Tag Archives: adolescence

Feelin’ Loved Lately

6 Feb

Trivia Crack helps me feel loved

Trivia Crack helps me feel loved

Let me preface this by saying if you’re one of those families with teenagers who still hug and kiss you, tell you everything about their day, and openly admit to wanting to spend time with you – the following list probably won’t make sense to you.

What I’m about to share is a simple list of moments, realizations and events that make me think I may still possibly have a special place in the hearts of my beasts. So here goes…  And keep in mind, the following are not regular occurrences, hence the reason they make me feel special.

Things my beasts do that make me feel loved:

  1. Respond to my text
  2. Put a napkin over their food so it doesn’t splatter all over the microwave
  3. Bring in the trashcan or recycle bin without being asked
  4. Takes out the trashcan or recycle bin without being asked
  5. Puts the toilet seat down (OK, this is rare to basically never, but a girl can dream)
  6. Shares a story from their day that is unsolicited
  7. Shares a story from their day that is solicited
  8. Responds to a question with more than a grunt
  9. Likes a pic I post on Instagram that doesn’t have his dog or self in it
  10. Invites me to load Trivia Crack so we can play against each other
  11. Opens a door for me (any door, anytime, any place – even if accidentally)
  12. Clears his place at dinner table without being asked (actually this is one thing they do well)
  13. Watches a TV show or movie with me (even if it’s about zombies, it’s still time together)
  14. Asks for help with anything

Wow.  It feels good just to type this. If you’re tempted to feel sorry for me or find me pathetic — don’t!!  Remember about 18 months ago I outsourced my emotional fulfillment and need to nurture by getting two puppies.  So if I’m having an off day, waiting for a response to my texts while scrubbing out the microwave next to an overflowing trashcan, chances are I’ve got two baby puppies at my feet waiting for me to make them feel loved too.

Leviticus 26:11-12 — I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.  I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.

Parenting Tip:  It may not be a picture-perfect relationship. We just have to be present and available when they’re looking for us.


Oh, by the way….

11 May

How late is the bookstore open?

How late is the bookstore open?


After 16 years of motherhood, just yesterday I finally had the epiphany around the gravity of these words… “Oh, by the way.”   Now that I’m enlightened, I feel compelled to share this so others won’t be blindsided.  Basically, when you hear “Oh, by the way” from your adolescent beast, brace yourself or take a seat. This introductory statement will only mean one of two things:  your beast needs you to do something, or some new and possibly unfortunate information is coming your way.  Some typical examples you may recognize:

  • Oh, by the way, I need to have a copy of A Tale of Two Cities for school tomorrow.
  • Oh, by the way, I am out of lunch money.
  • Oh, by the way, I drank all the milk.
  • Oh, by the way, I’ve been out of soap in my shower for about a week.
  • Oh, by the way, I ran out of my prescription.
  • Oh, by the way, I need to be at school by 6:45 tomorrow.
  • Oh, by the way, I signed you up to bring two dozen cookies in the morning.
  • Oh, by the way, Jack, Milan, Cody, Nathan and Carson are spending the night — can you pick them all up?

I am fairly certain there is rarely a time when “oh, by the way” delivers a message of pleasantries or good news.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the following sentiments were ever uttered?

  • Oh, by the way, you look really pretty today Mommy.
  • Oh, by the way, I did the dishes and vacuumed the house.
  • Oh, by the way, I’m going to start a study group.
  • Oh, by the way, I just wanted to tell you and Dad how much I love you.

None of those word combinations sound normal right?  That’s because they’re not. Especially when they’re introduced with “Oh, by the way.”  You see, a normal beast is not normally proactive in communication.  And “Oh, by the way” is the beginning of a new topic in conversation. Therefore, it is with good measure that a parent be concerned when their teen initiates a conversation that starts with this phrase.

But on the flip side, we can use it to ‘encourage’ quality time.  Such as accompanying us on the errand, have them help bake the cookies, clean living room before company arrives, tell us about their assignment, learn how to call the prescription in, etc.   In spite of the element of surprise, the nice truth is that “Oh, by the way” works in our favor too.  In fact, I have found that my beasts love me much more openly when they need something.  And oh, by the way, I’m not ashamed to exploit that.

