December 27, 2010

$ Cents-Less Bargining $

I am not going to lie to you.
It takes some effort, time and savvy thinking to get bargains to brag about.

The way I look at it is, is that working at my jobs also takes time and effort.
...And when you work with children a certain kind of savvy thinking too.
So I either shop smarter or work even more.
I choose shopsing.

Here is what a good great bargain looks like:

12.6 oz. Pantene shampoo @ 2/7.00
7.00 minus a P & G 3.00 coupon = 4.00
I also had a coupon for get a free shampoo with a purchase
BUT....that is not all.
I also got Walgreens Register Rewards for 2.00 back.
So in the end it cost me 2.00 for 3 shampoos.
OR  .66 cents each bottle!  Not too bad.

Colgate toothbrush for 2.99 - 2.00 Reg. Rewards = .99
.99 - 1.00 coupon = FREE +.01


Gillette Clinical Deodorant buy 1 Get 1  1/2 off.
8.99 + 4.50 =13.49
13.49 - (2) 3.00 coupons = 7.49
(7.49 is cheaper than 1 Deodorant alone cost.)
The Deodorant boxes had coupons in them that I took out at the store and used.
One was for Buy a Deodorant Get Body Wash free (4.49 value)
The other was buy a Body Wash Get 1 free.
So I got 4 Body Washes for free.
But I also got the 50% off 2 of the washes for another 4.50 savings
7.49 - 4.50 = 2.99 div 6 items = .50 each!
OR Deodorants @ 1.50 each
AND 4 free Body Washes

I am almost done.
I won't make you suffer through all my sales.
My family members have that role.

My "deals" made for great Christmas "gifts-of-necessity" for my children.
This one-of-a-kind certificate was followed by a shopping spree in MY store amidst groaning of ,"Ah do we have to?"
It was fun (for me) and very affordable.  I spent around 7.00-10.00 per child to buy 40.00+ worth of products.  Brag, brag , brag.

If I send in 50.00 of receipts to P & G I get 110.00 back in coupons.
AND another 50.00 of receipts gives me a rebate for a 20.00 check!!


"Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?" 

December 25, 2010

It's Here!

UPDATE:  As a new blogger I am still learning.
Having "profile picture" as a title has attracted, how shall I say it?   Scum.
These are words I will not use again as they have been grotesquely misinterpreted.
It is unnerving to me how those who prey will search far and wide for anything!

Please take a minute or five to concentrate on my first ever profile pic.

A big thank you goes out to my three year old granddaughter for providing this current rendition of how I look.

Mind you, this is on a good day!  

Sorry it is so light.

(F.Y.I. It was drawn with Crayola dry erase crayons I got as samples given out at my conference back in November.  Those little dark squares are the finger erasers that came with the samples.)


December 22, 2010

I Won't Ever Do It Again!

Bar blog hopping that is.

It has the same effect that looking at the swimsuit issue a fashion magazine has on me.
It's disheartening! 

I have accidentally intentionally happened upon these  
delightfully decorated homes with enough Christmas charm to re-shrivel the Grinch's heart or cause an overdose of "crafty cuteness".

I then look around my place and start talking to the invisible people who reside here, complaining about the lack of ____ or surplus of ____.
(The blanks can pretty much be filled with anything you I can think of.)

I am not feeling warm and fuzzy after these blog tours.

So I am not going to hop anymore.
I won't ever do it again!

(Now if someone can just make them ME quit Following me them!)

December 19, 2010

Did You Know It Was Love?

Did you know it was love that was sent from above to the Earth?

These are some of the words that were sung at the church Christmas program today.

At this time of year with all the demands and hustle and bustle and commercialism it is easy to forget that this season REALLY is about love.

It is hard for me to imagine the faith, obedience and love of Mary, a woman willing to bear God's son.
Knowing she was human, being asked to participate in the most spiritual act any mother would ever be asked to perform.
That of bringing God's son into this world.
(I would have had a long "are you sure...?" list.)

