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, May 29, 2015

Fun Friday – A Wrinkle in Time

photo credit
My experience dubbed, A Wrinkle in Time, was the day my teen boys were running late for church due to wrinkled clothes. They dressed at the last minute and wanted to just run out the door. As my younger son handed me his shirt to be ironed, I looked down at his pants.
The black dress pants that my son wore had creases at the knees from being on a hanger. He traded me his ironed shirt for the dress pants. No sooner had I finished ironing his pants than my older son walked past…wearing wrinkled pants and shirt.
When I told my older son his pants needed to be ironed he said, “These are wrinkle free pants.” Rather than fight another battle, I let my son decide whether he wanted to iron the pants or not. He decided not to iron the pants. Instead, he put on a different pair.
In the story, A Wrinkle in Time, the characters traveled by wrinkling time. In other words they were able to travel quickly through space/time. It would have been helpful to wrinkle time the day were running late. No such luck.
As I rushed the boys through the house barking demands, my older son said, “Ma, do you just wake up and plan what you’re going to fuss about?”
After an outbreak of laughter, from me, I responded. “No planning needed, you boys provided plenty of ammunition.”
Although we were a little late reaching our destination, we had ironed out our wrinkles. And we learned a lesson. For me the lesson learned was, be sure to give the boys more lead time to get ready for an event. I believe the boy’s lesson learned was that, “Mama is going to fuss no matter what.”
Have you experienced a time where you were running late for something due to poor planning?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Words of Wisdom – God’s Coffee

photo credit
Today’s post is a poem that puts a new perspective on our daily walk in life.

God’s Coffee
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some
expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:

"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.

What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups.......... Enjoy your coffee! 

"The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Author unknown

Monday, May 25, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Memorial Day reflections

Happy Memorial Day! Memorial Day is a day of remberance for those who have died in our nation’s service. As you spend time with friends and family, take a few moments for reflection.  Below is a video tribute to those who have served out country.
After the video is a repeat blog post from my family Memorial Day celebration from 2012.
YouTube video credit: lastingtributevideo
Memorial Day and weekend is also a time that families come together in celebration. This year my family celebrated with a family reunion held in Kentucky. We visited Fort Campbell military base where we toured a museum and visited the family cemetery.
There was a lot of history shared, friendships started and memories created. Getting together with family is a good investment of time. We strengthen family ties and even learn new family facts.
When I arrived at our family reunion there was only one person there that I knew. I had never been to a reunion for that side of the family. The one cousin I knew smiled and whispered to me, “I don’t think we’re really related to these people.”
I had just driven nine hours for a trip that should have taken seven and a half. I looked at my cousin and said, “We’re family now.” I eventually learned how we were all connected.
What I have learned from our Memorial Day weekend celebration is that it’s good to know your roots and who you’re related to. The following are reasons why you need to know your family:
  1. You could be marrying a cousin. When in high school, my cousin found out that a boy who had a crush on her was her cousin.
  2. You have relatives to stay with when you go out of town, it saves you money on hotel expense.
  3. When your kids act out and you don’t understand where the behavior came from…you can blame that side of the family.
It’s good to know your family just because they are family. Over the Memorial Holiday is when we see people waving flags at parades, refreshing flowers at gravesites or simply spending time with family.  It’s all about creating memories.
What are your favorite Memorial Day memories?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun Friday – A Mother’s Teachings - 20 things Mama Taught

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When you were growing up did you mother have phrases or idioms that she used all the time? During my elementary years, my brother, mother and I lived with my grandparents. It was most often Grandma who had a plethora of sayings.
My grandmother would say things like, “Don’t cross your eyes or they’ll get stuck like that.” She also said things such as, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again” or “the early bird catches the worm.”
While at a workshop recently, the presenter played music and displayed various trivia and fun facts on a screen as people entered the room. One list that caught my eye was titled, Things My Mother Taught Me. As soon as I got to my computer, I Googled the subject and here’s what I found.
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
'If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

7. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

8. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck?!"

9. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

10. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

11. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

12. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

13. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

14. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

15. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

16. My mother taught me HUMOUR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

17. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

18. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

19. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

20. And my favorite: my mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"
Click here for entire list of mom teachings.
Do you recognize any of the above sayings? What would you add to the list of things your mother taught you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Words of Wisdom - Be Encouraged

YouTube Video credit: LancieW

Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone
By Arlene R. Wright 

Is this a stumbling block or a stepping stone?
Only you can decide.
You don't need to stumble or fall,
With Jesus at your side.

They come in many different forms.
Heartaches, troubles. and loss.
But Jesus showed His love for you.
When He died upon the Cross.

God's word tells us when we are tried,
More than we can bear,
He'll provide a way to escape,
There's a crown for us to wear.

No one could ever make it alone,
On our strength alone we'll fall
But our God is there to help us
If on His name we'll call.

There is no shortage of His power.
He's Master and Ruler of all.
He has plenty of grace for you,
He's listening for your call.

