Monday, February 28, 2011

Just do it.....

This week my manuscript will arrive in the second stage of editing. This process should take most of the month of March. I've been told by my publisher this process can bring many authors to tears. I laughed and asked, "Why?" His explanation, "They consider every word so precious in telling the story that they think it can't be told any other way." My response, "Well, make mine strong to make it sell."

My manuscript has gone through an editing process before my publisher ever saw it. My mom was an executive administrator for over 30 years, and I gave the rough rough rough draft to her. I'm surprised her red pen still has ink! It was a giant task of writing five pages, sending them to her, she would print them off, correct errors, slash through unnecessary material, and give them back for me to rewrite. That's real love, my friends!

I've always held my writing a bit too close and never allowed many in that space of who I am. However, this is WHO I AM. I was told once if this is what I love, then do it. So, I write. I write every day now. I have at least seven books jumbled up inside me just waiting to come alive! I write something each day whether it's here, in my idea notebook, thoughts in my journal, poetry, book #2's manuscript, or moments of joy in our family funny book.  Something. Anything to nurture the life of words inside me.

The crazy thing about the publishing of my first book is the number of people that tell me they want to write, or that they have a great story idea. My advice to those with this desire..... write! Not everyone has the want to do so, and if you've been given the inspiration for a story to share, then do it! What's holding you back? What's causing the hesitation?

If I can sit here and type this, then you can put pen to paper or hands to the keyboard. Ready.... set.... GO!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bubbzie's Blog

Hello to Ava Rose because it's her birthday.

Hi my real name is Benjamin and I have some more names. I have a real named called Andrew. I have nicknames. I have so many second names, do you know it?

Mr. Mouse Squeaker McSqueaken
Bubba Tunda (toon-day)

One last thing,  I'm always going to have fun.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dance in the kitchen....

Friday nights at my house are loud. I had a friend visit earlier in the evening and she might say my kids are quiet and shy. Well, they tend to not show off as much when company comes unless they know you, and then the show begins.

Friday nights in my house are loud. I said that, yes, but here's why. We call it our "Dance In The Kitchen Night." It's a time of washing dishes, sweeping the floor, unloading the dishwasher, and creating our own dance as the music plays loud enough that it can be heard outside.

I like this time for us because everyone is laughing. Everyone has fun. Everyone is free to be silly. We go to our playlist and choose our category labeled "Dance in the Kitchen." We've taken suggestions from our friends and family each Friday for several weeks and compiled a very diverse selection of songs to enjoy.

For a moment we rock to the hair bands from the 80's. We twirl with the soundtrack from our favorite princess movie. We twist with Chubby Checker. Elvis steals the show with Jailhouse Rock. We sing back up with Sinatra. We stand in our chairs around the dining room table so Aretha can spell Respect. Casting Crowns brings us into worship, and we dance in worship with Audio Adrenaline.

It can get crazy! I had to tell Benjamin to stop climbing up the wall tonight by the counter when Bon Jovi was on the Lost Highway. His response, "It's what a spider monkey would do." I had nothing. So, like every good mom would say, "Just dance with your feet on the floor."

We laugh and dance, and when we're completely tired, we settle in for movie night (with chocolate from the chocolate fairy - thank you, by the way).

It's all about the moments you can laugh together that make life amazing! Make your own play list and create your own Dance in the Kitchen time.

You know you want to click on these blue words. :)

Tell us about any silly times your family shares together?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Be in awe....

Are you ever in awe of beauty? Real natural beauty. It's rare in this day of computer generation and photoshopped faces. This photograph was taken in my back yard. I posted it on facebook some time ago, but came across it the other day.

It was just a regular afternoon of everyone doing homework, playing, and dinner cooking. My son yelled through the house, "The outside is pink!" I've never seen that before.  I've seen the greenish yellow look when severe weather is approaching, but not the hue of pink cascading on everything.  Not the glow of a regular sunset... this sky cast the color pink on everything... including us as we made our way outside.

We collect sunsets.  Well, I do, but my fantastic four have learned to look for the perfect picture in the sky. This was a day of days for us. I watched their little faces absorb the color and the beauty held them silent for long moments.

This picture makes me anticipate the end of Winter. Crazy Spring weather will be coming soon. Lots of tornadic activity (yes, I love this), lots of rain, a gazillion rainbows just waiting to be released through the sky, and amazing ends to fabulous warmer days! Don't forget to stop and take it all in. We sure try!

