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Friday, March 27th, 2015
2:34 am - Beauty Grows
Delayed How does beauty grow
in my house
a kitchen floor
with squished grapes
that rolled out of the fridge
or before
and crushed cereal
powdering the carpet
but stunningly
there she is
beauty like a breeze
climbs the walls
buds and blossoms
runs outside
hangs from limbs
ready to take

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
12:47 am - The Light Shines in the Darkness....
You can throw your
filthy blankets
over the top
attempting to cover
creation's wonders
warm light cuts
piercing through
turning your eyes
away ever more
but you cannot win
every little one
you cannot stomp out
every truth
every broken vessel
every needy heart
that has the will
to reach the light
and gather warmth.


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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
12:44 pm - List
Life's photo cube rolls in my head tiny toes crammed in jammies for bed
tank tops, shorts, velcro sandals
birthday cake, LEGO brick tower
smiles, gifts, blow out the candles
baseball, basketball, long jump, ballet
swimming pool, kayak, water sprinkler
at the park to play
smiles, wispy hair, sweaty face,
ice cream, blue jeans, leaf piles
snow man, new home, puppy running
all over the place
play dates, picnics, water guns, swings
church camp, fishing, auditions, performances,
recitals in the spring
baptism, communion, Christmas nativity,
presents with grandpa and grandma,
Sunday school, Easter egg hunt,
VBS, Graduation ceremony
off to work, off to school, off to life
wave goodbye
message me
when you are safe there
later tonight.

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Sunday, December 18th, 2016
1:43 am - Early
I went to my grave
to visit ahead of the day
and found the flowers fading away
and the grass growing strong
and bending in the breeze
waiting for me
waiting for me
waiting for me.


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Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
1:19 am - Cracked and Spilled
Modern times have lifted the veil
turned us all inside out.
We're all guts and blood,
our fat and vessels showing,
our true hearts beating for all to gape upon.
Our innards stink to high heaven,
all cancerous and gangrene.
Our shiny bronze shells have cracked open,
spilling our true selves outside.
And it's a clash
disgusting heaps of humanity.
Faith, Hope, Love,
a great trinity.
dissipating even when grandly uttered,
gone before reaching the ground.
Mercy and grace are all that can heal,
all that can cleanse us now.

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Friday, October 7th, 2016
11:27 pm - Mom Fail and Immunizations
Yesterday, I took two of my kids to the doctor for check ups. Well child visits. We got through the whole thing, and I was handed a shot record from the doctor. She said the nurse must have gotten a copy for me. I took it, went on. The nurse met me at the check out, saying, "why did she not have you do shots?" I thought this was odd, my 9 year old girl had her kindergarten shots years ago. I homeschool, so sometimes I fall behind for a few months or for a year on shots. Shock of my day, I looked at their records, and it had my daughter's last shots when she was a toddler. I couldn't believe it. The nurse told me I could come back when my next child had an appointment and that was today. So, my poor 9 year old (Jillian) had to get 4 shots today. She will have to get 3 more in 6 months. Because it was MMR, chicken pox, tetanus, and one other (I can't recall right now), it was pretty rough, but she was very calm. My older son was in today for his appointment, and got one shot as well. We went to check out, and then my daughter suddenly started to complain that her stomach hurt, and she was not feeling well. She rested her head against me and whimpered. The receptionist asked about calling the nurse, and then she happened by to call another patient, took one look at Jillian and began to walk her immediately to the room. She helped her up on the table, she was very pale. They brought her fruit snacks and water. She was very quiet, but alert. It took a bit, and then she said she had only had a banana at breakfast and was hungry. That was very scary. I felt like a very bad mother at this point, with late shots, not aware of what she ate for breakfast. I felt very bad for Jillian, who almost fell out right there in the lobby.

When she was feeling better, we went on to go get some lunch, and she perked up just fine. That was a scare I do not want to experience again!

