Category Archives: Family

Anything to do with my family and being a better me for them.

Top 10 80s songs to embarrass your kids!


It is back to school time and it is time to pay back for all of the annoying, whining, and embarrassing this THEY did to US this summer.

I am thinking about blaring my “80s faves” at the bus stop, or when dropping them off at a friends house.  I wanted to come up with a list of the Top 10 most embarrassing 80s songs.

PLEASE feel free to add your own!  btw, if you can’t remember the song, click the link!

10. Cars That Go Boom by L’Trimm (ESPECIALLY if you drive a “grocery getter”!)

9. Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poindexter

8. Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.

7. We Built This City by Jefferson Starship

6. Bang Your Head by Quiet Riot

5. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham (I am still waiting for George to go straight and marry me!)

4. Mickey by Toni Basil

3. Like a Virgin by Madonna

2. Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

1. Da Butt by E.U. (and notably one of my favorite songs of ALL TIME)

So, come on Mamas and Daddys, SHOW THEM WHO IS BOSS!!!  😀

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When Your Friend’s Child Dies


The death of a child is ALWAYS traumatic.  No parent ever dreams of the day when they will have to bury their own child.  Our culture deems that we as children will eventually have to plan the funerals for our parents.  Never, do we expect to purchase a miniature casket.

What happens when you friend loses a child?  Being there for them, emotionally, can be so very difficult.  You don’t know what to say or how to act.  Do you mention the child, or do you avoid the issue?

A dear friend of mine lost her son and began the J.O.S.H. Foundation (Joining Others Seeking Healing) to be able to help families with the horrible tragic loss of a child. One of the projects completed by the J.O.S.H. Foundation was an Angel of Hope Memorial Garden in Eldersburg, MD.  The memorial garden is a place where parents and family members can go to grieve.  The actual Angel of Hope was born from the book The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans (who does a great deal of philanthropic work) and is one of over 100 Angel of Hope memorial gardens in the US dedicated to children.

When talking to my friend, years after the tragic event, one of the things she said to me, that has really stuck through the years, is that she so very much appreciates when her friends send a card to her on the anniversary of her son’s death. No matter how many years go by, she relives the crisis on that day…just knowing that her friends and family members are thinking of her gives her a great deal of comfort.

However, not everyone would appreciate the reminder each year. One thing we know for sure is that all people are different. Below is a presentation of some very basic do’s and don’ts for how you CAN help.

Making Myself Pray


It is not that I won’t…or that I don’t want to.  But my brain is always in so many other places.  The only successful way I have been able to pray is in sporatic little spurt bursts throughout my day, literally as the moment hits.

IMG_20130605_210510When someone asks me to pray for them, or when they are stuggling and I offer prayer, I have made it a habit to stop and pray right then for them.  (Because I used to forget altogether!)  And there is nothing worse then saying that you will pray for someone, and then not taking a moment to connect your heart with theirs and offer the energy and love only God can provide.

I have been struggling to try and strengthen my prayer life.  I have always admired people who could sit in silence and contemplation.  I am simply not that person…but I want a piece of that inaction!

I think I have found a solution!

My son gave me a journal with our family’s favorite verse, Jeremiah 29:11 on it.  I already have a journal and wanted to find a unique and special way to use this one.  Then one day, God whispered an idea…use it as a prayer book.  Instead of just making a list of people or causes to pray for, write out my prayers.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord.  “Plans to prosper you…plans to give you hope and a future.” 
~Jeremiah 29:11

Each night, I sit and take a few deep contemplative breaths to calm my body and soul.  And I begin praying.  I write my prayers in the journal and am very specific.  I call by name my brothers and sisters and ask God to walk with them, heal them, or soften their hearts…whatever His will to be done.  The simple act of writing keeps my focus on His grace.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
~James 5:16

My youngest son made me a bookmark for Mother’s Day.  I have decided to use this special artistic creation to keep track of what day I am on in my prayer journal.  Each night when I open the journal, I pray for my oldest son.  When I remove the bookmark, I pray for my youngest son.  What blessings they both are in my life.

TIMG_20130605_210519he bookmark says:

My Mom is better than your Mom because she lets me have so much fun my head almost explodes.  My Mom is so nice when we go to Shoppers she lets me buy all the cookies they have.  She’s so cool she can bust out a rap anywhere anytime.  My Mom can produce a TV show faster than you can say onomatopoeia. My Mom’s so nice she bakes cakes every day for charity.  When my Mom walks outside the sun starts to shine and the birds start to chirp.  My Mom’s so smart she knows everything in the world.

