Posts Tagged 'grandchildren'

Making Memories

Sunday morning I had to locate my sweaters.  The temperature has been in the low fifties in the morning here in San Tan Valley, AZ.  Numbers like that require more than a T-shirt and shorts on my body!

Next to my ‘package of sweaters’ in the cedar chest was a ‘package of memories:’  rotated photoa very small  Cubs t-shirt (Nathan’s first favorite baseball team); a Dr Who Fan Club t-shirt (we were great Dr Who fans in the 80’s: the boys would ‘sneak’ into the family room after we had put them into bed to watch it- which of course meant we all watched it!); a t-shirt with a corn snake on it (Nathan successfully bred and hatched corn snakes as a 9-yr old); a blue turtleneck with trucks embroidered by Ed’s mom as well as two sweater vests she knitted; and an army shirt that Daniel wore as a 6 or 7 yr old in North Fort Myers.  (I’m sure that Daniel will correct me on the details!)

Since we have moved to Arizona, we have the opportunity to make new memories.  I connected with Erin on Thursday morning, and Greyson (age 3) and Sawyer (age 1) started on our day together.  Because we live where residential meets agriculture, we stopped at Schnepf”s Farm to visit the u-pick fields.  With Sawyer on my hip, and Greyson helping me with our wooden baskets, we slowly made our way to the fields (emphasis on slowly!).  We got to the squash row, put our basket at the end of the row, and carefully sat Sawyer next to it as the guardian.  Fortunately— he sat there very absorbed in simply watching us!  That attention lasted through our picking radishes, cucumbers, and spinach.  By the time we hit the lettuce rows, Sawyer was much more comfortable, and within a few minutes of being set down, he started crawling toward us!  Greyson and I looked at each other and knew that we were done!

We gathered everything, and proceeded to slowly make our way back to the check-out (emphasis on slowly).  On the way, we discovered a great photo op.  I took this one of Greyson—and he took the second one of Sawyer being held in place by me…

Greyson farm photo


     Cost of the vegetables: about $2.00.

     Memories made: priceless!



We did much more on Thursday together: walked to the park with Grandpa; watched hummingbirds at the feeder cuddled under a blanket (because that’s how we did it the first time two weeks ago); listened to Christmas carols by Grandpa on the violin and me on the piano; and of course, the boys played with trains.  What a wonderful day!

Life is much too short.  Take the time to make memories!  You don’t have to break the bank to do it.  Gifts, gift cards, cash…all come and go.  The three keys to building relationships- any relationships- are time, truth, and trust. Invest in people- one of two things that last for eternity!

Today, spend some time with someone.  You might need him/her.  S/he might need you. Sometimes you can plan the details.  Sometimes you simply have to take the first step.  Start walking!

Drop me a note and let me know what kind of a memory you made this week!


Plan B or C or D…

To say that we were totally surprised simply would not be true.  We knew there was a chance of this happening.  But to get the phone call that the kids were getting off the train was a reality check for sure— and more prayers immediately flowed upward.

We (that is Ed and I) seem to be living much of our lives in Plan B.  Does anyone out there identify?

Plan A was going to take place the first week of April. Hard to remember the details now, but the timing didn’t work for everyone. A plan was hatched for assisting Nathan (second son, recently discharged from the Army) and Erica his wife (due with their first child mid-May) relocate to Seattle, where Erica’s parents live.  The house is big enough for all of them, which will help out the kids tremendously.

My travel plans had included traveling to Ft. Worth and attending Mannatech’s International Conference, April 12-15, which I did, returning home at midnight on the 15th.  Amidst great excitement at the launch of our product NutriVerus, as well as a variety of business tools, I refocused and realized that I needed to drive to TN on Wednesday instead of Friday—so I did.

I got the kids packed up, moved all of their belongings into storage for the Army to move on April 30, and on Friday we three headed for Chicago.  After a great evening with family on Friday night, we got them to their Amtrak train and they left on Saturday afternoon due to arrive  46 hours later in Seattle, where they would be met by Erica’s parents.

Sunday night we got a call from Nathan that they were getting off the train in Whitefish, MT and heading for the hospital.  Jackson was not going to wait until they got settled in Seattle—he wanted his own story!

