The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

The Greatest Honor of Being a Mother

Here is a quick bio of my son, who will be graduating high school on May 23, 2014. I wish I had written more of my memories of him over the course of his life, but this is a gentle reminder to be ever present and intentional in the lives of your children.

I love you, dear sweet Matthew.

ImageMatthew Stephen Cerrone

Matthew was born on November 4, 1995, to Robert and Jeanne Cerrone. He entered the world with a struggle to live, and we embraced him during those early days in the NICU. After he arrived home, we thought that everything would be okay. He had many illnesses as a little baby, and little did we know that all the ear infections would affect him later in life.

Matthew grew into a smart, quick-witted, and charming boy. He was using the computer at three years of age. He learned to read fluently at age 5. He was always “ahead of the game” in both academics and any skill he learned. Teachers were in awe of his mindset, and he made friends easily wherever he went.

When he was ten years old he decided to be baptized in his faith. This was an amazing time as he clarified his faith in God. Shortly after this decision, he became ill with a rare autoimmune disorder called Henoch Schonlein Purpura. This is a condition that results from a compromised immune system (all those ear infections). He was home-schooled during this time. There is still a 50% chance of recurrence, so he will always need to keep his immune system in check.

Two years later he was still struggling with ear issues, and a new doctor discovered a cholesteatoma in his left ear. If left untreated it would threaten his life. So, he underwent two major surgeries. The first one removed the “tumor” as well as his mastoid process. The second surgery would reconstruct his ear canal and put in a titanium frame to replace the lost bone.

After recovering from this unforeseen circumstance, Matthew began to grow and mature through his junior high years with ease. He was home-schooled during his healing time, but after giving much thought to his future, he decided to return to public school in 10th grade to finish his studies.

As of today, Matthew has completed four years of high school in three years’ time. He has continued to amaze us with his ability to learn quickly, retain well, and achieve new goals. He joined the cross country team, the track team, and also the yearbook and theater departments during his time in high school. He has also learned to play the piano and loves to sing. His studies and activities have continued to keep him quite busy, but he is looking forward to some down time this summer before he begins college.

We are so proud of our eldest son, Matthew. He has truly been a blessing to us all, and we are so thankful for all of the time we have had with him. We look forward to seeing what he will do with his gifts and talents. We will continue to lift him in prayer as we know that he is a child of God.

Matthew’s name means “Gift of God,” and we definitely know this meaning to be true!

Thank you dear family and friends for all of your love and support to our family as we raise our son for God’s glory!

With love,

Robert and JeanneImage

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Woman Up!

ImageYes, we can do it! We are women, mothers, daughters, girls on the grow!

Rosie the Riveter is one of my favorite icons of the 1940s. She emulates all that women wanted to be in that time (at least I hope so). She is still feminine and beautiful, but she has muscle and determination. It’s a win-win picture in my opinion. I wasn’t born in that era, but I know how hard it must have been to have lived during that time. The men were off at war, and the women had to stay home and take care of business. They had to become single mothers and entrepreneurs and instant career women. They had no choice but to be strong.

“My mom says that being “boss” and “bossy” are two very different things.” ~ Andi from Space Camp

Recently, a new slogan has been popping up in the media about teaching girls to be leaders, and to slam the word “bossy.” As much as I subscribe to the anti-bossy understanding, there may be some who could take this slogan to the extreme. I admit that I have called my own child “bossy” when I believed she was out of line and disrespectful. But I also know that I explained to her why I used that term to describe her actions. It was her actions that made her bossy, but she herself is not bossy. She is just strong in mind and speech!

No apologies! There is absolutely nothing wrong with being strong and speaking one’s mind. I am ALL IN when it comes to standing up for oneself.

This is the best time in history to be a woman by far. We have rights that rival our male counterparts. We are recognized for our strengths, our intelligence, our maturity, and our leadership abilities. I think we should speak our mind when necessary. I believe that we should exert our strengths as needed.

In a former post I had written about the difference between being feminist and having feminism. (I’ll put the link here).

Woman Up!

I believe there is such a thing as being biblically feminine. Here we go again, bringing up the Bible. Yes, those ancients text still utter truth in daily living. Some women take it to the extreme by not wearing makeup, covering up their heads, and not ordaining themselves with jewelry. Honestly, I am a little bit of a rebel. I don’t wear a covering, but I do respect those women who do. I do wear a little makeup and the occasional jewelry, but I don’t judge the women who don’t wear makeup or jewelry. By abiding by biblical standards I want to still show respect for myself, my husband, my children, and my faith by my actions and my beliefs. I have adopted the modern-day style of clothing, but on the inside I am still very much old-fashioned in my core values and beliefs.

