Friday, August 31, 2012

Goodbye Week. Hello Weekend. Lessons Learned: Take 60.

We found this in our neighbor's yard when we got home last night. All we can say is, it's not over, yet!

Goodbye Parents' Night at the school and wishing I was a 5th grader again - so much fun in store!
Goodbye fulfilling my first duty as Room Mom and getting lots and lots of volunteers signed up for all we have planned for the year - thank you, parents!
Goodbye saying farewell to a wonderful family-friend that made a difference in the world with his good humor and positiveness; you'll be missed Ronnie.
Goodbye feeling the affects of a busy, jam-packed week and praising a 3-day weekend.
Goodbye battling the neighbors in 4-square and reminding them the end-all-be-all champion is yet to be determined - GAME ON-BRING IT!

We found this on our door 2-days ago. My son responded with the red writing and hung it back on their door. Bring it on, neighbors! We will prevail as the Ultimate 4-Square Champions!

Hello to a very welcomed 3-day weekend and using it to recharge.
Hello christening a newly-bought tractor at our friends' farm - let the grape-picking begin.
Hello hearing rumble and thunder as F-18's fly overhead for Cleveland's National Air Show.
Hello hoping Isaac's wrath and after-rain doesn't linger too long to spoil a holiday weekend.
Hello investing time to learn how to play chess better; my 10-year old beats me every time.

It was a mega-busy week and yesterday was the busiest day, yet. We left the house at 7:30 AM and didn't return until almost 10:00 PM. Between the funeral, luncheon, school, work, dinner, and parents' night, I was exhausted by the end of the day. Did I mention I was dressed up and in heels all day? At the cemetery, the heat from the sun was intense. I could feel my exposed toes from my open-toed shoes just burning up, that's how intense the sun was. Deodorant was working over time and by the time I had to fulfill my duty as Room Mom at Parents' Night, I knew I was not going to be smelling like roses. So, the lesson I learned this week is, when you need to refresh your look and your smell, you've got to use the resources before you. If you can't head home, head to the mall! To make me smell a little better, I headed to Anthropologie, picked a fave fragrance, and went to town with the tester bottle. I sprayed it everywhere and practically used up the whole sample, but I was desperate. Next, make-up re-touch. I don't carry make up with me so I needed help after initial application at 7:00 AM. Not to mention I bawled my eyes out at the funeral. I looked like a hot mess, but not after I visited Bare Escentuals in the mall. I went in there and asked to sample their powder and, voila!, refreshed. The best part, they'll actually give you a tiny sample to take home with you - bonus. After some additional touches at various makeup counters, I looked presentable. Make-up counter people are so willing to work on your face. I think it takes the boredom out of their day, so I was happy to give them something to do. Finally, I went to the store's bathroom, flipped my head upside down and ran my fingers through my gnarled hair like a brush. After a flip back to upright position, my hair was good enough to be seen. So, ladies, when desperate, head to the mall. It's like the Red Cross for beauty emergencies and it didn't cost a dime.

Have a safe and restful Labor Day Weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rudeness Is Not Cool

These days of social media and information overload has made for a ruder society. Facebook updates, instant messaging, Twitter, e-mail, etc. have created monsters in us all. We think we're more important than we are, we are convinced our time is more valuable than anyone else's, and we take pride in our inept ability to multi-task, doing everything mediocre and nothing with excellence. I'm not here to judge, but I am here to inform. Here's what I want you to know: you are being watched.

You are being watched liked hawks by little people that look to you as an example of how an adult acts. You are the pinnacle of your child's expectations of adulthood. The way you behave is the way in which they will grow. How do I know? Oh, I have proof.

Last year I volunteered to help students during their Writing class. What a joy! Their chosen words and topics never ceased to blow me away. There are Pulitzer prize winners in the class of 2020, I just know it. One of the traditions of 4th grade is an event called The Mummy Wrap. Many long-time LOVD readers will recall the crocodile head my son made and the costume I glue-gun sewed for the god, Ammut. This event is a big deal and has been part of the school's history for eons. There were parents in the audience who participated in their own Mummy Wrap when they attended the school. The kids performed wonderfully and did surprisingly well amongst the blings and beeps of smartphone notices from the audience.