Do you have an empty journal book sitting at home?  An old spiral notebook?  Make it a habit to spend time each day with God…I am sure there are people in your life who need your prayers.  ❤

Yay! A Matching Pair!


ashton sock boxI supposed you would have to know how chaotic our mornings can be sometimes.  There you go.

This morning, Ashton grumbled to the sock box and the next thing I heard was, “Ooh, already a sock.”  There was raw excitement in the way he said it.

“It’s gonna be a good day.” It seemed to be the underlying message of his comment.

Then, to make his day even better, he found a matching pair!  (He is usually too impatient to look long enough to find one.)

Yep, today is gonna be a good day!  🙂

***This is NOT to say Ashton has no socks.  On the contrary, he has a million of them.  I have delegated the chore of pairing his own socks to him.  🙂

Love is never free


Oh no, no, no.  Love is never free.  There is a premium.  But who controls the cost?

I was just sitting around on facebook and was not expecting the attack.  And when I say attack, I don’t mean one of warfare.  I mean one of love and affection.

My darling sweet son, one of the loves of my life, decided to rub my back.  “For no reason.”

Who am I to pass up a “free” backrub?  (Especially since I seem to have pulled a muscle in my shoulder from carrying around school books…unfortunately I am not joking).

So, he rubbed and he rubbed, and then he karate chopped and scratched, and all the little things that our family does to one anothers’ backs.  Then, I became enlightened…so far the backrub has more than 30 seconds…that means he wants something.  And I think, in some ways, he suspects that I know this and he is actually waiting for me to ask what he wants.  But I stay quiet.  Heck, he IS rubbing my back.

This went on for nearly 15 minutes before he was able to finally ask.  And guess what?  The answer was STILL NO!  HA…Mama wins again.  Kids think they are so smart. 🙂

The Study of Happiness


The Happy Movie is awesome!

I just watched the most eye-opening documentary – “Happy” – on the study of happiness (aka positive psychology for those who care). There were some amazingly simple and fundamental points made within the nearly two hours of information. Sounds boring, but really, it was awesome.  Just understanding that happiness is something that exists within each of us and that bonds us, is truly compelling.

It kind of reminds me of the simplicity of togetherness that we all seek.  Good movie, check it out!

I know the full movie is available on netflix, and there is a clip of it available below (and no, I am not getting paid to promote it or anything…it just added a new perspective through my journey!)

Film – The Happy Movie | The Happy Movie.

Unreachable


Wow.  I survived.  By the sweet grace of God, I survived Thursday night.  I cannot even begin to explain.

I know that I woke up on Friday morning still grumpy, bags under my eyes, hating life in general.  I felt as if I had survived an exorcism.  I had just faced my life’s issues…my demons, if you will.  All of the parts of me that hide away, as well as how my decisions do effect and have effected my family, everyone around me, and myself.  How I truly feel like I had let everyone down.  Then couple that with a family counseling class that has forced me to look at my family on paper and notice patterns and blah blah blah.

Point is…I came to direct terms with the very real fact: I am broken.  We all are.  We are all victims of the behaviors of others, and we all take turns victimizing one another, whether we know it or not.  It is human nature.  It is inevitable.

God had given me all of these miraculous blessings in my life and I had hurt them all and was not as grateful as I could have been.  I took a lot of true blessings for granted.  I felt such shame and unworthiness.

Then, this song played…

The words spoke everything I was thinking and feeling.  The overwhelming sense of peace began to bring reassurance and comfort, love and protection.  All of my human fears vanished and once again I felt the truest of truth, I felt God within my soul.  I knew we would be okay if I just stayed focused on His guidance.  When I am weak, He will give me strength.

Not only did the blessings continue to pour down on us, but the awareness of God’s great and abundant love became ever so clear again.  I had been missing that sense of fullness and faith.

Yes, Uncle T., I heard your message, Let go and Let God.  It is easier said than done, AND it is necessary.  When you turn your life over to God and allow Him to work through you, He will provide for you.

It is simply amazing.

Broken


ImageAs I sit here, tears are falling down my face.  It seems as though all I have done lately is apologize for not being good enough, quick enough, right enough, smart enough, skinny enough, early enough.  It seems as though I cannot meet any goals or responsibilities or expectations.  I don’t even know if the expectations are my own or not.  All I know is that my head is swimming and I want to go to bed.

But I can’t.

