Thursday, December 30, 2010

The stuff ya know but don't always want to...

As 2010 comes to a close, like so many other people, I am reflecting on the year and looking in to next year.
This past year was tough on so many people and my family was not immune to that fact. My aunt's breast cancer journey was awful, tough and inspirational all at the same time. I am happy to say, she survived it! Blessed be!

However, moving in to the end of the year, our family was hit with another blow. This one much closer to home and one I have thus far silently dealt with.
My Dad was diagnosed with lung, liver and colin cancer a few weeks ago and was given only1-2 months to live. Essentially, they have given him until the end of January...if then.

The family that could fly home (us) or was near home came for Christmas. It was wonderful, not sad at all but joyful. It reminded me of what Christmas was always like at home.

I stayed an extra week this week because I needed too. I needed to talk with Dad a while and clear the air for we had a tumultous relationship for a few years.We did talk, it was short but meaningful. Then I read him stories that he had written.

 I can say that forgiveness is truly a peacefulness to the heart.

I go home tommorow from here.  I can say it will not be easy to get on a plane knowing that I will never get to say hello, goodbye or simply, I love you,ever again. It is not easy to think I will never see him alive again. What I do know is he is my Dad and I will miss him.

What I also know is that 2011, although a new year,I am sure will be another tough one. However with faith, strength and an incredibly strong family, we will make it through.

I wish you peace and love this new year.
Happy New Year.

Naila Moon

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowflakes...the paper kind that is

So, my loyal readers, by now you know I am in a couple of pen pal groups.

Oh, you didn't know...ok, well on.

Anyway, these groups are attempting to bring back the old fashioned form of writing that many of us grew up with.  I personally had many pen pals when I was growing up. I now have 5 new ones.

Yesterday, in an attempt to get all letters sent out to my pen pals, I got this crazy idea.  I decided to make each of them their very own paper snowflake. 

Side note to said pen pals: If you are following me, be surprised ok?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share with you not only how to make a paper snowflake but I actually made a video (which is following) as a fun way to show you how.
It is great to do with kids or if you just want some snowy decor.  Believe me, I do not think my paper snowflakes came out as good as these photos I am sharing with you but aren't all real snowflakes different? hee hee

Here is also a photo of how to make them simply.

I would love to see what you have done! Post them on your blog and link back. I'll go check them out. In fact, I will feature them here!  Happy snowflake making!

Peace...Naila Moon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sometimes I get inspired by the simplest things. Tonight I have been inspired by a butterfly (and another blogger). Well, not an actual one but by The Butterfly Project. You can click on the link for more information.

This project speaks to me for a couple of reasons on the knowledge that of the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, 1.5 million of them were children...CHILDREN!

The second reason is that the one thing that my Dad has known about his biological parents was that they were Jewish immigrants. He knows nothing much else about them.  I have always wondered if they came to the U.S. to flee persecution? Did their families perish along with so many others?  In essence, this is personal.

I have visited the Holocaust Museum of St. Louis and I met face to face with a survivor and heard her story. In fact, I worked for a survivor by the name of Barbara Grossberg.

This project puts focus on the children. These children who did not grow up and who did not get to play like other children. These children who were torn from the arms of the parents and never seen again. It pains me to think of the atrocity bestowed upon them. The least I can do (and you can too) is remember that they existed, remember that they were live human beings and make a butterfly.

Peace...Naila Moon

PS>The site says to e-mail a photo of your butterfly. If you do this project please post a photo on your page and link up here and I will showcase all of them here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pencil, Pen, Marker or Crayon...We can do it!

Many of us here in Bloggerville and around the Cyber World actually write letters. Yeah, you know, that thing done with a pen and paper (or if you prefer crayons hee hee!)
I have received some wonderful cards and letters from people I have never met and I appreciate everyone of them. Do you know what it is like to receive good mail? My loyal readers, I promise I will have a follow up about that at another time. 

However, today I want to talk about some other people who need to hear from us. The people who have served our country proudly need to receive the written word from us.

As in the past, the American Red Cross is collecting holiday cards for those soldiers and families who are in the military hospitals.

They need to hear this holiday season that we still care, that we appreciate them and we thank them for their service to us and our country.
I am asking you today to write a letter or send a card right now, right this minute.

Here is the address:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD

Please note the rules for sending per the Red Cross: 
  • Make sure you address as indicated above and no other way, otherwise the cards will be returned
  • Must be sent BEFORE December 10th
  • Do not send any other gifts or insert because they will be removed from your card or letter
  • Write generically eg. "Dear Soldier"

We can do this my friends. It only takes a moment and will brighten the lives of others.

