LEAP DAY – JUMP FOR JOY

TL 2-29 LEAP DAYApproximately every four years, nature flips a switch and we get an extra day in February!  Today the switch was flipped and here we are!  Happy Leap Day!  So, I wanted to find out what’s in it for us – other than another day to enjoy my February perpetual calendar…  lol.untitled (59)

You have to check this out – so funny!  Did you know that you can consume a TON of bacon on leap day to make up for all the other days when you don’t eat it?  Um…  nah – not really.  Fake Leap Year Facts:  https://twitter.com/hashtag/FakeLeapYearFacts?src=hash

The people in banking do not get this day off.  It’s not a National Holiday.  If you have banking business – go for it because they will be open.

Several restaurants in our area are offering specials.  Here are just a few:

untitled (56)If it’s your turn to take the doughnuts to work – here ya go!!!  🙂  Remember, you do have to buy one dozen at regular price to get the second one for $2.29.  The ad said this is good at every Krispy Kreme in the U.S.

I just had a funny thought.  When all those rulers way back when were trying to decide which month to add the day to – they almost chose August.  If they had chosen August, then that second dozen doughnuts would be costing $8.29.  LOL!  I know…  bad joke.  Sorry.

https://twitter.com/schlotzskys

The Schlotzsky’s restaurants in Wichita (all 4 locations) are offering $1 off any sandwich today.  Check their twitter page to see if that special is good in your neck of the woods.  It looked like this special was good for everyone – not just those born on leap day.

https://twitter.com/pizzahut

Pizza Hut will dish out a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza to carry out customers with IDs showing they were born on leap day.  Good deal for those who only get to celebrate their TRUE date of birth every 4 years or so!GOD WILL BE OUR UMBRELLA

https://twitter.com/Eat_At_Ruckels

untitled (58)The ad also said if you were born on leap day you get a free meal (ID required, of course).

There are great deals today for leap day babies!  If you go to Twitter and type LEAP DAY SPECIALS in the search engine, it will take you to a page that has all the goodies for the day!  🙂

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A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)LET GOD DO THE POURINGIt’s unusual for me to ask for a cup of coffee to go from a restaurant.  The other day I just could not get enough coffee!  I love Village Inn because they make fantastic coffee and you don’t just pay for a cup of coffee – they give you a whole pot for yourself!  I drank several cups and it was just so good – I emptied the pot!  Then I wanted more…

I anticipated a similarly smooth taste from the to go cup – but was surprised and disappointed when I took a sip – my to go coffee was bitter – as though it was the bottom of the pot or had set on the burner too long.  Ugh!  Has that ever happened to you?  

When I received this poem from Lucinda, my first thought was, “Oh, how I wish God had poured the coffee into my to go cup!”  I’m so sure the coffee He pours for us is a perfect brew every time – and is surely never bitter!

While other bloggers are asking the tired old question, “Have you given up on your New Year’s Resolution???”  I’m going to ask, “Have you continued to thank God for all of your many blessings this year?”  We tend to pick up the thankfulness around Thanksgiving and drop it somewhere between Christmas and the New Year.  It’s sad, because God doesn’t stop blessing us after the new year begins, does He?

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  – Psalm 34:8

I’m not fussing at you, this is just a reminder to continue thanking God for His good gifts.  The boundless supply of grace, mercy and love He brings into our lives – His own brand of peace that is not understood by those who do not know Him.  Let’s not take these daily gifts for granted – ever.

God loves you so much.  He shows us his matchless love every day in many ways.  How does He love us?  Let us count the ways!  Let Him pour your coffee or tea today – I know it will be the best tasting beverage you’ll drink all day!  🙂

 

BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEK

TL FEBRUARY 21-27 BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEKFor better or for worse, image matters in all things!  The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!2-21 BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESTINY

I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned.  After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell.  Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad.  Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special.  😦

I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.”  I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers!  If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead!  A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality!  I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?

Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house.  One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven!  Triggers are different for everyone.  Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing.  It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there.  And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems!  We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house.  Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house.  I’d be curious to know if they still work today.  New construction does not offer intercom systems.  That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.

Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about.  Trip the trigger – make the sale.  Cha-ching! 

Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people.  It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows.  Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth.  The rest is up to you.  Sell your product.  Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.

Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed.  Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.

What can you do to build a better trade show image???  It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course.  There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  It might work!  🙂

 

DEALING WITH DYSLEXIA

DYSLEXIA WORD CLOUD

BLESSINGS FROM PAIN

I received a message on facebook from a gentleman who has a daughter with dyslexia.  She’s in elementary school and faces challenges daily.  He says it is something new every day…  joked that at least it’s not boring.  He asked if I’d write a post about my experiences with dyslexia and talk about how my parents dealt with it.

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.  – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Well…   we all take it as it comes – but of all the supportive things I remember my parents doing, the most important one was…  they always encouraged me to be better, but they praised me when I did my best.  I was one of the lucky ones because I was diagnosed early and got into special education in elementary school.  So many people are adults before they are told they have dyslexia.  That has to be so frustrating!

Bless my parents – they made sure that my grade school made use of my talents in music and encouraged the positives I had to contribute instead of focusing on the negatives – the spelling errors, illegible handwriting, careless errors in math, and length of time it took me to write an essay.  I have wonderful memories of playing vibes in a music class performance.  Nobody in my school made me feel stupid or inept.  My teachers encouraged my talents, and I believe it’s because my parents were involved in my education.DYSLEXIA

Parents of dyslexic children have to keep their ears close to the door of the classroom.  They have to be involved every step of the way.  My mother had constant communication with not only the teachers but also the principal and everyone else responsible for my learning experience.

It wasn’t easy…  homework was horrible!  I went to bed crying every night because I felt so stupid.  One thing I did learn early in life is that you need to resist the temptation to compete with smart kids.  Our smart kid was Karen “Blythe” Watson.  I heard through the grapevine that she is now a successful lawyer.  I’m not surprised!  Blythe was everything I wanted to be – I so wanted to be her.  I don’t know why, but I was always invited to her slumber parties and I felt so COOL because the smart girl wanted me for a friend!  Blythe had naturally curly hair – long and thick…  in the 1970’s that was THE cool hair to have!

Keep your child in a good circle of friends because that’s going to help her self-esteem.  If at all possible, surround her with the smart kids – because dyslexic kids are slow – but we’re not stupid.  It takes us longer to notice stuff – but we get there.  We are good and listening to others and catch on when we hear good ideas from smart kids.  Our problem is with visuals – perceptions – concepts.  We can learn!  We are determined to learn…  we just don’t learn the same way.

When they showed films in school – other kids were taking notes and I was wondering what they were writing down that I had somehow missed.

Even today visual learning is not good for me.  Pop in a CD (back then it was a cassette tape – LOL) – and let me listen to it a couple of times – then I grasp the concept – if I can hear it without words on a screen or pictures – I can get it.  I’m all about books on CD – love ’em! 

I used to listen to my devotionals each day – and I still hop on the computer and listen to them!  Reading weighs me down – I do read because I’m determined to overcome this disability…  I’m stubborn.  This isn’t going to win – it just isn’t.

Not every child learns the same way, and educators need to realize that.12345408_1096907133676554_2760705983542940339_n

Be your child’s biggest encouragement.  People in the world will not be kind, so it’s up to you to find your child’s strengths and offer lessons to them.  Pull the weeds – but make sure you water the flowers.  The flowers I grew were musical.  I took private piano lessons for many years every Thursday afternoon.  I’m not a great pianist – but it’s something I was pretty good at – playing music makes me feel good.

Today I’m more well-rounded and I’m a better reader than I’ve been before.  I’ve not read WAR & PEACE – but I read to entertain myself these days, which I never thought would happen.  I do still have to follow the words with my finger – I don’t think that will ever change.  My eyes tend to skip lines and twist words and numbers – so…  it does get interesting sometimes.

