Category Archives: Eastvale Lifestyle

Lifestyle tips, health and fitness, movie reviews

It’s Not The Clothes

By Melody Kraemer
The other day someone asked a question. Their young child wanted to start dressing themselves. It wasn’t the style of what mama wanted, but it was what the child wanted. It was so mixed and matched, stripes, polka dots, prints and all. The question was, Do I let my child go out like this? Or do I deal with her being upset and change her to what I want her to wear?
Yes, as parents, we are responsible for caring for our child’s spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. So you have to ask yourself, is there harm in letting my child go out like this?
This past weekend I took my son out. Over time, we have progressed with autism, and he can communicate a little. I said we were leaving, and he insisted on wearing his pajamas—a one-piece fuzzy reindeer pajamas with a hoodie and all with ears. I took a deep breath and said, let’s go. He felt comfortable and didn’t have a care in the world. Now, if he were off to school, I would have had him choose differently, but we were headed out for a family afternoon. As we were in the car, I looked over at him, he was bouncy, flapping, making noise a bit, and I smiled. It wasn’t the clothes that made him; it was his heart.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
It’s not the clothes that make the child. It is his inner spirit that is most important.
Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of AutismMomAdventures.com Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com

On Being Human

By Michael Armijo

Ever since I was in 7th Grade I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t want to just tell a story or discuss life as it happened, but I wanted to share how I felt about things. I wanted to create emotion and somehow help someone understand that it’s okay to be human. I thought if I helped people understand certain things, then they wouldn’t have to go through all that I’ve endured (and Lord knows I’ve endured).
My family and friends have told me they like what I’ve written. They’ve appreciated how I’ve shared my life, feelings, and thoughts with them. This has given me some fulfillment, but not exactly what I had been reaching for completely. I guess throughout my life I’ve wanted to help people because I felt just a little bit different than everyone else, and when I wrote it made me feel a little bit closer to being human. Then one day, it finally happened.
In the first issue of our paper, I wrote an article entitled, “Some Things Are Forever.” It was a story about my father’s death, what had happened, and how I felt about it. It was one of the most fulfilling stories I had ever written as I spoke directly from my heart. A few days later something happened. I received a letter from someone I’ll call Agnes – because that’s her name. Agnes wrote of her father’s death, what happened, and how she felt about it. She wrote of how her father died on New Year’s Eve, and while everyone was wishing each other a Happy New Year, she just sat by a window with a heavy heart. She spoke of that one corner of your heart that will grieve forever, and that there is no replacement. She found comfort in my article, as she felt very alone.
“My hands are shaking as I write this,” Agnes wrote. “This touched me and helped me at a time I needed it the most.” I understood what she was saying, what she was feeling, and for the first time in a long time I realized that I wasn’t alone, either.
My 7th Grade dream became a reality when Agnes opened up. She shared something because I shared something. She reminded me that we all have a common thread; we need each other to survive. I felt reassured that my grief was shared by many and that I will survive after all. I also realized something that we sometimes forget: we need each other’s acceptance, each other’s care, a soft word, a short note, or a sign of acknowledgement from one another. We need to know that in this harsh, rebellious world, there are people like us who care, who survive, who have the ability to live, love, and laugh. We need to stick together, because life can be a battle. And with the help of others, I have realized that dreams can come true. The different emotions that I’ve experienced throughout my life have often been a mystery to me. I’ve told myself that I am just like everyone else; I’m not any different than anyone around me. But a little thought deep inside quite often tells me, you’re not completely like everyone else. When I look around at all the violence, pain, suffering, abuse and so on, I wonder what actually makes people human. Then I think of people like Agnes – who share their experiences, who’ve reached out to say that they care, who believe in community – and I realize that it’s all-inclusive. I realize it’s okay to be human after all.

