Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How Do You Stop Bullying?

     Kids have always been mean to one another.  But, today, there are more ways for kids to hurt their peers.  We have facebook, my space, twitter, texting, cell phones, cell phones with cameras, and then there is still verbal and physical bullying.  What makes a kid bully?  Things like jealousy, their own insecurities, putting the attention on others instead of themselves, a need for control, and being a victim of bullying themselves are just a few factors that contribute to the behavior.

     We are always so quick to blame the parents, and in some cases it makes sense to do so, but I believe there are a lot of reasons kids are so unhappy.  Besides the fact that there are so many broken homes and kids are pulled in two different directions, parents aren't around as much as they should be most of the time through no fault of their own.  Both parents have to work in most homes whether they are together or not.  Here are just a few facts.

· In America today, millions of young people are alone and unsupervised in the hours after school, before parents return home from work. This situation places children and teens at grave risk for juvenile crime, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and other problems. It means students are wasting precious time when they could be learning. And it leaves millions of working parents worried about their children when they should be focused on their jobs. This unproductive, untenable and unacceptable situation would be remedied if our nation invested more fully in the after school programs that keep kids safe, support working families, and help young people succeed in school and in life.
· The after school hours are the peak time for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. (Source: Bureau, Urban Institute Estimate, 2000) Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2002)
· The parents of more than 28 million school-age children work outside the home. As many as 15 million "latchkey children" go to an empty house on any given afternoon. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor; U.S. Census Bureau, Urban Institute estimate, 2000)
· Teens who do not participate in after school programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes or use marijuana or other drugs; they are also more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity. (YMCA of the USA, March 2001)

     Parents, teachers, and administrators can do their very best but with so much technology it is almost impossible to keep track of behavior and monitor that behavior at all times.  The thing is that these kids are just that, kids.  They aren't capable of comprehending consequences of some of their actions.

Child Development:

"Child development refers to the biological and psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence."

"Developmental change may occur as a result of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two. It may also occur as a result of human nature and our ability to learn from our environment. Human beings have a keen sense to adapt to their surroundings and this is what child development encompasses."

     You can click on Child Development and see the stages of development, but the bottom line is kids should be held responsibile for their actions, but sometimes they act when they are not fully mature enough to understand their actions.  Say a child bullies another child, for whatever reason.  Maybe that child is a victim of abuse at home or is just mean and really has no reason.  Either way, he/she is causing harm to another person whether they fully understand it and the consequences.  A child that commits suicide because of bullying is a consequence of the bully's action.  If there is a psychological problem with that child such as a mental disease (bipolar, schizophrenic, etc.) their interpretation may be affected, but if it is a kid just being mean, they are going to at some point in their life realize what they did to another human being. 

     We are the adults and we are supposed to teach and discipline kids so they don't hurt themselves or someone else, but with all the ways of being able to bully today I don't know how you do it.  It is overwhelming for single parents, parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, and other adults supervising kids to stay on top of everything.  You can implement programs, have a zero tolerance bully policy at school, but kids are going to find a way to bully other kids.  It is a real problem and it seems to be getting worse. 

Here are some really good sites that have a lot of information and tips for preventing bullying.



Consequences of Bullying

Effects of Bullying

Bullying Statistics

Signs of Bullying

     I don't know what to do about the problem.  I know in my own home, my kids know that is one thing I will not tolerate.  Thankfully, it is one thing that really bothers them about their peers.  They don't like to see it, but at times don't know what to do for fear of being a victim if they get involved.  At my daughter's former high school they lost a student to suicide.  This was a small, private, Christian school also.  It happens everywhere.  The student had other problems, but he definitely did not fit in.  I won't ever forget the look and the tears on my daughter's face when she got in the car that afternoon and told me what happened.  She said there was so much guilt for the students who had been mean to the student.  He was a victim, his family was a victim, and his friends were victims of being and feeling helpless.  It is a big problem with big consequences.

This Week's Bachelor Pad 2

     Is it just me or is Bachelor Pad a little slow going?  I was mad last week with the way it ended, but Chris Harrison said this week it would make sense.  It didn't though.  Jake left and it was pretty uneventful.  I guess I was expecting a fight, really harsh words, or something.  I have learned through experience sometimes body language can show you when someone is faking or lying.  I think when Jake talks out of the side of his mouth he isn't being real.  Which is most of the time.  I think he came on the show to help his reputation and maybe he isn't quite as big of a jerk as I thought, but I still don't trust him.  There is something about him that I have seen before in dishonesty, controlling, and being two people.

     They might as well all go home if they keep Vienna and Kasey much longer.  They needed to get Melissa out of there and I think karma got William voted off.  Did you see Melissa stirring that cup of yogurt (I think that is what it was)?  She had a little "psycho" moment.  Then, I am a germaphobe so I notice things like this, she put the spoon on the counter in something.  Was it the basket for the dishwasher sitting out or did she put it back where someone else could accidentally use it.  You know what?  It really doesn't matter because after all that disgusting kissing each other in the contest sharing a spoon would be less gross.  I think that contest is just sick.  I think more of Michelle for not being a part of it.  Or, maybe she was coming down with something and they wouldn't let her because then they would have to stop taping because EVERYONE in the house would be sick! 

     Ella has a son, but she knew she had to be a part of it to win the rose so she would be safe.  She is determined to win for her son and that makes her a very strong competitor.  It sounded like Michelle's voice at the end of the show.  I think she is on the show to get noticed and maybe get some kind of career out of it.  She does speak well.  So many times they have girls on there that are too old to be saying "like" every other word.  It is irritating enough to hear it from a teenager, but older girls are supposed to be smarter than that.

     This is what I think will happen, and it is just my opinion and may not be worth a lot, but I am good at reading people.  For other people, though, I am terrible at reading them for myself!  I think the last 4 will be Michelle, Graham, Ella, and Kurt.  By the way, I was hoping Ella would pick him for the date, they would be a good couple.  I think Vienna and Kasey will make it to the last 6, but then the other 4 will get them out of there.  It is kind of funny because Kasey thinks he is the boss and will just automatically win.  He hasn't even stopped to think that he is being played too.  I think there is a good chance Vienna and Kasey will go home next week.  If not, and to keep a little drama on the show a little longer, then it may be Erika and Blake.  Michael wants Blake out of the house and away from Holly.  Blake has burned bridges so I think Michael has more loyalty from the girls than Blake does.  These are the scenarios I see happening, but either way, I see Michelle, Graham, Ella, and Kurt at the end.  Then, my odds are on Ella and Kurt.

