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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

by Garry – www.visionandimagination.com

Summer Fun Ideas:

There’s a little less than a month of summer left.  Time to get out there and do all those fun summer activities that you’ve put off before the chance is gone.  Here are a few ideas:

Go All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Riding

Go White Water Rafting

Swim at the Bottom of a Waterfall

Bird Watch

Go Bungee Jumping

Go Caving to keep cool.

Go on a Sightseeing Plane Ride

Hot-air Balloon Ride

Watch Fireflies and Stargaze.

Learn to Juggle

Go Roller Skating

Ride a Roller Coaster

Rent a Convertible and Put the Top Down.

Have a Wheelbarrow Race

Relax – Get Some Hammock Time. Spend the entire day by yourself relaxing.  Unplug the phone, lay in the pool, read a book – whatever you want to do.

Have a Bonfire and Roast Marshmallows

Take Photos of Pets in funny hats, or glasses

Bounce on a Trampoline

Go Skydiving

Go Scuba Diving

Slip and Slide

Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

Fishing – Whether it is deep sea, stream or fly – fish on!

Have a Water Fight with the Garden Hose, Water Balloons or Water Guns

Listen to Some Rock Music from a Totally Foreign Country

Have a Limbo Contest

Have a Paper Airplane Flying Contest

Watch a Movie at the Drive-In.

Cloud watch – is that a dolphin?

Go to the Park and Watch the Sunset.

Draw with Chalk on the Sidewalk

Have an Egg Toss

Run Through the Sprinklers

Get your Favorite Milkshake

Surfing / Wakeboarding / Water-skiing/Windsurfing

Bike off a Dock Right into the Lake

Climb a Tree

Go Rock Hunting – find fossils and crystals

Geocaching GPS – Using a GPS you can search for treasure boxes that are hidden all over the world. Lots of fun and a great way to discover nooks and crannies of where you live.

Camp in the backyard and sleep under the stars

Have a picnic at the beach

Paint your toenails bright colors

Play on the swings (visit the playground)

Have a root beer float, banana split or make an ice cream cone

Fix a pitcher of homemade lemonade

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Originally uploaded by usmanister_01

One of the benefits of a gratitude journal is that it helps you keep track of funny things, happy occasions and memories you want to keep. Here are some of the best moments from last week:
• Seeing a tiny baby bunny in the grass by the woods in the early morning.
• Watching fireflies glowing in the evening. It looks like my own personal 4th of July every night.
• Finishing some assignments that had been looming over me for the past month.
• Meditating for 20 minutes when I felt irritable and moody and feeling energized and calm after the meditation.
• Finding a used book I was looking for. Bonus – it was only $1.00.
• Finding a hilarious Hoops & Yoyo talking toy at the flea market. So fun to play with when you need a laugh.
• Having a coworker help me laugh my way into a better mood.
• Picked delicious red ripe raspberries for raspberry shortcake and vanilla ice cream.
• Having a good talk with my father for Fathers Day since he lives in another state.
• Wrote a fun birthday poem for a coworker. Had fun being a little creative.

Although there were lots of things that I didn’t get accomplished. (Like writing a blog article), and I didn’t complete my to-do list, I feel very good about this week. The key is to pay attention to the good things that happen. Writing a gratitude list helps you do that.
What were your best moments this week?

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flowers-purple

Nature Flowers 29 by Christian Revival Network

The last month has been very hard for me as a beloved family member finally passed away this weekend.  While she had been sick since January of last year, we kept our hope that recovery was possible.

At the same time there were difficulties, disturbances, problems, and confusion, some due to family, some to miscommunication, some simply to fear.  However, after going through these hard times, I can say with certainty that life is more than suffering.

Often when problems and misfortune befall us we feel overwhelmed.  We see only the sadness, sacrifices and struggles to come, and none of the strengths, insights and understanding.

Yet there is still learning, there is still kindness, and there is still love. A word of encouragement from a coworker, a friend who lends their support to take over some of your responsibilities, and a new comprehension of the value of living life to fullest while you still have the ability to do so.

My most valuable lesson during this time is putting my pain and hurt into action.  Action gives meaning and depth to life. It allows my suffering to be put to use.  I honor the dead by living to the best of my ability.  By putting love and joy foremost in my life, I acknowledge the lesson that life is about now, the present moment.  I can’t change the past, and the future has not yet arrived, but in this moment, right now I can share a hug, call a loved one, help someone in need, sing a song, give a compliment or a hundred other wonderful things.

