Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today is a Day to Celebrate!

Hey all today is a great day! It's my hubby's birthday. He's 41 today and I have to say he makes 41 look fantastic!

Birthdays are definitely something to celebrate. So today our family is celebrating BIG TIME! The kids are excited, they were up early with cards and gifts at the ready. The singing voices are tuned and tonight we will relax, enjoy and celebrate that their dad, my hubby was born.

The world is a better place, indeed, because Philip Sohn was born.

Just thought I'd share a piece of my day with you.


Monday, February 23, 2009

A Challenge for All!

Hey all I've issued a challenge to everyone this week (via my radio show) and would like to issue it here as well. The challenge is simple, it's a pay it forward kind of challenge and I really hope you will all join me. 

I heard a statement this weekend and it really resonated with me and I instantly knew I had to share it and encourage everyone to try. The statement is as follows:

'Live Passionately, Love Freely and Give Generously'.

Could you imagine what the world would look like if we all did just that? The cool thing about that statement is it's all about our ability. As I tell my children (and remind myself almost daily), the only person you can control is yourself. So, if you choose to control yourself and live in such a way I believe 100% that everything would look different and everyone around us would respond to us differently.

So friends, let's give it a go for 1 week and at the end of this week (Friday) email me, post a comment or call into our radio show ( and let me know how your world has changed and how you have positively impacted those around you. I know you will see a change.

I can't wait to hear all about it. Go for it and remember YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS BIG WORLD. Use your life, spend it well and live the strong, confident life you've been given.

Susan xo

Check out and read a great article about entertianing 25 Adults + Children!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hello everyone. I hope this week has been amazing for all of you. Some exciting news to share with everyone ~ some of you may already know and if you do I hope you're listening and enjoying. If you don't know, I hope you'll join me on this endeavor. 

I have started hosting my own online radio show and I would love you to join the conversation. You can listen LIVE or ON DEMAND. There are three ways to join the conversation. It's TALK radio so you call, there is a webchat going on during each show (you just need to sign in and it only takes seconds to do) or you can simply listen. Just treat it like you would your favorite radio station and simply log in to and enjoy!

The show is on weekdays (mon-fri) at 9:30am mountain standard time. Hope you'll join us

Now for today's post......

Our Home
Last week my family and I spent a few days with my parents in their new home. The kids had time off school, busy schedules were relaxed and the homework put on hold (whew)!

I found myself in their new home, surrounded by the sights and sounds of their small town (to learn more about their picturesque town visit different to what we were used to on the farm. As I sat taking everything in I was quickly taken back to days of old.

This past Christmas I had the joy of spending a few hours at our family farm with my father. Those few hours I will remember forever. I spent my time in the house, allowing every one of my senses to be ignited by days gone by. In those moments a poem was birthed.

I hope you enjoy my personal journey.

Our Home by Susan J Sohn

Ticking Clock.
Smiling faces on the wall.
'God Bless this home' calls out to all.
A gentle reminder of the place I cherish, 'God gave men
all earth to love, but since our hearts are small,
ordained for each, one spot should prove beloved over all'.
No dog, it's sound, awaiting me.
The familiar smell, still holds the scent of our family.
Creaking floor beneath my feet.
Kitchen table stands strong... the memories.
Mirrors that once held our reflection, void of our pictures.
No roaring fire. Fireplace stands still, bare and cold.
Places we left, that mark our memories still remain.
I stand before the door, prepared to say good bye.
My heart is full
Forever, this will be our home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hey everyone I hope this week has been amazing for all of you. 

Some exciting news to share with everyone ~ some of you may already be aware and may be listeners, if so, thank you.... For those unawares I have started hosting my own online radio show and I would love you to jump on, have a listen and call in and have a chat with me ~ it's blog talk radio so I want to hear from you. It's super simple and it's as easy as listening to you own familiar radio station.

So jump online and join me Monday thru Friday at 9:30am (mountain standard time) on I can't wait to hear from you.

