She Turned It Off – Good for the Teens/Tweens In Your Life!

I read an article today about a girl who became pregnant at 13.  I need to point out here (especially for my teenage fans) that this girl and her boyfriend were using condoms . . they don’t always work.  Just throwing that out there . . .

Anyway, so she found out she was pregnant and didn’t want to go back to school.  She starting taking classes online that fall.  Her brother was nominated for Homecoming court.  So she went to a football game.  When the student section saw her, they started chanting “whore” at her.  And they were throwing things at her.  She said she felt like she was going to throw up.  Along with that, she was getting phone calls and texts from blocked numbers.  One night she received over 60 messages . . in one night!  And none of these were saying nice things.

Here is an amazing thing.  This girl was 13/14 years at that time.  She made a HUGE decision.  She stopped her social media accounts and she put her cell phone in the family safe.  She turned off all those voices that seeked to destroy her.  Do you know how AMAZING that is???

The rest of the story – the girl is now 17.  Her adorable girl is 2 1/2.  She switched schools.  She’s a member of the National Honor’s Society, has a 3.56 GPA and is a good mother!  Those things are all amazing.

Here’s the part I want to focus on . . . she turned off the noise!  That is amazing.

A truth of life is that people will always talk about you.  They will say good things on occasion.  But mostly the people who talk, will talk bad.  They will talk in person, on the phone, online, and any other way they can.  They will judge you.  They will condemn you.  They will try to get others to join them.  And this can destroy you . . . if you let it.  You have the power to listen to them or not.  YOU HAVE THAT POWER!

That last part is missed sooo much.  I just read the other day about another teenager who ended her life because of the bullying she received.  I know some of the bullying was in person.  But for the majority of it – the majority of the bullying was online and texts and messages.  And it doesn’t have to be this way.  I read the remarks from her parents.  They want the kids who were doing the bullying to pay and to suffer.  I do understand feeling that way.

I would love to end bullying.  But bullying has been around since the beginning of time.  I am a pretty optimistic person, but I see no way to turn the hearts and minds of every person on Earth.

In the meantime, we can teach an invaluable lesson to our kids.  A lesson that the teenage mother learned.  We can teach our kids not to listen.  We can teach them to shut things down and off.  The voices that are torturing you have a mute button . . and you control it.  You just have to push it.  The more you listen to that garbage, the less you think of yourself . . . and the harder it is to hit that button.  Don’t even go down that road.  Just turn them all off.

Let them talk behind your back.  If you are walking forward, they are staying still.  While you move to a better destination; they’ll still be there behind your back . . in the same place . . . still talking.  Soon enough you’ll be so far away from them you can’t even hear them.  Then you’ll be so far away that you can’t even see them.  They can’t stop you!  Turn them off!

I know I make it sound simple.  Believe me, I know how very hard it actually is.  I was bullied quite a bit in middle school.  And that was before the days of cell phones and the internet.  I remember sitting in a classroom, just praying for the clock to move faster so I could get back home and be safe.  But I had that.  I had a safe home.  I didn’t have the voices following me thru a lit up screen or a phone to harrass me late at night.  Sometimes the voices would stick in my head during those times.  And for that, I had a friend.  I had my mom.  I had someone who reminded me to turn those voices off.  She reminded me that those words were lies.  And now I’m telling you, that if people are bullying you, the mean and hurtful things they say are lies.  I don’t even need to hear what they’ve said to know that they are lies.  They are.  Turn them off.

Tonight I am thankful for reading an article that I thought was just about a teenage mother; when it turned out to be so much more.  Think of this girl.  Really think about her.  She was scared and embarrassed.  She was bullied and harassed.  But she didn’t stay a victim.  She had bigger plans.  She turned off the negative voices and she went down her path.  Turn off the negative voices . . do it now.  Don’t wait until they get louder.

When I’m the Problem

I was listening to a podcast in my car today.  They were interviewing this world renown speaker and he caught my attention.

He talked about people getting stuck.  People get comfortable where they are and they get stuck.  Moving out of your comfort zone is scary.  And when something is scary, it is easy to find reasons not to do it.

