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, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Who You Are - Inspirational message for men and women

YouTube video courtesy of TheAnimaSeries
YouTube video courtesy of TheAnimaSeries
Wishing you an awesome day.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Food Frenzy – what happens when kids don’t want to eat what parents cook?

Chicken Kabobs Recipe and photo credit

Do your kids love everything that you cook? What do they do with the food they would prefer NOT to eat? Grab a muffin, relax and listen to this story…
It was a warm and sunny day when I decided to uncover the grill. My boys were excited, grilled chicken kabobs and burgers were on the menu.

My fourteen-year-old said, “Oooh, yeah, I want to try the kabobs AND a couple of burgers.”
As the chicken kabobs came off the grill, my son pointed to the plate said, “What’s that on there with the chicken?”

“Do you mean the red bell peppers?” I asked.

“Oh, I didn’t know that was going to be on there. I’ll just eat the chicken and the pineapples.”
My son sampled the kabobs, but didn’t eat much. Not to worry. The chicken reappeared two days later in the form of Fajitas, rolled in soft flour tortilla wrap. I was proud of myself for reintroducing the chicken as a different dish. Even my fourteen-year-old said, “This is pretty good.”

I excitedly scooped a generous amount of chicken, peppers, and onions onto a flour tortilla and rolled it up for my seventeen-year-old son. He unwrapped a corner of the tortilla and said, “What is this?”
“Just try it,” I said.

 He took a couple of nibbles and said, “I can’t eat it, I tried.”
The next thing I knew, he was popping a bag of Kettle Corn in the microwave. He asked his brother to finish the Fajita for him. His brother refused saying he was full.

Not giving up easily, my seventeen-year-old said, “I ate all of your peas last time.”
“Yeah, but you charged me an outrageous price to eat them.”

So this is what happens to food in my house when kids don’t want to eat what is provided. I’m getting a dog!
What food related episodes have you experienced in your house?


Friday, April 25, 2014

Fun Friday – National Humor Month – 7 ways to incorporate laughter into your day

Photo credit
April is National Humor Month. Although we’re near the end of the month, it’s no too late to get in a few laughs. Did you know that there is a director of National Humor Month? Yep. Steve Wilson is the Director of National Humor Month, he says we should up our laughter quotient for our health and happiness.

According to Steve Wilson’s statistics, the average American laughs 15 times daily. If you haven’t laughed yet today, you’d better get busy. You don’t have to keep the fun all to yourself, include the whole family. Below are 7 suggestions on how to incorporate laughter into your day (Adapted from Steve Wilson’s 48 Classroom Action Projects About Humor & Laughter).

1.      Read aloud something humorous every day.

2.      Have a best joke contest among your family members or friends.

3.      Have your child create a book of funny family folklore. Kid s can ask siblings, parents and grandparents to share a favorite funny story; share something funny that happened to them.

4.      Play tickle tag – elementary age children may enjoy this game. Instead of tagging a person, you tickle them.

5.      Write different types of laughs on note cards, pass them out and have each person demonstrate the laugh; Example – snicker, giggle, snort, chuckle, cackle.

6.      Host a Laugh-In – invite friends over and have a party with the theme of Laughter. You could play silly games, make crazy faces, laugh at each other and have prizes.

7.      Watch something funny on TV.
Find your funny bone today and let it rip. Happy laughing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – The history of rap Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake style

Do you know the history of rap? You still may not know it after this video, but it’s entertaining.

Video courtesy of YouTube

Monday, April 21, 2014

Muffins with Mom – College road trip

Postcards from Mackinaw

Have you ever seen the movie College Road Trip starring Martin Lawrence and Raven Symone? In the movie, Raven Symone’s character is preparing to visit a college with friends, but her overprotective dad wants to take her instead. Their journey is filled with many mishaps along the way.
My son was recently invited to visit a college that was a 5 ½ hour drive from our home. We didn’t begin our journey until 8:30pm due to prior obligations that day. We were headed to the Upper Peninsular and while it was a warm sunny day at home, I heard there was snow in the U.P.

We loaded the car with overnight bags, boots, blankets and snacks. Before I shut the T.V off, a news flash scrolled across the bottom of the screen, “Thunderstorm watch in effect until 9:00pm Lenawee County…” That was the direction we were headed and the beginning of our college road trip.
The first hour of the trip was smooth sailing, the boys listened to music through their head phones and I popped in an old school CD. When I glanced in the rear-view mirror, my oldest son was already asleep. My fourteen-year old would pull his headphone from his ear every so often to keep me company. My husband was asleep in the passenger seat, resting his injured shoulder.

Moments later the weather changed, it was as though we had taken a detour through hell. Rain bounced gently from the windshield, then it down poured for an hour. The windshield wipers slammed back and forth on high speed as I followed the lights of the car ahead of me.
I knew at could drive at least three hours before getting tired and I wanted to make it to the bridge (Mackinaw Bridge). The rain stopped for about 20 minutes then we were hit with fog. It was a total white out. There was no way to see whether the road was straight or curving. I just kept my eyes on the white lines on the road.

