Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Friends. It seems like these days a true friend is hard to find. Someone who doesn't question your parenting, believes that you are making the best decisions you can, listens when you are frustrated and brain storms with you when asked.

I have many friends online who are living with some of the challenges that we have.  They understand and are great for listening and offering advise. I hope to have the opportunity to meet all of them one day.  I am working on it!

However, it is good to have a friend who is close, who you can socialize with. I have one local friend. Yes, one.  Really, that is all that I have time for.  Our families meet at our house most Sundays after church and share a meal.  We get together for holidays and just about any other time we can. We share our lives. Angela has been in our lives about as long as Benjamin has. Really not a long friendship but it is a deep one nevertheless.  We love each others kids and I know that my kids love her. She is the closest thing to an aunt that they will ever have.

Angela gave me a break on Monday.  She took my kids to the zoo.  That is a big deal for me. Although some of the kids go to school, Benjamin does not.  It is impossible to get anything accomplished with him running around.  He no longer takes naps!

So while the kids were enjoying the zoo I got all of my Christmas stuff packed up and the floors mopped. Michelle stayed home with me and worked on her room and laundry. Sometimes she does not do well with other adults, her respect issues flare up. 

I have moved frequently my entire life. I don't have relationships with any childhood friends. I do maintain some friendships I made as an adult from our various moves. However, none of them are local. I guess that is a result of military moves.

Anyone have close friendships with childhood friends? Anyone struggle to find good friends?

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Consequences of Lying

We had a great Christmas. It was nice and it lasted for two days. Then, return of the lying.

The child in question lied and lied.  Lied when the evidence was right in front of everyone. Lied when our friends were over.  Was sent to her room and screamed going up the stairs that she wasn't lying.

I waited for her to calm down and then I went up to talk to her.  She admitted that she was lying all along, even when she was screaming up the stairs that she wasn't. I told her to get out some paper and write a paper for me that explains the consequences of lying. I wanted three specific consequences. This is a topic in which we had discussed numerous times.

She wrote her paper. In short she said the consequences were spankings, banning of electronics and grounding to her room where she could only read. I wrote back on her paper that the three biggest consequences of lying are: people don't believe anything I say so my word becomes worthless, I am showing that I don't respect the person that I am lying to or myself, and most importantly I am hurting my relationship with the people I lie to because good relationships can not be formed on lies.

She read my response and got very mad. She crumpled the paper and threw it down. We have talked and talked about these consequences of lying and I have never gotten the response that I got today.  I guess that the written word has a stronger impact on her. Yes, the consequences of lying will be posted in several places in my home.

I asked her why was she so mad. This was something we had discussed numerous times.  It is the truth. Why does the truth hurt so much? Also, why was her paper written with lies? I do not spank for lies. I am not against spanking. However, my biggest issue with spanking is that it takes the behavior away from the child. It changes the issue from the child's misbehavior to the person delivering a spanking and hurting them.  I don't take away from the child's behavior.

Since the writing got a stronger response from her we are about to start a journal in which we will both write. I will have her write what she lied about and I will respond to her how that has impacted our relationship, trust and respect. Will it have an impact?  I won't know until I try.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas

There was a time when our Christmas mornings were very rushed. We have slowed down. The kids woke up and ate their breakfast while checking out their stockings.

When everyone is ready went and opened presents. Tasha's family and Joselin were expected in later and we weren't expected to wait for them.

I handed out gifts and we watched each gift get opened before starting on the next. Benjamin got lots of help with his gifts.

Benjamin kissing Elmo

and hugging him.

Larissa realized that she didn't finish her project for Tasha so she worked on it.

She also got frustrated at times with all the ties and matching them up.

Regardless, she continued with it and finished it.

She was very proud of her gift.

Emma shared with Larissa. They play together pretty well and I think that is a product of homeschooling together.

Anthony got the shoes that he wanted.

Michelle's big gift was a bike which she was delighted with.

