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, January 30, 2015

Fun Friday – How do you build fitness into your lifestyle?

Include routine tasks as part of your fitness plan

Florine Mark, the Weight Watchers spokeswoman said, “let us help you change your relationship with food.” When I heard this commercial, my first though was, I need to call and find out how to end my relationship with the chocolate muffin. As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I know I have to build fitness into my routine, in addition to a healthy relationship with food.
How do you build fitness into your lifestyle? Whenever and wherever you can fit it in. Fitness can be disguised as routine within your routine tasks. Here are a few examples –
·         sweeping the floor

·         take the stairs instead of the elevator

·         park a distance away from the entrance at work, a store, etc.

·         Get and so something active during commercials while watching TV
Just the other morning I found a new way of adding fitness to my day while preparing to leave home for work.  My laptop bag was packed, lunch sack was ready, all I needed to do was get out the door. Simple enough? Hmmm.

I decided I had enough time to make a quick breakfast. It wouldn’t take long to toast a bagel, put bacon on the griddle and make a cup of coffee. As the tea kettle warmed and the bacon sizzled, I started the car since the windows were covered with frost.
When I looked at the clock again, I had only five minutes to gather everything and get out the door. I couldn’t carry everything in one load, so I took the laptop bag and the lunch bag to the car and came back for the bagel and coffee. After setting those things in the car, I realized I didn’t have my phone.
It was only 15 degrees outside, but I was beginning to sweat underneath my winter coat with the fur lined hood. I sprinted up the 13 stairs to my bedroom and retrieved my phone from the dresser, then back to the car. The heat was blasting inside the car, but it wasn’t comforting. It felt like a sauna.
I unzipped my coat, turned the heat off and backed out of the driveway. On the drive to work, my heart rate returned to normal. In my mind that journey back and forth to the car counted as points toward my workout for the day. What do you think, does this situation count toward fitness?
What suggestions do you have for adding fitness to you lifestyle?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - National Fun at work day

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It's okay to have fun at work. Tell your boss January 28th is celebrated as National Fun at Work Day.

Here's how I made work fun...

Take a selfie with staff
Take advantage of the opportunity to work an off site event.
Bald Eagle presentation by the Leslie Science Center
 Host a fun event - Girl Scout cookie sale
Dress up for a wacky occasion - Dr. Seuss's Birthday
...And when the day is done, you will have had a little fun.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Muffins with Mom – An Attitude of Gratitude

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Growing up, I heard my grandmother use the phrase, I might not be where I want to be, but I’m not where I used to be. I was reminded of this saying as I read through one of my journal entries from this time last year. At this time last year I was working two and a half part-time jobs to make ends meet.
The half job, as I call it was substitute teaching. I only took assignments occasionally when I had a day off from one of the other jobs. Today I am in a better place, working one full time job and I am thankful for the strength that kept me pushing forward during those challenging years.
Below is a poem I posted a couple of years ago, but it is worth presenting again. May you find the strength you need to push forward each day.


Yes Lord, it's me again and like always I'm in need
Though not for fame and fortune my heart is without greed.
I'm just weary from the burdens and the strength I seem to lack
I'm not asking for a lighter load, Lord I just need a stronger back.
There are times when the road gets rough and it's hard to carry on
When rest always seems out of reach and all but faith is gone.
Make my mind think clearly and use the wisdom it's acquired
Don't let decisions come in haste when my body becomes tired.
My feet always seem smaller than the shoes I need to fill
And that's when I still need you Lord and know I always will.
Alone in weakness I would falter but if you'll walk by my side
I can persevere in troubled times and within your strength abide.
When my knees start to tremble and I fear that I may fall
I bow my head and close my eyes and on you Lord I call.
And I pray that you'll walk with me as I strive along my way
To give me strength when I am weak and courage when I'm afraid.
No I don't want a lighter load when this weight is all I've known
All I ask for in times like these is the strength to carry on.

By Roy Benton Freeman Sr.
What are you grateful for today?


Friday, January 23, 2015

Fun Friday – Jokes about parents and children

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Have you heard that laughing is good for your health? It’s true. A good laugh exercises the muscles, gets blood flowing and it makes you feel good. Find something to laugh about today.

A woman invited some people for dinner. At the table, she turned to their six year old daughter and said, “Would you like to say the blessing?”

“I wouldn’t know what to say,” the girl replied.
“Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the woman replied.

The daughter bowed her head and said, “Lord why did I invite all of these people to dinner?”
Joke credit

 The Seagull
A four-year-old boy and his father went to the beach. There was a dead seagull lying on the sand. The boy asked his father, “Dad what happened to the birdie?”

His father told him, “Son the bird died and went to heaven.”
Then the boy asked, “And God threw him back down?”

 The Lamp
A six-year-old boy called his mother from his friend Charlie’s house and confessed he had broken a lamp when he threw a football in their living room.

“But, mom,” he said brightening, “you don’ have to worry about buying another one. Charlie’s mom said it was irreplaceable.”
Joke credit

Teacher vs Mother
Summer vacation was over and little Mac returned back to school.

