Archive for December, 2013


I love the Universal Deluxe Heirloom Tweed Yarn. It is great for making newborn beanies and cozies for photography props. Right now you can get this yarn and many other yarns like the Lion Brand Tweed Stripes Yarn, which I have used to crochet with for many years, for a very good price at Craftsy’s Year End Clearance!

Find great prices on yarn and fabric with Craftsy’s Year End Clearance Sale! Close out 2013 by restocking your stash with up to 65% off fabric and up to 80% off yarn. Don’t delay! Enjoy these fantastic deals while you can – this clearance sale ends before the year does!
Sale Dates: Now – 12/30

Craftsy

 

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Welcome to the Happy New Year $50 Cooking.com Gift Certificate
sponsored by the USA Herald and hosted by The Parenting Patch!

Have you resolved to start eating healthy during the new year? Help
yourself achieve your goals with some new cookware from Cooking.com.

Two (2) lucky readers of The Parenting Patch and the USA Herald will
each win one (1) $50 gift certificate to Cooking.com. To enter for
your chance to win the Happy New Year $50 Cooking.com Gift
Certificate, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck!
Happy New Year!

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The Happy New Year $50 Cooking.com Gift Certificate is open worldwide.
An international winner will receive $50 via PayPal in lieu of the
specified prize. The Happy New Year $50 Cooking.com Gift Certificate
ends at midnight CST on January 16, 2014. Two winners will be chosen
at random via Rafflecopter. The winners will be sent an email and will
have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within
forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch
and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Welcome to the Happy New Year $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway sponsored by the USA Herald and hosted by The Parenting Patch!

How would you like to start the new year off with $50 to spend at Target?

Two (2) lucky readers of The Parenting Patch and the USA Herald will each win one (1) $50 Target gift card. To enter for your chance to win the Happy New Year $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway, simply use the following Rafflecopter form. Good luck! Happy New Year! You can also enter on my Facebook page A Small Village!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Happy New Year $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway is open worldwide. An international winner will receive $50 via PayPal in lieu of the specified prize. The Happy New Year $50 Target Gift Card Giveaway Giveaway ends at midnight CST on January 15, 2014. Two winners will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winners will be sent an email and will have forty-eight hours to respond. If no response is received within forty-eight hours, another winner will be chosen. The Parenting Patch and other participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

the ark

I wrote this blog on Hubpages while I was working at The Ark Assessment Center and Emergency Shelter for abused and neglected children. I worked there from 2006 to 2008, returned in 2009 till 2012. During those six years I got married had 4 more kids and gained a stepson so I was to the point where I was not able to work anymore. It was one of the best jobs I have ever had. I went by there for a visit the other day and it made me miss being there so much. I see the good there is in the community as the hallways are filled with donations for Christmas for the children. It warms my heart to see how we come together to help the children who are less fortunate.

So as this is an old blog it is still a good one. It was nominated and featured in the Hubnuggets newsletter and I got so many wonderful comments on how my blog inspired them.

April 1, 2011

I eat lunch with abused children every week!

Everyone can help!

I work at a shelter for abused children. I do not work directly with the children, although I have great respect for the ones who are there to take care of these children. Since I work in the back as we call it, I come to the front to sit at a long table, sometimes filled with kids, to have a good hearty lunch.

My work consists of filing the residents files and the bills, going to the grocery store to get WIC items, doing reports for the accountant, writing and mailing thank you letters to the ones who give us donations, being part of a committee that organizes a silent auction for the gala we have every year and a anything else that is asked of me to do. Sometimes I am asked to go to the front to help with the children when they are shorthanded on staff, but mostly I am in the back.

The statistics I will give are from what I get from the reports I have to give to the auditor or for grants that we apply for. In an average year we see about 250 abused children come through our doors. We are licensed to receive kids from Texas, so a majority of our children are from Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. We have beds for 37 children. There are approximately at least 25 children per day at our facility and a majority of the time they are all under five years old. Can you imagine taking care of 15 new born babies and ten toddlers? We have a dedicated staff that cares for these children. They feed, bathe and play with these kids every day like any mother would do to their own children, but in this case the mothers of these children did not do these things with their own kids. They have done things so terrible that it is hard to believe.

