The God Who Pokes

HoffmanFamily:

Loved this blog about God’s “poke”!

Originally posted on Laptop on the Ironing Board:

God from The Creation of Adam (poking)

Part Two

So if you don’t already think I’m nuts for homeschooling my daughter this year, you might when I tell you why.

You see, I was resisting the idea a lot.  It was a stupid, harebrained scheme.  Who homeschools?  How would I even begin to explain this to people?  How was I going to cope with it all?  Would the school be upset with me?  But God kept poking me.

What is a God poke?  Well, it’s not like I hear the voice of God and he tells me to do things in a deep, rich baritone, or there’s this big thunderbolt and I fall off the horse I’m riding and the statue of Mary gets all weepy and the fish poke their heads out of the water to listen to me preach and it starts raining flowers.  It’s kind of like this persistent gut feeling every time I pray.  And…

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Easy Dinner = Happy Mom

I have never been a good cook, let alone a “foodie”. Nor would anyone call me “Susie Homemaker”. But, tonight I hit it out of the park with dinner! And it was so easy, that I just had to share my success…you know, to help the less fortunate in the kitchen…like me! So, what was it that made me a happy mom and actually had my kids EATING their dinner????   CORN DOG MUFFINS! Now all of you moms out there who are Pinterest addicts like myself, you may have seen these. And for all of you moms out there who really ARE great chefs and wonderful homemakers, please don’t shake your head at my minor success….I mean, THE TEENAGER actually ate dinner tonight! This is HUGE!

My kiddos love corn dogs, so I pinned this a long time ago and thought it would end up in the black hole of pins that I call my Pinterest board. But I pulled it out tonight when I found some hot dogs in the freezer that I had completely forgot about, and truthfully, just didn’t feel like cooking dinner! So, very simply, here is the recipe…

Mix up a batch of cornbread mix(I used a premix pack that you just add an egg and milk!)

Cut a hot dog into three pieces

Pour muffin mix into baking cups

Place hot dog piece in the muffin mix

Bake!

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Wa La!

Now, based on my “recipe”, you now understand why I will never be a food blogger! But, I have to tell you, they took 10 minutes. I threw a salad together and my kids were stoked! They both ate dinner and didn’t fuss at all! Clean up was easy and dinner was done.(I even caught The Teenager sneaking a leftover one when he came downstairs after his shower!!) And he was very impressed that I didn’t burn them…not even a little!

Check out the actual recipe that I pinned here. Check out some of my other quick and easy meals while you are there! Now, before I wrap up, I couldn’t resist sharing this picture…..I was teasing my dog, Scooter, with the muffins and her inner zombie came out!

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Special Education Awareness Week???

ImageHave you seen this Facebook post circulating?  Well, I have…but I have radar for anything that says ADHD, since The Wild One(and in turn, our family) is affected by this.  What really got my attention today, was that I have seen this post multiple times over multiple weeks…so I thought..hmmm, what gives? Turns out it is not actually Special Education Week & Autism and ADHD awareness month right now….ADHD awareness is in October, Autism is April, and Special Education week is March(I think…that one was harder to find) I found this out when I Googled it to find out why I felt like I had seen this post for way longer than one week.

Disturbingly, I ran across this Hoax-Slayer site that gave the explanation that it is, in fact, false. It says, and I quote “There are Autism and ADHD months, but they do not generally occur at the same time. Posting this foolish and misleading message is counterproductive. It is certainly not an effective way of raising awareness of special education requirements or of the needs of children with Autism or ADHD.” Now, while it is factual that this is not Special Education Week, I strongly disagree with the fact that it is “foolish” and “counterproductive” to share this post on your Facebook page! Facebook is social media, so it is well, social! And every time someone posts this and I see it, I think how nice it was for them to post this and wonder if they are affected somehow by ADHD, as is our family.

