Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reiki On!

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to receive my Reiki 2 Attunement tonight. Even though I have been a practitioner of energetic medicine for a few years now...Reiki attunements seem to take my energy practice to another level. I am thrilled to be on this path towards becoming a Reiki Master. ; ) I have my dear Reiki Master to thank for this opportunity. And I also have to thank my mom. One day my mother walked into my room when I was a teenager and taped a sheet of paper to the inside of my bedroom door. She said, "Read this every day". and didn't say too much more about it. I noticed that my brother had one taped to the inside of his bedroom door too. Right on top of one of his girlie posters. Heather Locklear maybe? ; ) I read those words every now and then...certainly not every day...and thought to myself how the message was so simple. It was too simple...and easy to take for granted. I didn't truly appreciate the message and truly internalize it until later in life. When I saw those words again I remembered. That little piece of paper my mother taped to the inside of my bedroom door over 25 years ago read...
  1. Just for today, I will not be angry.
  2. Just for today, I will not worry.
  3. Just for today, I will be grateful.
  4. Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
  5. Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
These are the 5 Principles of Usui Reiki. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means "God's Wisdom or the Higher Power" and Ki which is "life force energy". So, Reiki is actually "spiritually guided life force energy."

More on Reiki tomorrow....

Monday, August 31, 2009


I cried today. Nevan asked me why? We were sitting in an auditorium full of prospective young persons aspiring to be Student Ambassadors for the People to People Global Education program. At first I thought, well, how silly. But there was something about the media presentation about the global travel programs that sparked my memories...memories of my own travel experiences...thoughts about my own desires to make the world a better place...wonder at the realization that I was now, again in a room full of wide eyed young people, listening to the wonderful merits of global education, not for myself, but for my son. It was touching to me that he is interested in doing this at such a young age. It threw me back 20 years. I could hear the same voices talking about the Center for Global Education. My trip to Central America flashed before my eyes. The people I have met, the friends I have made, the web that has been weaved... the time that has passed. always the time that has passed.

The flood of tears representing all the emotions of time passing, people passing, opportunities passing...

I haven't written here since Maryjane died. I could not bring myself to stream on about the frivolity of our life until I could come to grips with her life lost, her children left to carry on without her. Children that miss their mommy.

It wasn't' long after that when I received the phone call that Frank left us as well, after his debilitating experience with Parkinson's. 2009 was turning out to be hosted by loved ones departing. I am full of gratitude for the time that we were able to spend with them. Grandma Gillespie, Elio, Maryjane, Frank...and Betty Sue and Ferdinand...little souls that never knew the wonders of the earth...yet still so much a part of lives. We are blessed by their affect on our lives. Tonight, I am remembering ALL of our family and friends that have already crossed over. Their spirits will forever be a part of me, my family, our universal sphere.

Nevan asked me if I would freak out the day he leaves for any potential global trek. Probably not because I know his light will shine and he will have a most wonderful experience ...but I can't guarantee that I won't cry.
"Every positive choice, no matter how big or small, touches all other life with healing and beauty. Eternal optimism joined with loving action is the most powerful tool I own." - Julia Butterfly Hill

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Universe Speaks....

Step away from the electronics. Unplug. Organize. Get back to nature. Reconnect with Spirit.

It was loud and clear. On the wake of having never ending glitches and issues with my computer and media files, the day before Mother's Day my computer's hard drive crashed. Everything came to a screeching halt. ALL of the precious photos that I have taken in how many years??? all locked in this tiny little piece of plastic. No email access, no email addresses and no photo access. This was bad.

I did have my Blackberry cell phone as back up so the email situation could be temporarily fixed. I found out quickly, however, that my phone was not accessing ALL my email, so many were lost in cyberspace. Not good. 2 days after my computer crashed, my blackberry decided to erase ALL my emails and my entire call log. so, now no access to recent phone calls from folks I did not have a phone number for. that's OK, I said to have an address book with most of the regularly used numbers. so we'll go slow and hope the others call back. so the next day I go to make a phone call and scroll through to my address book and wouldn't you know that my address book numbers all disappeared! How could this be??? Was this some kind of cruel joke?? What the &^%$ was going on???? Arghhhhh!

I had people to see, places to go, and photos to organize and edit. nevan's end of season baseball party was coming up...I wanted to get all our team baseball game photos on CD for the parents....birthdays and anniversaries were coming up... we had scrap-booking and photo projects in the making. Our calendar with all our appointments was out of reach. how did this happen? how did we get so dependent on our pieces of plastic that our lives fall apart organizationally if we can't connect? 10 years ago I did not have a cell phone or a computer and I never seemed to miss appointments. dang fangled technology.

In the process of making peace with this whole situation, I decide that I need to let go and start over. I can recreate a calendar. I can rebuild a phone book. I can take more pictures. i can get a new computer ( and pay the Geek Squad to retrieve my old photos) so, I brought my camera to nevan's last baseball game of the season...determined to at least have a few game photos from this season. Turn the camera on. Push the button. She no work. Oh my heavens!!!! This was the topper this week! For crying out loud. My camera too!?!?!?! It was just working 2 days ago. Mercury is in retrograde, but come on!!!

I guess I'll be heading to the bookstore and investing in paperbacks, journal pads and pencils. Back to basics for a while. It seems that the Universe has spoken. I do feel that all the electronic impulses around us day in and day out affect our personal energy systems. It is wonderfully refreshing for our bodies to be away from the constant barrage of electricity generated by all of our equipment and toys. It is easier to hear and connect to Spirit when our minds are free and our bodies are clear of superfluous competing energies.

This was written back in May and although the disconnect was wonderfully refreshing... I have since acquired a new computer and ran to the store in July to get a replacement camera when I realized that it was especially challenging for me to be on summer vacation with the family and not have a camera on hand. I am slowly stepping back up the technological plate, and duefully respect my time away from it. : )

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bulldog Baseball season starts

East Valley Baseball League
Bulldogs vs. Yankees April 6, 2009

This new season, Nevan's team is playing with East Valley Baseball League. It is a tournament much more competitive than the National Youth Sports league he has been playing with the last few years. The rules are notched up...leading, stealing, and the whole enchilada. : ) Their team sponsor is a local podiatrist in Gilbert...he pitched in for all the team uniforms. They are slick! And all the parents have team t-shirts. The coach is in the process of creating a non profit org. for the team called Bulldog Bark. This will enable the kids to begin fundraising for team trips, equipment and such.

Nevan warms up in the batter's circle...

He takes a crack at the ball....and it was a pop fly...out. Bummer! It was a nice hit, though!

Nevan pitched a couple of innings...there is a pitch limit in this league....he can only pitch 60 throws per ensure that the pitchers do not overuse their arms. I am grateful for that!
Justin is one of the assistant he is keeping stats.

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Science Club Fridays: Seeing DNA and Making Butter

The boys belong to the Summitview Science Club, which meets once a month on Fridays. Science Club families rotate hosting science experiments/activities and this month was our turn. : ) We hosted a Seeing DNA Science Day...with a Making Butter activity as a back up for younger siblings. Nevan here is shaking heavy cream with salt, to separate the buttermilk from the fatty cream that will clump to form butter globs. Very delicious...homemade butter!

The Seeing DNA experiment consisted of extracting DNA strands from an onion. This was a longer experiment that required chopping onions, mixing in dish detergent, straining and removing solids from liquids, removing foam, adding denatured alcohol, and waiting for the DNA to magically appear. : ) The kids were patient, as the whole process was long, with waiting periods in between. The end result was that we were able to see the DNA strands under a microscope and by golly they really do look spirally and twisted. : ) In this photo, Nevan and Silvio and a friend are straining the liquid from the onion solids into a bowl, and it is in this liquid that the DNA can be found. We all look forward to the next Science Day!

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Family Weddings...

Cousin Cory Jr. and Emma got married!

Corrinn, Ariana were Flower Girls. Silvio was able to break out his new suit that he picked out while we were in NJ. He decided one day that he needed to have one for how perfect for him that we had a wedding to go to? : )

Grandparents of the Groom, Zia Marianinna and Zio Pepe dancing the night away.

Justin and Whitney in their wedding fancies.

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Grandma Johnson makes a trek to Phoenix

Justin's mom flew into Phoenix for a visit while the kids were all on Spring Break. She had never been to the Queen Creek Olive Mill so we thought that might be a nice place to spend St. Patrick's Day. Surprisingly we found out that they were having a wine tasting to celebrate the day. Queen Creek Olive Mill is the only olive oil producing mill in AZ. They produce pure extra virgin olive oil and some of the best infused oils I have ever tasted. Olive oil infused with Mexican Lime. Blood Orange. Truffles. The list goes on. The mill gives tours and has tasting stations for olives, olive oils, and tapenades. It also has a deliciously wonderful cafe serving only locally harvested foods.

