Saturday, February 21, 2015

Trying To Raise My Modern-Day Knight


Since we moved to Maryland, I’ve done a lot of thinking about how I’ve been raising my boys. Lots of thinking, not lots of “doing” or “changing”. We moved from our home where they had a LOT of people investing in them. People at church, family, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. We truly lived in a community where we were a village raising our children. It was wonderful, blessed, and beautiful.

We’ve tried getting connected at church, but the boys haven’t really made any friends there. We don’t know our neighbors except one person. I never see any kids and that’s probably because we live on a very busy street on the outskirts of the neighborhood. We live two hours from family and only see them every other month or so. The boys, at least Buddy, has one teacher pouring into his life. Needless to say, this has been a hard transition for us. We’re not “surrounded” any more.
Men's Breakfast
I’ve tried to parent my boys in a similar way I did with my girls, at least when it comes to the basics. I think my boys talk to me a lot more than my girls ever did at this age. My girls had great friends they could confide in as well as adults they could turn to if they wanted to talk to someone other than me. I could relate to my girls though. My boys…not so much.

Inside I’ve struggled knowing I don’t know what it’s like to be a boy growing up into a man. I’ve tried to teach them my expectations as a mom on how they should behave, but I don’t know what boys think about or what they struggle with. As we go about our daily lives, I try to pour into them about how they should treat others or what to do in certain circumstances. Basically I’m raising a modern-day knight. At least I’m attempting to. It’s not easy to do in a world that shouts out against that kind of thing. Meh, I don’t take any lip so I’m fine going against the grain of this world.

My boys only get to talk to their dad on the phone since he’s still living in Minnesota. That means he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to parent them. Now, I will say that about once a year I have to ask him to have a serious talk with the boys about their behavior. It always seems to do the trick. Thank goodness! He and the boys, as well as their grandma (and now Auntie Beryl) have been memorizing Matthew 5. Every week they add a new verse and they each recite how far they’ve memorized. It’s really an amazing thing to listen to!
Reciting Scriptures
I’m very thankful to have Fred in the boys’ lives as well. Since we’ve met, he’s shown the boys how to treat a lady and how to take care of her. He is always kissing me and telling me he loves me. He opens my car door every single time (unless I beat him to the punch). He makes us dinner. He goes out with us. I mean, there’s so much he does just living his life that is a great example to his kids and my kids. He showed Jacob how to shave for the first time. Recently he took both boys to a men’s breakfast at church. He’s involving the boys in his life. I hear Buddy saying to me now, “What would Fred think about such and such?” It’s pretty cool and happens on a regular basis.
Learning To Shave
Now, my son is coming up on his 16th birthday. I can’t really talk about it because I’ll probably burst out crying. How can my little boy be that old? It’s mind boggling to be quite honest. I recently read some really neat ideas on ways to make turning that age more meaningful in Raising Modern-Day Knights. There are different milestones to make those transitions a beautiful gift and experience. Of course, it’s done by dads for their son’s in this book, but as a single mom, the task falls to me.

I took one of the ideas and modified it to make it our own. I took Galatians 5:22-23 and asked 9 men who have had an impact on Jacob’s life as a young boy/teen to write a letter based on the main words in that scripture. So, one will take: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I asked them to write him a letter explaining what that word means to them as men of God and what it should look life in his life as he grows into a man of God. I plan to put them into a book somehow and present it to him on his birthday. I’ve also asked his dad to write him a general letter about what it means to be a man of God. I’m so thankful these men are on board and have found it an honor to be asked. Each man I asked about each of their words were men who I thought exemplified each word. Not that they all don’t live that scripture completely, but I felt like the Lord showed me what each man should write about.

Also, suggested in this book was to give your son a coat of arms like the author’s did for their sons. It was a really neat story, and I thought I’d try to make one online myself. I went to quite a few websites and never found anything that compared to theirs. The other ones were just cheesy. Guess there’s no real reason to reinvent the wheel, eh? This coat of arms is pretty heavy duty and much more than what I expected it to be. I truly can’t wait to share that day with my boy!
Coat of Arms
Raising boys isn’t an easy task and not for the feint of heart. We have a lot of work ahead of us, especially single moms. I’d encourage you to find men who can pour into the lives of your kids. I know a dear friend of mine got her two boys hooked up with men from the Boys & Girls Club after her husband passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. It’s something I had always wished I’d done, but again, we had a great circle of men in my boys lives from church. Don’t be swayed by what the world says boys and men should do and how they should behave. We should care about what the Lord wants from our boys. What does He want them to grow up to be. My end goal is for my boys to love the Lord with all of their hearts and to be men who love their family. I want them to walk with integrity and know that in the end they will hear from God, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

What’s the most important thing for you to teach your son?

