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, February 28, 2018

Words of Wisdom - Motivational Quotes

YouTube Video Credit: HaseenA Shaik

Monday, February 26, 2018

Muffins with Mom – The Squirrel Whisperer

Innocent squirrel

Reclined on the coach watching the evening news on T.V., my mother was settled in for the night…until. She heard a scratching sound somewhere in the room, but did not investigate. Moments later, she glanced away from the T.V. and looked over at her staircase. She saw something of a shadowy figure.

As mom’s eyes focused, she made contact with the black bushy tailed squirrel who was peering at her between the spindled rails of the staircase. Before she could [AV1] blink, it dashed back up the stairs and into one of the rooms. And that was just the beginning.

It took mom a little while to collect herself and trudge up the stairs to the bedrooms. She did not hear the pitter patter of little feet, nor did she search for them. Instead, the quickly closed the bathroom and bedroom doors. And retreated back to the living room couch, where she slept intermittently.

The scratching continued the next day and mom had enough. She called me and asked if we were still planning to have lunch together. I said, “Yes, as long as it’s not at your house.” During lunch we discussed a strategy for getting the squirrel out of the house. We decided to call my teenage son.

My son met us at mom’s house. He strolled through the door like a sheriff from an old western movie. He put his clenched fists on his waist like Superman and began giving orders, “Ma, you take broom and Granny can use the mop.” We opened the front door and propped the screen door open with a kitchen chair.

My son climbed the stairs carrying his broom, he didn’t hear a sound, but he saw evidence of the squirrel. Sawdust was sprinkled across the front of a closed bedroom door. He opened the door slowly, using the flashlight on his cell phone to search for the squirrel. The squirrel wasn’t moving. My son pushed the door open wider and stumped his foot on the floor to rouse the squirrel.

In a matter of seconds the squirrel shot from the room, began to descend the stairs in my direction. I screamed, the squirrel tried to run back upstairs, but my son, blocked him with his broom. The squirrel scrambled back down the stairs and headed in mom’s direction, she guarded a corner with her mop. The squirrel escaped outside. Whew.

I felt like we were playing floor hockey. My son, the squirrel whisper, wild animal tamer, had devised a plan that worked. Sometimes it’s okay to listen to your children, teach them to be resourceful and not fearful.

This is the squirrel I envisioned coming from the bedroom.

Have you had any encounters with wild animals?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cluck-A-Doodle Valentine - 3rd Annual Valentiny Writing Contest

It's time again for Susanna Leonard Hill's Annual Valentiny Contest. The rules were to create a story in which someone is hopeful, using a maximum of 214 word. Below is my entry.

Cluck-A-Doodle Valentine
(214 words)

Quack, Oink, Moo, cluck a-doodle-doo. Animals in an uproar. Barnyard friends love Cora’s Valentine cupcakes but, Cora has a broken wing. And a bad squawk.

Who will bake cupcakes for the Valentine festival?

Pig dumped flour into a bowl.

“Mooove over, let me add the milk.”

“Too much milk,” said Pig.

“How do you know? No one can read Cora’s chicken scratch.”

Duck waddled over to help. She flapped to the table, “Sugar is what we need.”  

“Squawk,” Cora wailed.

“Don’t get your feathers ruffled,” Pig snorted. Tap, tap, crunch. Pig cracked eggs…

…a little too hard.

“We must prepare the Cluck-a-doodle cupcakes for the festival or everyone will be heartbroken,” said Duck.

“I hope we can follow Cora’s recipe,” said Pig.

“Mmmm, more eggs,” Cow moaned.

Eggs were beaten, milk poured and batter stirred.

“Red drops,” Pig bellowed.

“Squawk,” Cora wailed.

“Hush Cora, we’re almost done,” said Pig.

Cow slowly opened the oven and slid the mixture inside.

Everybody waited. Cow grazed, Duck went for a swim and Pig took a mud bath.

As the sun began to hide, it was time.

Hot from the oven, the cupcakes were… flat. Tiny.

The festival must go on.

Quack, Oink, Moo, cluck-a-doodle-doo. Valen-tiny cookies for all of you.

