A Whole New World

Thanks for all the great great pieces of advices. Sometimes you get so caught up in what’s around you, you forget to step back and take an objective view. So thanks for that. David took Gabe skiing.  Joe is sitting across the desk from me and playing MineCraft. Don’t get me started. Denise W and Jami just went for a walk and me? I took frank for a walk, cleaned the house up and going to blog quickly then run up to work to get some stuff ready for Monday.

And today I am welcoming any advice on 11yr old boys. My gosh, seriously. Joe is so beyond spectacular. The thing is, he’s 11 and in 5th grade and for some reason the word “dating” keeps popping up. I can’t handle an 11 yr old with a broken heart. No way. I said no dating till 8th grade, go ahead and have crushes and whatever but no one special girl till you are older. Gosh. This is a whole new ball game. Help me out here. I try to talk super casually so it’s not a lecture nor uncomfortable. Aghhh and I made the decision last week to let him get a phone so he could text his friends, only school friends and I can read it at any give time I choose. No phone at school nor bed time. Welcoming advice…cuz this is a whole new world for me.  And I am struggling with it.

Side note, we get to go see BonJovi tomorrow..Super excited! We got tickets for the boys for Christmas and I can’t wait to watch their faces light up!

And now to the fun part. All of us combined, between Trunk Show bake sales, front yard bake sales, MJC bake sale, and just each of us pitching in helped raise over 12k for the kids. Beautiful. David, Sam and Jenni had a blast creating smiles at schools, drive thru’s, fire stations, hospitals and everywhere.  With your help we  just fed over 225 kids and there families for 3 weeks. Thank you! Thank you HUGE. This is just the start of making a change. Sometimes it seems overwhelming because the need is so great, but if we can just put one smile on a face a day, then that right there is change.  Linda at Chicks for Children asked what we would like the extra monies to go toward and so I think that is something I would like some feed back form you guys on. Well, I know I would like your feedback. You helped raise it, so what do you think?  I was thinking maybe we could 1. Use it to help give the children a meal on Saturday and Sunday, or 2. Sponsor a child to move to the orphanage. 3. Put it toward the the cost of beds and bedding for the new Orphanage. I don;t know. Whatcha think?

Denise W and Jami came down for a few weeks to talk with David and I about how we can make more of an impact. I told you we were working on some great things, and we certainly are. I think I am more excited than ever at what the future holds for these children.  Big plans ahead, websites, children, trips and so much more to look forward to. And yes, we are going to be inviting you to take the journey with us. We are so excited to let these girls know dreaming is something that they need to start doing.  If they take ownership of those dreams and we all do our part in helping where we can those dreams will come true.

It’s just the start of a great weekend.  Now I am off to tackle the “dating” talk again in a nonchalant way!

Kate - March 12, 2013 - 3:19 pm

What flavor of cupcakes was the golden ticket in? Just curious!

Susan - March 12, 2013 - 10:27 am

Hi, I wanted to respond to the ‘dating’ thing. First, find out what dating means! I’m willing to bet it doesn’t involve anything
out of school or phone calls. I had lunch with my first grader and one of the girls he chose to sit with us informed me that she
has a boyfriend. Thankfully not my son. My third grader has been ‘in love’ with the same girl since 1st grade and wants to marry her. His best friend has a ‘girlfriend’. I listen and ask questions. The advice I give is if you like somebody be their friend. NO kissing allowed. (this has happened with other kids
his age).

Denise - March 11, 2013 - 6:22 pm

I’m so printing all of these… THANK YOU!!

Erica S - March 11, 2013 - 4:57 pm

I can so relate. As I’m working, my 8 year old is sitting across from me playing Minecraft. lol. I haven’t had to deal with the girl situation yet, but I totally agree that 11 is WAY to young for a broken heart. Your post reminded me of this article I read. It’s all over the internet (you may have seen it already), so I wasn’t sure which site to credit, but it’s not mine in any way. I thought you would appreciate it given the new phone, though. Here it is: Janell Burley Hofmann is a rock star mom that has taken the world by storm with her 18 rules for cell phone use!

