Thursday, September 15, 2016


I don't think it would come to anyone's surprise that I don't handle fear very well. I don't like being by alone, especially at night. I'll admit it...I am 31 and I am afraid of the dark. It paralyzes me to the point I freeze and I stop breathing at points. I am constantly aware of things going on around me...people walking around me, noises, anything. It is something that I have always struggled with and constantly asking God to take away that fear. It is something I have to turn over to Him EVERY SINGLE DAY. I wish I could say I was strong. That I don't fear anything. That I am confident in what to do in any circumstance. And I wish I could say that I give all my fear to God and so I never struggle with it. I wish I was that strong. I look around me and admire women that seem so strong and so confident. But I am not one of those women.

People tell me all the time to stop being afraid, or ask why I am afraid. Maybe it's because Nic is on the streets at night and I am in the house alone with the kids. Maybe it's because of the stories I hear from Nic's job. Maybe it's because for awhile I was hearing of cops being killed on a DAILY basis So bad that I had to get rid of Facebook. Maybe it's what I have seen on TV or in movies. Maybe it's just all in my head. I hear things that may or may not really be there. I freeze when Shadow starts growling and barking outside my window. I may or may not think I see a light coming through the window. I'm not sure where it all comes from.  I am telling you, I am a little crazy.

My fear comes in the night. Nic has been switched to mids again so he is gone during the night. Go figure. But God says in His word OVER AND OVER to NOT be afraid. So why do I struggle with this SO badly?

I have been collecting verses over the last few years, because like I said, fear has always hard for me to control.  Here are some of the verses that have helped me and I try to cling to:

Hebrews 13:6 "So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'"

Proverbs 29:25 "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 91 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." .... He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day."

Isaiah 35:3-4 "Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Psalm 56:3-4 "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Philipians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

These are just a FEW of the verses I am constantly going back to.

So tonight, as the darkness has settled, I need to choose to meditate on these verses. I need to ask God to guard my mind during the night, that thoughts won't creep in. And tomorrow, I will do the same. I will conquer this stupid fear, won't I?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lately at the Minders...

Just in case I ever forget what it was like to have 3 children ages, 4, 6, and 7....

The other day Colt decided to go pee in the garage...because he wanted to see if he could aim in a container He missed.

Easton pooped outside in our backyard. He ran out of the house to do so. "Because he needed to go real bad."

Colt thought that it was acceptable to sing "cheers to beer" with a friend at school.

Hayden and Colton started BSF for the school year, which means every Monday after school they go to mom's for the ENTIRE night, leaving us with ONE child. It was weird, but such a blessing to spend that time with our youngest.

Apparently you can get fined if you redo your roof without a permit...and for having a dumpster without a permit. Who knew?

Hayden cried today because no one would stop and buy stickers from her as she stood at the end of our driveway with a small sign that said "50 cents". However, Colt tried to help with sales by playing a guitar for the world to hear.

But there are also these times...

Hayden is finally at an age where help from her is appreciated. Her heart is SO big and she loves to serve. She makes all 3 lunches each night and loves to do it. It may take her an hour to do so, but she does it with joy.

Colton and Hayden were talking about BSF yesterday and Colt beamed with joy as he said, "mom, I just am so excited to go to BSF!" I pray his heart is always that ready to go learn about God.

Because we had only Easton Monday night, he had ALL our attention. And he loved it. We played basketball and played games. It was just us 3. Sometimes I forget how little he is. How he is still so young and how different he is from his sister and brother. I sometimes forget he is his own person. And man do I love that little guy.

This life is crazy. But I never want to forget these little things, even if that particular day I do wish I could forget:) God has entrusted Nic and I with these three amazing, crazy, spirited kids and I pray every day He will use Nic and I to mold them to be more like God. They they will love each other and love people and love God. I want them to strive to live for Him and to do what pleases him.  Not because Nic and I want that, but because they want that. I am learning, slowly, how to depend more and more on Him, and less on myself in this whole parenting thing. But man is it a SLOW process and one that I continually have to work on.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Business of Life

It has been almost 2 years since my last blog post. I miss it. I miss the outlet it gave me. I miss recording everything that is going on in our lives and how our kids have been growing and thriving. I miss the honesty that it gave be myself, knowing no one can say anything or interrupt that time.  I guess I let the business of my life to take over and one of the things to go was blogging. unfortunately.

Speaking of the business of my life, I need to slow down. I go, go, go and then fill the little bit of free time I have watching Netflix or checking my email or Instagram. God has been pressing on my heart to really figure out what's important and to let everything else go.