Scenario 1:                                                                            Scenario 2:

Order of being eliminated

Vienna and Kasey                                                              Erika and Blake
Erika and Blake                                                                 Vienna and Kasey
Holly and Michael                                                              Holly and Michael
Michelle and Graham                                                         Michelle and Graham

My prediction for last two:  Ella and Kurt

Who knows what will happen, but this is my opinion for right now.  What do you think?  Who do you think will go home next week?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Samuel's Christening

     We had my nephew Samuel's Christening (Baptism) at church yesterday. He is almost 6 months old. I was in the delivery room when all five of my sister's kids were born and their Christenings have been almost as special as seeing them come into this world. It is a big day and a special tradition my family takes very seriously. It is always an emotional day because of what it means.  We are so blessed with the children God has loaned us and they are the most important thing in the world to all of us.  We know it is our job and responsibility to raise them according to His word and live the life He wants them to live.

     Samuel is such a good baby. He only cries when he is hungry and he just smiles at everybody. It's a good thing for my sister he is so good, because with 5, he doesn't get as much of her time as he would have if he had been the first!

At the church service.  My sister and brother in law grew up in that church.  It is really special for them to have days like this, it is also the church they were married in, with such happy memories and history.

 This is Donald who Samuel "Donald" is named after.  He is my sister's godfather, but he is so special to all of us.  He is technically our cousin, but only by genealogy. He is so much more than that.  He is a sweet, sweet man that loves all these kids and he means so much to all of us.  He spends a lot of time with all of the kids, talks to them about all kinds of things, and is a big part of helping us all raise them.

Amanda has always been really close to Donald and was really close to his mother, our great-great aunt.

Sydney and Samuel.  She is so good with all of the kids.  There's no telling how many she will have!

Me and Samuel.  I promise he loves me!  He was getting tired of being in his Christening gown, but he was getting hungry.  That is the only time that sweet baby cries!

Me and Sadie.  Right now she is my shadow.  She clings to me and I love every minute of it!

Sadie's funny face.  She has a really funny personality!

My mom and dad with Samuel.

Samuel in his Christening gown that was worn by his brothers and sisters.

It still amazes me how much my brother's daughter, Ella, looks like him!

More cousins!                                                                                    

The day is winding down.  Sadie is wearing a box over her head and Macalister is ready to get out of his Sunday clothes, but it was blessed day and I am very thankful for it!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ain't No Fair But The County Fair

     This world can be so hard sometimes.  I have the mindset that if a person does what they are supposed to, are honest, and try to be good then they will be treated fairly.  That ain't so!  Not in the world today.  To me, justice should be based on what is "right".  That's not always the case (no pun intended).  So many times the one who lies, cheats, steals, and does nothing that includes a conscience has an easier time. In this world, anyway.  The older I get the more I realize that "what is right" doesn't matter.  It should, but it doesn't.  My dad has said it so many times that we all joke about it now  "there ain't no fair but the county fair". 

     The Christian Atheist had a chapter on believing in God, but not thinking He is fair.  I think He is fair.  This world may not be at times, but we don't know right here, right now how He settles the score.  You know the saying, "wait until your father gets home", well, we may not know how justice is served until we get home to our Father.  We depend on each other here to get justice and that is what isn't fair.  For instance, if you go to court, the judge tries his/her best to make a judgment based on what is right in front of them.  They don't know the complete story.  They often times don't get the truth which makes it impossible to decide what is "right".  At the end of the day, they take their robe off and have their own life with their own problems and injustices.  God can make a true and fair judgment because we can't hide anything from Him.  Words can't be twisted, we can lie but it doesn't do any good because He knows the truth, and we can't manipulate His thinking with strategy.  I have probably completely confused you in what in the world I am getting at.  My point is, I have injustices in my life and I don't know what the outcome will be on this earth, but I can sleep at night and be at peace because I know my truth and 100% clear conscience and no matter what happens here it will be dealt with when it really counts.  I don't know for sure how it works, but I don't think we get to have an attorney present on Judgment Day. 

     I have called this blog therapy and I just needed to say what I did.  On a better note.........  It's TGIFF.....Thank Goodness It's Friday FINALLY!  I absolutely love this song.  They have been playing it a lot on the radio and I heard it when I took Stratton to school and now it is stuck in my head, but that's okay it's a good song!

                                                          One Republic "Good Life"

"Good Life"Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don't really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone

New names and numbers that I don't know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We're young enough to say

Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don't know
Where I've been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Sometimes there's airplanes I can't jump out
Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now
We all got our stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

When you're happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in

Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

I feel like there might be something that I'll miss
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
I'm taking a mental picture of you now
'Cuz hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about

Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can't fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

Oh yeah
Good, good life
Good life

My friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don't know
Where I've been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Sometimes there's airplanes I can't jump out
Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now
We all got our stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Christian Atheist Chapters 8 and 9

     Last week I said forgiving was the hardest chapter for me.  And it still is.  I have a hard time forgiving those who have purposely hurt others.  But, then there's worry.  I have said several times throughout blogging that I am a worrier by nature.  I can't help it.  I have a strong faith in God, but for some reason I feel like so much depends on me and what I do.  I think it comes to us because we measure our success in everything we do by how responsible we are.  If we are responsible and do good things, get up and go to work everyday, take care of our kids, teach them right from wrong, then we are successful.  Because we have to be responsible for our actions, we feel like we are supposed to be in control of everything.

     I feel like the story about the frog and the scorpion.  You know the scorpion asks the frog to take him across the river, but the frog doesn't want to because he knows he will sting him.  After convincing him he won't, the frog takes him only for the scorpion to sting him before reaching the other side.  When the frog asks why the scorpion says it is in his nature.  That's how I feel.  Some people are more laid back and don't let things get to them, others feel stress about a lot of things.  That's how I am.  I am just naturally a worrier.  My grandmother, Betty, was a sweet, spiritual lady.  She had a strong faith, but she worried a lot.  I think I take that after her.  It would even drive her crazy if I stood up and ate.  She would "worry" it would give me a stomach ache and she would get me to sit down.  Just anything she didn't want to see her loved ones go through she worried about.  I think she felt responsible for everyone around her and wanted to take care of everyone.  My dad is a worrier too.  He also has a very strong faith, but I think we learn behaviors and we just can't help it sometimes.

