Stop Letting Love Blind You

I Love You So Much 1

For some reason, love often blinds us. We can be the most intelligent, careful, cautious people, but when love comes around it is like we lose it all. Love has a way of making you think and feel and do things you shouldn’t. What’s even more interesting is the fact that what we feel often isn’t even love. It’s infatuation, attachment, lust. It looks like love and feels like love, but it isn’t. Either way, they all screw with our heads and our hearts. They impact our ability to use reason and make sound decisions. Our emotions are all over the place and extremely intensified. I feel that love, and all those things we mistake for love, make us go a bit mad.

Think of our dear friend the Mad Hatter. This is a person who is a bit bonkers but not totally insane. Love usually makes us a bit bonkers as well. Sometimes love takes us to the extreme and we absolutely lose our minds, but we hope to retain a bit of sanity through it though. In reality, we don’t want to lose ourselves and our minds in it. This takes work. It takes work and a commitment to keep your focus through the highs and lows of the love emotions. It takes time to build up an ability to use reason while your world is spun upside down.

Trust me, it is worth doing the work for.

As someone who has been in toxic relationships, I wish that I had paid better attention to what was going on instead of getting caught up in the rush of the relationship. I missed clear and brightly blinking signs early on. I glossed over red flags thinking they were no big deal, and that I could change them. I lost myself completely in the emotions and in the moment. And I didn’t just do it once either. I’ve done it time and time again. And Every. Single. Time. I have regretted it immensely.

My last serious relationship was a whirlwind. It was as though I was caught up in a tornado of emotions, attachment, red flags, and life changes. I was high on the good times and high on the fights. We had an ugly argument only two weeks into our relationship. This was a clear sign of an issue and I ignored it. I had such passion with this person, that I fought to make it work. After that, we had terrible fights time and time again. Yet I continued to ignore them all. I was letting my emotions lead me and it only led to disaster in the end. Only after it ended did I see it for what it was, and that was because I finally chose to open my eyes.

With any life experience, I focus on learning the lessons from it and I actively work to make better choices in the future. I also retain gratitude for the good that came out of the experience.

But that doesn’t mean I keep on rose colored glasses to see it as something it wasn’t. 

My relationship with him was toxic and unhealthy, period. He brought out the worst in me and I gave up almost all of who I was as a person. I was miserable and had completely lost myself. My life lost all meaning. I had only my child and the moments I had away from him to keep me going and give me something to look forward to. He sucked almost all of the joy out of my life. I was a prisoner in a hell controlled by him. What was left of me was a shell that he had created.

I fully believed that real love meant you stick it out no matter how bad things got. I was sure he was my true love, and I was determined never to quit loving him. He needed my love because no one else loved him. I was going to show him that someone loved him no matter what he did.

That is literally the stupidest thing I could have done.

Yes, I am calling my decision stupid because that is what it was. Notice that I am not calling myself stupid because that is unhealthy and untrue. Who you are is not what’s in question, your decision is. Do not attack yourself for decisions you make. You are not a bad person for making a poor decision. You are a good person who made a poor choice. And trust me, it happens to the best of us!

Let’s talk about how we can avoid getting so wrapped up in the “love” feelings that we make poor decisions.

Step #1 – You have to see things as they are. This is VERY hard to do in the midst of all those feelings, but it is a must! Do a reality check for yourself weekly. Take a look at your relationship from the perspective of an outsider or a friend. Even better, look at it from the perspective of a harsh critic. If you find yourself unable to look at it without bias, ask a close friend or two to tell you what they think. You have to find a way to see red flags when they come up and not stay in a toxic relationship because you refuse to see the facts for what they are.

Step #2 – Stop making excuses. If your partner berates you like trash whenever you upset them, this is not a healthy person or a healthy relationship. If they belittle your feelings or put you down for showing any emotions, this is not a healthy person or a healthy relationship. If they are emotionally or physically abusive to you, this is not a healthy person or relationship. If they try to manipulate you, use you, or con you in any way, this is not a healthy person or relationship. There are NO excuses for this kind of behavior. Stop making them! Stop allowing this person to hurt you and mistreat you. By making excuses for their behavior, you are showing them that it is okay to treat you like that. You deserve better treatment from a partner so show that by putting your foot down when they start to treat you badly! If there is a pattern of negative behavior, you have to take notice of it. It is HIGHLY unlikely this behavior will change. Time and love and attention will not change it. Nothing will. You need to accept this.

Step #3 – True love does not mean submitting yourself to horrible treatment. That is not true love at all. You should never have to martyr yourself for the sake of a partner. You should never force yourself to stay with someone who is toxic. It is not healthy for you and it is not healthy for your children. Claiming you are “staying for the kids” is a flat out lie. The kids need a healthy home environment and you staying is not providing them one. They need to see an example of a parent respecting themselves enough to walk away from a bad person who is hurting them. Don’t use your kids or your “love” as an excuse. You know you need to leave.

