20 Things to Say More Often

Have you ever been part of a conversation or over heard a conversation that included something like:

“Do this….” or “Why haven’t you…” or “This would have been better if…”

I think we could all add many many more to this list. Many times I have felt in conversations I have either been involved in or overheard might have had a better or much different outcome if there were better ways of saying the message. Have you been in one of these situations? I know I have. Probably too many to say the least. I tend to find myself thinking back on a situation/conversation that has happened that could of resulted better. Many times I think we allow ourselves to let our attitudes, the environment we are in, other outside elements to take a simple conversation or simple question to extremes.

I saw a great video the other day quite frankly puts it in perspective. How many of us know the “Kid President”. I know we all have had to at least seen one or two of these adorable but meaningful videos. Well I was happy to come across a friends post on facebook that had the video – Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often. If you haven’t seen it please take a second and watch when you have time.

Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often

Kid President’s 20 Things We Should Say More Often

#13 & #12 – WOW he hit it on the nose! I think many times we forget these two simple things that help make any situation, conversation, etc go better. PLEASE – that is definitely one that we might need to rethink in our house. With both the boys, I know I find myself constantly saying, “Don’t do that, Don’t take that from your brother, Share, etc.” What about you? Do you think saying please might help the conversations in your home go just slightly better?

#10 – I Don’t Know. This one is another great one – I think sometime we find it hard to say that we don’t know. Its not failure – it a time for us to stop, reflect on what the question, quest, whatever you have going on and think – how can I better figure this out? I might not know it now – but together (in my family at least) we can figure it out together. Takes time but together anything is possibly, right?

#5-3 – This is for my boys. I know there are many times that we are trying to talk, J and I would agree, that sounds, the disagreeing, and above all others the yelling happens. AGGGGHHHH – That’s what boys do right!?!?! Guess we need to be more open to letting them express themselves to be happy, to enjoy their life as they have it! Just best when maybe mommy and daddy are not in a deep conversation or trying to give instructions per say?!?

All in all – all very good “things” we should all say more often. Thanks Kid President – you hit this one on the head. You definitely have given us the “things” we say can help make the world more “awesome”. What would you add to it?


No, Means No….

Do you have days where it feels like all you say is “No” to your children? “Don’t do this, don’t do that, share with your brother, don’t mess with the dog, sit down to eat your dinner, are you listening to me”, etc. Well, welcome to our house the past few weeks. Our two little boys are blessings. We love them completely and want nothing but the best for them. However, on days where we are constantly struggling to get out the door on time for school, work , or to listen to each other without interrupting, it sometimes takes a toll on your own spirit. What am I doing wrong as a parent….what am I missing here,…..

passStress in our house has been up ever since J was back in the hospital again a few weekends ago. Trying to ensure that everything is ready for the family just in case something did happen to either J or I has been on both of our minds a lot lately. We want to be sure that no matter what our boys are taken care of, can continue to go to school as we have planned, have everything they will need in life. Don’t get me wrong – ensuring we have everything together is the right approach – but is very stressful at times. I personally don’t like thinking about J leaving us or not being around to see my own kids grow up. This added stress has definitely put some strain on the family.

JD has also been having some issues at home with listening, following through on instructions, not talking back, the list could go on and on. Not sure if other 5 year old boys tend to do this or not but it can be very testing of our patience. With stress and tiredness raised in our household it has allowed for our impatience to grow. Not just with the kids but between J and I too. Stress has this horrible way of turning something that really is a little mistake into a horrible ordeal. Hurtful words, disappointment, closed off from others, etc……why? Feeling that way is no fun. It sucks actually. I hate looking back on how I personally responded and feeling horrible for how I personally acted. Wishing I would of responded differently – took time to breathe and really assessed what I could of said differently, reacted differently. I’ve been in search of guidance, others who have gone through similar situations, and have been happy to find a few resources to use as we work through this period of time.

Something I really want to try and hope will help in our situations in our home – is trying to “Identify with them” – Thank you Real Delia for your Tips For Adulthood: How To Be Less Impatient With Your Kids. We also have a book called – The Explosive Child – that we have been meaning to read now for a few months. I feel this might be something both J and I try cracking open and reading here soon.

