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.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New Year Wishes


Monday, December 28, 2020

Muffins with Mom – College Kids Home? Make Your Holidays Great


Do you have college kids home for the Holidays? I bet they’re following all of the house rules and helping with chores at every opportunity...or not. It’s time to set a few rules in order to make your Holiday great.

Grown & Flown has presented a humorous look on how to have a great Holiday with college kids home. Check out the story here.

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas (season) this year.

Friday, December 25, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration - Cute Pets

Photo Credit: Esty

Is your pet ready for Christmas?

Thanks for joining me for 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: fallinpets

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wordless Wednesday - 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration - Christmas Comedy

It's count down to Christmas and we're down to Day 2. In keeping with this theme today's post features two comedians who touch on Christmas, parenting, and other stuff.

YouTube Video Credit: Michael McIntyre

YouTube Video Credit: Dry Bar Comedy

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration – Quotes from Christmas Movies


Photo Credit: Tent Guys

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….and it’s day 3 in our countdown of Christmas inspiration. Today’s thoughts of Christmas joy are reflected in three quotes from popular movies.

·         “Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.” – The Polar Express

·         “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” – Will Ferrel, Elf

·         “Maybe Christmas he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Theodor Seuss Geisel, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Share a quote from a Christmas movie that you enjoyed. May your day sparkle like a string of twinkle lights.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Motivational Monday – How to Host a Virtual Holiday Party in 4 Simple Steps


What?! It’s four days ‘till Christmas, already? No need to worry, settle down and discover how you can make your Christmas magical in for simple steps. If you’ve been following my blog posts the past week, you know this is day 4 in our 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration.

The year 2020 is coming to an end and with the national pandemic we’re going through many people are glad to wave bye bye. Here’s an idea – throw a going away party for 2020. It can be a part of your virtual Holiday party. Throw a fun gathering in spite of the challenges of 2020.

Family Christmas is usually at my house, the week before Christmas. This has always worked for us, leaving Christmas day for everyone spend the day with their individual families or visiting other relatives. If you’re taking your gathering virtual, here’s what my family did – 4 simple steps.

1.      Build Anticipation – email or text an invite to your guests. Treat the invite as a teaser of what to expect at your event – “Contests and prizes will be a part of this event.”

2.      Prepare Activities – hold a Christmas Tree Decorating Contest, Ugly Sweater Contest, Play Bingo, or some other game. A quick text to family members was how I told them about the contests. “Decorate your tree by December 15th and text a picture to me.”

Make this as elaborate or as simple as you want. I selected three family members as judges, and created a tally sheet for them. Each of them received a printed picture of the Christmas Trees. I wrote on each sheet – Tree 1, Tree 2, etc. The judges didn’t talk to each other. I had them text their tally sheet to me just before the party started. I didn’t want them to know who submitted which tree, although a couple of them were obvious.

3.      Set the atmosphere – I stationed myself in an upstairs room at my mom’s house. We had two other family members there, so I needed a space where we would have feedback/echoes. The room I was in had a plain white wall, which was not festive. Utilizing my resources, I grabbed a roll of wrapping paper and tape , and set my scene in motion.

Meanwhile, at my house, DJ Don was on the turntable (Bluetooth speaker connected to his iPhone). Music drifted the speaker from several genres. When I heard the Blues playing, I began to bob my head. In the colloquial language of my family ancestors I said, “what you know about that music?”

4.      Have fun – if it’s fun for you, it will be fun for everyone else.

What?! Four days ‘till Christmas? Relax, have fun and make it the best Christmas ever.

First Place Winner - Family Christmas Tree Decorating Contest

Second Place Winner
This one is from the mom of the first place winner (we seem to have a competitive family)

Sunday, December 20, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration - 5 Flower Arrangements to Brighten Your Day

Because you deserve it, here are flowers just for you. This is day 5 of our countdown, take time to smell the roses, or soak up the scenery around you.

Photo Credit: Telaflora

Photo Credit: Sendflowers

Photo Credit: FromYourFlowers

Photo Credit: FromYourFlowers.com

Photo Credit: Telaflora

Disclaimer: I don't have an affiliation with any of the floral companies above, nor do I receive compensation.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration – What are your favorite Christmas Songs?


Photo Credit: Global News

Colorful lights twinkle, gifts are wrapped underneath the Christmas tree, and the scent of pine blankets the room. The only thing missing is the soft sound of holiday music. Are there songs that you anticipate listening to during the Holiday season?

What songs set the magic in motion for you? This is day 6 of our 12 Day of Christmas Inspiration, so below are 6 songs that I find joy in listening to over and over during the Holiday. May they bring you inspiration as well.

1.      Silent Night – Temptations

2.      This Christmas

3.      Give Love on Christmas Day

4.      Silver Bells

5.      Little Drummer Boy – Jackson 5

6.      Kenny G Holiday Collection


BONUS (Because I have more than 6 songs on my list)


7.      Santa Claus is Coming to Town

I’ll leave you with this song lyrics, “Christmas just ain’t Christmas, without the one you love…”

Enjoy your family this Holiday season.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Fun Friday – The Sock War and other tips for a fun Holiday Season


The countdown of Christmas Inspirational tidbits continues as we begin day 7. What do you have planned to make your Holiday season fun?