     So, so many people are overly worried right now.  The economy is in such bad shape and people that were good providers for their family are having a hard time providing basic necessities.  It is hard to sit back and wait for God to answer prayers.  I feel like when I worry I am telling God I don't trust him.  Then, I feel bad.  I know I have to trust God's plan, but I think I have a hard time knowing when I am just supposed to leave it up to Him and when I am supposed to use the common sense he gave me.  I really do believe that God is with us all the time and whatever happens, He has a reason and one day we will know why things happened.  I am 100% financially responsible for my kids.  I know my family is there to help me, but they are my responsibility.  I know God knows what we have been through and He will help me with them, but at the same time, I feel like I need to do something to help the situation.  Am I letting my kids and myself down if I just sit at home waiting on something to happen?  I believe He is completely in charge, but I feel irresponsible just sitting and waiting. 

     I have been so nervous and very worried about Sydney out driving by herself.  One day it hit me and I told her, it doesn't matter if I am in the car with you or not because God always is.  Once I realized that and said it out loud I felt a sense of peace and I still worry about her, but it is different now.  I know if I give up all my worry and fears to God I will feel at peace and I want to.  Reading this chapter I have thought to myself that I can't change what is supposed to happen and I have realized that whatever does happen it isn't a reflection of my being responsible or not.  I think if I can make myself understand that, it will be easier to just give all my worries to Him. 

     I really like how the author says in Chapter 9, "If we believe that God wants us to be happy above all else, rather than acknowledging that our role is to serve God, we wrongly believe that God exists to serve us."

     My grandfather, Tom Ed, had a saying that makes a lot of sense.  If anyone was talking about something they were worried about or that happened and they were upset, he always said, "In a hundred years no one will know the difference."  It amazes me at how true that is.  We focus on so many things right here, right now, that won't matter when we are gone.  While I am quoting the men in my family, my dad's belief is that this life is just a blink of an eye.  He believes this whole life is preparing us (and testing us) for our next and eternal life with God.  I think he is right.  It is so hard sometimes because I get angry about things, worry  and stress over things I have no control over and what I really need to be concentrating on is just serving God and living this life the way I am supposed to to get to my next life with God.  It doesn't even take 100 years, sometimes just a week, for something I am worried about today to not even matter next week.  When I have that sense of peace, it does make me happier than anything else can.  This life is so hard and it is hard when you believe in God and have faith in Him, I honestly don't know how people make it that don't believe in Him.  No matter how they appear on the surface, they can not be happy people at all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Explain Bachelor Pad's Ending To Me???????

     Is it just me or is anybody else confused about the way Bachelor Pad ended?  It usually shows the person leaving and reactions.  This show just ended with a name.  I guess it is supposed to be a cliffhanger.  Maybe Kasey's name will be followed by......will be leaving us tonight.  If not, it is strange they didn't show Jake's exit.  His last words were he was going to take others down with him if he was voted off.  Surely if he pulled out a gun we would have heard about it by now!

     And what was the deal with Batman in the pool?  Are they going to add more people to the house or was that just a random clip.  I don't know.  I am really confused.  Maybe you can tell me what you think.

     If Jake is gone, they all better split Kasey and Vienna up as soon as they can.  I am putting my bet on Graham and Michele right now.  They are not focused on a whole lot and I think she is watching and taking everything in.  Ella would be strong just because she is a determined single mom and they shouldn't be underestimated, but she is kind of on her own.  But, it could help her that she isn't hooked up with anybody.  I just don't know if she is sneaky and manipulating enough to win.  This show is hard to figure out because of the lying and game playing. 

     The only things that didn't take a rocket science to figure out was for one, Kasey really shouldn't sing to anymore girls, and two I think Vienna pretty much told him she wasn't even thinking about being engaged to him.  She is playing him like a fool!  I think she panicked for a minute thinking he might propose.

     I don't get Jake either.  I haven't really liked him since he came back on Jillian's season and ratted out Wes.  Whether Wes was playing her or not, I didn't think it was up to him to come back and tell her.  I have felt like he is probably a controlling jerk, not just from what I have read, just from my experience I got that feeling from watching him.  It makes me wonder, though, if he came on the show just to better his reputation.  Vienna is clearly nutty, but I have never thought Jake was as nice as he came across.  Maybe he is nicer and his purpose for being there is to let everybody see that.  Although I am not buying it...................yet!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

     I love my dad.  That's just all I can say.  I am a complete daddy's girl and always have been. 

     I really believe if you want respect from someone you have to show them respect too.  You can't just expect it.  I have so much respect for my dad and he has earned every bit of it.  He has always taken care of his family and put them first.  I know no matter what, I can count on him.

     I am not alone.  A lot of people have a lot of respect for him.  When it is time to get down to business, he is really smart and he works hard at what he is trying to accomplish.  But he is also a jokester and a lot of fun.  I don't know how he does it, I guess because he is around a lot, but me and my brother and sister and now our kids see that balance.  What I mean is we know he is there for us when we need him to be serious, and then, he can also just play around and have a lot of fun.

      He is helpful to me in so many ways.  The most important is that he steps in with my kids and plays grandfather some of the time, but then he knows when he needs to step in as a dad figure to them.  That is hard to do, and I feel bad that he and my mom have been a little robbed of just being the grandparents with my kids, but it is a responsibility neither of them take lightly and they want to do right by the kids and help me make sure they are raised the way they need to be.  I know I couldn't do this without them.

     We had my dad's birthday party last night, but his birthday is today.  We gave him a collection of snapshots because the picture we gave our mom was part his too.  The party was last night because all of the grandchildren are in different directions tonight.  And you know where he will be?........................  When he is finished working all day long at his subdivision he will be at the ballpark watching my younger son practice football so I can be home with the older one that just got home from football.  And my mom?  She is there with him! 

     I know how blessed I am and I hope I never take it for granted.

     Happy Birthday, Dad!  I Love You SOOOOOOOO Much!

(That's the way Ella, my brother's daughter, says "I Love You" to him.  One of 6 girls he has totally wrapped around his finger!)

The banner the kids made for him.

Bethany made his cake.  It was an ice cream cake and it was so good!  I told her if my blood sugar comes down by February, I want one for my birthday!

