In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Lessons of the week...

Getting 3 children to look at the camera, smile and keep their hands off their faces(meaning, out of their noses and mouths!), all at the same time is something to celebrate! There might have been some bribery involved.

I'm still not too old to play on the top bunk of the bunk bed with my 3 little loves. We played, danced and laughed our hearts out yesterday. I had the time of my life...I think they did too.

Letting go doesn't get heart is aching for these arms are aching to hold him one more kiss those cheeks one more see the way his eye's light up at the sight of more time.

...but, one more time, will never be enough.
Lesson learned...laugh, love and live life to the fullest, every chance you get, with those that share your days.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Endings... Bring New Beginnings

Today is my last day with my daughter and grandson, before they leave to live in Florida for the next year. I am off from work today so that I can spend as much time with them as possible. I want this day to stand still so that I can soak up their hugs and kisses, smiles and voices. I hate goodbye’s…especially when I don’t know when I will get to see them again. I hate endings…well, most of them anyways...and while this is an ending, it is also a new beginning for them.

Friday, will be my last day of working at the school. The last five years of working there, running the daycare, has been a wonderful opportunity, but, it’s time for me to move on. Running the daycare was my official job but I did so much more than that. I assisted the teachers and office staff whenever possible and I was the support person for the young parents…it was also a running joke that I was the unofficial, unpaid counselor. While the pay wasn’t very good, they did allow me to bring my little people with me to work, which was such a blessing. My little people needed the security of being with me and over the last 2 ½ years, they have been built up to finally be secure enough to believe that if I do leave them, I always come back…even if I have seldom left them, they now know I am going no where. They are stuck with me!

About 3 weeks ago, a job opportunity as a personal care attendant, was offered to me. It offers me more money and more hours of work, and is something I have been interested in doing and fits within my physical restrictions. So, after meeting with my QRC, and my doctor, I got the approval needed to actually pursue this job. After meeting with the agency offering the employment, the woman I will be assisting, and finding a daycare to take my little people, I gave my two weeks notice at my present employment. Life has been crazy, as I worked to put all these pieces together. I know that it’s the right thing because everything has come together perfectly and without problems.

While my work is sad about me leaving, they have been very supportive. They understand I need to make this move not only because of needing more hours and money, but because they realize that I have been burning out. With the economy and budget cuts looming over us, it is a possibility that my position would be cut eventually. At this point they have not hired anyone to replace me and they may not be, which makes me sad for everyone involved. Since the school is small and not like your typical school, all of the staff that work there are close. It has been like being a part of a family and they have been wonderful and supportive to my little people and I.

The young mom’s and girl’s I mentor are quite sad and taking this hard. They feel like I am deserting them, even though they know they will still have opportunities to see me and I will still be doing a support group with them. They are acting like I am dying which makes me feel sad and guilty, yet I know it’s time for me to move on. I know this is what is best and yet I am sad to be leaving such a wonderful place…a place that I have been able to use the gifts God has given me. I still have a passion for teen parents and their children and I still have dreams of opening a Second Chance Home in my future. For now, I need to do something that gives me a break from the constant giving, the emotional drainage, and children.

This is the first time I will be leaving little ones at a daycare. I’ve always been the daycare and while it’s hard to imagine not spending my days endlessly caring for children, I am ready for something different. I am looking forward to adult conversation, getting out of my comfort zone, and doing something other than changing diapers, getting spit up on, singing kid songs and rocking babies. Not that there is anything wrong with doing those things…I just know that right now, I need something more.

I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to my daughter and grandson early tomorrow morning and saying goodbye to a job that I loved on Friday and I am sure that come Monday, when I am dropping my little ones off at daycare for the first time, I will cry as I drive away from them. I will wrap my arms around courage as I face these endings and new beginnings. Change is a coming and it will be good…at least that is what I keep telling myself.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Price of Reaching Out

About 4 years ago, a young woman with 2 little girls, came into my life. She was practically a girl herself, yet she was a mother and I took care of her little girls while she attended classes, at the school in which I work at. Although she was a pretty girl, she did not take good care of her appearance and she dressed in a way that did not leave much to the imagination. She revealed to me that she made a living by being a stripper, so that she could take care of her daughters during the day and still make enough money to live.

She came to me wounded and needy from her life’s journey which became more evident each time she opened up to me about these path’s she had walked…these paths, that were similar in many aspects, to one’s I had walked so many years ago. Her daughters came to me hungry as well. She came hungry to learn and to finish her schooling but it was easy for her to become discouraged because learning came hard for her. Her hunger to be loved and for acceptance was so great that it stood in her way much of the time. Her greatest desire was to be a good mother and break the chains of her history repeating itself in her daughters.

While the teachers worked with her on the learning, I worked on building her up and getting her to see her worth and potential. I believe God has given me the gift of being able to see the good in people…the ability to see through the outside to what is on the inside…I read between the lines, hear what is not being said, so to speak. Sometimes, this gift has been a curse but most of the time, it has been a blessing.

