Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coming up on 16 years and here's another piece to The Love Story. You could say that if it wasn't for Killer UNO! I wouldn't have married Kenneth.  I always loved to play games, but after the preteen years I just didn't play games very often.  I had gone out with Kenneth a couple times 'just because' and one lazy Sunday afternoon while a friend and I were visiting Kenneth called and invited us over for Game Night, which was a weekly Sunday occasion at the Hardy house.  "No way," I protested to my friend... "He is such a NERD!"  But my friend thought it would be fun to see Kenneth's brother Greg, and it wasn't like we had much else to do.... And that's the beginning of my metamorphose into a Board Game Geek.

After 16 years we have decided these are the most balanced rules...

UNO! Awsumb-Hardy House Rules

1. Dealing- Begin with 2 UNO decks. Dealer chooses how many cards are dealt. (1-?) (Wendy is known for dealing only one card, leaving all players scrambling to quickly turn over their cards and scream UNO! Often a game will end there, other times a one card deal leads to a very long game- it just depends on the cards in the deck!)

2. Play- Play starts with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise until reversed. Play begins the second the dealer flips the first card. (You may flip the top card before all players are ready, or make sure your own cards are in order first! This can be used as strategy because matches may be played immediately after the play begins.  Kenneth is known for not sorting his cards as strategy to mix up the person who may receive them later in the game.)

3. Draw 'til you play. If a player has no legal card to play, the play must continue to draw from the pile until a playable card is drawn. Shuffle as needed. If you draw Wild cards, you don't have to play them but you must play the first matching color card you draw.

4. Matching- Any player can play out of turn if you can make an exact match to the current card. Play then continues from that person on, skipping the players in between the last played card and the match. If you have two identical cards in your hand then you can play both at the same time. This is particularly good when it is 2 (identical) draw-cards, or 2 (identical) reverse cards, etc. (2 Reverse= no change. 2 Skip = skip 2 players)

5. Match and play- A variation of the matching rule is to allow the person who matched to match and then play a legal card from their hand, giving them an extra turn. (This rule is controversial, so it is optional.)

6. Draw Stacks- Any Draw card starts a draw stack. Instead of drawing the appropriate cards, a player may “fight” with another draw card, ADDING to the draw effects and sending it on to the next player. You can “fight” a draw with any Draw Two, Reverse, Skip or a Wild Draw Four. Normal color rules apply. The number cards and the standard Wild card cannot be played in the draw stack. (Skip cards may also be stacked, sending the skip around the table)

7. Wild Cards- In normal play, you can play a Wild Draw Four, even if you have any of the appropriate color available. When playing any Wild card, in normal play or in the stack, you must still declare the new color and cannot use the same color.

8. Sixes & Nines- Sixes and nines may be played interchangeably. Beware, if you are caught you must draw six or nine!

9. Pass on Zero- When any one of the "0" cards are played everyone must pass their hand to the adjacent person in the direction of play. Only after a swap or draw stack has completed is a final winner determined… and it may NOT be the person who originally “played their last card.”

10. Switch on Zero- A variation for the “0” card is to allow the player who plays the “0” the option of switching hands with another player.

11. Going Out- Be cautious of playing a draw card or a “0” as your final card, it will trigger additional action! The hand does not end until play is resolved and, if you end up drawing cards, play will continue.

12. Scoring- The winner is the one who gets rid of all their cards first, and then everyone "counts" their remaining cards (as in the usual game- remaining numbers are added together, Draw Two, Reverse, Skip or Wild - 20 points; Wild Draw Four- 50 points). The game stops when the first player gets to 500, and the one with the lowest score wins!

13. Pirates- In honor of Little Awsumb (Optional) Players must cheat – Suggested methods include, but are not limited to…

looking at other players' hands, playing two or more cards at once to get rid of them faster,

hiding cards anywhere you can (up sleeves, under the table or back on the deck),

playing the wrong card when no one is looking (if caught player draw that # of cards),

passing and not playing cards you may want to keep for a future draw stack…

Players must use pirate voices and say "arggh" a lot (adds to the atmosphere)

Killer UNO servers as a really good 'gateway game' to introduce new friends to our board game nights and our ever growing collection of good quality strategy board games.

What are your House Rule variations?

