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Monday, June 18, 2012

June is National Candy Month, WHAT????

So, I was just surfing Facebook (I know you are shocked... Facebook and not Pinterest? WHAT??? LOL) and I saw my friend Kai posted abou the month of June. Did you know that June is National Candy Month? It sure is.

How to celebrate? Well first, my kids, nephews and I made a candy card for Phillip for Father's day. We did this without even knowing it is National Candy Month. I must be pyschic (or an addict to Pinterest, you decide...hahaha).

Since there are only 12 days left in the month... here is how I plan to celebrate National Candy Month...

Day 1: take a box of candy to my next door neighbor with meaning... so, I think I am going to take her a king sized snickers. And when I send it to her, I will say... "I dare you to eat this in 10 minutes, but I won't SNICKER!" How cheesy but fun? (this is the neighbor whose husband is a total douche. He is just mean, so to do something silly like this with his wife would be a bonus, because she is amazing and silly)

Day 2:  make chocolate covered bacon.  I love bacon. I love chocolate. They sell chocolate covered bacon on a stick at the Iowa State Fair... why can't I make it...


Day 3: make jelly bean pancakes for breakfast. I am going to add the jelly beans to pancake mix and serve them to my kiddos! I will have to tell you how they turn out. :)

Day 4: send lollypops with my son to the last day of cubscout camp to share with his pack (but the carmel apple ones.. haha)

Day 5: blog about the TWINBING... (your curiousity is peaked... I know it is... it is a delicious little candy made in my hometown) 

Day 6: go to an international grocery store and pick two candies to try with the kids. (like the mango candies I had when I was a kid...num num)

Day 7: make some white chocolate covered strawberries for the young lady in this house who only likes white chocolate!

Day 8: go to Orange Leaf (our local FroYo place) and get more candy on top than yogurt on bottom!!

Day 9: Celebrate Haloween in June. HAHA, dress up, and hand out candy!

Day 10: make a pinata with the kids to fill later...

Day 11: Write my facebook status using different candies (like, Hi there! Did you know this is the end of national candy month? I know you "SNICKERS" as I write this or your "BUTTERFINGERS" can't write this down fast enough. But NOW OR LATER you have your PAYDAY or you will win 100GRAND, but get your SKITTLES now.... HAHA, something like that!


Day 12: Stuff the pinata and BREAK IT!  Celebrate candy month in style by having a BBQ candy bash!!!

Happy National Candy Month!!!! OK.  This idea is so crazy. Who is up for the challenge? :)






Understanding

I guess I am a person who always tries to understand, who treats others with respect, even if I have issue with them.  I am finding out how difficult it is to raise someone who has been taught differently.  My stepdaughter's mother is someone who just doesn't use kindness upon anyone unless she needs something.  When she speaks to people on the phone or in person she uses the F bomb like its the word "the".  She treats others without any form of respect, yet she demands it. She is rude, vengful, irresponsible, and she really only cares about NUMBER ONE--- herself. She is a selfish woman.

She is a grown up, her mama didn't do a good job raising her, and I can't fix it.  I can though show her how adults are supposed to act. I can show her through my actions and my words, and it will not affect her. But I at least hope her daughers (my stepdaughters) would see through my actions what adults are supposed to be like. How adults are supposed treat others and their children. But this has not been the case.

I sit here with a completely broken heart. I know kids can say things out of hurt when they are sad, I get it. But last night it was the straw that broke THIS camel's back.
When I married my husband, I gained teenage girls. I have NEVER been a mom to a teenage girl, mind you have I have BEEN a teenage girl myself. LOL But, also coming into this marriage with baggage from my own stepmother (don't even get me started), I wanted to show them all the time that I love them. I still want to uncoditionally show them daily.  But what do you do when you hear your 15 year old step-daughter talking with her mother while packing a bag about how much she has hated living here for a long time. About how she doesn't like me. About how mean I am to her, when all I have done is provide for her, love her (showing her and telling her), do special things with her... and her mother? She does NOTHING. Her biological mother lives with her parents, she had a baby last November after trying to "trap a man" (AGAIN this would be the 4th time) with a baby. She has a job NOW, but didn't have one for a long time. She would say the "state paid" her to have the baby. WHO DOES THAT? She even sat in my kitchen last week and begged, cried and lied to me to get money. How much you ask? $300 to $800. 