Maybe Bethany got a better picture!  It's hard to get that many kids to be still at one time.  Especially after ice cream cake!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mission Accomplished....sort of

     Well, we had a really fun Friday night!  We went to the first Varsity football game, but we didn't get to see much of it.  We went with some of Sydney's friends and we had three cars and the leading one had GPS.  Funny thing about GPS, sometimes it takes you the round about way.  We ended up at the away game, coming from a different direction, and were a little late.  Then, it started lightning so the game was delayed.  Rather than take our chances with lightning, we went home.

     BUT............................our main mission for the night was accomplished!

     You know how I love my reality shows?  I talked about Constantine from the Bachelorette and how his hometown is next to mine and his family owns a restaurant there.  Well, guess where we had dinner!  Sydney and 5 of her friends got to meet Constantine!  I am going to act mature and seem like it was all them and I wasn't into it at all, but I was a little giggly myself!  Shane and Stratton had to come along, but having dinner with 5 of Sydney's friends was their fun part of the dinner.  (They love her friends.) 

     I felt bad that the girls got to do what they wanted to and then we finally got the boys to the game and they didn't get to stay long, but did I mention they got to have dinner with 5 older, pretty girls?

     Constantine was really sweet to the girls and even made a picture with all of them.  It looks like the show has helped business.  We weren't the only ones there to see him and get a picture!  The food was good, but who am I kidding?  I don't think any of us remember what we had!

This Is Hardly The Right Time

     I am a big believer in vacations.  Even if you can't afford to go anywhere, just 2-3 days with no work, no obligations, just rest, fun, and relaxation.  Everybody needs it.  Getting away and spending quality time with family and/or friends is very healthy.  According to studies, it not only makes you more productive at work, but it helps with stress, emotions, and blood pressure.  Every person deserves to have some fun and a break from work.

     I especially think it is important for leaders to take a break.  Whether you are the head of the household, head of a company, or head of an organization, it is really important to take a time out and refresh yourself and your mind.  I see a lot of times families go on vacation and maybe the dad will stay behind and work.  That is really unfortunate because not only are you missing out on quality time with your family, you need that time to make sure you are healthy and around to continue to take care of those who depend on you.

     With that being said, I think President Obama is expressing disrespect for the people of this country by taking an 11 day vacation right now.  Our country is in a mess.  The leader of that country deserves time off and time to recharge.  Besides being President, he is also a husband and father and I am sure to his daughters he is dad, who just happens to have an important job.  In their eyes, his first job and commitment is being their dad.  I get that, and I am all for it, but hasn't he taken a lot of time off already?

     Sometimes our actions are based on respect towards others.  We do or don't do things because of how it looks to others.  I take that into consideration a lot of times.  I don't mean worrying about how things look to others in the way of being "popular" or "keeping up with the Joneses".  I mean actions that clearly show respect to others.  OR, choosing not to do something because it might make someone feel bad or disrespected.  I think Obama is not choosing wisely.  With our country in the shape it is in, I think it is disrespectful to take a vacation right now and especially for that length of time.

     People are losing homes, jobs, and along with jobs, health insurance that affects the way their health and the health of their family is taken care of.  Leaders, or the head of households, are feeling like failures because through no fault of their own they are unable to provide the most basic needs for their families.  Obama taking time out while our country is in such a mess is a disrespectful action, in my opinion.

     When you are discussing politics, economy, and government, the topics can be very confusing.  There are a lot of factors in each of them.  Sydney is taking Econ. right now and she has gotten really confused over some of the concepts.  I won't even begin to pretend like I know how to debate a political issue.  However, I do understand that our country is in terrible shape and we need a leader right now full time.  I have mixed feelings about Donald Trump.  He is very arrogant, but he is a successful and brilliant businessman. He has expressed his feelings about Obama taking a vacation in an interview. I agree with him that right now, our country needs a businessman.  Throughout history, our country has needed different types of men to lead our country.  Different strengths in personality and character have proved important at times.  Weaknesses of those things can also have an impact on the success of a President's term. 

     There is a lot to be done to even begin getting this country back on track and I feel that Obama should focus on that right now.  Because if he can take a break and relax with the state of things, then I think it shows people he doesn't really give a flip.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sadie and Ella

     Last week, when I wrote about the book I am reading, The Chrisitan Atheist, I talked about the blessings of my nieces being born close together in the post.  All of our kids are such blessings.   Sadie and Ella were outside yesterday and I was thinking about them this morning and wanted to write about them.

     They are so funny.  They are really different.  Sadie is my sister's fourth child and she is a tough little thing.  She is used to the older kids and she is very independent and can definitely take care of herself.  Ella is very gentle and soft.  Her 8 year old twin brothers worship her!  When she was born, I remember Tyler just sitting at the cradle looking at her.  They are very protective and so she is really dainty.  Sadie having a younger sibling is also a caretaker.  She looks over Samuel and likes to hold him.  For a second.  You put him on her lap and in about 1/2 a second she looks at you and says, "Get it!"  He is almost as big as she is!

     These two girls are so cute when they are together.  They both have birthdays coming up in the next few weeks and it is so hard to believe they are going to be 2!  When I look at them, it is almost like seeing two little old ladies in the making.  There is something about the way they communicate with each other and their old fashioned names that just makes me think of 2 little old ladies that are the best of friends.  I would really like to know what they are saying to each other sometimes.  It is like they have their own  secret language.

 I had these pictures of the two of them and wanted to show them.  So Cute!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

$25 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

     I have my first giveaway, a $25 Target Gift Card, over at my new blog, Grand Central Mom .  Rules and how to enter are listed on that page.  I am really excited about adding another blog, and I would love to hear suggestions!  Thanks and Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Christian Atheist Chapters 6 and 7

I usually post this on Wed., but I have a lot going on this week and I know it will get away from me, so I wanted to go ahead and post it so I won't be behind.

     Chapter 6 is so far, and probably will still be at the end of the book, the hardest chapter for me.  I am caring and will go out of my way to help someone.  The word that most describes me is loyal.  I am loyal 'til the end.  Unless you mess with me, my kids, or my family.  I give second chances.  Sometimes I give third and fourth chances.  When someone does something to me or my family that is hard to forgive I don't hold a grudge as much as I just don't really want to have anything more to do with that person.  I can be in the same room with them, even say hello in passing, but once you have lost my trust I don't ever trust you again.  That may sound harsh, but trust is a funny thing.  I believe it is the root of any kind of relationship and without it you don't have much to grow and build on.  I don't know how you have any kind of relationship without it.