One of those things has been Facebook. Let me tell you a little bit of background on this huge part of my life. It controlled me. It took my attention away from my kids, my husband, my house chores, everything. I NEEDED to know who was doing what, who was liking whose posts, what was going on in the world (mostly everything around the whole blue lives/black lives matter movement). I was constantly reading articles or posts totally berating my husband's job and how day after day another cop was killed, or another killing at that. It was pouring fear into my soul to the point I couldn't sleep and I feared every day that my husband walked out the door in his uniform. I came to a point where I was about to break from it all. I know that sounds completely let FACEBOOK run my life. SO...I deleted it. I deleted my entire account. And it was FREEING. I haven't regretted my decision. I am not saying Facebook is horrible and everyone should delete it...I just did what was best for ME.

It's hard to find that balance in life. You know, balancing being a mom, a wife, a teacher. I don't regret going back to work for one second. God has gifted me with the ability to teach other children, and that's what I will do until He tells me otherwise. But does it make it hard to balance everything else in life? Of course. My cooking skills (or lack of) has been a challenge. I get home from teaching 5 year olds all day and the last thing I want to do is start cooking. Or cleaning. Or laundry. I feel guilty when I do have to do those things because I also want to spend time with the kids. Sooooo, it's all a balancing in which my balance is way off most days. Those are the days I lean on God's grace. I find myself begging him to show me mercy and show me how to do everything I need to do but also glorify him in doing so. When I just feel totally overwhelmed and totally lost, I know it's those times that I am not spending time in His word and I can feel it emotionally, spiritually, and physically I start feeling lost and totally wanting to have a breakdown.

I am hoping that I will have the time to keep blogging, which is something I love to do. Not because everyone reads my thoughts, but because this is me, and I can type until I want to:) I just need to make sure I am not filling up my free time (what free time I have) with meaningless things.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



It's a beautiful thing.

It's a crazy thing.

It's a messy thing.

It's sometimes a humble thing.

It's sometimes a funny thing.

It's sometimes a down right give me a hole to hide in thing.

But it's something that I deeply, fiercely love...this motherhood thing.

You see it all over Facebook, blogs, twitter, instagram...the struggles, the horrors, the hilarious moments.

But there comes a time when sometimes people just want and need to see the real-ness of motherhood.

So here it is...


You might be on the phone to the doctor's office and they ask for the child's birthday that you are calling about...and you MIGHT tell the nurse that it is 10/12/14...when in fact the real birth date is 4/21/ MIGHT have mixed up  the other two children's birthdays with the current year. And this is why I wear a necklace of all three children's names WITH their birth dates.

You might have a son break out singing, "bottoms up, bottoms up" or "shake it for me" on the way to school....his Christian school.

You might see a tootsie roll on the floor and pick it up to smell it...but it's not a tootsie roll. I am sure you can figure that one out.

You might start the dryer 4 times...on the same load because you don't feel like folding clothes.

You might send your child to the babysitter in his brother's clothes...without a diaper on.

You might each of your children an i-Pad to "learn" from but really you just want 10 minutes of no running in circles and screaming at each other.

You might put your son in his sisters clean underwear when he wakes up during the night and you can't find anymore of his clean underwear.

You might bribe your children with a surprise if they will just smile ONE time all at the same time during family pictures.

You might have to clean pee off the wall constantly.

You might have a child try pooping outside in the rocks because he is trying to teach the dog how to poop outside.

You might have your child just get in bed with you when he or she wakes up at 2 in the morning and you simply just don't want to walk down the hallway to put the child back in bed.

You might have to confiscate a toy knife from your son's backpack when you are dropping him off at school.

You might be very enthralled with Paw Patrols only to realize that your children are in the other room...and it is only you and the TV.

You might also find yourself singing Jesus Loves Me and My God is So the shower.

You might hide in the bathroom to eat a candy bar...because you don't feel like sharing.

You might call your son Sam...but his name isn't Sam...because that's the dog's name....over and over.

You might teach your child verses only to have her repeat those verses back to you at inopportune when you are YELLING at the stupid dog and she says, "mom, be kind to one another. Jesus says so." And all I want to say is, "well, the dog isn't being nice to me."

You might have to lock your children out of your room just to have 10 minutes alone with your husband.

You might have one child going to the bathroom (#2), another child opening and closing the shower curtain, and the third one sitting on the bathroom floor...while you are in the shower.

Are you getting my drift???

The list goes on...but I can tell you one thing. Motherhood might be all these things...but it is the BEST job in the world. Because even though all these things might happen, I wouldn't regret one single moment with my children. And I pray that I look back when my children are grown and laugh at this crazy, beautiful, messy life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teacher Business

I debated on whether I was going to post this or not...but when I started this blog, I wanted it to be something that I can look back on and see the journey that I have gone on and the things that I have learned. And encouragement to someone else.

I have found that sometimes in the teaching profession, a certain kind of thinking takes over at times.

