Monday, February 14, 2011
I have so many sweet Valentines. With four married children that have given us five amazing grandchildren the initial count is an easy thirteen, not to mention “our” beloved mother *Cha-Ching* number 14!!! But my number ONE, Valentine will always be the sweetest of all because he is “perfectly imperfect.” My precious husband of 30 years… my knight in shinning armor.
Well maybe not so shinny any more. He’s getting a little dented around the edges from all the years of dedication and loyal service to his adoring subjects. Still affectionately known as Mr. Can-Fix-Anything, he regularly mounts his mighty steed and rushes to help family on a regular basis since they all have chosen to set up residence within a few miles of his castle. How lucky are we!!! He truly is my better half, with the patience of Job… and it is with him that my heart beats hardest. He is my rock and sounding board and has always loved me unconditionally. Actually, that’s how he got most of those dents… the poor guy.
His primary focus and greatest joy is family. Half of which he inherited when marrying me. I was widowed at 27, with two babies to raise. Five years passed quickly as I was busy, busy, busy. Too busy to even think about romance. And then one day he walked into my life… all professional and in control. So reserved and serious; looking a little sad and lost. My very first thought was, “I could make this guy smile.” And smile he did. It was a whirlwind courtship. We met in March, started dating in August and were married by December. My boys were 9 and 6 by then. He had full custody of his 5 year old daughter so our blending made the package complete. We were an instant family. He was my hero. Eighteen months later we completed the circle of love and added a daughter of our own. Boy did we have our hands full now. He worked three jobs to support us…. four kids are expensive!!! And having been single for so long it was quit an adjustment for both of us but we became a team to be reckoned with and always had each other’s back. Oh yes, we were blessed but not without the normal trials and tribulations that life can throw at you. We learned to laugh… a lot… and trust each other completely with all our secrets. We grew to feel safe in the knowledge that our commitment to one another was absolute. He calms me down, I turn him on. The perfect yin and yang... we are complementary opposites and even after many hardships and lots of struggles we find comfort in the fact that our marriage will always be a work in progress with a lifetime contract that we gladly renew every anniversary. Like Zig Ziglar says, “Many marriages would be better if the husband and wife clearly understood that they're on the same side.” A truism I remind myself of often even to this day.
Not only are we marriage partners, parents and grandparents but we are business partners as well which adds another dynamic to the equation. Yep, he wears a lot of hats, and wears them all well. It has been through his eyes that I have learned that I really do deserve to be happy and I am worth loving. I am truly blessed to be his wife and my greatest wish would be to spend another 30 years married to my number one sweetheart. God willing I look forward to celebrating many, many more Valentine Days together. Thank you Michael for everything. I love you!
Monday, February 07, 2011
Kid's Ideas About LOVE
Kids, aged 5 to 10, were asked questions about what they thought of love and marriage. Here's what they said…..
"If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long." Glenn, age 7
"Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life." John, age 9
"I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful." Manuel, age 8
"No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular." Mae, age 9
"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too." Greg, age 8
"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife." Tom, age 5
"On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date." Mike, 10
"One of the people has freckles, and so he finds somebody else who has freckles too." Andrew, age 6
"My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That's what I'll do. I'll find somebody who's kinda tall and handsome." Carolyn, age 8
"It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I'm just a kid. I don't need that kind of trouble." Kenny, age 7
"When somebody's been dating for a while, the boy might propose to the girl. He says to her, 'I'll take you for a whole life, or at least until we have kids and get divorced.'" Anita, 9
"I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding fourth grade hard enough." Regina, age 10
"Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one." Angie, age 10
"A man and a woman promise to go through sickness and illness and diseases together." Marlon, age 10
"[Being] single is better . . . for the simple reason that I wouldn't want to change no diapers. Of course, if I did get married, I'd figure something out. I'd just phone my mother and have her come over for some coffee and diaper-changing." Kirsten, age 10
"Love is foolish...but I still might try it sometime." Floyd, age 9
"Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." Dave, age 8
My personal favorite…
"One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills." Ava, age 8
HAPPY HEALTHY HEART MONTH SPARKFRIENDS
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Did you know that Punxsutawney Phil is not the only famous weather predicting groundhog around? Some of the other famous groundhogs around the world include Dunkirk Dave, Shubenacadie Sam, Wiarton Willie, General Beauregard Lee, Peewee the Woodchuck and Staten Island Chuck. Fortunately, they all saw their shadows today and spring is on its way.
Well we always knew Spring was going to get here but some parts of the country have been longing for it sooner than others. Our winter in Southern California has been a mixed blessing with more rain than usual, beautiful warm sunny days and cold nights. We’ve even had some of those famous devil winds known as Santa Ana’s. In fact we had one last night that kept me awake for fear the house was going to blow away. Laying there all I could think of was the snow and ice storms predicted to hit the East coast and Canada, the bitter wind chills in the Mid West and Plains that will be 20 to 60 degrees below zero this morning, the cyclone racing towards Australia, the rains soaking the North East & Guam, the black ice on the roads in Europe and the stifling heat in Africa. You read about it online and watch it on TV but when you have SparkFriends who are living through it, it becomes personal. So I prayed for all my friends and thanked God for our mild winter. The morning light finally came, as will Spring, and the first thing on my agenda was to check what the groundhogs’ predicted and add the movie “Groundhog Day” to my Blockbuster queue. Love that movie!!!! It’s similar to my life before joining SparkPeople. I couldn’t seem to break that loop of starting and then quitting a diet. Now I know there are no bad foods so I can eat everything.. and I mean everything as long as it’s a single portion and I stay within calorie range each day. But that’s not the only reason I’ve been successful since joining Sparks. The people who I’m privileged to journey with have been a huge part of that success.
So to all my SparkFriends cheers to the good news of an early Spring and keep on Sparkling
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Yes, we live on the coast in southern California so most of our winter wonderland is about 2 hours north of us and we did get to spend a few days this month in beautiful Big Bear for a romantic get-a-way celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. There was snow and it was cold so we did get our winter fix.
Tony Kerst is a 40+ year resident of Big Bear Lake, CA. While a teacher in the local school district, his interest in photography began when he started using cameras in his classroom for visual literacy projects with his students. As his interest in photography grew, he began taking scenic photographs of Big Bear Lake, CA in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. I’d like to share some of his photos because he is a much better photographer than I am.
“At 8200’ above sea level, Snow Summit Ski Area in the San Bernardino Mts. of southern California, provides a unique vantage point to photograph the lake and mountains of Big Bear Lake, CA.”
“Gray squirrels abound in mountains around Big Bear Lake. Great tree climbers, they build nests high in the trees and feed off seeds and acorns on the ground. Fun to watch, and good subject matter for a photographer.”
“The Cassin’s finch is another winter bird commonly found throughout Big Bear. It’s bright red coloring becomes brilliant against a fresh snowfall and the green pine boughs of its perch.”
“Bald eagles arrive in Big Bear every November from their northern summer homes. From their high perches atop pines around the lake, they are able to hunt for aquatic life and survive our relatively mild winters.”
I hope you have enjoyed a look at our beautiful local Winter Wonderland because she’s not sticking around here for long this year. The snows are melting and the birds have begun their songfest welcoming the promise of spring as Mother Nature’s icy cold grip points the way to fragrant blossoms of pink here in Orange County. For those of you facing a long winters eve stay warm and safe by friends
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