Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

National Brownie Day

Applebee's Brownie

Do you need a reason to indulge in a decadent treat? It’s National Brownie Day – celebrated December 8th. In honor of this special occasion you could host a party at home or bring delight to those at work place. Offer trivia on the history of brownies.

Did you know that there are three beliefs about how brownies came into existence?
-a cook forgot to add flour to the batter
-a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough
-a housewife didn’t have baking powder so she improvised with the recipe.

Now that you have a bit of history you are almost ready to celebrate. Get out your favorite brownie recipe or try one of the recipes below. 

Cheesecake Brownie recipe

Mint Brownie recipe

Grab a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream to accompany your brownie and enjoy.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Muffins with Mom – 3 Reasons to create a vision board

Do you have a vision of where you want to be five years from now? One year from now? Perhaps you are seeking financial freedom, improved health or some other project you have always wanted to accomplish. What does your roadmap toward success look like? A vision board is one way plot your goals.

What is a vision board? It can take on whatever for you want. Grab a poster board, cut words pictures, quotes from magazines and use them to create a visual map of what you want to achieve.
My teen son said, “Ma, I need to apply to some more colleges. Time is starting to wind down.”

My response was simple, “Yep.” His senior year in high school is coming to a close. I have been emphasizing for quite a while to my son, the need to prepare for the next stage of his life. He had to come to the realization on his own. So here we are.

“Let’s work on a new vision board,” I said. My words fell on deaf ears for about a month. While my son has been applying to colleges, he didn’t really have a plan. His approach was random, he knows he wants to go away to school, but I felt he should be checking more details. Have a plan A and B. He began his vision board.

Why create a vision board? Here are three reasons (you may come up with even more):

1.      Provides direction for your life
2.      Makes you accountable to yourself
3.      Creates positive self-awareness

The key to effectively using your vision board is to place it in a spot where you will look at it every day. If your vision board is based on one year, after six months access where you are with the goals you’ve set. Do you need to do something differently to get to achieve the result(s) you want?

Have you ever created a vision board? Let your creative juices flow, have fun, and plot out your goals.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Muffins with Mom - Tickling God’s Funny bone

When life throws you a bone, bite it. Have you ever asked yourself the question, why Lord? Why me? If you sit still long enough and listen, you may hear God say, “why not you?” Over the years I’ve come to learn that things happen in God’s divine timing.

Sometimes you’re broken down to be built back up even stronger. As you travel through the fiery furnace, you will come out different than you went in. Your character has developed, you become stronger. Somehow, you survive your storm. That’s God.

My grandmother used to say, “Trouble don’t last always.” I find myself reciting the same phrase through tough times. It is during tough times we must still find joy. What outlet do you have for releasing your joy? For some it may be taking a long walk, listening to music or reading a good book. While you figure it out, sit back in your favorite spot and discover your funny bone.

Funny bone, a sense of humor. Did you know that God has sense of humor? As situations occur in my life, I visualize God doubled over with laughter saying, “My child, my child, I really did make you unique.” There has been more than one occasion that has led me to believe God has a funny bone or a sense of humor.

As you read this the story may you find a mustard seed of hope and inspiration to carry you through your daily walk. When the going gets tough, find something that makes you smile.

Praying for a job
Ask and it shall be given unto you.

Take a walk back in time with me, about five years ago. Peek through the window of a day in my life...

I had a conversation with God the other day. I explained how it was time for me to find a job earning more money. I had been laid off from my job for a year and was earning a little money working part-time, but not enough to sustain by bills. Little did I realize that God had positioned me to become a certified fitness instructor.

My first question was, “Are you serious? You want me to teach an exercise class? I feel like Humpty Dumpty.” I was not the picture of what I thought a fitness instructor should look like. However, I did say I needed more money. And I wanted to loose weight.

I participated in fitness training so that I could lead group fitness classes at the facility where I worked part-time. A weekend training lead to a three day workshop, a CPR certification, recruiting participants and leading demonstration classes. Prior to completing training I had two offers to teach a fitness class. The offers were from sources who didn’t know I was working toward certification.

