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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Always

She dropped the paper and the tears fell. With her head in her hands she just cried and shook her head. She couldn't talk. Couldn't breathe.
********

I picked up the yellow paper from the floor. Even though her reaction told me everything I didn't want to know, I had to see this paper for myself. This piece of paper we had put our lives on hold for. This piece of paper that would tell me who I was.

Alleged Father. That's me.

All I saw were a bunch of numbers. $600 for this?!

What I did see were a few words that told me what I already knew.

Excluded.

% of paternity: 0.0%

Screw this test! I took one look at her, and saw how devastated and scared she was. Then I looked over at the car seat. We hadn't even taken the baby out yet. We'd rushed in to read this freakin' thing, and he was just sitting there. Patiently wondering what we were waiting on.

He's so beautiful. Such a good baby.

I dropped the paper on the floor, and reached down to unbuckle him. I could her sobs stop in the background and she began to breathe. I picked him up and went over to her.

I didn't know what to say. I've never been good with words. But, I kissed her on the forehead and smiled at her. I lifted her chin with my finger and kissed her again. She reached out and grabbed his little hands and we just sat there for a minute in silence. She reached for the baby and pulled him to her lap, as if she was releasing me.

I just sat there. Unable to speak. Unable to say what I felt.

Fuck! Why did I suck so bad at this. I hated to see her hurting. I wanted to fix it, but I just didn't know how.

I knew what I wanted. I just didn't how to tell her.
********

Time passed. She didn't know how long, but it felt like forever. It was as if she was frozen. numb. She didn't know what to do next. She didn't know what to say. What to think. Her mind was spinning. She couldn't believe she had put so much faith in a stupid piece of paper. The past year flooded through her mind like a freight train. She was tired. Everything had been so hard. so confusing. So complicated. Yet, this paper was cut and dry. Simple. Now what?

He wasn't the father.

As she began to feel her hear beat faster, she put her head down to try to compose herself. Get it together. Then she felt his touch. His touch could warm her from the inside out. It made her scared to look at him. She had never been more afraid. Afraid of the future. Afraid of what he would say. Afraid she would loose him.

He lifted her chin and kissed her. He forced her to look at him in the eyes. He took one look at her and then reached over for the baby.

He grabbed her son's hand, and said, "I don't care what this piece of paper says! This is my son. Nothing is ever going to change that. I will be here. Always."
********


You can read this series in order below.
#1 Exhale
#2 Rehab
#3 Lost
#4 Afraid
#5 Breathe
#6 Alone
#7 Held
#8 Sealed

Monday, March 26, 2012

What are you afraid of?

What does fear keep you from accomplishing?

When we’re afraid of rejection, failure, or embarrassment we tend to stay away from whatever might cause that. Right? I mean, it makes sense. Who wants to be rejected, totally suck at something, or be a laughing stock? Um, not me. 

 But, how can we accomplish our dreams and goals if we’re not willing to screw up sometimes?

Sure! There are probably many things we suck at doing that we think we do well. We might have a few wake up calls along the way, but how will we know if we don’t try?

Many doors will have to be closed before God opens the one that leads us to that accomplishment, but if we don’t face our fear, He’ll never even have the chance to direct us.

I’ve been doing some thinking and I realized fear keeps me from a lot!

If I was to write about all of things I’m afraid of you might just fall asleep or click away. So, we’ll keep this blog related. Because, to be honest with you? This blog scares the bejesus out of me sometimes. How do you spell bejesus, anyway?

Fear keeps me from pursuing goals related to blogging and writing.

I’m afraid to go to a blog conference.
I will be away from the kids to long. 

I’m afraid to pursue a sponsorship for said conference.
They will hate my blog and say no.

I’m afraid to make a media kit, and send it out.
My blog isn’t worthy of a media kit. That’s for pros.

I’m afraid to admit I want to be a writer when I grow up.
If I tell people that, then they might criticize my writing. 

I’m afraid to make changes.

But? I’m taking baby steps, and facing some fears.

I’m working on a move to Wordpress and? A Name change! I’m ready to face my bloggy fears!

I hope you’ll come by as soon as I can reveal more!

Thanks to Ashley at My Front Porch Swing, all I have to do is wait. I'm super excited about the move and can't wait to tell you more!

What are you afraid of?


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Planting Seeds of Faith

Yesterday I wrote about recognizing our strengths as mothers. Too often we focus on the negative and don't give ourselves the credit we deserve for a job well done. I asked you to leave a comment and share something you like about your mommy self. Many of you responded with wonderful ways you share your heart with your children everyday. I'm so glad that you shared! If you missed it, please take a minute to tell us about your mommy positives HERE!

