I must admit, I felt a little guilty.  

If I hadn’t been so keen to get as much done on a Saturday as possible, it might not have happened.  Yawlin was loooong overdue for a haircut.  He likes to wear it long (shag style), but it had gotten so I couldn’t see his eyes.  I like to see my son’s eyes, so I told him it was time for a haircut.  He did not want to go.  But I insisted and said that it would be the only time to go for quite some time because of how hectic our family schedule is lately.

I should have chosen another place.

But, I wanted to get the haircut done fast.  And besides, what were the chances that Yawlin would get the same hairdresser that had botched my haircut a few weeks earlier?  And if he did happen to get her, how much can a person botch a boy haircut? 

I should have watched instead of burying my face in a magazine.

I did watch as Yawlin sat in her chair.  Yes, it was the same gal that botched my last haircut, but I was confident she couldn’t mess up a shag ‘do.  She asked him what he wanted and I watched and heard him say, “I want one inch off all over.”  He said it clearly.  He did not stutter.  He did not whisper.  There is no way in hades one could mistake his instructions for anything other than one. inch. off. all. over.

Having made sure he’d given his instructions clearly, I began reading a magazine.  I get so bored waiting, reading helps the time to pass.  I should have opted to be bored.

And I should have noticed the sound of the clippers.

But the place was so busy, who wouldn’t assume the clippers were for some other customer?  I glanced up from my magazine to see that the hair on the back of Yawlin’s head was significantly shorter, and the clippers were now attacking the hair on top of his head.  I gasped, but realized that it was too late.  Too much hair was gone to say anything.  I remained silent.  Because of the angle of the chair he was sitting in, I couldn’t see Yawlin’s face, but I was pretty sure he was not happy about what was happening to his hair.

Maybe I should have jumped up, grabbed the hair butcher by HER hair, and swung her around a few times before releasing her to slide ungracefully through the glass door.

Okay, maybe not.  But, looking back, I should have probably asked for a discount because this particular customer was clearly not getting what he wanted.  What did happen was that she told Yawlin to hop out of his chair to move to the sink so that she could wash his now almost naked head.  As Yawlin passed me he hissed (yes hissed, it is not an exaggeration), “Mom!”  And then he shot me such a look of anger and panic and disgust that I”m lucky I didn’t shrivel up and die on the spot.

The white-haired gentleman who was sitting across from me burst out laughing and said, “I guess he doesn’t like his new haircut.”

“Apparently not,” I said with a nervous chuckle.  “I think I’m going to be in trouble.”

The white-haired gentleman laughed again.  I looked back to where Yawlin was getting his hair washed.  My new friend said, “Well, at least he has all summer to let it grow out again before school starts.”

“Yaaa.”  I said slowly.  “Let’s hope he views it that way.”  This only made the man laugh again.  He winked at me and gave me a thumbs up as he left with his grandson who had received the haircut he had wanted.

I did my best to turn the situation into something positive.

As I was paying for the buzz-job, Yawlin went out and stood by the car.  It was clear he was crying.  The hair-butcher watched him go and said, “I don’t think he likes his haircut.  I asked him what he wanted and he said ‘one inch all over.”

I finished signing the credit card receipt and said, “Yes.  I believe he told you that he wanted one inch off all over–not that the length was supposed to be one inch all over.”

“Oh.”

I opened the car and both Yawlin and I got in.  He was crying.  Hard.  I apologized over and over.  And then I remembered the look he’d shot me as he’d passed me on the way to getting his hair washed and how it had made the white-haired gentleman laugh.  I laughed at the memory.

“This is not funny, Mom!”

“I know.  But the look you gave me in there was so funny that you made another man laugh.”

Yawlin looked at me out of the corner of his eyes.

“Seriously Yawlin.  The look was hysterical.  I think you made that guy’s day! He laughed pretty hard.”

I could see the hint of a smile on Yawlin’s lips, so I continued.  “At least there is that.  Even if you have to deal with short hair for a little while, at least you made someone else laugh.”

Yawlin squelched the smile, but he also stopped crying.