Peace....Naila Moon 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge-Day 5...Favorite Movie/Holiday Special

Today's challenge is by far the easiest. I love, love, LOVE this movie:

The other holiday special I always look forward to is this one:

Although, there are many more I love, it has become a tradition to watch these two on Christmas Eve or Day. (Mind you I am 40+ and my kids are in their 20-eeze.)


Peace...Naila Moon

Friday, November 26, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge-Day 4...Being Budget Friendly

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

1. I think one of the main things you have to do is watch what you spend and only spend cash that you have to spend. Seriously, if you cannot afford it normally, don't buy it!

2. Get one main item that your family member may want and get a couple more smaller items. What you get this year is more than likely not even going to be used or wanted next year. Think practical!

3. Do not use expensive, over-the-top wrapping paper. In fact, save the bags, bows and paper from this year (or last) and reuse them.  Paper can be shredded for stuffing in the bags. You can also use the bags or paper for tags.  If you really want to do something different, use newspaper and tie a colorful bow around it. Or better yet, if you have kids, have them paint over white or reused paper for a one of the kind gift wrap.

4. While you are at it, you can make your own gifts. One of the best gifts I ever received was homemade fudge from my Aunt and Uncle. They were having a lean year budget wise but took the time to make this for everyone in our large family. I loved it!

5. Here are some other idea I found around the net:
Budget Friendly Food 

Budget Friendly Gifts 

Budget Friendly Decor

Hope everyone has a lovely holiday season.
Peace...Naila Moon

Thursday, November 25, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge-Day 3...Meaningful Gift

Today's challenge is to tell of a gift that I received that was meaningful. There have been many gifts I have received over the years but none other than one that was given to my children and I collectively.

A few years back the kids and I were having an extremely hard year. We had lost our apartment and had to move back with my parents. We were stuck in their living room and slept on the floor. Although grateful for the roof over our heads it was not the best situation.

At this same time I was a volunteer youth minister at a local church. This is significant because what happened one evening ties in to this.

The kids and I had gone off somewhere for the evening. If nothing else I suppose, just to take a breather.  We arrived back at my parents house to my Mother greeting us at the door. She said she had a surprise for us.  

We walked in to a very dark house which was unusual considering it was Christmas and my parents decorate to the nines.  We rounded the corner and noticed many candles lit and right there in the middle of the living room was...beds! Yes, beds!

There was a huge full size bed for me and bunk beds for the kids. They were all made  with love linens as well.  The kids and I were so stunned that we cried. Tied to the beds was a simple note that said, "Love Your Assumption Core Team". 

It turned out the volunteer youth minister and the paid youth minister I worked with, called my Mom and told her what they were about to do.  As we always got a stipend from the church at Christmas, they pooled together and bought the beds for us for Christmas. In fact, a little bit more money was needed to buy them and they gave even more money than the stipends.

I was totally speechless and was never so grateful in all my life.  I called each and everyone of them personally and the kids made them notes to thank them.

It was one of the most meaningful and beautiful Christmases ever.

Peace...Naila Moon

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge-Day 2...Black Friday

Today's challenge is to blog about tips or tricks for black Friday shopping.

Well, first of all there are two kinds of shoppers...those that LOVE it and those that HATE it.

Those that HATE it usually will mention to those of us that like to go on black Friday that we are crazy. They say things like,"Why would you go out in those crowds? Why would you want to put up with all those nuts?" 
Or my personal favorite, "I hate crowds!"
My thought is do you ever go out then? But I digress.

As I am guessing you have already figured out, I am one of those nuts that like to get out on black Friday. I will admit though, I have not in the last two years because of transportation issues and not being with my family to do so.

Anyway tips...
1. For the love of God please wear good walking and standing shoes. You will be doing a lot of that!
2. Prepare ahead of time by looking at all the circulars. Decide which store you want to hit first and go there first. Then go in succession of which store you want to hit next.
3. Plan to leave your home approximately 2 hours ahead of time if you really want to get that bargain. Seriously! There will be a line a mile long waiting to one up you for the same thing. Once that hot item is gone, it is gone!  Does anyone remember the Cabbage Patch Doll craze?
4. Know your stores! Know where you are going once you are in the store.
5. Go with a group. Before you get to the store divide and conquer. Each person go in the direction of one item and get for all. Then head for the same register.
6. Do not forget to do lunch! You might want to bring a bottle of water with you.
7.  Do not kill someone because they just took that last hot item that your kid simply could not do with out or they would die this year. (whew!)
This is the holidays folks. Let's be good to our fellow human beings.
8.  And finally: All in all, be kind to others as well. Make sure to buy or give to those Salvation Army folks or some other charity. They do good work.

Peace...Naila Moon

Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge Day 1

Today begins the 12 Days of Christmas blog challenge and what better way to start off the challenge than with traditions.
Growing up we had many traditions.

