Dress up

there's a meow in my motor!

I have so much on my mind. I feel like writing but there's no words there. So much has happened in so little of time. Our life is changing right under our nose. It's like standing still while being on a merry go round.

I think it's too personal to share on the blogosphere. But I want to shout out from the rooftops that God is a merciful God. He hears and answers prayers. He blesses those that wait on him.

Now for a little story...

This morning a cat was stuck inside the motor of my suburban. We could hear it but could not see where it was stuck. After a few moments we see a cat run out from under the car and assume that he has made it out.

We stopped to drop the kids off at school and there was still meowing coming from the motor. A stranger from the crowd that had gathered slid herself under the car to look for the poor lost cat. With some effort she was able to locate it under the transmission and stuck in a guard plate.

She had to grab its hind legs and pull him out the way he had gone in. The cat bit her not understanding she was trying to help. The woman even got her arm stuck at one point. But what a hero she was! There was no applauding. No medal. Not even a pat on the back. The silly cat was purring and alive! What happiness we all felt. Such joy for a silly cat who got stuck and meowed for help.

Sometimes we think we are stuck. Sometimes we are stuck and too stubborn to admit it. Just know that there people out there - even strangers that would share in your joy and would love to see you safe and happy.

Your life has an effect on me. What you do - does matter.

Mrs Afton

Afton was an elderly lady that I had the opportunity to care for. She was in her late eighties and had suffered from 2 strokes. She was only able to move one side of her body. She wasn't able to speak and when she tried it sounded like a muffled painful cry.

She didn't like me at first. I had a short boy haircut and wore my hat backwards. I could tell she was a well kept woman held high in social standards. My duties were to get her ready for bed and make sure she had her evening pills. I knew that since she didn't like me that my job was at risk.

Her husband laid in another bed in another room. He was able to move around with help. He also had many bed sores that had to be changed. I wasn't fond of having to take care of an elderly man - let alone any male for that matter so I found myself spending more time with Afton in her room.

She would look at me from that one eye, not being able to turn her head to look at me. She seemed angry that I was there. She just wanted to be left alone. Her muffled grunts and gesturing of her hand would point to the door as if she was desperately trying to tell me to get out.

One night she rang her bell desperately and I jumped up and went in to see what the excitement was all about. She seemed to be in pain. I couldn't understand what she wanted. After several attempted tries to communicate with me she slumped back into her pillow with a heavy sigh. Deep sobs came from within her. I offered her a drink of water and tried to see if there was anything wrong with her machines or tubes.

Afton was a well built woman and upon first glance she didn't appear to be sick or frail. It seemed as though any minute she would sit up and get out of bed. It was so hard to see her paralyzed in her body and not being able to care for herself. I often thought about the emotional hardship that would be - to be of sound mind and not be able to move her body. The stroke left her paralyzed. Frozen in her bed with no escape.

I took a hot wash cloth and gently washed her face. I was crying for her. I took her hands in mine and rubbed lotion on them trying to be as tender as I possible could. She allowed me to do that and our eyes met and although I had no idea how she was feeling or what she was thinking I knew at that instant that she had let me into her world. She was allowing me to be her friend.

We had many more touching moments and when I arrived for duty she would ring her bell as if saying - I know you are here and I want to see you. She would attempt a half smile when I walked into her room and I could see in her eyes the sincerity of her love. The nightly routine now included the hot wash cloth and hand massage. Once I took her a small ivory vase with roses engraved on it filled with tiny wild flowers. She grunted her muffled approval.

My life went on and my schedule changed. I moved and didn't have the opportunity to visit her. Oh how I wish I had made time. She lived for many more years and in fact my mother was able to take care of her for a time. I visited my mom while she was taking care of Afton and I saw that she still had my ivory rose vase. I would like to say that she remembered me but her eyes were distant and I wondered where she was. Was she wrapped in memories? Was she thinking about heaven?

I can't wait to get to heaven. Afton will be there and she will be free from all her physical limits and we will talk as old friends do.

Darrel turns 31

Celebrating Darrels 31st birthday and all he got was this little bitty kidney stone!  OUCH!

I didn't get a handbook...

I am so intrigued by love and logic that I went to my library and checked out 4 items. The rest I will have to place on hold from another library.

I started taking a parenting class a few weeks ago. I liked it. So then I started watching a bunch of you.tube. videos from the authors. I loved the videos. So then I thought I would buy their material - but why buy when you can loan them from the library? In the 4 items I picked up was an audio on cassette called Hormones and Wheels. Sure my kids are under 8 but they will be turning preteen sooner than I'd like. I have listened to them over and over the past 3 days. I take them in the car...I listen while doing housework. I listen when I go to bed.

I've had several chances to use love and logic on my kids. One that stands out to me right now is when my 5 yr old stole food from the fridge.

It was lunchtime. We made cheese quesadilla's. My five yr old daughter loves these. She wanted another one but I told her if she was still hungry she needed to eat her applesauce - OR she could have a banana or peaches or pears. She choose not to have any. Lunch is over and I catch her trying to make another cheese taco... I put the food away and tell her lunch is over. I am now on the computer checking my messages and my 5 yr old sneaks into the fridge and takes a taco shell and eats it. I finish my computer and when she comes up to me I say to her...I noticed that a taco shell is gone. That is so Sad. I don't know what your consequence is going to be but I will talk to Daddy and he and I will figure something out. I don't want you to worry about it so I will get back to you later. She throws herself on the floor and just lays there. Doesn't scream. Doesn't throw a fit. She is busy thinking.