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Monday, October 3rd, 2016
9:41 am - My Heritage
My heritage
thieves and preachers
farmers, soldiers
nurses, coaches, teachers,
angry men, heavy drinkers
sloppy with loose breaches
praying, cussing, slapping
dancing, singing, napping
building, fixing, making
burning, smashing, raping
blood mixing
and mingling
haters and heroes
winners and zeroes
woven together
in flesh united
look at us divided
blue eye brown eye
we breathe, we bleed
we die
it's all the same clay
what to do
don't you know
it's your heritage too?
Let's find it together
dig in with faith
humble ourselves
pray healing in this time
this place.

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
8:54 pm - Curly Eyes
Curly eyes
whatcha doin'?
Runnin' on
Curly eyes
where you
Goin' to do
wanna do?
Curly eyes
why the smile?
Thanks! So,
that was for me?

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8:50 pm - Bookend Boys
With bookend boys in the house,
I can look and see where the older one would be
if he had frozen somewhere about three....
but he grew,
and I can see where the other will go
as he continues to grow.

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8:37 pm - Braided
If I braided your heart,
would it keep you close longer?
If I bound your feet,
would you stay nearby?
If I wrapped you in warm blankets,
would you settle in and never leave?
it cannot be.
You must cut loose and be free.

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Saturday, May 28th, 2016
11:28 pm - The Flight of the Bumblebee of Time
Time buzzing through the humid sky
like a fat bumble bee
it's a hypnotist
grabbing the heart of the fool
"hurry up...not enough"
he buzzes into a worried ear
while baby blue picks dandelions
sweet sassy sings to the butterflies
and the buzzing continues
haunting the brain
"this time is too slow
this time will never end"
but that trill
is a lie
there's no hurry
nowhere better to go
nothing more to do
let nothing distract
from the truth
time's not interested in
life's sweet nectar
and the fragrance of flowers
but Momma, you should be
you should be.
DML May 28, 2016

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
2:19 am - Letter in the Mail
It came when I was about 14. A large box, from Texas. I was excited, whatever could it be? I read the name on the return address. Mary Beth. That was my mother's name. Inside there were many things, some toys, a long white coat with a fake fur lining in the hood, a Mickey Mouse telephone, and a Micky Mouse watch. I tried on the coat, but it was too tight. I put the watch on, and it fit perfectly.

She included a letter that spoke about living in Texas, and that she hoped I'd like the gifts, nothing shattering. No revelations. Nothing much.

Sometime after I was married, I received large white envelope. It was an card with a unicorn running in the ocean on the outside, a large card. It had a photo of her and the husband I knew when she came to Grandpa's funeral and who stayed the house downstairs as my mom and sister slept upstairs with mom in Grandpa's guest bed that used to be his personal bed. It was the same husband she brought to my wedding. Dodie, she called him. She and he looked normal as they could. She had long hair and a black shirt with those buttons on the pockets and down the front that snap, a western style shirt. He had his long hair pulled back in a pony tail, had a handle bar mustache on his face, and was wearing his own western shirt. They look happy in the picture. Normal.

I received another letter, this one as a response after I figured out where she was in prison. She has now about 35 years left. She went for dealing meth and having weapons on the property. They slapped that sentence down hard. The letter was in the early days, I had sent pictures, and she's asking for more. She asks about my sister. She hates the food.

Other communications over the years were e-mails. Some were forwards of jokes, others a congratulations after I sent news we had a baby or Joe got a new job. Once in prison, those e-mails went silent, I found out she was in prison when she didn't return an email to congratulate my 5th born child's entry into the world. I looked up her name and location, and her husband's name on google. I found the sentencing press release. She was in it for the long haul, no possibility of parole.

I just received a new letter. One just after my birthday. It does say happy birthday. There is complaint about prison life, and a few questions like, "how is everyone" and "how's your sister." She then cuts to the real reason for writing. She wants me to write Obama and petition as well for her to get out of jail early. Okay, now what?

