How things Look from the Empty Nest. . .

Everyone keeps asking. . .

Everyone keeps asking how the Hubbs and I are doing with the empty nest. So far we are doing well. With technology as advanced as it is we talk or text with the boys sometimes daily. The first week or two Big T text me daily, several times a day in fact. I was worried a little bit about him being so far away but he has gotten very busy making friends and doing school work that it has been almost a week since he has text me anything. They both text and call the hubbs though to talk music or sports.

I did miss the boys this week. . .

I did miss the boys this week, it has been almost a week since I had a text from them other than I need money for clothes. Sprat has changed his major now three times and has landed in teaching, hence the clothes buying. Sprat sent me a picture of him dressed up going off to his first day of Middle School. LOL!! He looked very professional with his back pack slung over one shoulder. Have been asking Big T to send me a picture of him since we left him last month. Yes, it has been a month to the day that we left our babies in Massachusetts.

I had been bugging this kid for a picture for weeks, I needed proof of life. This is what he sends me.
Later he sends me this one, I told him I needed more than just his eyes and nose.

Not a lot has changed at the house. . .

Not a lot has changed at the house for the hubbs and I. We are both still working and hanging out. I have started walking more and the hubbs is fishing here and there. The boys rooms and bathroom has had a deep clean the likes of which nobody has ever seen and we have donated quite a few clothes. Have lost some momentum in the cleaning area, will be back at that soon though. Plan on painting their bathroom soon, excited about that.

Life for the empty nesters. . .

Life for the empty nesters is not all that different from when you have kids in the house. Clean up after meals is so much easier and my sink is not full of dishes when I get off work. Our grocery bill has gone way down since the boys left. The hubbs and I could live out of our garden with just the two of us. Sleep comes easier knowing they are not going to be baming in the doors at 1100 talking loudly and banging things around. The hubbs and I are early risers, we do still have Sweet Basil and she gets us up at 0500 every morning without fail. Getting up that early we tend to go to bed earlier too. I like that, it gives the hubby and I a chance to cuddle and the empty nest means snuggle and cuddle without interruptions and I have been chased around the house a few time by the hubbs.

Socially our activities have either been family or kids

Socially our activities have been geared to family or kids events. The hubbs and I were never that social before we had kids. The empty nest has given us a little bit of a social life. I saw a meme on the internet about going from Mother to Me again, I feel like that is what the empty nest is like. After all, it is not truly and “empty” nest my kids will always be welcome at my house any time. We have a get together planned this month with some of the hubbs old high school friends and I am looking forward to it. I hope I remember how to act and geeze I hope I have something to wear. It will be nice to visit and catch up with these guys and maybe make this a regular thing.

Love and the Empty Nest. . .

Since Big T has graduated high school several people have asked, how does it feel to be an empty nester? I was not quite sure how to respond to that since both boys will be back home. True, the hubbs and I will have a few months to ourselves but the boys will be back home. The one benefit of them going to school is our grocery bill will go down. The hubbs and I could live out of the garden with the occasional rice, couscous, or meat here and there.

What will we do . . .

When my sister asked what we were going to do now that we were empty nesters my husband said he was going to run around the house naked. LOL!! I guess things are going to get interesting at my house. The hubbs and I both still work, he is moving closer to retirement, so we will continue normal weekdays but lookout weekends. I would like to do some traveling, nothing out of the country but there are some places I would like to visit in the US. We both have talked about driving cross country, I could see us doing that. We are going to Massachusetts and I am looking forward to that.

Happy Graduation to Big T. . .

Big T and the Hubbs
Brothers

Stay tuned for what happens next in the empty nest. . .

Summer Excitement. . .

The boys are officially employed for the Summer. Yayyy!! I feel very accomplished. Add this to the lists of things Mom’s celebrate for their kids. Their first official day of work is this week and the hubbs and I will celebrate with the first quiet night/day at home by ourselves since the pandemic shut down and they both came home to stay!

It is the little things . . .

