Saturday, November 12, 2011


The Real Housewives of..... it started on Bravo with Orange County. Then Bravo added NYC, Washington DC, Atlanta, New Jersey and Beverly Hills. I started watching Orange County when it first started. I was wanting to see life of housewives who have money and live in the sunny state of CA. Like the others, the housewives are women just like you who are doing a reality show. I have learned a lot of things and seen a lot of changes in these different women. The first couple seasons of Orange County the women were friends and in general got along fine. I started watching NYC and then DC and thought wow the women on the east coast are mean to each other compared to the women on the west coast. But as women dropped out of the OC Housewives and new ones joined I realized that those women are just as mean.

With Alivia and even myself growing up there are always the mean girls in school. One would think when we got older and matured as females we would change and not be so caddy but it just doesn't happen. Alivia doesn't watch the show but sometimes sees previews if we are watching other stuff on Bravo. It has been a good way of telling her that even when she gets older, females are verbally mean to each other. You have to be careful in making friends and picking those to be friends with.

We are all different and have different personalities and sometimes that mixes well and other times it is like oil and water and you just can't mix them together. Which works for Bravo since you get to see a lot of "cat fights" which makes them money.

It also makes me reflect on past friendships and present ones. There are no perfect people and I will let my friends down and they will in turn let me down. From these friendships hopefully you grow as a person. Sometimes the friendship can be mended and other times you have to let it go. Some friends you lose touch with after they move away, some friendships are just for a short amount of time. It may be circumstances that bring you together and when that event is done you no longer keep in touch. Some people stay friends with those from high school or college and the both work at that friendship to keep it going strong. In some friendships you can go along time without seeing or talking to each other and pick right back up where you left off. Friendships are a funny thing and you can see all these different types on tv.   

Jesus had 12 close friends that he shared many things with. If you look at those friendships you may see personalities of some of your friends now or friends who had. John the disciple whom Jesus loved was loyal and a very good friend. Judas was the complete opposite and betrayed Jesus just as we have all had friends who have betrayed us. Peter was quick to the sword and had Jesus' back to defend him but also let him down by denying him. But after he heard the rooster crow his heart was very sad for what he had did. You may have had a friend who let you down and then came to ask for forgiveness because they truly do love you.  The rest of disciple as well had different personalities and different friendships with Jesus.

It can be hard to find a true friend. Someone whom you can trust, go to 24/7, listen to you, cry with you, rejoice with you and pray with you. Along that path to find that true friend or friends you will have hurt and disappointment. Your one true friend is Christ. He is everything you need and he has given up everything for you because He loves you that much. You will not find a friend like that here on earth because as I said we all mess up and are imperfect. But keep searching for that kind of friend here on earth because you can find someone who loves you for who you are, and will forgive you when you mess up and hurt them.

I'm very thankful for Darla, Sheri and Sherry three great friends who love me, forgive me and are there for me as I am for them.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And Now High School

It's hard to believe my baby boy will be entering 9th grade this next school year. It has gone by so fast although some days, weeks and months seemed to drag on like this part of life would never end. But it always does and he has matured into a wonderful young man.

When we decided to homeschool we said we would just take it one year at a time, which we continue to do. For most people I knew who homeschooled, at high school they decided to send the kids to public or christian school because there is a lot of record keeping involved if you want your child to graduate with the school district diploma. Now that we are done with Junior High for Trevor I've been looking at High School and what he needs to do in 4 years according to the state of Iowa.
For High School 9th - 12th Grade students need to complete credits. A credit would be either 2/3 of a public school textbook or 120 hours on a certain subject. They also need to take ITBS and pass at 40% level.

When I look back at my high school and maybe kids in high school now I wish my parents would have known the in's and out's of what was needed to graduate. In many cases kids could graduate early.
I had a full-time summer job that in 6 weeks I could have earned a elective credit for in occupational skills. 12- 40hour weeks at that job and there I have 2 credits of the 8 credits in electives. Summer reading of 120 hours worth would account for 1 credit in English. Doing chores over the years at home I'm sure I had at least 120 hours in to account of another elective credit in home economics. But none of that counted cause my parents were unaware of things like that accounting for credits towards graduation.