     I know that I am supposed to forgive and let God handle the revenge.  I don't ever wish anything bad on anyone, I believe that just opens up whatever you are wishing on someone else to come right to you or your loved ones, nor do I look for revenge.  BUT, depending on what someone has done to me or my family, I do have a hard time forgiving and forgetting.  Like I said above, I don't really think it is as much of a grudge as I just don't care to be around people who only bring negativity to my life.  There are times though, that I don't find it easy to forgive or forget.  When someone has done something just to me, it is easier to let go of than if they have done something to my family.  Does that make sense?  I have an easier time forgiving for myself, but I guess I feel disloyal forgiving what has been done to someone I love.  Especially my kids. 

     I always use my kids as examples, but when they fight with each other or do something to the other one, I know they need to be punished.  The child that has had something done to them by the other can much easier find a punishment than me.  Even knowing one of them is in the wrong, I have a hard time punishing them.  Especially if I didn't see what happened and have 2 totally different stories.  I guess we have an easier time feeling like we know what someone else deserves and maybe God judges our wrongdoings differently than we do. 

    I am going to try to explain what I mean.  When the kids have problems with someone at school or a friend, I try to look at the whole situation.  Maybe it is the psychology in me, but I feel like we perceive everything around us according to our experiences.  One situation can be perceived completely differently by different people because of the way they look at it based on what they know or have been through.  I don't know if I am making sense, but I think we think we know what someone's punishment should be, but only God knows that person's true heart and what they have been through.  Our values and judgment can be off because of life experiences.  So many times criminals are those who may be uneducated, came from broken homes, may have been abused, etc.  That doesn't excuse them from becoming a serial killer, but we can't understand how that person sees the world based on life experiences we haven't had.  I think that is why God wants us to leave it up to him.  We judge each other through a whole different set of eyes than God judges us.  I could still love one of my kids if they became a serial killer, but I wouldn't anybody else.  In God's eyes we are all His children.

     God doesn't want us to waste any space in our hearts with hate, but it sure is hard sometimes isn't it?  I guess I just have to remember the verse the author used.  Colossians 3:13  "forgive as the Lord forgave you."  If I want the same grace and forgiveness from God I should give it to others as well. 

     Do you remember "The Sunscreen Song"?  It was based on a column that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997 entitled "Advice, Like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young" by staff writer Mary Schmich. (bondon)  I loved this song.  My favorite part was the saying, "don't waste your time with jealousy.  Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.  The race is long, and in the end, it is only with yourself."

     That saying is so true.  I don't think God wants us to just "let him handle it" as much as He doesn't want us to bring that hatred with us in the end.

     The next chapter is about thinking you can't change.  It seems unfair that a person can live their whole life doing bad things to others and then, maybe even in prison, find God at the end of their life and be forgiven by Him.  BUT, they didn't get away with anything.  They lived in their own personal Hell and didn't have the life of someone who lived the way God wanted them too.  I don't think there is any way a bad person can have a good life.  Even those people who are loaded with money, but got it from cheating others out of their's, aren't happy people.  I really believe you make your own Hell here and live it.  I saw a church sign the other day that said, "No God, No Peace;  Know God, Know Peace".  Those people aren't getting away with anything. I believe people can change and I believe God is just sitting there waiting for that change.  I am glad that He is that forgiving and willing to accept each and everyone of us.

     What do you think?  Is forgiveness easy or hard for you?  Do you think people can change?  I would love to hear from any of you either on here (you can show your name or sign anonymously) or on my facebook page  The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms

God Bless!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Oh, Ames"

     Get it?  The girls always said, "Oh, James" on James Bond movies.  Jackie got to say, "Oh, Ames".  That was undoubtedly the sweetest moment in any Bachelor or Bachelorette or Bachelor Pad history.  The sweetest words were, "I think it is safe to say we won Bachelor Pad 2". 

     That is the moment we have all waited for during any season of any of the shows.  Dumb me was looking at his red pants when I realized he was turning around.  Jackie is a lucky, lucky girl.

     Take that, Vienna!  She just thought she had the Prince Charming.  I don't even want to ruin this post by talking about how Jake irritates me, how nutty Vienna is and how in the world Kasey thinks he is tough when he sounds like Kermit the Frog with strep throat.  I don't think anybody left has much morals, integrity or loyalty.  Well, maybe Michael and Kirk.  Those two are sweet, but they will get played before it is over.  Michele finally looks like the sane one, Melissa will be hauled away in a strait jacket after Blake is found missing his you know what, Holly is acting like a silly 12 year old, Gia was smart enough to know what was about to happen, maybe Graham and Erica will hook up, and they all better watch out for Ella.  I am rooting for her.  Don't mess with a determined single mom!!!!!!!

You Go Jackie and Ames!

Sunday Night Just Got Better

     Sunday night might just be my favorite night for TV.   I love "Desperate Housewives" but while it isn't on right now, there are other great shows to watch.  Generally, Sunday night is no fun.  The weekend is over and it is back to routine.  The shows starting at 8:00 in order are Jerseylicious, Big Rich Texas, and The Marriage Ref.  Jerseylicious and Big Rich Texas are on Style Network and The Marriage Ref is on NBC. 

     I love the show, Jerseylicious.  Last night was the funniest episode ever!  Tracey is really annoying, but last night she was funny annoying.  Her grandmother was in a pageant for senior women and she and Olivia did hair and makeup for the contestants.  Those two can find anything to fight about.  By the way, I love the idea of pageants for older women.  It is a whole new level of competition because when you are older you know who you are, you are more confident, and you carry yourself completely different than when you were younger.  I have a clip of the argument, but couldn't find the end of the argument where Olivia criticizes Tracey's boots and how they are too small.  The show is really entertaining, but it was especially so last night.  I may be able to find more clips later and if so, I will add them in and let you know.  If you haven't seen it, it is a lot of fun to watch.  I am also amazed at what they wear.  Since I make jewelry, I am always looking at what women are wearing and what the newest styles are.  When you watch the clip, notice Olivia's tape cassette necklace and in her interview the earrings that look like a necklace.  Yeah, I said that right.  Maybe it was Rihanna that started the look, but it is chain coming from the ear lobe and connecting to the other ear looking like a necklace. Unless either of those looks suddenly become crazy popular I won't be making them. I don't think anyone where I live would like to buy either look.  I am not sure where to find a tape cassette anyway!  This episode will be coming back on today at 5pm and 1am, Tuesday 3pm,  Wednesday 11am and midnight, Thursday 10pm, Saturday 1pm and midnight, and Sunday 8am.  I found the schedule online and you can click here to find other episodes you didn't see, but I can tell you this is the best one!