I have seen kids with broken bones, from arms, femurs, legs, and ribs. Kids come to us with black eyes and bruises covering their bodies. Some have had chunks of their hair missing from it being pulled and parts of their ears ripped also from being pulled. We see newborns born who test positive for drugs come to us a day old from the hospital with heart monitors. Some of these kids have been sexually abused from a very young age and don’t even comprehend that it is wrong. They come from homes that are covered in animal feces, dirty diapers and trash. There is food that has been sitting on the counters for weeks, spoiled milk in the refrigerator and drug paraphernalia out where it is easily accessible to the children. These kids are malnourished and under-weight by a significant amount. They have burn marks from cigarettes and lighters. They haven’t had baths in weeks and their clothes are dirty and smell of urine or rotten milk.

Being a mother myself it is hard for me to believe that the mothers of these children allow this to happen. In some cases it is the mother who has done these horrible acts upon their own child, in others they allow for their husband or boyfriend to do these things. In almost every case the parents are involved with drugs from crack-cocaine to meth-amphetamines. There are stories that they have sold some of their children to people in Mexico for drug money and leave their kids without siblings, and some come to us, 12 brothers and sisters in all. They have lived in cars, or homes with no running water or electricity. They sleep on floors with rats and roaches. Their moms apply for food stamps just to trade them for drug money and other kids have never had a single immunization other than what the hospital gave them at the time of their birth, if they were even born in a hospital.

Now I have heard stories about how Child Protective Services is an awful organization. That they just take kids from parents for no reason at all, but in my experience CPS is a life saver to these children. CPS removes a child from a bad environment until a judge decides if they can go back home to their parents (after a drug test and a home inspection), or to a family member but in most cases it is to a foster home. I have even seen kids removed by CPS from a foster home as well, usually when they just want the money and not the responsibility to care for the child. When kids go to a foster home, they try to keep all the siblings together but it cannot always be that way and sometimes have to be separated.

So I sit with these kids four days a week in the dining area and eat breakfast and lunch with them. Some of them are so out of control and hard to handle from not having any supervision and some are so shy and afraid to even speak. Some cry that they miss their mommies and some seem like they are so happy to be away from them. If the child’s birthday comes while they are with us, we give them a little birthday party and a ton of gifts. Some have told us that they never even had a birthday party before.

trin

 

We try to make them feel as safe and comfortable as they can. Some adjust easily and others it takes time. It is sad because right when a child is just getting used to being with us a foster family is found and they have to leave, making them sad all over again and feeling no stability. Right now we can house the kids for three months and often can get an extension. We are in the process of trying to get a license for 55 beds. When that happens we will be keeping the children full term. They will have their own rooms and belongings. They will go to one school and not have to be moved around a lot. This will only be for kids who do not have any relatives to care for them or a foster home for them to go to, which we have seen that in the past, therefore needing extensions on their 90 days.

The community has become aware of our being but maybe only a quarter of it is aware. We have businesses and individuals who bring the children Christmas presents, Easter baskets, Valentines, school supplies, Halloween costumes and even prepare a full Thanksgiving dinner for them. We also get used items for us to put in a rummage sale, where the money goes back to the children. There are also those who donate money to us for utilities, groceries and other items that are needed. Some donate tickets to sporting events, carnivals and concerts too, which we enjoy taking the kids to events around the area. Others donate diapers, wipes, brand new clothes, and anything else that it takes to raise a child.

logan and santa

I feel truly honored to be a part of their team. I started work there in 2006 and enjoy that I can make a small difference in their life. It saddens me that these children live like this and have to be taken away from their families, but I am glad that there is a place for them to go to feel safe again. If you would like to help in any way you can (even $5 helps) visit their website for more information www.ark4kids.com. Child abuse is rising. Babies are being born to younger and younger mothers every day and there are more drugs becoming easily available every day. I hear others say we need to prevent child abuse, but I cannot think of a way to prevent it, all we can do is make a child’s life better once they have been abused and do everything we can to prevent it from happening again.

If you would like to donate please click here.

check

 

Did you know that Doterra means gift from earth? I’m so excited to share with you my recent discovery and amazement of essential oils. I was given a few samples from my friend Tiffani and it seemed like it was the perfect timing. I had had a cough for several weeks and I rubbed the Lemon Doterra essential oil on my throat and within 2 hours it was feeling better and by the next day it was gone.

