Sunday, January 31, 2010

Don't Eat Yellow Snow

I know this is an old saying but today, it applies.

As I have mentioned before, we store water and do not have a well. Our storage containers are 300 gallons. You would think these would not freeze but they do. We have two 300 gallon ice cubes. Knowing the weather was going to get cold, I had my two oldest boys fill our drinking water containers. Guess what? They only filled two out of five containers. Instead of 30 gallons of drinking water, we had 10.

You can imagine my irritation this morning when I went to make coffee and tea and had no water. Needless to say, my boys had no excuse other than laziness. So they spent a good amount of the day collecting snow to melt for water. They quickly learned about yellow snow. They also learned that a five gallon container of snow only melts down into about a half a gallon of water. Bet they fill ALL the water jugs next time I ask them to.

Peace, love and God’s will.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Do Not Negotiate With Terrorists

I do not negotiate with terrorist! That is one of my favorite things to say to my children when they ask why they can’t do or have what they want. I say it in jest but really I mean it and they know it.

This post is in response to yesterday’s post. Little Bobby was being a terrorist. Fools negotiate with terrorist and I am no fool. The problem with it is the terrorist is never appeased. They will only want more and more until you have given them everything you have and it is your fault because you didn’t want to deal with it and thought bowing down would be easier.

As a mother of five, I tend to run the house like boot camp. Order and routine are essential to keep everything running smoothly. It is also important to the general happiness of my children. Days when our routine is not kept, they tend to argue and disobey more often. Structure is needed not only for them but for me.

A few wonderful sayings my children will repeat when they are older:

1. I do not negotiate with terrorists.

2. Suck it up, life is not fair.

3. Doing right and being right are two very different things.

4. On Sunday morning, can you stand in front of a church full of people and say or do that? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

5. What part of NO do you not understand?

6. I do know where you sleep. Wink!

Peace, love and God’s will.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Parenting 101

Sometimes, I want to smack people. Have you ever gone to the store or a restaurant and heard a cranky little one? That does not bother me. I mean, they are children and do not know yet how to communicate their feelings or control their moods. They are learning and there has to be a curve.

Something that does bother me is the grumpy bystanders that turn their noses up and whisper under their breath how awful a child is. Get over yourself people! Once upon a time, you were a tired baby. You had a wet diaper and missed your nap. Have a little compassion. Can’t you see the worn and weary Momma struggling to make it through her shopping?

To the other extreme, sometimes I want to smack a parent. Have you ever gone to the store and seen a parent negotiating with their undeserving child? It will go something like this.

“Mommy, I want (insert whatever item the rotten child wants.)”

“No Bobby, not today.”

Bobby whines, Bobby cries, Bobby throws himself on the floor. Mommy caves because she is too weak to hold her ground. Bobby is rewarded for his bad behavior and Mommy lost a little more control of her home. Mommy needs smacked.

Don’t get me wrong, I have fit in that last category once or twice. Shame on me. I needed to be properly smacked. I was creating a beast. I had to tame it and caused myself more heartache because of it.

Remember, discipline is love. Discipline is boundaries in a world gone a bit insane. Discipline creates a safe and happy environment for everyone in the home and prepares your children for a life that is not always easy. I do not think a busting is always the answer but am not afraid to pop the rod across a deserving rear-end. I would much rather my child to have a hurt pride and sore hinny than to be unprepared for life.

Peace, love and God’s will.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mountain Life 16

As many of you may have guessed, I love my family. They are the blessings and joys of my life. When God set us on a path to live the “Mountain Life” they rose to the challenge when others would have gone running for the hills; pun intended.

When the dozer finished clearing the pad, we had our work cut out for us. We tried to get an electric pole set for construction but since there was not prior electric we would have to wait for construction of lines. That was fine; we had a generator to begin with. We tried to get a well dug but could not get anyone to come down our road. That was fine also; we had a pond dug. It seemed like each time we tried to do something, there was a stumbling block.

When the engineer came from the electric company, he quoted us a price for construction. We set a little more aside and began construction. Thirty days after construction began and materials were bought, the engineer called back and said it would be four times as much as originally quoted. This was a problem because our budget did not allow for this. We were finished framing the first floor and half of the second.

I was disheartened to say the least. It seemed satan did not want us to have a mountain home. But he did not count on my very smart and talented husband. God blessed me with a man that knows a little or a lot about everything. Quinton told the engineer that it was all right; we would just generate our own power.

It was several more long months before we moved into our home but in Feb. 2009 we did. It was not finished but we decided a lean-to was better than the tiny trailer.

The house continues to be a work in progress. We have generated power and treat the water from our pond. We haul drinking water, cut wood for the fire and have fresh eggs from our chickens. There are things we can’t have but they weren’t important after all.

My oldest son cut 90% of all the wood used to build our home. All of my children will forever be able to say they cut a road old school and built a house by hand. I am so proud of them. They never complain about what they lost or what they give up each day because they know we were saved by God’s grace, love and mercy.

Peace, love and God’s will.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Okay, I am so torn. I really want to be published through Jeff at Marcher Lord Press but while I am waiting to hear from him, I thought I would enter Amazon’s 2010 ABNA. If, by some miracle, Jeff loves I Am Ocilla, I can drop out of the contest.

I thought I would recommend this to all of my writing friends. There are two contests…general fiction and young adult. Each winner will receive a $15,000 advance and a contract with Penguin. I have posted the link below. Happy writing all.They are taking entries until Feb. 7th.

Peace, love and God’s will.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mountain Life 15

Before I tell more about the building of my home, I need to tell you all of the next and final hearing.

