Butterfly Reborn

By, Lilly Maxwell, Guest Writer

Lilly Maxwell

©Lilly Maxwell

Love tore me up inside,
How it lied and broke my heart.
Then I met him and he smiled,
He said hi and made me sigh.

Something was different,
Love has been gone so long.
He asked me, “If I could be his?”
Of course, “I said yes!”

He hugged me and warmed my heart,
He kissed me and it lingered on my lips.
I’m his special girl and he is my love,
We are all one of a kind now!

©2016, Lily Maxwell

Little Sis…

My Twin and I

Matthew and Charity are fraternal twins, which were born to proud parents Joshua and Melody Wishman on Sept 17th. The gleaming parents were only expecting one child, but eight minutes after Matthew was born. The doctor announced that she was having another baby, which was a beautiful baby girl. Both parents were doubly surprised at the second child’s birth, because they only planned for one child. The proud grandparents seen the babies and offered to go buy what the couple needed for the surprise delivery.

They share everything as they grew up, but sometimes they argued a lot and fought over things they didn’t want to share. As they grew into young children, both of the twins began trying to create their own identity. For years the parents heard the twins squabbling about not wanting to share a birthday anymore.  So, their parents let Matthew have the actual birthday and Charity got to pick her own date. She chose Oct. 28th , and finally the twins stopped squabbling about sharing birthdays and became best of friends.

Charity was about five years old when she began collecting rocks and animals of all kinds, even the slimy yet icky ones. Her mom cringes every time she brings a new animal that she has found. When she was twelve years old, Charity had caught non-venomous snakes and different types of lizards. Matthew thought his sister was also weird, because she is always catching some kind of wild animal every day…even bugs!

Matthew didn’t say anything, but he knew she was the coolest little sister that anyone could have. He was surprised that she started began researching the animals around her area at seven years old, in order to learn more about the wildlife that she enjoys catching. Matthew was shocked when she began explaining that some wildlife was called venomous and some are called non-venomous animals.

Charity had no fear of wildlife, which privately Matthew and his parents worried about her getting bitten by a venomous animal. She told Matthew that when she gets older that she will work with wildlife. Matthew gave Charity a camera for her 14th , birthday, so she can take pictures of the wildlife instead of catching them. However, she still caught animals and photographed them and then brought them home anyway.

Today, she came in will a huge bullfrog and she began begging her mom, “Can I keep it?”

Her mother said, “No, the bullfrog has a family that misses him, just as I would miss you if you just disappeared. So, take him back to where you found him, so he can find his family and you come back right away for supper.”

Charity nods and returns the bullfrog to his home at the pond, where she found him at. At first the frog, just sat there and seemed shocked to Charity. She picked him up and hugged him to say goodbye to her bullfrog. Immediately, he jumped out her arms and she left a few tears out, as she watched him disappear. She heard someone walking up behind her and she wiped her tears away and turned to see Matthew.

“I’m sorry Sis. I know that…” Matthew said.

Charity cut him off, “You are not sorry, because you hate the things I catch.”

“What? I don’t like what you catch, but I do think it is awesome that you are brave enough to catch whatever animals you find. I bought you the camera, so you can take pictures to remember all the animal friends you have met. Plus, you’re my best friend and I don’t like when you are sad for any reason.” Matthew explained.

“Really…I didn’t know you felt that way. By the way, your only eight minutes older than me.” Charity replied.

They hugged and began heading home, but all of a sudden Charity bolts to the bushes next to the pond. She pops out of the bushes with a turtle and she gave her brother an extensive education about the turtle she was holding. He giggled to himself, because she looked so excited while talking about the turtle. However, her mood changed when she put the turtle back in the bushes.

“You really should find a way to work with wildlife, because you obviously know a lot about all types of nature’s animals. You light up when you are talking about wildlife and how they live, what they eat, and other neat facts about the animals.” Matthew said.

“Maybe, I could volunteer at the local zoo?” Charity answered.

They headed home and washed up for supper, yet Charity was so excited for some reason, but her mom had no idea what she was excited about. They settled down to supper and finally their mom had to inquire about the secret between Matthew and Charity.

