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, April 29, 2016

Fun Friday – Teens and cell phones

Has your teen ever had trouble disconnecting from his cell phone? My son has this problem quite frequently. He is constantly doing something on his phone, Snapchat, texting, playing a game, it’s never ending.

One Sunday I arrived at church before my teen son, as I slid onto a pew, I heard the soft buzz of my phone inside my purse. It was my son asking, “What time does church start?” I quickly responded then silenced my phone to avoid further interruption.

A short while later my son arrived at church and plopped down on the corner pew right next to me. Two seconds later he had his phone in his hand, playing a game. I nudged him with my elbow and he stopped playing…momentarily.

My son would put his phone down for short periods of time, then pick it up again. I finally turned away from me, pulled my phone from my purse and typed a text message to my son, “Put your phone away.”

After a few seconds the message I sent must have showed up, my son lifted his head, looked at me and said, “Wow.” He got the message. I didn’t have any trouble the rest of the service.

What has been your experience with teens and cell phones?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Muffins with Mom – Kids and church

As a Sunday school teacher for youth, it’s a fact that I learn from my kids as much as they learn from me. In an effort to include everyone in the learning, I invite everyone to take on a role. When I asked who wanted to lead our prayer at the beginning of class, one student raised their hand without hesitation. This is what was said…

“Dear Lord, help me to not fall asleep in church today.”

A chuckle caught in my throat. I’m sure many of us can relate to that young child’s prayer request. I just never thought to verbalize the statement as a prayer.

After the prayer ended, another young student said, “Y’all pray a lot at this church.”

It was a teachable moment. My response was, “Yes we do.” We proceeded to have a discussion about prayer and worship and how they work together. The lesson for me was learning to meet a child at their level of learning/readiness for certain information.

My discussion with the youth reminded me of an article I wrote for annarbor.com several years ago. The article pointed out that prayer is communication, it does not have to be elaborate, nor does it require a special occasion.

When kids go to church they need to make connections just as adults do. It begins with making them feel welcome and letting them know that they can make a difference. Kids discover connections through the simplest things. When we’ve discussed a favorite movie, or outing in class, the flood gates of chatter began. Kids found that they liked some of the same things.

My class is comprised of six, seven and eight year-olds. As we were reading the lesson one Sunday and discussing the contents, one student was distractedly flipping pages of his book and looking around the room. Another student looked at him and said, “Are you even paying attention?” It was interesting how one student held the other accountable.

Kids! I love their honesty.

Have you had any humorous experiences with kids in church?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fun Friday – Cinderella – a fractured fairytale

Once upon a time there lived a mom who was always on the go. She went to football camps, track meets, and Rugby games to support her precious children. Sometimes she even had to sweep floors, wash dishes and take care of laundry.

By the end of the week this mom felt like Cinderella. Not the Cinderella who went to the Ball, but the one who wore a house dress and scrubbed the floors. There were no evil step sisters in her home, but there were two teens who told her, “You should do something fun for yourself.”

The teens sent their mother off for a day of fun. She decided to treat herself to make-up day, something she had never done. She sat in a tall cushioned chair at the beauty counter in a department store and waited for the magic to begin.

The transformation began with several strokes of an eye shadow brush, continued with sweeps across the eyebrows, a smoothing of the face and ended with dabs on the lips. The mom looked in the mirror and saw Cinderella, ready for the Ball. She enjoyed the moment, she knew by the end of the day, the magic would be gone.

The mom had a brilliant idea, she could sleep in her makeup to make the magic last a little longer. Would anyone know? She would know. So, she did the next best thing, took photos to create a memory.

The next day, the mom attempted to recreate the magic, she soon discovered she needed a beauty consultant.  She knew it was going to be challenge when she struggled to open the eye shadow compact.

As she stroked the powder across her eyelids, the cushion of the brush began to crumble above her lashes. Perhaps she should not have used a brush that was more than 15 years old, that she found stored in a container in her basement, from when she used to sell make up products.

The mom was determined to finish the task at hand. She lined her eyebrows the way the fairy godmother beauty consultant did at the store. Draw a line, fill it in…repeat on the other eye. Mission accomplished. So she thought.

