Being a Mom

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Angels Walk Among Us

Published January 5, 2018 by lynn k scott

I honestly believe that angels walk among us and they take the form of friends.

A few weeks ago, I was lost.  I was having daily meltdowns regarding how I am going to pay for my cancer treatment and medications.  I was shutting down and beginning to withdraw.

I had a long-time friend invite me over to her home after church.  I was such in a bad place, I didn’t want to go.  I told her I would think about it.  She tempted me with seeing their Siberian Husky.  I have unofficially adopted him…well adopted him in the sense he is my main focus when I get to visit him; and his owners.

I relented and asked when we should be at her house.  I grabbed a toy for Kona (the Siberian).  I love that dog; even if he’s not mine.  I get through church, take a much-needed nap (thanks to my meds) and woke up in time to leave.

Standard greetings took place and then it was time to see Kona; who is normally outside – he loves it outside.  I walk out, hear a guy’s voice, who I just assumed was my friend’s boyfriend.  When I say, I go to see the dog, I’m not kidding.  I was so dog-focused, I failed to realize my son was the one holding onto the dog’s leash.  Right next to him, was my daughter-in-law and granddaughter.          20171231_165213.jpg

It’s been six years since I’ve seen my son.   He’s in the Army, so visits are few and far between and he’s stationed across the country.  Another one of my friends used air miles that would expire before she could use them and flew them all out to see me.  I had yet to meet my daughter-in-law or meet my (now) eight-month old granddaughter.

To say tears were flowing would be an understatement.  I was beyond surprised.  Several people were in on it.  They kept me going til the surprise took place.  They knew how difficult life had become and brought a beacon of light to brighten up my world.

I have had the pleasure of having my oldest and youngest together for three weeks.  We did a few low-key tourist things, but mostly stayed near home.  I still have had to work while they have been here.

Walking through my front door and to be greeted by my smiling grandbaby brings joy like nothing else.  Cooking dinner every night has been great.  My daughter-in-law LOVES mashed potatoes!  It may seem trivial, but my husband is Asian and we eat a lot of rice.  I had another person in my corner for side dishes.  My son did good marrying her.  LOL

My granddaughter celebrated her first Christmas in my home.  My daughter and son were able to celebrate their birthdays together (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day).  I was able to bring the “kids” to church and introduce them to my church family.  My son isn’t big on attending church, but he did so for his mom.

I will be sad when I have to take them to the airport tomorrow.  Tonight will be the last night that I will sit on the sofa, holding the baby, and giving her a bottle.  She can hold it herself, but each evening, we’ve had our little bonding time.  I will miss it greatly!

I am blessed that I have angels walking among us and I get the privilege of calling them friends.

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Movie Review: Justice League

Published November 22, 2017 by lynn k scott

Let me premise this review with I am not a comic-reading individual.  My knowledge of the Justice League characters come from Saturday morning cartoons (35+ years ago) and various movies that I have seen over the years.

That being said, last night I took my 11-year old daughter to see the Justice League movie.  It wasn’t a movie I would have gone to on my own.  I’ve never been a comic book fan or even cared about the different aspects of the progression of say, Superman or Batman.

Without having multiple backstories, character knowledge or development, we enjoyed the movie.  I won’t go into too many details, as I won’t be a spoiler to those who have yet to see the movie.

I would actually give the movie 4 out of 5 stars.  Hold your horses comic lovers.  My rating is based on the following criteria:  My 11-year old LOVED the movie, there was humor and lots of action.  The special effects were well done (imo).  There was even a point, some aspects of the special effects reminded me of a comic book.

The Flash was a socially-awkward teenager, who brought hilarity to his role.  His facial expressions and comments really added some great humor.

Wonder Woman was my daughter’s favorite.  There was a scene with the Amazon’s fighting the villain, and my daughter leaned over to whisper, “Those are my kind of women”.  Ok, so fictional women of great strength and capabilities empowered my daughter to where she could appreciate them; I’ll take that as a win.