He Will Show You

By Pastor Dennis Morales
“…Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1
It can be tough after 2 years of pandemic to really gather up any hope for a better year this year, but we make the best of it and hope for a better outcome. Sometimes in God’s economy, He will lead us to take a step of faith not revealing where He’s taking us. Hebrews 11 is known as the hall of faith. We see many people in the Bible leading with steps of faith. They’re ordinary men and women taking great steps of faith. God told Abraham to leave his homeland, and trust where He would lead him and his family. Hebrews 11 gives us insight to Genesis 12. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8). God cares about your future (Jeremiah 29:11). So many people walk fearfully through the days and months because they don’t know who to trust. But rest assured, God “will show you.” God may not map out all the details for you. It would be nice sometimes to know everything now, like who we’ll marry, where you’ll be in 10 years, or what will be our profession. But God “will show you.” He will take you one step at a time. When He takes you through a door, He will direct you to the next one. Abraham was called by God to leave his homeland and go to an unknown place that “God would show him.” God chose Abraham from a place of idols and took him to a place of faith in Him. Put your trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6), walk by faith, and “He will show you” (Hebrews 11:1). Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale. Sundays 8:30/10:30am. Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available. http://www.calvaryeastvale.org.

Happy New Year

By Melody Kraemer

I don’t know about you, but I am happy to see the New Year. 2021 had many challenges, more than I would like to admit. My husband and I even ended the year with a positive Covid test.
Thankfully by the Grace of God, my boys are fine and healthy.
We made it through Christmas, but the remainder of the year was a blur.
Now onto a New Year, which brings us a brand new slate, a blank book, to write/draw our story and we are the painters and authors of that story.
It’s time to set those goals and figure out what we want for the year to bring. I’m vowing to make 2022 a beautiful year, a colorful one, and create magic along the way. Let’s make those dreams of what we want and think about happen.
Each day, find the good and see those blessings in front of us. Let’s shine and smile more. Let’s all move forward to kindness and leave bitterness, hatefulness in 2021.
Any mistakes, forgive yourself, forgive others, and leave it behind you.
It’s time to move forward and write your most beautiful story ever. I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed, happy New Year.
You are the master of your own story. Write it well, and may 2022 be the year filled with nothing but God’s blessing, and may all your goals and dreams become a reality.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) : Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of AutismMomAdventures.com Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com

Fear of Heights

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Mark Hopper
There are a lot of things you probably didn’t know about your spouse before you got married. But when you begin married life together you may discover some things you weren’t aware of. One of the things that I didn’t realize was that my wife was afraid of heights. I learned this on our honeymoon when we met the church youth group on the back-packing trip into Havasu Canyon. I rode in a helicopter from the rim to the campground in five minutes while my new wife hiked into the canyon with most of the students for five hours.
One of the activities during our four days in Havasu Canyon was climbing down to the bottom of the Mooney Falls. This was a steep climb through a couple of small caves and down the face of the canyon wall using steel pegs and chains. My wife didn’t want to participate in the climb to the bottom of Mooney Falls but I insisted everyone had to come. She wasn’t very happy but she did make it down with the others. However, the climb back up was very frightening. She froze about half way up and couldn’t move. It took a lot of pleading and encouraging to get her back to the top. I had no idea how afraid she was of heights.
A few years later we led a group of teenagers on a ski trip from Dallas to Colorado. We chartered a bus that left on Christmas night and returned on New Year’s Eve. We stayed at a church camp outside of Denver and enjoyed four days of skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
My wife and I had no experience skiing. But we were willing to try. The students were quick learners but we struggled to figure it out. After a day of basic lessons we ventured up the slopes on the chair lift. My wife didn’t like being so far off the ground and was worried about getting off the ski lift at the top of the mountain.
Things went okay while we followed a level trail to the ski slope. When we turned the corner and looked at the slope it was breathtaking. It looked like we were going straight downhill. Did I mention that my wife was afraid of heights? It was a long fright-filled struggle down the slope. After that my wife decided she preferred to stay in the ski lodge and drink hot chocolate and leave the skiing to the younger students.
All of us are afraid of something – spiders, the dark, flying and heights. There are many verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not for I am with you” (Joshua 1:8 / Isaiah 41:10). Let me encourage you to face your fears and trust God to help you when you are in a fearful situation. You will be glad you did and He will too.

