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 29, 2014

Fun Friday – Unaccompanied Minors

Several years ago my sons and I watched a movie titled Unaccompanied Minors. It was a fun family movie about kids traveling on a plane without an adult accompanying them. The kids got into plenty of mayhem.
As my boys have transitioned from youth to independent teens, there have been more than one unaccompanied minor scenarios. Most recently my fourteen-year-old son went swimming at the neighborhood pool with a few friends.

It was a humid August day and remained that way well into the evening. My son had been gone a couple of hours so I decided to stroll over to the pool. What did I find? There were several unaccompanied teens hanging out at the pool.
A couple of girls yelled out my name and waved to me as they waded in the pool. The boy standing by the edge of the pool with my son gave a polite greeting. Everything seemed orderly. I walked the mile back home and settled in for the night.

When my son arrived home from the pool, I had a few chores for him to do.
“I need you to put a load of clothes in the dryer, move your football equipment out of the living room and put the dishes away.”

He paused before responding then said, “My ankle hurts, I can’t do that much walking.”
Am I to believe that this unaccompanied minor injured himself after I left the pool, walked a mile home, entered the house in high spirits, then suddenly couldn’t walk through the house?

What are your thoughts on this episode?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday - The Chosen Vessel

Photo credit

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
On the shelf there were many - which one would He choose?
Take me, cried the gold one, I'm shiny and bright,
I'm of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest
And for someone like You, Master, gold would be the best!

The Master passed on with no word at all;
He looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall;
I'll serve You, dear Master, I'll pour out Your wine
And I'll be at Your table whenever You dine,
My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,
And my silver will always compliment You.

Unheeding the Master passed on to the brass,
It was widemouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.
Here! Here! cried the vessel, I know I will do,
Place me on Your table for all men to view.

Look at me, called the goblet of crystal so clear,
My transparency shows my contents so dear,
Though fragile am I, I will serve You with pride,
And I'm sure I'll be happy in Your house to abide.

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
You may use me, dear Master, the wooden bowl said,
But I'd rather You used me for fruit, not for bread!

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all Mine.
I need not the vessel with pride of its self;
Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;
Nor the one who is bigmouthed and shallow and loud;
Nor one who displays his contents so proud;
Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;
But this plain earthy vessel filled with My power and might.

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly. There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you.

By Beulah V. Cornwall

You are a vessel that can be an inspiration to someone else.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Creating lasting memories

From Striderite baby shoes to size 15 basketball shoes
Do you have an object that reminds you of a family vacation, an outing with your child or some other event? As I was preparing for a speech that required the use of visual aids, I came across my seventeen-year old son’s baby shoes. A flood of memories immediately came to mind.
A famous doctor said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. That famous doctor was Dr. Seuss. My son’s baby shoes created a memory of when he was just learning to walk. He would inch along, then topple over, then get up and try again.
When my son was about 7 years old, I asked him to wear his boots to church because there was a lot of snow outside. His response was, “those boot are too heavy, and what if somebody tries to kidnap me? I won’t be able to run away.” I tried to reassure him that I would not let anyone take him from the back pew of the church while I was sitting next to him. But he still didn’t want to wear those boots.
During my son’s senior year of high school, his team won the State Championship for their division. He no longer wore the baby Striderite shoes I once laced for him. He wore size 15 gym shoes that he could tie all by himself.
These gym shoes hold memories of every game I’ve cheered from the stands and watched my son run up and down the court. Sometimes shooting three pointers, other times letting a layup roll from his fingertips effortlessly (or so it appeared).

Memories are powerful possessions. As you go through your day remember what Dr. Seuss said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
What will you do to create a memorable moment with your child?




Friday, August 22, 2014

Fun Friday –Chicken Little and other teen tales

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My son told me he wanted to stay all night at a friend’s house for team bonding. His statement was the equivalent of Chicken Little (from the fairy tale) saying “The sky is falling.” Well, the sky wasn’t really falling and I don’t think the overnight gala was for team bonding.
Its football season and I know the fellas like to hang out together, but team bonding? I’m sure that phrase was used to warm my heart so I would let me so go to his friend’s house. I would be neglecting my parental duty if I didn’t investigate further.

As Chicken Little crossed the road, Pinocchio entered the scene (same son, new line of questioning from me).
“Are Kevin’s parents going to be home?”

“His mom said he could have a few friends over since school is starting soon.”
“Hmmm.” I waited to see if his nose would grow.

