Another school year and yet again I struggled with helping my only child adapt to going back to school. I try not to label, but let’s face the facts…he doesn’t do well with change. It isn’t just that he would rather be home with me (while that is the case). He just freaks out inside when he isn’t familiar with a new situation. Daddy does too, so he is in good company.

Every year, I try to talk myself out of speaking with the school counselor and I usually succeed, but this year was THE year…4th grade at Trinity Christian Academy. The year they get binders and learn responsibility and manage massive amounts of work. Add to that the fact that his teacher last year was as laid back as possible, and this year his teacher has very high expectations and you have a recipe for disaster.

In any case, when the tears started early on and restarted after I thought he had made progress, I broke down. I went in to let his teacher know what he was feeling. I learned a couple years ago not to worry about being “that mom”. You know the one that is always in there telling the teacher what to do and checking on their child to make sure they are ok. I am my child’s best advocate and if I don’t tell the teacher what he is thinking and feeling, she isn’t going to know. It’s a good thing I told her because she had no idea. He is apparently very good at putting on the appearance of being fine.

God bless her, Mrs. Miller is a gem. High expectations, yes. But she also clearly cares deeply for the children in her care and wants to know what is going on with them. She encouraged me to let her know when there are tears at home and I did. She suggested I wait for the first parent teacher conference before talking to the counselor.

I couldn’t resist, I stopped in to see the counselor to get her perspective on whether or not I should make an appointment. She told me the same thing…wait for conferences. Her experience is that 90% of students adapt in the first quarter without intervention. Then in 5 minutes she proceeded to make the most astute and obvious observation…he is stressed because he doesn’t KNOW Mrs. Miller. He doesn’t really understand her expectations and is afraid he is going to disappoint her. So I started encouraging Joshua to get to know her. To not stress when he didn’t know what she would do next and just rest in knowing she is super-pleased with him. When she admonishes the class to “get a move on”, she isn’t talking to him…just the ones who are daydreaming.

Fast-forward to parent conferences. He was one of the only ones to get all A’s and all “+” behavior grades in the class. Mrs. Miller couldn’t be happier…but Joshua was still stressed. He still didn’t want to go to school, so my husband and I made an appointment with the counselor. She listened to us and said she would talk to him in the coming weeks. She checked in with him a couple times, but finally I sat down and did some serious research online. What I found was so obvious, it was almost dumb. I already knew he wasn’t stressed about the work, he is stressed about disappointing his teacher. While it was not likely he WOULD disappoint her, I had to help him understand how to deal with his stress. The obvious discovery was that I have a little perfectionist on my hands. I was one when I was younger, so I guess it is in his genes. Now that I had a definitive reason for the stress, I could start to address the issue.


I have seen and heard this in many different places over the years, so I don’t take credit for it. However, on the day after Christmas, I think it is a good time to consider how Jesus is more than just  “the reason for the Season”:

In GENESIS Jesus is the Ram of Abraham’s altar.
In EXODUS He is the Passover Lamb.
In LEVITICUS He is the High Priest.
In NUMBERS He is the Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.
In DEUTERONOMY He is the City of our Refuge.
In JOSHUA He’s the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window.
In JUDGES He is our Judge.
In RUTH He is our Kinsman Redeemer.
In 1st and 2nd SAMUEL He’s our Trusted Prophet.
In KINGS and CHRONICLES He is our Reigning King.
In EZRA He is our Faithful Scribe.
In NEHEMIAH He is our Rebuilder of everything that is broken.
In ESTHER He is Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate.
In JOB He is our Redeemer that ever lives.
In PSALMS He is my Shepherd and I shall not want.
In PROVERBS and ECCLESIASTES He is our Wisdom.
In the SONG OF SOLOMON He is the Beautiful Bridegroom.
In ISAIAH He is the Suffering Servant.
In JEREMIAH and LAMENTATIONS it is Jesus that is the Weeping Prophet.
In EZEKIEL He’s the Wonderful Four-Faced Man.
In DANIEL He is the Fourth Man in the midst of the furnace.
In HOSEA He is my Love that is forever faithful.
In JOEL He Baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
In AMOS He’s our Burden Bearer.
In OBADIAH He is our Savior.
In JONAH He is the Great Foreign Missionary that takes the Word of God into all the world.
In MICAH He is the Messenger with Beautiful Feet.
In NAHUM He is the Avenger.
In HABAKKUK He is the Watchman that is ever praying for revival.
In ZEPHANIAH He is the Lord mighty to Save.
In HAGGAI He is the Restorer of our lost heritage.
In ZECHARIAH He is our Fountain.
In MALACHI He is the Son of of Righteousness with healing in His wings.
In MATTHEW He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
In MARK He is the Miracle Worker.
In LUKE He is the son of Man.
In JOHN He is the Door by which every one of us must enter.
In ACTS He is the Shining Light that appears to Saul on the road to Damascus.
In ROMANS He is the Justifier.
In 1st CORINTHIANS He is our Resurrection.
In 2nd CORINTHIANS Jesus is our Sin Bearer.
In GALATIANS He redeems us from the Law.
In EPHESIANS He is our Unsearchable Riches.
In PHILIPPIANS He Supplies our every need.
In COLOSSIANS He is the Fullness of the Godhead Bodily.
In 1st and 2nd THESSALONIANS He is our Soon Coming King.
In 1st and 2nd TIMOTHY He is the Mediator between God and man.
In TITUS He is our Blessed Hope.
In PHILEMON He is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother.
In HEBREWS He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.
In JAMES He is the Lord who Heals the sick.
In 1st and 2nd PETER He is the Christ Shepherd.
In 1st, 2nd and 3rd JOHN it is Jesus who has the Tenderness of Love.
In JUDE He is our Lord coming with 10,000 saints.
And in REVELATION, He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!!!”