He Shouldn’t Have to Wear a Sign

Melody Kramer


It’s my birthday month, and the one wish I have is: I wish every month is autism awareness month. I am not asking anyone to get a degree in autism, but to be aware of a few things. Autism is not contagious, and you don’t need to be afraid around an autistic person nor be mean to someone that has autism,
This past month we had attended several “Halloween” events, and what I witnessed from many led me to my birthday wish.
At one outing where my son was flapping and dancing around, having fun, this woman acted as if my son had the plaque. Little kids came up to him and stared at him, and one even kicked him. My little one has no clue why he was kicked or could even express it hurt, and he got pushed too by one. Why do kids think its ok to bully someone differently?
At another event, my boy was doing his own thing in a pile of corn, the corn pit at Frosty’s Pumpkin Patch. He was lying there covering himself in corn when a child decided to walk across him and stand on his stomach. My boy looked at him as I yelled to get off of him. A few minutes later, the boy came back and jumped on his legs. Just because he doesn’t scream or say anything doesn’t mean he’s not feeling it.
Be kind. Teach your children to be kind. We are all created uniquely. None of us should have to wear a sign explaining ourselves. We all should be accepted.
Ephesians 4:2 NIV
2) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of AutismMomAdventures.com
Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures
For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

You Can Only Play So Much Golf

By Mark Hopper
In the 1990’s, I led a small team of adults from our church in California to Guatemala. We were going there to help with the construction of a school near Guatemala City. My wife and I had led a younger team of high school and college students to Guatemala in the 1970’s. This time we went with a seasoned group of older adults.


Guatemala is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Several dormant volcanoes tower over the countryside. The vegetation is lush and green. Guatemala is known for its popular coffee beans and wonderful Avocadoes.


While we were working on the construction site we met a man who was doing electrical work. He was a retired engineer who had come by himself at his own expense to pull wires and install electrical outlets in the classrooms. He was planning to be there for a month


I don’t remember his name but I do remember something he said. When I asked him why he had come to Guatemala to work on this project he replied, “You can only play so much golf”. He went on to explain that when he retired from his career as an electrical engineer he spent a lot of time playing golf with some of his buddies. But after a year of retirement he felt he needed to do something more with his time. When he heard about the project in Guatemala, he decided to put his golf clubs in the closet and spend some time helping other people.


Please don’t misunderstand. I like golf. In fact, my wife says I don’t play enough golf. But I think we all know that there are other things that are more important. We may get a sense of enjoyment from a good round of golf. But we can get an even greater sense of fulfillment when we use our time and talents to serve others.


There is a passage in the Bible that says, “Put yourself aside and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with your own interests. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4 – The Message Bible). You won’t find lasting fulfillment just doing things that you like. Real fulfillment is found when we volunteer our time and use our abilities to help others. You won’t find happiness looking for it. You stumble across it when you serve others. Let me encourage you to volunteer some of your time to serve at your church or in your community. Don’t sit home and watch TV. Get off the couch and get into the community and help people. And allow yourself a little time for a round of golf with your buddies too! You will be glad you did!

Read 365 more stories and articles (one for every day of the year) in the book Let me Encourage You by Mark Hopper. You can purchase two copies for only $30 plus postage ($5). Buy one for yourself and one to give a friend. Order your copies at mark@efreedb.org.

Praise Him

By Pastor Dennis Morales
“Through Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of [our] lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15
Words are powerful, especially words of praise or thanks. God is honored with our words of praise and thanksgiving. It is easy to praise God when the sun is shining, or when our kids are getting good grades in school, or maybe if we have received a promotion at work. Scripture says that praise is also a sacrifice at times. That’s when things are not too good. When we praise God in the difficulty, it is the praise of sacrifice. When we praise Him, we proclaim our faith in Him.

