Thursday, March 2, 2017

Unifying The Broken

     Isn’t it amazing how often we can cast judgments at folks and expect them to deal with it, yet bring out the pitch forks and riot in the streets when judgment is cast at us. It’s not enough that we feel entitled to our civil rights, but in doing so, some feel the need to violate the civil rights of others in order take a stance in their own beliefs. Hypocrisy at its finest, if you ask me. How did such a powerful country who prided itself on the motto, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” become such a conditional and double-standard nation? Why are your rights more important than mine, and why should I conform to your liking? Why are the words I speak considered poisonous and dishonest and the words  you speak considered growth and change? Is it because, I have a different view from where I stand? Is it because I follow a God you don’t understand? Or is it, you just merely dislike me for having a voice that does not harmonize with yours.

     See from where I stand, a place where I believe God has purposefully place me, I am able to understand and have compassion for the people who want to persecute me for my beliefs and the way I chose to live my life. Covered in the blood of the lamb, I chose to live a more simple and less dramatic lifestyle. I chose to love, instead of hate, regardless of one’s situation, orientation, physical appearance or belief in another God. If there is one thing, my God has made clear to me, it is love is unconditional, love will bare peace and understanding, and love will heal the weak at heart. I tend to see the change you “silently” protest in the streets for in the form of scars and footsteps of blood. I see the broken longing for restoration and a cross ready for administering its healing. I see the hurt and the confused walking amongst eachother on a lonely and desolate road of denial, longing for a clear direction and a place of refuge. I see innocent and precious lives being selfishly deleted, as if they were some kind human errors or a glitch in this circle of life. The cries of the huringt have become too unbearable to listen to. When is enough, enough? When is killing people both physically and morally going to be enough? How can we work together to bring change? It is my understanding we are all born with love in both our hearts and souls, but throughout our lives some of us are taught love is obsolete, through the actions of our parents, mentors, and sometimes the clergy. Therefore replacing it with disbelief and hate.

     How can I, a Christian woman lock arms with a non-believer and make a change to bring love to the misfortunate? Is it even possible? Can two people with separated and very different beliefs work together to feed the hungry, carry the weak, mend the broken, and console the grieving, while doing so in complete peace and unity. Absolutely. We are the change this country needs. In fact we are the change this country deserves. The Constitution was not written, “We the Whites of the United States of America, We The African-Americans of The United States of America, We the Believers of God of the United States of America, or We The Homosexuals of the United States of America”, but it boldly states, “WE THE  PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” We are expected to work as a unit, side by side to improve each other for good things. We are to inspire with words of encouragement, regardless of sex, race, or religion. We must put all  perfidy against each other aside and begin serving one another for the greater good.   

     I can almost hear your thoughts as you continue on with this article, “You self righteous Bible thump-er. Who are you to say unity and love will bring peace to the oppressed."  My reply to you would be, “It wasn’t me who said it. It was Jesus who showed it.” Although many will try me just like many have tried Jesus, you should know I am not a hand to be gambled with. The love that I have for my God will never fold,  it will not bend or bow. I cannot give up on what was selflessly given to me. I can feel the stones of judgment crumble under my feet as I stand tall, not with self-pride, but with absolute certainty that my soul is protected and nothing can touch what is His. I’m protected from the loathsome deceivers of flesh that try to entrap me in any dark shadows that I may run into on my walk. Your words and your actions against me are just small speed bumps on my path to glory. I have a voice and as a follower of Christ my voice can ring bells in the highest of temples. I will be heard, maybe not understood, but certainly heard.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review: Marvels Jessica Jones

     Holy Cow! Seems like Hell's Kitchen has its bout of sinister and emotionally disturbed villains; let's just say Kilgrave may be the worst of them all. With his power of coercive persuasion, his motive for obtaining the life he wants and who he wants comes at a cost to all who cross his path. The more blood that involuntarily covers the hands of his victims, the more it fuels his thirst to  
manipulate and destroy.

