Category Archives: Parenting

Moms and their boys is a beautiful thing.

7 Proven Parenting Tips


7 proven Parenting Tips

7 proven Parenting Tips

The toughest job… takes courage and strength

The most rewarding job… full of joy and sorrow

On-the-job training… once you think you have it figured out; things change

No instruction manuals… never know what to do

What is your goal as a parent?

Mine is, and always has been, to raise independent, responsible, young men.

I love being a mother. I would have been content living the life of June Cleaver, but I was blessed with the life of Christi Weems; mom of Garrett and Austin Weems. Garrett is the child who always challenged me and felt as though rules were to be broken. Did I mention Garrett is a ginger? Austin is my obedient child who speaks very little, but when he does, he speaks with wisdom and humor.  We have had our peaks and valleys and I have made plenty of bad decisions. I felt as though I should share some methods that have been proven to effective over the years.

  • Allow them to be who they are; not who you want them to be.

The hardest lesson that must be learned as a parent. This one took me years to figure out and caused a lot of heartache in our home. All I ever wanted to be was “football mom” and I was granted the experience for one high school season. Football was not the boys’ passion; it was mine. I had to let it go and let them be themselves. Garrett found his passion with electronics and graphic design. He began his graphic design career at the age of sixteen and opened his own company at seventeen. Austin is a freshman in high school and has yet to find his passion. Recently, he built his own gaming computer. It may be safe to say that gaming is in his future.

  • Live by example.

I cannot expect the boys to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.  I have always worked hard, treated people kindly, and lived with integrity which is exactly what I expect from them. I am raising boys to be men without a male role model. It is important to me for them to have good manners. I will stop at a door and wait for them to open it for me. I explain to them that a woman wants to date a gentleman and gentlemen have manners.

  • Use your words to build them up; not tear them down.

The world is tough enough on children without parents breaking them down at home. Each day, I tell the boys, “You are a champion. I am proud of you. Make good choices.” I place inspirational notes in their lunches periodically. My heart crushes when I hear a parent call their child, “stupid” even if they’re only joking. Those words linger in your child’s head and heart for years.

  • Be hard on them.

The price they pay as children and teenagers is much less than what they’ll pay as adults in society. Any time I received calls from teachers or administrators my response was always, “Be harder on my child than you would be any others.” When Garrett was making bad choices in high school, the assistant principal worked with me to create harsh consequences for his actions. After he suffered the consequences, he straightened up and I did not have any more problems. When they were toddlers, I carried a wooden spoon in my purse; I was never afraid to use it. As they got older, I learned a special pinch on their arm did the trick. Spanking your children may be against your beliefs, but I know it worked for mine.

  • Allow them to fail.

This is heartbreaking to watch, but it is necessary to happen. Garrett did not have a good relationship with one of his Spanish teachers. Garrett has never understood the concept of respecting your elders. In his eyes, you had to earn his respect despite your age. He did not respect her for reasons unknown. After multiple emails, phone calls, and conferences, I realized this was a life lesson for Garrett.  It was tough for me to see him fail, as a teacher, I cringed. I hate seeing students who are fully capable not succeed solely because they are not willing to work. I emailed the teacher the following, “Garrett is a young adult and has to learn from his actions.  I cannot sweep in and do this for him. He has to face the consequences of his actions.” He failed Spanish and had to repeat it the following year. The learning lesson took place about a year later. The first semester he was out of a school an hour early each day, but the second semester he had to stay the extra hour each day to retake Spanish.

  • Give them responsibilities.

We divide all the chores in the house by three and we each do our own part. I cannot do it all on my own and they have to understand what it takes to manage a household. If one of us doesn’t do our part, the house cannot function smoothly. They each do their own laundry. I’m not saying they always do things perfectly or the way I would do it, however,  if I don’t allow them to do things, the will not learn. It’s okay if the towels aren’t folded perfect. I allow them to cook, but I probably should be teaching them cooking skills more regularly. Culinary techniques are not my specialty; therefore, this is an area we could all use some improvement. I also sit down with them to discuss the monthly budget. Often times, they would rewash a load of laundry instead of folding the clothes and putting them away (which infuriated me.) After we discussed the electricity and water bill, this routine concluded.

  • Love Unconditionally.

Love unconditionally is affection without any conditions. Do your children know you love them without any conditions?   Your children must know they are loved despite their behaviors. We create their safe haven by the love we provide.

Raising boys to be men without a man around has been a tough, but rewarding journey.  I am proud of the men my boys have become. Parenting is my favorite job and I have made my share of mistakes. Punishing your children and telling them no may be painful at the moment, but prevents future pain.  My boys are not perfect and they are still learning but they make my life complete. I hope this encourages you to speak words of encouragement to your children today! Believe in yourself because you are doing a great job!!

