Cute Kid Story:

So today my Lil Guy did not want to finish his breakfast. So I told him to sit in quiet time until he was ready to eat. At which point he was not very happy with me.

Next thing I know, Lil Guy is running out of QT… I follow him to the living room where he has his arm around the cat and is whispering in her ear.
Me: “What are you talking about with the cat?”
LG: “You are not my mom anymore. The cat is my mom now!”
Me: “The cat can’t drive. Who is going to drive you when you want to go some place?”
LG: “MY dad will get me some parts and I will build a special car for the cat to drive.”
So I’m like okay.. let the cat be your mom!

Lil Guy was not too impressed when Cat Mom made “dinner” and served him a bowl of beef liver soft cat food.

Lil Guy did not like that Cat Mom makes him nap all day.

And he certainly did not want to change Cat Mom’s litter box!

So after some careful thought.. my Lil Guy tells me “I want you to be my Mom again.

I’m sorry. I love you Mom.”

Awww.. these are the moments every mom lives for!

~ Lynn Mari, 2015

Toddler creates a memorable Father’s Day Card… Cute Kid Story


When my son first began to babble, his sweet voice made me dance like my favorite song was playing on the radio. I would make silly face or tickle his chubby toes to hear “ba-ba-ba!”

My son spoke his first word at 12 months, my heart melted when his lips smacked together, as he said, “Mhhmm-Mama!” 


My son also has a gift for mimicking sounds – songbirds are a favorite. He can easily hum a tune after a few seconds of listening.


And then there are the things I wish my son did not learn to say… now, as a toddler, his new favorite word is “poop”. He can even spell it: “P-o-o- and then p!” he says proudly. Everything these days is the “P word”. But there is hope — my older son, a teenager, got his little brother a phonics book with flashcards. I have been reading to my toddler every day, and trying to encourage him to find a new favorite word.


My plan was almost working… until Father’s Day rolled around.


I gave my son the Father’s Day card with some crayons and asked him to draw a picture for “Dad”. He was happily scribbling on the card, when I turned my back for a moment. I heard a high pitched giggled and looked to see what he was doing….





Poop was smeared all over the Father’s Day card!





What’s a Mom to do? When a toddler hands you “poop”, grow a garden! I did my best to turn “P-o-o-p” into a flower garden by adding some color and round leaves to the letters… Ssssh! Dad will never know (grin).


— Lynn Mari, © June 2015






I think that the best kind of change, is the change that comes from the inside and begins it’s way out until it emerges on the outside; a change that is born underneath then continues and spreads until it has reached the surface. That’s a true change. A powerful change.

And I have found that while we are emerging, changing into something glorious; it is actually us becoming who we really are.

A water lily is born underneath the water, inside the soil at the bottom of the river or lake. And the water lily has always been a water lily for that whole time that it was sprouting out of the wet soil, reaching up through the dark water towards the sunlight, stretching and grasping for the surface; where it then buds and blooms on the outside in the sunshine. It doesn’t bud and bloom on the surface and then try to reach down below into the soil.
― C. JoyBell C., author

Author Blog C JoyBell C


A hug or an encouraging word is the best remedy for a tough day.

So often we get impatient or irritated when our kids are acting out; sometimes we are just tired..

Somtimes your kids need discipline and sometimes they just need a hug.

Amazing how kindness will also increase patience,

and make it easier to understand others

It all starts with a hug:)

Lynn Mari, © 2013


When my family was homeless, I would tell the kids stories to keep their spirits up.

Since night time was hardest, and they got scared, I told them the last light of the day is the “Perfect Light“.

I told them that the Fairies sleep in the cracks of trees during the day and right before the sun goes down, they wake up, spread their wings & fly all over the world. That beautiful glowing light you see is really hundreds of fairies flying away.. the fairies look over children when they sleep at night and give them good dreams.

My kids remember those stories and to this day, look  for faeries in the trees when the sun is going down.

I took this picture of the wildflower in “the perfect light”.

Lynn Mari, © 2012





With just a few dollars in my purse, and a mountain of bills in my horizon, shopping as a single mom on Black Friday seemed to be a bleak task..but then I was surprised by the gift my Baby really wanted.


Store XYZ  had a “huge” sale on toys, and with my Baby’s birthday coming up plus Christmas, I had to check out the Black Friday deals.. but I was NOT shopping in the traditional way: with rabid frenzy, foaming at the mouth as incremental percentages dropped at the bin a crowd is fighting over, purses battling & claw like hands greedily snatching a bargain that last all of 30 seconds then vanishes, while a metallic voice announces another sale at the other end of the store that has the crowd making a mad dash in the other direction, tipping the store on one end, and tearing everything up in their wake like wild fire..


I was shopping as a single mom, on a very limited income, who just wanted to give my kids something nice for the holidays, to let them know how much I love them–how special they are to me. Almost all of my income goes towards the bills or putting gas in the car; it seemed my family had sacrificed so much throughout the year, and I hoped to give just a little back.