      Who is daring enough to stop the nefarious crimes of "The Purple Man", Zebediah Kilgrave? His former victim, Jessica Jones and her band of Kilgrave survivors, including Luke Cage, are willing to do whatever it takes to revenge themselves and the ones they hurt under this puppet master's control. With her kick-butt strength, she delivers more than just an ordinary cross hook and leg sweep to whomever gets in her way of tracking down her archenemy. She is definitely not a broad you want to pick a fight with. That's for sure.
     In her determination to spare innocent lives, she is willing to go above and beyond what she can mentally, physically and emotional handle. Jessica will do whatever it takes with whatever leads and resources she has to bring justice to the helpless souls of Kilgrave's army and gain victory over what he took from her.
     Without giving to much away and risk ruining your viewing experience with Hell's Kitchen one and only, Jessica Jones; I will keep the spoilers to a bare minimum.The series overall draws and keeps your attention while adding much irritation to the malicious malefactor,Kilgrave. He really is a jerk-face I'd never want to meet. The role played by David Tennant (aka The 10th Dr. on Dr. Who) gives you chills and makes watching certain scenes unbearable and uncomfortable. He gives an amazing performance that notably gives him credibility outside of his well-known intergalactic character Dr. Who.

      Krysten Ritter also delivers an astonishing performance in this somewhat super heroic roll, as she takes on the character of the troubled private investigator, Jessica Jones. Her cunning way of channeling the character's tortured soul and the nonchalant way she tosses her assailants through walls, revels Ritter's talents go beyond "supernatural" proportions. In my opinion she sets the bar high for other actresses who may be set to play this role in the future.

If you're a serious Marvel fan, you won't want to miss this on-the-edge-of-your- seat series. The only downfall is that it is defiantly not a family friendly crime fighting adventure, so viewer discretion is advised for children. It is rated TV-MA so you may want to send your kids to bed. You can find Jessica Jones streaming on Netflix now.

     If and when you have watched the full series of Marvel's Jessica Jones, I highly suggest watching Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix as well. Both these series as well as the upcoming 2016 Netflix series Marvel's Luke Cage will lead you up to Marvel's Defenders also set to premiere in 2016 on Netflix,which will also include Iron Fist.  

     I hope you found this review worthwhile and that it somewhat invoked your curiosity into the viewing of  Marvel's Jessica Jones. Also as a side note, make sure to keep your eyes open for the Stan Lee Easter egg.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Walking Pharmacy

        You know what's embarrassing? When you leave the house without doing the important things like brushing your teeth or putting on deodorant. It never fails, you always run into that one person who you never want to see you looking like a hot mess. 
      Admit it, we've all done the pit niffs and the bad breath tests before meetings,luncheons and dates. We have all at one time or another rolled up to an important function looking like we just rescued a litter of dogs with the ungodly amount of animal fur that attached itself to you as you past Fido in the hall. 
      It's not enjoyable going about your day in fear someone might make mention of that patch of fur you can't shake off your coat sleeve, or that suspicious smell that may or not be you, and that freakishly large stain on your pant leg. It's always humiliating when people cast judgey eye glances and point finger towards you because your temporally not at your best. But then again, who really is?
    Do you need that extra security of having the essentials everyone needs for those "just in case emergencies''? I have the solution for you. It's call, The Walking Pharmacy. It's a very handy collection of all the necessities you're always wishing you had in your purse, and if you by chance do have them; they are swimming at the bottom of your bag. Who has time to mine though their bag? Certainly not me.

      Do you like the idea of having the convince of your medicine cabinet in your purse at all times? If you do, all you have to do to build your own Walking Pharmacy is to first find yourself a cute little makeup/toiletry bag suitable for what you want to carry in it. I chose an Orla Kiely cosmetic bag from Target. I believe I paid around $17. This specific bag is not available online at Target anymore, but I have seen it in a few stores. They are pretty hard to come by. So if you like this particular bag, keep your eyes peeled. 
     The thing I love about Orla Kiely, cosmetic bags is that they are very versatile when it comes to storage. They are also made out of pleasantly easy to wipe fabrics, have heavy duty zippers and most importantly they are super fashionable. I have even thought about picking up a couple more for my daughters who would love them as on the go mini art kits for all their colored pencils, markers and papers. See versatile!!