Another great lesson is giving in to happiness. When someone we care about is suffering, we feel that moment of guilt and cringe when our laughter seems too loud, our joy too boisterous, our smile too big.  But it is important to remember that those who love us want us to be happy. Certainly there is a time and place for such pleasure to be indulged, and we must respect others who are grieving or hurting.  But when the time is right, it is a blessing and a gift to celebrate life.  By dedicating our happiness to our loved one, we acknowledge the gift of enlightenment they have given and begin to move past our grief into acceptance and understanding.

Everyone is different and moves through the grief cycle at a different pace and in different ways. Being open and honest with others about your hurt, anger, sadness and pain help them to give you the time, space and quiet in which to heal.  At the same time, allowing friends to encourage you to do something fun, or even to deeply immerse yourself into work, cleaning, organizing or some other intense project gives your mind a break from worry.  Interrupting your sadness helps diffuse it and lessens the pain.

Although this small article can barely tap into the entire subject of suffering and pain, I hope it has given you a few useful bits of information.  None of us should suffer endlessly or needlessly.  We are all in this together.  What I help you with today, you’ll return to me tomorrow.  Here are a few more tips to help you get through any current difficulties you are suffering through:

  • Simplify. Put off anything that puts more pressure on you to “act normal.”  Cancel any meetings, clubs, volunteering or other task that don’t uplift you or support you right now.
  • Take a breath. Sometimes our pain lingers because we have not faced up to it.  Although it seems like if you begin to cry you may never stop, that is rarely the case.  Give in to your pain and it will begin to lose its power.
  • Distraction. Many of us use this tool effectively at one time or another.  When our pain is too overwhelming, we may need a task, duty or responsibility that occupies our mind and gives us a chance to escape the overwhelming emotions we are experiencing.
  • No negatives. Keep the negative news, complaining coworkers, worrisome relatives and crowded shops to a minimum.  Traffic, computer malfunctions and simple delays can be blown out of proportion when we are hurting.  Try to limit your exposure to problems if you can.
  • Focus on the good. It could be a beautiful sunrise, cuddling with your cat, a tasty meal or your favorite outfit.  Anything that makes you smile and feel happy.  These moments can be scarce, so treasure them all the more.
  • Keep your routines. Sometimes when we’re in pain, we think that skipping our chores, stopping our exercise or ignoring our doctor’s visit are reasonable and normal.  But sometimes those very things are what help make life seem sane in the midst of chaos.  Routine can reassure because they are familiar.  Use yours to your advantage.
  • Use a journal. One of the most helpful things can be to write about your feelings and problems.  Sometimes the simple task of putting things in writing can make them seem more manageable and not so overpowering.  It can also give you a focus so that those thoughts don’t just spin around continuously in your mind.

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Smile! by .Pete.

Hello again friends and fans. When last you heard from me I believed I was home to stay, but alas, I was wrong yet again. The family emergency my husband and I were attending resurfaced when the family member returned to the hospital and needed additional care.

During all the chaos, fear, uncertainty and confusion, I seemed to have temporarily lost all the humor skills I gained over the past few years. Only after becoming completely frazzled, did my humor button seem to start working again. You know how sometimes you laugh so hard you cry? Well, sometimes you get so worn out and overwhelmed that the least little joke will having you laughing like a loon.

At first I was too tired to think clearly, and afraid that my laughter or smiling would be misunderstood as being unconcerned or uncaring. I quickly began to realize how untrue that is. In difficult and stressful times, humor and laugher is a healing balm. Not just for you, but for everyone around you. While in some serious conversations and situations it may not be appropriate, many times it helps relieve tension for everyone in the room, and puts us all at ease. A shared joke or smile lets people feel bonded together, and brings a levity needed for discussion of sensitive subjects.

Now as I finally find time to write this, I recognize how much a good sense of humor helps you. It can make you’re every day life a lot of fun and get rid of minor irritations, but in a serious situation it can be a lifeline to a calm and peaceful frame of mind. Whenever I have shared a smile or a laugh with others, it has lightened the mood and been an enjoyable event for all concerned. It dissolves tension and promotes comfort. Even a simple a thing as reading a funny email, seeing a silly commercial, or sharing a joke with a friend can bring a few minutes of comfort and joy.

I hope that everyone reading today will recognize the truth of this. Humor is a great healer, especially when done with consideration and caring. Sharing a laugh, a smile and a common bond can benefit everyone involved in a stressful and upsetting circumstances. It can bring new perspectives and solutions, and help you see beyond the current crisis. It allows us all to admit that we are not perfect, and our imperfection is funny. It encourages sharing of embarrassing or uncomfortable topics, which is usually precisely what needs to be discussed.

