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Mom's Corner by Teri


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On 10/13/2022 at 7:46 AM, JermajestyDuggar said:

I’m a black cat every year. I’m boring. But it’s so easy to put on black clothes, a cat ear head band and a clip on tail. Boom done. And I’ve always loved cats. So it makes sense to everyone I would be a cat. 

My daughter, a school administrator, has worn Minnie Mouse ears for the last 10 years.

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@louannems, I have clear memories of the cat costume my parents got me when I was about 4. The mask had a battery-powered light-up red nose, and I was terrified of it because I was convinced it would catch on fire, so they removed the bulb.

On 10/13/2022 at 10:46 AM, JermajestyDuggar said:

I’m a black cat every year. I’m boring. But it’s so easy to put on black clothes, a cat ear head band and a clip on tail. Boom done. And I’ve always loved cats. So it makes sense to everyone I would be a cat. 

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she wanted a cat costume, and I was worried about the expense of buying the fake fur and a pattern, but before I could mention that, she said all she needed was a headband with cat ears, a tail, and “black estercize tights.” And, of course, a skirt, because, in the musical “Cats” (she was obsessed with the soundtrack and the book of poetry it was based on, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” by TS Eliot), the Gumby cat Jenny Anydots “tucked up her skirts to the basement to creep.”

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My son was born October 1 so he wore a cute little pumpkin suit for his first Halloween. It was pouring rain and his dad took him up and down the block. I just remember he looked like a little ball. 

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I definitely also didn't love, and still don't, adults in full masked costumes either, that would be the only time anything Halloween related would freak me out. Like someone in a Scream mask, it actually still makes me weary. But otherwise I love dressing up even though I stopped for awhile after high school.

We dress up in my office and always pick a theme; this year, my team (since it's five of us), are doing the emotions from Inside Out! I'm so excited.

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A few years ago, I saw some teens out trick-or-treating in some fantastic costumes: Dwight Schrute and Lucy and Ethel.

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I know some people don’t like teens trick or treating but I’m the type of person who says it’s for kids and last time I checked, teens are kids. So have at it. 

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When I worked in a bank years ago, we dreaded Halloween. People in masks made me very anxious. 

We live at the back of a duplex so we never got kids, they didn't want to walk down the dark sidewalk. By the time we moved here our kids outgrew TnT. 

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For most of my career I've worked in an elementary school and before I moved I had two costumes. In alternate years I would put on a pair of Navy work pants a lighter blue work shirt tie my hair up in a bandana put a few pins on my collar and go as Rosie the Riveter. When I wasn't Rosie the riveter I had an older style short sleeve snap down the front bathroom that I would put on then put my hair up in the pink spongy curlers. I would add knee-high stockings that were falling down and had runs in them and wear bedroom slippers. My costume goals were that my students wouldn't be afraid. I got really upset at three other teachers who I liked the rest of the year but who loved to dress as witches and scare the kindergarteners. The parents on the other hand looked a little nervous during the years I wore the bathrobe and I had more than one say, "That's my mother!" I carried my coffee cup around during the Halloween parade but didn't dangle a cigarette between my fingers.

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I have nothing to add to the conversation except that it makes me happy that the Halloween costume discussion is happening on Teri’s thread. Here’s hoping she will someday sew costumes for grandkids.

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@Audrey2, at my old church it was the tradition that the Confirmation class hosted the annual kids’ Halloween party, which included a haunted house. My daughter insisted on wearing a Belle costume (“Beauty and the Beast” had just come out, and she looked exactly like Belle) because she didn’t want to scare the little kids.

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I’m one of those people that likes the idea of being scared more than actually being scared. I like to read ghost stories in brightly lit, crowded places and look at decorations online and walk in the dark woods with a big group of friends in summer, not fall. (Or ideally, the bit of time between when mosquitoes die and it gets really super cold.) The high school used to do a ‘haunted house’ when I was a kid that was mainly walking through or crawling through a few aisles of black sheets strung up over cafeteria tables with kids jumping out to scare you. I always went through yelling ‘please don’t scare me! I don’t want to be scared!’ The darkness was enough for me,

These days I’m more terrified of the news and my own family’s health than of anything supernatural.