    This bag really packs a punch when it comes to space and storage of everything I need to carry. For being a small case it sure holds quite a bit. My kit has been a life saver more than once; not just for me but for my whole family. Here is a list of everything I carry in my Walking Pharmacy.

  1. Floss Picks
  2. Cough Drops
  3. Vitamin C Drops
  4. Palmers Coco Butter Lotion
  5. Red Cross Digital Thermometer
  6. Nail file
  7. Tide To Go Pen/ Shout Whips
  8. Women's Care Products
  9. Lens Wipes
  10. Band-Aid (A lot of them)
  11. Alcohol Wipes
  12. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen
  13. Baby Phat Perfume
  14. Colgate Wisps
  15. Orajel
  16. Carmex
  17. Visine Eye Drops
  18. Antibiotic/Pain Relief Cream
  19. Hydrocortisone Cream
  20. Small Travel Pill Container w/Tums and Allergy Relief Pill
  21. Bottle of Aleve
  22. Small Mirror
  23. 1 Lipton Tea and Honey Mix Packet
  24. Abreva Lip Medication
  25. Odds and Ends Kit- see contents below
And I have room to add more!!!
      My Odds and Ends Kit contains the small things that require much effort when searching for. The container itself is a travel size Q-Tips container which is the perfect size to fit in my cosmetic bag. It includes: bobby pins, tweezers, nail clippers, hair clips and ties, safety pins, Velcro, and a small tape measure.

You're probably thinking; do you really need to carry around all of this junk?
Trust me, I do. I have uses for everything I carry.
Velcro, really? What could you possible need this for?
Fashion emergencies, duh!
  And what about the tape measure?
 I am a home décor/crafting guru. An accurate measurement is crucial to the balance and shape of everything I create. 
Ok, ok. I'll give you those, but what about all those bobby pens, do you actually use them all?
Of course I use ALL those bobby pens. Are you crazy! I'm a mother of three girls. Bobby pens are the band aids of the hair/fashion world. They fix everything.
Well, gosh. You really are a smart and prepared young lady who has it together. I wish I was more like you.
Keep wishing. I'm one of a kind, baby. One-Of-A-Kind!
      But you can make your own Walking Pharmacy and have the luxury of carrying everything you need in a small convent bag that you can toss into your purse, carry in your diaper bag, keep in the car or even in your work desk. Trust me when I say this, once you have this little gem hanging around, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Menu: 1/10-1-16

      I am the absolute worst at planning a weekly menu and one of my new years resolutions is to do just that; to be consistent with the planning and preparations of healthy-ish meals and snacks for my family. How many of you are like me and wait until the last minute to pull meat out of the freezer for dinner or get so caught up in daily todo's  you forget all together. Do you ever find yourself shoving things around the cabinets trying to figure out yet another fast fix before your husband notices there's nothing simmering on the stove when he walks through the door? I do. So here is a my menu for the week. Most recipes I get off Pintrest just because I am always up for trying new things and experimenting with new foods.

Monday, January 11, 2016
Meat Loaf, Roasted Garlic Quinoa, Sautéed Sweet Potato Hash
Best Dang Meatloaf Recipe:
2 lbs ground beef *I use deer*                  1 lb of sausage
1/2 sleve of finely crushed crackers         2 eggs                     
a few dashes of Worcestershire                1 tsp. mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar                                 1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup diced onion                                   
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Pour into baking dish of choice. Bake at 350 for and hour. In meantime prepare topping.

