Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 2 Love Is Kind

Day 2
Love is Kind

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. 
Ephesians 4:32

In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

Today’s Questions:
What discoveries about love did you make today? What specifically did you do in this dare? How did you show kindness?

What is desirable in a man is his kindness. (Proverbs 19:22)

Yesterday's Dare:
Not saying anything negative was actually pretty easy. I have to admit that I have practiced that one before. That does not mean that I didn't get mad at Tommy, because believe me I did. First, I had the day off and my goal was to get the room clean and organized. I asked him to help me with the laundry since the only reason he wears clean clothes is because I wash them. Well that never happened. Then later when we were supposed to be going out he informs me that he has offered to pay for his cousin to have a haircut. He promised me that  when the tax return money came in we would go eat at Nagoya, well we didn't get to go and I was pretty upset that he didn't ask me before he offered the haircut. Like a $20 haircut is going to stop us from doing anything, but still. I got angry but chose not to say anything other than I just wished he'd asked me first. Though I didn't say anything mean or negative I did show that I was angry. So did I fail that dare?

Good Luck,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 1 Love Is Patient

Day 1

Love is patient

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  
—Ephesians 4:2

The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue that to say something you’ll regret.

Today’s Questions:
Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come to words?

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19)

Good Luck,

The Love Dare A 40-Day Challenge

This forty day journey cannot be taken lightly. It is a challenging and often difficult process, but an incredibly
fulfilling one. To take this dare requires a resolute mind and a steadfast determination. It is not meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greatest benefits. If you will commit to a day at a time for forty days, the results could change your life, and your marriage. 
Consider it a dare, from others who have done it before you.

Now these three remain: 
faith, hope, and love. 
But the greatest of these is love
1 Corinthians 13:13 

Good Luck,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not Quite Done

Ok, so I have another question:

Where has the discipline gone? I am a nanny. I only have 5 rules, really its only four: 1) Follow directions, 2) Do homework, 3) No fighting, 4) Be nice, 5) Smile and be happy. I also work on a 3 strike system, 3 strikes they lose a dollar (they get a dollar every day they are 'good' and lose a dollar every day they are not). 5 strikes and I call mom, if I call mom two times before the special treat then they don't get to participate. Pretty lenient I thought.

Well, I had a pretty rough day at work yesterday and could not get in touch with Patrick and Elisabeth's mother so I handled the situation as best I could and enforced the rules and strike system. Seems okay, right? Apparently not. Here are the emails that were exchanged between the two of us.

In regards to yesterday, I am sorry I didn't call you back.  I was slammed at work and just didn't get a chance.  Bill told me something about what happened - the kids were outside & Elisabeth told you that Patrick threatened to kill himself?  I think I need to know more about this incident before I agree with your decision to take away all of his special treat privileges.

Well, I had spoken with him about it before as this is not the first time he has said it. When I made him come inside and talk to me he was angry and yelling because Elisabeth had told on him. I could not get him to settle down and do what I was asking, I had asked him to go to the corner because of his yelling and being mean to Elisabeth (saying he doesn't love her anymore and blaming her for him saying that). He called me a few names ran up stairs and said that he was going to break more of the rules. He finally calmed down and went into the corner after I had called you. However, those were not his only strikes. I had asked him if he wanted to read a book for his Six Flags Ticket and he said yes. He grabbed a book, one of the Magic Tree House books, and began to read it. I saw him skipping pages and told him I had stopped the timer until he went back to his original page. He didn't, so when I told him that I wasn't going to time him until he did he said he was done. He asked how many minutes he had read, I told him none because I wasn't sure when he first skipped a page. He got mad and threw the book at me and called me a meanie. All of this yesterday resulted in my decision to call and 'revoke' his special treat privileges.

