Monday, April 28, 2014

Messy Momma Musings: Loving Our Differences

QT: I'm done my homework. 

Me: Bring it here so I can check it.

QT: I've already checked it.

Me: Q, bring it here.

I grab his homework and he has completed his homework correctly. Not only that, he has accented it with a star. (Teachers method of saying job well done.)

Me: ::struggling not to laugh:: What's this star?

QT: It's a star with a smiley face. 

He says with such conviction and sincerity, I can do nothing but respond with, "Nice." The star goes there when his work is correct. No fun and games about it. His work was correct. Next topic. 

This is not out of the norm for my baby boy. 

He knows what he knows. Likes what he likes. Does what he wants. Lives in a world of literalness. 

Like when he seemed down one morning and his teacher asked him where his shine was. QT was so upset at the interpreted insult. 

QT: Shine? What shine? I don't shine! 

Teach: Your sparkle. Your swag. 

She tried explaining to no avail because my boy knows, humans are opaque. We simply don't shine. 

There's no one more loving than him. He sees an animal and literally melts into a puddle of love from the sight. He's very forgiving, always willing to turn the other cheek. He loves to read. (Almost to a fault. It's extremely difficult to get his head out of a book!) He loves to sing and dance. He loves to be happy! 

The great stories about this great boy are absolutely endless. I'm blessed to be his Momma!!

Although, having a child who needs are different is an everyday challenge; however, having him as a son is truly an everyday blessing. I don't like to harp on what makes him different because we're all different. He's too great of a little boy to shed too much light on it. God has called me, in spite of me and all my messiness to be his Momma. I will never take this gift for granted.

Sometimes we all need to sit back and thank God for our blessings. In spite of our challenges, there is such joy that we should be taking advantage of and enjoying! Laughing at the little things. Rejoicing in the big things. God's plan isn't always ours, but trusting in Him is beyond important. It's crucial. He's thankfully in control. 

God bless all the Messy Mommas with special children!! Xx

Share some of your heartfelt stories below! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easy Ways to Maximize Family Time Together

After working all day, packing lunches, getting dinner ready, and checking homework, the last thing on our minds is the dusty living room mantel or that the kitchen floor that desperately needs to be mopped. These things are always the last things on my mind! Constantly running from one sports practice to a birthday party here and an after-school program to a scouts meeting there, life as a mother  is a life constantly on the go. Spending valuable time as a family is important and here are some easy ways to maximize your family time together.
Chores can easily fall behind. Do the chores together! As a family, designate an hour or two of time together where you can dust, mop, weed, and wash, each member taking on their own personal vital role in getting everything done. You can make it into a game, or turn on good music and dance while getting it done. This will teach the children the value of taking care of their fair share of household duties as well as lessening the load of the parents. For some, (definitely me!) chores are a bore, but they need to get done regardless, right? Working together can turn a drag into a delight! 
During the work week, life can be an unvarying green light, but there are ways to take advantage of this. Use car rides as a way to turn off the radio and talk with your children. Ask them about their day at school: Who did they sit with at lunch or how did their history test go? Use this as time to discuss family weekend plans or future family vacations. Or even get to know them better: what great books have they read lately or TV shows that interest them.
If you find some free time in your evening schedule, spend time watching your child’s favorite TV show alongside them, or help them study, or act as a live audience while they practice their musical instruments. Once you begin dinner invite them into the kitchen to help you prepare that evenings meal. While it’s cooking, pack the next day’s lunch together. This will save you time in the morning and teach the children some great cooking skills early on! These small moments of a quality time can mean a lot to your children.
Give yourself more time. This means don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Cook a larger dinner if possible so that leftovers can be served the next night and you’ll have more time the following the day. Create a structured environment at home: specific place for schoolbags and sneakers or toys and books for your children to place their things. This will help eliminate clutter and save you and your child more clean up time in the end. Invest in a crock-pot. Throw ingredients in earlier in the day and dinner will be prepared right on time!
Moving forward, being a busy mother doesn't always mean that you are never around or too exhausted to be mentally present. Above are all easy and minimal tips to help make best use of your time together as a family.
What are some ways you try to maximize family time together throughout your weeks? 
God bless xX

This article was originally posted here: Working Mother's Philadelphia Some changes have been made.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Messy Musings: With God ALL things are possible.

It's so easy to doubt ourselves, isn't it? It's easy to forget all the wonderful gifts and strengths we have. To forget God is ALWAYS on our side. Encouraging us. Using us. Molding us. He wishes us nothing but greatness and love. He wishes for nothing but us always! He's amazing!!

It's important to remember in times of self doubt and worry that God is right there with you. Holding your hand. Touching your heart. Using you for the plan He has specifically for you. 

