Back-to-School Haircut

If you've been checking in at the Ballpark over time, you know we have a chemistry teacher daughter who, for some reason, ends up teaching religion and forensics and math on occasion. She's open to filling whatever slot needs to be filled, so they find her if there's an open slot with no teacher.

This is why teachers need to be paid more.

Anyhoo, when the new school year approaches, our favorite teacher usually gets a hair trim, or full cut, if needed. For the past three years, she's let her hair grow, because she likes to donate her locks to kids who need wigs for various reasons, usually illness. Here's the before shot. Golden, auburny, caramel locks...

And after the first chop...

My husband and I are both dark, so we've never been sure where this reddish hair came from - we're assuming my Irish grandmother, who didn't have red hair either, but did have the light skin our girl has and beautiful blue eyes. Our teacher has green eyes, so it doesn't really fit, but that's all we've got. God has a vast color wheel, that's all I can say.

Here are the squirrel tails on their way to donation.

Cool, huh?

After a bit of shaping, here's the finished look in the sunshine.

Our girl says she feels 5 pounds lighter.  How great it would be if it were that easy - hey, Doc, can you chop 5 pounds off these thighs? Sadly, that's not the way the world works. But, wouldn't it be a magical place if it did?

The sheared locks are going to CHILDREN WITH HAIR LOSS, whose motto is "covering young heads to heal young hearts."  Check it out. Seeing innocent youngins who need hair is a most touching thing. After the political conventions this month, don't we need a sweet sight to remind us of what truly matters?

To all teachers out there who are heading back to school soon - I love ya! Don't forget you are in the most valuable profession on the planet. Nobody learns anything without a teacher being involved. From pre-K to Ph.D., teachers lead the way.  They need more money, they need more support, and they need more school supplies, from crayons to computers. God bless ALL of you!

And God bless the little ones who will receive hair from our Goldilocks.


What Dreams May Come

Our grandson is a few days away from being 6 months old. As I hold James and envision his life and pray for blessings to come his way, it takes me back to my own children - how I held them and prayed for them.

My three children are now adults, and looking back, it's surprising how my dreams for them...well, let's just say I was naive. Or maybe selfish. Life is full of surprises.

When our oldest was seven, his IQ tested very high. Gifted classes followed, and I assumed he would pursue a very academic path. He quit college after two years. What he loved was art and music.  (He played the violin as a youngster, the guitar as a young adult.) He was very talented there as well, so I shifted my thinking.  He joined a band and moved to Arizona. He found work in a pharmacy and became certified as a pharmacy tech. Oh, medicine! I thought. Maybe he'll head to pharmacy school.

He was not the least bit interested. The band folded, but he met his future wife, who is also musically gifted, and they married a few years later. They are very happy. I thought they might have a baby soon, but they shared recently they don't think kids are for them. Okay. I clearly have no idea what God has planned for our son.

Our daughter grew up loving science, and in her senior year of high school wrote about wanting to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. She got a full scholarship to college, but two years in, discovered chemistry and changed her major. After college, she worked at a health food store. How did we go from med school plans to being in charge of produce? She dabbled in youth ministry, and then...stunned my husband and me when she decided to enter religious formation to become a Catholic sister. Huh?

God worked on my heart, and I came to love the idea.  After three years, she left the convent and began teaching high school science. (She's great at it, and the kids love her.) When she was younger, I assumed she would marry and have children some day. However...in her early college years, she developed an endocrine problem that derails the reproductive system. I have to admit, I have grieved about this. But, when I see how God is using her and all her gifts, I have peace.

Our baby, who's 30, married right out of college with a history degree. I thought he would teach. He ended up working in retail for Gucci. Gucci?! We thought it would be temporary, but he moved up in the company and was there seven years. Of our three, he seemed the most ready for kids, but did not have baby James until after seven years of marriage.

He and his wife were prepared to moved to KY to a new position with the job when his store closed suddenly and he was out of work - two weeks before their baby was due! They had to move. Just hours after they moved to a new home, her water broke. Curve balls, one after another. God, what are you doing? I have wondered more than once.

I share all this because I've realized, since baby James has arrived, that my dreams/expectations for my children apparently have no bearing on what God has planned for them. This makes me smile.

A mom's dreams for her child are lovely and, well, "dreamy," but looking back, I see I didn't remember that my children don't really belong to me; they belong to God. I can wish all I want for my children, but I don't know everything. I don't know what God knows about them. My husband and I made them, but God made them first. His plans are going to trump mine.

God is the ultimate creator who has divine plans for each of my children - for all of us. I want only success and rainbows for my kids, but God knows their journey is going to contain disappointments and detours, because that's how we grow. My dreams for my children are to be happy. God's dreams for them are to be holy.

Four generations - my mom, myself, my son, and baby James when he was just days old.

I wonder what my mom dreamed for me, and what my son dreams for his son. Time will tell, but in the end, God will win. And we certainly can't do better than that.

So James, my dream for you is that you love God and seek His dream for you. 

REMINDER: Last week for the Christmas in July sale of my ebook "The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure."  50% off for the month of July only. Check it out HERE.  Do something different this holiday season! 



