Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23 ~ Sick Child

I am sad to say that I think my lil angel may have the flu...darn it!  We just got her flu mist 9 days ago so I guess we missed the window.  The good thing is if she stays asleep she will get 12 hours which she so needs and I am off to join her as soon as I prepare for work tomorrow and also get Demi ready for school just in case.  She wasn't running a fever either so that is a good sign. 

I am also sad at how the weekend turned out.  So many emotions and lots to do with noone to really talk to...made me look at my life and how I have invested all of my time and energy into my family and when I really needed them, they were no where to be found.  Made me realize that I am going to open myself up for a move and look outside this area for a teaching position.  I have limited myself because I wanted to keep Demi by them but I am not going to be so close minded anymore.  Praying the Lord will show me where and what soon.

Go JETS....this is for my NY family....hoping they can pull it off in the next few minutes.  If not it has been a great game.  I thoroughly enjoyed my fantasy football league this year too with all my lady and scrapbooking friends all over the US.  I took 3rd place and did win some money.  Even if I didn't it is something that I enjoy so much.

So I hope that someone RAKs you tomorrow and that you in return find the time to make someone else's day better just because you could.

Happy Monday,
Diana with lots of xoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22 ~ Expectations and Empathy

Expectations and do you describe both of these words and feelings?

I set myself up for disappointment due to expectations from family and friends this weekend regarding my move.  I get that life happens but is it too much for a few to give up an hour or two to help someone in need to get out of her home within the week?  Why does life seem to be so hard and frustrating?  I will find a way to get moved or empty my house even if I don't get it all to stoarge without the help of those I thought would help me out today.  I don't want their help now and as I sit here today am so glad that I am the type of person who doesn't need to be asked or begged for help.  When I see the need I just do it.  I have to remind myself, especially after today remind myself that not everyone is the same way.

Do you like to be validated when you are feeling a certain way?  Why is it that some just don't get really doesnt mean you have to agree with any of it but isn't nice to have those you care about acknowledge your feelings good bad or indifferent.  I am so happy I dont need that often too because I would just be disappointed much more.

I am glad I am self sufficient.  Although I am worn out and ready to be done with all of this, I will find a way to survive this and move on.  I know when I look back upon this time that I will see this as a blimp on the line of life. 

Did you find time for your RAK?  I have to admit that I don't think I did today and will look to double up tomorrow, sometime, someway.  Hope you will join me.  I am still looking to hear some new and awesome ideas regarding PIFS and RAKS. 

What was amazing today was the message at church, LOVE!!  Best expression of Love is TIME.  The Best Time to Love is NOW.  So agree and after my day, so enjoyed this message.  Hoping you know you are loved and that I think you are great in all you do and are every minute of every day.


Day 21 ~ The Journey of LIFE...

The journey of life does not always turn out as we expect. It is not what happens to us but how we respond to the daily grind of each day. I must remind myself of that every day and know that God has plans for hope and a future and that is what keeps me going. 

What do you do when you need your cup filled up??

Paying It Forward...... The gift of giving...Random Acts of Kindness....Rachel's challenge....there are so many wonderful ways to express and show others we care and God's love.  Hoping whatever you call it that you are enjoying each day and the opportunities you come across.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19 ~

I will just say I love what I am blessed to do these days and was taken back with the students I had today and their good manners. 

Here is to tomorrow and another day to share God's love and I must admit praying my friends did well today on their tests.

Hope you were PIFfed and or PIFfed someone else...are you filled with JOY??? 

Quick question, what makes you UNIQUE??  What LOVE LANGUAGE are you?  What brings you PURE JOY?  What DREAMS do you have and or do you have a BUCKET LIST?  Do your kids have DREAMS at their age and a BUCKET LISt, why or why not?  Are you HAPPY and or filled with JOY?  If so why?  Why not?  What are you most THANKFUL for today?  What could you live without or CHANGE?  Who are your HEROS?  Why?  Just some random questions that I plan to answer this week  along with sharing my word for '11.   

I am hoping for a great nights rest, uninterrupted sleep with dreams that make me laugh and happy.  Demi has these kinds of dreams and it makes me want to jump in and join her...would so love to know what she dreams about...I love to hear her laugh in her sleep and am thankful she is still young. 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18 ~ Thankful Tuesday and A Special Birthday Today

Happy Birthday to my gram, she would have been 104 years old today.  What is truly amazing to me is that she lived until she was 97 years old.  She passed on my 40th birthday and it marked a very special day to me in ways that I never saw coming.  I admire my gram as I do my mom, both are incredible women for many reasons.  Our family was so blessed to have her around for so many years.  Happy Birthday Gram who taught me that every day is a gift as she thought because she meerly got up for another day!!

Thankful Tuesday Today:
1.  My faith, the bible and our salvation
2.  My family and friends
3.  My new position as a tutor
4.  My health
5.  My 5 senses
6.  Compassion
7.  Sympathy which is so different than empathy
8.  Great neighbors
9.  Prayers, Miracles and HOPE
10  Random Acts of Kindness   

No prompt for today but hoping you had a great Tuesday and that you have been able to bless someone and feel the JOY of giving to someone unexpectently....if not it is not too late!!

