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Thursday, December 31

My friend Bob Pachycephalosaurus made cookies

The Joy of cooking with a five year old. This is our craft for today dino cookies. We made some on our own just plain ones. Christopher, Justin and his friends ate them went outside to jump on the trampoline when Bob went to work making cookies.  

As you can see Bob is a very talented dino. Even my hubby thought they were cool. Christopher's face was priceless when he asked if I made them. I gave Bob the credit. He says " I didn't know Bob could cook!"

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I love these mommy moments when you can surprise your children with small things like a dino making cookies. I guess it's what keeps me going. It makes me smile that I made them smile. Tonight brings an end to another wonderful year. I can only hope for another one just like it if not better. Life is all about living in the moment not the past maybe for the future. As humans we are all moving in a different light daily. Some may be the same some in a complete opposite either way the year will still end the same. Take a second look back enjoy it don't look to hard learn from mistakes and smile for 2016. 
Be safe out there and enjoy what is left of 2015 not sure if I will make it to the ball dropping. I will try just Remember Life is only what you decide to make it. Mind as well make it nice and something to be proud of. 


Tuesday, December 22

If you want it you have to put the work in.

Working out is a workout in it's self when you have a family.

Yesterday trying to fit in a workout after we ran a mile in fourteen minutes with a five year old. Is by far not just fun but exhausting. I'm very proud of my boys Justin didn't have a problem with running. Christopher is better now than when we started in November. Teaching him how important it is to breathe always makes me laugh. Christopher thanks God today that he could breath without getting sick. He doesn't run crazy unless he is trying to beat his brother.

I read a lot of articles about how women don't have time to workout having a family and being a wife with a real job. If you didn't already know many of those women even ones I know tell me a stay at home mom is having a cake job aka no job at all. I would say yes to that because I enjoy it. I have fun teaching my children about life and the love of life.

Here it is:

We come home from our run boys take a shower.

I start to cook dinner we are at 5:00pm

I put the water on for the rice to boil.

Ten push ups in the bedroom check on Christopher who is making a swimming pool in the bathroom.

Cut chicken put in pan.

wipe up floor

Check on Christopher wash him up.

Back to the chicken add some spices and olive oil.

Back to Christopher get him out. He drys off.

Check on chicken stir it

Back to Christopher put lotion on him as he empties a body of lotion on himself to be a monster. lol This is one mommy moments that I love.

Check on water 20 calf raises while I add the rice and stir the chicken.

Back to my little monster who is getting dress now after he wiped most of the lotion off.

Ten more pushups Ten squats Ten hanging leg raises.

Both boys are at the table doing homework.

Check on food we are still good.

Help Christopher spell his name

Check on food

Back to hanging leg raises, ten more squats, ten burpees

Back to food 20 more calf raises as I stir the food

Back to Christopher who is coloring right now

Answer phone hubby feels like talking ten walking lunges as I walk to the sink to rinse rice

Back to Christopher who needs helps cutting his homework

Justin is done with his homework helps his brother as I finish adding rice to chicken.

Stir food together still talking to hubby as he laughs at me after I tell him what I am doing.

Ten more burpees

Boys are done with Homework and are playing.

Back to food It smells great.

Watch magic tricks from Justin who is getting ready for a magic show as I complete ten more pushups ten hanging leg raise more squats I lost count.

6;00 pm food is done homework is done Time for me to take a shower

6:15 hubby is home from work dinner is at the table.

I know it's not for everyone but if you want something bad enough you will find a way to make it work.

Just making sure I workout everyday no matter how hard it is. It''s my challenge to myself. Days are busy fun filled day no matter who you are or what you do. If it means something to you you will make it happen. Good Luck keep your head high. Never give up. 



Thursday, December 17

Cards For Noah

My cousin's wife contacted me on Facebook asking to send cards to a little boy who has cancer. It's a lady's son she works with. We sent him a card in October another one for Halloween now for Christmas.
I was able to get Justin's class to make Christmas cards. Noah should have 40 already we mailed them out two weeks ago.  Maybe if you have an extra card you can send one out. It would put a smile on his face. 


The bottom cards are from Christopher's VPK class today. I will be mailing them out in the morning. I hope he gets them in time. 

We are sending our love all the way from Cocoa Florida. 

Tuesday, December 8

Christmas in the Works

Watching Christmas movies decorating the tree and wrapping gifts is fun. I can't lie it brings out the kid in me.

I have to give credit to my wonderful hubby who puts up the lights every year. This year he had to do it a few times. They all worked until we plug them in all together. Then half the house didn't work. Changing the strand of lights where a pain. 
We have never had a theme tree before it has always been the ornaments the boys have made every year. I feel guilty in a way they aren't on the tree. I guess that is the mommy coming out in me. I love our tree I guess it worked out just fine.

A little update Christopher had his first Christmas concert. He had to learn a few songs like
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Feliz Navidad and Must be Santa. I have to admit the last one was a little hard. All the kids did a fantastic job even when it started to rain. 80 degree weather for the holidays who can ask for more. 