Two days later… 

Yawlin’s sisters showed him different ways he could style his new ‘do using hair gel and he seems to have warmed up to his new hair style.  This afternoon while sitting at my afternoon crossing I asked Yawlin if he was going to immediately start growing his hair back out.  He looked in the rearview mirror of my car and said, “I don’t know.”

“Sooo, maybe you like the new ‘do?”

“Maybe.”

As far as that particular hair cutting establishment?

We won’t be back.

 

When I began blogging two years ago it was all so new to me that I visited many different types of blogs to find out what blogging was all about.  I wanted ideas for my blog, I wanted to see what others were writing about, and I wanted to make some connections.  Naturally, because of my circumstances, I gravitated to step-parenting blogs and blogs about divorce.  Many of the blogs I found were quite negative in nature (although quite entertaining, too).  Step-moms hate the biological moms (called BMs) and the biological moms hate the step-moms (called almost every name in the book).  Since I happen to be both a biological mom to four kids who have a step-mom, and a step-mom to three kids whose biological mother is involved in their lives, I have never joined one “camp” or the other. 

I decided to have my blog promote family.  Just family.  Whether it be a single mom struggling to raise her kids on her own, or grandparents raising their kids, or a blended family such as my own, or even the “traditional” family of two parents, 2.5 kids and a dog, I hope that readers/families can find something useful from my blog.  I’ve shared recipes, games, ideas for trips, and experiences from our blended family.  

Though I could write about some of the “stuff” we have had to deal with concerning the other parents in our kids’ lives, I choose not to go down that path and, instead, keep my blog positive.  And, believe me, some of the stuff I could have written would rival any of the other blogs out there as far as “soap operas” and drama goes!  My husband and I have dealt with a lot in the almost five years that we’ve been married.  But, the challenges and frustrations have only served to strengthen our resolve to make our blended family a success.

With that said, I want to share a snippet of a letter I received last week.  The oldest child of our blended family, Squid, is currently serving a mission for our church in Uruguay.  Last week we received a package that contained individual letters for all of us, with the instructions that the letters were meant for the individual recipients only and we were to let each family member read their letter in private.  My letter from Squid contained information about his missionary companion and about some of the work they’ve been doing.  He shared some of the things he has learned and the ways he has grown in the six months that he has been gone.

My favorite part of the letter is the last two lines.  Squid wrote, “Thanks for all your love and support–the love you’ve shown for me, my father, and my family.  I am truly proud of my step-mother.”

Those two lines did this step-mother’s heart some good!

I’ve often heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  I always took it in a humorous light and told my family it was their job to keep me happy or I would make their lives miserable.  Keep the mom happy and all will be well, peaceful, and joyful! 

Yesterday I heard a woman whom I admire state that she sees truth in the statement–but has turned it around as something she is responsible to do.  She has made a conscious decision to be the peacemaker in her home.  She knows that, as the mother in the home, she has the power to help her family members overcome any contention that arises.  She recognizes that if she is in a black mood, it affects the rest of her family and has decided that she will make an effort to keep her mood upbeat and calm.  She says that making the decision to be the peacemaker has made quite a difference in her home.

It got me thinking.  My mood is my choice.  If I’m walking around crabby, it is going to make everyone else crabby.  If I am feeling lighthearted and act accordingly, it is going to affect my family members in a similar way.  I can choose the mood felt in our home.  “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is true.  And then whose fault is it????  Mama’s!

Choose to set the tone in your home!

If your sister asks your 17-year-old daughter to do her hair for her wedding in Las Vegas…

and if your daughter does your sister’s hair so well that your sister asks her to do her hair for the reception the next weekend…

and if you make the 30 minute drive back to your hometown the next weekend so that your daughter can do your sister’s hair for her wedding reception…

and if you arrive on time, only to find out that none of the veggies for the reception have been sliced by those who said they would do it…

and if you decide to pitch in and help by slicing cucumbers…

and if your daughter leaves with your sister to go back to her house to help her do her hair for the reception…

and if you rush to get all the veggies over to the wedding hall only to discover that those who said they would help in the kitchen aren’t going to do it after all…