With much prayer, many stories of angels helping along the way, and healthcare professionals doing an excellent job, Jackson arrived into the world at 5:39 pm on Monday, April 23, about 3 weeks early.  He is little (just 4 pounds and 11 oz), but all systems are go!  Erica is in good spirits, Nathan is thoroughly enjoying the interaction he is having with his son, and Jackson is eating and sleeping!  Sounds like a family has been born!

Nathan expects that they will be able to continue their trip Friday (they have a sleeper compartment- yeah!), and plan to arrive in Seattle Saturday morning, ready to start a new life, in a new location, with a new baby.

Mari’s comments for living: My observation is that we are often living in Plan B or C or D…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t write down Plan A!

Listen to some words of wisdom from Proverbs 16: 9- The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Life lesson: We are supposed to plan—but we have to realize that God is the director!

What is your experience? Do you live in your Plan A…or is it usually B or C or D?  How do you respond when plans change?


What do you think of our newest addition to the family?

Would love to read your comments below.

customized gift from Greataunt Deb O.

Sporting a gift quilt from the Senior Center

Oh by the way, here are several photos of the newest star of the DeZago family! Yes, Jackson is our THIRD grandson!!!

Checking out his world!

Motivation for Change

“We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.” Jim Rohn.

In today’s economy, it certainly seems that many people are considering change because of the desperate nature of their circumstances. You may be one of those people.

It’s December.  2011 was perhaps not stellar for you and your family.  You don’t want 2012 to be a repeat!

Referring to the above quote, desperation may get you jump-started to consider change and you might even make an attempt to do something different, but I have not observed it to provide lasting motivation for change.

However, if you are committed to personal development, inspiration enters the change-scene. You can discover why you want to change (typically it needs to be more than money!). You can then discover how to change. Inspirational motivation could lead you to then inspire family and friends.  Don’t you want to be involved in that process?

It may be that although it is one situation/emotion/passion that gets you started on a path that is actually a change (a new business, a new lifestyle, a new relationship, a new location), you may have to discover something else that keeps you motivated…keeps you moving down that path toward your  bigger dream/your goal.

As a student and then a teacher, I had not thought very deeply about why I was doing a particular thing.  Whatever I was doing just seemed like the right thing to do…it was logical.

However, over the years of owning a business, I’ve had to discover my ‘why.’  Others who started this venture with me had fallen by the wayside.  I kept going. Why?

For me it had to be more than making money, more than the fantastic incentive trips, more than the friendships of business associates and customers, and even more than making a difference in people’s lives—all of which happen in my business by the way.

Two factors continue to surface whenever I examine my motivation for persevering with business: freedom in determining my schedule, and time with family.  The two have become almost inseparable because we are separated from our entire family living here in Columbus.

Geographically, we have family in AZ, TN, IL, SC.  We’re not exactly clustered!

Right now, when I have opportunity, there is a very strong pull toward Phoenix because of these two little boys. Imagine that!


Discovery of a new train

'devoted to one another in brotherly love'

What’s your motivation for change? What is your WHY that keeps you headed in the direction of your dreams?

I’d love to read your comments below.

Legacy, conclusion

In addition to the suggestions previously posted, here are some additional specifics:

1. Promote a diet high in fiber (check the labels of purchased food!)

2. Promote a diet balanced with protein, carbs, and fats. Carbs include fruits and vegetables which should definitely trump the appearance of refined carbs (cookies, pastries, bread, etc.).

3. Encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity- at least 60 minutes a day! It would be great if physical education class was a regular part of school, but whether it is or isn’t, there is a definite need for children to be playing, running, riding bikes, etc. Take family walks or bike rides: do activities together!

4. Sleep is an extremely important factor in children’s health, both the quality and quantity of sleep. “Well-rested kids are more creative, more interested, more responsive and do better in sports. It also will help them eat better.” 1

Suggestions from these three articles are actually lifestyle choices that we as adults make everyday. If you are a parent (or grandparent who has regular input!), remember you are modeling lifestyle choices: good choices that promote wellness, poor choices that promote sickness.