So, if you see me stopped on the side of the road, standing in my van door, propped on the roof with my camera in hand, I'll tell you just like I told that nice officer..... yes, I'm fine... just trying to take a fabulous picture and having fun with my kids!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sentimental Sundays

There are people that grace our lives we will never forget. There are those we hold in our hearts that we pull out for an emotional hug and then tuck them nicely away until another time. There are those who simply knowing them, changed our lives.

My grandmother was such a person. Grandmother... well, she was Granny to me.  My best friend, my opponent in Old Maid and Candy Land, my fellow watcher of General Hospital and back up singer to the morning gospel hour. I was assigned a position in front of the television to watch her show and report a play by play of drama while she cooked, just in case someone kissed or was shot. She didn't want to miss any action. I was four and I knew the world around my house and that of her magic kingdom. I followed her through her garden as she worked, funny how that memory brings back the smell of fresh uncovered earth. I followed her to gather eggs, my first fear of birds I do believe began here. I followed her around the pond to go fishing. She was very patient with baiting my hook. I followed her as she hung up the wet clothes to dry. The smell of fresh laundry in the breeze and the snap of a sheet in the wind. She taught me to love coffee, to love the earth and all it could give, to savor the breeze on a hot day, and to believe in whatever God would tell me. She kept all my secrets, shared my chocolate and gave all the love she had without question. A woman of great strength who said what she thought, lived what she believed, and loved her family. Our family still gathers together for every occasion because of the way she loved. We should do it more, but lives are busier than the Sunday dinners at her house.

Take the time to ponder on the people that gave meaning to who you are. Remember them with joy, and if you are blessed to still have those people with you, let them know their love makes you smile today.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Awake after midnight......

Have you ever had one of those super crazy dreams and you wake up thinking I'll remember this in the morning but with the sunrise it's just gone?  Well, I refuse to wait for sunrise. It's quite early in the morning but this dream has to go on record. It's an out there kind of dream so.... enjoy?!. hahaha.

It's night to begin with and I'm getting into the car with some friends of mine. The car is a classic.  It's a 1958 Chevy Impala, red of course and convertible.  (this, by the way, is my favorite car).  Okay so I'm getting into the car with my friends - a Christian rock band.  (this is a cool part of the dream because I'm some kind of PR best friend person for them, which is wayyyy too cool for me to be playing in this dream).  We are getting in the car and this girl comes up and says she wants to ride to wherever we are going next because she is running away from home. She is wearing a sign around her neck that says 'not welcome' and it keeps getting tangled in her hair.  I seem to be the only one that sees this... the band turns to me and I say sure... I'm thinking we can minister to her perhaps and turn her life around.  I am designated to sit by her because, I find out, she wanted the drummer's autograph and he was slightly afraid of her.  We are stopped at a red light near an old grocery store.  I can hear mumbling around me and I ask if anyone hears this.  My friend driving says it's the homeless in the parking lot and they were pointing at my car.  Then they all began walking toward us.  Not just a few people mind you, hundreds.. mumbling.  Picture the zombie apocalypse.  The light turns green and we are off.  (I hear a clinking sound).  I asked what that mumbling was all about.  The other guy in the front laughs at me and says it was the car.  They wanted the car tag.  (I still hear a clinking sound.) They would steal car tags to trade for things.  For them, it was like money.  So a classic car tag would be like winning the lottery. (clink, clink, clink.)  The runaway said she's glad we got out of there because she had heard stories about the crazy things that group of homeless have done to get a tag.  (clink, clink, clink.) I turn as we are driving slow through traffic and I see an arm going up and down at the bumper of my car.  I said, "Something crazy... like that?"  Everyone turned to see the arm of someone who was holding on to the bumper of my car beating the license plate with a hammer.  The woman on the back jumps off waving the car tag and screaming, "I got it! I got it!" She has a crazy multicolored shirt on with giant swirls.  Her hair is streaked with colors of the rainbow and she has multicolor feathers sticking out of it.  Then I see her face.  I know her. (Lizette, a friend of mine is smiling at me in that face.) The drummer yells out to her, "You've got it, do you?  How about you give that back?" (you have to say this part with an Australian accent). She turns, smiles and laughs at us, "Nosiree, negative five!" And, with that she runs to through the streets laughing and screaming while on-lookers clap at her prize. I laughed.  I laughed so much in that car that everyone else started laughing.  (I woke myself up laughing.)

Why would this be something to record or to want to remember?