Tuesday, November 24

Craft for Today


I love making crafts with my boys. Of course I seen this on Pinterest. 


Do-it-yourself Christmas fireplace to hang your stockings from! Do NOT try to use it to burn the Yule log, though.:  

I didn't have plain boxes I had post office boxes. We are forever sending stuff to my hubby. Now that he is home for good we no longer need our boxes. I would say about twenty dollars later after construction paper and glue. This is how ours turned out.  

We even added a fire to ours. Christopher's idea. I love it! It's too cute. Christopher loves looking at Pinterest. He wants to make crafts all day. It was easy to make as long as you don't have cat's taking your stuff. Have fun and build something. 

Steps:
1:Stack the boxes. If you use big boxes you will need five.  
2:Tape the boxes together
3:Add white paper on it. I used wrapping paper.
4:cut out  red construction paper 
5:then glue

Tuesday, November 10

Running

I have taken up running. I have my family do it to. Sometimes against their will but that's okay. It turns out to be fun. If you are thinking about running here are some benefits to look at. Most of all you get a good sweat on. I love it!
Father and son ran the zombie race last month. They placed 11th and 12th place. Next year we will do it as a family. I kind of thought Christopher would be freaked out by the zombies. I was wrong he loved it. 





  • Overall mental health.
  • Runners are happy people. We’ve got that runner high thing going for us. 
  • Strengthens your lungs.
  • Runners have increased lung capacity from logging mile after mile. Those strong lungs come in handy if you ever find yourself on the other side of race as a spectator. A runner’s WOOHOO! is loud and proud.
  • Helps prevent high blood pressure.
    Your arteries expand and contract while running helping to keep your arteries fit which in turn keeps your blood pressure in a normal range. That is until you find out that your favorite running shoe has been discontinued. Nothing is harder to replace than a beloved running shoe! I have about ten pairs of shoes. 
  • Strengthens immune system.
    Regular running builds up your tolerance to germs which results in fewer minor illnesses. That is unless you are training for a marathon. Then you will be sick all the time.
  • Weight control.
    Running burns mega-calories. However, it makes you mega-hungry, especially if you are training for long distances.  Running doesn’t give you a pass to eat all the food, all the time.
  • Physically strong legs.
    Runner’s legs are a powerhouse. They move you from point A to B. They carry you up and down hills. They know how to put it into high gear at the track. 
  • Relieves stress.Running boasts the brain’s serotonin levels which make you calmer and more relaxed. Who said you can’t run away from your problems? I used to walk away from mine. 
  • Increased bone density.
    Running stresses your bones. Essential minerals are sent to the bones when under stress, which makes them stronger. However, running does not make you unbreakable. You still can break a bone by thinking you can jump a 10-foot high fence.
  • Increased joint strength and stability.
    Running increases the strength of your ligaments and tendons. You’ll find your joints will be able to withstand more mileage and more uneven terrain. But that doesn’t mean you will never sprain your ankle again while trail running. It just may mean four weeks on crutches versus eight weeks if you didn’t run.
  • Increased confidence. Once you start running, your confidence begins to grow. You’ll feel more in control of your life and your body. You will even begin to think you look good in spandex tights.
  • Boys running yesterday. 
    After the 5k race 

    Not sure about the spandex part I will go as far a yoga pants. My knees ache when I run but I know I have early onset arthritis. You know that dull ache that never goes away. Some days are better than others. It will just take time to get used to like anything new. My Popsicle is five who can pump out a mile with a quick stop for water in about twenty minutes. Something new we are taking on with our fitness Journey together. It has been a month.  We are running at least three days a week together. I run four or five depending on my workout in the morning. Trying to balance the day with family, work and school is always something fun to do. Thank God for my phone and alarms or I would be lost each day. Let me know how you keep fit and balanced out during the week. 


                         Smile always!!!



     Wish us luck. 

    Wednesday, November 4

    Thanksgiving Tree

    What do you think about a Christmas Tree for a Boo Tree a Halloween tree? That is what we did. Do you like?


     It's still up. Instead of taking it down we will write everyday what we are thankful for and add it to the tree. I like the ideal so much I think it will be our new tradition every year. What are some of your holiday traditions? With the New Year approaching it's also time for some new family pictures to go on my clock wall. As I'm looking at my tree I'm thinking what the hell is my tree doing up? It's to early for the Holidays. I mean Christmas decorations where up in stores even before Halloween was over. Good news I have already started shopping for Christopher. By December I should be shopping for Jay. Justin is in his early teen years. He has no idea what he wants. He actually said he had everything he wants. Which makes me wonder do I spoil my children to much. Nope, I don't I think I have done a great job. We will be looking to buy Thanksgiving dinner for a family who needs it again this year. I love helping out. With us it's a daily thing to help not just around the Holidays. I never take anything for granted which is why I think this giving thanks tree will help my children along with us to understand and appreciate what we have even more.