A law note- In the state of Texas, CPS only has 30 days to build a case. In some instances, the judge may grant an additional 30 days if CPS has some evidence. When I say some, I mean they have a statement or the children but have not been able to prove there was an abuse. In any other legal situation, besides national security, law may only hold someone for 72 hours without charges being made.

In CPS cases and agencies like them, they have 30 to 60 days to hold children. In that time, the children are theirs. In that time, they may medicate the children with highly addictive narcotics, do vaginal exams on girls of any age (including babies), and restrain the children if they lash out at the injustice. Remember me writing about the number of children abused while in state care?

How is it that a privately owned corporation has so much power? How are they able to steal children without any evidence and do with them what they want for 30 to 60 days? You should be appalled and you should be mad. It is all masked behind the phrase that should make you tremble when you hear it spouted so freely; “For the good of the children.” If that were the case, the data would tell a different story. Numbers never lie and that is why I could not, in good conscious, allow my babies to be subjected to the ill fate of a corporation that makes money at that cost of innocence.

Back to the story. The hearing was a joke. The judge was furious that the court was unable to serve Quinton and me with papers to appear. CPS had no evidence and no children. They were effectively dead in the water. But the judge had a personal grudge also now and instead of dismissing the case without merit, he left it open for eternity. Is this legal? No but as you have read, this county plays by their own set of laws and the Constitution is a joke to them.

In all civil cases, there is a statute of limitations. In our case, if there had been evidence to prove a crime had been committed, the court would have two years to process the case. CPS only has 18 months to process their cases in the state of Texas. Either way, the case should have been thrown out. It wasn’t and until May 1st of this year, Quinton and I could be arrested and held for questioning in Montague county Texas. We have not been back to Texas. Each state has a different set of rules that regulate their agency.

In the months that followed our exodus, we received updates from various friends and family. It was said that Quinton and I must be part of a militia and the rumors were legion. People that we thought were our friends turned and disassociated themselves from that crazy Graham family. But there were others that stuck loyally to our side and stood up when the world wanted to persecute us. To them, I am forever thankful. To the others, I wish them well.

The Montague County Sheriff’s department had a house cleaning late in 2008 and early in 2009. 106 indictments were handed out to the sheriff, jailers and inmates alike. I have a link below with a nice little blog post. Even after the cat was out of the bag, the corrupt administration was allowed to finish their term in the sheriff’s department. The blog post asks some pretty good questions that I would like answers to some day. The judge I have talked so much about is mentioned in the post and still sits on his lofty throne. I wonder how long before he is knocked down.

Hollywood had his own demons later in 2009. He is now in jail for Official Oppression and soliciting sex with a minor. I did not have to do anything. God made sure these people paid for their crimes.

Peace, love and God’s will

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mountain Life 14

In the days, weeks and months that followed our escape, God’s hand continued to move swiftly. At the time, it was hard to see but hindsight is 20/20.

As many of you know, the housing market stinks. Yet, we sold and closed on our house within thirty days of leaving Texas. God is so good. Quinton’s sister bought it for a very low price. I mean half of what it was worth. Some thought we were crazy for selling it for a loss but I disagree and let me tell you why. It is just a house. All the valuable things had been sent away on May 1st. Quinton’s sister needed a house and who better to have it than family. All paperwork was signed by Quinton’s mom. We have not been back to Texas.

We bought a twenty-foot travel trailer to stay in while we built our house. My aunt was wonderful enough to allow us to hook to her water and electric. I am not the happy-camper type and there were probably a hundred different times my family should have had me drawn and quartered for my bad attitude and general fit throwing. I was still trying to swallow the jagged pill of loss. It is not something I am proud of but I am able to admit I was difficult. Seven people and three dogs in 160 sq ft is a hard task for a weekend. We stayed there for 9 months.

First, we had to have the land cleared. Problem was we had to wait a month for an appointment with a dozer. Being the rock-heads we are, we decided to cut our road while we waited. Have you ever cut down a tree? I don’t mean a little sapling but a big thick tree. We had to cut down nearly a hundred. It was 950 feet to the beginning of our property from the county road. How about moving rocks? Have you ever moved a rock as big as your car? We moved dozens. All this in temperatures in the high 90’s or low 100’s.

We awoke before sun-up each day and worked until noon. We returned to the trailer, ate lunch and took a nap. Yes, I am 35 and love naps. At 4, we returned to the road and worked until night fall. I have to admit, there were days that I stood strike. I actually refused to move another rock or branch. Not once in this time did I have to prod the children to bed. They went happily and were asleep when their heads hit the pillow.

When I threw my pity-parties, my poor husband should have shaken me but he just kissed me and went with the boys or alone. See, he needed that time in God’s wilderness more than I needed shade and AC. I now realize it was how he was able to cope with what had happened to his family. He may not have been able to change what was done but he could cut a road with his own two hands and that was a sure thing when the world around us was crazy.

On day 30 of cutting our road, we made it to the build spot. The dozer showed up the next day, along with Quinton’s sister (cash in hand for the house.) We watched the dozer operator the same way others watch a ball game. He did in a few hours what would have taken us months or even years. It was a beautiful thing, let me tell you. Now, it was time for the real work to begin.

More tomorrow? Peace, love and God’s will.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mountain Life 13

Since I have been asked by a handful of people to tell the rest of the story, I am going to continue. If you get bored, let me know…I do tend to ramble.

On Friday, May 9, 2008, Quinton and I had a hearing at 9 am. Only a few people knew we had left and even they did not know where we were going. Quinton and I felt it important to protect them. We did not want anyone to lie for us. We had broken no laws and did not want our friends and family to either. Not even our lawyer knew where we were that morning. He fully expected to see us.