I began with teaching her that in order to be a good loving mother, she had to start with herself, because you can’t give away what you don’t have. I started with loving her right where she was at and she was like a sponge that soaked up every drop. Her eyes started opening up to the good that was inside of her and life in general. In the year that she came to me, I watched her blossom as a woman and a mother, even though there were moments of taking three steps forward, four steps back…eventually she started taking more steps forward than backwards. She was starting to “get it”. As she learned how to forgive herself and other’s that had deeply wounded her, she began to have hopes and dreams for a better future. She began to believe in something more. Up to this point she prided herself in being a stripper but now she wanted to stop…she began to believe that she could be something more.

She came to believe that no one had a right to hit or kick her(even if they’re your parents or you‘re married to them)…that no one had a right to call her derogatory names or demean her…that guys don’t deserve sex just because they say she is pretty or are nice to her…that drugs were not the answer to the pain inside her heart…ever so slowly, she started saying “NO” to all of these things.

As she began to love herself, she started taking care of her hygiene and dressing in clothes that were not only clean but less revealing and provocative. She looked like a different person and in a sense she was. I already thought she was pretty when she first came to me, now she was beautiful. If your thinking this brought much attention from the opposite sex, you are correct. Trying to teach her how to handle such attention was not easy. Beauty combined with a self esteem that is still in the process of improving can be a difficult combination.

I worked with this young woman and cared for her children for a little over a year. She came every day and just like that, she stopped coming…with only a couple of months left until graduation. I called her, went to her house, and sent her letters…found out that her ex-husband had moved back in. This abusive man convinced her to take him back, that coming to school was just a waste of money and that she would never make as good of money as she does being a stripper. I begged her to come back. I begged her to let me continue helping her. She rejected all of love, my help, my belief in her.

Eventually, her phone was disconnected and they moved. I was able to get a new address from her mother, a PO box, so although I couldn’t go find her, I would still write her letters. I continued writing to her weekly even though I never got a response back. I wrote her weekly until the letters started coming back. This broke my heart because it felt like he(her ex-husband) and evil had won. She lost her fight. I lost. Most everyone had told me to give up a long time ago, that I was wasting my time…eventually, I had to just let it go…let her go. That was 2 ½ years ago.

This past week, she called me. She wanted to know if I remembered her. Of course I never forgot about her or her daughters and my heart stopped as I recognized her voice. She went on to thank me for all that I had done for her and her daughters while she had attended school…and then she thanked me for all the cards and letters I had sent…that she has kept them all and still reads them…and that she wanted me to know that those letters and cards helped her through some really hard times…that my words had saved her life. She wanted me to know that I hadn’t wasted my time on her. I was speechless. Then, I realized that she was crying. I reassured her that I hadn’t forgotten her and that I still loved and cared about her. She is coming to see me this week!

The point of this post, is not to say that I am this great person for reaching out to this girl. My point is this…we all come into contact with various people in our lives and we don’t always realize to what affect we have on others. We meet people, and it’s easy to determine their worth or value based on their appearance. It’s easy to judge people in our lives when their shortcomings, failures or sins are exposed to us. Our words have the ability to either build up or tear down.

When we send a simple card or letter, most of the time, we never know the affects it has on the receiver. When we make that phone call in the busyness of our day, just to say hello, we may not realize the gift that this is to the person we are calling. When we smile at the person passing us on the street or the cashier at the grocery store, most of the time, we don’t have a clue to the value of that smile to the person looking at it. The price tag on reaching out and touching others can sometimes be costly...sometimes we don't see the end result...sometimes it might seem like it was a waste of our time.

I had no clue that I touched this young woman in the manner that I did. I had no idea that my words were even read, let alone meant something to her. To many people around me, I was wasting my time. To her, my words were food for her still hungry soul… that still needed to know that someone in this world thought she mattered.

Never underestimate the affect you have on the people you come in contact with…you never know when they are going to show back up in your life!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rollercoaster Rides

I keep saying that I want just want one day, in which everything STOPS, so that I can catch my breath…just one day to be alone and have nothing to do but spend some time with myself, so that I can fill up and have it in me to keep on keepin on. Right now it feels like one day wouldn’t be near enough time to catch my breath and fill up.

I love rollercoaster rides even though I can no longer partake in their fun, due to my neck and skull injury. As far as the rollercoaster rides in life, not so much. This past week has been a rollercoaster of events that have been both positive and negative, and the fact is, life keeps on happening, regardless of these other things that come to add to it…and all of these things as a whole, have sucked me dry. Visiting your blogs(it‘s when I am absent from your ramblings that I realize just how much I love reading what you have to say and how much you have come to mean to me), writing, exercise(the non chasing after children kind), watching a favorite tv show, cuddling with my husband( and more importantly SEX), sipping on a glass of wine(as apposed to guzzling out of the bottle…lol) while losing myself in a movie, meditating, prayer(besides the dear God help me kinds of prayers that I have been screaming), laughter(as apposed to the insane laughter that comes out over the insanity of certain situations) ….are all things that help fill me up and keep me going. There has been no time for any of this.