Here's a fun story where trusting in the Lords strength would have been useful to QT during a difficult time of self doubt: 

The entire Messy clan and I were meeting my mother and sister in town in a little. The kids had a late breakfast so I decided to make them an early dinner/late lunch. I quickly threw some frozen ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese on the stove while we took turns taking showers and getting ready. (Yes, it was late in the afternoon and we were just getting dressed. We're friends, right? Don't judge us. It was the weekend. Getting dressed is often optional.) Moving forward, QT is the last to come downstairs to eat. He shouted he wasn't hungry for a good 20 minutes straight, and once he was tired of the back and forth, he decided was in fact hungry. While cleaning up, I glance over at the dinning room table, to a lonely curly haired QT sitting at the table, staring at his seemingly untouched plate. 

Me: QT, did you finish your dinner?

QT: I was eating until I saw green stuff in my ravioli.

Me: it's just Spinach. 

QT: ::clearly annoyed:: Okay. 

I imagine he muttered to himself, 'Help me Lord.' a few times before he mustered up the strength to try again. He lifted the ravioli to his face to take a bite as if there were worms crawling on it. The expression on his face - absolutely painful. He proceeded to finish his meal using this uncomfortable method as if he were in an episode of Fear Factor and he were going for the grand prize! That's my QT - dramatics always!

However, there was no grand prize here. Just strong will and no choice. (More so no choice.) During times when we have no other choice, I hope we always call upon The Lord for strength and trust Him always. Prayer is a powerful tool!! 

Always remember during trials of self doubt, with God ALL things are possible! 

Take some time today to reflect on the times when you didn't know how you were going to make it.. Whether it be health, financial, spiritual, etc. During those times, didn't it seem like all hope is lost? Well, look at you now! Leave a comment. Share your story. Encourage other sisters and brothers in Christ. 


Friday, April 18, 2014

Messy Musings: A Letter of Gratitude!

Marriage is such a beautiful and sacred thing that no "Messy Momma Musing" would every be able to accurately display it's greatness into words. When the Lord if your foundation in marriage, you truly have an awesome thing. I'm thankful that Papi and I's faith is the playbook to our marriage.

As I'm writing this, (probably not accurate to when you'll actually read this but..) it's currently around 35 degrees outside and a Friday night. Papi is watching a basketball game and the kids are playing video games. Papi knew I was tired and sent me to the bedroom to relax. He said he'd keep an eye on the kiddos so I could rest. I'm happily wrapped in a blanket, reflecting on this gift God has given me. As it often happens, when I think of the blessings God has given me, an overwhelming sense of gratitude overcomes me. So, as I lay here as a giant human burrito, I thought I'd write my husband a quick public thank you...because he absolutely hates just adores this sort of thing!

Dear Esposo,

Thank you for coming home from a hard day of work and allowing me to crawl shamelessly into the bed at 6:30pm to play around on my phone take a nap. Thank you for making the rugrats dinner, and then making another dinner when they expressed their distaste for chimichangas. Thank you for asking about our days, scratching Chubby behind the ears, and watching the game downstairs as to not disturb my rest. Thank you, for praying for us each and every night. For answering our sports related questions DURING the game. (Exactly what RT and QT are doing right now.) For loving us still, as you pass the collections of our week scattered throughout the house, never anything in it's appropriate places. For being a man of organization but lovingly accepting a Messy Momma and her two messy piglets into your world of order. Thank you for supporting my dreams. All one million and one of them. (How I wish that was some sort of exaggerated number...) Most importantly, thank you for being a wonderful man of God. I love you.

Love always,

Take some time and thank the ones you are grateful for today!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

"There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do." Amy Poehler



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Social Links!

Our social links are to the right. However here they are! 



Messy Musings: Homework Time!

Is it just me, or does the overjoyed, euphoric feeling you first felt when you realized school on all levels was finally over get violently ripe away from you every time you assist your child with their homework? Branching off that, does an overwhelming feeling of shame wash over you when you've no clue what's going on?! It can't be just me! God bless all teachers and parents who home school!!

Although homework time can be a great opportunity for bonding and a time to reflect on the wondrous growth of your child both inteligently and physically, homework time can also lasso in less positive things. Lie a frustrated child and sometimes a frustrated Momma, too!

Looking over his math homework, RT let's out a defeated sigh, pushing the homework away from him.

RT: I'm going to get it wrong. I'm just not good at this stuff.

Papi: Give it a try. Just try.

After blowing my nose, (I'm not only messy! I'm very emotional, too!) I managed to snap this photo of my dear husband giving a helping hand to my sweet boy.

It is little life moments lie this that remind us to appreciate the little things always. Have a good week, all!

God bless xX

Friday, April 11, 2014

Messy Momma Musings: Reflections of His Love

As I drove into work this morning, I saw an older man standing in his driveway as an older woman, presumably his wife, (I don't know these people - assumptions) backed out of their driveway in a red mini van. The home was quaint with a yard filled with flowers, bushes, and little trinkets. It looked well lived in and made me feel as if home was truly where their hearts were. I watched as the man mouthed I love you, (Or olive juice - who am I to say?) and the woman mouthed it back. It made my heart skip a beat! How beautiful! This couple could have been married one day or married a 100 years, but that love was there, it was evident, and it was strong. It stayed on my mind the rest of the way to work. Love is just awesome and it truly makes me so happy to see.

