Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ferguson: I was so wrong!

When we left San Diego for Guam, Michael and Isaac were 10 and 12.  
They were still considered boys.

When Trayvon Martin was murdered in February of 2012, 
Isaac had just turned 12 and Michael was 14 1/2 and starting to look less like a boy.
Trayvon was just 2 weeks past his 17th birthday.

As we prepared to leave Guam in May 2013 to come back to the states, the trial for Trayvon's killer was about to begin.  
Isaac was 13 and not looking to boyish anymore.  
Michael was weeks away from 15 and he no longer looked like a boy at all.  

As the trial continued over all forms of news media, I churned ideas in my mind for  hours on end.  I had made a terrible, possibly FATAL error in parenting the boys.  How to share my failure in a blog post has been churning in my mind for over a year.  And now we are here again, with Ferguson, and so, although I still don't know how my thoughts will be received, I can not remain silent. 

First of all:  if you are white.  You have an advantage (yes, still) in our society.
I've been called paranoid and over-sensative, and mostly by family members, 
but it's true - even if you don't want to admit it.  

I watch how people see my boys when they don't know I am their mother.  
I see employees "watching them" more in electronics stores.
I HEAR what people say in a group of white people when they don't know I have black sons.  
I go from emotions of complete sadness, fear, and a rage, deep inside my core, that unchecked, makes people burn cars and smash in windows.  

Secondly:  my big mistake:
I always told the boys that it didn't matter that their skin was brown, or different than mine.  I loved them (I STILL LOVE THEM!)  so very, very much.  We surrounded them with friends that felt like we did.  
WHO CARES if you look like your parents?!  
It's boring to all look the same!  
You are more special because you were chosen!  
While those things are true for us and our friends and family, it's not true outside the safety net of those who love us.  

It rocked me to my core when the realization sunk in and George Zimmerman, (a civilian who chased down and MURDERED a teenager running AWAY from him) was found not guilty of second-degree murder.  If you don't know, the "thing" that George Zimmerman saw Trayvon messing with in the pocket of his hoodie was a bag of Skittles.  

While I have some unspoken advantages as a white person in society, this is one area that my black friends have over me in raising their sons.  They already knew what slapped me in the face, 
because they have lived it, and I had not.  

Why didn't I tell them that it matters?  Why didn't I teach them how to be more careful?  Why didn't I say - you can't wear a hoodie inside the mall if your cold because your black?   Why did I say keep your hands out of your pockets in a store?    

Protecting someone from hard things about life by not talking about it.... 
doesn't protect them at all.   

Now we talk about it all.....

Martin Luther King Jr.  

God help us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pinterest SUCCESS!

Before the real post, I have to say.... I'm a "salt" girl...I'll usually pick a bag of chips over a piece of cake.  Soooooo.... I have NOT jumped on to the cupcake bandwagon.  I know, I know.... 
it's all the rage and people say they are amaze-balls.  
But seriously, I can't pay $6 for a cupcake.

Having said that.... with 6 kids x multiple teachers each kid- I thought a fancy cupcake might be the way to say THANK YOU without spending a small college fund.

To Pinterest I turned.

I found 4-5 ideas that I wanted to put together to make the teacher gifts.

First up:

It was just a lemon box cake (cupcakes) with blackberry frosting topped with a single blackberry.


The frosting was to die for!  
You make a basic buttercream recipe.
(2 sticks of butter, 2 lbs of powder sugar and 2 tsp of vanilla)
Then chill it for about an hour in the fridge and fold in a 1/2 cup of blackberry preserves.

I am not experienced enough with piping icing through a ....well, see....I don't even know what they are called.  (*Decorator bag)  so the blackberry seeds jammed up the tip.  BUMMER!

Also, the other con was....I didn't think the cake was "lemony" enough.  I have a great homemade lemon pound cake recipe that I love.... but I just didn't have time to make the cake from scratch.  
(*next time).

Sit down for this.... cause this one ended up being the HIT PARADE.


Again, you just use a box mix of either chocolate or yellow cake mix. 
and mix up a package mix of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix but omit the egg.
(so...the mix and a stick of butter)
It is crumbly - but you can roll it into small balls.

just shove the ball of cookie dough in the center of the raw batter and bake 15 minutes.
Yes, it's still gooey in the middle and that's why (*I suppose) you leave out the egg.

The frosting is the same recipe as the buttercream above, but for this one, you add 1/2 cup carmel ice cream topping.

I wasn't a fan of the icing.  It didn't taste like carmel to me.  But... we garnished the cupcakes with mini chocolate chips and I don't think anyone will care.  Because when you bite into that gooey center of cookie dough...your tongue slaps your brain and says, "WOW!"  

Packaging idea came from Pinterest as well.
Clear Solo drink cups
plastic sandwich bags (not the zip close ones but the fold over kind) and some ribbon


FINALLY these snow days are GONE!!!   WHOOP!!!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BIG BOYS - Throw-back Thursday

It's finally here.... the day when I no longer have "little boys".

Michael will be a junior next year, Isaac is moving to high school and Zion to middle school.

But for the last Thursday of elementary school for Zion, and middle school for Isaac....
here are my throw-back Thursday photos!

September 11th, 2001

the, "stop taking our picture" faces

Canyon View neighbor, San Diego 

Big Bear

Hawaii - 2007

November 2007 

Isaac's first watermelon slice

Saturday, May 10, 2014

most of my favorite people are mothers....

I don't have a certain type of people that I hang out with.
There isn't a group of  nurses, educators, or even runners that I hang out with on a regular basis.   The people outside my own 4 walls that I love the most are all mothers.  That's the main thing we have in common and the thing I admire them most for.

To my own mother.... I hope you understand that my desire to love kids and be a mom is simply because you are so good at it, that there is nothing else I aspire to do more.  I love you!

To my mother-in-law:  Thank you for my husband and Zion.  He wouldn't be the fun, crazy, kid he is without your genes!  I'm pretty attached to those other two kids of yours too!  :)

I first became a mother because a young mom died after giving birth.
I don't know what she looked like.
I will never be able to thank her, but I could not possibly love her son more.
He's tall and quiet and handsome and an amazing athlete!  I know she would be proud of him.

The second woman choose me for her child.  As did the mom of the girls.
Can you think of a greater gift?
A more selfless one?  
She said to me in Guam, "Miss Melda, I trust you"

I pray I can give her girls what she is hoping for.  God help me to make her dreams for her girls come true.  I do love them, but I need your love, grace and mercy.  Loving them is not enough to turn them into mighty women for God.  Keep me humbly on my knees in prayer.

Last but not least, ALL my friends.

I love you more than I can explain.
Although I don't have photos of everyone, 
Thank you ALL for being a special part of my life.

So this blog post is just to say: