Posted in Family, Love

Show me the Love

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My prayers have been answered and I have a snow day today! So I’m going to be writing, editing, making bean soup and running. Ugh on the running part, but it’s a necessary chore if I want to stay healthy. Right? 🙂

Photo on VisualHunt

 

Anyway, today I’d like to talk about how people show love. This post was inspired by my friend Christine and her blog post, “What love looks like when you are Sick.” Here’s the link: https://imsickandsoareyou.com/2018/02/09/what-love-looks-like-when-youre-sick/

 

Photo on Visual hunt

 

It’s a touching post and it got me thinking about the ways people in our lives show their love, and the fact that there are so many different kinds of love in the world. I don’t know about you, but I think it is truly amazing that the kind of love we need appears just when we need it. Have you ever noticed that?

There’s the love of a mother for her sons. The love of a father for his daughters. The love of a husband for his wife and vice versa. The love of a brother for his sister and of a sister for her brother.  The love of one cancer survivor to another.

That camaraderie you can only have by going through something together or through a similar situation. I love the woman who helped me deal with my chemo. She was there as a calming voice in the swirling vortex of my anxiety when my fingers and toes began to go numb from the medication I was given. She understood my fear. The fear that my fingers would stay numb and I wouldn’t be able to type any more. That’s love folks. Love of a survivor holding the hand of someone who wants to survive.

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

There’s also the love of my sons for me. They were bright lights in my dark world at that time.  I remember my oldest calming my fears when my anxiety had ramped up and I didn’t want to do chemo any more. I’d lost my hair and twenty pounds. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Mom. You only have two months left.”

Photo credit: Nick Fuentes on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

He was so calm and reasonable and that’s when I knew I could do it.  I never thought I’d be turning to my son for emotional support like that. It was an incredible moment.

Now that I’m better, we don’t talk about those days. Instead my kids show me love by stealing my blanket and still asking for bedtime stories even though they’re in the tween and teen years. Those moments are precious to me because I know they’ll soon be grown and off to conquer the world. I’ll hold onto those memories and they’ll sustain me when I miss them.

They say that people who live for experiences are happier than people who live for things and I believe that’s true. I wouldn’t trade my memories for all the money in the world.

What are your thoughts? How do the people in your life show you their love? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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Posted in Guest Author, Teen

Please Welcome JQ Rose as She Gives Teens some Awesome Advice

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m taking my kids to the zoo today, so I thought I’d reblog a guest post that I hosted last year. The author is JQ Rose and she has some awesome advice for Teens! Without further ado, take it away JQ!

Hello Readers.

Lisa, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today.

Are you familiar with the song, “Little Boxes” written in 1963 by Melvina Reynolds?

~If you want to use the youtube video here’s the link~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same,
There’s a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Lyrics from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/malvina_reynolds/little_boxes.html

Listeners to the catchy tune and lyrics have several ideas for its meaning. One of them is the protest against all the cheap housing of suburbia which sprang up in the 60’s. People called the sub-divisions a cookie-cutter method of building homes with ticky tacky or shoddy materials.

The message I receive from the lyrics…

View original post 475 more words

Posted in Parenting, Teen

Check out One Teacher’s Solution to Violence in our Schools

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I saw this on my Facebook page and had to share it with everyone. I think this is an awesome idea! I found this awesome story on Glennon Doyle Melton’s Blog. To see the original article click the link below.

http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/30/share-schools/

ATTENTION ALL TEACHERS AND PARENTS

This is an article that needs to be repeated:

Photo Compliments of Flicker

A few weeks ago, I went into Chase’s class for tutoring.

I’d emailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math – but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She emailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth grade classroom staring at rows of shapes that Chase’s teacher kept referring to as “numbers.”

I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.”  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.

Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger  community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.

And then she told me this.

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.

Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math. Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.

Posted in Fund Raiser

“Books on Base”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today to share with you an exciting project that I’ve been working on, it’s called “Books on Base.”

