Friday, April 24, 2009

"When You're Smiling, When You're Smiling...The Whole World Smiles With you..."

Where have I been for the last month since the last time I blogged? Literally, in a whirlwind of activities. I got up this morning at 2am to work, and after a brief talk with God took the time to look back on the last month since spring "break". I use those two words loosely since it snowed (again) during this time and didn't feel much like spring, and it didn't seem like a break since I spent most of my time at school working on the spring conference. However, it was a great luxury to get up at 5 or 5:30 instead of my usual 2:30 or 3!

Here are a few of the "current events" in no particular order:

1) I am thrilled to be teaching a new class on gender communication, and I am loving all the new learning I am doing about my own gender and the opposite gender. I have 39 in that class (the cap is 27) and some folks are sitting on the floor since my classroom cannot accomodate that many desks. All have chosen to stay no matter the cramped quarters, and we are having a blast. :) Did you know that if you inject female baby monkeys with testosterone they will be as aggressive as male monkeys? Did you know that in families who choose to raise boys without any guns present as toys that the boys will make guns and swords out of carrots or even pieces of bread? Lots of work to prep for a new class, but well worth the effort!!

2) The Spring Communication Conference is right around the corner. This is an event at SCC, put on by my department, that I have been in charge of for the past four years. We now have a practical business communication class that helps to put on the conference with me, and it is a magical experience to watch students take full responsibility for putting on a conference for 1,ooo people with speakers, food, decorations, and marketing on a budget of ZERO DOLLARS! We get donations for everything. Yesterday we did a "marketing blitz" and it was a huge success! Very rewarding!! This year I have three managers who helped with the conference last year...what a gift! It takes hundreds of hours of work, but it is a life-like learning for my students!!

3) It was so, so fun to have the annual "Easter Extravaganza" at our home again for our entire extended family...complete with spring flowers everywhere, Easter baskets for all, a cool Easter egg hunt, and a wonderful brunch with yummy contributions from family members. I LOVED seeing everyone together having fun and relaxing, and since I love traditions this is one I want to keep matter how busy I may be. He is risen!!

4) Easter weekend Emma came for an overnight and since Jessi and Rog were out of town at a triathlon I got to take her to her first soccer game in Deer Park. She is such an amzing little girl and watching her make 7 goals ( in the pouring down rain)was so fun. Plus her enthusiasm for decorating for Easter, and getting the eggs filled with candy and money, matches my own!!:) We had a blast , and having one-on-one time with her warmed my heart!

5) After our "flood" in January of this year (see previous post for pictures of water soaked carpet and waterfalls coming out of our recessed lighting), we are headed for some major reconstruction this late spring and summer. ..that will be BOTH inside and out as the damage is quite major. Most of the drywall ceilings on our main floor need to be replaced and everything painted. Flooring must come up in some rooms and be replaced. The contractor was here yesterday with a game plan. Since I hate having my home in any disarray, we are "reframing" this positively by saying that we are getting spruced up and insurance is paying for it. A gift that doesn't look gift wrapped!

6) Amy's car accident, where she was driving and another car went through a red light and smashed into the driver's side of her car, left us stunned, angry, sad, and grateful. She has had some awful whiplash-related hurts to deal with (and continuing pain and headaches)...but she could have easily been killed. We are SO grateful to God that she is recovering. My "Mommy's heart" almost breaks every time my daughters are hurt, and this was no exception. First a deer for Jessi and then a careless driver for Amy. God and I have had some long talks about all of this.

7) I have LOVED any time I have spent with grandchildren recently. They are growing up SO fast. Zac is such a fine, tall, and smart young man, and he is learning to DRIVE....that's right, like drive a car!! How can that be???? Having time with Kayla over spring break was such a joy and seeing her play soccer is great fun for me! She is a beautiful young lady, inside and out. Jacob is growing in leaps and bounds and is beyond wonderful and Jenna steals my heart every time I see her. She is talking up a storm and is as cute as her Mama!! What a joy it is to see the babies of my babies grow up to be wonderful, loving, caring, talented children!! Great parenting is going on!!

8) Oh...and one more reframe. We received notice from the IRS that we are being audited for 2005. Since many of our past IRS records were water soaked in the "flood"... as they were stored upstairs where the flood took place...I have been getting additional records from our banks and places we contribute to. It seems we make too many contributions to charity (more than the norm) and that kicks up the IRS red flag that something may be amiss. We tithe at our church (and did at two churches in 2005) and contribute to multiple organizations that need help (Christ's Kitchen, Cup of Cool Water etc). No matter what the cost or inconvenience...we will continue to be givers. We've been audited before and they owed us money when it was all done. But it's lots of extra work when your records look like a combination of cardboard box and paper mache. Again, we're keeping our sense of humor!

That's it for me as April almost comes to an end! Whew! We have so much to be grateful for. God is good and we are grateful! I keep singing the old tune my Mom and Dad loved..."when you're smiling, when you're smiling...the whole world smiles with you!"...and that puts a smile on my face!

Love and hugs to all of you!
God Bless!

Finding Comfort in Kindness...sharing from the heart

                                If every person made it a rule that                          wherever you are, whenever you              ...