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A Date?

Dear unknown man who is thinking about taking out a single mom,
The following do’s and don’ts have been personally experienced. You might find them helpful. You might find them offensive. I’m just one single mom out there who chose to write about the things she liked and didn’t like on her first dates. Of course, most of this won’t be an issue if a relationship develops, but as for a first date
1.DO offer to pay for her sitter. Before you drop your jaw in disgust, I do fully understand that this might be deemed super high maintenance. Here’s the thing: She has said, “yes” to going out with you which means she likes you enough to work all day, come home, stay off the couch, get dressed up, wear make up past 7:30 pm and then pay someone to come keep her kids in order to spend time with you. Way to go dude! Count this as a major win! It takes a really great guy for me to do all of that. Now, concerning the babysitting, this will most likely cost around $30 - $40 for the evening. The go…

I finally told Wes to MAN UP.

“You will not cry about this any longer. That is it! It is time to MAN UP. If you want to be a navy seal, this is your first lesson. Sometimes, you just gotta be a man, so GIRD UP.”
That is what came out of my mouth to Wes yesterday while riding his bike. You know, the bike that he said he would neeeeveeeeerrrr ride? He asked me if he could go outside to ride his bike without training wheels. I stared at him dumbfounded and wondered if he was having a seizure.
Once out on the hilly terrain of West Creek Drive, he started out really strong. He was riding, unafraid of any turbulence and also sturdy, like a robust mountain lion. (That might be a motherly exaggeration.)
Then we took our standard turn for the worse. Hi fear.He began grabbing at me and leaning at a 90-degree angle towards my direction. I’m like, “How are you gonna steer those handles while ridin’ parallel to the street? And just how is your hiney still on that seat while you’re inclining like that?” Then he began diving of…

Hey Whore

It was consistently hectic in the mornings as hundreds of first and second grade children would walk down our hallway each trying to get to their classroom first. Shoving, pushing, running, these were all part of the daily humdrum.
I would stand at my door each morning to greet my students (and also to help the 6 year old rush hour traffic which was not that different than highway 820 during construction, including both honking and hand gestures).
Ahhh, there she is. I see Jessica, this pint-sized little diva, who was secretly one of my “favorites”. She sashayed out of the cafeteria and was headed down to our class, ready to take on the world. Jessica was lively, but obedient and sometimes, situationally sweet.
She also had a particular way with words. Let me illustrate. One day I overheard a few of the girls talking about “Hannah Montana”…Jessica was, of course, in on the conversation and decided to add her 2-cents by saying, “Well girls, I hate to tell you but Hannah Montana is …

To Remember: The song that soothed my 6 month old baby.

God consistently asks His people to remember Him. He told the Israelites to put up stones to remember where they walked across the Jordan. (Joshua 4:1-7) He tells us to take the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of what He did on the cross. (Luke 22: 14-23) He asks us multiple times in the Psalms to remember who He is and all He’s done. (Psalm 77) I think part of the reason He tells us to do this is because, in His omniscient ways, He knows it is easier for us to forget than it is to remember.
I didn’t have to worry about Wesley’s non-believing father for the first 5 years of Wesley’s life. We came to our own church, had our days at home and didn’t have to worry much about his father’s cult background. As of January 2016, that all changed. Wes’s dad began taking Wes to all of his cult meetings and to do door-to-door false preaching. It shatters my heart every time.
Recently, as I drop Wesley off and I leave to go home, I sense one overarching thought that swarms heavily over the feeling…

"God doesn't make promises like that anymore."

It was Tuesday, March 8, 2011, my first full day alone with Wesley as a tiny baby. He was 15 days old. I can recall that specific evening with much ease. I had just given Wes a lavender bath (thank you Johnson and Johnson), had swaddled him up tightly (I miss that little glow worm) and I was quietly rocking him. There is something dearly sweet in rocking a newborn to sleep (as long as they actually go to sleep and they’re not wailing their head off). 

As I watched the sun go down through his window and the darkness began to set in, that sweet feeling very quickly turned to an unfamiliar mother’s unrest. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. There I was, brand new, no idea what I was doing, and it was my first day to be a mom completely on my own. It sounds silly, but I actually think I began to panic at that realization.

This next part sounds even more irrational as I write it down, but my mind began to race that night and I began to feel really unnerved thinking about someone getting h…

My Kid Just Shot the FedEx Man, Like Literally an Hour Ago

This JUST happened.

