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 27, 2015

Fun Friday – March is National Reading Month

Do you read more than one book at once?
The month of March is celebrated as National Reading Month. Schools and libraries sometimes kick off their celebration with an event recognizing Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2nd). Last year the children I worked with made green eggs and ham and read their favorite Dr. Seuss books.
National Reading Month can be fun for grown-up as well as children. If you love to read, but can never seem to find the time…here’s your chance. Grab a book by your favorite author or choose a book by a new author you’ve wanted to read.
What are your reading habits like? I’m joining fellow blogger (Sherry Ellis) by answering questions about my reading habits. Here are the questions and my answers to them? Feel free to respond to the questions and also answer them in a blog post on your site (consider yourself tagged).
1.      Do you have a place at home for reading?
My favorite spot is stretched out on the couch with a blanket thrown across my legs.

2.      Book mark or random piece of paper?
I love decorative bookmarks, but I can never seem to keep up with them. So random pieces of paper end up between the bindings of my books.

3.      Can you stop reading at any time or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part etc.
It would be nice to spot at the end of a chapter, but that is rare. Instead, I often stop reading abruptly to do something else.

4.      Do you eat or drink while reading?
Eating while reading is out of the questions for me, it can get messy. I’ll sometimes drink while reading, but I’m very careful.

5.      Can you read while listening to music or watching TV?
Sometimes I’ll have the TV volume low while reading, but I don’t usually listen to music. Music may cause me to jump up and start dancing around the room.

6.      One book or several at once?
Several. I like variety.

7.      Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere…grocery lines, sitting in the car, waiting to pick up my son from school.

8.      Reading out loud or silently in my head?
Silent reading works best unless I’m reading a picture book that I’m analyzing.

9.      Do you read ahead or skip pages?
No, I like the suspense of waiting to see what will happen.

10.  Breaking the spine of keeping it new?
Keeping it new.

11.  Do you write in books?
Yes. I make notes in the margins and underline words/sentences that I like.

How will you celebrate National Reading Month? What are your reading habits?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Parenting funnies with comedian Tim Hawkins

YouTube Credit: 86Vikas
YouTube Credit:rickovideo
Have you experienced any funny parenting episodes lately?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Muffins with Mom – The Absent Minded Mom

There was a movie long ago titled, The Absent Minded Professor. I’ve discovered that professors are not the only people who are absent minded. Today’s post features situations experienced by absent minded moms.
The Shopping Trip
Have you ever had a situation where you had so much on your mind that you may have done something that didn’t make sense? After church, my teen son and I stopped by a store because I wanted to pick up a gift card for someone.
As we waited in line at the checkout register of Target, I wrote out my check. When I handed the check to the cashier, she looked at me and smile as she said, “You know this isn’t Kroger, right?”
I responded with a chuckle and said, “Oh, that’s where I was going next.”
My son stood behind me, shook his head and said, “Wow Ma.”
We left with the item we came for and headed to Kroger. 

Doctor’s Appointment
My mother wanted to make sure she arrived on time for her doctor’s appointment. She left home in plenty of time to make it to her destination. However, there was unexpected construction which threw her off schedule.
Mom arrived at the doctor’s office and rushed in about five minutes late. She told the receptionist her name and said, “I’m a little late, but I have a 9:00am appointment.”
The receptionist checked her computer and said, “I don’t see an appointment for you.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s scheduled for 9:00am,” mom replied.
After searching further, the receptionist found my mother’s name. “Ah, here it is. You’re actually early, your appointment is next week at 9:00am.”
“Ok, thanks.” Mom left the doctor’s office just as quickly as she had entered. 

Holiday Shopping

My aunt was excited to go shopping on Black Friday. She anticipated all the sales she expected to find on the biggest shopping day of the year. Aunt Dee rushed from the house and mentally reviewed her To Do list as her sat in her car.
After a few moments her eyes bulged and she jumped from the car. There was one thing she had forgotten that was still inside the house…her son. She opened the door and there he was bundled up and lying in his car seat carrier, waiting to be carried to the car.

