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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Muffins with Mom - A Memorial Day Tribute

Happy Memorial Day…a day of remembrance.  This is a day for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. Let us remember those soldiers as well all others who have served and still serve our country.

On this Memorial Day holiday as you celebrate with family, take a moment to reflect on those family members who have passed on. May you keep their memories alive in your heart.  Our family celebrates our soldier, my grandfather who was laid to rest with honors.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Memorial Holiday.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fun Friday – Kids in the kitchen

When I stepped foot into my kitchen the other day, I should have immediately quarantined it as a hazmat area. There appeared to be a cloud of smoke surrounding the entire kitchen. As I inched closer to the counters, I could see a dusting of a white powdery substance. It was also lightly spread across the stove, bottom cabinets and the sink.

Was it flour that was blurring my vision, powdered drink mix? I didn’t know. At one point I thought I needed to clean the lenses of my eyeglasses. I began wiping the counters, and then noticed a dried purple substance around the base of the blender. It was instinct that caused me to tilt my head toward the ceiling to make sure the blender had not exploded sending contents everywhere. Nothing there.

Finally, a little bit of understanding was coming into view. An empty box of baking soda lay dormant on the kitchen table. It was a box that was full two days ago; only a teaspoon had been used in a recipe. What happened? There was no one around to ask, until…

My teen son arrived home from school and I launched into a series of questions. Do you know what happened in the kitchen? Why is there white stuff everywhere? Why didn’t you clean it up?

“Ma, slow down, I tried to clean it up. I wiped the stove.”

“No, you smeared the stove and just redistributed the baking soda. Were you experimenting with something?

“What if I was making something for you? He said grinning.


My son had a half day of school the day he was experimenting in the kitchen. He must have had way too much time on his hands. It looked more like a mad scientist had visited the kitchen, rather than a teen preparing something special. I never saw the end product of what my son was making, nor do I know if it was something edible.

What I did learn from my son, was that it was “move up” day at school. This is a day where all the students try out classes that they will take next year. My son will have a cooking class. Something discussed in that brief encounter with his new teacher must have caused him to come home and test his gourmet skills. I hope she has warning labels on everything in her classroom.

Kids in the kitchen, even if they’re teens need a little guidance. 

What has been your experience with kids and cooking?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Muffins with Mom – National Pet Month – 5 tips for dog walking etiquette

It’s National Pet Month and I have a pet story…sort of. It was December 2015 when I became a mom again…to a canine. I was reminded of the saying, you can’t choose your family; I didn’t think this applied to pets. My teen son wanted a dog for Christmas and unbeknownst to me he selected a pit bull. Diamond arrived at our house at seven weeks old.

While my son was away at college, I became the caregiver to Diamond. We have certainly learned a few things along the way. Arriving at our house in the middle of winter, Diamond was a house puppy for many months. As she got acclimated to the outdoors, we began to take walks. At first, she walked me more than I walked her.

What is the etiquette for walking your dog through your neighborhood? Here are three tips…
1.      Use a leash – when our puppy, Diamond was a few months old, I would let her out in the front yard to roam around in the grass. She would stay within a small area. As she got older she became more comfortable with her surroundings. One day she took off and ran up to the lady next door. Then she laid on her back with her paws in the air for the woman to scratch her back. The woman was also a dog owner and didn’t mind Diamond’s rambunctious behavior, but that may not be the case with everyone. Keep your dog on a leash when outside.

2.      Set boundaries – when people are walking near, keep your dog close to you. Some people may be afraid of dogs. Be sure your dog doesn’t destroy anyone’s landscape, flowerbed, etc. along his walk.

3.      Clean up – always carry some type of bag to clean up after your dog. No matter how cute or friendly your dog may be, no one wants to see or potentially step on your dog’s poop.

4.      Teach your dog to stop pulling his leash – our dog is still learning this one, but none the less it is a good goal.

5.      Give your dog a treat – take a few treats with you on your walk; reward your dog for following your directions. Provide an additional treat at the end of your walk.

Spring is in the air, my son is home to take over pet parenting duties and Diamond is teaching him a thing or two about dog walking.

If you're looking for help dog walking you can also check out Rover's dog walking service.

What tips would you add to etiquette for walking your dog?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fun Friday – The weed man – 3 lessons in marketing

“Ma, the weed man stopped by today,” my son yelled.


“The weed man. He left a note on the front door.”

When I entered the room where my son was perched on the couch, I understood with clarity what he was talking about. In his hand was an advertisement with the tag line, “weed man, we care for your lawn.”

The “weed man” was a local lawn care service specializing in weed control fertilization and pest management. It was not a man selling marijuana for medicinal nor pleasurable purposes. The weed man had my attention. I was impressed by his marketing.

How often have you bought a product or service because you liked the way it was presented? Here’s what I learned from the weed man’s marketing…

·         The name of his business was unique, attention grabbing, and memorable. His advertisement was a door hanger that served as his calling card, it was colorful and eye catching as well.

·         He has a product for which there is a demand.

·         A personal touch is always appreciated. The weed man did not make a cold contact by calling on the phone to offer his service. He came to my front door to introduce himself. Even though I peaked thorough my blinds, not wanting to open my door, I still applaud the effort he put forth.

My teen son recently had an interview to work with a lawn care service. It wasn’t with the weed man, but I reminded him about good customer service and marketing his product.

What do you view as good marketing?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wellness Wednesday – Cardio drumming - 3 secrets to a successful workout

photo credit

Thump, thump, click, click. Drum sticks pound against a 25 inch rubber ball as upbeat music plays in the background. It’s not your typical workout, but rather a unique means to get heart rate going and your workout in full swing. It’s Cardio Drumming.

