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Relaxing By The Pond

Relaxing By The Pond
Jacob & JackRyan

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Job Announcement

Notation: The following Job Announcement is for class purposes only and is not real however all other posts on this site are real.

MK McBradigan Incorporated
Job Title: Literary Agent & Personal Assistant (to author) Date: November 30, 2010
Job Description: To assist with all avenues of the publishing, editing, and personal tasks related to writing.
• Responsible for daily appointments and book signings
• Responsible for providing editorial services to all writing projects, and all secretarial functions
• Responsible for planning all office holiday activities
• Responsible for all publication agent responsibilities in public relations as well as advertising
• Responsible for all props at book signings and training of assistants
• Responsible for keeping author on point with goals at hand
• Responsible for over-seeing all communications within said office
Job Location: In-House Company: MK McBradigan Inc.
Job Role: Literary Agent and Support Joining Date: January 1, 2011
Status: Full-time Type: Employee
Monthly Salary: $4,000 Manages: Yes
Vacancies: 1 Other: In charge of hiring
Skills: training, managing, public relations, communications, editorial writing, editing, advertising of book signings, all secretarial skills, computer skills, proficient in multi-tasking
Career Level: Executive Years of Experience: 10
Degree: Bachelor’s Degree Other: Computer training a plus
Please Send Application to:
Name: Melanie McBradigan Email:
Address: 2921 S Eldon Ave Country: USA
City: Springfield, MO Zip/Postal Code: 65807
Phone: 417-536-7693 Fax: 971.4.447.0332
For more information on this job announcement: http/
Website: http/

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Here I sit in bed, sick... I've been here all day. I have a little bit of energy and I'm debating, "Am I really okay now? Or will I get up and burn all my energy and be back in bed within an hour?" It's amazing how getting sick teaches you something or how taking care of someone else who is sick not only teaches you about them but about yourself.

I'm a mother of six and a daughter to one very stubborn step-father whose been sick for a long time. Not only that but my only sibling died the day after open-heart surgery after being sick on and off her entire life (she was only five when she died). I've seen and heard stories of various relatives who have taken care of their loved ones as well. So do I know about sickness? A little bit!

I think the only thing harder than being sick is taking care of someone who is sick. Caretakers everywhere know what I mean even if they wouldn't admit it outloud. We are a loving bunch by nature and we give and give and give but somehow it seems like it begins to drain us mentally, physically, and socially. Even the draining itself seems to drain us because then we feel guilty about being drained LOL. It's a cycle that once it begins it is like a snowball affect. To even take one day off or one long bubble bath to ourselves somehow feels selfish. And yet, we all know without that one day or bath now and then, we're up a creek.

So what to do? What are all of us caretakers to do? You see it coming, I'm sure or at least I hope. You guessed it, take care of yourself FIRST. You have to make a concious decision to step out of your pitty party of how much work you have to do and just take care of YOURSELF first. Nobody likes to hear anyone else whining. I hate to here it from myself or my kids let alone full grown adults who blame their past or their current situations for their blah boring or hectic lives. (PS It's not your past's fault or anyone else's fault! You controle your life.)

This is basic stuff but somehow it elludes so many of us. Some moms are guilty, caretakers of the elderly or very sick are sometimes guilty, some dads who have a disabled wife are guilty or visa versa, some elderly spouses are guilty... the list goes on and on. The bottom line, at one time or other, most of us are guilty! So how do we get out of our pitty parties? Simple, STOP IT. Stop and look at your life. If you don't like it, change it. If you aren't taking care of God first, then yourself, then others, then you have it in the wrong order! CHANGE IT!

Make a list of what a good life would look like; a DAY BUCKET list! You know, one in which you had the time to do what you want to do. Cause guess what? YOU DO! We all have the SAME amount of time every day, every week, every month, every year. In that list write out how you want your day to go. Yes, we all have responsibilities but we can shift and deligate some things around to make it where we are living our lives and not having our lives LIVE us! Teach yourself how to treat yourself! Make time for whatever it is that nurtures your soul: bubble baths, long walks on a beautiful trail, short day trips to a spot you love, time with someone who makes you smile, time alone by a stream or the like, reading a good book, time alone praying & meditating, time alone reading your Bible, a good nap, run a marathon, walk with a friend, ride your bike, watch your favorite movie or something new, the list is endless and can change every day!