      The next show is Big Rich Texas.  It is about women who belong to a country club and for the most part are just snobby.  One of the ladies, Pam, thinks she owns the club and tells everybody else what they can and can't do.  It's funny because her own daughter,Hannah, likes to break rules.  There are two more women, Connie and Melissa, and they really aren't annoying and quite as snobby and neither are their daughters Grace and Maddie.  Then there are the mother and daughter, Bonnie and Whitney, who are the club tramps. They are funny to me because they just don't care what others think.  There are times they should, but they are just what you see is what you get.  Then there's Leslie and Kalyn.  Kalyn is Leslie's god-daughter, but acts like her daughter except for the fact that she has a crush on Leslie's son.  Weird.  Leslie is into pageant coaching and she is really rude and obnoxious.  She makes this face that is irritating in itself, but especially so because she usually makes it right after saying something really snobby.  Her remarks are those that come across nice and then it takes you a minute to realize they are really critical.  This show is kind of like any of The Real Housewives.  Southern grace and hospitality kind of flew out the window, but the drama is what makes it fun to watch!

This is Leslie's expression, but it is much more exaggerated when she is being rude.


     The Marriage Ref was created by Jerry Seinfeld.  Couples come on the show to have a panel of 3 celebrities decide who is right in their argument.  At the end of the show the spouses that were voted right are voted on by the audience to see who is MOST right.  That winner gets $25,000 and a billboard in their town with their picture saying they are right.  Needless to say, most couples don't have a "real" argument.  I think they come on the show trying to have the best disagreement to see if they can win the $25,000.  What makes this show fun to watch is the comments from the celebrities.  Every week there are different celebrities and they are what makes it so entertaining.

     I know I should get help for all the TV I watch, but I think it is just too late for me.  I have always watched too much and I can't even go to sleep without the TV on.  The kids do entertain me, though.  They all 3 have really good senses of humor and if we ever get tickled about something, we laugh all night long.

     Stratton is just like my dad in general, but even more so when it comes to being aggravating.  He was in an aggravating mood all day yesterday and Shane warned him more than once that he was NOT in the mood to be messed with.  That just makes Stratton want to do it even more!  Last night, in the middle of being aggravating JUST ONE MORE TIME, he fell.  Well, I got two stories.  The one from him that he was pushed and the one from Shane that he fell.  Either way, I heard the thud then him saying "Ow!" over and over. I kept trying to make him get up.  He will act like he is hurt and I don't know at first if he is hurt or just playing.  Sydney thought it was REALLY funny.  Have you ever seen the youtube video of the lady stomping grapes at a nearby winery?  She was on the local news talking about an event and fell.  You couldn't see her, but all you heard was her saying "OW" many times.  Sydney started calling Stratton the grape lady and we were still laughing about it this morning!  I guess morning laughter is a good way to start a Monday.  Well, for everybody but Stratton!  (He's the comedian in the family so he usually doesn't mind being laughed at !  He had never seen the video and when Sydney showed it to him last night he realized just how funny what she was calling him was!)  I don't think he will be as aggravating today!

Here is the video of the grape lady if you haven't seen it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cast your cares on God; that anchor holds. - Lord Alfred Tennyson

     "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.  ~Leo Buscaglia

     Anxiety is a common emotion.  I am anxious about a lot of things a lot of the time.  I know I am not supposed to be.  I know I am supposed to give all my fears to God and just trust.  And I do trust in Him, wholeheartedly, but I am just an anxious person in nature.  I worry about things I shouldn't, but it is just how I am wired.  I don't like it and I wish I wasn't anxious, but it is hard to change who you are.

     My best example of me and how I stress over things is a comparison of me and my sister as moms.  She is laid back and nothing bothers her.  Her husband is the same way.  You would think with 5 kids they would be a bundle of nerves, but they are way more relaxed than some parents with only one child.  And, I don't mean laid back like they don't watch the kids or discipline.  They are both great parents and everything they do revolves around their kids.

     I am more of an anxious mom.  I would never call me laid back.  Friday night my niece, Skylar, and nephew, Macalister, wanted something from my house.  I am technologically challenged, but I think it is called an i dog?  It is a dog that dances along with an ipod.  Skylar plugged in a cord to the dog itself and then was going to connect it, I guess, to her ipod.  Well, I could just see the wheels turning in Macalister's head.  It drove me crazy that he might try to plug the other end into the wall.  I know kids today know a lot more about things like ipods and how to use them, but it would seem logical to me to think that you might need to plug it into an outlet.  It doesn't matter that it wouldn't fit, it would go in enough to shock the person holding it.  Anyway, I worried about that and got my dad who was there to make sure Macalister knew not to plug it in when he got it back home.  Just things like that worry me to death.  I always feel bad too because I never want it to look like I don't think my sister is a good mom and doesn't watch her kids.  Thankfully, she knows me better than anyone and just knows that is me and how I am.

     I happened on this Bible verse today and maybe God sees a panic attack coming my way and sent me this verse to remind me He is in charge.  I am probably never going to get used to Sydney out driving by herself.  And, this time next year, Shane will be driving too.  But, it finally hit me one day and I told her it doesn't matter if I am in the car with her or not because God always is.  Suddenly I felt better and have been a lot more at peace with her out alone since then.

     I think God gave us emotions and the ways we feel about things for a reason.  Maybe it is just to show us how much more pleasant life is without them.  When we feel angry, anxious, sad, or any other negative emotion He also shows us how to get rid of them.  When we turn things over to God and just let Him be in charge we don't just feel better in thought, it brings a sense of peace all over. 

     I couldn't make it being a single mom without my parents.  They are there for me and my kids in every sense of the word.  They take away so much of my anxiety about being by myself because I know they  will guard and protect me any way they can.  I know there are so, so many women out there who are in my shoes, but don't have family around to help them and my whole heart goes out to them.  I don't know where me and my kids would be if it wasn't for my family.  There is no way I could do this alone.  I pray for those women every night while I feel almost guilty for having the people around me I do.  It isn't fair that every mom in my situation doesn't have the people around them and the help that I do.  I hope I never take for granted how blessed I am.  My kids would have no family at all if it weren't for mine.  The security and safety I feel knowing I have people around me should be the same safety and security I should feel all the time knowing that no matter what happens God is guarding me and protecting me and wants to take away all my fears and worry.  We are all His children and He loves us all the same and is there for all of us.

