finding happiness in everything

Posts tagged ‘fun with teenagers’

Should he stay or should he go?


In May of this year, one of my dreams was realized. My oldest son graduated High School with Honors. It was a fabulous feat and I was so proud of him.

Nicky's crooked cap

Nicky’s crooked cap

Being a successful graduate may seem like nothing nowadays, but I came from a family where I was the only person in the household that actually graduated High School. So, hopefully you can see where this was a proud moment for me ūüôā ¬†Nicky, true to himself all the way, was near the front of the line as the soon to be graduates walked down the path to the commencement¬†ceremony. In true Nicky fashion, his cap sat ever so precariously atop his head…tilted. Now, just to make a point, you should know that many of the seniors decorated the top of their cap so they would stand out, make a statement, or be easily recognized by family. Some kids were wearing sunglasses, loud shoes or boots, neon clothing on their legs, rainbow colored hair, etc. Nicky, bless his heart, stood out without trying (just as he always has). He couldn’t really be blamed for the crooked cap. We paid the ridiculous fee of $50 for the tissue thin cap and gown that he would “own” after the event. The gown survived the ceremony with only 1 rip in it, but the cap didn’t even make it 5 minutes before the lining unravelled and lost its shape.

My Boy :)

My Boy ūüôā

My youngest son had a performance at the commencement ceremony with his choral ensemble group. His group was projected onto the large screen that hung over the stadium. I dare say he was the most handsome boy in a tux present, but then again, I am a bit bias.

My beautiful boy with long hair)

My beautiful boy with long hair)

Our middle child was present to support his friends. He was somewhere in the massive audience of attendance. A couple of the boy’s sisters showed up to support him and we snapped a few memorable group pictures.

Family Shot

Family Shot

So, he did it! He graduated and I had all these grandeur¬†ideas about life for him …and selfishly for myself. ¬†Personally, I had already turned his bedroom into an office and was hoping he would seek the independence that most kids his age so desire. That freedom that comes when you live on your own and supper consist of ramen noodles, peanut butter sandwiches and bringing laundry home to mom on the weekends. I could so live with that!! You know, those days when you first discovered coffee & that the magic stay awake power it possesses to help you write that paper due at the last minute? I was willing to help him out as he helped himself too! These were my expectations.

I had dreams of him getting a job (or at least helping around the house), going to college (which he is doing now), moving out (after accomplishing goal #1 – getting a job), and beginning his wonderful new life. Reality sat in after several weeks had passed and the only goal he had accomplished was beating several new missions in his video games with his friends on-line. The prodding began gently: “Nicky honey, have you been putting in applications for employment?” He would say, “Yeah, but no one will hire me until I’m 18 mom! Hey, what’s for supper?” ¬†I would allow a week to pass. I asked nicely for several weeks and then frustration sat in. My husband began to bring him paper applications from every place he saw a “now hiring” sign. No progress. Soon, my gentle prodding turned into motherly nagging…daily. I reminded him school would start soon and that he was not going to get through life living for free. He said “Mom, I’m not 18. I’m not even legally able to give blood without your consent. Don’t worry. I’ll get a job after school starts.” I waited….and waited…and am still waiting. School did start. He had that life changing 18th birthday and now, he still resides at home…currently unemployed. He is doing well in school as far as I can tell though and I pray daily that he will seek employment soon. Some work experience is better than none, even if he only works 4 hours a week!

On a positive¬†note, he has mowed part of the lawn a few times since school ended and did the dishes for about a week. Occasionally he’ll offer to help fold laundry. He is doing well in school as far as I can tell and I’m very proud of that! I pray daily that he will seek employment soon.

Don’t think me cruel, I want the best for him and obviously my nagging has gotten nowhere. I think he will be a very accomplished young man at some point in his life and hope I am alive to see it. I love him dearly and hope to post an update soon with something very uplifting and encouraging about his progress!

If anyone has any advice, I’d love to hear it!! Please, please, oh PLEASE leave advice in the comments section. I promise to try all reasonable advice given and report back!

Yours truly,

Chrissy

Do’s & Don’ts of Cooking


Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fabulous cook. I have never claimed to be. I try though and somehow the boys all seem to be very healthy. Once upon a blue moon, my favorite hang out place was the kitchen. I stayed in there practically all day. If I wasn’t cooking, I was cleaning, or sitting at the table reading or paying bills.

Over the years, I have had some serious fiascoes in the kitchen.  In the past, I would deny my bloopers, but the more I think about them РI think hey why not share? After all, I may not be the only under-achieving cook out there.

Do: Make sure you have all the ingredients before you begin cooking.
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Don’t: neglect this small yet very important 1st step, you may be running out to a close by local small store to buy important items like (cheese, milk, bread, the main ingredient)

Do: Announce to everyone in the house that you need the kitchen all to yourself if you have a small space.

Don’t: Attempt to do the tango with a blazing hot cast iron skillet, a cat underfoot, and kids ducking & weaving in and out of the kitchen. Someone, probably you, will get burnt.

Do: Mix all dry ingredients first

Don’t: Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix on high-speed. (Egg is difficult to remove from the ceiling and dries quickly.)

Do: Clean as you go. Wash your cookware and utensils as you dirty them up.

Don’t: Hope the kids will appreciate the meal so much that they will help with the dishes afterwards. Instead they will have a cut on their hand and therefore be disabled for the evening, have a belly too full to help, start their nap early at the kitchen table, have a game that has been on “pause” too long and just have to go, need an hour-long shower, or some other random excuse.
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Do: Only make portions small enough to fit into your left-over storage containers.