I am repeating this account from what Tony, Diana and Quinton’s sister relied to me. I was not there. CPS had their side of the courtroom filled with officers and experts. Our lawyer, God bless him, caught on quick enough when Tony gave him an all telling look. I really wish I could have been a fly on the wall that day.

Before the court was called to order, the talk was all about a little video that someone posted on youtube earlier in the week. Our lawyer was called to the judge’s bench and actually questioned about it. Finally, Hollywood showed up and the excitement was ready to begin.

A little law note before I go on. A court order is not good if it is not served. Not to the lawyer, only to the person who’s name is on the order. It is definitely not valid if the serving authority did not sign it, place the time it was served and date it. Also, orders to appear only mean you have to show up and/or have someone show up on your behalf. You do not have to be present. The only reason we had to have a lawyer present is because Quinton was served properly.

CPS was ready to fry us. We were obviously criminals since we were not present. I mean, they had an anonymous (not really anonymous) call and the Graham’s had not cooperated with their office. It amazes me that they actually believe the load of crud they are shoveling.

Our lawyer was not having any of it though. There is a reason I wanted him…he is awesome. You know the fiery type; kicks butt and takes names. He is the Chuck Norris of Texas Law. He pointed out that his clients had not broken any laws and that Montague’s finest had failed in their job.

The court’s hands were tied but the judge took it personal that his orders were ignored. He contended that he saw the video and could clearly see that papers were given to me. He was also sore about the first set of papers, signed over 24 hours after the children left Texas, being ignored by the Graham’s; the papers ordering us to make the children available to CPS. He postponed the hearing until the following week. He signed orders demanding we be present with our lawyer.

Remember my note from above. When are orders good? That’s right, when they are served on the person being ordered to appear. Montague could not find us to serve the papers. Not that they didn’t try. They harassed our friends and family all week. They questioned them and pulled them over anytime they saw their vehicles.

Quinton’s sister and mother were packing our things and selling our house. Each time they were at my house, a CPS worker or officer would drive by slowly. A few times they stopped. It did no good. They could answer truthfully that they did not know where we were.

The next hearing came and I tell you, that judge was furious. He legally should have thrown the case out then and there but his ego was at stake. CPS had nothing but the testimony of a teacher. Hollywood was there but he was considered a joke; even by his peers. They are the ones to give him the nick-name Hollywood. What the judge did when he realized he ha not gotten his way should make you all tremble.

A note- It is NOT the judge’s job or responsibility to try a case. He is supposed to be neutral and only make sure the law is upheld.

Never should a judge be allowed to call before him friends and family of the accused that are watching the proceedings and question them. Never and I mean NEVER should a judge be allowed to threaten and intimidate these people under any circumstances. But this judge believes himself above the law and did just that. He made Tony, Diana, and Quinton’s sister stand in that court while he threatened them and told them he would see them in jail if he found out they knew where we were. Who gave him power beyond his scope?

He set another hearing date for a month later, I think. Montague Sheriff’s department had orders to detain us if they found us. They tried but God protected us.

Now I am all fired-up. I’ll have to stop for now. I’ll write more tomorrow. Peace, love and God’s will.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mountain Life 12

Sometimes, God takes you kicking and screaming from the place you are in to the place you need to be. I’d like to say I was graceful about leaving everything behind but that would be a lie. I’d like to say that losing my home did not bother me and that my journey as a Christian has transcended me to a higher state of humanity but that would be a lie also. Truth be told, I wore anger and resentment for months. I had the “short end of the stick” syndrome pretty badly for a while. There were victories and I was thankful to be reunited with my children but the jagged pill of it all was bitter and hard to swallow.

Our actions helped trigger an avalanche of events in the small north Texas county of Montague. The Sheriff’s department was in the news for months and dozens of indictments were handed out. Not for what they did to us but things more heinous. Please, if you get the chance to look them up, you will be outraged at what was going on when no one was looking.

As for me and my family, we are well. I see now that God was always in it and I never had to fear. Everything and I do mean everything, had to happen as it did for me to be here now writing from my mountain home. I am not yet sure what God has in store for me and why he needed me right here, right now but I am thankful and blessed. He is on my side. Now, who will stand against me?

Peace, love and God’s will.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mountain Life 11

What are you willing to give up to save the ones you love? Will you go to jail, lose your job, your car, or your home? Will you allow the community you love and call home slander you for no reason other than they can? Honestly, no one can answer these questions truthfully until they are put in the situation.

I told you in my last post that my lawyer called Quinton and he did. It was Thursday and my spirits had risen from the sell of our truck. At that time, I had been separated from my children for a week. Our house was spotless. Then, our lawyer called with good and bad news. The good news was that he would represent us for a reasonable price. Quinton and I were fully aware that we may go to jail. It was something we would do as long as the children were safe.

I must make note that we are law abiding people. The thought of being handcuffed and put behind bars was almost too much. Almost! The alternative would be to bow to their demands and that was something we were not willing to ever do without one heck of a fight.

The problem comes with my lawyer’s bad news. He let Quinton know what he thought would go down the next day at the hearing. Because we exposed the county and they appear stupid and incompetent in the youtube video, they would want to make us pay. Our lawyer said they would arrest Quinton and me and put out an Amber Alert for the children.

You may be asking how they can get away with that. I know I did. If we showed up in the courtroom, we would admit jurisdiction and therefore the judge can do whatever he wants. It won’t stick and will eventually be thrown out but by the time that happens, they will have what they want…the children. Eighteen months of jumping hoops and all because one woman had a grudge.

