Celebrate

Okay, so maybe writing a post per day for a month, a blog novel so-to-speak, isn’t going to happen.  However, there is something to celebrate.

Yesterday, hubby and I celebrated 33 years of wedded bliss.

Celebrated probably isn’t the right word though.  I spent the morning and a little bit of the afternoon in a CPR/First Aid class, then we hubby picked up a dinner order from Red Robin.  With 5 kids, it’s a little hard to “celebrate” but we have made it 33 years!!!

As always, I must share the song that continues to say it all for our relationship.

NaNoWriMo

In an effort to get back on track writing blog posts, I’m going to try NaNoWriMo for the month.

It’s not that there aren’t things to write about, it’s more about a struggle with how much to share and there is certainly a novel floating around somewhere in my brain.

So here’s hoping I have a successful month of blog writing.

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Rest and Relaxation

That is always the hope when you go on vacation.  Not sure our upcoming vacation will be full of rest and relaxation, but are hopefully it will be full of smiles and laughter.

After a quick trip to Illinois where we will visit family and friends, hubby and I will head south to Florida with a van full of kids for 5 days on the beach for . . . . .

Body boarding
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Which won’t look anything like this when we’re hitting the waves.  🙂

Building sand castles

Ours likely won’t look anything like this.

Collecting shellsSee the source image

Watching sunsetsSee the source image

Taking walks along the beachSee the source image

Swimming
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SnorkelingSee the source image

I will share stories and pictures along the way.

 

I Was Reminiscing

This morning while getting the girl’s breakfast ready, about all the places I’ve lived.

Illinois (for the majority of my life)
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California (for only a few months of my life)
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Washington (for about 10 years)
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Texas (almost 2 1/2 years now)
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Of those places, Washington has been my favorite.  We lived in Western Washington sandwiched between Pacific and the mountains.  Beautiful!
However, I think there are other places I would really enjoy living.
Maybe Florida (because I love the beaches there and long to be much closer to the ocean). 
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Although, somewhere in the Virgin Islands would be nice (because those beaches are also nice and I would be closer to the ocean). 
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Hubby has suggested Ecuador many times (because it’s less expensive to live there and then there are beaches and the ocean).
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I’ve heard France has some nice beaches and the ocean.
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I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
 
Now I’m curious . . . .
 
What states and/or countries have you lived in?
Of those states and/or countries, which is your favorite?
Are there another states and/or countries you think you would like better?
Why?

Need to Set the Example

I’ve had many conversations with my children regarding want vs need.

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They want a new video game, but they need food.

They want to go to the park, but they need clothing.

They want to watch t.v., but they need shelter.

 

Adults are guilty of confusing wants with needs as well.

Oops!

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Prime example . . . Many years ago, hubby and I left Washington and moved back to our home state of Illinois.  Before leaving Washington, we decided to purchase some property so we could build our own house (with the help of a contractor).  We spent weeks looking for the perfect house plan and decided that we “needed” a large house.  After all, our children were getting older and would need plenty of space when their friends came to visit.  We also needed space when company came to visit.  So that is what we did.  We built a 3700 sq. ft home on 1/4 acre piece of land.  It was more house than we needed, but confusing want with need meant we had a big house which meant we had more cleaning, more upkeep and space that rarely got used.

OMG!  How did our ancestors ever survive living in one room cabins?

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When we moved to Texas, we downsized but needed a pool.  After all, it gets hot here in Texas.

Now we have a smaller house with a pool that we use often, but we have maintenance and repairs and expenses each month that we wouldn’t have if we had chosen a house without a pool.  In addition, we paid more to get the house with the pool.

These thoughts were triggered by something I heard recently and while I thought the adult was confusing want with need, it made me realize that I regularly do the same thing.

There are many things I want.

I want to take annual cruises.

I want the bigger house.

I want the bigger car.

I want to see the world.

I want more money.

Okay, the last one might fit in both the wants and needs category depending on the situation.