I did mention my word for 2011 in this post but want to give it an explanation so I will be back tomorrow to give your more details.  I am excited about my word and the fact that out of the blue my sweet, caring, intuitive 10 year old angel said that "this word" is what she would choose for me?  A God life, this life, this moment and time in our lives of a journey that is yet to be told.  Stay tuned....Give The Gift of Giving and see if you are not more blessed to give than receive this week.   


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Gift of Giving RAK!!!!!

Do you want a chance to win a shirt from the hometown of the Superbowl right here in Arlington, TX?

Starting tomorrow and going through Feb 7th, for every post you leave here regarding a RAK, your name will be entered once into a drawing.  As soon as I pick up a SS, I will take a picture and post it here so you can see what the RAK is for all your GIFTS of GIVING.  (We still need to see what teams will be in the big game in case you are wondering why I need to wait)  If you scrap about it in any way, your name will be entered again.  I have some homemade goodies that I will be throwing in as well but right now that is still a "surprise" which will be revealed in the days to come.   PLZ dont forget to link me up so I can see your creation and enjoy your gift of giving with you, thanks!!!

I hope you will join me in the fun and the only thing you have to post is that you found time to Pay It Forward.  Don't forget to ask those you PIF to PIF someone else so that the ripple effect will touch more lives okay?  I am going to make cards to give away too.  I have SMILE cards that I ordered online.

So I hope you will join me in changing in the world one person at a time and for wanting to plant seeds of HOPE. 

C U tomorrow with my word of 2011 and with some hints of things to come in the days ahead <3


Day 17 ~ The Gift of Giving Keeps on Giving... RAKS

Something I realized that the more you show kindness to others the more they start to do the same.  I had a friend make my day today with a big huge drink from Mickey was so what I needed and it was just what I needed to get my day started.  Loved the moment and love how this is affecting my friend daily. 

Did I mention her husband is coming home this week from Afghanistan for 15 days.  She is like a kid going on a date.  It is cute and it makes me long for that feeling again.  Maybe once I get moved, I will be open to LOVE and more.  That would be awesome.  It has been so long since I have dated.

I really hope if you had to work that you had a great day and if you had the day off that you enjoyed your time off with your family/yourself. 

Love this life and am so thankful for God's continued blessings, His protection and the ENERGY I am praying for this week to get through another MAPS test and a huge move. 

Have a blessed Tuesday and I will be with my "Thankful Tuesday" and the prompt for Day 18.   I am going to list a few random ideas of RAKS and again if you have some awesome ideas I would love to hear or read them.  I will also share some stories about how some local children are making a difference by doing some really cool things.

Love and hugs from TX,

Thank Goodness for Sunshine Today!!!

I am so thankful for sunshine today.  I need it and must have it and it's days like today that remind of that in all ways from lifting my spirits to feeding my inner soul.  I love the SUN and warmer days!!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16 - The Gift of Dinner/The Gift of Clothes

Happy Sunday to you!

Did you find time for your random act of kindness?  Are you making time to do this daily/weekly? 

Today I am so thankful the opportunity to PIF twice! 

I am so exhausted from trying to get moved out of my house that I can't see straight.  I think I am mentally drained today.  It would be so much easier to move into a new home but with us moving in with my mom, we are cleaning our and getting rid of lots of "stuff".  I wasn't actually sure how I would feel but I am really looking forward to Making Our Life as Simple as Possible!!  Looking forward to a light load and the great thing is I am able to help a friend by loaning lots of my big stuff for now.  Good for her and for me because it just means less stuff to store and a smaller storage. 

I cried tonight watching Undercover Boss.  I don't normally like to see men cry but I really loved this CEO of Belfour.  I am always so blown away by the amazing employees these companies profiled have hired for the most part.  This is my daughter and I's show every Sunday and something we really look forward to every week.  This has replaced our games but I am okay with that since we both really love this show and all the goodness that comes from it.  Did you see it?

So tomorrow we have the day off for MLK and celebrating his life and accomplishment.  He was an amazing man for his time.   Do you have the day off?  What will you do?  Will you PIF tomorrow?  Random??  Looking forward to a nice, warm weather day with hopes of having a mini garage sale.  Not sure if I can pull it off since I am nowhere being ready but I may just let the girls wing it to make some money and to sell some things. 

Enjoy your Monday and I am hoping to be back with my WORD of 2011. 


Day 15 - The Gift of Giving/Taking Pictures...

Sorry for the day late post...this is what I did for our adopted gramma and pappy.

I hope you were able to find time to PIF today.

Lots of packing and boxing here so hoping you enjoyed your Saturday!!


Friday, January 14, 2011


I love Fridays because it represents the end of the week and the start of the weekend.  I am so ready to be FREE of everything here and ready to start making our life SIMPLE again. 

Today's prompt for the gift of giving is .BEING A GREAT NEIGHBOR.  Cook a meal, leave a nice note, put their papers on their porch, clean the snow off of their driveway, bring them some cookies and hot tea, take their trash can come up with something fun today.  I got mine done early today while I was waiting to pick up an extra child for school.  Love starting my day out like that too.  Let me know if you join me today and what you did, k?  Thanks for doing your part to make the world a better place today, one person at a time, one random act of kindness at a time!!!!