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Scrumptious Valentine’s Day Dessert

new eli logo 4 color
Last month, Eli’s Cheesecake dropped me a line asking me to review their Tira Mi Su (yes, that’s how they spell it) Cake for Valentine’s Day. HA! They could’ve just sent it instead of asking if I’d be interested. I love all of the Eli’s Cheesecake desserts we’ve been able to try! I had my first taste of tiramisu about a year ago. Fred and I found a cute little Italian restaurant and he picked us up a couple. I was game since I like coffee…and cake. Well, it was a bit mushy so I wasn’t very impressed. I figured if Eli’s Cheesecake made their own version it’s probably heavenly.

I actually didn’t expect it to arrive frozen. I thought it would be cooled to keep it safe while being mailed to me, but nope, it was frozen. So, yea, a little sad because I couldn’t take a huge bite out of it. I waited, but very impatiently. I took the Tira Mi Su over to Fred’s house for dinner and we dug in. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. I liked that it had that yummy coffee flavor, but it wasn’t mushy. Now, I do have to say, I didn’t let it defrost all the way, and that’s the way I’d keep it. He and I polished off the first off the first slice without saying much because all we did was focus on how amazing the dessert way.
Tira Mi Su
Now, if you haven’t considered a dessert for Valentine’s Day, get this for you and your sweetie. I’d say if you’re single, invite your friends over and you can all enjoy this together! We haven’t eaten the entire cake yet because, well, it’s just Fred and I who like these desserts. The benefit of that is after we have our dinner out on Valentine’s Day, we can head back to his place and dig into a slice to end our evening!

Let’s talk about Valentine’s Day while we’re at it. Late last year, Fred and I started talking about getting married. Ok, well, we’ve been talking off and on about getting married since we met. Ask him! He brought it up early on in our dating. Yes, him. Then life happened and we went back and forth as to what our future was going to hold for us.
Tira Mi Su Top Cake
A year ago he was considering asking me to marry him, but some things came up that put the brakes on for both of us. Not what I was hoping, especially since I’d moved to Maryland and we’d done some premarital counseling. We didn’t make it through the rest of winter and into spring unscathed in our relationship. We went on hiatus for a brief period because things were just so off kilter. Then summer came.

We went to Massanutten with my boys while his kids were in Germany for the month of July. We got a double condo for the week and spent it doing a lot of family things together to test the waters. It turned out to be a rather good week. It was also the week of my birthday. The rest of the month was pretty smooth sailing and gave way to a decent fall for us. Winter found us talking about the future again and what it might look like if we got married. Blending a family y’all isn’t easy. God didn’t create us to bring two separate families together. It’s no bueno. It’s stinking hard to be honest.
Tira Mi Su Cake
December rolled around and we actually went to look at rings to get an idea of what I might like. Turned out what I liked was different than what I expected. At the same time we started talking about the future, I started looking at the calendar to see what wedding date might work for us because there are a lot of factors to consider. I thought he might ask me over Christmas, but nope. January came along with Fred mentioning to me that he’d gotten my ring, and finished up with my brother proposing to his girlfriend of 3 yrs on their 3 yr anniversary! I was SO excited for them! Guess who’s still waiting? Yea, this girl. Impatiently I might add. Just ask Fred.

He’s already told me he won’t be asking me on Valentine’s Day and that leaves me wondering when it will happen. I’m thinking it could be St. Patrick’s Day since that’s the next holiday and I think he needs to do it on a holiday because it’ll help him remember the date. We’re looking at getting married in June so he better get on the stick because I refuse to start any actual planning until he’s put a ring on it.

So, until then, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I’m sure he’s planning to pour on the romance. I suppose we shall see!

What are your plans for a Valentine’s Day meal and dessert?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.