2017 is my year to get out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes I feel like I’m failing miserably.  Other times, I feel a bit more inspired.  I’ve actually been thinking about starting an “I’ve Done” list.  “I’ve done” is the opposite of the “To-Do” list.  The “I’ve Done” list has come in handy in the past.  In the past I’ve done the list for those days where I work and work and work and I don’t feel like I’ve made any headway.  I sit down and write my list of things I’ve done.  For now I’m thinking I need to do a list like that for bigger-than-daily items!  When it is staring at me there on paper; I can’t help but agree that I certainly have done some things.

I’m good at working hard . . and excessively.  However, like anything in excess, my capacity to stay busy and work, work, work is not healthy.  Yet, it has become my comfort zone.  I can remind myself that all my work, work, work was with good reason.  And it was!  Moving forward, I’ll definitely stay busy!  But I need to slow down a bit!  The good news is that if I am the problem . .  I am also the solution!

The winds are changing and I am still working on changing with those winds!  At the beginning of this year, I certainly didn’t think that six months later this would be such an issue still.  And my slow pace at changing gets frustrating at times.  At times I feel like a bumper car moving down a lane – those bumper cars don’t steer very well, so you bump one side, bump the other side, and back and forth again and again while inching forward.  The thing to know is that those cars end up surging forward at some point!  And they would never surge forward if the driver stopped the car, just because it was bumping in to the sides of a lane!

Tonight I am thankful for moving out of my comfort zone!  I’ve made some big steps in both of my businesses this week!  And I’ve made some big steps so far this year – some have panned out, some have not.  I’ve also made some baby steps on healthy personal things this week . . and baby steps are just as good as big steps some times!  Big things are coming!  I know it!  And I intend to be ready!




There have been a string of break-ins in my neck of the woods.  Several people I know have had their barns broken in to and items stolen.  The latest were just down the road from me.

Good or bad, I told the kids today.  I told them for a reason – kids are creative.  I asked them for ideas.  What did they think we should do to the barn to try to catch a thief?  I got a few ideas.  I think the best one was to catch the skunk that lives by our barn and put her inside to wait for sneaky people 🙂

I told the kids that my idea was to take the cot out there and sleep with the .22 under me.  I heard, “Mom!  You can’t kill them!”.  I assured them, No I wouldn’t kill anyone.  But a bullet to the leg would keep the intruder from running off and stealing again, now wouldn’t it?

I told the kids, this isn’t anything to be scared about.  I told them that Mom isn’t scared.  Mom is fairly mad about this.  Unfortunately, not everyone knows that the number one rule in this house is “Don’t make the Momma mad!”.  Seriously, that is the rule.  I didn’t make it.  The hubster made that rule.  I found it slightly offensive, like I was some kind of volcano.  But I haven’t been able to stop the reciting of this rule for a few years now.  So I guess I’m stuck with it.  Fortunately for my family, I can be a fairly patient person.  Unfortunately for a thief, I won’t be patient towards someone who has stolen items, upset several families, and decides to walk on my property.

Tonight I am thankful for the right to bear arms.  I am thankful that I am a good shot.  And I am thankful for a few other fun ideas from the kids . . . one involves fire . . . probably can’t pull that one off 😉


Sometimes I feel like a wonderful mother.  Other times . . not so much.

Take for instance, take my youngest child.  It has taken me most of his life to know what color his eyes are.  Seriously.  I figured it out about a year ago.

It seems so cut and dry, right?  I mean, my eyes are brown.  They turn green when I get very emotional.  But most of the time, they are all brown.  My first three children have brown eyes.  Their eyes are always brown.

But . . my youngest child . . . I thought perhaps he had chameleon eyes.  Sometimes they seem a light shade of blue.  Other times they are green.  And still other times, they are mostly brown.  Sometimes there is almost a gold color in his eyes around the pupil.  I seriously have had thoughts of this child growing up and struggling at the Secretary of State for his driver’s license when he had to fill in “Eye Color”.  I mean . . which one would he pick??  They always change!!

Then I read about green eyes.  Did you know it is fairly normal for green eyes to turn different shades?  I didn’t.  Did you know that brown circles around the pupil, followed by green for the rest of the iris is typical for green eyes?  I didn’t know that either.  Did you know that sometimes that brown circle looks amber or gold?  Nope, I didn’t.