Ripe Pumpkins in a Field

Before I start this article, I want you to hear my heart.  I am not writing to judge or say anyone is a bad parent if they celebrate Halloween. You alone are responsible for making decisions that affect your family.  You alone answer to God for your decisions. But I feel that it is my responsibility to share my belief and how we came to decide not to celebrate Halloween.

We don’t celebrate Halloween.  There – I said it.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see the decorations start come out.  There is a family in an adjoining neighborhood that literally transforms their front yard into a horror-fest.  They must have spent thousands of dollars on her props. Seriously??

When I was little we went trick-or-treating.  As my mom began to understand the roots of Halloween, we stopped celebrating.  Now I don’t feel there is anything to celebrate.  Most people have no idea what they are actually saying when they quip, “Happy Halloween”.  Satan is not stupid.  He’s not going to present Christians with something that is overtly satanic.  We would reject it out of hand.  But cute little princesses and clowns?  No big deal.  I would argue that it is a big deal.  This is Satan’s day, his time of year.  Below are the satanic holidays at the end of October [1]:

 Oct 28-30  Satanist High  blood  human sacrifice
 Oct 30-31  All Hallows Eve (Halloween)  blood and sex  sexual climax, demons,
animal/human sacrifice
 Nov 1  Satanist High  blood  human sacrifice


Halloween has its roots in the Druid rituals of the Dark Ages. Druids terrorized peasants and burned them scarecrow-like structures.  “Trick or treat”-ing is from the pagan belief that spirits awoke from the dead and arrived at one’s door. If a “treat” wasn’t left for them, a trick was destined to follow. “Jack O’Lanterns” were designed to ward off evil spirits looking for a man named Jack.  The holiday is rooted in ideologies which are dishonoring to God. I just can’t bring myself to celebrate a holiday which elevates evil.

From a parenting perspective, Halloween can put you in the position where every answer is the wrong answer.  For example:

Little Dottie dresses up as a princess, you put some cobwebs and gravestones in the front yard and give out candy to the neighbors.   What do you say when Dottie sees other kids dressed up like scary things such as witches and vampires? Do you tell her it is just fun?  If so, you are teaching her it is ok to pretend to be evil.  Do you tell her that they aren’t Christians, and they don’t know better? If so, you are teaching her it is ok to leave the “lost” without Christ.  Both responses could diminish her ability to discern good from evil.  Let’s take it to the extreme…what if she is presented with an Ouija board by a neighbor or classmate?  What if someone offers to do her “reading”?  Will she think it’s no big deal because that’s what you taught her about Satan and the occult when she was younger?

My son will not celebrate or participate in Halloween because [2]:

  • I don’t want him to underestimate Satan
  • I don’t want him to open up to demonic influence
  • I don’t want him to stumble into an area of the occult unaware
  • I do want him to know that I take the Bible literally
  • I do want him to prefer the light of the Gospel to the darkness of the occult
  • I do want him to know that it is OK to stand apart from the world on these issues
  • I do want him to recognize easily what is evil and stand against it in the name of Jesus

If you are a Christian and think I am over-reacting, here are the scriptures that helped me decide against Halloween:

Romans 13:12a “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light!

1 Corinthians 10:20-21 “I say the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

Galatians 4:8-11 “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Ephesians 5:11-12 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” / “live as children of light.