When the mom looked at the implement in her hand, she realized that she had used the lip liner instead of the eyebrow pencil…on her eyebrows. Would anyone notice? Yep. When she engaged in a conversation with anyone they would probably talk at her eyebrows. The mom washed her face and decided to wait until another day when she had more time, to experiment with the magic makeup.

For that one day, the mom went out and had fun like her teens advised her to do. She did something different, laughed with friends and simply made time for herself.

The End

What have you done lately to rejuvenate? What is your Cinderella story?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fun Friday – 3 signs that you may be a sports mom


My sixteen-year-old son came home from school the other day and dropped his bags in the middle of the floor. The next sound I heard was him yelling up the stairs to me, “Ma, can you run some bath water for me? I’m tired from the track meet.”

I yelled back to him, “I’m tired too, can you bring me a snack from the kitchen?”

And that was the beginning of outdoor sports season at my house. This year is different than the typical sports season at our house…sports are beginning to overlap. As my son realizes his high school years are almost over, he is putting more emphasis on preparing for college and the sport that he wasn’t to play.

In an effort to keep his body in tip top shape, my son decided to add additional sports to his lineup of activities. Therefore, the new season that we are experiencing consists of track, Rugby, weekend camps and college visits. What has been your experience with your kids and sports…think you might be a sports mom?

Here are 3 signs that you are a sports mom

·         You show up at your child’s sporting event and you don’t have a clue about what is going on – My son is playing Rugby for the first time this year. He joined because a friend invited him to a practice and he wanted to stay in shape for football. I went to the game to support my son’s new venture. Seated in an arm chair along the sidelines, I watched as dads shouted commands, coaches bellowed good job and little kids ran around cheering. I winced as one player grabbed the opposing player around the neck and threw him to the ground. The player on the ground tossed the ball to someone else on his team as he hit the turf with a thud. 

I didn’t know whether I was watching a wrestling match, a soccer game, or football. Maybe it was a combination of all of these sports, but I was there to support my son. There is no guarantee I will learn the ins and outs of this sport. My son has played football for eight years and he says I barely understand the game.


·         You plan your family outings around your child’s practice schedule – When my older son was home for spring break, we decided to go the movie theater. Our plan was to catch an early evening show and get back home in time for me to relax before bedtime. My sixteen-year-old wanted to join us, but he had other obligations. He asked us to go to a later show in hopes that he would make it. He first had to go to “workouts” for football, then to track practice and wanted us to wait and see if he could join us.

·         You enjoy your child’s sporting event just as much as he does – Go team!

What would you add to the list of “signs of a sports mom?”

Monday, April 11, 2016

Muffins with Mom – National Pet Day

Beginning the journey of pet ownership

Are you a pet owner? If not, you can borrow my pet for a day. It’s National Pet Day, celebrated each year on April 11th. Did you know there are approximately 86.4 million cats and 78.2 million pet dogs? Well, maybe 78.3 since I unknowingly became a pet owner.

The idea behind National Pet Day is to celebrate the pet in your life. One article about this Holiday said to celebrate your dog by taking him on a long walk. My boys should read that article, they could use a few tips on how to celebrate a pet.

Our pet dog, Diamond, actually belongs to my oldest son. He asked for a dog for Christmas, and so began our journey of pet ownership. Unlike a newborn baby, we did not have time to wrap our minds around having a new addition to the family. Anytime something needs to be done for Diamond, my younger son reminds us that, “it’s not my dog.”

One day, someone let Diamond roam freely around the house, without supervision. Just like an unsupervised toddler, she got into things she should not have. My younger son, in all his wisdom decided to capture the moment with his phone rather than immediately resolve the problem. See the photo below.

A dog in search of...anything

For National Pet Day I would like to see my son take his dog for a walk, a run, just spend a little more time training her. Diamond is still learning her boundaries.

How will you celebrate National Pet Day? Here are 3 ways to get you started.

