Teaching Rudeness

September 2, 2011 at 9:21 am (Uncategorized)

A few days ago I took my son to a local lakeside park to meet up with some other mammas and kids.  My son is VERY outgoing, he’s never met a stranger.  To him, a stranger is just a friend he hasn’t met yet.  I love that about him.  I believe that is what Jesus is talking about when he say we need to become like little children, all-inclusive.

What I saw that day torn up this mammas heart.  I saw my son snubbed time and time again.  He’d walk up to a group of kids and say “Hi, guys!”  and they would turn their backs on him, look at each other and mouth, “Do you know him?”  Or they’d look around for a parent to see if they should run away from my ever so dangerous 4-year-old.

Thankfully, he’s too young to let this phase him.  He keeps trying to be friendly and we encourage that.  We teach him to say hello when someone else greets him.  We encourage him to be the first to say hello to people we pass on the street.

I’m concerned that we are raising rude children in the guise of safety.  Stranger Danger has pushed us to ignore common courtesies.  You can teach your child to be friendly, while teaching them not to go off with a stranger.

Honestly, when you look at the statistics, we should be more concerned with lightning striking our children on those metal playgrounds than with stranger abductions.  Most abductions are custody battle/family member abductions.  Yes there are stranger abductions, and yes we need to raise kids who know how to run away and not get into a strangers car no matter what they say.

How does that translate into being rude to a friendly 4-year-old?  I know he’s big for his age, but he’s not going to cart your 7-year-old off the play ground.  He’s just looking for someone to dig in the sand with, or play tag, or swing on the swings, slide down the slide and in general have some playground fun.  You know, the way we used to do, when we were kids.

When did friendship for the younger set become only parent-approved-Mommy-get-along-with-their-mommy-and-we-are-both-there-to-supervise-your-play.

My mother-in-law told me of an incident that she experienced down in Arizona.

She’s in her 60’s and she was at Sam’s Club with her mother. Two very scary ladies.  They were sitting in the food court area having some ice cream and at the table next to them were three children waiting for their dad who was in line for food.  My mother-in-law is a grade school special education teacher.

Talking to children is as normal as breathing for her.  So she says hi and asks them how they like school, the usual stuff.

The littlest one starts to reply but is stared down by the older two.  My mother-in-law hasn’t caught on yet, so she asks more questions.  the little on looks over to her daddy and then all three stare down at the table, ignoring my her.  A few minutes later the dad comes over with their food and tells my mother-in-law, “We don’t allow our children to talk to strangers”

She was stunned into silence. My first thought was, “How sad for your kids, how do they ever make friends and learn to talk to adults.”  My second thought was, “So you’re actively teaching your children to be rude.  How nice for society”

We have become a rude society.  Politeness and common courtesies are not so common anymore.  It’s all about me and I don’t have to be nice to you.  After all, you are a stranger and strangers are dangerous.

How Sad.

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July 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm (Gratituesday, Housework)

One of the things I’m truly thankful for as I sit looking around at all the clutter that I’ve been meaning to get to this last week, is my very down to earth, understanding Mother in law.

We leave tomorrow afternoon to pick her up.  I’m so thankful that a clean kitchen (check), clean linen (check), and a clean bathroom (on list for tomorrow) are really all she expects.

She remembers what it’s like with a toddler/small boy, she raised 2.

She gets that stuff piles up in your life and until you have a large  chunk of time to devote to weeding through and trowing things out, it just sits there waiting and collecting more stuff.

I’m really thankful knowing that while she is here, she will help with the day to day keeping of the house so that I can do the weeding out.

I’m just really thankful for my Mother in Law.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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WFMF-Toddler TV

July 6, 2011 at 7:11 am (Parenting, Thinking shift, Why)

I have a wonderful, inquisitive, imaginative, experimenting 4 year-old.  In many ways we have gone against what seems to be main stream parenting today.

We are raising him free-range, which means something totally different than for a chicken.  How that looks changes from week to week as he is growing.  Last year I wouldn’t have let him play outside in our backyard by himself, this year I don’t always know whether his inside or out at any given moment.  But, this year, he has proven himself trustworthy and stays in our yard.  We live in the corner of an L shaped street in a very quiet little town.

