Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sweet Thang, You Know I Love You!

💕A letter to my sweet love:

**************

Dear love,

Where do I begin? My love for you is far beyond words. I have never felt as secure and pure in my life as I feel when I am with you. I can always count on you. You are my rock. I know that you will be ready for me anytime of the day or night with welcoming glances; and I do know just how to push your buttons whenever I want you hot!

You body is hard and shaped perfectly---as if one thousand engineers have meticulously carved your body out. Your shoulders are square and steadfast; I feel a current surge my body when I caress them. Your mouth is smooth and gracious, encompassing my body as I reach out to you.

When I look into your face, it as if I can stare down into your soul—I am your very purpose in life. I could stare at you for hours watching you sway gently as you work. Your scent is intoxicating like that of a refreshing spring. Oh my love, I could never leave you. You know just how to keep me coming for more. The thought of loosing you sends me into convulsions. You are my forever partner in this life and share my burdens without even uttering a word; I never feel ashamed in your presence---my dirty laundry is no problem for you.

Make no mistake, my love for you is a jealous love. Yes, I have told my friends of your strengths and stamina, but have stood in silence of the countless times I sat upon you and reached my ecstasy---you take tumbling in the sheets to a whole new level.

I love you my sweet; you are my most beloved washing machine! I don't care what my man may say; how could I ever live without you? (It would suck for sure! I should know---I have done laundry by hand far too many times!!!!)

Your weekly lover, 
Meena
 
 
Feet, Footwear, Fun, Indoors, Laundry
 
(Special note from author: I used to tell my husband that I loved the wash machine more than him. I think other women can relate. hahaha)

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I Love My Peachy-Massy!


Hi Dear Ones,

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite people in the whole world, Peachy-Massy. Kind of a strange name, I know, but let me explain. When I lived in the Middle East, I had a horrible handicap: I just couldn't remember anyone's name. Be them strangers, or immediate family members, names were like slippery fish; I had them one moment, and the next they were just gone. So to help me decipher from the hundreds of my husband's relatives, I would attach English nick-names, this way I would remember the names by attribute-association.

So how did I get Peachy-Massy? Quite logically actually. Peachy-Massy was my mother-in-law's younger sister. She lived in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and would come to visit us as often as she could. I loved it when she came over; she would always bring chickens or goats over and give as gifts to my children. She was truly one of the happiest people I had met during my 17 years in Pakistan; when she smiled, her whole face lit up. Now, because she was my husband's aunt on his mother's side, she was called Massy (Hindko for "maternal aunt"). And because she always had blushing huge, round, fuzzy-cheeks, I dubbed her Peachy, thus the name Peachy-Massy. (Peachy in the face and peachy in spirit....it worked on all levels!)

The nick-name has stayed with her even to this day. She is long since passed away now, but when we speak of her within the family, she is still called Peachy-Massy. I will always love her and our times together. I can still feel her love and happiness each time I see this picture. She is truly missed.

****

Oh yea! You may be wondering what they call the paternal aunts? Well that would be "poopie" (you can just imagine how fun that was for my 3 and 5-year-old being allowed to call people "Poopie" and it be okay---but we will leave that fun topic for another day).

Sunday, September 24, 2017

MarshaMarie.com gets a whole new look!

Drop Of Water, Drip, Flower, Plant

Hello Dear Ones,

This week I'm so excited to announce that my website has a fresh new look as of today. Out with the old, and in with some new! I love it so much that I just had to share it with everyone. I hope you enjoy it, too.
 

Have a wonderful and productive week.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My Codex Vitae --My Book of Life

Hi VIP Friends,

This week I have added a new page to the website (http://www.marshamarie.com/my-codex-vitae--my-book-of-life--.html), the Codex Vitae. Now some may wonder what that is. Well, the Codex Vitae is a self-development framework. It goes like this: The rule is quite simple. Write down your beliefs. Make it a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly habit. Soon, your life will be more aligned with your worldview (a.k.a belief). Thus, you will be happier.

I decided to take on this challenge and it was really interesting to sit and think about what I honestly believe about my life and the world around me. (I would challenge everyone to this activity; you might just learn something about yourself, too.)


 

 

 
 
 
 
My beliefs about….


Me:

Commercials work on me. Always have. Always will.
I am a work-a-holic, and proud of it.
I have too many questions in life.
I am too plump.
Chocolate cupcakes are my kryptonite.
I make lots of mistakes, but I always admit them.
I hate lying; and I refuse to do it for anybody.
Meditation has changed my life.
I’m ashamed of not caring enough about others.
I want to run and hide in a mountain to meditate for a year, but in all honesty, I would probably go crazy after a month.

