Dear man at the car wash….Thank You!

To the man at the car wash today…I want to say, “Thank You!”

You see at first I was taken aback and even angry when you boldly and in front of my children said “I overheard you mention your children are home-schooled, do you mind if I ask you a question?” I replied “Yes” and then you replied “How are they gonna enter society? I mean I am a business owner and have 100 employees and your children will not know how to handle situations that come up because they are home-schooled and I would not employ them” Well, you know how that worked out for you and I know I wasn’t rude. I stated my case, or should I say our family’s case. After all, it does pertain to my home-schooled children that have to “enter society”. Mind you Mr Man at the car wash, that they are not getting out of prison or are they some wild animal that needs to be tamed. They entered society when they emerged from the womb. They entered this world loved by more people than you can count.

I want to thank you though, because of your brazen remarks, my children and I then had a lesson about life when we got into our car and drove away. I asked them this question “M and E, how do we treat others?” Their response “We treat others as we would like to be treated and if we don’t have anything nice to say, we don’t say anything at all. We do not judge a book by it’s cover and we are humble in our ways.”

Mr Man at the car wash, these are not just things a child learns in public school, these are things that are instilled at home. I say this because it appears to me you missed those lessons in school.

I mentioned some of the positives, but I will mention some again. My children can learn at their own pace. Which for them happens to be advanced and has my son doing Algebra in the 6th grade. He is happy about it! We do not push them beyond what we know they are capable of. They are exposed to many outside things that are positive and not exposed to many things in the school system that are negative. You mentioned they will not know how to function in society without facing those negative things in school. Some people may argue that..I will disagree. The entire time we sat and had our conversation, my children sat very politely and quietly as you attacked their mother for her beliefs and how she is raising them. This is because I have taught them to respect their elders. Mr Man at the car wash, the fact that my children can do that at 9 and 11 years old and in today’s society makes them MORE than employable. However, you won’t have to worry about employing my children, because they will probably employ themselves…and maybe even your grandchildren 😉

Mr Man at the car wash, I really wish we would have had more time to chat, because then you would see that my children truly did “enter this society” when they came out of the womb. Life and who a person becomes, has nothing to do with going to public school, private school or being home-schooled. It is about what we, as parents take the time to teach our children. Today, with your help I taught mine about standing up to and overcoming adversity and that not everyone is going to agree with us and our way of thinking and that is okay, BUT we still treat those people…yes, even the bold, brazen and condemning ones with kindness, and trust me..that is not always easy.

If we had spent more time with you, I would have introduced you to two amazing human beings! I would have told you that my children have been to other countries and seen families live in houses with three walls and dirt floors..and that they were completely humbled at the ages of 7 and 9 telling their Daddy and I how they felt like we had too much. How they shared their food with those in need. How they came home and went through their toys and gave many of them to others. They did not learn this on their own. They learned it through teaching and not from the public school system, but from their Mother and Father and we have learned it from our Heavenly Father. You would know that my children were there to hold the hands of a dying young friend, who passed from cancer as she took close to her very last breaths. You would know that my E talks to Jesus and that she tells him to take care of her Ariel. You would know that I involve my children in many, many activities serving others. You would know that my children have seen their parents endure and overcome many things in life, both as full time, career firefighters and business owners and that sometimes we have bad days, but tomorrow is a new one. You would know that my children have a love for their disabled Nana and that when her wheelchair broke during a run that we did as a family, that their Mama didn’t give up and she rocked that wheelchair back on its back wheels and carried their Nana to the finish line..all while her children were in tow, showing them that you don’t EVER give up and that you NEVER leave family and friends behind. You would know that I have instilled a pride for this country into my children and we honor veterans who come in on the honor flight, because THEY served this country and provided us with the freedoms we have, to include your freedom of speech and ability to try and insult myself and my children today.

My children have volunteered with me at Burn Camps for burn injured children and the Sheriff’s Boys Ranch for boys who have lost their way a little. In our family, we believe in second chances.

