Archives

Back To School

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In the midst of recent family life and work changes, we are getting ready to go back to school.

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One challenge this year is the uncertainty about whether our daughter will have in-person instruction, distance learning or a combination of both. Our school district has scheduled a parent Zoom meeting next week to discuss our county health regulations for this school year. I am certain we will have a better understanding then.

As for our son, he is starting college this semester and the school confirmed it will be remote instructions; no in-class education for at least this semester. So, that question is answered and he can plan accordingly.

Last weekend, we started our school shopping; picking up essentials such as paper, pencils, binders, etc. Usually it is a fun time, however, it was a strange experience since they may not be taking a backpack to school. I believe the bulk of their assignments will be submitted electronically.

Another challenge our kids have with distance learning is not being able to hang out with their friends. This is a big part of their social well being in high school and college.  As a result, this summer they have had to be intentional about connecting with friends, whether it’s through texting, calling, or face-timing. I’ve noticed they are much happier afterwards. So, we are adjusting to this new norm.

How about your family? How’s it going with getting ready to return to the school season?

Blessings, Rebecca

Missing My Dad

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June 9, 2001

I am missing my dad.

In August of 2017, I wrote about my aging parents and in June of this year I wrote about senior care.

I am sad to report my dad passed away. Two weeks ago, he took an ambulance ride to ICU for fluid in his lungs. After he was treated for pneumonia, my brother and I learned he had COPD.

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Spring 2010

Approximately two days later, we met with hospice to discuss next steps. That night, my stepmom, brother and I had a wonderful visit with him. To our pleasant surprise, he was alert and talkative. We laughed, cried and said our goodbyes.

He passed peacefully 12 hours later at the age of 81. My solace comes from knowing he is in heaven with the Lord. Rest in Peace Pops. I love you!

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Fall 2002

I am thankful for my faith, family and friends walking this journey with me as it is the hardest path I have taken.

Please keep our family in prayer for comfort during this very difficult time.

Have you lost a parent? If so, I’d love to hear how you coped.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Whiny Paluza

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Rebecca Greene is a wife, mother of three and fellow Top 100 Mommy Blogs blogger. She has released her new book Whiny Paluza which showcases some of her mommy moments.

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Review

When her husband, Seth, asked if I could review her book, I am glad I jumped at the chance. It is a delightful compilation of humorous short stories sprinkled with valuable lessons learned.

As I read her traveling stories, I could totally relate. The challenges of packing, driving, staying at hotels and attending events felt like I was right there with them. I remember taking long car rides with my own two children.

One summer, we drove from central California to Portland, Oregon (~10 hours). I thought it would be cool to take the coastal route with my then 12 year-old son and 10 year-old daughter. About half way there, the novelty wore off and the kids asked if we could cut over to Highway 5 to get there quicker to see their cousins.

So, if you are looking for an inspiring adventures in parenting book, I recommend Whiny Paluza.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Whiny Paluza as we’re giving away a FREE copy. Simply comment below on or before July 12, 2020. Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On July 13, 2020, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than July 19, 2020. One free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided (Continental US only).

Blessings, Rebecca

Senior Care

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Hello Readers! I want to apologize for not posting earlier. As you may remember, I wrote about my aging parents last summer. Unfortunately, my father had a relapse this week and was whisked away by ambulance to ICU for fluid in his lungs.

The next day, my brother and I assisted our step-mother with errands on behalf of my dad who normally buys groceries, gets gas, goes to the bank, etc.

Afterwards, I was the one visitor for the day allowed in his room. I was delighted to just sit and to listen to him recount stories of his life while he lay in the hospital bed.

Thankfully he is slowly gaining his strength. We are praying and hoping for his full recovery. Would you come into agreement with us?

Do you have aging parents? If so, how did you go through the process? I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Graduation 2020

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Congratulations Class of 2020!

This week our son, Austin, graduated high school. Wow! 

Although, it wasn’t a traditional ceremony, we had fun during the school’s car parade. 180+ families lined the parking lot, honked and shouted for the graduates. It was a sight to see and hear.

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I can’t believe how fast time flies. I can still remember cradling him at six weeks old. Now, he’s off to college.

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Our daughter, Alicia, completed 10th grade and is now an upper classman. I can remember snuggling her as an infant as well.

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In a few short months, we plan to visit potential colleges for her.

We are so proud of our children’s accomplishments and look forward to the next season of life for them.

