, I can feel their presence and it comforts me. I can also think about all the people I love in my life and send prayers to each and everyone of them.

I learned as a young child that when I needed answers in life to find a quiet place and take all my worries to the Lord in prayer. It is in these silent moments in my life that God listens to my prayers and answers me.  I have seen God work miracles from miles away, answer prayers that I thought had no resolutions, and simply help bring a smile back to my face. Silent moments that have helped guide me along the journeys of life.

These silent moments are cherished times in deep thoughts and prayer with God. I don’t have to have any special equipment, money, or transportation. I just come as I am and he listens.

In silence, I find God. In quietness, he is always there. When I walk along the waters of the ocean, he is there with me. Whether it be in the coolness of the waters or the breeze upon my face….I always find God in my silent moments in life.

Spending time in prayer is a great way to find the silent moments in your life. Whether you pray out loud or from the depths of your heart without saying any words…God is always willing and waiting to listen, to guide you, and to love you just the way you are. Silent moments alone with him is all I really need in life. Everything else….is just gifts from above that I treasure and love.

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Be Still My Soul by The Kry
Be Still My Soul

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Jaci Velasquez - On My Knees

 This blog was written for The Writers' Post Week #10-Silent Moments.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back-To-School Time
This blog was written for BFF#116-Back-To-School

When I was thinking about the theme back to school, I decided to write about some great websites that would be helpful to families with school aged children. Please check out the websites below and feel free to copy and print this article for further references. If you need anymore help, just leave me a comment and I will be more than happy to help you.
Preschool/Kindergarten Sites Reading and Phonics Help
http://www.starfall.com/    Starfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. Our systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL). Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children.

Learn letters with this interactive Website. These Website support letter recognition through reading and writing upper and lower case  letters.

http://www.literacycenter.net/lessonview_en.php This website offers practice in upper and lower case letter recognition, shapes, writing, words, numbers, colors, and keyboarding skills.

 http://www.mrsperkins.com/dolch.htm   Note: Please read "What are Dolch Words?" for background information on these lists. Here are the dolch word lists, the 220 most common words and 95 additional nouns in children’s reading books, in alphabetical order. Dolch words, or sight words, provide an excellent base for reading at an early age. They are often called sight words because some of them can’t be sounded out, and need to be learned by sight. Note that all the Dolch words can be taught before children finish the first grade in school. Words in the second and third grade list are more common in books for those age groups, but they do appear in books for earlier grades, just less frequently.

Math Websites for Preschool/Kindergarten
http://www.primarygames.com/  Offers lots of teaching games in Math, Science, and Social Studies. Be sure to check this site out, because it has a wide range of things to offer.

1st-3rd Grade Websites
http://www.toonuniversity.com/free/math-games-1st-3rd.asp   This website offers all kinds of math games to help your 1st through 3rd grader. It also offers Grammar, Reading, Science, and Social Studies skills and games.

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-help/   From homework help to managing social stresses, find out how to best help your school-age ... Grade-by-Grade Guides.

http://www.spinandspell.com/   This website offers a great spelling game for children of all ages.

***********Homework Help for All Grades**********

http://www.refdesk.com/homework.html   This website is like a reference desk and offers homework help in many different areas. Be sure to check it out, as I am sure you will find most of what you need on this site.

This site is for:

*parents who are concerned about their children's spelling and are keen  to help them improve
*adults who find English spelling difficult and want to learn to spell correctly
*teachers who need some online printable spelling worksheets to supplement their own materials
and includes:
*advice about how to deal with problems and become a better speller
*a collection of free printable worksheets, each comprising a complete lesson
*designed to test and teach spelling skills
*games, puzzles and quizzes to help encourage an interest in spelling

http://www.funbrain.com/spell/   Spell Check
How to Play: The computer will give twenty sets of four words. Place a check next to the word which is spelled wrong. Spell the word you checked correctly in the box. If you get all twenty problems correct, you can put your name on our leader board. This site also includes skills for Math and Reading.

http://multiplication.com/index.htm  This website has everything you need to teach your child multiplication.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/tables.html   This site has a printable math times table.  It also provides training and exercises to help your child learn their multiplication facts.