I don't know what I should do - I haven't covered this part in Love and Logic so I called their 1-800 hotline. I explain my situation. That I am new and love the program but that I wasn't sure how to handle stealing. The lady on the phone suggests that I try the Energy Drain.

I will approach my daughter and I will say....When you steal food from the fridge after I tell you that you may not have it right now....it really drains my energy. How are you going to fill my energy back up? What can you do to replace my energy? OR What can you do to earn money to buy more taco shells - to replace the ones you took without permission? I have delayed the consequence and I am interested to see what my daughter can come up with.

The anger is gone. I catch myself every now and then - it's only been two weeks. But I feel at peace. And I can't wait to have my children misbehave so that I can turn it into a life learning lesson. I have been handling life one problem at a time and treating it as a life and death emergency. Oh no, the sky is falling down! Every thing was chaotic and upsetting but now that I have some tools I can think ahead and say - if they do this....then I will do that.... Having a plan in place is awesome! Doing it without yelling and screaming and swearing and being angry is BLISS! They say that children do not come with a hand book of how to.....but I "Swear" this Love and Logic is pretty dang close to the only handbook you will ever need.

Love and Logic

Last night at the dinner table the kids are whining that I get to go to class and they have to go to bed. I tell them that I am learning to be a better parent. I asked them if they noticed that I hadn't been yelling at them this past week. Sarah said "you've been yelling at us since we were babies". That created a few giggles from the children but it broke my heart into teeny tiny pieces.

Just that morning I was upset with the kids for not getting into the car and putting their seatbelts on. The two neighbor girls showed up. They have been being bullied on the bus and the driver hasn't been able to put an end to it. So they ride with us and I'm glad to do it.

The oldest girl looks at me and says "bad day, huh?" I didn't reply and repeated to everyone to get in the car and put their seatbelts on. Once settled down and everyone buckled I started off to get our next passenger - a preschool friend of my daughter. The neighbor girls proceeded to tell me that they had been naughty the night before and made their mom cry. The mom threatened to leave them and not come back. I was in disbelief. I said "I don't think she meant it - she was just using a threat to make you behave." But the girls were convinced that she actually meant it. They started telling me how their parents were abused when they were little by their parents.

When we picked up our preschool passenger the mom was clearly upset and didn't speak a word to me while she buckled her child. I asked her if everything was alright and she dismissed the question with something to do with the boys. She has been having a hard time with them lately. The preschooler said that her mom was mad this morning.

I talked to my suburban full of children how adults react to situations and the different ways they behave. Some yell, some get mad, some make threats. I reassured them that even though their parents were upset that they still loved them.

I dropped the children off and I had to go inside the school to excuse my children for their dentist appointments. A mom and her son are standing at the counter - something to do with a lost phone. The secretary brings a lost phone out to see if it's hers and the woman is upset because it is missing the back and the battery. She turns and KICKS her son! The boy starts hopping on one foot while holding his other shin. I look at the secretary to see how she will react. She doesn't. I stare at this mom in disbelief. Should I say something? Should I try to console the child? I immediately thought of the television show - what would you do? I stood there in shock trying to decide if I should get involved. The moment passed but the incident has been weighing heavily on my mind.

I went to my class. I was excited to go because so far the method is working. LOVE and LOGIC. ( You can google the videos on You.Tube ) The setting was the same. Mostly couples with a single mom and her mother - and me. I wasn't going to make my husband go - it was my idea and I'm the one who wanted to take the class. I found out that everyone thought I was a single parent. I found out how intimidating this can be when you don't agree with telling your child (who is bothering you with an annoying behavior) - that you would be happier if they weren't there with you at that moment. WHO TELLS A CHILD THAT??

Talk about class room bullying. There were about 9 sets of families there and half of them where trying to convince me that it was okay to say that. The objective of that being - is to let the child know their behavior is bothering you and you want them to stop. Basically your telling your child you don't want to be around them while they are being annoying. I believe you can redirect their behavior without telling them that you don't want to be around them and that you'd be happier if they weren't there with you at that moment.

I have loved the program up until this point. I felt outed. Segregated. Kicked out of the club. The class ended on that note and I sarcastically asked the instructor if I was welcome to come back even though I disagreed on that point. He shrugs his shoulders and said that if its working for you don't change it. If it's not then do something about it. I walk out and I hear him saying "see you all next week".

A woman catches up to me in the hallway and asks if I am a single parent - because when she was a single parent she too did not want to say anything to make her child feel rejected. I looked at her in disbelief and chuckled. What is this world coming to?

I may be wrong? Who knows? I just know that my parenting style is NOT WORKING. I hate yelling and being angry. So I'm working on that. I'm not perfect. I'm not going to hide behind dentist whitened teeth and perfectly ironed clothing and try to make the world see me as anything but the flawed imperfect person that I am. And I've noticed that THAT bothers a lot of people. In church! In School! Everywhere!

Why can't we admit our faults and do something about it? Get help if needed. Stop the Keeping up with the Smiths and the Jones family syndrome. Stop treating others like we are better than them. What is with all the bullying and anger in the world?

I know my Redeemer Lives

I was driving in my car headed down the freeway wondering where in life I was headed when I heard this most beautiful song on the radio. It was a moment where God seemed to speak directly to me and testified that HE was in charge and that HE would take me to higher heights.
It still brings me peace whenever I hear it.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide until evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory!

He lives to take away my shame. He lives forever I'll proclaim. That the payment for my sin was the precious life He gave. But now He's alive and there's an empty grave!
I know my Redeemer lives! I know, I know my Redeemer Lives!

Nicole C Mullen on playlist.com

or You Tube