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 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Caught on camera

Have you ever seen something that just made you shake your head and chuckle? It happened to me when I took the boys school shopping. And I caught it on camera.
A mannequin with a wedgie.
Teens on a kiddie Merry-Go-Round

Monday, July 29, 2013

A chorus of parenting woes

Photo credit: www.society6.com

Have you ever had a day where you felt like all of you demands to your child seemed like you were singing a chorus? Maybe you’ve said one too many times, “move your toys, stop running in the house, go to bed.” One dad put his wife’s words together and submitted it to a contest.
The Sydney Symphony ran a contest titled, “Say It With Carmina.” The dad, Matthew Hodge won the contest and the video below is how the Sydney Symphony set Matthew’s words to music.

Video credit: Youtube

The next time you feel a symphony of parenting demands coming on, write them down. It may lead you to write a story, a song, jingle or just relieve a little tension.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Friday - 5 ways to beat the summer heat

The beginning of a water balloon battle.

“It’s hot outside, can we go to the water park?” This is the tune I hear on so many hot days. We live within ten minutes of a water park and my boys would go everyday if they could. Not happening. So I have to come up with creative ways to entertain them on hot days without going to the water park.
On the last 90 degree day we had, the humidity was so high that when I stepped out of my air conditioned car, my eyeglasses fogged up. I wanted to go to the water park. Instead we did the next best thing…a water balloon battle.

The entire backyard was our battle ground. The boys and I lightly tossed balloons to each other at first, then we really wanted to get wet so we tossed them harder. Sometimes the aim was off and other times it was right on target.

I carried balloons cupped in the bottom of my t-shirt. Joshua held balloons in the pockets of his shorts. Once we were drenched, the game was over.
What do you do to beat the summer heat? I found a few ideas online that sound like fun solutions to a hot summer day. Check out the list below.

1.      Cold potato – put a new spin on the game of hot potato. Use a small water balloon. Put a small pin hole in the balloon before filling it with water. Pass the water filled balloon around a circle just like hot potato. This time the goal is to pass the balloon before it runs out of water.

2.      Play a game of splat – fill water balloons and take turns throwing them high into the air over a driveway or sidewalk. Be sure the balloons pop on impact. The person who makes the biggest water spots is the winner.

3.      Make smoothies – grab your favorite fruits and toss them in a blender with ice and fruit juice. Yum!

4.      Duck, Duck, Drench – this game is played like duck, duck goose except the players get wet. The person who is “it” walks around the circle and says, duck, duck…drench. When he says “drench” he squeezes water on the person with a sponge. Be sure to establish rules and parameters before you begin the game.

5.      Have an indoor picnic – spread out a blanket in your living room (or other air-conditioned location). Be sure to serve your favorite healthy snacks and cool drinks. How about ice cold lemonade with umbrellas in the glass?

For more ideas check out the grandparents link here.
What are your tips for beating the summer heat?

Getting wet is half the fun of playing with water balloons.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Musings – 5 Fun ways to enjoy nature

It’s a great time of year to get outdoors and enjoy nature with the kids. I’m always on the lookout for something for the boys to do. I stumbled upon a park with nice trails and aesthetic surroundings. Actually I visited a park for a writer’s meet up.
The visitor center where we met was cozy with its’ wooden floors and rustic appeal. As nature would have it, I was greeted with a warm welcome. I was sitting alone in one of the open rooms waiting for the meeting to begin when saw my greeter from the corner of my eye.

A chipmunk had enter the room from outside. I think he entered through the wall. Being the city girl that I am, I nearly jumped from my seat. My first thought was that it was that it was a mouse. As I glanced out a window to see where the chipmunk came from, I saw another one just like him positioned near the window.
I didn’t wait for Alvin, Simon and Theodore to all converge on me. I jumped from my seat and went to join the couple of other people who were gathered in the meeting room. Having said all of that, I want my boys to be comfortable with nature, not jumpy like I am.

If you have been wanting to introduce your child to nature, Parents Magazine has several tips to get you started.

1.      Bird Watching – you can take your child bird watching at a park or in your own neighborhood. Take a pair of binoculars on your next walk. Have your child survey bushes, trees, and grass for our feathered friends. Be sure to observe a birds color, size and behavior. Complete your outing with a craft – make a bird feeder, set up a bird bath or create a nest box.

2.      Nature Scavenger Hunt – create a list of items for your child to search for. You could include pine cones, acorns and bird feathers to name a few.

3.      Catch a Critter – along with your scavenger hunt, you could go on a bug hunt. Catch a bug, place it in a plastic jar along with a twig and a few leaves.

4.      Plant a garden – let your child plant flowers, vegetables or herbs.

5.      Celebrate the sunrise and sunset – listen to bird calls in the early morning and enjoy the multi-color of the sky at sunset and listen to nocturnal creatures.
For the complete list of fun ways to enjoy nature click here. What would you add to the list?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Fantastic Friday – What are you fortunate for?