Humans:

People are inherently good. Bad actions come from bad situations.
People around the world are very similar while being very different. For example: we all want love, resources, and to be heard.

Politics:

Politics drive me crazy.
I don’t trust anyone in politics.

Society:

Domestic violence, rape and molestation is never justifiable or acceptable; it's a choice that results in devastating consequences.
We need to change the way society thinks about domestic violence in order to stop it.
I think society--as a whole--has lost its way.
I think it will take a major act of God or alien to bring us together as one.
Get a passport. Traveling the world is the best way to expand your mind.

Science:

Science is a two-edged sword.
Science confuses and impresses me at the same time.
On the one hand, it saves men.
But then as a result, there are now too many humans on the planet and then they say that we are destroying it. (See? Confusing.)
The qwerty-keyboard is the greatest invention ……ever!

The Universe:

It’s pretty-fricken-awesome!
We are not alone.
I'm still debating if the Earth is flat or not. Evidence is worth thinking about.
I'm still confused as to why the Earth has sunlight, but it’s dark in space.
The universe is still not big enough, sometimes.

Perception:

What a person believes has more factors than 10 to the power of 37.
Accept the fact that everyone has it’s own internal thermometer, and you will be more compassionate to others’ feelings.
A black eye is not the only evidence of domestic violence; so learn the signs.

Privilege:

I am privileged because........
Of my blue eyes.
I am woman; thus, I am the lesser of two evils.
I’m a native-English-speaker.
I am allowed to drive.
I can put my thoughts on paper.
I can walk, see, and talk.
I can still learn.

Humans are privileged because........
They can think and feel.
They can control most creatures; except roaches.
They can create a written record.

Principles:

Try to be someone's hero every day.
Never lie.
Don’t deceive.
Never touch anything that doesn’t belong to you.
Always be there for your children.
It’s never too late to try.

Mental Health:

Mental health services should be free for everyone---not just the rich.
Meditate in order to improve awareness of subconscious thoughts and feelings.
Meditation should be started in schools at elementary level.
Meditation should also be part of rehabilitation in prisons and correctional facilities everywhere.
Always try to avoid social comparison — it is a common root of unhappiness and poor decisions.
Practice gratitude.
Every day share two good things with somebody.
Every year gather 52 experiences to be grateful for.

Productivity:

Set goals!
Keep a daily diary and hold yourself accountable..
Stay focused; you have at least 100 books inside of you dying to get out.
Write down your ideas so you do not forget them.

Hope and Desires:

I want to see my book, BANGLES, as a movie.
(I'm still debating whether to have Drew Barrymore or Melissa McCarthy play my part.)
I want all of my belongings to fit in a single room.
I want a kitchen that cleans itself.
I want to continue to learn.
I want an oven like the one in the Jetsons cartoon—I really hate cooking.

Clothes:

Never wear socks unless you are running a fever.
Have a personal uniform; mine is a black skirt and various colored shirt. Keep 120 shirts in stock and rotate them each laundry day (it keeps me unpredictable to the rest of the world).
Style theory: dress conservative---always.
Only buy clothes that you love. That means they fit, look good and you have a plan for wearing. No need for wishful thinking when shopping. Goodwill is a gold mine for conservative-style shirts.

Books:

Bangles: My True Story of Escape, Adventure and Forgiveness, by me. It reminds me of how far I have come.
It’s Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches: My Journey to Find Inner Peace, by me. Researching information for this book changed my life.
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book gave me permission to be me; no need to be perfect.

Food:

You can never relive your childhood, so make sure to write down all your favorites recipes from your mom and grandma while you can.
Best Pakistani Dish: Alloo Pallak
Best Breakfast: prata, chai and chutney in Kalu Kalan, Pakistan
Best Sushi: Ewwwww…..nowhere!
Best Pizza: Pizzeria, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Best Burrito: Any Taco Bell, burrito supreme.
Best French Fries: at Volcano in Al Jimi Mall, Al Ain, UAE.
Best fast food: A veggi swarma, in Al Ain, UAE.
Best Whiskey: Don’t know, I don’t drink.

