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, August 30, 2013

Fun Friday – Finish this phrase…

A family favorite board game at our house is Catch Phrase. We divide into teams and shout out clues to describe the phrase or word displayed in the window of the game device. Given the word “backpack” my son gave clues such as, “something you carry your books to school in.”
Sometimes while on a long car ride or stuck in traffic, the boys and I will make up a game to entertain ourselves. On a recent occasion we made up a game and titled it, Finish this phrase. Below are the phrases we came up with. How many of the phrases can you complete?

1.      When life deals you lemons…

2.      A watched pot never…

3.      It’s better to give than to…

4.      When the going gets tough…

5.      This is going to hurt me more than it…

6.      If you can’t beat them…

7.      Don’t count your chickens before…

8.      6 in one hand, half a dozen…

9.      A bird in the hand is worth…

10.  Robbing Peter to…

11.  Whatever doesn’t kill you will…

How did you do?


1.      Make lemonade

2.      Never boils

3.      Receive

4.      The tough get going

5.      Hurts me

6.      Join them

7.      They hatch

8.      In the other

9.      Two in the bush

10.  Pay Paul

11.  Make you stronger


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday – Photo Fun

While visiting a friend in the hospital, I noticed the phone number to her room was posted on the wall… but the phone was never plugged in.


In the waiting room of the hospital I visited, sat a pot of pretty flowers. Some were wilted, ALL were plastic.


A heartfelt breakfast.

Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Tips to mastering the art of small talk

Photo credit: www.problogger.net

Do you remember when you first became a parent and the things you learned? For me it was like learning a new language. I discovered words such as layette, bassinette and Onesie. It was not long before I learned to use these words in conversations with other moms.
As my boys are going through the teen years during the times of texting, I’ve again had to learn to converse using a new language… text talk. I have become familiar with terms such as LOL (laugh out loud), BFF (best friend forever), SMH (shaking my head) and TTYL (talk to you later). Although my son tells me that I overuse “LOL” I can still say that I know how to use it in context.

Now that I have a handle on the above two “languages” I’ve learned that there is something else that I need to master – the art of small talk. Sometimes making small talk is not the easiest thing to do. There are those who have the gift of gab and those of us who could use a little assistance. The Wall Street Journal gave tips on how to be a better small talker when engaging in a conversation with strangers (The Wall Street Journal-Health & Wellness- August 13, 2013).

1.      Get started – It’s ok to start with talking about the weather. It’s a good opening to signal the desire to talk.

2.      Introduction – tell the person your name or something about yourself, make it easy for the other person to do the same thing. Avoid talking about your favorite subject so that you don’t talk too much and dominate the conversation.

3.      Find a topic – ask questions or expand on earlier comments made during your conversation.

4.      Proceed with caution – If it seems the other person is talking too much, lead the conversation in another direction, and offer information about yourself.

5.      Exit Gracefully – signal the end of the conversation by offering your business card, Facebook information or another way to stay in touch.

So, what’s the take away value of these tips you ask? Conversations start friendships, clinch deals and make us likable. In this day and age of technology and social media, it’s easy to get rusty in our conversational skills. Every now and then it’s good to make sure we still know how to converse with another person…in person.
What tips do you have for mastering the art of small talk?
Until later or TTYL.




Friday, August 23, 2013

A Mother’s Sacrifice

photo credit: www.topmom.areavoices.com

My son frequently goes to a local recreation center near his school. The center is connected to a church and is operated by members of the church. Half way through the rec night there is a devotion period.
On one occasion the devotion period centered on the story of a mom with one eye and the embarrassment her son faced. The story was displayed on a big screen and a discussion followed. Below is the story. It reminded me of the sacrifices we make as parents and sacrifices our parents made for us.

My mom had only one eye. I hated her…She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.
There was one time during my primary school when my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school, one of my schoolmates said, “EEEE, your mom has only one I!”

I wanted to bury myself. I also want to my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you will only make me a laughingstock, why don’t you just die?” My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think about the words I hurled at her because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.
I wanted to be out of that house and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, and got a chance to go abroad to study. Then I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids. I was happy with my life and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to see me. She hadn’t seen me and years and hadn’t even met her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her and I yelled at her for coming over to my house uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children!” GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!! And to this, my mother answered calmly, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” As she disappeared out of sight.
One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbor said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

My dearest son,
I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard that you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see, when you were very little, you got in an accident, and lost one eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was so proud of my son who is seeing a whole new world for me with that one eye. I wanted you to be successful in life. Till van…I love you my son.