 Dear Diary...

Do you ever sit and reflect on the past? Have you ever thought about your adolescent days and said, “I’m glad that’s over.” Perhaps you remember a time when you were blissfully happy.
Sometimes I look at my boys running through the house, wrestling one minute then arguing the next. Often, I won’t intervene, but instead let them work things out. At least until I hear loud thumps, bumps and bear growls.  

These are the adolescent times for my boys. One day they will look back on these times and say, “remember when…?” I am fortunate for family, even with our imperfections.
I am fortunate friends who have been a part of my life for a short season and those who are in it for the long haul. Here is where I digress a little…. Just the other day I was reading through a few old diaries looking for story ideas. And what did I discover? Some of those friends who have been around for the long were mentioned on the pages of my diary from eighth grade.

Here is an actual excerpt from my diary:
April 27, 1980   11:02pm

Dear Diary,
Yesterday The Sheridan Craze as they call themselves (Timmy, Mary, Kelvin, Eric, Andre & Jesse) gave a party over Andre’s house. The party turned out really nice. I danced a lot. The latest gossip is that Florinda likes Robert when I thought she liked Kelvin, but Norman told me Kelvin & Florinda were talking for a while, but they weren’t going together yet. Then Robert came along and started sweet talking Florinda so that just left Kelvin hanging.

Whew! That was a mouthful. Nothing really juicy there, just a peek into the thought process of a thirteen-year-old back then. I can safely say that I am fortunate to be through with that stage of life. I did have to call my old neighborhood friend and ask, “Who was Florinda?” Everyone else I remember.
One other thing that I am fortunate for is faith. It is the glue that holds everything together.

What about you, what are you feeling fortunate for today?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Motivation

Photo credit: www.matternow.com
“To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.” John Dewey
“My desire is greater than my resistance.” Victoria Christopher Murray

I came across the above quotes and thought they were encouraging. Are you contemplating doing something because you are unsure whether it is the right move to make? This may be the time to take advantage of an opportunity you have been putting off.

What is something that you desire at this moment? Is it to move forward with your writing career, move to a new city, take a long awaited vacation? Put you plan in motion now. How badly do you want it?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fun Friday – Episodes in parenting: What do you do when kids say what’s on their minds?

Photo credit: mommyfixes.com

Whether you’re experiencing a parenting moment with your child or with someone else’s, kids seem to say whatever is on their minds. There are no filters or signs of embarrassment, just words spilling out of their mouths.
As parents we experience many episodes with our children, some that make you laugh and others that make you want to scream and pull your hair out. Below is a list of things I have heard come out of the mouth of my kids or other kids that I have been around.

  • When my son was about four years old, I listened as he said his blessing at the dinner table, “Jesus swept.” I had to tell him, “No honey Jesus “wept”, He cried. He didn’t sweep.”
  • When my son was about eight years old, I encouraged him to try different vegetables. As I put a small amount of collard greens onto his plate he said, “Why do I have to eat college greens?”
  • While teaching a Sunday school class for 6-8 year olds, one little boy told me his stomach was hurting. “Why is your stomach hurting?” I asked.
          “It’s a sign that the tank is full,” he told me.
           I excused him to the restroom right away.

  • Years ago as I was babysitting my three year old niece, Alexis, I had forgotten that her mother didn’t want her to play with toy weapons. My boys five and two years old at the time were playing with her while each holding a toy pistol. When I noticed Alexis with the pistol, I said, “Alexis, I don’t think mommy wants you to play with weapons.”
           She paused a few seconds then said, “I want the knife then.”

  • While watching a T.V. commercial that mentioned buying items for a baby shower, this conversation was overheard as a nine year old was talking to his six year old brother:
         “I remember when I used to think a “baby shower” was the first time a baby took a shower.”

  • When I was a child my grandfather, Daddy Bob, would always surprise my brother and me with coins or some special treat. He continued the tradition with my boys. On one occasion when my son, Joshua was about six years old, Daddy Bob surprised him with a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
         When Joshua saw the McDonald’s bag he leaped from the couch and ran and hugged Daddy    Bob around the legs and said, “Thank you Daddy Bob, you must have read my mind! That’s just what I wanted.”

So what do you do when kids say what’s on their minds? Smile and try not to embarrass too easily.

What would you add to the list of episodes in parenting?

Monday, July 8, 2013

National Park and Recreation Month – 10 ways you can celebrate

Photo credit: prweb.com

Did you know that July is National Park & Recreation month? Since 1985 America has celebrated July as Park and Recreation Month. It’s a great time of year to make a pledge to focus on health and wellness, enjoy nature or just get up and get active.
As you create your pledge to engage in health and wellness activities, you can also take advantage of activities at your local parks & recreation departments. What will you do to celebrate National Park & Recreation Month? Anything small or large can be a part of your celebration. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1.      Take the family to a water park – coast down the lazy river, wade in the splash park with the kids or coast down a water slide.

