4th Grade Homework Will Be My Undoing

January 29, 2015

homework

Wits, allow me to introduce you to end.  You two should get along swimmingly, and try this straight jacket on for size.  I think you’ll find it quite comfortable.

This child and 4th grade homework will be the end of me, I’m sure of it.  Let me share with you what has transpired over the past several months to begin my demise.  Every 6 weeks we get a “missing homework report” of all the work that Addison has not turned in.  The first two times we got it we were firm with him, made him do his work and turn it in accompanied by a punishment something along the lines of; no screen time until you turn everything in.  This is met with gnashing of teeth and how unfair it all is and how the other kids don’t have to do this.  I assured him that it was not unfair, rather a torment of his own making. I also let him know that I could care less what the other kids are doing and whether or not their parents were making them turn in their work.  I am a benevolent dictator, not his buddy who will side with him on not doing work.

The next report rolls around and this one has a crap ton of missing work.  I flip my lid and make him return to school the next day with a long list that he must check off as he finds the missing sheets and brings them home to complete.  We gave him over a week to complete all the work.  Every single day I would remind him that he needed to be working on the unfinished work IN ADDITION TO his regular homework.  Again, more gnashing of teeth, staring off into space, sitting and mopping for long periods of time.  The night before all the work was due and he was only half finished.  Dear Husband (bless him) sat with Addison at the kitchen table, sticking him with a cattle prod every time he zoned out and stopped working.  He was up WAY past his bed time and needless to say, in tears over the entire ordeal.  The next day he turned in all the work but not before we told him that he better remember this tortuous experience the next time he shoves a worksheet to the back of his desk instead of putting it into his back pack to be completed at home.

Another six weeks have passed and guess what?  Yup.  Missing homework.  Add to that the extra credit spelling work that he just forgot to turn in even though he had worked on it that morning before school.  The afternoon of the missing work report and the failure to turn in extra credit I found the top of my voice, told Addison to say goodbye to the Kindle because the next time he was going see it would be summer break and scared Harry so bad he hid in a cardboard box. Wait, it gets better.  The weekend and Monday passed without incident.  Tuesday came and guess who forgot to bring their homework home? I was proud of myself for not blowing my top.  Instead I calmly said that since he left his homework at school I would create homework for him right then and there.  I then made him write out his spelling words 1,000 times each.

Somebody please help me!  I don’t know what else to do to get this kid to remember to bring home his work.  Part of his problem is that he is unable to concentrate at school and finish it there.  The teacher (who should be granted sainthood for putting up with 22 little shits precious souls everyday) gives the class time to work on homework and worksheets before going home.  Unfortunately, Addison is easily distracted and is also a master at staring off into nothingness and then before you know it, poof, time to go home and he hasn’t done any work. Rather than put the sheet in his back pack he shoves it in his desk and forgets about it.  After my outburst he came up with the solution that he would have a folder in his back pack labeled “unfinished work” and that he would put all his work in there rather than his desk.  I’ll believe it when I see it and I told him as much.

Sweet Jesus working in the carpentry shop, please tell me what to do with this child.  Part of me worries that I’m being to hard on him, that I should just let it slide.  But if I start that in 4th grade what in the hell will 10th grade be like.  I’ve told him that he needs to get used to doing homework now because there is a heck of a lot more of it in high school and then when he gets to college his professors aren’t going to give a rats ass whether or not he does his homework.  They’ll just give him an F for unfinished work and not blink an eye.  We won’t be there in his dorm room telling him to stay focused so he needs to learn how to do it now.  But he is only 10 for crying out loud! Should I really put the pressure of potential college failure on him at this age?  Oops, too late.

Here is a really scary thought…what do the parents do who can’t be there right when their child gets home to make sure work is getting done?  What about the parents who work two jobs or only have a couple of hours to spend with their child before they go to bed?  Are they just hoping that their child has enough gumption and will power to avoid the phone and video games and do algebra instead?  Is this why our state is 48th in the nation in education and the United States is quickly falling behind the other countries in math and science?  Holy smokes, Idiocracy here we come.

If anybody has any ideas on how to get an elementary child to focus and do their work, I’m all ears because my wits have met their end and are laughing at them.  