    Tuesday, November 3

    Mexico's Day of the Dead



    Día de los Muertos is not Halloween but a chance to honor the dead. I remember the first time I took Justin to a graveyard to hand out flowers. He was almost a year old. You won't find me in a graveyard the whole year but on Día de los Muertos. November 1 honors departed children and November 2 honors adults. I started believing in this Holiday for one reason in hope I would find comfort in losing my baby before Justin. Not looking at death in a negative way helped me become a better mother to Justin.  I have celebrated this Holiday every year since. It took some convincing on my part with my hubby as he didn't see a point and thought it was silly. We took our boys to hand out flowers on graves on Halloween before we headed home. To wish the dead a happy stay as they visit their love ones. 

    This year was Christopher's first time. I waited with him because he is emotional child sometimes. He did very well. I have never cooked for a particular person. I have always just put flowers down.  I may not know them but at least they know someone cares. 

    This year we picked a section that looked like a whole family was laid to rest here in the above picture. We came across a mother and child grave. Life cannot exist without death. It may be sad at times. Looking for a positive in death will help you survive another day.  Live life to the fullest because tomorrow is never promised.

    Friday, October 23

    Making my own schedule

    I have been working on my own for awhile now taking pictures. I love taking pictures. It's fun to just capture Life as it is. No direction just letting it move as it does daily.  Here are a few pieces of my art.
    I'm in heaven when I'm at the beach it's a strong calling. I took the family to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful in every way possible. The way the light hit the water as the sky opens up.


    I simply adore my family! I think this will be our Christmas card picture. It's a classic everything in the picture is working. The light hitting the water everyone is smiling. My family is the object of my affection. I love to make them the center of most of my pictures. 


    My hubby is stunning in this picture I was able to capture of him. He is not a picture kind of person but I think he is getting use to me taking his pictures all the time. Please tell me what you think. 


    Thursday, October 22

    It takes one step

    All it takes is one step to change your life. One step towards the future may seem like a long distance to travel. It's not don't let your mind take over your body. I had a girlfriend ask me what I was doing to change my body. It's a good thing we are friends because I was like "What was I fat before?" We couldn't help but laugh. She was meaning you can see I have tone down and built muscle.


    It takes a lot of will power. I fall off my band wagon ever now and then. I don't and won't let myself feel bad about it. It happens as long as it's not ever day. It's a lifestyle a person has to choose. It's something that you have to keep up on in order to move forward just like anything else in life. If you want to get better at making your body great. It will take sweat,tears and time.
    My workout this morning went a little something like this.

    6 Rounds of the following

    40 walking Lunges

    35 Jump Squats

    15 Triceps Dips

    20 Pushups

    35 Crunches

    By the end of this workout I thought I was going to puke. I looked like I just step out of the shower because I was sweating so bad. My back and knees hurt. I could barley get up off the floor. I even thought about just sleeping there in my sweat until the next day. Then I heard a little voice say " Good Morning Mama!" It sucks working out but I get a sense of enjoyment out of it. I think people need to realize that working out is a small very small part in getting fit. What goes in your mouth the rest of the day is what counts. Once you switch from pop to water give up that process food to fresh veggies. You will see a significant change in your body alone. Make a small change like get a book about eating. Try new things out don't be afraid of food. Eat to fuel your body. Think about what you will get out of your meal to nourish your body. Changing the way you think is the hardest part. Change that and your body will follow.  Good Luck Don't Give Up on Yourself.

    Wednesday, October 21

    Something to think about

    I received an email from a wonder person telling  me how much they love reading my blog. What caught me off guard was asking me a question about who do I see as a female financial role model.


