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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Muffins with Mom – The language barrier

photo credit: Australian Catholic University

My teen son speaks a second language fluently, it’s called gibberish, or nonsense. It has occurred to me that whenever my son is asked to do something that he doesn’t want to do, he launches into his created language.

The other day after dinner, I told me son I needed him to wash the dishes. His response was, “I don’t understand your language.”

Fortunately for my son, when I reminded him that he would need gas money, the language barrier momentarily subsided. He said, “I need to study for my final exam first.” I think my son is studying to be a negotiator.

“Okay, go ahead and study first, but then I need you to take out the trash, fold your clothes and work on college plans.”

The language barrier returned, “Idon’tunderstandyourlanguage.”

Teens understand and hear what they want, at a time that is convenient for them. My son eventually completed the things that were asked of him, then returned to me saying, “Ma, can I have that gas money now?”

I looked at him with a glazed look in my eyes and said, “I don’t understand your language.”

Have you ever experienced a language barrier with your child?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Muffins with Mom – Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day - What’s Your Dream?

Today is celebrated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. Various local businesses are holding events in my area in honor of the civil rights activist, Dr. King. The University of Michigan is hosting lectures, our local library is showing the movie Selma, and the Ministerial Alliance has organized a walk and keynote speaker.

As I walked through the children’s section of my local library, I noticed a table with arts and craft supplies spread out. There were cut-outs of small hand in bright colors, pencils, and a large sheet of white butcher paper. A lone sentence scrawled across the top of the paper read, what is your dream?
With a chuckle in my voice I asked the librarian, “Can I write my dream on one of the hands?”
“Sure,” she said.

I scribbled down my one sentence dream and taped it to the board that was started to hold all of the dreams. The concept was simple, to encourage youth to explore their dream(s). It gave them the opportunity to put their prized thoughts on paper, to begin to visualize their dream.
Below are inspiring quotes by Dr. King.

“We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to humanity.”

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Everybody can be great… Because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and soul generated by love.”

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michael Angelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Dr. King had a dream. What is your dream? Take time to reflect.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Feel Good Friday – Faith Lift

Are you at a crossroads in your life and contemplating your next move? Now is the time to step out on faith. Ask yourself “which is stronger your faith or your fear?” (Grace for Each Day-365 Devotions and Prayers).

God cares for you and is your shield of protection. When you are feeling down, give yourself a faith lift. Know that there is always someone you can turn to. The gospel song by Bishop Paul S. Morton says, “Lord whatever you’re doing in this season, don’t do it without me.”

If you’re looking for a healing, a financial blessing, a breakthrough with your children, claim it.
Build your faith muscles, keep praying, praising and walking by faith.

Be encouraged.

YouTube Video Credit: Paul S. Morton

Monday, January 9, 2017

Muffins with Mom – Laughter is the best medicine- Have you had your dose?

Earth laughs in flowers – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If laughter is the best medicine, don’t forget to take your daily dose. Where can you find laughter? It’s all around you. Take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale slowly through your nose. Now relax and observe your surroundings throughout your day.

If you struggle to find a reason to chuckle, read a comic strip, a joke book or search YouTube for a comedian’s routine. If all else fails spend a week with my family, something is bound to happen.
While visiting my mom over the Holiday, she pulled out a pajama shirt that belonged to my son when he was two or three years old. We were feeling nostalgic holding the tiny shirt in the air for the whole family to see. My words to my teen son were, “Do you think you can still fit this shirt?”

I didn’t have to say another word, my son began to tug and pull at the shirt until he stretched it enough to get it over his head. He is not one to back down from a challenge. Below are fashion clips of the pajama top from the past.

Have you heard the saying, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? Like my son, I sometimes meet a challenge head on. Again, mom provided fodder for my episode. She’d purchased an extra pair of leggings and asked if I wanted them or my niece who was at mom’s house visiting too.

Before my niece could snag them I spoke up, “I’ll take them. I like the color.” Mom told us the leggings were one size fits all and she had a pair just like them for herself. When I got home I attempted to squeeze into the leggings and found out they were not even one size fits most.

The heel of my foot got stuck at the bottom of the pants while trying to pull them on. The waist of the pants didn’t make it up to my waist. Finally, I sat on the floor in my bedroom and tugged and pulled until I freed my body from the one size fits…not me leggings.

What made me thing I could fit those pants??! (photo below). I folded the pants and packaged them to send to me niece, maybe she would have better luck with them. I called mom and said, “Please don’t buy anymore clothes from the beauty supply store or the drug store. I don’t think this is their specialty.”

What does your dose of laughter look like?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Fun Friday – 3 Proven ways to de-stress during the Holidays - Family Holiday stories

If you were to assign a tag line to your family what would it be? My family tag line would be Invite a little silly into your life.  A couple of episodes led me to this conclusion.

The Family Money
My brother called me to let me know he’d received the photo Christmas card I sent to him. “Hey sis, I got the card you sent me, but when I opened it, nothing fell from the envelope. You know, like a check of a gift card.”

“SURPRISE,” I said. There was nothing of monetary value within the card, just the smiling faces of me and my boys. My brother was hoping I would follow the tradition of our grandmother who would provide us with cash at Holiday time. Nope, Nada, no Ben Franklins here. Silly guy.

Then there is my teen son, who thinks that I should just hand him money whenever he asks. “Ma, I need $20 for gas. I want to go to the school to work out.”

“I want the trash taken out. Ride your bike, it’s only about five miles. It can be a warm-up to your work out.” He didn’t find that amusing. 

Home for the Holidays
My niece is home from college for the Holidays, so her mom and I wanted to get her kids and mine together for an outing. We chose the movies. Our plan was to catch the final matinee time. However, when we arrived, the movie was sold out.

We purchased tickets for the later show time, 8:30pm. This meant that the movie would not actually begin until close to 9pm after the previews. I was distraught (not really, but…), that was too close to my bedtime. I was afraid I would fall asleep during the movie.

We had three hours to fill before the start of the next movie. We decided to grab something to eat in the area. After dinner, I told my boys, “Let’s run in the furniture store. Do you think they will let me take a nap on one of the mattresses?”

I did test a few mattresses for comfort, but I made sure not to close my eyes for too long.

A pet for mom
It wasn’t until recently that I learned that my mom REALLY doesn’t like dogs.  “But, you let us have a dog growing up,” I said.

“Yes, but I wasn’t fond of the idea.”

I didn’t let go of the idea that mom didn’t like dogs. “How about I get you a small puppy to keep you company? One that doesn’t get too big.”

“No, no, no, no no,” was her response.

When mom came to visit for Christmas dinner, I had a surprise waiting for her…a pet pillow. It was a throw pillow with a 3-D face of a dog. The look on my mom’s face when the pulled the pillow from the gift bag was priceless.

All of the above stories have elements of ways you can de-stress during the Holiday season. Here are 3 ways I have had success with de-stressing…

1.      Read something funny
2.      Laugh often
3.      Embrace your journey – don’t rush/wish the days away; find something to be thankful for along your journey, even through difficulties. 

    How do you de-stress during the Holiday season? Do your family members cause you to laugh at their antics?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Words of Wisdom - Inspiring Quotes

"It is your decisions not your conditions that truly shape the quality of your life."  Anthony Robbins

"Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain."
B.J. Gallagher

"Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is."  Mary Anne Roadacher

"Happiness is not having what you want. It's appreciating what you have.    Unknown