Do you have an absent minded mom story?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fun Friday – Friends say the darndest things

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You may be familiar with the phrase, kids say the darndest things, but I have learned that friends also say the darndest things. There are friends we see regularly, those we see infrequently and yet others we’ve met through acquaintances.
Friends are all dear to our hearts, but sometimes you just don’t know what will come out of their mouths. Because they’re your friend they can get away with saying certain things.

My mother attended a prayer breakfast a few months ago. While mingling with guests, she came across someone she hadn’t see in a long time. The woman came up to her and said, “Annie is that you? Somebody told me you had died.”
Mom wasn’t sure how to respond, but after a pregnant pause she managed to say, “No, I’m still around.” She wasn’t offended, but brought out the humor in the situation. I told mom that maybe she should check-in with her friends a little more often.
My brother, not wanting to be left out of a family bonding moment had a friend story to share. I must say that my brother in no spring chicken, actually he’s over forty years old, but still actively plays basketball. Not long ago he played in a thirty and over recreation league. He had a great game where he was shooting from the top of the key, making layups and just scoring every chance he got.
After the basketball game, a coach from one of the other teams came running over to my brother and said, “Sam that was a good game. I want you to play on my fifty and over team.” My brother glared at him and said, “Don’t you have to be over 50 years old?”
My brother concluded that it must have been his grey hair that led the coach to believe he qualified for the fifty and over basketball team.
Now for my story…
Shortly after my oldest son was born, someone I hadn’t seen for a long time spotted me from across a room. As she walked toward me she pointed at my stomach and said, “When is the baby due?”
I mouthed the reply to her, “He’s five months old.”
It was at that moment that I realized I needed to step up my post baby weight loss efforts.
Have any of your friends ever said anything that made you want to cringe?
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Wedding Dress Creations from toilet paper

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Since I have been asked to stand up in a friend's wedding, I have become more aware of things wedding related. Below are wedding dresses made of toilet paper and a video of paper flower bouquets.
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YouTube Video Credit: phtennis


Monday, February 16, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Multitasking Mom – a living fairy tale

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I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Did you know that February 26 is Tell a Fairy Tale Day? As I thought about what to post, I was reminded of the story, The Little Engine that Could. This story from a post a couple of years ago is my version of The Little Engine that Couldn’t-When a Mom Multitasks.
I drove my son, Donovan and his teammate to a basketball tournament two and a half hours from home. I felt rushed and slightly exhausted after having run errands all day. It was a day of driving the carpool, cleaning house and making sure my other son was ready to go to Grandma’s.
The evening sun beamed through the sunroof of my CRV that day as we drove from the east side of the state to the west. We checked in at the hotel and made it to the first game just in time for the boys to stretch then run onto the court.
The 9 P.M. game started. I pumped my arms with each basket scored and shouted “Way to go team.” But what I really wanted to shout was, “Hurry up and win so we can go back to the hotel and rest.”
After what seemed like a brief sleep that night, we were up and headed to the next game. It was the second game of the weekend basketball tournament. We entered the gymnasium to the sound of dribbling balls and the sight of referees in black and white stripes running up and down the court with whistles blowing.
I followed the crowd of other diehard parents to a seat in the bleachers. Some carried snacks and drinks for their child. I had those things, but I also had my writing bag. Just because there was a tournament, it didn’t mean I could shun my duties of writing blog posts, articles and revising a work in progress. Surely I could squeeze in writing between games and at half-time.
I watched the game with a book on my lap and one sitting next to me. When the referee tapped his shoulders with his fingertips, I rejoiced. A full-time out, just enough time to close my eyes and relax, if only for a minute.
“Time out, Black,” the referee called.
That was the last voice I heard before my eyes closed and my neck fell to one side. I was asleep, sitting in the bleachers of a high school gymnasium, totally oblivious to the chaos around me. Not even the screech of gym shoes hitting the hardwood floor disturbed my slumber.
I knew in advance that I had to drive my son to the tournament. What I didn’t have to do before the trip was to scrub the house from top to bottom and wash one more load of clothes. I embarrassingly opened my eyes after a few taps on my shoulder, “Is the game putting you to sleep?” the dad next to me asked. I really wanted to explain why I was tired, but instead I just smiled. I had done it again, tried to do too many things in a short amount of time.
After the game my son rested his sweaty arm on my shoulder and said, “Ma, how many points did I score?”
“Hmmm, eight?” That was my best guess.
Donovan smiled as he said, “I scored a few more baskets while you were asleep.”
I think he has accepted the fact that when I’m tired, bouts of sleepiness may occur.
After that day, I gave myself permission to ease up on the self-imposed demands of getting everything accomplished at one time. At the end of this journey I discovered the spirit of the Little Engine that Could by saying, I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.
Have you had a fairy tale experience lately?