    This picture says it all about my Grandma I call her Nana along with all the grand kids and many great grand kids in my family. She is the strongest woman I know with a heart of gold and no matter her size she means business.  She a catholic. She is the only person who can cuss you out without using any cuss words. She will say whats on her mind with NO filter at all. She will replace them with food and body parts. Like "Kiss my big toe" along with something something bologna sandwich. Leaving you think what the hell just happen did she just call me out or did she ask me to lunch? Either way she loves you always wants to see you do your best. Nana would always and still put her two hands up and tell us " With these two hands is the only way I made it work for my family." She worked as a housekeeper at Oakwood Hospital for many years. My grandfather supported her with every breath he took. She kept him and the family in line. All her bills are paid on time months in advance. At one time in my grandparents small model home she had all of her five children and their children living with them. I guess it was the way the cookie fell. Hard times hit all of us in the family I was in middle school. We went poor all at the same time. My Nana kept us all sane during those few months from October to January. My Mom, Aunts and Uncle all manged to get on their feet together. It was absolutely insane how everyone was on edge with everyone. Their was my Nana keeping the peace with food. She is always trying to feed someone. She never gives up. Hardly ever complains about anything. If you did wrong trust me Nana will let you know how she disapproves of your actions. There are so many people connected to our family not by blood but because she took them in. She made them family. She let my Grandfather make mistakes then fix them later. Most importantly she let him be a man, husband and father all on his own terms. She will never pry in your life instead will give you hints about maybe going into a different light. She is my role model in many ways. She keeps things paid as I said above. She doesn't like owing people anything. She has an huge ego for sure. She will rather do it herself no matter what it is. If you wanted something in Life she made sure you knew you had to work for it. She doesn't take shit from anyone. Then again she did grow up in Detroit! You had to be strong. Growing up for her was not always easy in her day. Her childhood had a few bumps and bruises along the way. Heartaches came after she married the man of her dreams my Papa with a miscarry and her house being burnt to the ground. They picked up the pieces to move forward. Nana was pregnant for six years back to back. I come from a large family with lots of problems. Then again with any family who doesn't have a few crazies daredevils among them. Nana is a beautiful , intelligent ,strong amazing woman. I'm glad I have picked up a few of her traits along the way. She is part of who I choose to be today. Nana is unbelievably funny at times without even trying to be. She has over 240 pairs of socks. That I of course bought her. One year it was either her birthday or Christmas I can't remember. I asked her what she wanted. She said socks. Of all things socks is what she wanted. I remember it made her as happy as a child in a candy store. It's the simple things in life that makes her happy. I know that is why I love Life the way I do.
     I believe my strength comes from her with my smart mouth sometimes. I can't help it! However it does bug the crap out of my husband. My Nana has been a huge role model in my life for the simple fact she had five kids and all her bills are paid on time. Took care of all of them making it work in difficult times while keeping her head high. She always had a roof over her families head food in their belly's and clothes on their backs. She looked at life as a big playground that she had control of. It also helped that she has one tool to help to manage her money from Personal Capital's retirement planner.  It never matter how much money she had as long as you where happy. I think I will also look into Personal Capital maybe you should too.

    Tuesday, October 20

    Helen Young Guest Blogger for today

    Think Healthy: Cut Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
    When you become a mom, nothing is more important than looking after your own health, as well as your children’s. Your kids need you to be as healthy and strong as you can possibly be, so that you can be the best parent you can possibly be. One of the biggest healthcare scares and issues currently facing moms in the United States is the risk of breast cancer: the most common form of cancer in the US, breast cancer will affect 12% of women in the United States during their lifetime. (1)
    Whilst death rates from breast cancer have been in decline from 1989, due to improved treatments and an increase in early diagnosis, breast cancer is still a scary condition and one that should be taken seriously, particularly in women who are using hormonal contraception or have experienced their menopause. It is possible to cut your risk of developing breast cancer, [2] and remaining as healthy as possible for your family. After all, we all know that busy moms with households to run just don’t have the time to stop and be sick! Here are a few hints and tips for cutting your risk of developing breast cancer:
    Consider the Amount of Body Weight You Carry
    Losing weight is hard work, and when you’re busy focusing on parenting, it can seem almost impossible to focus on your diet and exercise as well. But reducing the amount of body weight you have isn’t simply about looking and feeling better: it can also cut your risk of developing breast cancer as well. [3] Women who carry excess body weight tend to produce more, and have higher levels of, oestrogen: the more fat cells you have in your body the most oestrogen you will have circulating in your body.  [4]
    The more oestrogen you have in your body the more likely you are to develop breast cancer, so one of the key ways that you can cut your breast cancer risk is to keep your body weight down. That can be easier said than done, but there are a few simple changes that you can make that will really make a difference: give up the elevator, and always choose to take the stairs instead. Cut down on the amount of sugary and fatty foods you consume, and run around your yard with your kids. If your struggling to lose weight, then simply maintaining your body weight could help make the difference.
    Quit Smoking and Cut Down Your Alcohol Intake
    There are hundreds of reasons why smoking really is a bad idea, but smoking tobacco also increases your risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, in women, your chance of developing breast cancer will increase by almost a fifth if you are a regular smoker. [5] Giving up tobacco can be difficult, but your doctor’s office will be able to provide help and support if you’re keen to break the habit and improve your health but don’t feel you can quit without support.
    Reducing your alcohol intake is also a great way to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer: that glass of wine or two once the kids are in bed may help you to unwind but it isn’t good for your health! There is a huge and confirmed link between drinking alcohol and incidences of cancer, particularly breast cancer. One in five (21.6%) of all alcohol-related deaths are due to cancer [6] with alcoholics having a much higher cancer incidence rate than non-drinkers of similar age and social status. Whilst drinking the occasional glass of wine or cocktail won’t do you any harm at all, if you are a regular alcohol drinker, particularly if you generally drink on a daily basis, then cutting back could definitely cut your cancer risk, as well as having other benefits for your health.
    Further Reading
    [1] “What are the key statistics about breast cancer”, Cancer.orghttp://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics
    [2] “8 ways to effectively cut your risk of breast cancer”, KMhttp://www.kwikmed.org/8-ways-effectively-cut-risk-breast-cancer/
    [3] “Five ways you can cut your risk of breast cancer”, Stop Cancer Fundhttp://www.stopcancerfund.org/p-breast-cancer/5-ways-you-can-cut-your-risk-of-breast-cancer/
    [4]”Obesity and cancer risk”, The National Cancer Institutehttp://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet
    [5] “Smoking increases breast cancer risk in older women by almost a fifth”, The Guardianhttp://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/19/smoking-link-breast-cancer-older-women-study

