Are You Really There When You’re There?

While I was doing a little blog housekeeping I came across this post I put up a year ago. I immediately thought it deserved a repeat posting.

How often does your family spend together bonding with one another each week? I know it is difficult to get everyone together in the same place at the same time. But there really isn’t anything more important as a parent than putting all else aside to spend time together with your family talking and laughing and focusing on them and only them. Those are the times that your children are gonna remember when they are grown. Well, those are the POSITIVE things they are gonna remember. When your children are adults do you want them to remember you as a parent who liked you and enjoyed being with you – a fun parent who made time for his/her family? Of course you do! None of us want our children to look back on our parenting skills and think “she/he was always working and was rarely home for family time” or as a parent who always “complained about having to take time off from work (even if it’s not work hours) to go to our sporting events/school or church activities”. Our families (whether we are the mom or the dad) should be our number one concern. Whether we realize it or not we are teaching our children how to be parents to their own children some day. When that day comes for them we should all want our children to say that we were a great example of how to be a mother/father. None of us want to think about the possibility of them saying they don’t want to be like us. Are you parenting in such a way that makes them proud to call you their mom/dad? Do you think they say positive things about you behind your back or negative things? It should matter to you! And if you think they are saying negative things it should be a warning to you that something needs to change in your method.

Parenting is time consuming and is a full time job – whether you work away from home or are a stay at home parent. And growing up is hard. Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to be a positive contributing member of society as adults. That takes TIME! Time with our children (and our spouse for that matter but that’s not what this is about today) speaks the language of love to them. Our children don’t care about all the work that’s piling up on your desk at the office. They care about the sacrifices you make in order to spend time with them. And as a side note the time you spend with them doesn’t mean a hill of beans if the whole time you are with them you are complaining about being there, talking on the phone or keep checking your email. All of those just act to negate the positive you think you are accomplishing by showing up.

So how are you doing? Where do you fit in the quality time puzzle in your family? Are you really THERE when you’re there? Do you SHOW UP when you show up? How would your kids answer that question?

Hop Hop Hop in Summer Fun

I just love Shell’s blog at Things I Can’t Say. She has such fun blog hops. This week we have the opportunity to share our summer of fun pictures. We definitely had an active summer. The kids finally got home from all their traveling on Sunday. And they brought lots of pictures with them. Since this challenge goes through the 15th I think I will start back at the beginning of the summer to create a summer in review week.

Fun at the pool - Michael and Hannah

Fun at the pool - Lauren and Alex

Michael's graceful dive

Michael using Sarah's float (Sarah is Hannah's little sister)

SUCCESS!! A fun family evening

AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink saved my life this summer! GLASS OF ENERGY!

Those are just a few pictures from the beginning of the summer. Tomorrow will move into some Ranch photos that Lauren took! Click the button below and join us in our hop through summer with the Summer Fun Show Off!

 

Who Says 44 Has To Be Old?

Yesterday was my 44th birthday! You might think that would make me sad but I am perfectly fine with it. My forties have been awesome!! That’s not to say that I’ve had it easy in the last 4 years. I think they have been the hardest years of my life. But in my head, beyond the fibro fog and the pain, I feel young! I think it has mostly to do with where I am with my family right now. Ron and I are doing great! All couples have their speed bumps along the way. But right now our journey thru our life is speed bump free. There are a few pot holes along the way but that is perfectly normal. Making sure we stay aware and avoid the pot holes in a marriage is the key to things running smooth.

I am extremely proud of my children. They are both doing really well. The teen years are a completely different life for everyone involved. Michael is funny and brilliant. I’m getting used to his lack of common sense because I realize he gets that honestly….from his father! We feel like he has a clear direction for his future. He wants to be a Civil Engineer and we think he is going to TN Tech. He has a super sweet girlfriend. I don’t think he could have chosen anyone better. So, I have had little to worry about with him the last 4 years (or ever really).

Parenting a teenage girl is like trying to wrestle a Bengal Tiger with a plastic sword. The best method for that fight is to jump in a tree and hide until he gives up and walks away. I didn’t figure that out till well into the fight though. Thankfully the tiger has been tamed and is now a sweet housecat that only occasionally hisses at me. That’s an improvement. Seriously though, Lauren is a joy to be around. She is funny. She is loyal. She is committed. she doesn’t need a guy at her side to make her happy or to make her feel complete. Honestly, she’d rather NOT have a guy. She guards her heart closely after the one boyfriend/girlfriend experience we have had. She learned a lot in that relationship. She is a tough cookie, that’s for sure. She and I are a lot alike – which may be why we have butted heads so much in the last few years. She is not positive what she wants to be “when she grows up” but she knows she wants to learn to be “it” at Lipscomb. So, that is taken care of.

So, you see, yesterday when I turned 44 it wasn’t  an issue for me. The kids friends asked me if I was turning 25. I love those kids!!! We had a full family day. I made it to church – which was a blessing in itself. Then we went to lunch at Cheddar’s. Oh my word! That place is yummy! I wanna thank my friend Kim for introducing me to it years ago when she lived in Missouri. At least I THINK I wanna thank her!

Me and My handsome young man!

My man and our baby girl

This was my cake and ice cream - a Cookie Monster from Cheddar's

After lunch we ran a few errands and headed home for a day of lounging outside – well for Lauren and me. The guys had a little work to do to complete one part of my birthday present.

The hammock made it outside for the first time this year

I got the table all set up for our cookout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron and the kids bought me some pavers to put down in order to extend the patio.

The pavers for the addition to my patio

This section of grass will soon be an additional patio

 

The guys worked hard! I lounged at the table and supervised and Lauren chilled in the hammock and talked on the phone.