So, during Writing class, the assignment was to write a letter to themselves as if they had been in the audience watching the performance. Almost half of the students wrote to themselves apologizing that the performance could have been better had it not been for the distractions from cell phone notifications by many of the parents. And you know, the kids are right. I've got it on tape. I video taped the whole performance and every 5 minutes you'll hear a "brrring" in the background. Now, if the video camera can pick that up, come on?

We've become immune to the distraction but the kids notice. And they called you on it, parents! They're just not rude enough to tell you so.

So, are you guilty or do you plead no contest?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I Made Wednesday {Bakery-Style Blueberry Muffins}

It's only the second week of school and I'm already scrambling for breakfast ideas for the kiddo. I try to avoid the processed foods so readily available out there (but I'll admit I'm an Eggo Waffle fan). I discovered this blueberry muffin recipe between the pages of The Gourmet Cookbook. I didn't know what I was going to get in the end as there are no pictures, sacrilege for a cookbook as far as I'm concerned. I followed along and was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the oven door to discover beautiful looking blueberry muffins good enough to earn their own place in Panera's bakery case. You'll never by muffins in a press-sealed bag ever, ever again! And, paying $2 a muffin at some bakery will be history.

Milk, not pictured. Flowers not to be used in recipe.
What You'll Need
For the Batter
6-Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries

For the Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3-Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3-1/2 Tablespoons sugar
Raw cane sugar, optional

Muffin tin (I was too lazy to get the 12-muffin tin from the basement and just used the 6 - making bigger muffins. I had extra batter so I plopped it into a ramekin.)

What You'll Do 
Preheat your over to 375 degrees F. Spray or hand grease the muffin tin. Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the butter.

Whisk the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Be sure the butter is cool enough so when you add the eggs, they don't begin to cook. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until a batter forms. The smell at this point: phenomenal.
If you've rinsed your blueberries, be sure they are completely dry. Personally, I just use them directly from the packaging and take my chances. I figure the oven time should kill any thing lurking. Do insure that there aren't any stems still stuck on the blueberry.

Lightly coat the blueberries with flour. This helps keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffin while baking. Add the blueberries to the batter and very carefully, fold the berries into the batter, incorporating them evenly.

 I took an ice cream scoop and filled each section of the muffin tin with the batter. I wanted these muffins to be big so I filled them even with the top of the muffin tin surface. Since I only used a 6-muffin tin (because of my lazy butt) I had batter left over and didn't have the heart to just throw it away. I thought about eating it raw, though, but better judgement prevailed and I grabbed a ramekin and poured the rest of the batter into it, almost like making a blueberry cobbler look-a-like.

Now for the best part: the topping

The butter must be cold. Cut the butter into tiny cubes and add the flour and sugar to it. This is when it gets messy. Using your hands, work the mixture through your finger tips until it is well-combined. Sprinkle this mixture over the top surface of your muffin batter.

What You'll Need to Know to Finish
This is completely optional, but if you can find it in your grocery store, I sprinkle raw cane sugar over each muffin top before placing in the oven to bake. I love the crispy texture it creates over the muffin top - classic!

Place the muffin tin (and in my case the ramekin, as well) into the oven on the rack that is placed at the top 1/3 of the oven. In my oven that would be the second "shelf" from the top. You don't want your muffins growing up and into your broiler coils!

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are fluffed up and golden. A toothpick test would do the trick to test for doneness. Just insert a toothpick in the middle of a muffin and if it comes out clean, it's done.

 Let the muffin tin cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes. Take a thin knife and edge around the muffin in the tin to loosen it's grip from the pan. As you can see in my photo at the top of this post, I was pressed for time, didn't wait for the muffin to cool, and only got the top half of the muffin for picture-taking. Oh, well. Delicious nonetheless. Enjoy!

What's your favorite kind of muffin?

Mine is something called a Morning Glory Muffin. I'll have to share that recipe one day with you, too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Knew a Man

We received the news yesterday. A family friend passed away, and although death helped to ease his suffering, the tears that flow are not any less dry, nor our hearts any less heavy. My parents have known Ronnie for forever; they came from the same village, from the "Old Country", and had each other while working their fingers to the bone to capture their American Dreams. And caught it, they did.