http://www.mathcats.com/grownupcats/ideabankmultiplication.html#rhymesandstories   Lots of great ideas for parents to use when teaching their child multiplication facts.

http://www.factmonster.com/  This is one of my favorite websites. It offers online information in just about any area of study. You won’t want to miss this one.

http://www.funbrain.com/math/index.html  Oh, what isn’t fun about playing Math Baseball??? Improve your math skills. Fun game teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and elementary algebra. For kids and children of all ages and grades.

http://ziggityzoom.com/sites.php  Ziggity Zoom Useful and Best Kids Sites Check out the Top Kids Websites from around the web. These kids' sites are great and we have something for everything- educational, learning, science, math, art, history, weather, fun, games, shopping, resource sites, and so much more. We add new sites to our Top Kids Websites every week so check back often!

Web Sites for Elementary School Writing Skills
There are many Web sites that offer activities, games, and other resources for elementary writing skills, but some may be laden with distracting ads, have unclear or confusing directions, or be otherwise unsuitable. Evaluate a site or explore it with your child to be sure it is appropriate and meets his or her needs.

Fun Brain's Words Page has a variety of games designed to assist kids with writing skills. Children can test their skills at understanding plurals, grammar, vocabulary, story structure, idioms, and commonly confused words.

I Know That!, a multimedia education site, has several games dedicated to writing skills, including sentence puzzle and punctuation paintball.

Buzz In's English and Writing Page is excellent for older elementary school students. Kids can click to learn about different aspects of writing and take a fun quiz to test their skills.

Jenny Eather's Writing Fun is an interactive tool designed to improve children's writing skills by clearly identifying the parts and processes of various types of writing. The easy-to-use online text organizer helps kids to feel confidant their writing is organized well.

BrainPOP Junior's Writing offers a fun way to learn writing skills through short, interactive movies on topics like paragraphs, tenses, and types of sentences.

Magic Tree House Writing Club helps children improve writing skills through reading, writing, and organizing fiction. Mini lessons with characters from the popular Magic Tree House series help young writers grow and learn.  **Just Google these sites for more information.

Best Children's Reading Websites: List of Educational Sites
What Are Some Of The Best Children's Reading Websites?

Some of the best children's reading websites are sites that have a variety of resources for children with different interests and abilities. Many children's reading websites have interactive learning tools, games and reading material. You may want to check out the following websites to find the best children's reading website for your child.

ReadWriteThink has online reading tools for children in kindergarten through twelfth grade. When using the tools on this site, kids can practice phonics, word recognition and comprehension.

Starfall has phonics games for young children, online stories and reading activities.

Reading Planet has games, a tool to help children select books, activities and even polls.

Elementary Reading Help: Exploring Graphic Organizers and Other Written Reading Assignments

Elementary students often do not understand what is required in by their reading homework. Parents need to explain these assignments, especially when they make use of the latest teaching techniques, like graphic organizers. Teachers are using new teaching techniques and learning tools that can enhance a child's education. Parents need to understand the methods being used and explain them to their children. This article can help parents comprehend modern graphic organizers and other recent advancements in literacy education. A graphic organizer is a chart that breaks down the various aspects of a story or other text. These worksheets have very simple graphics and sections, but often have little in the way of directions. When a child has a firm grasp of the important components of a book such as character, setting, problem, rising action, climax and resolution, the organizer becomes much easier to understand. Understanding how to work with an organizer as you gather the information about a story is the key.

Most plot organizers look similar. Usually the chart looks like a pyramid of boxes and lines. To start, your student will need to assign each of the aspects of the story its own box. Here are some of the aspects your child will be working with and roughly where they are entered on most graphic organizers:

Character: Students should list and describe the main characters of the given story. This should be written on the bottom of the diagram to the left.

Setting: Next to the character section, your student should describe the setting of the story, including location and the time the action took place.

Conflict: Elementary reading teachers want to ensure their students to identify the primary conflict or problem of the story. Your student should describe this problem next to the setting where an angled line rises upward.