1 cup ketchup              1/4 cup brown sugar
When meatloaf is fully cooked drain off grease then spread on toppings. Bake for 10 minutes more. Serve.
This has to be our favorite meat loaf recipe and we have tried a few and they never seem to have that wow factor. Then again it's meatloaf.
Roasted Garlic Quinoa: 
      The roasted garlic quinoa is a meal package I picked up from Aldi's. I never really tried quinoa except for that one time I was shoved a free sample at Costco. Fingers crossed it goes over well with the whole family.
Sautéed Sweet Potato Hash:
      Sautéed Sweet Potato Hash is super easy and delicious. Just start by pealing the prefer amount of sweet potatoes. Cubed them then toss them into a frying pan. Dice preferred amount of yellow onion and place in frying pan as well. Coat with EVOO. Season with cinnamon, chili powder, and garlic salt. Sometimes I like to switch it up and just season them with curry powder and salt. There are so many options when it comes to seasoning sweet potatoes, so experiment to your satisfaction. Fry your hash until potatoes become tender and onions translucent. I like to throw in a few pinches of real bacon bits to add that bacon smoky flavor. I love making this in the mornings for breakfast where I add and fry an egg over easy to finish it off.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Chicken and Rice Casserole, Hawaiian Sweet Rolls- New Pintrest recipe.
Photo Credit: The Boomer Brief Blog
      I'm always trying new recipes because I love building and adding to our family cookbook. A cookbook in which I will send off with each of my children when they leave the nest. This recipe I have never made and fingers crossed it goes over well with my family. Click the link below for the full step by step recipe.
 Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Cheese Ravioli in Meat Sauce, Garlic Parmesan Monkey Bread
Photo Credit: Damn Delicious Blog
      This is a super fast, super easy meal that doesn't take much thought and it's something I know the kids will be excited to see on the table. If it were up to them, they'd eat the canned ravioli. ECK! Chef Boyardee, brother I know you mean well and just trying to make a buck, but you need to get a new recipe.
      You know there is an art to getting you main dish and all the sides finished at the same time; leaving nothing to go cold or accumulate flies. So begin with your garlic knots first and get those prepped and out of the way. Toss them in the oven after you through your pasta in to boil. Follow link below for full recipe.
Cheese Ravioli in Meat Sauce
1 pkg frozen ravioli (If you prefer fresh then good for you. Use whatever your heart desires.)
1 jar of pasta sauce
1/2 lb of ground beef *I use ground deer*
                                                                  seasonings of choice
      Make ravioli according to packager directions. While ravioli cooks, fry your meat. Drain and rinse meat then mix with pasta sauce. Drain pasta and stir into meat sauce and season. Done! Bam! Just like that.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Buffalo Wild Wings/ McDonalds $1.99 Happy Meals
So when it  comes to agreeing what's to for dinner, Thursday's we are all sure to agree on the following. Bdubs for Jeff, Kimball and I; where they have their $.65 wings and McDonald $1.99 Happy Meals for the younger kiddos. Now we don't do this every week; maybe once a month.
     How do you like your wings? I'm partial to the less spicy flavors where as my husband goes for the hellfire flavors. As for me I like to keep the lining of my stomach intact. My order normally consists of 4 Honey BBQ and 4 Chipotle BBQ. All boneless and extra wet. My son goes for the Honey BBQ as well as whatever the new flavor is for that month. Jeff likes his Asian Zing, Caribbean Jerk, Dessert Heat. We love to serve them up with a big bottle of ranch dressing.
      Here in our area, McDonald's has a Happy Meal special every Tues-Thur from 4-8pm; where you can get all the Happy Meals you want for $1.99. Sweet deal when your feeding a lot of kids.

Friday, January 15, 2016
Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole, Spanish Rice
                                                     Dessert: Oreo Heaven Dessert *First time making this, but my sister made it for Christmas and it was fabulous.*

      This is another quick recipe if your an on the go family. Friday night games and you need to feed your athlete in a rush. This is the meal for you.
Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole

1 package Pillsbury Grands! biscuit dough               10 ounces enchilada sauce
1 pound ground beef                                                  1 packet taco seasoning
4 ounce can diced green chilies                                  2 cup grated cheddar cheese *I also use Colby Jack*
 avocado, sour cream, taco sauce for garnish

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open the biscuits and slice each biscuit into 8 small pieces. Add to a medium bowl and pour the enchilada sauce over the top. Stir to coat. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain the grease and stir in the taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir in the green chilies. Pour the biscuits and enchilada sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. Top with the ground beef. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Top with bits of cilantro if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through and the cheese is fully melted. Serve with your choice of side. We prefer Spanish rice.
Oreo Heaven Dessert
As I mentioned before, I have not actually made this, but I am so excited to whip this up; I almost can't contain myself. Imma lose it, people!! Here's the link to where you can find this "heavenly" dessert that will sure to please you taste buds and leave you wanting more...That sounded kind of seductive...Awkward..