My post the other day was about all the things we Mom’s celebrate for our kids, this is another one of those. It is exciting to watch the boys out in the work force earning some money for themselves. I remember earning my first income, I remember the satisfaction of buying my own clothes and going out to eat with my friends and being able to pay for my own food. That is a little sappy but still very true. My hope for the boys is that they find that feeling of satisfaction of job well done, and let’s face it the money does not hurt.

Earning their own money. . .

It is important for the boys to have a paycheck so they can open their own IRA and start saving for their retirement. Yes, I said retirement. If you have read anything I post you know that I am a Dave Ramsey fan/follower. I do not want my kids to be in debt and I have preached Dave to them so much that neither of them have credit cards and I do not think they ever will. Thank you Dave Ramsey! Big T is majoring in business so he is all about earning and saving money and he knows about debt. Both boys save up their money for items they want to buy, bless poor Sprat he saved for almost a year to buy his own gaming computer. Sprat is trying to rebuild his savings so he will have money to spend at school this Fall.

Just another moment to Celebrate the Grad. . .

Dad and Big T
Brothers, teammates, and friends. . .

Big T’s graduation ceremony was great, I do believe it was the best I have attended. One of the teachers had created a story that included all the graduates names as characters. She told a Zombie story, which seemed fitting with the year the kiddos endured their Senior year. They surprised the kids with the gentleman that was the Principal their freshman year and who played an integral part in this STEM school getting off the ground and being so successful. These kids loved this guy and had so much respect for him and you knew it when he came on the stage. The other thing that was so cool about this graduation ceremony was they gave each graduate a framed $1 and they said they wanted to be the one to give them their first earned dollar. I am so glad that Big T did not attend a traditional high school, he would not be as prepared for college as he is if it were not for this school and these teachers.

High School Graduation, I am Not Ready!

According to my son graduation is no big deal. He is not impressed about graduation and does not see what all the fuss and muss is about. I explained to him that mothers celebrate all accomplishments. I reminded him that I celebrated the first time he went pee pee in the potty and then again when he went poo poo in the potty oh and then again when he could wipe his own backside. That grossed him out just a bit but, we did celebrate.

What else do we Mom’s celebrate???

Mom’s celebrate everything: first teeth, first time rolling over, first steps, first time sitting up right, first words, first solid food, first girlfriend or boyfriend, first date, first time they drive, all first days of school. We celebrated Kindergarten graduation, Fifth grade graduation, and Eighth grade graduation. I did think those were a little bit over the top but High School graduation is a big deal it is that first big step to independence and true adulthood. It is the spring board for that journey we call life. No, I am not going to recite Prince lyrics but really high school graduation to me is the beginning of it all.

Big T does not want to go to his graduation, he refused to go to the Community College graduation ceremony and he says he is going to his High School ceremony for me. I guess I am making him go, but deep in my heart, I believe he will regret it if he does not go. This has been an ordeal and we may all be miserable during it but we are going.

I took about 25 pictures and only 3 came out decent. This is one of them.

Good luck to all the parents out there, what ever battle they are facing. We all have our issues with our kids. I love mine but they know how to press my nerves so well. Love and prayers to you all.

No Cell Phones for the Kiddos

I took a lot of crap on this one. . .

A little back story; most if not all of Sprat’s friends got phones by the time they were in middle school, some even had them in elementary school. The hubby and I were of the mindset that phones are a need for adults not a toy for children. During this time I was a stay at home mom and the boys were either at school or with me. No reason for either of my boys to have a phone. There are some cases where I understand a child would need a phone to reach a parent if both parents worked and there could be transportation issues. Let us not forget how many kids went through the school system before there were phones and survived just fine. Even parents can fall in to the trap of peer pressure.

One of the main reasons my boys did not get a phone until it was a need. . .