One advantage of homeschooling is you do learn about Iowa laws in the education field which is at an advantage to your child/children.
So what credits do your children need in 4 years to graduate, English 4 credits, Social Studies 3 credits, Science 2 credits, Math 2 credits, P.E./Health 1 credit, Electives 8 credits.
Electives are just that, the extra so it can be working, chores, foreign language, music, art, home economics, bible, drama, volunteer work, studying of something they are interested in etc. As I said before a credit is 120 hours on a subject or 2/3 of a textbook.

I found it fascinating that kids only need 2 credits in Math. In a school year I'm sure the teacher gets through at least 2/3 of the text they are teaching and if a student would choose they would only need to do math for 2 of their 4 school years. Same with Science and only 3 years of Social Studies. So as a Senior depending on what your plan in life is you may only need to take an English class in the public school system your last year, if you have fulfilled the other credits plus your eight electives and passed at 40% or higher on ITBS.

Looking at all of this and going through Trevor's 4 year plan he very well could graduate early and get started in his college road to be whatever he has planned.  I'm excited about these next 3 or 4 years as he continues to mature from a young man to a man and see where God is leading him.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Think Beyond Punishment

The human desire for short-term gratification is satisfied by jet planes that travel coast-to-coast in four hours, fast food outlets, and all manner of new and ever-faster electronic technologies. Because people are no longer accustomed to waiting patiently, they tend to become quickly frustrated when natural processes can’t be circumvented and they are forced to wait for a solution to “mature.” When that happens, people are inclined to begin unwittingly engaging in self-defeating behavior.
Over the past few decades, I’ve noticed this becoming more and more typical of today’s parents concerning disciplinary solutions. In other words, when a parent’s disciplinary response to a specific misbehavior doesn’t result in a near-instant cure, the parent becomes frustrated and begins zigging and zagging all over the parenting playing field, trying one approach after another, accomplishing nothing.

Some of these parents eventually talk to me. They tell me they’ve tried “everything.” That’s the problem, of course. When I ask one of them to describe the history of their approach to the problem in question, it’s almost inevitable that at least one of the strategies—or some variation thereof—probably would have borne fruit had the parents stuck to their proverbial guns.

Then there’s the problem of the magnitude of the consequences that today’s parents use. Most of them try to stop charging elephants with flyswatters (e.g., 4-year-old hits his mother and receives ten minutes in time-out). When I propose using the disciplinary equivalent of an atom bomb (e.g., said child spends a month in his room, except for absolutely necessary “paroles,” with early bedtime to relieve his boredom) the common reaction is momentary speechlessness, then “Isn’t that, well, rather harsh?”

Not even close. He has a nice room, doesn’t he? Ultimately, it is in the best interest of a child that misbehavior be stopped as quickly as possible. The best research consistently says that the most obedient children are also the happiest. That makes sense, especially given that in adulthood, disobedient and disgruntled go hand-in-glove.

I tell parents to think beyond punishment. Merely punishing a given misbehavior often does nothing but minimize it, therefore requiring ongoing punishment. Think instead of eliminating the misbehavior—to use your great-grandmother’s parenting vernacular, of “nipping it in the bud.” The first time a given misbehavior occurs, respond with a consequence that is “atomic”—one that sends a calm, determined message of complete intolerance. Stop fighting one small skirmish after another. Use the A-bomb right off the bat. Then, wait. Sometimes, even A-bombs take time to work their magic.

Several weeks ago, a parent wrote to tell me that after eight years of almost complete restriction—almost no social life or any other privileges—her son, now a sophomore in high school, is finally making the grades he was capable of making all along (and is a much happier camper as a result). Eight years, during which time he complained constantly to his parents that their expectations were too high and that nothing he did would ever satisfy them, all the while performing well below par in the attempt to prove his case. To their inestimable credit, they stayed the course, all the while taking lots of flak from their peers, many of whom, I’d venture, are experts at flailing away with flyswatters.

Their story simply proves that there is no such thing as McDiscipline.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Freewill and Choices

I'm reading Parenting By the Book again because it is a very good book and gets to the heart of parenting before all these psychologist started getting involved and telling us how we were all messing up our kids. It goes with the Grandma child training, from teaching your children to be good citizens and respectful. Another reminder throughout the book is how we all have a freewill.