Mother’s Day Half Marathon


20140512-221837.jpgMother’s Day Half Marathon

2014 is my second year to run the Mother’s Day half marathon sponsored by Cox Racing Services.   The course is along the Trinity River which runs through downtown Fort Worth.  The course is fairly flat and scenic with the river on one side of you and various parts of Fort Worth on the other side of you.  Mother’s Day Half Marathon was race 17 of 40 in 2014.  Cox Racing Systems did a great job in providing every detail for an amazing race day.

Mother’s Day 2014 was  a perfect day for me.  I woke up to find Austin (my 14 year old son) had baked me a cake that he found on Pinterest. Austin woke up at 5am to be my cheerleader at the finish line.  I could not ask for a better gift than the time with my son and runner loves cheerleaders on the race course.

We arrived at the race and he slept in the car for another hour before meeting me on the course.  I met up with a couple of my running friends before the race.  It was a small race and everyone congregated at the starting line.  The countdown began and we were off.  It was out and back.  Along the course, I saw a snake in the adjacent field. The water stations were stocked with water, animal crackers, Advil, gummy bears, and bananas.  About mile 8, I took a Clif Shots and mile 9, I met a lady named Lisa who helped me get to mile 11.  She had been through neck surgeries, back surgeries and was 56 years old.  She encouraged me and shared with me things that worked for her.  I love the friends I meet along the course. Runners are authentic people with stories that motivate you. At mile 12, I was excited to see Austin and picked up the pace.  As I approached mile 13, he was on the sideline skipping rocks (love my boy).  He ran up the hill as I made the corner and took finish line pictures of me.

Cox Racing Systems had gift baskets for the mothers at the finish line along with the finishers’ medal.  The post race snacks consisted of homemade brownies, water, chips, Jack-in-the-Box breakfast on a bun, and capri suns for the kids. They honestly did think of all the details to make this a fun race.

Austin and I went to Ol’ South Pancake House for a German pancake.  He endured an hour wait for me to enjoy my favorite pancake! If you have not tried a German pancake, I encourage you to do so soon!

Upon returning home, Garrett (my 16 year old son) had a gift for me.  He had designed a shirt for me, popcorn, and a coca-cola.  I am blessed with two amazing sons who give with their heart. 20140512-221851.jpg

Mother’s Day Half Marathon was an added bonus to a perfect day.  I enjoyed time with my boys, great gifts, and my love of running. 20140512-221901.jpg

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon


Rhythm & Blues Half MarathonRhythm & Blues Half Marathon

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon  was the sixth marathon in my goal of 40 in 2014.  It was my first time to run in Houston, Texas and overall a great race.  I arrived in Houston on Friday evening via the megabus. Garrett and Danielle picked me up at the bus station and we checked into our Residence Inn by Mariott suite.   Mariott has been my choice in hotels lately for the great service and cleanliness. After checking in, we went for sushi.  Saturday morning, we went to Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon packet pick-up and then to the Houston Galleria for shopping.  Packet pickup was easy and they had the Clif Shots in Vanilla which made me very happy.  I stocked up on them since I have not been able to find them locally. While shopping at the Galleria, I purchased a pair of lululemon running tights which I will share more about in another blog post.

After a morning of shopping, I attended an event sponsored by Essence magazine featuring Tony Gaskins. The event was very nice and informational.  I will share more about it in another blog post.  I want to stay focused on Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon. Garrett, Danielle, and I went to dinner at Goode Seafood which was incredible before I returned to the hotel to rest for the race.

Garrett & Danielle

Race day has arrived and I was up and ready for the race.  I was not sure what to expect since I had not exercised since the race a week ago and had traveled a lot. Garrett dropped me off at the starting line and I felt great.  The weather was perfect and the race was small and had a friendly atmosphere.  It did start a little late which was fine because it gave me time to visit the porta potty and set up my music.  The race started and we were off.  It was a double loop and did not have a lot of scenery, but it did have several bands playing and friendly volunteers handing out water and Gatorade.

At about mile 8, I met a first timer who told me she had knee problems.  The lady next to us started praying for her, her knees, and claiming victory for her to finish.  I was impressed with her faith to speak out for a stranger in the middle of a marathon. I love seeing people reach out to others who are hurting.  We visited for the next mile and I were separated while she slowed down to wait for her friend.

I pushed had at the end to beat a 2:30 time, but did not beat it.  I am slowly improving, but not as much as I would like to improve.  I will start on intervals this week. The best part of the race was having Garrett and Danielle at the finish line to cheer for me. Garrett was shouting, “mom mom mom” while Danielle was filming.  They ran up and hugged me and we headed to the pizza and beer tent.

Rhythm & Blues Half Marathon – video of finish line

Overall, the race was great!

