Monday, May 28, 2012

Protecting Your Child Even from the Relatives – Part 2

Once, when I was about six years old, my family went to stay with my great-grandmother. I don’t know if that was my first time meeting her, but I do know that it was my last time. While we were there, my older brother constantly pointed out my faults, real ones and made up ones. I tried to defend myself verbally and loudly. This was not a good mix for an elderly woman.

My great-grandmother didn’t know how to handle the sibling rivalry, so she sided with my brother. I was told that I would not be permitted to take meals at the table with the others. My mom put up a fight about that, so I was finally permitted, but only on the condition that I would not speak one word. Later, she took my brother to the grocery store and let him pick out chocolates for himself.

At one point, my mom decided that enough was enough. She cut our stay short, but still, the damage had been done. Later on in my life, my great-grandmother asked me to visit her. I felt too vulnerable to accept the offer and, instead, kindly declined as a visit was not something I felt safe enough to do. I kept contact by sending a few birthday cards over the years.

Healthy relationships in a family are a vital part of your child’s life. If your child is being mistreated by a member of the family, then it is up to you to bring a stop to it. It’s our job as parents to protect our children when relationships develop that are not healthy. You might think it’s your job to protect the abuser, because the abuser is also a family member, but you are not helping the abuser by allowing his or her behavior to continue. I once heard Dr. Dobson, from Focus on the Family, say that if the parents can’t stop a sibling from mistreating the other sibling, they are obligated then to seek outside help and intervention.

I’m glad to say that my family loves each other and my brother and I are friends. Hopefully, if you are estranged from a relative, reconciliation can take place. It’s better than separation, but sometimes, separation is necessary. I would like to leave you with these wise words by Reinhold Niebuhr:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”

Related posts:

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Comment Box is Now Working!

Girly Comments & Graphics

Earlier I mentioned that the comment box on this template was not working. My husband, Rob, has spent hours learning how to change codes to not only get the comment box working, but also to permanently enlarge the font size. He also changed the headings on the posts, but the headings still need some more work. We could have used another template altogether, but he and I both agreed that this one suited a blog about Amanda (at least while she’s still small). I hope you like what he’s done. I’d love to hear from you, so please send me a message in the comment box and give it a test run. Thanks!
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Protecting Your Child Even from the Relatives – Part 1

Recently I received a phone call from a desperate mom. She told me that her daughter’s grades had dropped drastically and she was no longer communicating with them. The mother decided to make an appointment with the school and she wanted to know from me what the procedure would be.

I always believe in instilling hope in a person when their walls seem to be caving in, so, after answering questions about the school, I said that I believed the daughter was avoiding communicating with them because she didn’t want to hurt their feelings. To me this is monumental. If the child is still on your side, then the task of reaching that child is so much easier. The mom confirmed that her daughter had said something to that affect. I replied, “That’s great! It shows your daughter still loves you!”

Now, the girl had shared with me about a week prior that she was stressed by the grandparents who were visiting. I asked the mom if her daughter’s behavior had changed more during the past week or so. She said it had. I then explained that she had told me how the grandparents had been favoring her younger brother and that she also didn’t like how the grandmother treated her mom.

The mother understood that her daughter might have felt rejected by the grandparents. However, I could sense that she didn’t realize how much it hurt her daughter to see her mom being ill treated too. I used the example of an abusive marriage to explain how her daughter must feel. I described a marriage where the child knew that the father sometimes beat the mother and even if he never hit the child, the child would still be wounded emotionally. It’s important for us as moms to realize that how we allow other people to treat us affects our children.

Another thing I suggested to help the daughter with her emotions was that she should keep a journal and write down her feelings on a daily basis. In this way, she won’t be burying her feelings, but she’ll be able to process them more constructively. I mentioned to the mom that one day her daughter will leave home and if she has unresolved issues then she will carry that baggage with her into her marriage and future family.
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Missing My Girl

I’m missing my girl today. Amanda is staying with her grandma at the beach until next week Tues. It’s a wonderful experience for her. Before she left, she said, “I can do anything I like with Nanna.” Her Nanna knows that she needs a few boundaries, but she’ll also get special attention just like Amanda said. Of course, I’m happy for her. Grandparents are very important in a child’s life. Her grandpa won’t be with them as he is overseeing the remodeling of a small country inn and restaurant that they once owned.

I took these pictures of Amanda with her grandma during Amanda’s third birthday party. It was a Hello Kitty party. The Hello Kitty doll was from her Nanna. I wrote a little about Amanda’s three grandmas on "Isn't She Lovely - 7" at 1camera1mom.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter by Jessica

My eldest daughter had to write a funny letter for her 8th grade English class. She chose to write about an incident that happened between her and Amanda. This took place a while back, before Amanda was four. The picture of the two girls was taken around the same time.

Dear Jenny,

The most amusing thing happened yesterday! I was playing with my baby sister, Amanda. You haven’t met her yet, but believe me when I tell you she is the most adorable thing in the world. We were having a ton of fun when I told her that Sebastian is coming tomorrow.

She suddenly swung around and fixed me with her stunning green eyes. Then, with her naughty little smile and naughty little laugh she replied, “Sebastian is my boyfriend.” I looked intently back at her and with my haughty little smile and haughty little laugh, I giggled, “No, he’s my boyfriend!”

Her facial expression changed dramatically. With her nose and tongue in the air, she stormed away. Both her hands were clenched in fists. Who would’ve guessed that a thirteen-year-old could get in a fight with a three-year-old over a boy!