I think of the character of her husband Joseph, willing to take a wife bearing another's child.
The trusting faith, coupled with love for his heavenly father, his wife and an unborn child.
Truly an example of a man of God.

Love can only describe a Father willing to send His son to Earth knowing he would be persecuted for who he was.
His Father's son.
Knowing it was the only way to save all His children.
"How grateful I am to know that God loves us. The incomprehensible depth of that love found expression in the gift of His Only Begotten Son."
-- Gordon B. Hinckley

Think of the love of the man willing to be born in a stable and spend a life in selfless service to numerous people, many who would never believe his message.
Someone who would willingly sacrifice and in the end, give His life that we could all live again.

Mostly I think of the example of love Jesus showed through His lessons on how to treat others.
That one of the most important lessons about love He taught, to love one another as He has loved us (mentioned at least 5 times in John), is sometimes the hardest gift to give.
That it is easier to spend money and give materially than it is to give from our heart.

Maybe mention of scriptures is uncomfortable or not the appropriate place on this kind of blog.
Perhaps that is true, but what I do know is that all the pain inflicted in my life by others could have been prevented if love of others had been the model to follow.

So as I struggle within myself to get in the spirit of Christmas, I intend to ask myself often,"Did you remember it was because of love?" and "In what little way can I show love to another?"

I am grateful for the love I have been blessed with!

How did you know it was love? 

"May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love."
--Thomas S. Monson

December 16, 2010

The Shelf On The Elf

One of the Kindergartners told me about an elf who showed up at his house.

This elf on the shelf moves around "spying" on him to report back to Santa about his behavior.

It had made me suspicious as I looked around the shelves in my home.

Was there some mini-midget with pointed ears and tiny shoes stalking me?

What would his report state (about me) to the Big Guy up North?

* Has red nightie.  Flannel. 

* Thinks Christmas is still two months away.  

* The only holiday baking smells are cinnamon Red Hot gum.

*  No decorations. 

*  Currently on vacation in Denial.

*  Wonders why the news is highlighting houses decorated in festive lights in sync to holiday music.

*  States that her shopping is done (because she isn't going to do any.)

*  It sounds like the cat is purring to the tune of "You're a mean one..."

P.S.  Did the Grinch have a wife?


I am not sure what happened, but when I got up this morning there were the likes of miniature Ruby-like-Slippers sticking out from a fallen shelf. 

(It closely resembled the tornado stricken Kansas house accident.)
Did I mention the slippers fit perfectly?!

December 12, 2010

$ Cents-Less Gift Giving$

"Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money."  ~Author Unknown

This is tip #5  from my last $Cents-Less $ post.

$$ 5)  We have to begin somewhere.

If our "style" has been to give lavish or costly personalized gifts
it may be hard for us to change that.
Either because we do not want to disappoint others
Or do not want to admit that we can no longer afford to do that.

If we do not want to go more into debt or are just not able to give as before,
because we no longer have the means to do that,
there are things we can do and still gift to others. 

Memories are about emotion
So give gifts from the heart.

Service gifts are usually appreciated and keep giving even after the Big Day.

It helps if you know the needs of the recipient when deciding what to give.


One mother told me that she so appreciated when her husband watched the children for an hour or two so she could have some time for herself.  (I am not going to comment.)

Yard work coupons.  My son gave me several coupons for 1-2 hrs of yard work that I could cash in on and boy did I.  (Counterfeiting even crossed my mind.)

Childcare.  You can stipulate what days and how many hours you are available.

Sewing.  Offer to take in mending or make a ??? pillow of their choice etc.

Cooking.  Offer a meal or more on designated days that work for you.  Or make and freeze ones with directions for heating attached, maybe adding salad and fresh veggies and bread?

Baking.  Offer to help bake for them for the school carnival, big fund-raising event (they signed up for), a special birthday cake or goodies for each month of the year.

