Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Mama Bear Apologetics

This book is Uh-maz-ing.

I truly think that every mother and grandmother NEEDS to read it.

If you would like to "attend" our lectures on this topic, please send me an email at: flakymn@hotmail.com. I would happy to send you a link to me discussing/reading this book with my class.

This is a class I do 2-3 times a week with 8 middle/high schoolers. This includes my two sons (8th grade), my nieces (10th and 8th grade), and four other friends of ours: Micah, Malachi, Sara, and Walker.

Truly, what I am attempting to do as a mother -- or as a "Mama Bear" is teach my children how to think.One of the major ways to help them learn how to think is to "chew and spit." Can they chew up things that the world throws them and take the good and spit out the bad? How can I help them do it?

While this book is geared toward mothers/parents/educators, I am reading it TO my children and trying to help them with what the world is throwing at them. This post-modernist world has decided that truth no longer exists. How can they ROAR to prevent their thoughts from being taken over. I am learning to ROAR myself and trying to teach them to ROAR themselves.

My children and I should learn to: 

Recognize the Message

Offer discernment

Argue for a healthier approach

Reinforce with discipleship, discipline, and prayer. 

So for example, one of the recent chapters discussed Skepticism, and one of the most interesting parts in this chapter is the education I received on Old Atheists vs. New Atheists. Old Atheists would debate with you: 

A. There is a God (pro)

B. There is no God (con)

But take a look at what New Atheists debate:

A. There is not enough evidence to convince me God is real (con)

B. There is a God (pro)

You can see that these two are NOT debatable. New Atheists have a "general beginning" of September 11, 2001. Prior to that, most of the discussions by atheists were just "God isn't real." But now, that isn't what they are are arguing, and thus, attempts to argue with them do not work. 

However, this book delved DEEPLY into how much research there is ON the historical evidence of the Bible. Did you know that there are over 24,000 accurate documents proving the accuracy/dating of the Bible. The Illiad is the next one and it has just over 100! And yet, people want to hold The Bible to some incredible measurement of historical accuracy unlike anything else that they would measure. 

Today we started in on the chapter on Post-Modernism. This is incredibly interesting. Most people think that we are actually in a 3rd stage of Post-Modernism. The idea behind this is: "The truth is, there is no truth." This leads to no rules for society. 

Right now these crazy rules include: there are no definitive males or females (who would have though this could be an argument?) and abortion is okay. In fact we are even saying that it is okay for a parent to allow children to take medicines to affect them going through puberty. 

But who is to say that years from now this won't stretch beyond this? Why is murder wrong? Isn't it wrong to condemn young children to sexual therapy that changes their genders during puberty? But if we continue to say to people, "Abortion is okay, for you, but for me, it's wrong," then we won't get anywhere. 

What IS the truth?

What I am trying to instill in my children is that the Bible is not about flannel graphs and cute Bible stories. The Bible is about THE truth of the world. 

I loved this video from Rich Maurer who is an atheist. He says here: If we truly believe that there is an afterlife, what kind of person would  not want to share that?

That's what I believe. I believe our children's SOULS are at stake. The souls of people we come into contact with everyday are at stake. THIS IS IMPORTANT. THIS is what students now look like on College campuses. We are afraid to say anything isn't right. If a 20-year-old man wants to be in the first grade because he feels like a first-grader, who is to stop him? And why can we say our sex feels different but not our height? Or are race?

Other than living in "peace", I really have no other dreams for my children. I don't care if they get married. I don't care if they have children. I don't care where they live. I care that they spend eternity with me and Jesus. Period. 

That's a MONUMENTAL thing to carry as a parent.

And we better take it seriously.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Continuing On


I've thought about quitting this Blog. It's been going since 2005. I hate to see me drop it. The biggest issue has been, well, life. You would think I would be busier when the kids are little. But in fact, I feel like it is harder to find time to sit and write and blog since the kids have gotten older. 

They've also become opinionated about what I post. If I don't like it to Facebook, they don't seem to care as much, but in general, they don't want me to share embarrassing stories. And I get that. And I want to respect that.

Mrs. Ruth Kross attended Isaac's play this past weekend. I think I've shared about her before on my Blog, but our connections go WAY back. She knew my dad in high school. And she taught both JB and myself history in our middle school years. We were very connected through South Florida and the Christian school we attended. She has three boys, and her youngest son, Dan, was just one year younger than me and in class with JB's brother, Ray. 

Anyways, Ruth moved to Tennessee long before I did -- one of the early South Florida exit-ers. And when we moved here, she saw that I moved here and connected with us.

Anways, this is really a digression ...