Step #4 – Let go of the attitude that it’s harder to leave than it is to stay. We all get contented in our relationships. Even if it’s a miserable one, we stay in it because it’s what we’ve known for so long and the unknown is scary. Plus ending things involves a whole lot of work and we don’t want to deal with that. But is your well-being and peace of mind really worth settling for the hell you’re in? Are you willing to give up the unknown, which could actually bring you many positive things and much happiness, all because staying where you are is easier? That’s a pretty lousy reason! Yes it will be hard at first, but then it will be freeing and wonderful! You will find happiness and yourself again. You’ll get to change your world if you just take the steps to do so.

Step #4 – This is the most important step and it is probably the hardest to do – WALK AWAY. There were many times that I knew I should walk away, if not RUN away, from that man. I chose to ignore those moments and that was a huge mistake. I subjected myself to years of pain and hardship because of that. When you have recognized there are red flags, when you’ve stopped making excuses for their behavior, when you know that it’s a toxic relationship, you need to leave. No, it is not always an easy process. If you live together, that means splitting property and one of you moving. If you are engaged, that means canceling the wedding. If you are married, that means divorce. If you have kids, that means custody battles and joint custody, and it means dealing with new partners and step-parents.

But in the long run, you will be happier without this person in your day to day life. 

You will hate your life day to day, month to month, year to year, as your life goes on if you let this person stay in your world. You will grow more and more unhappy, bitter, miserable, sad, angry, and depressed.

It will only get worse, it never gets better.

I will not lie to you and tell you that my life is perfect now. I am still struggling to find my bearings and get things on a new track. I’ve had ups and downs, highs and lows. But I can tell you with all honestly that I am happier now, even on my hardest days, than I was with him. I dreaded my future with him.  I imagined that I would make it until my kiddo had graduated, and then most likely divorce him. Only a few years in and I was already planning my divorce down the road! This is not a good sign.

Please, use these steps to really evaluate the reality of your relationship. If you are in a toxic relationship, start taking the steps to leave. Create a new life and a new happiness for yourself free of that person. It is so worth it!

Lexi Life So Divine Logo 1

 

Life So Divne Copyright Logo 1

Advertisements

Father’s Day For Single Mothers

Fathers Day 1

There are going to be a lot of days you dread in your new single life. The first of everything since the breakup is the very hardest. First birthdays, first holidays, first big events. I will not lie to you and tell you it will be easy. Even when you get out of an awful relationship, you will still notice the giant difference when those moments come around. Last year you were a family, this year you are a single parent.

Today is a very hard day for many single mothers, but it cuts deeply if your breakup is still fresh. This is my first Father’s Day since my breakup and I woke up in tears. I know with all my heart that he was not a good man and our relationship was not healthy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel sadness from time to time. And that doesn’t mean I don’t hurt on the holidays and special occasions. Last year I was a wife on Father’s Day and we were a family. My kiddo had someone to celebrate this day for. We did all the traditional things with gifts, cards and a lot of love given. This year, we don’t have anyone to celebrate it for.

This year it’s just a painful reminder of what was.

Remember why your relationship ended. It may not have been your choice, but if it didn’t work out – there was a reason! You have to trust that and know that it was not meant to be. It’s also important for you to know that you are strong enough to get through this. It may not feel like it right now but you will survive today and you will survive the next painful moment. You are much tougher than you think you are.

Do what you need to do today to get through it. I took some time to myself this morning to get my tears out. Then I spent the day with my precious child playing our favorite video games. Do not let the pain ruin the day or steal your joy. You have to find a way to create new, happy memories on these days. Take time if you need to but proactively make the day as positive as possible. Find ways to laugh and have fun.

If you share custody of your children, make sure you are as polite to your ex as possible if you have to see him. Remember – your kids are paying attention. Be the parent who sets the best example. Don’t be the angry, bitter mom who makes the day harder for them. You ARE the bigger person because you are putting your children and their well-being first. Get the through any pick-ups and drop-offs with your ex as quickly and as politely as possible. It’s okay to be angry with him and still encourage your children to show him love.

If their father is out of the picture, let them talk about what they are feeling if they bring it up. I chose not to call attention to what today was, but would openly discuss it if my kiddo brought it up. We spent the day creating a lot of fun memories together doing something we both enjoy. That helped take a lot of the pain out of the day. I took a few moments here and there for myself because I carry a heavier burden. We often expect kids to hurt worse but they are very resilient. In my case, my daughter has always had me to depend on and that has never wavered. So her losing him wasn’t as earth shattering as I expected because she has me, her rock, and she has an incredibly happy life. Kids forget things and move past things very quickly as well. For me, the pain still cuts deeply because I vividly remember all of it.

Once the kids are asleep, it is okay if you binge eat on chocolate and chug wine. Cry your eyes out on the couch. Take a hot bath and sulk. Again, you need to take care of you and a big part of that is dealing with your feelings. I never advocate for bottling your feelings up. If it’s not a good moment to process them, you simply put them away till later that evening. But they need to get dealt with and you need to let them out. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling right now. Process it, understand where it is coming from, get it out, and then let it go.