My favorite was Aquaman.  Considering my only previous reference to him was a cartoon, he was given a major “upgrade”.  A buffed, tattooed, long-haired Atlantean, played by Jason Momoa, was what got me through this movie!  I’m not sure why it wasn’t called, “Aquaman & Friends”.  I digress…back to the review….

Cyborg, Superman and Batman were ok; nothing special to report on them.

The reason the movie didn’t get 5 stars, was it did drag a bit; even with all the action-filled comedy.  The other reason was, Ben Affleck is a believable Bruce Wayne, but he really isn’t a good Batman.  I was never a fan of all the Batman movies and the endless, changing Batmans.  I saw the first Batman, with Michael Keaton, and that’s good enough for me.  There’s just no pizzazz.  If it wasn’t for the Justice League having Batman in the comics and whatever rivalry there was between him and Superman, the movie could probably exist without him.

The other minor issue I had was Diane Lane as Superman’s mother.  She’s a good actress, and even though she’s aged to where she could play the part of a mom, she’ll always be, ‘Cherry Vance’, from the “Outsiders”.  I know most of this movie’s demographic, has no idea of “The Outsiders, primarily because it was made before they were born, but it was a small distraction to me.

Overall, it was enjoyable.  The storyline they used was acceptable, to non-comic following fans.  Add the the fact we paid less than $8.00 for two tickets, with AT&T’s, “Bring a Friend” Tuesdays, the popcorn was 50% off, we had a nice night for a mother and daughter making memories over Marvel’s, Justice League.

Homeschool Happiness

Published November 21, 2017 by lynn k scott

Last night, we continued my daughter’s studies.  You know, history, science, etc.  We started a new mini-lesson on, “Poison Tongue, Healing Tongue”.

I admit it, I’m a bit of a geek, nerd, what have you, when it comes to homeschooling material.  I get excited about new books or curricula.  This in turn, elicits eye-rolls and my daughter telling me I am weird. It’s ok, I can live with that.  In part, because it’s true!

I recently purchased a new history set, called, “From Adam to Us”.  It’s a Christian publication and I am in LOVE with it so far.  It begins in the beginning with God creating the world.  The exercises has my daughter reviewing chapter vocabulary words doing exercises based on the reading.

The book in general is an easy read.  There are lots of colorful pictures, scripture mixed into the text and I find it relaxing to read.  Of course, I’m coming from a completely different perspective than a student would, as they have to do the work.

There are also additional books in the set, such as a timeline book, a literature book and maps.  Even though we’ve just begun using the books, I am liking what I’m seeing; a lot!

In additional to history, we covered scripture readings on how the Bible refers to the tongue.  How the tongue can be used to hurt or heal, depending how we choose to use it.  I admit, I have a sharp tongue and sarcasm and I have become all-to-familiar with each other.

In addition to trying to raise my daughter, I viewed this mini-course as a guide that could assist both of us in choosing our words a bit more carefully and use them in a better way than we have been.  No matter what our ages, we all have room for growth and improvement.

My daughter is extremely perceptive, add tween hormones and just a general kids don’t want to do school and selecting the proper way to respond isn’t always her forte.  I found the verses to be genuine and that there were multiple opportunities to discuss what we were reading and how it applies to us.

Lastly, we turned to Netflix for science.  We watched a scientist go up against a chef and they both made the same dishes.  Seeing a steak cooked the traditional way and then seeing how liquid nitrogen played a roll in cooking a stay was fascinating.  Did you know you can create a clear tomato soup that still tastes like tomato soup?  I didn’t until seeing this show.

No matter which subject we discussed, my daughter was learning.  She was engaged.  She was participating.  Not to mention, she’ll have something to share with her friends next time they get together.

As challenging as homeschooling can be, it’s a challenge that’s well worth the effort!

