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It's amazing when my 5-year-old comes home talking about the history behind MLK day. When I was in Kindergarten, we learned our color...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A joyful heart

All parents wonder if we're doing it right. We wonder if we're screwing it up....especially with our first child. My last post is testament to that first hand, and many of you left me some wonderful comments either at my blog or on some of the communities I'm a part of like: cre8buzz, mybloglog, or myspace. So thank you to you all for your feedback. Each of you had something insightful and supportive to say, which really gave me some insight to the rest of your lives and your parenting.

I wanted to give you an update on the chart and it's five lines. Although it is initially what got my son's attention, it's not whats really working for him (note: all five lines are still up). Each day as he's come home from school, with a smiley on his hand, he's been getting a huge smiley on his chart for the category: OBEYING AT SCHOOL/RIGHT CHOICES.

As soon as he's picked up, he can't wait to tell me all the right choices he's made and how he didn't follow Devon into bad ones. At first when he made the decision to stick to his guns and do what was right, he apprehensively asked me, "Mommy? What if making the right decisions means Devon won't be my friend anymore. What if won't like me after that?" Imagine peer pressure at four! Poor kid!

I replied as any parent would, "Sweetheart. True friends love you for who you are, and if Devon decides he doesn't like you for being good than he wasn't your friend to begin with. You have 15 other kids in your class that you can be friends with. I'm sure Devon will be just fine with you making the right choices. Besides, you get to teach him how to make good choices...think of how exciting that will be. Maybe no one's showed him what it is to be good!?"

Well last night, he was sitting on his throne as all men do, and he called me in the bathroom. He had this bright smile. Obviously he had been doing a lot of thinking, as he'd been in there for a while. I smiled back and he said, "Devon is learning good choices mommy. I'm teaching him how to be a good kid!"

He was so proud of himself for leading this other child into the right way in life. My joyful heart almost exploded with love for my little boy. He loves others so deeply and was so afraid of losing a friend. Now he's experienced that true love is showing others to walk upright by setting an example, and sharing what good comes from it. I'm so glad he's learning so much from this. It's not just about a drum set. It's about life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Calling for Parent's Input

Okay....I knew it had to happen! My perfect little child, who has been a dream for 4.5 years, is now having disciplinary issues at school. The problem is that he's a little smarter than most kids his age, and although he's not excluded from them in any way, it's harder to communicate when you know how to count to 2,000 and all the others are learning to count to 10. There tends to be a gap.

This one child, in his class, who is as smart is obviously going to be an interest to my son. My son feels a bond with him, because they can talk on the same level, which I originally was happy about. Except for the fact that this child is not one that makes good choices for himself, and is leading my son down the path to destruction. He and my son are to aggressive with other kids on the playground, and they aren't listening to instruction.

His teacher actually called me at home last month. I was shocked that in PRE-K I got a call from his teacher about this kind of issue. He's always been such a giving and loving child. So I thanked her and devised a plan. Talking with him...right? Well not so much....it didn't work. He'd tell me what I wanted to hear, "yes mom...I'll make the right choices and not follow Devon in wrong choices." And then he'd come home with a note from the teacher telling me otherwise.

I soon found that talking with him probably felt like talking at him. It hadn't produced any results. So I took a break from it and took another route.

We've always had a chart on our refridge to put smileys or stars on, which rewards him for good behavior. And, just recently we've been able to put smileys on the 'sleeping through the night' category for 3 months straight! He's sleeping for the first time in his life...every night. WooHoo! I told him he couldn't get a drum set for Christmas if he didn't start sleeping, and man that was incentive enough. Once he set his sights on the drum set, he knew he had to sleep every night until Christmas. Well now his body is trained to sleep all night, and it's a habit for him....just as not sleeping through the night used to be his habit.

Although I never set out to be a parent that bribes, this worked this one time. So I thought I'd use that same drum set for incentive with his behavior. I told him it broke my heart when he made some of the choices he had at school. I went on to explain how disappointed I was to learn how he was talking to other kids in his class, and I how I didn't ever want to feel that kind of hurt in my heart again. His little eyes got sad.

