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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Photo credit:  jenniferjoycampbell.blogspot.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fun Friday - What you didn’t know about the Declaration of Independence

Photo Credit:  peterbroderick.com
Did you know that parts of the Declaration of Independence could help you answer a job application question? Neither did I until a recent conversation with my mom. We were discussing a question from a job application that asked, “What are your core values/principles?”
As I was pondering this question and brainstorming an answer, my mom gave her input.
“You could say that you believe all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Mom said.

I looked at her across the table and tried to stifle a laugh, but couldn’t.

She continued talking anyway with a smile on her face, “We believe these truths to be self-evident…”
Mom was having a flashback of information she had to memorize in high school.

As I thought about it later, there really was something from the Declaration of Independence that could apply to core values – freedom and equality. Freedom of choice. And…the opportunity to be treated equitably in your pursuits.
It just goes to show that sometimes answers can be found in unlikely places.

How would you answer the question what are your core values? It’s not something that you’re asked all the time, so it makes you stop and think…hmmm.

Shhh...don’t tell my mom I’m not using her answer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Runnin’ errands with mom

Do you remember running errands with your mom? Did it look like anything in this video?

Video credit: This youtube video is a creation of Cartoon Network.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Motivational Monday - The Wooden Bowl

Photo credit: sodahead.com

I friend recently sent this story to me. I thought it was worth sharing – The Wooden Bowl.

 A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year-old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.
The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

“We must do something about father,” said the son. “I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.” So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.
The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
“Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless.

Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no words were spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

On a positive note, I’ve learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a “living’” is not the same thing as making a “life…”

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you, but, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch — holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn….
(story courtesy of dakotavoice).

What is your reaction to the story?


Friday, March 22, 2013

Do you understand what I’m saying? - Tips for clear communication

I gave the directive to my son to "clean your room" and this is what I got. Still more work to be done, but I was not specific enough for him.

Do you consider yourself a clear or effective communicator? I thought I was until recent episodes with my family.
I was relaxed listening to the TV and reading a book. I yelled beckoned for my son to bring me a snack. I asked for a few pieces of cubed cheese to take the edge off my hunger. I was not specific with my request to my son. So he brought me four pieces of cheese, shaking them in his hand like dice. It was a good time to pray over my food.

Another error in my communication was evident when I created a grocery list. A few of the items on the list were paper plates, Chex cereal, and pancake mix. I didn’t know my husband was going to do the shopping before I could explain what I wanted.
My husband returned from the store with all of the items, just different choices than I wanted. He bought super thin paper plates, the kind where your food slides and the plate curls if you hold it the wrong way. When my sons’ chicken leg rolled off the plate he said, “Can you not let daddy do the shopping next time?”

There was Chex cereal, but it was Rice Chex instead of Corn Chex. I didn’t complain, I just crunched my way through the Rice Chex and made sure I was specific the next time. The pancake mix required adding eggs and oil. I wanted the complete mix where I just needed to add water.
I didn’t want to go grocery shopping at 10pm when my husband went, so I made the necessary adjustments. I doubled the paper plates when using them and I used the pancake mix until it was gone. My husband was a good sport when we told him about the grocery list mix up.
When I searched Google for effective communication tips here’s what I found:

1.      When writing something, re-read your message before giving it to someone.

2.      “The goal of effective communication should be mutual understanding…”

3.      One what’s yours – realize that personal responsibility is strength, not a weakness; effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong.

For more tips check out the following website – http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/ht/healthycomm.htm

Have you ever had a miscommunication episode?


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Witty Wednesday

Photo credit:  blog.finfingtruemagic.com

How would you caption this photo?

Here’s a sample caption to get you started…
“I have gas and there’s nothing you can do about it”

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Musings – What’s on your do not do list?

Do not challenge your child to a dare...he might take you up on it.
Many times we create “To Do” lists with extensive things we want to accomplish. The other day I heard a radio personality ask the question, “What would you put on a ‘Do Not Do’ list?” Most of the responses were related to things done at church.
I thought it would be fun to expand the ‘Do Not Do’ list and include any topic area, not just church. Here is the list I came up with.

1.      Do not yell back at the actors in a movie – they can’t hear you.

2.      Do not ask your child, “Why did you do that?” They will respond with, “I don’t know.”

3.      Do not sit in church and eat chips and pop like you’re at a movie theater.

4.      Do not show up at your teen child’s school and think he will welcome you with open arms. My son actually begged me not to come back.

5.      Do not take your child to a loud play area then complain about your surroundings – “There sure are a lot of kids here and it’s noisy.”

