Wednesday, October 22, 2014


"You have a unique way of looking at things.." 
I hear those words A LOT!!  Mostly as a statement, not good, not bad.  I can't really argue with them.  I do have a different way of seeing things.  Not always right (WHAT?!!) but almost always different.  I'm not sure I quite get the label of dancing to the beat of my own drummer, but I could if I had that much confidence in myself.  Inside, I am a free spirit but outwardly, I often conform to what is expected.  I really do not like to be the center of attention - I love for my ideas to be the center of attention, but not me.  It's not that I mind talking to groups or mind answering questions, I'm just not comfortable having all others judging what I have to say.  I'd guess this way of thinking goes back to school, when catty girls loved to sit and judge and talk about others.  I never really got into that, and my close friends didn't either, but many loved to bring others down to feel ...ummm, I'm not really sure what, but apparently it did something for them.  I was pretty sensitive and maybe that made me a target.  I was also a nice person...not sure why that mattered but it seemed to.  For whatever reason, I felt judged a lot.  I think this has made me sensitive to others' feelings.  I would certainly hate to be the cause of someone's pain and don't think I would knowingly do that. 

This past week I learned of a sweetheart of a girl being hurt by others' words and actions.  I don't know all of the details, but I do know enough.  Other people are knowingly and willfully hurting a precious person.  I don't get it... With social media, bullying (yes, I did say the b- word) has gotten out of control.  It is so easy to hurt and spread lies behind the ease of a keyboard.  I am constantly telling my 5 and 6 year olds to worry about their own business unless someone is hurt or needs help.  Sounds like some advice that older kids could use.  Some are so busy bringing others' down; it would say so much more about themselves as people if they would work to boost others up. 

On a different, but similar note, I've witnessed A LOT of unique children over the past 21 years in teaching.  Give a person a cast, and they have friends galore.  Give them a disability that isn't as evident, or treatable, and suddenly "Let the judging begin!"  Labels, judging, whispering, laughing...WE are all so darn smart at trying to place everyone in that "normal" box. I read an article the other day that perhaps it's actually more normal than not to be on the spectrum, to have some degree of ADHD or ADD, to have our own quirks.  Most of us do have our do we determine which ones are ok and which ones need "fixed"?  to function in society?  I've seen many children with autism who may not function the same as others, but they have amazing gifts that the "regular" kids do not possess.  I've seen kindness and tolerance from many who don't fit the norm.  Those catty girls may not have qualified to sit on the spectrum, but their brand of cool is not one I'd care to imitate.  I'll take quirks and kindness and tolerance over boxes any day. 

Friday is mismatched socks day.  - be proud to be different.  I plan to participate and have invited my students.  We need to learn to celebrate our uniqueness and special talents.  It is ok great to be different; when we can learn to appreciate each other as individuals, our world will be one step closer to living in harmony, starting with me. In this small way, I can show acceptance for those who aren't just like me, or they can show acceptance
for me!😧 Who wants to join us?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pre-sister Hugs

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago (before July 5, 2012) there was a world without Sister Hugs.  There was emptiness, need, and desire but no Sister Hugs.  There were sleepless nights, baby projects, and talks to God, but no solutions to this strong need to do more; to be more.  I've always known it wasn't about me, that I needed to initiate something, to listen, but that it involved many others.  The problem was, I didn't know what or how. 

If we listen, God's message will eventually be heard.

There is a need for a comforting home for girls in their 20's, a place of safety and learning, a place like Grandma's house used to be.  A place to learn some skills like sewing and cooking and gardening, etc.  learn to shop and be a family.  I saw a need for Nana's Place.  The biggest problems were pretty big obstacles - no money to start and run it and who was going to live there to help oversee the place?? Where would we find the right young ladies to help?  Field of dreams played over and over in my head "if you build it, they will come" 😊 however, that little thing called $$$ seemed like a pretty big thing.  