After another hour or so, I decide I would pull off at the next rest area. As we approached the rest area, the sign read, closed until spring. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I thought it was spring, but then again we had already driven through a couple of different seasons.
I kept driving until finally the Mackinaw Bridge was in sight. Different color lights illuminated the bridge. Reaching my goal, I pulled over at the first gas station and let my husband finish the last leg of the trip.

As we neared our destination, my husband searched for a hotel for us to spend the night. He pulled over at a motel, then the police pulled us over. My husband had made an illegal U-turn at a stop sign in order to see if the motel had vacancies. I didn’t see any of this because I was slumped in my seat asleep.

The police officer took our driver’s licenses as protocol, but also said, “You don’t want to stay there.”
As we were driving away, I looked at the row of drive up motel rooms and the illuminated No Vacancy sign. The place looked like the Bates Motel from the movie Psycho. I mumbled to myself, this will be a blog post and went back to sleep.

We found a nice hotel at the next exit and slept happily ever after.
Another bridge in the U.P.
College campus in the U.P.

Have you experienced any unusual road trips?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Fun – Etiquette for eating socially

Photo credit
Has most of your dining lately taken place at the drive-thru or over the kitchen sink? If so, your social dinning skills may be a little rusty. When you chaueffer kids from activity to activity, it’s not often that you take time to hone your fine dining skills. And that’s the excuse for my recent eating disaster.

Although I’ve attended many functions where food is served, while at a recent workshop, I lost a fight with a chocolate chip, cream cheese muffin. It happened during the continental breakfast. It was an informal setting, no tables, just rows of chairs set up lecture style.

As I broke off sections of the muffin, a chocolate chip went flying in one direction and a cluster of brown chunks in another. I changed my strategy and attacked the muffin with my plastic fork; moist bites of muffin finally reaching my palate. A bite of muffin. A sip of Hazelnut coffee. A moan of delight slipped from my mouth.

The woman behind me took a bite of her muffin, “this good. Is this what you have?” she asked.  I nodded my head in agreement and mumbled, “mmm” trying not to talk with my mouth full. With a satisfied tummy, I dabbed at my mouth with a napkin.

It was almost time for the workshop to begin so I went to the restroom to freshen up. Upon inspection of my face I noticed a speck under my eye and another above my lip…leftover muffin. I’m not quite sure how crumbs made it behind my glasses, but it’s obvious that I haven’t mastered the use of a napkin.

The next time I attend a workshop, I will focus less on the food and more on the information presented (although I still learned a lot).

What is the etiquette for eating a muffin? Have you experienced any social eating blunders?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday – When life gives you lemons – make faces

Have you seen the face a baby makes when she first tastes a lemon? Take a look!

YouTube Video Credit:
DavidandApril WileandMaciborka

When life gets you down…suck on a lemon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Mom under interrogation – how much is a mom expected to know?

Photo credit

I haven’t had any brushes with the law, but while trying to have my son’s car repaired I felt like I was under interrogation. The clerk at the service desk appeared to be a genital soul. He was probably 15 years my senior with short cropped grayish back hair and slow movements. He greeted me with a warm hello then the interrogation began.

Clerk:  “What year is the car?”

Me:      “Oooo, I don’t know, old.” I searched my purse for the car registration; three or four of them tumbled onto the counter. I had registrations to everyone’s car- mine, my moms, and finally my sons.
The clerk waited patiently for my response.

Me: “Here is, it’s a 1994 Buick,” I said with accomplishment in my voice.
I guess that wasn’t enough information for the clerk.

Clerk:  “What type of Buick?”

Me:      “Hmmm, it’s a four door. I don’t think it’s a Regal.”

Was I really supposed to know all of this information? You may not be able to tell, but I’m not car savvy (I CAN check my oil and tire pressure, but that’s it).

The couple of times I’ve been in the car with my son, I could barely see out of the passenger window. There is plastic covering the window to keep out the cold air that seeps through the window that doesn’t go up all the way. All I can say is, it’s a first car.

With a slight smile, the clerk hit me with another question.

Clerk:  “Do you know the color of the car?”

By now I guess the clerk thought I was a real idiot.

Me:      “YES,” finally a question I could answer. “It’s burgundy.”

When my son returned from moving the car, I asked him what the model of his car.
“It’s a Regal,” he said without hesitation.
“Oh, that’s what I said the car was not.”

In my spare time, I may take an auto mechanics class.

Have you ever felt under interrogation as a parent?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Friday – National Eight Track Tape Day

Photo Credit

Did you know there was such a thing as National Eight Track Tape Day (April 11th)? I didn’t, until the other day. Maybe you were too young to even know what an 8 track tape is. An eight track tape was a clunk looking thing that held eight songs. There was always a little click before each song advanced to the next.
The eight track tape has history that began before my time. The popularity for these tapes grew from a booming automobile industry. In 1966 Ford Motor Company introduced factory-installed and dealer-installed eight-track tape players as an option in the Mustang, Thunderbird and Lincoln. The home (eight-track) players also came on the scene in 1966.