As you may remember, my word for this year is courage. I wrote about having the courage to change careers and try something new. I am doing this! As scary and sad, as this is for me, it has been one of the high’s on this rollercoaster ride. Courage to give my 2 week notice at work...courage to sign my children up in a daycare...courage to do something different...courage to believe that I can do this. I will share all about this in the near future.

I also wrote about having the courage to keep letting go of my children. Why does this lesson have to be so damn hard? My daughter, (the one that guest posted for me a few weeks ago) and her son(he will be 2 in April) have been back staying with us again … has decided to move to Florida for a job. The plan is for them to move there for one year. In 5 days they will move away and as happy as I am for them, it feels like my heart is being ripped out. Reality is, I will not see them for a year. One year feels like an eternity when it means not seeing someone for that long.

Yes, there will be phone calls, and the computers with web cams but it’s still not the same. I have fooled myself into believing this before. Yes, I should be used to this by now, with having my other 2 daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter, and son, that live far away. Am I happy for each of them? Absolutely. Do I support them in what they have chosen? Absolutely. Do I miss them every moment that we are apart? Absolutely. Watching them leave, is like watching my heart come out of my body and disappearing. It hurts. I will let go because that’s what I have to do…it’s what we parents do when our job is finished. I realize, that now that my children are these wonderful, caring, hard working, independent adults, and the fact that we are close and have become friends, are things to proud of and grateful for. Believe me, I am. In 5 days, I will clothe myself in courage and do the right thing. Let go.

Today, I am going to do what I can, to fill up, under these circumstances, that are my life. Today, I will put on courage, to keep moving forward, in spite of all the changes taking place. Why does change have to be so hard for me? Just maybe I will have the courage to NOT play superwoman today and NOT do all the cleaning, the laundry and everything else that needs to be done and instead slow down and have the courage to be okay with everything not being “perfect”…and do some of those things that fill me up. Maybe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Interviewed by the Queen

Last week, while blog reading under the influence of some great wine…(which was partly due to the “whine” I had endured all day.)I agreed to be interviewed by the Queen.
The Queen of Phrump that is. As I awaited my questions from the Queen, I started getting a little nervous about what kinds of questions she would ask me. You never know what kinds of things a Queen will want to know.

The Queen informed me that I am a Wife Swap Applicant, simply because the Queen could use a little get away! I have seen very little of the show, Wife Swap, but what I have seen, has been pretty crazy…but, if it means that I get to leave this horrible cold and snow and go to where the Queen lives, which by the way, is where it is not cold and there is no snow…I’m getting the better end of the stick, unless of course, she likes sub zero temperatures, and shoveling. I will do my best to answer the questions right, so that I can be on my way to some fun in the sun!

The Queen asks “When you arrive here what is the first thing you plan to inspect?”

It is a toss between the kitchen(because I have a thing for kitchens) and the pool…I think I remember you saying you had a pool? And since I would be escaping the cold and snow, I think I would have to inspect this first. Of course, to lounge around in while Stinky is sleeping. If Stinky likes the water, we will also have some water fun. Snoball will be in the pool with me, teaching me how to swim…just kidding, I know how to swim. It will be called Swimming 101...for the home schooling part. Are pool parties allowed? Of course, the parties would be after Stinky and Snoball are in bed.

The Queen asks “ Name 6 things I should stock in the pantry for you.”

It depends on whether you have a separate, fully stocked, liquor cabinet or not. If you don’t, then I would want wine, tequila, tequila mix, tequila salt, limes, and corona. If you do, then I would want chips, guacamole, salsa, hummus, pita bread, and cheese.

The Queen asks “When I arrive at your home what is the first thing I will notice?”

The first thing you will notice when you drive up to my home is all the snow. You might even swear in your exclamation over this fact. I will even warn you to brace yourself for the words that may come out of your mouth, the moment you step out of your nice warm car, into the nice cold air. The first thing you will notice when you walk inside my home are a combination of children running at you, noise from the excited children, toys on the floor(because that’s how I decorate!) and lots of pictures(photo‘s) around the room.

The Queen asks “Does your husband have any housekeeping pet peeves I should know about?”

Actually, he doesn't really have any, other then taking his plate or putting his drink glass(especially if it’s his vodka tonic) away before he is finished. Oh and maybe toys being everywhere…at least where he keeps tripping over them. Other than that, he’s easy to please. Really. Piece of cake.

The Queen asks “If I don’t get to the laundry will you do it for me? It could be a couple of weeks worth.”

Oh sure, why are the Queen and all…as long as I don’t have to iron. Maybe, Snoball and I could work on that for home economics class…oh wait, they don’t call it that anymore…

The Queen asks “Does your house, itself, have any special instructions?”

The basement is cold during the winter, so plan on lots of blankets and sleeping on a heated mattress pad. The house is not very sound proof, so if you choose to sleep downstairs it will sound like a herd of elephants when the children are awake, upstairs…and also if you want to have a private conversation, you might want to take it outside, otherwise, everyone will hear it. The house is drafty, so you might want to bring sweaters, sweatshirts, warm socks and slippers to wear…maybe even some long underwear. You will be cold, so the temperature gauge is in the hallway on the main floor. My husband may or may not keep turning it down, should you turn it up, but I say go for it, since you’re the Queen and all!

