Brandon


In life every minute can be a challenge. We can waste each minute or take advantage of the gift of minutes we each have.

We have different abilities, different talents, sometimes talents lay dormant because we have not discovered them yet. In this world we live, it is easier to let the world take our moments in a pace paced chaos if we let it.

I am inspired and in awe at the events of yesterday/ and also last year around this time. Preston earned his 1st degree Black Belt and the ceremony was yesterday. Brandon was on the “demo” team, and also was a part of the ceremony. Brandon received his Black Belt last year.black belt

Watching the kids as they have gone from a new karate student to this level is amazing. It is such a commitment, incredibly hard work, however, the work is a desire, and not a “just do it because I said so”.

Each and every candidate forBlack Belt knows it is not given to you. There are goals to achieve, endurance to demonstrate, and hours upon hours of being focused on the tasks, the life-changing things you learn and commit to.

The students have actions of respect that they need to follow. Respect for the studio, respect for the people in their lives, respect for themselves and for the experience of those who are above them in experience. Yet also a compassion to help those not yet at the level they are at.

Yesterday was an incredible ceremony, the demo team doing performances that display their ability to go beyond their previous Black Belt Level. The candidates, no matter what level of Black Belt they were going for, their group became one. You funnel all of the students together, from 8 to probably 60 yrs old, and it displays a Karate family. Not in words on a paper, but in their total respect for the leaders, for each other.

I was so glad to be a spectator of the event, to see this commitment, and it was weird but as I observed people in the audience ( and the auditorium was packed!!), not anyone took their eyes off the stage. The entire experience was amazing.

I remember last year when Sensei said to his class- the day of the Ceremony is a fun day, enjoy the acknowledgment of your hard work, the next day, it is looking forward to your next steps. Watching the participants at the gathering after, it was amazing how confident the trainers are, how welcoming everyone is with one another, how respectful they were. Even on the “fun” day, they never lost the skills of life they have learned and will continue to learn.

We live in a fast-paced world. That can be good because of so many advancements that will happen in each of our lifetimes. And yet, it also can have its downfalls. I was writing a message in instant messenger to someone who lives fairly close to here. In it, we were exchanging thoughts, through words, but we had to reinterpret the words because, without the 3-dimensional life part, words need emotions at times. Words on paper ( or a computer screen} they do not give the whole picture at times, not when it is related to something in our lives.

If you ask someone how they are doing on the computer screen, and they say “great” or “okay”, we can interpret that as the meaning of the word. However in a true conversation, where you hear their response, the tone of the voice, do they look away, is there a glow of happiness when they say great? or is there a tone and lack of sparkle in their eyes. We do not see that, so even though we can communicate with many at the same time in the advanced world of technology….we should not let that replace the personal touch.

I am so guilty of this and am trying my darndest to remember this lesson. Mark and I were over at Jeff and Amanda’s home, the energy, the smiles, the sounds of the grandkids was really neat to be in the midst of it. The cuddles, the hugs, the can’t wait to sit next to me and get their back tickled… well that is something that no matter how fast life is going, one has to stop to spinning to enjoy those moments.

Do not get me wrong, I totally love the advancements and how we can reach people who we have met on the journey of life, however….. we need to also go beyond that and give personal times to one another.

I would rather have a child sing me a song, then google… 20171008_192345I would rather hear their laughter then only ever see LOL. A real hug is so much nicer than a virtual hug, embracing all the “things” I need to get done. The virtual side of life, should always remain a side of life, and not become all of life.

I hope this week is filled with fun moments, laughter as the kids trick or treat… and that each day provides a time to reach out personally to someone, somewhere.

Until later….Mrs Justa-Krusen

 

 

After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

weekend with the grandsons July 27-29 2012 001

Today is a “feel good” type  of weekend. The kind that is good to stop, sit, absorb life…. The sun is out, a few clouds roaming past, a slight breeze, lush green grass, laundry going, got to get some stuff done at work, visited Jeff Amanda and the boys last evening and stayed at Jeff and Amanda’s till almost 11!!! We must have felt like the house visitors that would NEVER leave. We were in conversation and all of the sudden it was 10:45!. We went to Wal Mart got a few groceries at 11:15…( HA we were the oldest shoppers in the store !!)  and got up early to have breakfast with our friends.

Tomorrow is looking like another beautiful day and I plan to get the flower area around our sign all ready for Spring time.

We have come to learn the HARD way that things on line, in commercials are not normally as they seem. Last years it was the “eggies” OHH we thought this was the cats meow… yeah… ya crack each egg and empty it into an eggie before cooking for “Perfect hard boiled eggs without the hassle of peeling shells”

 

 

WELLL we no longer have our eggies… because when you go to cook the eggs, well they leak out of the ol eggie and into the water… what a MESS!!!                                                                                                                          THIS YEAR IT IS THE FLEXIBLE HOSE>>>>    