First... my kids and I play the game of "Punch Bug" each time we are in the van and we keep score (the game of seeing VW bugs).  If you yell "punch bug" and you don't see an actual VW bug you get a -1 score.  Well, in my dream, not having a licenses plate evidently caused me to have a score of -5 ..... hilarious!

The main reason to remember this........Lizette.  She and I became friends when we both served as short term missionaries in Africa.  For two years, I was in Nigeria and she served in The Ivory Coast.  I flew to see her once during a holiday while there.  She was a wonderful host. I was thrilled to be visiting a missionary living with an air conditioner, and I do remember we stopped at a place that had the best chocolate! We hung out at the beach, played in the markets, and ate some amazing food.  It was the first week of a new year so she taught me to say Happy New Year in French and I said it to everyone I passed.  (I still remember how.) She could always make me laugh or smile, and she still does... almost daily, even though she doesn't know it.  I wanted to remember the Lizette running down the road with the feathers from her hair flapping in the wind, and her waving that car tag.  (I haven't stopped laughing yet at her yelling 'negative five.')

Surround yourself with people that bring you joy. They'll be there for you even while you sleep.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Put down that fork and walk away.... slowly.

Here we are in February and I wonder about all those people who jumped on the "I'm going to lose weight" bandwagon on January 1st.  I know I've said it over and over.  Stress eating has, well let's say, reshaped me quite a bit over the last several years. I told my kids I'm not doing that anymore.  Well, since my joyous revelation of "I can do this" I've gained six extra pounds! haha. It's well known among my friends that I'm a chocolate freak and a coffee fiend.  I could give those up, but I'm not going to. But, I can give up doughnuts, cakes, and pies. It's not that I cook these. No, I am blessed to live with family and friends around me that lavish my children with fabulous desserts.  That cake above... my mom's wonderful creation. We have such sweet people that stop by just to drop off love disguised as cookies and such. So, I've decided to once again release the skinny me that's been so long trapped inside the... misshapen me.  Fifty pounds.  That's all I have to conquer to feel like me again. It's not about being skinny, it's about my health. My back is in terrible condition and the docs have told me the weight loss will help. Plus, standing on the other side of 40 years old, you just start seeing that life's about all the love around you, and I don't want to miss out on one minute of it!

Over and over we all set ourselves up for failure where our health is concerned.  Not just weight... everything. We simply don't take the time to care for ourselves. Guess what? It's more than okay, to be selfish and take time to better yourselves. The little changes each day.  Life changes. I refuse to be unhealthy and blame it on stress. Every choice I make is my choice.  Why not choose me over everything that could destroy me? Sounds so simple, yet it's so hard. The greatest gift we have is the chance to do things right each day.  One more shot at this game.  One more day to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. So, here I go again with the goal of a healthy me in mind. Only this time, I won't look back.  Sometimes you just know when it's time to move on passed who you were and become who you dream of being.  Time to exercise... right after I finish my coffee!

Is there something in your life holding you back from being a better you? Do you make time for yourself? Instead of the same old New Year's Resolution, why not join with me to make a "New You Resolution!"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

You are welcome here... if you dare.

I have discovered I live in an enchanted house.  While I'm sleeping many exciting things must be happening.  I wake and the sink has produced dirty dishes.  The laundry hamper breeds new dirty clothes.  My carpet grows hair that has to be swept with a broom so the vacuum cleaner doesn't get clogged.  The pantry eats our food.  The lights come on magically when no one is in the room.  Dressers are spitting out clean clothes on the floor. The front door secretly lets the cat in to play. My couch produces clean clothes to fold. Toys escape from the toy boxes and must have splendid parties during our slumber. Socks play fascinating games of hide and seek. Hangers throw coats all in the closet floor. My desk produces paper and hides my to do list. The toilet.... well, let's not discuss the toilet. It is the dark side of my enchanted dwelling. We struggle with the fact that our house is so unique, as we are never sure what will happen next. I have found that popcorn dropped from the table does tend to settle the hunger of my kitchen floor so the kids won't be swallowed up while they enjoy their morning snack. My four wonderful beautiful loving children are merely the victims of living in enchantment. For how could they be responsible for occurrences such as these.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Keep the laughter coming....

Have you laughed today? Really laughed?  Families are the best to laugh at because we can share in so much with unconditional acceptance.  My kids make me laugh.  I haven't always allowed myself to enjoy that type of fun.  Life gets busy and sometimes we start existing around one another without hearing or seeing life happen.  My entertained.  Be entertaining.  Laugh a little more at yourself.