Mr Man at the car wash, there is so much more I can say, to reassure you that my children would be very employable with your company, but for some reason…I am not that worried about it. 🙂

To put your mind at ease though…My M and E speed skate and get plenty of social interaction there….My little E, well she dances and gets up on that stage with a smile on her face..each and every time. They both love and are full of life. I am sincere in saying…they entered society…when they came out of the womb, my womb in which they were knitted together. I am thankful for you today and I am thankful that you were able to meet them. I am sharing a few little proofs that these children will be just fine…no need to worry.

E cheering on Mom

E cheering on Mommy when Mommy ran a half-marathon

E Pitch

E throwing the first pitch at the FPF softball game..you can see she isn’t very socialized here 😉

M...Bunker Gear.

M at Fire Department “Bring your kids to work day”

Mom and Kids Christmas Run

Jingle Bell Run with Nana in her wheelchair.

Honor Flight E

Supporting our veterans and learning about our freedoms.

Science CC

Science Class with Classical Conversations..

Shane and M

M volunteering with Mom at the Boys Ranch

Skating E Southern Speed

E skating….and us getting our socialization with Southern Speed Team..

Mr Man at the car wash, I hope this clears up any misconceptions in reference to my children and their inability to enter society. I and many others are pretty sure they are going to be just fine!

How close is close….?

After the passing of a Facebook friend today, tears fell down my cheeks in sadness for her family. She was a mother to two beautiful children close to the same age as mine and I met her husband through “Pink Heals”, an organization that supports women that battle cancer. As I shared this loss with a friend of mine, who ironically enough, I met on social media, she asked “were you close?”. This question made me really think about online relationships. I mean, life after all, is about just that…relationships. Once upon a time, I would have probably laughed at the concept of feeling “close” to an online friend…BUT, I have built so many relationships. Not only have I done that, but I am truly thankful for those relationships. Social Media has become such an integral part of the lives of today’s wives and moms! Don’t get me wrong, I have some of those, what I call “double edged sword” moments! You know, the ones that creep up on you when you see all of the negative on social media? The ones that make you say, “I’m tired of this drama! I need a break!”…..BUT…..There are some profoundly, life changing and positive things that encompass this social media thing and the relationships we build from it!

Relationships…I get to watch High School friends raise their children. Heck…I get to watch local friends raise their children, in real time! It truly makes my heart smile to see other mamas doing things just like me! It also makes me smile to see mamas doing it their own way! I mean, there is no “right way” after all! It is encouraging to read posts that make you feel “normal”.
Relationships…I get to share the lives of my family in REAL time..My parents and In-Laws get to see the comings and goings of their grandchildren. My mom often has tears streaming down her face in happiness, when she can watch a video of her grand-babies.
Relationships…Oh the friendships I have made! I mean deep down and true friendships…that lead to road trips to the mountains on a retreat with women who you, up until that point, had only met online. That road trip to and from the mountains then grew into a close bond with a small group of ladies who really get each other.
Being a firefighter has its rough days. There are days that we see things, which can never be unseen. Relationships… include meeting women who are also firefighter wives! Women, who just get it! Who embrace who I am, not only as a firefighter wife, but as a firefighter, a mama and just as ME…who help you vent through the tough days and keep you sane. They hold your head above water some days. I would not have this support if it wasn’t for social media…if it wasn’t for one woman’s vision who said….”Man, the fire community really needs this type of thing…the divorce rates and stress levels are high…I want to help marriages!”
Relationships…because of http://www.firefighterwife.com, I have what started as an online friendship and has turned into, beautiful, in person relationships. Women who will listen when I tell them how bad “today sucked” after cutting a child out of a car, knowing a car seat would have made a difference… or… holding a family member as they cry over the loss of a loved one. Women who in turn, I have been able to give a sneak peek of what the inside of a firefighters heart and mind may look like.

TripleAThe “Triple A Trio” in real life…you would never know that we have not known each other our whole lives.

Relationships….”How close are you?”