Cancer Journey: Part 2

Published November 6, 2017 by lynn k scott

I’ve been on oral chemotherapy for a week now.  I have been lucky not to experience many side effects.  The worst, so far, has been nausea and fatigue.  Those who know me, know I am always on the go or doing something.  Friends ask me if I know what the word relax means.

My anger has subsided a bit.  I am still less than pleased with my oncology team.  However, I am doing my best to see the positives in all this.  Positives with cancer?  Seriously?  Yup!

I truly believe God has a plan for me; for all of us, really.  I have known so much suffering, loss and tragedy.  What’s a stage 3 cancer diagnosis added to all that, right?

I was speaking to our pastor’s wife yesterday and shared how I recently thought of a positive to having cancer:  it’s brought my oldest and I closer.  One could say we’ve had a tumultuous relationship.  We were having a rough patch prior to my diagnosis.  We had only recently started speaking again.

Once I told him about the diagnosis, our relationship improved.  It reaffirmed how precious life is and how it’s not promised to anyone.  So, if cancer brought us closer together, than I am grateful.

Another positive is, as a friend pointed out when she heard the news, this disease would bring me closer to God.  She was right.  This struggle is not mine alone.  He is with me through this.  It’s my job to trust in Him and give Him control of the situation.  He has guided me to a church with very supportive and caring people.  He will stay beside me on this journey.

I am also learning to rest and pay attention to my health.  Currently, I have energy for about half a day.  I am still working a full-time job, homeschooling my daughter every evening and running a household.  Is my house as clean as I want it?  Heaven’s no!  Truth be told, it’s driving me nuts to have clutter and not having certain areas spotless.  Will we survive?  Yup!

My daughter and husband have taken on a few of “mom’s chores”.  They are aware I just can’t do it all or that it might be postponed if i need to take care of it.  I am taking time to spend a extra hour or two in bed on the weekends.  I am going to sleep hours before the clock approaches midnight.

Today was the first day I had to wear a mask at work, as my immune system becomes more compromised.  I was NOT happy having to do this.  Yet, a friend suggested having my artist daughter (who’s 11), draw happy faces and butterflies on my masks for me.  I’m going to give her a few to try out.  She’ll get to be expressive, I get to count this as art for homeschool and I should have some “designer” masks to make this journey a bit more bearable.

So as much as I hashtag, #cancersucks, there are silver linings to be seen.  You just need to know where to look.

Visiting the 1950s

Published October 17, 2017 by lynn k scott

Last night, for music and history, we used our smart TV and did a time-warp to the 1950s.  Since we have the technology, why not use it right?  In addition to the music, we discussed the clothing of the era and segregation.  She hadn’t heard the term before.  Once I explained what it was, she responds with, “That’s racism!”  She also picked up on the fact, that if her father and I had met in the 1950s, we probably wouldn’t have been together; being I am white and he is Filipino.  We have done our best to teach our daughter color doesn’t define a person; their actions do.

First up, Elvis Presley.  We discussed “Elvis the Pelvis”, the Ed Sullivan Show and how he was only filmed from the waist up.  We watched a clip from “Jailhouse Rock“.  My daughter giggled.  She’s been exposed to Elvis before because he is the King of Rock ‘n Roll and I’m a huge fan.  We can also thank reruns of “Full House” and “Uncle Jesse” for her Elvis knowledge.

From Elvis, we headed over to watch Bill Haley and the Comments.  When it was time to “Rock Around The Clock“, the lil miss jumped up off the couch and shouted, “dance with me!”  She was having a blast.  That last until my dog decided my daughter was getting far too much attention he was going to cut in on our fun.

From there we discussed a variety of musical artists and jumped over to watch Ritchie Valens in action.  We discussed his, Buddy Holly’s and the Big Bopper’s untimely deaths.  While I showed her pictures of the real Ritchie, we watched the clip of Lou Diamond Phillips portraying Ritchie and singing La Bamba.   We discussed how his name was changed to a more “mainstream” name for the times.