Cell phones give people access to the internet and all sorts of communication. For adults cell phones are a necessary evil to be productive in their jobs. Children do not need that kind of unlimited access to the internet or their friends. Giving a child a cell phone is like inviting their bully from school into your home, the pedophile that was just released from prison or has not been caught yet into your home. Yes, I am being very serious there is so much out there that children should not have access and you cannot be there all the time to watch over that interaction. Kids are bullied every day in school, both of my boys were and you would not believe by who. If they had phones during that time those bullies would have had access to my boys at home where they should feel safe and secure.

Yes, adults/parents can fall victim to peer pressure. . .

Determined I would not fall victim to peer pressure with my boys. Sprat in fifth grade and Big T in third grade, Big T jumps in the car and reports Sally has an iPhone. I have changed the names to protect the overindulgent parents. LOL!! I simply replied Ok, and how was everyone’s day? I tried to gloss over that because I knew that would set Sprat off because all he could talk about was how he needed a phone. I always laughed and told them both a phone was not a need for a child. I have to ask why a third grader needs a phone and an iPhone to boot? It has to be peer pressure, no normal parent would say; hey, let’s spend $800 on a new phone for our special little third grader.

You would think my children were the most deprived. . .

To hear my oldest tell about his phoneless sophomore year of high school you would think we shoved bamboo shoots under his finger nails every night after dinner (liver and onions). By Sprat’s freshman year in high school all of his friends really did have phones, but many of them bought them with their own money. I have no problem with a kid that has a job buying a phone and paying for his service and phone himself . In fact, I thank that is awesome and kudos to the parents that have kids that are that industrious. Mine were not that industrious, Sprat thought his dad and I printed money in the basement.

The straw that broke the camels back . . .

When Big T was finishing up sixth grade my very sweet hubby was re-organized out of a job. Yep, two weeks shy of twenty-five years with the same company my sweet hubby was laid off. He looked for work and after six months with no luck I decided to look for something part time to help with insurance once his severance ran out. I found a great job that I could work part-time with insurance benefits. This was very exciting, but this meant that days I worked Big T would be riding the bus. The boys did not mind riding the bus, they had ridden it a couple of times before. The problem was that being part-time I could get called in at the drop of a hat. This meant that Big T’s transportation could change with very little notice.

Need to back track here just a bit, at this point Sprat has his license and yes a phone too (not an iPhone). Sprat got a flip phone not a smart phone for his first phone when he started driving. I do believe kids that are driving do need a phone for just in case. Now Big T a seventh grader is going to get a phone (not an iPhone). When Big T got a phone I broke down and Sprat did finally get a smart phone. Let all the horrible mama talk begin. . .

In Conclusion. . .

I have laid it all out here, you must in the end make the decision that best fits you and your child. Just remember once you open Pandora’s Box you cannot close it.

A Little More Advice for Mom’s

These are few things I wish I had done sooner. . .

I found this on Pinterest many years ago. You can find neat things to do with and for your kids on Pinterest. You write your child letters and enclose money in each letter, not a lot of money a five, a twenty, whatever you have extra. According to Pinterest you are supposed to write one letter each year and give them to your child at their high school graduation.

Did not find this one until the boys were older, so I wrote to the boys more frequently throughout the years. Sprat got his letters when we left him at school his freshman year in college. I did give him direction on opening them, he was told he could only open one a month. When he realized there was money in them I was afraid he would tear through them and not really read what I had written. My goal here was to give my child something that I had written in my own hand that told him how much he was loved when he was growing up and how I felt when we argued and that no matter what his Dad and I were very proud of him. Let’s face it, teens do test their parents to the very end.

The picture is a little dark but those are Sprat’s letters in his hand as we get ready to leave him in Boston.

School teachers and your kids. . .

I saw this one on Pinterest too. I did not do this one personally but I thought it was neat and had I found it when the boys were younger I would have done it. Take one of your child’s favorite books and each year have their favorite teachers write a note to them in the book. Pinterest suggested books like Dr Seuss or the Berenstain Bears. When your kids graduate high school they have a book full of positive notes from their favorite teachers throughout their school years.

A little garden stone. . .

