Posts Tagged ‘children’

Verse of the Day – July 28

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Isaiah 1:2 (NET)

Listen, O heavens, pay attention,  O earth! For the Lord speaks:
“I raised children, I brought them up, but they have rebelled against me!


You are the only perfect parent and, yet, even You have children who rebel against You just as we do.  You know the pain of parents whose children are rejecting them, their advice, their lifestyles,  their values, everything. You love us even more fully than we can love our children. You know the pain and anguish we are feeling.

Thank you, Lord, for letting us know this.


Our Little Shadows

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Remember the childhood poem “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me”? Grandpa has one of those. It just isn’t his own shadow. It is actually Nature Boy.

Nature Boy adores his Grandpa. He wants to see and do everything that Grandpa does. There are a couple of problems with this. One – he is only four years old. And two – he is developmentally delayed. So everything he does to imitate Grandpa or to ‘help’ him turns out to be not so helpful after all. Grandpa spends a lot of his time at the computer so Nature Boy often sits with him and stares at that computer as if he knows all about it. Every now and then – when Grandpa isn’t looking – he pushes all kinds of buttons which sometimes delete things Grandpa really doesn’t want deleted. He follows Grandpa into the garage and ‘helps’ him repair little rocking chairs or other toys that have been overused.

One of Nature Boy’s favorite things is a cord that he can flap up and down like bird wings. Grandpa has all kinds of tie-downs, power tools, and extention cords that suit him perfectly. He happily flaps them up and down and, sometimes sneaks them out of the garage and into other places in the house. Then we get to hear Grandpa complaining ‘All right, where did you put them this time?” But, Nature Boy, being developmentally delayed, doesn’t talk. He just stands there looking innocent.

Anyone with small children has variations of this scene in their homes as well. Little girls watch Mommy and try to cook, dress and put on make-up. (My make-up gets hidden whenever possible to keep Princess from ‘borrowing’ it). Little boys the world over try to fix cars, paint houses, or otherwise imitate Daddy.

It’s a joy to watch them try to be like us. We smile when our little girls rock their dolls to sleep and we hear them say ‘go night night, sweet baby’. We know they are learning to love and cherish their young.

We laugh to see our little boys sitting at the computer table moving the mouse and clicking away.  They can be so much fun sometimes.

Then there are the other times. Times when we see and hear things we aren’t so proud of.  That time when I hear our Princess use a tone of voice when talking to her friends that sounds so unkind but sounds a lot like me. Or the times when we hear those not-so-special words that shouldn’t be used around children but are coming out of our children’s mouths. The ones that sort of slip out on occasion.

We love our little ones with all our hearts. I’m sure you love yours as well. If we want them to be the truly great men and women of tomorrow, we need to show them how. It might be time to take stock of ourselves.  Do a little self-improvement.

Spring Cleaning

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

All I wanted to do today was spring clean the kitchen. I didn’t want to spring clean the whole house. I knew that would never happen. I just wanted the kitchen to be nice and freshly cleaned. Did it happen? Of course not!

The lawyer had let us know yesterday that all background checks were in and Grandpa and I had to go down to sign the final legal papers on the boys. No problem. We could be home by 11 and still get everything done.


Courthouses do not have small children. Therefore, court houses stay on schedule. We were home by 11. Homes are where the scheduling problems begin. Children live there. Children who decide to sleep in for the babysitter (never for me) so are still lounging around in their pajamas, finishing breakfast. I’m still on a roll. I can do this.

An hour later the kids are dressed and playing and I am reminded the poodle needs a haircut and bath. I do this myself to save money and to cause frustration for myself just because I don’t have enough things to frustrate me. An hour and a half later, the dog is looking good. I wash one of the kitchen windows and the bench for our breakfast nook. The Little Guy screams for lunch. The Little Guy falls asleep in his high chair while everyone is eating. If I lay him in his crib, he will wake up in ten minutes and realize that he has been abandoned – God forbid!- and he will protest this injustice loudly. So I bow to the inevitable and lay down on my bed with him. He wakes up just enough to squirm closer to me. Happily cuddled up against me, he falls back to sleep. I decide I wouldn’t trade anything for this little naptime with the our special boy.