We keep a running journal of family funny happenings.  Our family funny book stays in our kitchen to read at different times.  Great stories that had us laughing that we simply don't want to forget.  I encourage every family to do this.  Write it in a notebook, a journal, on your laptop... whatever.  Once a month, at dinner, read some of the funny times in your family and share the joyous laughter all over again.  

Yesterday was one of our funny moments.  Benjamin, though potty trained, still needs help from time to time in the bathroom.  So, I'm in the kitchen and he calls out, "Mommy, I'm done!  Come in here! Mommy, hello, I'm finished!  MOOOMMMYYY!  I'm walking to him but I'm giggling listening to all the ways he's calling.  He was completely entertained in the process of just calling me.  I walk in and say, "I thought I heard you calling in the distance." He looked puzzled and then he said, "This is called the BATH... ROOM, don't you know that?"  I laughed and said, "Oh, I know."  He added, "Well, sometimes I do like to call this the emergency room..... you know?"  

This is your chance... share a funny moment from your family, then pass this on and keep the laughter going!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's going to happen... like it or not.

Change is necessary.  Change isn't always fun or exciting or even wanted.  However, change creates room for life to happen.  I believe there is great beauty waiting to be unleashed in our lives if only we embrace the changes before us.

I watched my sister play my guitar while we sang together.  She knows quite a bit more than I do on the guitar.  I used to play.  But, time passes and something gets lost in the shuffle.  The simple desire to play left me. I tried to play a song she was showing me with little success.  The length of my nails, the fact that the tips of my fingers have gotten soft with time.  Not knowing the chords.  Well, I laughed at myself but I tried.  If I'm to play then change has to come.  Change on the inside, change on the outside.

I play the guitar for my kids and we sing....sometimes. My audience of four think I'm cool, and the cows in the pasture behind my house don't judge when we sing on the back deck.  I've thought a lot about that old black guitar today.  There's music in there just waiting to be played.  There's beauty in those strings.  So, I cut my nails and I picked up my guitar.  When I held it God gave me a wonderful gift of speaking into my heart.  As I played, the strings hurt my fingers. I'm really not good at all.  But with a little effort a recognizable song will emerge.  God showed me that beauty can come from pain.  Effort is rewarded when your heart's in what you believe.  There's something about making music.  It frees the soul.  Consider the music of your life.  Whatever change He has you going through, whatever process may be causing you pain, hold on.  The pain of your heart will produce beauty in your life if you make sure your efforts lead to Him.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting to know you.....

Smiles from yesterday and laughter today!

How many facebook friends do you have? My daughter asked me that question, and when I told her I had a little over 400 she laughed and said how in the world do I keep up with 400 hundred friends?  I don't.  Do you? Go through your list sometime and think about those people.  It's quite fun, I did it, and it made me smile.  It's like opening a giant memory box and seeing yourself all throughout your life.  

Let's see, there's the really cool friend that I had so much fun with in Vacation Bible School when I was nine. I will never delete her. The girl I twirled baton with, and she happens to be the best pen pal a 12 year old could ever hope for. The little girl who sat with me on the school bus everyday.  The Section High School Marching Band of '83 and '84... lots of you guys on my list.  Champion Red Rover players, now that's the rest of the VBS "happy and you know it" comrades mixed with a little of the elementary playground group.  The little girl I met when I was six and can still make me laugh.  College friends.  So many of you changed my life forever.  Missionary friends... we share the world.  Friends of friends online.  This category cracks me up.  Game friends.  My chess buddies.  The number grows.  That's right, I'm just a nerd, or am I called a geek now?  Old high school friends.... basketball players, cheerleaders...they would be there for me at the drop of a hat.  Mommy or daddy friends... because of our children. Mom's of friends, kids of friends, family of friends. Teachers. Students. Church friends.... that number grows and amazes me in it's sincerity.  Family.  That's a giant chunk of my numbers.  Then there's the small number of friends that know me.  The ones that know my thoughts and dreams.  These come from all the different groups but have a category all their own.  They know the me at 3 am that can't sleep.  They know that posting a blog and telling about myself really makes my stomach tie in knots.  They know I'd rather be in flip flops with my hair blowing in the breeze at the beach.  Then there's the one friend that knows me better than myself.  

Life seems a lot more fun with a list of friends to remind me of all the smiles from my past, and all the laughter of today.  How great will tomorrow be when my list grows?  Another heartbeat in sharing the joy of life! 

Think about your friends.  Take the time to tell a few just how much they mean in your life.