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Saturday, March 19th, 2016
9:47 am - Sometimes My Dreams Make Me Mad
Every once in a while, I dream something that makes me angry at myself. I know, it's a dream, and we cannot always control it. But once in a great while, out of nowhere, I dream as if I'm with my old boyfriend. He's the one I went out with for three years, I would likely have married him if I had not met Joe. Our relationship fell apart when I met Joe, even though I did not realize it. We had been on shaky ground for three years anyway. When we started out, he was a pathetic guy, and was self destructive, at least he made me think he was. He did whatever he could to make me think he was a Christian, and we proceeded to date. It was three years of ups and downs. He is an artist, a photographer. A good one. I like his work. I enjoyed going to plays and musicals, art museums, and nice restaurants. I liked his musical taste. He was great in these ways. He was also very needy, very clingy, and he wanted a girlfriend and wife. It wasn't me he wanted. He wanted any girl with a bit of brains and taste to make him complete. I hated myself when I was with him. I enjoyed many things we did, enjoyed him, even really did care for him. But I could not develop a trust that his love was really for me. I didn't want a broken man who needed me to fix him for the rest of his life. And so I didn't commit fully. But, by the end of three years, he was getting stronger. He was becoming his own guy. He left the college I was going to and went away to another school to work on his art. He visited, but was making it on his own. It was good to see.

And then I began to think about making a commitment. I prayed, I thought I would let him know soon that I was to be his, forever. I had to consider it. But it didn't happen, and I didn't decide to do that. My heart was not sure. I began to spend time with Joe. We became friends, we spent a lot of time together. We did not want to date. We did not want to be more than friends. Time passed, and I decided to let my boyfriend know one way or the other what I wanted to do. I was going to make a decision. Well, he would not let me wait to think about it. He pressed me, sure I would chose him. I did not. I got angry that he would not respect my space, would not respect the time I wanted to pray about it. I warned him, and he persisted, and so I broke up with him. It floored him, and he was very hurt. I had to be cold, I thought. I did not want him to think I was playing around, I had to make a clean break. It did hurt me too. It was not easy, and I did dwell on it for a while. And I shocked myself by jumping right in to a relationship with Joe. I felt free though, when I did that. Finally, it felt as if I didn't have to have someone lean on me all the time. It felt like we could support each other equally.

So, jump ahead years and years. I still sometimes dream of the old boyfriend. I wake up with a sickly sweet feeling, and I don't like it. Why does he still show up in my dreams? Nothing about him has been in my day to day. I don't see him, I am not seeking him out for any reason. He's not on the radar, but, like the repeat tornado dreams I have, he blows into my night and it makes me mad at myself. I don't want him included in my thoughts. He's not part of my life at all now, hasn't been since 1992.

What do I do every time it happens? I pray for him. I pray for his marriage and for his children, and I pray he will believe in Christ. Because the last time we spoke, he made it clear he really didn't believe. Though he had waited for me for three years, remained celibate. Though he had attended church, campus ministry, and bible studies with me, he didn't mean it. We would never have had a happy marriage, all that faking won't work. I am glad I didn't marry him. I just wish I wouldn't dream about him every once in a while.

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Sunday, February 21st, 2016
5:04 pm - A Friendship Well Earned
My oldest daughter and I drove to ballet class week after week. She would watch at two older girls enjoyed their friendship together, talking and laughing, always close. They were both older than Rachel, both had been homeschooled for a while, with one ending up in public school. But their friendship was strong. Both girls were tall, and though Rachel was only a year younger than one girl, and two years younger than the other, she was very much shorter. She would jump out of the car and go to them, and stand patiently near. Waiting to be included. And I would feel the heartbreak as week after week, they would not include her. There were other girls in the class, some fought with one another openly with rude comments and side glances. Others got along with Rachel, but also had their lives entwined with other kids in town. Since we came from out of town for lessons, having a friendship that was real was very hard to develop.

We homeschool, and there were not very many kids in our neighborhood, no one Rachel's age. We switched churches at one point, so any friendships from there were basically lost (this church was also in a different nearby town). Other friends we did keep up with began to move away. Rachel did play basketball and softball as well, but these seasons were short and the girls did not keep in contact with us. So, the only regular people Rachel had contact with were dancers. Week after week, month after month, Rachel desired the friendship of these two oblivious girls. They were not intentionally hurting her, they did speak kindly, but nothing more than surface. I even once talked with one of the moms (both moms are very sweet women who have always been very kind to me and I consider them to be friends, though not deep friends). I told her that Rachel was struggling as a homeschool kid, and did wish to find a friend like her daughter and her best friend. She assured me it would happen, though likely not with her daughter and friend because that was just too close to crack. I told her how I hurt for Rachel, and she said she understood, but these things cannot be forced. She did explain that she knew some people who only had a few friends in their entire life, and likely, Rachel was that kind of loyal and selective person who wouldn't have a lot of superficial friends but good friends, just like her daughter.

