Tell All Tuesday Series: Missing in Action

Q-Did you miss me?

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

A-I sure missed you! When I began my little adventure (my Insurance class) back in November, I had NO idea that I would be absent for this long! I (foolishly) was under the impression that I would come out of the class licensed, and ready to tackle a new job, if that was the direction in which I felt was going to be best for my family’s future. Needless to say, that wasn’t EXACTLY how it turned out!

Class was great…a vacation from reality, if you will. But, as soon as class was over, I was thrown back into my “GO, GO, GO!” routine. Before I knew it, Thanksgiving was upon us, then Christmas, and all through the hustle and bustle of the season, I was working SUPER long hours. Then, out of the blue, I was called in to interview with HCA, which I ended up accepting. When I wasn’t working or running, I was hitting the thousands of flash cards that I had made, trying my best to retain all that I had learned. I finally tested out this past weekend, and am happy to announce that I passed BOTH exams! My hard work and countless hours of studying paid off!

So, I have spent the last two weeks as an HCA employee. I am a Patient Care Liaison, and work in a call center assisting patients who are looking for new physicians. I will eventually be moving over to ER Follow-Up, which basically means that I will be assisting patients who have recently visited the Emergency Room get scheduled for their follow up appointments. So far, I am truly loving my job! I have been working in child care for the past 12 years, and I must admit, it is a refreshing change (a breath of fresh air) interacting with adults on a daily basis, rather than children. There are certain aspects of the job that I do miss, but I am thoroughly enjoying this new opportunity! We even had a “Popcorn Party” on National Popcorn Day! I don’t know of too many organization’s that do that; do you?!  It is a fun atmosphere, and everyone has welcomed me with open arms. I am looking forward to seeing where this new path takes me!

I hope that things start to slow down soon, so that I may get accustomed to this new routine.  I am  anxious to get back to my crafts (oh, how I miss them!) and back to my writing.  Without these two, I am incomplete!  I am super disappointed that I’m not going to be able to meet my deadline for my book/workbook/inspiration pack, but know that I will complete it when the time is right.  Just wanted to check in with you, and let you know that I’m still kicking.  I’m SO happy to be back!


Krista’s World

Hi my loveys; I have some fantastic news to share with you this evening!

First, the Go Fund Me campaign (A New Lease on Life) that I organized for my husbands dental work has received 3 donations so far! Casey, Stephanie, and Linda, Thank you SO much for your contributions!!! Your generosity is truly appreciated! Also, quite a few of you have been sharing the link for this campaign on your blogs and on various social media sites, and I wanted to take this opportunity to express just how much I appreciate your help in getting the word out. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together!

Second, I have been saying since this time last year that 2016 was GOING to be MY year! Those who have followed along beside me on this journey can attest that this just has NOT been the case, despite my optimistic and hopeful outlook. At every single turn, conflict and obstacles ( A LOT of which I have not shared) have plagued my path. But, I believe that the tides are FINALLY beginning to shift.

Nose in the Books

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

A fantastic opportunity presented itself to me (an open door if you will) this past week, and I wasn’t EVEN going to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I pounced on it! Things like this never happen to me, so you can imagine just how psyched I am! I have been given the chance to enhance my knowledge by attending a certification course. I am thoroughly excited for this newest chapter in my life, and am anxious to see what may develop next. Investing in yourself is ALWAYS a smart idea! I will be attending class all next week, so if it takes me a while to get back with you, please forgive me. My nose will be in the books. Wish me luck…

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend, and that you will create memories that will last a lifetime!

10 Ways to Jump Start Your Summer

So many of us are facing the most emotional time that each year has to offer…GRADUATION!!!

A New Beginning

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

While the kiddos are stressing out over their finals, delighting over the fact that graduation is but days away, ecstatic that they are FINALLY about to embrace and move forward into these bright and prosperous futures that have been laid out before them, the newest group of empty nesters begin their exhausting journey into the unknown.

On one hand, we are proud of our child’s accomplishments and looking forward to watching their development during these first stages of adulthood, but then a wave suddenly washes over us and the tears begin to flow.  Then the heart wrenching questions flood in…”Oh, where has the time gone?”, “What happened to my baby?”, “What am I going to do with my time now?!

Devoting 18 years of our lives to the interests and well-being of our children consumes us!  Releasing them to fend for themselves is a VERY scary endeavor that we all must face at some point during our travels.  Let’s just hope that we did our job right the first go around, right?!

