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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloweensie Contest

(from Susanna Leonard Hill’s Blog)

The Contest: write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in the 100 words), using the words shivercauldron, and howl.  Your story can be scary, funny, or anything in between, poetry or prose, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words (you can go under, but not over).

Here’s my entry…

How Do Ninjas Trick or Treat?

Ninjas tip-toe street to street,
Faces covered don’t you peek.

Cauldrons filled to the brim,
Ninjas leap limb to limb.

What’s inside? Hold your nose,
Icky, sticky, stinky toes.

How do Ninjas trick or treat?
Dance and prance to a beat.

Howls heard far away,
Ninjas rush to save the day.

Cauldrons filled to the brim,
Tip and spill, leave faces grim.

One Ninja shivered, one Ninja shook.
Two Ninjas sprinted to the nearest brook.

Cauldrons empty, sticky toes no more,
Toes hop to the brooks bumpy cool floor.

Ninjas tip-toe street to street,
home at last ready for sleep.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Muffins with Mom - National Carve a Pumpkin Day - 3 ways to celebrate

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping
It’s the time of year where kids are going to Trunk or Treat parties, harvest gatherings and door- to- door trick or treating. It’s also National Carve a Pumpkin Day, celebrated on October 31st. This is a good opportunity to involve the entire family in creative fun.

Put a different spin on your Halloween festivities. Here are ways to celebrate National Carve a Pumpkin Day:

1.      Hold a contest – gather the family and carve pumpkins together. When the carving is complete, determine the funniest pumpkin, most creative pumpkin, or scariest pumpkin.
2.      Cook something pumpkiny – not sure that pumpkiny is a word, but it sounds fun. Bake pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pies or pumpkin muffins. Of course, you must carve a pumpkin first.
3.      Have a pumpkin story time – after carving pumpkins as a family, gather in your favorite cozy spot at home and share pumpkin related stories.

Most of all, have fun. The emphasis should be on the process and not the end result. Happy Halloween.

If you want more ideas on ways to celebrate National Carve a Pumpkin Day check out the article, 40 ways to celebrate National Pumpkin Day. Click here.

What would you add to this list of ways to celebrate National Carve a Pumpkin Day?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fun Friday – All in a day’s work - The bird lady

photo credit: VideoBlocks

This week has been super busy, so I've grabbed a blog post from my archives, that I had fun with. Enjoy...

I am not a bird whisperer by any means, but my employee (Mary) has become our in-house expert at handling birds. No, we do not work at a bird sanctuary, but a community center. Our facility is a place for physical activity, family gatherings, and youth programs. Not for stray birds seeking to have a little fun.

It was a warm sunny day when Mary called me from my office and said, “Angie, we’ve got another bird at the entry door.” It was the second time within two weeks that a bird had gotten into the vestibule area of our center. Stuck between the outer double doors and the double doors leading inside, the bird was hiding somewhere unseen.

I walked to the door, followed by Mary – dubbed by me as the bird lady. I gave her this name because she reminded me of the bird lady from the movie Home Alone 2. She had no fear of birds. In fact, since Mary had just scooted a bird out of the center a week prior, I should have let her lead the way.

Assuming the role of fearless leader, I was the first to walk through the double doors in search of the bird.  I peeked behind a couple of pillars, no bird. I looked up at the ceiling no bird. Then out of nowhere, the bird swooshed up in the air. I screamed and ran back through the door to our lobby area and told Mary, “You’re on your own from here.”

After Mary roared with laughter, she asked me to bring her a cloth so she could gently escort the bird back outside. I’m all about empowerment, so I let Mary take the lead on this situation and I followed her direction. Yes, empowerment, that’s what we’ll call it (wink). The bird was released and I was glad Mary was a part of our team.

Every day is different in our office, but there’s never a dull moment. Thanks team for all you do to make our place operate smoothly.

What has been your recent, All in a day’s work experience? Was it something that happened during your daily at home parenting?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Wellness Wednesday - 3 Tips for financial wellness

We often place emphasis on our physical health and well-being, but how is your financial health wellness? Does it feel like your paycheck is gone as soon as you get it? Are you left with the feeling that there’s more month than money? You are not alone.

I’m no expert, but I have perked up, tilted my head like a puppy, and listened when there was a conversation about finances. I’ve heard people say things like, “You have to set goals” or “cut back on your expenses.”

