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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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Swagger Wagon - Parents rapping about life and the vehicle they drive

YouTube video credit: Sienna
 
 
What is your Swagger Wagon?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Muffins with Mom – What does your attire say about you?

"Rattle snake" patterned pajamas...according to a couple of teens.

Kids are notorious for blurting out the first thing that pops into their head. Well, my kids are guilty of this.
I was digging for something in one of my dresser drawers the other day. I stumbled across a set of pajamas I hadn’t worn in a couple of years. It was a warm night, but cool in the house with the air on. I decided to sleep in the satin (faux) print pajama pants with matching tank top.

Before I could slip on my robe for added comfort, my oldest son appeared at my bedroom door. He looked at me and said, “You look like a rattle snake.” He called his brother, “come look at Mama.”
I was on display as the rattle snake woman. I guess it was the pattern of the print that gave me my new look.

I’m sure I have a closet full of items that my kids could give names to. About a year ago it was the Skittles dress. The dress had so many colors that my son said it looked like a pack of Skittles burst open.
 
The Skittles dress
I bet they don’t remember the Big Bird blouse I own. When I purchased the blouse, the clerk at the store told me that was the name of that particular style top. The top is kind of feathery like Big Bird from Sesame Street.
The Big Bird blouse
 
 

I’ve never considered myself a flamboyant person when it comes to clothes, but now I’m beginning to wonder. My favorite attire? Comfortable and practical. If my attire happens to appear flamboyant at times, I chalk it up to my inner oddness.

Shortly after my pajama incident, I slithered into bed and left the boys (teenagers) to fend for themselves.

Do you have attire that dramatically alters you normal look? Or kids that say the first thing out of their mouths about your appearance.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fun Friday – What ice cream flavor reflects your personality?


Photo credit
You probably already know that July is National Ice Cream Month. My son recently wrote a short scholarship essay with the theme, what ice cream flavor reflects your personality? Are you nutty like Black Walnut or comforting like a scoop of Chocolate ice cream?
If I was an ice cream flavor I would be Mint Chocolate Chip, and not just because it is my favorite ice cream flavor. It has that combination of a minty smooth taste with a bit of a crunch. According to icecream.com, a person who favors Mint Chocolate Chip tends to be ambitious and confident. This person is also honest, loyal and dependable which helps to create lasting friendships and close family ties.

Do you see yourself in any of the flavors below? Maybe you’re a combination of several flavors.
Butter Pecan

·         Devoted, conscientious, respectful.

·         Holds high standards for right and wrong and shows integrity in all your actions.

·         It takes encouragement from close friends and family to share your deepest thoughts.

Strawberry

      ·         Thoughtful logical person who weighs each option before making a decision.

·         Content and effective working behind the scenes.

·         Characterized as shy and reserved in relationships.

Vanilla

·         Colorful, dramatic risk taker who relies more on intuition than logic.

·         Emotionally expressive and idealistic; tend to set high goals for yourself and push yourself to exceed them.

Chocolate Chip

·         Competitive and accomplished.

·         Generous with your time and money, never taking your blessings for granted.

·         Captivating personality that makes you a shining star in social situation.

Double Chocolate Chunk

·         Lively, creative and dramatic.

·         Life of the party; you charm everyone you meet with your sense of style and enthusiasm.

·         You enjoy the spotlight and prefer the company of your friends rather than being alone.

If you don’t see a flavor that reflects your personality, feel free dip a few characteristics from each flavor to shape your personality. Click here to see the complete list of ice cream flavors and characteristics.

 
Scoop up a little fun this weekend and have a dip of your favorite ice cream.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Muffins with Mom – 5 signs you have experienced Frazzled Parent Syndrome



If you have a child who is a toddler or older, you have officially passed the parenting probationary period (made up by me). However, your child may be at a stage that has you considering whether you should request an extension on your probation.
With each stage of childhood, I think there should be a parenting probationary period with a statement that says, I’d like to skip this stage. During your parenting journey there may be episodes that cause you to feel frazzled.

Has there ever been an occasion where you felt like a frazzled parent? Maybe you signed your child up for several activities then had to figure out how you would get him to each place. If you are not sure whether you have fallen prey to frazzled parent syndrome, here are 5 signs to look for.

1.      You were late getting your child to practice because you forgot what day it was.

2.      While completing school forms for your child, you accidentally list your birthdate instead of your child’s.

3.      You feel like you need a revolving door at the entrance of your home because you’re coming and going so much.

4.      You return from a vacation feeling overwhelmed.

5.      Your mind is cluttered with thoughts of what you need to do next- stop by the grocery story, sort through laundry, prepare lunches for the next day, etc.
Now that you’ve identified whether you have experienced frazzled parent syndrome, what are some solutions?

1.      Gather your family together for a heart to heart talk; reassess responsibilities if necessary.

2.      Eliminate some of the activities that have you overloaded.

3.      Make time for stress free moments together as a family to reconnect and strengthen family ties.
A family outing

When you’re feeling frantic or frazzled, know that your situation does not always have to be that way. Even though things may not work out as planned, lean on faith to keep you moving in the right direction.

What are your tips for handling a frazzled parent situation?

 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fun Friday - Have you spotted any funny signs lately?