2.      Go for a bike ride

3.      Build something with your child – a sand castle, Lego creation or even a lemonade stand.

4.      Teach your child a game from your childhood.

5.      Play hopscotch, four square or get out the jump rope.

6.      Walk the trail at a local park

7.      Sign up for a fun class that you’ve always wanted to take.

8.      Take advantage of outdoor activities – Putt Putt Golf, Go Carts, Batting cages, etc.

9.      Have a picnic at a park

10.  Park and read – visit a park and let the kids play on the swings, slide and take in nature, while you read a good book; Disclaimer: be sure to keep an eye on the kids while you’re reading (-:

Photo credit: www.nrpa.org

What would you add to this list of ways to celebrate National Park & Recreation Month?  What do you love about your park & recreation department?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friendship - If the shoe fits

Have you ever had to walk in anyone's shoes...or socks?

Are you familiar with the expression, “walk a mile in my shoes?” I’ve heard it said, “Don’t judge me until you walk a mile in my shoes.” Or, “If you could only walk in my shoes.” My friend recently exercised the opportunity to mix the figurative meaning of this expression with the literal.
During a week-long conference, my friend and I walked daily from our hotel to the convention center where our classes were held. She mainly walked because I liked to walk. A friend in deed.

Early one morning there were three of us who joined the crowed of walkers headed to the convention center. We were two blocks from the center when my friend’s sandal broke. It was the type of sandal that has the strap that fits between your big toe and the second toe.
My friend wanted to turn back and walk the five blocks back to the hotel, but we wouldn’t let her. She tried to grip the broken shoe with her toes and drag her foot, but that wasn’t working. I offered my suggestion, “How about if we each take off one shoe and drag our foot like you’re doing?” After she caught her breath from laughing, we implemented plan ‘B’ instead.

“You can wear my socks, at least they’ll match your outfit,” I offered. There was no magical moment as with Cinderella and her glass slipper, as my friend slipped the black socks onto her foot. However, the cushion of the thick sock brought a moment of comfort. She made it through the first class session without anyone noticing the absence of her shoes.
After class I was able to give my friend the gym shoes that I was wearing and I changed into something else. I couldn’t offer her the shoes before because my class was active and required us to sometimes run around. For the rest of that morning, my friend walked a mile in my shoes.

If anyone were to question why I took a few pair of shoes on the trip, they could now see why. One pair for walking and others for casual and dress up activities. Since my feet are a size bigger than my friend’s, she was able to fit the shoes without any discomfort.
My shoe held up for my friend just like our friendship has over the years.

What experiences have you had with a friend that have made you smile?



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Independence Day Fireworks

In the U.S. July 4th is a time of celebration. Officially it is the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence; A celebration of our country’s independence from Great Britain in 1776.
Independence Day or “the fourth of July” is a time for many public events, parades and fireworks displays. Below is a YouTube video of this year’s fireworks display in Detroit. I didn’t have an opportunity to go this year, but enjoyed the recap from the video.

YouTuve video courtesy of seeker 7125

Do you have plans for celebrating Independence Day this year?
Happy Independence Day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dressed to chill - Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

Photo Credit: wwww.bentnorthrop.org

Today is the day, another national holiday that I stumbled upon – Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day. Celebrated on July 1st this day gives you a chance to create a new flavor ice cream. What will you create? Make your ice cream dressed to chill.

My first ice cream creation would be a combination of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, oh wait that’s already been done. Since my creative juices weren’t flowing, I asked my son what his creation would include.
“Strawberry and Cherry ice cream on a regular cone,” he said. “And can we have an ice cream party?”

Actually an ice cream party sounds like fun. If you decide to throw an ice cream party, here’s a bit of trivia to stump your guests:

1.      How many pounds of mild does it take to make just one gallon of ice cream?

A.      12

B.      5

C.      20

D.     28

2.      What country consumes the most ice cream per person per year?

A.      Canada

B.      Italy

C.      United States

D.     Japan


3.      The ice cream cone was invented in

A.      1865

B.      1624

C.      1779

D.     1904


4.      Haagen Dazs is made in Sweden and its name means

A.      “Happy Days”

B.      “Have a dish”

C.      “Ice cream”

D.     Nothing


5.      The favorite ice cream topping is

A.      Nuts

B.      Caramel syrup

C.      Chocolate syrup

D.     Strawberry topping


1.      A -12

2.      C – United States; each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.

3.      D -1904; the invention of the ice cream cone is linked to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.  It was said that in ice cream vendor didn’t have enough dishes to keep up with the demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his waffles into cornucopias.

4.      D Nothing; contrary to common belief, the name is not European; it’s just two words made up to look European to American eyes. This is known as foreign branding in the marketing industry.

5.      C Chocolate syrup

Note: quiz questions were taken from www.hunterhome.net/triviajuly06.html/.

 How will you prepare your warm weather treat? Create an ice cream flavor that is dressed to chill.