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, July 31, 2019

Words of Wisdom – Mid-week Motivation – Quotes of Encouragement

“Your name is in rooms your feet haven’t entered yet.”       Steve Harvey

“God is fixing the broken pieces of your life. Get ready for restoration. God is preparing you for everything.”                                                                                    Women_of_prayer

“God is already working on the things you have been worried about.”

Yolanda Adams - Victory
YouTube Credit: Michael Mylvaganam
I don't own the rights to this music

May an avalanche of abundance come your way. Walk like you already have the victory.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Muffins with Mom – 3 Signs that it’s time to send your child back to school – college bound

When kids have too much time on their hands...time to refocus and prepare for back to school.
My college son - the younger years

Binders, notebooks, ink pens and backpacks, these are all signs that back to school is near. In my house, the back to school indicators are a little different. It’s back to college for my cherubs.

Before I even noticed school supplies on the store shelves, there were situations that caused me to cry out, “When does school start for you?” Here are 3 signs that can cause you to encourage your young adult child to prepare for departure.

1.      You tell your child to unload the dishwasher and he says, “I didn’t use any of those dishes.”

2.      There seven pairs of shoes scattered near your front door, and none of them are yours.

3.      You’re out late and your child sends a text message saying, “What’s for dinner?” You know this child can cook because he’s sent you photos of his delectable dinners when he was away at school.

The irony of these situations is that you know you have taught your child about responsibility. This was evident to me one sunny day as I walked past my sons’ car in the driveway of our house. I noticed his windows were part of the way down.

I peeked into my son’s car, there was no trash on the floor or in the door pockets. No stains on the seats. Thoughts began to form in my head. I could take the empty Gator Aid bottle he left in my car and toss it through his window. Maybe I could drop a small candy wrapper on floor mat, for him to discover later. Hmmm.

Had I carried out my plot, it would have been considered a bad parenting moment. The drawback to that plan is that somehow I would still come out as the looser. My son would have needed to use my supplies to clean up the mess. When I told my son what I thought about doing he said, “Wow, that’s childish.”

“Saying you didn’t use any of the dishes is not childish?” I retorted.

Life’s little lessons continue, even after your children graduate from high school.

What would you add to the list of signs that it’s time for back to school?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Fun Friday – 5 Signs it’s going to be hot day

Hot Squirrel  - Photo Credit

It’s so hot outside that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Have you ever heard that phrase? In my neck of the woods temperatures have been between 90 and 100 degrees lately. This gave me cause to ponder the various ways people describe an extremely hot day.

Just for fun, here are five wacky signs that indicate it’s going to be a hot day:

1.      You walk outside and your eyeglasses become steamed up
2.      Your thighs stick together when you walk
3.      You sweat off the eyebrows that you drew on
4.      The taper candles that decorate your dining room table have melted
5.      The ice cream you purchased at the grocery store, melted during the 10-minute ride home.
What would you add to the list of signs that it’s going to be a hot day?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019

Muffins with Mom – The Mystery of the Missing Money

Photo Credit: Process and Faith

Sweat trickled down the middle of my back as the sun accomplished its job of providing warmth, extreme warmth. The metal chair I plopped down on caused me to immediately pop up like a piece of toast from a toaster. To say it was hot outside would be an understatement. Just as I settled into the enjoyment of the event, my cell phone chimed.

“Ma, have you seen that form I need to send to the college?”

This was the beginning of the mystery of the missing money. Well…it wasn’t actually missing money, but the form that needed to be completed in order to potentially receive money to help with college.

“Did you check the file drawer?”


“Look on top of the file cabinet, you might need to move a few papers around.”


I arrived home and asked my son whether he found the missing form. He had not. I asked if he had checked on top of the file cabinet. “Yes.”

I marched up the flight of stairs, into our “study room” and straight to the file cabinet. After shuffling a couple of papers, there it was in plain sight, the folder I told my son to look for. I beckoned for my son to come hither.

My son entered the room and I nodded my head toward the file cabinet. He went over to the file cabinet, moved two pieces of paper and uncovered the folder I told him to look for.

“Oh, I didn’t look for a folder. I was looking for a sheet of paper.”

The mystery of the missing money/form was solved.