Being a parent to a child with ADHD is very lonely at times.  A lot of people feel the right to judge.  They judge you because your child is not behaving, that they can’t control themselves, they speak out of turn, etc. and of course it is all your fault, as the parent.  But then when you seek help, therapy twice a month in our case, or turn to others for a listening ear – you hear that you are overreacting. ADHD isn’t life threatening, so why do you talk about it so much? Why does it affect you so much? Why are you running to doctors and therapists? ALL THEY NEED IS DISCIPLINE! Then there is the whole “to medicate” or “not to medicate” debate where EVERYONE has an opinion and is not afraid to tell you. I guess because ADHD is not a visible or life threatening disorder, people feel like they are more justified to give you their opinion(judgement!).  And what is worse is that most children with ADHD also have other issues(rage in The Wild One). And quite frankly, all of this leaves parents of these children exhausted and alone, afraid to bring it up or talk about it for fear of judgement.

So, in a nutshell…..continue to post and share these ADHD awareness pictures, whether it is really ADHD month or not. Because, every time one is posted, there will be a mother out there who feels your camaraderie and feels a little less alone in the fight.

In the Middle

Happy New Year!  I am still in shock that yet another year has descended upon us! You know by now my hatred of resolutions, yet am succumbed by the ever present need to make goals and resolve to, well, maybe stick to them!  This year is no different, but as the tone of my recent blogs(ok, not too recent!) my goals are not more, but of less.  I am tired of being tired, tired of doing too much, trying to be too much, and expecting too much of those around me! I just want to be able to find joy in everything…that’s my goal! Joy! This goal took me to realize that I have no f-ing idea what “joy” really looks like! Maybe some happy here and there, some laughter and good times, but Joy? I always think of angels singing, a light following you around as you walk, a permanent smile on your face, and hugging everyone around you! Well hugging is just creepy in my opinion – just ask my friends…they lean in for a hug and pure terror grips me!  I don’t know where this came from, but affection is not my strong suit. So where does Joy come in to the life of someone affection allergic like me?

Well, leave it to The Wild One to answer that question! Was there ever any doubt. This little chick of mine can, and will rule the world one day…she may have to beat up a few people, myself included, but there is not doubt she will do it!  She asked me how old I was one day, about 2 weeks ago and my response was “old”. 

                             “No mommy, really how old are you?”

                              “37″

                             “Well, you are older than me, but younger than mom-mom. So, you are in the middle!” And what is the best part of a                                cookie?”

                             “The middle?” I responded

                             “Yes! And what is the best part of a ham and cheese sandwich?” She coached

                             “Yup, so mommy you are the best part…the middle!”

Needless to say, this mommy had no problem with affection at that very moment!  And I have to tell you that I felt what joy really feels like. The Wild One and I have had a roller coaster this year, but for her to be able to turn that around, feel what I felt, and make me happy…well, JOY, that’s all I can say! And I do love being in the middle!

                              

Oh, Phil!

I have held my tongue(or typing fingers) for a few days on this one. My beloved Robertson family is under attack. Granted, Phil may have brought this one on himself, but they are under attack nonetheless. As is Free Speech, Christianity, the gay community….the list goes on! I have been torn on this one because I adore the Robertson family and their ability to bring religion to the forefront BUT I also am a proud, outspoken supporter of the gay community and equal rights. Then it hit me, while baking cookies(yes, I even overthink while I am baking!). I don’t have to choose a “side”….isn’t that what this entire controversy is about anyway? Judgement. If anyone who watches Duck Dynasty, or follows the Robertson family didn’t think that this was what Phil Robertson believes than I have to ask if you pay attention at all! Phil has never been quiet about his beliefs and the fact that he is a traditional, southern, redneck Christian….and his belief on homosexuality is right in line with that. I personally don’t share the same belief as he, and…gasp!….I am Christian too! Shocking that two people could interpret something differently, right?!? I recently read an article, that I wish I had kept so that I could quote and give author credit, but, anyway- the author made the point that they believed homosexuality is a “test” from God, not the act of, but the judgement of. We are put on this earth to love, not judge. If you believe that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made…then who do you believe “made” people gay? Well….God…..duh!
So, while I won’t take a “side” on this, I will say that while Phil’s comments may have been crude( I mean, did you have to bring in vagina and anus, Phil!), they are his beliefs-controversial as they are. But what his family has done to bring the discussion of faith and Christianity to the mainstream throughout the course of their careers, well-I can’t see anything controversial about that!

