Stack Your Memory Stones

Have you ever driven along a familiar road of your childhood with your kids in the car? I have many times and I always find myself pointing out the window to show them things that hold memories for me.




Scents and scenes have the ability to bring those memories forward in my mind.   A fall wind, the salt in the air on the ocean highways, the sound of a horn in a tunnel when we are on a trip….all linked to memories.

When I drive around in my hometown, I can remember little bits that I share with my kids and my husband.  Recently, I showed them the movie theater in my hometown of Louisville, Mississippi and told them that parents would park around the corner to pick up their kids so that we wouldn’t “be seen” being picked up.  So strange…since obviously none of us could drive ourselves there.   That was obviously many years ago, as the theater is now listed as a historic site!

I can still smell the almond flavoring of petit fours when I think of a little pastry shop we visited on occasion after school.  There was a screen door with a bell that alerted the owners of a customer and you could smell the deliciousness long before stepping inside.

Memories….things to share as a glimpse into my life.  Things that no one else would remember if I didn’t tell them.

I’m currently going through the book of Joshua as part of a Bible Study Fellowship called People of the Promised Land.  We just finished the chapter in which the Israelite people had just crossed the Jordan River.  They were instructed to take stones and build an altar so that they might tell all who looked upon it in the future of what God had done.

It was a symbol that could be used to remind the Israelites how God had been faithful to His promises.  It was also a symbol that would cause future generations to ask “Hey..what’s with the stones?”

I started thinking about the hundreds of times when God has been faithful to me.  Probably far more than I can even recall after time has passed.  Maybe it’s time I start writing them down and constructing a little stack of “memory stones” so that I can not only remember myself but encourage others.

As I look back, I can remember that God was faithful and He will continue to be.

Whether I write them, build a physical monument, or just revisit them in my mind, let me park my mind on where God has shown up over and over.   Let me be thankful and let me tell others!

My son built this while we were hiking in Gatlinburg.

Parenting the Tweens

It’s been ten years since I’ve had a tween.  My first two tweens were boys.  I think the greatest challenge might have been keeping them in pants that were long enough and shoes that still fit.




Helloooo….10 year old little girl!  Wow.  The mood swings, the crying, the drama.   It is not for the faint of heart.  What happened to my kind, caring, cuddly little girl?  She does show up every now and then but you can’t be certain when those times will be.  The hormonal version shows up suddenly and without warning.  She might jump into a board game, hop into the backseat, or reveal herself in the middle of a math problem.  There are a few things that calm her a bit.  Sometimes food settles her.  A hot bath can help.  Usually it’s only sleep that makes her flee.

She can certainly cause turmoil in what was a normal day.  She blows in like a hurricane and exits behind a locked door.  To everyone’s relief, “she” usually doesn’t hang around for an entire day and the loving, kind version of her returns.

Sometimes it is a challenge to accept this phase for what it is.  A phase.  This, too, shall pass.

But what to do?  Are these years simply to be survived?  Should we just buckle up and hang on, hoping that this is similar to a roller coaster ride that we will soon step away from, still intact?

Working with middle school students for so many years as a teacher has given me a little bit of insight.  Strangely enough, I’ve had to remember how I dealt with other people’s tumultuous children in order to deal with my own.

It is good to remember these things (preaching to me here):

  1. As much as it upsets the household for out of control tween girl to enter the scene, it upsets that little growing girl more.  Having mood swings and dealing with such confusing thoughts and emotions is a tough job.  It’s tiring for everyone involved.
  2. It is a confusing time.  Yesterday she was playing with Barbie dolls and today she’s noticing underarm hair.  She’s in this body that’s changing and it’s hard to know exactly where all of those things fit into “who” she is.
  3. Remind her of her worth.  We haven’t reached the acne and oily skin phase yet but I know that it’s coming.  My husband has done a great job of always reminding the kids that their most beautiful feature is their heart.  That might be tough for her to remember when she glances in the mirror but plant those seeds anyway. Daily.
  4. Cheer her on.  Sometimes you can’t cheer her up.  You just can’t.  If I’ve learned one thing in parenting (or in any other relationship), it is that you can’t make other people happy.  Encourage her through the rough patches and tell her that soon enough, she’ll come out on the other side of this stronger and more capable.
  5.  Teach her.  In my opinion, one of the most uncertain times of a girl’s life is when she just doesn’t know what or how to do something.  It is hard to be the person who “just doesn’t know.”  Don’t let her find out about how her body will change during PE or gym class.  Spend some time talking with her about it.  Hopefully, she fully trusts you to have her best interest at heart.  If you don’t have that bond already, it is not too late.  Start talking. If she wants to know how to do something like shave her legs, don’t let her be the bandaid wearing girl who butchered her knees.  Show her.  Not in a big deal, weirded out kind of way but in a simple, lighthearted way. This helps it not to feel so awkward.

I know that I could go on with this list.  There is so much that I still don’t know and that I’m learning.  Mostly learning by doing it wrong and then trying to fix it.   🙂

As always, I’m a work in progress.

What about you?  How are you making these transition years   tolerable   wonderful?

 

 

My Favorite Trim Healthy Mama Recipes

A few months in with Trim Healthy Mama, I believe this plan just might work!  Who knew? 😉




I blogged about a few changes that I made initially to get me started.

 

I want to share a few of my favorites here.  I’m linking to the original articles and recipes so that you can see the amazing photographs.  When I’m HANGRY, I am not stopping to take a pretty picture.  I’m thankful for these ladies who have done the hard work!

This cinnamon roll muffin in a mug WITH cream cheese frosting is from northernnester.com and is uh-mazing!  It is so filling and I feel like I have eaten something that is off plan.  Hers is really pretty. I just mix mine up in a microwaveable bowl and dig in.  It’s really worth a try!

Lazy Lasagna from Trim Healthy Mama is really good.  When I first thought of replacing my noodles with spinach, I wasn’t very excited.  However, the flavors are wonderful and you don’t miss those carbs.  It is a keeper!

These banana muffins from mymontanakitchen are also very yummy.  They were one of the first recipes that I tried and I have made them many more times.  They are quick.  I eat them with plain greek yogurt and really enjoy them.

In case you think that I eat too many muffins (I guess I might) I will add in a few recipes that are also keto friendly.

Loaded cauliflower is a side dish that we can’t get enough of.  It is SO good!  It might sound weird to switch our your potatoes for cauliflower but just try it!

Another favorite is low carb broccoli cheese soup with bacon .  This is so good!  I keep saying filling because, to me, the best recipes are those that fill me up and don’t add pounds to the scales.

Fat head rolls are also a great go-to bread.

So, there you have it.  These are a few recipes that I love in one place.  Thanks for reading my notes to self. 🙂