 

The Blog Update

January 28, 2015

So yesterday I gave a bit of a recap of what is going on in real life.  After Dear Husband read it he said, That was great…and you didn’t even touch on half of what we were doing the past two months.  He was right.  There was a lot I didn’t mention including him getting the flu followed by his 80+ hour work week.  Amongst all of that the blog continued to plug forward.  It moved at a slower pace than usual but things continued behind the scenes, partly in thanks to my commitment to Be Brave.

Here is a very short recap of what has been happening in bloggyland.

granola recipe

A few weeks ago I met up with a few blogging friends at Natural Grocers in Oklahoma City.  I came away with a gift bag full of goodies and was inspired to make granola.  This granola is the bomb.  I’ve been munching on it all week and eating it w/ greek yogurt.  Find my recipe for it on the Oklahoma Women Bloggers blog.

This week I made this list of top mom blogs in Oklahoma City for 2015.  I’m not exactly sure who came up with this list or who decided that these lovely ladies have the honor of being on this list over the 10,000 other awesome bloggers but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  I’ll take it! Thanks Chatterblock.

tiny prints business card

For a while I’ve been wanting to order new business cards.  My old ones were too cutesy and I no longer carried them in my purse or gave them out when I met someone because I was a little embarrassed by them.  I scoured the different sites and settled on this design at Tiny Prints.  The ribbon still says that I’m a fun gal but the bold print says I’m trying to take myself seriously.

Now that I have new business cards on their way I decided to join the Oklahoma Writers Federation.  It seems like the next logical step…because where else would I hand out business cards that say I’m a writer than at a writers convention?

The Life Update

January 27, 2015

Last night Dear Husband and I sat down after the kids went to bed, looked at each other, and said I think this is the first time I’ve sat down since Thanksgiving.  Seriously folks, it has been crazy up in here.  Crazy enough for me to use the term cray-cray.  When I have to bust out the urban dictionary you know shit has been real.

So what has been going on?  Glad you asked, I’ll tell you.

Way back at the beginning of December I was the chair (as in “do what I say or I could snap”) of my Assistance League chapter’s biggest fund-raiser. It’s a hoity-toity event where we raise a lot of money that keeps our organization (which is all volunteer by the way) running.  We give 1600 kids in the public school system brand new clothes, provide care kits for assault victims, give stuffed animals to children being taken out of abusive/traumatic situations and put on a huge outdoor art fest for the community.

rent the runway

My friend on the left got her dress from Rent The Runway.  Don’t you love it? I’m totally doing that next year.

After that event was over (and I continued to put out fires) the holidays were in full swing and we all know what that is like.  90 to nothin’ all the way to Christmas.  But the fun doesn’t stop there.  December and January is birthday season for our family.  Between myself, Harry, Dear Husband’s side of the family and my dad (oh, and don’t forget baby Jesus) ; we have 7 birthdays to celebrate.

vintage pearl necklace

Dear Husband give me this necklace from The Vintage Pearl for my birthday.  It’s just so perfect. The secret message on the inside says it all.

 

teen titans cupcakes

My sweet Harry turned 5.  waaaaaaaaaaa! How and when did this happen? I don’t remember saying he could turn 5 and get taller.  

He insisted on Teen Titans Go! cupcakes.  Do you know of Teen Titans Go! on the Cartoon Network?  It’s pretty awesome, I must admit.  Well, there is not a grocery store or affordable bakery within state lines that can whip out a Teen Titans Go cake like they can a Micky Mouse cake or Dora or Batman.  Something about licensing.  Whatever.  Thank goodness for Etsy because I was able to download sheets of the characters, take it to Kinkos to make color copies then cut them out and stick them in cupcakes.  Mom of the year, right here.

Two weeks ago we went skiing with another family in Wolf Creek, CO.  The big boys spent two days skiing while the other mommy and I and the little kids sat around reading books and playing in the snow.  And we went dog sledding! (More on that later) Dear Husband and I are both really happy that Addison has found a physical activity that he actually enjoys and is good at.  He’s not one for team sports so snow skiing has been a huge confidence boost for him.  Too bad we only get to go once a year.

father and son skiing

snow man

wolf creek rental

Pagosa Dog Sled

wolf creek skiing

 

Two days after we returned from Colorado we went to visit my parents in Texas for my Dad’s birthday.  He is 69 this year.  I heard Harry ask him where all of his hair went.

