Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Maurice's 17th Birthday Celebration Photos

Hello To All! We have been very busy lately. I hope that you enjoy these very special birthday photos from Maurice's 17th birthday. ( which seems to have lasted at least a couple of months..lol )

Please visit our sites at www.flushotgonewrong.com and www.wishforthesky.com. Also you can view our face book pages at https://www.facebook.com/flushotgonewrong/  Please also view our You Tube channel at wishforthesky1 where we will upload more videos very soon!!!!!! www.flushotgonewrong.com www.wishforthesky.com https://www.facebook.com/flushotgonewrong/

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


When you’re in charge of more than one person, say by running a business or keeping track of kids, it helps to collect and organize information about everyone’s schedules, be it in a list or calendar. Externalizing your daily priorities clears some space in your head for other things that need to happen, or, in other words, helps your mind stay sane and uncluttered. Making a to-do list should be more empowering than disheartening, but toeing that line can feel like walking a tight rope. Between work for Wish with the Sky Foundation and being a mother of 4, here are some insights I’ve learned over the years.

Having everyone’s schedules in one place is a blessing. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have last-minute meetings or pull out important flyers from your child’s backpack the night before something important is happening, or other unpredictable event like car trouble or illness. The beauty of a to do list is that you can ideally shift around your priorities to accommodate these snafus. It can also be a nice reference point that brings you back to center when those outside forces come into play- all you have to do is refer to your list and get back on track!

When your to-do list starts becoming a script for your life, or you start getting anxiety around completing all the items in a given day, you have probably crossed the line from helpful into harmful. If writing down a list of what you have to do in a given day is stressful, it might be time to find a new approach to getting organized. You may even consider breaking up with to-do lists altogether- and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You might consider reimagining the way you approach a to-do list. One alternative is the 1-3-5 list, where you pick one “big” thing, 3 medium level things, and 5 small things that you will accomplish. For other alternative list structures, take a look at this article from Work Awesome.

Rather than nixing to do lists altogether, it might be a good idea to build in some balance. Create some time, be it a couple hours each day, or setting aside the weekend, to be agenda-less. It doesn’t mean you have to float around and do nothing, just that you mentally free yourself from creating a list. After all, an agenda does not make life any more or less important. Let yourself (and your kids) enjoy a bit of time here and there without worrying what you’re supposed to go to next.

Moderation is the key. For the important things, like meetings, practices, rehearsals, etc., it’s important to keep track of what’s going on. But if every waking moment is dictated by this list, it will start to feel more like a burden than a tool. Life wasn’t meant to be an itemized list of things to check off! Not accomplishing everything you’d initially hoped to in a day is ok- you are wherever you need to be in a given moment. The to-do list is a guide, not a rulebook.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


“Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved a one yet” -Maya Angelou

There’s a lot of madness going on around the world, our country, and sometimes even our own backyards. It can be a tough pill to swallow, and even more difficult to have conversations about tragic events to young children. In light of recent events, here are some ideas on coping with events and teaching our children to do the same.

For many people, being proactive is an important part of making sense of and overcoming tragedy. Rather than staying stuck in the past, or the problem, becoming proactive helps you look for a solution and focus on the things you can change. It also forces you out of your own head, which is important to tap into but is easy to get stuck in during periods of grieving. Volunteering or reaching out to others are great ways to do this.

It’s okay to grieve. While there’s certainly something to be said for “going through the motions,” bottling your emotions hinders your recovery process from a tragic event. Feel what you need to feel, without judgement. If you have kids, allowing yourself to do this encourages them to grieve as well. Another important part of the process is allowing others to help you if you need it. Many of us feel the need to shoulder our burdens and grief, isolating them for fear that they will spread and contaminate the lives of others. It’s a normal fear, but unnecessary. If these people were struggling, you would want to help them in some way- so let them help you if they offer.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers-so many caring people in this world” (Fred Rogers). Remember that for all the grief and terrible events that occur, both isolated and everyday, that there are good people in the world who are willing to help. That’s one of the only things that restores faith in humanity and the world- remembering and being able to find the truly good things. And in times of confusion, it’s a good for children to understand that when there is bad, there is just as much good surrounding us.