and if you decide to be nice and stuff the chicken salad sandwiches so that your sister will have chicken salad sandwiches for her guests at her wedding reception…

and if you get the sandwiches all stuffed and placed on the buffet table and then look around to find your sister, the bride, and your daughter who did her hair, missing…

and if you find out that they haven’t arrived yet because they have been pulled over by some cop…

and if you hear that they were pulled over because they illegally crossed a yellow line…

and if you hear that your sister’s car registration is expired…

and if you hear that it was your daughter that was driving the car so that your sister could sit in the passenger seat to prevent her wedding dress from getting wrinkled…

and if you hear that your daughter didn’t have her driver’s license with her because she’d left it in your car…

and if you hear that your daughter crossed the yellow line because your sister told her to do it so that they wouldn’t have to wait for a stopped train…

and if your daughter and sister, the bride, finally arrive at the wedding reception 45 minutes late…

and if you learn that your daughter will have to come back to your hometown, which is 30 minutes away from where you live, some time during the following week to show her driver’s license to the powers-that-be in City Hall…

and if the day she needs to go back to your hometown, which is 30 minutes away from where you live, to show her driver’s license to the powers-that-be in City Hall, is a day you had 1 million other things planned and so it is inconvenient for you to take your daughter back to your hometown which is 30 minutes away from where you live…

And if the inconvenience of it all makes you grumble to your husband…

And if you hear your husband say, as you are walking out the door, “Turn it into something fun!”  Maybe you should pause, take a deep breath, and do just what he says.

Then you will be able to smile at your daughter when you pick her up from school, and you will be able to tell her a funny story as you make the 30 minute drive back to your hometown, and you will be able to show your daughter the picture of her great-grandfather that hangs in City Hall as one of the former mayors of your hometown, and you will be able to show her the plaque that has his name showing he was the Mayor who built the City Hall that you are visiting so that your daughter can show her driver’s license to the powers-that-be in the City Hall…

and the two of you will have created a new memory to be written in your journals…

and your daughter and her aunt, your sister, will have had a shared moment that helped them to bond. 

Something they can laugh about years down the road.

 It’s been awhile since I posted a poll from our family.  I decided I’d better do another one now since Squid leaves next week for a two-year mission for our church and, therefore, won’t be available to participate in family polls.

The question:  When you have a bad day, what do you do to get over it?

The answers from our family (plus two who are like members of the family because it seems like they are at our house all the time):

Hub – Eat!

Kweenmama – Read or go for a walk.  Both are great ways to escape.

Squid – Go mountain biking.

Huh – Throw a ball at the fence for two hours.  Hit the basketball with the bat.  (Yup, she’s a softball player)

Plumber (Huh’s boyfriend) – Go to the gym or go for a drive.

Juju – Draw and listen to music at the same time.

Mack – Talk to my mommy.

SkiShop (Mack’s boyfriend) – Do something I like to do, like drawing.  Or play the guitar.

Shroom – Play on the X-box.

Hoob – Do something I like to do, like drawing.  It takes my mind off of things.

Yawlin – Cry.  Just kidding.  I scream into a pillow.

When SkiShop and Hoob learned that their answers were very similar they decided that they were the smartest of the group since “great minds think alike” dontcha know?

So there you have it folks!  Having a bad day?  Get over it by using our suggestions!

I think I might try hitting the basketball with a bat the next time I have a bad day…

 1.  School started! 

2.  And because school started I baked cookies according to tradition.  The home baked scent of applesauce chocolate chip cookies was heavenly.

3.  Mack informed me that we needed to pick up one of the girls from the neighborhood at exactly 6:55 a.m.  When I asked why we were picking her up, and especially that early, Mack told me that she’d promised to help the girl learn her way around the high school.  [A bit of history here:  The girl is extremely shy, is new to the school, and lost her father 18 months ago to cancer.]  Yes, I am proud of my daughter for reaching out and helping another.

4.  Remember Ryan?  We met him on our trip to Florida last summer.  We have kept in touch with him for the past year, continually inviting him out to Utah.  He finally took us up on our offer and is flying out today to spend the weekend with us in Moab. 