Only two days later his teacher called his mother to tell her that Mac was misbehaving.

“Wait a minute,” the mother said, “I had Mac with me for three months and I never called you once when he misbehaved!”

The Haircut
Little five-year-old Johnny was in the bathtub and his mom was washing his hair. “Wow your hair is growing fast! You need a hair cut again.”

Little Johnny replied, “Maybe you should stop watering it so much.”

What are you laughing about today?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Words of Wisdom – National Hug Day

Consider yourself hugged.
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January 21st is celebrated as National Hug Day or National Hugging Day. Here is a poem to kickoff your celebration.

A Simple Hug
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr
There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part

A hug's a way to share the joy
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you 'cause you're you

Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From your grandma to your neighbor,
Or a cuddly teddy bear

A hug is an amazing thing -
It's just the perfect way
To show the love we're feeling
But can't find the words to say

It's funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and type,
It's always understood

And hugs don't need new equipment,
Special batteries or parts
Just open up your arms
And open up your hearts
Go out and hug someone today…wishing you day filled with hugs.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Muffins with Mom – What do you do when going to school becomes dangerous?

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Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today’s post is not about MLK Day, but there is a similar thread that ties this post to one of Martin Luther Kings, speeches. In his 1963 speech, Dr. King spoke about freedom and racial justice.
Today I broach the subject of a different kind of freedom….freedom to attend school in a safe environment. Last week I was fighting a cold. This week I am fighting to make sure my college son is safe in his dorm.
It was late evening as I sat at my computer working on my latest writing project. I took a break to chat with my mom on the phone. We hadn’t talked long when her other line beeped. She couldn’t see who was calling, so I disconnected so she could take the call.
After a few minutes, my phone rang. It was my son calling from college.
“Ma can you talk, is your voice better?” he asked.
“Yes, I can talk much better now.” The laryngitis I had the week before was gone.
He went into the reason for his call. “I just found out that Joe was robbed and they pulled a gun on him.”
My heart was racing. Joe is one of my son’s friends who is from our area. My head filled with all sorts of questions. I started with, “Is he okay? Did he report it? Where is he now?”
Joe was robbed at gun point in his own dorm room. The intruders had taken his worldly possessions, but I’m glad they had not taken his life.
As my son and I continued to talk, he gave me more details about the incident. I told him I would pray for them and I would also call Granny (my mother) and let her know about the incident.
He said, “I just called her so she could pray, but the call dropped in the middle of her praying.”
So that was the call my mother had to answer while I was on the phone with her. I was glad that I’d hung up for her to take the call. My mother is my prayer warrior and this seems to hold true for my son as well.
I told my son that I would call Granny back when he and I were done talking and that’s what I did. We talked further about the incident and safety on a college campus. I don’t have many answers today, but more questions.
What do you do as a parent when you feel your child may not be safe at school (consider the age of your child)? Do you move him to another school? Do you call the president of the school?
Suppose you receive a call saying someone has a gun at your child’s school, what is your immediate reaction?
My son and others should have the freedom go to school and feel safe.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fun Friday – What happens when a teen plays hide and seek?

My caption...Okay mom don't look yet, I just cleaned my room.
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Do you remember playing hide and seek as a child? The goal was to find the best hiding spot where no one would think to look for you. My teen still plays hide and seek, only it’s with his clothes.
My son seems to be spilling over with creativity lately. I asked him to clean his room before he could go to a movie with friends. When I inspected the room, everything appeared neat and orderly.
It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered my son had moved items out of his room instead of putting them away. As I was putting away throw blankets in a closet we don’t use every day, I made a discovery. A small heap of clothes that should have been folded and put away, lay dormant in the spot where spare blankets are kept.
I folded the t-shirts and paired the socks the best I could, others I left stray. I tiptoed into my sons’ bedroom while he slept and stuffed the items into random drawers. If the drawers were organized by socks, underwear and t-shirts, I couldn’t tell.
It has been two days since the game of hide and seek that my son didn’t know we were playing. He hasn’t made any indication that he noticed the clothes are back in his room AND put away. I don’t think my son realizes that I’ve been playing hide and seek longer than he has.
What happens when a teen plays hide and seek? He can’t outsmart his mom.
What’s tickling your funny bone today?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - National Hat Day

January 15th is celebrated as National Hat Day. What's your fancy...stylish, simple, comfortable?

