Monthly Archives: November 2010

Got 7 Habits?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World [Book]

Have you ever looked at those families and thought “Wow, they have it all together?”  Me neither.  I bet they just “look” like they have it together, right?  I bet they too get into a cramped vehicle (like the one I am trying to love but still dislike) and experience untold horrors similar to the told ones that we experienced recently on our way to light up night! 

Ok, so let’s pretend, for the sake of this post, that they drive a roomy 8 seater vehicle, don’t have kids hurling insults in the back seat and really do have it together.  In that case, I can guarantee that The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families is in their library arsenal.

This book is awesome and practical.  It has things that the average Joe can actually do. It is filled with easy to understand and common sense ideas, such as the emotional bank account, and creating a family mission statement. He talks about the importance of family communication, togetherness and one on one time.  Your basic stuff that is easily overlooked.

After my Pap died I realized that there was still so much I didn’t know about him…so much time that I still needed to spend and invest…so many questions still to be asked that will remain unanswered.

Life moves fast.  Let’s make friends with effectiveness and make our time count.

The light up night that almost was

Light up night, oh light up night.  We came so close to seeing you on this unusually warm November evening.  I busted out the hat and camera and was all set to capture some photographic beauty.  But something went awry.  Let me give you a hint.

“This car is too small! Can’t we take two cars?! We are packed in here! I hate this car!! He’s touching me! He’s fat!  Retard!! I want to take two cars!! I can’t buckle up in this car.  We’re crunched back here.  This is terrible.  You stink! I smell like freakin’ gas!!! Move over! It’s no fair we’re squashed!”

The hubs and I gave several warnings of a potential turn around.  These warnings went unheeded as the attitudes and verbal complaints continued.  Then I heard the exasperated words “That’s it, I’m done.  We’re going home!” as the hubs turned the car around.  Our cramped 5 seater vehicle carrying the loud wails of protest  was headed toward home. 

Sometimes you just gotta do what you threaten!

Sometimes the screams are a part of the fun.

I have always been amazed at how different my kids are.  They came from the same gene playground yet are entirely different.  It is fun to watch the various reactions they each have to the same event.  Not to worry, I’m not Pavlov and they are not dogs.  I don’t plan to conduct any freaky experiments here – just observations. 

For example we recently went to a park for some family time and I couldn’t help but notice two very different responses to the same event.  Our youngest wanted to ride across the hand bar, slider thing.  First he asked his big brother to hoist him up and give a little push.  Compliant big brother responded to the task at hand and put the little dude in place complete with the requested “little” push…..

Big brother stood by patiently until the little guy was finished.  He yelled for big bro to get him down which the big guy did quickly and effortlessly….

Some time passed and the little guy decided he wanted to take another spin on the hand glider.  Big bro was gone.  So he called out to his big sister to hoist him up.  With a creative twinkle in her eyes she lifted him to the hand bars…..

And gave him a push…. 
And a push…. 
and yet another generous push….At this point he began to scream and wail for the ride to stop.  He was ready to come down and asked to be removed from the ride. 
But the ride operator was no where ready to end the fun and continued to slide her prey across the rail as he screamed in protest.  It rather reminded me of a cat playing with a wounded rodent.                                          
She was having more fun than her little brother.  She smiled and laughed with each running push and was not about to end the experience just yet.


The grand finale push, which sent the little dude’s legs sprawling in mid air accompanied with equally terrifying screams caused me to pause from my National Geographic photo capturing and intervene (better late than never).  All was well and no parties were injured in the filming of this event.  In fact when the little guy was permitted to dismount from the rail he was actually laughing and giggling but very thankful to be able to touch the ground again.  I will remember these two very different scenarios for quite sometime and the fact that sometimes the screams are a part of the fun!!


…has been a whirlwind.  I am suddenly thankful for every precious moment.  I have not been able to write anything recently because of the flood of emotion and the crazy schedule of trying to maintain normal.  As I sit here it is well after midnight and tomorrow comes too early for my comfort level.  My cousin called recently and chuckled rather sadistically as she asked if she woke me up at 9am.  She then proceeded to state that she wasn’t sure if I trained my entire family to sleep in until 2pm or if that was something that I got to indulged in alone.  Ha, HA – gone are the college and newlywed era and, with them, the days of 2pm wake-ups!

I did want to share a few photos I captured of the passing of my beloved Grandpap.  Now, the disclaimer is that my eyes were swollen shut from crying…literally and 99.9% of the time my vision was a blur.  I could barely see plus, it is not really proper to whip out a big ‘ol camera at a funeral so I had to be lightening quick.  However, I wasn’t really concerned with offending people at this moment in my life.  I was mourning and wanted to capture some memories for my family later on…when the pain isn’t as raw.

Here goes…..

Gathering   memories
A small portion of his life
The family he loved created….              
With the woman he loved

63 years of life together…Life

Life:  Past and present.  Grandma comforting the boys… 

and in return being comforted by family.
Remembering the good times.


Finding it difficult to say goodbye.           
The procession of a life’s journey                         
A glimpse ahead

Being carried by and…..

…holding a little more tightly on to those we love.

A temporary tombstone and residence for the body…for the dead in Christ shall arise first!!

Walking into their home alone for the first time to begin a new chapter…                                                     

as the songs of life go on…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
But we will never forget those who help compose our life songs!
James Lloyd Brown 1928-2010
We love you.