And then it began to happen. Rachel began to become a better dancer, and began to grow (her full height still a short 5ft 1in, but she was clearly not a little girl anymore). Rachel also showed herself to be serious, a hard worker, and a respectful person in class. Other girls would interrupt the teacher and were sometimes rude. Rachel never was like this, and neither were the two girls she looked up to. Other girls would be competitive with one another. Rachel only competed with herself. Her motto is still "dance better than yourself." The girls began to talk with her, Rachel and the two girls began to plan things together. And now, a few years later, they meet often to drink coffee together and talk at a local coffee shop or spend the night to have movie marathons. They write one another on twitter and in pm's. They are considering rooming together when Rachel goes to college next year as all three will be at the same school. Rachel had to work hard for this friendship, but now she's in. It's turned out to be a good thing for her, and because she's patient, loyal, and selective, it's all she ever wanted.

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Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
9:20 am - What Our Sons and Daughters are Up Against
There's also a list for "female privilage" but below is what a girl wrote to my son in response to an argument they were having:

male privelege, here's a list for you-
-odds of being hired for a job when against a female applicant are much higher
-people won't think you got your job for sex
-if you never get promoted, it's not because of your sex
-if you fail at a certain job or career, it won't be seen as a black mark against your entire sex's capability to do the job
-far less likely to face sexual harassment
-if you're a teen or adult, and you stay out of prison, your odds of getting raped are far less likely
-if you do get raped, people won't blame it on your clothes and say you were asking for it
-if you choose not to have children, your masculinity won't be questioned
-if you have children and provide primary care for them, you'll be praised for extraordinary parenting, even if you're marginally competent
-if you have children and a career, people won't see you as selfish for not staying at home
-if you seek the same political office as a woman, you will more likely get it. the more prestigious and powerful office, you'll most likely find a man in it
-if you ask to see the "person in charge" odds are, you'll be talking to someone of your own sex. the higher up organization the person is a part of, the more sure you can be.
-as a child, you're more encouraged to be active and outgoing
- as a child, you could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. you never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default
-if your day, week, or year is going bad, you don't need to ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it had sexist undertones. (ie: she's just trying to be a misogynistic feminist, she's just on her period)
-if you're careless on financial funds, it's not attributed to your sex
-if you're careless with your driving, it's not attributed to your sex
-you can speak in public without your sex being put on trial
-you don't have to worry if your clothes send out a message on your relationship status
-even if you sleep with a lot of women, there's not a chance of you being labeled as a slut, nor is there any male counterpart for slut shaming
-your clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. while you have fewer options, your clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring.
-the grooming regimen is typically cheaper and takes less time, as less is expected
-if you're buying a car, chances are you'll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car
-if you're not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore
-you can be too loud with no fear of being called a shrew
-you can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch
-you can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
-you can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “all men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he, etc.
-your ability to make decisions and your capability in general will never be questioned based on what time of the month it is.
-you will never be expected to change your name upon marriage, nor will you be questioned if you don't change your name.
-the decision to hire you will not be based on assumptions about whether or not you might choose to have a family sometime soon.
- most major religions argue that you should be the head of your household, while your wife and children should be subservient to you
-if you have children with your wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of you needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are you’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
-assuming you are heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to you sexually. such images of men exist, but are rarer.
-in general, you're much less pressured to be thin than your female counterparts are. if you're fat, then you probably suffer less social and economic consequences for being fat than women do.
-complete strangers generally will not walk up to you on the street and tell you to smile.
- sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to you. you do not need to plot your movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment. (however, it is still a possibility, and does still happen, and is still important.)
-on average, you aren't interrupted by women as much as women are interrupted by men.

but last and most importantly, you have the privilege to be unaware of your male privilege.

