Monday, December 23, 2013

Honeybee Mama's Winter Break Survival Tips

Trying to figure out what on earth you're going to do with your kids for the entire Winter Break? Here are my Winter Break survival tips!

Be sure to "like" this video and subscribe to Tulsa Feed on YouTube so you don't miss an episode of Honeybee Mama!

{Inspire Me}

Get your inspiration HERE

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I Give at Christmas (and why you should too)

Christmas 2008 was a very special Christmas. It was also a very difficult Christmas.

It was my first Christmas as a single mother. I had separated from my first husband in March of that year and had spent the remainder of it trying to put the pieces of my life together. After watching my dreams of having a family and being a stay-at-home-mom shatter, I had worked hard to get a job and provide for my two small children. We lived with my parents then. It was actually the second time I move "back" in with them. I had moved out into my own apartment for a few months until my ex lost his job and stopped paying child support altogether. The majority of my income went to full-time childcare for my children, and any extra went to paying off debt I had carried with me from my failed marriage.

As the holidays approached and decorations went up, I wondered how and if I would be able to buy gifts for my kids. I knew they would receive presents from family, but I felt an intense sadness that I had nothing to give them that they would open from Mom. I had no idea I would receive a phone call that would change the course of my life.

Someone called and asked a simple question, "Are you going to be able to buy gifts for the boys for Christmas?" My emotions caught in the back of my throat and I struggled to get anything out of my mouth besides a simple, "No." He then asked, "Do you think you can make something happen with $100?" All I could get out was, "Yes."

I took that money to the store and carefully calculated every penny, including tax, on a calculator as I shopped, and bought as much as I could with that money. I spent every last dime of it, took the gifts home and wrapped them and very gratefully awaited Christmas morning.

The gifts were not extravagant, and they weren't many, but they were gifts nonetheless and provided me an opportunity to make very special memories with my children.  

Since that year, I have tried to make sure to involve my children in giving each year. I used to work for a large regional bank that held an annual toy drive; my favorite job was volunteering to collect money from my co-workers so that I could purchase gifts for the toy drive. I would take my littles with me and let them help me pick out presents for other children, explaining to them that there are lots of children who may not wake up to presents under the tree on Christmas morning. They would joyfully and enthusiastically select gifts for boys and girls of different ages, and I am so thankful to have involved them in acts of giving from a young age.

Remember the movie Fred Claus? Of course, there is a lot that's silly about the movie, but there is a very moving moment when the elves question whether or not they'll be able to deliver everything on every child's Christmas list that year. Fred gives a little speech, pointing out that kids don't need lots of presents Christmas morning; they just need one. He and all the elves work tirelessly to ensure this happens. The result is moving.

If you can afford to buy even one present for your children this holiday season, count yourself among the privileged. Yes, we all know there is so much more about the season than commercialism and more stuff, but kids expect magic. They are mesmerized by every holiday film ever made that promises them that Santa will bring them their hearts desire, find families for orphans, return lost pets and reunite divorced parents. Kids shouldn't have to have their hearts broken by circumstance and parents shouldn't have to be put in the gut wrenching position to see their kids wake up Christmas morning and have to explain that Santa couldn't come this year. 

The thing is, magic does exist and it's in each one of us as members of the human race. We are here to look out for one another and to help our friends and neighbors who, due to circumstance, cannot do everything they wish they could for their families. 

Salvation Army of Tulsa and many other organizations that collect toys, clothes and food for needy families are running desperately low on donations this year. Although distribution has already begun, they still have many families in need of gifts for their families. If offices aren't open, contact someone through social media to find out how you can donate. Ask a friend, ask a pastor - I'm sure there is someone in your network who knows someone who isn't sure whether or not their family will experience the magic of Christmas this year. 

Happy Holidays, and lots of Honey,


Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Lists

Do you ever feel like your kids have it in for you when you read their Christmas lists? Here I am tellin' it like it is in my latest Tulsa Feed video!

Be sure to "like" this video and subscribe to Tulsa Feed on YouTube so you don't miss an episode of Honeybee Mama!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

{haiku wednesday}

two day induction
brave mom, supportive daddy
beautiful birth day!

{please share your own}

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow Day Silly Putty

Hey Parents! It's a snow day here in Tulsa and we have been very busy. If you need to get crafty and keep your kids occupied, I've got a great recipe for you! Corrinne came home from school the other day with some homemade silly putty and shared the recipe with us. There really aren't any specific measurements; the process is more important than amounts.

It's so easy - here goes!

Homemade Silly Putty

School Glue
Water-based markers (optional)
Glitter glue (optional)
Disposable plastic cups for mixing

Watch carefully as teacher Corrinne instructs us!

First: glue. Elmer's school glue is what we used. You can use white or clear. 

About that much.

Next, mix up a few teaspoons of Borax in some water.

Scoop some into your cup on top of your glue.

Then make a fist and mush down into your cup in a pumping motion until you feel the putty form, then grab and squish, squish, squish until it's no longer sticky!

And voila!

Keep squishing until you can form little balls.

Use markers to color the putty!

Or, use glitter glue sticks to add glam!

So easy, and truly not that messy for a desperately needed indoor activity on a snow day!

How are you keeping your kids busy today?

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart. 
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

Snow day.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment!

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'm not blogging about Thanksgiving...

I'm not blogging about Thanksgiving.

I'm not telling you about the ten wonderful days we got to enjoy our friends being in town and their precious children who are inextricably a part of our crazy family,

or how much we enjoyed being lazy and taking our time with all the preparation instead of rushing to make things perfect.

I'm not going to tell you what kind of rolls we ate,

or document the recipe for my stuffing,

or tell you how my cute husband, Marc, makes his Butternut Squash.

I'm not going to give you my secret for delicious gravy that isn't from a can,

or our favorite potatoes for mashing.

No, I'm not blogging about Thanksgiving, or how I figured out the most festive drink to drink,

while I watched the Macy's Parade,

and the kids pleasantly occupied themselves,

No, I'm not blogging about Thanksgiving. Because I'm still simmering and enjoying it.

I'm not blogging about Thanksgiving because I want to enjoy that I enjoyed my company and the food.

I'm not going to tell you where we cut corners and where we cooked from scratch,

or how delicious the turkey was and all that went into ensuring that happened.

I'm definitely not telling you about the sides,

or how we managed seven children in the house for ten days.

I won't tell you about how I struggled to finish what was on my plate despite trying desperately to put the smallest portions possible of everything on it.

And I'm not giving you the secret to my chocolate cake frosting,

or whether or not the littles who helped make it liked eating the fruits of their labor.

I'm not telling you about Gary and Crosby and how much I love them and wish they weren't moving to South Carolina.

I will tell you how much I enjoyed ENJOYING the holiday with my cute husband,

and my sweet nephew, Asher, who makes my heart so happy,

and our clever kids who insisted on inventing three different mouse traps to catch the lone little mouse we spotted running around,

and how happy we are that we refused to go shopping with everyone else, and instead chose to snuggle on the couch.

But seriously, I'm NOT blogging about Thanksgiving!

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