My daughter who is 6 months old also got a runny nose and congestion. I rubbed lavender on her feet and I massaged the Doterra essential oil blend Breath with coconut oil on her chest and feet and back of the neck. She would sleep through the night without waking up stuffy and within a few days it was cleared up. Unlike the Vicks vapor rub I have always used on all my children, the Doterra oils showed results quickly.

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Here she is at bed time with a smile on her face because she can breath without being stuffed up.

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This is a picture I took of my 2 year old son who developed hives out of no where. I ran to my little bag of samples and sample cards and found that peppermint was good for hives. I massaged it in with coconut oil and within 15 minutes the hives had gone away. I am not sure what caused them, but I do know that when he gets a mosquito bite he swells up for days. And with the Doterra peppermint essential oil it cleared up in less than 30 minutes.

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This is a picture of my daughter who had hit her head on the corner of the wall in the hall way, as you can tell it bruised quickly and left a bump. Now as a mother of six I have had this happen a lot of times. Usually I give them an ice pack and some Tylenol for the pain. But when my daughter hit her head I got out my little bag of samples again and found that the Doterra Deep blue rub cream was good for bruises and pain.

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It smells like icy hot or bengay but it is nice knowing that it is all natural from mother earth.

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Within 20 minutes you could hardly see it and in the morning a light bruise was there. I was expecting the bruise to be bigger like I have had in past experiences.

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This picture was taken 30 minutes after applying the Doterra deep blue cream.

Now I am not sure if this is a coincidence or not but my friend had been hospitalized in the ICU 4 times in a month. She had bacteria in her lungs, asthma and pnemonia. I took a trip to see her and I rubbed some of the Doterra oil blend breath and On Guard on her neck and on the back of her ears. I only did it the one time but 2 days later she was released from ICU and sent back home!

I have used peppermint oil for my menstral cramps, the lavender oil to calm down the kids around bedtime. I have used the On guard oil blend on my son who was running a 102 fever. I have used the Doterra Digest Zen gel caps for digestive problems. I had been sick for a week and I finally tried the gelcap because I am stubborn like that and it was gone the next day. I love the wild orange essential oil for it helps me with my anxiety and so does the lavender.

I have been on Xanax since 2005 and I am trying to get off of them. I have read about drinking a glass of water with a few drops of wild orange in it and that it helps with depression and anxiety.

I’m so thankful to have found a safe alternative to over the counter meds that actually works! There is a really great video here if you are interested in learning more.

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Even better, there is an amazing deal going on if you enroll right now. I just wanted to pass this great info along. If you do enroll and want all of the freebies on the picture, make sure you order through this link. Anyone that enrolls before midnight tomorrow is entered in a chance to win a free aroma-ace diffuser! Click here for more details on how to win. I couldn’t of made this possible without Tiffani and Katie!

This is a great opportunity for you and for myself. I am excited to spread the word about how Doterra essential oils work. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Check out Ellen DeGeneres’s post on Vine!
https://vine.co/v/h079vaM0JMD

Go enter to win Orglamix make up at Griffin’s Honey Blog!

This is my favorite one! Enter to win here.

Today a package arrived at the front door of A Small Village with a suprise! It was an Obol bowl! My 4 year old son immediately poured himself a bowl of Fruity Pebbles!

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You can enter for a chance to win one at Griffin’s Honey Blog!

http://www.griffinshoney.com/obol-original-crispy-bowl-review-giveaway/#comment-13829

Good Luck to all who enter!

Don’t know what to get your friends and family? Looking for a unique gift idea? Give the Craftsy Gift Any Class Card so your friends and family can choose the Craftsy class that fits them best. This is the gift they will use for years to come. Craftsy offers classes about everything from sewing, to baking, to photography and cooking! 

Once I discovered Craftsy I loved it. I purchased three classes and they are great and very informative.

I purchased the Professional Family Portraits by Kirk Tuck, which is also a fellow Texan like myself.  Within five minutes of watching his video I was laughing so much, because he was demonstrating how it is to photograph toddlers who just won’t sit still. Having six kids I know exactly how that is. He had some great information on how to get a toddlers attention and to capture that perfect picture. I have learned so much already from his class and the best thing is that I can watch it when I can, or I can pause it and continue watching it when the kids are in bed or at the park, in other words, when I have free time. Which is one of the features that I love about taking Craftsy classes.

