Marriage Advice from 1886

I just had to share this when I came upon it. Funny how we think times have changed, but really nothing changes much at all.


Marriage Advice from 1886

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.

Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.

Believe the best rather than the worst.

People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.

Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.

Please hand this down to your children and children’s children: The more things change the more they are the same.

– Jane Wells (1886)

Incredible Poem: “To My Grown-Up Son”

I came across this poem and it was bittersweet, inspiring and a bit heartbreaking at the same time. I think it speaks to women of any day and age, maybe more so in our time when we let busyness rule our lives.

To My Grown-Up Son

My hands were busy through the day

I didn’t have much time to play

The little games you asked me to,

I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,

But when you’d bring your picture book

And asked me please to share your fun,

I’d say, “A little later, Son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night

And hear your prayers, turn out the light,

Then tiptoe softly to the door…

I wish I’d stay a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past…

A little boy grows up so fast.

No longer is he at your side,

His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,

There are no longer games to play,

No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear,

That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still.

The days are long and hard to fill.

I wish I could go back and do

The little things you asked me to!

-Author Unknown

How did we go from this?


To this?


Let me know what you think.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Happy Mother’s Day from me, Blondie and the Dude!

Mother's Day 2013 copy

(Please don’t judge my lack of make-up, we just spent the weekend camping. :))


Well, It’s Just Toast

So, remember that nice DoorKing gate opener? It died, as I reported. However, it was much more painful than I initially thought. On first glance I assumed the motherboard had overheated and shorted out. Ugh no, that was not the case at all. DoorKing came out with a fresh motherboard in hand, they opened the box, to find the charred remains, of what was once our gate opener. There were char marks on the entire box, inside and out, and apparently the fire was so hot it melted all the wires and all else inside the box. None of the internal parts were black prior to the fire. Yikes! Glad my fence and house didn’t burn down as well.

What the gate opener inside should look like
What the gate opener looked like after catching on fire

After two weeks without a gate opener – a new one will be installed on Thursday – I know it sounds terribly dumb to be excited to get a new opener, but its no fun opening your own gate. Do you still manually open your garage door? I didn’t think so. That’s like saying you prefer to get up and change channels rather than use a remote control – give me a break, no one does that. I will be one happy lady in just a few days. Note to all, I will not invest in another of this brand or model. I am going with a new brand, which I will be happy to share when its in place and a effectively opening my gate.

Forgiving When Others Aren’t Sorry…

From my blog,
Originally Written: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Should We Forgive When Others Aren’t Sorry?

I usually carry very little un-forgiveness in my heart. I personally, get over things really quickly and move on. But, through personal discoveries over the past year, I have learned there is more un-forgivness in my heart than I previously knew.

I struggle with this answer, in and out of the bible each day. I read a verse in the bible on forgiveness and then think to myself – well, no brainer, Jesus would forgive anyone of their sins. But, I always come back to would Jesus have forgiven those who never agreed or admitted their fault? Would He? What does the bible say about forgiveness when repentance isn’t present?

In reasearching that answer I came upon this.

“For true forgiveness to take place, one must completely take pride out. A proud heart will never truly forgive. Matthew 6:14-15 says, For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. This really does sum up a prideful heart. You absolutely cannot expect to be forgiven if you are too proud to forgive someone else. Pride has no place in a Christian’s heart.
Forgiveness can be a real struggle because genuine forgiveness comes even when repentance is not expressed. Forgiveness is sometimes a daily thing for an event that happened earlier in life.”

Read more:

So no matter if someone repents, no matter what their heart really divulges – True Forgiveness Lies in forgiving others regardless of their repentance status. The article I found below was also helpful in learning to “let go, and let God” be who He says He is and learn to forgive and put our pride and faith entirely in Him.

I came across this article – located here and I couldn’t help but reflect and respond to it.