Something I promised on the show and in yesterdays article were 'helpful tips to survive tough economic times'. I put the question out to a few trusted friends that I know will be navigating their way through these times well.  Below are some of their responses. I hope these suggestions help, if you have others to add please do so.


Jane says:
I'm really conscious of using what's in the fridge or the cupboard before going out and buying new stuff. I'm also signed up with my Franklins card and get $20 off each shop when I get a certain number of points, plus it's cheaper there anyway.
I'm comparing fruit and veggie markets, I still want organic where possible and good quality but I'm finding the places that do it for less. And as always I love my once a month trip to Aldi to see what's there, I always find something way cheaper. They do a great organic range!
I really need a new handbag but I'm waiting until the mid year sales bc I won't die without one, and I'm thinking about everything before I buy.
In it all though, I'm choosing to do all this cleverly and not stingy. I want to be a generous person and always have a bag of groceries or a gift ready to give away if needed.

Catherine says:
Well said Jane, "I'm choosing to do all this cleverly and not stingy."
I'm working on packing a lunch during workdays rather then going out.
I'm also trying out the "cheaper brands." I'm loving Costco (in North America) that carries "Kirkland," which is cheaper brand that does its research before putting out a product, so you know it's good quality and a little more inexpensive then your mainstream brands. As well, Superstore (in Canada) has the "No-Name" brand which is considerably more inexpensive as well.
My husband and I also recently decided to put ourselves on a budget for our date nights. Traditionally we generally don't put a price on our time together, but we're realizing how quickly our dates can add up.
Through it all I'm with Jane though in wanting to be a generous person.

Annie says:
I agree with all of you.It's all about getting a little creative isn't it?
I always ask myself-"what would my nanna have done?" She used bicarb and vinegar to clean. She grew her own vegies and she knew the difference between a need and a want!
In short the kinder we are to the environment the more cash in our piggy bank at the end of the month.

Eleanor says:
Coupons. Use them. Saves lots of cash on the simple things.

Joyce says:
I say hand me downs. I remember as a child receiving a box of clothes from my 'city cousin'. Oh, the joy.
These days clothes are thrown out or tossed in the 'good will' container which I wholeheartedly agree with. However consider passing them down to a sibling, so they are a year late. Seriously, who cares.
Just a thought from an old girl on the hill.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Tips to Survive a Troubled Economy

Hello everyone I hope today finds you all REALLY well. It's been a good day for me, rather busy after a weekend with family, however my day thus far has been very productive. I love productivity. 

Following today's show I would like encourage us all to share ideas that will help all of us navigate our way through this economic stretch. As I write this President Obama is, in fact, signing the document to boost the US economy (by the way if you would like to listen to the show ON DEMAND you can simply go to let's hope this injection will take us forward. I heard it said today that this could be the shaping of Obama's leadership. What he may be known for in the chronicles of time.

In light of all this I am asking for our establishing community to contribute to one another. What are you doing, what changes or adjustments (if any) have you made to walk through this time confidently?

I am excited to hear and look forward to sharing your comments on tomorrow's show. I always stand amazed at how there could be one thing that someone says or does that can help another. Let's hope that some of our ideas do exactly that ~ lend a hand in time of need.

What am I doing? I'm shopping smarter, I'm cooking and preparing with consideration and mapping out my week wisely. I'm also simply trying to 'use less'. We consume so much in every area of life so I am trying my best to simply cut down (or cut the fat as it's said) everyday.

I can't wait to hear from you.


PS - Our conversation on tomorrow's show will surround Nadya Suleman ~ Mother of the new Octuplets. Hope you'll join us and let us hear what you have to think.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hey there everyone, Valentine's Day is on the way!! the stores are covered in red hearts with messages of undying love all over them. Be Mine Valentine, Your's Forever, Love You...and the list goes on.

We live in a funny, funny world and the message of LOVE seems to have become confused. As individuals, we are falling into love, falling out of love, being hurt by love, being hurt by no love. It's complicated. Strange how a four letter word can evoke such emotion from people.