After a pregnant pause and a glare in his direction, I rephrased my question as you sometimes see when taking a survey. “So, does Kevin’s parents know he’s inviting people over?”
I want to see if he would give the same response. He passed. However, I still wanted to talk to Kevin’s mom to make sure she knew what the boys were planning.

After I was satisfied with all the answers I received, my son left with his backpack headed for team bonding.
As I used fairy tale characters to describe an encounter with my son, I am reminded of a recent article I read. The article said that fairy tales are essential in childhood. While not everyone likes fairy tales, here are three reasons the article gave as benefits of fairy tales:

1.      Fairy tales show kids how to handle problems.

2.      Fairy tales develop a child’s imagination.

3.      Fairy tales give parents opportunities to teach critical thinking skills.
To view the article click here.

Are you a fan of fairy tales? What fairy tale could you use to describe an encounter with your child?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Follow your bliss

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A few years ago while attending a writer’s event, the keynote speaker said, “Follow your bliss.” I was intrigued and began use this as a mantra. Most recently I came across the phrase again while reading a blog post.
Here is the full extent of that phrase – By Joseph Campbell

“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open doors to you. I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

For more quotes by Joseph Campbell click here.

Will you follow your bliss?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Muffins with Mom – Dreadlocks and Mama Bear

Once upon a time in a two storied house in a small subdivision near a forest, lived Dreadlocks and his Mama Bear. And thus begins my story of living with a teen bear aka-Dreadlocks (because of his hair style).
One Saturday morning I arose to a quiet house and decided to take advantage of the silence. I headed to the kitchen for a cup of java coffee. As I flipped on the light switch, my breath caught in my throat.

“Somebody’s been in my kitchen and left scraps of food and dirty dishes everywhere,” I screamed.

I knew Goldilocks couldn’t be the culprit because no one fitting her description lived in my area. I rushed from the kitchen and headed straight for Dreadlocks room. As I pushed open the bedroom door, I froze in my tracks.

“Somebody’s been in my son’s room and threw his clothes all over the floor,” I said.
I slammed the door and left with a quickness.

As I entered the next bedroom, there was Dreadlocks, fast asleep in his brother’s room. I tried to wake him, but all I got was a grumpy, grizzly, “mmmmmm.” He turned over, causing locks to sprawl across his pillow.
I wanted to pound my chest like King Kong, but instead I pried Dreadlocks’ head from the pillow. He rolled to a standing position and followed me through the hall, down the stairs and into the kitchen.

Once in the kitchen, Dreadlocks dragged around at a snail’s pace, wiping counters and washing dishes. When he was done, I sent him back to bed. It was still early morning and just enough time for me to watch the sunrise while sipping a cup of coffee and writing in my journal.
We’re still working toward happily ever after, but for now Dreadlocks and Mama Bear have an understanding of the household expectations.

What do you do when your loveable baby bears are being uncooperative or not following directions?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Feel Good Friday – Wait for the brick – an inspirational story

Photo credit
Are you familiar with the saying, “you can’t see the forest for the trees?” Sometimes we move through our day in such a hurry that miss something important that is right in front of us.
Below is a story that I have seen before floating around the internet and thought it was worth sharing today.

Wait for the brick
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and drove the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car, shouting,
"What was that all about and who are you?
Just what the heck are you doing?
That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money.
Why did you do it?"
The young boy was apologetic. "Please mister ... please, I'm sorry... I didn't know what else to do," he pleaded.
"I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."
With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car.
"It's my brother," he said.
"He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out his fancy handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.

"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.
Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the little boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!

Will you wait for a brick to be thrown at you or will you slow down and listen for a message?


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Muffins with Mom – A day of thanksgiving

High school reunion picnic
Make today a day of thanksgiving. I know it’s not November and there’s probably not a turkey baking in your oven. However, any day is a good day to give thanks. What are you thankful for at this moment?

No matter how small or large, shout out your thanks. Maybe you just experienced a breakthrough in some area of your life-you received a promotion on your job, your health is the best it’s ever been, your children are on the right path. I am thankful for all of these things and more.

I am thankful for new beginnings, old friendships and learning to accept things I cannot change. As the summer season begins to change, so does the next chapter of my life. Most recently I have celebrated a class reunion, a new job, and sending my first born off to college. And let’s not forget my baby boy completing the first phase of driver’s training.
Organizing a new office space

During the weeks prior up to my son leaving for college, I asked him how he felt about traveling 600 miles away to school. He said he was excited and nervous. I share those same emotions as he does. There is something exciting about starting a new adventure, yet apprehension about the unexpected.