Women!

Yes, it has been a while. It’s not like I haven’t had plenty to say, trust me, I have. But, every time I sat down to write, something just came up…like a nap, or a snack…you know how it is!  It took my mom asking me today, when I was going to write again to get me back in the game.  Pretty sad, huh, almost 40 years old and still need my mom to kick me in the butt sometimes to get me back on track! Thanks, Mom! Really, I just feel bad for her….she said that I needed to write something new because she has read my last post a million times. She doesn’t know much about email, RSS feeds(I totally lost her with that one!), or anything techie…so she logs onto WordPress every day to see what I have written.  I have yet to tell her about all of the other bloggers out there that she could be reading….baby steps.

So, on with the show…..I have had an idea for a blog post for a while, but as noted earlier, the naps got in the way.  Now, usually when I think I have an idea about something I want to write about, I forget it, literally. I am usually wandering around for a few days trying to remember the great idea I had, but finally chalk it up to a casualty of the “mommy brain”.  But this one has been rattling around for a while, mainly because every day I keep getting more proof that it is something I need to say.  A few weeks ago, I read this blog post that was circulating on Facebook that seemed to be pretty popular.  It had been shared by some friends, so I though that I should absolutely read it….Well, I did, but then I got ticked off!  It was a blog from a mom who claimed that she was not putting her kids at the center of her universe.  The title was meant to be provocative, but it was the content that got me.  She went on to talk about kids who are the center of their parents universe are never taught how to take care of themselves and grow up with this entitlement complex.  This just got me going, I mean who is this woman to say that just because a parent makes their children the center of their universe means that they are  not being taught how to take care of themselves, to earn what they get, or basically teach them the lessons of life. It was just another generalization about parents meant to boost her blog ratings, I guess.  This is what I call “Accusatory Parenting”.  It is very reminiscent of the working mom/stay at home mom debacle.  You know…”I am a working mom, so stay at home moms are wrong” or “I decided to stay home with my kids, so you working moms don’t care enough about your kids”….I mean, haven’t we gotten past all of this crap yet?!? So, you don’t want to put the sole focus of your life on your kids? Fine. Just don’t tell other moms that because they do, they are wrong!  Parenting is a crap shoot at best! We are all doing the best we can.  We recently had a new member join our team at work. I heard that she home schooled her children, and since we have considered that as an option for The Wild One, I wanted to pick her brain. She ended up being a wealth of information, and so willing to help…but I felt bad that, at first, she said that she usually doesn’t talk too much about it, because people are so judgmental and outspoken when they don’t “believe” in homeschooling.  Why should I be made to feel bad, or wrong, if I choose to make my kids the center of my universe, homeschool my kids, work or stay at home? It has just made me realize, even more, why my co-worker doesn’t open conversations with the fact that she homeschools her kids. Someone is always there to tell you that you are wrong.  Men don’t seem to have these issues…I recently joked with my husband about his Facebook page, prompting him to read through his timeline because it is a long list of one line, no punctuation, bad spelling and grammar devoted to the fact that the Broncos are winning, the Ravens are losing, or that he just needs a beer. Ah, such a simple existence! I suddenly am reminded of an old redneck saying that used to make me mad….”Women, you can’t live with ‘em, and you can’t shoot ‘em!”

Yes, Wild One there is a Santa Claus!