YouTube Video Credit: Irma irmash
YouTube Video Credit: HarryB219

Monday, January 12, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Lost and Found

A soothing cup of tea
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I lost something recently and my teen son wasn’t too excited to help me find it. What did I lose? My voice. I searched for it everywhere – under my pillow, in my closet, I even whispered to it. I was rewarded with a “squeak.”
It was official, I had laryngitis. Although I felt it coming on the night before it happened, I kept hoping I was wrong. This was on time I wasn’t happy about being right.
When I went to wake my son for school, I turned on the light in his room and said, “It’s time to get up.”
What I think he heard was, “…time to get up.”
“I can’t hear you,” he said.
My son finally opened both his eyes, squinting he tried to read my lips.
GET UP,” I shouted. At least I thought I was shouting.
He finally understood what I was saying, “Maybe you shouldn’t try to talk, you’ll strain your voice.”
I left my son’s room and prepared for work. I gargled with warm salt water, had a cup of tea, and then headed off to work.
While at work, I tried not to talk on the phone much. However, there was one instance where a call was transferred to me, so I went ahead and tried to talk. I already knew my voice would either squeak or I would have the baritone sound of a man.
As pleasantly as I could, I said, “Hi this is Angie.”
The caller responded with, “Boy you sound awful.”
“And that’s why I’m trying to stay off the phone,” I told him.
“Do, you want to meet today to go over summer programs?” he asked.
I’m sure he already knew the answer to the question, but I responded anyway, “No, we can wait a couple of days.”
After we ended the call, I made a cup of tea and stayed away from the phone for the rest of the day.
During my time of limited conversation, I was grateful for modern technology.  I communicated with people through email while at work. Once I was back home, I made demands of my son by text (using all caps) so I didn’t have to strain my voice by yelling.
Because I kept trying to talk rather than rest my vocal chords, it was four days later before I found my voice. And it was a happy day.
Have you lost anything lately, literally or figuratively?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fun Friday – Do you believe in magic?

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Have you heard the names David Copperfield or Harry Houdini? When I asked my teen boys the same question, they responded that they had never heard of these magicians. Although my boys have not heard these names, I know they believe in magic.
I enjoy the entertainment of a good magic show, but I didn’t know I would one day play the role of a magician. It happens every time a container becomes empty in our house. More than once, I’ve watched a toilet paper roll or paper towel roll sit bare. Waiting to be replaced. Do you know what happens? Like magic they are replaced.
As hard as I try not to use my magic and replace empty rolls or throw away empty cereal boxes left on the table, the magic appears. With a twitch of my nose or a sprinkle of fairy dust the replacement happens. It’s difficult to walk past the items and not do something about them.
When I’ve said my teens why they didn’t replace a particular item, the response is, “I was going to do it later.” Later never comes.
Do you believe in magic? What magical episodes have you experienced with your kids lately?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Amazing Art Video

Into everyone's lives, a little art must fall. Enjoy.

YouTude Video Credit: YouOriginal

Monday, January 5, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Superboy and kryptonite – what happens when a teen faces chores?

My "super" teen as Batman

My teen son who is a “super” athlete, loses his super power when it comes to completing chores. We are not from the planet Krypton, but I’m pretty sure there is kryptonite somewhere in my house. Just like the super hero Superman, my son has a weakness and it must be a combination of kryptonite and chores.
My sons’ chore list was short, or so I thought. I simply asked him to clean the bathroom and sort his dirty laundry. Twenty minutes after my request, my son had not budged from his resting spot. I finally had to guide him to the linen closet for a cloth and cleaning supplies.
The first exposure to kryptonite must have been in the linen closet. As soon as my son picked up the Scrubbing Bubbles he dropped the can, picked it up, and then carried it loosely to the bathroom.
As he cleaned the bathroom sink, my son moaned and groaned, “I’m tired, this is too much to do.” Poor thing, he could barely grip the cleaning cloth and he still needed to take care of his laundry. After 30 minutes of anguish, whines and taking a break, the bathroom was clean.
My son came to me and said, “I want to go to a lock-in at Skatin’ Station. The Skatin’ Station is a local roller rink that sponsors a New Year’s Eve lock-in for youth. The youth stay up all night and roller skate, roller blade and eat snacks.
While I don’t mind supporting the lock-in event, I looked at my son with the evil eye of supervillain Lex Luthor. “You need to skate into your room and sort your clothes, then we can talk.”
So, what happens when a teen faces chores? It depends upon his choices. He can either fight the battle head on like a superhero or let a weakness slow him down.
Has your child experienced a struggle when it comes to completing chores?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Feel Good Friday – Baseball and faith – An inspirational story

Baseball and faith
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Today is a dose of inspiration to carry you through the weekend.

Bob and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team. The Lord’s team was at bat. The score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails.
The next batter was Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love. The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. Godly wisdom looked it over and let it pass: Ball one. Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.
The bases were loaded. The Lord then turned to Bob and told him He was going to bring in His star player. Up to the plate stepped Grace. Bob said, “He sure doesn’t look like much!” Satan’s whole team relaxed when they saw Grace.
Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace had hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head, and sent him crashing on the ground; then it continued over the fence for a home run.
The Lord’s team won. The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith and Godly Wisdom could get on base, but could not win the game. Bob answered that he did not know why. The Lord explained, “If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game, you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith and Wisdom will get you on base…but only my Grace can get you home. My Grace is the one thing Satan cannot steal.

--Author Unknown

What is inspiring you today?