Happy Halloween?

Will there be tracts instead of candy?

I really don’t like Halloween. I’m not really opposed to it on religious grounds, I’m just lazy. I would rather just buy my kids some candy and be done with it. But I see how much they enjoy dressing up and going out for candy so we have been doing Halloween or Trunk-or-Treat at a church.

I read an article this week with an interesting perspective on being a Christian and celebrating Halloween. Please take some time and click here to read about an adjustment of attitude that is needed on both sides of this debate. Then have a safe and happy October 31st, no matter what you do with it!

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Friday Fun – A life-changing trick

Nevermore

Would it be too corny to say I found a trick that is really a treat? Anyone who knows me is tired of hearing me talk about Pinterest and I shared Halloween Costume ideas from Pinterest last week. This week I got a chance to stop pinning and start doing what I learned there.

At our dinners for eight, we have a lot of chicken. We get tired of chicken honestly. PInterest can help with recipes too and I have learned a few that have spiced up our menu. But all the choices in the world don’t take care of the chicken shredding job I always dread. chicken chopping for eight is no fun. If you wait for it to cool it toughens up and if you work while it’s hot, well, it’s too hot. All that is behind me now however, thanks to this tip.

I nearly cried, not gonna lie.

the big catch is, you need to have a big electric mixer with the paddle attachment, but for big families this is not a neglected appliance. It has paid for itself. If you have the mixer, all you need is some cooked chicken breast, still warm, and dump them in the bowl. I cooked mine from frozen by putting them in a pot with onions, celery, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and thyme. That’s it.

I put in all the chicken in, no trimming or fussing over it. Then turn on your mixer and watch the magic happen. You are left with the most perfectly shredded chicken, ready for all kinds of recipes. Maybe you have to have chopped 20 years worth of chicken to find this as exciting as I do.

I did go back through the bowl and find the connective tissues that are usually found in chicken breasts. They were easy to pick out because everything else was so perfect.I made a casserole of mine with the broth that was left in the pot. It would also make amazing soup.

like this, but better

I hope this tip makes you as happy as it makes me. I can’t wait to see what I learn this week!

Parenting Your Children Past the Age of 18

I can’t look. Get down from there this instant.

My oldest daughter is home after a long day at work, actually a series of long days at work and school. I want to hug her and comfort her in some way, but that won’t happen because he is here….the fiance. My time is over and it is up to him to make her smile and comfort her. He is doing that as I type. I hope they don’t notice me tearing up as I type this. I have two adult children living at home now and it has not been easy. Not at all.

My second oldest child turned 18 and got her own car, with her own money, in the same week. So, even though she lives at home while going to community college, I have lost track of her. She still keeps to curfew but has taken up using the basement door for her coming and going. Is she here right now? I think so, but I’m not sure. Should I know where she is? I’m not sure of that either.

Her age is just a number. It legally qualifies her to live elsewhere and go about her business. In real time however, she did not change overnight. She is still too young to know everything she needs to know to function on her own. I know in my brain that the solution to this is learning as she goes, from her mistakes. This applies even more to the newlyweds I will soon be observing from an uncomfortable distance. Mothers can make an awful mess of things when they try to help couples striking out on their own.

Peace out baby!

This is the season of their discontent. Do you remember how painful it got to be living in your parents’ house?  Transforming into an adult is about feeling like they could do life better than I do it. They become my worst critics. Sadly, this attitude is very necessary for them to move on. How else could they face the daunting task of going it alone? They are out on the edge of the nest, flapping their wings. They need to want to go. I need the desire to give them a shove. The frustration we all feel helps with this.

This really leaves me where I have always been; giving my children back to God…again.Years ago, they might crawl off a bed or walk out in the road. Later we have to think about bike wrecks, then car wrecks. Now they may mess up at work or ruin a relationship. They may not find a hotel room to stay in for their honeymoon if they don’t hurry up and call already. The point is, the worries change and our ability to interfere changes, but God doesn’t change. He is still dealing with them directly, not through me. So they could be on the precipice of danger or mistakes, but He is in control of what happens. It is so hard to remember.

Why would someone want to paint this?

