Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tribal Mentality....

To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We live outside the touch of time. - Clara Ortega

I'll never forget that hot summer about 2008.

We had "snuck into" the Holiday Inn swimming pool in the middle of the day.

It was hot and we were determined to get a good hour in before someone caught on......which USUALLy took WAY less than an hour.

I mean.....We are a family of 6 with dreadlocks.

For some reason, BACK THEN...
we seems smaller

The kids were 6,4,3, and 1.

THESE that the kids are bigger, we dont even ATTEMPT to sneak in.

We would NEVER make it THRU THE GATE now.....they can sense us comming with our SWARM of kids and all their:
dive sticks

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS NOW when we show up at a pool:

Me: How long do you think it will take babe?
Jay: 10 minutes.
Me: No way....they will be gone in 5!!!!

That is the converasation we have.
We call it "Rasta-vacate-itis".
That is when there are lots of people swimming and enjoying the pool...
THEN- We show up.
They see Jay and I and our 4 kids ...and before you know it- 


It happens EVERYTIME.
Sometimes it takes aFEW minutes longer than others...but-

No matter what.

We have enjoyed MANY a day in our own PERSONAL hotel pool...because people were scared.

But this day....was BEFORE.
The kids were little and we were...smaller, I guess.

We were all swimming in the pool and Sheba(1) was sitting on the outside of the pool on the concrete.
A little boy started to "mess with her".
He was taking her toys and making her whine. Nothing serious...just kid stuff.
But what happened next will FOREVER be etched into my mind.
Malachi was about 3 and was in the pool swimming...but watching.
He saw what the boy was doing and swam to the edge.
Without a word he climbed out of the pool and stood between his little sister and "the outsider".
He took a karate stance with his hands in front of him.
Ready to defend.
He didn't SAY a word.
He didn't HAVE to.
The little boy retreated to the safety of his side of the pool and never returned.
Then...without a sound- Malachi got back in the pool.

I sat back and watched in amazement.
I was stunned at how, at SUCH A YOUNG AGE, the children KNOW.
They KNOW who is  "of their tribe".
They protect each other and consume each other to the point that they are willing to stand and defend EACH OTHER...without ever asking US for a thing.


I will NEVER forget that.

Then...sometimes as children get older they forget how VALUABLE and PRECIOUS they are to one another.

They forget to be GRATEFUL that God GAVE THEM built in friends and protectors.  

They are left ALONE.

Which is EXACTLY what happened to us this last weekend.

I was sick on Saturday and everyone left.
Shasha and Sheba went with their friends and Zeek and malachi had a football game.

So they all went they seperate ways.

Then Shasha got dropped off here at the house with ME.
No other kids to play with.
Just herself.
It was TORTURE for her.
She had NO IDEA what to do with herself.
At one point she was LAYING ON THE FLOOR of the kitchen....moaning.

I could not help but remind her...every 5 minutes...they she should be GRATEFUL.

"What do you think your friends who are ONLY CHILDREN do???"

"Do you think they act like this????"
It was a day of reasoning...with Shasha.
I spent most of the  day talking to her about why she should be grateful for what she has.....because it is ENOUGH.

It is a blessing to HAVE brothers and sisters TO PLAY WITH.
By the end of the day...

A perfect lesson for a fussy "NOT-ONLY-CHILD".

Be grateful for what you have, because you never know what you have till it is gone.

Lesson Learned.
Mission Accomplished.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life Happens........

Can we just REWIND last week???/

It started on Wednesday with Malachi.
He threw up first......and in a house of 6, when 1 goes, we prepare for the ONSLAUGHT.

Soooooooo on it went.

I'll spare you the details, BUT....
Everyone but Shasha and Jay got sick.

We missed a week of school and are JUST now getting back to it.

We spent the day on a blanket while I read their science, history, and bible study today.
And they watched a few educational cartoons.

It is funny how no matter what you WANT your days to LOOK LIKE,
no matter what you WISH you were doing...
sometimes LIFE HAPPENS.

Last week I WANTED to:
stay on top of school,
go to work,
watch the boys football game,
do the laundry,
do some FALL CRAFTS,
"pin" so me stuff,
take a "nap" (or 2) with my husband,
and BLOG......

I did NONE of it.


About mid-week, I realized that when the guilt of all the "chores" doesn't even make a difference.....
It means:

So .....I slept, took care of kids, made very little food, watched lots of JUNK TV, and took tons of baths.