Two hours later, Grandpa wakes me to let me know he needs to run an errand so I get up to keep an eye on Nature Boy and Princess. Nature Boy is finally learning to leave his clothes on. Someday he will learn to stay out of the pool in the middle of March. Until then, he needs to be closely supervised when outdoors. And, of course, the Little Guy soon realizes he has been left alone and is sobbing on the bed. The three of them keep me moving until Grandpa returns. Yes, I’m ready to start again!

The Girl Scouts arrive with their cookies.  Who can turn down Girl Scout cookies? We have to take a break for those.  The Little Guy has to have his picture taken eating his very first Girl Scout cookie. It’s peanut butter and chocolate and is the best food he has every had. By the time he is done, he is chocolate from head to toe. More time consumed.



Nature Boy then insists on ‘dink peas tank you’. The refrigerator yields only white milk and precious little of that. I give him a cup. He patiently returns the cup to the refrigerator and again asks for ‘dink peas tank you’. I make grape kool- aid.  He takes a sip. Grape is not to his liking. In frustration, he goes to the fridge and pulls out a diet coke. ‘Dink peas tank you.’ Arrgh!!! Fine! Just take it and go outside!!!!


It’s time to make dinner. I AM NOT MAKING DINNER. I am going to spring clean the kitchen. I run to the store for milk and chocolate and through the drive thru for burgers and fries. At home, Princess meets me at the door. The dog got out. More time spent finding the dog! Grandpa, busy trying to find out how the dog got out, is otherwise distracted while the Little Guy spreads dog food and dog water all over the kitchen floor and Nature Boy covers himself in mud. By 9 o’clock the children are fed, bathed and in bed. The dog water has been wiped up from the kitchen floor and I figure the dogs will eat the food before morning.

I am not spring cleaning the kitchen. I am resting.

So why do I tell you this? Because this is the Advice From Mom column and I – as the reigning Mom – have some advice. If you have small children, don’t set your sights too high when it comes to housework. As a matter of fact, as long as the house isn’t toxic, consider yourself a success. Enjoy that special time when your little one cuddles up beside you. Enjoy the ‘firsts’ that come for your offspring. The kitchen will still be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that. It remains the same.


Your children change. Don’t miss it. When you’re old and retired, you can have a clean house. Unless, of course, you’re like Grandpa and I and start a family all over again.

July 31 Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you haven’t succeeded yet.
Robert Schuller

Some of the best entertainment to be had can be found while watching a group of 1st and 2nd graders during basketball practice. That basket is waaaaay up there. Do they care? No!! They believe in themselves.  They can throw that ball at the basket 10 or 15 times before they actually hit it. They may pout a few times in the process but they don’t quit.

Then suddenly, inexplicably, the ball actually hits the basket.


Smiles and cheers erupt! They were successful. They knew they would be. They have learned what somehow we adults have forgotten. Just because you failed once or twice doesn’t make you a failure. It just means you’re success is delayed a bit. Keep trying.

Life’s Little Twists and Turns

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Several years ago, my mother introduced me to what has become one of my favorite movies – While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock. In the beginning of this movie, she is telling about her childhood and her father. She tells how her father tried to explain that life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. In the movie and in real life, I have found this to be true.

As my husband and I reached that time in life where retirement promised fun-filled travel visiting children and grandchildren and exploring places we had never had the time or income to do before, we got a little side tracked.

Our youngest daughter had a beautiful baby girl. As a single mom, she needed help.  As the grandparents we loved giving it. Eight years later, the little one still lives with us and has grown to be a Princess who truly believes in her royalty. So much so that she is often referred to as a queen – actually a drama queen but whose quibling? She loves animals, outdoors and anything allowing her unending activity. Her body, her mind and her mouth are in perpetual motion causing her to get into all kinds of trouble when not carefully supervised.