Recently I came across an article that gave tips for financial wells. Below are 3 tips from that article.

1.      Create a plan
2.      Pay off debt
3.      Pay yourself first

Click here for the full list.

Prudential says the first step to financial wellness is to know where you stand. They offer a quiz you can take as a quick assessment.

Do you have tips for financial wellness?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Motivational Monday – Don’t Quit

We are in the last quarter of the year, it may seem like time has gone by at lightning speed. Yet, there are things you still want to accomplish. Don’t quit, regroup and go after whatever it is you want to accomplish.

Perhaps you’ve experienced financial difficulty, health challenges or parenting woes; Don’t give up. You are not alone. One scripture tell us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

One of my favorite poems is Don’t Quit by John Greenleaf Whittier
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit—
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Go out and conquer this day. God’s got your back.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fun Friday – Laughter Yoga

photo credit: Groupon

Did you know that you can get fit and laugh at the same time? Laughter Yoga can do this for you. Laughter Yoga is a new form of exercise that was created in India in the mid-1990’s. This unique form of exercise is said to be the equivalent to internal jogging.

The best thing about Laughter Yoga is that you don’t have to have a sense of humor or know any jokes. You’re invited to laugh for no reason. The idea is that you fake it until the laughter becomes real. If I were in the class I’m pretty sure people would be laughing at my poses. No faking required.

You may be wondering how laughter and yoga tie together. Between your belly laughs, you are also practicing breathing techniques. I haven’t tried Laughter Yoga yet, but it looks and sounds like something worthy of a trial run. 

Read the full article about Laughter Yoga here.www.laughonlineuniversity.com/laughter-yoga/

Are you ready to get fit using laughter and breathing techniques? Ha!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Motivational Monday – 3 Reasons why play should be a part of your day

When was the last time you took time to play? I hope it wasn’t when you were a child. If your doctor wrote you a prescription for Play would you have it filled?

For today only, call me Dr. Ang and here is your prescription:
Rx – 30 minutes of mindless play 3 x’s/week
There’s no co-pay.

Here are three reasons why you should include play into your day:

·         It gives you a chance to spontaneous
·         It helps to control stress – you are less cranky and may react to stress differently.
·         It’s therapeutic – experts say that play enhances productivity at work; At home, play can enhance “bonding and Communication” (The Washington Post online).

Now, think back to things you enjoyed as a child. Perhaps you enjoyed sports, painting, crafts, the list could be endless. These are just a few ideas to get you started, don’t be afraid to try a new activity.

What type of play will you engage in to fulfill your prescription?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Feel Good Friday – Happiness is...

Happiness is...silly moments

Happiness is…

·         sipping a warm cup of coffee on a crisp fall day
·         watching a funny movie, play or comedy
·         watching a sunrise or sunset
·         candlelight and soft music
·         a hug
·         hanging out with friends
·         a rainbow after a storm
·         a writing retreat
·         seeing my boys mature into young men
·         feeling blessed

It’s time to fill your happiness quota. What does happiness look like for you?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Motivational Monday – Perseverance

The sky was a blanket of darkness combined with spots of fog. I focused on the tail lights of the car in front of me as I drove down the highway. It was past 7am on a Saturday morning, but the sun refused to shine. With a warm cup of coffee in the cup holder and the GPS set, the five-hour trip was bearable. I pressed onward. Its football season and I’m a diehard Verges fan (my son).

Liquid sunshine, in the form of rain, beat down on the car windshield. I increased the speed of the wipers and kept driving. Perseverance. I was determined to make it to another game before the end of the season. Time seemed to stand still as I passed mile marker, after mile marker, until finally, I saw signs directing me to the college. Perseverance.

After a few more miles, and several turns, I had achieved success. I saw stadium lights shining brightly through the overcast clouds. Carrying my stadium chair, blanket, and an umbrella, I was football ready. A smiling face at the gate handed me a program, it was kickoff time.

As the game progressed, I was not the only one who experienced perseverance. The players on my son’s team pushed through fumbles, off-sides calls, and other penalty calls. The defense was strong, holding their opponent from scoring at the five-yard line. Our offense took the field again and scored. Tenacity and teamwork kept the game score in close range.

