Tag Archives: mom

Manners 101, Lesson 1


As we approach Thanksgiving and having an attitude of gratitude…

This is a time of year that we want to build bridges and stronger relationships- not insult people. I’ve noticed that some people may not have ever been taught and I am certainly no Emily Post, but there are some things that are good ole common sense with a dash of Southern Hospitality. If someone buys you dinner at a restaurant or if you attend a party/wedding/event to eat, do not say ANYTHING negative about the food or the restaurant. PERIOD. Mom’s old rule applies here. If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all. Some may feel it necessary to verbalize their opinions freely in such environments. However, I have never seen any good come out of that. It is not like they can whip something up that will please your palate at that point anyway. In fact, it hurts people. Can you imagine if you were paying the bill, or had spent a fortune on the perfect wedding cake, or slaved away in the kitchen all day only to overhear your family member, friend, or ‘sister in The Lord’ criticizing your efforts or even worse the work of a new member? It really isn’t about if you can eat onions or not, it is about the celebration and more importantly THE PEOPLE behind that celebration! So, smile, be grateful for their offering, and enjoy! Oh, and if you are in a restaurant setting, then make sure you thank the person that paid the bill. Happy Thanksgiving!!!


What is ‘ME’ time?


I recently overheard someone referring to ‘me’ time.  I thought to myself, “What in the world is ‘me’ time?

My days are spent running from one place to the next for my boys or my church. Weekdays, weekends, all filled with LIFE and activities. Other than taking a shower, getting dressed, and my prayer time, I can’t really recall time that I spend that benefits me alone and I am not really sure I desire that.  I really love doing for the amazing people in my life and I really think if I scheduled ‘me’ time that I would not enjoy it because I would be feeling guilty on what I really should be doing.  However, in reviewing the calendar, which is the means by which we manage the craziness…. I noticed that the calendar is full, very full.  I find myself in those rare moments of downtime, reading or trying to find tools to help me be more productive.  Are you kidding me?  How much more productive can I be?

I’ve realized that I am VERY productive and so are my kids, maybe TOO productive in fact.

Last Saturday, I went to Costco for the first time. I was in love from the moment I started seeing all of the organic selections. I must have been the talk of Costco as I went through the aisles of store with excitement, saying out loud, “Wow, look at this!” (Yes, I was alone.) However, as I turned the corner by the frozen section, I spotted this craft gift set for children to make their own pottery. I literally felt a whiplash of emotions as I gazed at the craft set. You see, I am not a crafter. In all honesty, as a homeschool mom, I disposed of every ABeka art project from Kindergarten on up… No turkeys made out of your hand, no Popsicle stick houses… Core subjects and Bible quizzing were our top priorities, but somehow things like arts and crafts never made the list.  But now, it has hit me like a ton of bricks, right in the middle of Costco. My babies are grown up. While we have not left one stone unturned on the important stuff, I feel a mad rush to do crafts, goof off, and make as many more precious memories as possible. Every time my mom calls me, in her soft spoken southern drawl. she asks, “Honey, are y’all having any fun?” I always redirect to all of the meaningful things we are doing.  Not anymore… I know she is proud of her grandkids and their accomplishments, but today her question drives me, because I realize that SHE KNOWS. She knows when it is all said and done that it is truly important what you put into your kids, but you also need happy times and silly memories to attach to those nuts and bolts. So, today is a new day!!    I can’t say that I am going to plan any ME time, but I definitely see more US time in my future.  We will keep doing all of the important stuff, but this momma is planning some FUN….yes, even crafts. Just like the important stuff, if we don’t plan it, then we won’t do it. You younger moms, learn from me. It is all important…seek balance, be diligent, and have some FUN.  “Me’ time can come when your kids are grown!


Have the inmates taken over?