“Cluck-a-doodle yum,” said Duck.

“Squawk,” wailed Cora.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Muffins with Mom – Chase the Lion-A pursuit of your dream

photo credit:amazon.com

Deep in snow, away at college, my son called and asked how much snow we had here at home. “The forecast is predicting 7-9 inches,” I said.

“That’s one thing I like about being at school…I don’t have to shovel snow.”

My son had his own perspective on the benefits of attending college. His comment opened the door to a teachable moment. Stating the obvious, I told him, “College could help you in the pursuit of your dreams.”

In his quick wit he responded with, “Ma, I know you can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes.”
My son’s response was sarcasm, meaning he understood what I was implying. I’ll share with you as I shared with him, a book that I just began reading. The title is Chase the Lion – If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It’s Too Small, by Mark Batterson. Here’s the hook. Go after a dream that is bigger than you are.

Batterson says, “Set God-sized goals. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.” I was drawn into this book at page one. Batterson says that we are dreamcatchers, not just dreamers. According to Batterson, our greatest legacy is the dreams we inspire in others. While you’re chasing your dream, encourage someone else to do the same.

Suit up in your armor, get ready for battle, and chase your lion.

In pursuit of his dream, my son drives through snowbound roads daily to football workouts. Football is one path along his journey. I encourage him, as I encourage you, face your fears and chase the lion.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fun Friday – 5 signs you have extremely dry skin

photo credit: livestrong.com

Dressed in a knee length skit and tights, I was ready for the work day. My son shared a ride to work with me. During our drive, I rubbed my hands across my tights while sitting at a traffic light. My son said, “What is that crackling sound?”

“My hands?!”

Yes indeed, my hands were causing a crackling, popping sound as I rubbed them across my leg. It should not sound like a fire kindling when my hands touch nylon/cotton fabric. Do you think you may have extremely dry skin, but you’re not sure? Just for fun, here are 3 signs that you have dry skin.

1.      Sandpaper like hands

2.      Spaces between your fingers are white

3.      Your feet create a popping sound as they glide across a blanket

4.      Your lips hurt when you smile

5.      Cuts on your fingertips

When winter weather wreaks havoc on your skin what can you do? Take extra precautions. Here are 3 simple things you can do to protect your skin.

1.      Moisturize your skin – experts say you should apply your lotions to damp skin as this helps to seal in moisture.

2.      Wear Chapstick

3.      Keep your skin covered – wear gloves, hat

On the drive home from work, while stopped at another traffic light, I reflected over the day. This time, rubbing hands across my tights, there was no snap, crackle, pop. I kept my hands moisturized and I was wearing gloves.

What tips do you have for taking care of extremely dry skin?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Muffins with Mom – Healthy eating – 3 tips for supporting your teen

When a teen decides to adapt a healthier eating lifestyle 

“I’m going Vegan.” Those were the words my teen son announced to me one day. He said, “I going to go vegetarian first, then move into Vegan.” The following day my young adult son made his announcement. “Ma, I’m going to become a Vegan.”

I told my boys, “What you’re GOING to do, is finish that three pounds of ground beef you had me buy last week. After you make those tacos you wanted, you can go Vegan, Vegetarian, or become a Veterinarian (just needed a ‘V’ word), but you’re not going to waste that food.”

Healthy lunch prepared by a teen

It’s heart-warming to see your child taking an interest in their health and you want to support any positive action. Is becoming a vegetarian, vegan ____________fill in the blank, right for your child? Here are three tips to help your child determine if a change in eating is tight for him.

1.      Determine the motivating factor – what is driving this change for your child? Was it something she read or saw on T.V.? Is it something that a friend is doing? Is he preparing doing this to get in shape for a sport?

2.      Research – let your child research this area (with your assistance as needed). He should learn what it means to be Vegan or Vegetarian. Talk to someone who is living this lifestyle. Seek recipes that are simple.

3.      Consult a nutritionist/physician – does your child have health concerns? Will this be a drastic change in eating for her?

Disclaimer: I do not have a background in the medical field. These are things I learned through parenting my boys.

If you tips for teens seeking to become Vegan, please share.