Friday, April 29, 2011


Love and Responsibility is the title of chapter 12 of Dr. Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.The chapter highlights a few principles on responsibility.
  • Responsibility require boundaries
  • Your teenager needs to be a part of forming rules and setting consequences
  • The process of independence and responsibility must be lubricated with love
  • Rules that existed when your teen was a child cannot be arbitrarily carried into the teenage years
  • Rules about rules:
    • Have as few as possible
    • Make them clear
    • They need to be fair
  • Rules without consequences are less than worthless; they are confusing
    • Consequences should be determined before a violation
    • Consequences mush be administered with love
    • They must be consistent
  • Rules should exist in the following areas
    • Household opportunities (he says opportunities sounds more positive than duties - reminds me of my friend Kate)
    • Schoolwork
    • Use of Automobiles
    • Money Management
    • Dating
    • Alcohol and Drugs
I tell you this, because even though I am still sorting out for sure what my oldest's love language is (although I am pretty sure it is the same from his youth - Words of Affirmation... now need to be spoken with a different dialect then before) I need to jump ahead in my process a bit.

My son had a bit of a breakdown last night... we had a fight the other night as he was up at 11pm looking for a phone charger.  I repeatedly requested that he go to his room and be quiet.  It was late.. he had school the next day, and we all pay the price when he wanders the house all night.  He persisted and refused to go to bed.  It was creating a stir and I informed him that if he did not have a cell phone he would not have a problem - so perhaps the best solution is for him to not have the phone... as you can predict, I am sure, I turned off the phone.  As the evening progressed to after midnight more events transpired and he also lost his ipad (a toy he saved long for).

Quite frankly, I think these two things pushed him over the edge.  He is feeling tremendous pressure at school as he is failing his four main classes.  This is as a result of him putting forth a lack of effort since September.  Intellectually he does not struggle.

Last night he laid it all out to me... how horrible his life is.  He went into some detail about all the things that are bothering him.  He told me very simply that I was crazy to think he had the responsibility to get good grades.  He felt that should be optional and should not hold up the rest of his life.

From my reading I was armed and prepared with the eloquent statement that every freedom in life is tied to a responsibility.  He complained he had nothing.  Only a bed and clothing.  I reminded him he also had heat, food and shelter... things he should be grateful for as he may someday not experience those luxuries.. and they are indeed blessings.  I talked to him about the enormous amount of 'stuff' in our home.  The couch he was sitting on, the TV, the dishes, the silverware... everything we had provided us with a feeling of freedom.  But, EACH of those items was obtained as a result of responsibility by either me or his father.  Without being responsible, we could not have obtained these things.

I felt like over all the evening was handled well - I didn't flip out or say anything negative when he insisted he should not be accountable for school, home or church stuff.  I just listened.  I made sure I understood and I invited him to dinner tonight with me and my significant other.  I asked him to give some thought as to what he felt his responsibilities should be.  He is older now. 16.  He should be entrusted with more responsibility than a two year old or ten year old.  As we age our responsibility increases into adulthood.  I sent him to bed with some words of affirmation.

I woke up this morning feeling grateful.  A situation / conversation that could have driven a wedge... I hope has started to create understanding.

We'll see how dinner goes tonight.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

put on that smile!!!

I'm looking forward to reading more about KJ's revelations on raising children. I may even get to borrow the book she read if we bump into one another. I do have to say that as my mood has improved my relationship with my eldest daughter has improved as well. So much of what we have to deal with is better handled with a smile. I am thankful to be choosing joy daily and it is showing to all those around me.

Ta Ta for now.
19 pounds down. :)
I ate a turkey sandwich on rye with a little mayo yesterday. Divine!!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I spent a lot of time lounging by the pool while I was on vacation... and some of that time was spent reading "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers".  I know very clearly as a mother that when my oldest son is acting out, what he really needs is to feel loved.  I am also a believer that we all feel loved in different ways - the theory behind The Five Love Languages.

It was a very insightful read.  I have come away with a realization that in order to thrive as a parent, I have a lot of work to do.  First on that order of business is to determine individually for each of my children, how they feel love.  There are five "languages" that Dr. Chapman talks about in his book.
#1 - Words of Affirmation
#2 - Physical Touch
#3 - Quality Time
#4 - Acts of Service
#5 - Gifts

Although is is important to express our love in all of these ways - one of these will be the primary way in which our child feels loved. 

When the kids were younger I had read "The Five Love Languages of Children".  I will say that will all my 'surviving' I did not do a very good job at loving them effectively.  One of the most important take-aways I have from this last book is to realize that even if I thought I had figured out how to love them before, it all changes once they are teenagers.

