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I have discovered it is really hard to be Queen in a household with 3 princesses! Somebody is always borrowing my tiara! Well in between hunting my stuff down I am the proclaimed Queen in the Land of fluff (where my husband swears one day that he will die from glitter lung (you get the picture!) Besides that I am a dieting, exercising, crafting, biblestudying kind of girl.
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

school uniforms- yes or no?

Well our school district is considering going to a school uniform dress code next year. As part of the process in determining whether or not this would be the best thing for our district, they have sent out a survey for parents, students, and faculty members to participate in.
What do you think about school uniforms?

I really did not know what I thought about uniforms. At first, I thought "it's probably not a bad idea". Peer pressure is high in the middle school and high school years. The desire to conform to what the majority considers "approved" clothing can make an adult crazy. Which in most district "approved" clothes from teenagers often means a focus on expensive name brand clothing. So at first I thought, Ah! This could save me money. I love to save money what could be better than this.
However, I decided to google for pro's and con's of uniforms in public schools. I did read that there could be an initial savings if you compare the uniform to the amount that name brand clothing cost. It did point out that it could also be an additional expense, due to several factors.
1) Kids would most likely want to get home and change into another set of clothing items. (especially girls, if a skirt was required. Well, this does make sense I would not be comfortable wearing a skirt all day, every day. However then I realized that this would translate into more laundry for moi! Ah!! This is not what I was looking for. More laundry is more work, also higher water bills, more $ for detergent, spot cleaners and fabric softener. My husband also pointed out that I might have to iron some required clothing. The horror! I am exaggerating but all of a sudden this money saving idea is adding up to a lot more work for me. They say time is money, well I think I am right back where I started.)
2) Some clothing items maybe required that kids may not wear on their own. (belts, etc..)

What basic clothing items could be required for a uniform. Let's use a khaki pants that many schools who use uniforms require. Khaki pants at first, sound so very simple. However, if Khaki pants were a required item of clothing that was required to be worn daily. Would there not then be a "cool" place to buy a pair of Khaki pants, compared to "uncool" places that also carried khaki pants? Wouldn't shallow teenagers be on the look out to spot the difference. Yes, I believe they would. Also I learned from my sister (who lives in another state, and school uniforms are required there.) That even if all things are made equal, they are not. Other things or items then become the "focus" of what is cool. For example, backpack, the brand name of shoes, and jewelry all of a sudden became a huge focus for girls. Why? because they could express their individuality through rings, necklaces, and earrings. Jewelry, is not cheap. At least not how teens where them. (900 bangles on a wrist etc....). I am not sure what additional items a teenage boy might focus on, but I am sure they would think of something.

Some websites I visited did state that school uniforms they felt cut back on provocative or inappropriate revealing clothing being worn to school. (Hello, does any remember the Brittaney Spears video where she dressed all sexy school student? I firmly believe if a girl does not want to dress modest, no matter what you tell her to wear she can make it "inappropriate".). Another pro stated that because the uniform was more serious clothing that the students were more likely to come school and be more serious about being there. I'm not sure I believe this one either. I was raised in a church where you had to wear a dress, stockings and dress shoes every Sunday. As much as I enjoyed going to church I was uncomfortable the whole time and it was distracting. (I now attend a church that allows you to attend church wearing jeans. I am so comfortable that I can just enjoy being there and focus on what the pastor is talking about. Instead of squirming in my seat, and counting down the minutes until I get home and take my dress off.)

One last con about school uniforms from a mom's perspective. If the child has to wear a uniform, and you can not find a particular piece of clothing. Due to um..... it's lost amongst their stuff (remember we are talking teenagers here) or I have not done all the laundry due to the fact life happened that week. The girls can not throw something else on and go. I guess if the school goes to uniforms I am going to have to buy "extras" as back ups. (I can't hardly keep up with the socks that match the soccer uniform. Lord, help me! Oh, and extras add up to more money as well.)

So to make a long story short, I was very surprised after researching the pro's and con's and thinking about how the change to uniform would impact our overall quality of day to day life. That I voted "no" for school uniforms.

I know, that you might have a very different view point than mine. I may have not even considered some of the things you have thought about it. I would LOVE to hear what you think. Are you for school uniforms, if so why? and if your not for school uniforms, Why?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What's new

"Life would be very dull if you didn't learn new things.". An excerpt from "An Irish Country Courtship" by Patrick Taylor.