But, for the time being, let’s focus on something just a bit LESS stressful.  During this last little hurrah, before the kiddo’s ship off to college or to their new careers, let’s ensure that we create summer memories that they will forever treasure.  I’ve done a little brainstorming, and have come up with 10 kick ass ways to jump start your (last) summer with them.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments below…

Making Memories

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Summer Starter #1:

Throw a Luau themed Pool Party and invite all the family and friends to partake.  The more, the merrier, so they say!  Make it a potluck and have everyone pitch in.  Hook up the Karaoke machine or crank up the tunes.  Host a  wet T-shirt contest or play Sharks and Minnows.  Anything goes.  The point is, have a GREAT time!

Summer Starter #2:

Raid the Dollar Store and purchase every can of Silly String that you can put your hands on.  Gather everyone up and have a friendly Silly String fight out in the back yard.  See if THAT doesn’t put a smile on everyone’s face!

Summer Starter #3:

Spend the day at your favorite park.  Take the ENO, play on the playground equipment, throw a Frisbee around, take a picnic lunch.  Whatever you choose to do, DON’T forget the camera!

A Day at the Park

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Summer Starter #4:

Dig the Slip and Slide out of the attic and hook her up.  Spend the day “racing” to see who the reining champ will be.

Summer Starter #5:

Gather everyone together for an “Old Fashioned” BBQ/Cookout/Picnic.  Bust out the grill and have everyone bring a side.  Spend the day visiting and reminiscing of days gone by.  When dusk sets in, start up a bonfire and roast marshmallows or whip up a batch of S’mores.

Summer Starter #6:

Head outdoors and play an innocent game of Hide and Seek in the dark.  We used to do this at my Uncle’s ranch in amongst the hay bales.  LOADS of fun!

Summer Starter #7:

Plan an outing at your nearest amusement park.  Carnival Food, Roller Coasters, Adrenaline…You couldn’t ask for a better day!

Summer Starter #8:

Have everyone suit up and head outdoors for a day of skipping through the sprinkler.  Race through the shower of water and see who can stay the driest.  Do cartwheels through the spray.  I wonder who gets shot in the eye first?!

Simple Summer Fun

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Summer Starter #9:

Get everyone together for a day of tranquility out on the open water.  Rig up your boat, rent one, or borrow one from a friend.  Pack up the skis and inner tubes and throw your inhibitions out the window.  Spend the day being young and free.  Life IS for living after all!

Summer Starter #10:

Make sure to stock up on plastic water guns or water balloons while you’re shopping at the Dollar Store getting some Silly String.  Wage a war and see who gets soaked first.

Well, there you go…10 fun ideas to jump start your summer in the right direction.  Set the emotional turbulence aside for the time being, and make sure that it’s a summer to remember!

What summer starters would YOU add to the list?

The Story of a Teacher

My sister-in-law sent this to me some time ago.  It made quite an impact on me, and I felt the need to share it here.  I hope you enjoy this TRUE STORY

Welcome Back

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat,was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.    It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big ‘F’ at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners… He is a joy to be around..’

His second grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.’

His third grade teacher wrote, ‘His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn’t show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.’

Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.’

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.  Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, ‘Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.’

Perfume Bottle

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded.. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her ‘teacher’s pets..’

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer…. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married.   He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

Gorgeous Bracelet

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, ‘Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me.. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.’

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back.. She said,  ‘Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.’

(For those of you that don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the doctor at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Did you cry?  I did…

If you want to learn, teach yourself. I did!

Self-EducatedThroughout the years, I have obtained the majority of my knowledge on my own.  If I found a topic that interested me, I found a book on the subject.  As the years progressed, the Internet became more readily available, and the content has continued to increase with each passing year.  There is SO much on the web now, you could spend every second for the remainder of your life and still not run out of things to learn.

I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to learn to crochet.  I went over to YouTube, typed in “Crochet Tutorials for Beginners” and hit search.  I was blown away when I saw the number of videos that catered to that specific title.  YouTube and Pinterest have become my 2 go-to destinations, as nine times out of ten, I can find exactly what I’m looking for there.  So, if you want to learn about something, go for it!  There is NOTHING standing in your way!  Videos, articles, tutorials, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, and the list goes on and on and…

Formal Education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.     –Jim Rohn

What is your self-taught talent?