Then I walked him in the kitchen to his chart. I put 5 lines on it, and drew a drum set next to those lines. I told him if I got another call from his teacher, one line would get erased...leaving four lines. If I got a note from his teacher, another line...erased - leaving three. If he came home with no 'smiley' on his hand, in result of a good day of school, then another line would get erased. Finally I explained if all 5 lines were erased, then the drum set would not be an option. I told him I knew he was a good kid, who makes good choices. I explained that I would hate to see him not get a drum set for Christmas, when he's been working so hard to get one.

His sad eyes turned into fierce ones. He had that look of determination. He emphatically told me that he would make good choices, and tell Devon so too. So since then he's been coming home with smiley faces, from having a good day at school. The teacher has told me what good choices he's been making, and the minute he sees me he can't wait to tell me what choices he made at school. So far all 5 lines are still up on his chart.

So please tell me moms & dads....have you had this type of situation? What is working for you? I'm stumped to be honest...It's my first time dealing with this. Give me your insight on your child's history and what you did or didn't do.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Little eyes on you

So you can tell I've not been blogging as regularly! I've had so much going on and haven't had the time to sit...let alone sit and blog.

Quick recap:
Great week and weekend so far. Today I only had 26 kids in my children's church class. Most of you are thinking. 'Only?' LOL! They're all 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 years old and awesome. It's such a great feeling to see these little people light up when they see you.

This morning, I told them a silly story of how I was pulled over by a cop recently. The bible verse we went over taught showing respect, to those God placed in authority, even when we really didn't want to. I explained that I was angry that I got pulled over because I wasn't speeding. Long story short, I explained that because I showed him respect he was respectful in return. I told how I wasn't speeding, but still got a warning b/c my license plate's sticker was expired. I looked around at these little faces, and their eyes were wide with wonder.
I went on to say that no one should show disrespect to those in authority, especially not the police. I think one little girl said, 'yah-cuz he could get mean and arrest you!'

These little children are so adorable, and I'm so blessed to be a part of their lives at this stage in their lives.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Screen Shot Crazy

Terri over at Terri Terri Quite Contrary tagged me with an easy and interesting meme. I pass a few of these on from time to time. We all get bombarded by these, so I feel bad passing all of them on. But this one was easy and fun...so here goes.

When she tagged me she said, "Blessed1, aka wornoutwoman at Daily Blessings and Worn Out Woman, respectively, because she’s a talented photographer and I’ll bet she’s got one of her photos on display on her desktop too."

Okay so I don't know how talented I am...but she was right that I would have one of my photos on it. I of course had a great picture of my son on it, but since I won't put his face on my sites....I switched it out for another sun. One we all see everyday. One that rises and sets...giving us a fresh start each day and will close the chapter on a full day.

The sun setting in any part of the world is a beautiful sight! So enjoy it people...almost makes ya want to grab a margarita doesn't it? :0

I want to bestow this honor to the following:

** Mommy Loves Diamonds, a woman who loves to put it out there. Someone that makes us all think, and isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. Someone I really respect, so I'd be really interested in seeing what her screen shot is.

** Speedcathollydale, a humorous man who is fun enough to pass this award on to everyone blogger he knows. I bet he's listed about 3 hundred bloggers to pass it on to. He makes me laugh daily. I'm not sure what he'll have on his screen shot...but I'd be willing to bet it's golf related or possibly a 'Caddy Shack' moment. He's a great read if you ever stop by. PS...speedcat...I will pass this one on soon. --->

** Jeoprah, a stay at home dad with the cutest stories and pictures of his cutie pies. I found him through cre8buzz, and am so glad...he's a great blogger and a genuinely nice person. Most every post will be accompanied by a funny photoshopped pic on his site...so I'm sure he'd have a crazy screen pic from his desktop.

** Homespunhonolulu should have a screen shot that will make us all want to travel to the beach, listen do Don Ho, and go surfing. I love reading this site to remind me of home in Honolulu...so I'm very interested in seeing what screen shot she'll have. Hmmmm...Pearl Harbor? Ala Moana Shopping? The flea market at the pro bowl? Do share!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Love is in the air!!

I think puppy love is one of the most adorable things in life. My son, who's now in PreK, has left his mother's day out class behind. They've all moved on to their schools, and have new class mates now.

He came home a little bummed one day and told me the other day that he didn't have any cute girls in his class. He missed his girlfriend from mother's day out. I've written about them before in previous blogs. They just love each other, and it's so adorable to watch.