My dear Queen of Phrump, I hope my answers to this application, meet to your approval. I will await your decision and just in case, I will begin to pack my bags.

If you would like to join in this fun please let me know. I promise to be nice!

The Rules...
Leave me a comment saying: interview me
I will e-mail you five questions.
You can then answer the questions on your blog.
You should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else wanting to be interviewed.
Anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog.
Most of all, have fun!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Randomly Seeking Sanity

In my efforts to keep what sanity I have left, I turned to the blogasphere to seek some solace, laughter and perspective. In my search, I found myself being reminded of things that I believe, like the post, Blogging Friends at Life with Kaishon. Rebeckah wrote about her journey of taking God out of the box and the importance of not judging other’s. The simplicity and beauty of her words made my heart sing. Thank you Rebeckah for sharing the beauty in what you believe.

Claire, from Queen of Phrump, directed her readers, to her friends blog, called Shawna Herrings Blog, Life, Love and Photo’s. She is a photographer that went to Haiti recently and she wrote an amazing post of her journey, along with beautiful photo’s . It is a long post, but well worth taking the time to read. I don’t think a person could write a short post on something as profound as her experience was there. Her words pierced through my heart and adjusted my perspective rather well. Thank you Claire for giving the shout out to visit Shawna’s blog. Thank you Shawna for renewing my hope in humanity.

Then, I stopped over at Thistle and Maple Leaves to a “What if?” post. She wrote about lost dreams and asks the question, “What if we went after our dreams?” Her words hit me between the eyes as I took a look at my lack of having dreams. Her words gave me hope that it’s not too late for me and that somehow I have to find a way to start dreaming again…and actively pursuing those dreams. This is where I will need some of that courage to take these steps of faith and risking failure. I think the failure would be in not dreaming or attempting to follow those dreams. Thank you Thistle for inspiring me to dream once again!

I was once again reminded of the truth of living in the present and not looking back with regret, by Mommy’s Escape 6.0, as she did a whole different twist on “What if?” . She wrote about not living in The LandOfWhatIf… in her words, “it’s where people go to look at their lives and wonder what would be different had they taken a different road in life or went on that date that they missed because they were grounded or if they took that job that would have forced them to move away.” She talked about how this causes us to dwell in the past instead of living in today. I needed to read her words today because so often, I am reminded , of the roads I have walked and those roads haven’t always been pretty. I know that each one of us is on a journey in life and what ever brought us to where we are right now, in this moment, is where we’re suppose to be. I learned many things on the roads I have walked…knowledge, wisdom, strength, love, joy, perseverance…ect., that I bring with me into my journey today. Thank you Mommy’s Escape 6.0!

Now I did say that I went in search of some laughter too and many of you did very well in providing that for me. A blog that I found recently, Irregularly Periodic Ruminations, wrote a post called The Ride, and it gave me quite the laugh. He tends to make me laugh with each of his posts but today he did write a very touching “what if?“ post about his mother and made me cry.(another great read!). The Incredible Woody, wrote a post called Overheard and it made me spit out my coffee, because I have heard people talk like this. Anyways, both are hilarious and came at just the right times, to save me from going over the edge of the cliff these past couple of days. Thank you!

Things are looking up around here since the temperature is suppose to reach 20! I just may be throwing 2 little stinkers in a snow bank tomorrow…hey, a mom’s gotta have some fun!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life in the deep freeze

It is -29 with a wind chill of -50 here today. Schools have been cancelled once again due to the deep freeze, which means I get another day off from work since I work at a school. I should be happy about this free day but really I’m not. Now, if it meant a free day home ALONE or with my husband, that would be a whole different story…that could mean sleep and sex, which seems to be 2 thing’s I am deprived of these days, thus would be too good to be true. Since my reality includes 2 little people, who’s sole purpose in life is to drive me to crazy town, I have to settle with the insanity at hand…leaving me to just fantasize about sleep and sex. The little people are stir crazy from not playing outside in many days, let alone not leaving the house, which in turn is driving me crazy. Seriously.

We are all still in our pj’s and I am trying to think of what we could do, that we haven’t already done, to make this day at least bearable for all of us. I am not complaining because it could be worse…like having to go out in it with 2 little people…no thank you. My heart goes out to my husband, who will spend at least 13 hours, in and out of this deep freeze again today. He is a milk man…and I love making jokes about the milk man to him. He drives an old refrigerated truck, that doesn’t get warm enough on a not so cold day, let alone on days like we have been having. He comes home cold to the bones, tired and ready to go to bed…just to warm up. The thing is, if he had the choice of being in my warm shoes, or in his cold boots, he would choose his cold boots. Now what does that say?

Sure I have enjoyed getting to sit here at the computer and catch up on blogs and drink coffee, while the little people are running around our home, like it is a gymnasium. They have a lot of pent up energy which they are trying to wear off by running in circles. It’s not working.