 

 

 

 

My boy is working hard!

Ron was working hard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All done!

 

The rest of this week they will work on leveling the ground, pouring gravel and doing whatever other manly stuff has to be done to make me a pretty patio.

Then this was the final part of my birthday night.

Time to eat the burgers fixed on the grill after a full day of family togetherness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a gorgeous day! It was a wonderful family day. And I have the beginnings of a beautifully redesigned patio. He said in the fall we will get the fire pit that I want. I envision it sitting on the pavers section with chairs around it.

Not only will be a great place for the family to hang out together. But it will be a really nice place for the kids to have their friends over. That’s what we love – a houseful of teenagers having a great time safely under our roof. Who has time to feel old with all of that going on!?!?

Happy Birthday to me!!!! The whole day was full of happiness and joy! Just like it should be! That’s why I’m posting this to Finding the Happy and Perfect Moment Monday. You can find the happy through all the pictures and hopefully you can hear the perfect moments thru my words! It just doesn’t get any happier or more perfect than yesterday was.

How Much Time Do You Spend As Family Time? This Door Prize Will Help!

How often does your family spend together bonding with one another each week? I know it is difficult to get everyone together in the same place at the same time. But there really isn’t anything more important as a parent than putting all else aside to spend time together with your family talking and laughing and focusing on them and only them. Those are the times that your children are gonna remember when they are grown. Well, those are the POSITIVE things they are gonna remember. When your children are adults do you want them to remember you as a parent who liked you and enjoyed being with you – a fun parent who made time for his/her family? Of course you do! None of us want our children to look back on our parenting skills and think “she/he was always working and was rarely home for family time” or as a parent who always “complained about having to take time off from work (even if it’s not work hours) to go to our sporting events/school or church activities”. Our families (whether we are the mom or the dad) should be our number one concern. Whether we realize it or not we are teaching our children how to be parents to their own children some day. When that day comes for them we should all want our children to say that we were a great example of how to be a mother/father. None of us want to think about the possibility of them saying they don’t want to be like us. Are you parenting in such a way that makes them proud to call you their mom/dad? Do you think they say positive things about you behind your back or negative things? It should matter to you! And if you think they are saying negative things it should be a warning to you that something needs to change in your method.

Parenting is time consuming and is a full time job – whether you work away from home or are a stay at home parent. And growing up is hard. Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to be a positive contributing member of society as adults. That takes TIME! Time with our children (and our spouse for that matter but that’s not what this is about today) speaks the language of love to them. Our children don’t care about all the work that’s piling up on your desk at the office. They care about the sacrifices you make in order to spend time with them. And as a side note the time you spend with them doesn’t mean a hill of beans if the whole time you are with them you are complaining about being there, talking on the phone or keep checking your email. All of those just act to negate the positive you think you are accomplishing by showing up.

Some of the best ways to spend quality time with your family is something that our family really enjoys – GAME NIGHT!! That brings me to today’s Ultimate Blog Party giveaway.

 

Think of the lesson you teach them when you play a game. You are teaching teamwork, being a gracious winner and/or being a good loser. And with a game like Monopoly you are teaching them how the financial world works as well. All of that while you are showing them how important they are to you and how to be a caring and loving parent. And each of those lessons are extremely important but the greatest lesson of all is that THEY are more important to you than the work piled high on your desk or your own “me” time with friends.

It all makes you think! At least it makes me think…..

The requirements for entering to win this quality family time in a box are:

*Leave a comment telling me about an experience you had as a child where your parent/s communicated their love for you via family time – perhaps even through a game

*Leave a comment telling me about your family’s favorite family-time activity – perhaps your favorite game to play together

*Leave a comment telling me your personal favorite game (mine is a dice game called Zilch)

*RT/Facebook/Stumble this giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to your tweet/FB/Stumble so I can see it too.

Keep in mind that the more of the above you complete and comment about the more entries you will have for the contest. So leave separate comments for each one. I will be mailing out this week’s party prizes all together on Monday April 11th. Today’s giveaway will end at 9:00 p.m. tonight. Watch for a post announcing the winner about 9:30 tonight. Good luck!

Make sure you INK in some QUALITY family time soon. Your children need it – and so do you!

Picnic Pictures in the Park

In my previous entry I mentioned having some pictures from a picnic we went to in the Fall of ’09. I was gonna post one picture with that answer but of course once I got into the pictures I decided I couldn’t stop at just one picture. So I thought I would just make a separate entry to post these. The ones of me kind of make me ill because these were taken after I had lost 35 pounds – all of which I have put back on again now. But anyway here they are. When you picture me please try to think of me looking like this instead of how I am now. I try to do that but it doesn’t work so well for me.

Me and my Man

These pictures were taken at one of the local parks here. We have such big beautiful parks that I can’t remember all of them. But this one had a gorgeous stone fireplace (behind us) in the picnic shelter.

My Sweet Kids

Michael looks exhausted because he and Ron had been playing and I made them stop to come for pictures. Lauren looks so perfectly put together because she and I had been having photo sessions.

See What I Mean

Isn’t a family picnic in the park all about taking pictures anyway?

My Fav Picture

This one is my favorite. Can you see why? Isn’t Lauren beautiful!

Perfect Moment Monday – O Christmas Tree

My perfect Moment for this week has to be Saturday night when we put up the Christmas tree.  I’m sure mine is probably no different than everyone else out there this time of year.  I have been such a good Christmas mood this year.  That doesn’t always happen.  If you read my entry from yesterday you will certainly understand how this year and last year don’t even compare to each other.  But this year things just seem brighter and happier.  I think the Christmas lights in the neighborhood are even brighter this year. Continue reading