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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If I had a million dollars

As I was doing the usual stuff today, cleaning, cooking, etc. I decided what I would do if I were rich, well not so much do, more like buy.  Not a huge house, or boat, or fancy convertible mustang, I AM A GIRL and here's what I'd buy:

GOOD, STRONG, garbage bags.  The fancy ones, made out of the same stuff as spiderman's clothes!

Aluminum foil more than 25 feet in length.

Name brand everything.

The largest sized Ketchup that fits in my fridge.

ALL of the things to make all of the things on Pinterest that I haven't made yet.

Towels.  Lots and lots of fluffy towels.  And maybe a towel warmer :-)

A DYSON VACUUM  ahh....only in my dreams....

A never ending supply of Kraft Dinner (should be no surprise to my loyal viewers)

A Cricut machine.  Don't exactly know what it is or does, I just know that as a female I want one.

And.... Drum roll please

A Secret room built in my house, with a secret lock system that only I know, that I can fill with whatever I want.  Crafts, tons of frilly pillows that serve no purpose, and perhaps a hot tub. 

That is what I would do if I had gobs and gobs of money.  'Cause I'm fun and practical like that.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Something's New!

Guess what??  We are going to start putting ads here on the blog.  Small, valid ads that you folks might be interested in.  I know, you don't really care, but it's exciting for me.  So, please spread the word.  If you or someone you know want to place an ad click on the new handy dandy "Advertise" page and you'll  receive all the info you need. 

In other news, I would like to open the "Warm Fuzzy" page up to the viewers.  Instead of me talking about awesome people I know, I'd like you to write a Warm Fuzzy about someone you know.  So if you have someone worthy of a Warm Fuzzy, please write something up and email it to me at

Also, we have a Facebook page.  For those of you who are fans, head over and like us on Facebook.  You'll receive fun messages and all the latest "Focused" news.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today's Topic: Housewives and Homemaking

There was an interesting conversation going on over at
Amber May Be that I thought you might want to be involved in.  Click on the link to get the whole story.  Basically, there is a movement brewing to re-name the term "Homemaking", with the thinking that it is outdated and old. 

The word homemaking is not a commonly used term anymore.  Why?  I don't know.  But I have several guesses.  I'm not going to go into that now.  Here's what I want to discuss, the meaning of Homemaking has evolved, just like everything else does over time.  Does that mean we need to  update it, rename it?? NO.  Should we rename the television because it doesn't look like it did in the 50's?  No.  That would be silly.  We should be openly talking about what the term Homemaking really means today. 

The oldfashioned definition suggests that you have to wear a frilly apron and be standing ready with a plate of freshly baked cookies to be a Homemaker.  False.  As are many of the other thoughts about what homemaking is.  SO, what is it???

Amber had a fantastic description at her blog ..."homemaking is a sacred calling. Homemaking is pouring love into your home and life and kids. Yeah, a big part of it is cooking and cleaning and decorating, but it’s also promoting a beautiful spirit. You don’t have to have kids to homemake. You don’t have to be a stay at home mom. You don’t have to be female. You don’t even have to own your home. All you have to do is try to make your living space a comfortable and happy place to be."

I like that.  Let's write up a new definition for Homemaking and be proactive in spreading that info around so that people are proud to call themselves Homemakers. 

What do you think Homemaking  is?  Give us your definition please.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Two Deep Trenches

I love gardening.  I love planting things and watching them grow over time.  And I'll admit it, I get attached to them.  It's almost sad that they have to be eaten, but not that sad.  Yum Yum. 

This year we are gardening the REAL way, with trenches instead of just random veggies everywhere.  I feel much more like a farmer now.  he he.   I love it!  I have come to learn that this layout has quite a purpose.  We soak the baby plants with a trench on either side, so that the roots are fed deeply and thoroughly.  Makes sense, huh!

Now, you know I like to think symbolically.  Any guesses as to what I am going to relate this to???

The structure of families. Think of the plant as the child, with two loving parents (trenches) to help it grow.

I love that the structure of families (idealy) is: two parents with the same goals, ie; supporting, loving, teaching their children. I believe that can have a great affect on the success of that child.  Likewise, extended family and close friends can also be that second trench.  Their role is extremely important.  Children need secondary support. 

I am grateful for the structure of families. 

Here is more about what I believe regarding families:
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

These are my personal thoughts and beliefs.  The are not meant to hurt or offend anyone.  Thank you for taking the time to read them.  As always, please comment. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Focused's One Year Anniversary!!!

I can't believe it's been 1 year already! 

In the last year this little blog has had several wonderful accomplishments.  We have received views from dozens of countries all around the globe, some I've never even heard of.  We have reached over 4000 views (for comparison my other private family blog has only had 180+ views, which is about what I was expecting). We have our own Facebook page.  We were also blessed to have linked up with some really great blogs, (Amber May Be....).  We also were recognised and received a lovely award from Letters from Launna.
What a year!!!

I am just overwhelmed and flabbergasted with all that this blog has done.  Especially when I think about why I even started this blog in the first place.  I just wanted to improve myself.  I simply wanted to make goals for myself and actually achieve them.  I knew that I wouldn't follow through unless I told other people my goals.   Then thought, hmm... maybe other people might want to join in my goals with me. 

Pshaw.  RIDICULOUS.  I mean, it might be a good idea, but no one really cares about me and my silly goals.

I shared my idea with my Bestest Best Friend, who (like she always does) cheered me on and encouraged me to follow through.  (Endless thanks Bud!)

And so I did. 