As I've been thinking about this and talking to family and friends about the meaning of love I thought I might open my morning show 'Coffee with Susan and Friends' with the conversation of LOVE. Join us for a great chat surrounding all the angles of LOVE.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, February 9, 2009

A Prayer for Children

Hey all, would love you to jump onto and have a read of my hubby's post today. 

His post is called 'A Prayer for Children'. It's amazing, confronting and challenging. Have a read, let it soak in and then move forward and make a difference in this big old world.

Also, remember to jump on if you missed today's show. You can listen LIVE or ON DEMAND so jump on and enjoy.

I better run now, I'm getting ready for dinner. We're having an early birthday dinner (for me) since we will be traveling on the actual day (the 11th hint, hint). Super excited to spend the night with my kids, laughing, cooking and celebrating for a great reason.

Love to all.

Susan xo

Friday, February 6, 2009

As Promised from Today's Show.....

Hey there thanks for visiting. If you listened to today's radio show ~ Thank You! If not, jump on and have a listen on demand Or, just click on the link on the left of the blog. 

Today's show was about the coming together as a family at dinner time. The importance of eating together, coming together and calming down as one. Hope you enjoyed or do enjoy the show.

I said I would re-post this article which I originally posted on I hope it touches you.


The Dining Table

Over the past few years my parents have been thinking about moving from their farm into town. The conversation has progressed substantially, they have bought the house in town and this transition is slowly becoming a reality. Like many of you reading, you have gone down this road and made this transition, so you know exactly where I/we are right now. In preparation for this move the time has come for us kids to start picking and choosing things from the farm that we want ~ not an easy task that’s for sure.

I have thought long and hard about what it is that I want, what piece of the farm can I take with me that will allow me to remain close and connected to a place that saw me grow from a four year old pig-tailed little girl into a thirty-something woman? There are many things I have decided I would like however there is one thing that has stuck in my mind and I have finally I decided to ask for it. What is it you ask? The kitchen table!

You may think the kitchen table a strange request, however you must understand that in our house, like many of yours I’m sure, the kitchen table is the centre of so much, it’s almost like the central nervous system of the home. So much has happened and still happens around that table, so many hours of conversation whether it is the early morning coffee with the neighbors, warm winter breakfasts, dad’s 12pm lunch or the countless dinners that have been shared or maybe it’s the late night heart to hearts. Whatever the case may be our kitchen table has and continues to host much laughter, some tears, always great food, many jokes and so much more.

Over the years I have learned that a kitchen table isn’t simply wood and varnish rather it is like a giant memory box. The kitchen table is the gathering spot where life is shared, where dreams are realized, where vision is cast and where laughter can be heard. Sadly I see many new homes being built with no kitchen and no space for a kitchen table, this is a trend in the big cities that I see has not yet hit smaller cities and towns and I hope it never does. This ‘new way’ of living is about eating out or individual eating in your bedroom in front of the computer or television. A travesty indeed.

There is something significant about kitchen/dining tables and as I look through history I see that through feasting and dining cultures come together. There is strength in breaking bread together as families and as communities. I think about Jesus and the last supper and the fact that it was shared at a table. I find it interesting that Jesus could have chosen anywhere for this significant act to occur yet he chose the table to share such an important moment. Through this one act I have to believe that there is a message to us all. Tables are sacred places. They are a place where we can come together to talk about the hard things, to relax and enjoy each other’s company, to communicate, to eat and to simply be together.

I would like to encourage you to use your dining table to it’s full potential. Through our work with thefamilyroom I have seen countless families come together, broken hearts mended and so much more simply through sitting at the table together, sharing a meal and getting back to what really matters. I find it interesting that we are designed to enjoy food more than once a day, we are designed to stop, sit and replenish so why not start making this a critical part of our family schedules.