Fast forward to the 4th of July, 2012 - fabulous day at my sister's with family.  Normal obsessing on my part over Nana's Place...came home full of whirling thoughts and concerns.  Pulled up my iPad and randomly stayed up for hours just scrolling and roaming.  Probably around 2 in the morning, I was reading a blog from someone in New Zealand talking about The Sisterhood and the work they do.  I quickly went over to their page and started reading about an angel named Sophie in New Zealand.  She organized friends and strangers alike to help people in need... A little bit from you and a little bit from me will combine to create a lovely basket to someone needing a lift.  

It wasn't Nana's Place, but it was certainly a beautiful idea.  I contacted her for info and a blessing to follow her lead.  That same day Sister Hugs was born!!  Friends were contacted, word spread, our first nomination was unanimous, we received donations and shopped to fill in the rest...and woila!!! ...our first Love Bomb was created. (See picture - Love Bomb #1!!) A few days later the first basket made a transition stop, and I left the state for Portland, Maine.  Sandy then hand delivered our very first Love Bomb to Mary,  filled with precious gifts from many generous hearts.   It was filled with chips and salsa, a comfy blanket to hug her, hair and bath products to pamper, chocolates, gift cards, a mug, a magazine...and, not sure of the rest but know it was a beautiful collection of love being showered on someone who was hurting.  

We have seen a lot of change in our two plus years.  We have grown, many faces are the same while others change.  We have done many projects beyond the love bombs, but they remain our constant.  One thing that's great about our love bombs is that they don't simply exist at Christmas.  I have done "adopt at Christmas" projects, but need is present 12 months of the years, 24/7.  While we can't help everyone,  we can work on one, or two, or our current 9 at a time and make a difference in their day.  

No, it's not Nana's Place.  Maybe someday it will be; God only knows.  What we do know is that we are making a difference.  I saw that in the eyes of the recipient we met yesterday.  We are each just an individual tool in God's workshop.  We are blessed to be the hammers, nails, screwdrivers, and wretches that the Carpenter uses to create His masterpieces.  

May you all feel the blessing that you are today. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thoughts from the day...

This morning Marilyn and I worked the Farmer's Market to promote the "Chair"ity Auction.  In addition to spending a morning with a great friend, sharing SH, seeing fun items at the market, and doing a little RAK, we had the honor of meeting one of our Love Bomb recipients.  As Marilyn said, that alone made the morning complete.  I can't begin to express the satisfaction that comes from meeting someone who felt our hugs.  
After the market, we went over to the theater to return Amber's table and tent and took a tour of the place where the auction will be held.  What a fabulous venue.  I love the old brick and the cool feel to the place.  There is a room for the dessert bar and a large room for the auction.  The live auction will be on the stage.  It is simply ideal.  
I am beyond excited to see all of the chairs and for the auction, the roots of Sister Hugs remains our Love Bombs.  It was fun to listen to Marilyn explain who we are and what we do (she's very good at sharing the mission) and to see people's reactions.  We had 2 koozies, 2 hats, and 5 dollars donated without asking for anything.  People get the need and kind hearts are everywhere.  I am very, very blessed to be a part of this; for those of you wanting to get more involved, you are always welcome.  The auction would be an easy event to volunteer at to get your feet wet. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

No regrets, EVER!!

I had a conversation with someone yesterday about the "choice" to adopt this doll when our other children were old, and 2 were out on their own. They were questioning the whys and saying that choice would not have been for them...  Something most people wouldn't do.  The other 4 are in their 20's and we have a son the same age as our grandkids.  I'll never forget the phone call, the trip Jess and I took to meet him...Look at that face - would I change a thing? Not for all the bibbities in the world.  He really wasn't a choice, he is a blessing that we don't deserve but thank God for every day.  Never a doubt that he was intended for our family from the moment we met.  My only wish is for time to slow down!  Love you, little man! 

What is Sister Hugs??

Love Bombs?? Sister Hugs?? What exactly is that? How does it work?  How much does it cost?  How do I get involved?  ....these are some of the questions I've heard in the last week.  I want to answer those with an example - we have a family of mom/dad, and 2 boys who have offered to do the shopping and filling for specific recipients.  This time they chose a 15 year old girl who has lost every immediate family member (mom, dad, brother), one by one during her 15 years.  Together they chose items and then we added specific SH touches, like the hanky and 31 bag, to send to her.  The goal is to let her know she has an army of sisters and brothers out there, keeping her in our hearts and prayers.  Hopefully the Love Bomb spreads a little cheer during a rough time.  