Writing:

Know why you are writing.
For the first draft focus on getting your thoughts out of your head. Just write and don’t let your fingers stop moving. The result will always be a crappy, but expect that.
The second draft is for articulation of thought. Start from scratch and rewrite the best parts of the first draft in a form that people could understand.
The third draft is for positioning. Consider what purpose or impact you want. This is the draft where you delete half of what you’ve already written.
The fourth draft is for polish. Specifically look for the phrase “I think” and for ambiguous pronouns.
The fifth draft is just rewriting the title until you think people will read it.

Predictions:

I really don’t have the foggiest. I just live one day at a time now.

Partnerships:

I would do so many things different if I could start my dating era all over again.
I’m sure there is a perfect match somewhere, but I just cannot find him.

Family:

Family is forever, which makes investing in them now so worthwhile. Quite often, you’ll have decades to reap the rewards.
Don’t have kids if you really don’t want to. Matter of fact, do the world a favor, and don’t have kids if you really do not want to. It’s not selfish at all to be childless; it is a personal decision, and far too many people take that decision far too lightly.
Always kiss babies.

Friends:

Friendship springs from two sources, shared experience and natural chemistry. Watch for the chemistry and bet on it, because chemistry is forever.
Know who your close friends are and invest in them.

Anxieties, Worries, and Fears:

Heart attack.
Going bald.
Going blind.
Losing recognition of my own children.

Abode:

Live in something that is small and perfect for you.
Live within your means.

Money: 

Don’t cry over money; it doesn’t even know who you are.
Debt is modern day slavery; Dave Ramsey is right about almost everything,,,, listen to him.

Career:

If you hate going to work every day, it is time to seek change.
Don’t do something you hate just for the salary; it will not be worth it in the end.
Be the best that you can be; someone that matters will notice.

Learning:

Learn something about life from everyone you get to meet. If it is not obvious, look for it.
Everyone has a right to education.
Professionals aren't scared of sharing knowledge.
Literacy changes lives; get involved somehow.
Spend at least 20 minutes a day on personal development.
Never stop!!

Things I No Longer Believe in:

True love.
The old saying, “Mother knows best.”

Aspirations:

Always order a water instead of soda.
Have a default breakfast. (For me, one packet of oatmeal is perfect, with ice water and coffee.)
Experience living in the present.
Find a better solution to social anxiety than achievement and eating.
Learn to give compassionate feedback.
Again, keep a personal list of goals and work on them every single day until you die.

 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

No Salad For You!

.
Hi Friends,
 
Labor Day weekend is here and I am sure everyone has some plans to go out and do some travelling. And, since travelling is usually paired-up with going out to eat, I decided to share one my favorite restaurant memories. Here is an excerpt from Legally Blonde in UAE
 
 
 
*****************
 
When travelling the world, nothing makes you feel more at home, than to visit food chains that come straight from your hometown. I remember the time I drove 8 hours in Pakistan from Islamabad to Karachi just to visit McDonalds—I just had to have a big mac. Then one time in UAE, I drove two hours to get a burrito at Taco Bell in Dubai. It was these little things that kept me connected to home (America) during my domestic exile. So as often as I could, I would go to the Pizza Hut restaurant in Al Ain. It was one of my favorite hangouts, until one day in 2013, I bumped heads with the manager.

It was one of our regular mother and daughter lunch dates, and we decided that we were in the mood for pizza; so we went over to our neighborhood Pizza Hut. It was still early in the day, so the place was pretty empty. We chose our seat, ordered our pizza and headed to the salad bar. So far everything was normal.

Once our pizza came, our focus was diverted from our salad plates and onto our large cheese and pineapple delight. We chatted the hour away, enjoying the atmosphere. Soon, we decided it was time to leave.

“May I have a carry-out tub for my salad please?”

“No madam. I am sorry, I cannot,” she said as politely as possible.

“What do you mean?” I was shocked.

“You are not allowed to take the salad out of the restaurant,” she tried to explain.

“What? That’s ridiculous.” I was so stunned that I thought maybe English was not her first language and that I should start the whole conversation over again. “Please bring me a carryout tub for my salad.” 

“No madam I cannot.”

“Again no? Why not?”

“Like I said, you are not allowed to take the salad out of the restaurant.”

After two more rounds of the same discussing, I became fed up with my waitress. I stood up and said, “I’d like to speak to the manager please.”

Gesturing to follow her, she said, “Yes ma’am, this way.” She led me to the register and went into the kitchen to get him.
I stood patiently at the counter. This is just ridiculous. Suddenly, a sweaty, balding, pudgy Middle-Eastern man with a noticeably long pinky nail, came out from the kitchen.