Rising action: Along that rising line your student should describe the rising action or the events that move the story along and cause the story to develop.

Climax: When your child notes the critical action and turning point of the novel has occurred, he should describe this event at the peak of the diagram.

Resolution: This is how the story ends and the point at which all of the problems are or have been resolved. Elementary school teachers expect third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders to describe the resolving of events at the bottom line of the diagram all the way to the right.

Another graphic organizer, the Character Map, is designed with a circle or box in the middle. This circle represents the main character. The circles or boxes that surround it represent different characteristics of the main character. Elementary students are expected to describe the various aspects of the character in each box or circle. Sometimes teachers will assign a similar worksheet but for a different aspect of a story such as the setting or plot; either way, the middle usually holds the main, general component and the outlying graphics hold the details.

http://www.sanchezclass.com/reading-graphic-organizers.htm   This site offers printable graphic organizers in all of the different reading areas.

http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=2983  Graphic organizers help students construct meaning. The following organizers can be used with any book and across all grade levels. Use them to assess your students understanding of what they are reading, observe their thinking process on what you read as a class, as a group, or independently.

http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/  This website offers something in every area and level of learning. On this site you will find printable charts, Math Help, Reading Help, and a little bit of everything. This is a great website to put in your favorites.

As you can see, there are a lot of wonderful resources to help your child learn. Websites are always a good way to help your child overcome their anxiety about learning something new. Most children enjoy playing games, so if your child is struggling in a certain area…maybe it is time for a little more practice in a fun way. When teaching your child how to read, be patient. Remember phonics is not easy to a new reader. When in doubt, ask your child’s teacher to help you with some ideas for the two of you to work on at home. Never be afraid to ask for help from others. Your child’s education is everyone’s responsibility. I hope the above information is helpful to you. If you need any help with any other areas, please leave me a comment and I will try and help you the best that I can. Why I am not an expert, I am a teacher and love to help children learn. I wish you and your child a school year filled with much happiness and lots of learning.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011




~Being careful and wise to the
takers, stealers,

and all the rest of the so called
wanna bees in your life.~


It seems that life never ceases to amaze me. Just when you get going along…POOF, someone or something comes along to knock you off your feet. You know these kind of people, the ones that think they know everything about you. Well, be careful of who you trust in life. Not everyone has your best interest at heart.

What is a taker? These are the people who constantly are asking for something from you. They truly want what you have. Most of the time, they are incapable of achieving their goals on their own. So, they seek out people who have things they want. For example, my husband and I have a neighbor that only comes over when he wants something and when it is to his advantage to be nice. Whether it be asking for money, food, or just about anything, he only acts like a friend when he feels like it. Most of the time, he will simply walk right on by us and not speak to us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever trust these kind of people in my life. For the most part, I distance myself from these types as quickly as possible. Sometimes, I have to put on my mean hat and simply just ignore them.

The stealers are not a football team. Well, they are, but in this respect I am talking about something totally different. The stealers, are those that only mission in life is to literally take what you have. They seek their prey carefully and the results can or will be devastating to all in their path. These type of people are the job taker awayers, home breakers, and liars in your life. Trusting or being friends with them is dang near impossible. If you talk about a new job you are interested in or are seeking, the next thing you know it…they will be at the job interview you are applying for and then more. They seek to take away your home life, break up your marriage by being the nice guy/gal with the big heart that truly understands what you are going through. They are also some of the biggest liars in your life. At first they appear to be some of the most trusting, loving, and caring people in life. Don’t be fooled, because their trust in just superficial and won’t last long. These type of people are truly the destroyers of many of lifestyles. They cannot be trusted and the only way to get rid of them is to literally throw them out of your life.

Appearances can be deceiving, so be careful of the wanna bees. They are literally like little working bees in your life. To the outside world they have everything, but once you get to know them, they are the self indulgent that feed off of you being in a lesser spot. They seek to gain your trust and friendship. They boast about having a lot of money, brag about their big houses, and always seem to have the best of everything. I am not talking about the truly wealthy, I am talking about the wanna bees. These people will go to no limit to out due you in every way possible. If you have something nice, they have to have something bigger and better. Once you get close to them, it doesn’t take very long to realize that all you trusted and thought about them is not really real at all. They live a life of a lie, always trying to be better and bigger than all of those around them. They are the least trustworthy of anyone you will ever meet. Their lives are simply a lie and who can trust a liar.