Yeah..this is the one.. Buy one get one free. You have to get the free one the same size as the purchased one, so we did the 2 75 foot ones. We got it hooked up, two together, got the sprayer on the end…and as you put the water on the hose stretches… if you want it to shrink up, you have to take the hose prayer off in the end. Now doing this is rather a wet task, as you need to keep the pressure in the stretched out hose as you unscrew the nozzle. Needless to say—DO NOT DO THIS is heavy clothes… probably butt naked would be better ( but your neighbors would probably complain!) So after it was unscrewed—the threaded plastic fitting on the end of the hose came off… this meant the flexible stretched our rubber inside the green material shrank to size.. but the material was a full 75 feet. Oh we tried different things , but it would not reattach. SO I called the company… This guy answered the phone in a VERY noisy call center… sounded like it was in the public transportation center in India at rush hour. He kept asking me what we did,  what we tried to do to try to reattach it, he asked OVER AND OVER>>> “ are you sure you tried to fix it/” Finally I asked for his supervisor or manager… SOMEONE who would get past that question and move to the next. In the end… he never gave me his supervisor, he sent us a mailing label for a box and told us to return it..and then they would send us a replacement. DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!

So we have packaged up the defective hose and off it will go to Ct. mailing address.. probably than shipped over seas… and who knows if we will every get it !.

I am about to go dust, try to beat Mark in words with friends, and do some more work but from home.

A nice weekend thus far. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy life..IT IS THE ONLY LIFE WE HAVE!!Love to all, mrs Justa alias Cindy….

April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 009

Make your own pizza night. It was a fun evening, and really I was amazed how good the pizzas came out!.

I bought a mix for the pizza crust, it was the mix and 1/2 hot water..let it rise for 10 minutes and split it up and away we went.

The kids seemed to enjoy the tasks, but I am not sure if they enjoyed it more than we did LOL.April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 013

They each had left overs to bring home to share with mom and dad.

It is always so amazing how there are such changes in kids in a matter of weeks. Brandon does not take naps any more, so he went in for rest time . Preston is talking up a storm.

They both are very good together and can throw each other under the bus the next April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 002moment. But at the end of the day..they are brothers thru and thru.

I love listening to their laughs, and trying to work around their whines to turn them into laughs, and to watch them interact with one another.

I find it so hard to believe the now our grandkids are almost 5,4,3,2 . How the time flies.

This morning they were up at 7:00. They were hungry so we made frosted cinnamon rolls, small ones , to hold them over till mid morning. We ended the weekend visit with a mid morning brunch. Jeff and Amanda got here around 10:30, and we had an array of breakfast foods. Bacon, Sausage, French toast sticks, eggs scrambled, some cinnamon rolls and hash browns. And now… the house is quiet…. Riley is snoring quietly in the background in Preston’s bed…April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 001she loves when the kids are here, gets super excited when Jeff walks in—she becomes a hopping jumping overjoyed maniac when Jeff arrives..and we do have to warn Preston not to run..because he is just the right size –that Riley thinks he is a play mate and will run him over .

Yes I love the sounds of talking, laughter, squabbling, and giggles…. and when everyone is gone… and silence fills the house it reminds me that we are parents that have done our job , our kids are grown, they are all independent , and life turns to being us…. grandparents…. the silence is different… and deafening right after the people leave.

So off I go, so put way laundry, maybe go get grass seed, and maybe read a little. I think God for all we have… we are truly blessed. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

As the days get lighter and the temperatures try to rise some, I am comforted by the signs that we have made it through another winter. This year we can not say it was a mild winter ! We probably have another month of snow potential..but than the camper will come home from storage and our spring time summer time  will begin.

The times of our life are made in memories of days gone by, memories of trials that situations have created and by hopes for many tomorrows. I was thinking about life , and special times, and memories, and what makes memories stay in our minds. As a kid I remember the games we would play together, like huck-abuck-a bean stock, or the card game war, or rummy, or go fish. Hide and seek and red light green light, simon says, I remember making tents out of sheets and sleeping on the floor, I remember staying up late to play a game , and the feeling of falling asleep after being tucked into bed and given a hug.

This past weekend we were blessed with Brandon and Preston for a day and a half. Oh we made a tent out of the dining room table, a king sized sheet, a blanket, and hauling in toys and books and little lanterns. 100_0733

We baked mini banana muffins, we cooked meals together, we did house hold chores, and had cuddle time. We played games, did puzzles, and ate dinner late one night, stayed up late because we ate dinner late, we watched some TV and sat and talked about things.

It cost nothing in money, yet was priceless in memories and time spent.

It was a great weekend. Oh we had some brother squabbles, some whining at times… but 100_0738it was all good.

As they left, saying their goodbyes, ( in French because we taught them “auvoir” ) I was wondering if some of these moments are etched in their minds, to surface again in years to come.

I look at the kids and think how quickly they have grown , it seems like only a few days ago Brandon was in the NICU… and we were excited to meet him… Preston was just a twinkle in his parents eyes… as were Mackenzie and Caleb….

and now they are 4,3,2,and 1!!!…. Pretty soon they will be all in school..before we know it..and I just hope the memories are kept close to them..as my child hood memories are close to me.

I am feeling fulfilled from the weekend and the fun being a grandma is…. I love when a child says “ I love you gramma..” it just melts my heart…

Life is good… there are not so good times,,, sad times,,, but all those times have got me here…and here is ok.. We are not money rich..but we are rich with special moments.

I hope you too have some. Love to all Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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