Quarterback Scores Cheeky Touchdown

Yup, I'm still on a break. (For some reason that just made me think of Ross and Rachel on Friends. Bah, ha, ha!) Aaaaanway, here's another cute video for you. I know it's not football season right now, but let's just go with it!

A Day In The Not Too Distant Future

I'm taking a little blog break over the next couple of weeks. So in lieu of a "regular" post today, I thought I'd share a cool video my mother sent me a while back. Of course, it's a pretty blatant commercial, but I still thought it was really fascinating. Enjoy!

Side note: I shared this video with my boy, and after watching it, he pointed out this could be nightmare as far as spreading germs goes.  Ha, ha!

Quote of the Week

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly;
'tis dearness only that gives everything its value.
~ Thomas Paine ~

Image by: Steve Garvie

Lie to Me

I think as parents, we occasionally come up with creative ways to teach our kids life lessons. I was reminded of one of those creative ways not long ago. It happened when my 19-year-old daughter was harassing me about “honesty.”

She caught me busily uploading CD’s onto my computer so I could put them on my iPod. Now before you get all in a tizzy, let me explain! I LOVE audiobooks. It’s even safe to say I’m sort of addicted to them. I do buy them on occasion for my iPod, but I also have borrowed books on CD from our local library. When I do this, I often load them into my iTunes so that I can play them on my iPod instead of lugging a CD player around wherever I go. I don’t sell them. I don’t share them. I don’t keep them after I’ve listened to them. I just delete them when I’m done and move onto the next book.

My daughter thinks I’m being dishonest whenever I do this. I argue that I’m just choosing a different mode for listening to my audiobook. We go ‘round and ‘round, never coming to an agreement. But our discussion reminded me of the time we impressed the lesson of honesty on Ashleigh.

Yup, that’s right. Pull up a chair and get comfy. It’s time for an embarrassing story about my kid. And don’t even feel badly for her that I’m doing this! She’s created a blog of her own where she’s merrily posting pictures of all my failed food experiments (of which, unfortunately for my poor family, there are many) for her readers, so all’s fair in love and creative writing. Besides, according to one of my relatives, this story makes me sound a lot worse than Ashleigh, but hey! We’ve got to grab those inspired teachable moments when they hit, right?

Once upon a time, when Ashleigh was around five years old, she developed a bad habit of lying. It got to the point of ridiculousness. And the thing is, she would lie about the most obvious things, so she’d get caught every time.

“Ashleigh, why did you color all over your Barbie toys and playroom furniture?”
“I didn’t.”
“Uh…then why is there crayon and marker ink all over your face, hands and toys?”
“I don’t know.”

We tried heart-to-heart discussions. We rationalized. We rewarded her every time she told the truth first. We tried various forms of punishment. Nothing was working! Then one day I had a brainstorm. I decided to apply a writing principle to the problem. I decided to “Show, don’t tell.”

After breakfast the following morning, I pulled Ashleigh aside and said, “Honey, I have a secret to tell you.”
“What is it, mama?”
“I’m going to take you to see 101 Dalmatians today.”
“Really? Yeah!!” This was accompanied by lots of happy bouncing and hand clapping.
I leaned in and added conspiratorially, “But please don’t tell Joshua yet! Since he’s only three, he won’t understand that we aren’t going until later and he’ll bother us all day about it, okay?”
“Okay, mama.”

Our day passed as usual—with Ashleigh behaving particularly well. Then, at around 7:00 p.m., I said, “Time to get ready for bed, guys!”
Joshua barreled up the steps to get his pajamas, but Ashleigh hung back, a confused expression on her pretty, little face.
“What’s wrong, honey?”
“I thought we were going to the movies?” she whispered.
 “Oooooh, right. Yeah, um…I lied.”
Her little rosebud mouth fell open. “What?”
“I lied.”
I have to admit I felt a little bad when I saw the shocked dismay on her face, but I held firm. “You’re probably feeling pretty mad at me right now, aren’t you?”
She nodded.
“Sort of sick, sad and angry inside all at once?”
Another nod.
I squatted down and met her at eye level. “Well honey, that’s exactly how Daddy and I feel every time you lie to us.”
She started to cry.
I cradled her in my arms until she’d stopped. Then I repeated all the things her father and I had told her a million times before about the importance of being an honest and honorable person. But this time, the message really sank in.

(See, I told you I’d sound mean. Yup, I’m a mean mom!) But she never told us another lie--that I know of, anyway. Ha, ha! And we all lived happily ever after.

The End.

Quote of the Week

"You are a writer. You just need to keep writing. Don't let the Writing Fairy tell you that you aren't. That you need something more, that you're pretending to be something you're not. Hemingway wasn't Hemingway when he started. He was just a guy named Ernest who sat down at his typewriter."