It’s all relative………

When a child gives you a gift……

We all know the feeling…working mamas, stay at home mamas, we are all just mamas in the rat race we call motherhood. In today’s society everything is so rushed. Now..now..NOW! We have this constant pressure to do this and do that. I know in my house, being a home-schooling mama, a business owning mama and a full time firefighting mama can take it’s tole on me and leave me wondering…Am I enough? Did I do enough today? Did I show my husband enough love and affection? Did I support the children in a loving way? Or was I too rushed, to short…just not enough of the good things, that I need to be? There are days where all I want to do is hide in the closet! You all know those days. We ALL have them! Then there are days when I come home after a shift, where I worked a call that resulted in a mother no longer being able to hold her child and I feel selfish for even wanting to hide in the closet. Oh, how I know that mama would give anything to even be in my shoes. Perspective.. Life…it really is about perspective.

Last night after finishing a brutal 48 hour shift at the Fire Department, I rushed to the children’s “Finishing Well” ceremony with Classical Conversations. We celebrated getting through our first year of homeschooling. YAY! We did it.

This morning as I sat in my office balancing the budget for home and business, answering customer service emails, planning dinner and a grocery shopping trip before I go in tonight for another 24 hour shift……I hear this little voice. “Mommy, I made you something…I memorized the verse and made you this..I hope you like it”

1 Corinthians 13;13

So these three things remain Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is LOVE”

Faith Hope and....

Yes, baby girl…this verse is so true. Thank you for giving your mama a great gift this morning. Thank you for reminding me that in this rat race of motherhood I am not doing it all wrong, all of the time…that sometimes I get it right!

I am thankful I slowed down the rat race this morning and accepted her gift. It is so much more than a Bible verse on a piece of paper. It is a hug and a reminder from my Heavenly Daddy…”everything is gonna be okay and you are doing a good job mama”

 

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes below…always accept the gifts they give.

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Friendships and Inspiration

In April I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference! It was held in beautiful Anaheim, California at Disneyland. There are so many things I can write about, like this being our first trip to Disneyland (We are frequent Disneyworld visitors, it’s closer to home!) and the differences between the two places. I could talk about the amazing guest speakers, the food…the rides and entertainment, but I am going to start with friendships. You see, to me…this is a huge part of this conference being so wonderful! 🙂 We all pretty much have the same thing in common! We are all Moms (and a few great Dads)
This year I was able to reconnect with “The Happy Girl” I was so happy to see her sweet face!

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I met her last year and she is so lovable and really makes me smile!

On Sunday we had a Run Disney event…I’m not a great runner, I can run…not super fast, not super slow…just steady! I’m a completer, not a competer! 😉 I have run quite a few Disney Half Marathons and really enjoy running through the park!
The morning of the run, I was not feeling my best, jet lag, sore back…you name it…I did however, get up before the butt-crack of dawn to go run with these amazing ladies…. NYCSingleMom joined me

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Boy am I glad I did! Little did I know…that one of the most amazing memories that I would have the whole trip would be running with MommyNiri! This was her first time running a race ever! She didn’t give up and the moment we crossed the finish line together was a very proud moment! To see her so happy as she accomplished a goal, and make another goal to keep training, really made my day! You will see where we stopped to take a quick pic below! 🙂

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We finished our race in cars land! We posed with Lightening Mqueen…seriously?! How cool is that?!
Cars land was one of our favorite spots in Disneyland!!!
We met our families for breakfast and posed with a few special characters! 😉

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I don’t know a firefighter out there that could resist a photo op with RED! 😉

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I will have more posts about this amazing trip…but this one is close to my heart…so thankful for friendships, inspiration and memories! That’s really all such a big part of motherhood…we must bring each other up and not push each other down!

I was invited to attend Disney Social Media Moms conference. I paid for the conference, but was given gifts while I attended. All opinions are my own.

Cutting the Cord

I know…I know…cutting the cord on a mom blog…sounds like “cut the umbilical cord”….BUT it’s not in this case! 🙂
Let’s just say after many bad customer service issues and ridiculously expensive cable bills that Comcast/Xfinity would do absolutely nothing about, I started doing my research. As the owner of an Internet business I do the majority of my tasks online. So let me just tell you what I found and how you can save your family a ton of money! Let’s cut the cord! Shall we?!
What you will need:
A Wifi compatible Tv
OR
A Wireless Streaming Device (I use a Roku and yes it is legal)
High Speed Wireless Internet Connection
HDMI Cable (or RCA cables for older TV’s)