But I share this to say that when she attended Isaac's play on Sunday, she inspired me to keep the Blog going. She told me to just post whatever it was we were doing, what I was reading, share the life I lead. It's an interesting life. It's a good life. It's a crazy life. And I'll be glad to remember all the memories, later.

So that's what I intend to keep doing. Small bits. Small snips. Life. Even if it has to be edited a bit.

Stay tuned!

(Thank you Mrs. Ruth!)

Three sold out shows!

This is Isaac's college-age director, Gracie. She was OUTSTANDING. She truly encouraged and supported all the kids so incredibly well. I was blown away by her. 

Some of the kids went out to celebrate after the show. Here's a photo of some of them. 

A close-up of Isaac. I love this picture of him. 

Grama Joni came in for the show. We forgot to take a picture of just the two of them at the show so we took this one at home. Wearing makeup seems much weirder when he gets home. 

We had a lot of people that came out to support Isaac. Here is a photo with his youth leader, Mark and two of his youth/homeschool buddies: David (orange) and Lucas. Honestly, I don't want to list everyone who came because I know I'll miss someone, but we were so blessed. 

I was SO incredibly proud of Isaac for his performance this past weekend. He performed a ten-minute skit (part of a showcase of skits) on Tusculum's campus. Here is a news piece that discusses the show. 

I cannot believe they sold out all three shows! In fact, the last show (on Sunday afternoon which Ms. Leslie (piano/voice teacher) and Ms. Ruth Kross (long-time friend!) were able to attend saw people being turned away. How fun to sell out the theatre. 

At the end of the production, Isaac was invited to be a part of GLAWPIGT. This is a BIG deal and is a huge accomplishment for youth in our community. I believe Isaac's future will include music/singing/acting in some form or fashion. How cool!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Jesus Time

Opening night was sold out!

I was so proud of Isaac! He did outstanding. He really does have acting capabilities. And he loved it. This is their group and a picture with his friend Isaiah Waddell. 

They sold out the opening night show. What a fun thing to do. I think 2/3 of the 30 or so kids are brand new to the theatre! 

Friday, February 24, 2023


Theatre-at-Tusculum Presents:

Tusculum Youth Actors Studio SHOWCASE 2023:
Comedy, Tragedy, & Everything in Between

Join us this February as three Tusculum University students, Gracie Weems, Todd Wallen and Josie Norton make their directorial debut.  

With over 30 local youth actors ages 8-18, this incredible evening of 5 ten minute plays and a few surprises will be sure to entertain the entire family. 

Come out and support these talented students and actors for a fun-filled evening celebrating Comedy, Tragedy & Everything in Between!

Friday, February 24 | 7pm
Saturday, February 25 | 7pm
Sunday, February 25 | 2pm

Tickets:  General Admission $5
Location: Behan Arena Theatre 
Annie Hogan Byrd Building, Tusculum University 

Tickets can be purchased online at 


click on BOX OFFICE or at the Door.

Tough Schedule

I don’t want to be busy. I’m trying to figure out how to not be busy. I’m not sure, homeschooling four kids with John school on the horizon, if I can avoid it. I’m struggling to find my groove and what that groove might be. I know that 85% of this busyness can’t be changed. But I have to figure out how to loosen up the last 15.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Adulting is HARDDDDddddd

It’s been a HARD few days. 
  • A/C broken in car. 
  • Homeschooling is a LOT as kids get older.
  • Farm needs.
  • Friend needs.
  • School needs. 
  • Seat belt broken in car. 
  • Find out one kid is gonna need three dentist appts. coming up.
  • Dentist appts for kids and me.
  • Isaac in first play this weekend.
  • Normal ballet, co-op, karate, piano, voice, life ...
  • Still grieving stuff in Turkey.
  • Some personal family stuff to manage.
  • John gets VERY sick. Actually has to go to the ER as a patient instead of a doctor. Has to quarantine himself away from us.
And then I can’t find Abigail and she calls me and needs help and she’s running through the field blonde hair flying to spot a woodcock. She sees 4. And a bat. And she’s beaming.
And it's a good life.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Parenting ...

 ... teenagers isn't hard just because they are teenagers. (But that is hard!)

It's also hard because our own history, and our own struggles come back to the surface.

I'm a people pleaser. I like people to like me. I don't like conflict. But what about my child? What about when they are facing conflict with someone? How will I handle it? Will I thrust those emotions onto them? Even subtly? What messages am I conveying? How do I make sure that I let them fight their own battles and that their battles can be fought correctly and the way that they need to best fight them.

I've been, fairly obsessed, with the earthquake in Turkey. It has really affected me. How much is too much to share with them? I am sad. Is it okay to let them know I am sad? Is it okay to watch more videos than I should of rescues and let them watch them too? At what point has my own concern crossed over onto them?

