A Perfect Mother’s Day may look like this picture.  Everyone smiling and happy and love all around.  Just wanted to share what a ONE MINUTE photo session really looks like.  It is amazing what goes on in a span of 60 seconds.  I actually get a big kick out of the “real” pictures to get the “perfect” picture.  So here are the rest of the pictures –














I am lucky and blessed to have these monkeys!  Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there!!!




Martin Luther King Jr. aka Dad

gty_martin_luther_king_family_1957_coretta_ss_thg-130114_ssh“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King Jr. had 4 small children.  So many stories have been written about all the great things in his lifetime that he did but when he got home, 4 little kids just called him Dad.  He had such a passion for righting a HUGE wrong in the world.  I like to see some of the pictures of Martin Luther King Jr with his kids.  Just enjoying them and being their dad.



This one cracks me up because we have all been  there during a photo session!
This one cracks me up because we have all been there during a photo session!

I know I have said this before and I will say it again –

It is impossible to explain to my kids when they ask about Martin Luther King Jr. –   I feel extremely embarrassed.  I absolutely HATE telling them that not so long ago, black children could not even attend the same schools OR drink from the same water fountain OR sit in the front of the bus OR …….  ABSOLUTELY embarrassing to try to explain this to my kids.  They are completely baffled on how  people could have even thought that AND acted on those crazy beliefs just because of a different color skin.   So CRAZY and ignorant.

hen I was teaching, we would be talking about Martin Luther King Jr. and it was the same uncomfortable conversation of trying to explain such bigotry and hatred.  A good activity we did to show how completely ridiculous people are when they are racist was the “Arm Test.”  I would have all the kids put their hands in a circle on the table.  Then I would say the whitest arm is the smartest and best and then we would keep going until the darkest arm was last.  The kids really could see how absolutely ridiculous such thinking was AND is today.

Another good activity is to give each of your students a lemon or apple.  Let them describe it.   Some will describe the size, color, and/or any dents or bruises.  Put all the lemons or apples back in a pile.  Each student will be able to identify their own lemon very easily.  Now have them peel it and put them back in the pile.  All the same.

Then we start talking about what a great and incredibly brave man Martin Luther King Jr. was and they start to see how extremely important this man was to the whole world.  He was not afraid to stand up for something that was so horribly wrong, unfair, and unjust.  Such a HERO.

Thank you Martin Luther King Jr.!

Street signs mark the corner of Rosa Parks Blvd and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Detroit


Alex, 9-years-old, Rio de Janeiro

When I was looking around in a bookstore I came across the book  Where Children Sleep by James Mollison.  I am not very easily moved to the point of wanting to cry and holler at the same time,  but this book absolutelypositively did the trick.   I bought the book and showed it to my children.  They were fascinated and I could not believe how much conversation and awareness this book brought to light. 

In his book, Mollison has documented children and their bedrooms around the world.  Mollison states “From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. It seemed to make sense to photograph the children themselves, too, but separately from their bedrooms, using a neutral background. My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children’s material and cultural circumstances ‘ the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other ‘ while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals ‘ just as children.”  

Here are just a few pictures from his book.   Mollison also describes each child’s situation.  Alex, the 9-year-old above,  sleeps outside on an empty bench or discarded sofa if he’s able to find one; otherwise, his bed is the pavement.  Prena, a 14-year-old domestic worker who works 13-hour days, earns about $6.50 a month for her efforts and sleeps in a tiny, cell-like space. Despite that, she does manage to go to school three days a week, and she dreams of being a doctor when she grows up.   

Where Children Sleep = Social Inequality.  Children are not to be blamed for their surroundings – they are born into certain situations.     How can we make it more equal?

Dong, 9-years-old, Yunnan, China
Roathy, 8-years-old, Cambodia
Indira, 7-years-old, Nepal:Prena, 14-years-old, Katmandu, Nepal
Jasmine, 4-years-old, Kentucky
Kaya, 4-years-old, Tokyo, Japan
Tzvika, 9-years-old, Beitar Illit, The West Bank
Nantio, 15-years-old, Lisamis, Northern KenyaJoey, 11-years-old, Kentucky, USA


Here are my little ducklings.  I am very lucky to have such a great family. 

My 4 kiddos on Mother’s Day

A few cute thing about my Mama’s Day

My son washed my van a.k.a. The Loser Cruiser.
*My daughter gave me a card saying the most special thing about me is that I love to garage sale.
We went to church and I dropped off my 3 oldest kids and my husband dropped off my 3 year old to their assigned rooms.  Coming down the stairs I heard this psychotic little kid crying and yelling “I HATE THIS PLACE.”  I thought whose little nightmare is that and saying “hate” about church – those parents need to do a better job.  So when I, a.k.a. Ms. Judgement, got down the stairs, I was greeted by – my psychotic son. 
My daughter went out and got me my favorite – Z Pizza and a can of Mountain Dew.

Let them LOSE!

I know some of you might think this is a horrible post with such a sad picture.  The sole reason for my little guy’s sadness is because he got one of his playdoh pieces “recycled” or completely SQUASHED!  We were playing a playdoh game that he got for Christmas.  He loved squashing all of us,  but EVERY single time he  got squashed –LOOK OUT

Right after he got his playdoh piece “RECYCLED”
How quickly things can turn around! Seconds later when he can SQUASH someone else's piece.

I really think it is important for kids to lose.  It is very easy to win.  AND it is very easy to let your kids win.  But if you never let them lose, they are not going to learn that very important coping skill.   Learning to lose, is a hard skill but a very necessary social skill needed when they get to preschool and kindergarten.  Soooo, let your child lose sometimes – it is A – OKAY!