Books on Base Logo

The purpose of “Books on Base” is to gather children’s books and donate them to our military bases. I’m working in conjunction with VolunTEEN Nation on this project. VolunTEEN Nation is an organization that encourages teens to volunteer. They have volunteer opportunities throughout the United States.

Volunteen nation logo

To learn more about this wonderful organization click this link http://www.volunteennation.org/

We’re hoping to increase the selection of books for the young people whose parents are serving our country. As we all know by improving the libraries, we can have a positive effect on literacy levels. Check out this blog post for the proof.  https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/improving-our-libraries-will-improve-our-literacy-levels/

What a wonderful way to show our support of our troops by donating books to their libraries. I’m going to be making a donation. How about you?

If you’d like to make a donation, you can send your children’s paperbacks to this address:

VolunTEEN Nation

500 South Meramec Ave

St. Louis, MO 63105

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or you can e-mail me directly at lisa.orchard1@hotmail.com

Have a great day!

Posted in Guest Author, promotion

Please welcome Michelle Isenhoff as she shares her New Release with us!

Please welcome Michelle Isenhoff and her new release “Taylor Davis and the Clash of Kingdoms!”

Taylor Davis would get stuck with an archenemy that won’t stay dead.

TaylorDavisBook2_cover_600x900

Taylor Davis is back, and he just can’t catch a break. Most of his friends only concern themselves with girls and grades, but he has to worry about retaliation from hellish warlords.

When three of his classmates succumb to a strange malady, Taylor becomes the target of irrational violence. Is it a coincidence, as Elena so firmly believes? Or could there be a more dangerous explanation?

The epidemic soon spreads to national leaders. Taylor and his team are called on to uncover the root of the problem before violence breaks out on a worldwide stage. Their quest leads them to the heart of Africa, to the underworld, and to a second encounter with an enemy who just won’t stay dead.

Book two of the Taylor Davis series is now available for Kindle, Nook, and paperback formats.

And book one is now FREE!

TaylorDavis_FlameOfFindul_cover nook

Sometimes life gooses you when you’re not looking. You might be happily coasting through days in a little New Jersey suburb, dreaming about Jennifer Williams and making plans to see the new movie showing uptown when—bam!—everything changes in an instant. Your family moves overseas and suddenly you’re hacking at water demons with a four-foot blade.

Taylor Davis didn’t want to move to the Caribbean, and he certainly doesn’t want save the world. But when he’s sucked into a supernatural world of angels and their adversaries, that’s exactly what he must do.

The Flame of Findul–the sword that guards the Tree of Life–has been allowed to burn out. Taylor and his new teammates must relight it in the forge of Findul the firesmith before the tree falls into the wrong hands. But Findul hasn’t been seen for several centuries. And a formidable enemy, one who has eaten of the tree, stands in their way.

Free on Amazon and Smashwords!


Posted in Holiday Posts

It’s almost Christmas!

Our kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree :)
Our kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree 🙂

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Christmas Day is almost upon us and I’m excited! I can’t wait to see my kids opening up their presents. It’s a time of family and celebration. I hope it’s that way for you as well.

At this time of year, I always look back and wonder where the time has gone. When you have kids, it just seems like everything goes by so fast. My kids are growing at an alarming rate. My oldest will be nine in a week! Nine years old! It seems like just yesterday I was changing his diapers. Sigh.

Luckily, they both still believe in Santa. I think it will be the last year for my oldest, though. One of his friends informed him Santa wasn’t real. I, of course, emphatically denied this. For the most part, he believes me, but he wants to set up a video camera to catch Santa in the act. He wants to use this evidence to convince his friend that Santa is real.

How can I argue with this logic? After all, aren’t I trying to raise critical thinkers? Don’t I want them to question things that don’t make sense? My husband and I have painted ourselves right into a corner in this debate. We’ve agreed to his idea. I’m hoping my son will forget about this request in the excitement of the evening and we’ll “forget” to set up the camera.