So yesterday, I set up a play date at the Orr Family Farm.

They've got everything from pony rides, train rides, pumpkin picking hay rides, playgrounds, mazes, and much much more. The kids have a ball there.

This little greek doll and her younger sister came to play the whole day away with my son, who couldn't wait to see 'his girlfriend'.

First things first...she brought him another love note, and then it was off to play. They all three had the best time. The only problem was that the 3 year old, younger sister, was fighting for my son's affections as well. They both fought over who'd sit next to him.

It was every man's dream...two beautiful greek goddesses vying for his attention. My son though wasn't having any of it. He played well with both girls, but when it came time for the train ride there just wasn't enough room for all of us to fit on one bench. Both mothers and three children was one person too much for that space. Little sister would have to sit on her momma's lap and she started throwing a tantrum when she couldn't sit to him. He finally leaned over and said, "Listen, I don't want to sit next to you! I'm on a play date with your sister."

Of course that hurt her feelings and she cried even harder. My son was just being honest, not realizing the impact of his words. I told him that he needed to apologize and although he didn't understand why, he leaned across and told her he was sorry.

Later when I was telling my husband what a little girl magnet our son was and how he made a little girl cry, my son just started laughing. He had the biggest twinkle in his eye, and said, "But I told her I was sorry!"

You could tell he was enjoying every minute of that story, and in my mind's eye I could see 10 years into the future. And I was scared of what I saw....lots of girl's calling my house bugging me, to talk to my son, while my son just laughs!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's wrong with people?

Somedays I swear! My boss is the best boss I've had so far in my 17 years of sales, so I'm not trying to vent too much...honestly.

Yesterday I had to leave the office to pick up my son early, who was vomiting at school. I flew by his office, when leaving the building, and gave him the 4-1-1 before leaving. I just knew that something would be said when we talked next.

Most days I work in the field, some mornings I make calls from home, and 3 afternoons I work from my boss' office. Last month was the worst month I've had in my 1 1/2 years with this company, but it was due to some personal reasons...not founded on job performance. I've been a consistent player on my team hitting just over my goals. I think that is something to get a pat on the back for considering my child has been in the hospital twice in a 5 month period...and we've been struggling financially just to pay our bills.

There is another male co-worker, who has been recently injured and can't drive to see clients. So they (the superiors at my office) have been turning in deals for him, to make sure he gets paid. We're all on straight commission. I think this is a wonderful way to support your team, when someone is injured or unable to drive to see clients. However, they're not just giving him what's needed to get by. They're giving him twice the amount needed to survive, and now he's the sales leader for the team. I see email after email commending this person's performance with our company.

Not once while I was unable to work, when my son was in the hospital, did I receive any aid. Last month when I had some personal issues, leaving me a slighty incapacitated for the month...did I get a hand out? No, and I would never whine and ask for one!!

Today when my boss called, he asked me what my plan was for the day. I told him it was to make sure my son was taken care of. His response? Well, get him better and take him to daycare.
My response:
WHAT? Um, when my son is puking out both ends I will be here to take care of him. Besides no day care would take a child who is sick like that.

I am completely frustrated today! This man has a new son, who's been sick before. BUT instead of watching him at home...he toted this adorable newborn, in his carrier, to the office. So I guess I could never expect him to understand how different men and women are when it comes to the care taking of their children. I had to work really hard at not being offended.

I get that he's worried that I'm not where he thinks I should be. But after one shaky month in sales, I'm treated like a sales pariah. I have no hard feelings toward the co-worker who is getting help from the company. Even after hearing that they've asked other sales persons to write things in his name...I'm not bitter. Okay maybe a little bitter... but bottom line I'm glad he's getting some aid while he's unable to drive. But it's got me thinking maybe I should fake an injury, grow some balls, and they'd sell for me too.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Creating a BUZZ at Cre8buzz!

Just a quick blog to let all you bloggers know about an amazing bloggerosphere, called Cre8buzz. Cre8buzz went public this week, and it's the most addictive site to date! I love it and not only because it's clean and friendly, but because all the bloggers there are extremely interesting. Every single person there has a passion for life and/or their hobbies. They all contribute to this amazing environment.