My son and Danielle there to cheer for me was the best.

The Lululemon running tights prevented chaffing.

The medal was great!

The pizza and beer were good too!

Rhythm & Blues half marathon #6 of 40 in 2014!

2/15 Stonebridge Ranch Half in McKinney, TX

My baby turns 14 today!


My baby turns 14 today!My baby turns 14 today!

My baby turns 14 today and it has not been your typical birthday celebration kind of day. Austin is my youngest son and he turned 14.  He is an incredible, young man and excels in school and on the football field. He was born with a hole in his lung which made his first few weeks of life difficult.  He is alive and well and doing great.  I have had the opportunity to teach in the middle school where he attends and realize that he will be leaving in about 17 weeks to attend high school which makes me sad.  I am blessed to have time with him each day driving him to and from school and to have been at school for him when he needed me.  He will tell you that he is happy about going to a school where I am not there.

The day started as a normal day as we prepared for school and started on our way (I did make cupcakes and our dog spared three of them from his breakfast counter surfing) until I was called into the hallway by the assistant principal.  My baby boy who rarely got in trouble was under the radar for the assistant principal, but it was more of a concern about some of the other boys sitting at his lunch table.  Thank God… it was a close call. I continue on with UIL activities to get a call from the high school principal about my oldest son. The high school principal and I have a relationship since he has had to call me a few times.   Yes, my oldest has been the source of several of the sparkles in my hair.  Needless to say, he keeps my life interesting and he has entrepreneur skills.  The high school principal explains to me that Garrett has been making fake parking passes and selling him. He continues to tell me that they are the best he has ever seen and that he did a good job.  He will have to return the student’s money and attend Saturday school.  My oldest excels in computer graphics and sales.  I can honestly say, I have never  Oh wow… it is only 4 pm.

We are home for a couple of hours and we all took a nap; it had already been an exhausting Monday. My baby turns 14 and we are spending the evening preparing him for high school at  a meeting  to prepare for his courses for the upcoming year.  He had to opportunity to look at the different options and meet the head football coach. The school he will attend has won back to back state championships for football and my son is excited about the football program. We braved the cold, ran to the car, and headed to Chili’s for dinner… his fave.

Upon arriving at home and preparing for bed, I learn that a lifelong friend had complications from surgery, had been resuscitated, and was not doing well.  I did not sleep well and was concerned all night.  I reflected on life, counted my blessings, and reminisced about our times together while chatting with other lifelong friends.  I realized life is a gift and the small things like calls from principals don’t really matter in the big picture.  Remember to tell those who are close to you that you love them, embrace the moments you have together and always have a heart of gratitude.

Ways to Pray for Your Spouse


Ways to Pray for Your Spouse

Sunday

  • That he might become a hold many, a man of prayer, mature in the Lord, growing in his knowledge of God.  (1 Thes. 5:23; Col 4:12; Eph. 6:18; Eph. 1:18-19; Eph. 3:16-19)

  • That he might daily seek God with all his heart, walking in the Spriirt moment by moment, growing in his dependence on Him. (Psalm 119:1-2; Psalm 27:4; Proverbs 3:5-6; John 15:5)

Monday

  • That he might learn to take every thought captive, to not be conformed to the world’s thinking and to think scripturally. (Romans 12:2; II cor. 10:5)

  • That he would learn to not depend on his circumstances for happiness, but on God alone. (Hab. 3:17-19)

Tuesday

  • That he might have  new strength in the midst of his busy schedule and that the Lord might infuse him with His strength (Is. 40:31; Eph. 3:14-19)

  • That his self-image might be a reflection of the Lord’s thoughts toward him. (Eph. 1:17-19; james 1:5-7)

Ways to Pray for Your Spouse

Wednesday

  • That he might become a called man, not driven, with well thought-through and prayed-through goals in life (I Cor. 9:24-27)

  • That the Lord might give him wisdom to lead his family physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. (Eph. 1:17-19; James 1:5-7)

Thursday

  • That he might stand firm against the schemes of the devil and resist Satan in all circumstances. (Eph. 6:10-18; James 4:7)

  • That he might not be deceived into unbelief or sin (Gal. 6:7)

Ways to Pray for Your Spouse

Friday

  • That the fruit of the Spirit might be exhibited more and more in his life (Galatians 5:22-23)

  • That he might learn to love as God has commanded. (1 Cor. 13:4-7; Romans 12:8-10)

Saturday

  • That the Lord might protect him, guarding his course. (Proverbs 2:8)

  • That he might learn to manage his time well. (Eph 5:15)

The ACTS of Prayer


The ACTS of Prayer

What do you think of when you hear the word “prayer?”

Do you pray? Do you want others praying for you?

