Traditions – Laura’s 2014 Cake

When my children were small I loved creating traditions for our family.  I wanted them to have Markers and if I’m honest I wanted markers for myself as well.  What are markers?  Markers are the times we return to as we go from past to future.  They are moments that build and edify a person up.  Their value far exceeds the joy of when something is actually experienced because it becomes alive and can strengthen us.  Even if the details aren’t remembered  the truth of how we were loved comes back to us over and over again – like a warm hug.

I want to share a tradition my friend, Laura, does each new school year.  Laura is busy – she is a wife, mother of 4 (3 pictured), works, goes to school and still finds time to make a cake to celebrate her sweeties.  I’ve placed some ideas from my early days of motherhood below the picture – not for you to follow – because each of our lives our different.  But I would encourage you to do a little brainstorming – and create some markers of your own. And one last thing – you’ll find a great giveaway for a yummy nutritious product called the Perfect Bar also. Go ahead and enter to win – open until August 22, 2014.

 
Laura - 2014 Cake with Children

From Laura…

Hi Debbie, These cakes are a tradition I started about 7 years. Just for something fun to look forward to when the kids came home after the first day of school. This years idea came from a purple calculator my middle schooler got for school that she loved. The color didn’t turn out a very pretty purple but these cakes are definitely more about the memory than their perfection!

Debbie’s Ideas

1.  When your children come home from school – turn off the computer, get off the phone and truly listen to what they have to say.  When I was a young mom – someone told me you want to give your children a standing ovation when they get home – you can’t do that if you are distracted.

2.  New pjs every Christmas.  I was a stay at home mom who knew how to sew so each year I would take my two to the store and they would choose their fabric and I’d sew (thinking of them) new jammies  to wear Christmas Eve night.  (store bought work also)

3.  Notes in lunch boxes or a treat with a special scripture waiting in their room for them.  One time I was cleaning out my daughter’s lunch box and found over 50 of these notes.  I offered to throw them away and she said not to because she wanted to keep them and see how many she could collect – scrapes of paper with a few words from my heart – lasting value.

4.  A make your own pizza party – every year at Christmas time, my son invited 3-4 friends over and they would each create their own masterpiece.  The table was always decorated with snowmen – he loved snowmen at the time.

If you liked this – you’ll probably like What Kind of Mom Your Kids Remember

Thanks, Laura, for sharing.  I look forward to seeing what you come up with next year.

Please share your traditions in the comments – we are inspired by each other.

As promised – here is the information on the Giveaway… My 2 -year-old grandson loves these and so do I 🙂

 
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http://theworkoutmama.com/2014/08/14/perfect-bar-review-giveaway/

 

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What Kind of Mom Will Your Kids Remember?

This was written in 1998 and my now adult children were 14 and 10.  I was teaching a mentoring class called TwiG (Teach What Is Good) at Grace Community Church in Tempe, AZ which was created to bring the older woman (which I am now one of) and the younger woman together (Titus 2:3-5).   I recently shared this at a local MOPs (Mothers of Preschooler) group in April.  It was interesting to read my words 16 years ago. 

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WHAT KIND OF MOM WILL YOUR KIDS REMEMBER? – February 4, 1998

 I always wanted to be a mom.  And after six years of marriage, both Jeff and I were in agreement it was time to start our family.  I’ll never forget the day I found out Tamara was on her way.  Oh- I wanted to shout the news out.  Calling the newspaper was not out of the question – this had to qualify as front-page news.  From that day on – the life that I shared with my husband was no longer my own.  My thoughts and decisions were now influenced by the startling revelation that someone would call me “mommy.”  Tamara’s outgoing nature brought joy into our quiet world.  Three years later a little boy who most always has a smile on his face and a hug ready joined our family.  Two children with individual needs both requiring a solid foundation of love to grow in.  I’m learning that there are extreme joys that cause the heart to soar in the land of motherhood.  And along with those highs also come gut wrenching, energy-sucking lows.  My children are God’s greatest tools for my growth – not just as a mother but in discovering my own strengths and weaknesses.  It is in the care of others that we face some of life’s greatest decisions – to pull close with our arms wrapped tightly around or to let go and let them fly, to laugh or to cry over a situation, to encourage in an area that is best for my child and not myself, and to allow them the freedom to fail to name a few.