So today I am going to try and focus on the good in our lives instead of the frustrating part of school for Dem and I as her mother.  Today I read the book "The Book Whisperer" by Donalynn Miller who is a 6th grade teacher here in Keller, Texas.  Love love this book.  Demi has been struggling in reading.  I think she has no confidence when it comes to this class.  I think there are many reasons but the biggest one being that for the last 2 years all the focus is on testing and testing and TAKS.  When they were younger the focus was on read and read to see how many words you can read.  Read and Read as many books as you can and then test on those books. Well that is no longer but somewhere along the way she has lost her desire for reading books at school and therefore probably does not focus in at school.  I really felt like we had taken 2 steps forward only to take 3 back last night and today.  I totally believe her teacher is missing the boat and is more interested in teaching lessons which I think Demi already knows.  But I am not her teacher so in the meantime as her mom I am struggling to do all I can to help my daughter out and to help her find an interest in reading, any reading!!  Anyway I am just grateful the rest of her teachers are awesome and just so you know I like this other teacher but feel like no matter what I say it really doesn't matter.  I hope when her dd gets to this age that she gets it because right now I don't think it will be possible until then.

Anyway other then tutoring and this reading class, Demi is having a great year as she alwasy does.  She is a model student and I love that about her!

So tonight we are selling Girl Scout cookies at Blockbuster.  Demi loves this and really enjoys the sales process or in her sweet way talking to ALL of the people she encounters.  She doesnt have any problems asking everyone if they would like to buy some cookies.  I enjoy it but am not looking forward to doing it in freezing weather outside.  The things parents/moms do for the good of their kids, right?

And then we are off to 456 at church tonight.  A time for Demi to share Jesus with her friends both believers and non-believers and to experience worship and fellowship with some friends outside of her regular school friends.  If my truck would hold more kids, she would invite her entire grade.  Just gotta love it right.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that it was only 1/2 a day of school and work today, thank goodness with the schedule ahead.

So what plans do you have for the weekend?  Me, boxing, packing, throwing out, listing items on craiglist and staying warm.  I am going to try and get a layout made and uploaded to and their msiting challenge.  Have you ever seen her kits?  They are jammed packed full of goodies.  I love the kits at too.  Christy's are so full of color and life, the colors I love working with so I really miss getting the happy mail these days or in my case, years!!  Some day soon....hehe.  By the way, Christy is into ART on CANVAS these days, if you haven't seen her latest work you should venture over there to see all she has created.  It will bring a big smile!!

Have a great rest of your Friday and I hope to be back soon with some scrappy goodness.     

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13 ~ The Gift of _____________!

I hope you had a great Thursday!  Today may have been one of my easiest work days yet and guess what I was teaching today?  Well not really teaching but I was in ART today.  I love it when I am the ART Teacher and get to watch my students being creative.  I got to play too, woohoo.

So today I was able to find a couple of things to PIF.  One at the beginning of my day and one at the end and I was PIFfed too.  All in all it was a great day, very blessed and happy to be alive!!

The prompt for today is open for you to fill in with your PIF.  I know some of you like Julie are PIFfing with love on the blogs and get around every day to make so many women feel loved and special.  I am always amazed how how Julie does it every day.  I am always grateful to see her comments and smiley faces.  Thanks!!

TGIF, back in ARt tomorrow and looking forward to it.  I am hopeful it will be a great day with the younger students too and that I will get lots of packing done.  Praying my mom gets some rest because she left here feeling very sick.  So hope she feels better.  BTW, if you have any prayer requests plz let me know, I love being a prayer warrior and will gladly accept your requests with a gracious heart.

PS - So proud of my dd, she made an 86 on her MAPS test for science.  Now we are on to MATH which is another good subject.  I am hopeful that she will have another achieveable goal if that is a word and that she will be ready to go with her teacher out and her fill in gone today?  Where did all the fun go with our elementary subjects and grades?  Miss that so much <3  On a side note, how do you help your children mature in a way to be responsible for their learning and grades without adding to the pressure they already feel and get all day?  My social butterfly is my social angel and although she does very well there is the subject of reading that she dislikes because of how and what they teach at school  No interest in reading and it breaks my heart because she was the one who looked forward to reading every night since she was a toddler.  I have to keep trying and hope that she will work harder to bring her grade up to at least a B and somewhere along the way will find her interest again.  I am going to go and buy the book "The Book Whisperer" this weekend.    this is a book written by a teacher here in our area about getting children interested in reading and meeting each of them where they are...hoping I can learn something to help Demi.  Praying andpraying....thank goodness for prayers and answered prayers!!    


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12 ~ The Gift of Encouragement

Happy Wednesday!  Are you expecting great things today?  I hope so!!

Today's prompt for giving is the gift of encouragment.  Here is short message from Joel Osteen's blog at today from his message about Find Somebody to Be Good To Every Day Love is seen in our actions. This world does not need to hear another sermon nearly as much as it needs to see us being good to people.

Learn to give your time, your money, or an encouraging word. When you show love, you are showing God to the world. And don't worry if you don't get any credit. When you let somebody in traffic in front of you, you may never see that person again. When you give somebody twenty dollars because you had compassion in your heart, you may never hear back from them, but let me assure you, God is keeping the records. He's seen every time you've been good to somebody. He's heard every encouraging word you've spoken. God has seen all the times you went out of your way to help somebody but they never even said thank you. The Scripture says when you do things in secret, when you do things without getting any credit, when nobody thanks you, God sees it, and you will even receive a greater reward.