Yesterday Hub shot Ryan an email telling him that we were sorry, but would have to cancel the trip because we didn’t think Ryan was going to have enough fun.  He ended with a smiley face [ 🙂 ].  The first part of Hub’s statement startled Ryan–picture him thinking about his air fare and hotel cost for tonight–and then he finished reading the statement and realized Hub was teasing him.  🙂  Ryan gets in this afternoon, plans on seeing a little of SLC on his own, and then will join us tomorrow morning as we get ready to head to Moab as soon as the kids get out of school.  Everyone is looking forward to seeing our Florida friend again.

5.  Have you ever discovered a random picture saved on your camera?  A picture that you didn’t take?  That happened to me yesterday.  Obviously the picture was taken by one of the kids, though I have no idea which one. 

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Yeah, yesterday was a pretty good day. 

I have a gazillion things to accomplish before we head to Moab.  Enjoy your weekend!

Last Monday, in a post, I challenged myself to pay attention to the adventures and surprises each day brings.  All week I made sure to notice the good things in each day, and I even tried to create a few “adventures” of my own.  At the end of each day I wrote down the things I’d noticed.  Here are the weeks results, one favorite from each day:

Monday– It is a birthday tradition in our family for everyone to buy one gift from the dollar store for the person celebrating the birthday and then we present the gifts together in the evening when we gather as a family.  We were a few days late doing this tradition for Squid’s 19th birthday (busy schedules, ya know!), but on Monday we were ready.  Hub built a fire in the patio fire pit and we gathered to present our gifts to Squid and tell him exactly why we’d chosen the gifts we had.  Unknown to each other, Shroom and I had each chosen to get Squid some “masculine” body wash.  Squid immediately turned the situation into a “smell” test to see which body wash smelled better.  We all took turns closing our eyes while he held each bottle to our nose and we decided which scent we liked the best.  Huh’s and Mack’s boyfriends, who always seem to be at the house now, also got the chance to take the “test.”  The body wash that Shroom got won, but it was close!

Tuesday– Tuesday is garbage day in our neighborhood.  The cans were already sitting at the curb when I used the last little bit of laundry detergent and walked out the front door to throw the detergent jug away.  Seeing Yawlin standing on the sidewalk I said, “Hey, Yawlin, will you throw this away for me?”  Yawlin started to walk toward me and then I had a better idea. 

“Never mind.  Go open the lid to the green recycle can for me.”  Yawlin got a puzzled look on his face but did as he was told.  “I’m going to see if I can throw this jug into the can from here.”

Yawlin grinned and waited.  I hammed it up.  I bent my knees slightly, took careful aim, and launched the detergent jug into the air.  It flew over the recycling can into the street.  Yawlin laughed and went to retrieve the jug.  “Nice try, Mom.”

Before he could throw it away I said, “Wait.  Bring it to me.  I’m going to try again.”  Yawlin ran the jug up the lawn to me on the porch and I tried again.  And again.  And again.  Each time Yawlin brought the jug back to me he told me that I would for sure get it into the can the next time.  I came so close a few times, hitting the edge of the can before it bounced wildly into the street.

On my last try, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my next-door neighbor come out on her porch.  I was in mid-swing but decided to continue.  I launched the jug…it sailed in a perfect curve…and landed in the bin without touching a side.  Yawlin and I both cheered.  My neighbor?  She simply went back into her house.  Sometimes I wonder what those particular neighbors think of our family.

Wednesday – I got to sit and visit with my parents for awhile after I returned a book and movie that I’d borrowed from them.