The Psalmist writes “As for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more (Psalm 71:14). A sacrifice of praise is something that we offer to God — in times of well-being and in times of sorrow. Never allow praise to become a habit of only a celebratory activity. When times are tough, praise has the ability to lighten our hearts and fill us with a sense of possibility, love, and security that can only come from Heaven’s throne. When you are able to praise God in the difficulty, you are trusting what God sees and His provision.

In the late 1800’s George Mueller operated an orphanage that at one time had 1,000 orphans. One morning there was no food to eat, but he called all the children and staff together and prayed thanking God for the provision of food, even though no food was on the table. A few moments later a baker knocked on the door. He told Mr. Muller that God had led him to bake bread the night before and give it to the orphanage. Before the bread was given to the children, a milkman knocked on the door. He said that his milk truck had broken down and he wanted to give the milk to the orphanage. George Muller gave thanks, even when it took faith to do so.

Praise is another word for admiration, and it’s often linked to thanksgiving. Take some time and praise Him today for all He has done. Praise Him because He is able. “Praise Him because He is worthy” (Psalm 145:3).

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale. Sundays 8:30/10:30am. Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available. http://www.calvaryeastvale.org.

Skydiving a Life-changing Check Off My Bucket List

By Nancy Stoops

I have lived a very exciting and fulfilling life.  I have travelled to all seven continents, have had many close-up wildlife experiences, worked with shamans and chiefs, meditated with the monks in Thailand, swam with sharks, have two published books on Amazon and so much more. My bucket list was very short because at sixty-five I really have done it all.  Skydiving was always on that list and it seems like every time I was ready to go, we would have a death in the family.  Well in July I finally had the opportunity to finally go and it was life-changing.  I have never felt such freedom as I did jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet.  As a child I would have flying dreams and on that day my dreams came true and I was flying like a bird.  Skydiving also reminded me that there isn’t anything that I can’t work through or accomplish.

I think Covid has left many of us complacent because our lives got shut down and we got comfortable in that. I know many people are having a hard time going back to school, work and just generally back into life.  Skydiving was a great way to awaken me and all of my senses.  I just feel so very alive again and excited for the next adventure.  I hope you can find something to wake you up and make you part of the living again.  Try to fight the fears and the lies that hold you hostage from the life you deserve to have.  You deserve to be excited, fulfilled, happy and content.  Make today the day you start living your best life and being your best self!!!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s books Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the therapy dog on Amazon.net.

A New School Year

By Melody Kraemer

A new school year! Who is ready? I have enjoyed these past summer months with my kids at home, and it seemed we were off to some adventure almost every day. 

It could be that we subconsciously are making up for the summer before when we were in “lockdown.” The summer, let alone this year, has flown by in a blink of an eye. Now the kids will be starting school, and though that much-needed break between us is probably needed. I will miss the lazy days of sleeping in, the swimming, the extended sunshine days, no schedules, and all the downtime. Now isn’t that what summer is all about?  

In a few short days, we will buckle back down and get back on our daily schedule. It won’t be easy, and granted, I should have stayed on a schedule during the summer, but my kids needed this break and had only a few short weeks of summer. With my boys having ASD, autism spectrum disorder,  they attended ESY (extended school year). So these few weeks of summer were precious to us, we enjoyed them and made as many memories as we could.  

My youngest will even be going back to school with a brand new look. He decided to find his daddy’s beard trimmer and start shaving his head. There’s never a dull moment in our world, now onto the next season of life. Reach out and let me know if you are ready for school. 


