Seasons In Life

As we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realize that over the course of our lives a diverse group of people have come and gone.  Some staying briefly, others for a season and on that rare occasion we’ve met someone who has stuck with us for a large part of our lives.

Ahh, the Memories

Recently while thinking about simple times, memories of my childhood came to mind.  My friends who made junior high fun, crazy and sometimes naughty, like kissing boys under the bleachers (yes, I did that a time or two…who didn’t?)

My youth was spent in the 1970’s and for the most part I cannot recall a dull moment (okay, well maybe when I had to babysit my younger sisters.) mendy-circa-late-70s If I wasn’t cheering for our recreation club’s football team (my mom sewed my cheerleading outfit as most did back then) my friends Sheri, Karla, Kim, and Amber and I were deciding whose house we’d be sleeping at on Friday night. We would spend those nights talking about boys (as they were never far from our minds), listen to the radio and have pillow fights.  We all attended Sligh Junior High in Tampa, Florida which at the time was a 7th grade center designed for cultural integration in the community; it is now called Sligh Middle School (named after the street it faces) and is home to middle school kids in grades 5th – 7th.

In the late 70s, we would play 4-square in the school’s courtyard after lunch and talk about boys (again..we were 7th grade girls) and on rare occasion other topics which ran the gamut. We wore the hairstyles of the day, one side straight down and the other clipped back tight against the head (a bit of a bizarre style if you ask me) or a long and feathered look, such as in my picture. School offered home economics class, shop and typing, I took all three not remembering what I made in either home eco or shop, but I do recall standing at an ironing board (who knew back then we’d have was and wear clothing in the 21st century?) We wore dresses that were at or below our knees, pantyhose and black baby doll (flat) shoes. We had “patrols” (with the orange patrol belt) who patrolled the halls making sure we didn’t run and kept order on buses during the rides to/from school. Oh yeah, an on the rare occasion we would go to the mall…there would always be a line at the photo booth, you know…where you would go in, sit down, draw the curtain and start making goofy faces, then step out and wait a minute or two for your four shots to magically appear!  The picture above is a photo booth sitting.

I remember quite well my time in junior high and physical education class, pfft! (rolling eyes!)  Oh how I hated P.E.!  I still believe the only form of exercise our Phy. Ed. teachers knew were laps; everyday without fail and as soon as we hit the basketball courts (after dressing out) we ran laps.  I ran around that basketball court so many times one year I could tell you the location of every divot, crack and dip. I was determined not to have P.E. the following year so I got a part-time job at McDonald’s on Busch Blvd across the street from Busch Gardens and signed up for the school’s early work release program which allowed student to work in the afternoons on school days, usually reporting to work around noon. When a student was on early release P.E., home economics or shop were the classes of choice to drop from our class schedule; all the kids in this program thought it was the best thing in life, especially if we had the day off from work we still left school early.

GrandbabiesAlthough Karla, Sheri, Kim, and Amber are not part of my life on a daily basis, a few of us still keep in touch via social media and texting. We are spread across the U.S. with Sheri in New Mexico, I am in Northern Kentucky and Karla, Kim and Amber are all in Florida. It’s hard to believe some of us are grannies and these are my four precious ones.

Ahh, the memories are a nice escape from the hectic life most of us lead in adulthood. Just writing this article has conjured up some really great visions of years gone too soon. Wow its so hard to grasp that I turned 50 in February of this year, W-O-W…where has the time gone?

As I grow older by the day I’ve found that its the simple things in life that make L-I-F-E an adventure. As a Nona (grandmother/grandma in Italian), I love that I can love on my grandchildren and when they get cranky… I hand them back to mom and dad. I love that I don’t have to put up with other people’s drama and there’s no law telling me I have to keep them in my life. I love that because of where I’ve been…I know where I’m going and planning my future has never been so much fun. I love that my “lifetime” friends love me for who I am and accept me completely, without question, ridicule or judgement.  They just love me! And lastly, I love walking down MEMORY LANE and bringing all those great memories into the present. Thank you for letting me share a smidge of my past with you.

A New Year, A New You With SPICES

The Christmas and New Year holidays are traditionally the most celebrated annual events worldwide. As the new year begins to unfold  a large majority of us seek ways to find a more balanced and fulfilled life.

A friend recently shared with me the acronym S-P-I-C-E-S which is a stress balanced-stones-blogmanagement and overall wellness concept in filling your life with a balance in the six areas of Social, Physical, Intellectual, Career, Emotional, and Spiritual.  Each element plays an important role in leading and successful living a well-rounded life and being genuinely happy with your life and the decisions/choices made.

As many know in a balanced life, “being well/wellness” is much more than being free from illnesses and/or a sick body.  It encompasses a positive attitude which incorporate a person’s sense of responsibility and uniqueness.

Social

Being socially active allows one to build and maintain relationships, both personally and professionally.