I want you to know that you are an amazing person and you are strong enough to get through this. Today is hard, but tomorrow will be easier. Hang in there.

Lexi Life So Divine Logo 1

 

Life So Divne Copyright Logo 1

Reasons I Enjoy Being Single

Reasons I Enjoy Being Single 1

Let’s face it, break ups are ugly and miserable. One of the best things you can do when faced with a break up is to focus on the good coming out of it. I know that may be extremely hard to do at times, but it will be helpful to you in the long run. Even if it’s a teeny tiny good thing, focus on it and celebrate it! There are plenty of times I reminisce over the things I miss in my last relationship. There was a lot of good that I got out of it as well as a lot of bad. I try to see both sides for what they are and accept them. Most importantly, I try to learn from them.

To recover and adjust to your new life, you have to focus on the good in the life you are living NOW – not focusing the life you were living BEFORE. You aren’t in that life anymore whether you like it or not. Dwelling on the past and what was won’t get you anywhere. You have to focus on the present and on rebuilding your new life. It’s 100% YOUR life to build now! Yes, that can be utterly terrifying and difficult, but it can also be immensely exciting!

Let’s talk about some of the legitimate and hilarious reasons I love being single! Hopefully it will encourage you and maybe even make you laugh a little. 😉

I love that any mess that gets made now is mine or my kiddo’s. That means if she made it, I can tell her to clean it up with minimal attitude about it. If it’s my mess, I deal with it when I want to. No man griping at me over doing something simple I ask him to do or acting like I asked him to give birth to a unicorn…..

On the topic of cleaning, I love that I don’t get complaints about my cleaning EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I clean when I am physically able to and have the time. If my house looks like crap, oh well! I don’t get guilt trips for not cleaning after a super hectic day where I have barely been home. And I LOVE that I don’t get crap for resting! My ex would nag me every time he came home and I was sitting down. It didn’t matter if I had spent the entire day busting my butt and that was the first moment I had to rest. Noooooo, he would complain every single time no matter what! He called me “lazy” for resting. Can you believe that?! Self-care IS NOT lazy. Over-doing yourself is not healthy for you at all.

I love that there is no man hair all over my bathroom. No shaving hair, no trimmed nose or eyebrow hair, no pubes. Yes, there is long girl hair all over the place in this house. But it’s a lot easier to clean up than tiny man facial and body hair clippings! Plus, I just don’t want to clean man hair up. And now I don’t have to!

My ex had massive stomach issues, which meant he was stinking up the house weekly, sometimes even nightly. I no longer have to deal with that! It’s so wonderful not to be gagging because the house smells like dead, rotten, sewage yet again. (Seriously dude, go see a doctor.)

I am thrilled that my time is now MINE to spend as I please! I don’t have to explain where I go, feel guilty for going anywhere without my child because he always thought I’d cheat, and I can use my time as I want. No one makes me feel bad for not wanting to play video games every single night for hours on end. No one makes me feel bad for enjoying a nice evening reading a book or watching a show. It’s my down time to spend as I please, and now I get to do that without any guilt trips! I can go out with friends, go see a movie, go window shop at a store, go to a club, and the list goes on! All without anyone making me feel bad for what I do.

I get to sleep on my own schedule. I don’t have to be up at 6:30 am every morning because that’s when the man gets up. And I definitely don’t have to be up to make a lunch for him each day. I also get to stay up as late as I want, nap when I want, or go to bed early when I want. All without anyone complaining and trying to make me feel bad. I can stay up till 2 am and sleep in till 10 am if I want to!

I get to decorate how I want to! No more dark, ugly colors. My home is now full of light, soft colors. Colors that are inviting and not colors that scare off even demons…. No ugly bed patterns to match a room too. I get to decorate each room MY way and change it whenever I want to!

I don’t have to make dinner by 5 pm every single weeknight! Shoot, half the time I don’t make dinner at all anymore! No family meals anyway. I make things my kiddo likes and put them in the fridge. She helps herself when she’s hungry or makes something that she’s able to make. I eat when I am hungry and I make food that just I’ll eat because my kiddo and I have different tastes. No more family meals that everyone has to eat if they like it or not. No more having to sit at the table for meals. My ex was such a pain about that! My kiddo and I never ate at the table much before. We ate in the living room, hanging out and relaxing, enjoying our time together. No more of him griping at my kiddo for her table manners or chewing too loudly. He was so persnickety and short tempered! But no more of that!

I now decide when I have sex. Isn’t that lovely? I don’t have to put out because she’s super randy for a week or a month. I also don’t have to deal with him refusing to have sex because he’s lazy or too busy playing video games or punishing me for whatever wrong he feels I did this time. Seriously, the guy used sex and so many other things as a way to punish me regularly! Now I decide to have sex when I want to. If I don’t want to, I tell the person no. And that’s that!

