26
Jul
15

Love Notes from Mercie

mercies notes 1This summer we have been redecorating and switching rooms upstairs. This endeavor has led the kids to go through and clean out, throw out, organize all their possessions. I sat with them most of the time while they purged and prepared to move rooms. In doing so I came across quite a few gems from Mercies notebook.

The pictures and writings say it all and say everything my heart wants for my kids. Love for Jesus, others and confidence and security in who they are.

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mercies notes

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04
Jun
15

In a blink of an eye

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Being the oldest it is no surprise to learn Taylor takes charge, likes to lead, thinks she is a second mama sometimes and is very responsible. Those characteristics have always made be remind myself that she is still young, especially now that she towers over me barefooted. Of course, she doesn’t like to think so. But what teenager enjoys being told they are too young?

Have you ever been somewhere and seen a girl that you just assumed she was 16 years old or older than that but then learn she is only 13 or 14? I don’t know about you but I have and then my jaw hits the floor and I think wow, she does not look that young. But, here lately I have to remind myself that Taylor is not even 14 yet.

Shopping with her is a chore, not because it is unpleasant but because it requires a lot of shopping. With her height and shoe size it is not easy to find 10 ½ sized shoes that are not high heels. Swimsuits are not made for the tall, thin framed, young girl that as a mom I would call appropriate. We spend time going from store to store or settling for what works. She is a good sport and understands things so it’s not a fight to have her agree with what we find that is appropriate vs. her preference. I am just not wanting to nor am I ready to have her look older than she is, however, this past week that slapped me in the face.

She starts high school in the fall. Her entire 8th grade class had a semi-formal dance last week. As I took pictures of her my heart stopped, I felt I couldn’t breathe. What I saw when I looked through the camera lens was a grown, gorgeous, young lady and I wasn’t sure where she came from. I mean it felt like in a blink of an eye she went form little girl to young lady. I don’t feel a day older than the day I gave birth to her so how can this be? Where have almost 14 years gone? If I don’t feel older, or drained from parenthood, how can she be so tall, beautiful, smart and ready to take on whatever comes her way?

Saying we are blessed to have her feels like an understatement. I love being her mama, I love watching her grow and become who God created, I cannot wait to see all the other changes and areas she will blossom in BUT, I want it to stop or at least slow down. The carousel of life seems to be spinning faster and faster.

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02
Jun
15

Game Night

IMG_6806When we are not having a Friday movie night with dinner we pull out the games. A few weeks ago we taught all the kids how to play Farkle. As I sat there looking on my wonderful family while we played I couldn’t help but chuckle about how the are between turns. So I had to capture the moments. One day I might need the evidence for a future spouse to help him or her understand that despite appearance of not having dedicated focus they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than playing a fun game with those they love.

 

 

 

Jason and Taylor are doing math, I think. It could have been science. I probably don’t remember exactly because it involved letters and numbers and things I never found interesting or did well.

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Hannah always has a writing utensil and paper nearby. So she was busy making art. Mercie, who adores her older sisters, followed Hannah’s lead.

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Poor Joshua was very focused on the game. He had yet to get on the scoreboard and was sulking a bit. But each turn he was determined to score high. He eventually did and all was right with the world.

I love how each are different. It was amusing because growing up I do not remember us multi-tasking while playing a game. But then again I am competitive so I was unable to truly let my focus go elsewhere.

07
Apr
15

Can someone just stand up?

kindCan’t someone just be a bit braver than the rest and show how strong they are because they are kind?

I am learning that teaching my children how to do life is the easy part. The hard part is letting go, allowing them to do life, learn the lessons, experience the pain, hardships and the joys and excitement, (although the joy and excitement part really isn’t that hard).

I feel confident with the conversations, examples and advice we have talked with our children about. I am glad Jason and I can be open, honest and real with them. I believe we have a healthy and open line of communication with our children that we all respect.

However, there is no amount of advice I can give, hugs I can wrap them in, or hours of conversation and hanging out with them that will make some situations they deal with better, or go away. As a mom, I want to make it better but also, as a mom I have to equip them with how to make it better and let them learn and have the experience so when they are on their own they are confident in the abilities to deal with any situation.

But for crying out loud can someone just offer a hand or stand up and say “the rest of you are acting like stupid, selfish, self-centered, hateful people and I won’t stand for it any longer; don’t you see not making a stand, not calling it out, not showing the right kind of care is no better than those being hurtful? At least they have the guts to be ugly and rude for the world to see. The rest of y’all are cowards.”

One of my beauties is going through friendships changing and it has not been a walk in the park. There have been really bad days and there have been good days and peace with some things. But it hurts to hear that when she walked away because the silence and rudeness given to her was deafening no one cared she walked away. If some cared why did they never seek her out, ask if everything was ok, offer to sit with her, send her a note?

Letting the situation be what it is, is not easy. I want to march up in there and call some of them out because I know they know better and I know they know their actions would not sit well with their parents. But trying to resurrect a dead horse never goes well and I have to let my children learn that letting go is ok, moving on can be good and is better than staying where you are not made to feel wanted.