Love has the same effect on me when I think about God's love. His love for us is great. He's standing outside to mouth I love you before we drive off to work. He's also in the car with us in our travels. He's next to us in our cubicles while we work. He's always with us. Keeping us safe. Always expressing His love for us. How can we not appreciate that? How do we allow our hearts to not skip a beat but to expect His grace. We're horrible sinners. All of us. No matter how we depict ourselves on social media or in front of family and friends; deep down, we're all the same. Broken. Weak. Imperfect. Dirty. Unworthy. Incomplete. Messy. Sinners. Yet, His love for us remains. Always. How awesome is that? 

As a self-admitting "Messy" Momma, I recognize my many flaws and because of this I can truly realize how unworthy I am of His love. This quote by Ann Tatlock explains this concept clearly:

“Here's the paradox. We can fully embrace God's love only when we recognize how completely unworthy of it we are.” 

Love is a beautiful thing. In small moments where you see acts of love it's a great reminder of God's infinite and unbreakable love for you. Embrace His grace. Accept His son. Be gracious for your many blessings. Trust in His plan. Share His love and word. Always love one another. Let love be an inspiration! 

Olive Juice! Xx

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Worldless Wednesday

If any day was acceptable for the duck face it would be everyday birthdays!!!
Happy Birthday, sister! I love you tons!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fun Indoor Activities for the Family

It's been one heck of a winter! I suppose, because the last couple were pretty mild, God said, "I owe you!" Ha!  With temperatures in the teens and mountains of snow, it was simply not suitable weather for kids to play outside in. Not only does cold weather prevent us from going outside, so does the unbearable heat, and spring showers!  So, in honor of it FINALLY being spring, here are some indoor activities to do together as a family!
Purchase a canvas for each member of the family and paint! Have everyone pick two or three colors of their choice of acrylic paints which are relatively cheap at your local arts and crafts store. Equip each member with paint, brushes, and even a paint palette! Once completed and dried, hang the masterpieces in a special place in the home for everyday enjoyment. We did this in the Messy Momma household recently. We all painted a picture of our home! The variations are so.. interesting, but it's a great memory to hang in the living room!
Receiving a letter has become a memory of the past due to our advances in technology. (Can you tell I'm all about writing?!) Have the kids write a letter (or draw a picture depended upon the age) to an aunt, grandparent, or family friend. Have you and your husband join in on this almost forgotten art, too!
If you are looking to gain some exercise and want to shake off those winter blues, conduct a freeze dance party right in your living room! It helps to get the giggles and relentless energy of out everyone! This is a huge hit here!
Entertainment is important and plays are fun! Have the children put on a play. Help them choose costumes and equipment and sit back and enjoy their imaginations run wild!
All of the above activities are great ideas for a simple night in or because of inclement weather. Of course there are our old time favorites: board games, movies, baking, hide and seek, camping out indoors etc. Whatever you choose to do - stay dry and wait for the May flowers!

This article has been previously posted:   Working Mothers Philadelphia Some of it has been changed. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

RT Reviews: Lego Movie

This is a guest post by RT. - MM

Hey guys! I just want to tell you about the Lego Movie. My favorite part is when Emmett becomes a master builder because it was cool. I recommend this movie. Remember guys everything is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Hey guys this is me in my Ninjago shirt. This was a good movie, too. It's also a TV show. 

He makes me one proud Momma!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Messy Musings: Encouraging Your Child to Write!

In a digitally run world, sadly, the use of pen and paper has dwindled quickly. However, the appreciation for it doesn't have to! As a mother of a 9 year old boy who finds anything without controls, buttons, and noise of some sort a small step below torture, I knew I had to find a way to encourage him to write and further more, dare I say, enjoy the craft, too! My big idea, you ask? Pen pals!

I e-mailed a few of my friends with children around my son's age with the idea and gladly everyone responded with great interest. Not only should catching up and meeting new friends be exciting, but who doesn't love the anticipation of waiting to receive a letter back from your pen pal. Some fun stationary and cool colored pens and he's sure to enjoy this experience. He has no choice. It'll be great fun!

If you find yourself having difficulty motivating your own child with writing, below are some fun ideas! I hope some of them will be exactly what you need for your little one!

Journals. Have your son or daughter journalize their thoughts, a prayer, or the days events everyday before bed! This private way will have writing become an outlet rather then a chore. Also, a book full of memories for them to look back on!

Writing games. Writing games can be whatever you make it to be. An example would be purchasing a notebook for you and your child to share. You can start a story and have your child finish it. You could write a funny joke and have your child answer it. There are so many possibilities!

Create a "Writing Center." Create a special and comfortable area in your home where your child can be encouraged to write. This space could be used for homework, penpals, creativeness, etc.

Have you needed to think outside the box to encourage and motivate your child in a subject of school? What things did you do?

As always, be the example you want to set!

God bless xX