Physical

This is just as it states…being physical, exercising and maintaining the physical movement for balanced wellness (physically and emotionally.)

Intellectual

Being involved in mental activities which are stimulating and creative.

Career

Never underestimate the power of having goals and/or a direction in your life.

Emotional

Being aware of your emotions and feelings and express or respond in a positive manner.  You’ll be happy you did.

Spiritual

What describes you?  What are your personal beliefs, values, and ethics? These things have an impact on your “balance.”

Let’s strive to add balance to all areas of our life this new year.  Learn to be a little more patient with others, choose our words so they correctly express our true feelings without breaking down others.  Make it a goal to genuinely convey our gratitude to others and build them UP with encouragement.

Make 2015 your best year yet.  Try something new, make life an adventure, make a new friend or two and make memories!  Get out there…you’ve got a life to live!

Resources

Julie T. Lusk, M.Ed., R/CYT, Stress Solutions Now

Thanksgiving 2014

Thankful

There is so much trouble in the world today; across the sea with other countries and across our nation with our neighbors.  I have many feelings and comments I could express regarding Vladimir Putin, the craziness going on with the Michael Brown incident, and Obama. However, I will keep my comments to my self as they are brutally honest, direct, and some could consider them hurtful.  Sometimes truth hurts.  Nonetheless, I AM THANKFUL!

I am thankful that I live in America!  Although we have a country who is in turmoil and profusely bleeding, I believe America will regain her beauty and can heal from the torture and illness that has been imposed upon her.

I am thankful for my family.  States span between us but the miles cannot diminish our love for one another.  We will always be aunts, cousins, uncles, nephews, grandparents, nieces, and in-laws.  WE ARE FAMILY and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my kids!  God has blessed me with children who are kind, considerate, loving, compassionate, goofy, fun, vibrant, different, and genuine.  Whatever they choose to call me, I am honored to be their momma, mom, madre, ma, and mother.

I am thankful for all the friends who have come (and some gone) into or from my life and our relationships. Each one of them has left an impression, given me inspiration to do more, or encouraged me on some level.  I am who I am because of my family and friends, past and present.

I am thankful for my health.  As I near the big 5-0 mark in life, what I consider to be the TOP of the hill, I realize how I could have been worse for the wear on so many levels.  I thank God for my health.

I am thankful to live in a country where we will not be persecuted for proclaiming our faith and that many faiths are practiced.

I am thankful God has awoken my desire to share stories and our life’s adventures.

And, lastly…I am thankful for my supporters.  Thank you!

For what are you THANKFUL?

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The Boy & Rhinestone Cowboy

Really y’all, this IS my life!

I’m sitting here working and singing along with the music playing in the background; I’ve got the 70s station streaming and Rhinestone Cowboy was playing. The Boy walks in and repeats the lyrics “Rhinestone Cowboy” that he just heard.

I asked “Do you know this song,” knowing it was waaay before his time. His reply “no.”

So, I continued to sing and The Boy said “carrots and lettuce?” Why is he singing about carrots and lettuce?

WHAT??? I replied. “He’s not singing about carrots and lettuce, the lyrics are “cards and letters!”

Ha ha ha. REALLY!!! You can’t make this stuff up! Bawhahah..still laughing. This IS my life…I am so very blessed with goofy kids who bring laughter to my life every day.

A Mother and Her Sons

The Male Gender is Heavily Weighted In Our Family

I was a baby boy making machine in my younger years and gave birth to three absolutely amazing sons. I am already a Nona to three grandchildren, two of whom are male and we are expecting Master Xander in August, which will make me a Nona to four, three of them grandsons.

You know you’re a mom of boys when:

  • You find yourself willingly holding a living wiggling worm, bug, frog, or lizard and not running around screaming like a little girl.
  • You cannot remember what you ate for breakfast, yet you can inherently transform a Transformer without instructions.
  • You spend much of your days in a fog of fart odor and some of it is proudly yours.
  • You know the pain of stepping on a Lego, Tonka Truck, or Transformer.
  • There’s a finger in your eye, your ear, or up your nose and it’s not yours.
  • You find yourself telling the boys “No, you cannot ride the dog.”
  • You make it an annual family outing to go see the Monster Trucks with the special Meet and Greet passes.
  • You are on a first name basis with your doctors and the nurses at the hospital who provide the slings, splints, and casts.
  • You cannot find a pair of jeans or pants for them that do not have grass stains or holes in the knees.
  • There’s a love you feel for your son that’s too great and sometimes too scary to fully explain or even comprehend.

Being a mom of boys can quickly change you from being a girlie girl to one that throws on a ball cap, jeans and t-shirt to face the day.  The mode of adapting to boy stuff when you were once all about girly stuff can somewhat be a challenging aspect of motherhood.  Why, you ask?  Good question, read on.