IMG_5870

 

I keep thinking that life will slow down and return to normal.  I’m beginning to realize that my “normal” is 20 miles over the speed limit.  That’s okay, life is busy because I’ve made it that way.    

 

 

Classic Beef Lasagna

January 13, 2015

My friends at Red Gold Tomatoes must have known that I’m freezing my tookus off and needed something really warm and filling for dinner. They sent me tomatoes, lasagna noodles and recipes for classic beef lasagna so I could have something that will get me through this bitterly cold week.  They even included a coupon (the type that would make those extreme coupon gals really jealous) for Laura’s Lean Beef.  Score! 

Even bigger score…you can enter to win a Le Creuset Lasagna pan on the Red Gold Facebook page.  I’m really hoping I win because I count the effort of hefting a Le Creuset pan in and out of the oven as a work out.  That effort alone cancels out the lasagna calories.  

classic beef lasagna

Before setting off to make your own tasty classic beef lasagna…make sure to put your lasagna pan on a baking sheet.  My oven would be even more dirty if I hadn’t had the foresight to put my pan on a pan.

classic beef lasagna

Classic Beef Lasagna
Serves 12
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup water
  2. 1 (28 oz.) can Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes
  3. 2 (14.5 oz.) cans Red Gold Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic & Oregano
  4. 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  5. salt to taste
  6. 1 pound lean ground beef
  7. 1 box lasagna noodles (uncooked)
  8. 1 (15 oz.) carton low fat ricotta cheese
  9. 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  10. 1 egg
  11. 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet cook beef until no longer pink. Drain any fat. Add Red Gold crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salt and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine.
  2. In a medium bowl combine 2 cups mozzarella cheese, egg and ricotta cheese.
  3. Spray lasagna pan with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bottom of pan with meat/tomato sauce. Arrange uncooked lasagna noodles in a single layer over the sauce. Top with 1/3 ricotta mixture. Repeat with sauce, noodles, ricotta until the last layer is sauce.
  4. Cover tightly with foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours or until bubbly. Remove foil and top with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Hugs, Kisses and Snot http://hugskissesandsnot.com/

When Facials Go Bad

January 12, 2015

Before I tell you my tale of woe, it must be mentioned that I recently had a birthday.  I turned a number that is extremely close to another that should not be said out loud.

Sometime in December I went to a spa for a facial.  It was intended to be a day of relaxation after a very busy and hectic few months.  I lay there, snug in my spa blanket with warm steam pouring over my face as my esthetician examined my skin.  She asked me if I had any concerns, trouble areas, things I wanted her to focus on.  I told her that, for the most part, I was happy with my skin.  I was starting to see some wrinkles around my eyes and I have two deep valleys between by eyebrows that I call my “mom face”.  Only Botox will fix those valleys and I wasn’t there for Botox, so let’s just continue.

Then I started to think a little more.  Well, there are the little hairs on my chin that have a determination to thrive like non I’ve seen.  And then there is the peach fuzz along my jaw line where some of the hairs are longer than peach fuzz should be.  Oh, and I’ve started to notice some hairs (be they slight) around my upper lip.  Those hairs around my upper lip are were the most concerning to me.  Not so much that they are there but for what they signify.  

See, up until now I’ve always passed over the “anti-aging” products in the makeup aisle.  Anti-aging products are for women whose skin is aging and now they want to halt or slow down that process. These little hairs that persist are calling to tell me that my skin no longer looks like it’s 21 any more. They have opened the door to the “anti-aging” section and are inviting me in.  Those little hairs are not going away on their own, as I age and over time as hormones change (again) they will only make themselves more present.  I realized right there on the spa table that I was officially in the “anti-aging” product phase of my life.  The door on youthful, young looking skin that comes naturally had closed behind me.

I was advised that there were two options to rid myself of hair (if I didn’t want to go the expensive route).  One was a little electric razor type device.  That sounded too much like the electric razor that Dear Husband uses to trim his beard.  I don’t want a beard.  The next option was wax.  After much discussion and gnashing of teeth, we decided to wax those troubling areas…and my eyebrows for good measure.  Zip, zip and before you can say “tar and feather” I was as smooth as a hairless cat.  After that ordeal we proceeded on to the facial that I had originally come in for.