Those darn 2nd grade vagrants have struck again! The Wild One came home from school the other day claiming that one of her friends at school told her that there is no Santa Claus.  My initial reaction was to be slightly perturbed…oh who am I kidding… I was silently working out a plan to find the kid, hang them from the monkey bars, and well, maybe the rest of my plan shouldn’t be put into writing in case there are any future incidents.  While I was silently plotting the child’s death, I mean discomfort, the Wild One finished her story.  In case you were wondering, there is no reason to worry about my girl. She basically said that this kid is so “stupid”.  She said that she was told that it was really mom and dad that leave the presents, not Santa. “So, here it comes” I thought. “The question”. Am I going to lie? Am I going to come out with it? But, this IS The Wild One we are talking about. Never does she do what is expected. Instead of asking “the question”, she said, and I quote, “what kind of person believes something dumb like that!” Shew…off the hook!
This would be the end of the story, for any normal person, but I am not normal by any stretch of the imagination.  I started wondering why this question bothered me so much. With The Teenager, I remeyoda-logomber being relieved when the Santa jig was up.  It was nice not to have to sneak around, worry about what we said around him, and let’s face it, I was tired of this fake Big Guy getting all the credit!  But, with The Wild One, I was shaking in my boots.  So, as I do, I analyzed the situation.  Why did it bother me so much to find out that Santa IS mom and dad?  She isn’t any younger than The Teenager when he found out.  Yet, bother me, it did.(like that little Yoda like sentence there-it just came out that way!) Is it because she isn’t all that innocent about a lot of things? She has never been a “little girl” in the normal sense. She has always been a little more brash, a little more curious about the world, never settling for the “just because” answer for any question.  I kind of felt like, if this little secret came out, that there was nothing left to her childhood. Now, I know that is a little dramatic….but dramatic, I am(Yoda, again!) With all that I deal with for The Wild One, she is still my little girl.  She still has a lot of little girl things left to do. We butt heads, scream at each other, and sometimes just plain don’t get along, but I can’t imagine the day when she is all grown up and heading off on her own…….although there are those days when that sounds like the greatest moment ever!!

Help a Mutha’ Out!

Today, I have lost the one reason that I still clutched to that having children was the right thing to do….I can no longer convince my kids to work! Now, The Teenager, he has been a lost cause for a while now, but I thought I still had a few years left with The Wild One. So, let me start at the beginning….
I have finally been able to convince my husband that it is time to strip the horrible wallpaper from our bedroom. We are currently renting our house and he was adamant that we would not strip all of the horrible wallpaper until we purchased the house. But, after making the final decision this week to move forward with the purchase of this house, the wallpaper is coming down! So, for two days, The Husband and I(mostly The Husband) have been working on the wallpaper, and the wallpaper has been working on our nerves. Any of you out there that LOVE wallpaper, I need to warn you…I am single handedly launching a campaign against the use of wallpaper.  I swear that the only people who use it must be those who KNOW they won’t be staying in their houses long after putting it up….because anyone who has ever removed wallpaper vows to never put it up! Anyway…back to the story….after the local Fall Festival, The Wild One wanted my NephewNic to come over to play…..he doesn’t need a nickname, because I always just call him NephewNic (all one word), so it works for us. While the two of them are playing, AKA running around the house screaming, they wander into my bedroom where I am stripping wallpaper.  I think that this is it! I can get some serious man hours out of this…..showing them a place to start pulling, I convince them that yanking off strips of wallpaper is a seriously fun game.  They pulled one strip and were on to me! Now, The Wild One, didn’t surprise me, but I thought I could fool my 4 year old nephew for at least a half an hour.  I then said, in my best gansta voice….”come on, help a Mutha’ out”.  Deadpan.  Not only did they not get my joke, but they looked at one another, shrugged, and started to walk away. So then I decided to pull out the best parenting trick in the book…..bribery!  I told NephewNic that I would give him some candy if he helped me.  To which he responded, “Why”.  “Because I love you”, I said.  He pondered this for a moment, then replied…”well, you always love me and I already have candy”. Then ran out of the room.