Unconditional forgiveness is canceling a debt to all those who intentionally offend us, whether or not they own up to what they have done. Offering forgiveness without repentance, however, does not follow the biblical model of forgiveness (Luke 17:3,4).
The Bible says that we are to forgive as God forgave us (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13). God forgives us when we repent (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3,5, Acts 3:19). He does not grant forgiveness to those of us who are stiff-necked and refuse to repent. We must recognize our sin and repent to receive and enjoy God’s merciful forgiveness. God requires repentance and so must we.
Repentance is important because it’s a person’s only hope for real change (Matthew 18:3; Acts 26:20). If we don’t admit our sin, it’s impossible to be transformed. If we aren’t keenly aware of the sinful direction our lives are going, we will not see a need to adjust the direction. Repentance demonstrates that we need God to help us change our thinking, attitudes, and behavior.
An unrepentant person maintains a sense of control over his life through pride, which can lead to destruction, violence, and animosity (Proverbs 8:13; 16:18; 29:23). Turning toward God (repentance) is necessary to break the cycle of destructive behaviors and patterns of relating to others. If as believers we don’t require repentance on the part of the offender, we stand in the way of that person’s coming to see his need for God and experiencing His forgiveness. To put it simply, forgiveness is a two-way process: repentance on the part of the offender and pardon on the part of the offended.
When only one part of the forgiveness process takes place, the hurt felt by the offended one can lead to hatred, bitterness, and desire for revenge. Because we desperately want relief from the gnawing desire to get even, we can be tempted to let an issue go, or “forgive” without ever confronting the person or waiting for him to show remorse.
It’s wrong, however, to assume that if we don’t forgive someone, we’ll be weighed down with hatred, bitterness, and revengeful desires. That’s not necessarily true because the Bible says we are to love a person regardless of whether or not he or she shows any remorse. We can love our enemies1, but continue to have an unsettled issue with them. In many cases, it is more loving to withhold forgiveness until a change of heart is demonstrated than it is to offer forgiveness without the offender’s acknowledgment of deliberate wrongdoing.
Instead of giving in to revenge, we can soften our hearts toward those who have hurt us when we humbly admit that we, too, have hurt others. It is only by God’s grace that we can enjoy His goodness toward us at all. Just as important, we can have faith that God will avenge if it is necessary (Leviticus 19:18, Romans 12:19-21) and that He will hold each of us accountable (Romans 14:12; Hebrews 4:13 ). We don’t need to worry because our pain doesn’t go unnoticed by our Lord (Psalm 147:3). With that frame of mind, we can demonstrate a deeper trust in God and be led to pray for those who’ve hurt us.
Yes, an unconditional pardon can be granted without the offender ever knowing they’ve hurt us. But this one-sided “forgiveness” is not in our best interest, nor in the best interest of the person who hurt us. It devalues the significance of repentance and robs both the offender and us of the opportunity to grow in Christ.
The ultimate purpose of forgiveness is the healing of a relationship. This healing occurs only when the offender repents and demonstrates remorse and the offended one grants a pardon and demonstrates loving acceptance.
An enemy can be defined as one who intentionally hurts us, is destructive, and can’t be trusted because of his or her lack of remorse. Unconditional forgiveness implies that our response to our enemies should be to offer a pardon with no response on the part of the offender. The Bible teaches, however, that we should respond to our enemies in love (Matthew 5:44). Scripture does not teach that we need to forgive our enemies. Instead, we should love them and pray for them. Love and forgiveness are not synonymous. Back To Article

Do you have any unforgiveness in your heart? If so, bring it out into the light – let it harbor hurt, anger and hatred in your heart no longer – it’s almost Valentine’s Day – free your heart and learn to love unconditionally. I would love to hear your stories of overcoming un-forgiveness and how it has freed you from it’s enslaving misery.

Note to Penny

A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger, mother and daughter in pain, shared an all too familiar tale about her mothers decision to reject her. I read her words and felt every bit of angst and confusion that I too have felt by the rejection and intentional neglect from my own mother. I felt compelled to respond, to support her and share with her my struggles in the comment posted below. This is a common issue, usually known as maternal narcissism. There are pages and pages of information on it if you take the time to Google it. It is actually quite scary how indiscreet and damaging it’s effects can be.

Here’s Penny’s at Foster to Forever’s original post. A great, authentic tale of the hurt just a few actions or lack of action (in her case) can cause. I hope you can find encouragement and light in these tough to tell tales.