When I went into Store XYZ, the supply of toys was very small. Most were cheap knock offs made in foreign countries, and the dust on the shelves said they had been sitting there for awhile. My heart wrenched to realize that even with the sale, I could not afford these toys! In fact, I would be scraping coins from the bottom of my purse, and loose change from the buckets of vending machines just to get the kids a little gift. Yet I was determined to leave the store with something...


The storm in my thoughts was broken by a surprising ray of sunshine–my Baby. Left to wander the store, the Baby decided to play with an entire box of rubber spiders, snakes, lizards & other creepy crawlies. Next, he found an giant soup kettle–which Baby became enamored with, he loves pots n’ pans. Baby dumped all the rubber critters in the soup kettle then put the lid back on. He smiled with pride. I giggled imaging who would open the kettle & find the realistic bugs & lizards inside..they would probably run out of the store screaming😮


Then Baby found his favorite–spoons. Metal spoons made the best sound when used to bang on objects–he especially loves the ear shattering clang of metal spoons hitting pots n pans. The wooden spoons were also interesting, and you can chew on those! Baby was soo happy with those spoons, his eyes lit up and his chubby hands grabbed tightly onto the handles as he looked for opportunities to bang those spoons against anything his spindly arms could reach. The price wasn’t bad either: $2.50 for 4 metal spoons, and 4 wooden spoons. I had to buy those, and why wait for his birthday, NOW was the perfect time to celebrate!


I did find two inexpensive toys and after spending near $10 I was completely broke, and now digging for change to fill my gas tank. So that was my Non Black Friday Shopping..and the bills are piling up as I type.


What I learned is that if you are spending all your time worrying about how to please your children, or shopping yourself into debt, you may be able to provide a nice material present but you are robbing your child of the energy, and creativity you have to offer.  The time and attention you give to your children is a gift in itself–children are nourished by our love.


There are plenty of ways to give your child an enjoyable holiday even on a tight budget…to discover what makes your child really happy, and to discover the enchantment of their childhood, you don’t need to drive to a store or mall; you need only to get on the child’s level, drop adult assumptions, and play in the context of their world. For me it was rubber creepy crawlies inside a soup kettle. My Baby was absolutely fascinated by that..he enjoyed taking a few moments to play more than he would if I was gone a whole day shopping, and he was strapped inside a cart, told to be quiet, stop wriggling, behave or else.. If you get to take a day off work for Black Friday (which is a blessing in itself–who can afford to take a day off work!?!), it only makes sense to spend that time with your family & to limit the shopping. What makes the holidays meaningful, and what colors our memories is contained within the circle of our friends and family. 

— Lynn Mari, 2012

The first steps to murder are often set in motion by ordinary circumstances  in our daily lives. What is more normal than a man and a woman, total strangers, discovering one another in a restaurant, bar, shopping mall or any other venue where people gather? Most of us have been through similiar circumstances, and have never given the slightest thought to a potentially lethal outcome.” – “Honeymoon with a Killer” by Don Lasseter with Ronald E. Bowers, forward. Pinacle Books: New York, New York. 2009.

This paragraph is so powerful, it reminds me of how easily an ordinary person can be ensnared by an abuser, their life forever changed. That when someone wins your trust, and your heart, it is easy to miss the “red flags”… but have hope, for if you survive, there is always a second chance for a better life.


About “Honeymoon with a Killer”:

Bruce Cleland, by all accounts, was an intelligent, friendly man with everything to live for. He was devoted to his family, and got along with everyone. He was frugal with money, to save for his future–and dreamed of finding a loving wife to spend the rest of his life with. Instead, Bruce was targeted by the narcissistic sociopath Rebecca Salcedo who systematically stole his money, his heart, and then his life by masterminding a brutal murder.

Rebecca never loved Bruce, but after meeting him did a credit check, and once found out he was financially well off, she exploited him for expensive gifts while having sexual relations with multiple partners, and partying at his expense. Rebecca married and killed Bruce for financial gain. Only months after the marriage, her emotionally abusive & erratic behavior caused Bruce to ask for a divorce. When Rebecca realized she would not profit from a divorce, she  faked a carjack, in which her two cousins killed Bruce, so that she may inherit money through his death.

Rebecca and her minions deserve a long, miserable life in prison..where they can see the sunshine and in it’s bright glimmer remember Bruce, and the life they have brutally stolen. They deserve to take a few steps, only to be chained and held behind bars–to remember the taste of freedom, and the bitter reality they will never experience the free world again. They deserve long nights tossing and turning on hard mattresses, dreaming of Bruce, and haunted by what they did.

Thank you to the police, prosecutors, witnesses, jury and everyone who worked so hard to put these 3 evil killers behind bars, and ensure justice to Bruce.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Cleland family, and to the friends of Bruce. — Lynn, 2012.


Don Lasseter Online:

In Memory Bruce Cleland:

Wife Allegedly Hired Killer, Faked Carjack.” by Matea Gold. February 18, 1998. Los Angelos Times.


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