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, October 30, 2013

Words of Wisdom – Do what you love

Photo Credit: www.businessnewsdaily.com

In addition to family and friends, what do you love? When was the last time you did something that you love?
Below are a few quotes about doing what you love:

·         Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life – Wayne Dyer

·         Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go – Natalie Goldberg

·         If you are not doing what you love you are wasting your time – Billy Joel

·         Do what you love and the money will follow – Marsha Sinetar

·         Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still – Henry David Thoreau

See more quotes at brainyquote.com

Make time to do what you love.
"Dress Your Brain" Costume Party
SCBWI-MI Revision Retreat
Author Audrey Vernick
Authors Kris Remenar and Ruth McNally Barshaw
Writer friends Cheryl Adams and Linda Shears

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Musings – A Reflection on parenting

Photo Credit: www.ememby.com

Have you ever done something then thought, I wish I had handled that differently? As my son moves well into his senior year of high school, I often wonder about the lessons he has learned at home. Have I taught him enough things? Have I spent enough time with him? And the list goes on.
When I came across the poem below, I thought it was fitting to share with other parents.

If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again
If I had my child to raise all over again,

I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.

I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
By Diane Loomans

Today’s a new day – finger paint more, take a hike, play hard and gaze at a few stars.

What does your parenting reflection look like at this moment?


Friday, October 25, 2013

Fun Friday – 7 Benefits of Laughter

Have you heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine?” My boys and I recently spent a Saturday with Granny (my mom), laughing. It all started because I told my son I was tired of walking (after a couple hours of shopping).
My son attempted to wrap my arm around his shoulder, I thought he was trying to wrestle with me like he usually does. However, this time he said he was trying to lift me to provide me with support. I figured if you can’t beat them, join them.

We moved to a side aisle of the store where my son could continue to lift me. I went along with this version of a trust activity, but only to a certain degree. I held onto a shelf as he lifted one leg. He lifted. I laughed. This continued until my son held my dead weight in is arms.

My son asked me “Why do you laugh so hard?”

“It’s a good workout for my abs.”
Little did I know that I would actually find information to support my statement. Did you know that there really are health benefits to laughing? Here’s what I found out about laughter:

1.      Laughter relaxes the whole body – a hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress.

2.      Fun ab workout – your stomach muscles expand and relax when you laugh, similar to when you exercise your abs.

3.      Triggers the release of endorphins – “endorphins are the body’s natural pain killers.” Laughing can release endorphins that can help ease chronic pain  (7Health Benefits of Laughter.)

4.      Produces a sense of well-being – laughing can increase you sense of well-being and help you to have a positive outlook on life. This has led doctors to believe that people who have a positive outlook on life tend to fight disease better than those who are more negative.

5.      Improves cardiac health – laughing gets your heart pumping and burns calories (about the same amount as walking at a slow to moderate pace).

6.      Eases anxiety and fear

7.      Adds joy and zest to life

For more benefits of laughter check out the article, Laughteris the Best Medicine.
Will you make it a point today to go out and cause a little laughter?

Live, love, laugh!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meditation Monday - 7 Benefits of Meditation

Photo courtesy: www.pickthebrain.com

Have you ever thought, “It’s Monday and I’m ready for the weekend already?” Maybe you have a busy week ahead. The kids have practices, doctor’s appointments, you have deadlines at work. Your head is just spinning thinking it all through.
Could it be that you need to make time to relax your body and mind? I recently read an article that talked about the benefits of meditation. Below is an abbreviated version of the list.

1.      Meditation cam help improve mental sharpness

2.      Helps decrease stress and anxiety

3.      Meditation help you better manage your emotions

4.      Cures headaches and migraines

5.      Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation

6.      Helps with focus and concentration

7.      Enhances immune system

The article 100 Benefits of Meditation lists the physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits of meditation. Today, dare to do something different, make time to relax and meditate. Below is a short video to encourage you do something for yourself.
Have you ever tried meditation? How do you feel about meditation?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Feel Good Friday – Family Appreciation Day

Churches have Family and Friends Day, schools have Teacher Appreciation Day, today is designated as Family Appreciation Day here at my blog. What do you appreciate about your family at this moment?
Today I appreciate the silly side of my family. One lazy day at the end of summer my boys and I decided to make a trip to our local Target store. Not really caring about our attire, we jumped in the car and headed down the road.