Here’s the thing. Thursday’s are my long day at work because after a 2 hour break, I go back and work during the evening classes. During this 2 hour break I go and visit a friend… since none of my friends have little ones anymore…this is a friend that doesn’t mind me coming over with 2 little people in tow. It’s the only time in 7 days that I have contact and face to face conversation, with another adult besides my husband. I look forward to Thursday’s…in my small world, it’s part of what keeps me sane. Sure, I could bundle the little people up and take them to McDonald’s but just going outside to start the car’s(we keep starting the car‘s and letting them run every 5 hours to keep them running, even at night..ugh), my eye’s water and face stings from the cold. So, as tempting as it is to escape our house, we will not be going anywhere. Even though they keep asking to go outside or go someplace…do they actually think that I am magically going to say “yes” one of these times? Maybe?

I guess the saying that in Minnesota you can have a whole conversation about the weather is true…just listen to me here. I’m sorry if this sounds like I am complaining, which I guess I am. Just know, that I know, that it could be a lot worse and that my life isn’t so bad. Maybe, it’s the sleep and sex deprivation talking?

Presently, I have the little people in one spot, painting, which they are calling “art” class, because they have been playing school. Seriously, they have been pretending to go to math, science, English, social studies and exercise classes all morning and then came to me and asked what they could do for art class. I was informed that I am the secretary(since I am at the computer), the daycare person(yep, I’ve been watching lots of dolls today)and the one in charge(they couldn‘t remember the word principle)…dang right I’m the one in charge here, and don’t you forget it! I say this and they laugh. Can you tell I work at a school and that they spend their days around high school students?

I suppose, since art class is ending, I should be off to do our cooking class or as little man say’s, “it’s time for us to pretend to be Emerald”, which by the way is one of his favorite shows. Today, we are cooking up some chicken, wild rice soup for supper and let me tell you I have some very excited helpers. God help me. Maybe, I should first go drink a cup or two of sanitea? Or vodka.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lessons I've Learned

The other day, while painting big boxes with my little people, I watched how happy they were to be working on such a project(making play houses out of boxes), even though we were dripping with paint. I should have been doing so many other things that day, but instead took on this project, which ended up taking up much of the day. As we were putting on the finishing touches to their new houses, I was thinking about all the life lessons I have learned from little people, on this journey of motherhood.

Here are 13 of the lessons I have learned from the little people in my life. There are so many more but I narrowed it down to just 13!

1. To slow down and stop being in a hurry. Take time to smell the roses so to speak. They aren’t in a hurry to get where they are going. They stop and take notice of the beauty that surrounds them…a pretty rock, the moon, to smell a flower, to watch a bug, to smile and say hello to the person walking past…ect.

2. Dance. They don’t stop and think if their good at it or not, they dance and they think their good. This past Saturday, I got together with girlfriends at a friends house and we did a lot of dancing and my most favorite part was dancing in the snow to “Girls just wanna have fun“.

3. To let it all out and then move on. To forgive and then let it go. When their angry, they express it and get it all out and then they feel better. Have you ever watched 2 kids go at it over a toy or something else? They fight, forgive and then they are best friends again.

4. To find joy in the simple. Little people find joy in the simple things in life. Give them an empty box and they will have hours of fun. Put them in a tub of water with a couple of cups and their joy overflows. When they see the moon and the stars, they express their amazement and joy as if they are seeing them for the first time.

5. To wear clothes that I love. If you leave it up to children, they will wear what they love, feel comfortable in and they dress for themselves, not others. They don’t worry over “how it looks” or what people will think. I have come to realize that I love hats and have let the thoughts of looking silly, keep me from getting one, but, I am planning on getting one in the near future!

6. To laugh and smile…even over the small things. It’s contagious! Little people find humor in the smallest things. They smile at strangers. They aren’t afraid to show their excitement about something…their squeals of delight over playing at the park, can lighten any mood. Listen to a child is infectious and you can't help but smile or laugh back. When I laugh or smile I feel so much better.

7. To treat myself to something I like. This one is hard for me. Little people love treats and they savor every bit of them. They don’t obsess over whether it’s good for them or how many calories are in them.

8. The importance of touch and asking for it when I need it. Little people love hugs, kisses, tickles, having their backs, tummy’s and heads rubbed…and their not afraid to ask for these because these things make them feel good.

9. To do things I love every day. Little people do things they love every day… it’s part of what makes the world go around for them. They look forward to getting up in the morning because they know they are going to do something they love to do.

10. To compliment myself and accept them from others. This one is very hard for me but I am working on it! Little people are not afraid to toot their own horn and they simply love when we praise them for something. They take pride in the things they do.

11. To have fun getting dirty, messy or wet. Little people love digging in the dirt, splashing in the water, painting, and jumping in mud puddles. They do these things with gusto and with no concern over getting messy. You should have seen us the day we painted the boxes…these were their masterpieces and it was serious business for them regardless of how much paint covered them and me.

12. To imagine or dare to dream the impossible. Nothing is impossible to little people. They imagine themselves doing and being and don’t limit themselves to those things that are logical…and they have fun doing it.

13. To express love to those I love. Little people don’t hold back with showing their feelings. They hold hands with a person they love. They aren’t embarrassed run up to someone they love and hug them. They say "I like you." and "I love you." and "You're the best." When they love someone, they express it, and the person knows it!