Here is Grandma Johnson tasting garlic stuffed olives. One can fill their bellies just grazing on tasting stations. But we decided that we would do the tour, stay for lunch and sample the wine selections.

Glad we did. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed lunch among the olive trees.

Justin, Nathan, Silvio, Whitney and Nevan in their Irish *greens*.
The boys here are enjoying the outside spaces and one too many Sopranos Fizzy Lifting Drinks.
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Canine Cousins

From left to right...
Luna Bella (Spaniel mix), Thyme (Dalmation mix), Dodger (German Shepard/Sharpe mix), and Toby (Black Lab/Chow mix).

Dodger was visiting with us for a few days while Nick was working in LA. : ) Save for a few minor territorial issues over food, they all had a great time! Our canine clan loves company!

Funny story:

Nick's pup Dodger would not eat the first day he was with us. We tried everything. Recreating how Nick does meal time...we talked to him, gave him the go ahead verbally, rang a bell, clicked the clicker...he just sat there and stared at his bowl full of food. What were we doing wrong? Was he sad? Did he miss Nick? I called Nick to figure out if there was some magic trick to getting Dodger to eat...was I missing something? I surely didn't want him to starve on my watch. He wasn't accepting my command to eat. Our pups certainly don't wait for anyone to give the command to eat. They are half way done with the bowl by the time we're done pouring. So this was new to me. Then the lightbulb went on while Nick was talking. He didn't know my voice. So I put the phone to Dodger's ear while Nick told him to go ahead and eat. His ears perked up and voila! He sat up and started chowing down. After that he was fine. : ) He DID miss Nick!
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The Family's New Ride...

We have finally bought another car to replace the one that I seemed to have scrunched last June. We went back and forth a few times between a Stow and Go Town and Country and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep won, much to the excitement of the kids. Silvio is thrilled to have *butt warmers* we need them in AZ. If we ever drive to Alaska, we're golden. Nevan's favorite feature is the Moon Roof. The kids participated in many test drives, bless their hearts. They were troopers, driving from dealer to dealer, one car after the other. But they now know how to load and unload all the stow and go seats better than most car salesmen and even had to show one salesman how to do it. : ) They also learned how to start a car that won't turn over from battery issues. Start 'em young. Now if we can teach them how to fix brakes and change the oil, I'm set!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Home Education Network of AZ (HENA) Conference

This year's HENA Conference had a slightly different flavor than last year. There were less attendees and not as many playshops/workshops for the kids, yet the kids had a wonderful time. Our home ed group hosted a LEGO Activity room, which we shared with the Yoga/Movement instructor. It was pretty quiet on our end of the hall, with most of the kids hanging out in the Video Game room. The highlights at the conference for our family were: Nevan's Aladdin performance, Geocaching, Henna tattoos....and Justin hosting a Roundtable Discussion for Homeschooling Dads. I was not able to listen to any of the speakers/presentations this year due to our commitment to provide the LEGO Activity room....but it was fun to watch the kids enjoying their time with friends and Justin having the opportunity to connect with other homeschooling dads to talk about the issues that come up for dads specifically. I was able to pick up some wonderful science resources that will help with Nevan's current penchant for science experiments. These will be a great addition to our collection of science related resources. Nevan has chosen a DNA experiment for our Science Club activity in April. Should be interesting. Maybe we should think about providing some play/workshops for the kids next year...hmmmm.....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Homeschool Family Theatre....Aladdin

Nevan's other passion, besides baseball ; ) this year, has been theatre. He performed in a production of Aladdin with the Homeschool Family Theatre group at the HENA Conference at ASU the first weekend in March. He was Genie of the Lamp's Assistant. It was 3 months of hard work, rehearsals, and a bunch of fun. He did most of it on his own while I was in NJ with Silvio...we are so proud of his dedication to the show and his theatre group. He almost didn't get to perform after putting in all the rehearsal hours....he came down with a bronchial cough so bad we thought it was the highly contagious pertussis. Doctor quarantined him from all contact with others the very same week he had dress rehearsal, 2 performances and a home education conference to attend. We were crushed at the thought that he would have to miss something he worked so long to achieve. Test results came back negative in the nick of time and although he missed his morning dress rehearsal, he was given a green light to attend his performances. We were all relieved and thrilled! Here are some photos of his performance:

The Genies of the Rings (blue) and the Genies of the Lamp (green). Nevan is the one with his arms crossed in teal green.