I hope this post helps you as parents.  Dyslexic kids are slow – but there are eye exercises that help (remember the pencil exercise – ???  Keep your eye on the lead portion as the pencil comes closer to your face…  LOL).  They said it would strengthen my eyes – I think it gave me headaches.  :-/

Let your child know that you understand their frustration and keep the lines of communication open with them about it.  If they want to cry during homework time – let the tears come.  Just cry with them and don’t make them feel worse or use a nasty tone of voice or mean words with them.  It does not help.

Encourage your child to be better than she was yesterday.  Don’t compete with others, but be more complete yourself!  Comparison with others makes us feel like failures, but if we see our lives as God sees them, we will know that He gives us gifts and talents.  Maybe I can’t do math in my head, but I can do some things that others can’t…  so if you combine my gifts with the gifts of others – how cool is that?  We sharpen one another’s iron and that makes everyone better, right?  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35friday-706915_1280Since today is Friday, I thought it would be fun to show you some FRIDAY FACES.  If you have to ask what a Friday Face is, then you obviously have not had to endure a job you hated for a long time.  A Friday Face is that look of pure joy that washes over you when you realize that you have finally completed a week and will have two days all to yourself to do what you really enjoy doing. 

There are many weekend warriors out there – I have been in the ranks in my life.  For the most part I enjoyed my work, but there were a couple of jobs that I didn’t think I’d survive – yet with God’s help, I did.BEAUTIFYING WITH THE TEENAGER

Happiness really is an inside job!  We have choices to enjoy the ones we live with or spend time fussing with them.  I choose to enjoy my loved ones because life is just way too short (so am I, but we’ll save that subject for another post).

Here’s my FRIDAY FACE!  WHAT CAN MAN DO TO MEHere’s my FRIDAY FACE!  Bring on the weekend…  I’m sleepin’ in!BE AT REST ONCE MORELOL…  a different Friday in a different year.  🙂  Spa days are so much fun!!!

girl-453096_1920She’s just a little ready for the weekend…  I’d say so!chipmunk-pig-1182230_1920I can dig the pig in the tote…  say that five times fast… LOL!!!

feet-767045_1920During the week he wears shined shoes with an expensive suit and tie.  This weekend he will put on hiking boots and work off some stress on a familiar trail that seems to be calling his name.  This is the man he really is, not the stuffed shirt people see during the week.  By Monday he will be ready to do what they pay him to do, but he won’t think about that until Sunday night.  He’s a good man and does what he has to do to take care of his family – but he dreams of a time in life when he can live in the hiking boots and walk the trail anytime he wants to seek adventure outdoors.girl-102829_1920

She works in a flower shop all week inside a local grocery store.  Every Friday she puts a freshly cut flower in her hair, thanks God for seeing her through yet again and leaves the store with a big grin on her face, knowing that she has the weekend to recharge her batteries so she can get up on Monday morning and do it all over again.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  – Proverbs 3:5-6

Yes I know there are so many things on your mind right now.  The election and other assorted divisive issues have all of us feeling a burden like never before.  But for today – just for this one Friday…  I want to let it go – give it all to GOD – and bask in the blessings from God – on this day and in this weekend.

If you want to be happy, be.  – Leo Tolstoy

Marian’s photo reminded me that we need to take moments with our family members – and laugh – and take selfies to post on facebook!  YES!!!

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  – Isaiah 55:9

God gave us these marvelous people to weather life’s storms with – and it’s not that we are in denial of what is happening around us, but rather it is an awakening of sorts, a realization that our family and friends – they are our blessings…  God’s wonderful gift to us.  Have a blessed and happy Friday!  Enjoy the weekend!  🙂

 

 

 

 

EAT ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST

TL 2-18 EAT ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFASTICE CREAM FOR BREAKFASTWhat is your favorite flavor???  Strawberry, vanilla, chocolate – or maybe all three – NEAPOLITAN!  I am eating a bowl of low-fat, no sugar added mint chocolate chip from my local Braum’s store.  Oh, it’s good!   While eating ice cream for breakfast is such a great idea, the most important part of this is WHY I’m eating ice cream for breakfast – and why you should too…

I invite you to click on the link below to find out more about this great holiday – and it would be a great idea to contribute to a children’s hospital such as St. Jude’s today – and give in honor of one of the children they are helping there.

https://eaticecreamforbreakfast.com/

In the comments below, let me know what flavor ice cream you are having for breakfast this morning – and who you’re eating it in honor of.