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Thursday, October 1st, 2015
8:01 pm - Not Sure I Have What it Takes
I really don't want to work away from my home. I hate the idea. I do not hate the teachers or the kids though that I am working with. I just don't want to be working right now at all. I wish I had a better attitude, but I'd rather have a better budget so I could stay home. I'm having a pity party and it's no fun.

We have a student who has special needs. He's a challenge. When things are not the way he needs them to be, he hits other kids. He seems to think it's fun, and it's a game. The kids are telling the parents about him. I am trying hard to work with him. By the time I get him, he's been in the public school, and then been in the school I'm working in for about 3 1/2 hours. He has me for another three. The teacher that's there before me is strict, yells, and sometimes says things in a way I am uncomfortable with. She also makes things more difficult. Things like, if the kids once make a poor choice, she takes things away from them in MY classroom. They drew on the back of some erasers in my classroom (not her room), and she told them they can no longer use the dry erase boards at all. Ever. This week, they are grounded from the books in her classroom, which makes transition time difficult for me because I have them sit and quietly read before we move to my classroom. Her decisions have an impact on my classroom and it's management. Well, he's got her right before he has me. So, he has to go with her system. She's strict. Today, I came in the room, and he was under the table. He likes snack. But it didn't matter, he was beyond it all. He went out today during snack with her because he was not being safe or following directions. Yesterday, he made it through with her, but then began hitting kids when I came in and they had to take him out of the room.

I plan things for my class to do when they get into my room. I read a story, the kids do a craft or art activity, then have center time. After center, is recess. Then we wrap up and I clean the room. Kids leave throughout the time I have them as parents get off work. Well, today, this boy had a hard time in my room, and did have to sit in time out and then leave the room. He had been hitting during story time. Then, he was brought back. He was able to play at centers fine, and able to go out to recess. Another teacher (the angel) managed to introduce a game where this little guy was "it." Everyone else had to freeze when he touched them. When everyone was frozen, he said, "go" and they all started again. The kids loved it, he was involved, and he was being social. She was amazing with him. Able to get his attention, hold it, and be positive with him. She works during the regular hours at a school as a para. She keeps the kids going. This made me cry. He can do it, he can interact appropriately. He can have fun.

And then, after school was out and all the kids were gone, this angel teacher talked with me. She suggested that my great ideas for the kids were not necessarily what I needed to do. Ask the one kid what he wants to do. Try to get him to participate. Think of little activities to do, switch up. It sounds exhausting to me. How could I possible to keep changing up, keep his hands busy all day, keep going? I don't work that fast. I don't move that fast. I don't think that fast. I want to just plan something and work to get the kids together. The other kids seem to enjoy the art activities. Sure, they do have days when they are tired, when they disobey, but for the most part, the situation works for them. But it never once works for this one kid. And though I want to include him, I wish to be able to find a way to include him and still be teaching them the amazing things I want to teach. I don't want to just work on sounds and alphabet, I feel I'll lose the others. And yet, look what she was able to do with them all today at recess!!!

Oh, I'm tired! And I still need to keep my kids on track and reading/writing/learning/doing math and on and on. Whew.

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015
2:53 am - Working with Children
Okay, so I'm a mom of 8. I homeschool, help out at church in nursery and in VBS, have taught in the middle school years and years ago. I student taught in gradeschool, and especially loved kindergarten. I've always felt though, a bit terrible at classroom management. Truly. I hate to raise my voice, and the little guys know this. I also am so much slower in reacting, not in the habit of doing something energetically up front to keep everyone in line and doing what I ask. But I also wonder if I have to be so snappy, with it, and cutesy wootsy, energetic, just to get them to sit and listen?

It has been a tough few weeks. I only work 3 hours a day. The kids are all 5-6 years old. I only have up to 12 at one time by myself. One boy appears to have autism or Asperger's. It's tough. The kindergarten aged kids do not come with respect automatically, and they expect the gimmicks teachers use. I don't do well with gimmicks. The clapping to get them to be still, the yelling, the threats, the lights off, sing songy tricks. I cannot stand it. I just want to look at these little people like they are people and move forward. I mean, I have little people at home. I don't sing everything or clap when I want them to stop a behavior.