So, who can you trust in life? Well, the answer to that one is not always simple. In my life, I only trust those that I truly love and care about, my closes friends, and my family. It takes time for me to trust you and be close to you. Let’s just say I am careful and weigh all of the facts, feelings, and actions before I make any decision to completely let someone into my inner circle. I am not mean or snotty, as I do for people each and everyday of my life. I am just careful of who I let into my life. I have been a victim of all of those mentioned above. Enough is enough and I am no longer anyone’s bait. If you want me to trust you, then simply be yourself. Be real, be honest, be caring, and be loving…that is all it takes to be my friend. It doesn’t matter to me what you have in life. I will always wish you the best. Some of my best friends are those who have nothing at all. There friendships and trust mean the most to me.

When you look at your life, can you see the people mentioned above? If you can, then you might need to clean out your friends list. Take it from someone who truly knows what the betrayal of trust feels like….just go ahead and do it. Afterwards, you will find that you are a better person for removing all the untrustworthy people from your life. Trust is all you really have in life. If you can’t trust someone…then you can’t love them, can’t work with them, and certainly can’t be friends with them.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

~George MacDonald~
This post was written for GBE2 Week #13-Trust

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

We all look in the mirror each day. Whether it be to put on our makeup, brush our hair, or simply wash our face…everyone looks in the mirror. What you see looking back is a totally different thing.

Last year, was the hardest year of my life. A victim of circumstances beyond my control, I simply didn’t like what was happening to me in the mirror. Some days when I looked in the mirror I saw much sadness. My heart was heavy because of certain things  people were doing to me. I had lost my job because of lies told by others. Lies that were so horrific in nature that they would bring anyone to their knees. Other days when I looked in the mirror I saw a smile for only a short moment. My mind was in a torment with itself. I felt worthless and heartbroken in so many ways.

As months passed and I continued to fight against those who had wronged me…I began to see a glimmer of hope.

When I looked in the mirror, my eyes seemed to be brighter. My skin color was more radiant and my hair was actually done. At this point in my bad year, I had won my first lawsuit against the accusers. I won my name back, my pride, and my integrity. No longer was I labeled as the bad person. Hope was coming back into my life.

A couple of months later when I looked in the mirror, I saw a big smile from ear to ear. When you fight back in a battle against the wrong being done to you, a smile is major progress. I was regaining my happiness, because I had won the second lawsuit against my accuser…my state license.

I believe you can take and take just so much from somebody and eventually their mirror is going to either crack or break completely. Luckily for me, somewhere, somehow, I found the strength inside to fight the good fight. I put on my armor and challenged every negative statement made about me. Every lie, every false comment, and every single detail went under my microscope to be investigated more thoroughly. If I was going to go down, then I was going to go out with a fight. My mirror was cracked, but by no means was she broken.

As I sat one day alone in my thoughts, I knew I had it inside me to keep up the good fight. Looking around me, I noticed 4 large binders of information I had collected to prove  that I was not what they made me out to be. I looked in the mirror hard and long that day and I decided to put on my fighting face. I hired a lawyer and began a very long journey to take back what others so thoughtlessly were trying to take away from me. I was cracked, but I could still see me in the mirror.

From that day forward, I began to stand up straighter, smile more, and started being selfish a bit. Sometimes being selfish is not all bad. I started doing my hair, nails, makeup, and I started laughing a lot more.

Month after month passed and I got stronger the longer I fought the battle. My mirror began to look a lot less hazy in appearance. With two cases behind me, I was so ready for the third and final battle. This battle would be the hardest, for my accusers would have to eat their words that maybe what they said about me really wasn’t the truth. I don’t know about you, but people squirm when they are caught in a lie. My accusers actually were at a loss for words.