Other love bombs are a collective gathering.  People donate new items and each love bomb is built specifically for that recipient, a gift from here, a gift from there.  We try to personalize each gift and send hugs, coast to coast.  We have 10 Love bombs being sent this week. New nominations are always being accepted via FB message and email, people gather to build these Love a Bombs, and help is always welcome.  Once we have a location, it will be much easier to get physically involved.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In an instant, life as we knew it was gone...

Death.  Oh, how I struggle with death. Then I struggle with my degree of faith.  Maybe my faith is weak because I struggle so much with death?  I don't know.  I want to feel joy at death, but all I really feel is heartache.  

Today a 21 year old young man was buried.  It was a drunk driver who crossed the line and ended this life, just like that.  5 minutes prior he had been leaving his parents' home, 5 minutes later his dad hears sirens, close sirens.  Sirens that will forever ring in his mind.  All in an instant.

This time it was a drunk driver. A stupid choice.  I make stupid choices.  Not that one, but believe me, I make plenty.  All in an instant they could change the future forever.  I used to tell my kids that I never wanted that knock at the door because they weren't wearing a seatbelt.  I don't want to create a knock on the door for someone else, either, forever changing life as they know it.  

Look within your choices.  Be safe, be smart, be the reason tomorrow is another day.  No regrets.

Friday, July 4, 2014

North Platte Canteen Inspiration

You may have seen the video that I posted this morning in recognition of Independence Day.  It tells the story of a group of women who took it upon themselves to look after the service men and women during the war when the train stopped at North Platte.  By the end of the war, they had served 6,000,000 service people and every train that ever stopped there.  This is made even more impressive by the fact that they were working on slim supplies during the days of food rationing.  They decided to document about how much food they actually made and distributed during one month - the totals were:
40,161 cookies
30,679 hard boiled eggs

6,547 doughnuts
6,939 cup, loaf, and birthday cakes
2,845 pounds of sandwich meat
12 dozen different items in similar proportions
That's for ONE month!!

You need to read the article (link provided under the picture) as it is incredible what was accomplished by this group of people. the connection.  As I read this and watched the video. I became so inspired.  These women were so UN-self-centered.  These men and women were complete strangers, but they took it upon themselves to make their 10-15 min. stop a memorable one.  For those 10-15 min., the war didn't exist.  In the beginning, North Platte was just expected to be another boring stop.  Its reputation quickly spread and became the one bright spot that they looked forward to, as quoted, "Love chases away fear".  Today our world is still filled with fearful events and happenings.  Sickness, bullying, divorce, mother nature, war, ........  We are leading busy lives and often forget others' fears and sadness, unless it directly affects us.  My friend, yep, I'll help out.  My sister, yep, there for her.  The old lady who lives by herself at the end of town...well, I'm kinda' busy going to ballgames, and vacations, and I have a hair appointment, and I don't really know her...and...     ...and in the meantime everyone has forgotten old Gertie, whose days are filled with sadness and loneliness.  Everyone is too busy and her heart grows weaker. 

This is where Sister Hugs hopes to make a difference.  We can't know about Gertie unless someone tells us.  When we are informed, we may not be able to take away all of the sadness, but for 10 or 15 minutes, when she receives her love bomb, she will know that someone does care - that she is on someone's mind.  Often we get nominations for people that make the news, that others are doing fundraisers for, that are getting a lot of attention. The little guy who has the entire town flooding their home with gifts won't even know that Sister Hugs also sent a gift.  However, the quiet one who receives nothing with cherish his Love bomb and the cards and sentiments.   Those are the  nominations that I REALLY want - the silent ones going through a hard time.  The ones who are not getting the daily calls and visits.  The ones that most people don't give a second though to.  Those are the ones that need our Love - if only for a few minutes.  Because "Love chases away fear" and they need a little help with theirs. 

Message me if you know of someone who needs a little love from a stranger.  (I prefer "friends who haven't yet met)  We have sent out approx. 500 Love Bombs since our start on July 5, 2012.  two years and what a ride!!  I am looking forward to all that year 3 has in store for all of us!  Only God knows for sure what that means! 