But they feed off one another when they act out. One will make a "bathroom noise" as I guess they call it, and then another adds. A few have decided that they will randomly hum and see if I notice. Some will hit their own faces. What in the world is that? I'm reading a story to the class, and a boy will just hit his face. And then look at me, dead in the eyes, and smile. What in the world? Kids didn't do that when I was student teaching years ago. Even the ones in middle school given the label of BD (behavior disorder) with ADHD, in a rough school district didn't hit themselves in the face and grin at me. But these five year olds think this is the thing to do.

Every day I prepare some lessons, because there is no way I'm entering into the classroom without a plan. No way. These kids, in my three weeks (not counting the boy that might one day be labeled with autism) have rubbed their bodies against each other in line until one hits another in the head by accident, tried to stand on shelves, cried because they didn't get to go to the center they wanted, told me no when I said to clean up after themselves, pulled their shorts down during story time revealing their private areas to the class (thank the Lord the class didn't spot them, I did and sent the child straight to another area of the room to sit out for a moment). They have hit another for touching their shoulders, taken things away from each other, blatantly done something after I said not to, or done something after I told someone else not to. They have almost all argued with me about something I want them to do.

But, believe it or not, I still think I am actually managing them. If they keep acting out, I stop them all and have them wait quietly until everyone can behave properly. They might take two minutes, but I believe this testing is temporary (except that I know they will re-test periodically). I do know they are starting to get used to what I expect and how I run things. They ask a few less questions, and do actually act out less.

It's the other adults in the building that have given me more pause most days. It's attitudes. Like, talking so negatively about a student and assuming it's a parent who doesn't discipline. I cannot assume anything except that I need to work with the children to help them work well in my classroom. Also, a few adults have hinted at displeasure with other adults around them. As much as I'm frustrated with people, I am not about to talk to co-workers about anyone in a negative way. I like to only compliment with only real compliments. I only like to add a positive comment when speaking to my director rather than complain.

Sadly, today, one of the adults frustrated me yet again. My first week, I had a boy come into my classroom that did not want to be there. He was told he could come back to his original classroom if he was good in mine. He realized quite quickly this bribe was a lie, and so he acted out in my class. The adults must have decided I could not handle him (I had someone come to get him one day when he didn't want to participate and began making a mess of the kitchen center when I was trying to teach the kids in another area). So, the next day, after his outburst and fit, Mrs. J decided to shame the class. She had heard how bad everyone was. She yelled at the class in front of me, and then said, "I hear what happens even if I am not here. So, if you act out in Ms. D's class, I know about it. You will pay to me if you don't behave in her class. I will take care of that. You are to act like I'm your teacher when you are in her room." Uhm...that felt like a slight undermine of me. So, fast forward to today. I was in her class as there is a transition, and I take kids from her class to mine after they have snack. It took a little bit to get them to line up, and they did what they do. They began to talk to me and ask me questions and not settle down. She yelled from across the room, "you guys are all out of control. Sit down, be quiet. If you cannot show Ms. D. how well you behave, and that you can be like real kindergarten kids, I will just be your teacher until six." Uhm, what? A little noise in the line equals Ms. D. no longer being a teacher? She would have me out of a job because the kids were not silent in line for less than 20 seconds? Oh my!

So, how I like to teach, I like to talk to the kids like people. I don't like to yell at them, and try hard not to do this. I also expect them to be reasonable and not talk and act out. I don't want general silliness for interruption sake. I do want them to be on task, but don't expect silence and robots. There has to be a happy medium. I need to keep authority in my class, it's safer and makes things run more smoothly. But, I also want there to be respect, and yes, love. I want those kids to know I care about them. I don't want to be permissive, nor allow true out of control behavior. I want them to begin to do things the best way because they choose it, and because they have some sort of character built into them. Maybe I will have to work hard on it, but that's my plan. I also plan to speak to them eye to eye. Be real, be in their beautiful faces. Be present with them, give them my attention in a good way. I try to do this, not to hold anything against a kid, begin each segment over again, not holding a grudge the whole three hours for one or two bad choices earlier in the day.

Whew, this is harder than I thought it could be. It's just three hours with five year olds!!!