With all my love to you,

Your mother

 Author Unknown

Do you remember your mom making sacrifices? Have you may sacrifices as a parent?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Help Wanted – How do you help kids get through the wonder years?

An uncooperative teen
When you hear the word “teenager” do you begin to hyperventilate? Its ok, you’re not alone. There used to be a TV show called The Wonder Years. I’m starting to realize the premise behind that show. Yet I’m not quite sure if my teen boys are going through the wonder years or if I am. While one son wonders about starting high school, the other one wonders about completing high school.
As for me, I’m in the starting lane anticipating the first parent obligation. What will be the first fee I’m hit with? I’ve already paid sports fees for one son. I know there will be a yearbook order form, senior dues and senior pictures. About those pictures, I have photos from previous years that we could submit. My son still looks the same.

So how do you help kids get through the wonder years? By first helping yourself. Here are four tips to help you survive the teen years.

1.      Know your teens’ friends – I often ask my boys the names of their friends when I haven’t met them before. They frown up and ask me “Why?” I frown back at them and say, “Because I need to know who you hang around.”

2.      Be consistent – teens need to know what is expected of them and the consequences when the expectations are not met. They may not like the consequences, but if the consistency is there, they will respect it.

3.      Spend time with your teen – ask questions, be concerned about the things they are concerned about. Remember when you were a teen, you may have felt like your parents did not understand things you were going through.

4.      Choose your battles – teens sometimes like to go for shock value with parents. If your son wants to cut his hair into a Mohawk and you think it’s the worse style you’ve seen…let him do it. Teens like to express their individuality. It he wants to do something more detrimental like drugs or alcohol, they you can step in.

Kids Health posted an article titled A Parent’sGuide to Surviving the Teen Years. It said that despite the negative perceptions about teens, they are often “thoughtful and idealistic.” It said that the teen years should be viewed as a time to “help them grow into the distinct individuals they will become.”
Armed with the proper tools and tactics, the wonder years can be turned into a WONDERful journey. What advice do you have for parents going through the wonder years?


Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Friday – Funny back to school signs

photo credit: www.straighterline.com

Getting ready for back to school can be a time of excitement, anticipation, and even stress. For kids there’s the excitement of seeing old friends, the anticipation of making new friends and the stress of expected homework.
Parents on the other hand experience these same stresses, but on a different level. There’s the stress of wondering whether your child will hang with the “right” crowd and whether he will receive enough homework. When it comes to excitement, some parents are just thrilled to get back into a regular routine.

Before you swing back into that regular routine, relax and something funny. Here are some back to school funnies that I came across recently.
photo credit: www.huffingpost.com

photo credit: www.huffingpost.com
photo credit: www.huffingpost.com
photo credit: www.huffingpost.com

Are you ready for back to school and everything that comes with it?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

When a stomach ache leads to a trip to the emergency room

Photo credit: www.drdansblog.com
My teen son complained of a stomach ache from the time he awoke one morning, until I returned home from work early evening. I thought it was a passing virus, but then his temperature spiked and he laid around some more. This was out of the norm for him.
Later, I was in another part of the house when I heard a thumping sound across the floor. I discovered it was my son rushing to the bathroom. When I got there he was gripping the toilet bowl and making straining sounds to get something to come out of his mouth.

After a few moments, he slumped in relief then went back to bed. I was able to get his temperature down and let him sleep through the night. The next morning I made an appointment with his doctor.

The doctor didn’t see anything definite, but felt the problem was with my sons’ appendix. The doctor sent him to the emergency room for further testing. After an overnight stay in the emergency room, my son was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of appendicitis.
More hours of waiting before we learned the appendix was not ruptured and therefore surgery could be performed. I really liked the simple explanations the doctor provided for us along the way. He told my son his appendix was really “yucky.” I’m sure there was a longer medical phrase that could have been used, but “yucky” worked for me.

The day after surgery the doctor asked my son, “Did you fart yet?” I chuckled to myself at the simplicity of the question. But I understood the reason for the question, my son had to “poop” to make sure his body was functioning the way it should.