Children are amazing teachers and some of their lessons escape us because of their simplicity. Are there any life lessons you have learned from little people in your life?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Filling up your love bucket

When my 5 children were still quite young, I made up a story called “The Love Bucket”. When I told this story, I would use each of them as the leading character in the story. And each time, I used situations and variations which related to the child I was telling it to. It went something like this when I was telling it to one of my daughters…

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, that had blond hair and brown eyes. Inside this little girl, was a pink bucket, called the love bucket. She couldn’t see the love bucket but she could feel it. When it was full, she was the happiest. When it was empty, she was her saddest.

Every time her mommy or daddy hugged and kissed her, the hugs and kisses went inside her bucket. Every time someone smiled at her, those smiles went inside her bucket. Whenever she sat on Grandma’s lap, the warm loved feelings she felt went inside the bucket. When she was at the park and someone asked her to play, the good feelings she got from playing with a friend, went inside the bucket.

So you see, everything good went inside this bucket…hugs, kisses, the words “I love you“, back rubs, kind words, compliments, smiles, giggles, the feeling of warmth from sitting on a lap, kind acts…ect., all the things that made her feel loved and happy went inside her love bucket. Each time something went inside her love bucket, it was called a love deposit.

Her mommy taught her that everyone has a love bucket inside of them…that she could share her love bucket deposits with others but to always make sure that she kept enough inside for herself. She taught her how to make love deposits in other people’s buckets and showed her how to do this. She could make love deposits in other people’s love buckets by smiling, giving hugs, sharing, being kind, being a help to other‘s…ect. Whenever she made a love deposit into someone else’s bucket, it made the little girl happy.

Her mommy also taught her to watch out for things that might cause her bucket to get a leak…like unkind words, rejection, angry words, hitting…anything that made her feel bad inside are like withdrawals. These kinds of things could cause her love deposits to leak out and her love bucket to become empty. Her mommy talked about the ways we can cause other people’s buckets to become empty by saying unkind things, hitting, not sharing…ect.

There were times that the little girls love bucket wouldn’t be as full because people would forget to make love deposits into her love bucket. Sometimes, life was very busy at the little girls house and even though her mommy and daddy loved her very much, they didn’t always have time to sit and hold her, read her a story, or might be so busy that they forgot to give her all the hugs and kisses she needed. Sometimes, the little girl forgot to keep some of the deposits for herself…she gave too much of hers away.

Sometimes, her love bucket would get a leak caused by an unkind word, a harsh tone of voice from her mommy, a rejection on the playground at school. Whenever someone was unkind to her, some more of her love deposits would leak out. When her love bucket started to get empty, the little girl wasn’t as happy. She didn’t listen to her mommy or daddy as well as she normally did, she wasn’t very good at sharing her toys, and sometimes she said and did unkind things to her sisters and brothers.

The little girls mommy saw how she was acting so she took the little girl into her arms, hugged her and said,” I think your love bucket is getting empty. Mommy is so sorry that she hasn’t been putting more love deposits into your love bucket." The little girl forgave her mommy and in that moment, the leak in her bucket was sealed up. You see, the words, “I am sorry” and "I forgive you", when they are sincere, are like glue, they help make things better. The mommy then sat and held the little girl, filling up her love bucket with more love deposits of hugs, kisses, and the words I love you”. The little girl then told her mommy about how her feelings were hurt because someone she wanted to play with at school didn’t want to play with her.

The mommy told the little girl that from now on, whenever she felt like her love bucket was getting empty or like it had a leak, that she had permission to come to mommy and tell her that she needed her love bucket filled up. The little girl and her mommy talked about all the ways that they can make either deposits or withdrawals from love buckets in people.

When the little girls love bucket was full once again, her smile came back and she was ready to go play nicely with her sister once again. The little girl let her sister play with her favorite pony. This filled up the little girls love bucket even more. Once again, the little girl was at her happiest because her love bucket was full.

It became a habit for my children to come to me and tell me that they needed their love buckets filled up. I can honestly say that their behavior was much more positive when their buckets were full. Just the same, when their buckets were empty, it showed in negative behavior. It also made my children aware of how they treated others and that their choices in how they treated other’s either gave or took away from them. We had many conversations over the years in regards to our love buckets.

I started telling this story to my little people recently, and it has once again reminded me of the importance of making love deposits into other people, besides my children. It also makes me more aware of the withdrawals that are made and the how they affect all of us. It also makes me think of myself…when my love bucket is full, I am able to be at my best and I am happier…I have much more patience with my little people…I seem to get more things done…I have more to give away, much more peace and it’s much easier to handle life’s interruptions when I am full inside.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I had planned on starting out the year with a post in regards to New Years resolutions and my hopes for this brand new year. It seems when I plan on doing something, life has a way of happening and interrupting my plans. I had not planned for 2008 to end the way it did nor did I plan for the first week of 2009 to be so tough. My life is full of interruptions and I have pretty much resigned myself to believing that these interruptions are just a part of my life. Thus the name of my blog. I never planned on being where I am at right now yet I believe I am where I am meant to be.