Photo credit
It's the weekend, time to have fun. Have you come across any signs that made you laugh? Here are a few that I spotted.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have an awesome weekend!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Boys to Men-when kids grow up


 
The focus of today’s episode of Muffin’s with Mom is on children growing from childhood to young adults. Do you remember holding your child as a baby, he was so tiny and curled up that you had to pry his fingers open to admire his little hands?
On the path of parenting there are days that we as parents wonder how we will make it through. Some days are blissful, while others present challenges. Those challenging days make you want to throw your hands in the air and say, “I quit.” Those are also the day that you may be right on the edge of a breakthrough.

As I prepared for my son’s graduation open house, I sat down and looked through old photos. With each photo a set of memories flashed before me – my son learning to swim, roller skate or playing on his first basketball team. And then they grow up. My younger son will soon begin driver’s training.
When I look back over my life, I have to say I never would have made it without the Lord on my side. I like the gospel song by Marvin Sapp with that same title, Never Would Have Made It. If you’ve never heard the song, check it out below. If you’re familiar with the song, listen again and hone in on the lyrics…never could have made it without you.

YouTube video courtesy of Zomba

Pull out a few old photos and see what memories flood your mind. This is what I got…
 
 
 
 
 
 
Whether your child is three months, three years or into the teen years, cherish the trials and the triumphs. You’ll be glad you did as you look back and reflect.
What memories would you reflect upon as your child is growing?

 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fun Friday – 5 ways to have fun being messy



Photo credit
When was the last time you got down and dirty with no worries? It doesn’t happen too often for me. However, I’m now beginning to realize the validity in the phrase kids grow up so fast. There’s not much time left before my oldest son heads off to college (he’s already started packing).
Most recently, my teen boys and I participated in a fundraiser called The Color Run.  This was a 5K run that benefitted local charities. We didn’t run in the event, but volunteered to throw colors (colored cornstarch type powder) on the runners.

We ended up covered in colors just as much as the runners. The best part was us hanging out together, we to eat at a local Coney Island after the event. We smiled at others in the restaurant who looked just like us, walking rainbows.

 
 
 

If there’s not a color run event happening in your area, there are other ways to engage in a messy/fun event with your child. Here are 5 ways to have fun being messy with your child…at any age.

1.      Messy Twister – take your traditional Twister game and add pudding, colored Jell-O or jam as you put your left hand on green and your right foot on red.

2.      Slime – create homemade slime, squeeze it, plop it and slime each other.

3.      Food Fight – have you ever told your kids, “don’t play with your food?” Well now you can yell – FOOD FIGHT! Use food of your choice

DISCLAIMER: Play at your own risk, I have not tried this activity.

4.      Water balloon piƱata – fill balloons with water then tie them to a string or rope. Find a stick and take a swing. Be sure your players are not near the stick while the person is swing it.

5.      Bubble Wrap Hopscotch – this activity is not as messy as the others, but it looked like fun when I saw photos. Cut squares of bubble large enough for you to hop onto. Write numbers on each square of bubble wrap, line them up and begin your game.

For other messy game/activity ideas check out Pinterest. What would you add to the list of fun messy activities?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Muffins with Mom - Behind closed doors- an embarrassing moment

The elevator door that concealed my embarrassing moment, or so I thought.

Have you said to your child, “Make sure you are on your best behavior?” This is a phrase I’ve used quite often, especially when my children were going out in public somewhere and I wouldn’t be with them. We want our children to be the best representative of us that they can. With that being said, do we as parents also have an obligation to represent our family in a good way?
I recently fell short of achieving the goal I stress to my boys, “be on your best behavior.” My experience happened behind closed doors. Here’s the story…

I started a new job about a month ago, one of my main responsibilities requires me to monitor the front desk area where we welcome the public. The other day, after patron borrowed one of our wheelchairs, I volunteered to return the chair to the equipment room. This gave me an opportunity to get away from the desk and stretch my legs.

I made my way over to the elevator with the wheelchair and proceeded to the lower level. When the elevator door closed, I decided to do a few squats to stretch my muscles. After a repetition of two, I looked to my left and noticed a sign. The sign read “WARNING – all activities are recorded to aid in the prosecution of any crime committed against this facility." I looked up and to the right and there it was a round darkened globe, which I assumed contained the camera recording my activities.
The first thing I thought was, there goes my probationary period. I began to prepare my defense on my way back to the front desk (this time I took the stairs). My closing argument was “this is a fitness facility and we want the customers to see that we think highly enough about our facility to also work out there.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. I shared my story with coworkers AND my supervisor, after they finished laughing they reassured me that everything would be okay.
The take away lesson for my children in this instance would be a phrase my grandmother always used to say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” The take away lesson for me is laugh and the world laughs with you.

Have you ever done anything embarrassing?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fun Friday – Independence Day Fun Facts & History


Photo credit
It’s Independence Day in America, also known as the Furth of July. It’s the time of year where families get together for cook-outs, attend festivals and watch Fireworks shows. What are your plans?
Here are a few fun facts to share at your gathering – Did you know…

1.      New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States.

2.      Three U.S. presidents died on July 4th.

3.      Independence Day has been a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1941.

NOTE: fun facts gathered history.com.

Check out the video below for a fun way to share the history of the Fourth of July with your kids.

 YouTube Video courtesy of LibertyCick
Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Word-less Wednesday - National Ice Cream Month

 
Photo credit

July is National Ice Cream Month, time to celebrate. What's your favorite ice cream treat?

 
 
 

 
 
 
Pets like ice cream too.
 
Looking for an ice cream recipe to try? Click here for a chocolate chip ice cream recipe. Find an ice cream event to attend this month and dig in.