    Monday, October 19

    Nicole Brown Simpson

    I recently watched The-untold-Story of OJ Simpson how he arthritis and stop taking his medicine before the trail. I do truly believe he loved Nicole like all abusers do in their own sick twisted way. This story was the first real big case of Domestic Violence in the world besides Tina Tuner and Ike. When Tina came out and told the world it wasn't ready. Then you have Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown there are so many famous people of Domestic Violence that could have had a huge impact on this subject yet they stay silent. I was really young when this trail happened. He got off because he was famous and Black. It was hard to understand that back then yet it makes sense even today. He played the system he was smart he was rich. Domestic Violence doesn't have a color. It happens to rich,poor, black ,white doesn't matter. Violence among people is wrong no matter who you are. Yes, I guess some races you can say it becomes normal. I don't choose to believe that. If you don't want something to happen you have control over it.

    You just have to find that strength deep inside of you to take a stand.


    Just because your parents had that life doesn't mean you have to repeat it. Know your worth it will help you. Don't let people punch you slap you call you out of your name. If a friend or family member talks to you about Domestic Violence please listen. Domestic Violence happens everyday all day long. Someone needs to be the voice to get this subject to be the hot topic and it will take someone famous to do it. As sad as that is someone needs a huge pull among society to get the talk to happen. I paid attention to Nicole Brown because my household was violent day in day out. I left when I was 16 never looked back and I still won't. I still did repeat my mothers footsteps. Only for a short time I realized that was not the life for me. That was not what I wanted. I made a choice to leave. It was the hardest choice I ever had to make. My abuser never was charged in the death of our baby. I miscarried which helped make my decision to leave. I wish I left sooner. If someone would have told me that life was wrong. Would I have listen? I'm not sure I just hope Domestic Violence Stops before everyone is lost in the past like Nicole Brown.


    Sunday, October 18

    October is Bubonic plague month

    Bubonic plague is one of three types of bacterial infection caused by Yersinia pestis. Three to seven days after exposure to the bacteria flu like symptoms develop. This includes feverheadaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally the swollen lymph nodes may break open.

    If you have been following my month logs we as a family study something new each month. Since this is October scary month what better to learn about the Bubonic plague.

    Many don't know it but people still are infected by the plague today. 


    The bacterium that is responsible for the plague can sometimes infect the blood, causing the hands, feet, nose and lips to become gangrenous and black. This form of the disease is almost always fatal if not treated with antibiotics.

    The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday September 15,2015  that a person in that state had the bubonic plague, one of what is now 14 such cases reported nationwide in 2015

    Between 1970 and 2012, the majority of human plague cases have been in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. There have been other cases, but they have been in nearby Western and Southwestern states. Still it is carried by fleas and rats. We spent our summer in New Mexico which just so happen to be a story on TV of a couple who thought they had food poison it turned out to be the BLACK DEATH.  

    The difference now today it is no longer a death sentence because of modern medicine.
    To think that so many people died in Europe buried in a large gave together. Is hard to swallow considering that the plague is still around. Why don't we hear about it? I wonder how the reports on TV would be? Would they even cover any story about a person with the bubonic plague today?

    We live a lot cleaner then people back then which I think has a lot to do with it. If you change your eating habits and live healthier plays a large role in your health.
    https://youtu.be/GqXJ20qXASI

    I won't add any more pictures like the one above. I have a weak tummy. My children however are very intrigued about this month studies. My whole purpose for learning something new each month is for knowledge for things I know my kids won't learn in school.




    Saturday, October 17

    No More


    This story involves extreme violence and may be distressing for some readers. It has been edited for length and clarity.
    You need to choose: them or me. That’s the ultimatum my abuser gave me. You can either have your friends and your family, or you can have me. I was young and in love and I chose him. And said goodbye to the next two years of my life.
    I was 21 when we met, and living with my mother and my two brothers. I had tons of friends, a decent job and I took classes at night. Soon after I started dating him, my family told me they disapproved. They saw something in him that I couldn’t see. But I had this Bonnie-and-Clyde type of attitude. You guys just don’t like him because I love him, I thought. Get over it.
    The first time he slapped me, I said: This is not going to be me. My mother had been a victim of domestic abuse, and I grew up in Trinidad watching her being beaten by my dad. This is not my future, I swore.
    He came back with apologies and purple roses — my favorite color. I accepted the apology. I thought it meant he wasn’t going to do it again. I was wrong. Over the next month, he became more violent, punching and slapping me in private. I didn’t tell anyone about the abuse. I didn’t want them to know they were right.
    One day, he got in an altercation with my brother and the cops were called. This is the moment he asked me to choose between my family or him. I felt like he loved me and he was the only person who was on my side. Everyone else was against us. So I picked him. I moved out of my family’s home and became temporarily homeless.
    We lived in a motel for a week, and when the money ran out, we lived in his car. He warned me not to call my family. He said if I reached out, they would come get me and we would be separated. He said if I contacted them, it would be the end of our relationship. On top of that, I was ashamed to call my family. I felt I would be judged. Everyone warned me [about him] and I didn’t listen.
    For about a month, I was homeless. He would take me to different apartments to wash up so I could go to work. I was masking all of this like it was normal. Finally I was able to save up enough money to rent a studio apartment. He would stay most days and nights there.