Today I wanted to share a mommy positive about myself. Because, well...it feels good to recognize something I'm doing well! I just don't do it enough. My perfectionism is a way I believe Satan gets me down, and he stinks, so I'm telling him to get lost!

I was having some Bible time with my son this morning, and he was reciting the verse he's been memorizing with pride. Then, we proceeded to look it up in the Bible together. I haven't really spent much time teaching him how to find verses on his own, but lately I've been trying. Up until now he has had his own young readers Bible. But, he's beginning to memorize the books in order and so forth, and today he found his own Bible verse. Which by the way is fantastic math practice, too! All that backwards and forwards requires some mega greater than less than knowledge. 

But, I realized at that moment that this was one of my mommy positives. I may not be the perfect *christian* mother and wife, but I try to put God at the center of our home, and plant those seeds of faith. I don't know why I am always so hard on myself in this area? I find myself feeling unworthy and ill-equipped to teach my boys God's word. How silly!

Sure, many days I forget to do our Bible time, or I put it at the bottom of the list. Then that defeat I talked about yesterday sets in, and I forget to turn it around. I realized today that Satan wants nothing more than to prevent me from sharing God's word with my boys, and he gets me where he knows I'm weak. Self-doubt and perfectionism, and I'm tired of it!

So today, I'm celebrating my mommy positive of planting seeds of faith. Because it's those seeds, no matter how small, that will grow in the hearts of my boys. Watered by God's wisdom and love. I plant the seeds, but he's the gardener!

No longer will allow myself to doubt my ability to teach my boys God's Word. No longer will I allow that defeat to take over my day. No longer will I allow myself to listen to the lie that I cannot raise up an army for the Lord!

Because? I can! and I will!

This post is linked up with Shell at Pour Your Heart Out and Courtney at Women Living Well!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sometimes we get it right.

We're so hard on ourselves as parents. 

We all have laundry lists of every mistake we've ever made and wish lists of the things we wish we could change. 

What about the times we get it right?

Because the truth is, we do get it right-a lot! We just don't give ourselves the credit. 

Yesterday, I had a momzilla moment. We had finished our schoolwork, and all I wanted to do was go for a run. I have been feeling pretty crappy and my exercise routine has been less than. That tends to get me down mentally and physically. I got my running clothes on, but one thing lead to another in the mom department, and my workout window passed me by. ARGH!

I ended up acting like a brat, taking my frustrations out on the boys, and ruining a perfectly good day with a bad attitude. Sigh...

What usually happens?

I sink into a mode of defeat in my post momzilla state and think about how I'm a terrible mother, my kids will grow up to be serial killers, and hate me forever. 

But, I choose to snap out of it and make a better evening than I had afternoon. I cooked a nice dinner with the help of my little chef, and we all sat down together as family. We laughed, joked, and had a wonderful meal followed by a family show. We love to watch Once Upon a Time together!

My husband and my children were blessed by my efforts. Instead of letting a bad moment set the tone for the whole evening? I got it right!

After I read my little guy a story and he was sleeping sound next me, I realized my momzilla moment was only a fraction of the day. 20 minutes. Tops! What about the rest of the day when I got it right? 

When we focus on our negative qualities more than our positive, we're teaching out kids to do the same thing. I hope and pray they don't focus on my momzilla moments like I do! 

Ladies, sometimes we get it right!! Give yourself some credit today. Celebrate your strengths as mothers!

When's the last time you got it right? 

Leave a comment and tell us something you like about yourself as a mommy! Go ahead do it! 

I do not look with disdain upon my weaknesses. 
I see them as opportunities for God to display His powerful strength and grace through me. (Corinthians 2 12:10)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Veggie Tales DVD Giveaway!


We love Veggie Tales! They never fail to give a positive message in a fun way. 

Want to win a copy of their latest DVD: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry-Men?

In the new DVD, kids learn no hurt is too big for a great God! 

About the DVD:
A long time ago, in the faraway town of Bethlingham, roved a band of merry men, led by the fearless Robin Good. Their mission: to help people by fundraising from the rich and giving to the poor!  But when a greedy Prince starts stealing the townspeople’s hams, donations are down and Robin’s friends take off and decide to give robbing from the rich a try. Feeling rejected, Robin thinks things can't get any worse, until he finds out that the ham-hoarding Prince has also captured his friends. Can Robin overcome his own hurt, rescue his friends and restore the townspeople's hope?  Find out in this fun Veggie story where kids learn that there's no hurt too big for God!   