Parenting Tip:  Request the things you want when they need things you can give.

[Galatians 6:10  Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.]


New phase. Sad phase? Good phase!

15 Feb

A little boy's party

A little boy’s party

My eldest turned sixteen this week and last night was the planned sleepover/ hang-out with all of his buddies.  I started off the day doing what any normal mommy does for their beast’s birthday and decorated for his party.  (A typical mom trying to hold on to her baby and keep him her ‘little boy’.)  I thought it would be funny to put up some cutesy decor so he’d be surprised upon coming home from school to see the dinosaur-themed balloons, plates, napkins, streamers and pencil eraser party favors.

By day’s end, my quite-at-peace, goofy mommy phase transitioned.  Such a bittersweet and surreal moment when you come home from work and find strange cars in your driveway, only to realize they belong to your beast’s friends.  I know they’ve grown up.  I’ve even seen some driving around town.  But not until it was in my own home did it hit me that this is a totally new phase.  The baby beasts are moving on, and I guess I should too.   So my sentimental side pondered it and worked to cope with the reality that this is the beginning of the good-bye.  Independence.  Self-sufficiency.  The apron strings are appearing quite severed.

Then came the major pole shift.  The light bulb moment.  The cool breeze across my mind awakening me to the reality that this isn’t a sad, bittersweet phase at all.  This is a good phase.  They have their own cars.  They want their independence.  They want to be self-sufficient.  I can leave and go have dinner with my husband at my favorite Mexican dive because they just drove themselves to get their own food.  I don’t have to cook for them.  In fact, one of his friends even made and brought over a birthday cake!  Another drove in the driveway to hand off a huge bag of carrots to my birthday beast.  (I know that part sounds weird but the big beast loves carrots.)  I just sat back and let it all happen.

Teenage take out

Teenage take out

And the best part was when I woke up this morning…. they had already gone to get their own donuts too!  I am so off the hook.  Well…. at least until my younger beast turns sixteen.  2 years and 8 months to go.

Parenting Tip:  Whether you’re prone to let go or hang on – you don’t ever get to stop loving them. It’s just a natural part of us.

[Romans 8:38-39  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.]

Shout It From the Rooftop

16 Nov

Daddy beast, “How was your day at school?”

Elder beast, “Fine.”

Daddy, “Did anyone say anything to you after I dropped you off this morning?”

Beast, “What do you mean?”

Daddy, “You know after you didn’t respond when I said good-bye.  So I rolled down the back window and yelled, ‘I love you Jason!'”

Beast, “Hmm.  I guess not.”

Daddy, “I guess next time, I’ll chase you down and give you a big hug too.”

Beast, “Maybe I’ll start walking to school.”

Parenting Tip: Don’t stop loving your kids, even when they act like they want you to.

[Matthew 18:12-14  “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.]

Cereal box bias?

18 Jul

Do these look empty?

If there are two boxes of the same cereal in the pantry, one box is open and one isn’t, which do you use up first?  Apparently, if you are a beast, you bypass the already opened box and open a new one.  Huh?

I thought it was just my kids, just my husband, just my house.  But I’ve learned this phenomena extends across the Atlantic. You see, our family has been hosting some fine young lads from the U.K. who are here coaching football (a.k.a. soccer camps).  Being a grand hostess, I noticed the cereal supply was getting low and replenished with backup boxes.  I strategically placed the already opened boxes in front of the new ones.

Then, today as I entered my pantry I saw it – the ‘old’ ones bypassed and the new ones put to use.   Assuming the old ones must have been empty, I pulled the boxes out to put into the recycle bin.  But wait — there was still cereal inside…. I kind of grew used to this with my beasts, but didn’t think that grown young men with manners and the ability to brew a fine cup of tea would be like this.   But it’s true, American or English — boys will be beasts, it’s just their nature.

Parenting Tip:  A hungry beast has no ability to reason, think logically or practically until they have fed.  And even then, it remains questionable.

[Genesis 25:29-34   29Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright. ” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear   to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew.   He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.]

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