If you haven’t enjoyed a meal together at the family table for awhile I would like to encourage you to dust off the table, let everyone know that dinner is on at 6pm, prepare a family favorite and watch everyone enjoy each others company. I know you will be amazed. If you find yourself alone and without family then I encourage you to extend yourself and invite someone to your table. If gathering at the table is something you do regularly then please keep it up and why not invite someone over and share the time together.

As many of you know I live away from family and have done so for many years now, this being the case, there is one thing I know for sure, if I call at dinner time I know I will always get an answer and if it’s a party or special occasion, and everyone’s home but me, as the phone is being passed around I know exactly where everyone will be sitting - being able to do this warms my soul and the simplicity of this allows me a feeling of everything being well with the world.

To conclude I am happy to report that my parents have said I can have the old kitchen table that still holds the chip that I etched out one warm summer day in 1978. I know that as the years continue and as life changes I will hear the voices of my family and friends simply by sitting at that table and allowing the richness and memories to flood my mind. Let me encourage you to use your tables and remember to always put an extra potato in the pot, rice in the cooker and leave room to squeeze one more in just in case someone turns up at dinner time.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A New Radio Show!!!!

Well friends I've done it. I've started a radio show!!!!!!

Can you believe it, me a microphone and talking. Those who know me (well) would most likely say that this combination equals that of a tea bag and water, gin with tonic or sand, water and sun! What ever the case may be I'm loving it! I've only hosted one show thus far however would love to have you check it out. To listen go to and search susan j sohn. Sorry, haven't figured out the 'proper' link yet so have to share this way.

Have a listen, share it with your friends and make sure you message me with show ideas, topics and things you would like covered or would like to hear, etc. Let your mind travel and send me your thoughts.

Must run now, hosting a show at 11:30am. Talking about Family and our recent Graham Girls weekend away.

Susan xo

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Everyone Has a Story

Hello friends. As promised, here is the story I mentioned on today’s radio show. It is a story that has made its way around the globe. Why? Because we all desire wholeness in our lives and I think all of us can see a piece of ourselves in these events. After sharing my experience I was asked to write my story out so it could be shared with friends and family. I hope it makes its way into the right places.

The story is simply about a day in my life. A day that I know will stay with me forever. Allow me to begin. I was at the supermarket doing my weekly shop. Normally I am a very interactive shopper. I like to know what’s going on around me and I truly enjoy the supermarket experience (yes … I go down every aisle ~ except the kitty litter and doggie treats ~ even if I don’t need what’s on offer there. I guess I just like to have a ‘look see’). This day was different for me. I was focused on the job at hand. Friends were coming over for dinner so I was shopping with my recipe book. I couldn’t miss a thing so my attention was on my shopping trolley rather than on my fellow shoppers.

At the checkout, I placed my groceries on the sliding countertop and watched the screen as the cashier scanned each item. I felt satisfied I had found almost everything I needed (except the madras curry paste ~ I was making an Indian feast that night). I stood patiently, waiting for my transaction to end, all the while smiling politely to the disabled man doing his best to pack my groceries. During this time, someone had joined my line. I turned to discover it was a homeless man in his late 30s or early 40s with matted hair, dirty clothes and a horrible stench. He placed his groceries on the sliding countertop. I can’t remember exactly what he was buying but I do recall it surprised me. I guesstimated his groceries would cost around $10.Standing there, I felt a voice within me say, "Pay for his groceries".
I know those of you reading this are familiar with that voice because we all hear it. Call it your conscience, call it the Universe ~ I call it God. I immediately began a debate in my head that went something like this: "What if he gets offended? What if he freaks out on me? How embarrassing, what if, what if." I argued with myself for so long that others had joined the line. Again I heard the voice say, "Will you not humble yourself to do something that will change a life? Have you not asked to be my hands and feet? Pay for his groceries."

