Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What Makes a Good Leader?

Writing Prompt - What makes a good leader? 
A good leader will not treat their crew, soldiers or whoever they are leading really badly. They should believe in them, trust them and train them well.
If they treat them really badly they will never gain good trust in you. If you don't believe in them, they will have a harder time believing in themselves.
A good leader should show a good example. They should work hard and get them to work hard. 
If they are acting lazy and never working, it would look like their leader doesn't work hard and get stronger and tougher. 
If somebody wants to be a leader they must work themselves.
If they don't they won't be able to show the people they are leading a good example and won't be qualified as a good leader.
I think sportsmanship makes a great leader. Because if you lose you have to be good about it. Respecting your friends. If you are rude no one will want to be with you. Also being hardworking. If you tell everyone else to do they will not like you. Acknowledging what everyone wants. You have to be nice and let other people have breaks. These things make a good leader so if you're a leader, follow them!

I like to think that I am a leader at school. Because when I finish I help someone. At home school I think mom is a leader because she teaches us lots of things. Onyx thinks he is the leader of me sometimes. But I am the leader of me. I am also the leader of Echo, which is fun. Onyx is the leader of Jedi and mom is the leader of Pebble. See, it is that easy to find things. 

What makes a good leader? I think a good leader can be if they are wise or smart in battle. If they choose to build their army up and train them well they will be strong. If they choose to be lazy and not try to be strong they will be weak. They can be a good leader if they are good to people living in their city and don't force taxes out of them and give them plenty to eat. A good leader should know what to do in a bad situation and be prepared for it.  
A good leader. A leader needs a good mind. A good leader also needs a good sense of humor. They have to try to do the right thing. Like a pirate leader when another ship is attacking them. The leader would come out from the deck and if the people were bad he or she would help his people. The leader also needs leadership. That's what I think. From Clover to mom.
What makes a good leader? Why?
Someone who takes care of their country. Because if people do what they want to do they will not listen to you. Someone who makes good laws. If you make bad laws people will hate your city. Someone who lets you have breaks. People would also hate your team or class. Someone who gives people homes. Someone who lets them eat when they want or you will not have anybody in your city. 
Here are some qualities that I believe makes a good leader. A leader should be someone that is kind and thinks of their followers' needs. In one of my books, they said that people who want power and get it spend their whole life trying to keep it and will do what ever it takes to do so. Therefore, they said that you have to give power to those who don't want it. To some extent, I agree with their statement. I think that a leader should be someone who is confident and won't be influenced by their position and get a big head. A good leader puts themselves in the position of their followers in order to make accurate decisions on their behalf. They should be someone that's capable of making good spur of the moment decisions and has a strong, able mind. These are some of the qualities that I think make a good leader. Thank you for reading! 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Foster Baby's Room That Wasn't

In my family we've long known that if I couldn't (wouldn't, didn't) become pregnant with a wee little Deutschkin by the time my ovaries shriveled up like prunes I turned 40, we would apply to become foster parents with the ultimate intent of adopting a wee little Deutschkin. Duh. The whole wide world was aware of my obsession with desire for just one more bundle of cooing, pooing joy.

For years, years, actual years and years (!) I had a one track mind relegated to the restrictive confines of The Baby Express. The facts I can now rattle off regarding the reproductive systems of human beings, oy vey. If you're not the medical type, they may cause your cheeks to grow rosy. I learned a lot. Mainly, that my husband and I are physically incapable of producing any more Deutschkins with chromosomes of our own unless we laid down endless wads of cash to do so and maybe not even then.

Most importantly I learned that no matter how many children you have, Infertility when you desperately want to conceive is a cruel, wretched monster of a creature, indifferent to your pain and quiet, monthly, teary eyed, sorrowful suffering. I despise her and mourn for anyone who has crossed her path or resides within her crippling grip. Woeful is the woman who longs to bear a child. For her, little else on earth matters.

So, it happened. On a snowy day last winter I toppled over the hill and began the tumble toward what lies a good six feet beneath. Hello, 40! Bring on that midlife baby!

Only we weren't ready. We decided to give our existing roommates some personal space to claim as their own by remodeling their shared rooms into virtual kid sanctuaries where they could carve out a small piece of individuality within the square footage we gleefully refer to as home. That took most of the winter.

Then, we opted for a Summer of Fun where we would squeeze every ounce of adventure and activity into one three month span. Embarrassing dorks for parents that we are, we actually called it that, Summer of Fun. Over and over we reminded the 13 and under crowd that we were having a Summer of Fun, dammit. You WILL ENJOY YOURSELVES or THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES, dammit. We are having fun, dammit! Aren't we having fun, kids? Oh, yes we are! Rah, rah, rah!

We really did. There were a bunch of outings and quite a few firsts and some camping and short hotel stays and a lot of bonding time and really, it was fun.

As The Summer of Fun drew to a close, our thoughts began to turn toward the construction of what would be the baby's room - converting the small, open home office into a bedroom. (A wall, a window, a door, new texture and paint on the walls.) Only by then I knew - my thoughts had been shifting for a while - I no longer felt compelled to foster a baby.

My oldest baby was turning 14. 14! That meant there were only 4 blessed, little, itty bitty, teeny tiny years until she would be a legal adult (still living under our roof until she is 35, of course, but an adult nonetheless.) She and I are so very close. We play games together and ride bikes and talk and talk and talk and she is a dear friend to me. All those years when we were welcoming babies and adopting kids and busy, busy, busy, too busy to adequately breathe deeply started to slow where she and I sincerely have some focused time we can spend together and it was sublime to the point of magical.

Soon after she is 18, Onxy will be. And so on. We welcomed them in a cluster and if we do our jobs well so they are prepared for the great big and wonderful world of vast opportunity that lies before them we will see them go in a cluster, year by year.