I am thankful that my son has experienced the various challenges and triumphs that have come his way. Although his journey is just beginning, being away from home will add to his growth in many ways.
Freshman college orientation
As for my new adventure, God has elevated me to a new position in an old job. This is an opportunity to gather my team and create positive things for our community.

Last, but not least, I give thanks for 30 healthy years as I celebrated my 30th high school reunion with my best friend. The reunion was a celebration of fond memories with old friends.

Every day is a day of thanksgiving. What will you give thanks for today?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fun Friday - Funny stuff from The Ellen Show

YouTube Video Courtesy of The Ellen Show
YouTube Video Courtesy of The Ellen Show
Wishing you a weekend filled with laughter.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Shadow Dancing

Impressive shadow dancing...

YouTube Video Courtesy of thaitd
Gruppe Pilobolus Amazing Shadow Dance

Monday, August 4, 2014

Muffins with Mom – The family that plays together

A family shopping trip
Are you familiar with the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Often it is not just parents raising their children, but extended family, friends and neighbors also pitch in. I experienced this adage of the village raising a child as we drove my son 600 miles to his college destination.
Leaving their responsibilities behind to accompany my road trip were my mother and my brother. This small village made the trip less of a challenge. There were five of us jammed in a Ford Taurus, sitting so close that I could easily smell the watermelon candy on my sons’ breath.

Sleeping on each other’s shoulder, shopping and sharing stories were part of the ties that bind. We spent time laughing at each other and ourselves. You may have heard the saying, “the family that plays together stays together.” It sounds simple, but how often do we become busy and put off playing with our child or doing something together?


I read an article that said playing together may open a line of communication easier than anything else you try. While sitting at a restaurant we cracked jokes as we waited for our food to arrive. This created a relaxed atmosphere that allowed us to slip in conversations about serious topics.
Playing together creates a deeper sense of family and memories are created. Making time to play together could be the thing that makes the difference in your child’s life.
Here’s a poem I can across recently about families.

A Tribute to Family

By Michelle A. Moran

I don’t know when it started,
Or how it all began.

But God created families,
As only our Lord can.

He was teaching what it means,
To love, honor and obey.

He wanted a strong bond,
That we don’t see too much today.

He wanted someone to hold us,
And show respect for others.

He wanted someone who’s be gentle,
And so He created mothers.

He wanted someone strong,
A support filled with love.

And so He created fathers,
Sent from heaven up above.

Brothers and sisters came next,
With that, an instant friend.

Someone to look up to,
Someone on who to depend.

When we put them all together,
He was amazed at what he’s done,

He had created a family,
Mother, father, daughter and son.

But look at the family,
Created by only two.

How many we’ve become,
And all because of you.

We have a lot to be thankful for,
The memories through the years.

The many times together,
Full of laughter, full of tears.

I don’t know where we’d be today,
If it weren’t for the two of you.

To show us strength, support and love,
Like only the two of you can do.

In today’s times, our families are often non-traditional. It takes a village to raise a child. Be sure your village takes time to play together as a family. It will make a difference.




Friday, August 1, 2014

Fun Friday – 10 Things to say if you’re caught sleeping on the job

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Have you ever had a day where you felt like you could use an afternoon power nap? Well, some people take that needed nap…even if it’s at work. What would you say to your boss if he/she walked in your office and found you asleep at your desk? This might be a good time to start your work from home business.
If you’re not in a position to start your own business, perhaps you could use one of the reasons below to explain your impromptu nap.

1.      “This is just a 15 minute nap as described in the time management course you sent me.”

2.      “Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out, you probably got here just in time!”

3.      “I wasn’t sleeping. I was meditating on our mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm.”

4.      “I was doing Yoga exercises to relieve work-related stress.”

5.      “Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”

6.      “Someone must have put decaf in the wrong pot…”

7.      “…in Jesus name. Amen.”
All of the above responses were obtained from citehr-community insights. Click here to see their complete list.

Below are a few caught sleeping excuses that I would add to the list.

8.      I’m preparing for a sleep disorder test.

9.      The dog at my kids’ homework, so I spent all night at the vet.

10.  I am more productive after a nap.

What would you add to the list of things to say if caught sleeping at your desk?