I grew up knowing this man as my parents' friend, but as I became an adult, he became my friend, too. Ronnie was short in stature but larger than life, a fire cracker. He was forever in a good mood, to my recollection. He was truly a dynamo in personality, always over-the-top excited to see you. He asked you questions that made you feel he cared, that what was happening in your life mattered to him, and to the world. No matter what you said, he was impressed by it. He made you feel special and important and smart. That was his way. You were a big deal to him, and when you walked into the room, he was bound and determined to make a big fuss, making sure everyone in the tri-county area new you had arrived onto the scene. He made you feel he was proud to know you. He fed our egos with his humbleness, displayed in an exuberant sort-of-way.

 He reminds me to treat others the same way, especially kids. You never know when you may be planting a seed of confidence in a child. I know I'll never do it with the same gusto, but I can make another feel just as special and important, just like Ronnie did for others.

Thanks, Ronnie, for making this little girl feel like she matters to the world. Rest in Peace. I'm proud to have known you and I'm shouting it around the world, just for you.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gratitude Journal Monday

Can you find the heart?
An attitude of gratitude, to me, is the realization and acceptance that all I have, right now in this moment, is all I need. Some days, I struggle to be OK with that statement. There's this tiny little monster inside nudging me to have more, to be more, to do more. Shut-up, tiny little monster! But, some days, it just screams at me and won't go away until I lay my head on my pillow, wishing away the little monster by morning.

Does being grateful for what you already have mean you won't get any more than that? I think it's just the opposite. If you drive a beater-car, you should be grateful to still have your own transportation, yes. But, does it mean you're not pining away for a better car that doesn't smell like an ashtray (the previous owners' gift to you)? Here's what I think about gratitude. Unless you ARE grateful for the beater-car, you'll never get the better car. Unless you ARE grateful for your current humble abode, you'll never get that bigger home. It's that simple. Pine away at bigger and better, but don't make it your obsession and remind yourself even if you never see those dreams come to fruition, you were grateful everyday for what you DID have.

286. I am grateful for the basics: clean water, shelter, food, clothing.
287. I am grateful we are told by Him to not be troubled, and I am not.
288. I am thankful we are a strong, close-knit family.
289. I appreciate the kindness of others; it seems to come when I need it the most.
290. I am grateful for keeping dreams alive, no matter how old we get.

Do you have a gratitude journal? What would be your first declaration if you started one? Here was mine, click here.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Goodbye Week. Hello Weekend. Lessons Learned: Take 59.

Before school: Excited. After school: Exhausted.
Goodbye rockin' it the first week of school, but being sooo tired by the end of the day.
Goodbye lots of lunch-dates with girlfriends to catch up on lost time over the summer.
Goodbye bangs I used to love prior to a botched-up haircut - grow faster, grow faster.
Goodbye forty-eight hundred smackers of cold, hard cash as Super Hubby needs dental surgery.
Goodbye mid-week playdate that thrilled my son to no end - thanks for a great time!

Hello Friday night lights shining down on high school football players and screaming fans.
Hello birthday party sleep-over my son will be attending - can't wait to see how the Percy Jackson theme is pulled off!
Hello taking advantage of the time sans kiddo and having a date night (like I promised myself we'd do on my 40th birthday project).
Hello spending our date night with some friends that always bring laughter with them.
Hello squeezing in some more pool time before school bogs down our weekends.

The lesson I learned this week is how much I rely on school to give me time to keep balance in my life. Don't get me wrong, summer break was FAN.TAS.TIC! I wouldn't trade that time with my son, an easier pace, and ice cream indulgence, for anything - trust me. But during the summer, my house looks like this...
And, although that's OK for a couple of months, it's not the way I like to live my life or have my home the majority of the time. So, this week being the first week back at school, the vacuum was pulled out of the closet, the cleaning sprays and sponges were put back into action, and my house is semi-back to normal - almost. Yes, school does give me the time I need to do what needs to be done to keep me off of that Hoarders show. My home is open to guests, now, if you'd like to stop by for a spot of tea and scones. Welcome!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

You Gotta Check Out: Deliverance Delivered in an Amazon Box

If you've been around this blog long enough, you know that I'm a very spiritual person. I believe I couldn't get through a day of my life on my own if it wasn't for God being by my side. I'm not into religion, but I'm absolutely in love with Jesus Christ. I believe He did not die so we could be religious, but rather, through Him, have a close, intimate, direct and personal relationship with God. I'm not a frequent church-goer (more often than not the sermons aren't even in English) and my church, I'm sorry to say, does more preaching and less teaching (at least that's how the words hit my ears). And for the kiddos, our Sunday School program focuses on teaching our ethnic culture and language rather than direct Bible verses. Despite this lack of formal church worship on my part, I do a lot (and I mean a lot) of Bible study on my own. I get many of my teachings from several sources and I take time to be with God.