So, minivan mamas, think hard before you feed the independent nature of your children….you will surely lose your workforce. And once that is gone, it’s just taking care of them, and stuff! And that is surely not what I signed on for with this parenting thing!

 

 

Too Tired to Sleep

 

Ever have those moments(or days on end in my case) where you feel like there is so much to think about that you can’t even pick just one thing? Man! Boy, am I in one of those quandaries! (Big word alert – it’s probably misspelled but I am so impressed with myself for using it that I won’t even spell check it!) There is just so much going on in my brain that I am having a hard time focusing on any one thing. I literally feel like my brain is in overdrive! Ugh…now, I know how The Wild One feels all of the time! I should be more empathetic towards her behavior…but nah, she still just ticks me off sometimes! ADHD or not!Mommy Brain
I am having this moment in time where it seems like I am the only one who can do anything! The husband is working crazy shifts so all of the kid schlepping is up to me, the groceries, the cleaning, the laundry, the figuring out daycare when our full time day care is closed(because I work crazy shifts too), figuring out how to get everyone where they need to be when I am not there….plus work! I am so exhausted, but my mind is on such overdrive that I can’t sleep.  The Teenager has to get to camp Friday night, but I don’t know how that is going to happen yet, I cancelled my trainer tonight because I had to get the grocery shopping done sometime(I was out of town for work all weekend), the laundry is….well, I may be wearing dirty clothes to work tomorrow but they will just have to deal with it(hopefully everyone will be too polite to mention….or too scared to say anything with the crazed look in my eyes).
I was listening to one of Joel Osteen’s sermons on living in peace the other day in the car.  It was wonderful and just what I needed.  Basically, he was saying to not the storms of the outside get inside. By giving your worries to God, you can trust that you are right where you need to be, when you need to be there. I try so hard to do that, but there are those times, like right now, that I feel like I don’t know how to “Give it to God”.  I have prayed about it and literally banged my head against the wall to get the thoughts and worry out….but it’s all still there. Am I such a control freak that even when I KNOW that I can’t control everything and the best thing for me is to lay my worries out to God, that I can’t even do that?!?!? Many of you who know me are saying…”Well, duh, yes!”

So, tonight, I am laying my worries down and asking for help! How do you “unplug” your thoughts? Is there a way for a control freak, like me, to really live in peace? Really, is there?!?

M.O.M.

When someone asks you what you “do”? What is your answer? Is it your career, your hobby…..how about “MOM”?  Very few of us, myself included, answer this question with “mother and wife” before anything else. Yet when asked what is the most important things in our life, we always answer with family.  So many times, the answer “mom” makes us feel unimportant somehow. Like, if that is ALL I am, I am not as important as someone else.  Well, that’s just crap! And we all know it deep down, but why don’t we say it with proudness.  I think it lies in the whole working mom, stay at home debate….but I am going to leave that for another blog! I am a working mom, but don’t feel any ill will to those moms who don’t work outside the home. I, instead would like to applaud them for being able to keep your priorities where they should be…..with your family!  It gets hard as a working mom, to remember that our families are the most important thing in our lives…we occasionally need our priorities adjusted.  But even though, we never forget our families and will always say they are the most important thing in our lives, sometimes it is hard to say that we are “moms” before anything else.  (I think it is because of pressure from other working moms! – can we give ourselves a break ladies!)
So, I decided to make a career name for being a mom. M.O.M. (Manager of Mayhem)  I think this title rings true whether you work outside the home or not.  As M.O.M.s we manage house, the kids, and yes, the husbands(we all know that they would not survive without us – I mean they can’t find the socks sitting right in front of them) There is PTA, scouts, dance, swim, dishes, laundry, discipline, school, work….it is never ending. And, if you have been in my house for any length of time….pure Mayhem!

So, the next time someone asks you “what do you do?” Proudly answer with, “I am a M.O.M.!”