When employers ask to settle out of court, don’t be fooled because it is actually an admittance to wrong doings on their part. While you might not get an... I am sorry for what I did…choke, choke, you might also get a reward in a dollar value for all of your pain and suffering. Even though it will never come close to what you are really worth, it will make you a winner in the end.

Looking in the mirror today, tells me many things. It shows me a face of a survivor, someone who did not stand down in troubled times, a warrior with a strong armor, a fighter of justice, an advocate for others, and in the end it shows me…ME.  Me, someone who is loved by many, someone who is worthy, and someone who was honest and fought back against those who wanted to take all that I knew and loved.

So, when you look in the mirror and are faced with a life challenge, look deeply. Look into your eyes and see the fire to fight back, look into your heart and believe you can make it, listen to your words and tell yourself that you are so worth it, and listen to your instincts, for they will never lead you astray.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?


This blog was written for BFF #114 Miror, mirror, on the wall

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rings
(A Fairytale)

(Week #12- The Rings)

The mist was rising over the land of Arethusa creating a magical moisture in the air. This was a land known for a large population of fairies. It was also known as a land of marriage.

From the time Donella (the dark-haired fairy girl) was born she always knew that someday she would marry another fairy. It was the custom of all female fairies to marry upon the age of sixteen. All female fairies when born were given a set of two magical rings. Donella had never looked at the rings. It was forbidden as the elder fairies believed it would hinder the magical powers bestowed upon the rings. So, she knew she must wait until that day arrived to receive her special gift.

Growing up in the land of Arethusa was different. Very seldom did anyone actually walk. Most of the time you fluttered from one place to another. Homes were built in the tall Redwood trees and sparkled from all the fairy dust collected over the years.

Donella liked to flutter around the land and investigate all of the beauty it contained. It seemed like everywhere she looked, something was always awakening. The flowers stretched and yawned before her each morning. The birds sung songs all day long. There was much beauty throughout the land, and Donella was very happy to be apart of it.

Each new year brought great anticipation of beautiful weddings. Families labored daily and every detail had to be intricately planned for their daughters wedding in order to be accepted throughout the land. It was to be a grand affair when the rings were presented to the bride and groom. Only the highest fairy was allowed to perform the marriage ceremony. As you can imagine, it was a very big day.

After many years of waiting, Donella finally turned sixteen. She had not met her future husband, yet. She was worried that something was wrong with her. Getting advice from her parents, she was instructed to go and visit the wishing pond on the far side of the land. Hardly anyone had ever attempted to visit the magical pond due to rumors of it being an evil place. Donella knew she had no choice if she was going to honor the customs of her land. So, she set out one night on her unicorn and prayed a fairy prayer that she would make it safely.

Well, she made it safely to the far side of the land. Upon her arrival, her eyes could not believe all that lay before them. Something was definitely different about this place. As she fluttered from place to place, she heard sounds all around her. When she looked behind her, she noticed that a flower was talking to her. “Flowers can’t talk,” she said. “I can talk,” said the purple flower. Donella was amazed and decided to ask her first question. “Where can I find the magical pond?” she asked the flower. The flower replied, “Follow the golden fairy dust.” “I can’t see any golden fairy dust,” said Donella. “Close your eyes and think of your happiest moment and then you will see,” said the purple flower. So, Donella closed her eyes tightly and thought about a happy time in her life. When she opened her eyes, she could see a golden shimmer of fairy dust in the air. “Hey, that wasn’t there before,” she said to the purple flower. “Yes, I know,” said the flower. “It only appears when you think on a happy thought,” chuckled the flower. As Donella looked at the golden fairy dust in the air, she was instantly lifted off of the ground. Her wings began to flutter out of control and carry her further into the mist of the golden fairy dust. Eventually, she magically fell asleep while flying. When she finally woke up, she noticed a small pond in front of her. She couldn’t see much around her, so she decided to just rest until morning.

Donella did not know how long she had slept, but morning had arrived all around her. She had never seen such beauty before in all of her life. Everywhere she looked, beauty abounded. As she cooled off in the waters of the pond, she noticed a fluttering in the trees. Someone was coming toward her. She tried to hide, but she was not quick enough. Before her stood an old lady dressed in a golden lacey gown. Donella, did not know who this lady was or where she had come from. So, she sat down and waited for her to speak.