Washing Stuffies

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Official instructions will tell you to spot clean a stuffed animal.  But when you live with OCD and severe allergies this just isn't going to cut it!  I have successfully been regularly washing my child's favorite furry companions over the past 10 years.

When the preschool class Teddy Bear came for a visit at our house, Teddy had to go through a full decontamination process. Whoever came up with that idea, to pass Teddy around... oh, how did I want to wring their neck!  To think of all the homes it had been to simple gave me a panic attack. And to top it off, he came with a full suitcase of blankets, clothes and things the kids had donated to the furry bundle of cooties... I mean, come on, that's what it was. Included with the bear was a journal of all the homes he had been to and places he had been, the movie theater, camping, etc. Yuck, yuck, yuck!  I totally washed that thing to death - along with all it's belongings gambling that it wouldn't fall apart!

Before washing always check the seams and make any repairs needed.

Wash in zippered pillow case.  This will contain the stuffing in case it falls apart.  If you use a thick flannel, it can also keep things like the eyes from getting scratched. I learned that lesson the hard way after I washed The Grinch.  Just a few scratches of his eyes and he looked like a green devil.  Thus, he was no longer fun to hold  and sadly, he was eventually used as some sort of joke gift!

Use fabric softener or dryer sheets and they might even come out softer than before!

The high heat of a drying cycle can also kill dust mites and other cooties.

Other alternatives include:  Spot cleaning, which was the best I could do with the beloved Bob the Builder because he contained a sound box... Eventually we just had to put him to rest.

Sprinkle baking soda in a large paper sack, enclose stuffy inside and shake to freshen bad odors.

Freeze stuffies for a day or two.  But this one breaks my rules about contamination.

And finally, regularly vacuuming stuffed animals and other things that can't be washed is always a good thing.

I was just thinking that keeping them each enclosed in individual Ziplock bags would be a great idea... But as any literate Kmart shopper knows:

Warning: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens. The plastic bag could block nose and mouth and prevent breathing. This bag is not a toy.

My final tip about stuffed animals is where to keep them. I purchased coordinating laundry basket to act as a sort of "dog bed" for Awsumb's stuffed animals.  And finally - don't be afraid to throw them out!  No matter how much they are loved, if it became too contaminated I would toss one in a heartbeat!  Seeing kids drag around filthy blankets and stuffed animals is just beyond gross to me.  Because I know this can be hard on a little one I do my best to help my son keep his most favorites safe. 

How you do keep your kids stuffed animals clean and contained?

Meet Rusty

Monday, March 28, 2011

As I rescued Rusty, yet again from another fate worse than death, I realized I needed to photograph this little guy.  Awsumb has many stuffies and loves them all equally. There is probably a top 10, but he rotates through them all pretty regularly. Wherever you find Awsumb you will also usually find 2 or 3 of these furry creatures around, just to keep him company while he reads or plays with toys.  But none of them compare to his beloved Rusty, with his oversized head, pouty little face, floppy ears and rust colored fur.

When Awsumb was just a baby and could finally sit in the front of the shopping cart we took a trip to Fred Meyer and found this classic stuffed puppy with babysoft fur.  Although Awsumb was too little to understand I handed him this tiny stuffy and said, "If you can hold onto him until the checkout stand, you can keep him." He squeezed him tight all the way through the store and just as we were getting in line he dropped him on the floor.  Nonetheless... Rusty came home to live with us that day.

Since that time Rusty has been a faithful companion to Awsumb. He often went unnoticed because he was small.  But as the years went by it became apparent that he was special.  Awsumb reserved him for times he needed the most personal comfort.  Awsumb carries him around and holds him by his neck, in which after all these year the stuffing has completely broken down.  Rusty is so tiny that he can be jammed into a pocket or at the bottom of a bag.

Unbenounced to me he went to many firsts with Awsumb, including the first week of 1st Grade. Although, Awsumb had been in preschool for 3 years he just had to have his most treasured companion with him when he went to the big new school.  At the end of the week when I discovered he had been hiding him in his backpack everyday I questioned Awsumb. Because of my contamination issues I was pretty upset that he had taken him out of the house without asking permission.  His reponse was, "I kept him in my backpack so I would know he was there, just in case I needed him."

Because he is just a little guy I don't think I have ever caught him in a photo with Awsumb. And because Awsumb treasures him so, he is usually tucked away safely in his room.  Rusty has survived many trips through the washing machine and is softer than the day we brougtht him home.  I hope Awsumb has him to love forever!

