Archive for the ‘Children/Family’ Category


By Vernalee
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As the reminiscing continues in honor of my Mother, read with me as I share this story.
Here goes.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” William Shakespeare penned that phrase hundreds of years ago, but I witnessed its effects come to light this past year.
My oldest nephew from Tampa made a surprised visit to see his Grandmother. She had not been feeling well all day. One look at her oldest male grandchild immediately put more pep in her step.
As if she had been injected with a dose of penicillin, she immediately felt better. One could conclude that he was the “shot” that she needed! It was a mini miracle.
Speaking of shots, the two of them started talking about the NBA finals. A fan of the Miami Heat, my Mother, at the insistence of her grandson sent LeBron James a videotaped message with a tang of her Mississippi Christian dialect.
In part, she said, “LeBron, the ball is in your hands, but you are in God’s hands. The talent that ya got….can’t nobody take it away from ya.”
I don’t know if LeBron will ever get Mother’s message, but the message that I send to you is, “Show love to your family and friends, particularly when they are not feeling well.
Your visit, call, or card may be just what the doctor ordered!
Just ask the Grandma basketball coach!
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By Vernalee
Today, as we prepare for my Mother’s Home going Services, I once again take you to the Bible.
Can you walk with me?
In Exodus 20:12, the first commandment with a promise is given.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Esphesians 6:1-3 follows suit.
That commandment is applicable to all of the parents’ children. As our Mothers and Fathers age, it is our Christian responsibility to take care of them.
After all, it was their hands that took care of us!
As one of my dearest friends and I recently discussed, we cherish our roles of being caregivers to our Mothers.
It is a privilege being there for them; to bring happiness to their aging years. Nothing beats the joy that we receive from giving and providing for them!
We are blessed to have our Mothers in their old age; cantankerous or not!
To whom much is given, much is required!” Doing beats excuses!
Doing is honoring; it is our Christian duty.
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By Vernalee
As we mature in years and have a family, we come to a greater appreciation for our parents, Mothers – in particular.
Continuing this week with the memories of my Mother who recently passed and went home to be with the Lord, I share an excerpt with you that validates how much work our Mothers do to keep everything and everybody afloat.
Take a look!
Conducting an experiment, a well-known advertising agency placed an online ad for a Director of Operations. Although it received over 2.7 million hits, only 24 applications were received.
The job description, though brief, read in part: Have to stand all day; work at least 135 hours a week; little or no sitting; requires considerable mobility; ability to lift at least 75 pounds; ability to proficiently multitask; receives no vacation or days off; receives no compensation or bonus pay.”
Several applicants unanimously said, “This is ludicrous!” They laughed and asked, “Who would do a job like that; Is this legal?”
These tasks and more are performed by us Mothers everyday – rain or shine! Notwithstanding these functions, add in a 40 hour work week to the existing responsibilities.
Being a chef, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and so much more – come with the territory.
In fact, interestingly enough, the duties of motherhood never leave. They stay even when our adult children leave the nest. Our motherly love, concern, worry, joy, and all of our emotionality remain but shift as our children move from our laps to our hearts!
Thus, a Mother’s job is never done!
Thank you Momma for all that you did for me!
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By Vernalee
Granddaughter teaching grandmother how to use a cell phone
Reflecting back a few years ago, I can vividly remember my daughter teaching my Mother how to use her cell phone. In watching them, truly patience is a virtue.
Let me share their story with you.
Here we go.

Once upon a time, there was the telephone land line.
Now, there are cellular phones everywhere.
Teaching the older population cell phone techniques has its challenges, but my children taught their Granny well.
“Grandma, all you have to do is just pick up your cell, push this button, and talk.
We have programmed it to do everything automatically.”
The teaching didn’t stop there!
To understand, I have to take you for a walk down memory lane.
In the late 1990’s, I had to install a second telephone line because I could never comfortably talk on my phone without my children’ callers interrupting me. Having two separate telephone lines in our home was advantageous, particularly to my children! They loved it! Then, before I realized it, my children started calling me on my telephone line from theirs. Calling me was easier than their getting up to walk into my room; less steps! Besides, it saved them time and energies! So their calls went like this: “Hey Mommy, if you go downstairs, would you be so kind as to please bring us up some snacks and juice? Thank you so much my dear Mommy.”
Translated, that statement meant, “Stop doing what you are doing. March downstairs Mommy and get us some food!” I was so taken by their politeness that I did it! Down the stairs, I went! Wow, I can’t believe my naivety and their shrewdness.