I feed him mac and cheese for breakfast because he’s not a big breakfast foods person.  Frankly, all three of us would rather have breakfast food for dinner than first thing in the morning.  The mac and cheese is a step up from the carnation instant breakfast.  From 18 months until he asked for mac and cheese that was all I could get him to do for breakfast.  I can’t tell you how much food we threw away until I figured that out.  Some days it’s not mac and cheese, it’s a hamburger.  Works for him, protein.

But the TV thing.  I know that everyone else is trying to move away from electronics for the young.  My question is, WHY?  We live in an electronic society.  We are not going to wake up tomorrow and hot have computers or cell phones or any of the other gadgets we’ve come to rely on.  Why would we not teach our children to navigate in that world?  One hundred years ago, children were taught to ride horses because that was the normal mode of transportation.  While I’m not suggesting putting a 4-year-old behind the wheel of a car, I do explain the rules of the road and why I do certain things while I’m driving.

My son has his own smart phone.  It is not connected to a phone number, but daddy puts games and movies on it at home and when we are out I give him his phone and child headset with volume limiter on it and he entertains himself for how ever long I need to do whatever it is we are doing.  Doctor appointment, car repair, chatting with a friend, shopping.  He knows how to turn it on, navigate between games and we are teaching him how to get to his movies.

Television for children seems to be another of those dividing topics.  Many limit the time with timers for the day or week.  Some banish it completely and talk of not allowing technology to babysit and we should engage our child every moment with teaching games.  I disagree, vehemently!

I do not want a child that cannot engage himself in play.  I have other things that must be done, housework, cooking. And things I need to do to maintain myself, reading my Bible, quilting, reading for enjoyment, last but not least, talking with my spouse.

Our house TV rules are pretty non-existent.  There are days the TV is on all day.  There are days it’s off all day.  We do not have cable but we do torrent downloads on the xBox and we have a roku with Netflix instant watch.  Most often The Boy asks for Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs.  He will watch the same episode all day and run around recreating what he was with his legos and hotwheels.  Not only does he recreate their experiments but he also makes up his own.  I’d say that’s educational.

As far as the Dora, Diego, Backyardagians, Land Before Time, Disney movies type of stuff, I say it’s also learning.  Dora and Diego teach counting, spelling, spanish, teamwork, and many other traits I approve of.  Backyardagians, if you haven’t seen it, is my favorite for teaching imagination.  It’s 5 cartoon animals that all live on one block and meet up in the large area where all their yards intersect.  They then negotiate what scenario they are going to imagine and play in that day, from outer space to the old west, then after the “game” is done, they all go to one house for a snack.  The music is great and the dialog and vocabulary wonderfully non-condecending.  The Boy will appropriately use words well above his age level and I will recognize that he learned it from Backyardagians.

Some days he stays in the family room watching TV and playing with his toys all day.  Now that it is summer, he usually runs in and out between the TV and his sandbox.  Yesterday he did just that, watched some Mythbusters and used his legos to build what he saw, then went out in his sandbox and did his experiments.

I think that’s wonderful.  And I know it Works For My Family.

Linked in with We Are That Family WFMW.

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July 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm (Uncategorized)

What I’m thankful for this week…

1. Lazy Holidays

2. Watching a little boy watch his first parade.

3. Friends who feel comfortable enough to just stop by for the weekend and don’t care about the mess.

4. Spending time outside and just letting my house be.

5. A Husband who is fine with #3&4.

6. New friends close by who own a restaurant…

7. and have adopted us as family  The Blues Concept

8. A husband who will talk me out of a cute kitten… they turn into cats!

9. New screen doors for the house, even though it is taking way longer to get them painted and hung than anticipated…. dark color choices require MULTIPLE coats to be the color you chose

10. portable crafts like crocheting

11. napping little boys.

12. Cuddling up with my son as we watch fireworks for the first time

13. Ear plug that allow a little boy with sensitive ears to enjoy fireworks.

Linked it with Gratituesday.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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Treasures Found

July 2, 2011 at 9:03 am (Uncategorized)

You may not be remembered for your sacrifice

56 Men and a Savior


True Intimacy

Simple Marriage | 30 Ways to be Intimate With Your Wife

Enjoy beauty and inspiration where you find it.

I want to make a quilt from this picture


Never forget the cookies.