This huge concept is what I set out to convey with this blog. It is why I named the blog raising His child. When we can remember that He loves these children and cares for them better than we can, it can bring such peace. At this stage, the peace is coming in drips and drabs. That’s my fault of course. The stakes feel higher and I’m more out of control, or so it seems. So I wrestle with worry and try to take it all upon myself. It’s a strange change that means doing less for them is best for them. God help me.

This is so new to me. I would love to hear from those of you who are further down the path of parenting adults. Please comment and share what you have learned for those of us who are transitioning out of raising His child.

Friday Fun – Halloween Costumes

In my effort to blog more often, I want to share fun stuff on Fridays. No heavy news articles or disturbing third-world trends on Fridays. Today I will share some fun Halloween costumes I found on Pinterest. Pinterest is the best place to go for costume ideas, or ideas of any kind really.

I Love Lucy – You would have to have a pretty cool circle of friends for them to appreciate this one, but the execution on this is perfect.

Mermaid – This one looks easy to do and still easy to walk in and doesn’t involve your little girl wearing a seashell bra.

Gypsy – very easy to achieve with things you already have on hand.

Lego characters – one for the boys.

Wheelchair costumes – Pinterest will show you everything for everyone. Here’s another idea and another.

If these ideas don’t work for your kids, just leave a comment, with your email address, requesting an invite to Pinterest. I will send you one and you can look around at all their ideas. Have a great weekend!

Advice for Writing and for Living

Now that I am trying to write more often, I have read more about rules for better writing. One little list I found was so helpful, I made it into a little sticky note on my laptop screen. I have looked at it everyday for a while now and I’ve started to notice it has good advice for writing and for living.

  • Omit needless words –  I could probably write a whole post about this bit of advice. Maybe I should wait until I get some mastery over it. I am a nervous talker and a dead-air filler. Most of my words are needless. If  I could only get good at sorting the needed ones from the needless ones.
  • Use active voice –  Being passive in this life is at the root of more problems than we realize. The difference between active and passive is found in the person who says, “I messed up” rather than, “It got messed up.” It’s about taking responsibility, taking action, or taking control of a situation.
  • Be concrete and specific – Being vague is safe and tempting. Not having a preference seems like being nice. Wishy-washy is one of the worst ways to go through life. If you don’t know what you think, find out. How was that for being concrete and specific?
  • Be yourself – In writing and life, it is important to find your voice. So many of us grew up where we were not allowed to have or use ours. Getting it back is a part of growing up. I have been going through this process. It is a delicate balance between speaking up and remembering to omit those needless words.
  • Let the readers do their part – Good writers don’t fill in the blanks every time. I could tell you something incredible such as: Kids in the 1950’s played with chemistry sets that contained little bits or uranium and radium to set off their toy Geiger counters. There is no need for me to go on to say how dangerous, stupid, or crazy that was. You know that on your own. I don’t need to control or manipulate your reaction to what I write on the page or do in my life. I should just write what I write, or do what I do, and let the chips fall.
  • Get the perspective of others – This one practically writes itself, so I will follow the advice above and let you think about the dual nature of that advice.
  • Focus your work around a key question – This advice makes all the other points possible. How do you let the chips fall with trying to control everything? How do you find your voice and be yourself? All the previous points rely on your ability to focus on your message. For me, that message should be the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the same message the God of the universe wants the world to receive. When you are doing your work for the glory of God, all the other lessons can come into place. He can control the outcome when we can’t. He can help you find the voice He gave you before the foundations of the world! He can even help you sort out the needless words from the needed ones. He is the main idea , the thesis, the message.

1 Cor 10:13 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, (or write) or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

Friday Links – Calling it Quits

When the idea for sharing links on Fridays first came to me, I thought it would take off. I reasoned that no one wanted to hear from just me every week. I should share something from the world at large and help moms streamline their time online. After several weeks of persisting in this idea, I have faced the facts and given it up. The numbers on Fridays were low, really low. All signs point to letting go of what I thought was a great idea and pressing forward on writing my own articles.

The good news is, the stats for my own articles are much higher than when I share links to other pages. I am happily surprised and encouraged by this. The most common advice given to bloggers is to write often, write a lot and write consistently. This is what I’m going to try to do now. Thanks for your support while I share my blog on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. My goal is to create a community of moms who comment and discuss ideas on Raising His Child. I hope you can continue to join us there. I will be creating a Facebook page for Raising His Child soon. Please consider “liking” my page when it becomes available.