I’m on a Break!

I miss you and want to check in!

I’m on a break.

More succinctly, my blog is on a break. It is suggested I officially notify all my readers I have put my blog on the back burner – at least, for the spring/summer.

Thank you for asking about me, and Happy Fourth of July!

Life has a way of surprising us. Have you noticed? I did not think in a million years I would be BUSIER at this stage in our lives!

Funny, I am one of those people who scripts out my life… unintentionally. No, it has NEVER turned out like the script. Nonetheless, I have all these preconceived ideas of how my life should go. For example, my theme for decorating our house this upcoming Christmas, less than 24 weeks away, is already in the works. (Five Golden Rings!)

When our kids were young, I put my energy into accomplishing an all consuming amount of activities, work, goals – and, had extra ideas waiting on the horizon. I suspected, by the time our grandkids arrived on the scene, I’d have leisure time to read and write to my heart’s content.

HELLO! What happened?

I SAW The Groundhog in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania!

Since Groundhog Day – February 2nd – is my birthday, I have always wanted to visit Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, but never thought I’d have the opportunity.

Groundhog co-handler John Griffiths

My sister, Susan, offered to use her air miles and take me this February 2nd – announcing, we’d better do it before we get any older – not knowing if Gobblers Knob (the home of Groundhog Phil) is wheel chair accessible for out of shape senior citizens!

So off we went to Pennsylvania!

I thought I was excited…

I Was Born on Groundhog Day!

Just in case you recently moved to the United States, and are embarrassingly unaware, February 2nd is a HUGELY celebrated national holiday, and also just happens to be MY BIRTHDAY!GROUNDHOG DAY is just a couple days away! Are you excited? I surely am!!

THIS year, my sister Susan (who lives in Tacoma Washington) is taking me to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to welcome the Groundhog as it emerges from its burrow on my birthday morning! I consider this a trip of a lifetime!

How to Give Kids the Gift of Meaningful Christmas Memories!

I remember my dad cooking the turkey.

I remember my mom baking pies – evenings, after work – the week before Christmas.

I remember smells, excitement and the decorations. I remember taking homemade treats to a widow down the street. I remember hiding the gifts for my family under my bed. It was the most magical time of the year for me!

When I was growing up, my parents both worked fulltime right through the holidays. Of course, they would get Christmas off; but, we didn’t have the ‘traditional” festivities that included days of baking cookies or gingerbread houses. We did not lavishly decorate the inside and outside of the house, or have shopping sprees so many families love to incorporate this time of year.

What you DO speaks louder than what you SAY!

One of our granddaughters burst into our house this week, looked around at all my fabulous fall decorations, then nearly burst into tears, “Mimi, oh no! I can’t believe it’s not here! Why isn’t it here?”

I was truly in the dark, “What? What’s wrong?”

“The THANKSGIVING TREE, why isn’t it in your house?”

Relieved I hadn’t ruined her life permanently, I assured her, “Honey, the THANKSGIVING TREE doesn’t go up until after Halloween!”

She processed very slowly, then, “Ohhhhhhhh, I thought you forgot this year!” In relief, she collapsed on our sofa!


This world is full of adorable, talented, intelligent and expressive kids. I am a teacher; so, I have the privilege of working with dozens on a regular basis. I teach kids at conferences, drama camps, church and musical theatre.

It takes me about ten minutes, with a child, to know if he or she is from a healthy, loving family; or if, in fact, the child is the one in charge at home – running the family.

On day three of a drama camp, this past summer, a nine year old boy hadn’t been following my directions as to where he was to stand on the stage. I repeated my instructions a third time; because, I seriously thought he hadn’t heard me.
He finally spoke up, “I don’t want to stand there and why are you telling me what to do?”
I calmly smiled, “Because, I’m your teacher”.
He came back with, “You are not my teacher. This isn’t school.”
I continued with a much stronger answer, “I AM your teacher this week and from now on, when I give a direction, you will say, “Okay, Kathleen’- and, do it.”

He was so stunned at my response; he slowly obeyed and never talked back to me the rest of the week. In fact, he became my buddy. By the time opening night arrived, he asked for an extra hug before the show started.

When I met his parents, and saw his interaction with them, I knew the problem. He didn’t respect either one of them. He was ordering them around!

Are You a Morning Person?

I am a morning person.

I honestly love waking up before the sun rises. It feels like it adds hours to my day, and everything is new and fresh!

My daughter is not a morning person.

From the time my daughter was old enough to talk, she wasn’t excited about talking early in the morning. In fact, she wasn’t excited about anything in the morning. I started her on vitamins. I was convinced – by the time she entered kindergarten – I would have taught her to be a morning person.

Seriously, I tried every ploy, bribe and threat known to mankind to train this child to appreciate mornings at a young age. After all, her dad and I were morning people. Her two brothers were early risers. What was her problem?

I remember sneaking into her room to set her clock ahead 15 minutes, thinking this might motivate her to step it up. I planned special mornings to go out for breakfast, before school, just to get her excited. I soon discovered “excited” was not a word in her vocabulary before noon on any given day.

As a young child, she had no energy to move quickly in the morning. Figuring she must have been unusually tired, I scheduled a doctor’s visit. She was fine.