I agree with you that Patrick had some bad behavior yesterday.  However, this is how I would like for you to handle this situation in the future:

1.  If the kids are outside, you should be outside too.  If one kid is inside & one is outside, you should spend most of your time outside & just go in to check on the one inside every 10 minutes or so.  Outside has more dangers that I worry about than inside (kidnappers, dogs, falls off bike/scooter).  If you are not with the kids & one kid reports of bad behavior by the other, you can address the issue (and should) but you can't punish him or her as strictly as you would if you heard it yourself.  You don't know the context and the kid who tattles may be leaving something out.  I'm not saying not to punish at all - but don't throw the book at them.

2.  Patrick knows that this is not something that he should say.  However, the statement is about hurting himself - not others - and should be treated differently.   I tell him that he has to go to his room & take a time-out until he can calm down.  Then when he's calm & not upset, he can go back to playing.  I do not make a big deal out of it b/c it is more about his inability to deal appropriately with his feelings.  This is a teaching moment not a punishment moment. This is something that we are asking his therapist to assist him in dealing with & recognizing why its not appropriate.

3. The Six Flags reading thing is supposed to be fun - not a contest and not something to get punished for not doing.  There is not a "right" way for a 1st grader who barely knows how to read to read a book made for 8-12 year olds.  The rules of the contest simply say that they must read something - a magazine, a book, whatever for a period of time.  There is no rule saying you can't skip pages or change your mind about reading a particular book.  If he is sitting there attempting to read - we encourage him - not punish him for not going in order or skipping words or pages.  This isn't a reading assignment for school - it is simply to get kids reading so that hopefully they will figure out that reading is fun. 

4.  He was mad when he got in trouble & said things he shouldn't out of anger.  However, he did eventually do what you asked.  He was punished with standing in the corner.  He served his punishment & his punishment is over.  He doesn't get separate punishments for each individual act in a 5-10 minute period of having bad behavior - it is all punished at the same time in the same way.  The max time his punishment should last is 7 minutes.

5.  With this all in mind, I think he should get a second chance on his privileges.  He wasn't violent and he served his punishment. 

I don't want to undermine your authority, but I think you are coming down heavy handed on some things.  You have to let some things go.  With Patrick, we know when he's off his meds & he's at home, that things are going to be a little more out-of-control.  But as long as he's not hurting others or doing anything too crazy - its ok.  We can't come down on him on every little thing - and we don't want you to either.

As a side note, I don't know why the DVD player didn't work for you - it can be temperamental.  But there's lots of other things for the kids to do that don't involve the TV - even when they are sick - like books, mad libs, games, etc.  I personally would prefer for the kids to watch very little TV - but I understand when its cold or rainy or after a long day of school, sometimes they want to veg out a little bit.   But they can always go up to their rooms & play.

I know it is close to when you have to leave - so if I don't hear back from you, I'll call you in a few minutes.

She did not give me a chance to respond to the email and called where she proceeded to tell me that they do not punish him for name calling or being mean like he was to Elisabeth. She also did not agree with my taking away of his special treat because of one phone call, apparently it is supposed to be two in one day and not over a period of time. Then she proceeded to tell me that if they decided that they did not want to do their homework they don't have to. So I don't know about you but that is so not the way things were when I was a kid. Am I the only one here?? What am I supposed to do? If I continue to work with them they will find me in a corner in the fetal position crying for my mommy. 

Ugh, hope you are had a better day than I did. 


The Things I Don't Understand And Get On My LAST Nerve

Ok, question.

If you are forty-something you are too old for video games, right? Well, in the off chance that you play you are too old to pitch a fit, cry and scream just because you 'die', right? Apparently not! One of the many things that get under my skin every day is the fact that my biological father acts just like my 13 year old brother used to (and on occasion still does, though I still don't see the point in the tantrum). And its not like he is actually playing a game, he is playing 'online' with the Xbox. HELLO! Its not like you are actually fighting in the war! So it matters why?! It doesn't. However, you could never convince him of this. And on top of all the tantrums and foul language when he gets 'shot and killed' he wishes the most horrible, gruesome, un-God-like things on these people who are just playing the game. Its not like they have it out for him. Or is it? I know if I played I'd do nothing but follow him around and 'shoot' him just for everyone else, provided I could work the controller. 