I was caught in the middle of an active battle ground. Sitting in bed, propped up by pillows, with my trusty laptop in hand, is where it all began. One son was helping me with a technical issue, until the other son popped into the room, and hurled a bawled-up sock in our direction.

“Hey, cut it out. I’m trying to finish something,” I screamed.

“That’s okay, I’ll get him Ma.”

“I’m calling, daddy.” And that’s what I did.

My youngest son said, “I can’t believe you’re calling daddy like we’re little kids.”

“Well, if the shoe fits…”

The brief sock war ended  my sons started a different battle, on their video game. This was the beginning of their Holiday home from school. They were having fun, I was not, at least not at that moment. Here are 7 tips for a fun Holiday season,

1.      Have a sock war – round up the family, crumple-up a few stray socks and let them fly. This is more fun if you plan for it, unlike my episode above.

2.      Breathe – don’t let yourself become uptight.

3.      Let your hair down -  or pull it up – repeat #2.

4.      Don’t count calories, count your blessings – eat in moderation over the Holidays, but don’t stress about weight concerns. Focus on family.

5.      Listen to Christmas music – sing along with the music.

6.      Make something – sometimes I’m crafty, sometimes I’m not. Years ago I stumbled upon a simple craft that was easy and fun – a no sew, knotted fleece blanket. This is something that you can work on while watching your favorite TV show. I so (sew) excited that I made several of them one Christmas. Although, I did make a mistake with he first one. It was supposed to be throw blanket, but my version fit across an entire queen-sizes bed.

Knotted Fleece Blanket (not the queen size version) - has stood the test of time
My son's blanket from 15 years ago (wow that's a long time). I found it in the back of a closet, where old things hide.

7.      Watch a Christmas movie – When was the last time you watched Miracle on 34th Street? We can all use a miracle this year.

What tips would you add for a fun Holiday season?


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Thankful Thursday – 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration – Photo Challenge


Photo Credit: Medium.com

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” You’ve probably heard that phrase many times. Pictures hold memories, evoke emotions, and bring smiles. This is day 8 in our countdown of Christmas inspiration.

Today, scroll through the last eight photos that you took with your phone. What is the first memory that comes to mind? Is anyone in the photo with you? If no one is in the photo with you, keep scrolling until you come to a picture with someone else. Reach out to that person and tell them how you are thankful for their presence in your life.

As an additional challenge, take your favorite 8 photos, print them, and create a collage or photo album. Write a note that says something about each of the photos. This becomes part of your family legacy. Share it with your children or other family members.

It’s Thankful Thursday, show your friends and family how you re thankful for them. Do you have a photo you can text to them with a short message? Think of something small that sends a big message. Thank you’s are appreciated.

I thank you, my readers for stopping by my blog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Wellness Wednesday - Nine Days of Fitness


It’s Wellness Wednesday and day nine of our countdown to Christmas. Let’s make friends with a fitness routine. Today we’ll explore nine exercises you can try at home if you desire. If you haven’t exercised in a long time go easy on yourself.

As always, consult your physician before beginning an exercise routine. I’m not an expert, just a regular person seeking to improve my fitness level as well.

Check out the video below for exercise ideas.


YouTube Video Credit: XHIT Daily

What things do you do for exercise and fitness?

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration – Day 10 – What books are inspiring you?

Is there a special book, or two or three, that uplifts your spirits? Since the focus today is the number 10, I have pictured 10 books from my personal library, that I find inspiring. There are many others, these are just the ones I had readily available.

Surprise a friend with a book or journal for Christmas or swap books as a way to share your inspirational joy.

What books are on your list?

Monday, December 14, 2020

Motivational Monday – Humor for the Holidays


Humor is where you find it,

A laugh a day keeps stress at bay. It’s had to feel sad when you’re laughing. You’ve probably heard quotes about laughter such as – laughter is the best medicine. It’s time to take a dose of that medicine.

It’s countdown to Christmas on my blog with 11 days left of Christmas inspiration. Today our focus is on the number 11. Your humor for the Holidays tidbits will total 11. Below are 6 ways to make humor a part of  your Holiday fun:

1.      Have an ugly sweater contest amongst family members (it can be a virtual gathering).

2.      Create a  Christmas themed Karaoke night.

3.      Watch a funny Holiday movie.

4.      Build a snowman contest – if there’s no snow, make this a craft project.

5.      Have a family snowball fight using Styrofoam balls or fluffy pom poms.

6.      Host a virtual party.

Humor is an important to our health and well-being. Check out the 5 reasons to find humor during a hectic holiday by clicking here.

Make it a priority during this Holiday season to use humor as often as you can. What would you add to the list above?

Sunday, December 13, 2020

12 Days of Christmas Inspiration


There are 12 days left until Christmas. Join me in counting down the days ‘till Christmas with something inspirational each day.