Happy 4th of July - be safe, be kind, be well, be happy. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Twisted ideas

It's better to give than to receive.
It is beautiful to give.  It is also a gift to receive as you allow the gift of giving to happen.  

Time is more valuable than things.

We are all so busy, but much of this busyness is self-created and self-inflicted.  Consider what is truly valuable and worthy of your time.  Then create time for those things.  Wounds are created when we are "too busy" for loved ones.  I'm not sure the scars ever truly go away.  

It's the thought that counts.

Ever notice that when someone has 10 reasons why they aren't available, or when they try to convince you of their importance elsewhere, you realize how very UN-important you are to them... 

Materialistic things don't matter.
This may seem contradictory, but I think of our love bombs.  They are filled with things.  However, while the things are nice, we all realize it is what they represent to the recipient.  Somebody was thinking of me, someone cared enough to send this to me.  Have things in your home that make you happy?  I certainly hope so. It is an emotion connected to it or a memory.  It pleases our senses.  Things do matter, but we remember they are only things.

Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
I couldn't resist this - nothing like a loyal pup.  

Just a few thoughts to ponder...we all seem to love things like vacations, summer, cabins with a fireplace and hot cocoa, the beach, etc.  What do all of these have in common?? Family time, friend time,relaxed time, stress-free time.  Maybe we need to work to create lives that closely follow these traits. Easy?  Not so much.  Possible? I think so. As I mentioned the other day - follow your heart and your passion.  The happiness will follow.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy hearts

"Success and happiness comes from following your heart. "~p 

"What career should I have?" "What should I do with my life?" 

While on a college visit with Tim a few years ago, this question was addressed and stuck with me ever since. " Find what you truly love doing and you'll be successful."  When I was hired by Sugar and Spice Daycare and Preschool back in 1983, I remember being outside with the kids and telling the assistant manager, "I can't believe I get paid to work here!" I loved that job, the people, and the kids.  Another friend of mine works at a pet store.  She loves animals and recently mentioned that she loves going to work every day.  Following her passion makes everyday a joy. 

Why do I bring this up?? I think our lives need to be filled with purpose, passion, and happiness.  This doesn't have to come from our jobs.  It might come from hobbies, family, friends, outreach.  I love my job, but there is a lot of stress that goes with it.  There are high demands and a lot of variables given to me.  Sister Hugs has become a source of purpose, passion, and happiness.  It doesn't provide that for everyone, but for many it does.  It is an outreach and ministry that makes a difference.  For me, that fills a need.  

Quality time with family and friends is another source of purpose, passion and happiness.  In our busy world, sometimes this often gets placed on the "tomorrow" list.  I am guilty of this, not by conscience choice, but by lack of planning.

Hobbies- almost everyone I know will state that they used to craft, or sew, or scrapbook, or read, or sing, or bake,..... And they just don't have time anymore.  I used to clean, ...😉. We still have the same 24 hours in a day.  It's a shame to let our enjoyments slip away.  Creativity is a release, rewarding, and a gift.  Do not shove it under the bed. 

Finally, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We have now.  Examine your priorities, your goals, and your passions.  Don't let others dictate your direction.  Open that bakery if that's your dream.  Life is not about the largest paycheck or doomed failures based on others experiences.  If funds are holding you back, do not throw your dreams away, save and explore ways to compensate.  

Learn from them, plan, but follow your heart.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Nana's Place

I can never tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing when my mind is whirling with ideas.  I know it's bad for sleeping!!! I'm excited that others seem interested in the winery outing and our Intentional Kindness Day.  Both should be good for the heart, in different ways.

The newest thing on my heart stems from an old desire ~ Nana's Place.  We have seen a huge need for a location for many, many purposes.  We've received many offers to help fix a broken soul of a place, to man a hammer, shuffle a flower, whatever needs done.  First, however, we need some bricks and mortar.  To do this without taking away money from our grassroots, we need a separate fundraiser for Nana's Place.  One idea that I've seen and love is that of a "chair-ity fund raiser". Groups, families, individuals agree to create a one-of-a-kind chair to be donated and auctioned off.  I think we have an amazing auctioneer who might agree to help us on that end, and I know we gave outstanding, creative, talent.  Would you consider designing and donating a special, one-of-a-kind chair, stool, bench, etc to be auctioned?? The obvious ideas to me are the painted wooden chairs.  Then I saw chairs created from other items...the more I looked, the more unique ideas I found.  A chair made from horseshoes? 