God created each and every person on this earth. He started with Adam and Eve. He made them different then rats, mice, dogs etc. So when you hear studies done with this animals or others to explain human behavior they can be easily dismissed because humans are the only creatures given freewill. Adam and Eve had everything we could ever dream of. Everything but one tree. God told them they could not eat of the fruit of this one tree otherwise all their needs were taken care of. But because of freewill and God allows us to make choices, Eve was tempted and choose to eat of the fruit of the one forbidden tree.

When it comes to parenting why do I think that I can raise almost perfect children. I'm not perfect, in fact I screw up somehow probably everyday. I make wrong choices and have all my life. I have also of course made good choices too. But we are all sinners and so are our children. Which is why when they do make wrong choices we need to follow through with a punishment. Just as we have punishments for our wrong choices. In a perfect world we would always do the right thing, be selfless, loving and serving others. But it is a fallen world and we all fall short including our children. I've really been blind-sided by that this week in dealing with wrong choices made by my children. So why am I dumbfounded by this, feeling like a terrible mom and very guilty of a bad choice made by an offspring. As I said earlier Adam and Eve had everything and still made a bad choice which has effected us today. We need to strive to make the right choices and have to deal with the consequences when we don't. We need to remember that our children are also still learning and will continue to make wrong choices as well. We can teach them and train them but we can't get rid of the freewill God has given to them.

There will be a time or times in your parenting where your children will make bad choices. It will be hard sometimes to deal with but just as God forgives us and teaches us we need to deal with the bad choice and move on and hope that next time the same situation appears they will make a better choice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Big Blueprint

God has given us a blueprint for living creative, productive, fulfilling lives and experiencing fulfilling relationships with one another and with him. The blueprint is known as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

The Bible incorporates a number of smaller blueprints for every aspect of living, including marriage (a permanent, faithful relationship between a man and a women), conducting business, forming and living in a healthy societies (laws must be obeyed), and the rearing of children (proper discipline is as critical to proper child rearing as is love; the education of the children is the responsibility of parents).

Because God created us in his image, we possess free will. This freedom includes the freedom to choose whether we obey God, whether we live our lives in accord with his blueprints for living. Choices result in consequences. The ultimate consequence of obeying God is good. The ultimate consequence of disobeying God is the opposite of good.

The risks of attempting to raise a child without regard for God's blueprint for child rearing, as clearly set forth in his Big Blueprint, include a child who is ill-behaved, disrespectful, destructive and self-destructive, irresponsible, inattentive, careless, aggressive, self-centered, deceitful and so on. The risks to the child's parents include chronic frustration, stress, anxiety, anger, resentment, conflict, and guilt.

The sad tragic fact is that most American parents, even many believers in Christ have deviated from God's child-rearing blueprint in raising their children. This alone explains why child rearing has become the single most stressful, frustrating anxiety-and guilt-ridden thing American adults (especially females) will ever do.

But any parent who so chooses can realign his or her child rearing with God's plan will begin to experience success.

-John Rosemond

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did not see this coming

When I first got pregnant in 1995, Darryl and I had decided that I would quit my job and stay home. I myself could never imagine sending my infant to a babysitters or daycare for 8 or more hours a day. I wanted to nurse them and do what I felt God calling me to do which was stay home full time. I figured when the kids were in school full-time I would go back to work part-time so I could be home when they were done with school and help out at school. In 1998 along came Alivia whom we had planned and so I had at least 5 more years at home. We learned to work on a budget and cut back on things we didn't need. Nothing could replace that precious time I had with the kids to teach them before they were off to school. We prayed for 2 years about any more kids since I wanted another. Darryl because of being 10 years older then me was satisfied with the two we had and didn't want to be old by the time the last was 18 and graduating. So I asked God to either give me a content heart or to change Darryl's mind. Well he changed me and we stopped at two.

When Trevor was 3 he started preschool in Mt.Vernon and on his road to learning in school. Then came 4 year old preschool and he too was enrolled in Mt.Vernon for that and that was when God started to peak my interest in homeschooling. At the time no one I knew homeschooled although some from our church had but now their kids were in high school at the public school. I brought the idea up to Darryl and his first response was NO! He too didn't know of anyone who homeschooled and I guess because living in Lisbon and the weird "you gotta send your kids to Lisbon" mind set in this town he was against the idea. I told him to pray about it first before he said no. A few months later I checked in with him and he said no he had not prayed about it, but would. Well the end of 4 year old preschool was coming and since Trevor has a May birthday I was going to do AK with him anyhow to give him the extra advantage of being one of the older ones in his class and not having to struggle as much.

