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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Muffins with Mom – A Night at the Improv –when kids say funny things

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Do you like comedy? I am drawn to movies or T.V. shows that revolve around comedy in some way. Since I work early mornings, I don’t always stay awake to watch some of my favorite shows.
The last time I sat down to watch Last Comic Standing, I fell asleep about halfway through the show. I think my fourteen-year old son came into my room, removed my glasses and turned off the T.V. I know what you’re thinking, why don’t I just record the show? Hmm, I could do that. I just don’t.

What I’m learning is that even though I may miss some of my funny shows, there’s humor all around me. Sometimes it’s like A Night at the Improv around my house (endless funny situations). Here are a few situations I have experienced.

When kids think they’re entitled to stuff
My mom gave me money to give to my son, just because she wanted to. I told him he couldn’t have it until I was satisfied that all of his chores were complete. His reply was, “why do you always hold my money hostage? Every time Granny sends me money, you never give it to me right away.”

I did the adult thing….stuck my fingers in my ears and talked in a robot voice, “I –am- not -listening -to -you.”

One day as I was on my knees doing modified push-ups, my son entered the room shouting, “Give me five more.”

I looked at my son and said, “You are not a licensed personal trainer and I am to training for a competition.”

My statement did not deter him as he replied, “I’m trying to motivate you…five more, you can do it.”
I didn’t do any more push-ups, I just stayed on my knees and prayed while I was there.


A day after doing a lot of strengthening exercises, I shared with my son that my legs felt a little stiff after I sat for a while. My son genuinely said, “Your muscles are growing, the muscle tissue is tearing and growing back stronger.”
“No, I think I have arthritis, but that’s a good answer.”

What would a Night at the Improv look like at your house?



Friday, June 27, 2014

Flashback Friday – I remember when…

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Let’s do something different this Friday. We’ll call today Flashback Friday. Complete the statement, “I remember when…” Post a comment about something you remember from your childhood, your younger self, or something that your kids have said or done.
Here are some things from my list of flashbacks – I remember when…

·         Penny candy really only cost a penny.

·         My grandmother had a friend who liked to go out to eat after church. My brother and I did a happy dance on the Sundays we took my grandmother’s friend home because we knew we would have fried chicken.

·         I ran for class president in the fifth grade and I got laryngitis them morning I was supposed to give a speech.

·         The ice cream truck came down our street on hot summer days, every kid on the block begged their parents for money.

·         Most of all I remember my kids putting my parenting skills to the test through various scenarios they seemed to get into. Below are a two of those scenarios:

1995 BC (Before Children)

                1995 BC was a time of leisure, a time of spontaneity, freedom to do anything. Flash forward to 2004 AD (after delivery of two children). Leisure time now means taking a nap in the car during my 7-year old’s football practice. Spontaneity is going shopping for the kids, and deciding to also buy something for myself. Freedom? The day the kids spend the night with granny. I peel rubber away from her house as soon as she agrees to keep the kids. Their little goodbye’s become muffled as my mind races with thoughts of how I will spend my evening.

Who Dressed The Kids?

            Why is it that we don’t notice our kids’ appearance until out in public? The morning is always hurried preparing for work, and school for the children. I sometimes let my 7 year old dress himself. This particular morning the weather called for breezy conditions. I told my son to wear a sweatshirt with a t-shirt underneath in case he got warm later in the day. Little did I know what his ensemble consisted of under his sweat clothes. When I picked him up at the end of the day his outer wear was crumpled in a mass in his backpack. He was left wearing long white shorts that almost reached his knees and a plain Fruit of the Loom t-shirt that almost rose above his belly button. His newly chosen attire would not have been so bad if it had not been for the fact that I needed to run errands.
            Upon walking in to our local Target store, I noticed my four year old had his shoes on the wrong feet. His jeans were also hanging half way off of his butt, revealing his new Power Ranger underwear. Oh, that’s not so bad you say? Well, while I was preoccupied talking to my husband on the cell phone, the boys got pretty creative with some woodchips they found outside. They pretended the woodchips were Power Ranger weapons. They made loud sounds and pointed the pretend weapons at clothes racks, other kids, anything in their view. I tried to remain calm and quickly devise a plan. All I could come up with was to walk a few paces in front of them.

What is your flashback story?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – The Difference (poem)

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                            I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day;
                            I had so much to accomplish that I didn't have time to pray.
                            Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task,
                            "Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered.
                            He answered, "You didn't ask."
                            I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on gray and bleak;
                            I wondered why God didn't show me;
                            He said, "But you didn't seek."

                            I tried to come into God's presence;
                            I used all my keys at the lock;
                            God gently and lovingly chided, "My child, you didn't knock."