Fragrant Liar(formerly Nana Diaries) did this Embracing 2009 post on picking a word for this year and I have racked my brain to think of words that would be fitting for me, for this new year. Thistle did this post about taking baby steps by breaking her resolutions or goals for 2009 down into months, which is another great idea. In some way, I would like to combine the two idea’s.

The word that keeps coming back to me is courage. So I looked up the meaning and this is what I found. Courage; mental or moral strength to endure, persevere, and withstand danger, opposition, fear or difficulty, to have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s belief, especially in spite of criticism…a firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or difficulty. The word “fortitude” was used to describe passive courage, and described as being able to encounter danger and endure pain with an unbroken spirit and strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage.

Courage…my word for 2009. Courage to stand behind the decisions I’ve made surrounding raising these two little people. Courage to keep loving them, even though I may not always have them. Courage to face evil and not waver under it’s wrath. Courage to stand up for what is right, and true.

Courage to face my pain and the realities it holds for my life. Courage to face my limitations and not give up because of them. Courage to find a new way instead of living defeated. Courage to take the next step in the area of work, even if it means getting a new job…the courage to do something new, different and better. Courage to do those things my heart desires to do, even if I am afraid of failure. Courage to say yes, when I mean yes, and no, when I mean no. Courage to take risks. Risks that might mean mistakes or failures.

Courage to stand up for myself and what I believe. Courage to step out of my comfort zone in the many area’s of my life. Courage to keep choosing the path of love and grace. Courage to keep moving towards healing and not wallowing in self pity. Courage to face circumstances that are beyond my control with dignity and grace, by either walking away or standing up to them. Courage to continue letting go of my children … not hanging on to these incredible people that need to be free to fly on their own. Courage to let go of those things that need to be put to rest.

Courage to keep choosing love over hate. Courage to continue choosing forgiveness over bitter resentment, even in the face of pure evil. Even more, the courage to forgive myself. Courage to start saying no to old shame and false guilt. Courage to admit when am angry and not run from it or stuff it inside. Courage to let others do for me and the courage to ask for help. Courage to face my fears, both real and imagined. Courage to remain resilient in the eye of the storm.

Courage to live true to myself…courage to live authentically, even if it means I am not making “everyone” happy. I think part of being authentic is living or walking your talk and I am guilty of giving it out to everyone but myself, so having the courage to live what I say. Courage to look at myself in the mirror and accept those things I cannot change and the courage to change those things that honestly need to be changed, because it will make me healthier and better. Courage to step outside the box and live outloud. Courage to not be defined by my age, past or how others think I should be or confined by what or who I think I should be. I want the courage to be me all of the time.

I’m not sure how this will all play out over 2009. I don’t know what interruptions will find their way into my life but I do know that I will have courage to face them…one day at a time, one moment at a time and even if it means taking baby steps, courage will get me through the small interruptions that tend to fill my days or the unexpected big interruptions that try to kick my ass and everything else that falls in between. I am embracing courage in 2009!

What word or phrase would you pick for yourself?

Guest Post

Greetings Bloggers. It is such an honor to be able to guest post on my moms blog. Her talents stretch far beyond mine, and with every word her heart and soul seem to shine through. She is a daily inspiration, to me as a mother, and her posts have a tendency to make me cry or make me laugh.. sometimes even both! So for you all today, its time to hear “the rest of the story” from the youngest daughter.

I see a lot of my mother’s traits in myself. We are both well written; we smile at strangers, and talk to random people in the check out line. We both laugh when we get angry, especially if the kids are doing something naughty (but funny! I have even inherited her tendency to snort when she laughs really hard!). We both love the color black. We both can’t wait for Christmas to be over. We both love being a mom more then anything in the world, and most of all…. We both try to see the good in other people, even if it sometimes hurts us in the process.

Through out the past two years I have seen the chaos that has overtaken my mother’s life. I have seen the pain, the hurt, and the tears. I have held her while she’s cried, and talked to her for hours. I have felt helpless, as this person, my family member has tormented my mother. I have witnessed my mother trying and trying to not only help my stepsister, but to be her friend. With each try, and with each new attempt she was greeted with a slap in the face. Sometimes even I wondered when she would give up, but she never did. Not even now when she is hurt and scared the most, I still see a flicker of hope burning in my Mothers eyes, that some day.. Some how she’ll change.

Even though there were horrible moments filled with grief, there have been moments of pure joy. Since I was there from the start I seen it all. I was there when they just babysat the kid occasionally, then a lot, and then I was there when they stayed for good. I watched my niece and nephew blossom. From once being quiet and non-social, to self assured and smart. They played more. Smiled more, and interacted more. They were polite, confident and friendly. They finally had the security and structure that their little hearts longed for. I saw my parents become “mommy” and “daddy”.

I could spend this time talking about last weeks chaos, and evil, but I have decided not too. It’s not worth mine or your time to reflect on such a horrible person. The sad thing is, that I honestly believe that my Stepsister and her boyfriend believe what they said and did was okay. The saddest part about that is that you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, and so I see no change in the near future. Last week when the “incident” (as I like to call it) happened my heart ached knowing that all this anger and resentment would one day affect the children. You can’t hide it forever, and one day they will be able to choose. I just pray that these children will always be safe, loved, and know just how much my parents fought for them. My parents have given these children the amazing gift of a family, and a home.