It's really is like writing a DAILY BUCKET LIST :) In this list is simply the things you want to do for God and YOURSELF every day! It is the first list you must complete daily :) It's a must if you want to keep a smile on your face and a kick in your step! It's time to fill your life with joy, love, passion, and really live! If you love your family, friends, and God, then you have to take care of yourself! Only people who love God and themselves have the ABILITY to truly love others as themselves! After all, when God tells us to "love thy neighbor as ourselves" I am pretty sure God wasn't thinking there would come a time when people would be so drained, sad, depressed, & filled with a pitty party persona... because after all, who would want to be loved like that? Not me! Not you! So, fill your life with love and happiness! Not to is selfish of you! And after-all you as a caretaker are the opposite of selfish right? Then start today filling your life with love and passion! Then and only then, will you ever fullfill your purpose God has for you and fill your neighbor's lives with love as well. Life is too short so LIVE every day of it now!

So make your DAILY BUCKET LIST today and make your life a better LIFE! :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

CONVICTED & SURRENDERED "Raising kids is like a recipe, you get what you throw in the mix!"

Rated R - do not let your children read this!

Hello Again, (no time to edit so I don't wanna hear about type errors, I know they are there!) LOL

I hope this day finds you doing well & enjoying the gorgeous weather! The topic today is homeschooling & raising children :) Chances are, you will not agree with this article... and that's okay. I don't care. That is the beauty of us all on our own paths, we are all struggling for our own truths in our lives. What I hope you get out of it is an ounce of conviction and a pound of surrender equalling a better you loving your kids.

This is a VERY hot topic if you get any group of women together, it is almost as hot of a topic as stay at home moms verses working moms. Why? Because a lot of toes and pride quickly gets stepped on. (And you have to ask yourself why? Why would someone's PRIDE be stepped on about NOT being a full time parent? They will pick on that word, FULL TIME, parent... they will disect this topic a hundred different ways. Everyone wants to be considered full time no matter if they only spend 5 hrs a day with their kids while other moms spend 24 hours a day. Though if we were speaking of a job outside the home, anything under 40 hours would be considered part-time!) Hmmmmm?

The facts are in and across the board home school kids are scoring higher than their public school peers. That and the facts that they do not have to compete for attention and get all the one on one they need, starts to tip the scale. Then old argument, no matter how ignorant it was, that homeschool kids couldn't possibly get as socialized as public school kids is like saying you aren't socialized. I actually laugh about this one because you see, I can see this topic from both perspectives because one of my children is public schooled and five are home schooled. And I would choose how my home school kids are socialized 100 times over how my public school child is socialized. It's the difference between night and day. And I chose the light!

I have seen the affects of public school and it is horrible. I've seen the good the bad and the ugly and public schools are not a place for thriving kids. This old argument is now one of the past as cities recreation departments and churches are rising up and offering the home school kids football, baseball, soccer, theater, drama, cheerleading, arts,activities and teams! So if the home school kids are now involved in more extra-curricular activities than their peers, scoring higher in nationwide testing and usually expressing a more calm demeanor along with respect, love for God, love of country, and family... the public schools are obviously on the losing side now and so people are in a tiff.

It's just like the argument of whether we should ship the kids off to daycare or raise them ourselves? I'm sorry folks, I think this one is a no brainer. Actually I think all these topics are no brainers but I can say that because I've been through the fire and I've lived the good the bad and the ugly with experiences from one extreme to the other. I was the popular one in school, the head cheerleader, the homecoming queen, the good student in public school and guess what? I still hated it and if I was treated the way some people were treated I might have snapped and grab a gun like some of these so called troubled teens have. I'm no better than anyone on this planet but the difference between me and a lot of folks is that I have completely surrendered to God.

So what does that mean? That means that I get it, I get it that I am nothing without God. I see the mistakes I have made. Does it hurt my pride? OH YES but it isn't about me anymore, it is about my Lord and Savior. My old pride is now used to shape me into the woman God wants me to become. If that means he has convicted my heart enough to make it clear to me that I have to suck it up and actually teach my own children, then so be it. If it means I have to straighten up my life and be a reflection of how I want them to become, so be it. If it means I have to raise my children and not just HOPE that a stranger will do it as good as I can, so be it. If it means I have to get off my butt - turn off the t.v. and be a parent, so be it! If it means I will surrender to God of how many children I will have and the life style we will lead, so be it. I COMPLETELY surrender my everything to God: my money, my children, my husband, my life.