Ecclesiastes 3:1
1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every a purpose under heaven


 Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of  AutismMomAdventures.com

Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures 

For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Deliberate Confidence

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me…” 2 Timothy 4:17

What gives you confidence?  Watching the “2020” Olympics, I can’t help but to be impressed by the confidence of the athletes who are on one of the biggest stages of their lives.    Families and whole countries are cheering them on and hoping they bring home the gold.   It would seem a lifetime of training, a strong support system, a focused mind, and for some faith, has given these athletes such strong confidence.   Paul the Apostle used athletic metaphors often.  One of his last metaphors he employed was of both a fighter and runner.   As Paul was penned his swan song letter to Timothy, he says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). What is most impressive is that he wrote these words from prison, with few friends left.  In prison for his faith in Christ.  Having few friends willing to stand with him for fear of their own lives, or because of societal shame.  What then gave Paul confidence?  Paul experienced God standing with him in past circumstances and difficulties.  He also knew countless others were spurred to faith in Christ through his chains as his faith was on display (Philippians 1:12).  Many saw the reality of Christ power in his willingness to suffer for Christ.  Oswald Chambers once said, “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”   Paul found himself at times in chains, being beaten, shipwrecked, and even abandoned, but those were times when he knew the Lord was closest and stood with him (2 Timothy 4:17).  Paul said, “none of these things move me” so to finish his race with joy (Acts 20:24).  Joy in the fact that he would finish his race on this side of Heaven with unwavering faith.  Deliberate confidence is (Faith) that God is always in control.  The Lord stood with Paul as Paul stood with the Lord.  I pray you that you live deliberately confident in the fact that God hears you and is standing with you. 

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale.  Sundays 8:30/10:30am.  Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available.  http://www.calvaryeastvale.org. 

India

By Mark Hopper

One of the most memorable places my wife and I have visited is India. Several years ago we flew from Los Angeles to Taiwan then on to Singapore and arrived in Mumbai on the west coast of India. It was a long journey. We spent several days in Mumbai seeing some of the sights and visiting some ministries working among the poorest people in the city. Then we flew to Hyderabad where our host met us at the airport and drove 3-4 hours outside the city to a boarding school and orphanage.

We were surprised by the heavy traffic. Driving in India is not for the faint hearted. Hundreds of cars, trucks and scooters crammed together honking their horns as they waited for the traffic lights to change. When we left the city behind us we found the two-lane highway heart stopping too. Cars and trucks struggled to pass each other on the busy highway.

The countryside provided a different perspective of life in India. We saw people working the fields and were impressed by the variety of agriculture that stretched to the horizon.

We spent a week at the boarding school and orphanage working alongside the staff and leading a children’s program with over 300 students participating. We shared Bible lessons, led recreation and engaged the students in making crafts and art projects.

We were impressed with the hard working staff and the enthusiastic students. Students were respectful and energetic. The school provided meals, housing and a rigorous education for the children. It was a week we will always remember.

Our host drove us back to the airport in Hyderabad where we caught a flight to Delhi in northern India. We couldn’t leave this beautiful country without seeing the Taj Mahal. This magnificent structure is located about two hours outside of Delhi. It is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Several of our neighbors in Diamond Bar are from Indian descent. They are delightful people who are proud of their heritage. I love to tell them about our trip to India. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Let me encourage you to set your sights on visiting other parts of the world. Get outside the tourist centers and catch a glimpse of daily life in the country. And get to know your own neighbors who have come from other parts of the world. You will be glad you did and they will too!   

Read 365 more stories and articles (one for every day of the year) in the book Let me Encourage You by Mark Hopper. You can purchase two copies for only $30 plus postage ($5). Buy one for yourself and one to give a friend. Order your copies at mark@efreedb.org.