                            I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day;
                            I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
Author Grace L. Naessens

Go out today and make a difference in someone’s life. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Muffins with Mom – 4 things I learned from my teens and other ramblings

Photo credit and recipe
Summer is finally (officially) here and it’s time to change your routine a bit. Along with seasonal fruit why not try a Blueberry Cream Cheese muffin?
As I think about the comforting feeling from eating a moist muffin, I am also comforted by recent things I’m learning from my teen boys. As a parent it’s natural to want to make sure your child learns everything he needs to survive in life. However, we often forget, it’s okay for us to learn lessons from our children.

1.      Teens like affection from their parents (they just sometimes pretend they don’t) – As I was sitting at my computer working on a writing project, my fourteen-year-old crept up beside me. He kissed me on my cheek. I jerked away as I was under attack. This came from the son who never wants a hug. He usually wants to wrestle, so I preparing for battle. He looked at me smiling and said, “Wow, Ma. Is that how you receive my affection?”

All I could say was, “I didn’t know.”

2.      Teens have special bond with each other (especially siblings) – During a basketball game my oldest son made a play that he was proud of. He looked in the stands at his brother, smiled and mouthed something. My younger son later told me that they have a code word they use when sharing an on the court accomplishment. It was nice to see them share a special bonding moment, even though we know it won’t always be that way.
On the way to a dunk during warm-ups
3.      Teens will occasionally cooperate with you without complaining – this is true, it really happened the other day. I was trying to complete an assignment by a deadline and I didn’t want to stop to cook breakfast, so I asked my oldest teen to cook some eggs and waffles for me. After all, he’s the Belgian Waffle Guru. As I awoke my son from his sleep he mumbled, “Just 10 more minutes and I’ll do it.” I let him sleep another 20 minutes and he got up and cooked…and I finished my project. Little miracles never cease.

4.      Little things can create great memories – on the way home from basketball road trip, the boys and I have made it a tradition to play games. My son wore his high school jersey for the last time as he played in a countywide all-star game. On the car ride home we recapped the game, then played our traditional game.

We took turns naming a song that begins with each letter of the alphabet. After we completed round with songs, we each named an actor or actress whose name began with the designated letter of the alphabet.
                                  Creating fun at a volunteer event
As we ease into a summer routine, I’m sure there will be other lessons that my teens will teach. How about you, what things have you learned from your child lately?


Friday, June 20, 2014

Fun Friday - Funny Signs

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It's Fun Friday, time to get your smile on. Below are a few signs I found around the internet. See if you can find the "funny" in them.

Wishing you a fun filled weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Do you think you can dance?

Do you think you can dance? Take a look at this couple swing dancing. If you're not a dancer this video may motivate you to try.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Muffins with Mom – A Casting call for parents –Life’s little journeys

Graduation Open House - A mom and her son
Life is like a stage and today a casting call has been announced seeking parents. Not just any parents, but parents who have experienced challenges, successes, defiant children, cuddly children, children making friends, children fighting with friends, school blues and children who are bored. If you can relate to any of these categories, line up today for a parenting role on the stage of life.
Renowned poet Maya Angelou wrote a collection of essays titled, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now. As I sat reflecting after my son’s graduation open house, that title came to mind. This was Act I, Scene I on a journey called life and with its bumps and detours, I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.

As I smoothed the last tablecloth, tied the final balloon and glanced at the banner on the wall of my son holding a basketball, I knew it was curtain call. Friends and family began to trickle in and soon chatter and laughter consumed the room.

As director of this production called an open house, I was beckoned in many directions. Stage left – “We need more cups on the table.”
Stage right – “Let’s take a picture.”

I circled the room greeting guests, joining conversations midstream and reminding my son to do the same. Everybody was encouraged to take photos at the photo booth. Some people took photos with goofy glasses, Hawaiian lei’s or making silly faces.
We had a video prepared with a collection of photos from my sons childhood. It was what I called a low budget film because some of the photos were sideways (I rotated the photos, but obviously something went wrong).  So I wasn’t too upset when we couldn’t get the video to project on the screen properly.

While the graduation open house was a challenge to pull together, it was also a success. At the event, there were no children fighting with friends, no school blues and no cries of “I’m bored.”
Act I, Scene 2 – The final Act of the phase called High School. However, this is only an intermission until the next phase of life begins. I wouldn’t trade nothing for my journey now.