As we jogged (for no reason at all) from the parking lot to the entrance of the store, my son noticed our attire. I was wearing thin cotton workout pants that were too long to be Capri pants, but just short enough to look weird. My younger son had on jean shorts that were a little tight and much shorter than the knee length that the teens wear now.
My oldest son, whom I call grasshopper because of his long legs, wore sweat pants and a t-shirt. A t-shirt that swallowed his lean slim body. As he jogged to catch up with his brother and me he said, “We look bad as a unit.” It was a special moment as we all erupted with laughter.

Here’s a bit of inspiration for your day (courtesy of www/facebook.com/InspirationforFamilies.

Now for you…what do you appreciate about your family?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Photo credit: www.daysoftheyear.com

How do you celebrate National Chocolate Cupcake Day? By eating chocolate cupcakes. October 18th is the day chocolate cupcake day is celebrated. You still have time to bake your favorite recipe or try something total new.

Below are cupcake recipes that I discovered...when looking for cupcake recipes. Click on the link below each photo for the recipe.

WARNING: The author of this blog assumes no responsibility for over indulgence, eat responsibly and enjoy (-:
How will you spend National Cupcake Day?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sowing seeds

Photo credit:  jabariteachingministries.blogspot.com

I read a devotional recently that talked about sowing seeds. It said that if you want to see your dreams fulfilled, help someone else fulfill his dreams. Sometimes we are consumed by our challenges and struggles that the last thing on our mind is to help someone else.
When my grandfather was about 65 years he was very active and always on the go. One day when I asked him where he was off to he said, “I’m going to cut grass for the old people.” Humor was his trademark as he helped those around him.

As a teenager I watched my grandfather with his push mower and weed whacker, cutting lawns and expecting nothing in return. When he wasn’t mowing lawns, he was visiting the sick or praying with someone.
The devotional I read said that if you’re having a problem, one of the best things you can do is to help someone else solve their problem. If my grandfather had problems, we never knew, because he was always helping someone else.

Parenting is like sowing seeds. When are children are young we teach them right from wrong (planting seed stage). We nurture them as they grow, instilling moral values (watering your seeds, providing sunlight). Until one day, we receive our harvest (seeing our child to adulthood).
My grandfather experienced his harvest through great health most of his 95 years. He lived at home and continued to help family even when he was no longer mobile. As a parent my grandfather taught by doing. He sowed seeds of faith for our family and my mother picked up the torch and carried on.

When you sow seeds you can expect a harvest.

How will you begin to sow seeds today?

Friday, October 11, 2013

If I shut down – A parent’s satire of the US government shutdown

Photo credit: betareview.wordpress.com

The Today Show on NBC TV recently aired a story about a Twitter conversation they started. In relationship to the US Government shut down, they posed the statement, “If I shut down…” One mom tweeted that is she shut down, carpools would be disrupted.
Today I pose this same statement to you, “If I shut down…” What would your place of employment look like if you shut down, how would your household be affected? My household consists of two teenage boys capable of caring for their basic needs, but they still tend yell call for mom at every opportunity.

If I shut down my household will look like this…
“Ma, have you seen my phone?...MA, MA, I can’t find my phone, can you help me?”

“Ma, who is going to pick me up from practice?”
“Ma we’re out of eggs, and pancake mix, what can I eat for breakfast?”