Did you celebrate any graduations in 2020? I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Togetherness

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Remembering the courageous military men and women who sacraficed it all for our freedom. We are grateful this Memorial Day…

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During this quarantine time, amongst the societal health and finances challenges, one blessing that has surfaced is togetherness. The dictionary defines it as the state of being close to another person or other people.

The shelter in place has forced us to hunker down at home as many businesses, parks, etc. are closed to the public in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Ever heard the term stop and smell the roses? Well, I find myself doing more of that lately. Here is a picture of some of the roses on our campus. They smell and look wonderful.

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Friday morning, I looked in our front yard and watched about a dozen turkeys strutting by. Normally I would go about my day, but I stopped and watched their parade for a few moments. I rather enjoyed watching the toms fluff their feathers, scrape them on the ground and gobble to attract the nearby hens. Do you find yourself slowing down a bit too?

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I love spending time as a family; always have. Before the shutdown, life seemed busier working, running errands, doing chores, etc. Although we are still have commitments, the pace of life has slowed down significantly. Here’s a picture of my husband Randy and I hanging out after walking to our local coffee shop.

coffeeI am thankful that we’ve had this family time together for several weeks in our new cabin. We’ve planted plants, hung pictures, painted panels, updated chair seat covers, built brick walls, pressure washed sidewalks, etc.

I am thankful we’ve had more time to read, hike, bake, cook, watch movies, play games and just hang out together. I also took an online writing course I’ve wanted to take for quite some time.

Although we have been able to Facetime our extended family, I do look forward to the day when our state opens up again so we can visit in person.

In the midst of the governmental order, I am grateful both my husband and my company were allocated the Paycheck Protection Program. It has allowed us to return to work to provide for our family. My hope going forward is that I can better balance work and family life as things the pace of life picks up again.

How have you spent your time during the pandemic? I’d love to hear about it. Please feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

Happy Mother’s Day

I wanted to wish all the women out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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It’s been a great day for me. My family blessed me with a beautiful pink (my favorite color) rose bush and placed it outside our window so that I can enjoy its beauty and fragrance often.

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When I stepped outside this morning, to my surprise, I found a nice set of chimes. It’s been at least 7 years since I’ve had a set. So, I am really enjoying the sounds of a gentle breeze.

 

My husband treated me to a delicious mocha and walk this morning. As we meandered, through the woods, we reminisced about when we met at a coffee shop in Santa Clara, CA on a blind date back in 1998.

Because we are in a COVID-19 statewide shelter in place, we are not able to visit loved ones. So, we called our moms to wish them a Happy Mother’s Day and facetimed my brother Greg and sister-in-law Connie to catch up.

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At the time of this writing, my daughter is baking me my favorite cookies – chocolate chip.

In the Bible it says “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also…” – Proverbs 31:28 I am feeling blessed for sure.

I’d like to pass along a blessing to my readers this week. May 11-15 you will find 3 free books on Amazon. Happy reading!

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I Like Bugs

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Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure

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Am I Pretty?

What did you do today to celebrate?

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Quarantine II

On March 30, I wrote about the State of California issued a Stay At Home Order for its residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic and I wanted to give an update. The County has issued the quarantine until May 3rd.

The kids’ school is closed until the end of the school year June 4 and they are doing online distant learning from home. It’s been several weeks and they miss their friends.

Our son, Austin, is a Senior and missed his prom last Friday night. In addition, his graduation commencement is jeopardized due to the County restriction of public meetings of less than 10 people. The school is committed to celebrating Seniors when the order is lifted. For that we are grateful.

I’ve been home from work since March 13th and just learned that our camps have been canceled for the summer. Sad! My work furlough could extend through Labor Day Weekend. Intense!

My husband Randy had a reduced work schedule until last Wednesday when his camp received a Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses. As a result, his full-time hours were restored for the next 8 weeks. Thank the Lord!

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During this challenging time, we have been purposeful in getting outside for fresh air and sunshine. The week of April 8-15 all parks and beaches were closed. Fortunately, we were able to hike Mount Hermon’s trails and creeks.

We have spent a great deal of time working in our yard planting, pruning, clearing, painting, and pressure washing. It is coming along quite nicely.

Of course, there’s been time for R&R.

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As I mentioned last time, it is a blessing to be at home in that we are healthy, safe and together. It has given me time to try some new recipes and bake. Yum!

I’d love to hear what creative ways you and your family are handling the quarantine.