During the mask portion of the facial I felt a slight tingle on my chin.  It didn’t burn or hurt so I didn’t feel the need to alert my gal.  Well, I must have a high tolerance for pain because not long after I got home that area where I felt the tingling started to turn red.  Then it turned more red, and more.  By that night I had what I can best describe as a chemical burn on my chin.  In the course of a week the burned skin dried up and flaked off but not before I had to attend Dear Husband’s office Christmas party.  Imagine a hoity-toity cocktail party full of office admins, academic types and me with my burned chin.  Just wonderful.  It only took about 3 glasses of champagne before I had to stop fighting the urge to cover up my face.  Liquid confidence does the trick every time.  

I treated the burn with Young Living Lavender Essential Oil and patience.  Eventually the old skin flaked off and after about a week the new skin stopped looking tight and red and turned into normal skin.  Thankfully everything is back to normal now but I leaned a valuable lesson: never follow up a wax with a factual.  

Listen To Your Mother Auditions are Open

January 5, 2015

Remember last year, way back in 2014, when I was part of the Listen To Your Mother OKC cast (<–check out my reading from last year)?  Well, guess what? Now it’s your turn.  Listen To Your Mother auditions are open.  And not just for Oklahoma City…there are shows all over the country.  I know it’s hard and scary to put yourself out there but that’s what being brave is all about.  Doing the hard things.  Everyone has a story of motherhood because everyone has a mom or a grandma or a mother figure.  You don’t have to be a mom to submit…just speak from the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re in Oklahoma send your submission to okc.listentoyourmother@gmail.com  If you’re not in Oklahoma then you can find a city near you.  There are 39 cities participating in LTYM 2015.  Fine one here.

I will be in the audience in OKC in April and I would LOVE to see your smiling face up on that stage.  I would equally LOVE to hear about your experience or if you decided to send in a submission for the first time this year.  Please let me know if you decide to do it, I’ve got your back.

And if you are absolutely way to scared to audition and the thought of speaking in front of a crowd makes you want to vomit, I understand.  However, if you have a story and want it heard…send it to me, I’ll post it here.

Be Brave

January 2, 2015

be brave

2015 and it’s time to get serious.  Resolutions & reflections, people.  I’ve seen some friends online talking about their resolutions and a few “word for the new year”.  I thought about what my word would be and brave popped into my head.

Brave.  Because it is so easy to just not do the things I really want to do.  It’s so easy to let opportunities slip by me.  It’s so easy to say “next time” even if there may never be a next time.  Being productive and proactive is hard and I must be brave to make myself do the hard things.

Brave because there are some things that I want to happen in our home this year.  It would be easy to think “oh, wouldn’t it be nice to paint the living room and do all those other things.  But those things are really hard and take a lot of effort so I think I’ll just think about it instead of doing it”.  Yeah, that would be easy.  Actually doing is hard and I have to be brave to make it happen.

Brave because there are some things I would like to do with this thing called writing.  For over a year I’ve told myself that I should write an Advent devotional for next year.  But being organized in writing takes a lot of effort…and thinking…and it’s hard.  It’s a heck of a lot easier to let time pass and then tell myself it’s too late.  It’s easy to talk myself out of it but it’s hard to make myself go through with it.  I have to be brave to make it happen.

Brave because I have a tenancy to say “yes” to everything.  I need to know when to say “no” so that the things I say “yes” to get my best and full attention.  

Brave because there are some things I want to happen in this blogging world.  I can very easily convince myself that I’m not smart enough, good enough, savvy enough.  I have to be brave to believe in myself.  

Brave because if I want my boys to believe in themselves, be brave and follow their heart then I have to lead by example.  It’s a long journey.

What is your word?

Heart as Hard as Iron

December 21, 2014

Heart as hard as iron

 

Christmas music.  I love hearing all of the velvet voices of the classic Christmas songs, Nat King Cole easily being my favorite.  I love Harry Conick Jr’s jazzy Christmas piano and the hand-raiser in me warms when I listen to Michael W. Smith’s Christmas albums.  Smitty knows exactly when to throw in a minor cord to get the full effect of Christmas magic.  However, that Christmas Shoes song has got to go.  That thing is terrible.  I think it was written specifically to get moms sitting in the pick up line choked up for no good reason.

