Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Muppin!

This little girl is the most precious thing in my life.  God is so amazing how He knows just what kind of child would complete a family!  I am so happy to have this little girl in my life every single day!

Happy Birthday to my little Muppin!  We have been blessed every day of your existence!  The last 8 years have just been amazing and I am honored to be your mommy!  

Time for a Royal Birthday Party!

We love you Muppin!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Great Way to Connect with Your Kids

In today's day and age it can be very easy to lose our connection with our kids.  And it starts to happen at a younger and younger age.  I have thought about this a lot, as do many parents.  I have a 7 year old (8 in less than a week!).  And the thought that we may someday be separated by silence scares me.

So, with that thought and prayer I set out to come up with a way to keep us connected in some small way.  Something that would strengthen the bond we already have and I think it is a fun one at that.  Can you see me smiling?!

Journaling!  Now, to some this may originally sound boring.  Some people do not like to journal.  But hear me out.  This is not just any journal it is something that will be fun for both you and your kids.  It will also give your kids a way to say the things they would never say out loud!

First I set out to make something special.  I could go buy a new journal and so could you.  You can make it a date and pick something out the really speaks to the heart of your child.  My daughter is super crafty and creative.  UNLIKE ME!  I am not.  So I decided that I would create her journal even though it would be a challenge for me, because I knew it would mean a lot to her.

First I took just a small notebook I had and since I didn't want that white paper on the front that looks so boring I decided to add a cardboard front too it using rubber cement.  I forgot how stinky that stuff was!

After bonding the cover over the original I decided to draw on it what it was to be used for.  It was a journal for us so I put our names on it.  She helped me decide where the flowers and hearts went and decided when we were done drawing.  

Before I had put the front on and before she knew what I was up to I wrote a note inside the journal.  The note started out, "My dearest Charis! I love you so much..." and went on to explain what this journal was for and why I was doing it and then finally how to use it (we will get to that in a moment).

I can't explain to you the excitement in my daughters eyes when she read the words on those pages.  You could see that she was feeling really loved and cherished.  She was feeling like she was super important and that she was going to be heard and really listened to.  Now she is only 7 (soon to be 8) but being heard and understood is still important to her. 

My heart soared with excitement knowing that she was going to be sharing with me and I with her all the things that are important too us.  We were on our way to strengthening our bond we already have, making it unbreakable.

As for the practical use of the journal here is how you use it.  You give it to your child and after you read to them, do their devotionals, cuddle or talk... you know, all those bedtime things we do together?!!  When those are done and you have kissed them good night it is their time to write.  See, a lot has happened in their little day and this helps them get it off their chest.  They can write about what happened with friends, what happened with you, the family or the dog.  They can also write about what has upset them, made them happy or things that confuse them.  They can ask questions about God, boys, friends, or your family relationships.  

Most importantly when there is something that is too difficult to say out loud, they can write it here and not fear what will happen.  It gives them a sense of release and the sense of an open door.  They know they will be listened too.  Now when they go to sleep they put it on their side table, dresser or book shelf and go off to slumber land.  The next morning it is up to you to go get it, take it to a private place and read it.  

The most important thing you will need to remember I believe was something the Holy Spirit really wanted me to convey is to never act shocked, shaken, angry or freaked out over what you read!!!  I repeat, remain calm no matter what!  Or you have lost them.  This must always be and remain a safe place remember?!

Once you are done reading what they have written you then write back to them, answering all their questions, giving them advice kindly, and most of all telling them how much you love them no matter what they let you know.  

I have told my daughter that I might come talk to her about some things once in a while, but that it will always be out of love.  And if it doesn't sound like I am being loving she has my permission to tell me so.

Her heart was so filled with excitement.  She is ready to communicate and to connect.  This will be a lot of fluff for a while I am sure.  She is only 7 (soon to be 8) you know.   But as she gets older, and this tradition continues... How much more valuable will this be?

I would love to see your ideas on this... and pictures of yours.  Share your blog links and pictures and how things are working out for you.  Most of all... be blessed!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Abandoned, alone, what do I do?  My heart is beating so fast, what do I do?  It has been so long since she left.  I need help but no one is here and I don't know what to do.  She is crying and won't stop and I am scared that somethings really wrong.  She has needed a new diaper for so long and I don't have a new one.  I tried to clean it but it isn't helping.  She has red streaks going down her legs and her tears just wont stop coming.  God what do I do?  Something calms my heart for just a second, something brings peace.