Thursday – This is the day Huh had her ovarian cyst removed.  Most of the day was spent at the MASSIVE new hospital in a neighboring city.  I spent the time quietly waiting and reading.  After Huh was released is when the real rushing of the day began.  I got Huh home and set up on the couch where Mack had made a “bed” for her, then began the whirlwind–

–Told Yawlin he had soccer practice with his new team–

–Yawlin informed me that last year’s cleats are now too small for him–

–Told Yawlin to get in the car and we would see if we could get soccer cleats for him after dropping off Huh’s prescription request–

–Waited forever at the pharmacy while the lady in front of me in line asked the pharmacist a gazillion quesions–

–Finally turned in prescription request–

–While leaving the pharmacy I glanced at my watch and told Yawlin we no longer had time to find him some cleats.  Would his sneakers do for today?  Yawlin said they would–

–Rushed home so Yawlin could switch from flip-flops to sneakers and grab a water bottle–

–Drove 15 minutes to soccer practice–

–Dropped Yawlin off at soccer practice–

–Drove 15 minutes back to pharmacy to pick up Huh’s prescription–

–Drove home.  Gave Huh her pain medication–

–Drove 15 minutes back to soccer practice–

–Brought Yawlin home from soccer practice–

–Found out kids’ father (the ex) wasn’t going to be picking them up for their Thursday night visit–

–Drove for take-out Italian to feed the kids, since they wouldn’t be eating with their father–

–Ate dinner together (except for Huh who didn’t want to eat anything)–

–Kept checking on Huh to make sure she was feeling okay–

–When it was bedtime, I fell into bed exhausted.

Friday– Yawlin and I went school shopping.  We were on the hunt for a pair of denim shorts for him.  We visited four different stores, but never did find a pair that fit him.  We did, however, find some great deals on other clothing items.  At one store he got five t-shirts for five bucks.  You can’t beat $1.00 t-shirts! 

While we were standing in the check-out line at one of the stores there was an older gentleman in line ahead of us.  The cashier asked him how he was doing.  His answer?  “Great!  But, I’m getting better.”

What an upbeat, fun attitude to have!

Saturday – This was our “off” weekend–the weekend all of the kids go stay with their other parent.  Hub and I went out for Sushi.

Sunday–  Because of a special dedicatory celebration for our church, we got the kids early from their other parents so that they could attend with us.  After the session we went home for dinner.  Hub had just finished fixing the meal when his kids were informed that their mother had fixed them a dinner.  They left and we sat staring at a whole lot of food.  Huh’s boyfriend, “Plumber,” was already at the house.  I told Mack to call her boyfriend, “SkiShop,” and see if he’d had dinner yet.  If he hadn’t, he could come help us eat some of the food.  SkiShop said he was pretty full from his dinner, but he would come over.  (Teenage boys always come for food!)

We’d finished eating and were standing in the kitchen talking when Mack got a text.  “SkiShop is here.  Everybody hide.”

We all looked at each other, not sure if she was serious.  “Hide!  He’s here.  It will be funny!’

There was a mad scramble as we all tried to find a hiding spot.  I ended up crammed in a corner with Huh and Plumber.  The poor dog’s herding instinct kicked in and he went nuts barking and running from hiding place to hiding place trying to keep track of all of us.  Mack sent a text to SkiShop telling him to just walk in.  We heard him try, but the door was locked.  Mack went to the door and led him into the kitchen.  SkiShop spotted Yawlin right away trying to hide by the game closet, but it was when he saw Hub crouched behind a couch that we heard, “What the–?”

We all emerged from our hiding spots laughing.  We told SkiShop that it was Mack’s idea to have us all hide from him.  “Is that why Max was barking like crazy?  I could here him from outside.”

We all told where we’d each been hiding and laughed at some of the places chosen.  We offered SkiShop the remains of our dinner (there was still plenty of food) and then visited for awhile.

So there you have it.  My week of adventure and surprise.  It’s not hard to find adventure if you look for it.  Heck, you can make adventure.  And the adventure can be as simple as listening to the crickets in the evening (something else I did on Monday). 

Look for the good.  Look for the positive.  You will find it.

I love this quote from Michael J. Fox:  “…every day is filled with pretty cool adventures and surprises.”

Every day?  That is a great attitude to have!  I’ve decided to try an experiment this week and pay more attention to the adventures and surprises of the day.  Or, in other words, the positive things that happen each day.  The “adventures and surprises” don’t have to be anything big.  They can be as simple as these recent happenings in our family:

*Some of us watched a mother quail take care of one of her injured babies on our patio.