     I have a lot going on right now that makes me anxious, but I just have to trust in God and know that I found this verse today as a reminder to just give it all up to Him.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oh, My Hip!

     I started physical therapy this week and OUCH!  I didn't have it after surgery on my neck because I had been through it so many times I knew all the exercises and what to do when.  I haven't ever had it on my low back so I thought I needed it.  I still do think that, but No Pain No Gain keeps running through my head right now.  My body really needs to get the memo that I am not 80.

     My grandfather, Tom Ed, always complained with his hip.  He played golf for years and had injuries to his hip that would flare up from time to time.  I used to tease him about it, but I have sounded like him all morning not meaning to!  I think he is up there in heaven paying me back!  He was such a jokester he would do that.  He would go to any lengths to tease you. 

     Have you seen that show on Friday nights "What Would You Do?"  He would have been the actor testing people to see what they would do in certain situations.  I shouldn't say this on here, but my boys thought it was just WAY TOO funny when he did this.  He loved to get in an elevator and use one of those fart machines.  He would have it in his pocket and hit it just to see what everyone would do.  He even used it a couple of times in the doctor's office.  That's one of those things I probably should have kept in the family closet, but it is kind of funny.  I always thought maybe he should have been a psychologist.  He loved reading people and seeing how they would react but he was also very gentle and caring and would do absolutely anything to help somebody in need.  If he ever met somebody having a hard time he would personally do what he could to help them.  He was known for his generosity and his sense of humor.  I miss him a lot and I feel bad for teasing him about his hip, especially today.  Maybe he did all those crazy things to give us all so many memories so that he wouldn't be forgotten.  That will never happen!  I have a feeling he is making sure of that!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Most Hated Person In America

     I don't think it is a suprise that Casey Anthony was voted the most hated person in America by E-Poll Market Research.  People are disgusted with Anthony and the outcome of her trial.  The only person who probably likes her right now is OJ Simpson.  I am sure he is glad she has taken the heat off of him for a while.  He still made the list at #4.  The others on the list are:

#2   Spencer Pratt

Television personality Spencer Pratt visits Kitson on Robertson Blvd on April 19, 2008 in West Hollywood, California.

#3  "Octomom"  Nadya Suleman


#4  OJ Simpson


#5  Jon Gosselin


#6  Levi Johnston


#7  Jesse James


#8  Paris Hilton


#9  Heidi Fleiss


#10  Howard Stern


     I don't understand some of the names and ranking.  I also don't think this broad category is right.  Most hated should definitely include Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson, but is it fair to have some of the others compared to Anthony and Simpson in what they have done?  Everyone on the list may be hated, but to an unequal degree and for very different reasons.

     Some of the names on here need a category of their own.  What about worst husbands?  Then, Jesse James should rank above Jon Gosselin who is just more irritating than anything.  Fame ho's should be the category for Spencer Pratt (well, he could also be on the worst husband list maybe below Jesse James just because Heidi "allows" him to embarrass her, Sandra Bullock had no idea.) and Levi Johnston.  Howard Stern is in a category all his own for being the rudest and most vulgar.  Heidi Fleiss should be in the most messed up and troubled category.  And....... how did Paris Hilton get on here?  She is definitely most obnoxious mainly because she just pops up everywhere, like on this list.

     And, aren't we missing a few?  Where is Arnold Schwarzenegger?  If you are looking for a Hilton, what about Perez Hilton?  Or Kanye West, anyone from the Jersey Shore, Simon Cowell, Miley OR Billy Ray Cyrus, Tiger Woods?  Maybe next time they should do a 100 list or break it up into different categories. 

    OR maybe I should get some sleep this weekend.  This was the first week of school, I am so tired, and I can think of a lot of annoying people right now!

Have a Great, Safe Weekend!  I know I am looking forward to it!

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

On a Sears hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping. (and that's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a bag of Fritos: ..You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside. (the shoplifter special?)

On a bar of Dial soap: "Directions: Use like regular soap." (and that would be how??...)

On some Swanson frozen dinners: "Serving suggestion: Defrost." (but, it's "just" a suggestion.)

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom): "Do not turn upside down." (well...duh, a bit late, huh!)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding: "Product will be hot after heating." (...and you thought????...)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron: "Do not iron clothes on body." (but wouldn't this save me more time?)

On Boot's Children Cough Medicine:"Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication." (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5-year-olds with head-colds off those forklifts.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid: "Warning: May cause drowsiness." (and... I'm taking this because???....)

On most brands of Christmas lights: "For indoor or outdoor use only." (as opposed to...what?)

On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use." (now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.)

On Sunsbury's peanuts: "Warning: contains nuts." (talk about a news flash)

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
"Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts." (Step 3: maybe, uh...fly Delta?)

On a child's superman costume: "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly." (I don't blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw:"Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals." (..was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Two New Blogs!

     I love writing this blog.  I have referred to it as therapy several times.  I enjoy talking about my family, current events, and the way too many TV shows I watch.  I like it just the way it is, but I wanted to add another blog for my jewelry and one more site. 

     I thought it would help me sell my jewelry if I offered it online.  I needed an online store and I didn't want to add anything to my single mom blog.  Then, I wanted a "mommy resource" blog.  I would have loved to have all the internet information and social communication we have now when my kids were a lot younger.  I have thought for a while it would be so neat and helpful if there was a place for moms to find information about kids, homework, health, and for themselves beauty and fashion. There are some, but not many with a combination.  They seem to be either for you just as a mom or just as a woman.  We are both and we need to take care of both!

      I have spent a lot of time looking for information that I would have loved to have right in front of me.  Along with my addiction to TV comes my addiction to magazines!  I would be a lot smarter if I read a newspaper as much as I read magazines, but newspapers aren't as much fun, especially nowadays!  I will keep updated information on my mommy blog for your kids as well as the fun stuff.  If something needed is missing, please let me know. 