It's one thing to make a big splash and let everybody know how generous you are, but if you really want to be blessed, do something good for somebody and don't tell anybody about it. Leave some cash in an unmarked envelope on the desk of that coworker that's struggling to make ends meet. At the restaurant, buy somebody's dinner and remain anonymous. Clean up the kitchen at the office and don't tell anybody that you did it. When you do things in secret and you don't get any credit, you are sowing a seed for God to do great things in your life

 So today my challenge if you are up to it is to ENCOURAGE 3 strangers or friends/family members in a way that has meaning.  For me, I will leave 3 notecards work boxes today maybe with a bible verse that relates to their lives and specific days.  I love doing this and have found more enjoyment with hand written notes and letters lately.  
Enjoy your day and remember if you have any great ideas please leave them here and will use them for a prompt in the near future.  
Julie, what is the best way to get friends over to your blog??  Any suggestions??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11 ~ The Gift of Prayer

Today's prompt for the gift of giving is PRAYER. 

I believe in the power of prayer and coudn't imagine life without it.  Praying is your conversation with God about anything and everything. 

I love the simple and daily prayers at  If you feel you don't where to start, his and his wife's website is just one of many places you can visit.

I pray you had  a great day and remember to hug those you love topped off with "I Love You".


Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 ~ The Gift of Service

The gift of service can entail so many things.  You can volunteer at your local school in the PTA, volunteer at your church, mow a neighbors yard, babysit for FREE and or deliver meals on wheels. 

I love this idea and want to do some service work with my daughter this year along with the activities are already do.  I miss some of the things I have been serving in for years but am looking forward to some new adventures of service this year.

I know it is late for some of you but there is still time to offer your services even if you schedule these times for later. 

Have a wonderful evening and let me know if you are watching Batchelor this go round.  Demi and I got some good laughs today surrounding all the "girl" drama.  Who do you like so far?  I love the sweet and beautiful lady from NC and were those single dates out of this world??  Loved them both and loved seeing women being treated like princesses.

PS - Thankful for my brother in law Darrell for all his help with my personal situation and appreciate all that he has done to help me.  I hope and pray that he has the best trip to Disney World this week in FL with my neice who is so excited to see Mickey and Minnie.  Love that he is getting to go and at the cost especially since they have helped us out.

Hoping all the ladies at Soul Restoration at The Brave Girls Club are touched in ways they never dreamed of and see this as the start of a great week and year in life where they can be and do anything they want to if they just BELIEVE!!! 




Day 9 - The Gift of Quality Time

Love SONdays because it is family week we will get back to having "game night".  It is our way of winding down the weekend and getting ready for the next school and work week.  We have some new games from christmas and we will be in a new home so it will be a great time to start back with our games.  It seems like since we started going to church on Saturday evenings that this has become "family time with my sister/bil/neice" which has been extra sweet!!!  Love FAMILY <3

Be back with prompt 10 for today...and I am going to give you your prompts early or the night before starting today. 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pay It Forward Song To Share...PIF

For those of you who have known me for the last several years know that I love paying it forward or what I call PIFfing...I share this with yall not because I want to share the things that I do but share the importance of each of us doing what what we can do make someone else's life and the world a better place in a time that is more challenging and difficult for many.  It comes naturally for humans and today when doing some research I ran across this song.  I am hoping the youtube video link will have sound because I could not get it to work on the site.

I was reading today about the ripple effect that Paying It Forward can have in communities and schools and how just 3 random acts in multiplied by 3 each time it is paid forward, so your three acts become 9 and then 27 and then 81 and so on.  It amazes me how you may have an effect on so many lives by doing simple acts without them even knowing who you are and in some cases knowing that you did that for them. 

I used to love that show 6th senses too about how you can effect the lives of so many by just crossing their paths.  I have always thought it is such a small world when you begin talking to people.  I have a love for people and feel we can learn so much from each other. 

Anyway, hope your enjoying your day.  Our snow has tapered off but I did get some cute pictures that I will post shortly.  I better get busy making mom's calendar for her present.  I hope it turns out and that she likes the homemade one since we couldn't find her a Thomas Kincade one.


It's SNOWING Big Flakes....

Although I didn't really want it to snow today, I have to say that it is beautiful watching it snow.  I was reminded how much children love it as well and the thought of TX sledding comes alive.  As of right now we are supposed to get up to 4".  Last year we got 13 inches and it completely shut down our lil town as it often does here.  I will be back with a picture of our snowfall  and any or all the fun we have in the back at Dem's elementary where the sledding takes place at what she considers "our big hill" - hehehe.

Happy SONday to everyone,

Photos of "Lil Miss"

It brings me so much JOY to watch both of these super cute girls and best friends together.  They get along so well and have certainly made up for the year Alyssa was gone in KY   I don't even want to think about her leaving again yet.

Here are just a few of D&A doing their thing and always making the most of every minute!!