Who's game to help Nana's a Place become a reality for our youth, ourselves, and anyone needing a place of peace, joy, and comfort?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Intentional Kindness Day

July 5 is Sister  Hugs 2nd Anniversary; we turn 2!!! What an amazing 2 years it has been. Just like last year, we are celebrating with another Intentional Acts of Kindness Day. I am going downtown Lincoln again to distribute bags to anyone who would like one.  I would love to have you join me.  I know that Mary, Scott, and Shelly are returning for this.  Jill and her son are planning to be there.  I am bringing son #4 with me.  You are welcome to join us, or to plan your own day filled with purposeful kind acts. Last year we had many who did their own deeds - Becky and her family filled the campsite with wood for the next campers, Marilyn and Bob surprised others on their trip to GA, Denise and her crew donated toys to the PCM...many ways to leave others with a smile.  Last year we gave bags filled with blessings for the homeless.  This year I am altering the bags to include socks instead of shirts and some of these other items.  I am bringing a wagon, and also want to get some flowers to hand out.  Other ideas?? 

 1)  of the hardest things about being homeless and on the streets is not being acknowledged.  As someone in need, it is worse when people simply ignore you and pretend you don’t exist rather than simply being blatantly rejected. He told me he’d rather someone make eye contact and reject his request for money or food than to simply pretend he doesn’t exist.

2) When I asked him what were the most helpful things someone could GIVE him he told me: 1) A night in a hotel. It gives a person a chance to shower, shave, sleep in a bed, and feel like a human. 2) Water and socks. Water made sense to me but socks? When I asked him to explain he told me how a lot of his time is spent walking. If he doesn’t have socks or they are worn down too thin, he would get blisters quickly. Not good for a person dependent on walking with no first aid kit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Let it go...

Let it go...we don't have to control everything.
You're a tool...
Be organized...have your ducks in a row.
Have a plan...what's next?  how do you want this? where should this go? what time? what if?...
Voices in my head....(no straight jacket yet, though!)
Balance. Breathe. 

So much bigger than me...feeling pretty inept. 

We received a note from a gentleman today thanking us for a love bomb he received.  This gentleman was told he had only 6 months if he discontinued treatment.  He chose the 6 months.  1 year later, God has chosen a different option.  He said that he knows lymphoma will still be the cause of death, but the timing is in God's hands.  His letter was filled with such peace.  I have so much to learn from this one page note.  He sent a "small token" (his words) of gratitude for his gift...he has no idea how large it truly was, not only the check, but the letter.  Each of us does not know God's timing.  I am not alone in the desire to control and worry over everything.  While I still believe we are all His tools and have to act, turning over control and worry would result in more peace.  I will try.

This also reminds me of the power of a letter.  Not a form letter, but words on paper.  Cards, notes.  Stamps.  (You're welcome mrs. Postmaster!). I love to get real mail; I imagine others do, too.  I will try.

Understanding.  What's important to me may not be that important to you.  I get it, because to be honest, I'm not always that into your topics either.  People think I'm reserved - not really, I just don't want to watch your eyes glaze over when I talk.  If you're interested, please ask me.  I promise, I'm more than happy to share.  I get that my passions may not be yours, though.  I will understand your excuses.  Or, I will try.

I will try.  That's really all I can do.  I have areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses.  Lots of those, really.  But I have a pretty big heart so hopefully that helps with some of those shortcomings.  And, I will try.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Fund raiser

About a year ago, I threw out the idea of a retreat. Speaker, activities, idea, end of thought.