Some ask why I don’t do more. If we have thought about homeschooling or a different school etc…etc… sure those thoughts may cross our mind but we do not feel the situation calls for such action. Feelings are being hurt because people change or find new friends. Swooping in to change scenery, or prevent them from learning how to let go, move on, make new friends won’t serve them later in life. Trust me if there was anything going on that we thought was a dangerous situation our actions would be different. But for now, daily conversations on what happens during the day, how they feel, what they think about the situation, what more could they do and so on is our chosen course of action. We won’t raise them in a bubble (no matter how much I want to some days) our job is to provide the tools and self-confidence that they need to learn to manage the many different things they may encounter. They have to leave home one day, I want to know they are ready, but to know that I have to see it in action while they are still in our care and protection. No one will fight harder and throw the gauntlet down faster and swoop in to take them away if things come to that more than I would. It is hard for me now because I want to do that today, I wanted to that yesterday, but what does that teach my kids? It says mom will come running when life gets uncomfortable and make it better and I won’t have to deal with things I don’t like.  That lesson will only impair them as adults.

24
Mar
15

For the love of cake!

I love to celebrate all things. I especially love birthdays. They are fun and I get to shower all kinds of love on my family and friends. And the best part is CAKE, unless I am throwing a surprise party!!!

cake and coffeeIn our house, on birthdays, cake is what’s for breakfast. Jason pointed out to me on Saturday, Joshua’s 9th birthday, while I was eating my breakfast cake and after I cut all 4 kids cake for breakfast, that it use to only be that the birthday person gets cake but now it seems cake is for everyone. I am not exactly what all I said to him but I am sure it was close to “birthdays happen once a year and shut up, I need cake and coffee” or “ I don’t  work out 6 days a week to not get cake when I want it and not feel guilty.” Just didn’t get all that negative energy from him ;)

In reality birthdays happen in our house 6 times a year and that is only if I am not hosting a loved one’s party because I will make cake for that too.

This year Joshua wanted white cupcakes but he knows his friends like chocolate so he asked me to make both. I, of course and without hesitation, said yes. I mean when the birthday boy is thinking of others one has to do what he asks. Rain cancelled our birthday weekend plans to go camping so we had a couple of families over for birthday dinner and sleep over to celebrate Joshua turning 9. Some are allergic to things I am not allergic to so I, of course and without hesitation, had to make safe cupcakes for them as well. So at the end of it all we have 36 cupcakes and one 2 layer cake and only 14 people (the 6 of us included in that number) for birthday dinner, which means lots and lots of cake leftover.

I can bake pies, pop-tarts, make all kinds of ice cream, cookies, breads, brownies and not touch them. But my goodness if there is cake around I want to eat it all the time. I have so much cake in my house I love it. I just don’t love that I can’t eat it guilt free or not feel I have to do a second workout each time I eat cake. Despite me using healthier ingredients I still wish I could eat cake and be as carefree and have the high metabolism my kids do. Oh well, we have a little over 2 months till the next birthday.(Unless I make a cake for Easter) It’s not like I am eating cake every day.

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02
Mar
15

You are not their friend you are their parent, so act like one!

a12ea2bd416889abfb007d3cfc7d5ab5If you become their friend along the way that is a great reward but you should not start out as their friend. They need you to be a parent more than they need you to be a friend.

Due to your lack of parenting, involvement with your child, assuming the school or church will teach your child how to be a decent person who cares, respects and is kind to all persons I am forced to fight battles with and for me kids that should not be happening and are not pleasant. The battles cause us to suffer through emotional pain together. Despite what I’ve taught my kids about love, kindness, compassion, courage and being who God made them to be, despite all my encouragement, how much I embrace my kids and teach them the things you choose not to we all suffer. You suffer and your child suffers you just may not realize it yet.

My child’s world falls apart and their inner being is hurt and chipped away at because you, as a parent don’t seem to know or care what type of person your child really is and what they really do. When is the last time you watched them interact with their friends and they didn’t know you were watching or listening? When did you last check their text messages, Instagram posts, Facebook page, etc…etc…etc..?

How often do you sit down for a family meal and discuss what they think, feel, what happened at school, how their friends are and know them all by name and what they might be going through? How often are they home for you to interact with or do you have them so busy with activities there is not time for family connections, fun and mentoring? Or maybe it’s not activities but its friends, do they spend more time with their friends or locked up in their rooms alone that you really don’t know what is going on in their life?

The phone is not a babysitter. It is not a safety net. It does not replace you. It does not mean they will be free from harm because you drop them off at the mall, Starbucks, someone’s home, the park, etc…but you act like that. The computer and TV are not their babysitter either. Have you placed filters on them? Probably not because there are not filters on the phone you gave them. They are exposing my kids to content suited for grown adults and then they ridicule them for not being knowledgeable about it.