So when these topics of daycare verses mom and dad's raising their kids and home school verses public school, the list goes on and on. Come on folks, that voice in the back of your head or in your heart, that's God telling you what is right and what is not. Can kids survive public school, obviously but should kids be exposed to sex of all kinds, horrible language, sexual harrassment, drugs, alcohol... it is a sewer and I see that clearly. If you don't then don't yell at me that I smell the odor and you don't, it doesn't mean the stink AIN'T THERE>

I personally have taught in the public schools and have seen the ugly for myself. Does that mean all the teachers are horrible NO!!! Lots of fantastic wonderful teachers are in the mix - but so are the horrible ones! The ones that treat your children differently behind closed doors when the parents aren't around. I've seen this first hand. I've seen the opposite as well where the parent that I had to turn a child over to, at the end of the day, was NOT fit to take care of the child. That too broke my heart. SO I DO SEE THINGS BOTH WAYS. But if the parent is competent and loving, they should be teaching and caring for their own children.

You may say, well what about single parents. Well, communities and families should take care of those who say they HAVE TO WORK. The communities and families should take care of those women/men just as they take care of the orphans and widows just as the Bible instructs us to do. Because raising the kids is the most important role we have.

I've seen the ugly side of schools & life...I've been molested and even raped my senior year. I've seen my own child get off the school bus shaking after hearing older boys talk about what they were going to do to a girl, in detail, of how they were going to TAKE her. I've heard first hand of my children getting yelled at by faculty for praying before they eat. I've heard first hand of how severe bullying goes to the extreme and when a child FINALLY defends himself, he is the one to get in trouble. I've seen the parents who mean well. I've seen the parents who use the schools as a glorified daycare. I've seen the good parents agonize over whether to keep their kids in the public schools or not. I've seen the parents fight over which is better. I've been those parents. I've been in that fire and I'm glad I found the light.

Are all parents in the place I am in and can see everything I have seen, no, and I get that. We will not all agree but let's raise our kids and be plugged in to what in the world is going on and take our parental blinders off!! We can no longer HOPE everything is okay or say well our school is different. NO it is NOT. Kids are kids and they are mean when left to fend for themselves. Without parental guidance they will run wild period and they will prey on the other kids at school. Buses for one, if people have to use them, should have at least 3 adults on to control the behaviors which are flat out crude! I've witnessed 4th graders using four letter words and worse, older students talking filthy infront of the kindergarteners and upper high schoolers having oral sex on the bus!

Home Schooling has been around thousands of years and most of our ancestors were upstanding wonderful people. Public schools have only been around a short time in the whole history time-line. No where else in our culture do we herd people together segregating them in age groups and hoping they will turn out okay. When was the last time all the 35 yr olds were herded together and told they have to all be taught the same thing every day or they aren't socialized? That would be insane and so is this topic. It isn't a topic it is a choice of whether you are going to raise your own kids. It is a choice of whether or not you are going to teach your children in the way they should go. One public school teacher in junior high told me,"If the parents knew half of what goes on behind closed doors they would never let their children attend our school." G.W.


I don't want to hear how great your kids are doing in public school, I don't want to hear about how perfect your decisions are, I know the truth, I've been there and done that and would never do it again. I know what God tells me in my heart. I will continue to live by what he leads me to do. I'm not here to make anyone happy, I'm here to do my job and not pass the buck.

So no matter what you do, or how you raise your kids... "Raising kids is like a recipe, the outcome is what you throw into the mix!"

I'm tired of explaining myself. Tired of explaining why I teach my children. When did teaching our children become NOT the norm? I don't come into your lives and question why you ship off your kids every day. Don't ask me why mine stay at home being taught with love, respect, compassion, and knowledge! So raise your children however you wish but with love and passion but quit asking us home school moms why we teach our own children! That's like asking you why you love yours!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Have you ever had a day when everything goes wrong? Of course you have, you're human. Well, I had one of those days today. Money didn't come that was suppose to come. Jack left his coat at church. My friend only could stay a little while. Someone didn't show up that was suppose to, making money matters worse. The kids didn't get their chores done on time. The movies are late. The books are late to the library and I have to leave the house AGAIN for what feels like the millionth time on yet another errand and it's after 9:30 p.m. I'm tired and all I want to do is go to bed. Actually, I have felt that way since around 3 p.m. LOL

However, the only reason I write of these things is to shed light on them so the next time you have a day like mine perhaps it can end as good as mine did. You see, I recognized quickly that I needed to pray and center myself for the day THIS MORNING. It was like an arsonal of problems were coming right for the jugular before I could get a good standing on the day. I prayed through interruptions, computer problems, kids knocking on the door, dogs barking, kittens meowing, my hubby asking me question after question... I PRAYED. I PRAYED. I PRAYED.