That excerpt is so true!! So what are you learning? Or what are you planning on learning this Spring? Or summer?

I am planning on learning how to hike this spring! I am very excited about this. I have never considered myself "athletic" and never really knew what to do outside. It seemed like as you got older the only people who played outside we're playing with a ball or jogging. Well now that I am loosing weight and getting in shape. I am stronger and more confident and I am really enjoying being active. So all this beautiful weather we are having is calling my name & I want to go out and play in nature. So hiking it is!!

Please let me know what you are learning, or what you are planning on learning or even what you always secretly dreamed of learning but never have had the opportunity to learn!

I will post pictures in a few weeks when I get the opportunity to go on my first real hike! It will be a learning experience & a celebration to me on how much stronger I have become in the last year. Also a learning experience: learning a new skill as well as learning what I can do physically and where my current limit is. So I can make new goals.
I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

No snow!

Well it does not look like my part of the country will be receiving any more snow this season. (of course I bought my first sled this year, guaranteeing no snow).

So I am glad that I made this cute snowman crafts back in December when it was cold outside. I just had to share them. (I know it's getting warm outside. But who knows maybe it will give you an idea to bounce to another one, another way to transform gum & tic tacs. But if it does-you have to let me know!) Below is the cute snowman gum packs I made for my daughter, and her friends. I got the cute idea from eighteen25.blogspot.com

I also made these cute snowman kisses tic tac holders found on janescreativeprocess.blogspot.com. My youngest daughter had so much fun giving these to friends.

I hope you are having a blessed week. I am so glad it's Monday and the start of a new week!

"taste and see how good the Lord is. Happy is the person who trusts him."
Psalm 34:8


Friday, February 24, 2012

Do you or don't you

ok, I have to admit I am currently suffering from APDD. What is that you say? It is a horrible problem that strikes me each year when the sun starts to shine, and the air gets a little warm, it's called "Attention Project Deficit Disorder". It's where I am all excited about a project, sometimes in the middle of one (no, I am sure I don't have a half done wreath made of paper rosettes sitting in my closet. ) umhum, any way. Ok, I am all excited about a project that I am working on, then something (anything really) happens, & I get distracted and wander off and start something else.

Do you suffer from this to? Well as it is looking like Spring maybe approaching early, at least in my part of the country. Before I slip on my flip flops and go outside to play I have to ask. Do you spring clean or don't you?

If you do spring clean, what do you do? I would love to know, so maybe you can guilt me into cleaning before I run to the store and pick out the nail polish that would look best on my toes. I am so excited to see them peeping out at me through my flip flops!! Sigh, spring! How I love thee!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

forgiveness can be a tricky word

I watched a movie the other night called the "Grace Card". In the movie one of the character says "it's easy to receive grace, but it's hard to give away."

That is SO True!! When I have done something wrong, I want to be forgiven! I ask my husband, my friends, my kids to forgive me. I really want want forgiveness or grace when I have messed up. However, when someone has wronged me, and I get to choose whether or not I want to give grace or forgive. It can be so hard to give!

This week in my bible study we have been talking about this. It has been very interesting to hear where other people find it hard to forgive others, is it because they have a "repeat offender" in their life that is always messing up, that makes it so hard to give grace. Or is it a matter that forgiveness is offered more easily depending on what the offense is. What or where do you see the line in your own life that makes giving grace hard.

I think grace or forgiveness can be hardest when the offender either does not claim responsibility for the offense or doesn't even care enough to apologize for the offense in the first place. However, I do realize that the bible tells us we are supposed to forgive others. We are to offer forgiveness over, and over again if necessary. I have come to understand that offering someone grace or forgiveness has nothing to do with them, but has everything to do with the condition of my heart. By offering forgiveness it keeps my heart soft, it keeps it loving, and not a hard little stone.

It does get easier the more often I fall to my knees to God and pray that he helps me forgive others instantly, instead of nursing a grudge for days, weeks, and um.. I am sure I have never held a grudge longer than a year. However, I am learning to trust him, and turn over even my brokeness to him and letting him give me peace and restore my soul. It is a hard but freeing process. I am definitely a work in progress.