Our team lost the game, but at no point did they give up their best effort. After the game, I listed as both my sons recapped the game, discussing plays that were run, most of it was language that I didn’t understand. One thing I did understand, was the sense of calmness that washed over me.  I was engulfed in thoughts of how my young men persevered through high school and now college.

I’m so glad I persevered through parenting challenges to arrive at today. Feeling blessed.

If you are struggling with a situation, keep your faith and P.U.S.H (Pray Until Something Happens).

Friday, October 5, 2018

Feel Good Friday – Have a Can Do Attitude

“Train insane or stay the same.” This was the statement the fitness coach left us with at the end of an intense workout. This simple statement packs a punch. If you’ve ever said, “I want to lose a little weight” or “I want to get in shape,” you know it can be a challenge.

Many times we focus on reasons why we can’t do something – not enough time, it’s not a good time, maybe when the kids are older. It’s time to adopt a “can do” attitude.

One year ago I began working out at a new gym. My goal was to improve my fitness. I wanted to be more toned, stronger, and lose a few pounds. Two out of three isn’t bad. I’ve lost weight, but a couple of pounds keep finding their way back. Overall, I’m stronger and have developed a healthier lifestyle.

When I changed fitness facilities, I changed my attitude. I learned a new language. I had never heard of a Burpee, Burpee Suicides, Squat Press or a Bosu Ball. I learned what it means to eat clean. I had to tell myself I can do this and I did it. And I keep doing it. You can too.

When you do something long enough it becomes a habit. Develop a habit of finding something positive to speak over your life each day. A blog I follow encouraged readers to “make a list of reasons you can have, do or be what you want (Susan Lieurance – The Morning Nudge).” I’m calling this a Can Do List.

Below are a few sayings to get you started with your Can Do attitude.

·         “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV
·         “Where there is a will there is a way.” Pauline Kael
·         “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.” Ronnie Lott

Do you have a Can Do attitude or will you develop one?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Words of Wisdom – Inspirational Quotes

Start each day with something inspirational. Below are quotes to get you started.

“A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.” 
----Charles Gordy

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing.
----Maurice Chevalier

“Don’t aim for success if you want it. Just believe in yourself, do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
----David Frost

Monday, October 1, 2018

Muffins with Mom – 5 Things I wish I’d learned 5 years ago

Today’s blog post is one I posted a few years ago, but feel it’s still relevant and may strike a chord with you.

Is there such a thing as a Parenting Boot Camp? If there is, I need to sign up now. Maybe I could even be a guest speaker for this event. The boot camp could meet weekly and cover parenting tips for various ages and stages of the growing child. I’d lead with preparation tips for raising a teen.

Being in the midst of raising teens led me to write today’s blog post about things I wished I’d learned before NOW (or 5 years ago).

1.      A two-minute warning does not work for teens – in the game of football a two-minute warning means there’s two minutes left in the game. I thought I could use this concept in parenting. When asking my son to complete a task, he often moves slowly. So I’ve told him he has two minutes to get moving. However, just like in the game of football, his two-minute warning can last five minutes or more.

2.      When someone says the teen years can be challenging, believe them – When my boys were 16 and 13 years old they were typical teens who wanted to hang out with their friends. I thought I had it made as I boasted to myself, the teen years aren’t so bad, people exaggerated. No they didn’t. Challenges will come, but you will make it through if you remain grounded in your faith.

3.      As your kids grow older so will you – this might sound obvious, but my body was not aware of this. Sometimes I exercise to a work out DVD. During a recent exercise session, the instructor did a lot of kicks and jumping that I had trouble keeping up with. In the past I was able to do the moves without much difficulty, fast forward a couple of years and gravity is now keeping me from flying through the air with ease. The instructor was smiling and talking through the moves. I was panting and reaching for a glass of water.

I have considered writing to someone requesting that a warning label be applied to the DVD packaging. The warning could read: If you’re over 45, you might want to select a different exercise program. Then again this may be covered under the disclaimer we often hear, “consult your physician before beginning…”

4.      The high school years go by quickly – One day you’re enrolling your child for high school, then you blink your eye and he’s planning for senior prom. I often heard that “kids grow up so fast” and “enjoy them while they’re young.” All of this is true. My younger teen is still at home so I have another opportunity to experiment and practice raising a teen. Once both my boys are adults, I should be an expert.

5.      You’ll make mistakes and it’s ok – love unconditionally.