I have also purchased the Modern Buttercream class by Joshua John Russell and the Improve Your Knittingclass with Patty Lyons from Lion Brand Yarn.

Joshua John Russell has some awesome and beautiful cakes! I have been baking with my grandmother since I was a kid and have always wanted to learn how to do cakes from scratch rather than a box. His site booms with a great song and I was in awe of his cakes and how talented he is. I can’t wait to start watching his class. 

I have also been crocheting since I was about 8 years old, also with my grandmother. She is 91 years old and she does not know how to knit so I never learned to knit. But, the great thing about the knitting class is that I do not have the supplies I need to work on it yet, but the class will still be there for me when I do get the supplies. I can also do a 30 second rewind if I need to practice the stitch a few times! I was also impressed with how an associate at Lion Brand Yarn did the class. That is my first choice in yarn when I go shopping!

Right now you can Gift Any Craftsy Class and save big while you’re looking for a gift for someone who want’s to learn how to do something, anything with these easy classes.

Do you want to give someone a Craftsy class, but not sure which one to pick? With our “Gift Any Class” cards, you can buy a loved one any Craftsy class of their choosing for $30! It has never been easier to give the gift of crafting fun!

Gift 1 Craftsy class for $30 (save up to $30)
Gift 2 Craftsy classes for $55 (save up to $65)
Gift 3 Craftsy classes for $75 (save up to $105)

Features
• Gifted classes never expire
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• Deliver on any date (up to three months in advance)

You know every time I lend an ear to someone who is going through a rough time, I tell them to look at the positive side of the situation. As a mother of six I have had several of my friends come to me for help when their child is sick, or when their having contractions or when they even think they might be pregnant they ask me, before they even consult their doctors lol. I have also chatted about sexual problems, cheating boyfriends, drugs and alcohol. For some reason people come to me for advice. And yes it is mostly with my online friends, but my real life friends and family have as well. I always say to look at the positive side of everything.

Let me start from the beginning. I was very negative about everything in my life and I didn’t even realize it. My music was negative, yet I still appreciate the beauty and art to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson today. My writings were negative. I have spirals and spirals of poems and journals that I will one day publish, they are filled with horrible teenage nonsence but it makes complete sense. My fashion was negative. I wore all black, dark lipstick, revealing clothes. My sexuality was negative. I was in bad relationships, every single one of my exes was an alcoholic or a meth head. Yeah one extreme to the other. I drank a lot, I would fight with my family and my friends. I wanted to hurt people, myself and hated life all together. As I grew older, I had children and my heart began to soften, I settled down with a great guy who was not addicted to substances and started a family. At first it was difficult, I was having to raise another mothers son and I was not too happy about that. My husband worked out of town and I some how managed to still get pregnant 3 times.

On June 20, 2012, my third year anniversary, I finally flipped my shit. I was on a birth control called Seasonique (which I do not reccomend because of the high levels of hormones it has in it), I was also taking xanax and prozac, and I was drinking a whole lot and I finally just lost my mind, like seriously. After laying in bed for days crying and crying and fighting with my husband and the kids I finally got out of bed and I grabbed my bottle of Xanax and swallowed what was left in the bottle, which was around 30 two milligram pills. I drank every drop of alcohol in the house and began cutting my wrists. At the time I had a 3 year old and a 6 month old at home and my older girls were with my family. I called my husband and told him what I did. Within seconds my dad and his dad were there. They took my kids away and tried to settle me down. My husband showed up and I started fighting with him. I was seeing demons around everyone. I saw black clouds that floated all around me and my family. My dad took me to his place and I kind of don’t remember too much after that. I woke up at 4 a.m. and had my dad take me home. I laid down in bed with my husband, feeling completely ashamed of myself for ruining our anniversary and for being a total fucking bitch!

I am lucky to be alive. I didn’t go to the hospital, apparently I have a damn good tolerance or it just wasn’t my time to go. But from that day I began a new path and it all started with looking at the positive side of things. I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore. I wanted to live life without regrets and without the boulder that had been on my shoulders since I could remember. 