So what can you do to celebrate such a holiday as this one? Listen to music from the era…1970’s music comes to mind. Let me set the mood. It was in Grandma’s living room where I tested out the eight track player. Hair in four pigtails, octagon shaped glasses and wearing a lime green windowpane shirt, I jerked and bounced to the music. I have a photo.
A brownish tweed type sofa was on one side of the room with my brother dancing in front of it. I was positioned right in front of the stereo speakers. Grandma was in the kitchen with her hands in submerged dishwater, letting us have fun (until Mama got home).

Now that you have a visual, journey back in time to a mild summer day in the 70’s and listen to a few tunes.
I checked out a list of top 100 songs of the 70’s, below is a selection of songs from that list.

·         Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

·         Dancing Queen – ABBA

·         Easy – The Commodores

·         Summer Breeze – Seals & Crofts

·         Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye

·         Staying Alive – Bee Gees

·         I Wish – Stevie Wonder
Summer Breeze by Seals & Croft
YouTube Video
Let's Stay Together by Al Green
YouTube Video
Easy by The Commodores
YouTube Video by metalboombox
Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees

Do you have any favorite songs from the 1970’s?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Poems for parents

My seventeen-year old at 3 years old
Since I have more than a few words today AND it’s still National Poetry Month, I’m sharing a few poems related to parenting.

If I Had My Child to Raise All Over Again - By Diane Loomans

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’d 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.

Daddy’s Footsteps – Author Unknown
“Walk a little slower Daddy,”

Said a little child so small.

“I’m following in your footsteps,

And I don’t want to fall.”

“Sometimes your steps are very fast

Sometimes they’re very hard to see;

So walk a little slower Daddy,

For you are leading me.

Some day when I’m all grown up,

You’re what I want to be;

Then I will have a little child,

Who’ll want to follow me.

And I will want to lead just right,

And know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower daddy,

For I must follow you.”
The first poem really resonates with me because my oldest son will be heading off to college in the fall. After reading the poem, the silly side of me thought, I should have come across this poem 10 years ago. The serious me thought, did I play enough?...I think I did. Just in case… I’m going to overlook the messy bedroom, the dishes that need to be washed and the clothes that need to be folded, and go give my son a hug.

Seventeen year-old with his Mama

I hope you will take the time to go out and play today!




Monday, April 7, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Jack and the Beanstalk vs Mama and a grocery shopping trip

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Photo credit and recipe

Grab your favorite springtime muffin as you lend an ear to this weeks’ Muffins with Mom tale.
In the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack traded the family cow for magic beans. In my house, I traded money for groceries. Just as Jack heard grumblings when he returned home, I was met with the same after my shopping trip.
Once I arrived home, my teen boys were given the assignment to unload the groceries from the car and put them away.
One son was happy, “Oooo, you got Gatorade and pretzels and cereal…”
The other son was a little less excited, “You didn’t get Captain Crunch?”
After putting away all of the groceries, one son discovered the receipt in the bottom of a bag.
“You spent $90 on cereal and snacks?”

My glare would have set him on fire if I was a comic book villain, but instead I paused before speaking.
“Next time you can do the shopping. I bought fruit and veggies too, maybe you over looked those items. And I earned fuel points.”
The next time we needed something from the grocery store, I gave the boys money and the grocery list and sent them on their way. I sat in the car and read a book while they shopped. They made substitutions, purchased off brand in some cases, and slipped in a snack to share with each other.
My boys discovered that they had to make sacrifices of some things in order to get others.
At the end of the day Jack learned a lesson and so did my boys. Jack’s lesson may have been, obey your parents and don’t try to take the easy way out. The lesson for my boys was, if you get smart with me, I will find more work for you to do.
Is there a fairy tale that describes an episode that you’ve had with your child?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fun Friday – What would you do…?

Photo credit

It’s Fun Friday at my blog, so let’s have a little fun. What would you do if you encountered the following scenario?

As you’re leaving a public restroom, you throw a paper towel into the trash. When you look into the trash you see a red wig and an empty bottle of red hair dye. What would you do or what are your first thoughts?

It happened to me. There was a waste basket in the corner of the cramped changing room at the fitness center I frequent. I moved the basket because it was positioned underneath the area where I hang my clothes. I didn’t want to take a chance on something falling into the basket that I would begrudgingly have to retrieve.

 As I moved the trash can to another area of the cramped space, I noticed the contents within…a reddish wig piece and an empty bottle of hair dye. Having watched numerous Lifetime movies in the past, my mind went into overdrive.

Did someone just commit a crime, then changed her look? Was it a dye job gone wrong, so she threw everything in the trash? Should I change rooms, flea before someone thinks I left the items there?
I didn’t change rooms, but I did make notes to use the episode as a story plot.

Look at the photos below, what would you do in those situations?

Wishing you a weekend filled with laughter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Kickoff National Poetry Month (April) with a Poetry Slam

YouTube Video Credit: Eric Darby
YouTube Video Credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
For poetry month ideas for kids, check out my guest post at The Family That Reads Together.