Ephesians 6:11-18 “Take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Is it easy standing up against what seems like the entire world (Christian and not Christian)? No.  My 8-year old still doesn’t know what to say when friends and acquaintances ask him what he is going to “be” for Halloween. He knows why we don’t celebrate but isn’t quite old enough to articulate it. Maybe next year he will feel a bit more bold and courageous.

In conclusion, I hope I have not offended you.  That was not my intention.  I do hope I gave you something to think about, pray about and potentially consider for next October 31st.

I write this post as a Rambling, but there are plenty of nuggets to glean for helping your only child through a temporary living situation.

We moved 1 month ago from PA to TX.  Our house is for sale, and rather than stay in PA while Dad started his job alone, we opted to join him. We left our “stuff” in the 3200 squ ft house, rented furniture, and now all 5 of us – Mom, Dad, Joshua, Maggie and Mindy (our 2 Spinger Spaniels) – live in a 700 squ ft apartment.  Oy!  We are living in less than 25% of the living space, and we have to walk to the dogs (rain, sun, wind, etc) rather than let them out into an Invisible Fenced yard. We have 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom – down from 4 and 3.  We share a closet and a dresser. We have learned to use our space wisely! Thankfully we have a full-size washer and dryer.

So how do we keep our sanity?  It isn’t easy.  We have our moments when the best thing for 1 or more of us to do is to go exercise, take a walk, go for a drive, etc. But even in this tiny place, we each have our own space.  Dad has the nightstand in the bedroom from which he does the budget and pays the bills.  Mom has the kitchen table from which I run my Beaded Royalty jewelry business.  Joshua has an alcove in the bedroom with books, stuffed animals and a small toy box.  He also has a tendency to take over the living room coffee table with his Legos. LOL

My first step toward stability was to find a private school for Joshua.  We hit the ground running when we arrived in Texas and I think we found one that is a good fit. We have to complete the application process before we have a final answer, so at this point our poor child doesn’t even know where he is going to school next year.  In an effort to keep him connected to friends, we tried to keep in touch with his classmates in PA.  Bad idea. There are apparently 2 types of kids when it comes to moving. Those that cling and those that separate.  My son wanted to separate.  How did we know?  Every time we talked about connecting with the kids in PA, we would remember negative things.  That was strange because our son was usually positive.  It turns out he was saying, “I want to leave PA behind and move forward with TX.”

Our next step toward stability is to find a church.  There are SO many in the Dallas area that it is mind-boggling. Initially I was thinking that we should hold off finding a permanent church because we didn’t know where we would ultimately live.  However, as I watch the houses that become available in our price range and meet our requirements, they are popping up in the same general areas.  I think it would help Joshua to have a church to call “home.”  We were active at our church in PA and he had friends that he only saw at church. One thing we will do until we decide on a church is keep Joshua with us in the main service. He is old enough to pick up on some of what the pastor is saying and colored pencils and paper keep him from getting bored.  I just don’t think it would be fair to ask him to go to a new Sunday school class every Sunday. That would throw ME off!

One permanent thing we have done is get TX license plates on my car.  We did that yesterday and it makes the whole move seem a little more definite.

Beaded Royalty Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Silver Beaded Bracelets

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is the second most prevalent cancer that affects 1 out of every 8 women. This year alone, more than 200,000 women and 1,500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Beaded Royalty is partnering with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to help increase breast cancer awareness, formulate early diagnostic treatment programs and put an end to this terrible disease.

From now until October 31st, Beaded Royalty will donate 100% of the profits for each Breast Cancer Jewelry item purchased. Breast cancer jewelry can be viewed and purchased online. On November 1, 2010, Beaded Royalty will write a check to the American Cancer Society for the total amount collected.

Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet Beaded Badge Lanyard Cancer Survivor Bracelet
Breast Cancer
Beaded Badge
Cancer Survivor

Gemstone Breast Cancer Bracelet Breast Cancer Earrings
Gemstone Breast
Cancer Bracelet
Breast Cancer

“This fundraiser is in honor of a close friend who is currently fighting breast cancer,” said Alicia Staz, owner of Beaded Royalty. “She lives outside Harrisburg, PA where she works as an engineer. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have a 5-year old daughter.”

Classic symptoms of breast cancer include a new lump that does not go away, spontaneous discharge from the nipple, a change in the contours of the breast, redness or pitting of the skin. The best form of prevention is regular screenings for breast cancer before symptoms are exhibited.  All women should do a Breast Self-Exam on a monthly basis.  In women younger than 40, a breast exam should be part of their routine annual physical.  In women older than 40, a mammogram should be performed on a yearly basis.

You are invited to talk with a representative from Beaded Royalty to discuss the Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser.

Alicia E. Staz
Owner, Beaded Royalty

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