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A new journaling experience

My mom is an author and an artist and well, she just finished this girl journal series. I wonder if she kind of did them for me to begin with. I ranted and raved about how much I loved them and how I just couldn’t wait for them to come out for real, I mean in print form. I only saw them on her computer or on paper while she was drawing them. It’s nothing like being able to hold it and treasure it and call it my own.

And the day finally arrived, not for all of them at once, but two to start with! That was good enough for me. I was overjoyed when Dad and Mom gave me my very own set of them. I brought them to school the next day to show them off to some friends and right away they wanted them too. Either I’m a really great sales girl or the books sell themselves. They’re so pretty and girly and my favorite colors so that must be what attracts the other girls too, hee.

Anyway, I sat with a friend who also bought a set of them and we colored away. She started at the beginning of the book while I just colored mine randomly. She finished each page she started while I colored one thing from one page then another thing from another page. She read the text on each page, while I just ignored them all together. She wrote on and filled up the blank lines while I just saw them as part of the décor. Either I have it wrong or my friend has it wrong? Or is there an in-between?

Mom noticed what I was doing and said that she’d also like to start keeping a journal and that we could do it together. That’s fine with me and I guess will be something new that I haven’t really done before. Is that why I’m not getting it right? I think my brain has a hard time following a routine. I have a hard time getting my morning routine done. I start good and well but then something distracts me and I go and do that instead. And it’s not just one time, it happens at least 5 times and by the time it’s time to go, oops, I forgot my morning routine. Oh, but I just love to create and make things. It’s calling out to me, there on my desk. All those colors and markers and tapes and papers and stickers? But I get tripped off so easily. I guess I’m just really scatter brain. Mom tells me that that’s a “creative” brain. That sounds a bit better.

Anyway, since a little while, Mom and I have started keeping a journal. It’s a whole new thing for me. It might take a bit of getting used to but I love it. It’s turning out to be “really me”, this whole “organization, making a habit to keep a journal, following through on things” thing. The best part of it is that I can look back on my book and see all that I’ve accomplished so far. I don’t have to randomly find the pages I’ve worked on. And they’re all special in their own way. I enjoyed coloring each one so far, even though maybe some topics I may be more into at the time than others. It’s a coloring book on all different topics and with Bible verses on the topic, then a little journal question for me to personalize. Then there’s the other one with one side to color and the other plain blank lines to journal on. You’ve got to try them, these books!!! Maybe you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

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It was MY idea!

It’s one thing when my mom reminds and nags at me to clean my room or do my house chores, but it’s a totally different thing when I think of it all by my very own self. That’s when I really get a kick of doing it. The other day I got this totally bright idea! You see, we get a little pocket money every time we do a little job around the house, not counting dishes and setting the table of course. But things like sweeping the stairs, the garage, cleaning the toilets, dusting the surfaces, that sort of thing. So we have this chart with the payments of each job. Brother does quite a bit of them because he gets to the jobs first and does all the easier ones. Though I prefer to do one bigger job and get a little more for it in one go. I guess both work and we sort of end up with the same at the end of the week, which is when we get paid.

I think Dad and Mom wanted us to experience what it will be like when we get older. We have to work hard and do a good job if want any pay. Being slack and lazy doesn’t really get us anywhere or anything. Oh yes! I was going to tell you my bright idea. Well, at least my friend and I thought it was. We had the chart in front of us while my friend and I ate breakfast. Oops, I forgot to tell you that she had a sleep over at my place since we really wanted to see each other and also she lives kind of far. But were we glad for that. So the chart, yes! She asked me what it was for and so I explained it to her. And together, in one go, we both yelled out, “Let’s make some money!!!” with bright eyes and a smile beaming across our faces.

It was a very hot day and we did feel like getting an ice-cream. But I didn’t want to use up my pocket money for that. I usually prefer using it on something that keeps a little longer than a snack that is over in a few minutes. So we found all the jobs that weren’t done that we could do. We started with the most expensive ones and then worked our way through the list on all the ones we felt we could manage. We felt exhausted after, but it was even kind of fun. Sure beats doing the jobs alone. Plus we had a real cool (literally “cool”) incentive. We could finally enjoy our delicious cold ice-cream! Yes, the money was gone right away, yes the snack was gone quickly too (for fear of melting), but you can imagine the satisfaction of a clean house that WE had helped to clean and it also kept us from experiencing that awful thing called “boredom”.

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School shopping

Yes, it is a little late to talk about this, I know. But it was memorable, so I’ll have to mention it at least once in my dairy. And, before I forget to.