As the doctor explained to my son how he should care for the area around his incisions, I also listened intently. He said, “You have stiches on the inside, but we used glue on the outer area of the incisions.” My first thought was, “Did you use Gold Bond? Is it super glue?”

Overall I was pleased with the care my son received during his few days at the hospital. The surgery went well and did not require a lot of cutting as I anticipated, only a three small holes. You gotta love modern technology.

So what did I learn from this experience?

1.      I’m glad I know my son’s habits pretty well and followed my instinct to call the doctor.

2.      Hospital food is not all bad (at least when you’re not the patient). I had a great salad from the cafeteria a couple of times.

3.      Being sick is a humbling experience. Even though my son said I could go home, I think he was glad I was there. Especially when he awoke in the middle of the night and asked me to hand him the remote to the TV. I had fallen asleep with it near me on the sofa bed.

4.      Prayer is a good thing.

Have you experienced any emergency room/hospital situations with your child? How did you get thought it?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Fun Friday – A rappin’ tribute to moms

No it’s not Mother’s Day, but do you sometimes feel Mother’s Day should be celebrated at least once a month? Below are a couple of rappin’ tributes to moms.

Take time today to enjoy motherhood or celebrate the mom in your life. You don’t have to wait until May.
 Both video's are courtesy of YouTube. The second video is comedian Anita Renfro.

What is one of your fondest memories of motherhood so far?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

One word Wednesday - Grateful

Grateful hands receive a treat from a friend.


What one word describes how you’re feeling at this moment?
My one word today is “grateful.” I’m grateful for the helping hands and support of family and friends; Grateful for the unexpected lessons learned from those around me.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Lovers Day – 7 ways to celebrate

Get ready, get ready, Book Lovers Day is almost here. August 9th has been designated as Book Lovers Day. It’s a great time of year to find a place in the shade and curl up with a book.
I always loved silent reading time in school and nothing has changed in my “grown up” life. There’s something special about getting lost in a good book. In addition to reading a good book, there’s more you can do for Book Lovers Day.

If you were told to interpret Book Lovers Day any way you wanted, how would you celebrate? Here are a few ideas I came up with -

·         Write a book of your own (or at least start the writing process).

·         Hold a family competition – set rules and offer prizes such as an ice cream treat for reading  a designated amount of pages.

·         Create coupons good for uninterrupted reading time.

·         Have the kids create a book related craft – young kids could read a picture book (or listen to one read to them) then make a craft related to the book. Below is a necklace that could be made after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

·         Spend time browsing through your favorite bookstore.

·        Have an adventure day – Have your child read a book such as The Golden Compass or A Wrinkle in Time. Go out canoeing, kayaking or sit by a waterfall. You can find more ideas such as this in an article titled, Day Trips for Book Lovers. Click here.
  • Get absorbed in a good book until you come out with a book hangover.
It’s your turn now, how will you celebrate Book Lover’s Day?

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 ways to enjoy Family Fun Month

Photo credit: airwayfuncenter.com

It’s official, August is Family Fun Month! It’s another chance to spend quality time with your family. So what will you do? Get creative and make it fun.
When I asked my boys for suggestions of family activities they responded with, “have a video game competition, visit the water park and going to the movies.” I searched the internet for more ideas and the results are below. Here are 7 ways to have fun with your family this month.

1.      Pitch a tent in your yard and have a campout or cookout.

2.      Have a family game show night – base your game on a real game show or make up trivia questions based on your family history.

3.      Make sock puppets – how often have you discovered that you couldn’t find a mate to a pair of socks? Now you can put that misfit sock to good use, transform it into a sock puppet. Hold a puppet show.

4.      Read under a blanket – set up a blanket tent in your living room, get out a flashlight and snuggle with a favorite book.

5.      Visit an amusement park

6.      Take a class together – Is there a hobby or activity that you’ve always wanted to try, do it now. Take a drawing class together, cooking class, or go swimming together.

7.      Create your own bubble solution – a combination of dish soap and water is an easy way to make bubbles.

Many of the above ideas were adapted from the sheknows website. Click here for a complete list of family fun ideas.
Do you have a favorite family fun activity to share?