Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Four (& Five) Letter Words I Now Have A Love (& Hate) Relationship With

WORK.  SERVE. TIME. MONEY. MORE.  HELP. FREE.  NEED. WANT. HARD. WORK (yes, I listed this one again). EASY. PLEASE. GIVE. GOV'T (I abbreviated that one). My list could go on.  I'm sitting here on this Memorial Day holiday weekend remembering a very dear friend who lost his life in Fallujah almost 9 years ago, serving in the Marine reserves. He made the ultimate sacrifice serving his country, as many, many have so that we can live here, in the U.S. in a free democratic state.  God Bless him, and all of those who have served and are serving.

Let me ramble...

I'll get wrapped up in situation with 'whomever'...complaining that WORK is too HARD. I wish it was EASY! Or maybe someone is in NEED of HELP with whatever situation he/she is dealing with.  There is never enough MONEY to get what they NEED. Or maybe, just maybe if they had a little MORE of it, they would be all set. Why can it just be FREE? In addition, there is never quite enough TIME to SERVE those who, again, NEED it. PLEASE, somebody, step in and help out! I even catch myself making these statements...if only, if only...

And then, this weekend rolls around, and thank goodness for it, to remind and help me reflect on the TIME, WORK, & HELP given to me by so many before me. It wasn't EASY or FREE.  Thank you for serving.  Thanks to the families of our soldiers for the sacrifice you endure.  I am a lucky American.  I am a grateful American.

I love those words listed above.  I think I kind of hate them too.  We take them for granted, and use them too easily.  Teach children to WORK and SERVE.  Teach them the difference between WANT and NEED.  Show them the true value of MONEY by having them earn their own, even if you have plenty.  Finally, make sure they understand what it means to be FREE.

Happy Memorial Day!

Below is a short video tribute to my friend...

Keep it simple...and be forever grateful for freedom. ♥D

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Never Put Anything In Writing...

Happy Mother's Day!  As I sip my coffee on this Sunday morning, I read many social media posts from others paying homage to mom.  I was thinking back to a somewhat vivid memories I have from back in 7th or 8th grade.  We didn't have text messaging or any other form of electronic communication...we had that reliable system of 'note passing'.  It was a pretty reliable source of information.  And, the one that repeatedly got me in the most trouble.

Mom's really almost know everything they need to about their children.  They listen to conversations (some of the best come when you're driving them around-especially with friends), pay attention to your whereabouts, and they READ.  For me in junior high, it was amazingly cool to wear Jordache jeans with spectacular stitching on the pockets and those pockets provided a place for my notes from friends to live.  But they had to be washed.  How many of you have family members that actually clean out their pockets prior to giving you the wash?  Oh, the many times I sent my notes to the laundry room.  I was handing my mom a gift into my private, personal life as a 7th grader.  Many conversations came out of the wash.  Many smart pieces of advice came (it may have been with or without a consequence of grounding).  The one piece of advice I have carried with me since that day...

Never put anything in writing that you do not want someone else to read.

Oh boy, is this helpful today!  With copy/paste, Tweet/ReTweet, forward, and share...we're doomed if we put a regrettable statement in writing.  I received many pieces of great advice (and still do) from my mother but this was has stayed with me to pass on to my children today.  What wonderful gifts have you received from your mom?

Here's a sweet video that celebrates moms.  There are many forms of know how you fit into this role.  Thank you.  Happy Mother's Day!

Keep It Simple...and relax today!  ♥D

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Red 'Oh No' Cup (Again!) - Reminders for Prom and Graduation Season

You can't stop the inevitable.   Especially at this time of year.   Prom season. Grad parties.  Pool parties.  Bonfires.  Your teenager will undoubtedly be invited to these and will be begging to go.  They have been waiting for summer freedom to arrive.

Red Solo Cup... this is your favorite time of year too!  As parents,  we are terrified of any photo with our children holding you close in hand.   But they may be put there.  Twittered.   Snapchatted.   Instagrammed.   You may think that ignorance is truly bliss.   But when it comes to your teen drinking,  knowledge is life saving.

Look at this Buzzfeed article and the images other countries have of American parties...

So how can we realistically help our kids?   I truly believe we have to offer our kids FASES (FAce Saving Exit Strategies).  I will offer these often,  for every age and many situations.   We all want to get out of challenging situation with grace, especially teenagers.  Here are my thoughts:

  1. Have them say, NO-I don't drink.  However, think back, how often did YOU do this?  Were you successful?
  2. Have them offer a medical excuse, "I'm taking medicine for an illness right now and cannot have alcohol".   Nope, it is not ok to lie...but if they find they are not strong enough to just say no, allow this one.
  3. Tell them to fill up the cup, but DO NOT DRINK from it.  Pour it out slowly.  Dump it in the sink. Pretend to drink, and then just don't!  Go to the bathroom and rid of the drink.  However, if a party is broken up with law enforcement, it is never a good idea to have the cup in hand anyway.
  4. Have them exit the situation.  Call you.  Text you.  Make it ok for them to get a hold of you for a rescue and then blame you for the exit.  It's ok for you to be the bad guy, if they stay safe, and remain in good standing with their peer group.

FASES are critical for all ages, even adults.  Do you have any to share for this issue?  Please do.

Finally, if you've got a little song in your you go (and this is Glee's version because this is what our kids are watching).  Keep it simple...everyday!  ♥D