Well, this year Mom decided that Brother and I were old enough to do our own school shopping. She gave us the budget and the list and we were off. She stayed in the same shop, just in case we needed help, but we were on our own. I worked down my list, ticking off each thing as I put it in the trolley. But there was a tough choice. I need an agenda and there are all these beautiful ones for this big price. These really simple normal ones are kind of reasonably priced, but they just don’t call out to me. This one is saying “Pick me! Pick me!” What can I do?

I’ve been eyeing these backpacks for hours (well, minutes that seem like hours) and they’re also calling out to me. I would really really like a new backpack. You see, all the other kids have the latest Eastpac brand backpack that cost a fortune. They say it’s the best. Supposedly they last forever. But my brother got one two years ago and his is already trashed. Not sure what to think from that. Not that my brother is the most careful with his stuff or anything like that.

But I think I’ll go for the agenda. I can get by with my backpack from last year or with another cheaper one, but this agenda is so creative and beautiful. I can use it to doodle and draw when class gets a bit monotonous. Backpacks only have one purpose, but an empty book can be used for so many more things.

Okay, I’ve made my choice and thanks to the budget and the list, I think I’m all set for school now. Thanks to Dad and Mom too, for letting me handle this shopping spree. Now I can include another FIRST to my journal. I might have made a few wrong choices, but I think overall I did okay. And I’ll know for next year what worked and what didn’t.

I’m actually even kind of proud of myself for doing it. I’m glad when I get a little more responsibility. It feels good to do things on my own for a change. I know I can do it with Jesus’ help, even when I feel a little low on confidence.

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He made me mad

Well, last night Brother got me mad. He took my place during story time with Dad and Mom. It was my turn to sit in the middle, but he said it was his turn, when he had already sat there the night before. Then he said that whoever was ready for bed first would get to choose their place. And I was! Well, I kind of cheated because I was getting dressed into my pajamas on that very spot. And so he acted up real big and strong because of it. Dad and Mom sent us out of the room to work things out. Brother yelled at me and I sat on the floor in a heap of tears. There was nothing to work out if he was the one who had to always be right, was there? Or if he was the only one that could get a word into the conversation.

But I decided to stay silent this once, as I knew that yelling back at him was not going to help the situation. He has the louder voice anyway. I waited till he calmed down and then… then it happened. Something made him stop. Something made him be quiet. Something even made him smile. Aha! Must have been the song that was playing in the background. Or maybe just the fact that I didn’t try to fight back? It made me think of that verse that says “A gentle answer turns away anger.” I was sad and offended and hurt, but I didn’t let it get me angry and yelling mad. Just waiting in my sad heap maybe did help? He finally called me to his room to write up a plan. A plan! I’ve never heard Brother say anything about a plan before. But what a genius idea. What! Did I really say that? Ok, well this once, he did come up with a smart solution. I sure preferred that over continuing to argue about what it is he wanted and me fighting back with what I wanted.

And so our plan… well it must have been a genius plan after all because it still works to do this day. I just wished that I would have thought of it first. Nothing too brainy, you know. Just some names and dates and check marks, that’s all.

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Water colors

Mom got herself some water colors to tryout. She’s been wanting them for a long time and so have I. So guess what we did all morning? We colored and colored and colored some more. I colored some mandalas then I drew my own picture and colored it. I didn’t have a paint brush to use because it was all the way up in my room and that was a long journey away. So instead Mom had the bright idea to use a plate with some water inside it. We dipped the tips of the pencils and then colored or painted onto our papers.

It turned out quite nicely and we made a few masterpieces. Although the pencil tips kept breaking. These weren’t top quality, Mom said. She only got them to try them out and see if they worked at all. Even if they only lasted us 1 week, (because we did a LOT of coloring in just a little while), it was worth it. I enjoyed some Mommy time, just her and I coloring together. I kind of like doing activities that my brother doesn’t enjoy, that way I get to have Mom all to myself, hee.

I wonder if God feels that way about me too sometimes. He likes to have all of me and he appreciates it when I don’t share that time with anyone or anything else. 

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Let’s go berry picking!

I’m here at my desk, thinking back over some wonderful summer days…

“Let’s go pick berries!” called Dad from the hallway.

“I’ll be right there!” I called back.

“As soon as the kitchen is clean and your stuff is put away.” Dad continued.

I’m not sure if he called me just because he wanted to go berry picking or because he wanted me to put my things away. Mom did remind me a few times already but since she doesn’t really do anything if I do it or not, I’ll see how long I can put it off with her. But now Dad is involved too, oh no! That’s another story.