There is one Christmas carol that is not very well known but has become one of my favorites.  It’s not as joyful as Hark the Harold or Angels We Have Heard On High, it’s not as sweet at Silent Night nor is it etched into everyone’s memory like Joy to the World.  The song I’m thinking of is In The Bleak Mid Winter.   

In the bleak mid winter, icy wind made moan.
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, 
Snow on snow.
In the bleak mid winter, long ago.

Angels and archangels, may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim rising in the air.
Only holy Mary, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a mothers kiss.

What then can I give him, empty as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man I would know my part.
What then can I give him? I must give my heart.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
With the love He gave us, we must do our part.
With the love He gave us, we must give our heart.

This time of year we are supposed to be filled with joy, should happily swipe our credit card and hang lights with a song in our heart.  All the other Christmas songs tell us to be cheerful and happy, but there are times when that just doesn’t seem possible.  For whatever reason our heart has turned to stone.  This carol is the theme song for those years when you can’t seem to muster up any Christmas cheer and in the place where we should feel joy we only feel empty.  Sometimes winter seems to have an effect on more than just landscape.  

A few years ago I was in the middle of the holiday rush.  Driving all over town shopping, decorating the tree and for some reason in the middle of it all I felt lost.  Even though I heard the festive songs on the radio and the calendar told me Christmas was right around the corner, my heart didn’t feel anything at all.  I felt lost in the middle of the hustle and bustle.  Somehow, my heart heart felt like the first verse of this song, hard as iron and frozen.  It’s times like this that we are weighed down with the struggle of everyday life.  Like each new layer of snow; each struggle buries us until the landscape of our heart and mind is unrecognizable.  Worries of how to make ends meet, how to pay for expensive gifts when kids don’t understand budgets, hard work at the office going unnoticed, not feeling appreciated at home, whiny kids, screaming babies, a messy house with no help in sight…it all feels so…bleak.

This song reminds me that it is okay to feel a little lost this time of year.  When we feel like there is no place for us, or no one understands, when we feel lost…there is one who suffers with us and knows exactly why our heart is hard.  One who was caught in-between.  Heaven didn’t want him because earth needed him.  We desperately needed him yet, we didn’t want him.  On that cold, dark night heaven sent him to us, the angels rejoiced over him yet only his mother’s kiss and arms could comfort him.  Imagine that, helpless yet divine.  That is how I imagine our souls, helpless yet divine.  Inside our fragile hearts, so easily broken, the holy spirit longs to reside.  

When our hearts have become as hard as iron there is only one thing to do with it…give it up.  When our souls are empty and we feel like we have nothing left to give…to our spouse, our boss, our kids, anybody…we must give it away.  When the strain of the season drops the temperature of your heart a few more degrees, allow the duet of a cry of a baby and the song of angels to warm it and melt your heart.  It may be empty but that is exactly how He wants it…empty so that he can fill it with His love. 

Thoughts on Growing Up

December 18, 2014

growing up

 

Something unexpected and alarming happened this week while shopping for snow boots.  The salesman informed me that my son is now in adult size shoes.  He is a mens size 6.  MENS. SIZE. SIX.  One minute we were shopping in the kids section where boots light up and paying kid prices.  The next minute we’re shopping for boots that could serve as a life raft with a price tag twice as much as the minute before.  My 10 year old officially has feet bigger than mine.  

When did this happen?  I did not approve this growth spurt or budget for full price shoes that will more than likely be outgrown by next year.  I have a suggestion for shoe makers.  Can there be an in-between size and pricing category?  Can we call it the tween section?  Styles and sizes that are bigger than the kid shoes yet prices that will save me from having to pay close to $100 for a pair of shoes that will get worn down from excessive scooter breaking?  I don’t think it’s fair or right that I have to now shop in the mens section for shoes that will be worn at recess.  