Friday, February 13, 2015

Fun Friday – The lighter side of aging

Laughing through the aging process with family.
How do you embrace aging? Find a reason to laugh along the way. Below are a few situations that have caused me to chuckle while on the path to aging. 

This old body of mine 

Woke up this morning right on time,

Said a quick prayer for this body of mine.

Gave thanks for my hair, though it’s gettin’ thin,

Even said thanks for the hair on my chin.

Legs got stiff from sittin’ too long,

Stomach muscles no longer strong.

Eyes that used to see so well,

Now need glasses to read the mail.

Still got my mind, sharp as a tack,

But sometimes there’s pain in my lower back.

Woke up today feelin’ real fine,

Gave thanks to the Lord for this old body of mine.

Midlife Crisis
My brother began to enter a midlife crisis zone. His stomach bulged, his wallet didn’t and his hair was disappearing. He vowed to get back in shape. However he had a hard time deciding what shape…a circle, an egg.
“My workout will begin with dips and curls,” he told me. “I’ll dip a potato chip, then curl it up to my mouth.” That plan would work well if he wanted to maintain his round shape.  

Failing Eye sight
I had to renew my drivers’ license at the Secretary of State office. The clerk had me read an eye chart. She could clearly see that I was wearing glasses, so why put me through the torture of squinting and trying to read those little letters? But she did.
I pressed my forehead against the desk top machine and tried to adjust my eyes in the appropriate lenses (glasses on). The letters were fading in an out and looked like they were floating. I read them aloud very slowly, A….E…no, B. She stopped me and said, “thank you.”
She took out her industrial sized stamper and stamped my paper work. When I looked at the paper, the large red words read, CORRECTIVE LENSES. I could have just told her that I need my glasses to drive.
 What experiences have you had with aging gracefully?





Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Words of Wisdom – Valentine’s Day Quotes and poems

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“Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.” – William Shakespeare 

“Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.” – Voltaire 

“Love: The irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Robert Frost 


Valentine Smile 

On Valentine’s Day we think of those

Who make our lives worthwhile,

Those gracious friendly people who

We think of with a smile

I am fortunate to know you,

That’s why I want to say,

To a rare and special person:

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

By Joanna Fuchs


A silly Valentine poem…. 

Love is like a Cabbage 

My love is like a cabbage

Divided into two,

The leaves I give to others,

The heart I give to you.

Author Unknown

Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day quote or poem?

…wishing you a Valentine’s Day filled with love.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Don’t cry over spilled milk

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Have you ever used the phrase, Don’t cry over spilled milk? This is an age old proverb said to have come from a European fairy tale. The idea was that fairies would drink the spilled milk, which was one of their favorite foods, therefore the loss was insignificant. In essence, don’t stress over little mistakes.
Don’t cry over spilled milk is celebrated as a holiday on February 11th each year. This holiday celebrates the ability to remain optimistic through obstacles and failures in life.
I listened to a story recently of a little girl who was diagnosed with a rare nerve disease. As the girl’s mom told the story of ten year old Jessie my heart melted. It was about a year ago when the family found out about Jessie’s diagnosis. And that was when they began to celebrate her life with cherished moments.
I could hear the smile in Jessie’s mom’s voice as she proudly spoke of Jessie’s courage. It is because of Jessie’s strength that her mom is able to be encouraged. She said that that Jessie has helped to raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation as well as lead other events at school.
Sometimes, listening to another person’s story can make one realize that life is not always just about us.
How will you celebrate Don’t cry over spilled milk day? Do something for someone else.