“Alright,” I softy replied, as I dragged my feet very slowly into the kitchen and hallway, picking up my leftover snack and shoes scattered around. Then I dashed off to change my clothes into black ones. I was wearing a white shirt and a white skirt so it wouldn’t work too great to get some red polka dots onto it after berry picking. You see, I already have a polka dot outfit that Mom loves and one’s enough for me.

With our little buckets in hand, we finally made it out the door (away from Mom’s reminders), to go pick our berries. It’s the season to be jolly, lalalala lalalala. Picking berries with my daddy, lalalala, lalalala.

One into the bucket, then 10 into my mouth. 1 more into the bucket, 20 into my mouth. Oh wait, the two in the bucket look too delicious to miss. Plop, into my mouth they go. Picking berries is great fun, especially when I can eat as many as I want. Dad’s on the other side of the bush picking plenty in his bucket. I think that will be enough for all of us. I could just imagine all the wonderful desserts we could make with all his berries. And that way I can put mine in my tummy instead, that’s feeling a little hungry at the moment. Or is it more my taste buds that feel greedy?

“Wow!” What a surprise Mom has when we return home with a bucket full of beautiful black berries. She gives Dad and I a huge big hug. But then I tell her that I only picked out one of those berries. Dad did all the rest. “Well then, I’ll enjoy that one delicious berry that you picked!” Mom smiled and gave me another big hug for that one probably delicious berry, picked with soooo much love. I like that. It makes me think of Jesus’ love, how He loves me just as if I was the only one girl in the whole wide ­world.

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This is the snack the Lord has made

I asked Mom if she could prepare us a snack as I brought her a box of cookies. Yes, this was a big hint as to what I really wanted for snack. I thought I might as well do her a favor and help her out by giving her an idea for snack. Often, very often, she doesn’t know what to prepare for snack. She says that she already has to think of lunch and dinner menus, so breakfasts and snacks can be up to us to figure out sometimes. Ok, so I was doing just that, wasn’t I?

Why these?” she asked me. “I was saving these for a special occasion or for when we have guests over.”

I replied in my most gentle voice, that today was a special day because the Lord made it. We should rejoice and be glad in it.

By why should that special day include cookies?” she asked. “Can we be happy and rejoice without these cookies?”

Well, yes, we can.” was my reply. “But we can be even happier because of these cookies. Plus God made food for us to enjoy, you know.”

But he didn’t make these cookies.” Mom went on.

But he made the ingredients,” I replied with my smart thinking brain. “And he gave people the gift of baking these cookies, so therefore it must mean that we can eat them right now and be glad as we do it.”

Mom gave a smile and a quiet “Okay! Though it sounds to me that the way you remember this verse is: This is the snack the Lord has made. I should be glad and take advantage of it.” 

Exactly right! She couldn’t have put it better! Well, most of all, I was kind of proud of myself for being so wise and so quick to answer. God must have helped me out with that one!

I did realize one thing though. Sometimes I don’t take the time to explain things so well. Maybe it’s really hard work for my brain to do that. And so I just ask a quick question, without really thinking about how to make it sound the most appealing for the person to answer in a positive way. And then I get upset if I don’t get my way. Here I used tactic, my best communication skills, a gentle voice and even a verse to back up my point. Please congratulate me!

How do you get your Dad or Mom to agree to something you would like?

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The biggest Christmas present ever

Since the title almost says it all, there’s not much for me to say really. I got a trampoline for Christmas, well, along with my brother of course. By its size you could say it’s the biggest present we ever got, in our entire lives!! What else do you get that’s bigger than your bed, besides a new bedroom or a new paint job on your bedroom, or how about a new wardrobe or… Hee, I’m going to get off the subject real quick if I start thinking about wardrobe. Well, yes, this trampoline, something I had my eye on for a very long time because I love to practice gymnasium, flips and tricks. And what better way than on a trampoline? It’s safe, it’s bouncy and it’s FUN in capital letters, which means I’ll say it real loud or I’ll say it again – IT’S FUN!!!