Not only is my budget not ready for this but neither is my heart.  Thankfully, this is a slow process that allows me to get used to the idea.  Quiet, mopey behavior has been progressing for quite a while now.  I’m getting used to the mumbling and bee line for the computer rather than spending time with the family.  I’ve had time to formulate plans on how to get him to pay attention to his little brother and participate in discussions.  And yet, this train continues to move forward at a speed that I’m not comfortable with.

This past October I caught a glimps of what my teenager might look like.  For Halloween he asked to have his hair gelled and messed up to go with his costume.  I happily applied copious amounts of gel and sent him on his way.  Later that afternoon I visited his classroom for the Halloween party.  Across the room was this tall, thin young man.  It took my breath away and I had to look away because he was so handsome and mature looking .  For a moment the boy was completely gone.  

Thankfully, he is still just a boy.  In adult size six shoes.

Clear Away Clutter

December 15, 2014

clear away clutter

Almost 30 days ago I had this wild idea to get control of the clutter in my life.  I started my Control the Clutter 30 Day Challenge Every single day I challenged myself and my readers to clear away clutter, get something out of the house or organize something in the house that was a mess (taking Sunday’s off).  In the back of my mind I knew that I had a lot going on in my life and that all of this would take place right before Christmas but I decided to plow ahead anyway.  It turns out that I may have picked the busiest time of year to turn my junk drawers upside down, empty cabinets, and haul out bags of clothes and toys.  Yes, this is a crazy time of year to add one more thing but actually, it worked out really well.

No other time of year would I have pulled out the holiday boxes and gone through them to get rid of all the holiday decor that I no longer use.  Now that I’m in the frame of mind to get things organized, putting away Christmas decorations after the New Year will give me yet another chance to clear out broken and tired ornaments.

I have noticed another advantage to clearing the clutter during the holidays…turning the focus of controlling clutter inside the heart as well as the home.  Just a few days after the challenge started Advent was upon us.  What a wonderful time to focus on what may be cluttering our hearts than the time of year when we focus on God’s greatest gift to us.  The first verse of Joy to the World has so much more meaning when you are focused on getting rid of what is weighing your heart and mind down.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.

Let every heart. prepare Him room.

Let heaven and nature sing.

If our hearts are full of anger and resentment or holding on to grudges, there isn’t much room for the joy of this season.  But letting go of the hurt is easier said than done.  Just like that box of stuff that has been hiding in the corner, or those clothes that you haven’t worn in years…we keep telling ourselves; I may wear that one day or I may need that stuff…I’m not sure what is exactly in that box, but you never know when it will come in handy.  Guess what?  If those clothes worn in over a year or that box hasn’t been opened and aren’t even sure what is inside…you don’t need it!  Get rid of it!  The same is true with the emotional pain we hold on to from when someone really hurt us, or the grudges we hold when we feel slighted.  If we get rid of that anger then what will we do when we want someone to blame?  When we want to point the finger and say It’s all their fault that my life is a mess!  Guess what?  That is in the past, it’s over and done.  That box has been sitting around for a long time and it’s time to dump it.  And there is only one person to blame when our hearts are a mess.  Do I really need to say it?  

We can’t control how others will treat us but we can control how we will react to them.  Recently my 10 year old was talking about the “mean kids” in his class and what they did to make everyone else’s lives miserable.  I hate hearing that my son may be the recipient of some of this bad behavior but I can’t be with him all day to protect him or give those kids that sink eye.  The advice I can give him is to treat them like he would want to be treated. I told him that a lot of times these mean kids have something really terrible going on at home.  Many times they are treated badly by someone they should be able to trust and they are scared to tell anyone about it.  Many times they are hurting inside and they only way they know to express their fear is to hurt others.  Yes, some kids are just mean for the sake of being mean and that really stinks.  However, we have to assume that there is something else going on that we don’t know about.  

The same goes for grown ups.  People dump on us and we can either get really angry and hold it against them for a long time or we can clear away that resentment from our hearts.  This is the prefect time of year to let it all go.  This perfect babe came to this world to relieve us of that burden and every single year, this time of year, we’re reminded that He came to lighten our load.  Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  He wants you to clear away your clutter!  He is willing to take it away…he is just waiting for you to give it up.

Clear away the clutter of anger and fear and prepare room in your heart for joy, for love, for Him.