Calling all parents, calling all parents, are you ready for your casting call?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Friday – 7 ways to celebrate Father’s Day

Father and son watching a game together

Father’s Day is just a blink away. Now is a great time to come up with a fun way to celebrate the “dad” in your life. Of course this includes hubbies, brothers, uncles, like a father figure and so on.
Are you looking to do something different for Father’s Day this year? Check out the list below of ways to celebrate:

1.      Play putt-putt golf

2.      Go bowling

3.      Build something – a bird house, or a Lego construction project

4.      Have family barbecue…that dad doesn’t have to be in charge of

5.      Go fishing

6.      Let dad have control of the TV remote for the day

7.      Create a funny video or just watch something funny together


8.      Do whatever makes you happy
Take a look at how a few dads humorously celebrate being a day.


How do you celebrate Father’s Day?


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Quotes of the Day

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Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. 
Nido Qubein

Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.    
Napoleon Hill

Just because something didn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.     
Thomas A. Edison

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.    
Samuel Smiles.

Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Muffins with Mom – What would happen if kids came with a warning label?

When a teen makes tea... anything can happen
We see labels on items all the time. Have you ever purchased a toy for your child and somewhere on the box were the words, some assembly required? A recent episode at our house caused me to want to apply a label to my son.
My son called me and asked if he could have a couple of friends over. I didn’t mind since I knew the boys and I would arrive home shortly after they did. When I arrived home the front door was wide open and so was the patio door.

There was a smoky smell floating through the house.

“Is somebody grilling?” I called out.
“No, Ma,” came a voice from upstairs.

As I made my way through the living room and into the kitchen, I discover what I thought food being grilled. It was a black tea kettle that used to be grey. Somebody had burned my tea kettle.

I went to my sons’ room where he and his friends were playing video games.

“Are you all trying to burn down the house?” I asked the boys.

Both boys said, “That wasn’t us,” and pointed to my son.
“All of you need adult supervision,” I told the three high school seniors.

And that was the label I needed for my son that day…Adult supervision required.
In case you’re wondering, my son had an excuse for not hearing the tea kettle screaming. He was playing a video came and had on a headset that was equipped with noise cancellation.

If my kids came with warning labels some of them may include the following:

·         WARNING: eyes may roll when asked to do chores

·         Don’t ask too many questions at once, child may whine in frustration

·         Child may move slowly when he doesn’t want to do something parent has asked him to do

If kids came with a warning label, it could help prepare parents for crazy odd out of the ordinary behavior.

What type of warning label would apply to your child?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fun Friday – National Iced Tea Day – 5 Fun Facts and iced tea recipes

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It’s coming soon – National Iced Tea Day; this holiday is celebrated on June 10th. Join the celebration by serving your favorite iced tea beverage or trying a new recipe. You can even amaze you friends and family with fun facts about iced tea (see below)
5 Fun Facts about iced tea

·         Thomas Sullivan, a New York City tea importer became annoyed at the high cost of the tin boxes he used to send tea samples to customers. In 1904 he switched to small cloth bags. One of the recipients brewed a pot of tea by pouring hot water over the bag...”the rest is history.”

·         According to the Tea Association of the US, Americans consume over 55 billion servings of tea (over 2.50 billion gallons).

·         The teaspoon was developed to easily add sugar to tall glasses of iced tea.

·         Approximately 80% of tea served in the US today is iced tea.

·         The famous Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t contain any tea.

Now here are 5 recipes for various types of iced tea.
Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea
Lemonade Mint Iced Tea
Blackberry Sweet Tea
Photo credit: Jennifer Danick; Syling: Lydia DeGaris Powell
Citrus Sweet Tea
Grilled Shrimp Salad with Sweet Tea Vinegarette
What is your favorite iced tea…flavored, regular, sweet tea?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Muffins with Mom – A time to celebrate

My graduate with Granny
June seems to be a month for celebrations, there are graduations, Father’s Day, and birthdays to name a few. For our family, the first celebration of the month was a graduation. As we entered the crowded gymnasium, there was standing room only.
After a welcome and the singing of the National Anthem, the audience was on their feet again as the students marched in to Pomp and Circumstance. The celebration was underway. Toward the end of the program, the soon to be graduates stood row by row and walked to the stage. As the names of the graduates were called, the audience came alive with whistling, shouts and air horns.

From snippets of conversations I heard people say, “the time had really flown by,” and “It seems like they just started ninth grade a short while ago.” I had these same thoughts in common with other parents. One mom said she would miss seeing some of the kids. I too felt a connection with a lot of the students. They would always speak when they saw me or give me a hug as if I were one of their family members.

My son’s graduation reminded me that we don’t have to wait until a big event to gather people together for a celebration. We can celebrate small accomplishments along the way or just get together friends and family to enjoy each other’s company.



As we move into the month of June, your task is to find a reason to celebrate.
What celebration have you experienced lately?