Fast forward a year and we are discussing a couple of sisters going through a rough time, time after time.  Suggested that they needed a break.  Just as Nana's place is an idea to provide a little R&R at grandma's House, when I need a stress reliever, I grab my sister or my daughter and run away for a weekend.  That was what we felt some of these sisters needed, except why not add some additional pampering? Why not have a mini retreat / slumber party? Why not see if we can help fund it to make it a royal treat for some deserving sisters?? Well, because our current funds support our Love Bombs.  BUT what if we held a different SH fundraiser with the intent of funding or off-setting a retreat?  And making it available to others who want to come and are willing to pay?? (I hate getting left out!) what if we used our general operation philosophy to do this fund raiser?? (What in the world is she talking about?!)

You are so very talented.  What if we pooled our talents - an item from me, an item from you, and you, and you, and set up at the craft fair with all proceeds from this going to a SH retreat for nominated recipients who need pampering and a little R&R?  Others would be welcome, we could do optional sessions and whatever else sounded like fun!  I'm working on a couple of pieces already - the craft show is in October.  Who's willing to donate one or two items for a great cause?? Who wants to be "on the road again?"🎧 with me??

Monday, May 26, 2014

Kickin' Back with Friends.

Less than 2 weeks to the big SH event that has been in the works for a year!! While officially it's our fundraiser to keep our operation functioning, it is so much more than that.  Cancer has touched every one of our lives in one way or another.  My first exposure was at the age of 7 when it robbed me of my Grandma.  Since then, I've witnessed a school parent battle and lose her fight with breast cancer, watched first my mother-in-law bravely battle and eventually be taken, then my sister-in-law lose her battle all too young. I've seen coworkers, my children's friend, babies, etc. battle.  I am in awe at the strength of every warrior I've ever met, whether they were older or just babies.  Mothers have been snatched from newborns, newborns taken from knows no boundaries, not age, wealth, education, or status.  I've also witnessed brave warriors win their battle, but the scars and the fears are still there.  Cancer is a demon, and we want to celebrate every warrior and their courage.  The fight was not in vain, we remember and spread your word.

June 7 will be this year's Cancer Walk and more.  There will be a Children's Festival with kids' games, activities, cookie decorating, and an egg hunt. (The Easter egg hunt was rained out and we have lots of eggs!). The festival will be held from 4-6 at Mahoney State Park at the Turkey Shelter.  Around 6 will be a free-will pulled pork meal, followed by our special cancer walk and memories.  

Questions we've been asked -
*Do I have to walk, I have a hurt foot?. No, walking is not required.
*Is this just for ladies?? No, everyone is welcome and invited.
*Do I have to be on a team?  No, again, everyone is welcome.

I've mentioned this before, but I heard about a young girl in her final stages of cancer telling her mom that she was ready to be rid of the pain, but she was scared that people would forget her.  If you asked me what my #1 goal for this event is, I would say, "that we don't forget." Here and beyond, we do not forget.

I personally hope to see all of you there. 

Nana's Place

Recently I found a location that needs a lot of work, but has potential.  It creates so many questions, but I'm trying to turn it over to His will. 

Nonprofit status?
Physical capabilities?
The goal is to provide a place of support, learning, friendship, and acceptance for all.  A place of comfort.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My daughter's right, I am a worrier!!

I like to pride myself on being a Do-er.  No time for whining, problem solve.  Lately I've been doing an abundance of worrying and it's not good.  Worrying cuts into sleep-time.  It cuts into fun-time. It cuts into productive time.  So, how does one banish this worry monster??

I am hoping organization and a village. Creating a thorough list and enlisting the help of anyone and everyone willing to jump on board..  Lacking a huge population, I guess it will take dedication on the few who are willing to pour their heart into it.  Purpose and meaning, purpose and meaning.  Focus.  Prayers welcome.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Walk With Us

A friend in Maine contacted me sometime ago to tell me that she and another friend were coming to Nebraska. This might not seem like a big deal, but it truly was.  You see I've never actually met this person face-to-face.  Our first contact was on Sister Hugs on Facebook.  Althea posted about it being the anniversary of her sister's death.  I have also lost my sister and her post just leaped out at me.  Althea and I started messaging back and forth.  We have found, and are still finding, that we have many things in common; and have formed a very special friendship.