Healing Faith

By Pastor Dennis Morales

“Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well.” Matthew 9:22

As Jesus would pass through the region, people would crowd him to see Him, hear Him, or seek to be healed by Him.  His reputation preceded Him as a prophet and healer, but little did they know at the time that He was the Christ, who was prophesized about going back to Genesis 3:15.   As Jesus made his way through this particular city, and as crowds were pressing into Him, He says “who touched me?” (Luke 8:45).  One of His disciples says with exuberant confidence “Master everyone is touching you.”  Yes, obviously, many seemed to be touching Him, but Jesus said this was different.  He says, “I perceive power has gone out from Me.” (Luke 8:46).   Something was different about this person’s touch.  When Jesus asked the question “who touched Me,” the crowd dissipated a bit and all who was left was a woman on her knees trembling.   This woman reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed instantly.   She “reached out” as a last resort after 12 years of seeking physicians and exhausting her every dime.   She was a woman most likely ostracized for her condition as she was considered “unclean.”  Ostracized from family, friends, and being able to worship at the temple.  Jesus then reaches out to her and speaks to her.  He calls her “daughter.”  Something that she needed and possibly longed to hear.  A term of endearment.  Having a stigma follow her for years, she had little contact with people.  He fulfilled her emotional need, but most importantly, He says to her, “your faith has made you well.”   Her greatest need was for a Savior.  Faith was necessary for her healing.  She, in the midst of years of disappointment, believed God could heal her.  Religion or a church cannot heal you, but if you reach out to Jesus and ask Him into your heart, He can touch you spiritually.  Believe He can transform you today.   

Calvary Chapel Eastvale meets at Eastvale Elementary located at 13031 Orange St, Eastvale.  Sundays 8:30/10:30am.  Livestream, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live is also available.  http://www.calvaryeastvale.org. 

Learning to Trust Yourself

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

By Nancy Stoops

            Your instincts can guide you well if you can just learn to trust yourself. Remember when you were younger and taking a test and you were told to go with the answer you first thought was correct.  This is truly the concept of trusting your instincts or your gut.  Nobody knows you better than you know yourself so it makes sense to learn to trust yourself to know what is best for you.  Think about how many times you have proven that you can trust your instincts.  Look at the evidence in your life about how many times you have been right about something. So then why is it you still doubt yourself and feel you can’t make good life decisions? It’s probably some lie about yourself left over from your childhood. You can learn to combat that lie by looking at the truth about what an amazing person you are today. 

            Take a moment right now and think about how far you have come.  Take some time to look at all of the evidence in your life that shows you that you are worthy of self- trust.  Take some time to think about how proud you are of where you’re at and that your mindset has really changed for the better.  Now that you are learning to value yourself you are making healthier and more functional decisions about your life.  Learn to journal as you continue to move forward in your personal growth and document each step as evidence that you can trust yourself and believe in yourself.  It’s really important that you start to recognize your progress and give credit to yourself to build the confidence you need to trust your instincts and in turn trust yourself. I believe in all of you and celebrate all of your personal growth and I’m here to tell you that you can trust yourself!

This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Nancy is now accepting new clients.  She also works as a motivational speaker.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups for teens and can handle many courts mandated needs.  For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909) 229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net. You may purchase Nancy’s book’s Live Heal and Grow and Midnight the Therapy Dog at Amazon.com.

Autism Mom: This Little Light of Mine

By Melody Kraemer

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let shine.  I sing this to my boys almost daily to remind them that they have a light within them and let the world see it. 

 Being autistic, they may not fully understand the concept of what I am singing, but I know they are taking it in. 

 I pray my boys will grow up and be confident, have strength, follow their hearts, know they are essential in this world, and let their light shine. 

 I also take to heart that I need to shine my light and walk and talk with confidence. Not everyone I run into is kind or understanding of my boy’s ASD. On social media, some people could be mean and rude behind their keyboards.

At times I have been defensive, or I feel defeated. I get unsure of myself, and I question things.

I know I am the best mother for my kids though I let people dim my light or shake my confidence from their nasty words. I have to remind myself who I am. I am a child of God and I don’t need validation from anyone. We all have a light inside of us, so let’s go out and brighten up the world and let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

  Deuteronomy 31:6: 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of  AutismMomAdventures.com

Follow her on Instagram @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Facebook.com/autismmomadventures 

For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Wash Your Car & Meet Your Neighbors

By Mark Hopper

I love the long summer evenings in Southern California. I love to get more things done after dinner with the extra daylight we enjoy in June and July. I was surprised the clock read 8:30 PM when I came into the house after washing my car.

An added bonus to the long summer evenings has been meeting more of my neighbors. There are a lot of men, women, and young adults walking past our house every evening. Many of them are doing laps around our block and come by several times. And many of them are walking with a spouse, children or exercise partner.