“There’s a lesson in this somewhere,” I told my son.

“Yeah, I should have actually looked where you told me to look for the form.”


Sometimes situations appear to be a mystery in the eyes of our children. However, with our guidance, love, and encouragement, they learn to solve their own mysteries real and imagined.

Have you solved any parenting mysteries lately?

Friday, July 19, 2019

Feel Good Friday – The lesson of the coffee bean

Photo Credit: Runtastic

Have you ever been in a situation in your life where you were struggling with something and felt like things were not getting better? As I was reflecting on some of the obstacles I’ve overcome and those yet to be conquered, I thought about a story. It is a story that I have heard many times and in many variations.

The story of the carrot, the egg, and the coffee bean presents a lesson on facing adversity. Read below and see what you think.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about 20 minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity –boiling water- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you, a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Think of this. Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart. Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean changes the water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.

Author Unknown
You can choose to be like the coffee bean, when things seem at their worst, change the situation around you. Have you ever been in a situation where you had be like that coffee bean?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019

Muffins with Mom – How do you get your child to complete chores?

Photo Credit: Daily Parent

Have you ever struggled with getting your child to complete household chores? You are not alone…and it does not seem to end as they grow into young adulthood. I called my son one day and asked, “Are you going to surprise me and have the house clean when I get home?”

His response was, “I don’t want to shock you. I care about your mental health.”

True to his word, my son did not shock me. The house was still in disarray when I arrived home.
How do you get your child (or young adult) to complete chores?

The other day my son said to me, “Ma, I need gas money.”

“You can mow the lawn and pull weeds for me and I’ll give you gas money.”

“I don’t know about that, you like to pay slave wages.”

It appears to have become a barter system to get any work done around my house. With both my sons’ home for the summer and working, we only occasionally cross paths. I had to call a family meeting.

Here is how we get chores done:

·       Assign tasks and consequences – each son has a set of tasks, if they want to trade with each other, I leave that up to them. However, if a task is not completed, they don’t receive their gas money or whatever we have agreed upon.

·       Set deadlines for task completion – have you ever told your child clean their room or put away the dishes, and a day later the task is not complete? I have walked around the same t-shirt my son left in the living room for two days. I had to issue an ultimatum, set a deadline and up the stakes for him.

·       Double team them – I call Granny. You call replace “Granny” with another family member. My mother likes to give my sons gas money when they ask or have them do chores for her. She will have them work 30 minutes, then take them to lunch AND pay them! I tell them that I will tell Granny not pay them. Sometimes this works, sometimes my sons just laugh.

What are your suggestions for getting your child to complete chores?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wellness Wednesday – How Healthy Are Your Finances?

Where do you begin saving?

Your eating is on track, you’re making healthy choices, and you’re exercising regularly. Are you giving the same attention to your finances? It may be time for a check-up of your finances.

Here are a few questions to ponder.

·         When was the last time you checked your credit score?
·         Do you have an emergency fund?
·         Have you begun to prepare for retirement?

In an article from Sisters of AARP, several books were mentioned as resources to help you learn to take control of your finances. Below are a few that I have added to my summer reading list.

·         The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom, by Michelle Singleton
·         Girl Get Your Money Straight! By Glinda Bridgforth
·         Women and Money, by Suze Orman

Read the article in detail by clicking here.

Are you ready to strengthen your financial muscles? Create a plan and do something each day to work toward your goal.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Motivational Monday – Success Check-up

Photo Credit: Psychology Today

“The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.” John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Today I’m your accountability partner, mainly because I need to hold myself accountable as well. We are half-way through the year, are you working toward your goals? I know you’ve identified something that you hope to accomplish this year, no matter how small or large.

If you have not done so already, create a success journal. In your journal list two or three goals that you want to reach by the end of the year. Each week set small objects, things that you will do to bring you closer to reaching your goal.

Don’t wait until you reach your end goal to reward yourself. Celebrate small success along the way to keep yourself motivated. It’s never too late to get started. Go ahead, make your list of goals or review the goals you set earlier in the year.

