Summit’s System for Success – Wise Words Wednesday

Summit’s System for Success – Wise Words Wednesday

Summits Success System

Pat Summit changed lives. Her headstrong, no non-sense way of facing life on and off the basketball court impacted more people than she could ever imagine.

Aside from being the winningest coach in NCAA Division I basketball history, Coach Summit brought attention to a sport that had long been overlooked and demonstrated what it was to be a strong female leader.

People respected Pat Summit and her methods. She brought about progress. That progress will continue beyond her time with us because of the lessons she taught. There was so much more to her than the competitiveness and dedication that she demonstrated. There was an understanding that anything worth doing is worth working for.

Take Pat’s advice today and make your goals something measurable. They can only become tangible, if we dedicate ourselves to the successes and failures we encounter. Work past simply writing them down. Make your words your actions. Make things happen.

Rest in peace, Coach Summit. Thank you for all you taught us.

By: Melanie A. Peters


Don’t Go Anywhere

Don’t Go Anywhere

Don't go anywhere.JPG

My kids really like stay-at-home days. I LOVE stay-at-home days! It is so nice to be able to enjoy the comfort of our home and not rush to go anywhere.

There is something so healthy about lazy days. Relaxing on your couch or porch. Eating straight out of the pantry. Being surrounded by the familiar sounds of the air conditioner running or the creaks of floor boards or the hum of the fridge running stimulates your inner peace. When you can be completely at ease, your body can rebuild and replenish itself from the grind of constantly being on the run.

It isn’t always easy to find a full day to stay in, but find a morning or an afternoon where you can just be at home. Make time to soak up the simplicity of just being in your space and be grateful for all you have. Keep your car in park and station yourself in a seat or space that allows complete stillness.

The benefits of making quiet time resound in all you do. Allowing your mind and body some down time will make your busy time much more effective.

Not a quiet time kind of person? Play a board game with your family or work in your flower beds. Organize some drawers or rearrange your furniture. Freshen up your space with creativity or movement. You might find a new layout for your living room or a simpler way to sort your socks. All of these are ways to make your life better.

Keep your energy at home and your intents on gratitude and relaxation. Positive things will come from keeping yourself in park and will make revving up your engine a little easier next time.

By: Melanie A. Peters




Soup in Summertime

Soup in Summertime

Summertime soup.JPG

I don’t make soup very often in the summer. I don’t know why.

Yes, it is hot outside, but thanks to the miracle of air conditioning, it is plenty cool inside.

Summer is when the perfect ingredients are fresh from the garden and it is so easy to have a bowl of soup with a salad and be on our way.

We eat meals every day at home. I believe firmly in cooking and eating together, so soup is perfect. My kiddos can help prepare and add the ingredients and then we can enjoy the fruits of our labor together. Plus left overs can be a life saver on a busy day, and soup is often better the second time around.

The message of today’s post is this: Take time to consider options that are available to you which you wouldn’t normally take advantage. If there is a free service or program, check it out. Enjoy the things your community has to offer like park programs, nature talks, free concerts, art shows, car shows, or patronize a farmers’ market.

If fresh fruits and veggies make themselves available to you, be grateful for the source and share in the wealth. My father-in-law brought us a bucket of zucchini and potatoes from his garden. I prepped and froze some zucchini for us, grilled some, and shared the rest with our neighbors. Continue reading “Soup in Summertime”

I Made It Myself!

I Made It Myself!

I made it myself watercolor

Recently my amazing friend Sonya hosted a painting party for a group of our friends from school. She created a simple, landscape watercolor scene and then guided us through the steps of painting our own landscape.

Because the painting was a watercolor the lines were not finite and bled into one another. For some of us the lack of clear delineation between background and foreground and water and land was disturbing. Sonya assured us that the watercolor was really a “loose landscape,” to which we came up with some interesting interpretations.

It was a very cool experience.

We ate and drank and talked and painted. We took photos and shared our thoughts on the process. We celebrated the differences in each artist’s work and surprisingly the emotions we each felt were as diverse as the results of our work.

Some found the experience to be fun and relaxing, while others found it nerve-racking and stressful, they were just there for conversation and painted to be a part of the experience. I am pretty sure a few came just to see if they could test Sonya’s patience. ( Seriously, who puts orange in a cool toned sky line?) 😉 In the end we were all excited to be finished with our paintings because it meant, while we worked together, Continue reading “I Made It Myself!”

Pretty Ugly Words – Wise Words Wendesday

Pretty Ugly Words – Wise Words Wednesday

Pretty Ugly Words

“Hey, those ugly words don’t match that pretty face,” I said to my daughter after she spoke meanly to her brother.

Her unkind treatment of her brother led me to be less than kind to her. Was this the parenting solution for a future Mom of the Year?

Probably not.

I stopped myself before adding another harsh comment and hugged both my kiddos and told them I loved them and it hurt me to see them being mean to one another. But do I do this every time they fight? No. I am human.

Too often I find myself thinking hurtful or vengeful thoughts when someone acts in a way that I don’t appreciate. This is not the answer. If I want my heart and face to be that of someone who is “pretty,” I need to work on a kinder thought process.

I think a lot of us could use a reminder of what it is to be “pretty.” Pretty kind. Pretty generous. Pretty compassionate. Pretty flexible. Pretty patient. Pretty reliable. Pretty fair.

Give your intent a pretty purpose and the energy you generate will be a beautiful thing.

By: Melanie A. Peters

Overalls and a Pocket Watch

Overalls and a Pocket Watch


Grandpa Frank

Grandpa Frank in his overalls

I guess Father’s Day and this time of year make my memories of my grandpa’s overalls and pocket watch much more vivid.

My husband, father, and father-in-law do a terrific job of showing my children and myself what it is to be a father and a real man, but my Grandpa Frank had a very special way of filling both those jobs.

My Grandpa always wore overalls and a white t-shirt. It was his daily uniform, unless it was church or a special occasion. If it were a special occasion, you could count on him to be in a dress shirt, slacks, and a tie, and he always wore aftershave. Once is a great while, I will pass someone and smell that same aftershave. My heart does a little dance with the happy memory of him.

Grandpa was a farmer.

He was a successful farmer. He knew his land and his animals and he did his best to care for them. We all fought for turns to ride with Grandpa in the tractor or the dump truck. He always let us sneak sips of water from his watercooler. He filled it every morning with ice and water from the fridge so by midday it was the perfect temperature.

Grandpa used to joke that he, “worked harder farming after he retired than he ever did before he retired.” It took me a while to understand that the toll of farming was greater on him as he grew older and the farming  operation got larger.

Grandpa was a provider.

A huge garden was put out and tended by my grandpa each spring. We all helped with the harvesting and putting up the vegetables. We could count on having corn, green beans, beets, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes through the fall and winter. He dutifully raised chickens, year after year, so that Grandma had eggs for baking cakes and we all had eggs for ourselves. Every winter, as a family, we would butcher hogs and beef together. Those hogs and steers were raised by my uncles and grandpa so that our family would never go without. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing with my cousins during butchering week at Grandma’s and finally being “big enough” to help with tenderizing or cutting up the meat (not just putting on the labels).

Grandpa was a believer.

He believed that God would get us through the tough times. He believed that every year, no matter how wet or how dry, that God would help him make a living off the land.

He believed in love. In my lifetime I have seen few couples who are as dedicated to one another as my grandparents were to each other. Grandpa almost lost Grandma in 1980. They were in a terrible car accident. My grandma was in the hospital for a year and since has spent most of her life walking with a walker or in a wheelchair. Grandpa believed that he had been blessed with love and the ability to care for her and their five children. He did so without complaint or questioning God’s plan.

He believed in the weather man. I know this because I rarely heard him cuss, except about the weather man and missed predictions or forecasts of rain or heat (depending on what Grandpa needed for the week).

He believed in putting all his food together on his plate. Grandpa would pile all of his vegetables, meat, and gravy or whatever he had in one pile and eat it all together. “It all goes to the same place,” he would say and laugh.