*Squid has been trying to beat his time on a local down hill biking trail.  The other day he came into the house and excitedly announced, “Kween, I just did the downhill in nine minutes forty five seconds!”  Thirteen seconds faster than last time.  My reply?  “Woo hoo!” and a high five.

*Mack asked me to play “Horse” with her in the backyard one evening.  We joked and laughed as we tried to make shots from the porch, from behind the basketball hoop, and facing backwards.  I lost.  As usual.

*Yawlin and I got a good laugh one afternoon as we watched Shroom and one of his friends get chased by a little “yip yip” dog.

*Near the end of the school year last spring Yawlin joined me at my crossing.  He visited with me while I crossed kids and told me all about his day.  When it came time for me to turn off the speed limit signs he decided to walk with me to the first sign.  Without warning I took off running towards the sign.  I heard Yawlin gasp, then laugh, and then he raced me to the sign.  It was a tie.  The best part was hearing Yawlin say, “That was funny Mom.”

*July 24 is a state holiday here.  Hub had to work that day since it was only a state holiday, not a national holiday.  Hub’s kids were spending the holiday with their mother.  So, that left me and my kids to celebrate the day together.  We decided on a matinee at the dollar theater and then bowling (Yawlin has free bowling passes from school).  When we got to the theater the show we wanted to see was sold out so we bought tickets for the next showing and then decided to still squeeze in a game of bowling.  What resulted was a game of “speed bowling.”  Instead of trying to beat our scores from the last time that we went bowling, we simply tried to get through the game as fast as possible and still make it back to the theater in time for our movie.  We laughed a lot during that game.  As we rushed to turn in our bowling shoes the kids all reported that it was the funnest game of bowling they’d ever had.   

Simple adventures.  Lots of laughs.  This week I will be looking for adventures and surprises in my day-to-day activities.  I will report the results next Monday.

Enjoy!

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Because some have asked…my dizzy spells and weird heart symptoms have disappeared.  It is still a mystery as to what was causing it.  It is a mystery that will probably never be solved.  I’m just glad to be feeling healthy again!

There are times that my “mom guilt” becomes overwhelming.  You know the guilt–the type all moms have every once in awhile.  Was I too harsh?  I wasn’t firm enough.  Do I trust too much?  Do I not trust enough?  I missed a teaching opportunity.  Was I rescuing her?  Did I do enough?  I should have said something.  I shouldn’t have said that.  I should have let the chores slide.  I should have enforced the chores.  It can become a constant stream of  doubts, worries, and negativity.  And when the guilt and worries start to prevent sleep, I combat the negativity by journaling positive things that have happened, the good interactions I’ve had with my kids.  It brings me back up and restores my perspective.  It is a reminder to me that, yes, parenting is hard, but if my relationship with each of the kids is positive and intact, then I must be doing okay.   Having been awake since 3:00 a.m., my fuzzy brain now needs that reassurance:

*When Huh’s high school softball team went to Nevada for a softball tournament a couple of weeks ago the team left for the return trip two hours later than planned.  Consequently, I wasn’t home when Huh returned.  I was helping with the scheduled visiting teaching interviews for our ward when Huh called my cell phone and asked me how much longer I was going to be.  I told her I would be home in roughly fifteen to twenty minutes.  “Good,” she said.  “I’m hungry.”

“Haven’t you had your dinner?”  I asked.  “Hub had it almost ready when I left.”

“No.”

“Well, go ahead and eat.  I’ll be home in a few minutes and you can tell me all about your trip.”

“No.  I’m waiting to eat so that I can eat with you and tell you everything.”  (Aw, does a mom’s heart good!)

*One afternoon last week Mack had two friends come home with her to do a homework project.  I fed them dinner and talked with them a bit about boyfriends.  Out of the blue one of the friends looked at me and said, “I love you.  You are the coolest!”

Then the other girl said the same thing.  Mack grabbed me in a hug and said, “Aw mom, my friends think you’re cool.”  I reached around and gave her rear-end a big pinch.  Her friends erupted in peals of laughter.  