It doesn't matter how big the stone,
Or how small that it may be.
We're safe if we lean upon,
The Man of Galilee.

So Friend, when you've been tried,
Don't feel you're all alone.
Don't let it be a stumbling block,
But make it a STEEPING STONE.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Muffins with Mom – The shirt off his back-when a teen helps out

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It was a warm spring morning as I searched my closet for something to wear to church. I finally settled on a dress I hadn’t worn in a long time.  The white dress with blue patterned flowers didn’t need any extras, no ironing, nor struggling to get it on. I simply had to step into the dress and zip. Off I went to get my praise on.
As I stood at the alter for prayer at the front of the church, I clasped my hands behind my back with bowed head. My hands brushed against frayed threads along the lower center of my dress. That was when I realized I had a hole in my dress. I prayed a little harder that everyone else’s eyes remained closed until I could get back to my seat.
I made it back to my seat without anyone noticing, or so I thought. As I was preparing to sit down, Sister somebody (don’t remember who it was), leaned over two pews and whispered, “You have a hole in your dress.”
I whispered back, “Is it big?”
She showed me with her index fingers outstretched about six inches. I mouthed the words thank you and took my seat. I remembered why I hadn’t worn that dress in a while. Not wanting to be confined to my seat, I texted my fifteen year-old son and asked him to take off his white dress shirt and give it to me.
I looked behind me to see my son’s reaction and his face was contorted into a frown. He texted me back with, “Take D’s shirt.”
Well, I didn’t want to take my other son’s shirt because he was wearing a short sleeved yellow polo type shirt. First of all there were no for me to tie around my waist if I wanted and yellow would draw more attention.
After a couple of texts back and forth, I’d convinced my son to give me the shirt off his back. I knew he had a nice clean V-neck t-shirt underneath his button up and would still look appropriate. I didn’t see my son make his gallant move and take off his shirt, but a few minutes later my eighteen year-old delivered the shirt to me rolled in a ball.
Upon unrolling the shirt, I pulled it on like a jacket and left the buttons undone. The shirt was long enough to cover the frayed area of my dress. I could immerse myself in the church service once again.
Although it can be a struggle to get a teen to cooperate, this time my son came through in a clutch. He gave me the shirt off his back that day and didn’t mention it again.
Has your child surprised you by helping in some way lately?


Friday, May 15, 2015

Fun Friday – What allergy season means to a teen

photo credit
We’re in the midst of allergy season, I heard the TV newscaster confirm it. Blooming, budding, pollen is in the air. These things have a tendency to affect the normal operation of my nasal passages. However, this is not what allergy season means to my teen boys.
Outdoor allergens don’t bother my boys. It’s things on the inside of the house that cause their noses to flare and their eyes to water. My teens are fictitously allergic to many things, which include:
·         Sorting laundry

·         Folding laundry

·         Unloading and reloading the dishwasher

·         Other (any other chore I may have forgotten)
When asked to complete any of the above tasks, I can see the pain in the eyes of my boys. They become instantly distraught, shame on me for asking them such things (sarcasm). During this season of allergy, the boys cope by hurrying through their tasks.
I know I am not alone in this situation of pseudo allergies and teens not wanting to do house work. A friend shared with me that her teen son was so agitated about cutting the grass that he just rushed through it. When her son came inside from cutting the grass, she asked, “Did you cut the grass in a Sudoku pattern?”
My friend ended up with a unique pattern throughout her lawn. I ended up with a heap of laundry and dishes that needed to be returned to their proper resting places. For a teenage, allergy season means trying to avoid chores.
What my teens are learning, is that seasons change. There will come a time that it will be allergy season for me. When it happens, my season of allergic reactions will include:
·         Driving a teen to the store for frivolous things

·         Buying that requested pizza

·         Giving an allowance
Allergy season with a teen (fictitous or real) can be challenging, but with tender loving care everyone comes out okay.
Have you ever experienced a teen who treats doing chores like an allergic reaction?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Words of Wisdom – The Most Beautiful Flower – an inspirational poem

photo credit

The Most Beautiful Flower
The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read.
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise,
"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful, too.
That's why I picked it; here, it's for you."

The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, "Just what I need."