There are a ton of other things I fear would happen if I shut down. I wonder if my son would clean his room without my prodding him. I already feel like I’m jumping hurdles when I enter his domain. I’m sure there would also be long nights of watching T.V. or playing video games.
This topic of a parent shut down reminded me of a family movie I’ve enjoyed called Mom’s on Strike (ABC Family). In the movie, mom was constantly working to balance her professional work with household duties. When her husband and kids forgot her birthday, she rebelled by refusing to cook or clean until she felt appreciated.

If I shut down…I know my family could handle it, but they wouldn’t want to. If you feel the idea of a shutdown formulating, take a deep breath and know that, this too shall pass.
Leave your response to the statement, “If I shut down…”

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Breast Cancer Awareness - What faith can do

Photo credit: blogs.fanbox.com

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, show your support by wearing pink and getting involved in some way in your community.

What are your ideas for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

Monday, October 7, 2013

How does your family tree look?

Photo credit: fusible.com

Has your child come home from school yet and said, “My teacher wants us to make a family tree?” It’s been a while since my boys have had to develop a family tree. However, I remember oh so well trying to determine how Cousin Morgan was connected to Grandma Lula. And discovering that Uncle Steve’s real name was Theo.
A family tree can be full of many intelligent and wacky members. It’s interesting sharing these stories with our children. So how do you begin? How about having your child read a book with a family related theme?

I recently read a book titled, The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean, by Alexander McCall Smith. Harriet discovers that she has aunts she’s never met. Today I am a guest blogger at The Family that reads together. Click here to read more about the topic of family history and ideas for teaching your child about family history.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fun Friday – Church Humor

Photo credit: warmphotos.net

It’s the end of the week, how about a little humor to get your weekend started? Below are jokes that a friend shared with me by email. I hope there is one or two that will bring a smile to your face.

1.      A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her
five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to “Honor
thy father and thy mother,” she asked, “Is there a commandment that
teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a
beat, one little boy answered, 'Thou shall not kill...”

2.      A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she
could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed,
“Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let
me be late!' While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb
and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up,
brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once
again began to pray, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But
please don't shove me either!”

3.      A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus
with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied, “They couldn't get a

4.      Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her
mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?'' The mother replied,
“Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest
day of her life.” The child thought about this for a moment then said,
“So why is the groom wearing black?”

Photo credit: www.R3blog.net
Photo credit: greeleygazette.com
Have you heard a good clean joke lately?
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday – What is your vision?

ZingTrain Materials...all with a personal touch.

Wednesdays are usually identified as “Wordless Wednesdays” here at my blog. However, today is different. I just participated in a two day training session titled, “Creating a Vision of Greatness.” The training was presented by Zingerman’s (ZingTrain Ann Arbor, MI).

In you are not familiar with Zingerman’s here is a blurb from their brochure. “Zingerman’s was founded in March 1982 by Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw as a small delicatessen in Ann Arbor, MI. Today we are a community of eight unique businesses, with almost 600 employees and over 45 million dollars in annual revenue.”

Zingerman’s not only produces great food, they tell the public how to take their business to the next level, through ZingTrain workshops. In the workshop I attended, there were many techniques taught that can be applied to our personal lives as well as business. I came home energized and ready to write a vision for my personal goals. And to get my teen boys to start on their visions.

Side Note: Many thanks to Ari and Maggie Bayless for leading the ZingTrain Seminar!

Have you ever created a vision statement for the direction you want your life to take? What will you be doing 10 years from now? Do you have kids? Did you start that business you’ve always wanted to start? How about that vacation you always wanted to take? Start with your dream and create your vision.

I have included a few photos from my participation in the ZingTrain workshop.

Ari Weinzweig, one of the co-founders of Zingerman's
Zingerman's bookstore
Creating a Vision of Greatness - Seminar participants
Bonding with Ari...he made everyone feel special.
For more information about ZingTrain, visit their website at www.zingtrain.com. It you’re not from the Ann Arbor area, but would like to learn more about the items Zingerman’s ships, check out www.zingermans.com.

Take a look at the video below and be encouraged to set a vision and pursue your dream. The video is not related to the seminar, but worth watching.


Dream big!