Want More? Give More.

Blog - August - community-helping-hands

So many people are so afraid to share with others. They don’t want to share their knowledge, because then you’ll know what they know. Share their time, they’ll be behind in what they’re trying to achieve. Share their resources and what they have … less for them later. And then they’re looking around, wondering why they don’t have enough.

If you want more, the answer is simple. Give more. I’m a giver by nature. I love to help people, to encourage and uplift them, to give them resources that can help them, to give my time and efforts to assist them. And it comes back to me … in huge unexpected ways. Like all of the incredible free resources people are unselfishly sharing with me on my new homeschool journey; like a gracious new friend who invited me to her house and showed me her set up so I can see a homeschool in action; like the many beautiful Godly sisters who love me through word and deed; like my husband who gives of himself to our family every single day.

Giving pays so much more. Expand your borders. Be a giver.

O Captain My Captain

August - Robin Williams picture

Brilliance. Robin Williams exhibited that rare combination of brilliance; an actor who could have you roaring with laughter in one film, then moved and touched beyond comprehension in another. One of my favorite films of all time, and my favorite with him, is Dead Poet’s Society (though Mrs. Doubtfire is a close second). The film, the acting, the cast, were all phenomenal. And Robin Williams was the dramatic glue that held it all together. I’d be remiss, of course, if I didn’t mention some of his other incredible works … Hook, Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, and the list goes on and on.

While his works were incredible and tributes are moving, right now more of us are sadly overcome with the news of his death. Anytime a movie or television star dies, if the actor is from a show or movie we loved, we feel like we’ve lost a member of the extended family. We remember the last time we watched the person on screen; we recall the last time they made us laugh or cry, just like recalling the last time we saw a family member who passed. Such is the case with icon Robin Williams.

But I suspect for many of you, like me, that the pain of his death extends beyond this. It’s not just that he’s gone … but the way that it happened. A vibrant life, snuffed out, before its time. A life … that provided joy and laughter for so many … yet ironically was plagued with sadness and loneliness at the end. A life … spent helping others understand written words and bringing them to life … that in the end didn’t feel as though he could be understood.

And I think that’s what hurts the most. Depression is real. It’s heavy. And it can be heartbreaking. If you’re in a sadness “you can’t get out of”, or it’s been going on for far too long, please talk to someone. Get help. As we see, you are not alone.

Rest in peace, captain.

Can We Please Not Talk About This Now?

Blog - August - children-holding-hands

A 7-year old boy wanting a girlfriend?

Thankfully, mine does not. He told me this in no uncertain terms. He was reading a book about a bear having a girlfriend, so I started asking him how he felt about having a girlfriend.

“I’m too young,” he said. “Besides, I would have to spend all my time with a girlfriend – no time for my family or my friends. No thanks.” Accurate assessment, lol.

Happy to be making some headway, I asked what he thought was the appropriate age for a girlfriend.

“Older, I guess.” He then fidgeted and said, “Can we please not talk about this now?”

Huh? Okay, I countered, albeit reluctantly.

Not sure how to feel about his abrupt end to the discussion. I don’t want him to feel awkward talking to me, so I tried to choose my questions carefully.

I went through the litany of questions in my head – did I say too much? Did I ask too much? Did I say it in a teasing way? Did I make him feel uncomfortable?

But you know what? He’s 7. Maybe it’s just not time to talk about it anymore right now. And that’s okay. :)

Me Too

I worked so hard last year to remove stress from my life. Not the everyday stress that comes from being blessed with two incredibly rambunctious little boys, but extra, unnecessary, took on too much, said-yes-when-you-should-have-said-no, stress. It tries to rear its ugly head occasionally, and I even get sucked in every so often, but overall I am doing a good job of keeping it at bay.

During this past week, as I think about starting to homeschool and continue working, I’ve felt the back of my neck stiffen and my stomach churn. Undue stress was trying to make a comeback. I prayed, refocused, refreshed, yet it remained. Nagging doubts crept in … could I do it all? Was this crazy? Was I crazy? Is this even possible? And on and on and on.

Then the most wonderful thing happened. I heard two of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Me too.

Me too – other women confessed online, in Facebook posts, that they were dealing with situations just like mine.
Me too – these women talked about struggling with decisions, with time, with busyness
Me too – they talked about making it through successfully … and coming back for another year

Who knows how sharing your story can help someone else dealing with a similar situation.
Me too.

Wives, Listen Up

My husband is an amazing man. I am very blessed. He is an excellent father, works hard and tries hard in all he does. He even manages to pop in an occasional surprise or two for me. Well he really managed to render me speechless (which is saying a lot) this week.

Wives, listen up

We’re making some big changes in our household. Homeschooling, setting up schoolrooms, revamping office space … it’s a miniature little construction village. When we were in the planning stages a couple of months ago, my husband told me he could finish walls that only had insulation, to make the room inhabitable.

Wives, listen up

I trusted him. I knew he had experience painting. I knew he’d helped his dad with many construction projects. I knew he loved handyman work. But putting up walls? To look like the “real walls” in other parts of the house? Um… wasn’t too sure about that one. But I decided to support his efforts, put out the money, and see what we ended up with.