It has the power of turning "teaching" into simply telling. Telling something that you want your students to know in order to pass a test. It goes from one item to the start "teaching" to the test....because we all know that those test scores are what tells us what kind of teacher we are (so we think).

So as a teacher, we work hard. We work hard at our lesson plans. We work hard making sure we have everything we need to equip our students to succeed. We work hard at making sure we have every assessment fulfilled. We work hard at putting numbers on spreadsheets so that eventually they make some sort of sense. We work hard making sure our students are learning what they need to be learning. We push our students. And sometimes almost to the point of breakdown. We spend countless hours before school, after school and on the weekends preparing for the our students. We know it isn't a 9-5 job. It isn't something you just show up for, work, and go home. There is paperwork to be done, papers to be graded, construction paper to be cut out ( maybe this is just for kindergarten:)), papers to be copied, cut, and stapled. There are SLO papers to be filled out...determining our fate (ok so that is a little dramatic).

That's when the focus changes. Sometimes we forget. We forget that yes, those scores are important...those assessments are needed in some crazy way or another. We forget that those 22 students that walk into our classroom each morning are only ours for a little while. We only have a certain amount of days to make a difference with those precious people we call our students. We forget that teaching doesn't have to be just teaching to the tests.

And that is what happened to me. I lost focus. I was so focused on getting all the assessments done that I wasn't listening. I wasn't listening to what my students needed from me. It's easy to do. I stuck to my lesson plans...had to get through my lesson plans and get those items "crossed off" my list.

But the other day, something changed. Although I still had my lesson plans out, I wasn't glued to them. I decided I didn't want to be that teacher anymore. So I stopped, and I listened. I listened to Jane tell me all about how she was in pain because of a hangnail and when I clipped it she hugged me and said "thank you." I listened to Danny (these aren't my students' real names) when he just simply couldn't form his '8'. Instead of saying "well, just try it," I got down and guided his hand so he could see how to form that 8. "Make an S and close the gate." He smiled and said, "I'm so glad you teach-ed me how to make an 8." Ok, so we are still working on grammar, but still:) I listened to a group of my ESL students when they just couldn't put those 2 sounds together...they simply didn't know what letters they were. Instead of getting frustrated, we changed the plans and just worked on certain letters.

You see, I don't want to be the teacher that teaches to the test. I want to be an encourager. I want to be a light in someone else's darkeness. I want to be a safe place for my students to come to. I want to really know each of my students. Not just what they can produce on paper or what they can score on a test. I want to know what makes them irritated...what makes them smile...what makes them close down and what makes them come to life. I want to know which tears mean they are hurt, which mean they don't feel good, which mean they are being pushed too far. I want to teach my students that it's ok to fail at times and make mistakes...because we all do. But then we learn from those mistakes. I want to challenge my students. I want to give them courage to try new things and see what they can do and accomplish.

These children are watching me...they are watching how I respond to everything. single. thing. I want to respond with love and kindness...with understanding.

I have 7 hours with these children everyday. I want to challenge my students to be their best. I want to give them courage to try new things and see what they can do.

Yes, I will mess up...I mess up all the time (thankfully kindergarteners are VERY forgiving!). It is hard, it is challenging...but I can tell you one thing. NOTHING gives you more joy than looking into a child's eyes and seeing that lightbulb go off and then the smile that is plastered all over that precious face because they finally got it.

I've come to a frightening
conclusion that I am the
decisive element in the
classroom. It's my personal
approach that creates the climate.
It's my daily mood that makes the 
weather. As a teacher, 
I possess a tremendous power to 
make a child's life
miserable or joyous. I can be a tool
of torture or an instrument of 
inspiration. I can humiliate or heal.
In all situations, it is my
response that decides 
whether a crisis will be escalated 
or de-escalated and a child
humanized or dehumanized.
-Haim G. Ginott

PS- If there are lots of mistakes, I blame it on trying to cook dinner and chasing kids while writing this in spurts...:)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Yesterday was National Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day.

I saw a few things on Facebook...

But sometimes I try to block it out. Sometimes I don't want to remember the pain. I don't want to remember that day sitting in my dad's office, excited to hear the heartbeat of our baby.

It was 2 days before Christmas.

Sometimes I don't want to remember the look on my dad's face as he shifted from one foot to the other, searching for the heartbeat. I knew at that second something was wrong.

We lost the baby.

11 weeks into the pregnancy.

I prayed it was a just a bad dream and that everything would be just fine when I woke up. I remember crying in the office, holding onto Nic. And then I went numb.

We drove home in silence. No tears. I didn't want to see was just Nic and I that night.

The next few days were filled with fake smiles and conversation...the numbness taking over.

On Christmas night, I felt the cramping start and knew that it was time to go to the hospital. I had the D&C that night.