Otherwise, we’re going to have to set it up and have it malfunction in some way. 😉 In fact, I have it all planned out. When the video camera doesn’t do its job, I’ll ask him, “Well the milk and cookies are gone, isn’t that enough evidence that Santa was here?”

I don’t know what he’ll say, but I’m hoping it works! I’d love them to believe in Santa at least for one more year. 🙂 I love their innocent excitement even when they pull me out of bed at the crack of dawn. We spend so much time shopping and wrapping that I wish the unwrapping and squeals of excitement would last a little bit longer. I guess it’s like that for everything though. The preparation and anticipation before the event takes more time than the event itself. Have you ever noticed that?

Anyway, I’ll be bleary eyed with a squirrels nest for hair as I try to catch images of my kidlets in all their Christmas glory on camera. These moments are fleeting and I’m trying to capture as many of them as I can.

Not only is Christmas a time of celebration, it’s also a time of appreciation. Well at least for me it is. It’s a time to remember friends and family and give thanks just for having them in our lives. I want to send a special thank you to my family and friends just for being who they are. 🙂 You’re all very special to me and I appreciate each and every one of you.

I’d also like to say thank you to my friends that I’ve met via Social Media. Whether I’ve connected with you on Facebook or Twitter, I’ve met some pretty amazing people.

I want to send a huge thank you to my author friends. I’ve never met a more helpful and positive group of people and it warms my heart when I think of them. They’ve helped me so much and I appreciate it!

If I could, I’d give you all a hug, because a hug can communicate more than words!

Sorry, this post got mushier than I anticipated. 🙂  I tend to gush at this time of year!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you’d like to share a special Christmas memory feel free, leave a comment! I’d love to read it! 🙂

Our Kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree. :) She's such a little ham! :)
Our Kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree. 🙂 She’s such a little ham! 🙂
Posted in Writing

My Inspiration to keep Writing!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve been busy these last few months with a new job and working on my Coming of Age novel. Because of that, I have had quite a few guests on my blog. So, I thought today I’d write a quick post for all of you to let you know what inspires me to keep writing.

I love Christmas time. It’s my favorite holiday. The reason for this is because;  it’s a time of giving. I love giving gifts and shopping for my family, but it’s also a time of great inspiration. At least it is for me. Just the other day, I thought of another idea for a great story. But I have to finish the one I’m working on plus its sequel before I can start it. Sigh.

However, I digress. Anyway, this year I participated in an event that occurred close to home. I became involved with the “Raising Spirits with Reading” program at the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. What an experience.

I must say, it was very rewarding to meet the young people who’re battling life-threatening illnesses and watch their faces light up when they get a signed copy of your book. It’s hard to describe that feeling. Knowing you were responsible for that bright smile. That spark of happiness in another day of fighting for their lives. That’s more rewarding to me than making any bestseller list by far and it has inspired me to keep on writing.

I also ran a writing workshop for a girl’s group. It’s so nice to work with young girls who’re pursuing their dreams. They want to learn and it’s a rush to work with such eager young minds. It was another rewarding experience for me, and one more reason to keep writing.

I feel it’s good for the girls as well, to meet an author or an artist and realize that they’re normal people and not celebrities. I feel this way because it makes their dreams possible. I mean if this “normal” mom can write a book, why can’t I?

That’s the feeling I want these girls to leave with when they leave my workshop and I feel like I accomplish it each time I do one. It’s another reason I keep writing. I want girls to grow up with the confidence that they can achieve their dreams if they “believe.”  And isn’t this the season of believing? 😉

Thanks for reading my post. I’d love to hear what inspires you to keep writing. So leave a comment I’d love to hear from you. In addition, pictured below is me with the girls from the writing workshop that I conducted a few weeks ago. I gave each one a copy of my book as a prize for participating. I must say these workshops are just plain fun! 🙂

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It’s a little blurry, but the girls had a great time! I’m the short one in the middle! 🙂