It wasn’t like I woke up and was a whole new person the next day, it took time and it took meditation. Before when I would see posters that said, “Be Positive” I rolled my eyes, but now I wanted to learn how to do this. To see the brighter side of a bad situation. It has been a little over a year now and I am finally getting it lol.

My first step to doing this was looking for a higher power and since I was pretty much a Catholic gone Atheist at the time I knew there was something else out there that was more powerful than me yet not an imaginary character up in the sky. And I found her, I realized when I was outside standing barefoot in the grass that the earth was my creator. She was the one who created light out of darkness, who placed life on her thriving surface, soon evolving into the human beings we are today. I realized that I am lucky to be alive. That my eyes get to see this beauty, my ears can hear rivers flow and birds chirp, my nose can smell fresh roses and a freshly cut lawn. I realized there was a reason for me to be here, as I looked down at my children’s faces, so innocent and unknowing of what their life has in store for them. I realized that I am one with god because my legs are like roots planted into her soil. 

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Now that I knew where I belonged I began to see the light. I would meditate nightly with my favorite song Everloving by Moby playing on my MP3 player on repeat. I would burn some sage, light a white candle and sit in the mediation position for an hour or so. I focused on building a bubble around me. A ball of white positive energy that would not allow any negativity in. At the time my husband worked out of town and I had time to meditate late at night while the kids slept. I focused on this force field for a month or so before I began to see that I had control over it. If a negative situation came up, I could block that negativity from affecting me. If someone was in a bad mood, I would no longer feel their depression through their eyes. I learned that negativity is like a snowball. It starts out small, but the more you allow it into your life the bigger it gets, until it just falls apart. 

So I now had a creator and I could control the negativity, yet being positive was still hard, and it is still hard. But I have done much better and I have been a much happier person now.

How does one look at the positive side of having two vehicles break down, totally dead within a 4 month period? 

How does one look at the positive side of not having enough money to pay the bills?

How does one look at the positive side of losing a loved one?

How? How? How? Well its all how you look at it. Yes my vehicles are dead and I am home with six kids alone while my husband is working his ass off 2 hours away. But at least I am not the one who is dead, just my vehicles. I will have to walk to the store a few times. I will have to ask for rides from others, but why should I let this get me down? Yeah it is an inconvenience but it could be worse. 

I have had my electric, water, cable, phone all disconnected, yet never all at once. I have had to go a few hours without electricity while I figure out a way to pay the bill. Yes, it sucks with kids who want to watch t.v. and no air conditioner, but I get it paid and turned right back on. Because I don’t dwell on how I am going to get through this, I just get through it. And it could be worse. I could be homeless without my children and family.

Since I was a kid my dad taught me not to fear death. “It’s going to happen eventually so why be scared?” he would say. It is sad that loved ones leave us, it is hard because we miss them. But they were able to live upon this earth with you. You learned from them and they learned from you, whether you had a good relationship or not. They do not die, because they are always remembered. Their bodies may perish back into the earth yet their souls stay with us forever. 

So I sit here, trying to figure out a way to get at least one vehicle fixed. What we are going to do about Christmas? Adding up numbers to see how much we owe and how much money we won’t have left. Yet I have this feeling inside me like everything will be okay. It may not be today or tomorrow but it will all work out. I do not want to worry myself sick with negative thoughts, they will only allow more negative things to happen, causing the snowball to grow. If you think positive, it opens up a path that leads to more positivity. Don’t let the little things in life get you down, don’t dwell on the ‘What if’s?’ in life. No one knows what tomorrow will be like. No one knows the outcome to any situation. So just sit back and relax and enjoy that your alive, your heart is beating and that some day it will be your turn to return to the earth and some one else will be born to take your place.  

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The Tale Of Bitter Truth

Everyone, at some point in their lives, wakes up in the middle of the night with the feeling that they are all alone in the world, and that nobody loves them now and that nobody will ever love them, and that they will never have a decent night’s sleep again and will spend their lives wandering blearily around a loveless landscape, hoping desperately that their circumstances will improve, but suspecting, in their heart of hearts, that they will remain unloved forever. The best thing to do in these circumstances is to wake somebody else up, so that they can feel this way, too.

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