I get to dress however I want now and take whatever kind of pictures I want! I am a cosplayer as well which means I dress as a variety of characters and share those pictures online. I no longer have to deal with any guilt about how I dress, how much makeup I’m wearing, or what kind of pictures I share online. I get the freedom to be ME in the way that I feel is best for ME! Cosplay has been incredibly freeing for me and has given me a passion in life again after he left. I’m truly thankful for it! If you’re interested in following my cosplay/art/gaming work, feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! ❤️

I get to make my own choices now. What a lot of the things I’ve listed have in common is that I make my own decisions now and the decisions for the house. It has been a huge challenge to adjust to that, especially with how my ex left us completely financially screwed over when he walked out. That man owes us a huge debt for that, and for all the other hell he caused my child and I. But it has been really nice getting to make decisions for myself, my child, and my home all on my own. I get to be the fun, happy, outgoing, creative, relaxed person that I was before I got involved with him. I get to make my own choices without anyone making me feel bad for them. I get to raise my child how I feel is best.

My ex was a black hole of misery, hatred, bitterness, anger, and darkness. I have always been a person full of light and goodness. Over the years he sucked almost all of the good out of me. Make no mistake – YOU CAN NEVER LIFT SOMEONE UP, THEY WILL ALWAYS DRAG YOU DOWN. It was very quickly after he was gone that I felt the shift change in our home. It was like a huge cloud of heavy darkness had been lifted. Our home is now a stress free, happy, enjoyable place to be! No more misery. No more unhappiness. No more un-needed stress. No more hate. No more anger. No more negativity. No one sucking the life out of everything good anymore.

I could go on and on for a while but I’ll stop here. I hope you see how to find good in your newly single life. All of this does not change the hardship you face now one bit. What it does do is give you hope and something positive to focus on. It helps you find joy and excitement again. It gives you a chance to restore peace back to your life. Use this post as an encouragement. If you are having a really rough day, come back and read it again. Laugh at my silliness and start thinking of the things that you are thankful for about your new single life!

As always, if you need a friendly ear or some encouragement, send me a message. And trust that you will make it through this process. I won’t lie to you and tell you it will be easy. What I will tell you is that you will make it through one way or another. And there is good to be found no matter how bleak the circumstances are right now. ❤️

Lexi Life So Divine Logo 1

 

Life So Divne Copyright Logo 1

Review – Pursito Floral Wildflower Honey Sticks 100 Pack

I am always on the lookout for good deals, especially when it comes to healthy snacks for Little Divine. We can’t expect to just take care of the outside of our bodies without taking care of the inside too! I try to keep things as healthy as I can for Little Divine and I, with the occasional treats of course. (^.^)  Little Divine LOVES honey sticks. Every time we shop at the healthy food grocery stores, we grab a few at the check out so she can add them with her lunches on the go.

When I saw that I could buy them in bulk on Amazon I was thrilled. I really enjoy shopping on Amazon because it means I don’t have to leave my house to buy what I need. No extra trips to a specialty store! On top of that, the package came with a FREE natural chapstick! Almost every ingredient on it’s list is organic! This went straight into Little Divine’s desk for daily use. It’s a full size lipbalm called Chocolate Bliss. It goes on the lips well, smells like chocolate, and does a great job of soothing!

As for the Pursito Floral Wildflower honey sticks, Little Divine loves them! It’s been a great way for me to get the healthy benefits of pure honey into her meals each day. She can take them on the go too. It’s hard to find a balance between eating healthy and being green. I know that these honey sticks being in plastic tubes is bothersome for some folks. I understand! For us, I decided that this was the best way to go for now. In the future I can look into reusable ways to take honey on the go, but for now we haven’t found a way that is really mess proof.

We ordered a package with 100 sticks in it. This is over 3 months worth of sticks if I add one to her lunch daily! That’s a really good deal for me because I don’t have to make a lot of trips to the store to buy more. I also saved almost $10 by ordering from Amazon! Again, another win for us.

You can find the Floral Wildflower flavor HERE or click one of the highlighted words above!

They also have a variety flavor pack which you can find HERE. It has blueberry, cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors! This one will be the next pack we get so I can give her a different type each day.

Have you tried Pursito honey sticks? If so, leave me a comment below telling me what you thought of them!

Don’t forget to check out my Esty Shoppe featuring unique and one of a kind items! Dragon Fire Rose

Review – Do and Discover Rock and Gem Dig Discovery Kids

The last few weeks have been super busy in the Divine household! Little Divine went to summer camp at our local animal shelter for a week and she had a blast! Plus we just celebrated 4th of July here in America as well. I’ve been trying to get all caught up and back into a rhythm at home since they have ended.

One thing I like to do is have Little Divine work on projects of some sort during the week. During all of our moving, resettling, and moving again over the last year, we’ve ended up with a large collection of projects and activity kits that haven’t been done. Now that the major events of the summer are over – with the exception of Little Divine’s birthday – I feel we can get back into a little bit of a routine.

We have several dig kits for kits that involve excavation on a small scale. I think these kits are really fun because kids learn to do the work to unearth their treasures! (^.^) It brings a different level of excitement because it feels like a treasure hunt. Since the weather here is so warm, I thought this would be a great activity to do outdoors!