She asked both of them, “What is the secret that you two have.… Spill it?”

“I want to volunteer somewhere where I can work with wildlife.” Charity declared.

Well, if you stop bringing your friends home, I will help you find a good place for you to be a volunteer.”

“Deal….Thanks mom!” Charity agreed.

Later, Matthew search on the internet for different places, which can volunteer at and he wrote their information down. Charity was surprised when he handed her the list of wildlife sanctuary’s to call tomorrow.

“Thanks…I am surprised you did this for me.”Charity said.

“I will do anything for my courageous, yet weird little sister!” Matthew replied.

©2008, Crystal S. Kauffman

Frog Fish


frog fish

The sun has only been up for about two hours that Saturday morning, when the two brothers  seen their mom DJ getting ready to leave. She called out to the boys, “Are you two ready yet? I have to go pick up my friend CJ today.”

“Not yet, can we go fishing in lake behind our house?” Jordan asked.

“Can we stay home, please? I am old enough now! Aiden responded.

“I won’t be back for an hour, because I have several errands to run today.”

“Please, we won’t get into trouble. If Uncle Lee was here, we would be fishing already.” Aiden said.

Aiden was mad and decided to stomp away towards him room grumbling and gently closed the door. He knew his mom would lecture him about slamming doors. He hated disappointing his mom, because she is everything to him. With his dad gone away, he was all the boys had to lean on. He trusted her and she was his entire life. Uncle Lee was one of their mom’s three older brothers. The boys enjoyed going to different places with him and he enjoys their time together too. He loves spending time those boys, as if they are his very own children. His fiance loves spending time with the boys as well. He has a bubbly, sweet attitude, large build, short, dark brown wavy hair and brown eyes.

“I know….However, he is working in Orlando, FL., but I am sure that he would rather be fishing too.” DJ said.

“I wish he was here.” Jordan stated.

“The roommate Ann will watch you until I return. I will think about whether you may go fishing or not…when I get back.”

The boys waited till their mom left and they both sat down together to devise a plan on how they could convince their mother to agree. They talked about singing a song for her, drawing a Gator or Jaguar’s picture. She is a sports fanatic and she is proud of it, both kids couldn’t decide on what to do. They decided to flip a coin but just as the coin hit the ground. Jordan realizes neither one of the boys had finished anything yet.

So, they both agreed to help each other complete their chores, while waiting for their mom to return home. They both took off in different directions and the only sound being heard was things being put away. First, the boys began cleaning up their room and cleaning up their bathroom, while their mom left to pick up her friend and run the errands. The roommate woke up and walked out to the kitchen, but it was silent except for a crash in the boy’s room. She fixed herself a large cup of coffee and then went to check on the boys. Unfortunately, the Ann thought she would have to break up a fight between the boys; instead she was surprised at how well they were getting along and quickly cleaning up their room together. She sat at the kitchen and drank her coffee, while the boys finished up their chores.

Both boys finished putting their clothes away, cleaning up the bedside table, and organizing their closets. Then, they each checked under the bed for stray toys or clothes, because they knew their mom would check there first. Next, they both helped each other gather up their dirty clothes around the house and carried the hampers into the laundry room. The boys split up the trash duties, Aiden changed the trash bags in each room and Jordan took the trash out to the big trash can outside. Both of the boys both pulled the big trash can to the curb, since trash pick-up day is tomorrow anyway. As they were walking back from the curb, they noticed their mother’s truck turning on to their street. The boys eagerly helped their mother unload the minivan and also helped their mom put away the groceries. Each one waited patiently for DJ to notice what the boys had done for her, but she was distracted and talking to CJ.

The handsome boys faces were beaming and they literally looked like they were going to explode any minute. They didn’t say it out loud, but they were proud of themselves for working together without fussing with each other. Hopefully, soon they both will be laid back on the lake bed trying to catch fish and having fun together.

“What are you two up too? DJ said.”

“We have something to show you.” Aiden responded.

“Close your eyes!” Jordan said calmly as he guided his mom throughout the house. Their mom waited until they gave her permission to open her eyes. She was immediately was surprised, even was amazed when she looked under the bed. They brought her to the bathroom and everything was in its place, plus everything was clean even the toilet. They explained that they had clean the whole house, while she was gone to run errands and pick up her friend.