When our son was little, it was very easy to take time each Sunday and have an informal Sunday School of our own. We'd go outside under a big tree, sit on a blanket, and read his Children's Bible, discuss the parables and find the morals. It was great and I'll cherish those times forever. But now, he's 10 years old and he needs more than just big print and colorful pictures of Jesus. And, he's too little to plop down a full-blown Bible into his lap and say, "Just read this." He's at an age where sowing the seeds of morality is critical if you want to reap a good harvest in the future.

So, I was on a quest, a mission to find the best (in my opinion) Devotional books for kids (and boys, in particular). I scoured the Internet, researched, asked around, and prayed, and this is what I came up with. Our order arrived yesterday and I am giddy to get started. I perused my selections last night and they look very promising. If it's a bust, I'll be sure to let you know.

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young

Seriously, it doesn't get any more precious than this book. The inside pages are colorful and inviting and the cover just screams "pick me, pick me". Each daily devotional provides a Bible verse, then it presents a devotional from Jesus' point of view. It's as if Jesus is speaking directly to your child. At the end it gives additional Bible verses on the same topic that can be looked up. My plan is to read one each day, together as a family, at meal time, and have a discussion.

The Ultimate Devo for Boys by Ed Strauss

This book is the coolest. Each daily devotional is written in a way that speaks the language of boys. References to video games and LEGOS intertwine with Bible verses and messages; it's brilliant, really. The messages are so clear, and so necessary for young boys stuck in-between the tween years and little boyhood. It embraces topics that ooze honing a good moral compass. And, I love that it broaches the subject of sex, drugs, tobacco, and alcohol in a non-preachy sort-of-way. I'll have my son read a devotional each night right before he goes to bed and have all those good teachings really soak into the brain while he sleeps.

Long Story Short by Marty Machowski

We will do the teachings and activities in this book as a family on Sunday mornings. It is meant to be a daily activity, but despite the claim that it only takes 10 minutes, it would be difficult for us to come together as a family each and every day and make the book work. For our family, we're trying a couple of activities every Sunday. This book is truly family-oriented and Volume 1 (the one I bought) focuses on the Old Testament, but gives clues on how events foretold the coming of Christ. Volume 2 (which I have not found, yet) teaches from the New Testament.

I hope my digging and seeking and researching help save you a lot of trouble if you're looking to get a little more of Jesus into your kids and family. This is homework you can copy. Happy praying!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Made Wednesday {Paying It Backward Teacher's Gift}

It's always nice to visit the previous teacher when the kids go in and meet their new teachers. It's important to remember those teachers who got you to where you are today, not just the teachers that will get you to where you are going this year.

What You'll Need
Mason Jar
Mod Podge
Hole punch
Caramel Corn recipe, click here
Printable for back-to-school, click here

What You'll Do
Gluing tags back to back using Mod Podge.
We filled this cute mason jar with LOVD's famous Caramel Corn recipe, click here to view. I used this cute and free printable from Katie of Sweet Rose Studio. Adorable, no? I glued two of the tags back to back to make it more substantial and stiff. Hole punch through the tag and wrap your filled mason jar with ribbon going through the tag. Voila! Ready to give!

Hole punch for the ribbon.

What You'll Need to Know to Finish
Visit last year's teacher and thank profusely, promising never to forget last year's fun as you look forward to this year's new adventures. I think you'd be surprised how many teachers appreciate when you pay it backward.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School and Summer Highlights

Today is the first day of school. Back to a schedule, a routine, a purpose. Here we go. Are you ready? It's going to be a good one! No doubt, some one will ask my son, "So, what did you do this summer?" And, no doubt, my son will reply, "Nothing." Well, in my defense, here's a collage of some of our summer activities.
I give you Exhibit A...
strawberry picking.mulch spreading.Father's Day in bed.kayaking.discovering tether-ball.Blue Canyon birthday brunch.Brave.Ohio Erie Canal and Reservation.Public Square.Erie Street Cemetery.Sweet Moses.Towpath Canals.Golf at Acacia and Windmill.Laurel Caverns.Big Mac Museum.Cleveland MetroParks Zoo.Bloomin' Onion at Outback for the first time.Duct tape museum on wheels.Baseball Championship Game.TRIPLE.swimming.hiking.Olympics.The Moving camp.cartooning camp.filming a documentary.creating a photo diary montage.rock cream