~ Joseph Devon ~

Sin City Or Family Getaway

My hubby Chris and I journeyed to Las Vegas a few weekends ago for a family function. I’d never been there before and was curious to see what this place--known as everything from “Sin City” to a great family vacation destination—was actually like. We were only there for a weekend, and with all the family fun scheduled, we only had little time to see the city’s sights. But I think we managed to catch a few of the highlights.

When we arrived, we met my uncle for lunch. He’s lived there for 21 years and guided us to some beautiful views…

 …including the Hoover Dam and bridge.

We witnessed the 30-foot tall bronze sculptures known as “Winged Figures of the Republic,” created by Norwegian-born, naturalized American Oskar J.W. Hansen. They guard the plaque commemorating the 96 men who died during the dam’s construction.

On our final night there, we booked a room at The Venetian, which I must say, was the most amazing hotel I’ve ever had the privilege of staying in!

 They even offered gondola rides!

We traversed the Las Vegas Strip—that infamous 4-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard. I was excited to see it, and at first, walking around was pretty cool. We saw loads of fascinating people and interesting things, like Pretend Paris…

 And Pretend Rome…

 I’ve heard the lights of Vegas are so bright that to airplanes flying overhead, they emulate the effect of the rising sun.

I wandered through some exclusive shops and came really close to buying an adorable little, white sundress for a mere $1,950. NOT!!! Seriously, who buys this stuff?!!

Now on the flip side, I must respectfully disagree with anybody who suggests that Las Vegas makes a nice family getaway. We witnessed some pretty sad stuff on The Strip, as well.

First, there were the hot little numbers wearing their super short, super tight little numbers, teetering along the sidewalk and clearly looking for…ahem, a little fun. Chris and I observed many of them the following morning, just returning to the hotel as we were leaving at around 6:00 a.m.

Then there were the “Card Flicker Dudes” (CFD’s), at least that’s what I’m calling them. These were men and women whose only job appeared to be to stuff naked women’s er, business cards into the hands of passersby.

One of these CFD’s tried to hand a card to my brother-in-law as he was walking beside his 16-year-old daughter, and I actually had a female CF reach across me in an attempt to hand a card to Chris. Don’t worry I used my karate chopping techniques and she backed off instantly.

Image by Memekiller

Neither Chris nor I are gamblers. And I know many people find gambling a fun form of entertainment, but I must confess I don’t get it.

It was a beautiful, warm sunny day, and as we took a shortcut through one casino I found it a little sad to see all the people spending their day propped up on stools in front of machines, eyes glazed and faces reflecting the neon-colored glow of the flashing game screens in front of them.

But you know I like a happy ending, so to finish off this post, I’ll share that some of my favorite movies are the Ocean’s trilogy. (If you haven’t seen them, rent them!) So I was especially excited to see the Bellagio in real life, as well as its beautiful musical fountain—the one that’s depicted at the end of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Image by Poco a poco

Here’s a short excerpt from the one I watched. They performed My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion:

Just beautiful!

Quote of the Week

“When one door of happiness closes,
another opens; but often we look so long
at the closed door that we do not see
the one which has been opened for us.”
~ Helen Keller ~

Image by: Richard Croft

Hoping For The Worst

I’ve drilled it into my kids’ heads that a lot of people’s personal problems in life often boil down to a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Now I know this isn’t always the case, but negative feelings in these areas can lead to unhealthy relationships, and trouble with alcohol and drugs, to name a few. My hubby and I have worked to encourage attitudes of positive self-worth within our kids, starting all the way back in toddlerhood.

I’m also aware, however, there is a distinct difference between raising a child who has healthy self-esteem, and raising a child who is self-centered, unaware of the needs of others, and filled with a supercilious attitude of entitlement.

The youth minister of our church recently shared a blog post by Reggie Joiner, co-author of the book, Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. I really liked the points Joiner made concerning the topic of children and self-esteem in his recent blog post titled, "How To Raise a Jerk." They reminded me of this Andy Rooney essay I heard about a long time ago regarding letting your children fail, hoping they drive old junker cars and experience difficulties as they grow up. I tried hard to find Rooney’s essay online to include with this post but I experienced an “epic fail,” as my son would say.

Anyhoo… Here are some ideas contained in Joiner’s post that struck a chord with me. Some good advice if you want to successfully raise a jerk:

·        *  Protect them from the consequences of their own mistakes.
·        *   Keep them away from anyone who thinks differently than they do.
·        *  Try to give them everything they want.
·        *  Convince them they are more special than other kids.
·        *  Always take their side when they get in trouble with their teacher or friend at school.
·        *   Don’t give them consistent opportunities to help or serve other people.
·        *  Never require them to do chores.
·        *  Never let them hear you say “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

You can read his entire post HERE.

I think it’s natural to want our children to have an even better childhood experience than we had. Even if we thought ours was great, there’s always room for improvement, right? But how do you balance that desire without raising a jerk? What are your thoughts?

Image by: o5com