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, October 31, 2016

Muffins with Mom – College road trip too

It was the day of the Michigan State (my alma mater) versus Michigan football game. I had forgotten it was THE big game, until my son and I were stuck in traffic on the highway. We were on our way to visit a prospective college for him to attend.

Our journey was an example of Murphy’s Law – whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. I labeled our experience, College road trip too because a couple of years ago we took an eventful road trip with my other son.

As this particular trip unraveled, we arrived at our destination in a little over two hours, even with the traffic delay. The only thing is…it was a dummy mission-a term my older son described as going to an event/activity only to discover nothing there.

We arrived at the football field without any trouble, there were cars in the parking lot and a game was going on. Only, it wasn’t a football game as we thought it would be. It was rugby. We circled the parking lot trying to decide what to do.

Finally, my son got out of the car and talked to the college student collecting tickets at the gate. He had no idea about the college visit, however, he did tell us that there would be a football game at 7pm. It was 10:00am at that moment and we had no plans to stay around town that long. We were on a dummy mission.

Not wanting our trip to be a total loss, my son and I stayed and watched part of the rugby game. Since he played rugby for the first time last season, he enjoyed the action of the game. I, on the other hand, read my book.

On the way home I told my son to do a search on his phone for a Meijer gas station. I preferred this gas because I didn’t want to use all of my cash, nor a credit card. We pulled off the highway as the GPS directed us and found the gas station without any problems. It was shut down, out of business.

We went inside the Meijer store for a restroom break then continued down the road in search of another gas station. It wasn’t long before we found another gas station, not a Meijer gas station, but we needed gas. As I was pumping gas, a mouse came out of nowhere and stopped a foot from where I stood. It moved a couple inches then stopped again.

I screamed, put the gas pump on automatic and jumped back in the car. A dog in the car next to me started barking, the owner asked if I wanted the dog to chase away the mouse. At the same time, my son emerged from inside the gas station and thought I was being attacked. I assured him that I was fine, but he would have to finish pumping the gas.

I reset the GPS on my phone for home. My son set his to find a restaurant for us to have lunch. Both of the GPS systems began to talk at the same time. It was over stimulation. We dined at an Applebee’s restaurant where my Oriental Chicken salad was delicious…as well as my Brownie Delight.

College road trip too wasn’t so bad after all.

Have you had an eventful road trip lately?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Fun Friday – When teens say the darnest things and other observations

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Senior Skip Day
My teen son came in my bedroom the other night and announced, “Ma tomorrow is Senior skip day.”

My response was, “Oh, that’s good. You can stay home and help clean the house.”

It didn’t take my son long to retreat from my room and decide to prepare for his next day at school.

New Hairstyle
I recently changed my hairstyle; it was a distinctive change that took getting used to for me. In fact, the first time I walked past a mirror with my new look, I had to do a double take. I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me.

Just when I was getting used to my look, my son had a revelation. He said, “How long are you going to keep that hairstyle? It makes you look older.”

“Older than what…dirt, sand?”

I think my son forgot that I AM older.

Child Proof Containers
Have you ever had to struggle to open a container that had a child proof cap on it? Yes..? Me too. Then there are the child proof caps that are difficult to reattach. For example…

As I searched for something in my purse, I noticed a chalky substance at the bottom of my purse. Upon further investigation, I discovered a few pain relievers (over the counter headache relief). Not far away was the container, upside down, with the cap off.

It was obvious that the child proof cap had gotten the best of me and refused to stay in place.

What funny observations have you experienced lately?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Muffins with Mom – The Family scavenger hunt

When was the last time you engaged in an unplanned event with your family? My teen boys and I had an impromptu scavenger hunt around the house. It started out as a game of hide and seek for me. I took my glasses off to read the small print on a label, then walked away to do something else. And that’s when the scavenger hunt began.

I lifted bed pillows, patted the blanket on my bed and checked my eye glass case. I turned in circles like a dog chasing her tail. No glasses. My search was compounded by the fact that I couldn’t SEE very far without the glasses. It was at that realization that I called in the big guns…my teen boys.
“I need help finding my glasses,” I yelled from my bedroom.

No one came running. I yelled out once again, and one son emerged from his bedroom and attempted to help me retrace my steps. After a few minutes I remembered something we could use in our search…my old pair of glasses.

I pulled my old glasses from their resting place and set them upon the bridge of my nose. They were indeed an asset to our hunt. I could clearly see what I was looking for. My other son yelled out commands to us from where he was perched, playing his video game. “Did you check on your bed? That’s where you were reading the form I gave you.”

Sherlock Holmes thought he’d uncovered a clue, but I had in fact, already checked the dresser, the bed and the other locations he yelled out. Since I could see for the time being, I called off the search.

Thirty minutes later, I stumbled upon my glasses. They were in my linen closet, sitting on top of neatly stacked, folded towels. It was the spot where I set them as I grabbed the cold medicine to read the symptoms on the label. It must have been my stuffy nose that also clouded my vision, leading to the missing glasses.