Enter Exhibit B
Cleveland Botanical Gardens.more golf.Super Hubby throws out first pitch.fireworks.Cleveland's West Side Market.swag hat.Old Western train ride and show.playdates.Holden Arboretum. Memorial for Great Grandma.Geneva-on-the-Lake.parties.birthdays.more hikes.road trips.discovery.library.biking.Omnimax Theater.Mama Santa's.grilling.dining on the deck.Kitchen Clambake.picnics.Frisbee.downtown Cleveland

Good luck to all your kiddos who start school this week and here's hoping your year is a great one! Off to make a homemade pancake breakfast to start the year off right. YUM!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gratitude Journal Monday

I'm never a happy camper when the school bell rings loud once again. I love having our son home, our days an open road of possibilities. This summer was low-key, no vacation highlights to speak of, but, oh!, so many memories to tuck away in our hearts. For me, our perfect summer day was lounging in PJ's until noon, opening all the windows and having the summer breeze flap the drapery sheers in a dancing motion; breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the deck, reading in the shade, indulging in the extravagant taste of a fresh peach, and getting excited over the captivating call of an ice cream truck as it plays Music Box Dancer. I think the days we most cherish are the simplest. I pray the majority of my days on Earth are as simple as just being, and enjoying being. I hope I always continue to appreciate the simplicity of life's days and label them as extraordinary.

281. I am thankful the school year is starting, again, because it is time.
282. I am grateful for a fun-filled summer exploring our local area and discovering some spectacular sites.
283. I am grateful our school community is like an extension of our family.
284. I am grateful for spur-of-the-moment playdates at the bowling alley.
285. I am thankful for friends, new and old, and those yet to be - what a blessing!

I began my Gratitude Journal, click here, over a year ago and it has truly changed my perspective on life. Start yours and discover how it can transform you, as well!

What simple things in life earn your gratitude?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goodbye Week. Hello Weekend. Lessons Learned: Take 58.

Goodbye sweet summer break as the memories take up residence in the crevices of our minds.
Goodbye staying up late, sleeping in, freedom, and no particular place to go.
Goodbye spending lazy days at the pool with dear friends and ordering the best grilled cheese sandwiches 2-bucks can buy.
Goodbye jamming in last-minute summer fun until it overflows.
Goodbye to two of the most awesome golf coaches my son ever had the privilege to learn from.
Hello to a weekend of parties, parties, and more parties.
Hello to watching unfamiliar cars drive by our house and people watching the bargain hunters at our annual neighborhood garage sale (my participation is not in the selling but rather in the buying).
Hello to stressing about the morning highway commute to school, back and forth, forth and back, Monday through Friday (a total of two hours per day).
Hello to haircuts so my littlest guy looks dapper and dude his first day.
Hello to back-to-school.

My lesson learned this week came through tears while watching the latest Disney release, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I don't want this to be a movie spoiler, so I won't say too much. But, I can tell you I have not bawled like that in a movie theater since Steel Magnolias. You know the scene: the one where Sally Field does her monologue in the cemetery after burying her daughter. Thank goodness for the comic relief at the end of that scene - sheesh! Well, crying all two hours at yesterday's movie really had the message hit home with me. We're all given a set-amount of gifts, and it is our responsibility to share, not hoard, those gifts with very specific people we come across in our lives. Once our gifts are shared with the world, our journey is complete and well-traveled. That's all I'm going to say. Go see the movie this weekend!

This post is not an endorsement for The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I was not compensated by Disney. It is just my personal suggestion and opinion.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Latest Indulgence

Just to get it out of the way, I was not, in any form, paid by Magnum Ice Cream to promote this delicacy of dairy richness. However, if they'd like to pay me in ice cream bars, I'd be more than happy to accept!

These are my latest weakness. Magnum Ice Cream is so rich, so yummy, I limit myself to one per week (they're also not so cheap). So, if you're an ice cream fan, try to find this decadent dessert at your local grocer. I get the bulk pack at my local BJ's. Treat yourself. You deserve it!

