Building Up Others

There was a day I didn’t feel much like going to church.  Scott, being heavy laden with his dissertation, was needing to work.  Madelyn was at another friend’s home after a sleepover.  I was home with three boys recovering from a hectic week.

These three boys were experiencing a morning full of bickering.

I took it upon myself to call the boys together at our kitchen table.  I gathered some supplies and put on my old homeschooling mom hat.  I wanted to speak to the boys about building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.  Whether with our words or actions, it is often easy to forget the feelings of others.

I drew from this scripture from The Message Bible and Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson ….

I was definitely focusing on the middle where my bible says, Watch the way you talk.   Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth….

I asked the boys, prompted by our devotional, about words that made them feel good.  This was their response:


I demonstrated with blocks, focusing on the building up with kind words.  Then, I pretended mean and unkind words were tearing the structure down.  Our boys, even at 6, 8 and 12, latched on to this imagery.  Their words could build up or tear down.


I asked each guy to take paper and a marker and reflect on what we talked about.  This is Kalen’s response.  It reads, “Instead of knocking kindness down, build them up forever.”




There’s nothing like a good ol’ case of Pneumonia to make life come to a screeching halt.

Let me back up, I have been working, more than ever, outside of our home.  It has been absolutely delightful.  I have been entrusted with more hours at Central Park School with the kindergarten students and teachers.  I totally feel great about being a teaching assistant right now.  I am learning so much.  With a new appreciation for working mothers, I have been juggling the many demands that come my way with a positive spirit, diligence and thankfulness.  Making this shift to be out of the home more has been a very big change for this stay-at-home mom.

Last week, after a full day with Kinders and after attending a birthday party, I started feeling badly.  The next day I couldn’t hardly lift my head.  I thought I had the flu.  Scott and I were alarmed in the afternoon by my overall pitifulness and symptoms.  He took me to the ER.  After a scary five hours consisting of blood work, an abnormal chest x-ray, and a CT scan…. I was told I had Pneumonia.

I have been resting, resting and resting some more.  I don’t feel 100% yet, but I am getting stronger everyday.

I have noticed that when I am  down with an illness and as I get better I have a renewed sense of thankfulness for when things are good.  Minus this sickness, our lives are full of good and I am reminded to be grateful and seize the day.



Homemade Valentines



Save up a few leftover toilet paper roll tubes and get crafty with your little love bugs.  Brayden and I used purple and green tempera paint to make these valentines for his classmates and teachers.  The tubes create a bit of a bubble when stamping sometimes.  This adds a cute splatter effect to the card/paper.  Beware of this when creating your valentines, you might want to wear something you don’t mind getting paint on.  Have fun!











Our third grader, Kalen, opted for a different  and more simple approach to creating his valentines.  He used white paper, colored pencils, drawings, and stickers.



The Crazy 8


Madelyn has been rocking it out with her band recently.  Annually, Central Park School for Children has a band camp that gathers 4th and 5th grade kids  and musicians together twice a week for a month to create songs and work with music.  Madelyn was fortunate to be placed in Phil Cook’s group again this year.  Madelyn’s musician sponsor is none other than the Phil Cook from Phil Cook and His Feat.  Madelyn’s band, named The Crazy 8, was able to perform their song, Turn It Up twice at MotorCo Music Hall for our Save Our Arts Benefit.  I want to share these performances on our blog, but they were way better live!  Here they are….