Saturday, January 16, 2016
Leftovers/Free for all


Monday, January 4, 2016

Ba-na-na-na-na-na-ah Recipes

As a mom of four, I make sure to always have fruit in the fruit bowl, and one of our favorites is of course the banana. They are a quick, get out the door because the bus is here breakfast and they can be easily thrown out the window when done. See my dilemma is, I buy to many at a time and they can never seem to get consumed by the time they get to ripe. So ripe they look like a mummified fingers. Eck! Oh, and don't be me started on those dang fruit flies. During the summer time, we all look like a bunch of crossed eye Ninja Camp rejects swatting and clapping our hands as we battle an army of nasty, evil fruit fly's in the middle of the kitchen. But because I hate to see anything go to waste I always try to find different ways to use up what I have before things spoil. With that being said, I would like to share a few of our family's favorite banana recipes.
Amazingly Healthy Banana Muffins
Photo Credit: Healthy Kid Recipes by Sophia
I just recently found this recipe on Pintrest and we absolutely love them. I normally would bake banana muffins using my mothers recipe which calls for 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar; so finding a healthy alternative for one of our favorite Saturday morning breakfasts that not only pleases the kids taste buds but gives me peace of mind that I'm not loading them up on sugar. Follow the link below to for the recipe.
 Three Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies are super simple and more than likely you have all the ingredients in your cupboard. The texture takes some getting used to but they are super yummy and make a great snack to take on your day out with the kids.

Photo Credit: The Burlap Bag

                              2 ripe banana      1 C. quick oats     1/3 C. semi sweet chocolate chip  
Mash banana and oat together in medium bowl. Add in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
 Mom's Nila Wafer Banana Pudding 
My mother absolutely loved this recipe. It was one of her signature summer treats. Nothing like a big bowl of Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding to follow up Dad's fried chicken and mashed tators and gravy entrée.

1 box Nilla Wafers    bananas(sliced)     1 instant banana pudding mix    2 containers cool whip
Layer Nilla Wafers in pan of choice. Slice bananas. Mix pudding according to box directions. Let it slightly set up. Add 1/2 container of Cool Whip. Mix will. Spoon pudding mixture on wafers. Layer on wafers then bananas. Spoon on pudding mixture. Layer wafers and bananas. Continue process until pudding is gone. Finish with rest of cool whip and top with wafers. Chill for at least an hour. Serve.

Frozen Banana Bites
 I love anything with peanut butter or chocolate. Adding in one of our favorite fruits makes it even better. These make a great summer after the swimming pool snack to fill my kids tummies before a mid day siesta. I too found this delicious recipe on Pintrest. Click the link to check it out.
Frozen Banana Bites

Photo Credit: Keeper of The Home
Banana Splits
I don't think this recipe needs any explanation. We all know what these are and if you don't, I am truly sorry but you have missed out on one of America's iconic summer treats. Since I really don't like to put limits on ice cream, we eat these year round. There are no right and wrongs with it comes to creating this amazing treat. So get creative with your favorite topping.

No Bake Banana Cream Cheesecake

*Sorry no picture of dessert. It never last long enough to snap a photo.

Sweet Momma! This stuff is good. This is my husband's and mine personal favorite pie recipe. So favorite I'm not against dueling for the last piece. "I WILL CUT YOU! NOW BACK OFF!"

It's a super simple recipe that will make TWO pies. That's right, I said TWO pies... Ok! Ok! Good Lort, sit back down and compose yourself. I say the words "two pies" and you lose it faster than a teenage girl at an One Direction meet and greet. You're a dignified grown up. Acting like I just gave you dang car or something. I ain't Oprah.
As I was saying, this pie is absolutely amazing and it is no bake, which means no slaving over a hot oven. Follow the recipe below if you would like to impress all your family and friends.

