Monday, March 28, 2016

52 Lists - Things I Want to Make


Things I Want to Make
lifetime friends
a children's book
a shelf for behind Liza's bed
yarn decorations for Liza's room
a garden that flourishes
healthy food
a comfortable home
my own clothes
my own crochet design
special moments
great memories
more photo books
something that will make me rich :)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

That's Just Life

This week both Liza and Jason told me things that made my heart hurt for them. Sometimes life is hard and sometimes people aren't nice. My initial reaction was that I wanted to let mama bear loose and jump in and save the day all HOW DARE YOU NOT BE SUPER NICE TO MY BABIES! But that wouldn't do anything for my kids except teach them to run home to mommy every time someone hurt their feelings and let mommy deal with it.

Plus... they were such minor situations! (Why is it so easy to overreact when someone hurts our kids!?)


Liza shared how some girls in her class weren't including her in conversations. She said they just say, "Oh you wouldn't understand," and then continue to leave her out. When it's lunch and you have assigned seats and this continues to happen... it stinks! I could see it all over Liza's face... this hurts her feelings.

We had a nice conversation about it and talked about forgiving people, choosing good friends, rumors, and gossip. By the end Liza was her spunky little self again and hopefully she had some ideas of how to handle it if it happens again.

Jason's situation happened on the bus. He told me one morning as we were snuggling.

JASON: Some kids on the bus weren't being nice to me.
ME: Oh yeah... how were they being not nice?
JASON: They were saying that I wasn't cool.
ME: Hmm... that hurts your feelings, doesn't it.
JASON: *nods yes*
ME: Well I think you're cool and your mom's opinion is the only one that matters!
JASON: *gives me the "seriously mom" look that he does so well*
ME: Want to know what I would say to them if they told me I wasn't cool?
JASON: What?
ME: COOL! I never really wanted to be cool!
JASON: *smiles and laughs a little*
ME: Really though, some people are going to think you are cool and some aren't. Just like some people like me and some don't. Can you believe that Jason? That some people don't like your mom!?
JASON: *very matter-of-fact* Yes.
ME: What!? You are supposed to think everyone should like your mom!
JASON: Not everyone is going to like you mom. That's just life.

At least the little things I have been telling him along the way are sinking in. :)

Thankfully the boys on the bus seemed to forget about picking on Jason the next day.
Hopefully the girls that are supposed to be Liza's good friends start including her in their conversations again.

But mostly... I hope that I've given them the tools to remain confident about who they are and to deal with hurtful situations in a healthy way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hiking With the Parents

Mom and Dad called last week and said they wanted to come visit. We were happy to have some weekend plans!

We decided to take a hike on Saturday. Originally I was thinking of a short 1 mile hike but we ended up extending it and going about 3 1/2 miles. I love that Liza and Jason can handle a good hike! We took trails that took us to three different waterfalls at McMonnells Mill State Park with stops along the way to throw rocks in the water. Jason is working on his rock skipping skills.

It was a great day for hiking and we really enjoyed having my parents with us for two days!











Monday, March 21, 2016

52 Lists... #11 and #12

I didn't get around to blogging last week. Lots of time spent volunteering at the school and filling up my heart with quick visits with many of my little friends as they came through the book fair. I started list #11 but by the time I was ready to post it I figured I might as well double up and just post #12 at the same time.

My Essentials
good books
alone time
yarn and crochet hooks and things that need made
a good camera
simple vacations
a good bike and a trail to ride

Things That Feel Like Home
my living room (duh... but really, it's my favorite)
the smell of ivory soap
reading in bed
the sound of a whole lot of kids in one place

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hurry Up Soccer Season!!

I have been having weird and strange dreams a lot lately. The kind that leave me feeling weird and strange when I wake up from them. But last night was different. The dream I had last night left me feeling awesome when I woke up this morning.

It was about soccer.
I was young and playing the game, on the guys' team just like it really happened, with guys I had played soccer with in real life. I was scoring goals, having assists, and we were crushing the other team. I woke up feeling victorious and remembering the good days of being a part of a team and playing a sport I loved and played well.

And it got me excited for the soccer season to begin again! I chose to coach both Liza and Jason this year. Two teams. Twice as many kids to encourage and teach the game to. Twice as much fun!

I can't wait to get back to this...


Saturday mornings of making sure kids feel awesome when playing the greatest game ever!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

PA Rails to Trails - Sandy Creek Trail

70 degrees, kids in school, Mike at home because he is in work limbo = a great day for a bike ride!!!

We decided to check out the Sandy Creek Trail today. It's up Route 8, just before Franklin. We started in Belmar and rode to Van. 7.8 miles one way.

The scenery was great and I can't wait to go back when there are leaves on the trees and there is less brown. The trail is paved and had a lot of bridges. Most are small, but the one going over the Allegheny River is pretty long. There is also a tunnel on this trail. It's almost 1,000 feet long and isn't nearly as dark as the tunnels on the Allegheny River Trail. We made it through just fine without any lights.

We ended up riding about 15.5 miles. It was a great first ride of the year! I do have to admit that I am very thankful we started in Belmar because it is slightly uphill from there to Van. If I had to go uphill on the way back instead of downhill, I might not have made it... thanks to a winter of sitting on the couch watching Netflix and crocheting.

I'm looking forward to many more rides in our near future.

I did not mean to coordinate so well! I looked at this picture after taking it and laughed. That's a lot of pink and blue all matchy matchy. Total accident!