Carpool.  Offer to drive their children to school or an elderly parent to the store or appointment one day a week (?) for a month.

Painting or other home project.  Offer to help or do it yourself if you feel so inclined.

Professional Services.  Give an hour of typing, computer repair, decorating advise, photography, home repairs or landscaping ideas.

REMEMBER- Only offer choices you can live with and be specific about availability if you need to be.

Other ideas:

A cookbook with your families' favorite recipes.  Since my children have all moved away I am aware how often they want to know 'how do you make....?'
This is what I am giving this year.  (Since they don't read my blog it's safe to say.)

A book with the start of your family history.  You can start with a recent story.  Record a favorite family tradition and how it got started.
Then add to it for birthdays and other holidays throughout the year.
These become priceless gifts as we grow older.
(Make sure to keep a copy of each for yourself.)
My sister did this for me but stopped adding.  I was disappointed.
(She doesn't read me either so I don't have to worry about hurting her feelings.)

A movie basket for the whole family with a gift card or a movie itself and popcorn and candy.

Recorded music of their favorite genre or that tell a story of a special time in their lives.
(Can't you hear a song and be swept back to your high school/college days?)

A clothes basket with laundry supplies plus a coupon for a few loads done for them.

A toolbox with the start of basic things that can be added to over the years.  (Although this was not on my sons' list, they are glad they had it when needed and have added to it themselves.)

A bathroom/make-up bag filled with travel items that will be ready to go when they are.

EVERYONE has talent!

Share that with your loved ones.

One Christmas (when I was still married), it was decided amongst the in-laws (upon my request because many of us had little money) to make only homemade gifts for the person whose name was chosen.  
This was not well received at first because they did not consider themselves "crafty" but they went along.  
It ended up being such a touching Christmas that it is still remembered.
One sibling made a VHS (it was a long time ago) holder for his sisters collection of movies.
Another made her famous salsa.
Two were extremely talented in painting ceramics and gave pieces that were personalized.
The two children received homemade quilts and wooden beds for their dolls with their names painted on the foot-board. 

Write a poem.

Compose a song.

Paint a picture.
Make homemade general or thank you cards.

Frame a photo you took.

Write a letter to a loved one telling them how much they mean to you and why.
Or to a parent thanking them for all the 'right' things they did.
These are priceless gifts to the recipient and only cost you some heartfelt feelings.


Maybe you can still purchase gifts but on a smaller budget.

If friends, loved ones, or yourself will hold grudges for not getting what they want, your problems are bigger than money can buy.

It is not a good way to start the year with stress and resentment (at yourself?) because you are in over your head. 

The hardest part is convincing yourself that it is O.K. to change the rules this year.

IT IS O.K.! 

If you are stuck and don't know what to give send it this way and we'll brainstorm!

"Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money."  ~Author Unknown

December 11, 2010

$ Cents-Less Bugeting Basics $

Budgeting is one of those words like:
And Contractions.
They all can have negative connotations when you hear them.

As I mentioned here,
Budgeting comes in all shapes and sizes.

One of the biggest factors to successfully getting out of debt,
Or accumulating savings is in what we tell ourselves.

If like dieting or exercising we tell ourselves all the "we can'ts",
Being thrifty will feel like a punishment instead of our key to freedom.

If on the other hand, it appears as a ticket to a better way of life,
it can become a fun, challenging way of looking at and bettering our circumstances.


$$ 1)  Our financial solution is unique to each of us and our family.
That means we will need to know more about who we are
And about our spending habits and needs.

$$ 2)  It has been said that we only change when we get sick of where we are at.
If we are worn down by always living paycheck to paycheck
(And in some cases, not even making that),
We want to have some money in savings,
Or if we are weary of debt dictating our peace of mind
then we may be ready to make some needed changes.

$$ 3)  Know that these changes are not a punishment but a reward for all the hard work we do.
When we feel like we are just 'treading water' money-wise
We may get discouraged, feeling like we are in survival mode.