What decadence do you indulge in? Please, tell me you, too, have a weakness!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What I Made Wednesday {Easy-Breakfast Sun Toast}

I know, today's W.I.M. Wednesday is not so earth-shattering. Whether you've heard it called Birdie-in-a-Nest or Hole-in-One, you've seen this before and the concept is not rockin' your world. I get it. But I'm sharing it with you as a reminder to make it, whatever you want to call it. Why? Because it's fast, easy, delicious, nutritious, and portable (unless your kids like the yolk runny). So, consider this a reminder to think of this breakfast during the school morning rush and you can feel good you're sending them off with full tummies and alert brains ready for learning. All in less than 8 minutes!

We call it Sun Toast.

What You'll Need
1 Egg
1 Slice of bread ( I use 100% whole wheat)
1 pat of butter, less than a Tablespoon
1 Juice glass or biscuit cutter to create the hole
Frying pan
Spatula, to flip

What You'll Do
1. Melt butter over Medium heat. Don't burn it!
2. While the butter is melting, take your juice glass or biscuit cutter, about 3 inches in diameter, and press out a circle of bread from your slice. I use 100% whole wheat bread.

3. Plop the bread into the butter once melted. Then crack open the egg right into the hole. Does anyone else see a heart in the yolk?
4. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes then flip over to fry the other side for another 2 minutes. Cook for a shorter time if your kids like their yolk runny. Take off the heat, plate, and serve when hot.
Yummy, fast, easy, nutritious, delicious!
What You'll Need to Know to Finish
Like I said, this is such a good breakfast when sending off our young minds. It gets our tiniest scholars the protein they need to feel full until lunch time and feeds their bodies with the energy they need to get through their busy morning. Add some fruit and a glass of milk and even the Surgeon General would be sharing this post, maybe even become a Follower, too. How about you?

What go-to breakfast meals do you make for your kids before sending them off to school? I would love to know (we could use the variety). 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In the World, Not of the World

All summer long we, as parents, are our children's biggest influence. They spend time with us more than anyone else during summer break. So, unless they attend sleep-away camp, we, as parents, have a captive audience. What a perfect opportunity to pour some more good values into our kids brains and souls.

When school begins, our children are back with their friends and peers for the majority of the day. The ratio of time with you versus their time with friends flip-flops. But setting a strong value system is our parental duty so we can be confident they won't be influenced by the temptations the world makes so readily available to our kids. You're probably thinking I'm talking about drugs and alcohol, but, our son is a bit too young for that kind of influence right now. No, I'm talking about the typical 10-year-old temptations like joining in a mockery of another student because you want to be part of the cool crowd. Or, not taking the fruit each day at school because no body else does, yet you promised mom you would. Or, even begging to read a book way too mature for 10-year-olds because "everybody" is reading it. Don't get me started on the latest gadgets. Oh, please!

I repeat this phrase many-a-time during the school year: "In the world, not of the world." Simply what I mean is, we all live in this world together. There is no where else to go during our life here on Earth. We are all a part of it. Yet, the world in which we live is not the world from where we come. Our true home is with God, Spirit, any Higher Place you believe you come from and to where you will once again go home to.

The world is here for us to enjoy and there is so much beauty to absorb from it. But, there is right and there is wrong and the definity of the two rule differently depending on which world you are in. Pirating music, speeding, not giving back incorrect change, saying we're sick when we're not; it's all wrong but many of us still do it because the majority of the world does it so it must be OK. But, the majority doesn't make it right. We need to instill in our children that values do not come from what the world accepts to be OK, but rather what is known to be truly good and right, not in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God.

Still not clear? Try this: I think about Hollywood. Many people go to Hollywood and immerse themselves into that world. It can change them completely, and not for the better. Yet, the smart ones are able to live in that world, but not have that world become part of them. They think of Hollywood simply as their office, the place where they conduct business, but they don't make Hollywood, or their office, their home. Many know where their true home is and they base their actions and decisions on that value system.

It's simple really: either live your life contorting to fit into a temporary world, or avoid the influence of the masses and, instead, hold your ground to one day return to a permanent home of true glory. It's not always easy to go the opposite way of popularity, but the choice is yours.

Be sure to share this phrase with your kids and discuss what they think it means to them. What does it mean to you?


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