Moms Must…Accept Messiness

Messy

The Boy enjoying his 1st birthday cake. He’ll be 18 this July.  Where does the time go?

Under every circumstance you must be prepared for a mess or messy boys.  They are not conscientious about tracking mud in the house when they run through it like the Tazmanian Devil, spraying water all over the bathroom during wash-up time or how they eat their birthday smash cake.

Boys will be boys and I cannot stress enough to moms or future moms of boys, not to be surprised by what you find in the aftermath of your son.  You could find boogers smeared on the walls (I just threw up a little in my mouth), urine on the floor around the toilet (were they really aiming?), or spilling their cereal on the floor like pigs at feeding time while you were trying to ready yourself for work.  Regardless of how much training boys receive, they still find their own way of doing somethings.

…Rethink Safety

SafetyChildren Boys (I can only draw on my experience from raising boys.)  Ahem…boys have their own level of safety, and it is called NONE!  They are afraid of “nuthzink” (said with a Colonel Klink accent.)

Boys hop on stuff, climb stuff, jump over stuff and may break stuff…their stuff, like a bone or two.  Since the time of this picture, the little guy who is jumping over the chair ended up breaking one of his ankles three times.  Once by dropping off of the monkey bars while playing at daycare, once when skipping up and down the driveway when he should have been helping his mom (me) carry groceries into the house and lastly when he was in an automobile accident that almost took his life.

So moms, no matter how much you safety proof the house or prepare your children for the future, accidents will happen, so you’ll need to learn quickly how to deal with blood, scrapes, broken bones, and broken hearts.

…Enjoy Cleanliness When You Can

BathTimeBath time was always a time of play for my boys because I knew if I made bath time fun, they’d want to take their baths…it worked thank goodness because they sure required a lot of them growing up.  Be prepared for a good soaking when the splashing starts and have a plentiful stock of body wash because boys like bubbles just as much as little girls.

…Think Farts Are Funny

By the grace of God I was born with toilet humor (I also had two older brothers who helped cultivate my acceptance of such.)  My brothers conditioned me to think farts and farting were funny…thank goodness I thought they were.  Having this mindset will make life much easier and happier for everyone involved; but we must remember there is a time and place for everything, right?  Yeah, right!!!

…Understand Boys Can Cause Drama

Didn't get his way.

Didn’t get his way.

Oh no, don’t be surprised when your little man pitches a fit when he doesn’t get his way.  They can cause just as much drama as little girls, but we must remember NOT to laugh when they are squealing at the top of their lungs and we’re thinking “he’d sure give a girl a run for her money with that octave.”

Oh yeah, boys will stop what they’re doing and throw things or walk across the room to pick up a toy so they can throw it just to demonstrate they can pitch a good dramatic hissy-fit.  Remember moms, this too shall pass (said giggling.)

…Know Their Little Boy Would Rather Be Naked

Mom’s have to be okay with their little boy running around the house in the nude because if they had their way, they would be naked more often than clothed.  Be prepared for your son to come into a room buck naked, letting it all hang out, putting it in the breeze because it will inevitably happen and probably at a time when you are entertaining guests.  Just something for you to think about.

…Remember They Grow Up In A Blink of An Eye

Yes, boys will be boys, but eventually they will grow up, graduate high school, marry their high school sweetheart, and move away.  Mom’s cherish your sons, love them, hug them, tell them bedtime stories, nurture them, and tell them you love them to the moon and back as often as you can.

GrowUp

Dave & Stacey

 

…Remember Children Are Our Gift from God

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Teach Your Boy’s Some General Guidelines/Rules

  1. Teach them to put the toilet seat down, not just the actual seat but the lid also and to not let it slam. (Speaking of slamming, you might also want to teach them to “hold” the seat up whilst pee-peeing so the seat doesn’t slam down on their tallywhacker they had resting on the toilet bowl.)
  2. Teach them to adjust, scratch, or pick at their privates in private.
  3. Teach them that it is okay to cry.  Not to pitch a hissy-fit because they didn’t get their way, but to express their genuine hurt through tears.
  4. Teach them that relationships are important and that it is okay to talk about how they are feeling or what upset them. Your future daughters-in-love will thank you and because of your willingness to teach them this behavior, they are likely to have a strong, long, and happy marriage.
  5. Teach him how to clean the house and prepare age appropriate meals/dishes.  He will thank you someday, because we all know there is nothing better than a man who can cook and doesn’t mind doing housework.
  6. Teach your sons to be obedient to God, polite and respectful of others and their property.
  7. Teach them to have a sense of clean humor, laughter truly is the best medicine.
  8. Let him express himself how he wants.  It’s his life, he’s like no other.  If he wants to play tea, have a miniature kitchen set or wear a tutu, let him.  It will either be a passing phase or he will never struggle with his identity.  (Moms, most times they grow out of it.  All three of my boys had tea sets and toy kitchens.)