Sorry the pictures are turned, I can't figure out why my camera started to do this?  Anyway the first 2 are of them together and this last one is of Demi going to an all boy birthday party at Laser Tag.  As I was taking this I was thinking about how grown up she is becoming and how proud of her I am for who she is today.

Be back shortly with the prompt for Day 9 of giving the gift of..................  What can you give today?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Day 8 ~ The Gift of A Message.....

Sorry for the late prompt tonight for Day 8.  We have been trying to get ready for the snow and possible blizzard tomorrow.  I love Texas but we have the craziest weather here! Tomorrow we are celebrating my mom's 71st birthday if the weather isn't too bad.  I am looking forward to another family day to watch some football and just hang out.  We also have to get Demi ready for another MAPS Science Test on Tuesday.  I don't know if you have these tests along with TAKS but they seem to be every week which I really don't care for and wish they would go away. 

So tonight I will leave my sweet daughter a mirror message.  She loves them and I love leaving them.  You can also leave a message on a glass door, under the pillow and or anywhere you think would be fun and make your loved ones feel special.  One night a few years back I cut out lots of hearts and hung them all over the house with ribbon.  That was fun and a big hit. 

So what would be fun for tomorrow??  Any ideas??? 

I will be back in the am with another prompt and to give you an update on our weather.  It could be a fun day for the kiddos if we get the 6 inches they are predicting.  Sleep well and sweet dreams.


Ali Edward's OLW (One Little Word)....

For the last 4 years I have selected a word that I have thought would be indicative of where I was for the year and a word that I wanted to focus on throughout the next 365 days.  I am excited about this year and am ready for the changes to come even if closing some doors may be emotional and painful.  

Here is Ali's list of words to review that her followers added in her blog.  You can venture over to her blog at and then go to her blog once you arrive at her website.

So today I am hoping to pinpoint my word for 2011. 

I will be back shortly with the Day 8 prompt of The Gift of Giving _____________.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 ~ The Gift of Words and "I Love You" - a must read story!

By Paula Fox

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary's School in Morris, Minnesota. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, he had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving. "Thank you for correcting me, Sister!" I didn't know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day.

One morning my patience was growing thin when Mark talked once too often, and then I made a novice teacher's mistake. I looked at Mark and said, "If you say one more word, I am going to tape your mouth shut!" It wasn't ten seconds later when Chuck blurted out, "Mark is talking again." I hadn't asked any of the students to help me watch Mark, but since I had stated the punishment in front of the class, I had to act on it. I remember the scene as if it had occurred this morning. I walked to my desk, very deliberately opened my drawer and took out a roll of masking tape. Without saying a word, I proceeded to Mark's desk, tore off two pieces of tape and made a big X with them over his mouth. I then returned to the front of the room. As I glanced at Mark to see how he was doing, he winked at me. That did it! I started laughing. The class cheered as I walked back to Mark's desk, removed the tape, and shrugged my shoulders. His first words were, "Thank you for correcting me, Sister."

At the end of the year, I was asked to teach junior-high math. The years flew by, and before I knew it Mark was in my classroom again. He was more handsome than ever and just as polite. Since he had to listen carefully to my instruction in the "new math," he did not talk as much in ninth grade as he had in third. One Friday, things just didn't feel right. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and I sensed that the students were frowning, frustrated with themselves and edgy with one another. I had to stop this crankiness before it got out of hand. So I asked them to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed me the papers. Charlie smiled. Mark said, "Thank you for teaching me, Sister. Have a good weekend." That Saturday, I wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and I listed what everyone else had said about that individual.

On Monday I gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" I heard whispered. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone! I didn't know others liked me so much." No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. I never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another again.

That group of students moved on. Several years later, after I returned from vacation, my parents met me at the airport. As we were driving home, Mother asked me the usual questions about the trip, the weather, my experiences in general. There was a lull in the conversation. Mother gave Dad a sideways glance and simply said, "Dad?" My father cleared his throat as he usually did before something important. "The Eklunds called last night," he began. "Really?" I said. "I haven't heard from them in years. I wonder how Mark is." Dad responded quietly. "Mark was killed in Vietnam," he said. "The funeral is tomorrow, and his parents would like it if you could attend." To this day I can still point to the exact spot on I-494 where Dad told me about Mark.

I had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. Mark looked so handsome, so mature. All I could think at that moment was, "Mark, I would give all the masking tape in the world if only you would talk to me." The church was packed with Mark's friends. Chuck's sister sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Why did it have to rain on the day of the funeral? It was difficult enough at the graveside. The pastor said the usual prayers, and the bugler played taps. One by one those who loved Mark took a last walk by the coffin and sprinkled it with holy water. I was the last one to bless the coffin. As I stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to me. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. I nodded as I continued to stare at the coffin. "Mark talked about you a lot," he said.

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates headed to Chuck's farmhouse for lunch. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting for me. "We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. I knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which I had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it." Mark's classmates started to gather around us. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. I keep it in the top drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said without batting an eyelash. "I think we all saved our lists." That's when I finally sat down and cried. I cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

I live by this daily and often tell those I love that I do only because after the death of dad I know how short life can be for some!  I often write and journal these same thoughts but I think tonight I may scrap a page about those in my family and list all the things I love about them.   And then may do one for my friends just because I am blessed with some true and dear ones.  Love both my family and friends, heck I just love people!  So today's prompt is one that can really make a difference to those in your life that mean the world to you!

