Tag Archives for " thought for the week "

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: Focus

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Spring is in the air and my yard is bustling with a lot of activity from the critters that call my yard home. While sweeping off the deck the other day I noticed movement in the tree a few feet away and discovered that a dove has taken up residence in a nest there. She is beautiful. She is still, calm and much focused on staying put while the squirrels and other birds scamper all around her. Her eyes are outlined with the most beautiful shade of blue while her soft gray feathers seem to fade from one shade to another. With a few leftover leaves above that have hung on throughout the winter she is tucked into her nest waiting for the big day. I find myself going out to check on her periodically and am amazed at her focus and patience. While the unpredictable Virginia weather has brought snow, sleet, rain, wind and sunshine in the past week the momma dove has not moved. I find myself wondering how she can just sit there and wait. What is it that makes her so focused and so determined to stay put? The answer is simple: she’s a mom.Continue reading

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: The Hunt

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

The Hunt…..

Having just celebrated Easter this weekend my mind brings me back to the many egg hunts we’ve had over the years with our children. When my son was little I would hide a large bucket of eggs for him to hunt and after he had found all of them he would shout “do it again!”. I would do it again and again and again; he seemed to never be tired of hunting those eggs. There was nothing special about those empty eggs but something made that little boy want to hunt them over and over. It seemed as if we hid Easter eggs for months before he would finally agree to put them away until the next Easter.Continue reading

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: The Art of Communication

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

The Art of Communication

When I started writing Karla’s Korner several years ago I really did not expect to receive a lot of notoriety. My thought was that I would write my weekly column, people would make a few comments and life would stay relatively the same. Every week for over a year I shared my thoughts with readers and enjoyed the feedback I received. When the opportunity came to start writing for Lifetime Moms I was surprised that an organization like that would want to hear from someone like me. Who am I really? When I look in the mirror the person I see is nothing more than a wife, mother, daughter, teacher and friend. Up until that point I had lived my life under the radar and was perfectly okay with that. As I began to share my life in a broader arena, I quickly began to realize that I may just have something important to say. Once in a while I will receive an email from someone who has been affected by something I have written. I have been contacted by authors, teachers, national news stations and most recently a well-known newspaper for an online video interview. There are times when I sit back in complete awe at the journey I have been on for the past few years; after all I am just a simple country girl with a few simple ideas rolling around in my head. It’s when the communication starts that I understand that this journey is not only about me and my thoughts but it’s about the willingness to open up and communicate with people.Continue reading

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: Time at the Dinner Table

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Time at the Dinner Table…..

As I sit down to write I am surrounded by memories and mementos from my life as a child.  My grandmother passed away in 1999 and left me her dining room furniture and china.  I have a desk set up in the spare bedroom in the basement of our home, but I prefer to sit at the dining room table to write and prepare lesson plans.  The dining room table, while not fancy or extravagant in any way, brings me a sense of peace and comfort that belongs to only me.  As a young girl back in 1976 (I believe) I remember my grandmother showing off her new furniture and china and telling me that someday it would belong to me.  Naturally at that age I thought my grandma would live forever; she did not.  Ironically, I do not remember ever eating a meal at that table, because most of our family gatherings were at our house or that of my aunts and uncles.  It seemed easier for my grandparents to come to us than for us to come to them for holidays and family celebrations.  Even though we never spent a lot of time around that table, we did spend a lot of time together as a family at other dinner tables; something that does not seem as important these days.

When my husband brought the furniture home after my grandma passed away it was as if I was afraid to use it.  Somehow in my mind I was supposed to keep it as she did.  Our house did not have an eat in kitchen which meant if I wanted my grandma’s table in the dining room we HAD to eat off of it.  We had to sit in her chairs and eat on her table.  With young children at the time, I found it quite difficult to prevent messes at the table.  Eventually I decided that messes were going to happen and that the table was no longer hers but mine and I had to stop worrying about it so much.  Now, I use the table as my writing desk and find that sitting here with her picture on the china hutch behind me I somehow stay connected through memories of our time together.  The table is a reminder of her which brings me great joy.