Fighting to survive can become overwhelming and we may want to give up.
If that happens we may surrender carelessly spending ourselves into debt oblivion,
Feel as if there is no hope of things changing,
Or become despondent and think that life itself no longer has value.

$$ 4) Self sufficiency does not depend only on how much money we make.
Many wealthy people are smothering in their financial 'plastics'. 
What does matter is that we spend less than what we earn
And are able to begin saving.

$$ 5) We have to begin somewhere.
With the Holidays here, now may seem like the worst time of the year to start.
We each will have to decide.
I will say that if we curb our spending now, we will be that much more ahead starting the New Year.

When January comes, we will be glad we did things different now.
That will be a first step to positive change.

$$ 6) Overspending can be tied to emotional feelings.
This blog is not advise-fix for that.
That is professional territory.
For if we do not heal the void that spending is filling (be it temporary)
No matter how hard we want change, we will soon enough return to our old habits
Or ofttimes replace them with another vise.

$$ 7) And finally, another good thing that comes from making financial progress
is that we can not help but learn more about the person who has been living within us.
When we do, it frees us to make healthy adjustments
which pays back in returns; greater love and respect for self.
Thus greater self esteem.
Thus better decisions in the future.

I will try to touch in more detail on each of these basics in the future,
giving examples in each case if possible.


Disclaimer- This is my personal opinion and is not professional advise.

Debt, n.  An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911 

December 8, 2010

An Unexpected "Mom" Paycheck

When you are a stay-at-home-mom,
"official" paychecks come about as often as coconuts grow in Kansas.
Not. very. often.

I coined this phrase, 'mom paycheck', when my children were young and would get complimented for their behavior
or for something kind they had done
or when they stood up for a family value on their own.

This week I got a mom paycheck from my daughter.

It was the end of school and she showed up at my job with a bouquet of multi-colored carnations.
They are my favorite flower and are my favorite color.
(I took some out and left them in my classroom.)

I, being the gracious mother I am, asked, "Oh, so what are these for?" 

The Director then came out and met my daughter and saw the flowers.
I explained where they were from and she said, "If my daughter brought me flowers I would wonder what she wanted or did wrong."
(I am glad I am not the only gracious mother.)

While I walked my daughter to her car, she sort of explained why she brought them, in the roundabout way that we communicate.
She then left, with me still not certain what prompted her kind act.

It was then that I saw the card.
It said simply, Thanks for everything.
Maybe that wasn't simple after-all.
Those words touched my heart!

 As I was walking back to the classroom I received a text from her that said,
"I guess i just realized with all the stuff moms put up with they need to be thanked"

My second mom paycheck in a row!

I am the richest woman alive!

Not to worry, I will still continue to write my $cents-less$ tips.

 (Oh wait, a substantial return on your (parenting) investment?  This was one of those cents-less tips!)

"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul."  ~The Koran

December 6, 2010

Make Her Quit Looking At Me!

Remember the Mirror/s?

The past couple of days I did not like the reflection I was seeing.
In my mirror!

Because it was none other than me!

I could not blame it on my carnival/gypsy past
(because I never had one),
Nor could I accuse someone else, as I was the one yelling,
"Who is the fairest one of all?!" 
(Or at least whose opinions are?)

Thank goodness my son who was on the other end of the line,
cleared the blur by wiping my mirror off with Windex or some other humbling cleaning product (he had to hang up the phone to do it.)

When he called me back and spoke just of the 'good parts' of what I had said,
I commended him for being such an amazing son, husband, father, and man.

He said it was because I was the fairest one of all.

Well, what he really said was that it was because he was my son (that it was because I was his mom.)

I would like to take all the credit for him taking the higher road,
but my method of forgiving is a lot more bumpy and has a slow ascent, incline(ation).
I am no where near as mature or as loving and quick to pardon and forget as he was.