I checked out and lost a week....


Monday, October 17, 2011

1 feather earring...

I would love to wear 1 feather earring...
just for some rebellious fun.

I would love to have a MISMATCHED set of chairs,
my goodness...THAT could never be done.

I would like to see my wooden boxes scattered randomly,
maybe a mismatched THIS or THAT arranged not so uniformly.

But THAT will NEVER happen...
No, not in THIS lovely home...

You see there is  a MAN who lives here...
and he likes things JUST SYMMETRICALLY SO.

He has a touch of OCD...
THIS I have grown to KNOW!

So next time I get angry or annoyed at this little trait...
Maybe I'll wear just 1 feather earring...

Cards and "Causes"

Kids are funny.....
An ...I am learning, that the OLDER the kids get- the FUNNIER they are.
Their PERSONALITIES are forming and they are HYSTERICAL people.
This week...Zeek got a card in the mail from some close family friends.
It had a card and inside was a $10 McDonald's gift card.
As you can imagine he was so excited....he ran right inside and put that bad-boy in his wallet.

That was it.
I never heard anything else about it.
Yesterday he saw Fran and Willy(the family friends who gave him the card).
I reminded him that he had gotten the card and that he should go THANK THEM.
He walked away to talk to them, and I figured I didn't need to follow.

Lesson learned.
I should have followed.....

Later on that day I was told that THIS is how the conversation went:

Zeek:  Thank you for the McDonald's card I got for my Birthday.

Frannie: Your Welcome!!! Do you think you can use THAT?

Zeek: YES!!!! The KIDS are ALWAYS running around hungry.
           So THANK YOU for helping with "the cause".

Could he be ANY more sweet OR more caring????

He gets a card for his Birthday and he WANTS to share it. AMAZING!!!

He got a YOBE (frozen yogurt place) from my friends Nancy and Matt.
I JOKINGLY said, "Oh good, you can take me for YOGURT.!!!!"

Then as to call my bluff, he said...
"Ill take everyone for yogurt!"

And once again...
he made my heart swell.

It made me think....





"Silly woman...He is doing AMAZING things TODAY!"

Sweet, Brilliant boy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Proof Positive..........

How in the world has it been 11 years????

It seems like yesterday and forever ago at the same time.

11 years ago today we went from JUST THE 2 of family.
I had no idea what an IMPACT you would have in my life.
We were all babies then....
We were all fresh to our new lives.
It was the begenning of OUR new life as a family.
We had been thru a FIRE to be together and YOU were the prize.
YOU were my PROOF....a manifestation of GOD'S LOVE for me.
I remember thinking that I COULD NOT BELIEVE they were going to just
leave with you.

I knew NOTHING about being a Mother.
I was broken, flawed, and rebelious.
How could I deserve YOU???

How could I be WORTHY of you???
I had no idea that it was all inside me.
You have been one of the most influencial people in my life.
I have learned sooo much from you in the last 11 years.
You have taught me to be honest, caring, and sympathetic.

You amaze me more and more everyday.
I am sooo proud of the person you ahve become.
Thru you, I learn more and more about myself everyday.
I love to see you care for and love your brother and sisters.
You are a GOLDEN example of a good brother and thoughtful leader.

Thru you I SEE God.

Thank you for being you.
THANK GOD for trusting us enough to give us something

You are a TRUE blessing, son.

We love you FOREVER and ALWAYS.

Happy 11th Birthday, Ezekiel!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bday LOVE....

Being far from family is soooo hard....

Especially on special days like birthdays.

This year Pawpaw and Mimi Suzy sent Sheba money on a gift card so that she could spend it herself.

She had a BLAST spending her money and LOVED every minute of it.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Walking an OLD, THIN line....

Here we are again...
the "holiday" season.

It is the HARDEST time of year for us.

Not because of money or gifts....
but because we sit on the outside of tradition...

THIS part of our life has been  JOURNEY.

In 1998:
Our faith was NEW to us. I was just getting my footing and in my spiritual life and had just been SAVED.
Everything was new to us....we were a NEW family.
We were unsure of the way WE WANTED to handle holidays.
So we DIDN'T. We shunned them...completely.
We didn't go to dinners. We didn't exchange presents. We didn't "believe" in Santa Clause.