About a year ago, we met another single mom who needed a home where her little one could live while she got her life organized. He is a developmentally dsabled little boy whom we call ‘Nature Boy.’ We call him that because he despises clothing and removes it whenever no one is watching. Naturally, in public, we keep a close eye on him. At home, he is often found happily watching Blues Clues completely in the buff. Sometimes he’s outdoors on his tummy on the swing with his little butt in the air. Thank God for privacy fences and older girls who call to inform me, “Grandma, Nature Boy is naked again!” He’s a happy little guy enjoying the world around him and somehow being able to get through to us what his wants and needs are even though he doesn’t talk yet.

Nature Boy has a little brother just 2 months old now who also lives with us. The Little Guy has blue eyes that study the world around him solemnly. Only occasionally smiling but when he does his whole face gets involved. He sleeps through much of his day and, thankfully, has begun to sleep longer stretches through the night. Lack of sleep was forcing me to recognize my age limitations. We aren’t technically the grandparents of the two boys. They just call us that because Princess does and we allow it because we consider their mother our pseudo-daughter.

We met another single mom around the same time we met Nature Boy’s mother. She has two little girls who are now just 10 months and 20 months. These little ones don’t live with us but we help out mommy on the week-ends when she has to work and needs a sitter. The two little girls come to stay with us on Friday nights and stay through Sunday. We enjoy watching the 20 month old as she dances through the house to any music available whether it be radio, television, Grandma singing or her singing to herself. She has little, happy feet that never stop moving unless she hears the sound of the word ‘no’. Then it becomes obvious that she is approaching the terrible two’s. She does a Jekyl and Hyde transformation that is astounding. Those happy feet do a quick transformation from dancing to stamping that is accompanied, not by music, but by a scream that is heard throughout the neighborhood. Her younger sister is a calmer, quieter child. She loves being rocked and cuddled.  When no one is available to rock her, she plays quietly with her toys, studying everything she sees with her big, beautiful blue eyes. Part of her studying things involves eating anything that she might find on the floor that has been left there by the others. She isn’t a a picky eater which is good when mealtimes come but not so good when chalk, crayons, Polly Pockets, matchbox cars and toy soldiers are left lying around.

It feels somewhat like my life is a ‘do-over’ today. While the biological children and adoptive children have grown and blessed me with many grandchilden, things just haven’t turned out the way I planned. I have retired but haven’t started the trips around the country visiting grandchildren and adult children. I haven’t taken the time to plan trips overseas or cruises on ships. On the bright side, I don’t have time to sit around discussing my health or my latest ‘procedure’ with the other retirees I know.

My life hasn’t turned out the way I planned.

I could, of course, sit and complain about all of this because I truly miss having the opportunity to visit the grandchildren who live out of state and I feel that I am missing a great deal of my children’s lives that I wish I could be there for. I wish I could be there for the tough times they experience, to help them when they need an evening out without the children, and to just be there to laugh with them and to talk to them.  I love those I don’t get to see every day. I also love those I do see every day. In choosing not to dwell on the negatives, I have been blessed with the joy of having little ones to hug, whose smiles light up their faces when they see me coming (unless they are coloring on the walls which means I will be seeing their little backs running down the hall). My life is good. Not what I had planned but very good anyway.

So why am I talking about this? I’m trying to encourage you to realize that not everything in life has to be neatly organized nor does it have to come in logical steps. Don’t spend time regretting what isn’t. Do spend time embracing the life you have been given and recognizing the good that you are blessed with.

July 8 Daily Verse

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Psalm 92: 13-14

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,

Father, many of us have children who need to be planted in Your house. All of us, as parents, want our children to flourish in life. We want them to have knowledge of the paths that lead them rightly. Father, we are grateful that you have blessed us.  We ask that You call our children to You as well.  Send Your love to them in waves they can’t ignore.  We so want to know that – once we are gone – You will be there with them helping them to flourish and bear fruit.