I like to pause what I am doing and say hello as people pass by. Some share encouraging comments on how nice my car looks. I like to return the compliment and tell them what a good job they are doing as they walk through our neighborhood.

Some people pause when I ask them their name or where they live. It has been challenging to learn new names and remember them the next time I see them. But I enjoy our brief conversations and I like getting to know my neighbors better.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). It is hard to love your neighbors if you don’t know your neighbors. One of the biggest obstacles to getting to know your neighbors is the garage door. People drive down the street, press the garage door opener, pull into their garage and close the door. It is pretty hard to get to know them when you can’t even speak to them.

Other obstacles include the back yard patio and the indoor air conditioning. It is interesting that older homes were built with a front porch. People would get out of their warm house on a summer evening and sit outside to enjoy a cool evening breeze. The front porch provided a natural setting to greet people walking by. It enabled neighbors to meet other neighbors.

Let me encourage you to get to know the neighbors who live around you. Why not wash your car during these long summer evenings and say hello to the people who walk by. Why not set up a lawn chair in your front yard instead of sitting in your air conditioned house or the back yard patio. You will be glad you did and your neighbors will too!

You can read 365 more stories (one for every day of the year)  in the book Let Me Encourage You. by Mark Hopper for only $25  (includes postage). Order your copy this week at markh@efreedb.org. Visit Mark’s website to read his latest stories at Letmarkencourageyou.com

Autism Mom – God is always in Control

By Melody Kramer

Sometimes I worry, I get frustrated, and anxiety fills my soul. I am uncertain about things and I get overwhelmed. Just the other day, I felt all these emotions and felt consumed with what we were going to do. I had bought Disneyland tickets and reserved our day for June 1st.

I started to panic a little after reading that there was no tram. Instead, you would have to walk from the parking garage to Disneyland.

Though my stress was more about, you had to walk back after a big day at Disneyland with two autistic boys.

Plus, I was reading where it was best to line up at the parking garage before they opened.

Oh, the thought of waking my boys up very early and getting them out the door, I could feel the stress rise within me. I started to think maybe I should have never bought the tickets and said a prayer, Dear God, what am I going to do, help. 

Then out of the blue came an invite to spend two nights at The Howard Johnson Hotel in Anaheim by The Mommy Blogger Tribe I belong to. It just so happened it was from May 31st to June 2nd. I had no clue this hotel was right across the street from Disneyland and within walking distance until we checked in.

I couldn’t have asked for more of a perfect two days at the hotel and a fun-filled day at Disneyland.

It’s incredible how things work out when you turn them over to God. 

Joshua 1:9 NIV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

You could read all about our mini-vacation on my website: Autsimmomadventures.com

Follow: @So_Cal_Autism_Mom_Adventures and Follow: Facebook.com/autismmomadventures 

For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.

Find Peace with Meditation

By Nancy Stoops

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist
Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

I have been meditating daily since I was a teenager and now, I am sixty-five and am very peaceful in my mind, body and spirit.  There are three different ways that I would recommend that you start meditation.  The first one can be done daily with those of you that take walks.  As you are walking pay attention to the rhythm of your walk.  Practice paying attention to the rhythm as each foot moves.  Make that rhythm all that you are focusing on.  Any time your mind starts to wonder or think about anything take your focus back to the rhythm of your walk. The second way to meditate is to just focus on your breathing.  You should be breathing deep from within your diaphragm not your chest.  Once again just focus on your breathing just like the rhythm of your walk.  If you get distracted or start to think, just go back to focusing on your breathing. The last one is to focus on a word. I like the word peace.  So now close your eyes and just see the word peace.  When your mind starts to think or you lose your focus just go back to seeing the word peace.  I would recommend you start practicing these forms of meditation for 5-10 minutes daily.  Meditation is a very difficult skill to master so be patient with yourself.