In my current home we have a bar area in our kitchen where most of our meals take place.  Sitting at the counter and eating our meals seem more efficient for than dragging everything into the dining room to eat; until now that is.  For the past few months my daughter and her girlfriend have been coming home from school for Sunday dinner and our family has been gathering around the dinner table to eat and share the experiences of the past week.  At first it was more for the fact that when they are here we do not have enough bar stools in the kitchen to eat so we had to move into the dining room.  But somehow that idea has taken a backseat to the idea that our family time at the dinner table has become a very important element in our lives.  Before they arrive on Sunday afternoon I rid the table of my computer and all that has accumulated throughout the week and set the table.  It is important I think to have all of my clutter put away so that nothing gets in the way of our time at the table.  Last week the girls were on Spring Break and did not come home for Sunday dinner; I missed that so much.

As a preschool teacher I find myself working on meal time etiquette a lot.  One of the most difficult tasks, it seems, for small children is to sit at the table and eat without getting up and down.  Quite often when I share this with parents they tell me that they do not insist that their child sit at the table.  It is easier for the parents, they say, for the child to come and go rather than fight with them to sit at the table.  Furthering our discussion I share with parents that by the time their child reaches kindergarten they will be required to remain seated not only during lunch but also during class time as well.  What I really want to tell them is that they are missing out on a great opportunity to connect as a family at the dinner table.  Recently after having had this conversation with a parent in my classroom, the parent shared with me that they had been enforcing the stay at the table to eat rule and it is working beautifully and that they were actually have fun at meal times.  As a matter of fact, they are realizing that their child has learned quite a bit of “stuff” this year because they are sitting down together as a family and talking at dinner time.

Time is a precious commodity and we find ourselves trying to cram dinner in between school, work, sport practices, scouts or whatever it is that takes our attention.  We need to stop and make a conscious decision to gather around the dinner table at least a few nights a week to ensure that we are connecting with our family.  With one child now not living at home full time and one who will be graduating from high school in a few short years I realize now more than ever that time spent together is priceless.  All too often parents carve out time for date nights with each other hiring a baby sitter and enjoying time alone together without their children, I suggest carving out time and having family night at home without the distractions of everyday life.  Making family time important will not only allow you to connect with one another but will also give you the opportunity to communicate with one another and allow you to really know and grow your relationships with one another.  Time spent together is more of a gift to one another than the material gifts we give to one another.  There are very few material gifts that I remember as a child, but there are lots of great memories tucked away in my heart from those special times when family was gathered together to enjoy a meal and celebrate one another.
Life is precious.  Family is precious.  Time is precious.  Take time to enjoy all three; trust me you will be glad you did.

Peace,
Karla

Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Topic: Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: Powerless

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Powerless

This past week was one of many challenges. Due to inclement weather and a scheduled day off I only worked two days. While some may think that having such a long break I would feel refreshed and ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning; that is not the case. With a rather large snow storm predicted for mid-week, my anxieties rose when I realized that my husband would be leaving for a three day work trip the day the snow storm was to begin. As a precaution, I asked him to bring the generator to the house and show me (and our son) how to start it so that we could run a heater and hopefully save the food in the freezer and refrigerator. Feeling pretty confident that this storm would not be severe, I kissed him good-bye and went about my daily routine and looking forward to my Friday off. Rain began to fall and quickly turned to ice and then snow before midnight. I began to think that this might be the big one of the winter season; my thoughts were correct. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday approximately 10 (or more) inches of heavy white snow lay across everything including power lines causing thousands to lose electricity in their homes. It was at this point that I knew we were in for a long couple of days. Time passed slowly and it became evident that my son and I would be spending the night without electricity cooking our dinner on a camping stove (which by the way has never been used on a camping trip) and piling extra blankets on our beds to stay swarm. With the temperature in our house dropping, I found myself welcoming the mid-life hot flashes that I experience quite often.