When the old lady finally decided to speak, it was in a different language. Donella had never heard this language before. “I don’t understand you,” said Donella. The old lady muttered some more words. “Please, I have traveled along ways to seek guidance from the waters in this pond. Can you please help me?” asked Donella. Finally, the old woman smiled. “ I am Queen Tana. You have been sent here by your family to find out why you haven’t met a mate to marry. I have waited for you along time and have often wondered what you looked like. I am your grandmother and I was sent here many years ago to guard your two golden rings,” replied the old woman. Donella did not know what to think. She was speechless.

As the two of them talked, Donella learned that she was chosen to inherit all of the land of Arethusa. The giving of the two golden rings had to be given at the right time…upon the birth of the third child and only when she turned sixteen. A groom had been chosen for her the same day as her birth. Soon, the groom would be arriving to lead her and Queen Tana back to prepare for the Royal Uniting of the Two Golden Rings. Donella, would become the Queen of Arethusa and the groom would become the King. Together, they would reign over all of the fairies and all of the land. Donella, was very excited and wondered why she had never heard this story before.

Soon, the groom arrived and together all three of them made their way back to Donella’s home amongst the Redwood trees. To her surprise, all of the tree homes had been decorated in anticipation of the wedding and Royal Uniting of the Two Golden Rings.

Upon their arrival, Donella was whisked away to get her ready for the wedding. She was adorned with the finest garments and upon her head was placed a golden crown. She still hadn’t seen the two golden rings, but knew that they must hold the answers to all of the magic in the land.

Finally, the wedding started and Donella was led by her fairy father to meet her future fairy husband. The music fairies played the wedding march and her father led her down the aisle. Together, the bride and groom joined hands and the highest fairy began the wedding ceremony.

The Vows

I, Donella, take you, Oberon, to be my lawfully wedded fairy husband, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of all the fairies in the land of Arethusa, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

I Oberon, take you Donella to be my fairy wife, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

Once the vows were said, the highest elder opened a golden box and showed Donella and Oberon their rings. The rings were of the finest gold the two of them had ever seen. When placed upon their fingers, butterflies appeared and began to flutter all around. The magic of the Royal Uniting of the Two Golden Rings had finally happened.

Oberon and Donella ruled the land till the end of time. Every time they held hands and looked upon their two rings, hearts filled the air.

There is always something magical about the rings that are given at any wedding. As for Oberon and Donella, their wedding rings would always carry them to a place of much happiness.

~The End~

Monday, August 8, 2011

7 Wonders Of My Life

When I sit alone and think about the wonders of my life, there are many. Having to put only the top seven is very difficult, but here are the seven things I treasure most in my life.

1. God- As a young child I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Through the love of my grandparents, Mama Dear and Pa Paw, I learned what God’s love was all about. I learned that in my darkest hours, I was never really alone. All I had to do was seek the Lord and he would guide my way. This is something I have never wavered from in my life and for that I am grateful. The sweetest memory I have of coming to know the Lord as my personal savior was also when I was baptized with my sister Cindy. Afterwards, the two of us talked about feeling the Holy Spirit come into our hearts that day. I still feel the spirit each and everyday of my life and I still try my hardest to be a good Christian girl.

 2. My Family- I have been blessed over the years to have a wonderful family. My father is a southern man with deep family roots. His family was all about love for one another. A principal he instilled in me as a young child. My mother is one of fifteen children. She came from a big family and taught we how to be the strong woman I am today. Together, they raised me to be of good moral values and to never give up on life. I am grateful for all of their wisdom and love throughout my life. It is an unconditional love that is bound by many things. My brother, Frank, also had a lot of influence on me. He taught me how to be strong and to never give up on my dreams. The sweetest memory of him is when he magically appeared at my graduation from college. He couldn’t hold back his tears when they called my name and handed me my degree. He passed away a few years ago, but his love for me, memories, and his strength remain strong within my heart. My sweet sister is my best friend. She is a strong woman with so much love. She has been the best big sister God could have ever blessed me with. We remain strong in our sisterly love. I cherish all the fun times we had as children. Last, but not the least, my husband, Patrick, he is my rock. He loves me for me no matter what…it is a genuine love that never quavers no matter what life tosses our way. I love him deeply like none other.