Buckle your seat belt because here we go…

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad.” Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30 p.m. every school night and every weekend night at 9:00 p.m. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 a.m. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.

6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person — preferably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.

13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity. (I need to work on this one myself)

14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO (fear of missing out).

15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

P.S. All of your ideas for the orphanage are great. My favorite is sponsoring a child to move to the orphanage. What a blessing that would be!

Rachel Hess - March 11, 2013 - 9:45 am

As the mother of a 12 year old 7th grader, and Jr High teacher for the last 6 years, I have 3 pieces of advice.
First, do not allow this child ANY sort of secret life (aside from a written journal). Their secret lives (profiles on Facebook that we don’t know about, secret texting apps, etc.) are where 90% of the problems lie. I have often joked with my student’s parents that headphones have caused the decline of this generation.
Second, keep them BUSY. Down time is when bad decisions are made.
Last, make your home a haven for them and their friends. If they are always at your house, it makes it so much easier to: 1. connect, 2. monitor, and 3. intervene.
Stay connected with your boys. As long as they are talking to you, you are doing great! When they clam up, time to dig!

Brandi - March 11, 2013 - 9:22 am

I have no advice on 11 year old boys and dating but I will be watching the comments so that I know what to look out for when my 3yo daughter turns 11..haha..

I get more and more excited with each event that MJ does. It is so awesome to be a part of a group of women that can come together in a short time and make a huge impact. Love it.

Seriously… we will get the chance to come along??? Fingers are crossed.

I would love to see you guys sponsor a child that is one more off the street!

Gina - March 10, 2013 - 5:43 pm

I got goose bumps reading how much was raised!! Wahoo!! My vote would be to feed them on the weekend. I have 4 girls and soooo not looking forward to those teenage years.. Yikes!

www.lovejumpman.com - March 10, 2013 - 2:06 pm

Fantastic blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more

Marcy Schneider Hoffman - March 10, 2013 - 12:40 pm

Two words…..Arranged Marriage. LOL. Just kidding! Gah, I am starting to get a glimpse of that as well. My Ellie is 10 and in 4th grade. New territory we are covering now. It is fun though to watch them grow into their own little selves. I’m right there with you, Denise, holding on for dear life on the roller coaster ride that we will be on for the next several years!
Congrats on such a success with the bake sale.

Melissa - March 10, 2013 - 12:52 am

If you figure out Anything about or 11 yr old 5th grade boys…..just let me know. And don’t get ME started on Minecraft!!! I think our boys might be best friends. Maybe I should bring him to Art Fair to hang with yours. 😉 I am always begging my husband to shed some light on the whole puberty moody silly boy…and he says he doesn’t remember. Really?! Well I sure don’t know!!! But my almost 10 yr old started baseball season today. Wow! I love baseball….spring time at the ballpark! And I finally got my GH order today and can’t wait to try it on my sweetie tomorrow. She was much too dirty after being at the ballpark all day. 😉

Mary M - March 10, 2013 - 12:28 am

My son will be 11 on Wednesday and I’m not ready! I don’t have any advice besides even 8th grade is too early!! Eventually it will happen and it will take some getting used to. But sadly they any be babies for forever

Joy Williams - March 9, 2013 - 10:13 pm

Wow, dating! I agree with starting out with group things. I think they are too young for broken hearts, but my 6 year old son has a girlfriend. You seem like the cool mom, so having lots of get togethers at your home would be great.
Can we still donate to help out? I can imagine how awesome this would be to join and help out!!! 🙂

Holly - March 9, 2013 - 7:59 pm

My son is 10. I too have the same issues!
“Can I have an iPhone?”
“Who would you call?”
“I don’t know? I just need one.”
Our new motto; “Grown up is forever and childhood is short. Enjoy being little a little while longer.”
Then moms eat chocolate. Lots!