I am so thankful for all of you, for the encouragement, support, and prayers that you have given my mother. The outpour of support has been a blessing , and when she was gone last week, I contemplated writing some of you, so that you could be praying. I know that you may just be friends via “blogger” or email, but I know my mom thinks the world of all of you, and you have all touched her heart. In today’s world where you don’t always know your neighbors, and where people are more enclosed it is nice for her to have an outlet in which to express herself and to receive positive support from all of you…Continue keeping our family in your prayers (we really need them!), as you are all in ours. I pray that the New Year finds us all well, happy, and together. May God bless you all.

The Youngest Daughter.

Friday, January 2, 2009

No longer living with the enemy

In light of my last post, I would like to thank you for the kind and loving support you have shown me. Your words have given me strength and although I wish I could say we are back to normal, we are at least working through everything and moving towards bringing back the sanity, peace, and love into what we call our sanctuary…our home.

It’s hard to keep my mind from going back to last Saturday night, when I can still feel the evilness of that night, in my home today. I can still hear the yelling, and the meanness, and feel the fear I felt in being attacked…how I felt frozen in the fear and disbelief that this was happening in my home. I remember how I felt so caught off guard…so powerless…when every attempt I made to stand up and defend, were silenced by him. I remembered in that moment, the all too familiar feeling of being scared to death…of giving over my power to someone else. This attack brought back a visitor of my past…fear and the sick feeling inside that is left in the wake of meanness…and now I am working on cleaning it out of my heart and my home once again.

Pure meanness, loud angry words, manipulating and good with words, good at making a lie sound like the truth, proud arrogance and full of self righteousness…people that have the ability to crush you and make you feel small with their words or their fists, controlling and dominating… bullies or abusive people…they have been a part of my life from the beginning. I have been on the receiving end of these kinds of attacks way more than I would like to admit and have worked hard at staying away from them. Meanness scares the shit out of me yet I am tired of crumbling underneath it’s wrath.

Although I have now made peace with my father, he was the source of much meanness and fear, while growing up. Even though I have forgiven him I still do not feel comfortable alone in a room with him. He taught me to fear and how to walk on egg shells around anyone that showed the capability for meanness. I learned the fine art of taking meanness with a smile and how to pretend that it had no affect on me…I learned how to numb myself to my feelings in the aftermath of an attack. I also learned the art of making excuses for mean behavior which somehow justified it’s presence. I learned at a young age that meanness is not predictable and that no matter how “good” I was or how much I tip toed around trying to make the mean person happy, whatever it is that I would do, would never be good enough. I believed deep inside my core, that somehow I was defective and that it was me that brought out the meanness…I made them act this way.

I learned after years of counseling and reading the many books on the subject, that it was rather normal that I found my way into the arms of “boys” or men that treated me in the same ways. Even though my marriages and relationships with these kinds of people felt very normal in one sense, I knew deep down that something was wrong. In spite of this, I never thought of myself as a “victim” instead, I thought I was to blame. I had no idea how to stop the madness or my choices to be with the very kinds of people that I feared. Living with the enemy, was the theme of my life…the person with whom I loved and lived with…whom I tried to please and make happy by being everything they wanted me to be, were seldom happy with me.

This life of living in fear…of choosing to live with the enemy, ended after having my eyes opened up by a counselor. His response to my saying, “But, he loves me,” (which, for some reason was making his abusing me acceptable) was “Of course he loves you and one of these days he is going to love you to death.” This woke me up from my slumber and thus began my journey of healing and taking the power back from all those I had given it to.

It’s been a journey of much self discovery and I came to realize just how much I hate meanness…how much I hate those things that equate meanness…and how much I hated living in fear. I wasted many years living that way and now that I have not lived with it for some time, not living in fear…not living with the enemy has been my “normal”. Having evil enter my home and display meanness in such a way, brings me back to the place of fear. It shook up my home and my world and has reminded me of all that I have fought to get away from.

I have shared with you that I have a wonderful husband that treats me rather well. He has never raised his voice towards me…has never said mean things to me nor has he pushed me around because he’s bigger then me. Meanness is not part of his nature and I can honestly say that if it were, I would not be married to him. Although he hurt me by not standing up to this meanness, he truly is sorry and has his reasons for acting in the way he did, that night. I can forgive this and I know somehow we will come out stronger in spite of any ill intentions of a bully.

After all that has happened in this past week, I am left feeling thankful that this meanness and fear are no longer a normal part of my life. I thank God every day that I don’t live with the enemy…that I live with someone that is on my side. Now that it has come for a visit into my home and ignited old memories and feelings, I am trying to sweep it out of my life once again. I don’t like mean people…I despise meanness and all that it equates. Even more, I hate it's affect on those that takes it's brunt. No matter how hard I try to understand it, I don’t think I ever will. I need to figure out how to stand up to it and not run from it.