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Monday, September 14th, 2015
7:20 pm - So, now I work a few hours a day
A few hours a day, after school, I work at a pre-school child development center. It's in a Lutheran church, and it appears they do teach from a Christian perspective. The children all come from the public school, I work with kindergarten aged kids for the few hours before their parents get off work. Some of the kids I work with are there from noon to six in the evening. Some come in the morning, go to kindergarten at lunchtime, and come back to the center. I have around twelve kids in my group every school day.

It's been a challenge for me to leave my home and give my creativity and energy to other kids, and to trust my teens to keep the house going when I leave. I give orders for supper before I go, make sure my drivers take people to dance, and tell them not to let the youngest play in the front yard without an older kid for safety reasons. I come home with supper not done some nights, people missing lessons, and always a pit of a house with dishes and junk everywhere. This is a learning experience for us all.

During the day, I still do my lessons with my kids. We learn verses together, I read aloud to them, give them math, science, grammar, reading, and more as much as I can every day before I leave. If I have to do something else, it makes the day difficult. Doctor's appointments and dentist appointments annoy me now more than ever, and one of my needy friends who is aging and alone cannot take my time now. I have not got much of it to give. It's hard, as I want to be there for her, be there for other things. I want to have time to keep up, time to make sure things get done. I want time to be lazy. I am still doing that lazy thing, just cannot do it as long. I want to NOT miss my kids' activities and miss their lives for money.

Money, it's a worry, as always. Would not be doing this if I didn't think I needed to. We're never ever caught up financially. It feels ugly, it feels like we're just big failures that cannot control our spending. I hate it, but I refuse to give up. My salary makes absolutely no difference. It won't save our mortgage. It won't be enough. Just three hours a day. But if things go bad, at least I have a starting point. I am bringing in a little bit. My husband does not have a bad salary, we just have 8 kids, one in college, and a big mortgage that didn't go away with the so called help from the "Making Home Affordable" and "TARP" trap.

So, I am working with five year olds that do not belong to me. And it's fine. I pray before I go in every day. I plan a few activities, and I do my best. Some days they are out of control, and I cannot seem to get them where I want them to be. I have never been the best at classroom management. I tend to slow down when I am overwhelmed. But I do not want to be out of control myself, so I press forward until I can get their attention and get them focused. Some days I do well, things go smoothly, and we enjoy each other.

Enter kid with possible autism or asperger's. Well, that changed everything. The first few days, I have chosen to let him work on toys in center because he is disruptive any where I put him. I want to try to win him by letting him know every day that I care, but I also want him to know I have boundaries. It's a dance we're learning, really. I have some background and education in Special Education. But, I do not have must actual experience. I just know this kid deserves to get an honest try on my part. His parents deserve this, I'm in a Christian pre-school. He should get the care Christ would give to him. So, I press forward. And today was rough, and I cannot share all about it. Let's just say, it didn't go well. But, I told his mother, and she knows where I stand, and that I will not give up on myself nor on him. We're in this together.

So, my life feels like a mess, so little time, so little control. But I pray more and more, and I try harder to be here, paying attention to the people around me. Giving more than I realize I have.

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Friday, July 3rd, 2015
9:47 am - Stranger
Angels are strangers, messengers.
Their call going out
spreading information
to those who
live in dark places
and I have
been called an angel
but feel the title
is too big
too large
not realistic
but yes
in my own country
I am a stranger
and I have a message
for my country
I only belong here
in that I was born here
and I love
my country
but I am aware
I am a stranger here
a traveler
not to be
at home
in my home.


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9:39 am - I Know How the Nazi's Did It
How could a nation be filled with hate?
How would ordinary Christian men and women join the Nazi party?
Well, if they were to gain a business because they oppressed another, they might join. Jews were forced to close businesses because they were Jews. And who could come in and take them? Germans. Jews were forced to move out, because they were Jews. And who could come in and take their homes? Germans. Who would benefit from the Jews being persecuted? Germans, at least they believed they would. While their neighbors were losing their businesses, losing their homes, losing their lives, they let it happen. Eventually, they risked losing their businesses, if they were to speak out. They risked losing their homes, and their lives. They also had to give up their freedoms and rights. They were cowards and would not stand up, and eventually, the only way to survive became to comply.

This is how it is happening in the world today.

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