For ideas on how to get started adding more humor to your day click on my article “Increase your fun,” at the top of the page for some ideas to help you increase your sense of humor now, so you’ll be ready for the next crisis that hits you.

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Update on me.

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give a quick update.  I have had a recent family emergency that is taking up most of my time.  During the next two weeks I will not be near any Internet and therefore unable to post.

I hope you will all enjoy my prior posts and check out sites from my blogroll for good reading and fun.  Come back by in a few weeks to see some new posts.  Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

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While cruising the Internet I found a few sites that listed uplifting and positive movies. Of course, many had different views of what a feel-good movie is. So, I put together a few of my favorites that were inspiring, and heart-warming or just fun and unusual. I’m sure I’m missing lots of great ones – what are your favorites?

pay-it-forward.jpgPay It Forward (2000) – One person can change the world. Shows how a simple homework assignment can change the lives of many people. See the power of kindness and generosity overcome pain and hardship. Watch it ripple across the lives of many different people. Touching and hopeful.

a-little-princess.jpgA Little Princess (1995) – one little’s girl adventures as she is sent to live in a boarding home while her father goes to war. The wonder and imagination of childhood shines through in this beautiful movie. “Don’t you know that every little girl is a princess?”

it-could-happen-to-you.jpgIt Could Happen to You (1994) – Take one honest cop and one lucky waitress and combine a winning lotto ticket for an amazing chance anyone would jump at. Interesting and playful with a happy ending.

big-fish.jpgBig Fish – a whimsical film about a son’s visit to his dying father. Watch as he unravels the truth behind his father’s lifetime of tall tales.

forrest-gump.jpgForrest Gump – our favorite simpleton with the heart of gold. A sweet and wonderful story about making the best out of what life gives you. Funny and inspiring.

second-hand-lions.jpgSecond Hand Lions (2003) – Young Walter is left by his mother with his two eccentric great uncles while she straightens out her life. Walter soon wins their trust and affection as they regal him with stories of their adventurous youth.

Unusual picks:

  • Star Wars (1977 -2005) – the power of good over evil, the beauty and vastness of space and the energy of the force.
  • Lord of The Rings (2001 -2003) – good versus evil, breath-taking scenery, magic, and some of the best costume/character design ever. Shows how everyone has the ability to do great things – even the smallest person can triumph with perseverance and determination.
  • The Green Mile (1999) – This is a great tale of a simple man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time. A good lesson in how not to judge people by their appearance. Very moving.
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006). The importance of family shines through in this comedy about a dysfunctional family who take their young daughter on a cross-country trip to participate in a beauty pageant final competition.
  • Phenomenon (1996). John Travolta stars as a man who sees a bright light in sky and awakens to find he has super-intelligence and other special powers. Lovely movie about the human potential.

Check out these sites for a few other ideas:

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Our New Years resolutions often include exercise, but how many of us include exercising our brain in that list?  Sometimes the mental challenge can be even more important than the physical.  Keeping ourselves mentally challenged pays off in a variety of ways.  It helps us stay connected to others when playing board games like Monopoly or card games like Rummy.

Mental fitness helps keeps us in tune with the world.  Since slang phrases and words are often included in things like crossword puzzles, it helps give us a reason to stay current with the news.  Brain activities also discourage diseases like Alzheimer’s – something many of want to avoid at all costs.

Many games can be incorporated into our busy schedules with ease.  Like crossword puzzles?  Buy a book and complete one during your lunch break.  Like solitaire?  Buy an electronic version you can play while waiting at the doctor’s office.  Enjoy jigsaw puzzles?  Keep the mess to a minimum by playing online – there are tons of beautiful pictures to choose from, and you can even vary the number and shape of the playing pieces.

Games and puzzles help stimulate thinking, making us feel alert and aware.  They also produce positive habits by helping us pay attention to words, spelling and everyday information.  Mental exercise can strengthen our neural pathways and improve our concentration, as well as helping memory, sensory input and speed up our information processing abilities.  In this age of information overload, that can be a highly valuable skill.

Whatever your reasons for playing games, there’s no time like the present.  Start out with one or two that you think you like, and then a try a new one every month to keep your mind sharp and to find new favorites.  (I personally used to get sick of all the puzzle pieces I’d loose from jigsaw puzzles, but I love doing them online – no mess, and lots to choose from.)

Here are a few sites to get you started:

Brain Health by the Alzheimer’s Association

15 Ways to Keep Your Brain in Shape – Ririan Project

Free Crossword Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids – including your favorite cartoon characters

Memory Games

Brain Bashers – puzzles, brain teasers, illusions and more.

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