Check out the trailer and enter to win! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You give Homeschoolers a bad name!

Let's be honest. Homeschooling has it's misconceptions.

It's understandable. Look at the media coverage you have to go on. At one end, you've got The Duggar Family, who by the way I think is awesome. Michelle Duggar seems sweet, and I admire her patience and soft spoken nature. I do however wonder if she takes Zoloft like me, but either wayI still think she's great. If they want to have 400 kids-more power to 'em. I just personally could.not.do.it! My husband always tells me if we had 15 adult children helping us, we probably could do it. Oh, I see her trick. Good point. 


How about another take?

The Martins.They're the family you may have become acquainted with back in 2010 when ABC did a spot on a day in the life of their family. Or perhaps you caught Dayna Martin's interview with Dr. Phil? They teach their children with a method called "unschooling". The term alone sort of freaks me out, but I've been clicking around seeing what others have to say about this philosophy. I'm smart enough to know that media coverage can be biased. I don't think I'd be going out on a  limb by saying the Martin family probably wasn't happy with the final editing of that story on ABC. But, that's just a wild guess.  This young women, an adult unschooled student, spoke out about her education and experience being unschooled, and it's didn't sound so awful. In fact, I was pretty impressed by her.

To each there own! While I may not completely get the philosophy behind unschooling, or even necessarily agree with it, I don't need to.  I also do not get having 20 kids. However, I won't judge them for their choice. Plenty of people judge me for my choice to homeschool. And we're pretty boring. We have textbooks, daily lessons in all the subjects (even the ones they don't like), my kids receive grades, I lesson plan....blah, blah, blah. Ms. Martin would cringe!  


Ok, so all of that to say this...

I don't care what educational philosophy you subscribe to. We all have ONE thing in common. PARENTING!

By parenting I mean this...
par·ent·ing

noun
1.
the rearing of children: The schedule allows her very little timefor parenting.
2.
the methods, techniques, etc., used or required in therearing of children: a course in parenting.
3.
the state of being a parent parenthood.
adjective
4.
of or concerned with the rearing of children: good parentingskills.



I also think it's critical to include my personal favorite-the verb variation for reasons that are about to be painfully obvious.
par·ent
verb 
to be or act as parent of: to parent children with both love and discipline.

Okay, grammar is over. 

A recent outing with my boys has left me scratching my head. We attended our monthly science class at a local museum and science center on Monday. The courses are offered to homeschoolers year round, and it's a great chance to get hands-on with some really cool science stuff we wouldn't necessarily get to do at home. We enjoy it. Usually. 

But, while we were there on Monday, I noticed an alarming trend.

Misbehaving children + oblivious parents = notsomuch fun chaos!

Here's the thing. If your child is being a hellion and you're on your iphone, you're not going to be able to parent. If your child is screaming and you're socializing with other oblivious moms, you're not going to be able to parent. If the instructor is begging repeatedly asking your children to use their "inside voices" that means he wants them to shut up and he wants you to...parent.

In my younger son's class it is required that a parent or chaperon be in attendance during the sessions. There's a lot of hands-on, and most of the kids in this age group need assistance. It's very clear that the instructor needs the parents to participate in order for the experiments to go smoothly.

As the class wore on, I saw more and more parents zoned out on their iphones, socializing while johnny climbed the walls, and oblivious to anything that was going on. I was so embarrassed.

Embarrassed because I felt bad for the science teachers that were dealing with a bunch of "homeschoolers" who clearly aren't parenting. I felt embarrassed to be lumped in that group on Monday.

Homeschool isn't a free for all. My boys have structure and a nurturing learning environment. When I
take them places like this class, it's not so they can be babysat by the center staff, it's so we can get the chance to do these kind of things together!

Not only did many of the parents not pay any attention to instructions, but they talked while the instructions were being given. It was so obvious that the instructors were aggravated. And if the parents are acting like that? Yes. of course their children were too. Sigh...

My kids are not perfect! In fact they are far from it. My oldest has plenty of needs that I have to make sure are met, and he's often misunderstood. So I'm not talking about those kids. In fact, the chaos was so ridiculous for one little boy, that I saw his mom take him off to the side on more than one occasion. Not because he was misbehaving, but because everyone else was. It was just too much for him, and I could tell. Thankfully his mom was parenting.