May 11 Quote of the Day`

Monday, September 10th, 2012

It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
Dale Carnegie



It might be a good idea to start thinking about the things in your life that give you joy; your children, the book you just read,  the friends who made you laugh last night.  Or think about the little things that improve your life; your car that keeps you from having to walk everywhere, the guy you hire to mow your lawn so you don’t have to, the coffee pot that automatically has your coffee ready when you wake up. Or maybe just think about the little things that make you smile; your dog who wags his tail at the sight of you,  the fresh morning air and the sunshine that goes with it, the little neighbor girl who smiles and waves each time she sees you.  I’ve given you plenty of things that make me smile.  What makes you smile?


Connections to the Heart

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

The little one got a new MP3 player for her birthday.  She is 7 and thinks she’s all grown up now. Her headphones are firmly planted in her ears most of the day.  She dances around the house to music only she can hear. We are breathing sighs of relief.  Sometimes, the constant noise of television, radio, CD players, etc can be overwhelming to us old people. We like silence.

She came to me yesterday with a comment that made me pause and think. She said ‘sometimes my songs connect to my heart.’ It occurs to me that it might be a good idea to stop and listen with her to the music she loves.

What ‘connects to her heart’ is going to shape her attitude and behavior.

As parents and grandparents, it’s important that we know what they listen to and connect with. We need to instill in our children the love of good music. The kind that lifts them up spiritually, that improves their attitudes, and teaches them to build bridges of love with their family and friends.  There is too much music in this world that can turn them away from what is good.  I want to be careful about what she sings.  I want to know the songs she loves and hear from her what the songs are saying to her when they connect to her heart.  I hope you’re listening to your little ones as well.


Cooking with Preschoolers

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Q: Anyone have any fun food recipes that would be good for a 2 yr old

A: Cooking with 2 year olds can be a challenge. They love to help! But we also have to keep them safe. There are the obvious cooking choices – learning to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and learning to make popsicles. Finding new and exciting things to do with the little ones isn’t always easy. There are all kinds of recipes for school-age children but not so many for the preschooler. I did find a couple of sites that had some interesting things to cook with your little one. They are:

If any of my readers have any good suggestions, let us know.

Are You Missing It?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Last night the little one excitedly jumped into our bed to watch movies with me. Now, this wasn’t something she had never done before. Friday’s are her usual movie nights with Grandma and Grandpa but last night wasn’t a Friday. It was spring break from school. A week night and she got to fall asleep in Grandma and Grandpa’s bed while watching movies. So exciting! She explained to me that this was her ‘very first spring break!’. It was a little thing. But a moment I am so glad I didn’t miss!

A couple of years ago, the whole family got to be entertained by my niece who wandered around the house making comments like, “this is the first time in 2010 I walked down the stairs. This is the first time in 2010 I hugged my dad. This is the first time in 2010 I said that”. There were a lot of things she did for the first time in 2010.

Every day, every child in the world can walk around saying “this is the first time…….”. “This is my first …..” Our children are growing up and, too often, we are missing it. There is so much in our adult world that seems important – the meeting at work we don’t think we should miss, the paperwork we brought home from the office to do this evening, the laundry that needs done, the dishes that need washed. All those things are important. I don’t argue that. I’m wondering, though, about priorities. When the little one is making her very first basket in a basketball game, where are we? Is it possible we could have worked our schedule not to miss that game? Working mothers daily feel the pain of having the sitter see the first steps of their child, hear the first words and many other firsts. Economic needs must be met. Some things can’t be put aside. The question is – Are we trading our children’s childhoods for a nicer house or a nicer car? If we are, maybe we should rethink our priorities.

It’s not just the big things that can be evaluated. Sometimes all it takes to be at your child’s next first is a little rescheduling. Mom doesn’t need to stay home to do the dishes while Dad takes the little one to the game. Mom and Dad can both participate in their child’s life. The dishes can wait until the little one is in bed. Dad, the lawn won’t grow ten feet in one night. It’ll wait until the next day – when there isn’t an important event – to be mowed. You probably won’t get a fine from the neighborhood association over one day.

We have this day, this moment, with our little ones. No one can love them as we do. No one can have as important an impact on their lives. No one will enjoy their laughter as you do. Be there! Just be there. They’re growing up and experiencing life. To them it is so exciting. Don’t miss it.