Throughout your child’s school career they will make hand print turkeys, footprint I love you notes, and cut out hearts with their pictures for mom. Hobby Lobby and other shops of that nature sell make your own stepping or garden stones. We purchased two when we moved to our new house in 2006 and the boys created their very own stones to put in our flower bed. These stones still adorn our front flower bed today. They have their hand prints and some shards of glass and the date they were joyfully created. I wish I had done a few more at different times I could have my own garden path made with their little hands and feet.

Big T’s stone, you just barely see his little hand print.

Pinterest is a neat little library of ideas. . .

Pinterest holds a wealth of information from everything to job searches to recipe ideas. I found many little things to do with my kids to enhance their education and expand their horizons. Check out my Pinterest boards for yourself. https://www.pinterest.com/pamperedpage

the Garden Grows in the COVID. . .

the Hubbs has been busy. . .

My husband has been very busy in the COVID pandemic. Our garden has been plowed and planted, he added tomatillos and some peppers yesterday. My cutting flower bed also has a good start. I was told we will take a trip to Lowes to get some timber to build up the bed. There is nothing like the smell of fresh cut flowers.

This was my herb garden last year. The hubbs built this little raised bed. This is similar to what my new cut flower bed will look like.
This was the herb bed yesterday. Sage, lemon Thyme, chives, Rosemary, and some Oregano hidden by the Rosemary, oh and Lemon balm. I also have Lavender and garlic planted here. It has grown nicely.
This is where my new cut flower bed will be. The hubbs has been busy during the stay at home order. You can see I already have a peony in place, it will be fixed in a better location in the bed. There is also another peony behind that one that will go in the bed eventually.
The garden: onion, cabbage, potatoes, peas, lettuce, spinach, and newly planted peppers, tomatillos, cucumbers, and zucchini.

There is a lot going on in our yard this year. Spring will be all a buzz at our house and I cannot wait.

I was able to talk the hubby into buying some flowers for my pot on the front porch, since my flower bed is not quite ready. We could not find any cedar timbers yesterday anywhere in town. Everyone must be building flower beds and raised garden beds. For now this will be my cut flower garden and my few peony plants I have in the front and the back.

What are you doing in the stay at home order to keep your sanity? Tell me how you are dealing with school for your kids and keeping everyone happy.

Fair Warning, this is a RANT!

This is the product of being at home almost two weeks with: my husband (cooking all the time) and my two teenage boys eating all the time. And here we go. . .

What is going on????

What is going on in this world? People think just because their kids are out of school and they are on furlough or work from home order that they can pack up and go to the beach. Why would you do that, why would you put yourself and others at risk by going out of town to stay where you do not know anyone or have any family near by? What happens if you get sick then your family is stuck where they do no know anyone and have no help for your kids if you get put in the hospital? What happens when your hometown goes on lock down and you cannot get back to your home, family, pets you may have left?

Folks you need to wake up. . .

Folks you need to wake up and realize that this is not a vacation it is a serious issue. My husbands Bass club plans to have a fishing tournament two hours away in an area that has many cases of this virus and has been on lock down longer than we have. My husband is not going nor is his brother, they have a little more sense and wives with more sense than that. The shelter at home orders are for everyone’s safety. This is not a time to go visit older relatives, this not the time to pack up the family and go to the beach. My husband and I have been on shelter in place since March 17th, that was when I started working from home full-time. I work with the Organ Donor organization for our State, we started our precautions to protect employees as well as: doctors, nurses, donors, donor families, and recipients. The boys have been on lock down since they both have been home from school.

What I would like to see. . .

What I would like to see come out of this Pandemic is, people starting to care about someone other than themselves. I am tired of hearing about the poor seniors that did not get this or that how about we start caring about those that are sick and dying and worry about how we can keep everyone safe and healthy all that other stuff can be done when this is over. I would like to hear how the Senior class of 2020 is going to do something to help the folks affected by this pandemic not hear them, “oh woe is me.” It is not even the kids that really care about it, it’s the parents that are crying about it.

