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, February 28, 2014

Fun Friday – Parenting and The Oscars – how are they similar?

The Oscars - photo credit

“…and the winner is…” Do you sometimes wish you could hear those few words after a tough day of parenting? With the Oscar awards coming up, I thought it would be fitting to take a look at the relationship between The Oscars and parenting.

An Oscar for parenting may sound like this –“In the category of accomplishing the most tasks in a day, the winner is ______________; For her strength and energy in washing a load of clothes, folding the towels, unloading the dishwasher, responding to emails, and dressing herself presentably – all before leaving the house to run other errands.

So how is parenting like the Oscars? Take a look.

·         Both can be a nail biting experience

·         Both require determination and drive

·         Both can be rewarding and challenging at the same time

When you think about the above similarities of the Oscars and parenting, I bet you can come up with a situation that relates to each point. Take a minute to think about it…ok time is up. Here is one of my stories.
I was working an afterschool program the other day when a winter storm began. It started out as gentle snowflakes drifting from the sky, and then turned to rain and slush with the threat of freezing. After a couple of hours, I realized it was time to call and see if my teen son made I home safely after basketball practice. This is his first year driving in winter weather conditions.

It was 7pm, I knew basketball practice should have ended by 5pm. I made the call.

“Are you home yet?” I yelled through the loud background noise blaring from his end of the phone.
“No, I’m at the girl’s game,” he yelled back.

I looked out of the window of the recreation center where I work and told him, “You need to leave now!” My face would have been ashen if my skin wasn’t so dark. My son was enjoying himself at a girls’ basketball game while I was frantic about the danger of him driving home on dark, slippery back roads. It was a nail biting experience.
Since I shared a challenging story, I must also share a rewarding one. It was a cold night outside, but warm and fuzzy inside my heart on senior night during my son’s basketball game. The athletic director announced each senior player and cheerleader and their escorts. My son and I walked onto the floor with an arm around each other and smiles on our face.

Senior night was like a night at the Oscars for my son and me. He had a high scoring game of 19 points and I was his biggest cheerleader. And the basketball team won the division championship.
How has your parenting experience been similar to The Oscars?


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – What makes you laugh?

Laughing dog - photo credit

YouTube Video credit: Ally Bank - "New Ways"

YouTube video credit: Honey Nut Cheerios - Must Be the Honey

Monday, February 24, 2014

Muffins with Mom – The meaning of a hug

Photo credit and recipe

Who amongst us doesn’t love a nice warm embrace every now and then? Well I received a hug from my teen son the other day and I don’t take that lightly. This is the son who is still going through the, “I don’t want to be seen with my mom at school” phase. And if he doesn’t do well in school, I’ve promised to show up and wave frantically at him.
Back to the hug episode…
It happened on a dark icy morning, as hints of light from the garage light peeked through my sons’ bedroom window. It was the usual time that I went in to wake him for school. This time I whispered three magic words to him, “school is closed.”
It was with outstretched arms that my son began his embrace. I hesitated a moment before I went in for the hug. After all, I’ve been known to give an accidental hug (when it wasn’t what the other person was going for).
With his face in his pillow and morning breath seeping through his lips, my son whispered, “Aren’t you going to hug me?”
I received the hug and held on a few seconds longer to bask the moment. My sons’ hug was an expression of the sheer joy he felt from learning he had yet another snow day.
And with all the love my son showed me on that cold winters morn, today’s feature muffin is a strawberry- banana love muffin.
Is there a special meaning behind a hug you received from your child?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fun Friday – How well do you know your TV trivia?

Hong Kong Phooey - cartoon crime fighter

Since I’m a fan of police/detective TV shows, I thought it would be fun to provide you with a little trivia with that theme in mind. Now that I’ve said that, I realize that a couple of the shows may fall under the genre of drama.
Take a look at the photos below and see if you can name the TV show and one of the actors.

Check your answers
1.  Knight Rider - David Hasselhoff
2.  ChiP's - Eric Estrada and Larry Wilcox
3.  The Dukes of Hazzard - John Schneider and Tom Wopat
4.  Hawaii Five O (the original) - Jack Lord
5.  Miami Vice - Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas
6.  Psyche - James Roday and Dule' Hill
7.  Charlie's Angels (the original) - Jaclyn Smith, Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson
8.  Monk - Tony Shalhoub
9.  Matlock - Andy Griffith

How many did you get correct?
Do you have a favorite TV show, past or present?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - What happens when art and music collide?

Photo credit

What do you think happens when art and music collide? The result is a compilation of beautiful music and brilliant photos. You be the judge.

YouTube video credit: Biggi Bechtold

Monday, February 17, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Unfinished projects

Photo credit

Have you ever started a project then never got around to completing it? One lazy Sunday afternoon, I went to my sewing/craft container to grab a spool of thread to mend a sock (something I rarely do). While digging through the storage container, I made several discoveries of unfinished projects.

The first item I stumbled across was a pattern for a baby blanket that I was going to make for my son. He’s now fourteen years old and I don’t think I ever finished the blanket. My first clue was that the uncut pattern was still folded neatly in its packaging.
The next item I found was a pattern for a sundress… in a size I would have to squeeze into now. The fabric is still in good condition, I’m pretty sure it’s not more than a couple years old. Maybe by spring I’ll find time to turn that fabric into a skirt.