MOM TURNS 96! (a limerick)

There's a sweet woman at Brookdale
who's name is Jane, not Gail
She loves poems and prose
and good support hose
and looks forward to getting the mail

She likes her home, her sweet suite
her books, her friends, and the eats
Her chores are now few
We all say "Whoo-hoo!"
She can read and put up her feets

This writer named Jane depends
on her walker to get 'round the bends
for outings a such
she uses it much
With its seat, she can plop down her end

Blue jeans Jane often wears
for exercise, PT, and prayers
Red beans and rice
she thinks are so nice
And green tea's the best, she declares

Jane has considerable skill
at editing - it gives her a thrill!
She might take her time
correcting this rhyme
The remains would be small as a pill

Jane is now 96
We don't ask her to lift any bricks
We love her a lot
for all that that she's taught
She really likes her toothpicks.

The end.


Happy Birthday, America!

A few years ago, we received this homemade card from our son and daughter-in-law.  Both of their fathers were Air Force career men, so they remember the sacrifices that military families make.

I pray, as a nation, we never forget the men and women who have served and sacrificed for this imperfect, but still the best, country on the planet.  It's true that freedom isn't free.  Today, because of those who have served, we can:

1.  Grill and burn as many hot dogs as we want.

2.  Fight over the last corn-on-the-cob.

3.  Pellet each other with water balloons.

4.  Drink too much beer.

5.  Display the American flag on our property.

6.  Own property.

7.  Enjoy all kinds of red-white-and-blue Jello salads.

8.  Raise the water bill by running through the sprinkler all afternoon.

9.  Follow the town parade down the street.

10.  Write our name in the dark with sparklers.

11.  Spend too much money on firecrackers.

12.  Annoy our neighbors with firecrackers.

13.  Injure ourselves with firecrackers.

14.  Sing America, the Beautiful.  

15.  Spit watermelon seeds at each other.

16.  Vote.

17.  Argue over whom to vote for.

18.  Enjoy the DVD John Adams, the excellent (originally HBO) mini-series.

19.  Make a patriotic pinwheel out of a paper plate, a pencil, and a thumb tack.

20.  Remember that we are all created equal. 

Have a patriotic day!


Great Essential Oils Resource - Sale Ends Tonight!

I spent a couple hours this morning watching two very informative e-courses on essential oils (EOs) and herbs, and I have to say...I wish I would have paid more attention to this topic years ago.  It seems I'm often late to the game on things many others have already embraced. (We were the last family in Florida to transfer over to DVDs, and everyone on the planet was watching Downton Abbey before I fell in love with it.)

I'm not a trend-follower. I've seen too many things come and go (bell bottom pants, cabbage-patch dolls, the cabbage soup diet, fondue pots, and Richard Simmons.) And I try to screen everything through the lens of eternity. In 5 years, will this still be beneficial? In 100 years? When I meet St. Peter at the gate, will he tell me I wasted time/energy/money on such and such?

I'm cursed with the long-term view. So, sometimes I miss out on fleeting pleasures, like glitter eyeliner and culottes. I'm OK with that.

So, I've been slow to warm to essentials oils. However, as I've gotten older, I've developed more ailments, and I just don't want to take a pill for everything. My dad is on about 13 medications, and he started out with just 1. He's 93, and some could argue those meds have kept him around this long. I'm sure that's true. But, his quality of life is not ideal. He's not that happy, just sees being on the planet as better than the alternative.

So, I've been educating myself on essential oils and herbs. They always struck me as a bit "out there," but as time goes by, they are establishing credibility. So, I'm building my EO pharmacy. A great resource for me has been the HERBS AND ESSENTIAL OILS SUPER BUNDLE. These 2 e-courses alone have given me the background and confidence I need to move forward. 

Sarah Josey is a clinical herbalist with an EO pharmacy in Colorado. I just ordered three oils from her with the 50% off bonus I got from ordering this bundle. You'll get it too. :-)

Dr. Edie Wadsworth practiced medicine for 6 years and finally left the field because she felt she was just managing illnesses rather than preventing them. She was a chemistry major in college, so brings a wealth of molecular knowledge to the world of essential oils.

Dr. Edie is a woman of faith as well and in this 45-min. course talks about how God provides us with an abundance of natural resources in plants and herbs that can keep us healthy and strong without the side effects so many pharmaceuticals bring. With a twinkle in her eye, she points out that Adam and Eve were born and lived in a garden. :-)  Essential oils have been around since the first leaf sprouted from the dirt, and they are mentioned many times in scripture. (I'm really late to the game on this one.) Dr. Edie is bright and articulate and genuine.

These videos are just two of 20 e-resources in the HERBS AND EO BUNDLE. There are 445 EO recipes/blends in the package! I'm preparing to mix up a few for the skin issues I have (granuloma annulare), and I'm making a ginger EO/coconut oil salve for my joints that ache on occasion, due to inflammatory issues.  I love mixing up natural potions in my own kitchen!

I'm writing about this bundle for the second (and last) time because today is the final day of the sale. Ultimate Bundles are only available short-tem, because the authors involved commit to just 6 days of collaboration. Then, they're free agents again, and the cost of their product goes back to its regular price.

Check out all the info. on this instructive and comprehensive bundle HERE. You can see the details on all the individual e-books/courses.

You can share the resources with a friend (that's what I'm doing), or share the cost of the bundle - just $29.97 - with a buddy and begin your EO journey together. There's a money back guarantee, so you can't lose.

As a nation, we're getting more unhealthy every year. Health care is getting less predictable and more expensive. I've learned I need to take more responsibility for my own well-being, and I need to adopt more natural methods of doing that. Maybe you feel the same way.

Don't miss the opportunity to equip yourself with everything you need to know about essential oils and herb remedies. Sale ends tonight at midnight! 

Let's get healthy!