Thank you for looking past all my the cracks and imperfections!

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury."~E.H. Chapin 

December 5, 2010

The $ Cents-Less Budgeter $

Hopefully I can consistently share a featured money-saving tip.

I just happened to find one yesterday.
(And I wasn't even looking.)
Actually, budgeters ALWAYS have their keen eyes open.

I have always had dry skin and found 7-In-1 Anti-Aging Oil of Olay Moisturizer to work for me.  (Except I'm starting to question the anti-aging part...)
I have used other products I prefer, but this one fits in my budget.
Today I bought two. I will explain.

NOTE: Although I would like to say it is, this is not a picture of me.

Keep track of how often you have to replenish something that is on the higher priced end (for me that is $20.00- $30.00+) so that you know when it is coming time to buy it again and you can budget for it.
To originally find out when that was, I wrote on the bottle with a Sharpie the date I bought it. I then logged when I had to purchase another one.
For me with moisturizer that was every 3 months.
Keep track for at least 2-3 cycles so that you can get an accurate idea.
(I know it's a pain at first but will pay off as you get into a budgeting routine.)

I buy the 3.4 oz bottle at Sam's Club.
When I was there today I saw this ad next to the product.
A $20.00 rebate with a $50.00 purchase. 
(Sorry I could not turn the picture?!)

So I decided to buy 2 bottles knowing I will use them and I rarely see rebates at Sam's.
I spent $55.90 on two bottles before taxes.
I will get $20.00 back in a Sam's Club gift card.
That means a savings of almost 36% making each bottle cost only $17.95.
Not too shabby as the smaller version at Wal-Mart costs almost $21.00.

Although this isn't a smok'in deal, it works for me because my family has 5 birthdays in  February that I will be spending for.
(That is when I would be due to purchase another bottle.)

****If you are not a member of Sam's Club, on the Olay website or here, there is a similar rebate for $20.00 also.  It includes more product choices so may be easier to reach.

So what if you don't have an extra 30.00 laying around?
I have a steal-from-Peter-to-pay-Paul account just for these times.

So where does this $ come from?
I have gotten this money from different means.
My daughter has some money at my house she leaves for safe keeping.
So she won't spend it.
(So I do it for her instead.)
She knows I use it and I always pay it back the next month.

It can also be from your savings (I'll address later how you get that when you are already so poor)
Or if I know I have a guaranteed income coming real soon, I will borrow from a bill due at the end of the month.
(I will explain at a later time on how I setup my bill paying .)
I do not borrow money that would charge interest for that defeats the purpose of savings.

NOTE: This rotation ONLY works if you are disciplined enough to only use what you need and repay it the following month or sooner if possible.
There is also a cap,when I can't buy.
Even if there is a great sale, if my stash is empty, I do not steal from Peter and Paul's friends also.


The info provided here is for informational purposes only.

I should not be considered a financial adviser and I am not a substitute 
for seeking financial permission from a spendthrift friend, spouse or child (preferably a nonverbal one.) 
Always seek a telemarketer, Ouija Board or a incoherent bystander should you have concerns regarding spending, sales of any kind or impulsive splurging on whatever it is that is possessing you that day.

"Thrift was never more necessary in the world's history than it is today."  ~Francis H. Sisson

December 4, 2010

NEW!!! The $ Cents-Less Budgeter $

Hang on....
Unless you are new to my blog,
You know that you will have to read through the fine print before I get to the cheap stuff.

As I am wasting my days and nights perusing around the blogging world, I am finding out how different I am than many of the bloggers I am reading about.

For instance, I am not married to the man of my dreams.
Heck, I am not even married at all!
(Thus one income)

I have raised five children as a single parent.
Just having five (or 8 at once) children is an oddity nowadays!
(And sort of insane!)

I do not live in my dream home.
(Although it can become much closer to it with Nate Berkus paying a visit to me.)