This was when I lost it. The afternoon and evening went by in a blur. I do not remember a whole lot because I went and crawled in bed and wallowed in my misery. Friends and family were in and out all day but I can not tell you everyone that came. I do not remember praying anything but mumbled sobs to God but I know He felt my pain and knew my heart could not bear any more.

I vaguely remember Quinton saying he would not allow it. He and Tony had their heads together again. Let me tell you, if the world is out to get you, these two men are the two men you want on your side. The patrols of our house were still running every fifteen minutes, around the clock. We had to go in waves and use several vehicles. We were going to leave it all. We drew up a Power of Attorney for Quinton’s mom and had it notarized by a friend. We left her with our bank accounts, the deed to our home and everything we owned; everything we couldn’t fit into my van. We had cash in hand from the sale of our truck

So we left separately and at different times. I have never been so afraid. When we met up and I was back with my husband, I felt safe for the first time that day. I shook so hard that my teeth rattled and I just couldn’t stop crying. When we crossed the Texas border, it felt like we crossed on the wings of angels. The heaviness that had weighed me down for the last week lifted. We fought the good fight and God was victorious.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mountain Life 10

In the video I posted, you hear me say a lawyer’s name. She ended up not representing me. I had spoken to her that day and had a meeting with her the following day. She had told me on the phone that I could use her name if I had anyone show up again. Remember, my real lawyer told me he would not represent me. So effectively, I still did not have a lawyer.

On Tuesday, Diana drove me to Dallas to meet this lawyer. She claimed to specialize in CPS cases and that she was a staunch advocate for parent’s and children’s rights. My spirits were high. I really thought we had found someone willing to fight for what is right. Sadly, I was wrong. I must be fair. She was willing to represent us but at a cost of $10,000. With this hefty fee, she wanted us to also pay for psychological evaluations, medical evaluations for all the children.

Even if I had the money, which I didn’t, I would not have done what she wanted. She scolded me for not cooperating with CPS and the authorities. I showed her the video and she said I was wrong for being hard on the poor officer. After all, he was only doing his job. So, since when was it the job of hired servants to harass and violate their masters? I mentioned my rights as a sovereign American and she laughed.

I left in tears and Diana tried without much success to comfort me. I wasn’t sad or beaten…I was angry; a righteous anger. You know what I mean? Diana, bless her heart, got the front-end of my anger when she suggested raising money to hire that sorry excuse of a lawyer. A lawyer that, in my opinion, profited handsomely from a mother’s heartache.

See, Diana thought I was upset about the price. I was of course but only because it was insane. I informed Diana, not so nicely, that hell would freeze over before I paid to give up my children’s innocence, rights and happiness to satisfy a agency that has no right to order the free and not guilty; no Constitutional right any way. The fact that she is still my friend is a testament to her patience, love and overall kindness. I will forever thank God for her friendship.

One problem, I still had no lawyer and there was a hearing on Friday. I called dozens of lawyers and they all either wanted an absurd amount of money or they would not even meet with me. Quinton and I decided we would have to sell his Peterbuilt so we could hire a lawyer. I was going to have to eat my words…or so I thought.

Quinton placed an ad online Tuesday afternoon. We had dozens of calls and several people came to look at the truck the next day. There was a problem though. CPS and the Sheriff’s department did drive-by’s every fifteen minutes. I am not exaggerating. It was ridiculous and it seemed we would never sell the truck. Thousands of criminals in north Texas and this department had nothing better to do than stalk us. A call came in that night from the east coast. A man wanted to fly in to DFW and he had cash. I thought it was a joke.

In the mean time, I sent a final plea to my lawyer friend in form of email on Wednesday evening. I simply told him that if anyone could help us, I knew it was him. I also told him that no matter what, I wished him all of God’s love. That last part I nearly didn’t put in but I said a little prayer before I pressed send and quickly typed the last part. I did not get an email response. The next day, he called Quinton directly and asked for all the details.

He was going to represent our family and for only $1000. Thursday at 11:00am, Diana and I picked up the man at DFW airport and he brought a cashier check for the full amount of the truck.

I have goose bumps writing this down. See, God will always make a way for his children. Even when life beats you up and throws you down, God’s loving hand never leaves you. You may think you can not handle what life gives you but God makes you strong and he sends Saints to you in your time of need. He even muddles the mind of a cocky cop, whispers His will into the ears of a man on the east coast and warms the heart of a reluctant lawyer. It may not be when or how we think it should be but God never fails us.

Peace, love and God’s will.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mountain Life 9

In the video I posted a link to before, you will note that the officer was trying to serve me with papers; papers ordering me to appear that Friday in court. Remember, they had served me the Friday prior with papers ordering me to allow CPS access to my children. Children that were no longer under that courts jurisdiction when the order was signed. They were out of Texas for over 24 hours as a matter of fact.

Back to this set of papers. This set of papers claimed that I had disobeyed the previous orders, orders that were not valid, by not producing the children. You may have noticed that Hollywood (nick-name for the “special” officer) tossed the papers on the ground after he beat my twenty pound dog and violated my rights of property ownership. I guess I upset him so badly that he forgot to do any of his job properly. He did not sign the papers. Therefore, he made the orders null and void.

My friend Diana had the video up by mid-night and I sent an email with a link to the video to the Attorney General of Texas, Health and Human Services, the Sheriff of Montague, Newspapers, TV channels, friends, and family. Not one news agency responded. It is not a story they want to run I guess. You will notice the comments have been turned off on the video link. Hollywood kept posting nasty-grams.