Mom handing out presents in 2007
After we had just gone to midnight Mass, the brothers and I would always wake up at oh...around 5 AM and just clamoring to open presents.  Mom & Dad ALWAYS made us wait. This was so Mom could light all the candles all over the house. Later I found out it was also so Dad and Grandpa could finish putting together maybe. Anyway, my Grandparents were always there on Christmas morning.
Before we even opened gifts, my Mom would light the Christ candle on the advent wreath and read a reading from the advent book she had.
By 8AM we were off to my Grandparents to open presents there and have Christmas breakfast with the extended family.

Over the years, my brothers and I had kids and started our own traditions, although we still went to Mom & Dad's house.
In my own family, I kept some of the traditions. However, I was divorced so my kids went to their Dad's house Christmas eve and arrived at my house on Christmas morning.

My crazy kids at Christmas
As time continued to move forward, so did our traditions.  Grandpa was now gone and Grandma too old to hold Christmas at her house. We still celebrate with her as she now lives in a nursing home.

Some of the family with Grandma in 2009

One of my nieces looking in her stocking
Mom and Dad still have Christmas at their house complete with the stockings on the wall. However, we are not all there anymore because we are spread out across the country and world.

In 2008, I began yet another tradition. As I had not lived here in Colorado too long and could not get home, my daughter flew out to visit, my son could not come out.  We opened Christmas presents and that afternoon, Tamirisc and I got married!  That is right, we married Christmas day!

Us, Christmas Day 2008

In 2009 my entire family met once again for Christmas, as we flew home. They got to meet Tamirisc for the first time. 
One of the things my kids and I always have done is take a Christmas family photo. I can say, it is NOT traditional! ;)
Here' proof:


2009-the additions are Tamirisc on the left & daughter-in-law on the right
 Peace...Naila Moon

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meet Me Monday-November 22, 2010 & Thankfulness update

It is time for meet me Monday hosted by the lovely Java at Never Growing Old
To join, all you need to do is answer the following questions and link up.

1.  How many pillows do you sleep with?

I sleep on two and cuddle with a smaller one.

2.  Where will you eat on Thanksgiving?
Right here in our condo...just me and Tamirisc. sigh...

3.  Would you rather go to a party or host a party?

Although, having parties is a lot of work, I would love to host one. I have never really hosted a party (other than birthdays)

4.  How many purses (for the guys..wallets) do you own?

Believe it or not, I own no purses. I have many bags I carry stuff in but no purses.

5.  What is your favorite kind of seafood?

Hmm? I suppose I really like trout. However, no one could make it any better than my Grandpa! 


So, my updates on the Gratitude challenge:
Day 16 Thankful for education.
Day 17 Thankful for the sun and moon that light our way.
Day 18 Donated my thankfulness post to some prayer action for all those who are hurting. I especially wanted to pray for those all out in the cold.
Day 19 Thankful for a nice, warm bed.
Day 20 Thankful for those that created pain relievers.
Day 21 Thankful for the love of my husband.
Day 22 Thankful for my Grandma & Grandpa who brought my Mom in to the world 71 years ago.

Peace....Naila Moon


12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge begins tomorrow Nov 22nd

Well, another blog challenge is upon us/ This challenge is hosted by Aly & Molly.

If you want to join it starts tomorrow. Go to their site for more details but here is the challenges. (note there are 14 because they say they could not cut any...funny) Anyway, join me and others. Happy Blogging

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions
Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks
Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you've received
Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season
Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special
Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want? We all have family/friends reading our let them know!)
Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY  (If you don't make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)
Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays
Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe
Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles
Day 11: New Year Resolutions
Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)
Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe
Day 14: Oprah's Favorite Things: What item(s) would you want if you were in the audience?

Monday, November 15, 2010


I was reading a blog this evening about being thankful. You can go here to read about it---> Simple Gratitude
Being grateful for the people and things you have in life should be done everyday of the year, not just at Thanksgiving. However, this holiday helps us to be mindful of those things.
I liked that she listed just the simple things because sometimes I think we actually forget those things that are the littlest that bring us such joy.
Although I have not listed my daily thankful here in Bloggerville, I have on Facebook.  So, I thought I would share at least some of my list and keep up with the rest of the days here.
If you would like to keep up with my husband, Tamirisc list, go to this link (he does his a bit different):tamirisc thankful blogs

So here I go:
I am most thankful that my parents said "yes" to having me almost 43 years ago now.
I am thankful for my daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grand-baby.
I am thankful for the love I have from my hubby, Tamirisc.
I am  thankful for my nephew, nieces, uncles, aunts, & cousins.
I am thankful for all the veterans in my life.
I am thankful to the lady who found my cell phone the other day.
I am thankful for the loveliness I am privy to everyday.

Day 15-I am thankful for forgiveness!

Peace...Naila Moon