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, June 28, 2013

Feel Good Friday – What makes you smile?

What feel good moments have you experienced lately? What has made you smile?

My flowers in bloom

Kids expressing creativity

Meeting a celebrity - Gospel artist Dottie Peoples


Attending a friend's book signing - Author Leslie Helakoski

Taking photos - A bridge in St. Louis, MO - a view from the 29th floor

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Learning to dance in the rain

Youtube video courtesy of Rosalie Chua

Will you open your umbrella of praise and dance in the rain?

Monday, June 24, 2013

When a squatter invades a space- 6 tips for teaching kids about respecting space

Have you ever had to turn the tables on your child? When my son went to visit Granny, a squatter took over his bedroom. That squatter was me. According to Wikipedia, a squatter is “an informal name for a trespasser; a person who lives upon premises owned by another person, without the owner’s permission.” When my son Joshua found out I spent time in his room, he felt like his space had been invaded.
When my older son spent a week on a college tour, Joshua took over his bedroom. Joshua slept in his brother’s room every night, played video games and even ate snacks where he was not supposed to. This invasion of space was not the first incident for Joshua. On occasion I’ve discovered signs that he had relaxed in my space- a sock, a crumpled shirt or an empty soda can.

I took advantage of a teachable moment and turned the tables on my son. I took over his bedroom. It was scary at first, I didn’t know what I would find in there. I found exactly what I thought I would - clean clothes that needed to be put away, books that needed to be shelved and empty candy wrappers. My son needed to learn about respecting other people’s space as well as taking care of his own.
In this time of high technology, I had my older son take a photo of us in Joshua’s room and I texted it to him. Shortly after sending the text I received a phone call saying, “Why are you in my room?” My explanation of respect began.

Below are helpful tips I found on teaching kids to respect their space and the space of others:

1.      I can make my bed and tidy my room each morning.

2.      I can make sure my dirty laundry makes it into the appropriate place.

3.      I can make sure I throw away food garbage and clean up dishes in my room before I go to bed.

4.      I will not walk into the rooms of others without regard for the reason and effect.

5.      I will respond respectfully if others ask me for space.

6.      I will remember that someone else’s need for space does not mean they do not want to be around me.

These tips were taken from the Busy Buzzing Mom blog. Click here for a complete list of tips.
What tips do you have for teaching your child about respecting another person’s space or their own?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fun Friday - Learning to laugh at yourself

It wasn’t funny during our wedding ceremony, when my husband started holding a conversation with me. Soft music was playing as we lit our unity candles, then my husband started asking me questions. I don’t remember exactly what he was saying. However, I do remember responding to him through clenched teeth telling him to, “Stop talking.”
Flash forward sixteen years and I experienced another episode while standing at the front of a church sanctuary. You know the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?” Well, this time it was my son who was talking to me while all eyes were on us.

On this particular day, Sunday school teachers and youth were asked to lead the devotion period. We were to recite the weekly scripture and sing a couple of songs. A few of the kids stared into space and my son carried out his version of lip syncing.

Although I was holding the hymn book, my son continued to lip sync AND find time to hold a conversation with me.

“Look at ‘John’ he’s not even trying to sing,” my son whispered.
Between belting out words, I whispered back to him “Stop talking and sing.”

We made it through two songs, then it was time to recite the scripture.
“Sis Verges, could you come over and lead the scripture?” one of the teachers asked.

I froze for a few seconds, then made my way over to the microphone in slow motion. I didn’t know the whole scripture. I started strong, “But they that wait upon the Lord…mumble, mumble, mumble.” I went into lip sync mode, just like my son and moved my lips with minimal sound coming out. It was over and we all returned to our seats.
These two situations occurred more than a decade apart, but they both taught me the same lesson. I learned to laugh at myself.

What situation have you encountered where you had to laugh after a challenging situation?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – summer fun

Beginning the summer season with a neighborhood picnic.

Face painting

Three-legged race


What does summer fun look like to you?


Friday, June 14, 2013

A Father’s Day Tribe

Photo credit: www.123rf.com

What are your fondest memories about your dad or father figure in your life? My grandfather played a key role in my life. I remember the way he used to leave coins on a chair or table for my brother and me. He did the same for my kids when they were younger. It was his way of giving us spending change.
Every year during my elementary and middle school days, we took an overnight trip to Niagara Falls, Canada. I remember buying souvenirs at the gift shop near the falls, visiting the museums, and watching the falls change colors at night.

During Easter breaks we would visit relatives in Indiana or Kentucky. Needless to say, my grandparents loved to travel.

My grandfather was there when I learned to ride a bike, drive a car (his car) and to drive me to college for move in day. Although my grandfather passed last year, I still say thanks for all the memories.
What memories do you cherish?

Below is a video performance of American Idol contestant Jessica Sanchez singing Dance with My Father click here.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, brother’s uncles and father figures who help to make life special.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Have you ever made a Red Velvet cake?

Southern Red Velvet cake with crushed pecans (only on half of cake because the kids didn't want nuts)

Today isn’t totally wordless, but it’s less words than usual.
Confession number 101 (I think)…I don’t bake much. I stepped out of the box, out of my comfort zone and anywhere else I could step out of, to bake this cake. And this was my first attempt at baking a cake from scratch.