I understand how parents just "let things go." Not letting things go is so exhausting. Fighting the little things. The slight disrespect. The slight rudeness. The slight bit of unkind language. It'd be easier just to let them do their own things and not worry about the little things.

But to raise a human is one of the greatest callings in all of the world. I want to do it right. I don't want to mess it up. I want to give my children the best chance I can at them being amazing humans who love Jesus.

So I do the best I can ... and lean on my solid husband who isn't as emotional as I am to help in a lot of ways. To help lead. Especially the boys. There is so much about being a boy and a man that I just don't understand. Anyone who tries to say that boys and girls are the same and that raising them is the same? They should really try being in a home with two of each. They are just different!

And I only have half of them to "teenager-hood!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

I sometimes wonder ...

... if this Blog will die. 

I actually find I have less time now, with four teenagers, then I did when the kiddos were little. I am trying as hard as I can to keep it going. To keep remembering. To keep the memories. To tell the stories. 

But I continue to think: "Will ____ get mad at me for posting this?"

I am also finding that homeschooling four kids (plus lots of other "adopted" children into our community) takes a lot of time. I want to do it well. I want to be present. I want to help teach them how to learn, how to think, how to make intelligent decisions, how to be present in a world that does not have the TRUTH anymore ... instead it has my TRUTH. 

How does that work anyways? How does it work if there is no definitive right and wrong. There are some, of course, but this world has gotten mighty crazy. That is what I am busy fighting for. It's worth the fight! I have to be present! I have to answer the hard questions (especially when JB isn't around.) A large number of children leave the faith. Statistics, years ago, used to say they leave in college. What we are seeing now is that these children are making their decisions around the age of 12-13 years old. 

I believe that social media is KILLING our children. Instead of asking their Grandmother who God is, they ask google. And google will tell them that whatever truth they want ... that's what the truth is. 

The only issue? The gamble on whose truth you are playing with can cost you eternity. There are big odds at stake. The world says: Do whatever makes you happy. But are people happy? They seem sadder than ever. 

We MUST teach our children to lean on our Jesus. That's it. That's the only way for peace and contentment. Everything comes back to Jesus. 

So I teach my children, every day, to LOVE everyone. And by LOVE I don't just mean it in a generic sense. I mean it in the deep, religious, Jesus-sense. Love them. Support them. Be there for them. Pray for them. 

But don't be afraid to say that you believe Jesus is the ONLY thing that can save our world.

Because I believe this is THE truth.  

Friday, February 10, 2023


Ritter is always looking for a place to lay that is on any sort of clothes — here he is on Sidge’s jacket and backpack (which is actually a jacket of mine he borrowed since it was unisex.) 

Constant buns

There are constantly pictures in my phone of Abigail checking to see how good she did her ballet bun! She is really coming along. 

Thursday, February 09, 2023


Our friend Jake posted this to Facebook. His wife, Rana, a dear friend of our's (they now live in Minnesota) are from this area. I cannot imagine how this feels for Rana. This has hurt my heart so much.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023


An earthquake hit Turkey a few days ago. Man I love that country. I love that place. It’s etched in my heart. I want so much to go back and recreate the life I lived there for two years. I miss them and the place so much. I heard from Hatice, and they are all okay. My friend Bars was also in Gazientip … he too is ok. 

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Her bed

Bed is a hard thing for Abigail. She’s battled anxiety related to her sleep four about for years now. We’ve tried so many things. Just seeing her in her bed happy, makes me me happy.

Sometimes ….

… I find the funniest things on my phone. 

Friday, February 03, 2023

Mr. Lloyd

Central Ballet

This is why we spend an entire month on ballet (and even longer!) 

To get to see Jesus proclaimed on stage … to pray together before a show! 

What a joy!

Backstage Mama

Someone captured a picture of me backstage …. Mainly my job as Casting Coordinator is just to wrangle people. But this time I had to carry an elephant head upstairs!

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

More of an egg crisis

He’s 14

As of yesterday, I have two 14-year-olds. How does this happen? How is life flying by so fast. 

Elijah “Sidge” is truly an amazing young man. He loves all things animal, nature, hunting, aquarium, survival, outdoors. 

His brain can exhaust me as he doesn’t miss a bear and has trouble not being the justice police for everything. (Example: yesterday I told the kids to eat leftovers but I made a sandwich. Totally unfair.) 

He won’t lie and is super hard on himself. He doesn’t enjoy school — would rather be outside all day long. 

He’s gotten huge! Over six foot tall. 

I love him to pieces!