So after hearing my step daughter talk with so much venom about me, and I have done nothing but show her love...My heart didn't just break... It cracked wide open. I had an anxiety attack.

I know she is lashing out because she didn't want to go to the doctor today, but last night's anger attack went a little too far.  When do you approach a child and let them know their bully behavior is abusive? When she doesn't get what she wants, she attacks and attacks hard. She knows her words hurt, and yet she still chooses to use them.  She verbally attacked me last night just to hurt me.  She hurt me so bad, I couldn't breath.

When is it enough? When do you keep fighting to have a relationship? When do you just give up? I am really looking for some help here because I am ready to give up? Her mother and I are like night and day... oil and vinegar when it comes to raising kids and when it comes to being a member of society.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

365 x 6

So, again it has been forever since I have blogged. Summer vacation has started so the kids are home, and it has been crazy. We went to see my mama over the weekend and my sister and nephews have been visiting. So, it has been an excellent adventure for summer 2012.
 
I feel like I am pulled to write about abuse.  For those of you who have been following my blog, you know I am a victim of abuse, and as a survivor of this vicious cycle, I want to write about what I know.

There several types of abuse: physical, neglect, emotional, verbal, sexual, physical neglect, exploitation, and medical neglect. Physical, emotional, and verbal abuse are the most predominant. 

I personally am a victim of all three of the most common; I feel the abuse was used by him as a way to control me. Physical abuse is visual… a smack, pinch, shove and one of the worst--- pulling hair.  I cannot tell you how many walls I was thrown into, or how hard a wood floor feels as your head is being pounded into it… but losing my hair from abuse was the worst.  (oh and he said it wasn’t abuse because he didn’t “HIT ME”) Anyway, I had to cut my hair and I lost part of who I was at that time.

I think emotional and verbal abuse is worse.  I can grow my hair back… but I cannot take away the words someone said to me or the way he manipulated me to comply with his request. When I would get upset with my ex-husband (my abuser), he would threaten me. He would accuse me of cheating, he would threaten to take my son from me, twist my words, rage at me and call me some of the most horrible names.  He would do this to get me to respond. If I didn’t--- he would just keep going.  Pretty soon, I never caved. That pissed him off even worse. Then I left.  I told him I wasn’t coming back and when he realized I wasn’t coming back… he told me he would change, he begged… then when I wouldn’t agree, the anger demon would rear its head and he would start raging again. Then he would calm down and try to rationalize his behavior (as if banging someone’s head or hitting them with a shoe can be justified by any words).  He kept me from my family and friends, which was harder than anything… I had NO ONE to run to.

When I finally realized what he was doing was wrong, I was ready to get out and get out fast. I had the economic means (I secretly saved money) and a job and a car. I could do it. I had to be stronger than the threats.  And I got out and stayed out.  When I went to the abused women’s center, I was in a group counseling session and I looked around… most women were not as fortunate as me. Matter of fact, most women went back to their abusers because they had no other means to get out. Nowhere to go but back to the abuse.
 
That is the hardest thing for me to comprehend.  Abusers don’t change. They get better at the game. So, don’t fall for their lies.  That is how I feel. I fell for the lies for four years before I realized he would never change.
 
If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, reach out to them have them reach out to and advocacy agency in your area to get the support they need.  Help them turn their life from being one of a victim to one of a survivor. Help them (or yourself) change the story.

 Adults who treat children as inferior (or take out their hatred on a child for issues the adult has for the parent of the child) is abusive. I know a grandma who is mean to her granddaughter. WHY? Because she is mad at the granddaughter’s father for what? I don’t know. But she has even gone to the extent of smacking the girl over something the girl didn’t even do YET (concerned about the teen that she is too boy crazy… but instead of talking to her about it, she smacked her and said she would disown her if she got pregnant. WHAT IS THAT?).  Then the grandma wonders why the granddaughter doesn’t want to visit.  Plain and simple: GRANDMA, YOU ARE A BULLY AND AN ABUSER.  I call them like I see them.