I believe in the power of prayer and make it part of my daily life whether it is short prayers throughout the day or a longer session of journaling in my prayer journal.   I have used a prayer journal for twelve (ish) years now and I love to reflect over the years how God answered the prayers.  Whether he answered in what I thought was the right answer or not, I am blessed by the lessons and people in my life throughout this journey of life.  I have learned to find joy in the journey.

Adoration

Initiate prayer with adoration of the Father: proclaiming His name and praising His greatness.

Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name.”

Confession

Provide time for God to reveal any sin in your life so that you may confess it and return to a right relationship with Him.

Psalm 139:23- 24 “Search me, O God and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”

Thanksgiving

Take time to thank God for what He has done in your life and for what he has given you.

Psalm 126:3 “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”

 

Supplication

Ask God for your needs and desires, including intercessory prayer for others.

Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplications with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.”

 

ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  ACTS is a guide for your daily prayer life. This acronym has helped me with my daily prayer life and I hope it is helpful for you too. The next few days, my blog will be about prayer.  I will have post for praying for your spouse, family, friends, church, and leaders.

 

 

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014


Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 20140125-171239.jpg

My life has turned into a consistent series of “Ideal days” and I am blessed beyond belief.  I wake up each day feeling each day is magical and I know this feeling has been a process of a lot of things over the last few years.  I woke up this morning ready to run. It was a cold start to the day, but has turned out to be a beautiful day.  I dressed for Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 and started on my way.  The drive was good and parking was easy. I picked up my bib and race shirt, put it in the car, and headed to the start line. The pre-race feeling is indescribably as like minded people line up at the starting line eager to run.  The race director tells the runners, “go,” but the crowd does not rush out like you would imagine.  It is a slow gradually movement and runners take their place along the course according to their comfortable pace.  Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 was along Lake Benbrook and through a park which means traffic was not an issues and you were surrounded by nature; lake on the left and open fields on the right.  It was a beautiful, hilly course… did I mention HILLS???

At mile two I was moved as I by tears when I saw a mom, dad, and 8 year old boy running together.  I heard the mom tell the son, “mile 2” as dad told him, “equivalent to a trip around the block.”  As a runner, mom, and teacher, I knew the lesson they were teaching this boy was beyond running a half marathon. (Picture below is Ben, Jen, and Pete crossing the finish line.) Ben wanted a medal which meant he had to run a longer race than a 5K.  He trained with his mom and dad for Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014 and he earned his first finisher’s medal.  Ben has learned how to set a goal, train, and win it! He was an inspiration to me! I don’t think he realized what an incredible accomplishment he was completed.  I admire Jen and Pete to for teaching him to strive for excellence and accompanying him with his goal.

Jen has run ultras, fulls, and competed in triathlons.  She ran along me for several miles pushing me to do my best as we chatted along the way.  She is a Physical Therapy student at the University of North Texas and a mom of two boys.  I ran my best half marathon this year and she taught me about heart rate training to help me lose these unwanted pounds.  I am so blessed by the people God places in my pathway.

On the way home, I stopped for cupcakes. Yes, I run for cupcakes.  I had lunch with Garrett, napped, and now preparing to celebrate one of my greatest friend’s birthday.  In my life, today is another ideal day.

What does an ideal day look like for you?

 

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014

Lake Benbrook Half Marathon #4 of 40 in 2014

40 Days of Giving


40 Days of Giving

 

 2014 is my 40th celebration of life and I am living it up 40 style.  It started with reading the “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren for forty days followed by 40 days of  Giving and  a plan of 40 Half Marathons throughout the year.  I will finish “Purpose Driven Life” on February 9 and will begin the 40 Days of Giving on February 10 to March 21.  I am excited about the 40 Days of Giving because it will be during Valentine’s Day and my birthday month which is my favorite time of the year.

I am choosing 40 people who make an impact in my daily life and carefully creating small, special gifts to bless each person with during the 40 days of giving. It is going to be difficult to narrow it down to 40 because I love to give. Ideas of people to include in the 40 people are family, friends, my son’s teachers, mail carrier, service providers, fireman, policemen, pastor, and/ or strangers as a pay it forward gesture of kindness.   I am searching Pinterest for unique, affordable gift ideas, gift cards, unique gifts while out shopping.  I also have a Google form of favorite things that will help me with favorite colors, snacks, and such.

I am excited to give 40 gifts to 40 people in 40 days.  I know it is going to take planning and work to put it all together, but I know it will be worth it.  My love language  (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/) is gifts and I know not all people love gifts the way I do, but I will enjoy giving. I will update you on the 40 Days of Giving when it takes place.

Today, I challenge you to take a day during February 10 to March 21 to give a gift to someone who impacts your daily life and share with me.

40 Days of Giving