 What would you include on a 'do not do' list?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun Friday – Dance like no one’s watching

When was the last time you enjoyed a good dance? In a video I saw recently, a couple of employees were teaching their boss to hip hop dance. Little did they know…he had a few moves of his own.
The boss was uninhibited and danced like no one was watching. How did he do? Take a look for yourself.


Today I challenge you to get up and dance, like no one is watching.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Photo credit:  muyiwaokeola.wordpress.com

I recently saw a quote that said, “Change your perspective, change your world.” Have you faced a situation where changing your perspective was helpful? Try it. Turn your problem into an opportunity.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Musings – What does love mean? - A child’s perspective

Photo credit:  laurawinslowphotography.com

Have you ever asked your child what love means to him? When I attempted to ask my teen son this question, he turned to leave the room, but not before asking, “Is this for your blog?” I didn’t pursue an answer from him.
When kids 4-8 years old were asked “what is love?” their answers were creative. Below are several of their responses.

·         “When my grandmother got arthritis she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands get arthritis too. That’s love.” – Rebecca age 8

·         “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” – Karl age 5

·         “Love is when you go out to eat and you give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.” – Chrissy age 6

·         “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” – Terri age 4

·         “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.” – Noelle age 7

·         “Love is when mom gives daddy the best piece of chicken.” – Elaine age 7

·         “When you love somebody your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.” – Karen age 7
Does this list give you a new perspective on love?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun Friday – How many things do you say to your child in one day?

On any given day it can seem like a parent gives her child a thousand directions of things that need to be done. Those things can be in the form of – get out of bed, make up your bed, do your homework, and the list goes on. One mom compiled all of the things she may say to her kids in a 24 hour period.
That mom, Anita Renfroe, put her ideas to music using the William Tell Overture’. The video below has been around for a while, but I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!


What things do you find yourself telling your kids over and over again?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom

Photo credit:  blog.brayola.com

What would be your “something wonderful” for today?

Monday, March 4, 2013

When Mama needs a time out – call S.W.A.T.

A teens messy room

It was a typical Friday night when I had to put in a call to my S.W.A.T. team. I just wanted to relax after a busy week, but as I walked past my son’s bedroom I knew I was in trouble. It was a disaster area by my standards. Clothes waiting to be put away, video games everywhere except on a shelf, and my son in the room content.
I muffled a scream and went for my phone. I needed back up. I called S.W.A.T – Sweet Woman Assisting a Teen. My mother was S.W.A.T. I knew Granny could take care of this situation. She would be calmer than I could be.

Since it was late in the evening, I had to wait until the next day for help to arrive. I gave myself a time out while I waited. I didn’t do anything remotely related to cleaning up behind my son. I read a book and fantasized about my house being clean without having to yell gently encourage my teens to help.

The next day my mother made the 30 minute drive to our house and came ready to work. She kept saying her “baby boy” (the teen) just needed to be shown how to clean his room. She grabbed a broom, dust pan and a trash bag. As she went to work, I called behind her, “anything on the floor can go into the trash.”
Of course I couldn’t really let my mother do all the work for her teenage grandchild, but it was a good way to get her to come for a visit. She admitted that the real reason she came to our house was to visit with the boys, not just to show the “baby boy” how to clean.

Before I relieved SWAT of her duties, we had a nice lunch and spent time laughing at ourselves.
What do you do when you have a situation where you feel you need a little extra help?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Feel Good Friday – Snow Day

A blistery snow storm recently hit parts of Michigan. It started out as a gentle snow with fluffy white stuff floating through the air like soft cotton. After falling over night changing from snow to rain, rain to snow…we awoke to mounds of the white stuff.
I waited for the official school closings to scroll across my TV screen before proceeding with my day, 3-2-1…Schools were closed. Tree limbs were down, snow needed to be plowed, but most of all, schools were closed. It was a SNOW DAY!

I let the boys sleep a couple of extra hours then sent them outside to clear away snow. When I looked out the window I noticed that the neighbor on my left had already plowed our sidewalk. Since the boys were only left with clearing our driveway, I asked them to shovel the walkway for the neighbor on the other side of us. Done.
It was a warm fuzzy feeling to experience neighbors helping each other. My younger son went down the street and helped his friend shovel snow. As soon as they were done, it was all fun and games.

Meanwhile, inside the house, I was enjoying a snow day of my own. Surrounded by books, sipping hot chocolate and sitting at the computer, it was momentary bliss.
Photo credit:  Shon Smith
What would you do if you had a snow day or a free day to do whatever you wanted?