Today, write down 12 things that bring you joy. They can be quotes, phrases, an activity, whatever your heart desires. If you’re feeling creative, write each item on a separate piece of paper. Fold the papers place them in a decorative bowl or cup. This will serve as your Bowl of Joy or Cup of joy.

When your mood needs a boost grab a positive though from your bowl or cup. Here are a few thoughts from me to you, add them to your list:

·         You are awesome

·         Treat yourself to a home spa day

·         Good things are supposed to happen to you

If you are inclined to share something from your list, please do, it may inspire someone else.

Let the countdown begin.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Muffins with Mom – Love and Laughter


Photo Credit: Esty

“Deck the hall with love and laughter,” that was the message on the inside wrapper my bite sized Dove chocolate. The message was designed for me, even though I devoured 4 pieces of chocolate to get to it. I believe love and laughter is a good combination, how about you what do you think?

Here’s how it looks in my family…

I love to laugh with my sons (sometimes at their expense).

We’re in need of new blinds for some of the windows at my house. My son and I went to the store where he used to work, I was counting on his expertise.

There was a high-low machine in the aisle, he started touching the gadgets, “This is new, they didn’t have this when I was here.”

“Can we stay focused? Stop touching things.” He was acting like a kid in a candy store.

There were so many options, I held up two styles and asked my son, “What’s the difference in these?”

“$80, and one comes with a remote control.”

“Oh, I don’t need another electronic that I don’t know how work.”

I selected the less expensive blinds. I didn’t need a remote control for my blinds, walking over to do it myself counts towards my exercise.


An Apple a Day

Apples are a favorite fruit at my house, especially Honeycrisp. In fact, the Honeycrisp has been center of family disagreements. I’ve heard statements such as:

“Who took the last apple, I didn’t get any?”

“Why are you hiding apples in the china cabinet?”

“You already had three apples today.”

And those were just my comments.

Have you heard the saying, out of sight out of mind? My son provides numerous examples of this when I ask him to grab something from the cabinet.

He says, “I don’t see it.” I knew all he did was hold the cabinet door open and look at eye level. He didn’t move anything around.

I beat my son at his own game. I bought a bag of shiny, crunchy, juice spurting Honeycrisp apples. I put and few in the fruit bowl and place the rest of the bag in a corner of the kitchen counter. Then I covered the bag with a paper towel. Far be it for him to move anything around without being asked.

A fresh bag of apples were all mine for several days before they were discovered.

Deck your halls with love and laughter, a perfect combination; How would you combine these two words?



Friday, December 4, 2020

Fun Friday – Humor Corner – Virtual Gatherings


Photo Credit: iStock

Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Meet, everything around us is virtual. It was no surprise when an annual conference I attend for work, decided to go virtual. After receiving the notification, I immediately contacted my Human Resource manager and indicated that I still wanted to participate. She said, “send me the details.”

The next email I sent the HR manager said, “will I still receive a meal allowance?”

She ignored me...for a while. I guess asking for mileage was out of the question.

I appreciate the opportunities I’ve had to continue to explore and navigate the waters of virtual, but I’m still learning, and so is my family. We’ve scheduled out Christmas gathering to meet by Zoom. Since the party is usually at my house, I’ve taken the lead on instructing everyone on how to use Zoom. We’re in trouble.

It was at mom’s house on Thanksgiving that we decided do a trial run on Zoom. My brother and I were the only ones scheduled to be in-person; It was our attempt to be safe in this time of COVID-19. After being there a little while, the doorbell rang. We all looked at each other. I said, “whomever it is, don’t let them in, we’re at capacity.”

It was my uncle at the door, and he was wearing a mask, so he joined our small gathering. As he settled in I announced, “hey, let’s practice using Zoom.” I sent the link. We sat spaced around the living room, and this is what I heard.”

“I don’t see the link. Did you send it to me?”

“I got an error message.”

“I saw the link, then it disappeared.”

Then there was me, “all I know how to do is send it to you. I can’t troubleshoot. Maybe we should have invited the kids.”

We eventually got everyone connected. There were squeals of, “I can see Angie. There’s Norm on the couch.”

Then came echoes and loud background noises. “Um, I think some of you need to leave the room. We can’t all be in the same location, it causes feedback.”

My family is almost ready for the Christmas gathering.

How are you coping in the virtual world? Have you had any funny experiences?

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Words of Wisdom – The Donkey in the Well


Photo Credit: rablininsingh.wordpress

“It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.”

—Zig Ziglar

Below is a story I’ve seen around the internet many times, may it serve as an inspiration to you.

The Donkey in the Well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out. Finally, he decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old, and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn't worth it to try and retrieve the donkey. So, the farmer asked his neighbors to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.

At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up. (Shifting)

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone's amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Every adversity can be turned into a stepping stone. The way to get out of the deepest well is by never giving up but by shaking yourself off and taking a step up.

What happens to you isn't nearly as important as how you react to it.

Author Unknown

If you feel stuck, don’t stay there, keep climbing, you will make it through.