“Penny – I feel your pain. I too have had a multitude of disappointments that stem from my mother’s lack of empathy, love or kindness. There is a term for this kind of parental hurt and destruction. I was made aware of it about a year ago – it rocked my world to say the least. I learned my entire childhood was a joke, I was raised by a woman who never wanted me. I am reading a book now called “Children of the Self Absorbed”by Nina Brown. It has opened my eyes beyond words to the abuse, verbal and emotional that I too experienced. The actual term is parental destructive narcissism. They cannot see it, they will never change it, and nothing can be done about it. Some of the best things to do are sever ties with that person. I am still miles from being “recovered” from the pain I endured, but the craziest part of all of it – no one ever thought this was a possibility. The DNP’s biggest weapon is their mouth and usually in private. I am still working through the details and trying to recognize all the symptoms, but this book is quite encouraging for you, the adult child, who is still reeling from the effects of this parent. Here’s an article with a brief snip it from her book.”

Manic Monday, I Wish It were Sunday…


     Normally, Monday’s are my catch up days from busy weekends and this weekend was no exception to the “busy” rule. It was an all out blast, between my son’s birthday, our family in town and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday – it was amazing, but I am now T-I-R-E-D! With all that said, my house looks like a disaster and I have no get-up-and-go to get it cleaned up. I cleaned like a crazy woman before they arrived, tried my best to contain disaster while they were here, but with 5 kids under the age of 7, letting them play, enjoying the moment and worrying about the mess later, was a much better philosophy. But…. then later comes and I am now out of energy, out of gas and cannot breathe, in the mess around me.

     We had a fantastic weekend filled with activities, kids and family. Of course, a slight overflow of the shower caused a slight panic when the water came running through the downstairs ceiling – oops. Thankfully, it wasn’t a complete plumbing nightmare and just a minor scare, that just meant the toilet upstairs needed to be sealed a little better.

     This morning, the hubby and I woke to an unwelcome surprise (besides the chaos of our messy home of course), our back gate was wide open. It needs a remote to do that and it weighs nearly 1/2 a ton. Why it was open, was a mystery for this exhausted, puffy-eyed momma. After my DH was off to take Blondie to school and himself to work, I investigated further – the said “gate opener” had an odor. It was a smell unlike any other and once you know it, you never forget – electrical fire. It seems at some point between 10 pm last night and 7 am this morning, the motherboard of our vehicular gate shorted out and combusted. Thank the Lord, it didn’t set our fence on fire, like a pack of matchsticks. We are thankful that little damage was done, but it is a still an inconvenience nonetheless. Now, a phone call has been made to the company who manufactured the motor and also their competitor. Just like many great inventions in this world – I feel like there are many “conveniences” that are still a blessing and a curse. Just ask my hubby’s car to tell you what it thought when the same fence smashed into his car, not once, but twice. And when we had a serious ice storm and the bearings froze shut, or the many times I have had to prove my agility by jumping the fence, when the remote only worked by touching it to the antenna on the other side of the fence. If you can’t imagine, I have had my share of fun with this DoorKing product, so I happily entertain the comments and suggestions from those of you who have experience with other brands.

Frustrated Home Owner

Just Pintrest-y: Greek Style Veggies

Want a new and easy way to prepare broccoli and cauliflower? In doing so your kiddos or other family members may like it a bit better. How is this possible do you ask? I start by setting my oven to broil. I then wash and break apart all the broccoli and/or cauliflower. Next, I spread it out on a cookie sheet. I drizzle the veggies with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), then sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and McCormick’s Greek seasoning on them. Stick the tray in the oven and broil until tender (about 10 minutes) and slightly crisp. I think I could eat a whole tray as an entree and so could my littles. Try it and let me know what you think.