Many of my patents were on pharmaceuticals for depression and anxiety and now nobody in my practice uses them anymore.  I attribute much of this to the meditation that I include in their sessions and in my free support groups.  You are welcome to come and experience a guided meditation and body scan two more forms of meditation led by me in my groups.  My groups meet every Monday evening from 6-8p.m. and the first and third Friday of every month from 9a.m.-11a.m. and they are free.  Just email me before each group at nancyjstoops@verizon.net and I will send you the link for the zoom group.  This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T.  Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members.  Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger.    For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)229-0727.  You may e-mail Nancy at nancyjstoops@verizon.net.

Our Life: When Are We No Longer Parents?

By Michael Armijo

It was only a 45-minute drive, but I arrived at the site. It took me another 10 minutes to find his “section,” but we were soon in the vicinity of where his life was laid to rest. As I paced each headstone, I had an eerie vision of him lying beneath the surface, watching me pace the yard, while his spirit yearned for me. Almost as though he was screaming, “I’m over here,” in a silent spirit.
I walked up to his plaque and I stared at the etching in the stone. I reluctantly read the words, “Cipriano Armijo, beloved man of God.” And after kneeling down on the soft, damp, green grass, I relaxed my body over the 8 by 4 foot section of landscape that was the last home to daddy’s body. I traced each word on the plaque with my hand, etching each letter of his name with my fingers.
When I knelt, I looked down upon the freshly cut, softened soil and confessed all the things that have happened since he left this earth. I explained to the ground, and to the bronze piece of metal that bears his name, my life without daddy with hopes his spirit heard my deepest fears and my strongest accomplishments. I told him that I had hoped he was proud of me, as my life had followed strange paths that have given me journeys of learning and routines of pain. Since his departure, life had become interesting and successful, yet painful and confusing.
When I sat at his gravesite, I realized what a misconception the phrase: “I no longer have parents, they died.” Because when I knelt at his site I held myself accountable of my actions and perceptions of life, just as when he was alive. I relayed the message; “I know you’re there, I know you’re watching.” As I crept to my knees, I still had a father and I still had someone to answer to.
I believe that parents are forever. Good or bad, their behavior and their actions stay in our memories. I believe that we never end our influence on our children, we never stop being parents. That’s why it’s so important that we do a good job each day while we’re here on earth; we have no guarantee of how long we’re going to be here. When we’re gone, when our heart stops and our spirit rises to the world beyond our hearts and minds, we can only hope that we’ve loved enough, lived enough, and laughed enough for our children to remember our lives as a benefit to their own, because we do live in their hearts forever.
Someday, when our own children kneel on the soft, moist, green grass that lies our last home to our bodies, we can only hope the tears that fill our children’s eyes and hearts are tears of love that yearn for us to forever watch over their joyous lives. This will remind them that we’ll never, ever, stop being their parents.

Autism Mom: Twas The Night Before Christmas

By: Melody Kraemer –  Mother of two autistic boys

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

everyone was awake and wouldn’t settle down.

With the chaos and madness that was looming in the air

nothing was being done with care

due to the excitement for Santa Claus soon to be there.

Mama was going crazy and growing tired of it all.

Her patience was running thin

she was about to reach out to Santa with a call.

The kids were running amuck and wouldn’t go to bed,

while mama took Tylenol for her aching head.

Mamma and daddy decided on a  nightcap

and regretting the afternoon when the kids took a short nap.

When all of a sudden the house quieted down.

Mama got worried and started looking around.

The kids were playing on their Ipad and not making a sound.

Until one child saw mama and started following her around

to download an app that he just found.

The tiredness and the exhaustion from the holiday bliss,

mama  finally reached her limit and yelled, if you don’t go to bed now

Christmas you will surely miss.

So with a twinkle in their eyes and smile on their face

the kids never settled down, and momma asked God for grace!

 “Merry Christmas to all and to all a peaceful night.

2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Melody Kraemer is the Editor and Publisher of Macaroni Kid Jurupa Valley-Eastvale and Autism Mom Adventures. For more information or general encouragement, feel free to email her at: autismmomofboys@gmail.com.