Blessings, Rebecca

Guest Blog by Tiffany Joy & Giveaway

This week my guest blogger is Tiffany Joy.  She is an author, poet and visual artist at ForTheJoyOfTiff.com that focuses on spreading love and joy to the world.  Tiffany is also hosts the writing group that we belong to. She has written a new book called To Love and and will share with us her story of how God showed up. I hope you enjoy her visit. Please welcome Tiffany!

God Shows Up

2019 had many rough patches, difficult changes, and surprises. That year knocked around. I’m grateful that God held on to me through the struggle. I am also thankful that he allowed me to go to the “2020 Refocus” retreat.

It seemed like every time I got on a healthy habit schedule in 2019 something would knock me off of it. With God’s help, I kept finding my way back to Him and the right path for me.

I went into 2020 with an attitude of being freer to explore what the right path for me is and simply be with God.

The first weekend of the new year I was able to do just that. I went on a 24-hour retreat called “2020 Refocus.” My friends had helped plan it and it was wonderful.

My expectations were low. Really I didn’t know what to expect, but it was amazing. God showed up multiple times for me.

The first session had a lot of good information in it. As I took notes I realized I needed to trust and obey God more and more. That had to be a major focus this year and every day within the year.

God can do such powerful things when we fully depend on Him and trust Him fully.

Another powerful fact that I learned was in my quiet time. I woke early and journaled by myself. Through journaling, I realized that I’ve been focused on earthly things.

Yes, I love God and I am following Him. However, my vision is only for this life and this world. I need to move my focus to eternity and God’s will.

Hearing From God

In the main prayer time, I also heard from God, which if you aren’t familiar with prayer I’m sure sounds weird. “To Love “will be done this year. It’ll be with God and God’s power that I succeed.

With that statement, I’ve changed my focus. When I got home from the retreat I started to work on getting a Kickstarter project up and going. I have also scheduled more time in order to work on “To Love.”

Iron On Iron Activity

The last time I saw God show up, during the retreat, was with an activity called, “Iron On Iron.” It is where 2 people encourage and strengthen the 3rd person, then the roles are rotated until all 3 people are strengthened.

I sat down with my preassigned group and judged them. From their appearances, I thought it was going to be a weird and awkward time. What could we have in common? I figured I’d go first and get it over with.

Well, all 3 of us are artists. True our lives are different, but that allowed us to see things differently and help. It was a great activity. By the end, I really felt connected to them.

I was vulnerable with them. In return, they accepted where I am and who I am. Through them, I felt God’s love and guidance.

It was a truly beautiful weekend and an apt names retreat. I did refocus on God at the beginning of 2020.

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Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read To Love by Tiffany Joy as she is thrilled to give away 2 copies. To enter go to her Facebook page, like the page, and post a comment, either on the wall or in a post, that says, “I’d love a copy of To Love.” The first 2 that do this will each receive a free copy of To Love.

I too am giving away 1 FREE copy of Believe in Miracles  by Chicken Soup for the Soul for which I contributed a story. To enter simply comment on this blog post by April 17, 2020. Your name will then be placed in a drawing and I will randomly select a winner. The winner must live in the continental US and supply his/her mailing address to us no later than April 23, 2020. One Free copy of each will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address (Continental US only) provided.

Blessings, Rebecca

If you’d like to connect with Tiffany joy, she can be reached at the following sites.

Twitter and Instagram = @TiffyJoyBerry

Quarantine

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New York Times 3/28/2020

The State of California issued a Stay At Home Order for it’s residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The kids’ school is closed until May 6th and they are doing online distant learning from home. It is like a scene from George Jetson cartoon from the future where their teachers and classmates are on a screen.

My husband and I work for two different camps which host events that center around gathering people. The Center for Disease Control has implemented meetings of less than 10 people and both camps have closed until approximately May 10. As a result of these changes, I am not working at the moment. We are thankful my husband is able to work a reduced schedule, because their Maintenance team is working on necessary projects during this shutdown.

It is challenging to stay home for an extended period of time and the kids’ teachers frequently remind their students to get some fresh air and sunshine. We are blessed to live in the majestic Santa Cruz mountains where we can hike in the serenity of God’s nature. Sometimes, we will throw a frisbee at our local meadow, ride a bike, play basketball, etc..

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It is a blessing to be at home as well in that we have purposely slowed down and made intentional family time by reading our Bibles/books, watching movies and playing board games together.

Is your area mandated to stay at home? If so, I’d love to hear what creative ways you are handling it.

Blessings, Rebecca