When something tragic happens on a larger scale, it can make our individual efforts feel almost insignificant. Who cares if I donated a pint of blood? What difference does my volunteer work make? No one person can save the whole world, but our individual efforts do add up. And when it comes down to it, the most important thing you can do is surround yourself with the people you love at home, because the world always needs more love: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family” (Mother Teresa).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.– Winston Churchill

Worrying is common in today’s world, to the point where most of us are constantly worrying about, well, everything. Then it blossoms into full blown stress, which can take a strong hold on our lives. It will dictate most of our behaviors, thoughts, and actions- but only if we let it.

This may be surprising, but stress does have a purpose. It directs our attention to something (a situation or other outside influence) that is unpleasant or dangerous, so that we can take necessary action to remove ourselves from it. Usually, our bodies will restore themselves to neutral after the stressor has been removed. When we are under constant stress, the body never has a chance to recover, and that’s when it becomes dangerous to our health. Kris Carr illustrates this mind-body connection in the following: “If you don't think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.” Unfortunately, we live in a society that glorifies being stressed out, which can make breaking free difficult. A good starting point is turning inward.

The first thing to do is pinpoint the source of your stress. There are many theories as to the origins of stress, but one of my favorites is from Eckhart Tolle: “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’” “Here” could be a physical space, like being stuck in a traffic jam when you need to be “there” at work. It can also refer to wherever you are mentally. This idea also translates into mental space. In essence, our root cause of stress is usually from trying to manipulate situations beyond our control and the ensuing frustration when things don’t go according to plan. Take some time to reflect on the situations that are generating feelings of stress in your life. How many of them are beyond your control?

The next step is releasing yourself from this burden, which is another inside job. Expecting someone else to remove the stress from you inevitably creates an unhealthy dynamic, for starters, and can also breed further stress and resentments. Relieving yourself of stress means re-evaluating how the aforementioned situations trigger a stress response. Is it a situation we can remove ourselves from? If not, how can we change our perspective or attitude toward the situation in a way that reduces stress? This requires some deep digging. In all likelihood, it will also mean letting go and accepting that certain things are beyond our control, and that’s okay.

Stress isn’t all bad, but when it starts taking over our lives and well-being, it may be time to sit down with ourselves and look at what’s really going on. As we move through life, good and bad things will happen, we can only control our response: “A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well” (unknown).

Thursday, May 12, 2016


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” Maya Angelou

Last week, we looked at some ideas for cultivating resilience. This week, I want to expand on one of the qualities of resilient people that is a bit obscure: self-regulation. Self regulation isdefined as “the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of experience with the range of emotions in a manner that is socially tolerable and sufficiently flexible to permit spontaneous reactions as well as the ability to delay spontaneous reactions as needed.” In other words, people who self-regulate possess some control over their emotional health and expression. Even when they feel pushed to the brink by a stressful situation, they tend not to react in a volatile manner (even if they want to). Let’s delve into some characteristics of self-regulating people and how you can cultivate this habit:

One common misconception is that self regulation is synonymous with being in a zen-like state most of the time and being at peace in the middle of any and all storms. When imagined this way, self-regulation seems highly unattainable. On the contrary, self-regulation doesn’t mean that you never experience a negative emotion. It means that in instances when you do feel those emotions, you have the ability to think before reacting. Instead of a knee-jerk reaction like yelling or bursting into tears, you give yourself a moment or two to decide what a socially appropriate reaction looks like in that situation-calmly responding or walking away. It’s not a matter of minimizing your emotions, just expressing them in a healthy manner. Those who self-regulate understand the following sentiment: “You cannot control someone else’s behavior. You can only control your own reaction”

Although in some cases, emotional regulation can feel difficult and at times impossible, it’s something that can be worked toward. Meditation is a priceless exercise and helps with a variety of issues, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and so on. Incorporating this practice in your life teaches you how to experience your feelings with a sense of detachment- you allow yourself to feel various emotions, without the need to act on them (especially in a destructive manner like angrily calling someone). Other tips include avoiding mind-altering substances, as these can aggravate certain emotions and affect how we perceive a situation. Other habits include typical self-care tips, such as regular sleep and exercise and a healthy diet. It might also be helpful to consider working with a therapist in some cases.