My little brother had a stuffed dog name Woofy.  My Auntie had a favorite doll Tookie.  I named all my baby dolls Mary because she was the mother of Jesus.  What do you remember about your favorite stuffy?

Update: It's all worth it when you find a little note on your bed.  We took Awsumb to the batting cages today And all I'll say about it is that it was epic and I still feel contaminated!

"Thanks for the fun things today. Thank you for cleaning Rusty, I was very worried. You two can share him for the night, you earned it.  :)  Love, Awsumb"

Oh, and he gave me two Zingers snack cakes. (Which have recently become a hot commodity around our house.)

The Story of the World

Friday, March 25, 2011

Awsumb as Indiana Jones - March 2011
In his quest to become an archaeologist I suggested Awsumb read all he can about history.  When his Hardy Grandparents sent money for Christmas I was excited to finally purchase a series of books I found out about through home school moms.  The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer is a great series for young elementary age kids.  You can purchase workbooks to go along with them, but I just wanted them to be fun reading. I figured we could read a chapter together each day, but Awsumb was so excited about them that he has gone ahead without me and just finished Volume 1.  Each chapter he has been so excited to share what he is learning as he connects things from his life in modern times, current events and religion.  I am so excited about HIS excitement.

When Awsumb read the chapter on the young King Tut he said, "Mom, King Tut died at age 18. The book didn't say how... I just have to know how, he was so young!  Was it disease?  What?" The next day checked out and read three children's books about King Tut from the school library.

I am so thrilled for his hunger for knowledge and glad he has a love of reading.  These would be great books to read together as a family with young children to inspire them to learn more about history.
I recently read  A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It's a quick read or a fun listen as an audio book.  Check out the children's book he wrote, A Really Short History of Nearly Everything.  It begins with the Big Bang to What Now?  Awsumb also received this at Christmas and loves leisurely looking through the bright illustrations.

Thank you Grandpa and Grandma Hardy!

Potty Time

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The diaper years were a nightmare for me.  And I will admit to calling Kenneth home from the office a time or two.  It was just more than I could take... not to mention having to change anyone else's kid (more about that later!)  I was very specific about diapering rituals.  One of the added benefits of breastfeeding is that breastfed babies diapers are sooo much easier to deal with!  Thank goodness!  At one point I was asked to be part of a study for a diaper company.  Once the lady started going through the specifics with me I knew there was no way I could handle such a thing.  "But you'll get paid," they lady kept saying as I told her this was just wasn't going to work!

I couldn't wait to potty train and luckily my child expressed interest quickly.  So first off was to find a children's book on the subject. So many books on this subject are so gross and even inappropriate for kids.  I didn't want some book with pictures of a kid bending over say, "I have a hole right here."  (seriously found one that included and illustration... And then there was the humorous ones... I simply don't tolerate potty humor.  I was so happy when I found THE POTTY BOOK by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

The Potty Book comes in a pink and blue version, one for girls and one for boys.  The star of the book is Henry, who is growing up and "can do lots of things each day..."  One day Mommy brings him home a box, "My very own potty, to use when I am ready."  Henry practices sitting on the potty and even has an accident.  Then one morning he wakes up and says, "I'm off to the potty, I think this time I'm ready!"  His parents celebrate and Henry gets to pick out new underwear.  Henry's a big boy now and "can run and jump and play without a wet diaper getting in his way."  My little boy just loved this book and quickly had it memorized and felt the need to repeat it loudly in public restrooms!

Much like weaning from the breast children first need to be ready. Expose them to potty time. From most of what I have read it helps if they have seen other people go potty (I know, this is more than you want to know!)  But if they know this is what big kids and adults do they aren't as worried about it.

Next - for me was to skip the potty chair. I went out to find the perfect little easy to clean chair.  The first time some other kid came over and used it that was it for me! It was contaminated and I wanted nothing more to do with it. Instead pick out a nice stool and seat that clips on the big potty.

No Pullups!  Get some nice thick cotton training pants. Dress your kids in sweats with elastic around the ankles and stay home for a few days.  Everyone I know that used Pullups during the day took longer training their child. Even at night I would try to avoid them.  Often, especially boys can have issues at night later one, even years after potty training.  At that point they can be useful if you are sick of changing sheets in the middle of the night.