So it seems fitting that since we met through Sister Hugs that it would be a Sister Hugs event that would lead us to meeting in person.  Althea and her friend Tonya bought plane tickets and made travel arrangements to attend the Sister Hugs cancer walk at Lake Mahoney on June 7th.  My husband, son, and I were very excited to share our Mahoney cabin with our new friends from Maine and looked forward to meeting them at the airport.

But as often happens, plans change.  This past week we received a message from Althea saying that she and Tonya are unable to make the trip at this time.  It wasn't unexpected. You see Althea is amazing with a huge heart.  When first I started visiting with Althea, I learned that she has two friends going through cancer.  One has esophageal cancer, which my sister had; and the other has leukemia, which my mother had.  (I did mention that we have much in common, didn't I?)  Althea has stayed by her friends sides and helps wherever and whenever.  But recently the health of her friend with leukemia has started failing.  Althea is his caregiver and has been on this journey with him from the beginning. She can not just leave the journey now to come to Nebraska.  It seems sadly ironic that it is cancer that is keeping her from being at Lake Mahoney for the cancer walk.

It may be keeping her from coming to Nebraska but it is not keeping her from the cancer walk.  Peggy and I have learned that Althea is forming another cancer walk ... in Maine ... to walk at exactly the same time that we are walking in Nebraska .... June 7th at 7pm.  Isn't that amazing? 

We LOVE it.  And it's such a beautiful idea that we want to share it with all of you.  Sister Hugs has followers across the United States as well as in at least 9 other countries.  Obviously not everyone can join us in Nebraska on June 7th for the cancer walk.  So why not use Althea's idea and have your own walk at the same time that we are walking here?   It's simple!  Just get some friends together and walk in honor of your cancer warriors!!  But send us pics so that we can share them and add them to the Sister Hugs memory book.  Remember June 7th at 7 pm.  And pics ... send those pics!  ~~ Mary

Saturday, May 17, 2014

School and life

 - I just saw a video of a kindergarten teacher in Ohio who lost her cool and physically reacted to a student.  Have you seen it yet?  My heart and stomach ache for this boy and his parents.  No, I don't know details, but I do know from the video that she treated him wrongly.  I won't get into that today, though.  Today...I will share my heart from my own world.
These adorable cherubs had their kindergarten graduation program yesterday.  Their music teacher, Annette Mitchell, did a fabulous job preparing them, and they were all simply precious.  The auditorium was packed to standing room only, filled with proud parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.  Before we blink, we will be back in this auditorium wiping away tears at our child's high school graduation.  Yes, it is our job to guide them, to mold them, to encourage curiosity and wonderment.  It is our place to accept their unique gifts, accept each child as the gift from God that they are.  Well done, kiddos!  You did great!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kick in' Back With Friends

June 7
Mahoney State Park
Children's Festival 4-6
Food 6-7
Cancer Walk/reflect/Share 7-?

A HUGE thank you to so many who have committed to this special day with us.  Many have been working and planning on this since our walk ended last year.  We reserved a shelter a year ago to ensure the location, started working on ideas and advertising, and have been spreading the word for almost 12 months now.  To us, the greatest indicator of a successful day will not be the money raised or the number of people in attendance, but the hearts that are touched by attending.  Whether we have 5 or 500 present, we want all to leave with a permanent etch on their heart from being there.  Thanks to all who are willing to help make that happen.  

Do we still need help?? Absolutely!! 
What can I do to help??
* Form a team in honor of a warrior.  Bring your team to walk
*join Sister Hugs' team
*donate food (spreadsheet will be posted Friday)
*offer to run an activity for the children's festival
*help advertise
*help make signs
*donate money for balloons! lights! etch
*share ideas for meaningful events to add
*join us at Mahoney

I think we would all agree that Sister Hugs has far exceeded its original vision.  This is due to all of you, your generosity, your kindness, your empathy, your time and commitment.  You do make a difference in this world, one smile at a time, and for that, I thank each of you for being a part of this.  It's amazing that our children are also seeing the need and filling voids.  This began as a means to compensate for a much too busy world and people who continue to hurt.  Thank you for being there.  You are always welcome to run with ideas - this group belongs to anyone who wishes to participate, in any means that you wish.