So, about an hour ago, the doorbell rang at my parent’s house. Wes went to get it. I didn’t hear him come back in, so I went to check on him. The front door was cracked open about an inch and as I swung it open a little wider, I saw a large box on the porch…but then, I also saw a FedEx man bounding through our front yard, running for dear life back to his truck. Why, you ask?  Because my 6 year old was racing after him, right on his tail, rapidly firing shots at him with his brand new Nerf gun. Yes, this is my real life and that is really what just happened.

There. Are. No. Words.

Happy Thanksgiving from us, Mr. FedEx man.

Here you are…trying to make a buck for your family and you have to run into unrefined, unpolished little boys who clearly haven’t been taught their manners. Good heavens.

I looked down the road to see the poor soul down in the cul-de-sac turning around, understandably, so he could get the heck out of our neighborhood and away from all the outland…

My Kid Won't Ride a Bike

My kid won’t ride a bike. He’ll jump off trees, swing from ropes, ride on zip lines hundreds of feet in the air across lakes without so much as a seat belt, he’ll laugh all through the iFly experience begging for more and he’ll ride every single adult ride they’ll let him on at Six Flags, but he WILL NOT RIDE A BIKE.

I began this all American endeavor when he was only 3. He was passed down a balance bike from his cousins and the first time I tried to get him on it, he just kept saying, “No! No! I don’t want to. Please no.” I tried EVERYTHING. I even sunk low enough to exchange goods and services with him. If you will ride your bike, we can go together around the block. Won’t that be so fun? “No.” We could take your bike down to Pops and Honey’s house and ride it. Pops loves to ride his bike. “Nope.” We could take it to the nature trails and ride it with Charis and Drew. “Uh uh.” Then my mom, Honey, even tried to intervene. “Guess what? Honey will buy you a new bike if you learn to rid…

A Bad Day with a Huge Gift

Monday, November 13, 2017

6:45– I drag Wesley out of bed because he didn’t wake up bright and cheery at 6:15 am like he did on the WEEKEND, BOTH Saturday and Sunday morning.
7:00 – Wesley can’t find his uniform shoes. I scold Wes.
7:10 – I can’t find my keys. I feel guilty for scolding Wes.
7:15 – I walk out to the car to realize the keys have been left in the driver’s side door all night long. I huff.
7:20 – Wes and I leave for school late. I puff.
7:21– Wes finds uniform shoes in the car and proceeds to change from regular shoes to his uniform shoes while still wearing a seat belt.
7:30 – Wes and I exit the vehicle at CCA. Wes proceeds to say, “I left my lunch and my snack at home on the kitchen table.” I roll my eyes and let out a big, grumpy sigh.
9:15 – Wes comes into my classroom (while my class is gone) looking for a snack (since he forgot his at home), only to find that the emergency stash I normally keep for him is completely empty, so what does he do? He eats the last piece o…

What is a sex shoe anyway?

Wes told my mom the other day that the garage was a “wrecking mess”. I’m not even sure what he meant to say, but that was obviously not it. It did take me back to several of my childhood (or maybe also adulthood) misheard lyrics and phrases.
As a kid, I remember hearing a fun little ditty in my dad’s truck and I would mainly sing it out because of its catchy tune. It went like this, “Secret Asian man, secret Asian man!” After all,  it makes complete sense people. Lots of Asian men are secret spies. Do you know Jackie Chan? Jet Li?Bruce Lee? C’mon, we all know them.  Do we not see the massive connection here? This song is talking about a spy from Asia. Yes, of course it is. I felt rather disgruntled when I found that Johnny Rivers had originally written it, “Secret agent man, secret agent man”. Way to let a 10 year old down man! I’ll be honest, having to accept my version as erroneous, the song at best, has lost a bit of its initial value in my heart.
The next song I remember singing w…

Prego Brain

Just recently, I was reminded of my favorite prego brain moment. It was December and I was about 7 months pregnant. I was already stressed trying to have everything in order for Wesley’s arrival. As I’m leaving school one afternoon, I start up my car and a yellow light pops up onto the dashboard. Scared of driving it home due to previous explosions in my hood, (I blew up my engine in college due to the ignoring of a light) I sat in the car and decided to make a better and more adult decision this time.
Immediately, I call the Saturn dealership.
(Car issues can trigger me because I’m pretty sure demons live in the mechanisms of cars. The results of car trouble tend to be expensive and highly inconvenient. I can feel the frustration beginning to emerge, but I’m taking some deep breaths to counteract the upset.)
Hello, this is Saturn. How can we make your day today?
Yes, hi. I need help. This light has popped up on my dashboard and I don’t know if I should drive or not. It is yellow and it…