The family scavenger hunt ended where it began, with me.

Have you ever misplaced something and had to involve family members to help you find it?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Feel Good Friday – Weakness into strength

Have you ever heard someone say, “You have to turn your weaknesses into strengths?” Below is a story that supports that premise.

Boy’s Weakness
A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,”(Teacher in Japanese) the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.
Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.
This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.” Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament.
He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.
“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”
“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”
The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
Moral: Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame God, the circumstances or ourselves for it but we never know that our weaknesses can become our strengths one day. Each of us is special and important, so never think you have any weakness, never think of pride or pain, just live your life to its fullest and extract the best out of it!”

Author Unknown

Have you ever turned your weakness into a strength?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday Wonders - What would you do?

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Have you ever experienced a situation where once it was over, you thought about how you could have handled it differently? What would you do if the following situation happened to you?

As I was shopping at my local grocery store, I walked down an aisle where a couple of pre-teen kids were playing with a ball. It was one of those bouncy balls, about eight inches in diameter and light weight.

The youth threw the ball back and forth to each other, laughing as they played. As I strolled past the first child, while studying food on the shelves, I felt a bop against the back of my head. I paused without turning around and said to myself, did I just get hit in the back of my head? Self answered and said, yeah you did. I just chuckled.

The kids looked at each other, the girl covered her mouth and looked away, the boy sheepishly said, “sorry.” I smiled at them and said, “Its okay.”

In the next aisle, I encountered the youth again. I smiled at them and said, “Let me get past you, one of you has bad aim.” They returned the smile and we went our separate ways. There were no injuries suffered, I was more amused than anything else.

This situation reminded me of the days when my boys would grab a ball from the bin in the store and begin bouncing it or tossing it to each other. I can only hope they didn’t hit anyone in the head.  

How would you have led the scenario?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Muffins with Mom – 3 Tips before starting a DIY project

clearing out weeds

When I started my DIY project, I thought it would mean Do It Yourself…with some help. I searched my house, I called out the names of my precious cherubs, but the teens were nowhere to be found. One was at practice and the other at work. What’s a mother to do? Do it Yourself (DIY).

The last two (or three) times my boys cut the grass, they didn’t cut down the weeds. I heard excuses such as:

“I cut the grass, my brother can do the weeds.”
“I ran out of time.”
“The weed whacker doesn’t work.”

One of the three excuses above was true, the weed whacker does not work. This did not change the fact that the weeds were taking on a life of their own. One sun shining day I stood looking through the kitchen window into my backyard. It was then that I decided the weeds were coming out.

Since I never fixed the weed whacker, I grabbed the nest best thing, a pair of scissors and tackles the weeds. I get rid of everything except one strong branch that had been in the ground so long that it was turning into a tree. I called a friend with a small saw for that one.

Below are three tips to keep in mind when you consider taking on a DIY project.

1.      Do it yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t receive help.
2.      Be sure to have the proper tools for the job before you begin.
3.      Have an idea of how much time you want to devote to the project.

There was one other DIY project that appeared on my task list…pulling up carpet in my living room and dining room. When I began this project, I knew it would take time, so I conquered it in stages. I kept in mind the tips above, I enlisted help where I could find it (even if it was our dog who first volunteered to help-video below).

Once Diamond and I got the carpet job started, my boys completed the job.

What tips do you have for completing a Do It Yourself project?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Muffins with Mom – The short story-a work of fiction by a teen

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“Ma, can I have a couple dollars to buy a pack of Twizzlers?” said my teenage son.

“Only if you share them with me.”

My son hesitated at the thought at having to share his precious candy (that I was paying for) with me. After a pregnant pause he launched into his version of the picture book, If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff.

My son’s book would be titled, If You Give Your Mom a Twizzler. If you’re not a candy connoisseur, Twizzlers is the name brand for the braided licorice. Strawberry is the favorite in our house.

If you give your mom a Twizzler,

She’ll ask you if you’ve fed the dog.

Once you feed the dog, she’ll give you some dog tips. She is not a dog expert.

After she’s done with all the great tips (wink), she’ll tell you to brush your teeth.
Even though you had nothing to eat.

Next she’ll tell you to wash your clothes…
Even the ones you hid in the closet.

Thought of washing clothes will remind her that she’s getting tired.

She’ll ask you to massage her head…
But never let you sit on her bed.

As she begins to drift off to sleep, she’ll remember the Twizzler you were supposed to give her.
Chances are she’ll still want that Twizzler or request her money back.
The End

After reciting his story to me, my son told me that he is required to take a short story writing class next semester. He is looking forward to the class about as much as he looks forward to doing chores…very little.

One thing my son is excited about is that he can always use his Mama as practice for his tall tales
Has your child ever made up any stories?

Just for fun, check out the short video reading of Laura Numeroff's picture book - If You Give a Moose a Muffin.
YouTube Video Credit:westchesterenglish