Korea Spa, Yup, In the Buff…

A few weeks back, a fellow Greek friend, who I’ve known nearly all my life wanted to celebrate her birthday at a spa. I agreed to attend without asking questions. Then, as the time drew nearer I started doing some research and was highly intrigued on where we were going, a Korean spa (Jjimjilbang). The more I researched, the more my prude, Catholic upbringing, caused some sincere trepidations. Let’s just put it out there, I don’t even like wearing swim suits and when nudity is involved – forget about it! I couldn’t believe I was even still considering attending once I discovered the truth about this place. I was certain it wasn’t legit and this was some seriously funny joke, in which the punchline ended with me. Well, it wasn’t. After a host of seriously hilarious texts between all of my friends –  we were all in stitches laughing and the birthday girl was far from entertained (Maria, I love you and our sarcasm was only there to cover our fears of the unknown). We had stressed her out and made what was supposed to be stress-free, no longer as much. Although our comments and inappropriate texts were just our way of dealing with the concerns we had – birthday girl was certainly not amused. Rest assured this was the most entertaining, relaxing, humbling experience I have had yet.


Traffic was a bear, so I was late, which did not assist me in my stress level. This was all so out of my comfort zone. I walked in and my friends were all waiting. You pay a fee to enter the baths and saunas, but there are additional costs for massages, scrubs, facials, dinner, etc.

I decided I would get a scrub, not really sure what all that entailed. 5 of us had our scrubs at the same time and were all up-sold to get the vital cell scrub, plus massage and hair shampoo and condition. A steal of deal for as little as $85 you got an hour body scrub, massage, freshly ground cucumber facial, as well as your hair shampooed and conditioned. Talk about feeling pampered at pennies on the dollar. Here’s the guide to your spa visit.


Immediately, upon entering the spa dressing area, I was so apprehensive. The sheer idea of complete nudity petrified me, and a mere second after walking in – an older Asian lady was nude and bent over (I was faced with the reality of where I was, this was no joke). The nudity barrier had officially been broken. My fears were officially at the forefront and there was nothing I could do now, but laugh and join the club or turn and run – I chose the former.

We had an amazing time, we laughed, we joked and the whole time we were yes,  nude. As much as I was apprehensive about my night at the King Spa, the results were amazing. My vital cell scrub and massage left my skin glowing and me feeling more relaxed than I had in months.

We tried many different sauna rooms – each had a different purpose or theme.

   My favorite rooms and rooms I was able to stand for more than 5 minutes were the:

Pine Salt Room


And the Pyramind room.


The above pictured hot tubs were pretty great as well, once you got over the nudity factor.

We also all enjoyed the Infrared Room (pictured below) – which was supposed to help with chronic pain. I probably could have slept in there, I was so relaxed by then.


Our scrubs were incredible, but yet another humbling experience. We were called from our hot tub to to a partitioned area in the bath area, where we were all together (yes, still nude). The Korean masseuse’s proceed to have us lie on a table and poured hot water over us. Next, they used a scrubber with a salt scrub and scoured our entire body, minus the sensitive girl areas of course. It was definitely an experience – the scrub felt great, as long as you didn’t look over at your neighbor and realize how silly you looked lying there fully exposed and usually with a nearly naked Asian lady on your back.

We ate in the cafe, watched some t.v. and spent time in many of the sauna rooms. I now get why Koreans enjoy delving into this treat. It certainly was relaxing and an experience I got to share with some dear friends. Who knew a spa that resembled the size and stature of a casino could be so incredible. I don’t think I would return alone, but certainly among the company of good friends, its a great experience.

Cameras are of course highly discouraged and without the help of a flash, its hard to make out some of our faces, but below are a few outtakes of us lying in the sauna rooms. Let me know your experience with the Jjimjilbang. Have you been? Would you go now?




Chalk Paint Project(s)

I’ve jumped on the chalk paint furniture painting band wagon. Last February – I know, I know, 9 months ago, I purchased an old desk for Blondie’s room with the plans to refinish it. So, the week before Thanksgiving I finished it up. I think every girl who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s most likely had this set. I certainly did and I disliked the original finish then as I do now. Funny how styles change, tastes change and the ability to create changes us and how we respond to those items in our life that don’t shine like they used to.

Almost completed. 
Here’s the after picture as well. I just need to paint her chair to match.  
Since I wrote this past post – I have now also found a matching nightstand and now that needs a re-do as well. So many great projects in the works. 
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