We started with the Do & Discover brand Rock & Gem Dig. This set is sold at Toys R Us and on Amazon but has now been rebranded under the Discovery Kids Rock & Gem Dig name. The set says it included 11 gems hidden in the block, a pair of little safety goggles that were too small for Little Divine, a mallet, a dowel, a magnifying glass, a brush, a streak plate, and a color poster with instructions. I found the brush they included to be pretty useless so I pulled out one of my paint brushes for her to use instead.

The box it came it was a really good size so I was very surprised at how small the little block to dig in was. It was actually quite small. I’m hoping some of the other sets we got have more to them. We decided to use a rectangular plastic storage container about 6 inches tall as her excavation site. This way all the extra dirt is contained in one easy place for clean up!

In the above photo you can see where Little Divine discovered her first gem. It wasn’t long after she started chiseling away that she found this one. I was thinking this process would take a lot longer than it did, but the block was pretty soft and easy to get through. This is definitely nice for younger kids, but it makes the process too quick for older kids.

Here is the kit totally demolished! The box says it includes 11 gems but we only found 10. Both Mr. Divine and I looked through it with Little Divine and we couldn’t find an 11th gem anywhere.

Even with 10 gems, Little Divine was quite pleased with her new treasures.

Once the gems were all cleaned up, Little Divine tried to test them out on the streak plate to see how it would work. She’s taken classes on rocks and minerals before so she knew that with a streak plate you can tell what a mineral is by the color of powder it leaves behind. She was unable to get any sort of streaks to show up on the plate included though. We tried several times but no results.

I did like that her set came with a large poster with information on identifying gems. Extra learning material included in a fun way is always nice! We will be keeping the poster and the 10 lovely gems Little Divine dug up.

All in all, this was not a bag kit for about an hour’s worth of use. I am disappointed in how small it was and how easy it was to break through. Also, the streak plate and some of the tools they sent weren’t very useful. I would say this kit is great for younger kiddos and those who aren’t expecting anything too fancy. Little Divine is about to turn 11 so this kit was enjoyable for her but not extremely challenging. She does love little treasures so the gems were a nice add to her collection! (^.^)

I’ll be reviewing other kits in the future so keep an eye out!

Have you tried this Rock & Gem Dig set?

Don’t forget to check out my Esty Shoppe featuring unique and one of a kind items! Dragon Fire Rose

The Complete Idiot’s Guide To European History

The Complete Idiot’s Guides aren’t just for idiots!

Who knew right?

It turns out they can be super handy tools for learning. They offer condensed info on subjects and are generally presented in a way that can be understood pretty easily. Mind you, some vary and are meant for kids while others are meant for adults. You can absolutely use the adult versions for kids, just keep in mind that some of the info may be over their heads.

For example, today Little Divine learned what heretic means. She’s ready The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History. She’s been studying through the ages starting from the beginning and working her way up. This book was a suggested book from the library website based on other books I was getting for her on the subject. I’m surprised it was suggested as it isn’t a children’s book, but I like trying new things so we’re using it!

Little Divine is turning 11 next month so I didn’t feel it would be too over her head. I figured she’d ask questions as she read, like she did this morning with heretic.

I’m very pleased with how the book is set up. There are lots of chapters and each is relatively small, between 10 and 20 pages usually. I find that breaks up easier for younger readers. As you can see in the picture, I’ve used sticky tabs to mark each chapter with the date and pages she needs to read. I find this to work wonders with helping her keep on target with her reading. It’s easy to forget which chapter you were on after a weekend so sticky notes help kids know what to read and when!

We are two days into the book and so far so good! I am not one of the coddle my child parents so if death and crime come up in her book, I’m okay with her reading it. It opens up discussions on so many things! History is often very, VERY ugly. I don’t feel that at this age there is a reason to hide that from her. I also want her to see the good in history as well. I strive to give her a very well rounded view of each subject she learns.

We are planning to get more of The Complete Idiot’s Guide books on many more topics! Have you used these books in your homeschooling before? Tell me what you thought!

Don’t forget – if you’re looking for one of a kind handmade jewelry, goodies inspired by video games and awesome characters, busy bags for kids, artwork or prints… check out my Esty Shoppe: Dragon Fire Rose  ❤

The Sound of Closing Doors

img1482512472190

Do you ever feel like doors to a path in life are closing for you? Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes it is very unexpected. I’m there right now. I’ve spent most of my life working with children. Even when I was one, I was babysitting and tutoring. I spent my life working with kids on and off in one way or another. After I had Little Divine 10 and a half years ago, I tried to go to work away from her. I was a single mom, my mother had dumped me in this state when she was supposed to take us with her so I could finish school and work from home doing Medical Transcription. Since she failed to do that, I ended up taking a retail job and putting my newborn in daycare. It was an absolutely shitty position to be in and I cried every single day. There are no nice words to express the place I was put in. It was miserable. :/

Thankfully a girl at the daycare recommend I just apply for a job there. I had past childcare experience so I went for it and I got hired. I spent the next 4 years working in daycare. It had a lot of rewards but I was at a place that took advantage of the hard workers and mistreated a lot of employees. They ended up dealing with a lot of legal issues for many years after that because of their lack of respect for the rules and for human beings.