It's all or nothing.  In my opinion if your kid isn't trained to go #2, they aren't trained.  I can't even tell you the nightmares I have had with other people's kids when it comes to #2.  Don't go around bragging that they are trained, then dropping them off to be babysat for the day.  Oh and if they haven't gone #2 for a couple days that would be good info to share as well!  Enough said!  LOL!  And please offer to help clean up the mess or at least your own child instead of standing them laughing at the person having a panic attack!  I seriously needed some serious meds after that episode!

Rewards - M&M's must be in the invisible parenting book.  That's because they work!  At the time I potty trained my little boy MINI M&M's were all the rage and even in mini form 2-3 worked like a charm!

What are your best potty training tips?

Softly Scented, Mildly Abrasive

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kenneth came up with this and well, it's a pretty great description of me.  He knows me all too well. I'd rather be naked than be without lipstick and purfume.  But sometimes I can be a little abrasive... As in my thoughts regarding these parents:

Read my response Rahna Reiko Rizzuto's decision to
Leave Her Children Behind

and to Amy Chua's article
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

So what's my favorite lipstick anyway?  Well, since I began wearing Bare Minerals Buxom and Natural Lip Gloss (which my Auntie introduced me too.) I rarely carry a true lipstick anymore and recently realized I only have two tubes of actual lipstick and they are just about gone!  My two favorite shades are Heartcake and Sugared Strawberry!  Thanks Auntie for feeding my lipgloss addiction!  Oh and even better- the smell like cake or sugar cookies!

What's your favorite lipstick?

What's wrong with teaching dance to 6 year olds!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Recently we saw the movie Adjustment Bureau, which all about destiny.  The main character is faced with the choice to let the love of his life lead her life without him as she goes on to be a great dancer and choreographer or spend their life together AND.... wait for it... teach dance to six year olds!

What's so wrong with teaching dance to 6 year olds anyway?  Happily Ever After with the love of your life, a family and inspiring six year olds, giving them a love and appreciation for music and movement sounds like a happy ending if I ever heard one!  After being released from serving for years in the Children's Primary Presidency at church I was presented with a beautiful framed saying:

One Hundred Years from now

It will not matter
what kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
how much money was in my bank account
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.
Sometimes I think people mix up priorities...  Besides the fact that this movie was advertised to look like adventure, it was simple a love story and because I don't usually like romance stuff... I didn't think think it was very good.... This movie was so predictable, I actually spent time checking out the decor and lighting in the theater!  BLACK SWAN on the other hand - LOVED IT!

What's your version of Happily Ever After?

I am coming up on 16 years of marriage. Click to read about my Love Story

And don't forget this artists version of these Fallen Princesses

To read more about this subject and the Divine Role of Women see my previous blog: Making the Home a Sacred Place


Last week a good friend and I finally met up to celebrate our birthdays.  My friend suggest Olive Garden for lunch.  We decide to get the salad and soup lunch. I had not been to Olive Garden in some time and had no idea they even had other soups to choose from besides minestrone!  After eating multiple bowls of Zuppa Toscana I decided I would have to make this at home... success!  Definately needs LOTS of Red Pepper Flakes and the Kosher Salt and some pepper made a big difference.

Years ago we took a friend out to our favorite local Italian place and he was dissapointed they didn't have Toasted Ravioli. I admit those little fried raviolis from the Olive Garden are yummy, but hello, there is so much better Italian food out there!  Anyway, because we love him anyway, I found a copycat recipe and made these for him as a suprise and he loved them.  This would make a fun addition on soup night! 

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian Sausage
2 large Russet Baking Potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
1 large Onion, chopped
6 Slices of bacon or 6 tsp. Real Bacon Bits
2 cloves garlic minced
2 C. Kale or Swiss chard or Escarole - chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Chicken Broth
1 qt. Water
1 C. Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half

Brown sausage, drain on paper towels and set aside.

Sauté onion until soft. Add potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot, and cook on medium heat until potatoes are done (about 30 minutes). Add sausage, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat, add kale and cream and heat through. Season with Red Pepper Flakes, Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

A lower carb suggestion I found says to use cauliflower instead of potatoes. Because I love cauliflower I am going to try that next time.

Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli

16 oz Package of Meat Filled Ravioli (thawed)
2 Eggs Beaten
1/4 C Water
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
1 C. Flour
1 C. Bread Crumbs Plain
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Mix water with eggs and beat well, set aside. Mix Italian seasonings and garlic salt with the bread crumbs and set this aside. Measure flour in bowl and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer or skillet to 350 degrees for deep frying.

Dip ravioli in flour then in the egg wash then in bread crumbs and carefully place in hot oil. Fry until golden, remove from oil and drain. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

What's your favorite Copy Cat Recipe?

The Boy On Fairfield Street

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who was this boy that grew up on Fairfield street?  None other than the same man that taught children to try new things, celebrate individuality and all about fairness in a funny interesting way.  Ted Geisel was born March 2, 1904.  His mother's wish was that he would grow up to be a doctor.
If she would have only known that today no children's library would be complete without Ted's books.  The Boy on Fairfield Street is not only a book for children, but adults as well.  Check it out!

Children all over are celebrating the works of Dr. Seuss this week. I think it only fitting that he be recognized on this day of Awesomeness! LOL!  My son's homework this weekend is to create a character inspired by Dr. Seuss and write a story, poem or comic about the character.

(check back for picture)

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book or character?


Ever wondered what it is like to be Awesome?
Well, it's your day, because today is...

Click here to see what IDOA is all about.

For one day only

Please note:
 to be truly Awesome
you must perform

Check out this book for ideas: 

What feats of skill
will you perform today
to prove your Awesomeness?

It appears mother nature wins this round of Awesome!
WOW, the earthquake and folllowing tsunami in Japan is just devastating! 
Times like this make us realize how small we really are compared to the earth's natural forces.

And to all my friends that send comments and emails...
you ARE Awesome friends, mothers, daughters, wives and sisters everyday!

Too Much Tough Love, Not Enough LOVE!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"I'm smart; you're dumb;
I'm big, you're little;
I'm right, you're wrong,
and there's nothing you can do about it."
-Roald  Dahl
Let's talk... Read this article from the Wall Street Journal by Amy Chua, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

I have lived in the fake family before. I lived with the controlling mother who expected perfection. A- was nothing to get excited about ... it was a MINUS and might as well have been and F.  And with a parent like that sooner or later you realize nothing will be good enough and you stop caring.  There is a difference between being a strict parenting and simply breaking your child's spirit!

While I believe in having high expectations, discipline, and routine I also believe in love and nurturing.  Making the home a safe place is part of Making The Home A Sacred Place.  By a safe home I mean a home in which children are allowed to fail or having short comings.  A loving parent will help a child overcome and work with these shortcomings, not hold it over their heads.  Or worse, using their vulnerabilities to manipulate and control them.

When we provide a safe place for children to fall they learn from those stumbles and avoid bigger falls later in life. My father told me about a family he observed.  He noticed that the parents sometimes let the teens make choices that he wasn't sure he would want his kids to make.  But as he continued to observe them and watch them grow up to become productive members of society he realized that the parents were closely watching their kids and allowing them the room to learn and grow from these small failures.

Don't get me wrong, I believe as a whole, western society does not have high enough expectations regarding behavior, work effort, school work, etc.  Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap talks a little about this in his lectures regarding education.  He noticed that as an educator the western parents came to him at conferences saying, "Why are you giving my kids so much work." While eastern parents wanted to know why the kids were not going more math and science. 

I think this is because many eastern families have come to America more recently. They know what they are striving for - education, which will give them security and freedom.  While many Americans have begun taking these things for granted.  I believe when you expect more out of kids they give you more and if we all should have high expectations regarding behavior and education they would do better. This is evident whenever I work with kids, whether it be at school, church or in my own home, kids quickly learn how I expect them to behave and they quickly live up to it.

During the coverage of the current crises in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami many times has it been mentioned that there is no looting. This is part of the culture of respect, but also about expectations.

All that said, I think Tiger Mom is a joke.  She revels in tearing down her children, and laughs if off. I simply have no more to say about her.  Recently I found this, "It is easier to build up a child than to repair an adult. Your words and actions have amazing power in your child's life, use them wisely!"

Click to read more about my thoughts regarding High Expectations and Celebrating Your Child.

Leaving Your Children Behind?

Let's talk...Read this article on SALON.COM about Rahna Reiko Rizzuto's decision to leave her children behind.