The Evil Magician has stolen the lamp and has requested the Genies of the Lamp to follow his bidding. The Genies must comply, but the Genie of the Lamp's Asst. (Nevan) is not too happy about serving the Evil Magician.

The Genies perform a Genie rap song singing "We're the Genies!"

The Genies take a bow....

The Aladdin Cast kickin' it at the Cast Party after the Friday night performance in Scottsdale. That's Nevan catching the basketball. The Saturday morning performance was at ASU in Tempe during the Home Education Network of AZ Conference.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Catching up to oneself....

Well, apparently the Snyder's Factory in Goodyear does not do tours/field trips. We'd have to schlepp back to the East Coast for that. So, that goes down on the list of things to do next time we find ourselves out East. : ) Since I was already on the phone that day, I decided to catch up with myself and update all the doctor's visits I have not made in...ummm...years....due to life circumstances like having children. Dentist....Eye Doctor (which I never seemed to have needed in the past)...and the list goes on. I tend to forget to do this for myself in the swirl of children's activities and appointments. While the children are up to date with their dentist check ups...I seem to be a few years behind. Time passes so quickly...when it's time to fill out that form that says "what is the date of your last appt.?" and I can't remember AT's too long. In the midst of life, my kids have now outgrown their pediatric dentist and are ready to move on to what they would consider the *boring* offices. The ones without jungles, video games, and toy dispensers. It's almost like a mini rite of passage. One's ready to move on....the other not so much. I think I will feel that same twinge when I step into the Eye doctor's office. I have a suspicion I will be met with a mini rite of passage that I am not altogether ready for yet.....glasses! A new learning experience for me....having had 20/20 vision my entire vision is not what it used to be. I can't imagine wearing contacts due to the fact that somehow they have to actually make contact with my eyes in order to be of any use. I'd imagine that glasses would have to be the way to go if it comes to that. Reiki On! Possibly I can skin through without corrective devices. Enough about next post will be photos of the kids doing what they love to do. : )

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In keeping with the rhythm of the new moon today...Nevan has decided to let go of some activities/classes that are not matching his needs right now and shifting some activities to different days. We have updated his Self Design map, in which he identifies the activities/learning opportunities that are important to him and that which he would like to focus his time on at the moment. He is going to shorten his T/TH Eagleridge days by starting at 11 am, instead of 9 am... that will also help with his new baseball schedule. Baseball practices with his new East Valley Baseball League are going to be on the same days as Eagleridge classes which would make for a very long day/night. Currently on Nevan's plan: Spanish, Science (he wants to do chem experiments), PE (he wants to run Track), Geography, Math, Pioneer History, Adobe Photoshop, Band(percussion), and Baseball. Looks like we will do Math and Geography as part of our home ed co-op/field trip days on Mondays, and Science during home ed co-op on Fridays, and the rest will be taken at ER or EVBL. So I'm off to schedule a field trip the Snyder's Pretzel Factory and research chemistry experiments that are non explosive! Well, we could always do those outside. : )

Thursday, February 12, 2009

where did the time go?

So I just realized it was September the last time I blogged! I almost forgot my password! Where did all that time go??? Physical therapy, trip to San Francisco, Justin's birthday, Silvio's birthday, Halloween, the Gillespie Family Roping Event, Thanksgiving, Grandma's passing, baseball games, Christmas/New Year's to Zio Elio's passing...which is the reason why I find myself in NJ. The last half of 2008 went by so fast and here we are already 2 months into 2009. My trip to NJ is coming to a close and we are bummed about that, but looking forward to being home again. Silvio considers NJ his home. He wants to move here, have a boat, expand Nonna's house so we can all fit, go crabbing every day, and hang out at the beach. He's definitely a Jersey Shore lover. We'll be back soon.
Silvio gives the Thumbs Up...his trash findings have been properly disposed of.
Silvio found this special sea tumbled heart stone on the beach that day....Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
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One Day at the Beach

While digging some more, Silvio found a huge rusted nail. We decided it would be a good idea to dispose of these so no one else would find them or cut themselves while walking barefoot on the beach this summer.
While walking, we found a broken lightbulb on the dune!
Silvio decided this would be a good day for a Beach Clean Up!
He scavenged around looking for other items that did not belong here!

One Day at the Beach...

It was 74 degrees on Wednesday in NJ! So we decided it would be a great day to fly a kite at the beach.
This is Lavallete, NJ, just over the Seaside Bridge and north on Rt. 35.
As Silvio was digging in the sand he found a very large screw.
Which he used to send Valentine's wishes to everyone.
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