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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Flashback Friday – Parenting firsts – what are your fondest memories?

First haircut (2 years old)
How would you finish this sentence – “I remember the first time….?” I was at a meeting where the focus was to generate ways to get youth engaged in positive activities. The facilitator asked us to think about a time in our youth where we experienced something for the first time.
The idea of this “flashback” (my name for it) exercise was to get the group to realize (again) what it’s like being a youth and the type things that concern them. If you were to apply this exercise to parenting, what would be your response?

After a little bit of daydreaming, here’s the list I came up with – I remember the first time

·         My son learned to unlock the door of our apartment (at three years old).  He walked right out the door and a neighbor caught him after he made his exit.

·         My son learned to ride his bike with training wheels. He was so excited that he kept rolling past the house. He hadn’t practiced stopping.

·         The boys started kindergarten-one walked slowly, a step behind me, the other ran off and left me in his dust.

·         The first time I took a trip when my son was still a toddler, I left a detailed list of instructions for my mom who was caring for him for the weekend. I don’t think she even looked at it. Maybe the six page packed seemed overwhelming to her.

·         I remember the first time someone looked at my son and said, “How old is she?” I knew it was time for a haircut. SIDE NOTE: He did have long eyelashes.

·         The first time the boys said “I love you.”

 What “firsts” do you remember? Allow yourself to create more memories today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The history of Memorial Day

Photo credit: howtonestforless.com

Happy Memorial Day! As you spend time with friends and family, take a few moments to reflect on the history of Memorial Day. Below is a video from the History channel that highlights key points about how the Memorial Day holiday was started.

  Enjoy your day.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fun Friday – 5 activities for Memorial Day family fun

Photo credit: www.standupamericus.org

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, a time to honor loved ones, friends, neighbors, all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for service to their country. The fallen heroes. Often this is a time spent with family engaging in picnics, parades, cook-outs and the like.
If you’re planning a family gathering, why not try a few activities that the whole family might enjoy? Below are five activities to get your creative juices going.

1.      Flag Relay – this is the same concept of a relay race, except the runner is carrying a small flag.

2.      Design a Memorial Day t-shirt – have a red, white, or blue t-shirt for your child to design using paint or markers. You could come up with design ideas for kids to choose from such as –patriotic song titles, pictures of US Presidents, or pictures of a flag. Click here for more ideas.

3.      Patriotic Balloon Volleyball – use red, white and blue balloons for this game. Divide your family into two teams. Create a dividing line and hit the balloons back and forth. You could also set up a badminton net and hit the balloons back and forth over the net. Remember to create a set of rules before you begin. An article at Disneyfamily.com said to fill the balloons with water and volley them over the net. The team that does not burst any balloons is the winner.

4.      Patriotic Color Race – for this game you’ll need several red, white and blue pompoms or Duplo pieces (adapt as necessary) and red, white and blue baskets. Divide the family into two teams, with the same number of adults and children on each team. Assign a color to each team. Create your playing field by spreading the pompoms around. The teams stand outside of the playing field until the signal is given to GO!
The object is for the teams to pick up the pompoms that match their team color and place them in their corresponding basket. The first team to collect all of their pompoms is the winner.

5.      Organize a red, white and blue Olympics – include all of the typical game you often see – sack race, three-legged race, tug of war. Give this activity a little flair using music such as the theme from Rocky, Chariots of Fire or even the William Tell Overture.
         For more activity ideas check out the link to Disneyfamily (numbers 3-5 were obtained from   this site).

What are your plans for the Memorial weekend? Do you have any favorite activity ideas to add to the list above?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Animals doing funny things

Do you have a pet or thinking about getting one? Animals can add a little humor to your life. Check out these animas caught being funny.

Photo credit: www.hereinreality.com

photo credit: djfunzone.blogspot.com

photo credit: www.whitegadget.com
photo credit: pics1.this-pic.com

photo credit: fun4funny.webs.com
Have you ever spotted an animal do something funny? What would you do if you spotted such a sighting?

Monday, May 20, 2013

5 tips for handling sticky parenting situations

Photo courtesy: kevintor.blogspot.com
Have you ever been in a situation where you contemplated how to respond? From time to time a situation may occur where you stop and think, hmmmm, how do I want to handle this? I surveyed a group of parents (ok a couple of friends) to find out situations they may have experienced or heard about.
Below is a list that we’ve compiled.

·         You forget to send money on your child’s field trip day. Most of the class returns to school with trinkets.

·         On field trip day you overhear a parent chaperone discussing which kids are difficult – you realize you child is in that category.