     My single mom blog is so much fun and I love it just the way it is.  I am kind of experimenting with the other two to see how it goes. The new ones are The Lollipop Fence and Grand Central Mom. I hope it is found helpful, it sure is fun loading it with all that information we moms need and want.  I will be updating both of them until I have them the way I want them.  I would absolutely LOVE and NEED your feedback while I am working on them. It would be so helpful during the process rather than after it is all completed.  This is really new to me (blogging, websites, and computers) and I am trying to learn a lot of new things. If you like or dislike something, have an idea, or any comment please let me know.  You can comment on any of the blogs, I have a facebook page for The Lollipop Fence and I am working on one for Grand Central Mom, or you can reach me at the following emails associated with each blog.

The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Moms

The Lollipop Fence

Grand Central Mom

     I don't know exactly how all of this is going to go, but I am excited about trying it out and would love to hear what you think would help.  It will take a little time to get the new ones just right, but the single mom blog is my top priority and I will definitely keep it up and current.  The new two are trial and error, but I might just completely fall apart if I couldn't come on this blog and write!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Christian Atheist Chapters 4 and 5

     You know how you walk through the house calling for anybody to answer and then you realize they all left?  Where are all of y'all?  I'm just teasing!  You can still be a participant while reading along and not saying anything.

     That's kind of how I feel about prayer.  It is very personal to me.  I am so glad to be a part of prayer in church when the preacher announces prayer requests and concerns.  To me, the best thing about facebook is that you can have a prayer chain going in a matter of minutes.  We all need group prayer, but I don't like to pray out loud  in front of others.  Besides being afraid of saying the wrong thing, I feel very personal about my prayers.  When I see a prayer request on facebook or on a church email I pray right then, but quietly.  Some people like to pray out loud and lead others in prayer and I am glad because we need people like that.  I am just not one of them.

     My daughter Sydney's favorite saying is "everything happens for a reason".  I really do believe that.  I think we are part of a huge plan and God is in control.  Sometimes the kids will ask me for something for Christmas and I might get something else instead.  Then, on Christmas morning they are happier with what I gave them in place of what they asked for.  They didn't know they wanted it more, but I can explain to them why I chose it instead.  I don't know if that is the best example, but, for me, it is so hard sometimes when I feel like my prayers aren't being answered.  I have to remind myself that although God can't explain it to me right now, maybe there is something I need more but don't know it. 

     This brings about a really painful time when my sister and my brother's wife both had miscarriages several months apart from the other.  We didn't understand it at all.  My sister had 3 children at the time and had no problems so she had already told the kids they were going to have another brother or sister.  My sister in law was a little more careful because she had a high risk pregnancy with the twins.  We didn't know if her pre-term labor was because of twins or just the pregnancy itself.  It was really hard for everyone and we didn't understand why it happened.  Then...... a few months later they both found out they were pregnant again.  They were afraid to tell the other because of the previous miscarriages.  My mom knew so she knew when one could tell the other.  They were both scared when they went to the first doctor appointment.  When one had a good visit she was afraid of the other's visit the same day.  Everything ended up being fine and we added Sadie and Ella to our family.  They were born 2 weeks apart.  My sister and sister in law got even closer, enjoyed their pregnancies together, had a double baby shower, and even named their babies after their moms.  Sadie is named after my mom, Angela, and Ella is named after my sister in law's mom, Yvonne.  What was such a sad and painful time months before ended up being such a blessing to our family.

     Sometimes we pray for things and don't understand why God doesn't answer, but He does answer.  My dad used to say to me (and still does sometimes,now he says it to my kids) "I know you better than you know yourself".  God knows us and knows what we need way better than we do.  We can't see the bigger picture.  We just have to trust, although it is hard sometimes, that He does answer just not in the way we expect sometimes.

    The saying above "Everything happens for a reason" is not always easy to hear.  People say to us sometimes when we lose a loved one, or a job, or something unpleasant happens, that it is God's will.  It is hard to think that something that causes us pain or sadness and hurt is God's will.  I wonder if when we get to heaven God sits us down at a big screen TV and shows us our life and points out  WHY things happened when and the way they did.  I know I am wrong, but there are times I don't feel like things are "fair".  I believe we have a forgiving and loving God,  there are just sometimes that good people go through things that just don't seem fair.  Then, you have other people who aren't so good and may not deal with the same things.  I know it isn't for me to question, but I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.  I am really glad the author put a spin on it and made this point:

     "But the good news is that God is not fair.  (Psalm 103:10-12 says, "God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.").

     Thankfully, God is not fair and we don't always get what we deserve.

     I am having to deal with some issues right now that I just don't understand why.  I haven't done anything wrong and have a completely clear conscious, but I am having to suffer because of someone else not telling the truth.  It doesn't seem "fair".  I know what I pray for concerning the outcome, but I have to completely trust in God.  He knows the truth and whatever happens I have to have faith that one day I will understand why me and my kids have had to go through some of the things we have had to.

     I would really like to know what you all think.  Even if you just want to give an opinion about the book in general.  You can comment anonymously and I don't even know who you are.  I have talked for three weeks and I would also like to know what you agree and disagree with in my views.  I am learning a lot about myself reading this book.  I really like the author's sense of humor and examples in making his points.  He really has a clear way of expressing his beliefs.  His stories are quite funny!  Please let me know what your thoughts and beliefs are.  If you want to comment on here you can, even anonymously, or you can comment on my facebook page The Sisterhood of Spiritual Single Mom Sisters.   On that page near the title, there is a "Like" button.  If you like the page will you click it?  I have 23 so far and I need just 2 more for my blue "f" on here, but would LOVE even more than 2! 

A pastor woke up Sunday morning as it was an exceptionally beautiful...
.... and sunny early spring day, decided he just had to play golf. So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling sick and convinced him to say Mass for him that day.

As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away. This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish. Setting up on the first tee, he was alone. After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!

At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed, "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"

The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Father Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole. It WAS A 420 YARD HOLE IN ONE!

St. Peter was astonished. He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"

The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"

On the first hole, he sliced into the rough. His opponent heard him mutter, "Hoover!" under his breath.

On the second hole, the ball went straight into a water hazard. "Hoover!" again, a little louder this time.

On the third hole, a miracle occurred & Fr. Murphy's drive landed on the green only six inches from the hole! "Praise be to God!"

He carefully lined up the putt, but the ball curved around the hole instead of going in. "HOOVER!"

By this time, his opponent couldn't withhold his curiosity any longer, and asked why the priest said "Hoover".

"It's the biggest dam I know." he replied.