“Yes madam,” he said with really no expression on his face. Obviously the waitress has filled him in.

“I would like a carry out tub for my salad, and my waitress is refusing to give me one. She says that I cannot have one, and I want to know why.”

“She is correct ma’am. You cannot take out your salad. You have already eaten some of it. So you cannot take it with you. It is against our rules.”

“What rules?”

“Pizza Hut’s rules.”

 
 
 

 
“No, it’s not,” I argued. “I’m from America and I’ve been eating at Pizza Hut all of my life. I am allowed to take my pizza home.”
“Yes, the pizza; just not the salad,” he countered.

“What the hell?” I abruptly barked out with no remorse. The customers were now starting looking over at us. I began flapping my hands about. “That doesn’t even make sense. Why can I take the pizza and not the salad?!”

“Because you touched it while you are in the restaurant.”

“Okay, wait. So what you are saying is, that I cannot take the salad home with me because I have already touched it while I was inside the restaurant?”

“That is correct.”

“But you touched the salad in the kitchen; so you can touch my salad. But I can’t touch my own salad?”

“Correct.”

“That doesn’t even make sense! Are you hearing what you are saying?!” I argued. Just then a man walked in to the restaurant to pick up his order: pizza and salad. I glared at the manager and continued my argument. “So! This man can take his salad home, because he has not touched it yet. But I cannot because I sat at my table like a good customer, and took a bloody fork and ate a piece of it? He can take his, but I can’t take mine?”

“You could have done something to your salad.”

“What?! I could have done something to my own salad? Are you serious? You could have done something to my salad. Everyone in the kitchen could have done something to my salad.”

Again he starts his argument. “It is against our policy to let a customer take the salad out of the restaurant once they have eaten from it.”

“Oh my God! Where is this ridiculous policy written down?! I want to see it.”

“You want to see it?”

“Yes, I want to see it and to read it. Right now. Go get it. If it’s in your company’s policies, then they’re public and I have a right to read them. I’m an English teacher. I’ll read it myself and see if you understand it correctly or not.”
Suddenly the man reaches under the counter and pulls up a small aluminum tub and throws it on the counter at me. “Oh here! Just take your salad and go!”

“Thank you! I will. That’s all I wanted in the first place.”

Then as I turn to go, he said, “If you get sick, it is not our problem!”

Ignoring his final comment, I took my salad and stormed out of the restaurant. 


(An excerpt from Legally Blonde in UAE. Available for free on all major outlets and www.MarshaMarie.com)

 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dear Teachers

Happy Back to School Everyone!

In honor of schools all around us starting back up, I wanted to send a special shout-out to all of my fellow teacher-friends around the world. You guys rock!!!

Below, I have added one of my favorite writings that I did for a family magazine in UAE, around 2012. I think it is just as valid today.  




Dear Teachers,

Things aren’t always that easy for me to say. I try to get my feelings out, but too often they just won’t manifest the way I want. I know that school is good for me, and it’s preparing me for my future; I get that point. But, what about now—my present? Lately, I have been wondering why you never ask me how I feel, or want. I mean, is following the schedule and curriculum all that school is really about? Well, if you were to ask me today what I need, this is what I would say to you.

First of all, I would like you to greet me each and every day I come into the classroom. Smile and say hi! When the week has finished, tell me to have a nice weekend. I know you say it to others, but why not me? But most importantly, when we’re in class, pay more attention to me— notice me! Take the time to speak to me directly and personally; even if it is for just a few moments. Bottom line, I really want know that you care about me as an individual, and that I’m not just a small drop in your sea of students.

Another important thing that I really need from you is for you to take the time to imagine things with me—help me dream! Remind me what I can do in life, and what I can be in life! Then once I have dreamt, show me how to achieve those dreams, and trust me enough to know that I will accept your guidance.

Do this by challenging and engaging me more in class. Show me how to handle the challenges that you give me, and allow me the time to think and reflect about them. I need that time to let things soak in. And don’t forget, at the same time, keep me pumped-up and interested. Oh yea, and whatever you do, don’t let me get away with low standard work—demand more of me!

One final note: give me the freedom to ask questions of you; even if my questions or comments are off-topic from time-to-time.  I need to share with you how I feel and what I am thinking.


Thanks for listening.
Anonymous Student


Blackboard, Boys, Chalkboard, Children
 



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ready for download: It's Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches

 
Hi All,
 
I am so excited to announce that my ebook, It's Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches: My Journey to Find Inner Peace: It's Only the Beginning, is finally ready and has been uploaded to Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and MarshaMarie.com. Writing this ebook has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. During this time, I laughed and cried; and now, I am so happy to be sharing my experiences with all of you.
 