Two graham cracker crust pie shells    2 packages instant banana pudding
2 containers of Cool Whip         1 package 8oz cream cheese
                              3 cups milk         1 1/2 -2 cups powdered sugar
Blend together cream cheese,  1/2 container of Cool Whip, and powered sugar. You can add more or less powdered sugar depending on how sweet you want your cheese cake mixture. Spoon equal amounts into each pie shell. Spread carefully not to break crust. Next mix your pudding with milk. Mix until fully combined. Imminently pour on top of cheesecake filling. Refrigerate and let pudding set up. When pudding is firm top pies with remaining Cool Whip. Add fresh bananas for that finished touch. Enjoy!

You're sure to be the talk of the party with this little crowed pleaser. But beware, you may find yourself hording the a whole pie to yourself in the bathroom. No Guilt, No Shame. You did your best to keep your self together while making them. Indulged, my sweet friends. There's no going back.
The greatest thing about this pie, is you can change the banana pudding out for other delicious pudding flavors.

There you have it. Some of our favorite banana treats. Try them and let me know what you think  and don't be afraid to add your own spin to them. Share in the comment section below your reviews on these flavorful snacks. Also feel free to share your favorite banana recipes as well. Happy Snacking!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Allow me to Clarify...

     In a recent post on Facebook, I expressed that some people should lower their shields as well as their noses. Since then I have been privately question by a few people, and I will now explain exactly what I meant. My post was never meant to hurt or single out anyone. Knowing something I have said or done that could have hurt someone would sadden me greatly. So I would like to clarify any misunderstanding there might be and explain the reason that posed me to express my opinion in such a way. I posted it due to an encounter I had much earlier with another parent. The frustration was waging on my mind for awhile and I wanted to relieve it. What better way than Facebook. A place were opinions and thoughts are being freely expressed daily.
     As some of you may know, I am on my fourth kid and a lot of things change in between your first and fourth child. You became less clingy, more laid back. "Oh the house is on fire? Ok. Well, go tell Dad and make sure you grab your sisters, the Bibles, the diapers and the Xbox. I'll be home in a few." type of laid back. So laid back I sometimes forget their names.
     Having interacted with another parent several days ago, they saw my child fall to the ground. Jordyn bit it good. And if you know Jordyn, you know she is one tough cookie. This parent noticed that my reaction was less than worried-- nonchalant if you will. My verbal reaction to my child falling was, "Down she goes!" Because in my 13 years of parenting, I have learned that if you keep babying your kids when they fall, they won't learn to walk independently. They will depend on you to correct their mistakes, when they disobeyed your warnings in the first place. So she fell. So she cried and so I kind of laughed. Don't judge. When your child takes a killer wipe out and you know they are unharmed, you can't help but laugh at his or her clumsiness and then punish yourself for not having your camera ready to film it. This was your typical toddler tumble, you know when the top half of them is moving forward, but the feet didn't get the memo? Get's me every time.
     Anyways, as I blew off this little fall, this other parent chose to use some words that kind of frustrated me at that moment. They looked at me with a judging eyes and said something less than encouraging and quite rude. I was in shock. And with my quick wit, I could have replied with something less than appropriate as well. The words were in my mouth, but not in my heart. They obviously didn't understand how things roll when you are a mother of a large bunch. If I sit there and overly attend a situation for one child then that would allow at least two other of my children to start a situation of their own, and I ain't got time do deal with a bunch of situations. I have things to do. People to see. Naps to take.
     Letting my children fall and feel pain, doesn't make me a bad mom. If anything, it makes me a great mom. How else are they going to learn. My job is to pick them up, dust them off, hug them, then point them in the right direction and move them along.  Do I still have compassion in the mist of their hurt? Of course. What mother doesn’t? But I'm not going to allow them to sit and dwell on it. That's when they get all Telanova dramatic on me. "Ay Dios Mio , Help me! I'm dying."
     My parenting techniques are no worse than that other parent, and their parenting skills are no better than mine. Most of the time we're all just winging it. You can read all the Dr. Spock books you want and all the "What to Expect" books you can handle, but none of that is going to change your parenting or improve it. Each child needs to be parented differently and each child is going to react differently when doing it.
     I choose to turn to God. "Lord, What in the world am I doing? Help me approach this the way you would have me. Also, give me the strength to put down this Nerf gun." I believe He gives me the notion when my child really needs that extra attention and the notion when they are just fine. He calms my nerves and gives me the words that my children need to hear during their affliction. Some call it mother’s intuition. God knows the needs of my children more so than I, and He'll use me accordingly.
      I'm not mad at this person who somewhat publicly scolded and humiliated me, but I was saddened that they felt I lacked compassion towards my child. That they could have done better. After all, I'm a veteran at this profession. I know the difference between the tears of frustration, the tears of pain and the tears of disappointment. We all have different personalities, different ways of parenting, different ways of doing things; and we should never raise ourselves above others in thinking that our ways are the right ways and their way are the wrong ways. It’s hard for me to understand how some people think they are better than others when I try to see everyone as equal. Growing up I was always taught that I'm no better than the person next me. That age, race, gender, ability or disability should never cloud my ability to see people for who they are.
       If people would let down their walls of insecurity and judgment, we would learn to see them differently. We could see the person behind the curtain and be willing to hear the logic behind their ways of living; and exchange ideas, thoughts and encouragement. By accepting one another rather than demeaning one another, we create great opportunities to build friendships and open doors to sharing the gospel together. I challenge you to replace a negative criticism you may be thinking towards some with a positive attribute of that person. Change your attitude towards the way you see, speak and what you think towards another person. Change your heart.