I have never really understood the fascination with video games, I cant sit still that long and my coordination with the controller and the little man on the game SUCKS! If I got as mad as he does there would be nothing left intact in the house, maybe not even the house itself. I believe its all a matter of priority and self control. At the age of, I don't know, when you GRADUATE (or drop out, whichever is the case) you are old enough to know when its time for work and when its time for play. Alas, this is not true for him, not in the least. He has played online for 72 hours STRAIGHT I know of at least once while I was here. So, that is 72+ hours of not having a shower, brushing your teethe, putting on deodorant, or anything the hints at hygienic. Even when he does go to sleep for a few hours, its not like he goes to bed at a normal time and gets up with everyone in the house. He will get mad and pitch a fit, go to bed at like 2 o'clock in the afternoon  and its like he doesn't really go to sleep because he will wait 'til we are asleep, or at least me, and go in there jack-up the volume and scream at the top of his lungs. No, its not like sleep is a necessary part of life its one of those things like hygiene, recommended but not required. It makes me want to scream. 

Not to mention in the off chance that Tommy or I actually cook a meal and not just something frozen, he expects for me to fix him a plate and bring it to him. HA! Just because of that I have when without eating at the house. He also expects for me to do every bit of the cleaning around the house, as well as take care of all the animals. Well lets see, there are two guys at the house every day. Neither of them have a job. Hmmm . . . and I have to do all this why? Oh, because I'm female? I think not. I grew up in the 20th century and am living in the 21st century. It has been proven that it will not kill a man to help around the house. It wont even make him ill! Oh My God! Its a miracle! Yes, it will be a miracle the day that he puts down the controller and helps clean, without a word. 

I suppose what really makes it so bad is that he claims to be a man of God and a nice person. Well, I don't recall seeing a 'man of God' or 'nice person' in him these past few days. He is not so bad when he stays on his medication, but he never does. He doesn't care what he does, what he says, or who he hurts. It has always been okay for him to do these things, his sister has enabled him by making excuses and wrongly accusing other people, things or events of being the reason he did/does those things. He is never accountable for his actions and don't even think for once there will be any consequences for his actions. There is nothing I can do about it, I am his daughter and I have caught the short end of the stick too many times. He is nicer to strangers than he is to me. Its okay though, I have come to terms with the fact that I don't really matter in his life, he just wants the ability to say that he helped me and he wants someone to do everything he doesn't.

Anyway, I have to deal with this every day. It gets old real quick, but what can I do? Nothing, we have no where else we can go. We don't have the money to make it on our own. I realize that he has helped us greatly, and I do appreciate that but I can only take so much. Just because I am female does not mean I am a programed maid and just because I am your daughter does not mean that you can walk all over me. I realize my issues with him are deeper than anyone could ever imagine, but if I began to explain everything it would take me forever and it would be more of a book than a blog.

I'm done. 


Monday, February 7, 2011


Married life. I love my husband. He loves me. However . . .

Love doesn't pay the bills, it doesn't buy groceries and it doesn't put gas in the car. Things have to start looking up for us or we are going to find ourselves in the loony-bin. He cant get a job for one reason or another and mine just isn't cutting it. I have considered going into the Air Force, and he has "too" though I believe he really doesn't want to try the military again. My only thing is that is not really what I want out of life. I want to go back to school, be a para for a while, teach eventually and have a child or two. My goals and dreams are being pushed aside in order to feed us and pay the few bills I can each month. People are beginning to look down on us, more than they were before. And a few have said some things that ought not have been said. I cannot change the opinions of everyone though I would love to. They are partially right. Tommy needs to get a job, any job at this point and I need to make up my mind on what I am going to do. I cannot wait for Tommy to be the bread winner in our family. I love him and I have faith in him. He will get a job, a good one that will make him proud but we aren't even close to surviving right now. 
Things are so crazy right now. And I believe we are paying for stupid decisions. Well I hope life is much better for everyone else. I would wish this hardship on no one.