Being stubborn, I attempted to ignore my instincts, but I was becoming visibly more uncomfortable ~ getting hot and shifting from side to side. The kind cashier finally finished and said, "Thank you Miss, you have saved $16.00 today." Those savings were thanks to my supermarket club card, but standing there it occurred to me that my savings were greater than the homeless man’s whole grocery bill. My heart sank. I had missed the moment. Offering to pay for his groceries now would be awkward as I couldn't add it onto my bill. I would have to stand and wait and there would be an uncomfortable silence ... the excuses stacked up and I convinced myself.

I wheeled my well-packed trolley to the exit and left with a horrible sense of sadness. The sadness of walking away from a missed opportunity. Suddenly, I heard a well-spoken man calling out after me. “Excuse me Miss, excuse me Miss”. I turned around expecting the friendly cashier but found the homeless man with the matted hair and dirty clothes. Handing me my supermarket club card, he explained I had dropped it and he wanted to make sure I got it back. You can imagine the looks from the other shoppers watching a homeless man chasing me down in the shop.

At that moment, I heard the voice again say, “Here’s another chance.” I ignored it and stood at the entrance saddened by my weakness. The well-spoken homeless man returned to the cashier to complete his transaction. I stood riveted to the spot ~ scared but desperate to BE in that moment. I hoped the man would take the same exit as me and silently prayed for a third chance to make a difference in one person’s life. I prayed that I would forget me and live beyond myself at that very moment.

Before I knew it, the homeless man was behind me ~ he had chosen the same exit! He said, “I hope you don’t mind that I chased after you with your card." I looked at him and said, "No. Thank you so much." I paused and then asked, “How is your day going?” He locked eyes with me and replied, “Not very good, it’s hard being homeless.”

The conversation continued as we walked to the car park. “You took a risk in there running after me to give my card back and now it’s my turn to take a risk with you,” I said. “When we were standing in line I believe God spoke to me and told me to pay for your groceries. I ignored him because I was scared.” His eyes remained locked on mine and he told me, “Everyday I ask God for direction, I wasn’t always homeless you know. I used to live in a nice area, I grew up there (a very good area, one that I hope to move into with my family soon) and I had a good job. Things just went wrong, but I know I won’t always be homeless.”

Then I said, “You’re in this patch right now but God wants you to know that this isn’t how your life will end, that there is more and this isn’t forever.” He replied, “It’s Angels like you that give me hope and today I needed hope, I just spent my last dollars on those groceries.” I asked him if I could give him some money and he replied, “If you would like to. I want you to know that I’m homeless but I don’t do drugs, a lot of homeless people do but I’m just not one of those.” I believed him about the drugs, but you know even if that isn’t the truth God is in control and He orchestrated the entire encounter.

I asked him his name and introduced myself to him. I told him I would pray for him, that I knew God was going to do something great in his life and that he needed to hold onto hope and have faith. He extended his hand to shake mine and in my head I was thinking, “Oh no, I don’t want to shake.” Again I heard the voice say, “Shake his hand well, place value on him.” I extended my hand and said, “God bless you.” He said the same and we parted ways.

I made my way to my car and instantly began praying for him. I almost buckled over in tears; I felt such a huge burden for him. I don’t know how his life will change but I know through God’s creativity this homeless man’s life can become what it was meant to be.

Today I walked away from an opportunity to make a difference but I believe I was given a second and a third chance and I chose to simply do what was right. I ended up giving him all that was in my wallet ~ not a lot to most of us but a fortune to him. Who knows what will happen in his life. All I know is that I’ve asked to be God’s hands and feet on this earth, and today I had the opportunity to speak into a hurting life. I realize now more than ever that on either side of our obedience there are people who will be affected forever.

My friends can attest to the fact that I always say EVERYONE HAS A STORY. I learned that from a great man ... my dad. I believe that as we walk through life it is our responsibility to pull back the layers of the story and discover the gold that is within each one of us. Try to look beyond what you see. There is a why behind every what.