After I left the daycare, I decided to do home childcare. From 2011 till 2016 I worked from home watching children. I’ve seen so many kiddos grow up in those years! I’ve been blessed to be a part of each one of their lives. ❤ There were both good and bad moments. Many times I struggled to bring in enough income. I live in a very low income state so it was hard to get paid well doing childcare. Yet with a little one of my own, other work wasn’t an option since I also couldn’t afford childcare on the pay I could get from jobs I would qualify for.

We had years of good pay and years of struggling. But we stuck with it through it all because I loved what I did and it gave me the freedom to stay home with Little Divine and see her grow. There is nothing I would trade for those moments! I got to see all of her firsts and I got to be there for everything. As a single parent, that is very rare!

The last two years I mostly worked with one kiddo. He had a lot of behavioral issues and was asked to leave his preschool. We had a hard time with his family as his dad was a jerk, plain and simple, and his parents were split up so we were often put in the middle of bad situations. Dad complained all the time about paying me, despite the fact that I discounted my rates for them and I was barely making it off the pay. They would constantly change their schedules and hours last minute, often giving me zero notice. They didn’t want to pay cancellation fees or deal with paying for last minute schedule changes. I often got different stories and times from each parent. All their instability created extra issues for their son who did not need any of that.

When I sent him off to kindergarten this past August I was exhausted. They had sucked all the joy out of childcare for me. They drained me completely. The idea of watching kids exhausted me. I decided to take a break for a bit. We had tons of stuff left over to sell from my resale business and I was making my $2 fashion earrings that seemed to sell well. I had saved up a bit over the last couple of months because I had a feeling I would need a break. I just didn’t have anything left to give after that.

Since then I feel like the doors to childcare are closing for me. I don’t know if it’s because we haven’t found the right family yet or if it’s because I am meant to do something else. I have been applying for jobs on Care.com weekly but so far no go on any of the ones I feel would work for us.

I got another message today telling me they found someone else. I keep feeling like I’m supposed to focus elsewhere. A few weeks ago I took my jewelry making to a new level and started making higher cost sets that people seem to really love. Apparently I have a really good eye for it and I’ve been told I’m great at my craft! For someone new to it, that’s a huge compliment! ❤

Maybe this is what I’m supposed to do instead. I honestly don’t know. I wish life came with clear signs in the direction you should take! Instead I am working on selling off all the resale items left and everything we don’t need  in the house. Little Divine has been bringing down hoards of toys from her room for me to sell as she’s getting older and is weeding out what she doesn’t use. We have a small income coming in from that and now I’m  slowly selling jewelry sets. Eventually I want to work on refinishing furniture too. And I am working on my photo editing and photography work.

I’ve always felt my creative pursuits benefit me the most and I really, REALLY love doing work involving them! Maybe this is why the doors to what I’ve done just to make it through the last few years keep closing. Maybe it’s time to find something new that I truly love. Mr. Divine tells me often that he wants me to find something I love to do. I love him for so many reasons but that is one of them. He doesn’t care if I make millions. He wants me to do what I love and succeed at it!

So I start off the holiday weekend with hope for my jewelry business to bloom into more, and more new doors to open for my life! I have hope for the next year to bring more joy and more happiness in whatever work I do. I look forward to seeing what doors will open as these ones close. I’m very excited to see what happens! ❤

cooltext177153714075149

 

Why My Family Comes First

img1481560722383

I see a lot of families everywhere I go. There are many, many types of families. I love how unique and individual each family unit is. Every family is something special and different. That’s what makes a family a family – unique structure and bond created to best suit the members in it.

I am pretty sure Facebook has become the place for inspiration for a lot of writings, though most are not positive inspirations. It has become a very negative and toxic environment. What used to be a place to share and celebrate life with those you know turned into a cesspool of hate, anger, and inappropriate behavior. I rarely go on Facebook anymore unless it is to list items to sell. Even my own personal feed is filled with garbage I don’t want to see.

I’ve had old friends make comments to me about how I spend all my time with Mr. Divine and Little Divine now, how I don’t make time for anyone else. I’ve had people invite me to Girls Night Out events and get mad when I don’t go. Or they make remarks how we are always together as a family.

I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, I see an issue with the fact that those people need to get away from their families. That is a big issue that needs to addressed. The wives who need a Girls Night Out to drink and bitch about everything are not for me. I am happy with my life and my relationship. If I have an issue in my relationship I address it with Mr. Divine. I don’t blast it on Facebook or trash talk him to everyone I know. That’s disrespectful. Yet I see women doing this all the time on Facebook.

Just as there are women flirting with other men, posting sexed up selfies, and putting their husbands down on a public social media forum. It’s embarrassing. It baffles me how 5 posts later they are complaining their husbands don’t listen to their needs. My advice is to stop flirting with every male human being you see, put your boobs away, and start focusing on your marriage. Why in the world would your husband respect you or put any of your needs first when you behave that way??