For 16 years all I have wanted is to have babies and be a mother. During this time I have gone through all the typical phases of feelings including being upset when friends or family have baby after baby... Although those years were short and it was later much easier to be happy for friends and family who were expecting it was still annoying to hear them complain about being pregnant and having children. And of course we were eventually blessed with our own little miracle...

But before that a friend who had previously commiserated with me during her own fertility struggle, got pregnant and had a baby. So, when she told me that she signed up for the "This Is Not What I Expected Class" at the hospital it was all I could do to not roll my eyes. I think she struggled with PPD and some other issues. But still, just the title of that class still really annoys me at times. I imagine what type of women would sign up for this sort of class. I am sure it included career woman who weren't sure if they ever wanted to have a baby, but might have felt like it was just the next thing to do or just happened to get pregnant.

After all, what DID you expect?  The role of being a parent and especially a mother is not easy, the only instruction books are mostly written by male doctors who may not even know what they are talking about (Ezzo).  But however it is that one comes about to be a mother - that's it, you a mother! So as you can imagine reading about Rahna Reiko Rizzuto and her decision to leave her children behind as she researches and writes a book about the survivors of Hiroshima just infuriates me.  You don't just get to pick and choose when you want to actually live that role.  It's day in and day out, the rewards of which may never even be seen in your lifetime!

This is simple abandonment and detachment and makes me sick.  Mothers who do this had no business being mother in the first place!  My view may seem harsh, but another abandoned child knows exactly how I feel.
While the family I grew up in wasn't Hiroshima it was definitely WW3 behind the scenes.  From the time were young my siblings and I talked about our parents divorcing and we even decided who would go with who. 

Eventually the day came when my mother had an affair and decided to leave us behind.  She told my husband that she knew exactly what she was doing, that we didn't need her anymore (my baby sister was only twelve!)  And eventually after an argument in which she tried to tell us why she did nothing wrong (and all the reasons why my own Father didn't love me...) I had it and decided this was the perfect time to let this toxic person go from my life.  She then told my husband that she knew that would happen and she was fine with that. What kind of mother tells this to their child?   And later went on to tell us how she was now happy and moved on and if WE had a problem with it, maybe WE should seek counseling? 
This is so typical of divorced parents.  "I'm fine, I'm better off now... if you are still sad or upset or don't understand that's YOUR problem."  You can read more about this is in Barbara Defoe Whitehead's The Divorce Culture.

Even in cases of divorce after abuse or other issues where a parent may be better off it is never appropriate to say this to a child.  Children know what really happened, they may know about the abuse or affair, but that is still their mother and father and in a perfect world they wish they could be together.  So when a parent moves on, leaving the children behind they really twist that knife in just a little deeper.

After years of observing divorced parents I am quick to notice the signs of a parent doing this very thing. Sometimes they may not even actually say something to the child, but actions speak louder than words. I have seen mothers go from really be there for their kids day in and day out to picking and choosing when THEY want to be mom. They leave their kids too fend for themselves. They leave their kids with sitters, the other spouse or let them spend days at a time with other families as they pursue new relationships and a new life.  To make it even worse I have seen them begin new families and basically discard their previous kids and families as they dote on the new children.

I realize some of this may be the parents way to deal with the divorce. And I am sure the children remind them of the x-spouse at times and leaving them behind or at least putting distance between them as they pursue new interests, new relationships, new families and personal interests is just their way of coping.  But what about the kids?  Who will be there to help them cope? 

Parents like this will find years later that they really do not have the relationship they thought they had with their kids.  Statistics show that young adults these days have decided they don't want to be married and have families because of the bad example of their parents.  Thus will come a whole generation of kids from parents who were never really married or committed as they spend their life pursing the above mentioned relationships, career dreams and personal interests.

When I look around the world and see all the problems various people are trying to solve including disease, violence and war, I know that all of these could be solved by placing a higher value on Family, which I believe to be a sacred unit that can save the world, one child at a time!  When we place more focus on our own interests we leave our family behind.

When I was a child I loved the story My Turn On Earth by Carol Lynn Pearson and especially the song, It Isn't Good To Be Alone.  I believe God didn't mean for us to work our way through this often dreary world alone. He meant for us to have a family.

To read more about this subject and the Divine Role of Women see my previous blog: Making the Home a Sacred Place