I was twenty something and a sales manager at a leading business journal. It was a long time ago, but I am pretty sure I was the youngest member of the management team. My Publisher was a very distinguished gentleman who didn’t communicate with me often and when he did, I either felt great or not so great. There really wasn’t any in between. He had a beard and he was always fiddling with it. I think he was super revved up on nicotine most of the time. If you needed him, you would have to locate him on the smoke deck of our mid rise building on 610 Loop. He was a global thinker, a strategist of sorts, and didn’t really have time to discuss minor details. He was a veteran in the publishing business and his experience and success leered over me like a dark cloud of intimidation. Sometimes when I was feeling really smart and vocalizing my ideas, he would pat me on the head. Yes, you heard me right. I am a grown woman, not a puppy, and you are patting me on the head?? It was very humiliating to say the least. I would ponder, “Why did I leave sales where I was a selling machine?” My worth was so definable back then? You sell the most, you earn the most and you are the most respected. PERIOD. Now, I am responsible for the sales of a group. Some of my sales people are motivated and some are not. Those were days where I learned many lessons, even a parenting lesson. I don’t remember exactly what spurred the response, but Mr. K’s reply to me was, “Have the inmates taken over?” He had a way of making you think about things. Had I lost all control over my department? Had I failed as a leader? I decided to take the bull by the horns and LEAD. I was no quitter and they were paying me to run this department.

Since I have been a parent, I have been reminded of that statement often. I remember one time when I had a young girl helping me homeschool the boys a few days a week. She came to me downtrodden one day and said, “Sister Mindi, I don’t know what to do because Dylan will not do his work and keeps telling me to make him snacks.” In other words, the inmate had taken over. LOL. Sure, I could have taken over and disciplined Dylan. However, she would have never been able to lead him, which was my ultimate goal for that season. She needed to take the authority she had been given and not bow down to a six year old. It may seem silly, but how many parents do you see that have no control over their kids? They chalk it up to them being strong willed or wanting them to be a free thinker.

My kids were not born behaving. They were all strong willed in their own way, but that was no license to rebel or act like a fool.

I was in Ross over a year ago. A toddler boy was screaming his lungs out and totally disrespecting his mother. He wanted a toy. This went on for what seemed like an eternity, but in all actuality it was probably twenty minutes. By the time I was at the checkout, I saw the lady and the boy in line. She was buying him a toy… EPIC FAIL!!! It took everything I had not to go take that toy from that boy and say when you learn to behave then you will receive a reward. This mom just made a major mistake. Crying + Fit = Toy. Not in my house….

This may sound harsh to some, but my thought is that God gave you children to mold. Until they are grown, they need ongoing molding and He has trusted you to do it. In the terms of Mr. K, they are your inmates and you should not let them take over. You have to take over and control what they do when they are little. You wouldn’t let them play in traffic, so don’t let them do other things that are harmful to their character. My kids are not in control of our household, of me, or my husband. Children appreciate clearly defined rules. You are not being mean by disciplining them or even spanking them, you are doing them a HUGE favor. They need to learn how to behave as they were not born knowing this. It is not something that will just happen at a magical age. You have to teach, teach, teach and then teach some more! Early on, you must establish respect and authority for both you and your spouse. Never undermine your spouse’s authority in front of your children. We don’t abuse or ask too much, but they do what we ask them to do and it is not up for negotiation.

They must have consequences for their actions, both good and bad. The first few years of parenthood was intense with three little boys, but I have found that if you will be consistent and not give in when they are toddlers then you will mainly just be reinforcing in the years to come and it will make your life so much easier.  Look at this diagram at how a parenting style can affect a child.  I’m not advocating being an authoritarian by any means, but I do believe in being authoritative and supportive. There is a difference.


As for behaving in church, I remember a time where I was taking the boys out to discipline them and then staying with them in the foyer so that they didn’t continue to disrupt the service. However, the pastor said that the kids wanted to get in trouble so they could go play in the foyer. So, I began either disciplining them right there in the pew or taking them out and then immediately bringing them right back into service. I believe in my kids, so I have always expected a lot out of them. As toddlers, I believed they could learn to sit still in church, be quiet and even learn to praise the Lord. I wasn’t just motivated by making them not disturb other people, but I was training up the next generation of Apostolics and teaching them that we are in the sanctuary of the Most High God.

Want an accredited high school diploma for your homeschooler?


Have you imagined that moment? The moment when the Pomp and Circumstance march plays loud overhead and reality hits you like a brick wall. The doors open and all eyes are focused on your baby boy or baby girl, all gussied up in their cap and gown, as they march down the aisle. They entered the room as your prime pupil whom you spearheaded their education, but from this point forward, your role in their education will shift as they move to the next chapter of life.graduation

Aside from feeling like your guts have just been ripped out because your baby is growing up, you want to feel good about this moment. You want to feel like you’ve had all of your ducks in a row so to speak. Every ‘t’ has been crossed and every ‘I’ has been dotted. You did your best and now your little homeschooled darling is the beneficiary.

