Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brothers Are From Heaven, Too!

Brothers Are From Heaven, Too!

Not only is this the title for our third book, but I saw it in action the other day.

I was sitting in my kitchen looking out the front window, holding my bundle of joy. My two little neighbors, Lucas and Mathias were outside like normal playing. Mind you, Lucas is 4 and Mathias is 2 but they come out quite often to 'hang' with the adults outside. There is no stopping them. If they see you outside, they are coming over. Period.

Today, Lucas was on his scooter and Mathias on his bike with training wheels. My husband and a couple of his friends were on the stoop out front winding down from a hard days work. The boys ventured over. Little Mathias was having problems with his bike, so one of my husband's friends, and also our neighbor, called him over and then began to doctor on his bike. He worked on it while Mathias came up and sat down on the stoop beside my husband. Lucas stayed close by watching. Once the bike was fixed, Mathias was called from the stoop to retrieve it. He hopped on and sure enough he was back in stride. The boys began to ride the bikes toward the curb. Lucas, the older boy, knew how to bounce up so his scooter cleared the curb and he was on the sidewalk, but Mathias had not mastered the skill. I watched attentively. Lucas looked back to see that his brother was having trouble, jumped off his scooter without hesitation and ran back toward him. He grabbed the front of the bike and hoisted it up with all of his strength, pulling little Mathias up and onto the sidewalk. My heart was in my throat watching the brothers work together and seeing Lucas help his brother before he ever asked.

Yes, Brothers Are From Heaven, Too...yes indeed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What is Vacation?

Last week my family in I took our first vacation together. Doing the math, that means 6 full years since I had been on hiatus from the daily grind of mother, housekeeper, wife, teacher and cook. Well I still had to be two out of five, but my husband got to spend more time being a Dad and husband and less time as an Exec turn weekend handyman. He needed a break too. Our downtime was all right and done right. In other words it was a real vacation.

I admit, before last week's getaway we traveled every year and sometimes twice in a year to visit family in one state or another. But that's just it--- although we left home for extended periods of time, we weren't really on vacation. I didn't even realize this was the case until I complained to one of my friends about how we go visit our loved ones, but somehow I don't come home feeling refreshed. My friend kindly broke it down for me. Turns out, a real vacation is when you go someplace and you don't have to cook, or clean and you can come and go freely.

She was so right! Even though we have loads of fun and enjoy our family visits--- there's no substitute for complete down time. That means seeing the attractions near whatever spot you select and not going out to do anything if you don't want to go. Also included is not driving all over town to see all the relatives you can and apologizing if you want to cut out on family with whom you're currently staying.

As life would have it, even the kids noticed the difference and began using the word "vacation." We had never actually called any of our previous family visits that and somehow they picked up on it. This time none of us were stressed because there was no real schedule or time table to which we had to adhere. It left time for playing until we were just exhausted, lounging because we had to have a break from all the fun at some point, eating whatever yummy dessert we could find and sleeping whenever we felt like taking a nap.

The escape was well worth it. I feel refreshed, replenished and renewed. Those are three R's that should serve me well as September swings into motion. I do believe I am up to the challenge!

Did you take a vacation this summer? Drop a line and let us know what you did.

Love to you and yours,


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What inspires you?
There are so many things that inspire me to put forth my best efforts. Not just with the business, but in all aspects of my life.
Before the idea of our children's book ever came to be, my sister wanted to be a writer and I a photographer. I was inspired from an early age since my mother loved photography and a camera was never far away. As I got older, my love for photography grew and grew. I wanted to capture all my family on camera so we would have something to show the future generations. I would always be the one at family functions snapping shots of everyone there.
When my first niece was born, I was in the delivery room armed with my camera capturing the beautiful event of her birth. I felt it was duty to make sure my sister and brother in law had this special and never to be repeated event on film so they could look back and reflect on the joyous occasion. All of my sister's children inspired me to embrace children's photography. I would strive to capture every special moment between siblings that I could.
Now, I am propelled forward again with the birth of my little one. She will either completely love the camera or shun it altogether. She is only 13 days old and I assure you I have over 300 pictures of least. I can see my photography skills perfecting with each shot I take of her.
She will inspire me to push beyond what I expected and even surprise myself.
Love for what I do and who I do it for is what inspires me. God inspires me because He is so awesome and I want to give Him the glory through my work. It is a gift He gave to me and I want to do my very best.
We can find inspiration in so many things around us. So if you are feeling a bit bored with your craft, remember why you do it and who gave you the talent to do it. Reflect on past accomplishments and awaken a new commitment to try again. I guarantee that you will not regret it!
Many Blessings,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Giving Heart

Sometimes I sit an marvel at how different my life is now, compared to when I was growing up. God blessed me to have a bit more now than what my family had when I was a girl. There are plenty who could probably testify on this same topic, so I know I'm not alone. But as I'm thinking of what I have (and as I tell my children often) there are so many people in the world with much less.

There are several reasons that wealth and even the necessities of life evade the masses, try as they may to change their situation. But instead of looking down my nose and saying why don't they work hard like me, I tell my kids that God wants us to share. He wants us to realize how he's blessed us and made a way for us and then be able to give a blessing to someone else. Someone may be in need of something we already have.

Right about now, folks will start to grumble a little because they tithe on a regular basis. But giving to someone else isn't always monetary. There is so much more that people need than just money. It's been proven, that even when it seems that money is the answer to everything, it hardly scratches the surface of what's really wrong in the world.

So when the next opporunity presents itself, try listening to someone who is depressed, or frustrated and thinks their life is meaningless. I mean seriously, give them the benefit of your ear. Forget about tax dollars and who should pay for what. Donate or give new books or school supplies to students in need. Remember to volunteer your time toward community development. And always, always--- pass on a cheerful word about God. There are still some who don't know him.

A warm and giving heart may not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Make A Vision Board

This month's issue of Black Enterprise magazine has a inspiring topic on propelling yourself forward if you're in a rut. The suggestion is simple. Create a board where you can post your dreams and goals in a picture or physical format of some type. At first I wasn't sure this could work but as I thought about it more, it seemed like a great concept.

When I need a little push to exercise, for example, visualizing the end result can make all the difference in whether I complete the workout or not. I tend to write out lists all the time and try to keep reminders handy for business endeavors so that I can stay focused. It works.

When creating your vision board use old magazines, pictures and phrases that describe where you want to see yourself as opposed to where you are right now. Be sure to display your board where you'll have daily contact with it. If these thoughts are two private for you to put out in the open, the article suggests a vision journal where you can create simple reminders that are for your eyes only. Either way, I think they're on to something. Give it a try and let us know how yours turns out. I hope your confidence and productivity get a boost!