Once I get passed step one... I need to learn about how to deal with my anger, my kids anger, teaching independence and responsibility, effectively loving them when they fail and the special challenges associated with Single Parenting.

It will be a process... but a process worth enduring, as I strive to THRIVE!!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Lesson One in Thriving... it is hard when you are busy.

Although I can not say I have been too busy the last ten days - just unconnected.  I was on vacation and turned off all electronics for the duration.  It was great.

For more info on my 'unconnectedness' it is probably easier if you read it here (www.diaryofawidow) rather than me re-write it here.

I have lots to share on Thriving though... that is one thing I worked on a lot.  For now I wanted to poke in and say hi.  I am back on the diet.  Excited to lose weight.  And have a lot of "to-do's" for thriving as a mom that I will share with you through the week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It is Holy Week for Christians around the world. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday and at my church like many we were handed palms as we walked through the doors. As I worshiped with hands holding palms raised in the air I so felt the presence of the Lord. It was as though He were riding past me on the donkey in His triumphant entrance. Wow! This is at the very least is the way to start Holy week. But even more than that, His presence should be felt like that quite often in our lives, like always! I reflect on my life and the many mistakes I have made along the way and remember that without Jesus to reconcile all things heaven would not be an option for me. I could not make it there without Him. I have a grateful heart. I am so thankful for the plan that allows a sinner like me to repent and turn from my evil ways and be made new. So, as Easter approaches I just am reminding those around me that heaven is real, and there is NO other way to get there except by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hosanna!! Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

feeling compelled...

I feel compelled to write. KJ has been rather busy with different areas of her life therefore has not had much blogging time available. I have also been quite busy. The school is utilizing my talents almost daily so me time is a little rarer these days. What amazing timing God has, to bring me out of the bit of depression in time to springboard into the next season of my life. I feel that I am beginning to find my own, and enter thrive mode. I am a little nervous. I don't want to get a head of myself here but rather take it as it comes. So, I had a minute or two and thought I'd share that with you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't Forget the Hershey's Kisses

Well, today I had my first mammogram. It was a bit unnerving after being called back into the room for the 3rd time. I was actually in the procedure area for 2.25 hours!!! My mom who was patiently waiting for me in the outer waiting area was a wreck by the time I walked through the door . She was actually glad to have T with her, who we had been forced to retrieve from school on our way to the appointment for suspected pink eye, as she had to keep her composure and not let her nerves get the best of her. I had found a small lump a few weeks back and my doctor's office said it was probably nothing but let's be sure. So, it wasn't until the last 15 minutes sitting there today I finally realized how long I had been in there and how many women had come and gone while I was there. I silently prayed to God, "Lord whatever the results are I will praise Your name, Nothing to worry about, I'll praise You, Cancer, I'll praise You." I then finally got the go ahead to get dressed and head to the waiting area to talk with the doctor. A quick 2 minute wait and a 3 minute consultation later and I was sent away with a "nothing to really worry about, there is one area we noted but it's probably just a lymph node, and we'll follow up in 6 months." So, I praise the Lord for it being nothing to really worry about right now and will continue seeking His name as I journey toward thriving more and more. If you need to get a mammogram, I highly recommend Windsong Radiology. They were very professional and the atmosphere was very clean and quite comfortable. Oh yeah, don't forget the Hershey's kisses on the way out. I forgot to grab a few. No, I wasn't going to eat them but I had planned on surprising T with one or two. :( Down 12 pounds, feeling good. Continuing to work out for a little bit each day and got a quick walk in with the dog before the rain blew in this morning.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I like to work...hmmm...who knew...

So, I subbed 4 out of 5 days this week at school. I REALLY enjoyed it. I was in special ed, pre-k, and the office. It was fun getting up, and dressed for the day right away each morning. I loved the faces of the little kids greeting me with Hi T and B's mom, or Hi Mrs. K. But, indeed the best part was seeing my children's faces throughout the day.

The office in particular was a rewarding job. I got to make people happy all day long. I lent kids money so they could eat, I allowed children to be picked up by their parents, I reunited projects that were left at home and lost items with the children who needed them. Making people smile is something that brings me great pleasure.

I have been a mostly stay at home mom for 6 1/2 years now and have loved it but am realizing that working in my children's school is even better than staying home once your kids are school age. My husband has been telling me for years that I should get a job at their school and I must admit he was right. I really like to work....who knew? For now I'll continue to sub and get experience in all areas and enjoy the simple pleasure of working on my own schedule, touching the lives of kids, and seeing the precious faces that God entrusted me with throughout the days.