Don’t: Cook a 25lb turkey or ham without enough storage space for left overs!! You’ll end up with the left over meat in every type of container in the refrigerator – Ex: Tupperware, Ziploc bags, Rubbermaid containers, left over butter bowls, Jelly containers, cheese cellophane, Drinking cups with lids, plastic shoe boxes (cleaned of course), sour cream containers, and anything else that has a lid!!¬† The day after said feast will result in frustration as you cannot find the REAL butter, jelly, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.

Do: Wear an apron or keep a hand towel handy.

Don’t: Forget you are cooking and wipe your hands on your pants.¬† If you do, you may stick to your chair when you attempt to stand at the end of the meal.

Do: Ensure that any frozen ingredient is not freezer burnt before using.
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Don’t: Attempt to convince the kids that it’s suppose to taste that way!

Do: Check all dates on canned or dry goods that you bought on sale and found in the very back of  your cabinet before using.
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Don’t: Try to convince the kids it’s suppose to taste that way.¬† (If they’ve fallen for this once, they will be wise to you the 2nd time around!)

Do: Dispose of food packaging in a safe way.

Don’t: Leave a can lid standing erect on a can after opening. Gently push the lid down inside the can. Those things will cut you as you take out the trash.

Do: Remove all decorative stove burner (eye) covers before turning the stove on.

Don’t: Turn on the wrong stove burner element before you remove decorative covers. Those things are totally flammable!

Do: Keep tongs in the kitchen at all times. They prove to be most handy to remove burning element (eye) covers if you should forget to remove them.

Don’t: Make microwavable macaroni and cheese without adding water. It is flammable without water.

Do: Watch boiling noodles on stove top and stir regularly.

Don’t: Walk away from boiling noodles on stove top. Again, those noodles are totally flammable!

Do:  Stay in the kitchen when you cook.

Don’t:¬† Lay on the couch to take a nap when cooking.

These are just a few helpful do’s and don’ts that may help someone new to cooking. You’d think all these things are common sense, but they aren’t. Some of these were my mistakes when I was very young and others have been made by my kids.

We have a great deal more of these I could share. Let me know if you want to read more ūüôā

Adventurous Oddities of 1 Day


Yesterday was a typical day for us, full of oddities and fun. Since everyday is fresh, life never gets stale. It may not be the type of day we want, but it’s certainly never dull. Enjoy with me?

I rented the movie Beavis and Butthead Do America for my boys to watch. My youngest son (13) has been walking around lately with his shirt pulled up over the back of his head. I’ve been calling him Cornholio and thought he might like some reference material.

After the movie was over, my oldest son went outside. He began running laps up and down the road. After 4 or 5 laps he would come inside and take a shower, rest for a bit, then go outside & run again. I asked him what he was doing. He said, “I’m working out Mom.” Tickled, I said, “…well okay, could you perhaps shower when you are finished with your whole workout instead of after every 4th lap, please?”

While my oldest is working out, my youngest proceeds to walk through the house with his hands in the air & shirt pulled over his head saying, “I’m Cornholio.”

I retreated to my room. 

After a brief reprise, my oldest son came into my room to announce he would be going to “Germie’s house” & I would need to pick him up around noon tomorrow. (Incase you are 35 or older and are not aware, Jeremy is now phonically pronounced Germ-ee…teenagers?) After reminding him his chores & homework must be completed first, I agreed he could go.

My youngest (Cornholio) was feeling a bit left out with no one to aggravate, so I told him to grab his shoes & PSP. We went go to McDonalds. Every female employee there loves to flirt with him. He eats that up! Within 10 minutes, he had 3 new ‘girl friends’, was engaged, flirting, and being smiled at by all his favorite ladies. At one point, he was playing around & began to pout like a 6 yr old, “I wanna ice cream.” Out of nowhere, an employee was standing by my side, holding 2 ice cream cones!

After much fun, random conversation, & silliness our batteries were running low on the laptop & PSP, so it was time to go.¬† Usually my son gets all the attention, but on this trip I unexpectedly got a little. A guy that has called me “Pretty Girl” for the last 2 years wrote his phone number on a piece of paper & gave it too me.
Flattered by this young guy, I smiled & thought, “No! Our McDonalds experience will be forever changed until attrition gets you young ‘en!”

I didn’t say anything though. I just smiled and said “Goodbye!”

Driving the short distance home, I noticed the sun was starting to set.  We hurried along to beat the clock on another day rental of Beavis & Butthead and make it to the park to capture the sun setting.

As we pulled into the parking lot of the beautiful park, my son noticed something odd…all alone in the middle of the vast parking area was an upright vacuum cleaner!¬† It had been stripped of ill hoses & attachments. It looked so lonely & I pittied it. Then it occurred to me…IT’S A VACUUM!¬†¬† ūüôā¬† My son and I exchanged a stare, then busted out laughing ūüôā

We caught the sun setting in a single shot with our phones and mine promptly ran out of battery charge!

Lap top and PSP completely charged once more, we went back out to town. My youngest made a game of using his mini plunger creating suction on his face. That mini plunger was a novelty to be used on a cell phone as a prop or kick stand- not to suck hickies on a person’s skin.¬†

Before bed, my youngest came to me & said, “I’ve had a gr8 day mom. I’ve eat well, found a vaccum cleaner, got on Facebook, & given myself a hickie. Good night.” Me: “huh? Ok, night son¬†¬†¬† ūüôā “

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