I did not and do not love every minute of parenting.
Some moments are downright painfully hard!
(I get suspicious of people who say they do.)

I do not have a formal education beyond a semester at a junior college.
(Yet all five of my children have graduated from or are currently attending college.)

I do work at a job that I love!

AND I live below poverty level and raised my children (according to the guidelines), close to extreme poverty.
I can say we have been very, very, very blessed,
And we have never had to do without necessities.

As I have Windows shopped (I made a funny) a variety of blogs, I have not seen money saving tips on my $Cents-Less Budget$.
(Budgets, like people and chocolate, come in all sizes.)

So I decided to add a new feature (?) to my blog 
And to share some ways that I have found to save (or spend) money.

As with the original purpose of my blog,
I hope I will share something that may be useful,
or at least spark some creative financial embers
(making sure not to burn a hole in your pocket)
and maybe help you or someone you know to keep their common cents.

Let's get senseless Cents-Less!!!

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."  ~Vernon Howard


November 30, 2010

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

There are more mirrors in my life than I have paid much attention to.

Then unavoidably, one day, I turn a corner and there one is,
With me gazing into it and another image reflecting back.

Have you ever come across one of those?

Oh, for me, it might be the image of a friend, a sibling, a neighbor, my mother,  a coworker, one of my children,  a parent of someone else's child, my ex guys, someone at church, or someone else's child.
Someone other than me-or who I thought I was or hoped I was.

Who knew my life was a mirrored fun house?
Or is it a reflective nightmarish maze I get stuck in?

It can and has been both.

When my son was visiting I saw my self-reflection of the both sides of parenting that I did.
I saw misunderstanding, impatience and ignorance,
And I saw that I don't know how I did all the positive that I did with such a tumultuous life.
My son is such a conscientious and loving father.
So in that respect, I have been a much harsher judge of myself than is justified.
The image wasn't that bad after all.

I sometimes see the wavy mirror,
Where I have vacillated between decisions with little consistency.
Which of course has caused chaos in my life.

Or I might see the mirror that distorts what reality is.
Making me look bigger or smaller than I am.

Sometimes that image has been humorous and sometimes it is deceptive.
Sometimes I can just alter my position without altering myself and the image appears to  change.  
(There are a lot of those mirrors in Denial.)

The distorted-reality-mirrors also have the negative images of me that others have conjured up.

In another, I see unrecognizable beauty when I am caught off guard, not recognizing the loving countenance.

I also see age, creeping slowly fast approaching, initiating me into a maturing woman and a grandma.

I see in some cases, that yes, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all."
And that it is not always a bad thing. 
Like teaching myself to use the computer.
My mother has modeled that you are not too old to learn a new skill.
She learned e-bay in her 70's!
(Sorry to reveal your age mom-it might get you a discount or a free scooter-chair trial?)

The good thing is that like a carnival experience, 
the mirrors don't have to be permanent.
(Well, maybe aging is a continuum...)
Did I mention how I love and can laugh a long time by myself at some mirrors?

I can also feel my way out of the mirrored rooms in my life if needed.
And for those individual ones by the wayside,
I can just walk away from them.

I addition, these reflections, although sometimes uncomfortable,
have been beneficial.
They have helped me resolve to change the images I do not like viewing,
and commend myself for the images that were only a distortion of mind,
not reality.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
I like who I am becoming after all!

"Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him?" 
~Calvin and Hobbes


November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Past

"We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning".  ~Albert Barnes

Sometimes time makes me forget.

Many years ago I had the worst Thanksgiving of my life.

I was newly divorced and my children were taken by their father, out of town, to visit his family.

My youngest son did not want to go without me and was hiding behind the clean clothes hanging in the laundry room screaming as his dad pulled him out to take him.

I cannot explain the difficulty or pain that we were all feeling (including his four siblings) on different levels that day.  (It was over a dozen years ago and yet still brings tears to my eyes as I type the words.)