In homeschooling, there are always a myriad of options, and many of them are based on pure preference. The bottom line is that I am an avid, almost borderline psycho researcher. The purpose behind my sharing is to justify my craziness by saying that I help others as well as my little party of five.

As with anything in life, it is important to have a plan and work the plan. You should be mindful of your education goals for your children from the beginning, of course allowing flexibility for the Lord’s leading along the way. As your student approaches high school or maybe they are already in high school, you may want to consider your options regarding their diploma.

A homeschool parent has every right to create their child’s transcript based on work completed and submit that when they apply for college. I know families who have done this and it has worked fine for them. They took standardized tests such as the ACT or the SAT and they experienced a smooth transition to colleges, such as Texas A & M University. So, by no means should you feel obligated to pursue anything else.

However, if the idea of flying solo on such a major milestone seems scary, then listen up and your family may benefit from choosing the same option as our family.

My quick synopsis of the situation is that in the arena of accredited high school diplomas there are more options than you can envision. We have tried many and researched even more. One option is an online high school that you enroll in and you must use their entire curriculum and the delivery of that curriculum may not be the best. It may be costly and the options for curriculum from a Christian Worldview in a highly engaging format are certainly few if they exist at all. There are also programs like Veritas’ Scholars program that allows you to do a certain number of classes on your own with curriculum approved by Veritas, but you must also take a certain number of required courses through Veritas Press online. Their live online courses, not self-paced, average around $700 per course. In some cases, this is more costly than a college course at an online Christian University. If it is in your budget, then they certainly offer a fine education. Finally, there is this little jewel of a place that I found called Central Christian Academy out of Winterpark, Florida.

Central Christian Academy (CCA) is an accredited member of the Florida Council of Private Schools since 1995. Central Christian Academy offers two main programs. One is where you purchase curriculum through them that has already been pre-approved, or they also offer a program where you can select the curriculum of your choice and submit it to them for pre-approval. I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can choose my favorite curriculum and all I have to do is send them an email with my plan and they email me back approval. It is very easy submitting your work and tests to them. They have been a pleasure to work with and I have found no other program that offers the same credibility and flexibility. For students in high school, they charge $365 per year to keep your child’s official records. It is less for lower grades, but we didn’t feel it was necessary to use such a service for the lower grades. Also, if you refer a friend, then they will credit your family $100. If you would like to sign up for next fall, please use the referral form that I have added to the files section of our Facebook group or you can email me and I will be happy to send it to you. Since my husband is in full-time ministry now, this will be a blessing to our family and I greatly appreciate it! Then feel free to modify this form and pass it on to your friends so you can earn $100 towards your child’s enrollment.

I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Also, here is a link to the school’s website if you need more detailed information:


Are you putting ‘clean’ food in toxic cookware?


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Have you been trying to eat healthier…or maybe even convert to organic? Have you heard so much about the toxicity of food that it seems the only safe thing to eat is from your own garden or farm? Well, this post is to let you know that not only is it important what you eat, but you need to consider the actual cookware you are using to prepare your food. In other words, putting your ‘clean’ food in a dirty, toxic pot is defeating the purpose of your efforts.

Our journey to be healthier and more conscious about what we ingest began a few years ago. From food to household cleaners and even personal hygiene items, EVERYTHING in our household came under review.   However, it never dawned on me to evaluate our cookware. I tend to gravitate to shoes and not cookware, so most of our cookware dated back to when my husband and I first married 18 years ago or maybe even from my college days. So, I’m not sure what prompted my research about six months ago, but I was not a happy camper when I discovered all of the toxic chemicals the cookware that I was using contained. It felt like my efforts to find the best deals on the healthiest foods for the past few years had been a waste.

I am not interested in cancer causing, hormone affecting chemicals being leached into my family’s food.