3. Love, Hope, and Faith-  1 Corinthians 13 >>
New International Version

1-If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2-If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3-If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.
4-Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5-It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6-Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7-It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8-Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9-For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10-but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11-When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12-Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13-And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is the focus of my whole life. I try to love everyone the same. If I have not love for others…I have nothing at all.
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4. My Dog- I don’t know about you, but I really love my dog. No, not in a human way, in a very special way. You see, my dog Molli is special. She was a gift from my husband at a time in my life when I was going through some very difficult times. I have owned a lot of dogs in my life, but this little girl is different. Molli, is a West Highland White Terrier. I have never met such a smart dog. It is almost like she is human in every way possible. As I go about my every day life, she is always on my heels. Always loving, always smiling at me, and always giving me kisses to show her love. It may sound funny, but I think she was also a gift from God. She kept me going strong with her spunky little spirit during a time when I needed her most. Yes, she is very spoiled, but hey why not? How often do you find a dog that knows what you really need. This little sweet dog, likes to walk with me, barks to go outside, fetches, rolls over, and even lets me know when the phone is ringing. It may sound strange, but I can’t imagine life without her. You said it…she is my little angel.

5. The Beach-Everyone should have their own special place to just get away. A place that brings them peace of mind. My special place is the beach. I don’t know, but there is something about walking on the beach that just moves me in everyway possible. First of all, it is beautiful to look out at the ocean and its vastness. The waves calm me and I find that I am at my greatest peace when I just sit for awhile and look out at its beauty. Once I experienced the beach for the first time, I knew someday I would live by this special place. Well, I got that wish last year. I moved to Vilano Beach in Saint Augustine, Florida. For once in my life, I can actually say I have my special place and a little piece of heaven also.

6. Traveling-I have been fortunate to be able to travel to many places. I have been to Canada, out West, down the Eastern Coast of the United States, Mexico, Cozumel, Belize, you name it. While there are still numerous places I still would like to visit, I love a good adventure. Traveling is fun and someday I want to travel to Italy on a cruise boat. Will my dreams come true? I guess I will have to wait and see.

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7. Books, Movies, and Music-I can’t imagine life without books. Yes, they have Kindles, but I still like to snuggle up with a good book. I don’t really need a fancy contraption, just a good book and I am happy. I like all kinds of books. My library consist of over 3,000 books ranging from children’s literature, westerns, fiction, nonfiction, romance, and art.

 Movies are a biggie for me. Nothing fills me more than to watch a good movie with a good character. My favorite actresses are Betty Davis, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jollie, Julia Roberts, Shirley Temple, and many, many more. Now for actors, give me a date night with Johnny Depp and I would be very happy. I also love, love, Russell Crowe, Brad Pitts, Collin Farrell, Al Pacino,  Andy Garcia, and many more…I think you get the picture.  I believe I have watched almost all the movies at Blockbusters Video. You name it and I think I have seen it on video or dvd. My favorite movies include, Gone With The Wind, The God Father Series, P.S. I love you, Gladiator, John Wayne, oh there are too many to list.

Music is the heart of every soul. I love beautiful music. From rock  n roll, classical, jazz, gospel, to the crooners, I listen to all kinds of music. It is really hard for me to name a favorite, but I will always love Bob Segar, Tony Bennet, The Celtic Women and many, many more.

It is hard just listing 7 wonders of my life. These are my tops, but I have a whole list of others things that I truly love. To name a few, nature, beautiful things in life, art, space, good food, great friends, laughter, holidays…oh I could go on forever. Pondering all of these wonderful things as I write, has made me realize…gosh I am truly a lucky girl to have experienced so many wonderful things in my life. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has walked along this journey called LIFE and who has made me what I am today. In my eyes you are all the WONDERS OF MY LIFE.  P.S. I love you.