MDW

Our American culture is so vastly different from what it used to be. The message can remain the same although the methods may change. The message, I believe, is to continue to embrace self-respect through the values by which you were raised. The key is self-respect: believe in yourself and your God-given strengths, skills, and standards. Go ahead, be a Modern Day Woman. Embrace yourself in the current culture, but be careful to not let the current culture dictate how you should live. You are the only one who can choose your methods for being the best woman you can be.

Well I hope that I made one person think about this topic. I am not anti-feminist, but rather, I am pro-feminism. I embrace my femininity, and I am thankful for all that I have been given as a woman. I hope that you’ll be thankful, too, if you are female.

 

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Real “Face” Time

mattncadieBeautiful Children –

Gifts and Blessings from God

Yes, these two belong to me.

My oldest and my youngest.

I am such a proud mama.

It occurred to me the other day how much time we spend on our electronic devices.  We are in the same room. Yet separate. In our own little worlds.

We are spending time chatting, but not with our mouths. We are using the technology that promises to bring us together.

To reconnect.

The house it too quiet.

Face to Face

My kids know that I enjoy spending teachable moments with them. We sit around the table and have real conversations.

A lot. Face to face.

Even if it seems boring, I want them to know that I am here for them.

Once a Mom… Always a Teacher

Never forget that if you are a mom, you are also a teacher. You are your child’s first teacher. You taught them how to walk, to speak, to eat, to obey, to listen. You may not be certified to teach a classroom, but you were chosen to be his/her mom.

Take the time to unplug, to read a book, to color a picture together, to complete a puzzle, or to go for a bike ride or walk.

The investment of real face to face time is much more valuable than any electronic device, more than any classroom.

This is my reminder.

Someday soon my oldest will be going off to college. It seemed like yesterday I was walking with him to the park everyday, pushing him on the swings, wiping off his boo-boos, singing him night-night songs while I tucked him into bed.

He remembers those moments of time spent with him. He appreciates the fact that his dad and I would spend face to face time with him. On purpose. For a purpose. Now, he is truly grateful.

My little girl needs that same amount of attention. Not negative attention, but just… attention. I have to fight against the tide of technology, though, but it can be done. I will win this battle for her attention. I want her to know I was here for her.

In person. Not on the other side of the chat screen or instant message.

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Flip Flops and Boxing Gloves

flipflopsboxinggloves

Gotta love flip flops!

And, there’s something about boxing gloves.

Two extreme accessories. One purpose. True? You bet!

Flip flops are the epitome of summer, of relaxation. It’s a visual reminder to keep your feet protected near water while you quickly dip your toes into the nearest pool or ocean.

On the other hand (no pun intended), boxing gloves epitomize a fight. They are the glorious reminder of fighting against something.

An opponent. A disease. A cause. A fear. A dream.

To be in a fighting mood, your body must be tense. You must reserve all regular energy for that surge of adrenalin that wants to invade every cell in your body. So, how is it possible to wear boxing gloves and flip flops at the same time?

The battle that most of us face on a daily basis is made of unseen forces. They are the thoughts in our heads that cause to worry. At least that’s my battle. I admit it. I am a latent worrier.

That type of mental and emotional anguish was never my goal. A child is not a worrier until someone or something teaches her to worry. The adult has had years, however, to perfect that unseen force.

This force comes in like an earthquake:  It is an instantaneous eruption that shows its ugly head as an untimely death of a loved one, an unexpected job loss, or a terminal diagnosis.

Although it’s easier said than done, this is where the flip flops come in handy. When a crisis hits, take off your shoes and slip into some flip flops. That’s right. Take a stroll outside and breathe in some fresh air, albeit icy cold or blazing hot. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate against anyone needing a fresh breath of air. She only discriminates based on geography.

I am learning that my battle must be fought with two items. One, I use boxing gloves metaphorically to combat my fears, my tension, my anguish. Two, I use my flip flops metaphorically to ease my fears, my tension, and my anguish. Either method isn’t easy at first, because it requires strength that comes from both outside and inside the body. It truly is mind over matter.

Next time you think about what may hurt you, think of the flip flops and boxing gloves. Picture them, buy them, wear them. Do whatever you need to do to build up your strength from within, to fight that unseen battle.

I am on your side. I am fighting right there with you.

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