Day one turned into day two and day two turned into day number three. After shedding a few tears (actually a lot of tears) we decided to throw in the towel and make a reservation at a local hotel; at least we would be warm. At the eleventh hour, the power came on I cancelled the hotel reservations and the clean-up of extension cords, blankets, cook stove, board games and dirty dishes began. That night as I crawled into bed and curled up next to my husband I realized that I truly suck at roughing it. I am dependent on the luxuries that make life comfortable and easy. It was as if I lost power when the lights when the lights went out. When did this happen? When did life become so easy that I am unable to function without electricity? When did we as a society become so dependent on “stuff” to survive?

As a young girl growing up on a poultry farm with other farm animals as well, my brothers and I had chores. We were required to perform certain tasks to ensure that the farm was taken care of. Looking back at that time in my life I realize that those chores helped us survive. It was the responsibility of each one of us to work together to keep things going. As much as we complained that it wasn’t fair that we had to shell feed corn into a coal bucket in the dead of winter for the animals, work in the chicken house, mow grass, feed the pigs or the milk cow it was a necessary part of life. When the power went out we kept the wood stove in the basement burning and sat by the gas oven in the kitchen to get warm. We used an oil lamp for light and slept in our beds under piles of heavy blankets. It was just the way it was; we dealt with it. Now, forty plus years later I find myself stuck in a place where I complain if I don’t have electricity to run my Keurig, take a hot shower or use the microwave oven. This week I was cold, tired, and selfish; even though I had a generator and a camp stove that allowed me to heat water to make hot tea, cook meals, run the electric heater, keep my refrigerator and freezer running and watch television. Technology and convenience has taken over and we (society) have forgotten how to live simply.

So what does all of this mean? Should we eliminate all of the conveniences that make life easier for us and return to the days of long ago? No; that’s not possible. What is possible is that we take time out of our lives once in a while to unplug from all of the “stuff” that we depend on and just “be” in the moment. Taking time out of our day to spend in quiet without the buzzing of a cell phones, emails, social media etc., we will be able to rest our minds and rejuvenate our souls. This week as my son and I sat playing cards by candle light we found ourselves laughing and making jokes; we had not done that in a long time because we are always distracted by other things. Now that life has returned to normal it is up to me whether I take time to play cards again or wait until the next power outage. My goal is to play cards.

What keeps you distracted? Is there something that keeps you from taking time to be quiet or spend time with your family and friends without life’s conveniences? I encourage you to excuse yourself from reality once in a while to ease your mind and settle your soul. For me, I plan on trying to find that balance between the convenience of life and the ability to cope with the occasional loss of power; both electrical and within myself.

Peace,
Karla

Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles for more thought for the week here. Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Topic: Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week from Karla’s Korner: Who Comes First?

Thought for the Week

Thought for the Week

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Who Comes First?

There’s been a lot of buzz lately surrounding a statement made by Giuliana Rancic regarding the way she views marriage and children. Rancic has stated that her husband comes first before her child. In trying to explain this theory Rancic says “We’re husband and wife, but we’re also best friends, and it’s funny because a lot of people, when they have kids, they put the baby first, and the marriage second. That works for some people. For us, I find, we put our marriage first and our child second, because the best thing we can do for him is have a strong marriage.” When I first heard about this I did not agree; after all my children are my life and I would do anything for them. Throughout the week I found myself thinking about the “pecking” order of our family and where we all fit in. My son, who is almost six years younger than his sister has accused me over the years of playing favorites. To be honest, there are times that I have played favorites or taken one side over the other. I believe that that is a normal element of parenting; and with their age difference it is necessary to allow her to do more than him. (Now that she is an adult, I don’t wrestle with that issue as much.) I have come to the conclusion that I may have to agree with the Rancic’s because quite frankly it makes perfect sense. And before you decide that I deserve the horrible mother of the year award, let me explain.Continue reading