This Southern Red Velvet cake was a recipe I found at the foodnetwork. It was an easy to follow recipe. If I can do it, anyone can. Photos are below, but check out the website for ingredients and direction.


Dry ingredients
Wet ingredients

Mixing dry ingredients

Mixing dry and wet ingredients together

After baking 30 minutes

Finished cake with cream cheese frosting

What winning recipe have you tried lately?


Monday, June 10, 2013

The sweet thing about the month of June - National Candy Month

Old school candy
Photo credit: www.catchingfireflies.com

Did you hear what I heard? June is National Candy Month. What will you with this new discovery? Have a little fun with it.
Here are five ways to celebrate the sweetest month of the year:

·         Play the Candy Land game with the kids

·         Read a book that relates to candy in some way – it’s a good time to read again the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. What happened when they nibbled on the old woman’s house made of candy?

·         Watch the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

·         Make your own candy

·         Indulge in your favorite candy at least once this month

What is your favorite old school candy? If I had to narrow it down to a few favorites I would say, Slo Poke, Lemon Heads and Jolly Ranchers. If you are a fan of hard candy, allrecipes has a recipe you might want to try.

·         3 ¾ cups white sugar

·         1 ½ cups light corn syrup

·         1 cup water

·         1 Tbsp. Orange or other flavor extract

·         ½ tsp. food coloring (optional)

·         ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the white sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Without stirring, heat to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in flavored extract and food coloring, if desired. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet, and dust the top with confectioners' sugar. Let cool, and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
You can find this recipe and other candy recipes at www.allrecipes.com/recipe/hard-candy/.
Watch the movie trailer to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then begin your celebration of National Candy Month.

Have a sweet day!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Fun Friday – What’s in your cereal bowl? – Fun Facts and other trivia

Photo credit: www.blog.bridgespottery.com

Do you have a favorite cereal? For several years I lived in a city that was called the cereal capital of the world, Battle Creek, MI. During the time I was there, it was the headquarters of Kellogg’s. I’d have to say I’m partial to many of the Kellogg brand cereals with Froot Loops topping my list of favorites, but Chex and MultiGrain Cheerios are on my list too.
Some mornings on my way to work I could smell the cereal cooking, baking, being prepared. Often it was a fruity smell and I’d try to guess which cereal it was. Did you know that cereal was invented in Battle Creek by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother William Keith Kellogg? They founded the Kellogg Company in 1906.

Do you remember the days when you used to sit and eat a bowl of cereal and read the back of the box while eating? Yeah, I still do that sometimes. This led to the idea of posting fun facts about cereal. Test your knowledge with the information below. Did you know…

·         Cereal was first invented when colonial housewives started serving popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast.

·         The word cereal comes from Cerealia, the name of ancient Roman ceremonies that honored Ceres, the goddess of grain.

·         The average American eats 160 bowls of cereal each year.

·         One bushel of wheat will make 53 boxes of cereal.

·         Breakfast cereal is the third most popular item sold in grocery stores after carbonated beverages and milk.

Can you identify the cereals below by their tag lines?

1.      “They’re G-R-E-A-T”

2.      “Coo Coo for…”

3.      “They’re magically delicious”

4.      “Just follow your nose, wherever it goes, the flavor of fruit…”

5.      “The cereal of champions”

6.      “Snap, Crackle, Pop”

7.      “Silly rabbit….are for kids”

If you still enjoy eating cereal as an adult, know that you are not alone. Check out this cereal commercial of adults who confess to indulging in cereal as a treat.

Are you ready for the answers to the tag lines?
       1.      Frosted Flakes
       2.      CoCo Puffs
       3.      Lucky Charms
       4.      Froot Loops (the old commercials with Toucan Sam)
       5.      Wheaties
       6.      Rice Krispies
       7.      Trix
Did you get all of the tag lines correct?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – What do you see?

Photo credit: www.history2u.com
Can you figure out this picture? Do you see the old woman or the young woman?

Monday, June 3, 2013

5 things you should know when supervising other people’s kids

Emmanuel bouncing on a trampoline for a slam dunk - Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park (Canton, MI)

When was the last time a parenting experience took you through unchartered territory? It just happened to me. Only this time it wasn’t my kids who had me living on the edge, it was the group of kids I chaperoned on a field trip. The adventure took place at an indoor trampoline park.

After forcing their feet into special rubber soled shoes the kids were ready to jump. There was music playing, dodge ball games going and both kids and adults jumping all around us. I was overstimulated and we hadn’t been in the place longer than fifteen minutes.

During our field trip I learned some new things about supervising other people’s children. Here is a list of five things I learned:

1.      Only believe half of what the kids tell you – eg. “Yes, my mom said I could spend all of my money, on anything I want.” What I saw was a child with a large blue slush drink, a hot dog and candy.

2.      Bring an extra tote bag – the kids didn’t realize that they couldn’t have anything in their pockets while jumping, so I held onto all of their trinkets (pocket hand sanitizers, key rings, small toys, etc.).

3.      Have patience – there may be many situations that call for patience. On this trip it was when each child wanted to go to the bathroom or the concession stand, one at a time, multiple times. I know what you’re thinking, just take them all at once; things didn’t work out that way this time.

4.      Make sure you are well rested – kids never seem to run out of energy and they don’t want you to watch them do something, they want you to engage with them.

5.      Be firm, but have fun

What have you experienced while caring for someone else’s child?