    “I realized I could have died in that apartment and no one would have known.”

    Once we had our own space, the abuse accelerated. Punching, kicking, strangling. Often for hours. He would say: You know how much I love you, right? Your family doesn’t love you like I love you. Where are they right now? They aren’t looking after you like I am. In my mind, I thought I could handle the abuse, I’d be fine. Mentally, you become so messed up that you start to think you are part of the problem.
    We stayed together for two years, and I fell out of contact with everyone who was important to me. I wasn’t on speaking terms with my family. I lost touch with my friends. I dropped out of school because it caused too many problems for me to be around other people. He used to pick me up from class. If I was standing near a man — even a security guard — when he arrived, there would be trouble. It was easier not to go.
    Work was the only time I was allowed to be out of his sight, but even then, he would constantly call me or show up randomly. If he called and I didn’t answer the phone, he would go crazy. He was jealous of my co-workers. He’d question the length of my dresses when I got dressed for work. Why I was wearing a particular pair of underwear that day. The accusations were never-ending.
    One night he beat me so bad I thought I might die. He held a knife over my neck and threatened to kill me. He pummeled me for five hours, punching and kicking and strangling me. He would stop and then start again. Then he just fell asleep, because he was tired.
    I felt like something had been broken inside, physically and emotionally. As he slept, I crawled out of bed and took a cab to the emergency room. It was the first time I’d ever sought help.
    There, alone in the ER, I hit my breaking point. I realized I could have died in that apartment and no one would have known, because I had no contact with my mother or my brothers, or even my best friend. I was completely isolated.
    After I was released from the hospital, I went home and had my locks changed. I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. He eventually called me asking to see me. I said no, that we were done for good. He didn't like that.
    One night, he tried to break into my apartment. He was banging and I could feel his body pressing on my door. He was attempting to pry it open with a crowbar. I tried to call the police on my landline, but he had preemptively cut my telephone line in the basement. I believe he had every intention to kill me. Luckily, I had a prepaid phone stowed away. My hands shook as I unwrapped it to call 911. Once he heard me talking to dispatch, he took off. When the cops arrived, I was too scared to open the door.
    After that, the stalking began. He would leave derogatory notes on my car:Anybody who fucks Lovern knows that I had her first, they are getting leftovers. I filed a restraining order.
    Once he was out of my life, I was ready to restart it. The first person I told about the abuse was my best friend. She was dumbfounded, and she encouraged me to tell my mom. That was a difficult call.
    Two years had passed. I was so far removed. I thought I was going to be shamed and judged. She had been worried about me for so long. It was hard to open up about what I had experienced. But together, we started the work of rebuilding our relationship. Over time, my extended family found out what happened. They never asked me about it — they just understood. I was welcomed back without question at Thanksgivings and family get-togethers. I was no longer alone.
    Re-entering public life took some getting used to, after such extreme isolation. For a long time, I didn’t trust myself to look guys in the eye, especially men who were talking to me. I would hear his voice. No one is going to love you how I love you, he’d say. No one is going to want you like I want you.
    But my own voice got louder the longer I was away from him, and in time I started to be myself again. The smiley-faced social butterfly I once was started to re-emerge. It was OK to make eye contact with strangers, to have dinner with friends, to dress the way I saw fit, to not have to be on the clock constantly.
    Looking back, I wish I had sought help — if not from family and friends, then from someone else. I now know that no matter how it feels, you are never alone. You can break free if you trust yourself.
    Lovern Gordon, 36, Brockton, Massachusetts

    Friday, October 16

    Small deeds make a huge impact

    The other day we went grocery shopping Justin started collecting carts. Taking them back into the store. This summer we ran into a lot of people hitchhiking standing outside stores that we ended up giving money to. There is a hotel that is run down and left to rot away near our house. My son asked if we could buy it to let the homeless live there. His thought is they could pay rent by up keeping the place. He wants to do things that would make a person smile. It's a great idea I'm not sure if we are able to do that right now. I will be checking into it. It's definitely a good thought to keep in mind. He is collecting dog and cat food right now for the shelter we donate to. He loves animals. 

    We are collecting blankets , food, treats, cat litter, anything you can think of right now. 

