Farm Life

The No Talk Clause: Advice I Promised I’d Give My Older Self

It's a rainy April Friday. I love rainy days, but they don't really like me. However, the storms aren't up to playing with my head this time around, and I'm okay with that. It's given me time to think while I catch up on laundry, dirty dishes, and this thing I need to share with my friends and fellow parents. It's called: The No Talk CIause.

I was a pretty good teenager back in the day. Some of my friends might even say I was a goody two shoes, but I would have to say to that, "Do you remember who my Daddy is?" I feared my Daddy, but I respected him more. Him and my Momma. I was raised up right; to love one another, to be kind to one another, and to respect one another, especially my elders. It worked well for me. Made sense to me. I abided by the rules...or else. And I wasn't much on finding out what "or else" meant. Except that one night when my timing was a little off, and I arrived home slightly later than expected. I was really good at learning from my mistakes. Needless to say, I never did that again.

When I became a Momma it was by instinct that I would raise my children to love, be kind, and respect others. Early on, Stan and I worked together as a team to enforce and reinforce these expectations for our kids. We learned through trial and error, how important it is to have positive consequences, and not just consequences for negative behavior. We learned the importance of knowing your kid's love language and honing in on what filled his or her love tank.

When our kids were still below our waistline, and not the taller versions of pre-teen and teens they are today, this idea came to mind. As I was watching them play, I began picturing them as teenagers and what might raising them at that age would look like. I made eye contact with Stan and with a heavy breath said, "They won't stay like this forever. And tell me what you think about this."

I proceeded with something like this: "When our kids are old enough to drive and go and do things with their friends, I think we need to have something in place for if they ever find themselves in a bind. Hypothetically, if [for whatever reason] any of our kids find themselves in a situation they need to get out of, then they should be able to call us [their parents] and say, 'This is a No Questions Asked situation. This is my location, and I need you to come get me.' And, we would do just that: pick them up, get them home to their safe and familiar surroundings, make sure they're ok, and let them rest.

But...

as soon as the morning breaks and the coffee is poured, we shall begin The Conversation. By waiting to have The Conversation, this allows for emotions to subside even moreso, because we know better than to give them a voice. Why? Because emotions can't be trusted! They are either too high or too low in intense situations. Therefore, it's better to rest on it for a bit and then chat about the events from the night before. We're not saying we won't talk about what happened, we are saying let's give our kids a 'lifeline' to use when they see no other way out of a sticky situation. Let's get them home and rested in order to discuss what happened and what, if any, negative consequences need to be enforced. Let's give us [all] time to stop and think and be choosy with our words. So, what do you think Stan?"

He liked it. Actually, he liked it a lot! We fussed and discussed some more about it and called it the "No Talk Clause". It's simply just a section from our "parenting rule book," a provision set in place and set aside to be used as needed. Of course, our hope as parents is that our kids never find themselves in a situation gone bad, but we were teenagers too once upon a time. We get it. Life happens. It doesn't necessarily mean that we were the ones that created the situation, but somehow, someway, we became apart of it and well, now what do I do? This is why the No Talk Clause was created and what it's purposed for.

Stan and I have shared this with a few of our friends and we wanted to share it with you. The parent who needs a No Talk Clause established in their home for your purposes. Since our talk so many years ago, we decided that this could be established earlier, that they didn't necessarily have to be teenagers in order to use it. And, there is no limit on how many times you use it. 

As of today, the No Talk Clause hasn't been "needed", yet, but we have several more years of parenting ahead of us. What has been great in sharing this with our kids is learning about ways they think they might need to use it. That has been very enlightening and the reason we decided to tell them about it early on.

I hope this helps you, parents! We're all trying to do our best at this thing called Life and especially when it comes to Parenting. Let's help build one another up and share our best insights!

Now time for another cup of coffee and At Home in Mitford.

Still learning. Still growing. 

Cassie

To the Dreamers...

When I was a little girl, I remember taking walks in the woods around my parents land and dream about the university I would some day attend, the kind of man I would marry, the momma I would become, the home I would live in...I was young and I was a DREAMER!