Hope you had a great Friday!  Enjoy your evening and I will be back with my Day 8 prompt for tomorrow.  Any ideas plz feel free and we will post yours for tomorrow.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 6 ~ The Gift of a Compliment

So today's prompt is giving someone a compliment.  Easy Peasy!!!

So we are off to visit my cute neice Brylee and to make them dinner....woohoo!!!

Hope you had a great Thursday so far.  It is absolutely beautiful today, 63 and this weekend we are expecting snow flurries.  Normally when they say that it means inches....hoping my body can get ready as we swing the other direction.  hehe


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Child Like Faith (you will love this story)

Child Like Faith

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three

times, even.. The total had to be exactly perfect.. No chance here for mistakes.

Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she

slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with

the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for

the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this moment.

Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat

with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a

quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!

'And what do you want?' the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of

voice.. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages,' he

said without waiting for a reply to his question.

'Well, I want to talk

to you about my brother,' Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. 'He's

really, really sick....and I want to buy a miracle.'

'I beg your pardon?'

said the pharmacist.

'His name is Andrew and he has something bad

growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how

much does a miracle cost?'

'We don't sell miracles here, little girl.

I'm sorry but I can't help you,' the pharmacist said, softening a little.

'Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get

the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.'

The pharmacist's brother was

a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, 'What kind of a

miracle does your brother need?'

' I don't know,' Tess replied with her

eyes welling up. I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an

operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money..'

'How much do you have?' asked the man from Chicago .

'One dollar

and eleven cents,' Tess answered barely audible.

'And it's all the money

I have, but I can get some more if I need to.'

'Well, what a

coincidence,' smiled the man. 'A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a

miracle for little brothers.'

He took her money in one hand and with

the other hand he grasped her mitten and said 'Take me to where you live. I want

to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need.'

That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon,

specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it

wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.

Mom and Dad were

happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

'That surgery,' her Mom whispered. 'was a real miracle. I wonder how

much it would have cost?'

Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a

miracle dollar and eleven the faith of a little child.

In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need. (thanks for sharing this today!)

Day 5 ~ The Gift of a Telephone Call...Just Because!

Where does the time go everyday?  Why does it go by so fast?  Some days I wish there were more hours in a day and then other days I am praying that time would just slow down or stop?  Ever been there? 

Today I went to Target to get a few groceries.  I got a small carry cart and off I went.  (I think that I get the small one with hopes that I will get just a few things and spend just a few bucks.)  But every time I am walking with the cart filled and overflowing and then I have something in my hand.  You would think that after so many times I would just get a big one but no, not me, haha.  Anyway as I was finishing up, this cute man that could have been my dad, came up to me and told me to take his cart that he didn't need it.  Can I just say that it is the little things in life that mean so much or they do to me.  Thank you for being so kind and observant because I know he could have just kept doing his own thing without stopping to help me.

The Day 5 prompt is the gift of a telephone call today/tonight.  Call an old friend, your grandmother, your mom, your ? just to say I was thinking about you. 

I will be back tomorrow to leave a prompt in the morning.  As you can see I have decided that this will consist of 365 days of giving the gift of.....I will give you prompts but feel free to do whatever you would like on the days you can find or make the time.  No pressure!  I just want everyone to feel the joy of giving from the heart and to be the difference you would like to see in your neighborhood and world.

Sending you big hugs and lots of kisses from TX -



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 ~ The Gift of a Card.....

Good Evening friends! 

Today I want to encourage you to give the gift of a card or ATC to someone, a friend, a coworker, a stranger, a family member and or one of your children.   You can email one from and or make one tonight and give it away tomorrow.

Thankful today for all the extra training I am getting which I know will be so helpful in the days and months to come.  Did I say how much I enjoy teaching and being surrounded by so many wonderful men and women who enjoy what they do.

I am "Thankful Tuesday" for:
1.  Girl Scout's and my daughter's troop leaders - the cookies!!!
2.  A car that is running
3.  Dr Pepper
4. My Faith
5. The Gift of Kindness, Love and Compassion from so many....thanks for all my friends and family for your continued support and encouragement over the last year.  There will be a rainbow at the end of this storm soon <3 

So love "Live To Dance" tonight!  The kids are so stinkin' cute and the JOY that radiates from them is so contagious.

Hope you had a great day and I will be back with the Day 5 and The Gift of ............!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 of PROJECT 365 ~ The Gift of Time.....

It has been a great day and I am even more excited about this year and what is ahead for both Demi and I.

I am excited and a little nervous about my new position and tutoring the students that I will have in my care. Not nervous about the teaching part but the content.  I don't think in my wildest dreams that I would be teaching and only wish I had studied more :-).  I will say that teaching school has changed so much and how they teach is completely different than how I learned.  I love learning and will enjoy this journey even more after my students accomplish their own goals.

Demi and I enjoyed a wonderful walk today.  The best part was running into one of our neighbors and good friend whom we dont see often because she is in junior high now.  It was so awesome to see her and to see how grown up she has become in 6 months.  The other wonderful part of our walk was seeing Demi's best friend.  We started our walk to see her after some medical issues she had this past week.  The best news of all was her dad is getting a leave from the Army to come home for 2 weeks.  The news brought tears to my eyes because I know how much Kacey needs to see him and how good it will be for all of them.  God is awesome!