In the days that followed, God’s mighty hand was working hard. I was a mess, Quinton was a rock, our friends and family were saints and my church family sent out the Baptist prayer chain across the country. The mighty warriors of God fought with us against the evil that threatened to take us down.

I have said before that I could feel the heavenly host surrounding us and I mean it. I could also feel demons licking their lips; waiting for a chance to tear us apart. There is a wonderful hymn that played in my mind that week; Victory in Jesus. Also, Psalms 121.

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Joint Blog I am now posting at.

There is a new place I will be blogging from now on. I will still make my posts here but I would like to invite you all to follow at the other blog also. Keven Newsome, author of Winter, has worked hard to get this site up in an effort to attract editors, agents and publishers for unpublished authors. I am honored and excited about this and have a very good feeling it will bare much fruit.

Visit -

Peace, love and God's will.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mountain Life 8

That weekend went by without incident. Quinton did not go to work. He was afraid to leave me alone. I have to say, there had never been a time in our relationship that he had to go full-Tarzan but Quinton pulled it off handsomely. Not to say he isn’t manly, because he is…ex-marine and all. But something about a man protecting his family translates into a beautiful thing and my love and admiration of him tripled that week.

Monday rolled in and I waited. If they came back, which I knew they would, I was ready. Quinton had to work that day. We are not rich and missing that many days of work was a financial strain. Diana was to stay with me and we had a video camera ready.

There is a video we made that night that caused a landslide in Montague County Texas. Maybe you have heard of this north Texas county?? The link is below. Words do not complete the happenings. Peace, love and God's will.

Needless to say, Quinton came home within twenty minutes after he left for work.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mountain Life 7

Some of you may wonder why I have titled these last few posts, Mountain Life. Simple, this is the journey that brought me to live on a mountain.

Friday, May 2, 2008 – I have already told of my morning. Now, let me tell you of the afternoon. My lawyer called me a little after noon. He said that CPS would go to the school and speak with the children and had probably already done so. I told him that would be hard to do, considering the kids were not at school.

Honestly and truthfully, I silenced a lawyer. I could hear him breathing but no words came for a few minutes. When he spoke, he said we could setup a meeting like I had originally asked for. I explained to him that would not be necessary either. The children, my husband and I were already shown the lengths CPS would go to take away our rights and we would not subject ourselves to their lying and manipulative practices. We would not grant them jurisdiction. The children were no longer in the state of Texas and the issue was no longer an issue. Again, silence!

A few things before I go on. CPS and agencies like it only have jurisdiction if granted jurisdiction. That may be given it by the foolhardy parent that lets them in the door, more often the school and in some cases a judge can order it. Once you allow them in, they are like cockroaches. Nuclear devastation can not get them out. So be very careful with your children and home.

Lawyers, even good ones, work in a county and have to long after you are on a mountain. CPS cases make up a good portion of their income in a small county. If they rock the boat, they are not as likely to get more of that honey pot. So, when my lawyer told me he would no longer be able to represent my family, I was not shocked. I was a bit hurt because he is our friend but understand, I did.

So, by 3:00, they children were gone, I was banned from the school and my family no longer had representation. The day gets so much better when the evening rolls in.

My husband left around 6 pm everyday. I kissed him goodbye and went back to my computer. I was no longer writing I Am Ocilla (that stopped for nearly a year), I was researching. Minutes passed and the dogs began barking. I thought at first that Quinton had forgotten something but the barking was irritated. The dogs were inside or I would have known sooner.

By the time I walked to the front door, I knew something was up and called Quinton on his cell. There were cop cars surrounding my house; at least five cruisers. Quinton was too far away and told me he was calling Tony and Diana. Hold tight and he would be back as soon as he could. Being all alone, I was terrified.

The knock came and my heart jumped. I had still yet to break a law; only rocked the boat. There were half a dozen armed men on my porch. I stepped out to keep the dogs from going by. I was foolish for doing that. They asked where the children were. I answered honestly and said they were not there. That did not make them happy at all.
They cornered me against my door and began screaming at and threatening me. I could see the two CPS Nazi women hovering at the gate with smiles. They thought they had their prize; five smart, beautiful an intelligent children. NOT! I was told that I would give them my children and if I did not, I would rot in jail. I asked if they had a warrant and they did not respond. They had papers to serve me. Papers signed after the children were out of state so they had no power. I told them I would show them to my lawyer and they told me that if I didn’t give them the children, I would never have a chance to give them to a lawyer. This was an open-ended threat. “Or what?” Is what I wanted to ask them.

The cavalry arrived. Tony and Diana were at my gate. The officer standing there told them they could not enter. Tony, God love him, asked if it was normal for half a dozen men to corner a small woman with no witnesses. I have to note that Tony is a very large man. Some might even say intimidating. Well, until they got to know him. He is a teddy bear. The officer let him through. Quinton arrived minutes later.

Needless to say, the officers changed when there were people watching. You should have seen their faces when we told them they had no jurisdiction. I wish I would have had my camera. They left and the rest of that night was spent working on a battle plan.

Enough for today. Peace, love and God’s will

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mountain Life 6

The kids were safe for the minute. I couldn’t have been more miserable. Not because they were safe but because they were gone. The house and my heart were hollow and empty. The children that drove my every move for the last fifteen years were in another state and I felt lost. See, my children define me. They are what give me worth when the world hates me. God gave me that treasure and I had to remember that when I really wanted to crawl into bed and cry forever. Not saying I didn’t do my fair share of crying because I did.

There was work to be done still. I mentioned before our friends, Tony and Diana. They are our research partners in all the things life throws at us. Which has been a lot…I could write a book. LOL! So, the four of us dove in to research. We had to know all the law that could protect us and our children. Ignorance is no excuse. Come to find out, we did exactly what we should have.