Have you ever found it hard to give someone else grace or forgiveness? What do you do when you know that you need to forgive someone but you just don't "feel" like it? Do you find it easier to receive grace or give grace? I would love to know what you think about the subject, please leave me a comment, I love comments!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is the cost your child is paying for your lifestyle

This is a MUST read book for anyone raising kids in America today!!! It's called "The Price of Privilege" (how parental pressure and material advantage are creating a generation of disconnected and unhappy kids) by Madeline Levine, PhD. This book covers many, many challenges, and pitfalls that a material advantage can cause in family life and raising well adjusted teens. Let's face it, most of us in America today fall in some varying degrees into the lifestyle this book referes to as "privilege". How are you handling the culture influences that this book discusses.
This book started with the premise that poverty has been documented to cause such pressure on families that many parents are absent, due to working multiple jobs to try to provide the basic needs for their families. Due to the lack of parent participation in their children's lives, teens from these home have been in danger of making poor grades, dropping out of school and the possibility of involvement in deviant behavior that could lead to criminal behavior. The book states "America's newly identified at-risk group is preteens and teens from affluent, well-educated families. In spite of their economic and social advantages, they experience amount the highest rates of depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, somatic complaints, and unhappiness of any group of children in this country. "

This book discusses what a teen in crisis looks like from an affluent family. It looks very different from the low income families. So shockingly different, that is often missed until it is too late! The teen that ends up in crisis, often is a straight A student, and excels in their extra-curriculum activity. However they are developing anxiety, depression, eating disorders and trying to self medicate through the use of recreational drugs and alcohol.
Due to several factors. One factor is that parents are there but not really "there". What I mean by that is parents are "involved" in their kids lives by online checking grades weekly, at almost every "practice", but these same parents can not find time to just "be" with their kids for example at dinner time, or talk to them before bed. Due to their work, or social obligations or the child's schedule does not allow time. (a parent can fill the child's schedule so full with practices, tutoring, etc.. there is no time for the parent and child to really connect.)
Parents of middle and upper class put such an emphasis on what the kids "do" be it grades, or sports, or music. The kids first get disconnected and feel they are not loved for themselves, but only for performance. Also shockingly the parents expect their teens to have great grades, be outstanding athletes, dancers, or musicians, etc... then the same parents expect nothing when it comes to personal responsibility. (For example: cleaning their bedroom, putting up their dishes, saying please or thank you to others etc..) They let this area at home slide. The parents busy themselves, or hire someone to clean up after the child/teen, solve problems that arise so that the child or preteen will not have to suffer negative consequences. So much so that the preteens who are developing into teenagers are not learning life skills such as: empathy, coping skills, decision making skills, self management, and communication skills to others.

Is that what you want the next generation to look like?
A group of adults that have no decisive, communication skills, no personal responsibility skills, no empathy, or valuing of other people. How are these individuals going to lead without these skills?

Protecting the teen from any consequence is not healthy if it keeps the kids from thriving. It reminds me of the Eagle who builds a nest up high, cozy and soft for her babies. However underneath the nest she has placed sticks, stones and other objects, so that when it is time she will stir up the nest and make the little birds uncomfortable so that they will be able to and want to fly away from the nest. Hum! What an amazing picture that paints.

Part of me did laugh (not because the subject matter wasn't serious) but because it reinforced that parents are so important to a kids development. Imagine that, God's perfect design for a family works!! However with that in mind I believe as a christian, we have to make sure we as parents don't get in the way of our children growth, but also that we have to bring our best and be there purposeful connecting with our kids daily! It's not enough to know what their GPA is, if we can not have a 20 minute conversation with our children. Last but not least, how will we ever be able to share with them about God's love if they don't see God's love for them displayed through us.

This is not a christian book, but it is very relevant to the world we live in today.

Get this book, it is a possible game changer on how you parent. It will make you stop and rethink about what your actions say is really important to you. (It makes me think of an old song, that said, what if at the end of our days, we found out that we had been living life upside down_) What are we really valuing with our actions, and attitudes? Nothing in these books says that good grades, extra fun activities are bad. It just seems as if the affluent families may have their priorities in the wrong order.