My special little person is Bella.  Her daddy is a minister here in Wichita.  My friend attends their church and reports that the whole church is praying in faith and trusting in our Lord to heal this little girl…  she’s a precious and brave little soldier she has so much faith!

Sometimes her counts will be down so she’ll come to church wearing a mask with her hands raised up high praising the Lord she’s such an inspiration to us all.   – Denna Bowmaker

Bella was diagnosed at 18 months old with a brain tumor.  They did surgery when she was 22 months old to take as much of the tumor out as they safely could.  Since the tumor is attached to the optic nerve, the entire tumor could not be removed surgically.  She’s gone through several rounds of chemo in her young life.  At times the tumor stops growing.  Unfortunately, it’s currently growing so she is going back to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Tennessee for more chemotherapy.

Recently the enzyme levels in her liver were elevated so they had to stop chemo.  Once they get the levels back to normal they resume treatment.

Her church family is constantly lifting her to God in prayer.  They even wear shirts!  Isn’t that great?12439263_1092000810831817_1893896791231558060_nThe photo is dark – but it says, FIGHT AGAINST BRAIN CANCER BECAUSE I NEED BELLA IN MY LIFE – SUPPORTING BELLA’S BATTLE.

Please visit BELLA’S BATTLE on facebook!  There are photos and updates from Bella’s parents.  Above all, please join your prayers with ours – because our God is the GREAT PHYSICIAN!

https://www.facebook.com/BellasBattle/?fref=ts

As I enjoy ice cream, I’m thinking of her, praying for her and hoping that God will touch this sweet six-year-old and heal her.  She’s so brave and has such BIG faith!

https://www.stjude.org/

May God richly bless you as you bless these little ones.  We overlook so many blessings and take for granted that which many of these children would appreciate so much.  The health we enjoy (although yes as we get older we creak and pop) is what these children would consider a miracle in their lives.  Do you have a child who is in good health?  Give thanks and make a donation to St. Jude to help those families who are concentrating on regaining good health for their child.  🙂

 

 

 

 

WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

TL 2-17 SORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY

Today is WORLD HUMAN SPIRIT DAY.  This holiday was started by Michael Levy of Point of Life in 2003 to promote a human spirit that lives the creative, peaceful, loving life that it was meant to live.  People all over the world are encouraged to take 2 minutes at 3pm ET to meditate and find the true spirit of freedom and peace that lives within each of us.

Of course, I’d say it would be a good idea to pray for those 2 minutes.  Be thankful to God for all the blessings He’s given you.  Thankfulness is not just for the month of November, you know!  It’s good to give thanks to the Lord year-around with a humble and contrite spirit.  That’s the way to find peace, love and compassion within.

PRAYER TO SEEK GODI PRAY BEFORE I PLAYThe most difficult part of being a pianist in church is playing the invitation hymn at the end of the service.  That is when God’s Holy Spirit speaks to everyone – it’s a solemn time and I was always afraid that I would do something to distract from that precious work – for I am so very, very human at times.

It’s good to celebrate the strength and courage of our human spirit – but how much better to acknowledge the source from which we glean those characteristics!  How much better our own spirits become when mulled with the precious gift from God – His own Holy Spirit, which Jesus promised us when He ascended into Heaven!

May we take 2 minutes today to bask in the warmth of His amazing love.  May we stay silent and listen to what He is saying to us.  May we willingly have our spiritual batteries recharged by Him and lift our hearts and hands in reply, letting Him know we love Him.

Join me today to celebrate the human spirit, yes – but more importantly, to celebrate the power source – God’s precious Holy Spirit.A BIG CUP OF A BIG GODIf God (and His Holy Ghost) came in a coffee cup…  hmm – interesting!  🙂