·         You show up on time for parent conferences, only to realize it’s the wrong day.

·         While watching your child play little league, a friendly grandparent behind you asks, “Do you have a grandchild playing too?”

·         While you’re driving the carpool, somebody passes gas, and you know it wasn’t you.

·         While grocery shopping your child screams and has a meltdown because you won’t buy the item he wants.

·         Several of your child’s friends are invited to a mutual friend’s house for a sleepover. Your child was not invited.
How do you handle a sticky parenting situation? Many times your response will depend upon the situation. In general, here are five tips to help you respond in a calm manner.

1.      Create your own ABC’s of parenting – Perhaps it could be, “Always Be Calm” and assess the situation.

2.      Create a mantra to use in trying situations – Here’s one to get you started, “This too shall pass.”

3.      On the day that you experience a sticky situation, be sure to unwind and do something for yourself – read a book you’ve always wanted to read, watch a funny movie, take a relaxing bath or have a piece of chocolate.

4.      Scream into a pillow, wait three seconds and repeat.

5.      Don’t respond right away – give yourself time to think about how you want to respond.

What sticky situation have you experienced recently? What would you add to the list of how to handle a sticky situation?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fun Friday – How well do you know your favorite Superhero?

Photo credit: www.superhero_max_101.webs.com

Did you grow up watching superhero cartoons or glance at the TV as your kids watched cartoons? I remember watching Spiderman scale a building and Wonder Woman lasso people with her lasso of truth. 
Since it’s Fun Friday, let’s look at a few little known facts about several favorite superheroes. Then take a quiz to see how much you reallllly remember about those favorite heroes.

Here are 5 facts you may not have known about certain superheroes.

Spiderman – Marvel comics initially thought people would be scared of Spiderman because they were afraid of real spiders.
Superman – was originally slated to be a bald telepathic scientist obsessed with world domination.

Wonder Woman – was created as a feminist idea.
The Incredible Hulk – was supposed to be grey.

Captain America – had to change his shield. Marvel Comics changed the logo because a rival comic company already had a character called The Shield.

1.      What Superhero had the tag line “faster than a speeding bullet?

a.      Spiderman

b.      Flash

c.       Superman

d.      All of the above

2.      What was Spiderman’s name when he was not in his Spiderman suit?

a.      Peter Pan

b.      Peter Parker

c.       Paul Parker

d.      None of the above

      3.      What was the Incredible Hulk’s name when he wasn’t green?

a.      Bruce Banner

b.      Bruce Willis

c.       Clark Kent

d.      Brad Pitt
4.      What was Clark Kent’s girlfriend’s name

a.      Linda Lane

b.      Madonna

c.       Lois Lane

d.      He didn’t have a girlfriend

 5.      In Batman and Robin, what was Robin’s nickname?

a.      The Boy Wonder

b.      Superboy

c.       Kid Rock

d.      He didn’t have a nickname


1.      C – Superman

2.      B – Peter Parker

3.      A – Bruce Banner

4.      C – Lois Lane

5.      A – The Boy Wonder

Do you have a trivia fact about a superhero not listed? Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wild Wednesday – The Color Run – The happiest 5K on the planet

A mom and son volunteer experience

It’s a great experience to see people come together for a good cause. Recently in Ypsilanti, MI,  a 5k run was held that benefited local charities. The tag line for this event was “The happiest 5k run on the planet.”

I quickly learned why this race was dubbed the “happiest” 5K. My role as a volunteer was to throw color on the runners as they passed through the Pink zone. Of course I used this event as an opportunity to teach my son the altruistic value of volunteerism.



Above 4 photos taken by Daniel Brenner or Courtney Sacco annarbor.com

The outcome of the 5K event was charities receiving funds, people laughing, having fun, and a teen with a new perspective on volunteering.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Limerick Day

Photo credit: www.blog.vanns.com

Did you know that May 12th was Limerick Day? Limericks can be used as a fun way to teach kids about poetry. They can learn about rhyme and meter and create short versus of their own. Kids who are not yet old enough to read can still gain something from hearing a parent read to them.

Below are a few fun limericks I found online.
There was young lady from Leeds

Who swallowed a package of seeds.

Now this sorry young lass

Is quite covered in grass,

But has all the tomatoes she needs.


There was a young schoolboy of Rye,

Who was baked by mistake in a pie.

To his mother’s disgust

He emerged through the crust,

And exclaimed with a yawn, “Where am I.”



There was an old man of Peru,

Who dreamt he was eating his shoe.

He woke in the night,

With a terrible fright,

And found it was perfectly true.


