Category Archives: Society

Parenting Your Child, Parenting Yourself–Children’s Schedules

With the school year approaching, and my writing becoming more prolific, my husband and I need schedules, not only for ourselves, but also for our children. This post presupposes  a couple of things: first, you, as the parent, have established appropriate authority over your child, and two, that you have already trained your child to do whatever jobs which you schedule them to do.

At the beginning of the summer, my husband and I agreed on a schedule for our children–one adult daughter who just graduated from college and is living at home temporarily, and one teen daughter who will be a senior in high school. Since then, we have been working with our daughters, and each other, to make the schedule fit our needs.

Notice, first and foremost, the schedules for our daughters fit the needs of my husband and me, not the needs of our children. That is important. The parents have to be the first and foremost consideration in the schedule. Of course, you will see that your children’s needs are met, but too often, parents make their schedules revolve around their children, neglecting their own needs.

The schedule is in the form of a chart. Each daughter has her own chart with a rotating schedule of jobs. Here is a sample:

Daughter One
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Morning Jobs Finish Before Leaving House


Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash Clear/Load


Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash Clear/Load


Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash
Afternoon Jobs Finish Before 8:00 p.m. Unless Otherwise Noted
Make Supper: Must Be Done By 6:00 p.m. Wash/Dry/Put Away One Load Towels Clean Downstairs Bathroom Vacuum Living Area


Daughter Two
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Morning Jobs Finish Before Leaving House
Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash Clear/Load


Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash Clear/Load


Clean Cat Litter Boxes/Empty Trash Clear/Load


Afternoon Jobs Finish Before 8:00 p.m. Unless Otherwise Noted
Vacuum Living Area Make Supper: Must Be Done by 6:00 p.m. Clean Upstairs Bathroom Wash/Dry/Put Away One Load Towels

Note: The schedule is flexible. If one daughter has a commitment on the night she is scheduled to make supper, she can change to a different night–as long as she works that out with my husband and me ahead of time.

Once the younger daughter starts extra-curricular activities, the schedule can work around her homework and activities. The older daughter’s schedule can work around her part-time job.

The above schedule assumes a few things. First, my daughters do all of their own laundry. They also clean up their own kitchen messes. They don’t leave books, papers, etc., lying around the house. They also have jobs feeding the animals, etc., which I didn’t list on the chore chart simply because they have been doing those for so long that they are assumed.

If you want to establish a schedule/routine, for your family, I suggest starting now, before school starts, or as soon after school starts as possible. Watch for my next post, “What are age appropriate expectations for children?”





I Love A Mystery–First Post on Hieu’s Website

Plot Holes

This post is linked to my first post on Hieu Tran’s Website. It involves plot holes and solving the Great Mysteries of Hieu’s Past.

Click on the following link, or copy and paste it into your browser.


As always, please “Like” my Facebook page and subscribe to this blog. Please do the same for Hieu when you visit his site.

Thank you for reading!

See ya!

The Secrets

This contains spoilers, so please watch the film before reading this if you don’t want to know what happens.

I am working on an Old Testament romance. In researching this story, I am hoping to watch some Jewish movies to learn more about the Jewish culture. The Secrets is a movie I hoped would help me. It is entirely in Hebrew with English subtitles.

Although I watched the entire movie, I am disappointed in this film for several reasons.

1. It never tells how the woman killed the man.

2. It portrays the Jewish religion as a cold and uncaring society run by harsh, unmerciful men.  When the murderess approaches the rabbi to ask him to help her seek God’s forgiveness, we see him hollering at her and driving her away. Later, when the girls try to help this woman, they are threatened with expulsion.

What we don’t see, but find out later in the movie, is that the woman is not truly sorry for sinning against God, even though at the beginning she says she is. Some people may argue that what she did wasn’t sinful. If a person does something and believes it is sinful, then it is sinful because the person is deliberately going against what s/he believes God does not want. The woman thought what she did was sinful because she talks about it and says she cannot regret it. Also, earlier in the movie, the woman states that the very same things were sinful.

In our society, we may have difficulty understanding that the girls face expulsion, not for trying to help the woman, but for doing what the Jewish religion specifically states (in the movie) to be a man’s job. “Well, that’s not right,” our society might say. That is truly not ours to judge unless we are Jewish.

3.  The girl who “snitches” on the other girls, is actually in the right, not for snitching, but for telling the girls that their ceremony is blasphemy and for trying to stop the ceremony. This girl is portrayed as a cruel, tattling hypocrite who does not care for the woman or for the girls. She actually cares a lot and wants to prevent all of them from sinning against God. And, she is right, a person cannot be forgiven if s/he isn’t sorry for what s/he did.

On a separate note, I do admire the courage of the main characters. They risked expulsion to give the woman some measure of peace before she died. I feel the lady in charge of the girls’ school would have been more lenient toward the girls, and even approved of the girls’ actions, if the rabbi had not become so angry and threatened to shut down the school.

For updates on my progress on the OldTestament romance, please “Like” my Facebook page and/or subscribe to my website.

I welcome any positive or negative feedback on the above review as long as it is stated in a respectful way, so let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading, and See Ya!


I spent about an hour and a half yesterday reading two books:  This Must Be My Brother  by Leann Thieman and Carol Dey  and The Vietnamese Boat People, 1954 and 1975–1992
by Nghia M. Vo .  I vaguely remember the first story, so I either read the book when I was younger or watched a show on television about it. The story takes place over the course of two days and is a fast, easy read. The second book is more in-depth. I am probably going to have to read it two or three times to really understand what it is saying.