Our last music clips were courtesy of the Everly Brothers.  “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Cathy’s Clown” were the two selections we watched.  Of the clips my daughter watched, surprisingly, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” was her favorite.

I know “Cathy’s Clown” was from 1960, but it was my sister’s Kathi’s favorite song when she was young (because it had her name in it) and it’s a great segway to our next trip through the ages…

Get ready for the British invasion, the beginning of “boy bands” (thanks to the Beatles), add a little peace, love and hippies and we’re all set to discuss the 1960s.

 

 

 

A Musical Trip Through the Decades

Published October 15, 2017 by lynn k scott

Last night, we chose to go to Mel’s Diner for dinner.  If you’re unfamiliar with this restaurant, it’s reminiscent of a 1950s diner.  Many tables have small jukeboxes you can request songs on.  Then the songs play throughout the restaurant.  While the food is just on the average side, the atmosphere is fun.  The music played, either by patrons or the establishment, always provides good conversation topics and some memories.

I made a comment to my daughter how I received my first record player when I was 13 years old.  That I received my first record album and that’s the only one I had until I could buy more.  Her response, “what’s a record player?”   Oh!  What? Did the generation gap just come full circle?!

Break out the phone, look up, ‘record player’, and show here what I was talking about.  Then, being the homeschool mom I am, I have decided this upcoming week, we will have a musical trip through the decades.  That was after a Beatles’ song came on and she made a face and said there were better boy bands available.  Had to break it to my preteen that the Beatles were THE boy band, of that time.  She seems to forget her boy band, One Direction, wouldn’t be the teen idols they are today, without the Beatles paving the way for them.

Starting Monday, we will visit the 1950s.  Talk about the artists of that era.  Discuss issues going on during that time.  I get to “visit” Elvis again.  Ok, so I might have been born in the wrong generation.  Then we will move onto the 60s, 70s, 80s and finally the 90s; by week end.

It should be a fun way to incorporate some modern history via music.  After all, music plays such a huge role in marking important milestones in our lives and in making memories:  childhood memories, songs your parents liked (and you laughed at), first song danced to, wedding songs, songs your kids would stop crying to, break-up songs, etc.

I completely expect eye-rolling and “are we done yet” responses.  I do hope my lil miss can take away something as we dance our way through the ages.

Homeschooling: Life Skills

Published October 12, 2017 by lynn k scott

This year, our homeschooling journey has landed in the 6th grade.  In addition to my daughter learning how to take detailed notes, beginning to independent research, math, grammar, science, etc., she participates in Life Skills.

If we were in a brick and mortar school, the skills she is learning might be classified as home economics.  However, it’s more than just that.  She is learning to make grocery shopping lists, assisting with pet care, cooking for herself as well as her family, doing laundry, etc.

In our home, my husband doesn’t cook.  It’s a fact; he doesn’t know how.  I, on the other hand, have a catering and hospitality background, so I am passing my cooking and baking knowledge to her.chicken adobo

Since school began in August, she has learned to and can make grilled cheese, fried hot dogs, fried eggs, chicken adobo with rice and ramen.  She has been exposed to making pot roast, pan-seared pork chops (finished in the oven) and baked chicken and chicken wings.

rice

Now, to be be fair, the chicken adobo and rice shown are actually for a church event, but it’s the same food she proudly makes for her family ever week now.  She won’t even let me make it any more and gives ME tips on what I should be doing in the kitchen.  If she only knew, I’ve been at this about 30+ years longer than her.  It’s a cute sentiment though.

In addition on learning important cooking skills, when she has to follow a recipe and using measuring cups and/or spoons, she is reinforcing her fractions.

Lastly, spending time in the kitchen will create memories that one day, she will remember as she stands in her kitchen, showing her children, what I taught her.  Life skills….so important….not just in a technical sense.

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