The next morning, no one showed up to arrest me. They had no grounds because I had lawfully and effectively invoked my rights as a parent and as a sovereign American. The next step was to un-enroll the children from school; wouldn’t want a truancy officer showing up. This gets a little tricky because the first thing they asked when I called was where to send the children’s records.

I had never thought of home schooling my children. See, I have an 11th grade education. I never felt smart enough to educate my children. Not that I didn’t do well in school because I did but I didn’t have the little piece of paper saying I was smart. I dropped out of school to marry my lovely husband at age 16. I do not regret it for a minute but there was still that little whisper of doubt in the back of my head. Isn’t it funny how satan plants these little seeds? God stomped the seed! Want to or not, I would be home schooling my children for at least the next 18 months. God reminded me that I have been teaching them all along.

The school told me I would have to come to the school to sign the children out. I asked if they could just fax the paperwork but they told me no. It was against policy. This is a load of crap, BTW. Truth be known, I did not have to sign anything legally. Honestly, I never wanted to enter that building again. The bitterness was still very thick in my mouth but I prayed before I entered and God gave me the strength.

It is an amazing thing to watch people turn in less than 24 hours. Seven years, my family was a big part of this school (pre-k to 8th) of less than 100. My children had perfect attendance more years than not, played on the teams, excelled in their school work, and raise thousands of dollars. I worked concession stands, baked, and volunteered. None of it matter when I walked in the door that morning.

I went to the office to sign the papers. I was met with cold hate. When I finished signing, I asked to retrieve my children’s belongings. You want to know what they told me? It is really funny now that time has passed. They told me no. I was not allowed to go beyond the office. School had two weeks left before summer break and they would gather my children’s things then and the superintendent would bring them to my home. I was never allowed on the school grounds again. The cut was deep. Nick and Cilla had paid to go on a field trip the next week ($40 each.) I asked for a refund of their money and was told, get this, they would send me a check.

A note: I never got that check and none of Madison’s things and most of the other’s things were returned.

I am feeling a bit ill from this writing session. Until later, peace, love and God’s will.

Mountain Life 5

There are moments in life when you are utterly and completely in God’s mercy. The world around you is falling to rubble and stumbling blocks barricade your escape. On your own, you will dig and dig; trying to get out. What you end up doing is digging yourself deeper into a pit. Best advice I can give is to put your shovel away and pray. HE will make you stepping stones.

Back to my story! The officers and the angry CPS lady continued to stand outside in my driveway for twenty minutes after I re-entered my house. Nazi scare tactics, anyone? Needless to say, we were terrified but God fortified my family.

I called our lawyer and Quinton called family and friends. My lawyer informed me that I had no choice. I would have to play along to CPS’s tune. I would more than likely not get an appointment but instead, CPS would show up at the school and just remove(kidnapping is kidnapping no matter what badge of authority the culprit wears) my children. I asked about the law and my lawyer actually laughed. Not in a funny ha-ha way but in the “this is a joke” way. I hung up the phone feeling hopeless.

The kids and I prayed but my husband, God love him, was formulating a plan. Tony and Diana, friends of ours, showed up in minutes. That is the kind of people they are. I am blessed. My husband and Tony were the schemers. See, they are smart…very smart. They know the law like I know the grocery store. We were all in agreement that hell would freeze over before we allowed CPS or anyone else to violate our rights or those of our children.

But the system is flawed, you see. So you must know how to work within the law to win. We decided that the only way to save the children was to get them out of state. It is all about jurisdiction. A little law fact for those of you that care to know; CPS and agencies like it are limited within their county. They can not cross county lines without first calling the other county and asking for permission and/or assistance from that county’s agency. This is equally true for states. When crossing state lines, the agency must find out what county you are in and ask special permission and/or assistance from their agency. At any time, the agency being asked can and usually does refuse to take on the work of another county and they almost never take another states case. Remember, it is a business. If they take another agency’s work, they lose money.

So within an hour, the kids were packed with a backpack each, a kiss, a hug and God’s protection. Diana loaded them in her car and drove them to Quinton’s mom. From there, Quinton’s sister drove them across the state line and met my mom and sister. By 8 that evening, the girls and Peyton were at my sister’s and the older boys were at my mom’s house. The reason we separated the kids was an extra layer of protection.

I have to make special note of a few people before I continue. Without them, this would have ended differently. I know this fact as well as I know the sky is sometimes sky-blue-pink. Tony and Diana Varnes are dear friends of ours. God sent them that day to our house within minutes. Also, Quinton’s mother and sister, my mother and sister, along with all the prayer warriors fighting on the spiritual front. That day and the weeks and months following, I could literally feel God’s heavenly host around my family.

I’ll write more later. Writing this down is like reliving it. Peace, love and God’s will.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mountain Life 4

So, I made my stand but my knees were about to go out from beneath me because I was shaking so hard. My husband, the dear sweet man, caught me as I re-entered the house. The kids were crying and all talking at once but I was in a tunnel. I prayed hard in those moments. I prayed that God would lead me in the right direction. First things first, I had to snap out of the funk; my kids needed me. I ask my kids what happened at school. My girls were overflowing with information.

A little more back-story to help you understand. I had always been the mom active in her children's education. I was at the school everyday and always knew what was going on with my kids because I asked. The week before, my oldest daughter came home crying. I asked what was the problem and she told me. She had an issue with one of her teachers. I usually allow my children to address their problems but it was something Priscilla could not deal with on her own at twelve years old.