We stress the “take a deep breath and count backwards from 5 or 10”. I think Mommy and Daddy are in need of there own teaching and will be working on this too – no issues is worth the amount of frustration or stress we have had in our house lately….and no one is to blame. Shit happens! Excuse my french – but it does. Instead of being determined to “win” or be the one that is “right” I plan on trying to understand – identifying with the person who seems to be having and issue or problem. I want to slow down my response times to things that seem to set me on fire if you will, and try to see things for what they really are. I love my family, I love my husband, and I love my kids with all my heart. We will make it through this as we have many other situations, struggles, challenges God has given us.

I must keep reminding myself – God only give us what he knows we can handle…..We need to think first and then act. We need to embrace this current season of our life….When I’m/We are tired, frustrated, broken, stressed, discouraged, worn-out, and hopeless – I/We need to remind ourselves to talk with God. God will make a way when there seems to be no way.

Toys, Toys and More Toys

If you’re lijoyofgivingtopke us, we have a million, ca-zillion toys that seem to continue to either show up at our house or can’t leave our house. “Mommy I can’t get rid of that toy, I love it!” – to a toy that hasn’t been played with for at least 6 months to a year.  Or I have heard – “Mommy, why are you trying to get rid of this! I love it!”.

The ToyOur toy collection as we will call it here, started when we had our first little one, J. He was the first grandchild for my side of the family and the first boy grandson on my husbands side. Hence, boy toys were bought ALL the time. Our basement has become the “Toy Chest” with a full large room filled with toys. You might remember the movie from 1982,  “The Toy”.  Do you remember his toy room – well imagine it in my basement!  Now I am partly to blame for the enormous amount of toys since I tend to hold on to items, for that “just in case” opportunity to a rise that we might want to play with that lone Lego set or why get rid of the baby toys when at the time we hadn’t decided if we were done having children or not.

I have became the one who “stored” all of the toys until that very special day came that we would need or want to play with it again. My husband would suggest I have been “hoarding” the toys per say. But – things are going to be changing.  Ever since our second child C came around, we knew that we would indeed use them again. Both being boys should like pretty much the same stuff, right?  Interesting enough C would rather play with JD’s big boy toys instead of his own toys for his age and size. Who would of thought!

Something J and I had talked about a little while ago was finally making the point to go through the toys with JD and have him tell us what toys we could get rid of.  A chore I am a little nervous about.  When JD was 2 or maybe even 3 we had talked to him about “Playing Santa” and giving away some of his toys he doesn’t play with and give them to those in need.  I’m hoping that in the coming up weekends we can work with him to pull together toyjoyofgivings and do just that- let JD play “Santa” and donate his toys to those children who are less fortunate.  I’m hopeful that JD will help us donate to a local charity, daycare, or a place in need of gently used toys for those who are in need. I now ask you, my readers, do you know of a location looking for gently used toys for children?  Please contact me if you have suggestions for us.  We are open to helping those in need for this giving season upon us.

“Every child loves gifts, both giving and receiving them.  This Christmas let your children bring blessings to others.  Gather names – friends, relatives, classmates – and let them pick a name and make a gift, or a card to give out.  It’s difficult to say who will enjoy it more.  The child who loves to give.  The friend whose heart is touched with love.  Or me (or you), the parent, who sees your children learn to give and receive love. ” God’s blessings to you and yours as we enter into the Thanksgiving season and the birth of our savior Jesus Chris who is the reason for the season.  He gave us the best gift anyone could every give and receive!

Fight the Fight

Have you been looking for something to be proud of or something to give back to?

fightforair2013Last year around this time J had decided he was going to take part in the Fight for Air climb here in Springfield at the Hilton. As much as we all thought that it might not be the best thing for him to participate in (health issues and all) he decided to go through with it. He took the time to practice, go to the weekly/bi-weekly training sessions that were set up for those participating and completed the Fight for Air climb, February 2013. He did wonderful. He pushed himself to the top knowing that anything could happen. We were worried that something might happen as he was pushing himself and his heart. He did so well that he finished the 32 flights in under 5 minutes; 4 minutes and 54 seconds to be exact. We were all so happy for him. A goal to check off the bucket list!