From Belmar you can go either way on the Sandy Creek Trail, or you can cross the first bridge and jump on the Allegheny River Trail. This map is old... the proposed trails are now finished. 











Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What Children Need to Know

Discipline is about so much more than dishing out punishment... it's about training children. If we do not train our children, the world will.

Start young and never give up on them!

Teach them
*to consider others and their feelings
*how to introduce themselves to someone they meet
*how to introduce two people to each other
*respect for other people's property
*to pick up after themselves
*proper hygiene
*respect for authority
*how to shake hands
*that the world does not revolve around them
*how to get back up when life knocks them down
*how to deal with their own problems
*that wrong actions have hard consequences that could follow them for life
*you don't always get what you want

Teach them that they are responsible for their own actions and attitudes.

Our children are our future.
They will be our leaders.

Teach children the things they need to know... beyond the ABC's and 123s... to become successful adults.

What would you add to the list of things children need to be taught?

Monday, March 7, 2016

52 Lists - Ways To Cleanse For Spring

List #10
With the weather being GORGEOUS today, and hopefully the next few, I feel like this is the perfect list to make for this week. It sure is starting to feel like spring and it's forecasted to be around 70 degrees on Wednesday! My kids are ready to bust out the shorts. I'm not quite ready for that!

Ways To Cleanse For Spring
Open the windows! (Taking the winter plastic off today.)
Get outside.
Take winter clothes/coats to the attic.
Clean windows.
Organize my yarn stash.
Clean off my sun porch so I can actually use it.
Sit in the sun.
Make a list of things to do during the nice weather months.
Let go of the things that I can not control.
Shed these five hibernation pounds that don't want to go away.
Unplug for a day... or five.
Be more active... not as much couch sitting!
Throw away or donate things that we do not need/use.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Problem With My Hobby

March is National Crochet Month... I think that officially makes it my favorite month because I have an excuse to crochet all. the. time.

I love crochet.
It's my main hobby.
A slight obsession.
A form of relaxation.

Life without crochet would be awful.

However, I could live without some of the jokes and terms used in the crochet world.

You see... a few years ago my eyes were opened up to the world of human trafficking... sex trafficking... young children, teens, women, boys, being sold for sex. Forced into prostitution. Abused, manipulated, drugged. Their life taken from them as they lived the nightmare day after day after day.

So when I hear jokes about hookers I cringe a little bit... because there is nothing funny about that life.

Back to crochet... crocheters use hooks... therefore there are lots of jokes about crocheters being hookers.

I know it's different.
But it's not.

When I see something that says, "I wish crocheting burned more calories because I would be one skinny hooker"... I can't laugh. I want no part of it. I feel that it mocks a very real and ugly situation. Makes light of it.

Most will probably think I'm pretty stupid for letting that bother me... but I don't care.

I crochet... but I am not a hooker.

And I hate that there are so many jokes, tshirts, mugs with that reference.

That's the problem I have with my hobby.

It's not funny to joke about hookers... because so many "hookers" are really slaves wishing they could get out of that life and back into the one that was taken from them.

It's not a joke.
It's a problem.
They are people.

For more information on the realities of the life of a prostitute, I encourage you to watch the first episode of A Path Appears.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Love Letters From Liza

Liza has a heart of gold.

I remember when I became a mom and I thought my heart would explode with love. I didn't think there was a better feeling in the world than that. But I am finding there is. As Liza grows my heart often feels like it will burst with love and pride. I am soooo proud of who she is, who she is becoming. I am proud of how she treats others, proud of her ideas, proud of her desire to change the world and make it a better place for everyone.

I love that she is

And I love her thoughtfulness.

A few weeks ago I was having a rough day. I was in my room resting when she came in and handed me this heart...


In it was a bunch of little notes and she said, "Whenever you are having a bad day you can read one of the notes."



This is something I will keep forever. The notes... they definitely made me feel better on that bad day... and several days since. Here is what they say... with her messed up spelling that makes them even sweeter...

I love you so much.
God loves you the way you are.
I love you Mommy and I will always.
I love you more than eneything. 
My favrit mommy.
You are wunderful.
You are awsom.
I will never forget you.

And my favorite of them all...

Your not ugly.

On another bad day, I was in my room resting again and heard all this clicking on the hard wood floor just outside my room. And whispering. I kept wondering what in the world the kids were up to. When I finally walked out of my room, I found this on the floor outside my door waiting for me...


I loved it so much that I left it there for two days and stepped around it. Jason helped her... but Liza was the lead.

She wants people to be happy.
She doesn't like sadness.
She shows love well.

One thing I have noticed over and over about Liza is that she makes people feel good.

She makes ME feel good.
She makes me want to be better.

I will treasure my love letters from Liza for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

52 Lists - Places I Want to Go

List #9

Continuing on with my 52 lists... one every week this year.

Unlike most people I really don't have a great desire to travel outside of the United States. I like being home. I like familiar territory. I like knowing the language and customs. Maybe that makes me boring and not very adventurous... but I love the land I live in and there are so many places here that I would love to visit... some of them for a second time.

Places I Want to Go
Grand Canyon
Saguaro National Park
Wisconsin to visit my sister
Texas to visit my brother
Louisiana to visit Melissa again
Savannah, GA 

Those places are top on my travel list... for the day I win the lottery and can plan bigger vacations. In the meantime... I'm hoping to be able to go on a PA Waterfall Road Trip that I saw on the internet. It would be a perfect four day weekend getaway with Mike.

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