“Wow” She thought to herself.

“I am proud of you both!”She declared.

Both boys said, “Thank you…mom.”

You both did a job and Ann said you worked together, instead of arguing amongst yourselves. So, yes you both can go fishing, but take my cell phone with you. This way, you can contact if  needed and check in every hour. Be careful at the lake and watch over each other. Follow Uncle Lee’s rules and go have fun.

“I will come get you immediately and you will never go by yourselves again!” DJ said.

The boys loved going fishing with their uncle Lee every Saturday, but he is out of town this weekend. Therefore, the boys both decided to gather up their lunch and fishing gear, so they can go catch some fish for their mom. They both were carrying their homemade bamboo fishing poles, their tackle box, a rusty old bucket, as well as medium sized fishing net. Generally, the boys and Uncle Lee had to walk about four blocks on a winding trail, in order to get to the lake. Both of the boys finally reached the nature trail, which will lead them to their fishing paradise.

Unfortunately, the boys were getting tired of walking throughout the winding nature trail, while carrying the supplies. Jordan and Aiden were playing at Tatterhill’s Lake within the hour and the boys were getting excited. After reaching the lake, both boys found their favorite shady spot and they both set their gear down, however they both wished their Uncle Lee was there with them. Fishing was fun with Uncle Lee, especially when they stayed out on the lake all day and caught many types of fish. Thankfully, they each remembered what their uncle Lee had taught them whenever they went fishing together. Additionally, Jordan wrote down the instructions the night before, just in case Aiden forgot them. The south side of the lake’s bank looked more like a small beach, instead of the rugged terrain and dangerously high cliffs that lined the north side of the lake. Finally, they were ready to fish, so Jordan helped Aiden put a worm or bait his fishing pole and then turned to bait his own.

Jordan was older but only by two-and-half years, yet he was very protective of Aiden, whenever they went fishing together with or without Uncle Lee. Both boys had bright yet shining blonde hair, which made their sea green eyes stand out as one their most prominent features. Luckily, Jordan was turning ten in a few days, but he felt as if he was becoming a teenager. They boys stepped into the lake together before casting their poles into the lake, until the water came up to their knees. Each one casted their fishing poles into the lake and began talking about the last time they had been there with Uncle Lee. They both laughed as Jordan described the look on Uncle Lee’s face when he had caught an old boot, which their uncle thought was a big fish. Suddenly, Aiden’s line snagged, but Jordan pulled his pole out of the water and helped his brother. They began bragging about how big the fish was going to be, but it took both of their strength to pull the fish in. Finally, as the fish got closer to them, Jordan grabbed Aiden’s fishing net and in one swoop he caught the fish.

They weren’t sure what kind of fish it was, but it was a big one by anyone’s standards and it wasn’t an old boot. The boys put the fish in Jordan’s bucket and decided it was time to head home, so they called to check in and let their mom know all about their big catch. On the way home, Aiden spotted a small ditch and it had a lot of tiny fish in it, so he scooped up as many as he could. He showed Jordan the tiny fish and they both decided that they wanted to keep them. After getting home, Jordan took the fish they caught to his mother and Aiden went to the garage to get the ten gallon aquarium. Both boys worked together and cleaned out the aquarium, before dumping the little fish in it. Once they were done, they both begged their mom to come look at the little fish they had found.

“Can we keep them?” Aiden begged.

“Yes, you can keep them, but you both are responsible for them.”

Aiden realized that after about a week, the fish the boys had caught were growing legs. He went to school and came back and the fish hadn’t grown anymore yet. Aiden had caught about maybe 20 fish, but about 15 had survived so far. Additionally, Aiden stopped by the ditch everyday to get more water, but one in a while he would catch the fish with legs. Another week passed and one home Aiden came home with water from the ditch.

Suddenly, he noticed that his tank was full of frogs and some fish with legs were still swimming around. Aiden screamed for Jordan and his mom. However, they were just as surprised as Aiden, but their mom realized that they had caught some tadpoles.

“I didn’t know they were Frog Fish…Mom.” Aiden said.