What would it mean if I allowed myself the space to set the pace in my life at a speed that wasn't mock 90 with my colored-over-greying hair on fire?

What if I savored these precious, fleeing years with my young people while they're still here?

What if I didn't devote myself wholly to another mother's children to care for as my own to possibly relinquish into her arms after our time was through? *

What if I just.....didn't?

As the days and months rolled on, I became more and more comfortable with the idea of just not doing it, of letting myself off the hook of endless advancement where I don't feel the need to drive so hard forward.

It's foreign territory to me, not continually dwelling in The Land of the Perpetual Next. But the longer I do it, the more I come to terms with the notion of being fully present right where I am - satisfied, full and complete with being exactly here, just as things are. (Except for they're always changing. But that's another set of skills to be developed on another day. Note to self: Learn to accept change.)

So, we redid the room anyway. It's now a bonus room. Or rec room. Or den. Or kids' room. Or whatever you'd like to call it. It's just not the baby's room.

And for the first time in a fistful of seasons filled to the brim with hope dashed, I find myself content with that.

May my joy be full as I find it within the pockets of the life I already possess.

For as it stands today, the reality of my existence is more than I could have ever hoped for.

I'm not even kidding.

{The office as it was}
{From the outside looking in (my EO cabinet is now brown)}
My husband is the bee's knees.

*Disclaimer: This is not at all, whatsoever about foster parents who are currently or have ever provided a home for children under their care. It is purely about myself thinking through my own time constraints, desires and life. I have nothing but the utmost respect for foster parents everywhere who selflessly give their hours tending to children born to another. It's a tremendous feat for the compassionate brave few who are willing to walk in mighty shoes. Foster parents make the world a better place, literally, hourly, sacrificially. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


In the beautiful Pike National Forest. Where the view is majestic and grand and expansive and awe inspiring and sadly marred by the thoughtlessness of a few.  Which is why we left no trash behind ~ not a single speck. Not a shot gun shell, not a shattered beer bottle, not a soda can nor piece of foil. No toilet paper, no plastic bottles or wrappers or leftover food or cigarette butts. Lest someone might accuse us of being some of those hillbilly a$$ hats who are known for such a thing.

These hillbillies are way too crunchy for that type of shenanigan. Does nature's nobility not beckon proper homage?

Yes it does. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Catch Up

Earlier this week while out on a date with my big squeeze I bought 2 pair of $6 sunglasses at Big Lots. They are exactly 6 times as extravagant as every pair I've previously owned. It made me feel all grown up and fancy. Because everyone knows, Big Lots trumps Dollar Tree on all 7 of the days that end with a Y.

Speaking of the Life of Luxury I effortlessly lead, you may or may not remember all that pitiful pining I whined about over a minivan to call my very own. 6 years of pumping gas by the hogshed and parking the maxi van beyond the outer rim of civilization to ensure I could pull in and out without scraping the side of some luckier woman's sleek and tiny minivan was plenteous enough. I've tasted life driving The Big Dog Vehicle. And though I could peer over your head and watch you pick what you thought no one could see from my nosebleed vantage point, (which may have served to feed some sick pleasure deep within) there were no other advantages to lugging the monstrosity around for every little errand I run. Especially now that I don't necessarily take each one of my charges everywhichwhere I go. Now, dear friends, you may dig away in those nostrils resting assuredly in the certainty that I can not observe because Mama Has A Minivan! (Holla!) My Honda Odyssey seats 8 so as long as we leave big daddy behind the chiltlins and I can cruise town all sexy like. It's recycled so to speak - once totaled then repaired which makes my green crunchy self jump up and down all over the refurbished seats. I love it so much, I openly covet. When a friend posted a photo of her Ferrari I scoffed and shook my head. Honey, what choo got aint no minivan....

Summer has kept us all kinds of crazy busy recreating the way we lavish Deutsch people do. You know, staying in MOtels with actual OUTdoor swimming pools, camping in tents, playing in lake water and calling it "bath time," spending $50 in yogurt to claim our free library reading program prizes, etc. It's basically been a blast and then all these people come around rushing me everyhwere. Like messages in my inbox, ONLY 5 WEEKS OF SUMMER LEFT and the school supplies rudely shoving their way onto the shelves once filled with blow up rafts for sparkly pools. Um, premature much? To that I say, Shut the Full Cup. We aren't ready. The sun is shining. The air is warm. The days are lazy and fun and free and spontaneous and school can go, go, go away.

Which reminds me of the kids' testing results we received at the end of last year. Now, I never claimed to be teacher of the year by even the most flexible stretch of the wildest of imaginations. But let me say this to all the naysayers who wonder how in the H*E double hockey sticks we manage to pull this gig off. Our kids, they did well. Very well. With zero actual preparation with regard for what would actually be on the tests, because I had zero idea what would actually be on the actual tests. They swished it, all of them, even our most academically challenged child scored on par with national standards while the rest were far above. They did it spending a mere fraction of the time they would in a conventional school environment with oodles of hours to pursue interests of their choosing. My heart, it was full and happy and validated. Personally, I'm a kind of massive fan of folks being able to choose their own paths according to their individual belief systems, situations, aptitudes, goals and desires, so long as they are not hurting anyone else in the process. In educational opportunities....and elsewhere. At this juncture, homeschooling is pretty much a rock star at our house. It's almost as big as the little minivan...  

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Family Camp

At Roundup River Ranch. For freeeeeeeeeee! Compliments of Paul Newman's foundation and lots of generous doners. For kids with chronic illnesses (Flint) and on certain designated weekends, their whole family (the rest of us). So much fun. Such high quality provisions in every way. Grateful, we are!

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