In life you should be daily trying to better yourself and your world. You should be working to be the best you possible and the best mom/dad/sister/brother/son/daughter/etc. you can be. Our family works together to make our family unit as healthy and happy as possible. No one person makes all the decisions, no one person’s needs come first, no one person is more important than the rest.  We all contribute and all put the others in our family as a priority.

Family values are on the decline in a big way. I see it daily and it saddens me. We need to be focused on putting our families first and fixing them. They are a priority and they set the example for our children on what life is supposed to be like. Our kids need healthy households and healthy examples.

This is why my family comes first. This is why I do so much with my family. This is why I don’t do Girls Night Out or bar nights with friends. That’s a single girl’s game. I absolutely have time for friends who act like adults and put their own families first. We have some really great friends who we spend time with monthly, some months weekly. They are great people who set a good example for their children and who are enjoyable to be around. They don’t behave like spoiled children wanting to live like they are single while they are in a marriage and have children to raise. They are the kind of people I want around my daughter.

As kids get older they can see the kind of people adults spend their time with. I want to Little Divine to see that we are making good choices on friends. I’ve had to back off from several friends in the last few months due to this. She is old enough to understand what is going on in a lot of situations and that has led to a lot of discussions in recent months. It’s made me think long and hard about who I keep around as a friend!

I love my family and I love being with them. We truly enjoy spending time together no matter what we are doing. They are great people who bring so much good into my life. They give me joy and make me laugh. They are fun to talk to and share experiences with. I love both Little Divine and Mr. Divine. I’m really lucky because Mr. Divine is my best friend and I get to share everything with him. I would not want life any other way. I am truly blessed to share life with them!

The next time someone tries to guilt you for not wanting to go out and drink and bash your husband, tell them NO with no guilt at all! Those of you out there who are putting your family first and are trying to build a strong foundation – kudos to you! What you are doing is amazing and it is something to be proud of. People are not making good choices on a daily basis in our current culture. Putting your family first and trying to be the best you can be is admirable.

Don’t ever feel guilty for putting your family first! ❤

cooltext177153714075149

The Fine Art of Learning

photogrid_1477325228764

Little Divine: “Why did you give me a book on race cars to read today?”
Me: “I thought it looked interesting. Give it a try and see if you have anything interesting to journal about after.”
Little Divine: “Hmm, I guess we’ll see.”

Ten Minutes Later.

Little Divine: “Did you know they give out big money prizes to whoever wins the races? And there is a race pretty much every month! And there is this guy, Richard Petty, who holds the all time record for winning 200 races! I wonder if he’s still alive? I’m going to check Google.” (continues to talk while doing so)

This is the learning I’ve hoped for. This is the whole reason I homeschool Little Divine. For a much more natural and child led type of learning. I absolutely bring home books that are on a variety of topics, some Little Divine doesn’t think she’ll be interested in, because I want her to explore the world of learning available to her and find new that peak her interest. With a library card and Google at hand, there is very little that we can’t learn about. I want to challenge Little Divine to research and explore things that come across her mind or her desk so when she’s an adult she will do the same.

Why is the sky blue? Just one question can open the door to so much learning and excitement!

Yesterday Little Divine spent hours researching ways to stimulate the mind of our dog and then trying them out. No one told her to – this was an idea she had all on her own. She got online, found things to try out, and spend a good part of the day doing them. I cannot speak on the dog’s mental stimulation, but she sure was thrilled to get attention and a lot of dog treats! Little Divine shared many of the things she learned with us over dinner and throughout the day. She was really enjoying it!

A few weeks ago Little Divine spent a good hour online researching insects that live in our area, as well as resourceful ways to get rid of the pesky or dangerous ones that can sometimes get in your home. She then recounted to me all the information she learned with pride. I told her I hoped she enjoyed her science lesson and she stared at me curiously. I explained that learning about insects was a part of science and she gave her self a great lesson on them. Her reply? “I didn’t even think of it like that.” No, she just got online and looked up information she wanted to learn. No one stopped her and told her she had to learn what the class was learning. No one told her that it was time to switch to another subject. No one reprimanded her for looking up information on the computer. She got to learn something she was interested in on her terms.

I read a post about unschooling yesterday that I really enjoyed. The writer used a quote from the book, Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling  by John Holt and Patrick Farenga. In it he describes unschooling as, “interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning… associated with the type of homeschooling that doesn’t use a fixed curriculum… allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear. The advantage of this method is that it doesn’t require (the parent) to become someone else — a professional teacher pouring knowledge into child-vessels on a planned basis. Instead you live and learn together, pursuing questions and interests as they arise …This is the way we learn before going to school and the way we learn when we leave school and enter the world of work.

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. This does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when (they) decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not “natural” processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn’t unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.”

I read that quote to Mr. Divine and he said, “Very nice! That sounds like us.” I think often people assume unschooling means no schooling at all. This is not the case. Unschoolers take classes and learn. They just do it at the child’s pace. Learning is MEANT TO BE FUN. Schools have long since taken the fun out of it. Unschooling is trying to put it back in. Little Divine is full of information and facts. They are things she’s learned about and enjoyed learning about them. I think it’s truly sad that so many school children hate school. Learning should be a wonderful experience!