Take a moment and write down on a piece of paper what is your order of priorities?
Does your actions match what you just listed?
If not, are your children having to pay the price for your value system or misdirected attention?
Will they be paying the cost for an over scheduled life, or for having a helicopter parent?
What consequences have you let your child experience lately, in the last month?
These are the deep thoughts and questions that this book leaves parents asking, while reexamining how they are parenting today, and tomorrow.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Perfect pairing

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways; (Psalm 91:11 NIVUK)


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The things you will do for a child

You will let little ones play on your iPhone. Even though you know, when it is returned your media library will be filled with pictures like this:

And like this

You will find yourself cutting out 22 little mustaches for a custom "Funny" valentine (thank you craftmonkey blog! Here is the link to a cute tutorial: http://thecraftmonkey.blogspot.com/2012/01/mustache-valentine-tutorial.html)

You find yourself sitting in bleachers and lawn chairs through out the year at practices and games.

Being begged in the middle of a story for the perfect "twirling" dress, that you as a kid would have loved.

My vocabulary has expanded, I now can speak "braces" and I have added hair do term like "waterfall braid", & "heart shaped pigtails" to not only my vocab but my skill list.

A costume designer

A role model for what a good relationship looks like.

It is an overwhelming, responsibility! It is one of the funniest things I have ever done. I am so under equipped for this job of motherhood. So I find myself dropping to my knees and lifting my hands and crying out to God for his love, guidance, grace, and strength!!!!

Pray for the girl's future husbands! Pray for their families, in raising Godly men.

Pray for God to place Christ loving mentors in the lives of each of my girls to help encourage my girls daily walk with him!

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's the background music for your life?

I love listening to my iPod as I cook, clean, drive, soak in the bath, walk on the treadmill, or just going about my life doing the activities that add up to a completed "to do" list.

I am always curious at the gym, when I see someone nodding there head to the beat only they can hear, or the person singing in their car next to mine at the stop light "What are they listening to?".

So with that curiosity I want to ask you what are you listening to this week? My momma always taught me to share so I will tell you what I am listening to this week:

• "A woman like you" by Lee Brice
•. "Good Morning" by Mandisa (makes the morning drive SO much more enjoyable)
•. "Legacy" by Nichole Nordeman
•. "I'm with you" by Nichole Nordeman & Amy Grant (based on the bible story Ruth & Naomi)
•. "Born for this". By Mandisa. (if you need a confidence booster this is an amazing story. Based on the story of Esther)
•. "While I'm waiting" from the "Fireproof" soundtrack. (those needing patience, encouragement, or motivation. This song is a great choice!!)
•. Elevation church had a 12 day revival a few weeks ago (They called the revival "Code Orange") & they are now available for listening (on their website & or iTunes). A great way to hear a variety of pastors. Each night a different pastor preached. My pastor Craig Groeschel kicked off the revival. The others were amazing as well. My favorites were: Pastor Perry Noble, pastor Matt Chandler (quote "no sin, future, past, or present has more power than the cross of Jesus Christ!" amen! Now that is some good preaching!) also the Bishop was in the house one night -Whew! Intense!

I hope if your stuck in a rut you might try one of these. Or maybe you just need some new background music for your life. I Hope you have a great weekend!!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

What's up

Well if you noticed I have been M.I.A. It was because I was! I was sick, in bed for about almost 2 weeks-ugh!! And not the fun kind of in bed where you can read & catch up on shows that you have missed but flat on your back -yuck! "I am so sick it hurts to look at the tv" kinda of sick. Boo!!!!!!!!

Well I am much better now! I have almost got my house back in order. I have my energy back & I have almost caught up on watching the Downton Abby season 2. (I am loving it!!)

On the weight l loss front, I am still at the same weight, which even though that makes me frustrated, I know that was to be expected since I was unable to workout while I was ill (and no I did not count calories when I was sick, I don't even want to know how many calories are in a bag of cough drops! So please keep from telling me, something's are best endured through the veil of ignorance.

Well I am back so be looking for upcoming post from me from everything from the A21 ministry, book reviews ("what women fear" by Angie Smith & "The Ministry of Morherhood" by Sally Clarkson, "the blessing if a B minus" by Wendy Migel, Ph.D, & "The price of Privilege" by Madeline Levine, Ph.D.) (I could not read while I was sick, but I sure made up for it while I was recovering & my energy was low!), to a little bit of everything. Hope you all are feeling good, enjoying some sunshine where ever you are today!


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