I've met some of my new favorite bloggers, and it's generated a lot of traffic to my sites. I highly encourage you all to check out Cre8buzz! It's in my opinion the best blogger's social network out there. You can check out my profile by clicking my rating button below.

Once you sign up...you'll be addicted! I promise!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The beauty of life

What do you find beautiful? I think it's different for each and every one of us. Tonight as I sat on my porch, watching my son and husband play soccer in the yard, I realized just how beautiful life can be.

If you ever read my other blog, daily blessings, you'll know how blessed I feel on a daily basis. So why was tonight so special?

Because my husband and I are so financially strapped that it's not even funny, but no matter how bad that gets...my life is still perfect just the way it is. To hear my son's laughter, and see his smile as he spends time with his parents overshadows all the stresses in my life.

Do I wish I still had a job with a stable income? Yes! Would I sacrifice the time away from my son to do so? NO WAY!

I left a job, of five years, making over 70K but was becoming so involved at work that I had nothing left over to give my family. Now I work from home, on straight commission. If I don't sell....I don't bring home a paycheck. Some months are steady, and then there are months like last month where no money came home. And we're in the hole...trying to survive.

So this month I take a deeper breath, dig in and work hard while I while still being able to spend time with my family. God is good!

Even if we have to take a hit financially for a little while now, while I'm waiting for my client base to build up, it's worth skimping and living below our means. BECAUSE I'm now making in an investment in my son, and that's time I'd never get back. Life is not only good...it's beautiful.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Babysitting Blues

So tonight was the first time we left our son with a sitter. It's been 4 years of family care whenever my husband and I had things to do, or needed a date night. I can't tell you how apprehensive I was. Especially after my last post...this is a crazy world we live in.

BUT...we didn't just drag in someone off a street corner to sit for us. It was an intern that worked at my husband's office for the summer. When my son came to visit at his office, I noticed how he was drawn to this beautiful girl and how well she interacted with him.

Long story short we asked her to babysit last week. I asked her over to hang out with us on Sunday to get our son used to her being her ahead of time. I checked her references, which were stellar! And finally did a lot of prayin...

Tonight, my son couldn't get me out of the house fast enough once Sarah got there. He told me to leave! With Sarah, he had his captive audience and was so excited to play with her. I checked on them once via cell phone from our financial peace class tonight...and of course they were doing fine.

Here's the shocking part...I got home on time and expected to have a warm homecoming. Who wouldn't be excited to see their mom? Nope! As soon as I walked in, they were sitting side by side on the couch, watching "How It's Made". As soon as he saw me...he started to cry and told me to leave. He wanted to be alone with Sarah and was upset I came home. What??

I had to laugh that he wanted me to leave. On top of that he got upset that she then had to go home. It took 30 whole minutes for him to snap out of his funk. Now that is some serious Babysitting Blues!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Our Children's Survival

I have some faithful readers. Some that read both my blogs, and some that just read this one. So for those that only check one, I have decided to post this blog twice. I'd apologize for the redundancy if I didn't think this subject is so worthwhile. Our children are the most important reasons to make the world a better place, so that being said...I decided to post my blog from Daily Blessings:

Each day, as a parent, one wonders how safe is it out there for our children. With the television/film industry glorifying crime on the screen, and pushing it's limits of what's allowed as general viewing...you have to wonder what effect it has on the American public. How can we as parent's educate our children without scaring them to death? It's a fine balance in giving your children the facts, and handing your children the means to live in fear.

As a rape survivor, I know too well how scary it can be for those of us out there that were ill informed. My mom always answered any question I had growing up. She gave me the stranger danger talk growing up, but I don't ever remember a pro-active conversation about sexual predators and how that could effect me or anyone I knew.

I don't blame my parent's for not bridging that conversation...they didn't know it would be needed. How do we as parent's know what's needed to protect our child, if we haven't lived it personally or through someone else's story? My parent's never experienced this type of trauma, or knew anyone else that did. I've never sat and wondered what my life would be like if they had.

I am, who I am, because of my life's circumstances, and am blessed to be exactly where I am. I have survived my past and forgiven my transgressor. It took a while, but I learned to have a healthy relationship. I thank God that He brought me through exactly to where and when He did, so that I'd meet my wonderful husband.

The reason I'm writing this??