The next day, I went to the school and set the teacher straight. That afternoon, when I picked the kids up from school, Priscilla was crying again. I asked again and she told me that the teacher in question had taken her to the side and scolded her for telling on her. The teacher told my daughter that she had better stop telling her mom everything that happened at school.

I didn't even pull out of the parking lot. I told the kids I would be right back.
I found the teacher and let her know that she had better never tell MY CHILD not to talk to me again or I would have her job. She apologized to me and I walked her bottom out to my van so she could apologize to Priscilla. She did and I thought that was the end of it. Ha!

Back to May 1st. My daughters tell me that the same teacher interrogated them at school that day. She told my youngest daughter Madison that her older brother had molested her and she knew it. Priscilla and Madison adamantly denied these accusations but the teacher told them they were lying and she was going to make sure she got to the bottom of it. The girls asked to call me and she refused their request. She then, called my second son Nicholas and interrogated him. He also denied the accusations but the teacher also called him a liar. She made an anonymous call to CPS. No evidence, no accusation by my children, just a grudge.

You may be thinking that this could never happen in our country but I assure you it happens everyday. Public schools DO NOT adhere to the Constitution. As a matter of fact, they consider your children more theirs than yours. How are they able to interrogate your children without your knowledge or consent? It is a contract. You know, the handbook you sign at the beginning of each school year? Unless you place a parental rights document in their file each year, you and your children are not protected. Scary,huh?

I'll write more tomorrow. Peace, love and God's will.

Mountain Life 3

So, evil is at my back gate and all I can think is my letters of protest made someone mad. Which, I am sure they did. I ask the woman how I may help and she drops a bombshell. She informs me that she needs to speak with me about a report of abuse in my home. I literally saw red.

Instead of allowing her in, I ask what the accusation is. (Foolish parents hand their children over without questioning. I am not foolish.) She claims it is confidential. Now, the law clearly states that we have the right to face our accuser, have an attorney and know what we are being accused of. I tell her this and she gets very hateful and begins to threaten me.

How does CPS and other agencies get away with this? Well, they are working under contract. They are not a state or federal agency. They are privately held corporations with state and federal contracts. They are, in fact, treating children as property(like cattle). That is why they want to get custody of children immediately (guilt or innocence is irrelevant.) What is property law? That's right, possession is 9/10 of the law. Also, CPS works in civil court. They actually sue parents for their children and law enforcement and the court system has been all to happy in obliging the theft of our children.

So, angry woman actually enters my gate. A six-foot fence with Beware of Dog signs and Private Property signs. I tell her I will be happy to speak with her office after I contact my attorney and would she be so kind as to remove her butt from my property. She continued to stand in my yard and refused to leave. I ended up having to call 911. She left my yard but continued to stand at my gate.

I still have no idea what the accusation is at this point. She still refuses to tell me. While we are waiting for the Sheriff's department to show up, I ask if this has anything to do with all the letters I wrote. She claims to not know what I am talking about (although, later it is confirmed that her office was aware of the letters.)

Finally, the law arrives. Now remember, I called them and had been an active and upstanding woman of this tiny community for seven years. The officer's do not even say a word to me. They go straight for angry woman and huddle in conversation with her for several minutes. I am livid by this point but it gets oh so much better.

The officers finally come to my gate. Do they say, "Hello, Mrs. Graham. What seems to be the problem?" Oh no. They tell me that I will allow the CPS woman to speak to my children right then. I tell them I will be happy to do that with a scheduled appointment. An appointment with my attorney present and my children's Constitutional rights adhered to along with my own.

Now, what happened next should make you all cry a little inside. The officers, who are angry as all get out, tell me they will be back in the morning with a warrant for my arrest and they will be taking my children from me. This, because I refused to bend over and take it. All this because I did not offer up my children for the slaughter with a smile. I actually know my rights as a parent, as an American and chose to enforce them and they want to arrest me? God blessed me with my beautiful babies and only God will be taking them from me.

I will write more tomorrow. Peace.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Moutain Life 2

Before,I wrote my weakness is my family. What I mean by that is they are like my kryptonite; as I am sure it is the case for any mother or father that centers their life there. The one to destroy the family will rule the world (for a while.)

It was a day like any other day until 3:20. The kids had just gotten home from school and I was settling them in. I was about to ask how their day went when the dogs began barking. Not the, "Hey, I am happy to see you" bark, more like,"Who are you? And why are you standing at my gate?" bark.

I went out back to see who it was. Foolishly, I put the dogs in. At my back gate stood a woman with a CPS badge. My heart dropped. See, it does not matter how good of a parent you are, they should scare you. Anyone that has the power to steal your children should scare you bad.

A little back story before I go on.I want you all to know how God prepares His people for battle. At the time, there was a story in the news about the FLDS. I had been following it closely. I was appalled that a contracted corporation (CPS) could kidnap over three-hundred children on a hunch. No innocent until proven guilty. No evidence. Just an anonymous phone call from another state.

I began researching CPS, DHS and any other group that wielded that sort of power. What I found was shocking and made me hug my children a little tighter each day. What I found reminded me so much of Nazi Germany that I prayed extra hard for the children across the country who were in the system.

See, our children are dollar signs to these people. They are in it to make $$$. Now, all you bleeding hearts will say it is for the good of the children and that may be the case a small part of the time. More times than not, it is about keeping their budget amount up and in a few cases, selling children into slavery(look up Florida. It will make you cry.) They also have contracts with pharmaceutical companies to test new drugs on any child in state care. Four out of five children in state care are abused(physical, mental and sexual.) 75% of prison inmates were wards of the state at some point.

