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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Words of Wisdom - World Smile Day

How do you celebrate World Smile Day? Catch a teen smiling
 It's almost here...World Smile Day. Get your smile ready, World Smile Day is celebrated on October 2nd.

Below are words of inspiration to set your smile in motion.

"A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."     William Arthur Ward

"A smile can brighten the darkest day."  Author Unknown

"Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important."  Janet Lane

"A smile is a powerful weapon; you can even break ice with it."  Author Unknown

"Use your smile to change the world; don't let the world change your smile."  Author Unknown

Do you have a smile ready for World Smile Day?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Muffins with Mom – 3 Ways teens drive parents crazy

Do you ever feel like your kids drive you crazy? It’s a normal reaction. When they’re younger, they refuse to eat vegetables, or don’t want to wear the clothes you picked out for them. When your lovely cherubs become teens the game changes.
As kids transition into the teen years, they can become self-absorbed. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this stage, you just go through it, strategically. So how do teens drive parent s crazy? Let me show you.

1.      “I’ll do it in a minute” – You may have never heard this phrase come from the lips of your child, but this is a frequent chant in my home. You may say, “I need you to put away the dishes.”

You are rewarded with the response, “Ok, I’ll do it in a minute.” You give him 10 minutes and it’s still not done, so you repeat your request only to hear, “OKAY, Ma, I’m coming.” It still takes minutes longer.
2.      “Why do I have to…” – Some days I believe my teen likes to do or say the opposite of what I want him to do. Recently my son served as an usher in the wedding of a young lady who used to be his babysitter. I explained to him that this was an honor to be asked to be a part of this special occasion.

Once my son tried on his tuxedo, he was okay with his role in the wedding. It was the day after the wedding that I heard the chorus of “Why’s.” It was the day my son was scheduled to serve as an usher at church. When I woke him to prepare for his role, he grunted, “Why do I have to usher again? I just did it yesterday.” 

3.      The silent treatment – There will be times when your teen will pretend he doesn’t hear a word you are saying to him. He may even wear headphones and pretend he is listening to music.

4.      Teens say crazy things – When my son awoke late for school one day, I told him to hurray or he would miss the bus. He said, “I’m lactose intolerant. I can’t ride the cheese.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes and give the silent treatment. However, my son interrupted my silence, “Do you know what that means Ma?”

“Yes, I know the school bus is called the cheese.” 

What do your kids do that drive you crazy?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Feel Good Friday - Better to Give

Are you familiar with the phrase, "It's better to give than to receive?" The video below exhibits examples of this phrase. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Video Credit : Jesus Christ Driven Network
Make a difference to one person today in your own way.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Muffins with Mom – 5 Things to avoid when parenting a teen (as told by a teen)

photo credit

Often teens feel like their voice is not heard, so today, one teen has a chance to express his thoughts, my son. When I asked my son for ideas of things parent should avoid when parenting teens he said, “I don’t know Ma.”

When I leaned in two inches from my sons face to give him a kiss he said, “Ok, that’s annoying.”
“I guess you do have a few ideas,” I said.

Since I know my son pretty well, I came up with a few of the ideas below and my son gave his stamp of approval.

5 Things to avoid when parenting a teen…

1.     No hugs in public
2.      Don’t attempt to be overly cool, especially around your teens friends
3.      Don’t attempt to hold an important conversation with your teen while he is texting
4.      Entering your teens bedroom without knocking is a no, no (even though you pay all the bills)
5.      Don’t forget to hug your teen…even if he doesn’t want you to ( a tip from mom)

What tips do you have for parenting a teen?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fun Friday – If you take your mom to the movies