I have to face all of the fears and failures, real or not, but I don’t know how.  I am trying all kinds of methods, but nothing “works fast enough.”

How do I grab all of the pieces of my life and put them together again?  How do I escape the daily dread of letting my family down or letting others down?  Of letting myself down?

I mean, anyone else’s life, and I would have no problem helping them come up with a plan of action and get organized, but when it is my own, I am clueless.  I don’t know where to begin.

How do I successfully mesh together a plan for financial stability and responsibility, for physical health and fitness, for educational growth and future opportunity and security, for successful work habits and development, AND find time to be a good mommy?  I am always letting someone down.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go back for a Masters degree!  I must have been out of my ever-loving mind to think I could pull it off when I had yet to get in order the current issues of my life.

How do you move past the pain without first having to recognize it for what it is, and either accept it for fix it?  How do I face the hurt about certain situations, knowing there is no immediate solution?  How do I escape the deep sense of longing and loss?.

How do you move past the fear that paralyzes your every move?  Fear of what, you ask?  Just plain fear.  Fear of everything…failure, loss, pain, hurt, unintentionally hurting others, of not being loved, of not loving enough, of being alone, of not being enough.  Fear of actually living life.  Fear of being who I really am.  Fear of judgement.  Fear of being called crazy.  Fear of EVERYTHING!

How do I face the fullness of the consequences for my decisions in life, particularly over the past three years.  No, there is not a lot I would change, but the consequences are killing me!  I know I put myself here, and I know that it is nobody’s fault but my own.  REGARDLESS of how I got here, I am here, and I don’t know how to move forward.

I pray, don’t worry about that.  I do.  And even though I know my God is a kind and loving God, I still feel I don’t deserve the blessings He has graced in my life NOW, what makes me think I am worth more of His mercy and love?  I have messed up everything He has provided.  Over and over.

I am on my knees with tears in my eyes asking for guidance.  God, please fill my brokenness, because I don’t know how…

It ain’t easy being green


Sometimes, it really isn’t easy being green.  I love this song and it shaped part of my youth.  It is all about acceptance and love and beauty.  Truly, that is central in our existence.

Green can be a strange color.  It’s associations range from good to bad; from a loveable Muppet that accepts differences; earthliness and healthiness to greediness,  or affinity to money.  One of My Angels reminds me of green (although they’d be shocked to know I didn’t think of them as blue).  And they are struggling.  Spiritually, financially, and just with life itself: within “themself” with demons that “they” are afraid to face.  From my perspective, I see somebody who is beautiful inside and out, who is struggling with their own identify in some ways; someone who is trying to become something more in the future…to be happy and experience love.  I think their greenness is beautiful.

What are some of your own personal struggles?  Sometimes, when you are in the midst of strife, it is very hard to see the big picture.  But somebody else might also be watching your struggles and learn from them.  Their perspective might be totally different from yours.  This is one of the ways that God loves us, nurtures us, and works through us to offer love and support for others.

My Prayer for YOU Today


Let our inner beauty shine through.

This morning, the spirit moved me to pray with someone (One of My Angels).  I was very nervous to do so, because I always seem to be so nervous at public or personal speaking.  Writing is definitely an easier medium to use.  I wanted to pray with her in person (or rather, via phone, because she is in transit), but I was too afraid to call her and ask to say a quick prayer with her.

So, I closed my eyes and prayed, typing out the words as I felt them.  My intent was to just send a quick email.  Problem solved, mission accomplished, and I didn’t have to leave my own personal comfort zone.

However…as I finished the prayer, and went to click send, the very person about to receive my prayer email, called me!  Evidently, God had other plans for me and wanted me to face that inner challenge…to face the real reason of why I was afraid to pray it with her in person.  Together, we prayed over the phone.  I hope my nervous words carried their heartfelt intent through the lines of communication.  🙂

In that spirit, I prayed the prayer again with YOU in mind.  All of you who are reading my blog, or are supporting my life decisions, molding my future and nurturing my soul.  Thank you for being who you are in my life.  I am praying that God send Angels to each of you for guidance and love and encouragement and hope.  I would like to share my prayer (i.e. Spiritual wishes from a Baptist Monk)  with YOU also…

Dear Heavenly Father,
May Your light shine from within deep in our souls;
from the place You reside within our earthly bodies.  
May it spring forth hope along our journeys and struggles
and mold our human tendencies and capabilities;
May it be seen by others so that we may be an example
of Your beautiful grace and unconditional love;
and share the message of being good help to all in need
just as did Jesus.  AMEN.