 I am talking about abuse, because over the past two weeks I have come to discover a child I love with every part of my being has been abused by someone he trusted and loved… someone he called dad. Someone who was supposed to protect him and love him.  This child has a false sense of love and what a dad is supposed to be. BUT with the help of God, family, friends, and a great role model in his uncle and other men in his life… he will be a great father and man.  The cycle will be broken.My heart breaks for him as he tells me what happened.  He was hit with a slipper (Err, shoe people… a slip on sneaker) and was in terror, but he was emotionally abused as well.  Left behind at home in his room for hours while the man went to do other things (the child is in grade school), always made to feel inferior to the other child in the man’s life. Never quite feeling like he would ever be loved by that man as much as the other child or mean as much.  He felt invisible.

 Children FYI do not plan on being in this world, they are a blessing and we, as adults, have the honor of raising them.  We set the bar for their lives, their successes.  So why would any adult ever tell a child or treat a child inferior to others in the same house? I just don’t understand.  I have my step daughters and I treat them as if they are my own. THEY are my blessings. They were my special gift when I married my husband and by golly I take my job as their step-mom seriously. I try to impart wisdom on them, do special things with them to let them know by my actions they are important to me and how much I love them.  NEVER would I make them feel anything less than special.

So why title this 365 x 6? Because the child I love who has recently talked about his abuse opened up to Phillip and I. While in the car with Phillip (a school teacher) a few days ago he asked, what is 365 x 6.  So Phillip went into teacher mode and diligently worked to help the child solve the problem. The answer is 2,190.  Then Phillip asked the boy why… the boy replied… that is how many days of my life my “dad” has been mean to me. As I write this I cry. That is a lot of days considering the child has only been alive for a little less than 3650 days. Most of his life he has been abused and his abuse was under the radar, because his abuser would abuse the child when his mom wasn't there.

 If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse… FIGHT BACK. Break the cycle. Change a life.

 Here is a pie chart I use to determine if abusive behavior is being used. If you or someone you love can say… that’s me… call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at: 1−800−799−SAFE(7233).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Relay for Life- Linn County

This weekend proved to be very rewarding, emotional, fun, sad, tiring, uplifting, and well... amazing.

Alex and I are on the committee for the Linn County Relay for Life --- this was our first year EVAH being on the committee. It was one of the most amazing things of my whole life.

I am honored to have met so many survivors and talk with many people about why they Relay.

Sometimes all I was able to do was to squeeze a hand or give a hug because any words I would say would not be sufficient for what the relayers are going through or what they have been through.

During the relay process I was put into contact with an amazing woman... our photographer canceled and we needed a replacement... Thanks to Jennifer I was connected with Ms T. When Ms. T showed up I had to give her a hug and thank her for volunteering her time and taking pictures of Relay. She hadn't been before but she was so enthusiastic and so warm. From the moment I met her I got this vibe of kindness. As she was taking pictures of the opening ceremony and of the survivors taking the first lap, I saw her get tears in her eyes. I went over, and gave her a hug. Relay is a time of rejoicing and a time to honor. She informed me her father in law just was diagnosed with liver cancer. (by just in the last week). I told her there was a reason for her to be here. To celebrate. Remember. Fight back. She knew she was called for a reason to be at Relay for Life, and it wasn’t just my doing. She volunteered her free time with a thankful heart.

At the end of Relay, as we watched the survivors do their final lap, she and I cried and hugged. Both being a loved one of someone who had to battle this evil disease which is genderless, ageless, race-less... And now, sadly... both who have had a loved one pass away from such an evil disease. Her father in law passed away. My heart is full of thankfulness to her and I am overwhelmed at how strong she is and what a blessing she is to me without even knowing it. I pray her family finds strength through this and I just ask each and every one of you to send your thoughts, prayers, and love her way.

I never know who I will meet at relay and how my life will forever be changed based on this one night... for one cause.

I am so thankful for my friends and family who came out to Relay... my wonderful and amazing husband, Phillip, Serina, Alex, Kennith and Maddy!!!  Char, Mark and the kids... Lu-Lu and the kids, Sarah and the boys....  Your support is amazing! thank you! Thank you to Gloria for being an amazing leader and to everyone I worked with on the comittee!!!

AND thank you to those of you who personally donated to our DahFeet team--- Alex (mad skills daughter, mad skills at raising money), Merry, Paul, Mark & Char, Sarah, Lu!!! and the list goes on!

I am so humbled and blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization (American Cancer Society) and such an amazing event!