I hope you had a laugh.


Just to clarify a few things in Jessica’s letter: Jenny is a fictitious person. The boyfriend is not, but he’s no longer her boyfriend. For the first two years of Amanda’s life she had very blue eyes. The kids say that her eyes have turned green like the rest of us. I sometimes think they are still more blue than green. You might like to read my post “Eye Color Conversation,” that happened between Amanda and her big brother.
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Girly Comments & Graphics

Wishing all the dear moms who are reading this a blessed and Happy Mother's Day. You all deserve to be celebrated!

Don't forget to pop over to my poetry blog Consider the Lilies where I have posted several of my Mother's Day poems for this occasion.
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Comment Box

Update: The Comment Box is now working.

Dear Friends,

This is a quick message just to say that I've heard from three people that they have not been able to post comments on this site. I'm very sorry about this. Since I don't build web pages, I might have to choose a new template for Amanda's Books and More. At the moment, I just don't have the time. Please be patient with me. I'd love to hear feedback, so you're welcome to find me on Twitter, Facebook (Amanda's Books and More Page) or Pinterest.

God bless!
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Mother’s Day Project

My husband and I have the opportunity to give a Bible lesson at our daughters’ school (the school that Amanda and Samantha attend) on Tuesday mornings. We partner with a few other volunteers from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) who give an hour of their morning to take a class each. While the “Christian” children (this is a loose definition as it includes all the children who are not Muslim) stay for Bible, the Muslim children go to another classroom for Muslim instructions.

I took Samantha’s class and I brought along a Mother’s Day theme. One of the things we did was an acrostic with the word “mother” or the name of the child’s mother. Today I’m posting the acrostic that Samantha did for me. If you have kids that are old enough to write, this is a fun project to do.

Later that day, I decided to try my own one. I wrote mine about my mother. You can check it out at my poetry blog Consider the Lilies.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Precious Baby

As a baby, Amanda loved teething on corn cobs. I took this picture of her in 2009. Isn’t she just adorable? Many people are born out of unplanned pregnancies and Amanda is one of them. Does that make them less precious? Do they have less purpose? As you can see, we have been immensely blessed to have this child in our lives.

Below I have added previous stories related to the challenges and blessings of having another child. They are listed in order from top to bottom:

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Having Fun with Pinterest – 3

A few weeks ago I re-pinned a pin via Stephanie Welsh on Pinterest. Her recipe is called Busy Mom Puffins (Pancake Muffins). I’ve added the photo along with the recipe below.

Whenever I’m baking, Amanda loves to get involved. She likes to throw in the ingredients and helps me mix. This time we also did some counting together. I gave Amanda slices of bananas and blueberries to add to our puffins and she had to count how many she put in each one. We had a lot of fun and the recipe is so easy. I’m sure I’ll be making it again in the future.
Busy Mom Puffins (Pancake Muffins) Preheat oven to 350, mix 1 c pancake mix, 2/3 c water, 1/2 c syrup. Mix together, pour in greased muffin pan. Top with banana, blueberries, chocolate chips, pecans, sausage, bacon....etc. Bake for 12-14 minutes and serve. Easy, fast, delicious & no syrupy mess!!

By Stephannie Welsh via Pinterest and co-owner of Lounge Interiors 
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

He Satisfies

This picture was taken on Amanda's 2nd Birthday. Here she is eating a healthy snack of grapes and giving me quite a laugh.

"For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things" (Psalm 107:9 ESV).

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dora the Explorer

The other day, Amanda received a cute jean dress with Dora the Explorer printed on it. The dress was a hand-me-down from a friend who is a couple years older than her. A lot of the clothes she owns have been handed down; some are even from her sisters. When I first found out that I was pregnant with my fourth child, one of my concerns was how we’d be able to buy all the clothes she would need. I had given all the baby things of her sisters away by that stage, except for one or two sentimental items. Not only did God not let me down, He surprised me with how abundantly He could provide for her.

Amanda hadn’t owned anything with Dora before, so when my four-year-old saw a series of adventure books with Dora at the store, I let her pick one. She chose Dora Saves the Snow Princess. I read it last night to her and her friend. It’s an interactive storybook, so it’s nice to have a friend do the actions and speaking parts with.

Below I have added previous stories related to the challenges and blessings of having another child. They are listed in order from top to bottom:

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hansel and Gretel

Linking with the Kid Lit Blog Hop

This blog is about Amanda’s books and more, so it’s time I shared another post about her world of books. Since Amanda is my fourth child, she’s been blessed with books and toys from her brother and sisters and even books from my childhood. A couple of weeks ago, she asked me to read one of mine to her called Hansel and Gretel. It’s from a series of classic storybooks by Derrydale Publishers, retold by Kay Brown and Illustrated by Gerry Embleton. As you can see by the photograph that I took of this old book of mine, the illustrator has quite a unique talent for whimsical drawings with attention to detail.
The original Hansel and Gretel is a well-known German fairytale written by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. The English version I have is very interesting to read, but too long for Amanda, so I told it to her in a lot less words. She asked questions along the way, which I answered. The story had her intrigued.

A couple of days later we went to McDonalds in another town to meet up with our children’s godparents. They have a daughter named Esmari who is a year older than Amanda. Both girls got a Happy Meal. Amanda’s one came with a Gretel doll dressed in traditional German clothes. How cool is that! Her friend got Cinderella.
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