He believed in Massey Ferguson tractors. The first time he met my husband, Grandpa shook Greg’s hand and pulled a Massey Ferguson ink pen out of his breast pocket and said, “Do you have one of these?” Greg replied, “No, sir, I don’t.” Grandpa put the pen in his pocket and turned back around in his seat. It was pretty funny for me, not so much for Greg.

He believed we could all pull our weight. A good portion of the time spent at my grandparents’ house was dedicated to doing chores. Taking out trash, sweeping the floor, folding towels, carrying things upstairs or downstairs, gathering the eggs, helping with the garden, or picking up sticks in the yard were just a few of jobs we grandkids were asked to do. The one job that I always found interesting was the dishes. Grandpa would do the dishes for Grandma. He said he didn’t mind doing them. He would tell Grandma to leave them, he would get to them, and he always did. As a girl I didn’t know many men who did dishes. It was proof to me of how much he loved my grandma and that he knew everyone had to do their part.

He believed in his grandchildren. He and Grandma attended every event they could for the 10 of us grandchildren. Attending ball games, concerts, plays, awards ceremonies, masses, and graduations was their way of showing they believed in us. When I decided to go back to college for my teaching degree, Grandpa said, “That’s good. We always need teachers. You will always have a good job.” When I graduated, he and Grandma gave me an engraved bell. It said, “We are proud of you! Love, Grandma and Grandpa”. He told me I wouldn’t need to ring it because I was going to be a good teacher. Continue reading “Overalls and a Pocket Watch”

Throwing Rocks at the Sky – at least you’re throwin’

Throwing Rocks at the Sky – at least you’re throwin’

During his Sunday homily, our priest told a story about a young man from Montana who would throw rocks at the sky when he was angry at God.

“It might have seemed pointless or foolish,” said Father Louis, “but at least he was keeping the lines of communication open with his heavenly father.”

There is a lot to be said for throwing rocks at the sky. As Father explained, at least the young man knew God loved him enough to take the complaints with the thanksgivings and friendly words.

We should keep this idea in mind when we are struggling in our relationships with anyone, God, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, spouses, children, anyone. We need to find ways to communicate our feelings to the best of our abilities.

Don’t throw rocks. (Remember the parable about throwing the first stone.)

We need to find body language and words to accurately demonstrate that we know and value the person enough to bring our problems or concerns to them. Even when we don’t necessarily think it will do a lot of good (like trying to land a rock in the sky), resolution or healing can come from talking out your troubles. At least you’re throwin’.

When it comes to your faith, knowing that you can talk to God, no matter what, keeps you close to Him. That closeness ensures the security you feel in your faith and God’s readiness to accept all you have to say. (Try to throw a few thank yous and praises in there with the rocky times.) At least you’re throwin’.

If your energy goes into throwing a few words of kindness, concern, frustration, or need towards those you care about, your intent will resound with greater positivity and result in communications that can reach past your horizons.

By: Melanie A. Peters


Home Plate is always 17 inches wide – Giving Credit to the Source

Home Plate is always 17 inches wide – Giving Credit to the Source

17 inches of home plate


I can’t take credit for the inspiration or the original information of this post. I stated this the first time I shared the story and gave credit to the person whom I got the the story from on Facebook. Ryan Brust commented three days ago that Chris Sperry was the original author. We have had internet problems this week so it took me a few days to properly attribute the story to its rightful source.

It was written by  Chris Sperry .

The message of the article is AMAZING!

Chris Sperry, thank you for sharing your experience! Please be sure to check out Chris Sperry’s site

Accurate and rightful attribution to this article goes to Chris Sperry and his company Baseball/Life LLC.

The article was shared with me via my Facebook feed but thought it was perfect for my pre-season baseball theme this week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

As a parent and ardent sports fan, the message of John Scolinos is something I needed to hear and share.

Worth the read… For everyone especially parents and coaches
In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there.

He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down.

Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.

“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”

Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.

“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”


“Coaches …”


” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.

