Monthly Archives: February 2009

Happy Birthday Imani

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Imani turns 5 tomorrow.  Since Ian’s birthday in September , she has been asking when her birthday is coming.  I informed her that it was five months away.  Once a week Imani inquired about how much time she had until her birthday.  Well it’s finally here.

My husband and I asked her what theme she wanted for her birthday party.  She promptly told me that she wanted Spongebob.  Spongebob?  I asked again just to make sure Spongebob is what she said.  Yep, Spongebob!  I tried to direct her attention to Dora The Explora or even Tinkerbell.  Nope, she wants Spongebob so Spongebob it is. 

I was quite bummed.  Not that I dislike Spongebob but I was looking forward to a girlie girl party.  Ian’s party was a combination of Spiderman and Transformers.  Ian’s party went over well.  In September it was still pretty warm outside.  I was thrilled with the weather because that meant the children were outside most of the party.

Well, this is February and  it snowed this week.  I was trying to find out what to do for an insde party.  I went online and found some good idea’s on Spongebob themed parties.  Of course, most of the ideas were geared toward outdoor water activities.  So I had to improvise. 

Look for my next post on how the party turned out!

Something to Think About

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It is my hope that all you stepmom readers will learn something from my experience of losing both my husband and stepsons.  Some stepmoms may wonder why they should try to get along with the mother of the kids.  Why shouldn’t you is what I want to know?  I realize that some mothers are difficult to endure.  Some  are hostile, weird, crazy, jealous, insensitive, manipulative, beastly, petty—fill in the blank.  Eliza was all that and then some!  You might be thinking, Well you don’t know my husband’s ex!  While I might not know her personally, I do know the archetype.

Even though I know I tried my very best to smooth things over between she and I (in the last two years), she didn’t.  I could only control myself, and rightly focused on changing my attitude about her instead of trying to force  her to be different.

Therefore, I want to make sure that you are doing everything on your end to be peacable.  Please pick and choose your battles and think of your situation with the end in mind.  We all know that stepparents have no legal rights to their stepchildren.  Your husband is truly that connecting force between you two.  Unless, you have a stable relationship with the mother, that is (especially in the event of death and/or the children are not of age).  No him or her=no stepchildren.  You can’t force/demand/court order the biological parent to allow you to interact with their kids.   

As you see in my case, it is to your benefit to get along with the mother of the children.  I truly wish that Eliza would have honored my role and feelings.  There is no compelling reason that Nicholas and I should not have the boys in our lives.  It still hurts that she is punishing us in this manner.

If you are giving it the best that you’ve got, I heartily encourage you to keep up the good work!  Life offers few fairy tale endings and your efforts alone may not produce the desired outcome.  But speaking from experience, you won’t regret trying.

I do, however, wish that I would have had this attitude from the very inception.  While I wasn’t the one who started the fires and mostly ignored her combustive behavior, I wouldn’t have spit on her if she was on fire (as the old saying goes)!  I felt like it wasn’t my “job” to appease her (or get along with her) in any manner.  Afterall, it was her who was causing trouble, being difficult, and behaving in a bellicose manner!

So if you are holding onto grudges, insecurites, myths about the ex, things your stepchildren told you she said,  past hurts, or any other minute issues (and if it’s not life or death—IT IS SMALL!) stop while you still have time to regroup, reflect, and reposition yourself.  Like it or not, she will always be their mother.  You can’t “wish” her away or pretend she doesn’t exist.  Figure out exactly what you want your blended family life to be and go for it.  Wake up and change directions while you still can.  Most anything is possible because everyday is a new day.  Even if you can’t have peace with her because of her relunctance (or disinterest) you can have it within for trying.

With that being said,  if you still can’t think of any reason under the sun as to why it would be a good idea to be on stable ground with your husband’s ex; think about your stepchild(ren) and your life without them in it.

The Simple Life

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I have always been a simple person.  And I’m finding that with each passing year that I am becoming increasing more so.  I don’t believe in having too much of anything.  I only want enough to get by. 

We live in a simple house with simple decor.  I drive a simple car (at least by my standards). 

I save for what I want.

I don’t like to accumulate things.  I am the type of person that if I have an excess of something, you better believe  it will be given away.  My motto is “if I”m not using it, someone else should.”  There is no room in my heart to be wasteful.  My sister always says, “Can I ever leave the way I came?!, as she carries out armfuls of things after visiting me.

It’s not that I don’t like nice things because I do. 

Lately I have been more deliberate about what I buy.  One reason being is that I dislike cluttering my purse with receipts!  These little pieces of paper really help curtail my spending.

I also like being creative.  I want to try to find ways to refurbish, recreate, renew, or reuse what I already have.

I’d love to hear some of the tips that you all use to help keep life simple.

Mission Accomplished!

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All scripture is given by inspiration from God, and is profitable  for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. ~2 Timothy 3:16

Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. ~Matthew 22:29

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4

I was so excited last night when I finished reading the last book in the New Testament.  I loved reading about the Good Shepherd!  I am eager to start on the Old Testament next.  I have planned it to where I will be finished by the end of the year, if not sooner.  When I was younger I started reading the Bible but it was too tedious and I quit.  However, now I am older and wiser and determined to read the good book in its entirety.

I plan to use my deeper knowledge of the Bible to encourage others.  My goal is to have a  scripture on my tongue for any situation.   

The life and words of Jesus moved me.  I felt truimphant, repentant, hopeful,  humbled, but most of all uplifted.  I wish I could have met him!  I am looking forward to the Son shining again!

My Desk

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Just look at my desk!  I can’t  function amidst such chaos and disorder!!!  Contents include:

Before

Before

Laptop
The Poisonwood Bible (on top of my grade book)
Things Fall Apart (audio and book)
a purple pen for grading (red seems so accusatory and caustic)
SpringBoard text
Kleenex
a notepad
Letter from Jazmine’s mom
Post-it Notes
a highlighter and a black pen
Scholarship/Programs Update for January 2009
a thank you letter to a generous donor
the requisite apple
a family portrait (of one of my student’s family)
speakers for the laptop
stapler
paper clip holder
Pen caddy
Reese’s Cup (for motivation)

After
After

Now I can work!

A Leap of Faith

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I was offered the position at my alma mater which boasts an all-school magnet program in the arts and humanties.  As a student I was in both magnets and loved my high school.  One of the classes I am slated to teach is called “Novels” and I will be allowed to design my own curriculum for this particular class!

I have mixed emotions.  It will be hard to leave the dsyfunctional place I am currently at.  It is an evil I know.  At least four of my current colleagues are going with me, so I am not completely nostalgic about leaving.  But I am a little afraid and nervous to be in a new environment with a new boss and a new set of expectations.  I hope I am not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Wish me luck!