If you take your mom to the movies, she'll want to go shopping afterwards.
Have you ever gone to the movies with your family, but it really wasn’t a movie that you wanted to see? What’s a mom to do? You go anyway because next time you’ll get to choose the movie.
One of my favorite children’s author’s is Laura Numeroff. You may be familiar with some of her books – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, (he’ll want a glass of milk) If you Give a Cat a Cupcake (she’ll want sprinkles…), etc. I’ll share my story using Laura’s format.
As we prepared to leave home and head to the movie theater, I stuffed a few items into my purse (a spiral notebook and my favorite writing pen). My writing materials are like American Express – I don’t leave home without them.
Just as I slipped on my shoes, my son yelled from another room, “Ma, let’s go, we’re gonna be late.” That was the last call for everyone to scurry to the car. Time to take mom to the movie.
If you take your mom to the movies, she’ll want to take her writing materials. When you get to the movies she’ll want some buttered popcorn, but you’ll have to carry it because her purse is heavy with her writing materials.
As the theater gets dark, mom will use her cell phone for light to write a few words because something inspired her. Writing makes her hungry, so she’ll put the phone away and eat the buttered popcorn.
The popcorn will make her thirsty, so you’ll have to buy her a drink. When she grabs the drink, it almost slips out of her hands are greasy from the popcorn. Then she realizes that you forgot to bring napkins.
She’ll have to go to the restroom to wash her hands. While at the restroom, she’ll stop and engage in a conversation with a total stranger, never giving a second thought that the movie has started.
On the way back to the theater, she’ll remember that she meant to stop by the concession stand for napkins. Once she settles into her seat to watch the movie, she falls asleep. When your mom wakes up, she’ll be ready to go home and write about her experience at the movies.
Once your mom is home safe and sound, she’ll want to go to the movies again…to see a movie of her choice.
What was your last visit to the movie theater like?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fun Friday – All in a day’s work

photo credit

Today marks the anniversary of a tragic day in US history 9/11 when so many people lost their lives-planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I remember exactly what I was doing on that day fourteen years ago.

It was around 8:00am on September 11, 2001, I had just put my son on the school bus on his way to kindergarten. When I turned on the car radio, the announcer was reporting that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center.

By the time I arrived at work, staff were gathered around a TV watching the news unfold. A third plane had crashed into the Pentagon. To all those families who lost loved ones on that tragic day, prayers go out to you.

As you go through your work day today go into it with an attitude of gratitude. Find something to laugh about rather than grumble. Jumpstart you day with the story below.
School’s in! Gone are the lazy days of summer. The kids are back to school and getting settled into a new routine. My college teen is working to settle into a routine with his new job.

My son was excited when he received the call from the employer saying that they wanted to hire him. Last school year, several of the places my son wanted to work said he had to be eighteen years old or said they would call him. He never got a call.

After a few days on the job, I asked my son about his experience. He works at a fast food restaurant. The first day, he worked a double shift. He said, “Ma, I had to clean toilets.”

“Did you wear gloves?” I asked.

“Yeah, I had on five pair.”

On day two, my son said, “I had to wash dishes for THREE hours. I wanted to cry.”
After I burst out laughing, I regained my composure. Of course I had to give him a moral to his story. “Do you seen now, why we had you load/unload the dishwasher, vacuum? All of those things had a purpose.”

All he said was, “Yeah.”

There was still a lot to be learned for my son on his new job. The second half of his double shift, he had to close. My son said he had to learn about food preparation, menu items, which meat item go with which specialty burgers and so forth. Most of all, he needed to learn how put things away properly at closing.

After about 15 minutes into his training, the worker training him said, “I don’t know why they have me doing this. They could have told me ahead of time.” 

The worker grumbled a few more times and my son said he was thinking about saying, “its ok you don’t have to help, I’ll just read the manual.”
Another moral for my son…sometimes saying nothing is better.

Do you remember your first job experience?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Muffins with Mom – Labor Day and the lighter side of parenting

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It’s Labor Day, the holiday day established to honor and recognize contributions of the hard working people of the United States. Labor Day also celebrates the American Labor Movement. For many people, Labor Day is a day off from work.
Parenting is one job where you do not receive the day off for Labor Day. So, take a break from your parenting duties and check out a couple of stories.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
My mother spent a day with me just hanging out after my son’s football game. As we sat at the dining room table chatting, Mama remembered that she wanted to show me something. Her voice went up an octave as she said, “I got a sweatshirt for a bargain at Dollar General.”
Mama pulled the sweatshirt from her bag. It was a warm soothing pink color. “See, I can wear this when I work out.”
I tightened my lips together and said, “It looks like Pepto Bismal, the upset stomach medicine.”
Not wanting me to have the last laugh my mother said, “Maybe its Milk of Magnesia.”
“No Ma, that’s a different color antacid."
We both laughed as the sweatshirt was returned to its resting place in the Dollar General bag…until time for a visit to the gym. Watch out Powerhouse Gym, my Mama will be there soon styling in her beautiful Pepto Bismal pink. 