My youngest has the attention span of about 2 seconds. I have to stay on top of him to make sure he's following along. That's fine. He's 7. He's a boy. He had a great time doing all of the experiments and I was proud he did not follow along with some of the other behavior that had me so irritated.

And I was irritated with the parents. I felt like they were leaving a terrible impression of what homeschool families look like. It really upset me. I ended up intervening as much as I could to try to help the instructors gain some kind of classroom control. I helped them make lines with other people kids while their parents stayed right where they were. UGH! But, it was all I could do. At least I was able to offer some help. One of the dads actually thanked me. That was nice and confirmed I wasn't over reacting. Because I have been known to do that.

And what aggravates me more than anything else? Parents like these give homeschoolers a bad name!

Me no likey.

There are enough misconceptions out there without us adding to the pot through lousy, lazy, selfish parenting. or lack thereof!

So homeschool, unschool, private school, public school, Montessori learning, and the list goes on...no matter what educational trend you're subscribing to, please also subscribe to good 'ole fashioned parenting!

I'm pretty sure our kids won't get into college without it!

**I felt like this rant qualifies for Shell's fabulous Pour Your Heart Out, so you can find me there! AND it's her two year anniversary of #PYHO! I would never miss that! Thanks to giving us a great place to vent, Shell!***

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Should I be worried?

I saw him move the shovel back and forth, and then I saw MOM.

How sweet. A love letter? Notsomuch.














Can you make it out?

Mom is a dork.

Hmmm...Not quite what I had in mind.

Should I be worried?




Labels:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Snooky: I don't get it?

It's official.

I've lost all faith in humanity. 

Snooki has a True Hollywood Story. 

Really?

Is there really that much that needs to be said about Snooki? I don't get it. 

Hollywood used to look like this...

Grace Kelly


















Vivien Leigh


















Audrey Hepburn


















Now it looks like this...

America's Sweetheart














  

Riding That Bull!
Pure grace...










































I don't get it?






Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How do I get there from here?

I started blogging almost two years ago. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but I quickly fell in love. I love blogging. I love writing. I love the community here, and want to continue to do it. But, I feel like I need a change. I need a fresh focus.

I've obsessed over tossed around the idea of starting over with a clear vision. Now that I know a little something about this whole blogging thing (and I mean a little!), I really wish I had known then what I know now. When I think about starting over, I won't lie, I get sort of excited. 

I want to grow as a blogger and writer, but I'm not sure I will be able to grow from here. When I started blogging, I had no idea of the importance of a great blog name, what SEO was, finding a niche, Wordpress or Blogger, self-hosting or platform, and on and on...

I simply logged onto Blogger and clicked on "create a blog". Two years later, I'm bursting with a desire to start with a clean slate. 

Sometimes I think about how awesome it would be to start over. Change is good. It could be really exciting...

I feel like I've reached a plateau here at the Shoebox. 

I think it's liberating to start over. No matter what it is in life we might start over. Fresh starts breed possibility. It feels good to throw in the towel sometimes and reach for something higher. There can be a lot of freedom in accepting that this isn't quite going the direction I'd like, and make some changes to reach my goals.

Do ever feel the itch to regain your blog focus with a clean slate?

This post is linked up with Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pause Life for a Moment

When JDaniel4’s Mom invited me to guest post on Pause Life for a Moment, I was so excited and flattered. She wants me to come over and write for her? Um... Yes, please. I accepted her invitation with glee!

JDaniel4 has got to be one of the happiest kids on the planet, don’t you think? He’s got one creative and loving mama! I think she’s one smart cookie and I love going over here to read her blog, so the fact that I get to write there is such a treat!

So please head over and check out my guest post at JDaniel4s Mom! Comments here are off.



Monday, March 5, 2012

5 signs you might have spring fever...

#1 You are unable to focus on anything, including your blog. you haven't posted in a week, and don't care. You were supposed to write a post today as part of a series about 5 tips that might help someone else, but instead you're choosing to write about 5 reasons why you can't come up with said list.

#2 You keep looking out the window at the blue sky and gorgeous 70 degree weather, wishing you were sitting on the beach with a book instead of trying to get your son to finish his math. 

#3 You need to go grocery shopping because you didn't thaw anything out for dinner, but you're not going. Because...well, you don't want to. You hope that Pinterest will have an idea on how to turn canned chicken into a meal the whole family will enjoy.

#4 You keep thinking about how pale you are, and how much better you would look with a tan.

#5 You start wondering if your kids would really suffer if you stopped school for the year. There's always next year, right? No?

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