It was the next morning when the numbness wore off...and then I was angry. I was angry at God for taking my baby from me. I was angry that He allowed such pain. I was angry that it happened to me. Was I just supposed to forget that I carried a precious baby for 11 weeks and just move on? At times I screamed at God. I felt alone. Although I was surrounded by family, I felt that they couldn't possibly understand the pain. I was the one who carried the baby.

This is also when the tears started...and didn't stop for a long time. Before this, I never really heard of women miscarrying, although I knew it was a possibility...but didn't think it could be a possibility for me. I thought I did something to make this happened. The burden of guilt had set in and I just kept questioning myself on what I did wrong that made me lose my baby.

As the weeks went on, women began to come to me...some that I have never met before. They prayed with me and for me. They encouraged me with their own stories. I remember thanking each of them for sharing with me. I remember being relieved in a way that I wasn't the only one that has gone through this pain.

There was one night in particular that I remember vividly. I went into the baby's room, sat on the chair, and begged God to take the pain away. I remember crying out to him asking that He would give me peace. I remember giving everything to God that night. I had to believe that there was some plan in all this.

When I left the room, there was a peace I can not explain. It was almost as if God whispered, "everything will be OK. I am with you." And I knew I would be OK.

And I knew He had a plan.

You see, my family and I went out for my birthday December 22nd. I begged my dad to take me in so I could see an ultrasound of the baby. He said to wait until the next day. We enjoyed the rest of my birthday dinner and the rest of that evening. God knew. I found out about the loss on the 23rd. We were off from school for Christmas break. God knew I would need those next two weeks. My brother and sister-in-law were leaving the day after Christmas for their new life in Arizona. God knew I would need my family by my side.

God knew.

Although the pain has never left, it isn't as sharp as it was before. And although I don't always want to remember those dark days, I am always reminded of God's peace and the beauty that comes from pain. Those days after I gave everything over to God, I clinged to God like I needed air. I held onto His promises. I never experienced real loss until December 23, 2007. Somehow my relationship with Him became more real. And I knew He held my hand and would guide me through the questions and the pain.

I didn't understand. But I learned to just trust God. When my heart starts hurting when I think of this time in my life, I remember Hayden. Yes. Hayden...born 10 months after I lost my first baby.

I remember God has a plan...even through such heartache.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Honesty Day 2

I have started this post over and over and feel like I can't find the right way to say this in a nice way. This is probably the part of me that I hate the most. It is the part of me that I struggle with on a daily basis. So I will just say it. (and can I just say this honesty stuff is kind of hard?)

I am a yeller.

I yell a lot. 

I yell at my kids, I yell at my husband, I yell at the dog...I even yellow at the stupid raccoon that keeps getting in our trash. I yell.

And I hate it.

What causes me to react in such a way?

It might be because I just told my son to watch the bowl full of cereal and milk and in that next second it is ALL over the floor. It might be because my other son has pooped in his diaper and then took it off to spread it all over the floor. It might be because my daughter wakes up in the middle of the night and screams and screams because she wants IN the bed with us and I won't let her so she wakes up everyone. It might be because I JUST told the older kids to stop play fighting because someone is going to get hurt...and in the very next breath my son punches my daughter right in the mouth and blood is everywhere. It might even be because I am tired and the fighting and the bickering and the HIGH PITCH screaming just got on my last nerve. 

There is no excuse to lose control and just yell.

You see, it's just the every day, normal "kid accidents" that set me off. And here is when I realized it ...I react when I feel like I have lost all control. Lately I have found myself wondering what the heck sets me off. 

I look around me at other mommas out there and I think to myself, "man, she has the patience of a saint. How does she stay so completely calm?" Yes, I know there are other yellers out there...but I'm wandering how to become one of those saints:)

And here is what I came to the conclusion of...I react to the ones I love the most when I feel like there is just too much on my plate and I cannot handle one more incident. I realized that when I am stressed with school or with my pages of to-do lists that that's when I lose it...I think that maybe if I yell, it will make me feel better...and unfortunately it is my child on the receiving end. And then I am left staring in the startled face of my precious child. And it makes me feel like dirt. It makes me sick to my stomach to have caused the tears in my children's eyes. I hate it. 

I don't want to be that mom. I don't want to be a yeller. I want to be different than that. I don't want my kids to fear me when they need help but are afraid of getting in trouble. I want to be able to help my child and teach them the correct way to respond to different situations. I want to show them grace. I want to simply explain why their behavior is wrong instead of just yelling at them to stop.

I want to change. I want to become a safe haven for my children to come to and know that it is OK to make mistakes...because I make them every single stinkin' day. It's a daily battle.

There you have it...the part that I am most shameful of. Bleh...