I immediately felt better and knew this was a day that I would be praying continually and I was right. All day as each and every seemingly negative thing happened, I prayed. In the still of my heart I knew these things weren't the end of the world, they just happened to be happening all at the same time. I also realized that I am grateful that I have children at all, happy that they have the ability to have great health so they USUALLY can do their chores. I am grateful for their smiles and their laughter and yes, even them knocking at my door for the millionth time. I'm grateful for the fish, the kittens, the dogs. I'm grateful for our new home and new friends who took the time to stop by at all, to say hello :) I'm grateful for the money that will eventually come & a customer that will eventually make it over. I'm grateful... truly I am.

Then I went to church and low and behold the sermon was about praying. God does have a sense of humor doesn't he? We all know he is omni-present right? Well what was so intense about the sermon was that he pressed home with me that when we pray you aren't just in the presence of God you are drawing YOURSELF CLOSE TO HIM... into HIS GLAZE... HIS PRESENCE yes, but in a deeper sense & you will begin to SEE differently, in all areas of your life :) And on days like today, we NEED to pray :)

I PRAY that on your good days and bad that you remember to DRAW CLOSE TO GOD :) I pray that you come into his glaze:)

Here's to Good Days and Bad :) Let us PRAISE:)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Being a momma of 6 kids: Wash, Rinse, Repeat

A friend had asked me why I have two anniversaries :)Well it's kinda cute and dorky but you see, we still celebrate our DATING ANNIVERSARY because we think a good marriage is one in which we never stop DATING each other. So June 13th, 1986 is our dating anniversary origin:) LOL So every year on June 13th we celebrate our dating anniversary :) This year will be 24 years. June 29th is our Wedding Anniversary and so this year will be 19 years married. And I can honestly say I am head over heals in love, more so today than on my wedding day! :) I give all praise & glory of it all to God my Heavenly Father because without I have nothing.

In 1991, the year we got married, June 13th didn't roll on a weekend LOL So we had to pick a different date. It would have made it easier if it would have but oh well, now we have two special days in June just for us :))) AND with 6 kids, it's nice to have 2 dates for us that we don't have to share with the kids :) LOL

As your kids get older you will find yourself FINDING time to be with your hubby, excuses to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE together hahaa and just sneak off and do anything even if it is garage saling or shopping or out to eat or just parking by the road up the drive-way, far enough where the kids can't see you, LOLOLOLOL SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!

It's weird in the place I am in right now. I have 2 little ones and that reminds me of course of how it was when all of them were little; the pros and cons of it all. THEN I have the view of them MID GROWN LOL in Junior High ages and then I have the view of them grown in upper High School and 18. WOW>> no wonder my brain scrambles sometimes LOL LOL But seriously, I can stand back and see alllll the pros and cons.

Like, I LOVE SNUGGLING with my little men... the smiles, tickles, bed time stories, tents, giggles, late night cookie sneaks... The cartoons, the complete joy of chubby cheeks and grins and just holding them and feeling the joy of their spirits :))) They want complete independence but don't want me more than 2 ft away LOL

Now, jump to Junior High age.... no more snuggling in bed. From them, I get an a few hugs unless it is Meg, she hugs me allllll the time. They want a different kind of attention, one of more.... "TAKE ME TO A FRIEND'S HOUSE" hahah or church event and I take a side seat and watch them starting to grow into their own "person" own interests in an independent way. I adore watching them from afar when they are sharing laughs with a good friend. Kinda of like snap shots of time... the time of their lives unfolding right before your eyes. Still at the age where I can squint and see them 4 yrs old in pig tails or in their little muddy over-hauls with kool-aid grins.

Now jump to HIGH SCHOOL! Now it's a hug maybe once a day if I'm lucky. Now it is COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE and yet they want all my money and want me to be about 10 miles away at all times because somebody MIGHT FIND OUT THEY HAVE A MOTHER!!! OMGOSH!!! LOL Actually their friends like me but you know what I mean. They want me to praise them NONSTOP like they are the only ones in the world, to which I do :)) but sometimes there is these moments that I HATE and yet I know as a good mom I am the only one on the planet that has to RATTLE THEIR CAGE occassionally and REMIND THEM THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD AND THEY NEED NOT BE SELF-CENTERED, RUDE,CRUDE, OR MEAN TO OTHERS OR JUST COME TO ME FOR MONEY MONEY MONEY.

There comes a point where I feel like they treat the house like a hotel, grocery store and laundry mat ALL FOR FREE and not want to participate in family activities. THATS THE SUCKY part of raising teens. It flat out hurts. THEY are trying to pull away, we understand that, but want them to do it in a respectful Christian polite way. THEY are nice for the most part LOL but sometimes they still like to sharpen their teeth on their parents when we LEAST expect it (kinda like wild wolves LOL) then comes those moments that change time when the older ones rebel a bit breaking my heart over something when really it's the apron strings snapping one by one... and nothing is quite the same again. I will always love them but there is that moment that I get it that I am nearly READY for them TO LEAVE. TO WHICH I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS COULD HAVE guessed I would ever feel when they were JackRyan and Jacob's ages (so cute and chubby and adorable snuggling with me in bed).