What kind of mom will my kids remember?  Who knows?  I probably won’t know that answer until I sit around as a grandmother and listen as they tell their children about the times when they were growing up.  But I have some ideas of what kind of heritage I’d like to give them.  And I believe with God’s help, that we are what we practice to be.

Memories:  I want my kids to remember their mom laughing.  She didn’t take everything in life so serious.  She wasn’t so much of an adult that she forgot what it felt like to be a kid.  And, just maybe I might have a small degree of influence in teaching them what fun was all about. (Funny Slippers, birthday theme parties.)

Availability– I want my kids to remember that I was there to listen.  I was willing to put aside what I am doing when they needed to discuss something.  When they walked through the door from school, it was their time to tell me about their day.  They didn’t find me on the telephone or in the middle of a project.  For it is in the quiet moments of listening that our children can hug our hearts.  I remember  Evan curled in my lap, his little fingers tracing the outline of my face, saying, “Mommy when I draw your face with my fingers it is a heart.”

Home – I want my kids to remember that the house we lived in was a home.  It provided a place of rest from the outside world.  Not a fantasy land, but a place where they knew they were loved.

Boundaries – I want my kids to remember that I loved them enough to say “no,” to set limits on their actions and that there are consequences for their actions.  To learn that love is not all about sweetness that lets you do whatever you want.  As their mother, I was willing to do what was necessary for their best interest no matter how hard it was on me.  Hebrews 12:11  “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Marriage:  I want my kids to remember that I loved their dad and our marriage was very important to me.  And that when times were tough, I didn’t give up.   They saw their dad and I have differences of opinion and somehow we still loved one another.  That anything worth having is worth working for.

Value:  I want my kids to remember that I valued myself from God’s perspective.  I was able to model taking care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so I could take care of them. 

Cheerleader:  I want my kids to remember that more times than not I encouraged them in their endeavors.  That they had permission to try something and it was okay to fail.  My ears and time were open to provide opportunities in areas that interested them and help them in areas that didn’t come easily.  Our motto:  A family is a team and that a team works together and pulls for each other.

Guidance:  I want my kids to remember that God guided their mom.  It was her time spent with Him that strengthened and sometimes gave her a shoulder to cry on and an ear to rejoice to.   For she was just an ordinary woman and she needed help in learning to be the mother God had called her to be.  Is. 40:11 “He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart, he gently leads those that have young.”

Chances are my kids will never express everything from the list above.  That’s okay.  I’m not trying to win The Best Mother Award of All Times.  I am however striving to be The Best Mom I Can Be for Tamara and Evan.  And when I have goals in mind, I can work towards those.  I’d rather that what good they remember about me as a mother becomes part of them and they’ll be able to pass it on to the next generation.

 TwiG/’98 – Debbie Hallock (All rights reserved)

I see a new project for me – What Kind of Grandmother Will Your Grandchildren Remember?  

I’d enjoy hearing your own goals as a mom/grandmother and hope that you have a lovely Mother’s Day.

 
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What Kind of Mom - Pinterest

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Day 5 May Blog Challenge – Love and Devotion

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Here is today’s topic of the May Blog Challenge

Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member

Who do I choose?   Tamara Buschel (www.theworkoutmama.com

Tamara and Caden

What makes her great?  Her faith in God, her dedication to care for herself, the love she has for family/friends, her dedication in continually learning, her creativity, her integrity, her passion for teaching (whether it is a fitness class or sharing something that has worked for her on her blog), she knows life’s challenges and has come out better because of the journey, plus as you can see she does a “mean” handstand and finds unique ways to entertain her son.

What do I love about her?  Her smile, her generous heart, the fact that she is not shy of being in front of a camera, and the way she takes care of her family, her thankfulness for the little things others don’t notice.  I also love the way she will share what she is learning on her blog to help me with mine.  Truly my life has been enriched since the day I met her twenty-nine years ago.  It is a good thing we are trying to keep the posts to a certain word limit because I could go on and on about her.  

As we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday I am in awe of the woman that has emerged from the girl my husband and I raised – yes, Tamara is my daughter.  She will be celebrating her first Mother’s Day this year – what a blessed boy my grandson is to have her as his mommy (and he has a amazing man as his daddy also – just had to throw that in.)

I’ll end by saying It is wonderful to be a grandmother – watching little toes dance and smiles explode is an amazing invitation to  the miraculous.  But no less miraculous is having the opportunity to watch your own child give their heart away to their own little person.

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