Have you ever been excited about a project only for it to eventually fall by the wayside? It can happen to the best of us. Especially when parenting responsibilities take precedence. So what can you do about it? Have a muffin, then come up with a plan.

Select one unfinished project that you’re really, really excited about and decide to finish it.  Set a deadline and stick to it. It might also be helpful to create a checklist of what you need in order to complete the project. Most of all, make it fun.
Do you have any unfinished projects?

Friday, February 14, 2014

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you?

Photo credit
Wishing you a day filled with extra love and happiness.
YouTube Video Credit: CherishYour Day

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wacky Wednesday - Do your kids live on the wild side?

Driveway surfing - my son decided to repurpose his broken desk chair.

Bored teen - decides to create his own fun during his brothers football practice.

Teens at the park.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Motivational Monday - Greatness

Get you week started on the right foot with a little Monday Motivation.

Photo Credit: ProfileInternational

Are you ready for greatness?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fun Friday – A funny thing happened

Photo credit
Has anything funny happened to you lately? In some cases something so crazy happens that you have to laugh to keep from screaming. When I hang out with my mom, I can almost always expect something out of the ordinary to happen. Last week was no different.

We were on our way to an appointment in an office building; before going into the office where we were meeting, we stopped by the restroom. The door to the restroom was slightly open. Taped to the door was a hand written sign that read “WOMEN.”  That alone should have been an indication of what we would find on the inside.

If I were a germaphobe (is that a word?), I would have turned and run away, but I tried to stick it out without touching anything. After entering the two stall restroom, I noticed the paper towel dispenser was broken. However, there was full roll of paper towel sitting on the sink (relief).
As I pushed the first stall door open, I was greeted by a sign taped to the stall wall that asked me to “PLEASE READ.” I didn’t read all of the small print on that sign, but I did read the one across from it that said, “THIS TOILET DOES NOT FLUSH PROPERLY.”

I backed away from the first stall, then gently kicked the door open to the other stall, only to be greeted by more signage. My first thought was who is going to read all of these signs before they take care of business.  
My curiosity got the best of me so I read the sign titled, “DO NOT PUT INTO TOILET.” First on the list was tea bags.” A tea bag definitely would have been the last thing I thought to take into that restroom.

The final line of the note said, “IF YOU CLOG THIS TOILET…we will leave it unrepaired like the one to your right. I asked my mom, “do you think this is one of those hidden camera shows?” I pulled out my camera phone and took photos of the signs. I really couldn’t believe the condition of that restroom.
I think a port-a-john/portable toilet would have been better than what my mom and I experienced that day. We laughed, I screamed and I ran from that restroom like the Gingerbread Man.

What funny situation have you experienced lately?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Youth entrepreneurs

Youth entrepreneur - Janese
Did the Groundhog see his shadow? Yes and as the folklore goes, the prediction is six more weeks of winter. How does this relate to entrepreneurship? I’m glad you asked. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania saw a peak in sales on Groundhog’s Day. They took advantage of an ideal opportunity.

I believe in the saying, “when opportunity knocks...” This is the same thing I have told my children. My son applied this concept a few years ago when he and a friend began a snow removal business. They had a couple of snow days with no school and “nothing to do” (their words).

After a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon, sprinkled with a little encouragement; my son and his friend began their business. Their overhead costs were low...two shovels. Last year after acquiring a snow blower, I had to charge them for gas. Well, I didn’t have to, but I wanted them to learn a little about business.
Instead of paying FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act), they had to pay MICA (Mama Insured Contributions Act). Their contribution was only a couple of dollars, but the lesson was priceless.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet 11 year old Janese who has started a business selling bracelets. She sells those rubber band type bracelets that are popular with youth and teens.
Janese took advantage of an opportunity. Her mom was attending a Saturday morning meeting, so Janese came along and brought her product. She could have easily stayed warm at home on that snowy Michigan morning.

The handcrafted bracelets were colorful and beautifully displayed. She was set up in a location that attracted people as they entered the facility. I have to say I was attracted to the nylon gift bags that also came with the purchase. I bought one.

I conducted an impromptu interview with Janese:

Me:                  How did you learn to make the bracelets that you sell?
Janese:            I watched videos on YouTube over and over, then I practiced.

Me:                  Where do you sell your bracelets?
Janese:            I have participated in one craft show so far. I’m also trying to persuade my mom to let me get an email and YouTube account.

Me:                  What will you do with the money you make?
Janese:            I want to earn enough money to buy and IPOD3 and purchase music.

Me:                  Why are you so determined to have an IPOD?
Janese:            I like singing and would like to eventually have a singing career. My cousins tell me I’m always humming. I also play Percussion and Viola at school.

 It was inspiring to hear and see the ambition that Janese displayed. If you’d like to purchase a bracelet from Janese you can do so by contacting her mom (Trakia) by email at jtmbennett@gmail.com.

 What stories of a youth entrepreneur do you have to share?