"Sis you stay here, I will be back soon.  I am gonna go call dad.  He will come and he will know what to do.  Please don't cry no more.  I love you!  Just play with your baby.  I will be back."  As I kiss her head goodbye I feel how hot she is.  Fear jumps forward into my throat again and my heart beats faster.  I feel like I might be sick.

I turn and leave before I can change my mind.  It scares me to leave her alone but I have to call dad!  There is that peace again.  I am her big brother and it is my job to take care of her.  Where is mom?  Why isn't she back yet?  I hate when she leaves us like this!

It is a warm sunny day outside and I am scared as I walk up the alleyway looking for houses that might let me use their phone.  It is a scary neighborhood and we don't belong here.  Mom left us at a friends house but they haven't been home for a couple days.  I just start asking people if they got a phone and it takes a while before someone lets me in to use their phone.  As I walk into their home my heart jumps into my chest again.  What if they are really bad people?!  That peace fills me again and I wonder if it is God.  I call my dad as fast as I can because I know he will help and I am right.  He is on his way.

I run all the way back to where my sister is and go inside and scoop her up.  She is still crying and must have been so scared but seeing me seems to make it all better.  I hold her tight and realize how bad she smells, nausea washes over me.  I must have not noticed before because we were together in this small home for so long, or maybe I just blocked it out but the smell is putrid.  I notice now though and it makes me want to be sick.

This is not the first time I have been abandoned, we have been abandoned.  It has happened before, many times.  My mom works a lot and likes to party a lot too so sometimes she leaves us with different people.  Some people are ok, others are scary.  This time the people just disappeared.  Maybe they were with mom.  I wish she would come back.

I sit down with my sister and just wait for my dad.  Peace...   I can tell God is with me, comforting me.   God loves me even when those that are supposed to love me forget.  Because of Him, I can cuddle up with my sister and love her and forget the reasons I was afraid.  Once I was abandoned, but now... I am now saved.  Peace...

This story was loosely based on a true events and was written from an image prompt "Abandoned" from Free Write Friday.  To join the writing prompt click the button below and it will take you to Free Write Friday's page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Festivities!

It is fall again, my most favorite time of the year!  I love when the leaves change color and the mornings are crisp and foggy and then your afternoons are shattered with sunlight!  What a joyous time of year.

To start off our fall festivities this year we went to a pumpkin patch last week.  We got to play
with farm animals as well as go through a maze and ride a tractor drawn wagon out to pick our very own pumpkin.  

Of course no fun time at the pumpkin patch would be complete without your friend!!!

Then it was animal time!  First there were the cows, who really took a liking to my amazingly handsome husband!  I guess it's not just me that has a crush on my man!

Then there were the kittens!  There were six of them and boy did we want to take them all home!  We lost our Dakota and TeeTee this year and so this was a special time for our Muppin as she loved on the kittens.

Finally we were able to ride a tractor driven covered wagon out to the pumpkin patch and spend a good amount of time searching for the perfect pumpkin.  Muppin had such a blast and she didn't want to leave.  This whole day only cost $5.00, what an inexpensive way to create memories! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

No More!

No More!

NoMoreBadgeThere are so many people, young and old that fall victim to domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse and rape.    Many of those victims are children!  It is time we said No More!  It is time to talk to our children and tell them what can happen, age appropriately of course.  

It is a difficult subject so many of us say nothing, even if we are adults!  But saying nothing at all is dangerous.  It leaves the person especially children open to for the pain of shame.  The pain of hiding what they don't understand, what they can't deal with alone, what they shouldn't deal with alone.

Join me in spreading the word about a new movement called No More!  Help educate people, parents and help children.  Help spread the word on how to recognize the signs of abuse.  Every human being deserves to live without violence!  Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Take action now and go to their website and see how you can help.  Say No More to violence!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where Do You See Joy?

God has been helping me see so many new things in so many new ways lately.  He has been prepping me, growing me and guiding me to those things that He would have me do.  One thing though that He always does, even when that growing and changing happens, He always shows me where the joy is.  

I find it in many things, in many ways.  One though that is constant is through the love of my daughter.  She is incredible and an amazing gift from God.  I am truly blessed to call her my girl.  I love you Muppin!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome to Kindergarten

(This post has been written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!  The writing prompt this week is:  Let’s go on a little trip…to your first day of school!)

I saw this writing prompt and thought hmmmm, what is it that I am to write about?  I mean, it isn't as if I remember my first day of kindergarten.  I don't remember any of my kindergarten years nor the years to follow until I was older.  So I thought I must then make something amazing up.  Something that will thrill and wow the reader and make them wanting for more.  But what could I make up about kindergarten that would do that unless it had something of the macabre attached to it, or something ridiculously crazy?  So that option was out as well.