Finally I am going to keep my options open on my OLW for '11 and wanted to add a few more to my list today.


I wanted to see if you had any ideas on what would be way for us to go about our giving and acts of kindness and compassion. I keep thinking about coming up with a list of things for us to do in one week and then documenting what those things were and or a list of things we would like to do.

Also I was wondering if I put together a drive for bone marrow donors if you would be interested in participating with a FREE mail order swab kit?  I would really like to see about getting several hundred friends to join in this wonderful idea of giving the gift of life.  Would you do and would you be willing to share this idea with all your friends and followers?  I am going to do this at the school(s) that I work in and figure I can get several to join me.  Just an idea but one that I get so excited about as I await my call about my blood that they just drew last week to make sure I am ready to go on to the next step.

Day 3 ~ The gift of time....... done!

Here is hoping you have a terrific Tuesday and please feel free to share my post with those you think might have an interest in becoming a bone marrow donor.  Let's change the world one person at a time starting tomorrow!!!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 - New Day and A New Job

Today we enjoyed staying in our pjs because we missed church.  We thought our church started new times but that doesn't until next week, darn it.  We love going to church and so missing today on the first SONday of the year is a bummer but we will get back to it next week with a new service and fasting.  Here is our church website in case you are looking to hear a great message every week at  I always like to watch Charles Stanley and I have to say I enjoyed his message today about "living by principles" and Joel Osteen.  You can google Joel to for his site and blog.   

I had a great 2 weeks off and thoroughly enjoyed the holidays.  Love spending time with family and friends! I have enjoyed spending quality time with my daughter too.  It seems that although we are together we don't have our heart to heart talks like we used to.  It warms my heart to know we can talk and talk openly about our feelings.  She is such an amazing young lady!

I have to say that I am rethinking my one little word for 2011.  I just want to make sure I choose the word that will best fit my life and the direction we are heading for this year and this place on our journey. Some of the words I am considering:

ME (this one needs further explanation I know...)

I wanted to share this with you too.  I love dragonflies ever since I saw the movie "DragonFly".  A friend shared its meaning with me last week and I really love what it means.  Check this out:  The meaning of a dragonfly changes with each culture. The main symbolisms of the dragonfly are renewal, positive force and the power of life in general. Dragonflies can also be a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity. Also, as a creature of the wind, the dragonfly frequently represents change. And as a dragonfly lives a short life, it knows it must live its life to the fullest with the short time it has - which is a lesson for all of us!  I think I am going to start collecting them too!

Anyway I start my new job as an intervention specialist tomorrow at one elementary that I have been subbing at all year.  I am excited and am looking forward to my new responsibities.  I am hopeful that I will still find a long term subbing position and or full time teaching position sooner than later.  I love what I have been doing but it just doesn't pay enough.  I am thankful for everything I have learned up to this point and have loved working with students in varied grade levels.  Here is to tomorrow and my new job!!

So were you able to find something to do on Day 2?  I hope so!  I found myself on the receiving side of someone else's kindness and still need to find a lil something to do.  MY sweet daughter found time to reach out today which I love.  I have to get my thinking cap on because I like to think of creative and different things I can do.  I am looking forward to making this a conscious effort to put this into my list of things to do and will welcome other RAKS as the opportunities present themselves.  Some things are just RANDOM and I love that too.  

This week I will be posting New Year Resolutions for both Demi and I and we are going to put together a bucket list, one for our family, one for her and one for me.  I am looking forward to getting it down on paper since we discussed some of them today.  It has been a couple of years since I have had the focus I needed on a daily basis and quite frankly want to get away from flying by the seat of my pants.  I want to be a better planner in all areas of my life and I think this will really help!  Do you make a list and do you have a bucket list?  I would love to read yours if you are sharing them on your blog. 

I am off to tuck the lil one in since it is our first day back to school and work.  Hate that our vacay is coming to an end but looking forward to making some money again.  Have a great day back to work if you are going and if not enjoy your time and we will see you back here tomorrow with Day 3 of 365 of !!  Night <3



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1 ~ Cultivating JOY with Unconditional Acts of Kindness, Compassion, and Love

Happy New year again everyone!

Today marks the first day of our journey of 365 days of cultivating JOY through unconditional acts of kindness both on the giving and receiving sides.

I hope you will feel encouraged to practice simple acts of kindness starting with yourself and then with someone you cross paths with today.

So the challenge of cultivating JOY and for random acts of kindness to flourish we need to begin in the hardest places, our own hearts.  For kindness to be twice blessed, it will be important to find time each day to refuel your spirit by doing something wonderful for yourself.  The simple acts of kindness towards ourselves could be many things from taking a bubble bath, reading a book, planting a garden, and or getting your hair done.  It is a lot easier to truly give from overflow from a heart that is filled with love and peace.  I will admit I am not great at this one because I like being the giving side and doing for others.  I also know too that the cup will runneth dry when we don't take the time to fill up our cups as we often say.  This will be more challenging for me but I am looking forward to pampering myself in ways that will keep my fire ignited with enthusiam to really make a change in the world not just for one day but for days, months and years to come.   The second commandment in the bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself." Matt 22:38.  This commandment says that we should loves others as we love ourselves.  So when you find it hard to do wonderful things for yourself and without guilt, remember that God instructs us to do so. I love that Melody Ross is putting together courses called Soul Restoration. As women we tend to take are of everyone else and so many days we have nothing else left for ourselves.  So let's change that this year.  Today, right now! 