I LOVE THE GOOD MOMENTS... those are priceless and I CHERISH THOSE. Those are the moments to which God allows me to see what they will be like as adults. And so far, I love what I see. I, now in the back seat of their lives, watch them from afar and my heart swells with pride and love for what they are accomplishing and who they are becoming. Some days are so sweet I want to freeze frame that moment, the last moments of their youth. Like seeing my daughter put on her graduation cap and gown, time STOOD STILL, after all, it was yesterday that was me? How can she be 18 if I am still 19? LOL Time moves on...

Now that I have seen the good the bad and the ugly and the SOOOO SWEET side of it all from ages 0 to 18. I think ALL of US MOMS need a gold medal by the time we raise any child to 18. I know each phase only lasts but a blue moon and a blink of an eye, so in the bad phases I hold my breath knowing THIS TOO SHALL PASS & keep praisin God but in the good moments, I of course keep thanking God, but I HOLDDDD THOSE MOMENTS and try soo so hard not to blink because I know they won't last long. I nearly tear up just writing that.

So, with JackRyan and Jacob I HOLD THEM EXTRA TIGHT and cherish those moments an extra lot.> AND if they want to climb into my bed now and then and watch a movie or stay up late, then that is JUST FINE because I only have those moments for a little season. :)))) Good momma's know this :))) and we cherish this!!! :))) I may not be a lot of things but I know I am a good momma:))))

We may not be millionaires but we know what LOVE IS :) We know how to hold a child's hand & make them feel ever so safe. We know how to wave mommy magic over an owie or boo-boo with a kiss and a bandaid. We know how to embrace and scoop up our children when they need us most. And when it comes time we know when to let go :) even though our hearts feel like jumping out of our souls.

Then it seems, life starts all over again in a different phase. And someday, that phase will be grandchildren and then it will repeat all over again :)It's like the directions on a shampoo bottle: Wash, Rinse, Repeat LOL There is a season for everything and then it seems to start all over again... I call it life.

Sorry to get so deep but I am very passionate so I laugh hard and cry hard and live hard :)))) I want to LIVE every day of my life and not let life LIVE me. :) LOL And in the end, I want to be all of me God intended me to be :)))

Until next time :) Hugs, Melanie

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Whew... after rushing around and leaving, we get there and there was only an activity for the girls, Rebecca and Megan. So, the boys and I headed back home. It's only a 2 minute drive so it was no biggy. The girls get to go to a pizza party at the church and so the boys, all four of them, came home with me and we had a honey bbq chicken and mozzarella stick party LOL. They seemed to enjoy that! So now we wait a bit longer and then we're off to church again to actually go to church this time LOL They will have classes for the little ones and I think for my junior highers and high schoolers.

You see, we are new to Springfield. We moved here a month and a half ago. We simply love living in Missouri and have recently been blessed with buying a nice home here. We are more than grateful because we were in the military and have moved all over the world. Though we had an amazing and interesting time (I'm sure I will tell you all about it) we desperately wanted a place to call our own! Back to what I was saying...We've lived in South Korea, Vermont, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri of course. And we've been other places and some just Tom went to: The Gulf, Madrid Spain, Tokyo, flew over Alaska - it was beautiful!! We've driven through most of the states and hopefully will be visiting others this summer.

We finally get a vacation this year for the first time in four long years. We temporarily left Missouri a few years back to take care of my step dad who was dying. He actually recooperated, then almost died again but thanks to me coming over to deliver some more goodies to him. I discov



Well, if you ever wanted some excitement and drama you are in the right place! I am a mother of six kids ages 4, 5, 12, 14, 16, and 18! No need for cable at our house! LOL There is something always going on. My husbands name is Tom and I'm Melanie and this is our story :) So, start your journey with us and stop in from time to time or every day :) Enjoy our story :) share in our ups and downs and everything inbetween! There will be no perfection here, only hilarious moments & real life drama I'm sure. We are a Christian family with a big big heart :) I'm an author, motivational speaker, home school teacher, public school sub, artist, momma, wife, & Christ follower :) My hubby works in the world but isn't of it :) Okay, gotta run! I may be helping with church tonight, the guy didn't call me back but my yes is yes so I've gotta run! Go MAKE a beautiful evening!