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I have a pretty extreme startle reflex so I’m not into scary movies or haunted houses. But I love Halloween. Just the fun of trick or treat and crazy decorations. 

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When my daughter was teaching preschool she dressed as Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. The kids loved the character. She still dresses up as her now for Halloween. 

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On 10/23/2022 at 12:25 PM, JermajestyDuggar said:

I know some people don’t like teens trick or treating but I’m the type of person who says it’s for kids and last time I checked, teens are kids. So have at it. 

I feel the same way about teens trick or treating.  I spend my days teaching them.  Believe me, they're definitely still kids :)

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On 10/26/2022 at 6:55 PM, anniebgood said:

When my daughter was teaching preschool she dressed as Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. The kids loved the character. She still dresses up as her now for Halloween. 

I work in a preschool and this week we had a group of teachers dress as Pete the Cat, a bunch of  M&M's, A unicorn, a lot of cats- I work in the office so one day I wore a witches hat headband and carried a sparkly light up (small) broom and the next day just my cat ears headband!  One teacher always wears her Mrs Frizzle dress she made years ago.  Always have to be comfortable and washable costumes!  lol

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  • 3 weeks later...

This month's Mom's Corner is called Almost As Good As Sugar and it's from November 9, 2022.

First Paragraph:

Quote

This summer, before her wedding, Sarah went to a local florist to order her flowers. After working through it all and a nice visit with the florist, Sarah thanked her for all her help, great prices, and wanting things to be the way Sarah desired them. Then the florist had a very surprising and sad response. She said, “You know, Honey. I work hard to make the flowers exactly the way the bride wants them for her special day. Sometimes it takes a toll on me. But the only ones I ever hear from after the wedding are the ones who are unhappy about something.” That statement grabbed both Sarah and my hearts. Obviously even though she was being paid for her work, she was putting more into it than it simply fulfilling a job and her heart yearned for some recognition of that.

Opening with an anecdote about Sarah's wedding is a good idea. It gets the reader interested. 

Note to self: When appropriate thank the florist.

It is nice that they thanked the florist, although it probably adds to the "we're not like other folks: we're special." vibes that most conservative Christians seem to have. More brides should thank the florist when the flowers are well-done. I think Sarah probably had a modest order. I think Teri likes having her daughter married.

Second Paragraph:

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With our U. S. Thanksgiving holiday coming up soon, I wanted to focus on expressing gratitude to others for ways they bless us, like the florist who goes beyond her duty to make a wedding beautiful. As I went for verses that endorse this thought, I came up dry. The closest verses I found were general suggestions that thankfulness to someone might fall into like:

Yes, it's almost Thanksgiving. It feels like time is flying. It's good to thank people for what they do.

Third Paragraph:

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“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Fourth Paragraph:

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“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:31).

These are some nice verses that would appeal to a wide audience. They're not the kind verses fundies seem to prefer.

Fifth Paragraph:

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From these verses, we would probably agree that being grateful to someone for something they have done is a way of being kind to them. It is also how we want to be treated so Luke 6:31 encourages us that is what we would do to another. We like to be thanked when we have done something for another and can feel taken for granted if our kindness isn’t acknowledged. 

Yep, this sounds right.

Sixth Paragraph:

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The multitude of verses in Scripture that have to do with thanksgiving, though, tell us to be thankful to God. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). 

This is also probably true.

Seventh Paragraph:

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In the end, when we are blessed by another person, God is the reason. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

Except God gave us free will. Without free will, our choices are meaningless so why choose to follow God in the first place?