To make sure you all are aware of HOW IMPORTANT it is to educate your children in the ways of the world. According to RAINN, every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. And that's cases that are reported! I didn't report my case...it makes me wonder how many women, men, or children do not report their cases.

To give you some hope, I have included a blog from a friend, who did educate her daughter. She taught her daughter the facts, which ended saving her life! Please read my friend, Sarvin's, story. Please pass my blog on to others, so that they're made aware on how taking 2 minutes to talk to your child can make such a huge impact on their lives! Her and her daughter's story is below:


While her father slept on the couch, his friend “Ben” lured my daughter into his bedroom under the guise of talking there, so that they didn’t disturb anyone. Of course, she went. My daughter had known Ben since she was a little girl and she trusted him.

In the bedroom he talked about common interests. Interests, that for the last couple of months he’d used to get closer to her, to advance her trust in him. I later discovered that this was a process called “grooming the victim”. The conversation moved on to questions about school, friends and then boyfriends. At 13, she didn’t have a boyfriend. He moved in closer. He hugged her. It was when he told her how pretty she was and then touched her face; the alarm bells began to ring inside her. She was looking for a way out. Perhaps he smelled her fear. Perhaps it even excited him. But it was then that he told her the things he wanted to do to her.

“If you don’t like it, we don’t have to tell anyone.”

But she said it was my voice she heard the loudest, “Get away! Tell someone!”

She told Ben to stop. She left the room, woke her sleeping father, and said she needed to leave. He took her away. She wouldn’t give details to her father, but when my ex-husband brought her home to me, details came pouring out amidst the tears and the vomiting that lasted two days. The crime was reported, as she knew there was no choice, because she said, “I don’t want to see this happen to Ben’s little daughter, or any other girls.”

That was a year ago and yet the trial just finished up last week. Twelve men and women believed her and Ben is guilty of a felony.

Ben is a man I had never met until the trial, but he was supposedly the best friend of the man I’d divorced ten years ago. Ben was trusted; he was not a stranger.

Ironically or perhaps by the grace of God, about two weeks before the incident, inspired by a TV show on sexual predators that we’d watched, my teenagers and I sat down and discussed the subject. I told my children these things:

1. A sexual predator is likely someone you trust; a family friend, a neighbor, or even a relative, like an uncle, a grandpa or even in some cases, a parent.
2. If there is someone you don’t feel comfortable with, for ANY reason, let me know. I will trust your instincts; maybe you just have a “feeling” about someone. I will NEVER ignore that. I will get you away from them. I will always believe you.
3. Your body is yours and NO ONE has the right to touch you. They might even try to make you feel good, but because you have the information and know about good and bad touching, you know what to do —
4. Get away and get help! The very words my daughter heard me saying in her head that night.

My daughter has lived and then survived the day-to-day fear that Ben would come and get her, then later the endless questions, the badgering of a defense attorney, and the worst thing— facing Ben in court. She is one of the lucky ones. So many children are violated horribly. That night she was able to stop what was going to happen to her.

She has urged me to get the word out saying, “Tell all the mommies to talk to their kids like you talked to me, so that they know what to do.”

She’s 14 now and I’m incredibly proud of this brave, young woman God has blessed me with. The results of that night are best described in her own words. The following is a document, requested by the courts, shown to the judge before sentencing, asking how the crime has affected her life. She addresses the letter to her perpetrator.

One night, changed my life. One night, I became a victim. But that was only for one night. I became a victor when I went to the police. I am not the girl I once was. In the video (taped police statement shown in court) you saw a little child who was scared and hurt. What you have seen in front of you on the witness stand is a powerful and strong young woman who has found hope and God again. I have gained a lot in the last year, more than what you took away, even though the loss was still great. Yet I am so much more thankful for my parents and friends. I can do anything now. I’m no longer afraid.

I even forgave you for changing my life. I forgave you for ending what little of normality I had. But I will never forget and my family will never forget either. So look at me, and remember the girl you tried to invade. For now, she is a woman who is much stronger than you’ll ever be.

At my daughter's request, I urge you: TALK to your children. Today. Don't wait.


Sarvin and her daughter will be checking my blog to see your comments. Please leave them your thoughts and responses, to let her know how empowering her story is. She just got through with the trial, and needs to know you'll not only pass this on...but want's to know your thoughts.

2 minutes on a tough subject can mean our children's survival!