    It's not hard to make a person smile. 
    Small things will make a huge difference.
    We as a family try to do something for someone else everyday. We love helping people. It warms my heart that my children are now thinking on their own what to do. 
    What can you do to help? 

    Thursday, October 15

    My Soul is free

    It's been many years since I remember how you hurt me.
    I used to wake up in night sweats running to my son's bedroom to make sure he is there.
    Make sure he is alive.
    I left so long ago but still shudder at the thought of the pain.
    My flash backs seem so real at times.
    How your hand hit my face.
    How you took advantage of me.
    Sometimes I think I see you in the shadows.
    I don't talk much in fear that you will find me.
    Hiding was never my strong suit yet your emails and letters still come.
    You still find me on the web.

    Even when I hear your name.
    I have to control my breathing as a flash backs hits my brain.
    I have no control when I remember something of my past.
    I used to cry when they appear.

    It used to bother me
    It used to continue to keep me in fear.
    I still don't sleep as well.
    Staying up late at night checking on my son who will never know you.
    He will never know the pain.
    He will never see you hit me.
    He will never hear your voice as you cut me down over and over.
    Even if you appear he won't know you.
    A lie you say for keeping him safe.
    A lie I will hold to my grave.
    You don't have control over me today or any day now.

    My past won't control me any longer.
    My past made me who I am today.
    Because of you this will never happen to me again.
    Because of you I found true love today.

    A man who will cherish my life as his own.
    A man who is a father a real father to my son.
    A man who never raises his voice.
    Never calls me out of my name
    A man who doesn't hit me like a punching bag.
    Because of you My soul is free today.

    -Anonymous Writer
    I just received this today thought I would share.



    Wednesday, October 14

    It's been awhile

    I'm simply astounded by Justin's new found family he has in his wrestling team. They are a group of very talented young men in the making. They support each other. They never give up on themselves or the team. The Vipers are a family.

    This is by far the cheapest sport Justin has ever played since he was four years old. The kicker is  he loves it. Which is great no matter the price of any sport. We have always encourage him to follow his heart. I just think now he has found something he really likes.

    I was a little concern for Justin since he is not aggressive person by nature. He is a happy go lucky all sunshine and rainbows kind of person. He still is that way even with wrestling but I think he has found his place. I can't tell you how much that makes me happy now excited that these boys on his team are so nice. Talking to his Coach and wife the team is really a family. They look out for each other. They have help a few boys coming into the high school showing them around even sticking up for them with bullies. Most of all that just blows me away with this group of young men is they so young full of life. They won't let anyone fall. I hope they stay that way as life throws bricks in their way. I do wish more of the parents were involved with their kids life. They are really good at their craft. 

    Justin did very well on his first tournament he won. 

    All the boys did great. I have some learning to do since I have no idea how they keep score. Palm Bay is Saturday. We are looking forward to it win or lose I don't care as long as he has fun doing whatever he wants. If it brings a smile like the above picture I'm all for it. Even if I have to smell body odor that makes me hold my breath. 


    Tuesday, October 13

    Turning 5

    Happy Birthday my little one you are five today. You woke up this morning singing Happy Birthday to your self. You are amazing in every way. I love your smile. Today is a big day.


    We celebrated Christopher birthday last Sunday. We had an awesome turn out with 20 kids who showed up from school,T-ball practice the YMCA and story-time. He is loved by many. I'm so glad it didn't rain for our bounce house. My house is small for that many kids. He wanted all of them to stay over for a sleep over. I don't know where I would even put them. Christopher had a blast his first birthday party since we left Michigan. Up until now we have taken the kids to Disney, water parks whatever they wanted. I think he really liked having a party so much that we forgot to bring out the pinata that is filled with six pounds of candy. We are taking it to T-Ball practice tonight. My baby is growing up so fast. I love your face. You are funny, creative and just adorable. Happy Birthday!!!

    Tuesday, September 15

    Rise

    Rise above your pain you feel. Take in the moment you have right now. Life will only be what you allow it to be. To be Happy is a gift you already have. You have the power to control how you handle it. Things and Event's around you may not always seem to be on your side. How you let your mind,body and spirit handle it will fall into place. Don't give up on yourself. As a mother,wife, woman I have overcome many things that should have crushed me. I made a choice to succeed in life. To rise above all of what God has put in my place. Try to be true to yourself set an example for yourself. Life is  beautiful! Inhale it soak in it live in it. Hard times won't last forever. A positive mind will overcome anything if you let it. Strong is Beautiful! 

    Thursday, September 10

    Busy Bees

    Wow, It has been a two weeks. There are not enough words to describe how proud I am of my boys. Justin just started wrestling last week. He is getting toss around like a rag doll. The funny part he loves it. Justin is a kind hearted person not aggressive at all. It's not in his nature. He  weighs 106. He is at the right weight to compete right now. Daddy is beyond excited to help his little boy. I couldn't be happier to be apart of this exciting experience we all get to have as a family. With our martial arts experience we can show our son something we grew up doing as a child ourselves. I forgot how bad a high school gym smells. It's horrible I mean body odor galore. It's  hot and sticky. It's straight down nasty a little scary when I hear one of the boys had ring worm. Yuck, I was sitting there listening to him tell the other kid he just wrestled it's okay he is fine now. I told Justin to scrub his body really good. Oh man that is gross. I looked it up online just to show Justin what ringworm looked like just so he knows what to look for.
      