Eighth Paragraph:

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This brings us to consider if perhaps we become so involved in thanking others when they bless us – which we should do – that we neglect to thank the One Who allowed the blessing to come to us. Could it be that we thank the Lord for what He does that another human being couldn’t do such as providing rain when it has been very dry or healing a sickness or injury, but  we aren’t as often thankful to Him for His blessings through other people?

I don't believe God is so petty he gets jealous when we thank a friend or someone who does something for us. I think like most parents he likes to see his children get along and doesn't like it when we hurt each other.

Ninth Paragraph:

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I want to thank those who bless me like the florist and let them know my genuine appreciation for how they have served me. I also desire, though, to thank my God, from Whom comes every good and perfect gift. The more my thoughts and words are involved in gratitude and expressing them, the less I focus on myself and the less my words descend into complaining. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Philippians 2:14). May we be women of thanksgiving, first to God and then to others

Yes, it's the time of year where most people tend to be thankful. This column wasn't awful, and it's good to count things you can be grateful for. I'm glad Sarah liked her flowers. There wasn't much specifically to moms, but it was fine and could have been worse.

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I will say it’s actually pretty common to only hear the gripes from customers. Which is sad. I do try to leave good reviews online for the places I really like. To even out all the gripes. 

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I always get especially sad for Teri because I feel like she has so much potential as a person. She had it in her to be a wonderful mother and a great human. I see glimpses of it all the time. So many moms corners are “almost” there. Like she has some great points and then completely loses it. Her depression and being forced to have so many kids really hurt her motherhood. However, she really does love her kids and could have been great.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This month's Mom's Corner is called Give Your Family a Stress-Free Mother  and it's from December 6, 2022.

First Section:

Quote

While most of us love the Christmas season, sometimes the activities and things to be done weigh our mama-hearts down. Stress rises, and instead of a joyful season of worshipping Christ, we become frazzled  women running to and fro, impatient, and frustrated. How can we take the stress out of the Christmas season?

This is true for many people; however, the Maxwells aren't people I would ask about minimizing stress. We'll see.

Second Section:

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REST IN THE LORD

Perhaps the greatest stress reliever is to remember the words of Christ Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). For Jesus to give us rest, we must spend time with Him. During the weeks before Christmas, are we truly coming to Him? Are we continuing in our daily time to worship Him through reading His Word and praying? Are we casting our cares on Him? “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). 2. 

Finding quiet time is a good idea during the Holidays. I suppose if you're religious, reading the bible, praying, and meditating on Christianity is a good idea. 

Third Section:

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WRITE IT DOWN

Write down what you will be doing and want to do during the Christmas season. Often stress overwhelms us when our minds are trying to track, manage, remember, and juggle all that needs to be done. Computers crash when they overload their memory, and so do we. When you free up space in your mind by writing it down, there is relief. It is all in a safe place to be retrieved and referred to as needed.

Keep a to-do list. This is good advice, but most people are overwhelmed by the length of their to-do list.

Fourth Section:

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ELIMINATE

The third thing you can do to relieve holiday stress is to eliminate. Once you have that list, determine if there are activities or duties that are no longer your priority. Just because you have always done it, doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it.

This is a good idea although Christmas can still be a lot even if you eliminate things. Especially for busy homeschooling moms with young families.

Quote

What Christmas activities draw your heart to Jesus? Which ones share Him with others? Which ones teach your children to love, teach them that it is better to give than to receive, or teach them to worship Him? Have criteria in mind to help you determine what your Christmas time usage priorities should be.

Having a goal or criteria will help you decide what to keep. I would keep the activities that spark joy--- regardless of religion.

Quote

I would rather have a peaceful heart and do half as many Christ-related traditions and activities than to do the full measure of them feeling and acting stressed. 

How many Christ-related Christmas traditions are there? I can think four at most--- read the bible, go to church, set up the creche, and say grace at the Christmas table. Most of those are relatively short and aren't the main stressors of Christmas. What else are they doing?