I will get off my soap box now. . .

Yes, it is sad that the Seniors may not get their graduation in a timely manner and they may not get a Prom. Let’s look at the BIG picture and think about the lives that are saved because they stayed home. I am sad my sons’ did not get to have a complete season of lacrosse and bless Sprat’s heart he has had two seasons cut short. Life happens and it does not always go the way we would like it to go. My prayers through all of this are that God is watching over our young people and that we make it through this and we are better for it in the end.

And Just Like that We are Home Schooling. . .

Lots of Emotions This Week. . .

This is an add on to my last post about detesting the media. Just like that, my Sprat is coming home. There are mixed emotions about that; I love that I will get to see him but I am worried about him finishing this semester at home online. Sprat struggles with the online only format of learning. He has had a good semester so far and I want him to finish strong.

I am very sad that his lacrosse season was cut short too. We have yet to see him play college lacrosse in person, goodness knows I watched all three games on TV and watched the replay several times. I am especially sad for the seniors that did not get a true season this year. Big T did not complete his lacrosse season either.

Sprat in red going behind cage.
These are compliments of Sprat’s friend. Sprat in white on the left.

Online Classes for High School. . .

Online classes for high school will probably be the most difficult hurdle for many kids. I am thankful that Big T already has a computer from his school since he is dual enrolled in college and high school classes. His transition to online classes will be much easier than most. It is going to be difficult for those that do not have access to computers or internet most high schools do not have computers for every child. Larger cities will be better prepared for this situation than the rural areas.

I would love to hear how you will handle your child being at home to finish high school or college. Please leave your comments below. . .

Why I Am a Lacrosse Mama

Sprat after the first Scrimmage. . .

Sprat had his first scrimmage last week and they played their first game yesterday. Hard loss 6-7 but very exciting to watch. Sprat played the whole game and even was mentioned in the after game write up. It is hard for this mama when my baby is playing a sport and I cannot be there in person to cheer him on.

Thankful for technology. . .

The game on Saturday was in Maine and I was so thankful that the school live streamed the game for those that could not be there. I got to see my boy play his first official college lacrosse game on the Big screen. Not every school has that option but most of them do. Sad I could not be there but so happy I did get to watch him play. Very exciting weekend.

Big T has his first lacrosse game tonight and I will not be able to attend that one either. The hubby will be holding down the fort for this one. I have to work so the hubbs will be texting me the play by play. The hubbs and I try to be at the boys sporting and academic events but things do come up that prevent that, but one of us is always there.

The Little Leaguer. ..

“I had a little leaguer, that played ball for me. He never missed a practice, he was always there at 3; and when we had a ball game his best he’d always show, I’d ask where his folks were at, but he would never know. They’d bring him to the ballfield and then go on to town, and then one day he got hurt real bad, his parents could not be found. He’s grown up to be a teenager now and he’s in and out of jail. And his parents often ask me, ‘Tell us where we failed.’ So all you parents with little leaguers, go to their games and stay, and let them know that you’ll be there every game they play. And should they make an error, don’t make them feel ashamed, just tell him to try a little harder it’s all part of the game. And when it is his time at bat, stand and holler loud, It will make him feel much better to know you are in the crowd. ” by Anonymous

The poem above was printed in June 1969 in my hometown paper. My mom saved this paper like many other things and she shared it with me when my boys started playing little league ball. I love this poem, it speaks volumes to what your child really needs. They do not need things, they need you. They need you present in their lives and they need to know you are there cheering them on through life.

Mom, forever a cheerleader. . .

I hate missing my kids events, whether it is academic or athletic, I want to be there for every one of them. It is hard and it does not always work out that way but the hubbs and I make every effort for at least one of us to be there. Sprat in college 15 hours away does make it difficult but, we are going to see two games in person this year. I am beyond excited to see him and getting to see him play will be icing on the cake.

Stay tuned as the laxmom journey continues. . .