*The middle school that Shroom and Hoob attend is right across the street from our house.  The two kids take advantage of that and bring friends home for lunch quite often.  One day, a couple of weeks ago, I heard Shroom come in with someone.  I came downstairs to greet them and was surprised to see that the other person was a girl.  I greeted them and went about my business.  A few days later, while some of our kids were hanging out together in the family room, I couldn’t resist a little teasing.  “So, Shroom, who was the girl you brought home the other day?”

Shroom smiled and continued playing his video game.  The other kids joined in the questioning.  “Oh, you brought a girl home?  Who is she?  Is she cute?”

Shroom was stuck.  He had to confess.  “Her name is Nicole.”  And then he looked at me and said, “Your reaction was so funny.  You weren’t expecting to see a girl.”

I laughed.  “No, I wasn’t.  She was cute.  After you left I hollered at your dad in his office and asked him if you have a girlfriend.  He said he didn’t know.”

Shroom went back to playing his video game and said, “Like Dad would know anyway.”

That’s when big brother, Squid, decided to jump in.  “Shroom, you should always keep your parents in the dating loop.  That’s what keeps you out of trouble.”

Wow.  Perhaps parental teachings are sticking.

*I got the chance to pick up Juju from school on a day that she usually goes to her mom’s house.  I got to hear about her day and about some of her friends.  She thanked me for the ride.

*Last Friday I got a sub for my morning crossing so that I could participate in “Reality Town” with Hoob at her school.  She made sure to get into my line at the “Day Care” center and introduce one of her friends to me.  Another of her friends came running up and gave me a hug and told the others in the line, “This is my second mom!”  

Hoob did really well managing her finances that day and still had $1,200.00 in her account at the end of the session.  She had even donated some of her “money” to charitable causes.  Good girl!

*Yesterday Yawlin got all of his chores and homework done as soon as he got home from cub scouts.  He was the only one out of all of the kids who had his chores done early.  I gave him a high five and handed him a KitKat.  “This is a ‘High Five’ award for getting your chores done early.”  His grin was huge, and his hug was priceless.

I dunno…maybe I’m doing okay.

There has been much to keep me busy lately, which has cut into my blogging time.  I won’t have much time for blogging today either, but I heard an idea from a neighbor a little while ago that I thought I would share quickly before I get started on the day. 

My neighbor is the mother of three very active little boys all under the age of six.  Like all moms, she can feel very worn out at the end of the day and has her days of frustration and boredom.  Apparently she has had a few days in which her thoughts about being a mom to her three boys were quite negative, and then she felt guilty for even having such thoughts, but didn’t know how to overcome the overwhelming feelings she was having. 

One day she had an idea pop into her head and decided to try it.  She got a spiral notebook and drew a big heart on the front of it.  She found a place on the kitchen counter to store the journal that is out of the way but easy to reach.  Whenever one of her boys says anything cute or funny or profound she immediately grabs the notebook and writes it down.  She records the cute things the boys do together, some of the things she and the boys accomplish during the day, and the times the boys show their love for her.  She even writes down inspiration about how to raise her boys as the ideas come.  She makes sure to record the date of each entry.

My neighbor reports that now, whenever she starts to have negative thoughts about being a mother to her three little ones, she goes to the notebook and starts to read.  It reminds her of why she has chosen to be a mom and how precious her boys are to her.  She has been able to see the individuality of each boy and more fully appreciate each boy’s quirks and personality.  She reports that the feelings of negativity have lessened and that she is more positive as she goes about her day.  She purposely chose to draw a heart on the front to symbolize her love for her boys and the notebook has helped in reminding her of that love.

I journal for my kids in a slightly different manner, but thought my neighbor’s idea was a good one.  Having the notebook in the kitchen where the family congregates most of the time has made it easy for my neighbor to record happenings quickly, as they happen.  So many times I have thought to myself, I need to write that in so and so’s journal, only to forget about it because I got too busy to write it down.   

My neighbor’s notebook has morphed into a sort of gratitude journal and she says that she now feels more gratitude about the blessings of being a mother.  It has worked so well for her that she now shares her idea with others. 

I agree with her.  It is an idea worth sharing.