Fifth Section: 

Quote

 

PLAN

Next take the prioritized list of Christmas activities and duties, and for complex tasks, write out needed steps to accomplish them. Now they are easier to achieve. With your available time, look at the lists and choose what you will tackle during that particular time frame.

Yes, having a plan can reduce stress. However most people make plans for Christmas and are still stressed.

Sixth Section: 6A

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You can have the best-prioritized list of Christmas activities, but if you don’t allocate the time to do them, you I will probably feel stressed. 

There are some noticeable errors. The random "2." above and "you I will" here.

Quote

Try taking one hour per day in the month of December for Christmas preparations—a specific hour that you know you can consistently be committed to keeping. If you are a homeschool mom, you could shorten your school day by one hour for the month of December. Likely you will be quite pleasantly surprised with the progress you make on things like Christmas cards, online gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and make-ahead baking in just that one hour.

 I don't know if busy mothers with large families and small kids have a dedicated hour each day. It's also harder for working moms.

6B

Quote

As you get closer to Christmas, you will know what one hour a day has done for you and increase or decrease the time according to where you are in relation to what remains of your goals.

Again I don't know if parents have more time if they're not meeting the goals, and that is the problem with setting goals is that it can be stressful if you're struggling to meet them.

6C:

Quote

I doubt that you like to feel stressed, or like the person you become when you are stressed. This Christmas season will you choose to give your family the gift of a stress-free mama?

😠 Shaming people for feeling stressed doesn't actually lower their stress. Not cool, Teri.

What would actually most "busy moms" who are their target audience is delegating responsibilities and asking others for help. It says a lot about the Maxwells that asking for help isn't an option.

I hope Steve writes an similar advice column for dads as the end of this column seems a little condescending towards women. I also hope that Steve then takes his own advice.

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I know exactly how to keep from getting "stressed out" over Christmas...I don't do a damn thing. Amazon handles my gifting needs, grocery pick up if I need to go shopping (probably not since I just did a major Sam's haul), and beyond that, I don't do a damn thing. No tree, no decorations, no nothing. I quit doing that shit over 10 years ago. I quit doing the xmas card shit maybe 20 years ago. 

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On 11/18/2022 at 7:29 PM, ElizaB said:

I always get especially sad for Teri because I feel like she has so much potential as a person. She had it in her to be a wonderful mother and a great human. I see glimpses of it all the time.

This is why it's so wonderful that Teri is attending an actual church and has a role to play there, gets to interact with other humans and maybe is getting some sense of herself from having a few minutes away from Steve's direct and extremely close supervision 24/7. 

She surely auto corrects based on how she's internalized Steve's oppressive beliefs over the years, yet she gets direct positive feedback from fellow congregants and that's a crack of bright light in her world. 

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I wonder if Teri continued the tradition of making a couple dozen poppyseed loaves  and gifting them to neighbors and friends? The family did that each Christmas and passed out the loaves when they stopped by houses and sang songs.    Without the girls helping with the (easy) baking project, I’ll bet she bailed.  Life must be so very different for Steve and Teri living alone without others in that big house now - wonder if they are enjoying it or are feeling lonely?  Teri could volunteer a lot with church and community agencies. Steve doesn’t seem like someone who would enjoy volunteering in the community.

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26 minutes ago, Hellothere said:

 Teri could volunteer a lot with church and community agencies. Steve doesn’t seem like someone who would enjoy volunteering in the community.

It seems that Steve is becoming...what's that favorite Fundie accusation?  Oh, right. Bitter. 

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1 hour ago, Hellothere said:

Steve doesn’t seem like someone who would enjoy volunteering in the community.

Nope. Heʻs exceedingly selfish and he probably holds everyone else in contempt for not following his oh-so-godly example.

You wonder what their neighbors -- erstwhile recipients of the poppyseed loaves -- make of what has gone down chez Maxwell. 

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