The more I prayed and did research on homeschooling the more I felt God calling me to do this for our kids. I talked with Darryl again and told him I can't mess up AK because I know my ABC, shapes, colors, numbers etc. He agreed and we would take one year at a time. I knew this first year had to be good and Darryl had to see that this was the best education our child could receive. Well, he did and we have been homeschooling ever since. We continue to take one year at a time and talk to the kids about what they want and if they want to try public school or not. I believe Trevor will graduate as being a homeschooler through the Marion Home School Assistance Program and with Alivia it is still up in the air.

When I was pregnant with Trevor I would have NEVER thought that I would be spending everyday, all day with my children by homeschooling. But it was not my plan but God's and He of course knew this is what we would do and this time changed Darryl's heart to accept that this was the best education for his kids and if people in this town don't understand who cares.

I'm sure a lot of people thought we were crazy and talked about us but I would rather have them do that then to go against God's calling. Then after we took the big leap of faith others watching us decided too as well. Now there are many homeschoolers in the Lisbon/Mt.Vernon area and the kids are able to get together and hang out.

These were the choices we made for our family with God's guidance. He doesn't give everyone or every Christian the same path but He will guide you on your path that He wants you to go. I didn't see this coming 14 years ago when I held that baby boy in my arms but I'm so happy for the path that we are on.

Today is a good day for you to seek God and see if you are on His path or your path. He with pray will make the answer very clear. The hard part for you maybe following the path He wants you to take. But it is SO worth it in the end.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year Parenting Resolutions..must read!

Given that this is the first column of a new year, I'm proposing a number of parenting New Year's Resolutions for my readers to consider. The list is by no means comprehensive. It's just a good beginning on what is probably a much-needed family revolution:

1. We will not throw expensive "event parties" for our children on their birthdays. Instead, we will confine all birthday celebrations to our family, including extended family. We will keep it uncomplicated: a special dinner of the birthday boy or girl's favorite food, a cake, the obligatory song, and a few simple gifts, mostly clothing or other useful things.

2. We will spend at least as much time helping our children develop good manners as do helping them get good grades in school, which means we will cut back significantly on the time helping with the latter (in consideration of the fact that good manners, which are expressions of respect for others, will take one further in life than will good grades). Each week, we will work on one specific social courtesy, such as saying "excuse me" when you walk in front of someone. Taking two weeks off, that's fifty courtesies a year!

3. We will show our love for our neighbors by properly disciplining our children, insisting on proper behavior, and reprimanding immediately (even if that means in front of other people) when they behave otherwise, and on those occasions we will also insist they apologize appropriately.

4. If we have not already done so, we will assign a routine of daily chores to each of our children (at least those who have reached their third birthdays) and we will insist that said chores be done, and done properly, before they engage in recreation or relaxation.

5. When our children ask us for cell phones, we will tell them that they may have cell phones when they are able to pay for them as well as the monthly bills.

6. When our children complain that they are the only kids who don't have cell phones (and do chores), we will tell them that learning how to be different is character-building.

7. Our children will not be able to order customized meals unless we take them to a restaurant. At home, they will eat what we are eating, and they will sit at the table until they are finished. We will do this so that when they are invited to eat at someone else's home, they will be the best of guests.

8. We will surely bond with our children, but we will not bond with them in the marital bed, nor will we bond with them in their beds.

9. In keeping with number 8, we will put our marriage first and our children second...for their sake as well as ours. They will revolve around us; thus, they will not grow up thinking the world revolves around them.

10. If I am a single parent, I will take good care of myself for my sake as well as my children's. I will have an active, adult's only, social life. I will take plenty of personal time to simply relax and do those things I like to do. I will do all of that so that my children will not ever think the world revolves around them.

11. We/I will put our/my children to bed early so that we/I can end each day reconnecting as a couple or relaxing as a single.

12. We will eat as a family around our own table at least six nights a week.

13. We will keep after-school activities to a minimum, and only let them enroll in activities that do not prevent us from delivering on number 11.

14. Instead of buying our children expensive things, we will help them develop hobbies and take them to museums and on trips.

15. We will do all of the above so that when they grow up, they will have wonderful memories of their childhoods and raise our grandchildren in a manner that honors us.

Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents' questions on his website at