Lisa - March 9, 2013 - 5:58 pm

12K so amazing! As long as these sweet children get some of their needs met!

The photo of the beautiful woman preparing food is simply incredible. Thank you for sharing!

Alison - March 9, 2013 - 5:25 pm

I agree 110% percent with Molly Bush. 🙂 Bringing these children the story of Jesus and His love for them is a glorious idea.
Great suggestion! 🙂

Alyssa P - March 9, 2013 - 4:14 pm

Feeding the children on the weekends will spread the funds to help a lot of kids and boost their nutritional intake, so my vote would be for weekend food.

As far as advice…be honest and make your expectations clear and let him know you are always available, no matter the circumstance or the time of day.

Rachel Kee - March 9, 2013 - 4:08 pm

1. Advice on 11 year old boys. I’m a middle school counselor. I deal with the 11 year old boy world on a daily basis all day long. 🙂 You should have my number on file with my order information. Call me or email me, I’ll be happy to help you out in anyway I can with any questions you have. Even the big “D” (dating). I’m on Spring Break this next week so I’m around.

2. HOW awesome to have raised that much. I love the beds and bedding idea but what do they need, do they need bedding? If they do, that just breaks me heart for these kids. How many children could the money help put into the orphanage? All your ideas sound great. I would think that whatever will help the most and change lives would be the best ideas.

Lisa - March 9, 2013 - 3:34 pm

I have a 12 year old boy and am dealing with much of the same. Group settings and pizza parties/movie nights…chaperoned of course! I keep telling mine that by not dating now, by the time he is allowed to date, he will be one of the few new exciting boys left:) good luck…keep communication lines open!!!

Jamie Hicks - March 9, 2013 - 2:01 pm

OMG LOVE the look on the guys face at McDonalds! TEEHEE! thanks for that!
I had my first real kiss at age 11, meep. Not ready for my kids to go through that. I’ll have to keep reading your blog for advice from your experiences with sweet Joe!

Hope Boyce - March 9, 2013 - 1:51 pm

Dating – Joe uses that word? Hmmm! But how great he talks to you!! You need to make up a cool word for group “gatherings” – pre-dating! Make your home a gathering place – you’ll be buying lots of pizza! But you will know where he is and who he’s with! 8th grade is good for the dating age. My Jason had his first real girl friend his Junior year in high school – they’ve been married 15 years this August!! Just saying!

Oh, my vote is to feed the children on the week-end with the extra money! We can still sponsor children to move in the orphanage. And buy beds/bedding. Live it so much!!

My daughter said, “Mom, they don’t REALLY want your advice!” HA!

amy engelsman - March 9, 2013 - 1:30 pm

I looove hearing about the things MJ is doing to reach out…especially in Africa. A piece of my heart will always be there. Thanks for letting us be a part of it all!! I like the idea of using the money for beds and bedding.

Molly Bush - March 9, 2013 - 1:05 pm

I would love to see the money used to bring the gospel to these children, providing bibles for them in their language. God calls us to care for the orphans and widows and this is something that I love about MJ. We need to teach them about Jesus and how He has created them unique, beautiful, fearfully, and wonderfully made! I would love to travel to this orphanage! I am going this summer with my husband and children to Guatemala to build widow homes and to work in an orphanage there and to share the gospel! I would love to see this happen with MJ as well! Keep up the good work and I am praying that God will reveal to you clearly how to disperse the extra funds!! Hugs! Molly Bush

Lisa - March 9, 2013 - 1:00 pm

The ticket winner is just the sweetest! No advice on your boy, ohmigosh I’m scared of tweenagers. Sounds like you are on the right track, though!

I’d love to see the money go toward food on the weekend. You know here in our culture, the weekend is considered fun family time for most of us. I hate the thought of anyone going hungry and waiting 2 whole days for their next good meal. 🙁