We live in the U.S. where the mentality of more is better took over many years ago and letting go of that mentality can be difficult.  However, it’s something I have to work on every day because my children are watching and they won’t listen if I’m not also setting the example of practicing what I preach.

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Place

The place you feel at peace.  The place that makes you happy.  The place you can call home.

I’ve blogged about this some in the past.  Or maybe I’ve blogged about it a lot in the past.  Hubby and I have many things we have wanted to do and many things we hope to do.  Life is too short and adventure awaits!!

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Our biggest dream was to buy some land and build a homestead where we could raise our own animals and food.  That dream didn’t produce anything though because of physical problems that seemed to be getting worse.   Instead of moving forward with our plan, we threw it away (although there is still a part of me that wants my chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and goats).

We pushed aside our fears and doubts and began the process of becoming licensed foster parents in Illinois.  We had four foster children and after having the last two for 15 months, hubby was offered a new job opportunity in Texas.  With tremendous heartbreak, we moved our two foster sons to a new foster home, packed up our belongings and left Illinois after almost 20 year of being back in the Land of Lincoln.

It’s been about 2 1/2 years since we moved to Texas and while things haven’t gone exactly as we envisioned them, there have been some definite highs.

Hubby’s job has gone well and it was absolutely the right move for him to make.

After buying our house here, we got our foster license again and have fostered a total of 8 children in the last year.   While it has been very hard in many ways, I’m having trouble imagining life without any of the children that came into our care.  While the goal is to give these children all that we can, the truth is, we have gained much from having them be part of our lives.

We’ve made new friends and reconnected with family.

At the same time, we miss those we left behind in Illinois and haven’t been able to get back as often as we had hoped.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people talk about their wishes and dreams.  How they would like to pursue a new hobby or a new job.

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How they wish they lived in the mountains or on a lake or near the ocean.

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How they wish they were living in a different town, state or country.  Yet, very few of them make those changes or moves.

Our homestead didn’t happen because we knew the physical limitations would prevent us from being able to properly care for the homestead.  We didn’t know for sure when we made that decision, although we do know that for a fact now.  At the same time, there was fear involved in moving ahead with homesteading.

When we decided to make the move to Texas, there was fear involved.   There was sadness involved.  At the same time, there was excitement about the possibilities.

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The common theme through all of this though has been fear.  The fear of the unknown.  The fear of failure.  The fear of change.

Finding your place in this world isn’t always easy.

Fear will keep us from pursuing things that may truly make us happy.  Staying in the present is safe, but it’s not always joyful.  Keeping with the status quo may be easier, but it’s not always fun.

Then there is the person who knows they want to make a change.  They may even need to make a change.  However, they have no idea what change they want or need to make.  Instead, they live their life in limbo hoping that something will simply fall in their lap so they don’t have to take risks.

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Finding your place means taking risks though.

Maybe it’s not the best time to look for a new job, pack up your family and leave for a new adventure, but maybe the risk is worth it.

Maybe it seems stupid to move half way around the world to find a better life for yourself, but maybe the risk is worth it.

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Of course the big one always seems to be the “M” word . . . money!

– I can’t afford it.

– It’s too expensive.

– I don’t want to take the financial risk.

But here is the real question . . .

Is it worth putting your fears aside?  Is it worth the expense?  Is it worth the possibilities?  Is it worth the risk?

The answer to those questions will be different for everyone.  For me though, taking risks in life is part of what makes life exciting.  It’s how we discover new things and make memories.  It’s how we find our place in this world.  The place we feel truly at peace.  The place we can finally call home.

Have you found that place?  The place that makes you happy and content?  That place you can easily call home?

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11 Years Ago

I a town near Guatemala City, a baby was born.


Today, that baby girl turns 11!!!!!

How is this possible.

Liliana, you have turned our world upside down in so many different ways.

You are creative, artistic, smart, witty, loving, caring, challenging and so much more.

You are loved beyond words and we wish you the Happiest of Birthdays.

 

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