This year he has been adamant in having a team and pushing himself farther. However, this hope has been put on hold. This past weekend J was admitted back to the hospital. He was having V Tach (Ventricular Tachycardia) with his heart rate racing up to 230 beats per minute by the time we made it to the hospital. J was cardioverted to bring his heart rate back to normal. This is now the 2nd time this has had to happen to help his heart convert back to regular beating. We stayed at the hospital overnight and were released in time to make it to JD’s first bitty ball game for this winter season. With changes in his medicine J was released to go back to work and his every day routine.

The Bad News— He is in no way able to play in our indoor soccer league and no way able to take part in the Fight for Air climb in February 2014. This was not great news. It was heart breaking news. How do you go from being a very active athlete who has had no problems up until 2012 who now is being told – “You can coach your sons soccer team, but absolutely you will not be playing anymore. Take up a sport like Golf.” I was in tears for my husband. Sports have been part of his life since he was a little boy and to be told you can no longer do something that you love is heartbreaking.

So – in an effort to still take part in the Fight for Air for my husband – I have created a team “Smokeless and The Bandits”. I don’t plan to race to the top nor do I plan to be the best there is at it. It has become a goal of mine to do for my husband. This is my way of giving back for him….I may not make it to the top but I will try my darn-est to complete the climb for him. So – I ask you, are you looking for something to give back to? To be part of to make the lungs of America better? Join me and my team – Smokeless and The Bandits, help the American Lung Association get a few steps closer to helping those in need.

Fight for Air Climb 2014 – Springfield, IL

Make a donation that will help save life’s!

Join me and my team – Smokeless and The Bandits – Climb 2014



Happy November! In the spirit of Thanksgiving I am asking you to join me in saying “thank you” and what you’re thankful for. This time of the year gets so hectic that we stop focusing on us and what we truly are thankful for. So I ask you that everyday for the next month together we focus our energies on the positive.

Stop and comment on what you are greatful for. Will you join me? I will update my post daily to reflect my daily thoughts of thankfulness…and I hope you too will join me.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34 Happy Thanking to you!


November 1- I’m thankful for the lovable, smart, energetic, keeps me on my toes two little boys who I love and adore unconditionally. You have shown me to take time to love the little things in life each day. Even in the world we live in today, where its constantly changing and a roller coaster…mommy knows she has 2 little boys who adore me as much as I them. Love you JD and C!

November 2- I’m thankful for the one person in my life who can honestly love me for me and all my ups and downs. I’m not perfect and you could careless. You push me to be great and are my best friend. With you I know we can do anything we want no matter what obstacles come of way. I love you J! I’m thankful each day for you!

November 3- I’m thankful for our families who are always able to help us out day or night. You are our saving grace when we least know it. God has given us two very great, understanding, devoted, caring families – mothers, fathers and siblings who are truly a blessing to us. Thank you for being you!

November 4- Friends, you make me thankful to know I always have someone who has my back through anything. We may not talk each day or get together a lot but when we do its like we’ve haven’t been apart.

November 5 – My Health, I’m thankful God gave me the health. I’m healthy and hope to continue to be so as God see’s fit. I know as I age time will have its toll on me however my health today and hopefully tomorrow is good. God is Good!

November 6 – My job. I’m very thankful for the job I have and the flexibility it has given me to be the mom I want to be and also succeed in the areas I love! I love numbers but also like being creative. My job allows me to do both.

November 7 – Technology, and not just any old technology – being able to take video of my kids having fun, everyday living – I love being able to go back through the times we’ve been able to capture and relive it as if it was the same day.

November 8 – Fridays! What a great day Friday’s are.

November 9- Relaxation and Rest – Time for reflection

November 10 – Our Church – without our faith I know most we would be lost.

November 11- Our veterans of the past, present, and future.  You are the one’s who help keep us safe day in and out.  Thank you for your service, veterans! You are appreciated!

November 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24…….My bad – I have left it with no thankfulness since the 11th.  Well to finalize my list of being thankful I want to just reiterate – I am very thankful for my family (immediate to distant, in-laws included).  Without these individuals in my life, my families life we wouldn’t be who we are today.  The last week and half has been so emotional and they have been there to carry us, to make us better, to help us out when we were down and when we were out of town.  Without them we, I couldn’t be who we are /I am.  I might not say it enough but THANK YOU!  Thank you for being you.  Thank you for taking the time out of your daily life to care for us and to be there for us!  You make life worth living for!

Thanks to God for giving us such a wonderful family to belong to!  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!