As I sat and thought about it, it was clear that the answer lied in my daughter.  I remember her first day of school as if it were a sharp knife still imbedded in my heart, every memory bringing with the pain the movement of that sharp knife would bring.  It was a horrible day... for me.

My daughter on the other hand felt like the world was just opening up and the excitement was so thick it was difficult to contain it and keep her from coming unglued altogether.  She is a very social little thing and loves everyone she meets, so much so that we have had to work with her on this issue.  It has been hard for her to understand why someone wouldn't want an hug, "they feel like the best thing in the world mommy, like God wrapping you up in His arms!"  Teaching her to ask if she could hug someone and tell them she loved them is still an ongoing issue, though not so much with strangers anymore.  But her excitement to be with others, love on them and be friend with all is still something that is deeply seeded in her.  So the thought of going to school and meeting a bunch of other kids she didn't know did nothing but energize her.

For me though, trying to be excited with her was a difficult and daunting task.  She was my baby, my 5 year old little girl and soon she was going to be gone all day long.  We were rarely apart and now it was as if she was being ripped from my life and my heart was falling apart.  As I took her to class I loved on her, told her to have a wonderful day and walked out of her room a changed woman.  I was no longer there to protect her and I was no longer her everything and that was something to get used to.  

As I walked to my car I remember clearly the feelings well up inside of me so strong that I knew that I would not be driving home for a while.  The tears began to fall and the weeping then began.  I felt as if I was all the sudden irrational because the thought kept washing over me that my poor baby girl has now embarked on a full time job!  She is five and she is going to school at eight in the morning not getting home until almost four!  How is that ok for such a little person?  How would she survive?  Where would her childhood go?  For me it felt as if she was being ripped from the clutches of childhood and her family and being thrown to the wolves and the never-ending work cycle of the American society.

These feelings didn't just last that day, but for weeks.  I tried my best to shove them down, especially when I knew she was having fun.  But of course that fun didn't last long because of the bullying by one special boy.  But that is a story for another time.  

I remember sitting that first day wondering what her day was like, wondering if she was going to have any troubles, if the teacher would have to call me to come get her or if she would be scared for life by the time I went to pick her up.  The opposite of course was true.  As I picked her up at the end of her first day she was all a buzz as to her proceedings of the day.  From the first thing to the last she gave me every bit of a detailed account she could remember.  She was so excited for the new friends and her teacher.  But what really melted my heart was how excited she was to see me.  She told me she loved school but she wished it could be with me because she loves me so much.  That moment was precious and I am so glad I was there to hear it.

My first day of kindergarten may not be memorable to me, but my daughters sure is, and that is all the matters.  To be there for her and to remember hers is a true honor and I am blessed beyond my imaginings. 

Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Road Less Traveled By

"Do you realize what you are doing?  You are going to ruin your child.  She is going to grow up without any real view of what the world is like!  She is going to be awkward and isolated because of what you are doing.  She is going to have difficulty fitting in, being happy, being loved, loving others. She is going to grow up not knowing what all the other kids know.  She is going to grow up not experiencing what all the other kids experience.  How cruel.  I can't believe you are going to subject her to that.  My heart breaks for her."

Those comments I have heard more than once, by more than one person.  Most don't bombard me with those things all at once but they do come.  I am a Christian.  I am also a Christian who has decided to homeschool.  And to some one those things is bad enough but to add the other means I must be some radical racist who must be hiding in my bunker just waiting for the end of the world.  I guess there is some tiny bit of truth mixed in that comment.

I am a Christian and I am radical... for the things of Christ, for my family, for people.  Christ loves us with such a radical love that he went all the way to the cross.  So I love Him regardless of the backlash I receive, even if it is from the very family I love so much.  I love my daughter so much that after she suffered abuse at the hands of another student (you know, that thing called bullying) repeatedly and suffered physical injury, and I watched her get terrible migraines at school whiles suffering emotional injury, and I watched her learning creep to a stop because of mental injury I could do nothing but remove her from that situation.

I didn't make this decision lightly, I did as much research as I ever have for anything I have ever done.  And if you know anything about me, then you know I tend to research something more than I probably need to. As I did my research all those comments listed above grew smaller and smaller and all the positive things that I found grew more an more.  See I didn't look into homeschooling because I was a Christian, though many Christians do homeschool.  I looked into it because I loved my daughter more than I love myself and though the thought of homeschooling terrified me and what that meant for the next who knows how many years I wanted what was best for her.