No-Bake Chewy Cookies and Cream Bars | Picky Palate


Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life – CakeSpy – Snap, Crackle and Pop Rocks: Explosively Delicious 
Linked up with Simply Staci: Saturday Stumbles

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Spicy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

July 1, 2011 at 9:23 pm (Uncategorized)

Dinner tonight….

1 vadillia onion thinly sliced

1 large slice ham diced

3-5 potatoes thinly sliced, I left the peel on

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cup milk

2 TBS flour

3 TBS dehydrated buttermilk

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS paprika

2 TBS cumin

1 TBS franks red-hot sauce

1 egg

salt to taste

1 cup mexican shredded cheese

Shredded parmesan cheese

Mix potatoes, onion, and cheddar cheese in a casserole baking dish (I used my Pampered Chef stoneware dish). Slice one stick butter (I’ll probably cut that to half a stick next time) and lay evenly over potato and onions.   Mix milk, flour, buttermilk powder, garlic, paprika, cumin, hot sauce, egg, and salt until well blended.  Pour over potatoes and onions and cheddar cheese in baking dish.  Sprinkle mexican cheese on top, cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour.  Remove foil and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.  Return to oven until all cheese is melted and top is a nice bubbly golden brown.


Not very spicy, no burn, but nice flavor.  I’d probably cut the butter and add more spice next time.  Even my 4-year-old ate it up, which is always a good thing.

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June 28, 2011 at 6:35 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, my son and I took a road trip with a wrought iron sleigh bed strapped to the top of my 2000 Buick Rondevue.  We had some friends who wanted the bed frame, we wanted out of our house, I’m ALWAYS up for a road trip and this one was only about 2 hours, it was a win-win.

My car has issues.

1.  A few years ago the motor on the driver side window broke, the window is taped in place with purple duct tape.

2. The driver side door has other problems, you can’t use the handle to shut the door, you must use the edge up by the window.

3. The air conditioning is temperamental, it works when it feels like it which is lots of fun when coupled with issue #1.

4. There is no emergency brake, the brake cable broke a few weeks ago and Dear Hubby hasn’t fixed it yet.

5. The ABS is currently not working, broken sensor according to DH, which means that the all-wheel drive doesn’t work.  DH promises to get it fixed before winter when I’ll need it.

6. It’s started this popping noise when you crank the wheel for a tight turn.

7. I’ve been telling DH that the exhaust has gotten louder, I was sure there was a hole in the system somewhere.

Despite all this, DH and I decided the road trip was a good idea.

I know this doesn’t sound very gratituesdayish (is that a word) but stay with me.

The trip was going well, The Boy had fallen asleep, I had a new music album to listen to, John Mark McMillan “The Medicine”, I was enjoying my day….

Then the exhaust got REALLY loud.  Thankfully I was only about 20 min from our destination.

Once we got there, I got out of the car and bent over to look at the under carriage.

This is what I saw…..

What I am thankful for today is….

1. The fact that it happened just 20 min from where I needed to be.

2. I found a Monro Muffler shop just 3.7 mile away.

3. Said Monro was open until 7 pm, it was after 5pm.

4. The wonderful men at Monro were able to patch my exhaust back together with a new pipe to get me home today.

5. Just across a parking lot and empty lot, within easy walking was a Pizza Hut and an ice cream shop to feed and entertain The Boy.

6. The friends I was moving the bed for had an extra room with 2 twin beds for my son and I to sleep in.

7. There is a Dunkin Donuts close by so I could get some coffee.

8. The guys at Monro told me that as low as the muffler was hanging, it could have caught on a pot hole and been pushed beck through my gas tank.  SO THANKFUL that didn’t happen.

It was fun watching them try to get the car up on the lift.  The muffler hanging down kept getting caught on the rack and another man had to use a broom handle to reach under and hold it up as they drove the car on the lift.

In a few hours we will get in the car and drive the 2 hours home.  I’m thankful for God’s protection on the way down and I know He will protect us on the way home.

Then, DH will work toward getting it all fixed up for me because the next trip we take with it will be this Thanksgiving as we drive from Upstate New York to Arizona to spend the holidays with our family.  It must be in good working order by then.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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Twitter and Blogging

June 27, 2011 at 9:02 am (Thinking shift)

It’s official, Twitter and blogging are a major part of my life.  I dreamed about them last night.  It was a strange, I must have eaten something before bed, kind of dream.  I was staying at a luxury hotel (never done that) but when I got to my room I realized they had torn down the wall that adjoined my room with the parking garage and were using my room as an extension to the parking garage.  I went to the desk to complain and was told they were completely booked and couldn’t get me another room.  I stormed off shouting I was going to blog and twitter about this and they’d be sorry.

