Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering our Fallen...

Memorial Day is a day of remembering our fallen soldiers and service members from World War I to today's conflicts across the globe.  World War I (WWI) was the "War to end all wars..." and yet here in 2014, we still have war torn cities, countries and families.  Everywhere. 

The good news is that we have brave men and women who serve our country with dignity, pride and honor every day in every branch of the Military:  Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and US Coast Guard.  They protect us in ways many of us are not even aware of and cannot fathom how they stay so strong and courageous.  Each week I go to Ft. Riley, KS for various events for my job and as I pass through the gate, a young soldier always says to me as they wave me through:  "Duty First."  Amazing....their first priority is my safety.  What an honor and privilege it is to serve our soldiers and their families at Ft. Riley. 

Last evening, Tim and I attended the Kansas City Union Station's "Celebration at the Station" to honor our military.  The KC Symphony played beautiful music with a performance that lifted our spirits and honored our Military Veterans and current service members.  It was wonderful and touching all at the same time.  Listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture  Solennelle, Op. 49 made me remember how important it is to honor and remember our Veterans from wars that happened before I was even born.  Lee Greenwood's song "God Bless the USA" gave me chills once again.  Amazing Grace and Taps gave us a reason to pause and reflect on the cost of freedom - our freedom.

We have had veterans that are our family members - our dads, brothers, uncles, nephews  - in our midst for over 100 years, just in the USA.  The beginning of WWI was in July 1914. Wow....100 years of people giving their lives for us, for me. 

If you or your spouse, or a family member is a veteran, I say thank you!!!  We owe you our lives, our choices, and our freedom. We have an enormous debt to pay you and gratitude swells up from the very core of my being.  I cannot thank you enough for what you have given me, my son and my family.

As I reflect on this Memorial Day, I pause and remember.....and won't forget the price that has been paid for me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


FUN!  What is that?  Fun is something that provides amusement, enjoyment and/or playfulness.  Or, it can be something whimsical or flamboyant!!!  Fun can also be kidding around with your best pal - calling them goofy names, playing a practical joke on them or laughing at the silliest things together!!!  Whatever it is to you, I hope it is something you want to partake of on a daily basis!!!

When was the last time you had fun?  Laughed?? Played a joke on someone???
If it has been a while since the corners of your mouth turned UP, then you definitely need to put some fun back into your life! 

I was at Worlds of Fun in KC, MO last weekend with a very special person and his three daugthers - we had a blast!!!  We rode one roller coaster after another all the while laughing, screaming, and getting dizzy together!!!  It was so much FUN!!!

Some people like to kid around saying that the best part of their dysfunctional family is putting the FUN back into dysFUNctional!!!  If your family is one of THOSE families (LOL), then make it a place to relax and enjoy each other!!! Put the fun back into life - stop being so serious all the time!!! 

God has given us so many reasons to laugh and giggle together - why not take advantage and SEIZE THE DAY and laugh!!!  That's right - a big, belly laugh all the way down to your toes!!!

FUN - what can you do to bring it into your corner of the world today???

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Graduation anyone???  My son has arrived at the final destination of one chapter of his life:  High School!  Wow!  The time really did fly past.......18 years and he is off to a new life of his own.  We raise them to have wings, right???  To fly the nest to move forward on their own, but when the day actually comes, how do we really let go???

To graduate means that my son, Matt will receive a diploma for completing his required intervals of reading, writing and arithmetic!  He has the knowledge and skill base to go on to college........unbelievable!!!  His classes and accomplishments in high school have trained him to go out into the world and begin a new a series of classes which will prepare him to step into a full-time career!  He will begin the next phase that will prepare him to obtain and hold a job that will hopefully provide for a family and give him satisfaction in his field.  Wow........that is monumental concept for his mom!!! 

I never realized when I graduated from high school or college what affect/effect it was having on my parents!  I wonder.........what were their thoughts?  Imagination about me and my life to come?  What were their hopes and dreams for me?  It is an amazing thought!

And, now, here I am, reflecting on Matt's life.....what will he become?  What will he do?  Where will he live?  Where will he work?  Where will the Lord lead him in this life???  And, will he listen?  Ahhhh........that is the real issue.  Will he follow the path that he is destined for?  We shall see........we shall see.  And, how exciting is that for a parent to watch the steps, the choices, the decisions of their child?  I must admit it is very, very exciting!!!

You might be asking what is Matt's Passion???  BioTechnology is his passion:  DNA testing, wildlife specimens, long words of science that I have no idea what they mean!!!  But, Matt loves it!  He won a GENIUS Olympiad award recently with Greater KC Science and Engineering Foundation. Several of his classmates did, too!  They are on fire for what they found in their experiments!!!  Matt's BioTechnology teacher is fantastic - she inspires them to grow and learn and test out hypothesises that may change the outcome in our environment and our world - wow!!!  What a fantastic idea to contemplate!!!  This week, his teacher, Miss Bott had a surprise luncheon for the seniors and their parents at Shawnee Mission West!  The parents had an opportunity to view and listen to the student's presentations on what they were trying to accomplish in their class this year.  And, what they DID accomplish is amazing!!!  Our world is going to have the brilliant minds of these students who want to improve our world and the ecosystems that we inhabit - it is truly amazing!!!  Watch out world - here they come!!!!

And, now, commencement!  The final phase of this chapter for Matt!  A final conferring of his high school learning - a receipt of an academic degree at graduation next week!!!  WOW!!!  I cannot wait to see what the next chapter will be for Matt and for me..........