Starting Day 17 of the first cycle of my 17 Day Diet. I am down 11.5 pounds. If I lose another .5 pounds tonight I will have met my goal for this cycle. I have discovered Chobani Pineapple Yogurt. This is like "my cheesecake" on this diet...mmm...mmm! I am enjoying eating a healthier diet but do have to admit that yesterday was the first day I was absolutely craving food that I am not allowed. Change is tough, but it is part of the process. Resisiting temptation, believeing getting to a healthier weight is top priority, and not having to worry about joint pain beacuse of the extra pounds is all part of what is allowing me to succeed. Of course I also must thank God, because it is by His strength that I am doing it all.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Big Dig

I have mentioned before that I tend to live in clutter. This is not just in my home but in all aspects of my life. My inboxes for various e-mail accounts have between 300-2500 messages in them, I am constantly being prompted to empty my text messages, the interior of my van, though clean right now, is usually a source of embarrassment and the room that is going to be my office someday is always cluttered. I Hate it! We spent Sunday afternoon and Monday evening cleaning the upstairs. My bedroom looks amazing. Of course you have to ignore the ceiling that needs to be replaced and the two spots where the plaster has fallen on the walls. The clutter is gone and it feels almost like a sanctuary to me. Truly this is what I want my whole house to feel like. A sanctuary, a refuge, a place that is welcoming to those who stop by and for us as a family. As I journey toward thriving I am sure that my home becoming a sanctuary is part of the process. I look forward to continuing the big dig out of clutter. On a side note, I interviewed last Thursday to begin subbing at my children's school and have been called in the last two days. It has been both tiring and fulfilling. I have also continued to push on in my 17 Day diet. I am on day 12 and have lost just under 9 pounds. I am thrilled!

Monday, April 4, 2011


My house looks like a storm has hit it.  I need to get moving today and get it cleaned.  I have lots of little things on my to-do list today.  I am hoping for a productive day.

Rough "mom" evening last night.  Had a bowl of ice cream to console myself. Other than that I am full-speed ahead on the diet. Artichokes with pasta sauce taste like a dream.  Yep... the diet is going that well.

I need to start a new exercise program.  I have not been back on the treadmilll - cause my foot still hurts.  But I am wanting to still do toning and stretching exercises.

Emotional - I need to do some writing in my personal journal...

Otherwise I feel ok... and all is well. Just need to get on a solid track.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


It is 8pm on a Saturday night... I am driving home from the grocery store with scores of lettuce and carrots and all kinds of veges and ice cream... for the kids.  I am starving and I can't wait for the 2 minute drive to pass so I can make myself something yummy.  I was at the grocery store and saw my favorite spaghetti sauce was on sale.  I can't afford to buy it unless it is a BOGO deal... and it was.  The ingredients are all things I can eat on my diet and I love it.  But, pasta is a no-no right now... so I found some artichokes.  Artichokes with pasta sauce HAS to taste like pasta??  My mouth was watering.  Yes, the diet is going that well.  The good news is, except for my daily cheats (a few french fries today) I am actually sticking to it - which is huge for me.

It was a long day today.  I didn't get accomplished anything I wanted to.  By 2pm I was frustrated to the point of tears.  I had the thought that it was essentially the result of putting everyone else first above me.  It was true.  My first reaction was that I need to do better at saying no and putting me first... but then when I thought one by one of the things I had done, I changed my attitude.  I don't regret any of it and there is time for my things later.

So, I am tired tonight... long day.  I am going to curl up on the couch and watch Revenge of the Bridesmaids with the kids... while I eat artichokes and pasta sauce.


I had a few bites of bread and 3 hot tamales that were not on the diet yesterday.  The scale seems down some... but a little questionable.  Really the number showing is the number I saw on this day.  But it has been there for two days now (previously it was only there for one day).  My calorie intake for yesterday was 1224.

I am facing some "work" obstacles in my mind... as I look toward going back to work.  Can I work in a job that I don't find fulfilling and still find myself thriving?  Hmmmm... I believe there has to be a way.  We can not always be in our dream situation at all times... but that should not stop us from feeling that sense of thriving internally.  I am troubled by this today and will certainly be spending some more time on it.

Today and tomorrow will be days of spiritual renewal.... We have a church conference - so I have 8 hours of inspiration on the way.  I am looking forward to it and I am looking forward to setting some goals in my life in this area.