Breaking Crayons and a Teacher's Grace

Dear Mrs. Stewart,
You came to me after school today to talk to me about Wes. You said you walked over to him and asked him some questions about the book he had just read. His response was upset and he began to break his crayon, seeming frustrated.
You did not yell at him.
You did not get angry with him.
You did not sit him in time-out in a corner of the room.
Instead, you talked with him. You asked him why he was feeling frustrated. He responded with various comments.
You responded with, “Do you feel like you have too much on you right now? Maybe you are feeling a little overwhelmed?” He replied, “Yes, just a lot of things.”
Then you stopped. You stopped what you were doing, stopped to listen to a six-year-old’s frustration. You considered his upset worthy of your attention.
By doing this, you gave him tangible empathy. You gave my child your compassion. The rest of the class was working and being a teacher, I know you had other things to do, as teachers pretty much multi-task all…

My kid got called names today at school.

I teach at the school my son attends, and this year, I teach first grade, which he is also in, so I see him quite a bit at lunch and at recess and sometimes in the hallway. Today, while on break, I saw Wes walking down the hallway. He didn’t seem himself, so I asked him if he was okay. His response was to simply bury his head in my chest. I asked his teacher if I could have him for 5 minutes, she agreed. (Let me insert here how much I LOVE his teacher.) I took him to the teacher’s lounge where we continued to have a conversation.
Me: What is bothering you? Wes: A couple kids called me 'slow' during tag today at recess and one called me a 'loser'.
Mama bear isn’t quite the picture you should envision. It’s more like, the 5 foot tall girl who suddenly feels 8 feet tall, weighing in at 270, with a blood pressure of 190/150. Like, I know I have on these expensive 3 inch heels, and I’m in a lovely, tailored pencil skirt, with my fake Kendra Scott earrings on, but I can &#…

Read with caution.

There are some things that aren’t proper to write about and some you should certainly never post. This is one of those posts, so if you think you should stop reading here, please do so. It will not be deemed appropriate by most.
If you’ve ever had a son, I’m pretty sure you’ll “get me” on this one.
On Wednesdays, at my Christian school, the faculty meets early for devotional time. They provide childcare for our children, so my son always goes to the library to play with his friends for 15-20 minutes while I am in devotional time with my staff. Hallelujah!
This specific Wednesday, after the ending prayer, I headed to the library to pick Wes up. As I walk in to the library, the lady taking care of the children gives me, uh huh, THE EYE. You know the one. The eye where she non-verbally lets you know she needs to talk to you. (I know this particular non-verbal communication well.) The range of feelings that come after “the look” vary, but most involve sheer terror of …“Oh great. What …

Kids Don’t Believe in Coincidences

Kids don’t believe in coincidences and I have to admit, I love that about them. The Bible talks about having a “child-like” faith. I am in a room with sixteen 6 year-olds for 8 hours every day and I can tell you right now that I understand why God said that. They don’t believe in coincidences. Coincidences don’t exist when it comes to children and their God. They wholeheartedly believe in their prayers and in God’s ability to answer those prayers.
Today was the first field trip of the year. Woohoo! Field trips are when some of the best memories are made in school! Bus rides, sweaty, red-faced children, picnics and parents. It is always a fun day! We were signed up to go to Mainstay Farms in Cleburne, TX, about an hour away. As teachers, we were keeping a watch on the weather. The forecast kept calling for scattered rain/mist on our field trip today, so yesterday at school, we prayed out loud as a class and asked God to keep the rain away until after our field trip. This morning on m…

A ring update!

Quick disclaimer: Names have been changed in this piece to protect the innocent. 😉

So my ring!!!!!

I’ve been wearing my ring to school, to run errands, to church, anywhere I go, I’ve worn that lovely ring loudly and proudly, including all day today.
There is quite an interesting update to this story though… Just one week after receiving my precious jewel, Wesley again entered my classroom with his face a bit blushed. He came trotting over to my desk with a new ring in his hand. It was light pink this time, heart shaped with the same beautiful silver lining. Once more, this was purchased with his own money that he earned in his classroom. As he placed it down on my desk, I put my arms around him and he whispered in my ear, “Hey mom. This is for Jen.” 
EEEERRRRRRRTTTTT. What?!?!?!?

Oh yes. This was for a sweet, little-miss in my classroom! Let me say that again...He purchased that pink, heart-shaped ring for a young lady in my class! I wasn’t sure what to do, so I simply walked him o…