Thank you for reading this simple story. I ask today that you say a prayer for this homeless man, my friend whose name is Sean.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Family ~ The True Story

I have just returned from a girls’ weekend away with the cousins from my father’s side of the family. We are known as ‘The Graham Girls’ and we represent the generations of Graham women who have gone before and those who are yet to come. We gathered in Winnipeg, travelling from all over Canada for two fun-filled days, sharing memories, hilarious stories, great food and wine and everything else in between.

When I first heard about the dreams and plans for this weekend, I was immediately in. Those who know me are aware I rarely miss an opportunity for fun.

As the weekend approached, anticipation and excitement grew. Some of these girls hadn’t met for 20 years or more. Thanks to the ‘elders’ of our family (Gwenny, Max, Auntie Jan and my dad), we’ve stayed up to date with each others’ lives. They have been strategic in keeping us informed and they’ve done it the old-fashioned way – by picking up the phone.

They called when someone did something extraordinary. When Lynne won another gold medal in rowing, when Debbie’s horse came first in a race, when Katherine spoke to multitudes, when Dale came back from China, when Dianne had a baby and graduated from nursing and when I came home from overseas. The news didn’t have to be momentous – they called when someone had the sniffles or aches and pains. They called with a birthday wish or just to say hello. Simply put, they kept the family connected the ‘old school’ way and it worked.

This weekend, we all recognised and celebrated the strength in our family. We could see, feel and touch the bond between each one of us. There was a comfortable knowing that we could all feel, there was a cord that bound us together. It was a cord of love.

Our family is like many others. Hearts have been torn apart by death, both childhood and adult loss, we have suffered greatly when cancer has ravaged our homes, we have been hurt by Alzheimer’s, mental disabilities and the pain of divorce. Our family has a story, there is history, there are skeletons, like all families.

The uniqueness I see in our family is that we’ve chosen to walk through these challenges together and come out the other side. Through the pain and the tears, we have found joy. We have clung to one another through the generations and we have chosen to see beyond the grey and sometimes even the dirty. We have chosen to love and celebrate, to nurture and encourage, to bridge the gap left by loss. We are family and family stays together.

I write today with a smile on my face as I think of the fun we have had this weekend. I recall the immediate sense of belonging as I walked through the door and saw faces I haven’t encountered for 20-plus years. Today, I have shared stories of the weekend with my children. I have reminded them that there is a company of people who, in some cases, they’ve never met but who will, on any given day, stand in their corner and support them through anything, simply because they are family.

I am proud to be both a Graham girl and a Garden girl. I am grateful that on both sides of my family there is depth and breadth. It inspires me to go forward with the dream of family that I treasure in my heart. I am convinced more than ever that one generation must deposit into the next, and I truly believe that if you strengthen a family, you strengthen a community, which in turn strengthens a province and impacts a country.

To the Graham girls who have gone ahead of me – I honour you. To the Graham girls of today – I am so thankful that I am on your team. And for the Graham girls of tomorrow – I pray that we will leave a strong and lasting legacy for you to carry into the future.

Susan xo

Monday, February 2, 2009


I'm back from my weekend with my cousins and I have to say, "it was an amazing weekend." In proper 'Susan Style' I have already begun my story about my rich weekend. I hope to finish it today and post it before bed.

I will say that I am again reminded of the strength of family. I have come away from the weekend determined to continue my work with thefamilyroom and every other pie my finger(s) are in. I am (again) convinced and reminded that family can and does work. There are roots that go deep and wealth and richness that goes beyond a bank account or material things that this age tells us are so necessary. 

So today I say thank you to my auntie Jan, my mother, Linda, Dale, Judi, Dianne, Laurel, Lynne, my sister Katherine, Debbie and Julia for giving me a weekend I will carry with me for a lifetime. Another memory and something to look forward to each year. Together we are 'The Graham Girls', and in the words of Sister Sledge 'WE ARE FAMILY'!

Stay tuned for my weekend reveal ~ I think everyone will find a piece of their family weaved throughout the story.

I sign off satisfied, very full and feeling blessed.

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