Indeed, I enrolled in the university my heart longed to attend, OBU. I married the man of my dreams, I became, and still am becoming, the momma I want to be for my kids, and am blessed abundantly with a beautiful home nestled between the most amazing sunrises and sunsets. Yet, somewhere in the middle of it all, I stopped dreaming.

I let life consume my everyday thoughts. I let other things become more important than myself and even my marriage at one point. Life wasn't horrible, well maybe a few places here and there, but for the most part, it was ok. I learned I'm not one to live with the "just ok" mentality. I lost that "dreamer" in me I once was.

Until...

One day a friend of mine introduced me to something called a Dream Board! She asked me what I dreamed about, and honestly, I could not answer her question. Little did she know the dreamer I once was, and she suggested I start dreaming of things I'd like to do. Oh my good gracious! The hair on my neck stood up, I got the goosies on my arms and something snapped in me.


Visions/Dreams written down - January 2013

I couldn't grab the magazines fast enough and crop pictures of places I'd like to visit, debt I wanted to get rid of, and mission trips I desired to serve on! I sat in the family room with my husband and close friend and together we wrote down our dreams...one of mine was and I quote, "To have a literacy center in a foreign country! Why not all 7 continents? Well, it may not work out so well in Antarctica." I laughed about it, but there was a seriousness to it. I'll never forget that night!

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Within the first year of what I referred to now as my "Vision Board", my husband and I paid off $20,000+ in unnecessary debt, we sunbathed on the beaches of Florida for 3 years straight, and journeyed to Guatemala for our first mission trip.

Guatemala - July 2014

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So many great things came from that trip. New friends. Another trip to Guatemala. A fair trade business established. And now another mission trip in the books. This time across the world! I was given an opportunity to work with teachers and students in an English center half-way across the world, Kyrgyzstan! All I can do is look up at the heavens and know, "GOD!" He is in complete control of it all.

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Dubai - 2015

One dream I've never written down nor placed a picture of on my vision board was the chance to visit the beautiful city of Dubai. I'd watched documentaries of it, yet never thought in a million years I would ever see it with my own eyes. That mission trip made a pitstop to the immaculate city where I'd actually walk the sandy beaches of Dubai! The desire had always been in my heart, but I never envisioned it for myself.

 Yes, I took this picture. ;)

Yes, I took this picture. ;)

To the dreamers I say this, Keep Dreaming! Do not stop pursuing the passions of your soul! Even when you fail or things don't turn out the way you imagined or planned, you CAN NOT let the enemy defeat you in this. For it is the very things, your failures and shortcomings, that are the stepping stones, the foundations of your dreams.

I will be used!

God-willing, I will not only touch the lives of hundreds or thousands, but of millions, dare I say billions.

I'm a dreamer, why not!

Still learning. Still growing. 

The Potholes Got Me to Thinking

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On the way home from church yesterday, we swerved to miss pothole after pothole, washed-out road just to hit, yet again, another pothole. A flood of thoughts came racing through my mind. I couldn't help but think over the last 5 to 6 years the many dips and swerves I've encountered in life...

The hurdles, the hardships, the tears, the righteous anger, hours listening to wise counsel, the brokenness, the roadblocks, the silence, the lostness, the red flags, new boundaries, and new territories I would travel, physically and proverbially. Friendships lost, betrayal, fingers pointed, the judgment, the calculated hour upon hour of what seemed like endless nights of study. The fears and insecurities building up, doors closed, new chapters revealed...


Then eventually came.

The forgiveness, layers of insecurities, doubt, fear, bad attitude, & a self-righteous confidence peeled away like an onion. New friendships made and even some old ones restored. Sufficient grace, undeserved love, support from family and friends, a seed planted for missions. Weights being lifted, a renewed confidence building, new life chapters scripted.

Bam! Another pothole hit. My thoughts continued.

If my life were perfect, I would never long to meet my Maker. Not to say that we are not to care for, make right our wrongs, or count the blessings of the things we have. But rather to know there is something Greater than what we could ever fathom or imagine beyond this Earth and blessing to count up until then.