Red Light, Green Light
When I was a child we played a game we called, Red Light, Green Light. One person was “It” and stood with his back to the rest of the kids. When the “it” person said green light, everyone would tip-toe up to him and had to stop when he called Red Light. The object was to be the first one to touch the “it” person without getting caught moving.
While at a traffic light the other day, I had a different kind of Red Light Green Light experience. It was an indecisive moment. If you are familiar with the characteristics of some of the zodiac signs, you may know, indecisiveness is a characteristic of a Pisces. My birthday falls under the sign of Pisces (February 19 –March 19).
I don’t typically put much belief in the zodiac signs, but on this occasion, my actions held true to a Pisces characteristic. As I approached the traffic light, I realized that I was flashing green…and red at the same time. I eased my car up to the four way intersection with jumbled thoughts bouncing through my head – Do I stop, do I yield, who was here first? Grrr!
Red Light, Green Light. If I stopped and the person behind me didn’t realize I was stopping, I could be tagged “it” by her car.
I stopped, treated the intersection as a four ways stop and waited my turn to proceed, without incident. This Pisces had defeated the characteristic of indecisiveness and made a decision.

What stories have you experienced as a parent in your daily walk?




Friday, September 4, 2015

Fun Friday – Family Funnies – The road trip and other tales

Photo credit
Do you have quirky, crazy family members? Sure you do, whether you admit it or not. That quirky person could be you. In my family sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s my brother. Most recently it was my mother.
It started with a road trip. My mother and brother traveled to the east coast to visit relatives. They packed their suitcases, bagged up snacks and rode off into the sunset. In an attempt to eat healthy, mom packed a variety of fruit – grapes, bananas and apples.
Mom lowered the sun visor as the bright sun beamed through the windshield on her side of the car. Struggling to find comfort, she turned on the air conditioner. The sudden blast of cold air had mom rubbing her eyes.
Not much time passed before mom saw fruit flies swarming before her eyes. Her comment to my brother was, “are those fruit flies coming through the vents?” They both swatted at the annoying flying bugs.
As my brother and mom drover further down the road, they made a discovery. There was a bag of warm fruit in the backseat of the car. That bag was the culprit that caused the fruit fly convention.
My brother wanted to get rid of the fruit one grape at a time out the window. Mom wouldn’t hear of it. The bag was closed tighter and disposed of at the next rest area. 

The Resume
My teen son recently attended a resume writing workshop. The counselor talked with him and asked about his skills, job experience and volunteer roles. The end result was a draft of a resume. However, when I read the resume it didn’t totally sound like the teen who lives with me.
There was a section of my son’s resume that listed “Housekeeping Services.” One of the items listed under that category was, “wash and dry dishes.” When I read that, I looked at my son and said, “Really?  I have to beg you to wash dishes at home and I’ve never seen you dry them."
The next bulleted item said, “Clean and organize rooms, hallways…” I couldn’t even bring myself to form a sentence, all I could blurt out was text language – “OMG, SMH.” My son smiled as I shook my head in dismay.
I know that last bullet point to be partially true. My son will organize and clean a room, it may just take a few days after the request is made, for him to complete it. Needless to say, my son had a working draft of his resume, but it will need to be revamped.
Can you think of a time someone in your family did something wild and crazy?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - National Yoga Month - Yoga Demo

As you view this video, remember all things are possible. Every expert was once a beginner.

YouTube Video Credit: Alessandro Sigismondi
Try a little yoga this month...for the health of it.