I didn’t have pizza last night, honest.  When I woke up this morning I got to thinking.  If someone had told me 6 years ago that technology would be this much a part of my life I would have laughed in their face.  At that time I had a basic cell phone and that was it. No computer, my TV was in a closet and only used once a week or so to watch a DVD. I had an email account that I checked maybe once a week, if I felt like it and I happened to be at my parents house or a library.  I was on eHarmony, thanks to my mother who signed me up in the middle of the night one night, but I only checked that about as often as I checked my email.

Now, I have a netbook, a laptop, a Droid X phone, a nook, we use the roku, and torrent downloads on the xBox, my 4-year-old son has an old droid loaded with his games for heaven sake!  I’m fully immersed in technology.

I try to “unplug” from time to time and re-engage with my artistic crafty self.  I am branching out with my quilting.  I’ve always wanted to do a more artistic quilt than the standard block format.  I’ve designed my own strip block quilt, based on the Fibernachi sequence, made a king size quilt and gave it to my sister-in-law for christmas.  But The Husband took a really cool picture of a storm we were having a few days ago and my first thought when I saw it was, “That would be a beautiful quilt”.  So, I’m going to give it a try.  Who knows maybe I’ll combine my artistic old school textile art with my new technological self and make enough art quilts to start my own Esty shop.

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No Umption

June 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I woke up this morning, honestly I was slightly hung over.  After having Gastric Bypass last October, I haven’t had much alcohol.  It’s not recommended right after surgery and I honestly wasn’t that big of a drinker pre-surgery.  But lately, hubby and I have been venturing into the world of wine.

Up until last night, I was very careful to keep to one small glass at one time.  Last night, Jim went up to do some stuff on the computer while I watched Big Bang Theory (he’s not a fan of sitcoms) and finished the 2 lines left on a baby blanket I was crocheting.  Baby blanket done and that’s another half-finished project I’ve picked up and finished recently, Woo Hoo!

So there I sat, finishing my blanket with an empty wine glass, I’d had one glass, and there was wine left in the bottle…

One glass, I barely feel any effects

One and a half glasses, I’m feeling good, enjoying wine and not drunk but happy juicy.

Two glasses, I had to text Jim to come help me up the stairs.  Now I know.

So today, I didn’t feel like doing much, and yet I got a lot done!


Cardboard neatly stacked on the back porch by the garbage.

Kitchen and dinning room vacuumed.

Kitchen cleaned up twice, dishes done.

A cake/cobbler baked.

Ranch cucumber onion salad made

one load of laundry washed/dried (still in the dryer)

quilt material ironed and separated into projects

lunch and dinner served

The Boy showered and cleaned up after he played in his sandbox for a few hours.

Oh and a blog post written and posted.

So a very productive day.

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Spray Paint

June 22, 2011 at 10:51 am (Uncategorized)

So I’m spray painting my old white wicker knock off furniture that came with the house 5 years ago and has seen better days.  We went to one of our favorite stores Monday night, Lowe’s, and bought some really cool retro lawn furniture

Garden Treasures Retro Yellow Double Glider

Garden Treasures Dining Patio Chair
I actually got the chairs in the yellow and the glider in the green, along with the white end table and a child’s chair in green.
These and a nice fire pit were our major purchases of the evening.
UniFlame 34" Steel Firepit with Slate Tile Surround
The fire pit will go in the back yard and the new furniture on our wrap around front porch.  All old front porch furniture is getting a new coat of paint in either the green or the yellow and will go around the fire pit.
I’ve only gotten 3 of the 5 chairs painted and my arm is killing me.  Seriously, why didn’t I think to get one of those handy little spray can comfort nozzle handles?!?
Rust-Oleum Comfort Spray Grip
I’m going to Lowe’s today, I don’t care if it’s a 20 minute drive!  I’m getting one of these puppies for $6.29 and then I’ll tackle the other 3 chairs and love seat, did I mention the love seat?
Maybe next week I can do something about the weeds.  Or maybe I’ll just move my nice newly painted chair to the side of the fire pit turn my back to my weeds and face my neighbors nice manicured lawn.

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