Now, guess what! My daughter has once again taught her Granny by repurposing an old system. Why reinvent the wheel? It worked then; it’ll work now!
“Hey Grandma; Let me teach you the ropes since Mommy has never installed an intercom system in this house. Geez! Use your cell phone and call her if you don’t feel like moving. We did it growing up and it worked marvelously every time!” Now, my Mother telephones me from her room on her cellular to performed tasks. The kids’ system of old was revitalized. Now, I am at my Mother’s beck and call. This time, it is a blessing to be of service. In fact, it is a great honor to provide service to my ninety year old Mother! In this case, the second time around is better! My kids’ shenanigans of old produced a great deed!
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By Vernalee
As I continue with our family’s tributes to my Mother, I call your attention to the significance that my Mother has played in the up and coming generations of our family.
Take a look.
Our hands – the crinkle skin, the lines, the wrinkles, the visible protruding veins – show our age.
They display the “wear and tear” of living. As we age, our hands carry with it years of wisdom, love, heartbreak, pain, joy, and every physical and emotional feeling.
They celebrate life.
My 90 year old Mother’s hands “that clapped in church on Sunday morning; that played the tambourine so well; that picked me up each time I fell”; that pointed at me as she uttered “I know you really love that man; put yourself in Jesus’ hands” function as a grandmother, a great grandmother, and a great – great grandmother.
Four generations, she has lifted. She is our family’s Southern matriarch, and we rally around her in groves. Her sometimes arthritic hands prepare dishes that no one can duplicate. Cooking is her thing! Everyone wants her recipes.
There is so much that the lines in her helping hands tell us and so much that they don’t reveal!
We applauded her as much as we missed her, but understand that to her “there is no place like her home.”
Though her hands can’t pick 200 pounds of cotton anymore; though they noticeably tremble as she grips objects, those ten fingers and two hands have given my family and me so much love and strength. We dare not cross her because her strong hands can still discipline you with a back hand lick! Whether we call her Momma, Grandma, or Big Momma (depending on the generation), her hands carred and lifted us daily though our weight may have been heavy. Each generation has brought their varied problems to her for an opinion. Although her hands have seen hard times, what amazing strength and a wonderful touch her soft hands had! She encourages us and said, “Your weight ain’t that heavy. I can hold it. Now sit down, hold my hand, and tell Big Momma all about it!” And we did! And she listened! And we left better than we came! Yes, we were blessed to have her!
She had made her pilgrimage from Mississippi to Ohio and back many times.
As we bring her back this last time, we cannot hold her hand anymore, but we can hold on to her words and memories forever.
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By Vernalee
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church.
So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were shouting and kicking on the floor, my daughter opened her eyes to see her Grandmother standing before her.
Her Grandma Phoebe sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to the granddaughter then. It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong lesson to the meaning of Southern old time religion.
When she talks about family “stuff” and childhood memories, this is one of her favorite Grandma stories.
Can’t you visualize that scene?
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By Vernalee

Dear SWTA followers,
I need your help.
I need more space at home.
What do you mean?
Your home is spacious.
Yes it is, but it is full of my adult children stuff which limits my storage capacity.
My definition of a family home is one with an open door policy that belongs to the family.
Praise God for that provision and understanding.
However that is not my issue.
My issue is having an abundant amount of my children stuff. Mind you, my adult children left the nest years ago; more than a decade to be precise.
So why are their items still here and why do their overflow finds its way back to my home!
That’s a good question!
Sure, I have asked them to remove some things. I have heard their laughter that I, as many other empty nesters, have so much room.
I’m sure that you’ve heard similar comments and accompanying laughter.
So that you understand, let me clarify junk. I am not referring to my and their treasure chest of items that I maintain that carries sentimental significance.
I am referring to what I call the dumping ground whereby the family home is used as a storage bin.
What is a reasonable time to have your adult children remove their possessions from your home? Or a more accurate question may be – How do you stop additional items from finding their way to your door?
Needless to say, I can barely fit my car in my spacious 2 car garage because there is simply not enough room. The teddy bear collection, amongst other items are stored there.
Wait a minute!
I tend to use my head sometimes for more than a hat rack.
I just came up with the perfect solution.
In fact, I have several.
1. I will give a final warning to my big little ones to come and retrieve their stuff. If that doesn’t work since it hasn’t in the past, I will initiate “Operation Removal.”