Sometimes, of course, the results of our choices are not immediately visible. However, as is the case with a legacy, the results are inevitably something that will be handed down to the next generation.

Somethings to think about, and hopefully, take action on. I’d like to read your comments below.


1. Kate Cronan, MD, associate professor pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; medical editor at

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barlow, SE & Expert Committee on the Assessment Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity (2007), Pediatrics, 140 (4), S164-S192

Bowdoin, J.J. (2008) A response to the expert committee’s recommendations on the Assessment Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity, Pediatrics, 121(4), 833-834

Legacy Planning

What about a lifestyle plan for your child or grandchild?

Here’s what prompted that question.

Recently,  I was confronted with no less than three lengthy articles about  obesity, two dealing with childhood obesity, one with adult obesity.  I was struck by the variety of publications that carried these articles: one source was the Delta Sky magazine (I was flying from Phoenix to Columbus), one was from a professional magazine, Nursing Spectrum, and the third was The Illinois Nurse.

The health challenges that can result from weight issues are indeed overwhelming. Articles and books dealing with that subject abound in bookstores as well as online. The results of this challenge, then, are not the focus of this blog.

Today I want to sift through the three articles and list several suggestions for dealing with weight issues with a child/grandchild. As a further observation, I believe these suggestions will also give positive results to adults.

  1. Help kids pay attention to feelings of hunger and fullness. Eat when you are a “0” and stop eating when you are ‘satisfied’ which is before you get to ‘full’ or ‘stuffed.’ Don’t let your hunger level fall below 0 (when you feel like you are ‘starving’).
  2. Smaller, more frequent meals will help to accomplish #1: remember ELMO: Eat Less More Often!
  3. Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.
  4. Encourage consumption of USDA recommended number of fruits and vegetables ( currently nine servings.
  5. Eat  breakfast daily. In fact, each as many meals together as possible.
  6. Limit television and screen time.
  7. Limit eating out, especially at fast food restaurants.

Article will be concluded tomorrow with references.

Do you practice any of these suggestions? Have you noticed any benefit to your children? I’m interested in your comments- please note them below.

An Unspoken Benefit

If you haven’t been into an activity habit, it can be very hard to appreciate the benefits you are missing! Let me tell you about one benefit that is typically unspoken.

This week I am in Phoenix, visiting my grandson, Greyson (and his parents of course!). Greyson is 15 months old and constantly on the move!  He is indeed a reminder that parenting- and grandparenting- is not for wimps! Good thing I’m in shape!  It’s a decision I recommitted to about 6 years ago. Here’s what happened.

Right after Daniel and Erin got married in July, 2004, Ed, Nathan and I took a trip that included driving through Joshua Tree National Park in CA. We pulled off the side of the road frequently and climbed the huge rock formations. As I realized the time of life that we were now entering (first son married, inevitable arrival of grandchildren sometime in the future), I recommitted to stay in shape, to be physically active, to pursue my business which would allow freedom in my schedule so that I would be able to be an involved nana wherever we lived and wherever the kids lived.

What a blessed year this has been! Since Greyson has arrived on the scene in Phoenix (and we still live in Columbus), my commitment has been to see him about every two months. I am happy to report that I have been able to keep that schedule.

Regular interaction between Greyson and me is a significant factor in our relationship. This visit included taking responsibility here for Greyson as his parents had their first overnight away. Greyson and I have taken long walks and played at the various neighborhood parks daily. I have gone down the slides with him; I have crawled into our homemade tent with him; I have greeted him in the morning at 6:30 or so and put him to bed about 7:30 pm- and enjoyed the fact that he takes a mid-day nap- although sometimes it isn’t even long enough to write a blog!

I share all of this to say to my friends who are currently grandparents, and to those who are anticipating this fun stage of life, because it’s important that you keep yourself physically able to participate in your grandchildren’s lives. Some of you have nieces and nephews and you are very involved in their lives. Same suggestion. To stay involved in their lives, keep yourself- or get yourself- into the best physical, mental and spiritual shape you can. The investment is real and could be costly. Choices are involved.

But the dividends are tremendous.

This week is about making memories that are bonding us for life. Rich dividends indeed!

Greyson, Nov. 15, 2010