Tell us a little about yourself (name, age, where you live, family, interests, etc) …
My name is Kathryn Joy Fogleman (meaning – Pure Delight Birdman … yeah, the bird part never gets old). I am 8395-ish days old. I live in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, where it gets to be 120 degrees in summer, below 0 in winter, tornadoes in spring, and no color in the fall, because the summer weather killed all the trees. It’s a great place to raise tough and nutty kids. I am the eldest of six hoolagins, and probably the most creatively insane of the bunch. My dad is an electrician with Dutch/Scottish blood, and my mom is a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom with Cherokee/Irish blood. My siblings are made up of a crazy-Golden-Retriever-lady, a nuclear astrophysicist wanna-be, a crazy-cat-lady-wanna-be, a farmer wanna-be, and a dinosaur rider wanna-be.
I take a great interest in horses and dogs, as far as animals go. I have a dog right now, named Pilot. You can read about him here at my blog. I really like horticulture and growing green things. The house is full of many plants that I have saved from a fate-worse-than-death at Wal-Mart … except for the Orchid. It didn’t make it. I tried. It was doing fine. Then my mother touched it … But other than that one, all the others are doing well. Roni, Barbie, Jack, Mauve, Jasmine, and my most recent addition, Dusky, are all doing wonderful … Angel could be doing better though. She’s a hypochondriac. Her and I fight a lot. I sometimes even wonder why I bothered saving her from Wal-Mart… I am also an avid reader and a writer. My favorite genre to read and write in is Fantasy. Next to that, I like archery, hand-to-hand combat, hiking, biking and putting large amounts of lemon juice in people’s water.
What is your testimony (how did you become born-again)?
I think I was seven years old when my mother took me to a Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames presentation. I remember very clearly watching “Jesus” walk down the aisle, carrying the cross, with a throng of angry, screaming people around him that were … normal. They were just like me. They weren’t just Jews or Romans. There was a school teacher, a preacher, a drug addict, a drunk, a mom, a dad, kids … everyone was there, and Jesus died for each of them, because of their sin. But not all of them made it to heaven. Some of them refused him and went to Hell. Seeing salvation put in such a way really clicked in my mind, and I went up with my mom to the altar that evening, knowing why Jesus came, and knowing why I needed Him.
What led you to stay at home?
The reason I stayed at home? Two words: boogie men. My great aunt told me that if I ever ran away from home, the boogiemen would come and get me. Okay, that’s not the whole reason. Staying at home just seemed like the logical thing to do. I remember working outside one afternoon, mumbling to myself how I just couldn’t get along with my parents, they just didn’t understand me, I had too many siblings to deal with, and how I just could not wait to move away from it ALL.
Then, suddenly, it occurred to me: what on earth is moving out of the house going to fix? I’ll still have problems. Every girl I have ever known that moved out of her parents’ home STILL has relationship problems with her family. What’s more, of those girls, the ones that got married ended up carrying those same relationship struggles into their marriage. So … what was moving out of the house going to fix? Nothing. Staying home, under my parents authority, and forcing myself to learn how to get along with my family was going to be the best thing. Not my favorite thing, but the best thing. I knew it would make a difference in my life 30 years from now. It would make me a stronger woman.
For another thing, “moving out and being on your own” is a huge status quo. EVERY teenager or young person has thought that – “I just can’t WAIT to move out”. And what is fun about being just like everyone else? If you want people to respect you, to notice you’re different, going against the quo is the best way to do it. And believe me, staying under your parents’ authority (until you’re married) is the biggest “un-cool” thing right now. However, just because you live with your folks doesn’t mean that you sit in THEIR basement in your skivvies, eating all THEIR food, watching THEIR TV, using THEIR internet, etc. etc. etc! DO something with yourself. Get a job. Become somebody. Just because you live with your family doesn’t mean that you don’t have a life separate from theirs. It doesn’t mean you are or can be a bum!
What are some ways that you help and serve your family?
I concoct strange potions in my secret lab for the family members to drink so they can randomly barf money. Okay. Not. Just had to paint a beee-u-tiful picture in all of your minds.
Actually, I’m not really sure what I contribute to the family, other than lots of stitches in their ribs… and stories. I do have lots of plants that everyone likes! Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsly, Guava, Jasmine… Rosemary and Parsly live outside though. Daddy doesn’t like them. But they don’t feel left out! Catnip lives next door and throws great parties, and lots of weeds come and go.
As far as chores, when I remember, I do the ironing. And when I remember, I also do the laundry. And I do the dishes, when I remember. OH! And I vacuum the floors regularly…when I remember. I also dust… usually when my plants remind me. But I do remember to feed the Beta fish every morning! I can’t help it. They are so beeee-u-tiful, and they need to be in optimal health if they are ever going to make lots of baby Betas for my Beta Fish army… long story….