·         Watch a pet related movie – one of the favorites in our home was Airbud and 101 Dalmatians.
·         Have a photo shoot with your pet
·         Give your pet a special treat
What are your suggestions for celebrating National Pet Day?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Fitness Friday – Capturing a great moment

Have you ever experienced a time where you felt good about your workout? It’s that time when you’ve pushed yourself five minutes more or completed one more push-up than you did last time. My brother experienced one of those moments and asked someone to capture a picture of him in action.

My brother was pumping iron on the Hammer Press, four sets of 12 repetitions with 400 pounds. It was the most weight his 40ish body had handled in a great while. He asked mom to take a picture of him. The only thing is she misinterpreted his request…and videotaped the exercise.

Neither my brother nor mom knew their conversation was being recorded. The gist of the conversation was that my mom told my brother, “You’ll have to do it over, I didn’t get the picture.”

My brother responded with, “I can’t do that again, that’s 400 pounds.”

Take a peek at the video below.

Whether you capture your great moment on video or not, remember a fitness routine is all about doing your personal best.

What has been your greatest fitness success lately?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Muffins with Mom - 5 Commandments of traveling with teens

Have you ever traveled with teens, in a car, for hours and hours? If you answered yes, you need a set of guidelines before your next excursion -The Travel Commandments. This is a list I developed after traveling with my teens and other family members.

The list is comprised of things teens should govern themselves by when taking a road trip. Here’s the list.

·     The driver is in control of the music selection – if the driver wants to hear old school music, you’ll have to suffer through it temporarily.

·        If you’re not helping to drive, limit your complaints – e.g.  “it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold”, “are we there yet?” are comments that should
Be expressed sparingly.

·         Be willing to pass snacks to the driver…as often as necessary – this may mean waking from a nap, disrupting your sleep, to help keep the driver focused on the road.

·         When the car stops for gas, restroom break, etc. be prepared to get out of the car…even if you don’t feel like it – most likely the driver will not want to stop again in 30 minutes because you didn’t get out of the car at the previous stop.

·         Be prepared to help carry luggage, and not just your own

Bonus Commandment
·         Make each day of your journey fun and joyful

What would you add to the list of travel commandments for teens?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fitness Friday – Overcoming weight loss challenges

Are you excited when you lose weight? Last month I lost a couple of pounds when I had the flu. No need to feel sympathetic for me, I feel much better, and those lost pounds have found their way home. When I told my son about the lost pounds, he said I didn’t lose them, I just misplaced them.

The process of losing weight or maintaining healthy weight goals can be a challenge. I have discovered that it is best to embrace the glass is half full outlook rather than the glass is half empty. In other words find the silver lining in a dismal situation. Okay, enough adages and philosophical stuff.

What do you do when faced with a weight challenge? Address it head on. Prepare yourself for potential challenges in advance, have a plan. For instance, when planning a vacation, go into it knowing that your routine will be different. You may not be able to prepare meals as you would at home. You may not be able to engage in your normal workout. Have an alternate plan.

On a recent vacation, my alternate plan was to travel with snacks so I wouldn’t grab just anything and eat it. The best laid plans may not go exactly as you see it, but it’s better than no plan at all. I was armed with an apple in my purse, water in a cooler, but I still had my Cheez-Its and Pringles.

The other part of my maintain and not gain plan was to commit to exercising as often as was feasible during the five day journey. One hotel did not have a workout facility so I did stretches in the room. The next hotel did have a workout room and I took full advantage of it. Not only did I complete 40 minute workout, I was amused along the way.

It was early morning, before the sun made its transition on the scene that I ventured off to the small fitness center. There was an elliptical machine and a few treadmills. I was the only person in the room, to pass the time while on the treadmill; I began to read the signs posted on the wall. One sign contained the rules of the fitness center.

The first rule said, “Do not exercise alone.” Oops. Too late, that rule was broken. I remained in the fitness center, committed to my plan to exercise. I made each step count throughout my trip. Wherever there were stairs, I chose the stairs over the elevator. Although I induldged in special treats, I didn’t allow myself to feel guilty.

Being healthy isn’t just about losing weight, it’s choosing a healthy lifestyle, but every now and then I’d like to wish away a couple of pounds.

Have you ever experienced any weight loss challenges? How did you handle them?