Writing a book takes a lot more than just sitting down and putting words on paper. Any book, even a fiction book, takes time, research, planning, and time. If you are writing a book, give yourself time to make it the best it possibly can be before publishing it. Taking the time and necessary steps will be worth it, to you, and to your readers.

We Were Soldiers

As part of writing Hieu’s memoir, I have been researching Vietnam’s history, especially the Vietnam war because those events shaped Hieu’s life directly until he was twelve and indirectly after that.

Yesterday, a friend and I watched “We Were Soldiers.” My friend commented that the hardest part of watching it was knowing that the men were giving their lives for such a senseless war. She admired the soldiers for fighting; she said that their sacrifice means something important. My friend didn’t say exactly what she thinks it means. I think it means that we are a brave, courageous people. I admire every person who is or who has ever been an American soldier. They are undertaking one of the bravest, most selfless jobs a person can do.

One of the people this movie portrays is journalist Joseph L. Galloway, who was present at la Drang Valley, the first major American-Viet Cong battle of Vietnam.  Even though he was not a soldier, he earned a Bronze Star for Valor for rescuing a wounded soldier during the battle. ( Editor, From the front lines of Ia Drang Valley: ‘Killing, dying and suffering indelibly marked us all’, Stripes.comNovember 10, 2015.)

Galloway and Lt Col Hal G. Moore went on to write the book “We Were Soldiers Once and Young.”

(My computer won’t let me continue the above paragraph, so I am starting a new one.) I fully intend to purchase and read his book. I also hope to find his collected Vietnam journalist’s works.

Until I started researching, I had always thought of the Viet Cong as heartless, cruel animals without human feelings. The more I study the war, the more I am realizing that they were real people with real feelings. They loved their families and cared about their children and wanted basically the same things most people want. The movie shows this in one poignant scene.

I highly recommend watching this movie.

Meeting Cassondra Coulter

Last night I traveled to the Carlin-Ingersoll Public Library, Canton, IL, to hear breakout novelist Cassondra Coulter talk about her experiences publishing her first book: Broken Silence: Book I.

In spite of the fact that I am not into witchcraft, her reading of the first page drew me in and left me wanting to explore all that this book has to offer.

Main character Anna Shaw”s first words to us are not about witchcraft, not about personal tragedy, not about love lost. Her first words are about something almost every woman wants from the moment of birth: a mother’s love. She speaks of a deep desire for her mother’s love and to be a source of pride to her mother. Anna shares her secret fear, one that resonates with many women: that she has not become the daughter her mother had hoped to have.

Author Cassondra Coulter’s settings are so accurately portrayed, that one reader actually recognized one of the places in the book as a local point of interest. That is one of the greatest compliments an author can receive.

A huge bonus to this talk is that Cassondra has the speech and mannerisms of Jennifer Lawrence. Her voice is musically warm, and her delivery added humor and spice.

I plan to reserve an afternoon to savor this, the first in a series of books, by Cassondra Coulter.

Her book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Also, request it at your local library.

In case you are interested, here is the link:


I Am In Good Company

Steven King was rejected 30 times when he submitted Carrie.  Dr. Seuss was rejected 27 times before his first book was accepted by publishers. I was turned down again for a short story I submitted. (Karen, this is not the Library one or the Dog one. I am not sure you have read this one. I will check with you.)

And, once again, I thought this story was THE BOMB!!!! I just love it.

My daughter says that I just don’t fit anywhere. My stories contain realistic, sometimes not so pretty, topics, so Christians don’t want to read them. My stories contain elements of Christianity, so secular audiences don’t want to read them.

I am going to figure out how to find the people, like me, who do want to read them.

I will keep you posted.


I have a big announcement to make about a project. I will be posting about it on Monday.

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes

I am hooked on this book series. It has really dark humor. I have laughed out loud a few times while reading the first book–and I don’t generally laugh out loud when I am reading. It is a great adventure story for kids 6th grade and up.

Beat the Christmas Rush

I wasn’t sure if the egg was real or not.

A friend’s post on Facebook caught my eye. Actually, what caught my eye was the picture. It was of a large egg with something obviously pecking its way out. Although the egg looked too large to be a natural egg, the woman’s post said something about waiting for it to hatch, so I wasn’t sure.

I “commented” a question, “What is it?”

Her reply, “An ‘Owlicorn,’ a cross between an owl and a unicorn.”

Well, that is something to see. I must admit I still wasn’t sure if I was watching a special species of bird hatching or if it was a toy. I waiting in breathless anticipation for the next post.

Something was obviously pecking its way out of the shell.
Something was obviously pecking its way out of the shell.

My friend said her daughter was determined that the egg would hatch soon. In my experience, an egg hatches when an egg hatches, and nothing can be done to hurry it along.

Finally, the Owlicorn hatched!

It Hatched!
It Hatched!

My friend told me that this is an interactive toy. Cool! I want one!

These toys are called “Hatchimals®.” You can purchase an egg at Toys R Us®.

Having perused the Toys R Us® website, I found that many species are available. In addition to the Owlicorn, there is a Draggle and a Penguala. All of them are super cute!

How does it work? When the child gets the egg, s/he plays with it. The playing stimulates the creature inside to begin pecking at the shell. Once the egg is hatched, the Hatchimal goes through three different maturity stages: Baby, Toddler, and Kid. It can learn walking and many other skills from your child.*

This sounds like a fun pet for any child, especially for a child who cannot have a live animal due to allergies, rental regulations, etc. My friend’s kids love theirs.

If you decide to get one for your kid, or for yourself, please post your experience below. Post a pic if you like. I would love to see what hatches out of everyone’s eggs.


*Information taken from the  Toys R Us® website. Toys R Us® does not endorse, recommend, or otherwise advertise on this blog. The opinions expressed here are solely the opinions of the author.