“Jordan help Aiden give all of these frogs out of the house. Take the remaining tadpoles that are left and dump the rest back into the ditch.” His mom replied.

The boys did as they were told by their mom, but with every frog Aiden let go…he said, “Good-bye Frog Fish!”


Copyrighted, 2007 Crystal S. Kauffman


Parents Stop Breaking Your Teenager’s Spirit

teen dep. quoteParents stop berating and yelling at your teenager, because you are destroying your child’s self-esteem more harm. Don’t curse at your teenager, instead give the teenager respect and you will find that they will begin to respect you as well. Be clear in your communication when saying yes and no, this way you are not sending mixed signals to your teen. Sometimes, you have to step back as parent, while encouraging your teenager to practice working on their talents and gifts that God gave them.

Let them know that you love them just the way they are and that they do not have change anything. Stop having power struggles with your teenager and you will see a difference in the way that they will respond to you. Don’t call them degrading names or compare them to their father or their mother in a negative way, since this can make the teenager feel worthless. Never say negative things about their mother or father, whether absent or not.

This behavior by parents can cause the teenager to turn to drugs or alcohol abuse. Teenagers with low self-esteem will act out and self-medicate to escape the mental pain that they feel.  Unfortunately, one mistake can cause a landslide of issues like: teen pregnancy, drug use, trouble with the law, and other bad behavior. Don’t expect to see a change in your teenager’s behavior, until you begin to change the way that you respond to them.

Pray for your children and with your teenagers, while speaking blessings and positive things over them. Be sure to take them to a Bible believing church, which will help build the teenager’s character as they grow into an adult. However, to see a change in your teenager, you must first change yourself and realize that you were once a teenager yourself. Was life hard for you as a teenager and did you have power struggles with your parents as well?

Teenagers can become anyone that they want to become, yet they must work hard to achieve the goals that they have set for themselves. As a parent, you should be a cheerleader and the disciplinarian at the same time. Teenagers need boundaries that they can follow and they need immediate consequences whenever they step out of line. Therefore, take this time to change the way that you respond to your teenager’s achievements and misbehaviors.



Good Parenting Can Lead Teenagers to Make Positive Choices

My teenagers!

My teenagers!

 As a mother of two teenagers, I have learned that you should never berate or speak down to your children or teenagers. Instead, I encouraged both of my teenagers to strive for anything they wanted to do. My daughter and my son lived with their father and step-mom for various reasons, one being that they lived in a district with a better school system. My daughter wanted to join the Chorus and Color Guard, once she entered high school.

So, every weekend I proudly watched her practice spinning her flag, until she got her dance and spinning routine perfect. Additionally, I was blessed to her angelic voice as she sang her heart out to songs that she liked on the radio or computer. I reminded her every day how proud I was of her for chasing her dreams and making them a reality. However, her dreams came at a cost for me, because I didn’t get to see her as much throughout the school year.

We talked on the phone a lot, because I knew she was busy with school and trying to balance her new lifestyle out. My daughter just turned eighteen and has made good choices throughout her entire life. Now, she has a new job and a new apartment, which she shares with a wonderful roommate. My daughter and her boyfriend of a year have made the decision to wait for marriage to have sex, which made me so proud.

Recently, my teenage son just turned fifteen and he moved out of state with his father and step-mother. We stay in touch through texting, Skype, Facebook, and calling each other every night. We have special sign language, which we use on Skype to say that we love each other. Tonight, he surprised me by telling me that he was applying for a job, after he comes to visit me and other family members for Christmas and the New Year.

I encouraged him to apply for the job and to do the best job he can, yet I know I won’t be able to talk to him as much. He will be juggling family, school, homework, and his new job….If he is hired. I understand this, so I have chosen to make the most of every moment that I get to spend with him. My son is very respectful to me and he has always made good choices throughout his life as well.

My children were raised in church with their father and with me, which helped us guide them spiritually. Neither child has spoken a harsh word against me or their father, during their lifetime. Furthermore, they have never disrespected their step-parents, plus they love and adore both of their step-parents. Therefore, I feel each parent has made good choices, which has allowed our teenagers to make good choices for their own futures.