So the second part to cultivating JOY is finding or making time to perform deliberate or random, sometimes thought of as unconditional acts of kindess and compassion.  There are so many ways to go about this such as giving to someone without their knowledge just for the desire to give from the heart and wanting to make someone else feel better.  Other acts can be deliberate where you make a conscious effort or plan to make someone you know or a complete stranger's day a little easier or brighter.  There are so many wonderful and creative ways you can do this as well.  I have mentioned a few the last month of RAKS that I am aware of that have given some wonderful friends and family HOPE again to include me on the receiving end. 

I am commiting to living this year with intention and purpose EVERYDAY.  By the way, my word for 2011 is intention and believing that by living to give will cultivate JOY and a life that matters.  In wanting to leave a lasting legacy for my daughter, I am bringing her on board this year for her to do this with me, both by herself and as a team.  TEAM WILLIS...and as part of this fun and exciting time, will have and enlist others I know to have challenges in the areas we live.  Hopefully this will start the ripple effect throughout the world, one adult, one child, one family, one school, one community, one country and one world at a time.

I wanted to say in closing that I would love to hear what you did to make the world a better place today.  I realize that some of you will not want to embark on sharing this with others and like to do it quietly and without acknowledging your RAKS and I am totally okay with that.  I believe that we can encourage others who may be sitting on the fence by sharing our experiences and or can encourage others to do some of the same things you are doing.  So dont forget this is the first day of the year and your life to take the ordinary deeds into extraordinary deeds and to possibly give someone the HOPE they need to go another mile or to live another day just knowing that someone cared enough to take the time to do something simple for them JUST BECAUSE.

Let's do this together and if you know of others that are making a difference in the lives of others, please share those friends with us and what they are doing.  I am hoping to list a few acts you can do each day, some small and some big but all that will put a smile on an unexpecting face.  Remember that behind every face there is a story that you  may or may not be aware in your life journey.

Acts you can perform today or any day....
1.  Bring a friend a cup of good coffee or Rte 44 soda
2.  Listen to a friend or stranger
3.  Send an email, FB message or text letting others know how much you care and love them
4.  Contact an old friend
5.  Visit a friend/neighbor
6.  Pray for someone else in need
7.  Give a complete stranger and or teenager $5.00 for no reason
8.  Give a neck massage
9.  Help a friend or family member out by doing their laundry, cooking a meal, watching their kids
10.Give away clothes to someone in need or a women's shelter/homeless shelter
12.Forgive when you have every right to get upset, be the better person even when it is tough
13.Write a letter by hand and send it to someone, write your child a letter or notes in their lunches
14.Make cards for our soldiers/college student and put stamps on them ready to go
15.Make boxes for our soldiers and send them out...I have some soldiers names and addresses in Afghanistan that you can do this for if you don't know any..
16.Knit gloves and scarfs for cancer patients - my nephew was a recipient of some awesome hats when going through chemo!
17.Share a book
18.Give a hug
19.Pray for someone....when I get requests, I stop right then and do it!  Love being a Prayer Warrior!
20.Be a bone marrow donor - you can go to to request a swab kit by mail for free and give the give of life.  What a wonderful way to start your year!!!   

Let's see if we can get 100 people to join us in the month of January with our Acts of Kindness and Compassion to cultivate JOY in the hearts of others as we change our own hearts, the hearts of our children and families, in our neighborhoods and in our communities.  If we added a hundred new JOY WARRIORS each month we would have 12,000 acts of kindness and compassion daily.  I am recommending that you start and keep a daily journal of your kindness to both yourself and others to see how your life is blessed by your gift of kindness and compassion.  Thanks so much for joining me in this 364 Days plus One of daily acts of goodness and for wanting to change your life and of those paths you cross.  Look for opportunities and seize the moment!

Live with intention and purpose in this minute, this hour, this day and this life with no regrets!!

Diana aka BiT          

Happy New Year 2011!!!!

I am so excited about 2011 and what is ahead for us.  We brought in the new year with one of my best friends and her friends which I enjoyed immensely.  The girls had a great time as you will see from the pictures posted here.  Demi and Cami having a blast and off to a wonderful start to 2011.  I will be back with some news to share about life, my word for '11 and the 365 days of change and what we can all do to make this a better place by living with intention by performing deliberate acts of kindness, compassion and love. 

Also I am reposting my layout for the latest HERO challenge at  I just love this site and their challenges and love this layout that I created about my brother.  It is one I wanted to make for a long time so here it is.  Love my brother and am so proud of him in every way!  I will take a picture tomorrow so you can see this layout with the correct exposure so just know this looks so much better in real life.

I will be shortly to post some additional challenges that I completed but due to some computer issues was not able to upload earlier.

Here is to a new fresh start for all of us~