Are there any resources that have encouraged you in your daily life?
The Bible. And that’s about it. Really, I don’t get magazines (and if I do, I forget to read them), I don’t listen to tapes (particularly since I lost most of my hearing), and I don’t buy or read books that have no interest to me (and believe me when I say that encouraging books, devotionals, and the like, are of no interest to me … yet). The Bible is all I need and have ever used. I particularly like to read Psalms, maybe some Ecclesiastes (depending on how depressed I am), and Proverbs for devotionals. I count my blessings!
However, just a side note, if you are looking for something that would encourage siblings to get along together, become best friends even, then I suggest “Making Brothers & Sisters Best Friends” by Sarah, Steven, & Grace Mally. My mother forced me to read it years ago, and even though I had a bad attitude at the time, it really did help! It has also helped my siblings. So, it’s a good book.
Do you have a ministry? If so, please share about it.
I could tell you all about the ministries I have started (like the Character Horse Club) or wanted to start (like an animal circus ministry), but no. I have no ministry other than helping to guide my siblings along the straight and narrow.
Do you have a home business? If so, please share about it.
My primary business is writing. Currently, I have a blog and one book published: The Dragon’s Son. My book IS Christian Fantasy. Not everyone agrees with such a thing, but I really like fantasy (after all, there is much in the Bible itself that is fantastical!). However, do you know how hard it is to find any fantasy book that isn’t full of crud or just plain corny? Next to impossible. So, I made a story that I would be comfortable with my siblings and friends reading, that I knew they would enjoy reading, AND made a business out of it. Oh yes. I’m talented like that.
Also, I am an independent distributor of THRIVE Life. It is a company that sells wholesome dehydrated and freeze dried foods, as well as emergency preparedness supplies. People often balk at the prices of the food (you probably will too), but one must keep in mind that these cans of dehydrated food can last 10-25 years on the shelf, plus its clean, vine ripened, and you get more bang for your buck.
I’m also a compassionate entrepreneur for Trades of Hope. They are a Christian company that helps empower women in third world countries to provide for themselves and rise out of poverty. All items listed at Trades of Hope are 100% hand crafted by precious women in different countries. Each item purchased helps a widow feed her children and send them to school, keeps a young lady safe from the slave trade, or provides necessities for a deformed or disabled victim of war or acts of cruelty.
What encouragement/advice/exhortation do you have to share?
Staying home, under your parents’ authority, is not as hard as it seems. Fighting ones own attitude is the real kicker. We get the idea in our head that moving away from it all would just be easier, because then we would have our own space, we could “think about it” away from it all, and we would not have to put up with everything that annoys us. But let’s be honest: if you can’t handle the home you are in now, you aren’t going to handle any other. I know what you are thinking: well, it would be easier without my brothers and sister. It would be easier if I didn’t have to keep all my stuff separate. It would be easier if I did not have my parents constantly expecting me to pull my own load. It would be easier if I had silence, my own space, and fewer expectations. I could think. I could do something. If you’re really desperate, you’re even thinking: it would be so much better if I got married.
Nope. No matter what you think, or your reasons for it, none of it will be as simple as you think. For one, you will be saddled with many, many more responsibilities when you go out on your own or get married. New responsibilities are nice, but not when you are thinking you’re moving to get away from them. When you live with your family, most of those responsibilities are dispersed among everyone. People share the bills, the chores, the blame, etc. etc. etc.
For another thing, when you strike out on your own or get married, you STILL have to deal with relationships and people. If you can’t get along with or function around your family, how do you think it’s going to be better “on your own”?
Now, if you have a bad attitude about it, nothing I say will sway you. You’ll just think I’m a brainwashed idiot with no idea of what you are going through.
This is untrue. I’ve had my share of troubles, probably some that YOU could never imagine going through. But don’t let me stop you! If you think you have got it really bad, if you aren’t up to the challenge to get along with your family, if you want to run like a coward and move out, then GO AHEAD! That is my advice. If you can’t take roll with the punches like a big kid, then move out. Go live with someone else. Get married. Do whatever you think it will take to fix your miniscule little problems. Tell your parents that I told you to do it! Then, in a year (probably less), look back and see if your troubles have gotten any better. Don’t expect me to give you sympathy when you start posting your sob stories all over the internet! If I pass you in the street, you won’t stand out as a person who is a conqueror over their problems, victorious over their struggles. You’ll be just like every other kid I know: the status quo minion who couldn’t take a little heat.
To those of you who are determined to stay at home under your parents authority, struggling with them down the rocky roads that taste nothing like ice cream, falling in the pot holes with them, starting mud fights with them, and, most of all, coming out victorious day by day to say “I stayed home. I got along with my family. I survived.” … then all I have to say is: HIGH FIVE! Let’s do it again tomorrow!