But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy,
Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
Author Unknown 

How will you go through your day today?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Muffins with Mom – The Dummy Mission

photo credit
My eighteen year-old son and I ventured out to a meeting that I wanted to take him to the other day. He was dressed in sweat pants and a t-shirt for a meeting that I told him was casual attire. His interpretation of casual was obviously different than mine.
My son and I arrived at our destination a few minutes early. We stopped at the front desk and asked the staff person which room our meeting was being held in.
“I don’t show that group on the schedule for today,” she said.  “But maybe it didn’t get on the schedule.”
“I’ll check the two rooms we usually meet in,” I said.
After checking both rooms, I told my son we must have been there on the wrong Thursday. My son and I talked as we drove the 30 minutes back home. I was complaining that I had wasted my time and my gas rushing to get to a meeting that didn’t exist. Next time I would be sure to double check the date.
My son told said we were on a dummy mission. His definition of the dummy mission – When you don’t complete your task and waste your time and gas for nothing. We had successfully completed a dummy mission. At least we were successful at something.
When I recanted my mission story to my mother she told me that my grandmother occasionally ventured out on a dummy mission. Grandma would leave the house heading to an event, only to return home and say, “That luncheon isn’t until next week,” or “that meeting is tomorrow.”
Could this be some kind of condition in my family? Whatever it is I don’t want it. Is there a magic pill that can be taken?
If you happen to find yourself on a dummy mission, just make the best use of your time. Take a moment to slow down and literally smell the roses or take in some fresh air. It’s not always about how much time you have to accomplish something, but how you make the best use of your time.
Have you ever been on a dummy mission?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fun Friday – 5 things to say if you’re caught sleeping at your desk

Power napping
Have you ever had a day where you felt really tired at work? I haven’t fallen asleep at my desk at work, but I have done it at home. While sitting at my laptop working on a project, my eyelids became heavy.
I thought I could slip in a 15 minute power nap. Part way through my nap, I heard a clicking sound. I later discovered, it was my son had taken a photo of me with MY phone.
Well, if you happen to fall asleep at your desk, here are some things to say if you’re caught sleeping at your desk.
1.      “Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?”

2.      “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people.” 

3.      “This is in exchange for the six hours I spent last night dreaming about work.”

4.      “Boy, that cold medicine I took last night jut won’t wear off.” 

5.      “… and I especially thank you for my excellent boss, Amen.”

What would you add to the list?
To view more excuses click here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Words of Wisdom - A Mother's Love

Take time to celebrate your mom or the mother figure in your life. Wishing you and your family an abundance of joy this Mother's Day.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Muffins with Mom – The Reunion – when a son comes home

It was the wee hours of the morning when my fifteen-year-old came into my darkened bedroom and flipped on the light. He said, “Look, Ma.” All I could do was grunt and squeeze my eyes tighter in reaction to the burst of light.
The next voice I heard was that of my other son, the college freshmen, home from school. He stood over me and said, “Ma.” Once the bright light was turned off, I could see the silhouette of my son. Still not coherent, I opened one eye and said, “Hey, grasshopper.” It was my pet name for my son with the long legs and torso.
I squinted to see my clock, the red numbers displayed, 3:12am. Too early to get up.
When I finally rolled out of bed at 6am, lights were on everywhere, the hall, and both boy’s bedrooms. I followed the sound of music through the kitchen and into the basement. This is where I found both boys lifting weights.
My son looked up at me, not from the cradle of my arms as when he was a baby, but from a prone position on the weight bench. I looked down at him and spoke first, “You’ve got a lot of hair.”
My son responded with, “You got a lot of gray.”
If he was still getting an allowance I would take it away from him. However, due to the fact the tuition has to be paid, a regular allowance has been suspended indefinitely. My solution for my quick witted son is to assign chores since he is back home.
My fifteen-year-old has already indicated that he is ready to pass the baton for doing chores. Just last week he said he couldn’t wait for his brother to get home so he can share the chores. I find that remark rather ironic, since he was barely completing his chores.
Now that the boys are reunited for the summer they can duke it out negotiate who will complete which chores. They were excited to see each other on that first day home from college, the reunion was like Christmas morning. There were, jokes, laughter and brotherly love.
For me…I did manage to squeeze in a hug after my son’s comment about my gray hair.
 A full head of hair then and now (above right) 
Have you had any reunions lately?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fun Friday – Funny friends – keeping things in perspective


When you tire of laughing at yourself, there’s always a friend nearby to take over and share something funny. Below are stories that were shared with me recently.
The Birthday
A friend recently celebrated her birthday 40 something birthday. On the morning of my friend’s birthday, her twelve year old daughter burst into her bedroom.
“Guess who’s turning 45?” her daughter said.
“Not me,” my friend said. “I’m 44.”
“Mom, I thought you were 45. I guess I messed that one up.”
“Yes, you did. You can run back over to the door and start over.” 

Dining Out
My friend treated herself to dinner out after a long day at work. As she was being seated the host asked, “How many in your party?”
“Just me,” My friend said.
Moments later the waitress came over and asked, “Will anyone be joining you?”
“JUST ME,” my friend repeated.
By this time my friend was ready to forget everything and just relax and have her meal. As she waited for her meal, she overheard the conversation of a father and son at a nearby table.
The father asked his son, “What was the best part of your day at school?”
The son said, “Leaving.” 

The all you can eat buffet
While my friend was dining at an all you can eat buffet, her companion said, “What’s the rule for taking food home?”
My friend watched as her companion began to pack away a large amount of food. “I don’t think you’re supposed to take quite that much food. A buffet is all you can eat while you’re here, not for the next month.” 

What funny stories have you heard lately?