I searched online and Roku had quite a variety of models. The Roku Basic all the way to the Roku 3! The Roku 3 is pretty amazing and includes a remote that works similar to a Wii controller and even has a headphone set you can plug into the remote that will mute the Tv and allow you to hear it through the headphones! This is amazing for those times my husband wants to watch Tv and I want to sleep!
I ordered one Roku to start, just to see how it was going to work and if I liked it! When the Roku arrived I was pretty excited! I opened the box and read the simple, two page directions.
I hooked the HDMI cable from the Roku to the Tv and then followed the directions to activate the wireless portion. I now have access to my Netflix and HuluPlus accounts on my television! My Roku account is free. I only pay for the channels I purchase or my monthly fees for Netflix and HuluPlus. I also have the Blockbuster OnDemand movie channel where I can rent new release movies, just like I did with Xfinity on Demand….in fact…it’s BETTER!
I get my news and weather on my phone or computer. I can also access news channels on Roku if I so choose.
There are quite a few movies on the different channels on the Roku!
So….as it stands now, I am able to watch several network shows and just about any movie on my HDTV through my Roku and guess what! So far my monthly out of pocket is 16.00 yep….16.00
The basic Roku is 49.99 and the most expensive is 99.99 to purchase. It’s a one time fee to purchase. All in all, my Roku’s will be paid for by my cutting the cord with Comcast in about a month! Bye bye expensive cable bill! Comcast, you will no longer kill me in fees and expensive cable…taking care of your new customers with low cost cable, but killing the loyal customers with higher prices! My second month after cutting the cord will only cost me 16.00! I am super excited about that!
So, who’s with me?! Let’s cut those cords! 🙂

I will always hold your hand….

Two days ago was the 9th birthday of my oldest…such a sweet, smart and funny boy! He keeps me on my toes for sure! As I sat at lunch with him today I realized that soon he would be an “adult”…the reality of how fast the first nine years have gone by really hit me. I realized that before I knew it, he would be grown and living his own life. The little precious boy that I carried in my”tummy” for nine months, and then took care of as an infant, chased as a toddler, and now ride roller coasters with as a 9 year old would be an “adult” before I could even blink! It’s not like haven’t ever thought about it before, but for some reason it was like “WHAM! Oh my Goodness” I am about halfway there! Now I realize he will always be a huge part of my life and I will forever worry about him and his sister….but it just kind of sunk in that his “childhood” is half way over! Wow! DON’T blink.
On the way to the car after lunch he held my hand…he always holds my hand, but I thought about the fact that soon this little hand would no longer be little. I said “I love holding your hand buddy, mommy is sad that one day you won’t be holding my hand like this anymore….” He looked up at me…his hand still in mine and said “Mommy, I betcha 10.00 I will always hold your hand forever!” I sure hope so little buddy. I hope that I am and will continue to be all that you need as a mommy and I wish I could continue to live all of the little moments we have forever!

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Exciting Times @ Disney

May is a fun month in our House! We have two kid birthdays and Mother’s Day!
This year we will be celebrating both in conjunction with the Disney Social Media Moms Conference held in the Walt Disney World Resort Orlando. So far being chosen for this conference has been an amazing experience! Prepping for the trip and getting special little packages in the mail including our new 20″ suitcase from American Tourister! (Yes…I have already lost this piece of luggage to my 7 year old) I highly recommend the quality of their pieces. So far the suitcase is surviving the kid test of durability!

Our children have grown up with lots of
Disney fun, so they are eagerly anticipating this trip! Disney has always been so amazing for our little guys. Very accommodating for families and boat loads of fun! In fact, we always give our kids the option of “having a birthday party, or going to Disney” they always choose the Disney trip! When we arrive, we are sure to get our “Disney Birthday” buttons. The children love this! Everywhere we go Disney cast members wish the kids happy birthday!! Florida residents can also enjoy great deals with the FL Resident Annual Pass! Annual Pass-holders also enjoy discounts on resort stays, so it is a win-win for us! 🙂
We are super excited about the amazing experience we are about to have! The new Fantasyland is supposed to be amazing!
I look forward to blogging along the way…and keeping everyone posted on what new and exciting things Disney has to offer!