Be of the same mind one toward another, Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in you own conceits.- Romans 12:16

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Perfume Incident of 2015.

     Shopping. That magical word is like music to my ears. If you're like me, taking a shopping trip is a therapeutic ritual that helps me deal with the stress of life's sudden changes. I mean, why wouldn't I find any excuse to buy a new pair of hip boots or a trendy new purse that would look fabulous with that outfit I bought on sale last week? The possibilities are endless when you have plastic in your pocket.
     When we venture off on that somewhat freeing quest to snatch up deals, we usually call up our posse of close friends or family to support our impulsive decisions to buy things we often don't need.  It's always good to have a friendly companion to help you justify buying all three pairs of opened toe heels that you couldn't make up your mind about and all four of the same blouses in different colors because they shape your body just right. Let's be honest, shopping is fun and we all enjoy it. That is until your trip involves taking your four children. That's when your pleasantly anticipated trip turns into mass chaos in department store hell.
     In a recent trip to our favorite department store, Kohl's, my children and I set out to finish some last-minute school shopping. Having four kids, one being a teenage boy, two of which are overly dramatic grade school girls and then there is my very rambunctious two-year old; the odds are definitely not in my favor. But, I'm a risk-taker so I accepted the challenge. With my shopping cart overflowing with the cutest fashions that meet all the requirements of two very picky daughters, we set off to the fitting rooms with the goal of narrowing down our selection to two outfits each. With adolescent attitudes and a few disappointed tears, we finished with a surprising amount of time to spare. Enough time for this here momma to search out some deals in hopes to add to her fall and winter attire.
      My favorite season is fall, so browsing the over-sized sweaters and skinny jeans is must for this time of the year. I don't usually do this with my kids, but since I was already there, I took a chance and thought maybe the kids wouldn't try killing each other, and I could scope out what's new and trending for the upcoming season. With my back turned and my arms reached into the depths of a clearance rack, I surprisingly snagged a beautiful cream cable knit sweater from last season that was on sale for $4 with 20% off. How awesome was that! Just as I was about to do my "Oh Yeah, Look What I Scored" happy dance, I turn to see all three of my daughters spritzing it up at the perfume display.
     "Try me", is what these bright and uniquely decorated bottles of scented fashions read. A three-tiered placement at arm’s reach of my very curious little girls; two who without a doubt can read the tempting fine print labeled on each bottle. Now, I'm sure you can see where this is going and picture the look on my face when I see my two oldest double fisting Kohl's finest brands of eau de cologne and using not only themselves as test subjects, but their innocent baby sister as well.
     "What are you doing! Are you kidding me? You smell like Grandma LaVerne. Why? Why? Oh my gosh, I'm going to be sick. You all smell so bad. Why?" is what I ranted as I yanked bottle after bottle out of my girls’ hands. With attention being drawn toward our direction, there was no way to duck and hide from this very public situation, because the malodorous haze would just follow us. As other patrons passed by, we could definitely see noses being pinched, hear other children making remarks and a few people give their best air swats with their hands to avoid breathing in the almost deadly mixture of Nikki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift fumes. 