Wives, listen up

Why am I telling the wives to listen up? Because it’s important to believe in your husband. Support your man. Validate his efforts. But your time, talent, and treasure (yes, family money) into helping him do it. And then trust him to do it. What did I end up with as a result? A room with “real walls” (he even painted them) that looks gorgeous – even better the walls done by the professionals. I’m looking for a way to get the newly painted room as mine, and let him have the old one. Now that part he ain’t having. Lol.

So glad I listened up.

For the Kids . . .

July - Final Blog pix - For the Kids

Things I have had to sacrifice for my children ….

Nights of undisturbed sleep,
Food in fancy restaurants, to eat.
Precious time to spend alone,
Upgrades to the latest phones.
New clothes, gorgeous shoes,
Exotic travels with incredible views.
A quiet home, a peaceful table,
Watching whatever I want on cable.
Climbing the career ladder,
Being selfish in decisions that matter.
I’ve had to sacrifice all of this and more for my children…

And I’d do it ALL again.

Because I’m Happy . . .

July - Happy blog 2

I just feel happy today and wanted to share it. No particular reason. I woke up this morning, and decided, I’m going to be happy today. Full of joy. Full of peace. Grateful to God for this life that I live. I decided to think happy, simple, thoughts. Nothing complicated. Nothing heavy. Here’s a few of the things that make me happy.

1. Rain against the window
2. Yellow flowers
3. A laughing child
4. A rainbow
5. Ice cream
6. Chocolate
7. A nap
8. Reading a good book
9. My favorite sitcom
10. A kiss

Champion Kids Nuggets – Head it off at the Pass

July - Kid Stress Image

The past year has been life-changing for me. I’ve learned not to stress so much. It’s been a process, complete with prayer, God’s Word, sleeping, TV, reading for fun, and figuring out “no” is not a bad word. I’ve been happier, healthier, and probably more pleasant to be around. I hadn’t given much thought to how all of my changes have been affecting my little guys.

That is, until I noticed my oldest son trying to pile on and do more and more and more – read more books, do more activities, fold more clothes, then become upset when his long list of items didn’t get done. Now some of you may think, big deal, be glad he wants to get things done. And I am. However, I also recognize the signs of starting to pile too much on yourself unnecessarily. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. But just in case, I’m going to put a few safeguards in place to help him handle stress positively, and head the negative part of it off at the pass.

1. Make a manageable list. For him, that should be two things he really wants to accomplish with his day. This will not be a mandatory daily list, but any means. But on the days I see he seems overwhelmed, I’ll pull him aside and offer this solution.

2. Make sure he is getting enough rest. Boy oh boy, are my little guys ever cranky when they don’t get enough sleep! As an adult, this can increase the stress factor tenfold. I’m going to ensure he knows how important this is right now.

3. Make him have fun. Yes, I said “make him” have fun. I’ll put on a song and we’ll dance around the living room. We’ll have an ice cream eating contest. We’ll play hide and seek in the house. In the process I’ll be teaching him that when tension mounts, a merry heart really does do good like a medicine.

We’re still early in the process, but that’s the entire point. I want to teach him tools to cope effectively now, so he can sail through later.

Hiding … for the sake of Chocolate

July - Chocolate Cake image

I’d been eyeing a piece of chocolate cake for hours. It was a small slice, and the only one left. My youngest son, who recently developed a propensity for the finer things in life (like chocolate), helped me demolish the other two, earlier in the week. So I knew there was no eating this slice without him seeing it. So what did I do? Waited until he went to bed … then enjoyed every last crumb by myself. Indulgent? Maybe. Selfish? Definitely. Delicious. Absolutely. LOL. It made me think what other things have I hid from the kids to enjoy by myself?

- Potato chips. Lays are a hot commodity around here.
– Ice cream. You scream. We really do all scream for ice cream.
– Watching TV. Seriously, my son likes some of the same shows I do (Cosby Show, 19 Kids & Counting, Til Debt Do Us Part). If I wanna watch in solitude, I have to hide.
– Read Facebook. Sounds funny, but I never know when a little person may sneak up behind me. And some people have different ideas about what’s appropriate to put on FB, know what I mean?

How about you?

Goodbye, Little One

Holding baby finger

A few weeks old, you filled me with joy.
Fun guesses … will you be a girl or a boy.
Excitement, giddy with thoughts of you.
A blessing for us, full of life anew.
An answer to prayer, cause to celebrate,
Time to prepare, for this wonder so great.

Yet the moment was fleeting, happiness so real.
The sudden turn left feelings … unexpected to feel.
I knew you, I felt you, you were mine from day one.
It doesn’t seem fair. Life hadn’t even begun.
As I fight the tears, through gripping pain,
Some days I can’t move, others I sustain.
My heart is broken, only God can heal.
Thank Him for His presence; I know He is real.

This too shall pass … though hurt I won’t deny.
As I say to my precious little one gone too soon … Goodbye.