Here we are, just a bit shy of a decade old and I finally know my child’s eye color.  There goes my Mother of the Year award!  Ah well, I’d gladly trade it in to be able to answer my kiddo when he asks me, “Mom, what color are my eyes?”  For years I’ve given him different answers.  Fortunately, this has never seemed to bother him!

Tonight I am thankful for knowing what color my children’s eyes are!  Seriously, I know.  It sounds so simple.  But, if someone doesn’t know how special green eyes can be . . well then, someone (me) wouldn’t know what green eyes are!  Now I know!  And I am thankful!


Wild Trouble

The kids have found two wild baby birds in four summers at this house.  This first bird was a little older.  We happened to have an unoccupied bird-cage at the time, so we brought the bird inside.  The bird went crazy banging itself against the cage trying to get free.  So we took it back outside, put it up in a tree and hoped for the best.

Today’s bird was a little smaller.  It had feathers, but it still needed its mommy.  When my kiddo saw the bird, it was in the mouth of a cat!  My daughter got the bird away from the cat. Miraculously, the bird was in good shape.  We found the nest and put the bird back.  In the meantime we dug in the dirt and fed it a little grub.  That seemed to make the bird happy.

Honestly though, we have little idea what we are doing.  We need more information on how to handle these situations!  With plenty of barn cats, my compassionate kiddos have their work cut out for them to save baby birds.  I wrote out some questions on a pice of paper and handed them to my daughter to do some research.  She is currently being assisted by her sister, as the internet searching on wild baby bird care can be difficult.

Tonight I am thankful for the World-Wide-Web.  I hope my girls find some good information.  More than that, I hope the baby birds stay in their nests with their Mommas, where they belong!!




In A Pinch

I have a tent, for events, with the open sides and just the top cover.  I bought it two summers ago for my first “booth” at an expo.  It has come in handy!

I think the last time I used it was in the fall.  We had a game booth for the cheerleaders at the Homecoming football game.  I know we used it then.

Today we had a booth for Ethos Real Estate West at the Mason Outdoor Expo and More.  I hadn’t gotten anything out beforehand.  I knew it would all be where I had left it . . . right?  Wrong.  The frame was there.  The canopy was not.  I looked all over this morning.  I searched the basement, the attic, the garage, the barn, even the laundry room.  I cannot find it!

I was prepared to sit the entire time out in the sun.  Then the hubster remembered a patio sun shade we had in the attic.  It is a nice sun shade.  It really doesn’t do too well at our house.  We usually have a pretty nice breeze going here, which I love.  The sun shade isn’t made too much for the wind.  But it could work today!  We threw it in the truck and were off!

It was ok.  I ended up taking it down after the first few hours.  The poor shade just couldn’t handle the wind at our booth well either.

I’m starting a search to see how much a replacement canopy is.  There is a slight chance that it got thrown out.  I have kept it in a trash bag because it is big and doesn’t fold well.  And a trash bag is just a big bag!  I didn’t think I used a trash bag the last time we used it . . . but who knows.  Ugh.

Tonight I am thankful that the patio sun shade worked fairly well in a pinch today!  I am thankful that I wasn’t in the sun the entire event!  And I am thankful that the breeze at least felt nice today, even if it diminished the utility of the sun shade!


Police . . Again


I have been appraising houses for 12 years now.  In that time I have lost count for how many times people have called the police on me.  And there was that one time that I tripped a house alarm . . . twice . . . Lansing police had excellent response times that day.

Anyway, it’s been a kind of funny thing.  I mean, sometimes when people call the police on me, it is a little weird.  But I know that I’m not doing anything wrong; so it has become a bit, with humorous how many times it has happened.

Until today.

After the whole CPS thing several weeks ago, I really didn’t think how this would affect my sense of humor with houses.  Today I had the police called on me . . . again.  Because, ya know, 4:30ish on a Friday, a woman in dress clothes with a clip board, entering a home utilizing a lockbox with a code that she knows, seems awfully suspicious!  Right?  No?  I didn’t think so either.  Luckily, the officer didn’t think so either.  He did go over and chat with the neighbors.  Hopefully to tell them that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere and they should chill out!

Tonight I am thankful that the police don’t think I’m a bad guy!  A whole bunch of other people seem to think that I am!!  Fortunately the people with the guns and handcuffs believe otherwise.

Here is my mug shot . . . er, how I looked today that seemed so suspicious.