“He who wants to finish the race must stay on track.” Author Unknown

Stay focused and go after what you want.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Fun Friday - 3 Unplanned things I brought home from vacation

Have you ever gone on vacation only to return home with more of some things and less of others? It’s vacation week here at my blog, as you may have noticed after reading Monday’s blog. Preparing for vacation is like preparing for a Holiday. You scramble around getting everything in place before the big day…finally the day arrives.

It was the night before Christmas and…oh wait that’s a different story. It was the night before vacation and all through my house, there was luggage and people; thank God not a mouse. My mom slept soundly, the boys ran around; my head hit the pillow, but no rest was found.

Okay, that’s the end of my rhyme. After a drive to the airport, four hours of air travel, and a shuttle to the ship, we were on our way. It was the first time my young adult sons had experienced a cruise. They had a blast and returned home with souvenirs, pictures of their parasailing excursion, and smiles on their faces.

For me, there were items that I came home with less of and items that I had more of. There was less money in my pocket after purchasing those cruise photos that make everyone look so glamorous.
I also came home with less hair. Yes, you read that correctly, I lost a braid. It happened during my attempt to pull my hair into a ponytail. No worries, it just a hair extension that wasn’t secured tightly.
As for the things I returned home I with…

1.      Relaxation – vacation is a time to do whatever you want or nothing at all and that’s exactly what I did. I read a book. I soaked in sunshine. I sipped a fruity beverage. I asked the waiter for a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri. He responded with, “I’ll be right back with your Smoothie.”

2.      Extra Baggage – my journey home included four extra pounds of body weight. I’m surprised I didn’t have to declare this excess baggage through customs. I’m wondering whether the added pounds had something to do with the Melting Chocolate Cake with ice cream or the apple pie a ’la mode that I ate. I know it couldn’t have been the Orange Sherbet ice cream, its less calories than regular ice cream. I think.

3.      Irreplaceable Memories – creating memorable moments are a treasure. As part of our family vacation, we traveled with a family that I grew up with as a child. There were 40 us total. Our children had the opportunity to meet each other and hang out together. New friendships blossomed.

The airplane ride home was smooth, back on dry land, my body still felt like it was on the ship, and I was sleepy for the next few days. Jet lag. Even after all of that the positives outweighed the negatives. I experienced a family vacation that I would repeat again.

What’s your vacation story? Even if you decide on a stacation, make it a time of enjoyment and creating memories.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Muffins with Mom – How to vacation with young adult children

“Do you have your passport, your driver’s license, and money?”

“Yes Ma, we have everything,” my son said.

That was the beginning of our travel journey.

As I sat with my sons on the filled to capacity airplane, I took selfies of our smiling faces. Well, my smiling face, and their look of annoyance at my taking their picture. I remarked, “This is the first family vacation we’ve had in a long time.”

“This is the only vacation we’ve had,” said my son.

In spite of sarcasm, our family vacation was filled with fun and excitement. I even discovered a few tips for traveling with young adults. Our vacation included a cruise.

·         Let them chose some of the activities – as soon as we stepped off the ship at our first port, my sons noticed a sign for parasailing. They wanted to sign up immediately. Not really sure that I wanted them to do that, I stalled. “Let’s tour the island first.”

We walked a short distance then saw a business where we could rent a golf cart for a self-guided tour. I looked up and around us, and what I saw was mostly mountains and hills. I did not want to drive through the mountains, nor did I want my sons to drive me. We walked around the island more and discovered another parasailing location that offered a better deal. I told my sons to go for it and I took pictures from the shore. They had an awesome experience.

·         Remain calm – there may be hiccups in your schedule where things don’t go as planned. Don’t let these things steal your joy. Remember you’re on vacation. This is a time for relaxation.
·         Don’t overbook yourselves – it’ easy to pack so much into a vacation that you rush around trying to see everything and become overwhelmed. There were times when not all of us wanted to do the same activities. We paired up and engaged in different things – some relaxed while others played games. Build in time to relax.
·         Have separate rooms – as much fun as it is to spend quality time with family, it’s also good to have separate space to unwind at the end of the day.
The best way to vacation with your young adult children is to be sure they are included in the planning process in some way. Even though you may be terrified about the high risk activities that they want to engage in, listen to their input.
What tips do you have for vacationing with young adult children?