“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

Read the rest of the story at

Shared By: Melanie A. Peters


Dog Days

Dog Days

Dog Days Bandit.jpg


On the hottest day of the year (so far), we brought home a puppy. We have wanted a puppy for a very, very long time but my husband and I told our kiddos that they had to show us they could be responsible enough and get along with each other enough to get a dog. I guess they have shown us (or I just really wanted a puppy and my husband finally gave in.)

Well, he is here! His name is Bandit and we LOVE him!

Due to the hot weather, Bandit has been pretty lethargic during the day. My children seem to be oblivious to the sweltering heat and want to play. I keep trying to explain to them that he is too hot and just needs to keep cool in the shade.

As the sun has gone down each evening, the puppy has grown increasingly playful and the kids are really enjoying their new friend.

Today I woke all three kiddos up extra early, so they could get some good play time in with Bandit before it got too hot.  The puppy was glad to have a distraction. (He is still missing his mama a little bit.) My kids were able to employ all the new toys they have bought for their furry friend. It was a wonderful way to start our day!

It was tough to get them going before 6:30 a.m. but definitely worth the extra effort.

There is a terrific lesson in consideration behind this story. We all need to have compassion and understanding when someone is feeling the “heat” of life.

When you encounter someone who is moving slow, is in your way, or distracted, consider what might be going on in their life that you can’t feel (like my children and their disregard for 99 degree temperatures). You may be able to provide that person with relief from their suffering or ease their discomfort with your kindness.

It might take a little extra effort but may make an even greater difference for those you encounter.

Take time before lashing out at those who are not doing things the way you want them done. Be patient with those who aren’t moving at the same speed you are. Be ready with a kind word or action for those you encounter who aren’t up for revelry and celebration. Offer a “cool” alternative for those who are not up to taking part in games or running with the pack.

If your intents are supported by compassion and consideration, your energy will provide a positively pleasing reassurance for those who are feeling “heat” from their life experiences. Be the cool kid! Show understanding and acceptance.

By: Melanie A. Peters




The Trouble with Goggles

The Trouble with Goggles

Goggle Trouble

The trouble with goggles is they are a pain.

As a mom I spend most of my time poolside fixing, adjusting, or finding the protective eyewear of my children. Goggles are a pain.

We wear goggles to protect our eyes underwater and to see clearly all the awesomeness that lies beneath the waves. But goggles are a pain.

Goggles leave imprints on our faces and red marks that take time to fade. Goggles are a pain.

Here come’s my metaphor. Like goggles, there are many protective efforts that we can take that are a pain. We should wear sunscreen and eat healthy foods. We should avoid alcohol, tobacco, sugar, fat, aerosol sprays, too much sun, too little fresh air, and overexposure to the internet (please keep reading my post :)). We need to educate ourselves on the programs that run our society and have awareness about those running for office. They might be our leaders someday. We have to talk to our kids and family members about the dangers of the world. All of these things can be a pain.

Here are the lessons goggles teach us about protecting ourselves from the dangers of the world:

png 1 Finding solutions (like goggles) can be a pain and hard to find the right fit for the situation. If we try to figure out the best fit, our experience will be so much better.

png 1 When we find the right solution, we are able to see clearly all the awesomeness that lay beneath the waves of turmoil and frustration.

png 1 No two pair of goggles fit the same, so there probably isn’t a solution that will fix all of our problems and we need to be accepting of the differences in each goggle wearer.

png 1 Sometimes the ugliness that we find with our solutions (a.k.a. goggles) has to be faced and addressed. This is a pain but we need to do it.

png 1 The efforts we experience to find the right solution can leave their mark on us. The physical and emotional scars brought on by fighting the good fight make us who we are. They are not always permanently visible, but we always harbor them in our memories, and hope they will fade (like goggle marks) as we grow in this big beach party we call life.

Take time to find your googles today. Find a way to see things clearly where you were troubled before. Make an effort to right a wrong or adjust an uncomfortable situation. Put energy into finding a way to get past the waves, and your intent will definitely be clear and positive.

By: Melanie A. Peters