Emma was excited about her dress-up stuff.

Larissa got an iPod.  Her first reaction was to ask if it was fake!

The rest of the kids showed up and unwrapped their gifts.

More friends showed up and unwrapped our gifts to them. Then they had a wrapping paper fight.  Yes, wrapping paper balls were flying around our house. Benjamin's aunt showed up and some family friends who wanted to share the day and meal.

We were in the final stages of meal preparation when everyone started lining up!  They said that the smell was making them all hungry. We had Honey baked ham and turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato casserole, asparagus, corn, green bean casserole (green bean with Velveeta and french onions on top), macaroni and cheese and broccoli casserole. We forgot to get rolls and didn't get the desserts in the oven! We fed at least 24 people.

It was nice that all the kids were able to be here at the same time. I feel so blessed to have positive relationships with each and every one of my children. We have had struggles and I know that more will come, however in the end we make it through and grow closer.

It was a fantastic day, no fighting and a lot of happiness at our house.  

The kids were even happy with their socks!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was very low keyed. Our internet, TV and phone service went out which made us seem isolated.  Funny how you get used to instant communications.

The weather here is actually quite warm so the kids spent most of the day out playing. However, 
Sarah was upset because we couldn't watch Christmas movies in the evening. I insisted that we didn't allow the lack of electronics ruin our day.

We popped our string balls.  We probably should have waited another day, they were kind of wet on the inside. They shrunk up when the balloon deflated but did puff back up.  They finished drying and are stiffer than they look in the pictures.

Then we put on some Christmas music and got busy with baking cookies. The kids were in charge of the chocolate chip cookies.

They did a good job with no fighting.  Trying to take turns with baking can be a challenge!

Benjamin helped with the eating! After the cookies were done the kids left out Santa's share.

Kassi and Blake showed up to spend the night and the kids spent some time with them before heading up to bed.

After the kids were in bed we got the rest of the gifts out to wrap or put together. Sarah test drove some toys.

The stockings got stuffed. It takes a lot of candy, socks, small toys to fill those stockings.

We relaxed and watched Nightmare Before Christmas on the DVD player (haha, the only Christmas related DVD we could find). I went to bed knowing that the kids would be up far too soon.  I always stay up way too late, every year.  It is a tradition I guess.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Intereting article on Our Santa that we visited with last week.

Flower Fairy Tutorial

Quick and easy fairy tutorial....

Start with a pipe cleaner folded in half

Decide what to use for the hair. There are many different types of yarn that can be used.  Fold your yard at least twice the final length that you want it to be.  You can trim it in the end, better too long than too short.

If you are making a hanging fairie the make your hanger.

Center both the hanger and the hair in the fold of the pipe cleaner.

Put a large bead up the pipe cleaner and firmly against the hair.  If the bead falls out then you need more hair.

Fold the pipe cleaner out at the head keeping the bead tight against the hair.  The tightness is needed to keep the hair in place.

Fold two arms.

Take apart some artificial flowers and pick two or more petals. Also decide on your color of thread.

Tie the thread to the body by going criss cross.

Cross the thread across the body several times securing the arms.

Wrap the thread around the arm and up to the hand and back.  Do both arms.

Wrap the thread around the body to the waist.

If you want to make a standing fairy then eat some pistachios and save the shells.

You can wrap the legs as well.

Feed the legs into the flower petals and hot glue in place.

If you are hanging her then you are done with the body at this point.

To stand the fairy drill two tiny holes in the shells and determine the left and right foot.

Put the pipe cleaner feet into the holds and bend the pipe cleaner into the shells.

Fill the shell with hot glue and place some felt on the bottom while the glue is hot.

Trim the felt and position your fairy to stand. At this point you can trim the hair, paint a face and any other accessories you want to add.  I put a bit of hot glue to the back of the head and press some hair into it to keep hair on the back.

You will have to play with her a bit to get her balance, she can stand on her own.