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I have to admit that I was completely shocked while reading this book. Growing up I was either in homeschool or a small private school and never experienced bullies. I began to wonder if I had ever bullied another child, but honestly I can’t think of a time…well except for my younger sister.

As I read this book I couldn’t put it down. The way this poor girl was treated is unbelievable. I wondered as I read chapter after chapter how many other children, in America, have had to endure this type of torture. What amazes me is how we are all so shocked when a kid brings a gun or knife to school. Now I wonder if many times the real reason for the weapons is for protection. The saddest thing to me is this happened to Jodee quite a few years back. How many other children have to put up with this garbage before something is done?

If we look at corporate America there really isn’t that much difference in how Jodee was treated and how our co-workers are treated. It’s all about stepping on the smaller guy to move on up the ladder. How pathetic!

My son will be going to a secular school this year, and I must admit after reading this book I have had second thoughts. The way Jodee’s parents responded is probably exactly how I would have responded. We want our children to take a stand and be leaders, but at what expense…their dignity…their life? I cannot imagine having to return to school day after day, month after month, and year after year being treated like an old tin can we kick around for fun. Actually, Jodee was treated far worse than that.

Two of my favorite quotes in the book were:

When you’re a victim of any kind of abuse, you can do one of two things. You can learn how to turn your pain into purpose and make a difference in the world, or you can allow it to extinguish the light inside you. If you permit the latter, you are sacrificing far more than your childhood to the cruel gods of popularity. Pg213

People tend to consider being vulnerable a bad thing. It’s not. Vulnerability reminds us that we’re human. It keeps us open to giving and receiving love. Without at least a little, we can become what Dave is trying so hard to be-someone living in a prison of our own making, where the walls are so thick that no one can get in or out. Pg. 248

The only thing that bothered me about the book was the language. There are quite a few four letter words that I don’t particularly care for or use.

I feel that having read this book I have a desire to be more aware of the underdog. To keep my eyes open for bullies seeking their prey. If I can somehow keep another human from hurting I will do what I can to help.

I received a copy of “Please Stop Laughing at Me…One Woman’s Inspiration Story” from Booksneeze.com

Ever have one of those days where you just can’t get to "happy"? Today was one of those days for me. It actually started out fine. We had a wonderful weekend getting things done around the house Friday and Saturday. Sunday we were able to go and visit family. Then during the night last night my pain level was quite high. I took some pain meds around 4 in the morning, and finally fell asleep around 8. Thankfully Jesse got up with the baby so I was able to get a couple hours of sleep.

The morning went smooth enough. I was able to get 4 loads of laundry out on the line and get the kitchen cleaned up, and write the first chapter of a book idea I have. Then Phebe’s sleep walking began. We just got a new disc for the recorder so I decided to record what she does. This went on for quite some time. She finally woke up and was able to go lie down and rest for a bit.

It was after all of this that I started to become angry. I just grew tired of having to unlock and lock doors ALL day long. All of my doors now require keys to use them. I HATE IT! Jesse and I are the only ones with keys so every two minutes my son Abner is asking for a key to get through a door. When I worked at the prison that was one of the things I hated the most…keys locking and unlocking EVERYTHING. Now I live my life like that. It’s not just 8 hours a day, but 24. I wanted to scream, but figured that wouldn’t go over too well with the rest of the household. I wanted to be alone, but there was no place to go. “Mom, can you?” “Babe, will you?” “Momma, may I?” “Mrs. Olson, won’t you?” I tell myself that someday I’ll miss it, but today wasn’t one of those days.

Tonight the baby was sleeping, Abner was in bed, Jesse was in the shower, and Phebe was supposed to be in bed. I’m thinking that I may actually have a couple minutes to myself. Yes, I have to finish up the dishes, clean the living room, and take care of the cookies I baked, but still…I was “alone”. Then I hear Phebe ask if we can pray together. Usually I go to her room every night and we talk about our day, and then I pray with her. However, tonight I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT!!! I was hoping she would forget. No such luck! So I asked her if we could talk about our day while I cleaned. She smiled and said that was what she was thinking I should do.

The best part of her day was the little horse statue that Abner gave her, and the worst part of her day was the neighbor mowing his lawn all afternoon making her migraine worse. I told her the best part of my day was getting all the laundry caught up, and the worst was not being able to be alone. She asked if that’s why I was slamming everything around the kitchen. Oops! This didn’t cause me to change my ways. I then suggested that she try to pray tonight since I’m the one who usually does that part. She giggled in her little girl way and said she would try but she really didn’t know how to do it. I told her to talk to God just like she talks to me.

This was her prayer:

“God, (Mom, is that right? I nodded) God, thank you for the sunshine today. Thank you for my mom. Thank you for all three of my brothers. Thank you for my dad. Please put your protector angels around Asher as he sleeps and please help him to sleep good (giggle giggle “Mom, Asher ALWAYS sleeps good, doesn’t he? I nodded) Please put your protector angels around Abner and Mom and Dad and me…just my whole family. Thank you for my family. (Mom, how do I stop?) Oh, in Your name, Amen.”

With tears in my eyes, I told her I needed to change my favorite part of my day. She said I could. I told her it was her prayer. Her eyes got all big. “Really mom?” She smiled and skipped off to her room happy as a lark. I didn’t skip, but my attitude was so much better. I finally made it to "happy".

Outside my window…is chicken cooking on the grill.

I am thinking…that my children are growing too quickly.

I am thankful...that Phebe is doing better every day.

From the kitchen...is grilled chicken and zucchini, broccoli from the garden, red skinned potatoes, ruhbarb crumble, and blueberry pie.

I am wearing...a skirt I recently realized that I always wear pants. I thought I would wear a skirt for a change. I feel weird.

I am remembering...what it was like when Phebe could at least help with doing dishes.

I am going...to get groceries after the baby goes to bed.

I am praying…for someone I should have been praying for for all along.

On my mind…is how quickly time flies the older I get.

I am hearing...Abner play basketball in the driveway, and the potatoes boiling on the stove.

Around the house...are toys in nooks and crannie…placed there by little Asher boy.

Noticing that….the days are getting shorter.

Pondering these words…Love thy neighbor as thyself.

One of my favorite things...is sleeping.

A picture thought…here are some pictures Phebe took before she regressed.

Some decorations in her bedroom.

Asher and me enjoying the beautifull weather.

Flowers in our yard.