Our kids had an early bedtime curfew of 7 pm, during elementary years; so, she wasn’t lacking in sleep. In middle school, it was 8 pm. How could anyone have been tired after 14 hours of sleep at night?

In the mornings, I would turn on all the house lights and play fun music on the radio before her school wake up call. Yet, I would be met with a glassy stare and few words as she methodically got dressed for school.

There was no breakfast conversation at all.

Getting her lunch made and her to the car, without tears being shed, was a huge undertaking. I never quite had a perfect record; but, I kept trying.

By the way, all my added stimulation in the house had my boys wound up like tops! And, they didn’t need extra motivation!

I will admit, Nancy was as close to perfect as a child could get. She was loving, obedient and careful not to be disrespectful. However, as the sun rose every day, she answered all my questions in two words or less, just to get by. She planned her school wardrobe and always finished her homework the night before. So, her mornings were as stress free as possible.

Maybe, the problem was the school? Should we change schools? No. Saturdays were the same.

Unfortunately, for years I took it personally. I must not have been a fun mom. How is this possible? Of course I am a fun mom.

She was a wonderful student. Her teachers loved having her in their classes. She had a hundred friends and, once she came home from school, she was a happy child!

Her high school years were less traumatic for me; because, I had resigned myself to accepting the truth. She would never be happy about mornings. There would never be any cozy mother/daughter early morning chats over a hot beverage. She was a night person. Her bedroom light was still on as my husband and I retired each night.

She always found jobs that didn’t require early morning clock-ins. I don’t think she had many early morning classes in college either.

It took years for me to accept Nancy would never like mornings.

Her fate was sealed when she married a man who was not a morning person either.

I am now convinced this morning person or not a morning person is an inborn trait, much like the human temperament.

I am also confident it can cross temperament lines, with no specific temperament owning this trait of morning person or not.

Upbringing will not change it.

I doubt one can grow out of it.

Therapy would be a waste of money.

Today, our daughter is still pretty perfect. She is a wife and mom of three girls, and still is NOT a morning person.

I have smiled a lot since her kids were born. Her firstborn is not a morning person either. My, oh my, it is now so funny watching her experience the exact things I lived through with her!

Nancy came over the other morning- on her way to take her daughter to a 0 period class. It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. The pain on my daughter’s face prevented me from brutalizing her anymore than she was already obviously suffering with it being so early.

Ah, the circle of life.

I am blessed to live close enough to our kids and grandkids that I can have a mother/daughter coffee in the afternoon now.



Can You Pin-Point Your Passion in Life?

What is your true PASSION in life? I have heard it said, if you spend your life doing what you are PASSIONATE about- you’ll never have to work one day!

Most of my life has been spent working with kids. Kids theatre, kids ministry and teaching church school. I love working with kids. I figured working with kids was my passion.

However, I have a dark secret. A secret I have struggled with for decades and finally I need to come clean.

Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with ‘Vacation Bible School’. I dread it every summer. Summertime Vacation Bible Schools’ are intentionally geared to engaging kids for a fun week, with a goal of reaching young hearts for Jesus.

So what has been my struggle with VBS these past decades?


Disclaimer: People with YELLOW Temperaments love people and get new best friends easily.  So, a note to my true best friends: this too will pass.

My new best friend owns the local cleaners. Changing her name to protect the innocent, I will call her Lois.

Lois sees me once a month when I deliver or pick up our cleaning. Sometimes, we only have one or two items in our order. It is not like we are high paying patrons who keep her in business; but, she makes me feel like I am her favorite person in the world.

Last month, I had barely walked through the door when she saw me from the back of her business and hollered, “Mrs. Chapman your hair is so beautiful today!”

She always has something nice to say about what I’m wearing, from my shoes to my earrings.

“Mrs. Chapman, how are you today?”

I tell her, “Please, call me Kathleen.”

Yet, I remain, “Mrs. Chapman.”

“Mrs. Chapman, isn’t it a lovely day today?” “Mrs. Chapman, the breeze is so wonderful in this town.” Mrs. Chapman, you always look so bright and cheerful!”

A few months ago, she saw me at another place of business in town and came up behind me, “Mrs. Chapman, my day is brighter now that I’ve seen you today!”

Okay, admittedly, I may be a bit shallow, loving the positive comments and compliments.  However, you can’t argue with the fact that this woman has power in her attitude and words!

Do You Understand People?

The greatest thing in learning the four human Temperaments is it helps you understand the people around you!


I have a husband, kids, grandkids, co-workers, friends, and an assortment of people who come in and out of my life on a weekly basis. Each one has the potential to take me down with an unexpected curve ball.

One friend called, in extreme panic some months ago, because her car wouldn’t start. She had work that needed to be picked up right away, and asked if I could pick up her papers from the printers immediately? Sure! However, she is delightfully YELLOW (like me). So, I felt the freedom to ask if she was “certain the papers would be ready to be picked up if I left right away?”

I would NEVER have asked a BLUE the same question; because, a BLUE would never have set the process in motion if the papers had not definitely been ready. A RED would not have panicked, but rather, methodically, arranged pick up from someone reliable. A GREEN would not have reacted so unnerved, and probably would have let it go until later, whenever, oh well. It will get done eventually.