When they arrived at their destination he called me and asked, "When are you coming?"
(That was before cell phones and I didn't get one until years after they came out anyway).

I just had to reassure him with an artificial, positive voice,  through a silent, crying heart, with tears running down my cheeks, that I would see them as soon as they got back and remind him how much I loved him.

I then hung up the phone, climbed into bed, didn't shower or even get out of my pajamas (although it was mid-day), and cried and cried and cried.
And probably screamed too.

I stayed that way for a couple of days with no shortage of heartache or tears.

I wanted to know the answer to Freddy Fender's questioning song, "How do you mend a broken heart?"

Somehow it came.

Slowly at first I'm sure.

It started with the realization that I would have missed having a Thanksgiving dinner.

Although I was in a major dysfunctional state to put it mildly, and declined every request from loving people to join them for dinner, thinking that food was the last thing I felt like, I would soon come to find that I was wrong.

Loving people brought food to me even though I had said not to.  (This is making me teary-eyed also.)
They just dropped it off as I was an emotional eye-sore in the condition I was in.

I could not tell you all who did, but I can tell you it made a difference in how I felt about Thanksgiving from there on out.

I honestly can't say that the food was great because I don't remember whether it was or not, and maybe it didn't even taste good with my numb heart taste buds.
What I can tell you is that I felt loved and hugged by a plate(s) of food.

Something I so desperately needed during that time.
(A side note:  if you know of someone in a similar situation-drop a plate by.  Don't expect a visit, unless invited, but the gesture is unexplainable and long lasting.)

I knew it was going to be that way from there on out, so I decided to accept and change my mind about how I was going to deal with it.
(Remember, I had a whole year until the next time and it never did quit hurting completely.)

First, was in counting my blessings.
My children would always be with me on Christmas so Thanksgiving was an easier sacrifice.

Second, I didn't have to clean, cook, spend money or 'play nice' for any people I was uncomfortable with.

Third, I wanted to find a way to "be there" with them so I devised a plan.
I am infamous in my family for my dinner rolls, so every year following, I would make some and send them with them.
It was a pretty magical experience as I felt a tremendous amount of love while making something I had done numerous times before. 
Knowing where they were going and what they represented changed directions of a "simple act".

(This year I sent some unbeknownst to my son who will not be home with family for the first Thanksgiving in his life.)

Fourth, I had a chance to work uninterrupted on a project and usually completed it.

Fifth, I had a lot to be thankful for and good friends were one of those things.
I had some good friends who invited me over with other "strays"as I called us, even though complete families went also.
So for the next decade I went to their house, taking my rolls of course, learning that family are people who love and accept you even though you have never met them before and may never see them again.
(I am a little a lot embarrassed to admit that when their father quit taking them, it took some adjusting on my part to do a "family" dinner again.)

Sixth, is that love has no boundaries and transcends all.  No matter where my family was and is my love is the same.

Seventh, that healing is possible.  I am a living testimony of that.  Someone, who at one point had no desire to live.

And finally, that Thanksgiving should be given every day as I am blessed with God's tender mercies EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.  ~Edward Sandford Martin
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."  ~Melody Beattie

Let Me Tell You How It Is

I was announcing the sneak-peek, classroom arrival of my granddaughter to one of the students in my class.

She stopped sewing her felt gingerbread man, paused, looked at me, and said, "You're a  grandma?"

"You can't be a grandma, you don't have lots of wrinkles and gray hair with curls."

Another pause after staring at me a minute, "Well o. k. you are almost a half grandma because I do see some wrinkles." 

This is the time to be thankful, this is a time to be thankful, this is a time.......

November 22, 2010

Visitors Of The Third Kind

I have visitors.

In my book, the 'third kind' is defined by:

Generations-Myself, my son, and his daughter,
A three year old,

And singlehood, motherhood and grandmahood.
(Grandmahood makes me unrecognizable to my own children?!)

Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get back this way!

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