As you can imagine.....
and the parents LOVED that! (Right, Mom and Dad? LOL)

But, in my mind...It was necessary.
Until I could decipher the TRUTH from the NON-TRUTH in the holidays and the traditions....we would refrain.

And we did JUST THAT....for years. we became more comfortable in OUR FAITH-

It was a journey from VERY STRICT and JUDGEMENTAL(although I would not like to ADMIT that to myself sometimes)..
to NOW.

Now...we participate in SOME traditions.
We choose the ones that are full of TRUTH and haven't been watered-down by "American culture".

We have Thanksgiving dinner with family...but we talk about the TRUTH behind the holiday.

We still don't do SANTA...but we are considering dinners.

Like I has been a JOURNEY. you can imagine-
When I got my curriculum for the school year...I was so STOKED to get a book called "Celebrating biblical Feasts".

It is a great book that helps you celebrate all the Feasts and Holidays that CHRIST would have celebrated.....
He was JEWISH.

So all of the Feasts are Jewish feasts this year.

Last week we celebrated Rosh Hashanah.

I have learned that I LOVE these amazing feasts.

They are filled with tradition and an ancient feel.
I love the way these Jewish holidays have not been "diluted" and contaminated by money, gifts, and fictional characters that SURELY take away from the TRUTH.

It has been wonderful to start to think of how we can "meet in the middle" with our family and friends....
a blessing to ponder what OUR HOLIDAYS will look like after years of creating OUR  OWN CULTURE.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sometimes in life....we are affected by things we are soooo unaware of.
The "way of the world" can come in and hold us down...
in ways dont even see.
While we are OBLIVIOUS.
The WEIGHT of the world is heavy and we all UNKNOWINGLY agree to carry it when we decide we are going to subscribe to "THEIR" thoughts or ideals.

American women are so silly.
We are so spoiled.
We actually have TIME to let "their" ideas affect us.
Maybe it is because we don't have to worry about things like:

walking to a well
whether the water we DO HAVE ACCESS to will give us a disease or illness.
how we will feed our
fending off an ARMY of men who want to rape and kill our families
having our babies on dirt floors in tent cities

Maybe it is becuase we have TIME to worry about things like:
cable bills
dentist appointments
ballet/football practice
dance costume payments
if we have a MINUTE to GO GET our fresh water from the STORE
if we are "thin" enough to fit into that CUTE outfit we really want to wear.

Maybe it is because we haven't OPENED our eyes....
We havent REALLY SEEN how blessed we are...

The devil has a way of sneaking in and stealing JOY.
And he does it in a way to make you think that there WAS NO begin with.

He has a special way for American women.
because he KNOWS we are SPOILED.

He knows that sometimes we forget that GOD made us.
We forget that we are all "ONE-OF-A -KIND".
Undeniably WONDERFUL.

He KNOWS that the world has a STRONG PULL.
He knows that WE are WEAK....
when we FORGET.

So he has snuck in.
Like a thief in the night....he has come to ROB US.

He wants us to believe that we are not
thin enough, strong enough, pretty, enough, wise enough...
to notice him.

We are.

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Science Schmience..........

In this world we have to constantly be on guard.
Always on the lookout for what "the world" tries to FUSE into our minds.
We have to be aware and conscious of it..or it WILL SEEP in.
Like a thief in the thought CAN be stolen.
You can be a victim.

For me, it has became a way of life.

Today on the discovery channel, I came across a show on Atlantis.
Of was from a science point of view.

Whatever...I can get thru that. I can get thru the whole, "millions and millions of years ago" thing.
We all have different opinions on THAT.
But...I have a problem when they start to SPECULATE as if it were true. the Atlantis show I heard them say, "People were forced to make LIFE AND DEATH decisions."
And they showed a scene of a family where the husband was putting his wife in a boat to set sail because of the disaster.With ALOT of DRAMA!!!
Yes...they probably did have to make decisions....which would have been fine if that is all they SAID.
But to SHOW a family and show CONVERSATIONS between a husband and wife???
CREATE or MAKE UP a scene JUST to create more DRAMA???
Do we need THAT?
Do we need to veer SO FAR from the TRUTH that we have to MAKE UP scenarios???
Like the TRUTH isn't DRAMA enough?
Give thanks for MY 7 SEALS being broken.
Give thanks that I CAN SEE the truth and don't have to PRETEND some SAD, HORRIFYING situation to FEEL something.
Guard your THOUGHTS.