You don’t’ get a hall pass or an easy way out because they are in middle or high school and have a phone and can drive. You still should be setting limits on what they see and hear and what they do. THEY ARE NOT GROWN! They cannot make a smart, educated, rational decision and fully understand the consequences it will have on them or others. Their brain is not fully formed, it is still growing and it will not be done growing until they are 25, yes TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD!

Why do you let them watch whatever they choose? Why do you trust the ratings given to movies and TV shows? It’s only a guideline. It does not mean all PG movies are for every child just because you watch it with them. And let’s remember when we were growing up there were only 2 movie ratings, PG and R. The 1980’s PG movies would be closer to PG-13/R now days but yet you make a family night of watching those movies. Movies where there is cussing, nudity, drinking, etc… This only sends messages that they can watch anything they want. That the behaviors are not that bad. You encourage movie makers to continue making those type of movies. You fill their minds with negative ways to live and treat others. Do you understand that what goes in the mind comes out of their heart, they live it? Take the movie Mean Girls, despite the somewhat happy ending and bad cliques disbanding at the end I promise you that is not what most kids take away from the movie. Instead they are acting out the ugly, mean, rude, and spiteful behavior 90% of the movie is about. Ask any school counselor or teacher and they will tell you the same.

NEWSFLASH In case you didn’t know it there is far more teaching and training of a child that goes beyond reading, writing and arithmetic.

They have to know:

  • How to show respect.
  • What is self-respect
  • What is self-worth
  • How to be kind.
  • How to be loyal.
  • What integrity looks like.
  • How to be honest.
  • How to stick up and care for those who can’t do for themselves.
  • How to be aware of their surroundings.
  • How to help those in need.
  • How to love and to know it’s far more than a word, or kiss.
  • How to protect themselves and stay safe.
  • How to show concern for others.
  • What is sympathy and empathy?
  • How to be brave and stand up for what is true and right even if they are in the minority.
  • How to have courage.
  • What bravery and courage look like and to know it does not look like a selfish, manipulative, mean girl.
  • The dangers of social media.
  • How not to be selfish and rude.
  • That the number of followers or Facebook friends you have means absolutely nothing. It doesn’t make you better, popular, more loved or even liked.
  • They cannot take their personal issues and heartache out on others.
  • It is OK to ask for help, have a mentor, counselor etc… it doesn’t make them less than.
  • That some relationships just end and it that it is OK, it does not make them unworthy.
  • They are LOVED NO MATTER WHAT.
  • Mistakes are OK.
  • No one is perfect.
  • They are unique and special.
  • Being themselves is the best person they can be.
  • How not to be judgmental.
  • You can’t/shouldn’t and do not need to say everything that enters your mind.
  • Everyone is different and that is what makes the world amazing.
  • They do not need to attend every argument they are invited to.

This is hard stuff people but it is the most important. What good is an education if they are rude, spiteful, selfish people lacking in respect and compassion? Our children are our future. What kind of future leaders are we going to have if they cannot learn to be a decent, caring, honest human beings who give back to society. They should learn those things from your example not social media, TV, friends who don’t know all of the above. We already live in a selfish, narcissistic world where adults determine worth by the number of followers or online friends. Can anyone else see this is detrimental for all of us and our future? I am reminded of some lyrics by Whitney Houston.

I believe the children are our future Teach them well and let them lead the way Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Children need to learn they are beautiful on the inside. The outside should not be the focus of beauty. If your inside is beautiful it cannot help but make you beautiful on the outside. They need to know they are worthy because they have gifts and talents, not worthiness based on how many friends or what material things they possess. They need to know how to be happy with themselves, to be confident in who they are. When they know that they know that they know these things there is no limit to how far they can go, what they can achieve, how much love they can give and how blessed their life can become.

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13
Feb
15

I am out of Dawn!

 

This morning as I was getting ready for the day Jason comes into the bathroom and says “It’s shocking! You won’t believe this!! WE ARE OUT OF DAWN!”

“WHAT?! Like how can that be?” I say probably with a puzzled and confused look on my face.

But we were, not a drop of Dawn in our house, not a trace amount in an empty bottle. Nothing left in the sink soap dispenser.

The reason it is so shocking is for 3 years I had a ridiculous supply. Read about that here. Even though I quit buying the large bottle on a bi monthly basis, or even weekly basis I still bought a few small bottles more often than I needed them because I was always sure we were out or running low. (I must have some deep seeded fear and/or anxiety about not being able to clean my dishes.)

So although I have a full day and wasn’t really wanting to go to the store I had to…. I had dirty dishes in the sink (the ones we don’t put in the dishwasher) and well, I can’t let dirty dishes sit for too long.

In case you were wondering, Yes, I did purchase the largest bottle I could find. Only one though. However we do have about 10 tubes of toothpaste. That seems to be my new “we must be out of this” each time I go to the store.

I am not one of those couponer persons that ends up getting 20 something’s for pennies…if I was I’d probably have enough money to take the family to dinner and a movie.




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