Have you ever tried to write a limerick? Here’s my attempt…

There once was a boy named Josh

His mom asked him to wash.

“Clean your bed and the floor,

Even wash the door.”

But instead he ate squash.

What would your limerick look like?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun Friday – TV moms - a trip down memory lane

Betty Rubble
Photo credit: emeraldcity48.blogspot.com
Moms mean a lot to us. It may be a grandma, aunt, sister or other mother figure who plays a significant role in our lives. Whatever the case, we learn a lot from our mother figures. There may have even been a TV mom who taught a lesson or two.
Asa child it was fun to take a break from real life to tune in to see what moms on television and their families were up to. Can you identify the TV moms below and what show she played on?

Photo credit: www.sitcomsonline.com

Photo credit: www.starpulse.com

Photo credit: www.wikihow.com


Photo credit: www.tnt24.ie

Photo credit: www.carseywerner.net
Here are the answers.
1.      Carol Brady – The Brady Bunch
2.      Louise Jefferson – The Jefferson’s
3.      Wilma Flintstone – The Flintstones
4.      Roseanne Barr – Rosanne
5.      Claire Huxtable – The Cosby Show
How many did you get right? Did you have a favorite TV show mom? I didn’t have a favorite, but I can still sing all of the words to the Brady Bunch theme song. Although I’m not sure that I should be bragging about that.
Now back to reality. Go tell your mom or mom figure how much you love her. Happy Mother’s Day to all. Go through today with the thought, you are valued.
Photo credit: www.fashionox.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Wedding surprises

photo credit: k-kipper.deviantart.com

When was the last time you have attended a wedding? Take a walk down memory lane and see if you last wedding looked anything like this one?


Would you be daring enough to try what this wedding party did? Do you thing they had a wedding planner?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Snoring Beauty –5 signs of a tired parent

photo credit: w2wministries.org

Have you ever experienced a time when you were super tired, but you didn’t realize how tired until you sat still for a few moments? It happened to me at my son’s appointment. I knew the appointment would take about an hour. I was prepared with reading materials to occupy my time.
After a while, I felt my eyelids getting heavy. They slowly closed like window shades being pulled down. The next thing I knew my head was hanging to one side, suspended until I rolled it in the other direction.

My son later told me that my mouth was open with slight sounds emitting from the hollow opening. I had fallen into a snoring state. Snoring Beauty. Except that I was far from being a beauty at that moment.
This was not the first time I had fallen asleep in public. This incident just reminded me exhaustion can take over your body at any time. Here are five signs of a tired parent.

1.      Falling asleep at a basketball game – yes this is possible to do.

2.      Falling asleep with a book on your chest – this can happen when you stay up late to read after putting the kids to bed.

3.      Nodding off during a meeting – perhaps you stayed up too late reading a good book.

4.      Mismatched attire – I wear bright colored ankle socks around the house. One morning as I hurried out of the house I just slipped my shoes on, grabbed my lunch and was on my way. When I sat down to read a story to a group of kindergarteners I realized I had on fluorescent green socks. Nothing else that I wore had a semblance of green in it.

5.      You make it to your bedroom, but fall asleep on top of the covers.
If you’re ever looking for a fun picture book, I came across one titled, Snoring Beauty by Bruce Hale. It’s a fairytale spin of Sleeping Beauty. The illustrations are colorful and of course I like the title. Ok, that’s the end of my commercial break. Back to the conclusion of this blog post.

If you fall asleep in a public place hopefully your mouth is closed and you are not a snoring beauty. What happens when you are tired? Have you ever fallen asleep in an odd place?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Feel Good Friday – Bloom where you are planted

photo credit: fwallpapers.com

I read a blog post recently with the title, “Bloom where you are planted.” It mentioned the fact that we sometimes wait for the perfect situation, circumstance or environment before doing something that we have wanted to do. Is there something that you have been putting off because it’s not the right time to do it?
Today is the day to get rid of seeds of doubt and plant seeds of joy. Rejoice right where you are in your journey. Bloom where you are planted simply means you can be happy no matter where you are or what is happening around you.

Maybe you are waiting for a breakthrough with your finances, your writing career or anticipating change with a family situation. Know that everything is in divine order.
Your challenge today is to sprinkle a few imaginary seeds and begin to bloom where you are at this moment.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – A Tribute to firefighters

Photo credit: garminsoftwarewallpaper.blogspot.com

We have seen firefighters in action during crisis such as 911, the Boston Marathon explosions and maybe even in our local communities. They risk their lives to save others. Below is a shadow dancing tribute to firefighters that will leave you breathless.