2. I will have a garage sale. Those extra dollars from the proceeds are enticing.
3. I could always donate their items to a charitable organization.
4. Strategically, I could ask them to purchase s storage bin and place their items there.
5. Using a recommendation from a colleague, I could pull up a dumpster and discard the items.
Ok children, as a last call, I know that you read my blog from time to time.
A hint to the wise is sufficient.
Act before I do!
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By Vernalee
Today is Father’s Day; a day that we honor and remember our Fathers. As I reflect, I am so blessed because there are so many Daddy stories that I can share.
When God created the family, he created it with a balanced perspective with the Father being the head of the household. Many Fathers are mentioned in the Bible ranging from:
God the Father, the creator of us all;
Adam, the first man;
Noah, a righteous man;
Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation;
Isaac, son of Abraham;
Jacob, father of the 12 tribes of Israel;
Moses, giver of the law;
King David, a man after God’s own heart; and
Joseph, earthly Father of Jesus, among others.
There are 71 Bible verses that speak about the responsibilities of Fathers. From Psalms 103:13 to 1 Timothy 3: 2-5, the Father’s role is well defined.
In fact, God provides vivid instructions that outline the roles of all family members.
We read about the virtuous woman in Psalms 31; wise sons in Proverbs 13:1; training our children in Proverbs 22:6; and of course, let’s not forget the admonition in Proverbs 6:20, where children are taught to honor and respect the commandments of their Fathers and words of their Mothers.
The granddaddy of all the scriptures regarding the family lies in Deuteronomy 5:16 and Ephesian 6: 2-3, where we are instructed to Honor our Fathers and Mothers, the only commandment with a promise.
So today, I salute my Father, my children’s Father, my son who is a young Father, and all Fathers.
To those whose Fathers have gone home to be with the Lord, let today be a memory of their goodness.
To those whose Fathers are alive, show them how much you love, adore, respect, and honor them.
Happy Father’s Day!
Happy Sunday!
God bless!
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By Vernalee
To bring home the bacon means to earn money, particularly for one’s family; to be successful, especially financially successful; to supply means of subsistence; earn a living; attain success or reach a desired goal.
For years, the man held the distinction of being the primary wage earner and the person who made the most money. That trend is changing.
Women nowadays not only take care of their households, but in many cases also bring home the most bacon.
According to the NY Times, the median household income for married women who earn more than their husbands — more often White, slightly older and college educated — is $80,000.
When the wife is the primary breadwinner, the total family income is generally higher.
Check out this statistic: One fourth of women earn more than their husbands.
What happens to the family when the woman rises to the top and assumes this role? Here is where the debate and varying opinions occur.
Some say that it is a recipe for disaster. Others say that the family is better off. A selected group contends that it’s not just about the dollars. There is a group of men who find not being the top breadwinner a little unsettling. They feel that their role is being threatened.
Then there are the selected women who also hold the role of top breadwinners who allege unfairness in that they still bear the majority responsibility of child rearing and the abundant housework. Let’s not forget the traditional theory that children turn out better when the Mother stays home.
Alright, let me ask one more question. Regardless of whose pockets are the deepest – Who should pay the bill in the restaurant; the man or the woman? Some say the man; some say it doesn’t matter; others say why blow a gasket!
There is as much agreement as there is disagreement. Where is the balance? It is a tug of war. Is there a universal answer or does it depend upon the individual family?
Remember this: Bacon fits nicely between toasted bread…no matter what!
So when a woman “bring home the bacon and is the top breadwinner,” it’s too much for some traditionalists.
What do you think?
A penny – and a slice of bacon on toast with grape jelly – for your thoughts!
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By Vernalee
Oh my, we love bread! It can be flavorfully white, wheat, rye and other varieties. The average family eats about 80 loaves of bread a year. Depending on the thickness of the slices, there are approximately 20 slices of bread in an individual loaf at an approximate cost of $1.50.
Why am I providing these statistics? Simple, because as a colleague pointed out the other day, the average person throws away the two bread ends in each loaf.
Thus, utilizing this referenced example, minimally, we are wasting 160 slices (equating to 8 loaves of bread) yearly. Notwithstanding the cost of bread, that is a lot of uneaten bread and $$$ thrown out of the window! What is interesting is that the bread ends taste the same as the regular slices.
As for me, I eat the bread ends; buttered, toasted, baked, and topped with jam! Yum!
More bread; less waste; more money for me!
I enjoy my nutritious Wonder Bread. Have a slice of my tasty, mouthwatering bread end!
Bon appetit!
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