Never expecting to actually gain an audience (other than my BBF and some family members).  Never expecting to receive such a refreshing joy from the writing process, and reading all of the comments, and accomplishing the goals, etc. etc.  I never expected any of the wonderful things that have happened to me and my life, from having a blog. 

So THANK YOU.  Thank you for being interested in my thoughts.  Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends. Thank you for participating in the conversation and the goals.  Especially during the many hard times this past year.  Life was much easier to get through when I was able to talk about it and connect with others going through similar things via the blog.  Thank you for buoying me up and being so kind. 

Thank you to these awesome websites for their support.  If you have never visited them before, please do.

Thank you friends and viewers for all you have taught me this last year.  Here's to many more uplifting experiences together!

With Deepest Gratitude,
Maria @ Focused on the Positive

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I thought I would post a few pictures in honor of Mother's Day.  They say it better than I do.  Enjoy.

Proverbs 31:25, this makes me feel empowered
She is clothed in STRENGTH and DIGNITY
and she laughs without fear of the future.

that says it all

What children will remember

is a choice you make everyday
to put someone else's happiness and well-being
ahead of your own
even when you're not sure what the right thing is...
and to forgive yourself
over and over again
for doing everything wrong.
Donna Bell

This is not just for Mothers, but for all women.  We all have special talents and abilities granted to us that provide great blessings to those around us.  We are all special. 

I am indeed grateful for my mother, mother-in-law,
and for the opportunity I have to be a mother. 

May you share your love for the women in your life. 
Let them know how important they are to you.
Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Our First Guest Post!

Dear Focused friends, do I have a treat for you!  We are lucky enough to have a guest post today.  It's from Amber over at Amber May Be...  

She is a quite a talented blogger, and I know you will enjoy this post!  Make sure to head over to her blog to check out all she has to offer.  You won't regret it.  Not only is it full of uplifting posts, she also has a plethora of great crafts, and recipes as well.  Her blog is @
Here's her post.  Enjoy!!!

Keeping the Broken Glass

Do you ever feel like a broken glass? I do. I experienced this feeling a lot during this last semester. With morning sickness, pregnancy fatigue, upper division courses, a major surgery in the family, work, and a husband  to take care of I had a full plate. There was so much to do and there was never enough of me to go around. At a time when I had tons of tasks I had no motivation to do anything. All I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and take a nap.

Towards the end of the semester as I was washing a large mound of dishes I started creating a mental to-do list. I don’t know why we women do this. We can always think of more things to put on our list than we can physically accomplish. I started to overwhelm myself as I kept repeating my list over and over.

Suddenly I was jolted back into reality when the glass I was washing shattered. It was a cheap glass bought at a dollar store and decorated with blue snowflakes. I once had six of the same glass but with the loss of this glass I was down to one. I had been careless and put the cold glass in some very hot water. The glass just couldn’t handle the heat.

I picked the pieces out of the soapy water, and I empathized with the cup. I felt like I was breaking too. The glass broke because the water was too hot, and I seemed to be in a similar situation. I fought back tears as these debilitating thoughts came to my mind. My husband was doing homework in the other room, and I didn’t want to put him through another one of my “pregnancy breakdowns”, so I tried to keep my emotions as quiet as possible.

As I struggled to continue the dishes I prayed for understanding and hope. Then I remembered the lesson my husband and I had just given to the 8-10 year-old Sunday school class we teach. The lesson was about Job and in it we explained to the children that the Lord makes us strong through our trials. We showed the children my wedding ring and asked them how the diamonds in it were made. We explained to them that through many many years of heat and pressure coal turns into diamonds.

The thought crossed my mind that the Lord did not make me out of cheap glass designed to break as soon as it hit hot water. On the contrary, the Lord intends me to be something far sturdier and infinitely more valuable. The Lord intends me to be a diamond, and tough times now will only mean a stronger me in the future.

It’s interesting to note that I wasn’t immediately comforted by these thoughts. I knew that they came from the Lord and I knew that I was his beloved daughter, but I still felt the frustration of the day, and I still felt a certain amount of empathy for that glass. It wasn’t until later that night as I knelt for prayer that I finally experienced that sweet wave of peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. It wasn’t until I had let go of my worldly worries and focused myself on God that my previous thoughts came to mind and brought me solace. I kept the glass. My husband tried to throw it out once, but I quietly took it from the garbage and placed it near the sink as a reminder of my lesson.

Over the rest of the semester I continued to struggle with my never ending load of schoolwork, housework, and of course work-work, but I looked at the glass and remembered that the Lord is by my side every step of the way. This life will never be easy, but we will never be asked to do it alone. I’m so grateful for that, and I hope I can keep it in mind through the next few months of pregnancy. With graduation and a baby due so close together I know it won’t be easy. That’s why I’m keeping my broken glass.

Don't forget to check out her blog and show her some love!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fumbling Resilience

I have a one year old. She is in the constantly-fumbling-and-falling stage. She has been walking for a month or so now, but still pretty much falls down once every 5 minutes, give or take.

I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kids, and watch all of those fumbles. But watching her fall down so often, as an observer is a little.... frustrating. Yesterday while watching her fall for like the millionth time I wondered, "Why isn't she discouraged?  Why does she keep getting up and trying?" 

We start off as such determined little people.  But, with time, we start to buckle to discouragement.  This reminds me of the references in the scriptures to "be like little children".  I see why we are encouraged to be like a child.  They are loving, constantly learning, and unwilling to give up.

I am grateful that little children are resilient. For if not, we probably would end up like the people in WallE.  Not walking, but floating around in our multi-tasking chairs.

So let's try to be more like children; undiscouragable, full of hope and love for all.