The book covers a two-month-span of my learning how to meditate, and the amazing changes that I felt within as a result. It shares my failures and my victories. Join me as I stop looking outward for things to take my hidden pains away, and start looking within for real happiness and joy. My life has been changed forever as a result, and I am extremely grateful for that.
 
My greatest hope now is that someone who may also be looking for inner peace, might be encouraged by my words to give it a try, and see for themselves, the possibilities of relaxation and calmness within through meditation.
 
The pdf file is free for download here. Please allow a few days for it to be free on Amazon and the other outlets, if you would rather download from there.
 
Peace and blessing to you all. Thank you for taking the time to be with me today. Please feel free to share this book with friends and family. 💖
 



 
 
P.S. Starting this week, I will be replacing the monthly newsletter with blog update emails. I hope you enjoy them. Depending on my inspiration, I may be blogging once or twice a week; they will be not-so-edited and spontanious. 💖

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Top Ten Things to Bring Me Equanimity

Hi All,

I've been super busy working on my It's Hard to Meditate When Your Butt Itches book: been doing a lot of writing, editing, testing and thinking. Yesterday, I decided to put a small glossary in it for those readers who are new to the topic of mediation and may feel a bit lost by some of the vocab that comes with exploring this complex topic.

One of the new words I've recently come across is equanimity. When I first heard it I thought I understood it right away; but I was so wrong. I thought it might have had something to do with being equal to something else. hahaha. not even close Marsha! It turns out that equanimity means mental calmness, having composure or being even-tempered. (I really don't see the root word in it, but I'll go along with it.)

So then I started thinking about equanimity, and how one would achieve it.  Sure lots of different ways to get there I suppose, but I also think equanimity would depend on what someone would consider mental calmness. So today, I am going to share the top ten things that would create equanimity for me.

  1. having no bills
  2. having no kids to make bills
  3. having a spotless home
  4. having a perfect running car
  5. having a man to worship my every move, word and scent
  6. having lots of zeros on my bank statement
  7. having a job where all I had to do was call in, and let them know that I am working, and still get paid
  8. having an elevator that I could walk into and just say the name of anyplace in the world and it would take me there (my Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory influence shining thru right now)
  9. having a home attached to the back of Walmart, so all I had to do was open the back door and be shopping
  10. having a switch on the wall by my front door that says: UP FOR RAIN, DOWN FOR SUNSHINE
Sheep, Animal, Electric, Light, Switch

Well, there it is, my list of reaching equanimity. What is yours????

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dear Carnation (An excerpt from upcoming book, traded.)



Carnation and I at the United Pentecostal Church Youth Camp, 1980-something in Arizona.

Dearest Carnation, 
            If there were a picture in the dictionary for the word friend, yours would be there. We have known each other since Mr. Campbell’s class in the 4th grade. To be honest, I do not even remember the first time that we met. It seems like you have just always been there---always been there for me to lean on when I needed it. Even to this day.
            Do you remember all of those times we walked to school together? And when your family let me live with you for a while; your mom and dad let me share a room with you? You were old lace and I was soccer balls, but we managed to blend it and have fun. I can still remember coming to your home in the morning and sitting with your family for breakfast every morning; your mother's gravy is still the best. Your parents were so caring to adopt me in as one of their own. I knew that no matter what my issue was, I could go to them and have someone to hold me up when I needed it. 
           You were the first one to show me a path to God. Taking me to church with you literally changed my life. Not only did I have your family, but then I had the church family too. Do you remember going to church camp? Man those were great times!
            Growing up with you and your family is a huge and most enjoyable part of my childhood memories. Playing with your little sister and helping her back bends in the front yard, to your brother scaring the crap out of me at the window when he popped up wielding a knife like some kind of psycho-killer; the laughter and joy never ended. 
            But then we grew up, and life took us down two different paths. You remained steadfast in your faith, and I fell to the way side, time and time again---eventually losing my way altogether. I ended up marrying the wrong man and finding myself in an unbearable position. Sometimes I wish I had run back home to you and your family; but this was something that I had to figure out on my own.  My decisions ultimately took me even further away---this time to Pakistan. For years I longed to pick up the phone and call you to say hi, but knew that I could not. I didn’t want to put you in in harm’s way at all. I thought maybe the FBI would start harassing you about any contact with me; so I watched you from a distance. I found a picture of you and Pops online, and saved it to my computer. I looked in your eyes and longed for that best friend that I had so many years before. I would listen to the song ironically titled, Remember Me, by the Cruse Family, over and over; it supplied me with that same feeling of surrounded love that I felt so many years earlier. Thank you for playing that song a thousand times in your bedroom; you had no idea that one day it would be the only string of home that I would have to cling on to.
            Honestly Carnation, I thought that we would never see each other again. Life had literally taken us to two different ends of the planet. That is until 2014 when I finally returned to the States. And what did I find when I returned? You, with loving arms wide open welcoming me home as if I had never left. And then you brought me pictures that you had saved for me. You kept me safe withing your guarded heart. Thank you so much my beloved Carnation. 
             I see us together now, and cannot help but notice the differences between us. Years of stress and three failed marriages has taken its toll on me; I am aged and have lost all of my teeth, but you are so young and outgoing--just what I used to be when we were teenagers--but now I am the quiet withdrawn one. It is funny how life changes people, and moves them around the world like a game of chess. 
             And now again today, you are only a phone call away for me. You deserve all of the blessings in the world. In the hereafter, God will bless you with riches beyond belief. Your heart is kind and loving and it shows in your dedication to God and the children's' ministry. The world doesn’t deserve such a caring soul; and for sure I do not deserve you either. Thank you again! Thank you one million times over again for always being there to hold my heart and say, I love you Marsha.