     When we tend to get mad at our children, we sometimes flare our nostrils and take deeper breaths to keep us from passing out from all the yelling we're about to do, but in my case, that was the biggest mistake I may have ever made. As I inhaled the very potent odor of my children who smelled like they were victims of a pass around at a family reunion. I choked, and I gasped, and then turned my back so my kids wouldn't see my eyes tear up. I pretty sure after what I just experienced, I could handle and walk out of a basic training gas chamber like I own it.
    With three sets of arms crossed and the loud claps of flip flops smacking the store floor from my little attitude walking angels, we began our departure to front of the store apologizing to employees who witnessed and were victims themselves of the "Pop Star Perfume Incident of 2015". Yeah, It was that bad, I had to name it. The employees were kind enough to accept my 30-plus apologies as we headed towards checkout to escape anymore attention then I wanted to attract. 
    To my amusement we had been pushed to the front of the line to check out. It was a prayer answered. Thank you, Lord! It was as if God had split the checkout line in my favor. In my overly creative imitative mind, I felt somewhat like Moses, and the people were chanting, "Let these people go, Let these people go!" But, then again it also could have been that the fellow shoppers saw the pink cloud of over-priced perfume crest the jewelry counter and ran for safety.
     Arriving at the service desk, I quickly tossed my purchase onto counter in hopes the casher would catch on to my willingness to be brief and she too would be swift. Apparently my actions weren't clear enough, because she was as slow as a snail traveling through peanut butter. Our now new friend Loren, surprised us with a good game of guess my children's age and grade. The prize for winning was my survival. As I stand there shoulder to shoulder with my kids I try very hard to hold my composure and keep a friendly conversation with Loren, but my sense of smell began to leave, my eyes began to burn, and my mouth quickly became dry. My mind kept telling me, "Do you really need this sweater? Because right now, you need water. You're not going to make it. Abort. Abort. Abort." 
      The transaction was complete and I rushed my family out the door. "Fresh air! Hallelujah! Fresh air!" is what my poor teenage son openly expressed as the sliding doors of the store slid open. "What were you two girls thinking? As I loaded them into the van, I forcefully said, “The first things you do when you get home are don't pass go, don't grab lunch, go straight to the bathtub."  Windows down and hair blowing all over the place was the only way we could make it home without being asphyxiated. That was until the clouds broke and dropped the rainstorm of the century on us. All the way home we choked on Nikki's Pink Friday and Taylor's Wonderstruck, and I wished I would have waited two more days to spend my Kohl's cash when my kids were away at school.
     Washed up and ready for meet-the-teacher night, my girls finally smelled their age again. I can finally fully embrace them and kiss their faces without my throat closing and my eyes twitching. As for my van; well, it smells like I hosted a week long ladies bible study in it. It's ok, no big deal. It definitely beats the smell of old fries and spoiled milk, a scent most parents are very familiar with.
     At the end of these drawn-out eventful days, I still can't help but to remain thankful. I’m thankful that I have these kids who test my patience and do silly things despite my constant warnings, and thankful for the embarrassing memories that will forever trigger nervous twitches. Moreover, I will cherish and be thankful for these life lessons that I will use to guide my children when they are adults with little ones of their own. This shopping trip wasn't the first time my children have turned my face 50 shades of red and won't be that last. With my kids, I have come to expect the unexpected and sometimes the unexpected is not always that bad.