Last week went to the local museum for Nuclear Science week. We spent 3 hours enjoying the sessions and activities! I signed Little Divine up because nuclear science is not something we’ve covered a lot. I was also thrilled to see a class for just homeschool children was offered. One speaker was a little unsure how to speak about his lesson since we had grades 2 through 8 in our group. Yet the children of all ages were able to sit down and listen, as well as learn what he was teaching and do the activity well! Little Divine and I both learned a lot of neat stuff that we were able to take home and share with Mr. Divine. Neither of us expected to enjoy it as much as we did or glean so much from it. (^.^) It was a great shared learning experience with Little Divine and it opened the doors for more learning at the dinner table with Mr. Divine. We traveled through history and science together as a family.

And so while I look online at a new series of Manga style educational books I’ve found for Little Divine, she reads stories of Roman gods and goddesses, telling me interesting information as she comes across it. She then journals about anything interesting she’s read in the book and we discuss all of it throughout the day. Later we’ll do a science experiment and watch a movie on Robin Hood. For us, this is educational bliss. ❤

cooltext177153714075149

Reading Based Homeschooling

 

photogrid_1475600996732

I am constantly trying to find the best way to do things for our family and ways to improve our lives. Homeschooling is a very flexible system of education and we tweak it as needed. When we started off homeschooling years ago Little Divine loved doing her workbooks. They were colorful, fun and engaging. They held her interest and she enjoyed doing them. As we’ve progressed over the years the books have become less colorful, less fun and she doesn’t enjoy doing them as much. We will find a few that she enjoys and gets a lot out of, but a majority are just very plain looking and the book work isn’t something that appeals to her as much.

When we find that something isn’t working, we evaluate it and see if we can find a way to work. If it’s just not working out – it’s time to look for an alternative. That’s exactly what I did for Little Divine. She LOVES to read and is reading at a 9th grade level at least. Books have always been something she’s loved since she first learned to read. She enjoys reading  daily and gets a lot out of it. Because of this I started looking online for information on book centered homeschool curriculum and ways of teaching.

The program I like the best is Build Your Library. This program offers a low cost curriculum for grades K – 9. I’m hoping they expand to higher grades each year so we can move up with them! You purchase each year individually and they each come with generally the same stuff depending on grade level.

  • A lesson plans with:

    • a daily and weekly schedule
    • reading list
    • a set of narration cards
    • vocabulary words, discussion questions and dictation passages tied to the literature readings
    • Weekly writing assignments
    • memory work projects
    • Activity pages (including map work)
    • research projects
    • art projects

The price isn’t bad at $24.95 – $54.95 per set depending on the grade level. That’s a small cost compared to other yearly curriculum programs! I have never been a fan of homeschool curriculum companies who think charging families $300-$600 a year for a curriculum is fair business. Homeschool should not be that expensive. This is another reason I like Build Your Library because I feel their prices are very reasonable.

Little Divine is in 5th and 6th grade books right now. Build Your Library has 5th grade working on US History but I wanted to start off our whole reading based learning system from the very beginning. We have begun checking out books from the Ancient History book list from Grade 1 from our local library and will work our way up through the other grade reading lists until we’ve reached our grade level curriculum. This way we get to start at the beginning of history and move forward! (^.^)

Little Divine is super excited! I showed her the books on the list we are working on right now and showed her the lists to follow. She told me that she’d much prefer learning with reading over workbooks. We are not throwing all our workbooks out the window though. Each week she will be given the choice to pick which workbook she wants to work on each day. She can also work on whatever pages in it she wants. I still feel that writing skills and book work is beneficial, but this way she gets to pick what she works on each day and hopefully it will add some enjoyment back into it for her!

Another thing I added is her choice of something to learn about every week. Each week she gets to pick something she wants to learn about and it can be anything! We will go to the library for books on that subject, watch videos online, and find documentaries on it. We will fully immerse in that topic and learn all we can about it! I’ve told her that if she really loves a topic she can extend how long she learns on it, it doesn’t have to just be a week. This gives her another way to guide her learning and enjoy what she’s learning!

I feel that giving her freedom with her education is extremely important. Homeschool isn’t meant to be a duplicate of the school system. It’s meant to be something that’s special and unique for each child. We as parents often have to make decisions for our kiddos but there are also many times we should let them make their own. I will be here to guide her and step in when needed. We should always remain present in our children’s lives and decisions, even when we let them make their own.

I have to say that both of us are so excited for this new path! Sitting down to devote and hour or more to laying out all her lessons and make her worksheet packets is quite a task. It will be a nice change for me to just hand her the workbooks for the week and tell her to work on them as she desires! Homeschool shouldn’t stress out the parents daily either. It should be an enjoyable experience as much as possible. No you won’t always have enjoyable days, but it should be enjoyable more than not.

Have you tried a books based/reading centered curriculum for your kids? What did you think?

cooltext177153714075149