Needless to say, the door was opened to new opportunities I would not have had without the fitness training.

What are you praying and asking God to do in your life? Pray and believe that it is already done.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Fun Friday – Surprise guest

It was a chilly fall evening when I slipped into my fleece pajamas and fuzzy socks. My hair was pulled back into a ponytail secured with a hair clip, and covered with a bonnet. I was the spitting image of Little Red Riding hood’s Grandma…except with a tan. My teen son decided to bring company home, unexpected.

The house was dark as I began to descend the stairway from my bedroom. I was halfway down the stairs when I heard the front door open and my son said, “Ma, I brought company home.” At the same time, he flicked the light switch on and said, “Ma this is….”

“Noooo.” I didn’t wait to hear the rest of his introduction as I turned to flee the stairway. “I am not ready to receive company.”

I rushed back to the bedroom, snatched off my bonnet and covered my fleece jammies with a fleece housecoat. My appearance was a far cry from glamorous, but at it least it didn’t look like I’d just crawled out of bed. I reemerged from the bedroom with a smile and greeted our house guest.

After a brief interrogation engagement with our guest, I retreated back to my cozy spot, topped my head with my bonnet and curled up with a book. Sipping Hazelnut coffee and reading, it was easy to drift back into my relaxed state. There would be time later to converse with my son about house rules.

My son obviously didn’t realize there was an unwritten code about bringing guests home. In this day of instant messaging, I should have at least received a text indicating company was on the way. Even a ten minute lead time would have allowed me to give the house a quick glance and shove things in a corner if necessary.

Have you ever had a surprise guest appear at your home? What did you do?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Words of Wisdom – Celebrate Family

Funny, silly, smart, resourceful…just a few words to describe my family. Our recent outing reminded me of the quirkiness of my family. Dinner at a local family restaurant proved to be anything, but average.

I accidentally I tried to hold a conversation with my brother. When he didn’t respond to a comment I made, I realized the problem right away. His attention was directed at the big screen T.V. above our table. Michigan was playing Iowa in college football and I was distracting him. Oops.

Trying to organize our small tribe for a photo was like trying to round up a herd of cattle.  As soon as I got a few people together, a few others wondered off somewhere. Then there’s my great nephew who went from pretending he was asleep to showing us all of his teeth with a huge grin.

My teenagers added to the festivities by rough housing with their little cousins and nearly bumping into a table of diners near us. I was ready to bury my head in a hole and slither out of there. It was at that moment my niece said, “Let’s take a group picture near the entrance.” She had recruited a hostess to our picture.

Once again, we attempted to assemble ourselves into a picturesque arrangement of professional photo readiness. We came close to it, really close, then remembered, that’s not really who we are. We’re resourceful, smart, silly and funny. Anything, but average.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday why not take the time to create a lasting memory with your family? Here’s a poem that celebrates family –

A family
is made of love and tears,
laughter and years.
It grows stronger
More precious
With the making of memories.

It’s the place you find
Someone to encourage you,
Believe in you.

Celebrate with you and comfort you.
A family is where your heart
Feels most at home because you’re
Always wanted, always welcomed,
Always needed,
Always loved.

Author Unknown

Do you have a funny family story to share? Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Feel Good Friday – Giving Thanks

Thankful for little brothers...they grow old with you.

What are you thankful for at this moment? Have you heard the saying, “I may not be where I want to be, but at least I’m not where I used to be?” Celebrate where you are right now and know that your best days are yet to come.

Today I celebrate this old body of mine through a poem

This old body of mine
Woke up this morning right on time
Said a quick prayer for this body of mine

Gave thanks for my hair, though it’s gettin’ thin,
Even said thanks for the hair on my chin.

Legs got stiff from sittin’ too long
Stomach muscles no longer strong.

Eyes that used to see so well,
Now need glasses to read the mail.

Still got my mind, sharp as a tack
But sometimes there’s pain in my lower back.

Woke up today feelin’ real fine,
Gave thanks to the Lord for this old body of mine.

What are you giving thanks for today?