Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day

It has been a busy and reflective week as we end the month of May and prepare for summer! My class of second graders are finishing up their end-of-the-year projects which our iLead Public Charter School calls Student Showcase projects. They have been creating projects based on their passions and interests which they will then present to their classmates and parents in another week. My family is getting together this weekend to celebrate family birthdays, as well as remember those special people who have served to protect our nation's freedom and independence. For many, this weekend is the mark of the beginning of summer; many will be traveling to vacation spots all over the nation, relaxing with family and friends. There will be celebrations galore all over the country as many others pay homage to those military heroes. With all the negativity we hear everyday in the news and online, there are still a lot of positive things and people in this country-we just have to open our eyes and look for them. America is still a great country with great people, built upon the foundation of God and built to stay strong.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tiny House Living

Watching Tiny House Living shows on HGTV has inspired me to consider using one as a writing studio. I would not want to live in one as my main house since I like a larger space so I can have family and friends over, plus I like sitting in front of the fire and playing games, reading, or watching movies. Roasting marshmallows is also a fun activity! Tiny houses are very cool, I love a lot of the designs I've been seeing and really like watching how the people build and customize their little homes. The one I'm watching tonight is a steam-punk style with a ship's steering wheel used in the front to attach to pulley systems and used to raise or lower a deck at the top of the house (at least that's what it looks like-we'll see when the show is over!:). There are some really crafty diy ideas people are using and a lot of the organizing solutions can be used to make a larger home more efficient and save space, not just in a tiny home in which you are forced to multi-task your storage areas. I can definitely see myself turning a tiny home into a writing studio, Craftsman style of course, or maybe a log cabin on a smaller scale.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Things First

As a single working mom, I can relate to the feelings of having to stretch myself in different directions to meet other's needs: the needs of my children; my family; my director; my students; my peer teachers; my publisher; the list goes on and on. The one person whom I tend to overlook is myself. Apparently I'm not the only one who does this. From what I hear, most working moms do the same thing. We're so busy taking care of everyone else that our own needs do not get met. This is not good as our health in all areas will suffer if we don't tend to our needs as well: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In the next few blog posts, I will give some tips and strategies as to how we can begin taking care of ourselves so we can better take care of those we care about!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Time Management

Time management has always been a hot topic and I know I fight with scheduling my time everyday! Being a single parent and wanting to spend time with family, kids, and taking care of just everyday stuff is busy enough, then you throw in working full-time as a teacher and that's exhausting! Now I've begun seeing the fruits of my sowing, as far as writing over the years, start blossoming and I've got to schedule time somewhere in there for marketing and platform building, as well as for the writing! Somehow it all gets shifted into the right places so that I can even enjoy some quiet time in prayer! I find what helps me the most is cutting out time wasters-things that don't benefit me or others and are not productive; making priority lists of what I need to do the following day and week; looking for ways to save time by multi-tasking; and just using my time wisely. I like to start and end my day with prayer, it's a great way to get focused and calm for the busy day ahead. I try to stick to routines during the week as far as getting ready for work. It helps me keep on track. A good stress-eliminator for busy people is making sure you set aside time for yourself to enjoy some down time doing what is relaxing for you. You need this so don't look at it as a time-waster! It will help you stay sane and healthy:)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Worldly Views

I have always enjoyed discussions with my son. He is 16 right now and it's been just him and me for about the last ten years, so we have had countless conversations about everything from nutrition to values and from our relationship with God to farming in the country! But the thing I notice and really love about our special talks is that the older he gets, the more wide-ranged our topics have become and how interesting he is to listen to! Sometimes we will talk about things for over an hour and explore different points of view about a topic, other times our discussions may last only as long as a trip to the store and involve just a quick sharing time about his or my feelings about something someone said or did. I feel very honored that my teenage son feels comfortable enough and trusting enough to share his views about the world with me, and that we respect each other's views even if we don't agree with one another. I like to think that the relationship we have will set the tone for his relationship one day with the woman he marries and the children he will be blessed to have.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Winding Down

It has been a busy few weeks! One of my books was published recently, 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You, and is available on,, and most other bookstore websites. It is also available on the Kindle. It is very exciting to finally see some of my work getting out there! It has also been a lot of work, on top of teaching full-time at a project-based school. I'm doing well to have been getting 5 hours of sleep at night! What a great experience though, I'm learning all about the publishing and marketing process. It is really cool to have people show me their copy of my book and ask for me to sign it:) I just hope that the book gets into the hands of the people who can positively impact children's lives because of the information they learned from my book. In the next few posts, I think I'll go over some of the information that I wrote and expand on it. 29 more school days and then it's off to more cities for book signings and interviews!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How To Help

I've been touching on quite a few different warning signs that a child may be in need of help, whatever that help may be. It could be that child needs more real time and communication from a parent, maybe just needing to be recognized and listened too. Then again, they may be in a situation that requires more professional attention such as from a doctor, counselor, or other authority figure that is not a family member. The following are some ways in which you can help a child that you feel may be in need of some help: *Acknowledge that you've noticed they appear to have been behaving in a different manner than they usually do. Assure them that you are there for them and are a willing listener. Ask them if there is anything they would like to talk about. Tell them there is no problem that the two of you can not solve together. *Listen to them and really try to understand their emotions and what they're NOT saying. Hear what they say without judging them. If they don't want to talk to you, ask them if there is a doctor or teacher or someone that they would be more comfortable talking to. *Make sure, as best you can, that they are living in a safe environment. Studies show that family connectedness results in a lesser chance of teens committing suicide. The more a child is around the family and not feeling isolated, the greater chance of that child being successful in life's situations.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Prevention Works

In my last post, I spoke about the rise in teen suicide and some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for. I wanted to mention a few more this week in hopes that more awareness will increase the prevention efforts and allow us to break this horrible cycle of teen self-destruction. When a teen seems to lack hope and speaks of having feelings of being overwhelmed, not being able to see a way out of situations, this is a big wwarning sign that they need help. Teens are still not always mature enough to figure things out and see that some things are not as bad as they seem. It is so important to give your children hope in life, a strong foundation that they can rely on when things get tough. Without hope, people can't function and will give up. Another thing to watch out for is teens going through life difficulties such as experiencing the loss of a loved one or the break-up of a relationship. It is a very emotional time and most people have difficulty dealing with grief, but teens especially since they don't have the tools necessary to handle rough situations. We can't prevent bad things happening, but we can empower our children with what they need in order to better handle difficult situations. We can give them hope. We can give them our time. We can give them love. 50 Things Your Kids DON'T Want To Tell You Available now at