Your best friend forever and a day,

Marsha

(Excerpt from upcoming book, traded.)


Saturday, August 12, 2017

If God Had a Flag

Hi All,

Today while driving down the freeway here in Phoenix, I once again gazed upon the most beautiful and massive American flag I have ever seen. I see it every day as I drive to work, and I never get tired of watching it wave so ever gracefully in the air.

American Flag, Patriot, Sunrise, Flag

But today a different thought crossed my mind: I wonder what God's flag would look like if he had one? I wonder if He already has one? What would be on it? Would it have clouds, or angel wings? Would it be colorful or totally white? Would it have Hell-fire and brimstone on it? Or maybe an algebraic equation of some kind? 

That has now got me wondering why flags are so important in the first place. What is it that brings me that warm fuzzy feeling when I see that same American flag flying so gracefully in the breeze every single day? It's so much more than a piece of fabric; it makes men stand at attention and invoke so many to tears. No matter what country, the flag is a meaningful cherished sense of belonging.

And oh yea, I'm still wondering about what God's flag would look like, and now, so will you. 😇


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Are They All Yours?!?? .....A blog worth sharing.

Mallard, Chicks, Pond, Swimming, Water

Hi All, 

Today I want to talk about big families. While I was living in the Middle East I ran upon myriads of families that put the size of minuscule family to shame. Once, one of my students told me he had 18 brothers and sisters. I was stunned at his declaration and asked him recite all of the names in front of the English class. One of my favorite English lessons is about the "titles" of family members. Inevitably I would have a contest in the class to see who could name the most cousins in their own family. (Just imagine how many cousins there could be with 18 brothers and sisters......lots!!!  hahaha) 

Myself? Well, I only have two sisters and one brother, and then we weren't even raised together; so my knowledge of big families and how they survive is limited; but I did have Aunt Ida and Uncle Ron as an exemplary example. They had 6 kids of their own, then they adopted another, and then added on a couple grand-kids to boot. I couldn't wait each weekend to get to their house and play with my cousins. Their home was always alive with people, animals, and food (no matter the time of day or night mind you) and the house was very well lived in. Mountains of dirty clothes and dirty dishes were always on the chores-to-do list. Let me tell you, I loved going to that house; quite the contract from my own. 

It seems that huge-sized families are really a fading fad here in the States. Birth control has definitely staked its claim. But just recently, I ran upon a pastor and his wife who are currently expecting their 10th child. Yea! Right here in Phoenix, Arizona. I was shocked. But I have to say that they are indeed a very handsome family. Simply adorable! And what's more is, the wife, Zsuzanna, has a lovely blog about raising a big family in this day and age. http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/aretheyallyours/ I am fascinated and just had to share it with everyone. 

I can't help but think how full of life and love her home must be, surely something similar to Aunt Ida's house. Zsuzanna honey, you go girl!!! Lord Bless!

Sweet Thang, You Know I Love You!

💕A letter to my sweet love: ************** Dear love, Where do I begin? My love for you is far beyond words. I have never felt ...