It’s easy to say, I want to get in shape or I want to work out more. What’s the secret to establishing a fitness routine and sticking with it? Below are 3 secrets I have found successful.

·         Workout with a friend – when you work out with a friend you can motivate and encourage each other. Most recently a friend invited me to try a Cardio Drumming class. I had been saying for weeks that I was going to try this class, but had not gotten around to it.

·         Try something that doesn’t have the feel of a workout – Cardio Drumming. My first thought was, can hitting a ball with drum sticks really provide a workout. Yes, it can and it did. There is arm movement, squats, core work and energized music to make you think you’re dancing rather than working out.

·         Don’t compare yourself to others – whatever your fitness choice is, go at your own pace and challenge yourself based on your goals.

If your workout regime becomes too routine and you’re not seeing the results you want, shake things up a bit.  Try something different.

What tips do you have for a successful workout?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Muffins with Mom – 3 Lessons learned in church

Nearly twenty women dressed in white filled the first two pews of the church sanctuary. I was among those women joining in the celebration of Women’s Day and awaiting our turn on the program. A friend seated on the end of the pew got up to read a poem. While she was at the podium her phone chimed….several times.

My friend seated next to me dug through a bag in an attempt to find the singing phone. No luck. A few moments later, the phone chimed again, and kept chiming until my friend finally retrieved it from an inner pocket in the bag. She pressed several buttons trying to find the power button. She was unsuccessful…that darn smart phone.

I was determined not to let that phone get the best of us. I grabbed the phone from my friend and began fiddling with it. How hard could it be, there were only so many buttons to choose from? I pressed and held the button I thought would shut the phone down. Instead the voice command came on…during a quiet moment.

The voice command spoke to me, “I didn’t hear what you said.”
People glared in my direction. I tossed the phone onto the cushioned pew and up looked toward the choir as though I didn’t know what was going on. The eight year-old girl seated behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Was that your phone?” I assured her that it was not my phone, but belonged to the lady reading the poem.

In all my wisdom, I came up with a clever idea. I gave the phone to the child who was better with technology, and asked her to turn it off. She shut the phone down in a matter of seconds. My immediate thought was the phrase, and a child shall lead them.  I was grateful for the assistance from my young friend. And I owe her a bag of hot Cheetos as she reminded me.

There are three lessons I learned from this experience…

·         Not only do I have to put my phone on silence during church, but I need to make sure the person seated next to me does the same.
·         It’s okay to solicit help from someone younger than you. Everyone has value, talents and gifts.
·         Every experience is a learning experience.
What lessons have you learned recently?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Muffins with Mom – Determination and drive

Determination and drive

“Success is the best revenge.” My son came home from school one day frustrated about incidents that occurred. We had a discussion about how he should rise above obstacles and that is when I was reminded of the aforementioned phrase.

In our daily walk there will be situations that cause us to question our actions, our purpose, our inner being. Refuel and refocus by making a pledge to yourself.

A Pledge to Myself
Today I plan to be the best possible me no matter how good I am I know I can do better.

Today I plan to build on the works of yesterday, which will lead me into the rewards of tomorrow.

Today I plan to feed my mind knowledge, body strength, and spirit faith.

Today I plan to reach new goals, new challenges, and new horizons.

Today I plan to listen to the best of my drummer, who leads me onward in search of my dreams.

Today I plan to believe in me.

By Michael Wynn

It takes determination and drive to achieve your goals. What steps will you take today to achieve your best?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Feel Good Friday – Mother’s Day Wishes

Do you remember….?

Do you remember the first time you fell and scrapped your knee while playing? Mom was there to ease the hurt.

Do you remember graduation day, your stomach churning with butterflies before you walk across the stage?

Do you remember that day of labor, your belly round and breathing heavy, anticipating the arrival of a new life? Mom was there to help with your transition to motherhood.

As a mother you create memories that your child will cherish for years to come. Through the fun times and the challenges, you’re always mom. You display gentleness, strength, compassion and understanding, all the things that make you who you are…a great mom.

Treasure your moments with your mom and celebrate YOU as a great mom.

Wishing all moms, Grandma’s, aunts, mom like figures, happy Mother’s Day!

What do you remember most about your mom or your experience as a mom?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Muffins with Mom – 3 signs your dog feels a part of the family

 “No, Diamond, off the couch.” This is only one phrase often repeated to our rambunctious puppy. She runs from the kitchen to the living room, circles around a table, then back to the kitchen where she kids across the lanolin floor. She seems to do her own thing no matter what’s going on around her.

My son, Diamond’s real owner, is home from college and she is really excited to see him. She pulls on his pant leg and bites at his ankles. On more than one occasion I’ve noticed signs that Diamond really feels a part of the family. Below are three signs to look out for...

·         While you’re sitting down to eat, your dog sashays over to you, stands on her hind legs and puts a paw on your arm. She wants to eat what you are eating.

·         Your dog jumps on the couch and stretches out nest to you and watches T.V.

·         Your dog snores so loudly that I distracts you from what you are doing.

I don’t think Diamond realizes yet that she is a dog and she should run and play while she’s outside. She has a long leash and freedom to romp and play in the backyard. The other day I watched from a window as she played for a short while then just laid in the warm grass quietly soaking up the 

Feeling sorry for Diamond, I went outside and freed her from her leash and let her come inside the hour for a while. As soon as I unhooked the leash, she galloped up the steps to the sliding door and bolted inside. She ran into the kitchen, then the living room and jumped from one couch to the other.

“No, Diamond, off the couch.” She was back at it again.

Have you had any interesting experiences with your pet lately?