So, my new quest was to find non-toxic cookware that met the following criteria:

  • It must be dishwasher safe (Hand washing on a long-term basis is not an option for OCD or CDO folk. LOL)
  • It must NOT be so heavy that I need two people to drain the water out of my noodles. (You know where you are trying to save on dishwashing and don’t want to bother with using a colander, so you just prop the lid over the pot and lean over with it.)
  • It must be affordable.
  • It must be easy to clean.
  • It must not be a surface that everything sticks to.
  • It must not chip or damage easily.

If this post peaks your interest, feel free to scan the web for more research. There are other non-toxic options out there. The other two that I strongly considered before my purchase were Le Creuset coated cast iron and Ceramcor. Le Creuset states that it is dishwasher safe, but it is not recommended. It will fade the color of the pot and the cost of one pot in this collection is more than what I spent on my entire set. Le Creuset is also EXTREMELY heavy. I actually tried an Xtrema Ceramcor saucepot that I bought on a Black Friday deal, but the lid chipped the first day that I used it and it took a very long time to heat up. It did retain its temperature, but it was a noticeable difference in cooking time.

My final choice was a product that you probably remember from the 1980s, called Visions by Corning. Based on my web searches, many said that Visions Cookware was no longer being produced, but I was thrilled when I found it brand new at this website, https://www.shopworldkitchen.com. They also had a buy 2 save 40% off offer on all Vision pieces, plus I signed up to receive their email newsletter and they instantly emailed me a promo code that you can stack on top of the current sale. I just checked today and they still have this promotion going on as of now.

Plastic, aluminum, Teflon and the list goes on….these are things that you really do not want in your kitchen.

Most glass is very safe and Pyrex is a very good option for bakeware. Also, Hartstone Pottery makes cookie sheets and muffin pans that are somewhat heavy but are dishwasher safe, which is rare for baking stones. You can purchase these from Bed, Bath & Beyond and use their famous 20% off coupons.

Some silicone is safe, but it has to be the right kind of silicone and I’m not sure how you can prove that.

Join me in going vintage and let’s rock that Visions Cookware.

Lessons in OWNERSHIP from my 8-year-old neighbor…


Kenzie is a special girl who lives across the street. She has the appearance of a typical little girl, but when she opens her mouth, you quickly realize she is no ordinary girl. She is energetic, bright, bold, and can’t help but make her presence known.
T’was the night before the garage sale and we had a garage full of items that needed to be unpacked and priced before the big day. We told the boys that the proceeds of this garage sale would fund our vacation, so our family was full throttle OPERATION GARAGE SALE. Typically, if we are outside, then Kenzie will come over and today was no different. At first, I thought to myself, now is not a good time. In a matter of minutes and without being asked, Kenzie was unpacking boxes and saying, “Which table does this go on?” She helped us for several hours until her parents called her inside. The next morning, we awake at some dreadful hour to begin showcasing our treasures in hopes for a big turnout. Around 8 or so, Miss Kenzie comes over and says, “Good Morning Mrs. Tim, I’m here!” (She always calls me Mrs. Tim and I think it is so cute and besides I dearly love being Mrs. Tim.) She quickly appoints herself as the greeter and welcomes everyone at the end of the driveway, “Welcome to OUR garage sale!” She would help the customers and say, “Oh, you like OUR XYZ?” “Mrs. Tim, how much is OUR XYZ?” At some point in the day, Goldie escapes the house to join the sale and Kenzie exclaims, “Please excuse OUR dog.” From that point on, without being asked, Kenzie is Goldie’s playmate and sitter. “Goldie, come back to OUR yard!” OUR, OUR, OUR…… It seems like every other word that left Kenzie’s mouth was ‘our’. As we came inside and counted our cash, I could not help but think about what an amazing sense of OWNERSHIP this girl had. I thought to myself, she will make an excellent employee one day and I can’t even imagine what a great asset she would be to the church. These days when something is wrong, tendency is to point out the error or even worse…point fingers at one of our brothers or sisters. Why can’t THEY? Well, if THEY would just…
JUST Imagine…
Welcome to OUR church!
Please excuse OUR construction, or OUR Sunday School rooms. WE are growing!!
This is OUR awesome Sunday School teacher.
We love OUR children. We love OUR music.
You get the picture. The truth is ownership makes things happen much quicker than diverting or the alternative.
I’m going to try to be more like OUR Kenzie. Love and blessings, Mrs. Tim