Being able to control how we react to adverse or uncomfortable situations requires daily practice. We can’t predict what sort of conflict we may encounter throughout the day or even how they may trigger us. Equipped with this understanding, we may be better able to deal with situations that we find unacceptable, and bounce back to equilibrium: “Serenity is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”- Margaret Thatcher

Everyone has a bad day, or a series of bad days, once in awhile. It’s all a part of life. Resilience is our ability to bounce back from these unavoidable setbacks and “get back on the saddle.” Like the Margaret Thatcher quote above suggests, when you encounter a challenge or obstacle, you may not be successful on the first try. At times, it probably feels like you’re stuck in a repetitive loop having to deal with the same problem more than once. Part of being resilient is being able to come back to a battle more than once, and being ok with the fact that you might have to lose once in awhile. If you don’t consider yourself among the resilient, the good news is that many of the characteristics of resilient people can be obtained with a bit work!

Acceptance might be the most important part of resilience, and the part that is easier said than done. It takes a lot of work to be comfortable with the knowledge that some things are beyond our control. The truth is, even though we work hard and try to do the next right thing, we aren’t the ones running the show. We truly only have control over ourselves and our own actions.

Another piece of acceptance is having faith that, even if we don’t have control, that it will all be okay. Again, this might feel unfamiliar to many people at first (like being spiritually blindfolded). Every now and then, you’re not going to feel very positive. Life might be throwing a lot at you at once. You don’t have to be at your best all the time- remember that it’s okay not to be okay every now and then.

“It’s not the load that breaks you, it’s the way you carry it” (Lena Horne).

Although it may seem like resilient people are independently strong, they usually have a strong support group that helps them through the difficult times. Part of being resilient is knowing that as individuals, we don’t have all the answers, and someone else might be able to help if we let them. Have you ever told a friend something difficult or painful, and felt physically lighter because of it? Powerful feelings and emotions can weigh us down. Life’s burdens are less likely to break us if we distribute the weight across multiple people rather than trying to shoulder them all ourselves.

“Failure is a bruise not a tattoo” (Jon Sinclair). Another important component of resilience is perspective. Is the glass half full or half empty? Resilient people don’t tell themselves “I can’t” or view situations as impossible to handle. They also tend to look at difficulties as an opportunity for growth. It sounds a bit “out there,” but remember, I said these qualities required a bit of work! Situations may appear different if we step away for a little bit. It may also be an opportunity to ask someone else for their perspective- you never know what wisdom another person has to offer.

Resilience isn’t built in a day. Sure, some people make it look easy but these are skills that everyone can develop with a bit of practice and patience.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others” Booker T. Washington

Once in awhile, I get absorbed by my own world of problems and stresses, to the point where it can be hard to get out and do anything. I turn inward, and when presented with a new opportunity or activity, an inner voice cries “What’s the point? Why even bother? What difference will it make?” This voice, if listened to, can paralyze us into inaction. It wants us to become complacent, or even worse, to wallow in self-pity and despair. The best way I’ve found to counter this voice is to get out and do some service work. This type of work in particular can help you feel connected with others, regain a feeling of purpose, and help you get out of your head.

There’s something about uniting for a greater good that makes us feel connected with other people. Whether it’s fellow volunteers or the group/community you’re providing service for, you have at least a vague awareness that what you’re doing is benefiting another person. I’ve found this is a great method of pulling myself out of a funk. My problems melt away as I remind myself that I’m surrounded by so many others who might need something I have to offer. Volunteering also reminds us that inspiration comes in many forms. Although volunteer work at times seems unglamorous, it can invoke an overwhelming sense of gratitude and belonging. And, if you happen to be feeling down, “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” (Mark Twain).

While you’re helping make the lives of others better, you’re also reminded that there is so much more. We all have bad days- car problems, stress at work, or generally just feeling low- it’s just part of being human. The great thing is that we have complete control over how we react to these situations. We can pull away from the world and wrap ourselves up a self-pity blanket, or we can reach out and grab onto something larger. That’s not to say your problems are not real or upsetting- you should never minimize your emotions. I know when the world is throwing a lot at me and I want to crumble, sometimes my reaction is to think that ultimately, I don’t matter and there’s no point. Volunteer work is a perfect counter to such thoughts: “Devote yourself to the community around you and devote yourself to something that gives you purpose & meaning” (Mitch Albom).

Creating Wish for the Sky (http://wishforthesky.com/) was my solution to a life-changing situation, and it brings me joy to bring a bit of joy into the lives of others. Doing something selfless for another, no matter how small it may seem at the time, can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. I also hope that it inspires my children to do similar work! It’s the best way I’ve discovered to get out of a rut, and you never know what else you’ll gain along the way!