My dad called me “The Lady on the tramp” taken after the Disney movie I loved when I was a kid, “Lady and the Tramp”. He even took video clips of me doing some fun twirls and flips. It looks even better on video than me just talking about it here or trying to sketch it out with a pencil. Well, at least I think so cause I can’t even see what it looks like off the video. Anyway, we put it up at just the start of spring and I was able to use it a LOT. We didn’t have much rain this year and we had a hot spring, summer and autumn. That equals a lot of time outdoors and yes, on my trampoline. I call it “mine” cause I’m really the one who uses it most. We got these step trackers a few months back cause Dad and Mom wanted us to get our butts off the couch and getting some outdoor exercise and fresh air. When I get on the trampoline, I beat everyone easily. Except maybe Mom who does a lot of running around the house when she’s cold or while cooking, needing an ingredient from the back of the garden like some herbs or tomatoes or mostly when she runs up the stairs to go toilet. She says she prefers using the top toilet that way she gets more steps going up and down the stairs, rather than just using the one next to her office. All the trouble she puts herself into for getting more steps, still doesn’t compare to my jumps and great fun on the trampoline. Sometimes I even play the gratefulness game. With every jump, I think of something I’m thankful for and I end with a big “Thank You God!” every time I do a flip (or a fall, hee.)

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A brother, what a bother!

I wrote a new song today, you might like to hear it. “What a bother, to have a brother” is its title. I didn’t get much further on the song but I think I’d have a lot to write about… well, because I have a BROTHER and he’s a BOTHER. In my song, I could list all the ways that he’s a bother. Like when he sings non stop and extra loud in the toilet or shower. I guess cause it’s kind of echoey and he thinks no one else can hear just as good as he can because the doors are closed. I’ve tried that technique out myself and it does work quite well, especially when I need to practice my voice just before a show or choir.

Anyway, I’d go on and list how he’s always tattling on me to Dad and Mom, when he could just tell me things himself. Then he hits me for little things I do that he doesn’t like. I do poke him sometimes or tickle him. He laughs for a while, then all of a sudden he gets his mean face on and yells and says “Stop it!” He says bad words about me like “I wish you wouldn’t exist.” or “You have no brain.” All those things make me feel really really low, like if I could crawl on the floor and hide under the table. No, better yet under the carpet. There I could just disappear until those bad thoughts about me go away.

But when he’s a nice brother, he’s a really NICE brother and I don’t think I’d want any other brother that I’ve met. He sings real nicely and boldly. He asks me to come and play with him in the yard, he plays cars or pets with me when I ask him to, even though he really doesn’t feel like it. We’ll hang out as I draw and he writes. He’s funny, he’s good looking and he’s smart. He’s faithful to do the dishes when it’s his turn on it, yesterday he shared some of his special snack with me…. I guess my list could get rather long for this part too. I do feel better thinking this way.

Hey, what if I wrote a song about the things I like instead of the sometimes bothersome brother that he is? Do you have a brother? What’s YOUR best thing about having a brother?

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The body book

My parents are into all this teaching about the body thing. They told Brother and I that it’s the age we should learn about it because we will hear things at school or from our friends and they want us to have the right knowledge about it. But I don’t get what could be the wrong knowledge? I started experiencing puberty, says all the books and my dad and mom. Why? Well I have a little few spots on my face (sometimes) and I have a different sort of smell on my body, especially coming from under my arms. Didn’t know that there was even anything under there. But the other day after my shower, I lift up my arms in front of the mirror to brush my hair and… Yikes! Scary! Icky! I’ve got a few hairs under there! Is that puberty too?

Lots of other weird feelings and emotions going on inside of me too; sometimes some growing pains or cramps. I do want to grow up and become beautiful and independent, responsible for my own things so that I don’t have to be told what to do anymore. But, I still want to be young too, to get to play with toys, be babied or given extra attention (and gifts), not have to clean up after myself or learn a whole bunch of things like taking care of my room or cleaning my body and doing my laundry and all that. I guess that’s a bit mixed up cause on one hand I want to be big and grown up so I can use Mom’s clothes and shoes, but then on the other I want to be little and small so I don’t have to fold and put them away or wash them after I use them on. How can I just stay in the middle and have the best of both worlds? Well, I guess I did experience a bit of that lately. Brother has more responsibilities in our house, than I do, cause he’s older, Mom says. He’s waiting for the day that I get to be just as old as him, but he doesn’t realize that I’ll always be a couple years younger, hee.

Mom wants to read this “Girl’s Body” book with me, but I’m just not into that right now. Doesn’t she realize that I want to stay young as long as I can? Because I’ll be old for the rest of my life and I’ll get used to that when I get there. Most of the body stuff, I experience it on my own body anyway. I don’t have to read about someone else’s, do I? Plus, I know God made us all different. No one has exactly the same body type, figure, shape or size. So what is normal for someone else may not even be normal for me. Mom’s such a mom. She wants to help me understand things so that when they come up, I’ll know what to do. But I can always ask her then, can’t I? Thanks Mom, for letting things pass in their good time and for understanding my body needs. I know I can count on you to always be there for me, especially or these “girly” things. But I need some alone time too, without this “body” knowledge getting pushed on me quite yet.