NOTE: Jessie is not the real name of the young girl referred to in this post.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Fun Friday – A snow tale

Ye though my boots crunch through a driveway of snow, I will fear no ice for my shovel is with me.
Our area was recently hit with a snow storm that began at midnight one night and continued through seven am the next morning. The snow stopped for a while, then began again. The end result was fourteen inches in some areas.
My son and I managed to clear the snow from our driveway and sidewalk, only to repeat the same scenario the next day. After two snow days, school was back in session. This was only the beginning of the excitement at my house.
My son injured is finger at school and had to go to urgent care. At the doctor’s office he received stitches across the middle of his finger and x-rays indicated his finger was broken near the tip. The day before that my husband had shoulder surgery…again.
More snow was predicted.  There was an urgency to clear the remaining snow and ice from the driveway. When I picked my son up from school the next evening, he ate dinner then pulled out the snow blower. I put on my cozy flannel pajama pants with a long sleeved t-shirt and curled up to watch Family Feud on TV.
It was then that my husband asked, “Are you going to go out and help with the snow?”
“I wasn’t planning to, I helped last time,” I said with a light hearted tone.
My husband struggled to roll out of bed and go to the window to check on my son’s progress. That was my sign to get dressed and go out to help. After all, my husband just had surgery, my son had a broken finger and all I experienced that week was a mammogram. Thus, I was the most likely candidate to help with the snow.
Once outside, I chopped away at bits of ice as my son clear them away with the snow blower. My husband gave commands from the door way, “push the shove along the sidewalk to clear that last bit of snow.” He was good at giving directions.
Just when I thought the sidewalk and drive looked good my husband said, “You can clear a little more snow at the edge of the driveway near the street.”
My response was, “I can drive over that small pile of snow. Are you the chairman of the Neighborhood Beautification Committee…that we don’t have?”
It was time to pack away the snow blower and return the shovel to its resting spot in the garage. I had missed the Smith Family play for fast money on Family Feud, but there would be other days.
Have you had an interesting experience with snow lately?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Words of Wisdom – To Realize

To Realize....the value of friendship
Have you ever stopped to think about the value of time? Below is a poem that may give you reason to value time a little more.
To Realize
To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple. 

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate. 

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam. 

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn. 

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby. 

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. 

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident. 

Time waits for no one.  

Treasure every moment you have.  

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special. 

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

Author: Unknown 
What will you do differently today?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Muffins with Mom – 3 Things the Super Bowl has taught me about parenting

Junior Football League Super Bowl Win
The Super Bowl is over, but there are still lessons to be learned from the game of football. In Super Bowl 49, The New England Patriots faced the Seattle Seahawks. In my house, it’s Mama going head to head with her teen son.
My son and I meet at the line of scrimmage – I’m ready with my list of demands for him and he is ready to explain why he can’t comply. Since football is one of my son’s passions we use this to discuss many life lessons. Sometimes he learns a lesson and sometimes I learn.
Here are three things I learned about parenting from the Super Bowl…

1.      Be nonreactive – sometimes it’s better not to react to s situation right away, rather than to over react cause yourself unnecessary stress. You may have seen it happen during a tense moment in a big game – one player is frustrate with an opponent and a shoving match begins. Being nonreactive could diffuse a situation such as this.

2.      There is no “I” in teamwork – this is a phrase I have heard often, but was reminded of it as I watched the Super Bowl. At the end of the game, each person on the winning team that was interviewed, mentioned that their win was a team effort. Sometimes as parent we forget that our kids are part of the team and depending on their age, it’s okay to include them in family decisions.

3.      It’s ok if I don’t know everything – after years of watching my boys play football, I still don’t understand all of positions and their role on the field. This same philosophy hold true with parenting, after doing this job for years, I am still learning.
A bonus parenting tip – it’s ok to do a celebration dance at the end of the game (for an accomplishment, achievement, etc.). One son’s high school graduation was an event that was cause for celebrating.
Are there any lessons you learned from watching a Super Bowl game, humorous or otherwise?