    Justin is getting the hang of falling down to where he doesn't hurt himself. Last night at practice was one of the best he was able to throw someone now. The best part he sleeps very well at night. I love it!  As a mother it's a little scary seeing your son get toss around. It's funny Justin tells me he is fine. With both boys busy everyday of the week we are busy bees now including Saturdays with games. T-ball and Wrestling is a lot of work.  I love my kids! I don't mind being busy. It's not anything new Justin has never really had downtime since he was four. As long as school comes first he can be as busy as he wants. He knows he can stop anytime. I won't force anything on him.  His only job is going to school getting good grades and being Happy. Nothing else matters to me but my kids mental and physical health. How do you keep you kids healthy? 

    Wednesday, September 9

    We are going to Mars

    http://www.nasa.gov/
    We are going to space well our names are.
     The Needham family names are being sent to Mars. Justin thought he was really going. If he could he would. He is fascinated with space. 

    Right now NASA has a way to get people there not home yet. It's a one way trip. Yesterday was the last day to send your name. Justin thought is was the coolest thing ever. Only after I explained that he his self was not actually going. 
    We have our boarding pass. I'm going to print these off and frame them to put in the boys room. We are in the process of changing Justin's room around. He is twelve now which he informed me he needs a little older style. I'm not sure what that means but we will find out. Justin missed space camp last summer. We were out of town. I can't wait to sign him up next summer. He will put his space knowledge to work. 
    I love how much my son is interested in the stars and planets. I think it's cool. Interstellar the movie is his favorite. He wants to be able to visit all the planets someday. In his time he just might get that chance. 

    Saturday, August 22

    Priceless Conversations with my kids

    Walking into Publix our grocery store we seen the Navy Seals standing outside. My conversation with my son Justin.
    Me: "Do you want to go to Navy camp?"
    Justin: "When I see the Navy I think of Popeye. I don't want to be Popeye!"
    I start to laugh
    Me: "Popeye? You know Coach Mike was in the Navy."
    Justin: Go figure he's skinny. He looks like Popeye."
    I'm dying at this point. It's so funny what kids associate things with. Christopher put five dollars into their donations jar. They saluted us and the kids were taken back by that as we walk to the car. They both said simultaneously.
    That was Awesome!

    On our way driving through Louisiana we stopped at a hotel for the night. I couldn't sleep to save my life at midnight I decide to go ahead get the kids ready to start driving at 1 am. I would make it home around seven that night. It had to be about an hour or so I seen a group of five deer on the side of the road. Slowly driving just in case they decided to run in the road.  A few miles from them I seen another group of deer. As I still was driving I saw another deer this time he was running. I mean he was hauling ass. My thought he was trying to catch up with his buddies. Then I saw a Bobcat. It was huge. I never seen one up close besides in a zoo. I wanted to pull over to pet him. Then I realized that would be a bad idea since he would probably eat me. I kept driving besides he was getting breakfast fast food. 

    My boys woke up about five hours later. I told them what I seen. 
    Popsicle: " So you saw a cat. It can run?'
    Me: "Yes."
    Popsicle "It looks like a cat."
    Me: "Yes."
    Popsicle: " It had fur?"
    Me: " Yes."
    Popsicle: " Can it meow?"
    Me: "Yes."
    I'm thinking okay where is he going with this? Then the best part came at the end. 
    Popsicle: "So you are telling me it doesn't throw bombs?"
    Me: "Why would it throw bombs?"
    Popsicle:" So what kind of cat is it?"
    Justin starts to laugh and says "He thinks it's a bomb cat!" 
    That was the laugh of the morning. He asked to see a picture of it when we stop for gas. Once I pulled it up I realized it wasn't a Bobcat I saw it was a cougar. He must of had a bad hair day because it was muggy that morning. His or her tail was long and fuzzy!


    It's still funny when I tell people about my kids. I swear I never know what will come out of either of them. I do have to say these two conversations are right up there just like when Justin was about four or so. He thought God looked like Sam Bernstein.
     The story went a little like this. I was putting Justin to bed when he asked 
    "What does God look like?"
    "I don't know. What do you think he looks like?" I asked
    Justin:" A old guy with white hair. Like Sam."
    "You think God looks like Sam our cousin Sam?" I asked
    " No, The guy that says You in an accident call Sam!" He said it with passion waving his hands.
    Laughing I asked " You think God looks like Sam Bernstein?"
    Justin: "Yes, I do."
    All I could say was okay I guess that is what God looks like. 
    I love being a mommy. I love my boys! 

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