What about you? You may be going through a valley at this very moment and finding the blessings in it may be unbelievable, incomprehensible. But if anything, it gives you something to think about other than your current circumstance(s). You might be even angry with me for putting the thought in your mind. That's ok. You can't hurt my feelings when I speak of truth, I myself, have walked and lived out the hurt only to see the other side.

And if you are on the hilltop, be thankful you have made it through the valley. Give glory where glory is due. For we are only here for a short time. (James 4:14)

I still have much to learn. I am a work in progress, a beautiful mess. Life is not perfect. Only ONE walked a perfect life.

Still learning. Still growing.

Meet the Shelton's

Hey ya'll!

Welcome to our Crazy Farm Life.

Coming to you from a plot of land in the SE pocket of Oklahoma where life isn't always so perfect, rather, perfectly imperfect. I’m Cassie, deliciously married to Stan-my-man Shelton. We went to high school together, but didn't really "know or meet" one another until our university years at OBU. Go figure!  As my late Nanny boastfully once said, "Your parents send you off to that expensive school, and you come back with a "home-boy!?" except I left out a few choice expletives she would have thrown in there. Ha! In the end, everyone fell in-love with Stan as did I.

And this is our herd.

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I'm Cassie. Author of Crazy Farm Life, also known as Momma C, and a former classroom teacher turned literacy coach. Currently teaching reading at the Oklahoma School for the Blind, I have completed the challenge of learning Braille. Yea! 

The hubs is retired from the family’s 3rd generation grocery store, better known as "Shelton’s Supermarket". It was a good 75+ year run. He enjoys a change of pace at one of the local banks in town. [I have to admit, I do too!]


Meet the Shenanigans. Don't let those precious faces fool you. No, deep inside, they know how to crack the house WiFi passcode that they've already been told they couldn't have because they suck it dry within 2.5 hours whilst smiling ever-so-preciously hiding the last piece of chocolate in the house and watching their Momma go instantaneously crazy in 2.5 seconds trying to find it. #imnotbitter :/ #ijustgeteven 

Caedon - [the child who's name I shall not mention, but am going to anyway] loves basketball, OKC Thunder, pestering his sisters, and his new interest-g.i.r.l.s. Obviously, I was just the oven on this one. He's "ALL DAD"! Handsome little toot! Just wait until you see his baby pics. ;) #wewonttellhimshhhhhh

Sydney - aka the Animal Whisperer, lover of anything with 4 legs [less or more], thinks outside the box, and sees the world in a whole new light, and tbh, probably in the brightest of colors. This totally right-brained and super-creative, Syd has a beautiful voice, wit like her father, and a fierce desire to help others. This girl loves BIG! Don't believe her, ask one of her 7 cats. #theseeyesdontlie

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Channing - Lego lover and teacher of all her stuffed animals. This girl knows her Math, makes clothes for her dolls, and interestingly enough, becomes half-mermaid during swimming season. Chan Chan is so incredibly independent, and I #LOVE that about her! She marches to her own drum. In fact, we're already discussing where she'll go abroad to study her favorite topic - "Fashion." #channingbenae #thenamesaysitall

I can't end with introducing our friends. Meet Mitch and Amanda Muñoz:

In 2014 Stan and I partnered with our newly made friends serving in Guatemala to help form a fair trade company called The Thrive Collective. If you value good quality, beautifully handmade products that help others to "thrive" and want learn more about this story, take 2 or 5 or 30 minutes over at The Thrive Collective. #purchasewithpurpose

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We live one day at a time, thankful for the blessings along the way, and expect nothing but the EXTRAordinary.

I heard the following quote a few years ago and it's stuck with me ever since. It reminds me that we all have a space here. An important space to inspire and to be inspired. To keep dreaming for the impossible to see the light of fruition. It goes something like this:

      “Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of, who DO the things that no one can imagine." Alan Turing

And I mustn't close without this passage of scripture that reminds me that no matter my [our] past, it will not have power over my [your] future and that the Lord desires His good for me, for US. To let go of our past is to cling for His HOPE in our future. 

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. - Isaiah 43

I'm so grateful to share this life with you! So grateful you landed here! And so grateful to get to know you more! We have a lot to catch up on...

Still learning. Still growing.