I saw the statistics and how most homeschoolers are much more well rounded relationally because they learn to talk to all walks of life and ages in everyday life.  They are not stuck in a classroom with a bunch of kids who are only their age.  They know how to deal with younger, same age and older people.  They have no fear of another age population which is sometimes rapid among kids.  I saw that their stress levels were much lower but their test scores were so much higher.  Their suicide levels, teen pregnancy levels,  drug abuse levels, as well as other risky behaviors were all much lower, because their families were a tighter unit, not because they didn't have the opportunity.

Since becoming a homeschooler I have seen that most are much more active in the community, in fun activities, in exciting opportunities most kids can't get because they are so busy with school and homework it leaves little time for anything else.  Most excitedly I see that they are free to explore their passions, become what they hope, dream and desire to be without being forced into a direction they would never desire to go.  

Just as Robert Frost did when he was homeschooled, he decided to follow the road less traveled and became an incredible poet, one of the countries most beloved.  And it was his homeschooling family, particularly his mother, Isabelle that inspired him to be a poet because of the rich literature they read on a daily basis in their homeschool environment.

I will continue to follow the road less traveled because I love my God and my family.  I am happy to hear those comments from others who don't understand and will always show them through actions that what they fear for my child, is what they will someday marvel at because they just did not understand the fruit that would come from the road less traveled.
(The above was written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!,  [ Writing prompt ~ Talk about a time you took the road less traveled and the differences it made…] Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog  for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Will You Do?

Tragedy struck today in a small town in Western Washington.  It was heartbreaking and made me reflect a great deal and think about my reaction to things around me.

As I made my way into town for a homeschool meeting, sitting on a mound in front of a public school was an elderly man.  I had seen this man before in the area and thought nothing of him really.  As I drove by him though, something was different, he was glaring at each and every car that drove by.  As we drove by he lifted his hands and pointed his fingers at us as if shooting a gun at us, silently moving his lips to mimic the sound of a gun as it is fired.

I was slightly disturbed and ask the Lord to help him but then moved on with my morning activities, not giving him another thought.  I mean, he was just an elderly man who probably had too much to drink or was just in a grumpy fowl mood.  He wasn't doing anything other than giving people dirty looks.

On my way home from my day's events I neared the school again, yet this time I was not allowed to pass.  I asked the man and police officer that was standing there on the side of the road if there had been an accident.  He replied that there was some old man running around with a gun shooting at people so the police had the area blocked off.

I was stunned and with my daughter in the back of the car I turned around to go the long way home and immediately began to pray.  I was praying for the safety of all involved and that the man would be stopped without anyone being harmed.  My mind was surely focused on this event and how close we came to being in harms way.

When I got home I decided to post about it on Facebook so that people would pray for the situation and quickly found out that the man had been killed because he had fired at the police and they had no choice but to fire back. 

My heart was broken.  It was broken for a man who had probably lived in his little house for that last 50 plus years with a wife and children.  Children that grew up and might have no longer visited because life is just too busy and dad is just too grumpy.  The thought of his death and what his family might be going through ate away at me and the thing that hurt most was that my spirit was convicted, deeply convicted.

How many times do we see or sense something is off and we move on without another thought, and if we do pray it is a quick cursory prayer that we did out duty.  It was a quick prayer so we weren't really bothered by it and the time it was take to really pray over the situation?  I was convicted.  This man was hurting and lost.  He was not in his right mind and I knew it and I had a bad feeling when I drove by him yet all I prayed for was that the Lord would help him.  Did I really mean that prayer?  Or did I say it out of that place inside that says, "I am supposed to pray!"  Not because my heart was moved to share my worries with the Father.

It was a great lesson to me.  It made me think of my everyday situations.  Do I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to know WHAT to pray?  Or do I just plow forth with no concern with what God wants?  If I had taken that time the Spirit might have touched me and asked me to pray for something very specific and it might have been something that would have made a difference.

I am not saying I am responsible for this man's death.  He died because of his choices and it is extremely sad.  But I am responsible to do exactly what the Lord calls me to do, and I think that would include praying for the lost and hurting, praying for this man.  The Lord LOVES HIM!  The Lord was grieved by this event today. 

What will you do next time you are given that check in your spirit that something isn't quite right?  Ignore it, throw a vague prayer out there, or turn to the Father, ask the Spirit to guide you and thank the Savior for giving you the ability to always have access to them for all your needs.