Back to my story. I had written several letters of protest on behalf of the families of the FLDS. I know it is not much but it was all I could do. I do not agree with their religion or the marrying off of children but I do believe in the Constitution and due process. These people were getting none of that. If they could take it from them, then they can take it from us. fight.

I have heard many parents say, "I have nothing to hide." Foolish take. If this was a moral time, that would apply. But this is a time of great moral lacking. No one is safe and there is money to be made. What do you do when evil comes to your back gate? Do you let it in or do you question its motives?

I will write more later. I feel drained right now.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mountain Life

Mountain life is not for the faint of heart. I am adjusting but it was not where I thought I would be two years ago. When you get comfortable, get ready!

I was quite content in my life. Our house was paid for, our church home was perfect, the kids were happy, and we had our own business. There was no need for change, right? Ha! That was my plan, not God's. On May 1, 2008, my life and that of my perfect family was turned upside-down.

Where will satan attack? BTW, I will not capitalize his name. He will attack where we are weak. In my case, my family. My children to be precise. Bitter bile still rises in my throat and my hands shake when I think of it. I pray that God empowers me to tell this story.

I will type a little each day. Writing about it heals the roughness of anger.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It is COLD

I know that winter is very important but...enough is enough. I live in the south. We are suppose to have mild winters and hot summers. Oh, we had a hot summer all right. One-hundred degree days for eternity. I know, I have no air conditioning. But the winter too? We have sectioned off the downstairs. It is just too cold to heat the entire house(downfall of a big house.)It was 10 degrees when I woke up this morning. We had a high of 23. I, for one, am ready for springtime.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


One of the most irritating things in the whole wide world is whining. To me, it is akin to nails on a chalkboard. I can stand screaming, crying and general griping but when I hear someone whine, I want to throttle them.I know this sounds harsh but I can't help myself. It reminds me too much of a spoiled child. I want to tell them to suck it up. Life is not fair. The world does not love you nor care. I know this is so politically incorrect but oh well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Be Still

Psalm 46:10 (King James Version)

10) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Anyone that knows me, knows this is a very hard thing to ask. I am not the type of person to sit on the sidelines and watch. I don't think God wants us to be still in the literal meaning of still. I believe He wants us to allow Him to work through us.

I think of "still" as peace. Be peaceful in our souls. Only through Him is that possible. Then, we know he is God. We know he will be exalted among the heathen. He will be exalted in the earth.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Love Of God

One of my very favorite groups is Mercy Me. They took this wonderful old hymn and made a new hit. The words get me every time and the music is beautiful. As a writer, I have often thought about putting into words what the love of God is. I can't. It is just too big to describe. I put the lyrics for the song below. If you get a chance to listen to the song, please do.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child
He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin

Could we with ink
the ocean fill
And were the skies
of parchment made
Were every stalk
on earth a quill
And every man
a scribe by trade
To write the love
of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll
contain the whole
Though stretched from sky
to sky

Hallelujah [3x]

O love of God,
how rich and pure!
How measureless
and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song

Why I wrote I Am Ocilla

Many of you know I wrote I Am Ocilla for my children. Each one of them has a character in the book. Several of my nieces, nephews and other siblings and friends also have their own little slice of fun in the pages of my imagination. What most of you don't know is how I developed my characters.

Ocilla is the lead. She is based off of my oldest daughter Priscilla. We call her Cilla. When I call her, I say, "Oh...Cilla." Ha ha, I know it is silly but that is how I came up with the name. Cilla is also my executive reader. Everything I write must go through her strenuous approval. Fourteen year old girls can be brutal, let me tell you.

Ash and Rowan are not named after anyone. They do have the characteristics of all the great men in my life. They are strong, yet gentle. Loyal and fierce. What more can you ask for in a man?

Tanner, my spastic wolf is named for my youngest son Peyton Tanner Graham. When I first began writing I Am Ocilla, I let the kids know they would all have their own character. Peyton informed me he was going to be a red wolf. I laughed but my imagination went wild. I am quite fond of Peyton's character.

I would tell you more but then I might give away the secrets of I Am Ocilla. I can't have that.

I truly believe God whispered Ocilla's story in my ear.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How about them Cowboys!

As many of you know, I love the Cowboys. It doesn't matter if they win or lose, I love them all the same. Today is a big game. I really hope they keep it together and go all the way. My husband keeps talking about if so-and-so wins or loses. He even went so far as to say that the Cowboys should lose so they don't have to play the Eagles two games in a row. Pst! Lose? I will punish him later.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I Am Ocilla

I am so new to this and hopefully I will get better as I go along. The biggest news in my life right now is my book won Marcher Lord Press's Premise Contest along with two other wonderful writers. Mike Johnson won with The Haunting at Cowhole Mountain and Gerald Simms won with Dreamwalker. Forty-nine authors competed for the prize of a full read by Jeff Gerke. There were so many wonderful entries. I feel so honored to have been a part of this first time event. As my first post, I have posted the introduction to I Am Ocilla. Hope you all like it. Also, drop by Marcher Lord Press and see all the wonderful speculative Christian fiction.

The darkness of my abyss is consuming. Direction is irrelevant and time is worthless. If only I could pinpoint the moment when it all faded and I became nothing, then maybe I would be able to crawl back into existence. I am neither tired nor fully awake and my heartbeat is an echoed thrum of worthless hope.

I am Ocilla. That I know for sure. As I sit in this prison of emptiness, no other memory surfaces. My thoughts are blank and no matter how hard I try, I cannot get passed the imaginary barricade in my mind’s eye. The only sound is the drip, drip, dripping in the distance and I am all alone in this hell. They will come for me soon and then, I will be no more.