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 28, 2017

Fun Friday – The price of friendship

photo credit: I love my friends and family

How often do take the time to just sit and chat with a friend?

Mom and I decided to sit at a local fast food restaurant in her neighborhood and work on a couple of projects. As we chatted and worked, mom reminded me that there was a 30 minute time limit for paying customers. The policy was in effect to deter people from just loitering at the establishment.

In order to be in compliance (as a paying customer), we made a purchase.  When the cashier asked what we wanted I spoke first, “I’ll have an orange juice.”

“What size?”

Mom chimed in, “Give us two large orange juices.”

I guess I took too long to respond.

“That will be $5.91.”

I looked at my mom as I handed the money to the cashier. “$5.91?! Is that fresh squeezed, are they using a bag of oranges? I can get a half gallon of orange juice for less than that.”

Mom just smiled, “I didn’t think it would cost that much. I don’t normally buy orange juice.”

We took our seats, sipped our orange, and chatted about our current works in progress. We laughed, we reminisced and part of the time we did nothing at all. By the time we left the restaurant, it was two hours later that we initially walked through the door.

We had broken the rule of the 30 minute limit. I told mom to just consider the cost of the orange juice as our booth rent. $5.91…a small price to pay for time well spent.

When was the last time you spent quality time with a friend or loved one? Do it now.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Muffins with Mom – Parenting blueprint – 3 tips for effective parenting

“Mama, did you see that tackle I made?”

“Did you see me shake that boy when I scored that lay-up?”

Over the years there have been many cheers from the 50 yard line, shouts from gymnasium bleachers and countless end of season banquets. And there have been days where parenting was less than glamorous.  Is there a parenting blueprint to guide us through the jungle of parenthood?

I haven’t discovered a parenting blueprint, but I have come up with three tips that I’ve found effective for a parenting toolkit.

1.      Find Balance – often as parents we believe we have to always put our children first, to the point of not taking care of ourselves. In order to be healthy and experience less stress we must have balance. Take care of the children, but also find something that you like to do and do it. Don’t think you have to wait until the children grow up.

2.      Seek parenting resources – participate in a play group if you have younger children. If you have teens, share your experiences with other parents of teens. You will discover that you are not the only parent with a teen you have to beg to clean his room, wash the dishes or do homework.

3.      Support your child’s interests – my boys have been involved with sports from the time of pre-school soccer, little league football, AAU sports and high school sports. My younger son (high school senior) added rugby to his list of sports last year. I don’t know anything about rugby, but when he runs with the ball, I’m right there cheering for him and the team.

Below are a couple of recent videos of my time on the sidelines of sporting events.

Rugby - Washtenaw Dark Army

High School Track Meet

What tips would you add in developing a parenting blueprint?

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fun Friday – Teen drivers

Teens are excited to drive when they first receive their license. They want to meet up with friends and hang out until you text and say, “It’s time to come home.” And the minute you ask your teen to run an errand for you, his disposition changes.

A chorus of moans and groans begin…

“I’m tired. I had school all day AND I worked out.”

“You want me to do my homework don’t you?”

The other day I asked my son to take his brother to the airport. The next day he had to meet his dad at 10pm to complete an errand. My son said, “I’m turning in my car keys.”

I ignored his comedic comment and gave him yet another assignment the following day. “Meet your Uncle Norm to pick up Granny.”

His shoulders slumped and exhaled loudly as he said, “I feel like an Uber driver except without the pay.”

My son’s excitement to drive everywhere had waned. He still likes to be able to drive where he wants to go. However, he has learned to put into perspective based on his available resources (money, time, etc.).

What has been your experience with a teen driver?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Muffins with Mom – High school graduation – 3 important reminders

photo credit

Parents of graduating high school seniors met in the school cafeteria. School officials and the Senior Coordinator provided us with final reminders about fees due, prom and the graduation ceremony.

Ah, graduation. There was a handout about the do’s and don’ts at the graduation ceremony. The students are not allowed to bring in beach balls, silly string, balloons and the list went on. I raised my hand and asked, “Are parents allowed to do back flips?”

I’ve paid for yearbooks, cap and gown fees, and athletic fees. I’ve been to parent/teacher conferences, the principal’s office and volunteer events. Just maybe I’d like to hit a beach ball, throw confetti and douse myself with silly string. But…I’m a rule follower. The silly string can wait until we arrive home.

As you prepare for your teen’s graduation, keep in mind three important things.

1.      Manage your stress level – plan ahead as much as possible. Check to make sure your teen doesn’t owe any money for lost books, her lunch account or other equipment.
2.      Keep your sense of humor – when you begin to feel overwhelmed, find something to smile or laugh about.
3.      Celebrate the moment – the final weeks of school go by quickly. Make time to celebrate with your child, family and friends.

What tips would you offer to a parent preparing for a high school graduation?