Opinions: Parenting


"Look at you!  You have a baby....in a bar!"
My heart hurts for the generations of kids who are, essentially, growing up without parents.

The kids whose parents dream of and envision a future where they can party and get drunk with their friends.

Where they can be "The Cool Parents".

The problem with this is that many times the kids with "The Cool Parents" end up being the parents that they deserved to have in the first place.

It's time to grow up parents!  You had your childhood, now let the kids have theirs!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Tyisms | Carrots


After playing the Wii for almost two hours, I told him it was time to turn it off and find something else to do.

He obliged and disappeared into his room for a minute, only to re-appear and plant himself on the couch with his new 3DS.

I sighed and told him, "No, you're not trading video games for video games, too much of them aren't good for your eyes!  Find something else to do!"

"But Mama, I eat carrots all the time!"

Creatively brilliant argument for a 6 year old.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

The Rest of the Story {Staycation | Day Three Part Deux }


What an adventure we had today!!

We at lunch with Jason (aka Daddy) at Sams Club (hey, we're a young family on a budget AND they have some pretty good pizza!).

Afterwards we walked around and looked at all the grills and ice chests and iPads that we would buy if we weren't a young family on a budget.  No wonder they call our older years the Glory Days.  Or I will at least, "Glory Hallelujah!  We're not broke!"

Ahhh, happy thoughts.

But in the meantime, we're having fun on the cheap.  We spent all of $9 on lunch, $3.74 on a treat for Ty and a total of $8.50 at Magic Springs for some nasty ice-tea and a locker rental.

That's the only expense we've incurred all week on our three-day adventure of Staycation.

Back to Sams.  We ate, we wandered and we daydreamed.  And then Jason had to go back to work and Ty and I had to go catch crawdads, but not before I got scolded and fussed at for *gasp* bringing a library book into Sams with me to enjoy over lunch.  The old geezer kept wanting a receipt for the book and I kept showing him the bold red "Garland County Library" stamped on the binding.

Punk wouldn't draw a smiley face on my kid's hand either.  Talk about ticking a Mama off, not only is he lecturing me in front of my kid for something I didn't do wrong, he shoves the marker at me and refuses to draw a smiley face on my kiddo's hand.

Gramps better be careful.  Kids these days don't know nothing 'bout 'specting their elders.

Okay.  Snapping out of the street-talk, now.  Although I'm sure I could pull it off.

{sticks tongue out at you who don't believe me}

Anyway.  I'm so exhausted I'm delirious, bear with me.

After Sams was Entergy Park where I had planned to sit on a rock and read a book while the kiddo caught crawfish.  But it's never as fun as getting your feet wet and getting in the middle of it.  So we double-teamed the crawfish.  Which is what it took because they are FAST!  They remind me of when I was learning to drive my little blue S10 and I stalled out everytime I tried to go into 1st gear, but never when I was in reverse, so I'd back up all over the place.  They reminded me of that because they swim backwards, which I don't guess I ever realized until today.

Anyway, so Ty was about to give up when I took over the net from him.  Three crawfish later he's telling me, "Mama, you're GOOD at this!"

You can't be raised by my Daddy and not be...well....nevermind.  I forgot there's one of us who's allergic to getting dirty.  :P

So we gathered 3 crawfish and four snails and were on our way to another small pool of water where I expected more crawfish to be...and found a snake instead.

Smile for the camera!

So we decided we were done there after Mr. Snake crashed the party.

Off to the Library from there to return some books and check out a few more.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love our library?

And from there it was off to Magic Springs...but first...let's stop at the "Rocks-R-Gems" shop and check out their "crystals".  We couldn't leave until we had a "crystal" and a baggie of polished rocks to go with us.

And then we were off to Magic Springs to splash in the Wave Pool, float the Lazy River, get flushed down The Bowls and survive the Arkansas Twister.  But not before our "water resistant" SPF 30 sunscreen washed off within the first 2 minutes of being in the water.  Oh, and we got to witness two separate and blatant incidents of guests stealing from the park and the teenage staff members not really caring and also not really being someone who needed to step up and stop it.  However, adult staff-members seemed to be on the endangered species list at that point in the day.

But anyway, our sunscreen issue cut our first trip short because we had to run back by Walmart and swap out the sorry sunscreen for some SPF 50 Sport sunscreen that actually lived up to "water resistant".  We also dropped by the house, ate some supper and brought Jason back with us for more rides and water-fun since he finally decided to come home from work and enjoy some time with us.  (Kidding, I seriously wish he could have been off this week to enjoy it with us!)

Just when we thought we'd escaped one trip to Magic Springs without the kiddo suffering an injury, the last ride of the night down the tubes he somehow fell out of his tube right at the bottom.  Knotted up his head and busted his lip.  Poor kid, it's a wonder he keeps wanting to go back!

But now we're home and I'm exhausted and possibly a smidge dehydrated and my book is calling my name.

Stay tuned...tomorrow's another promising day!

Ty's self-portrait
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Staycation | Days 2 & 3



Ahhh, one of my favorite things about my boy is how he'll sit quietly in his room or the living room and play with his toys or quietly watch a video or play some of his games while I sleep in.  It's positively wonderful.

{{happy rested sigh}}

Anyway, on to Staycation, Day 2.

If you asked Ty what all we did yesterday, he'd say "Nothing."

And then he'd look at me and see me giving him a "You did more than that look" and he'd say, "We went shopping."

And then he'd look back at me and then add "And painted".

And he'd check my face again and say "And played the Wii"

And he'd look back at me with a look like, "That's all I can remember!!"

So I'd prompt him and remind him about what we learned about on the computer that morning, and he'd say "Presidents!  All Forty-four presidents!"  (He's good, I know.)

And then I'd remind him about his curiosity-induced lesson on September Eleventh (which, thankfully, he didn't fully comprehend).

And then I'd remind him about the State Capitol Buildings.  Of which, the Old Louisiana Capitol is our favorite.  And he'd add, "It looks like a palace!!"

So even though he thinks the day was wasted on shopping...I still think it rocked.

And he just popped over my shoulder to remind me that today, Stacation Day 3, is Crawdads and Magic Springs.

Meaning that we're headed to Entergy Park this morning to catch crawdads (fun, right?) and then afterwards we're heading across town to spend the afternoon at Magic Springs.  Somewhere before or after Magic Springs we've got to drop by the library.  Hopefully after I finish my last book that's due back today.  I've got 8 books to return and one on hold to pick up and the boy wants to get some books, videos and probably games (likely none of which he'll actually read, watch or play...but I let him anyway)

Anyway.  So today our adventures are in the great outdoors.  Under the heavy and hot July sun.

Which is why we should probably get the party started before the sun gets too high in the sky.

Until next time...


Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Tyisms | Bad Choices


After a talk on history and explaning September Eleventh to Ty yesterday he tells me today, "Mama, you remember those guys that flew the planes into those buildings yesterday?  They were making bad choices."

I love that it's that simple to him.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Staycation | Day 1


The (little) Boy and I are home for the week.

Before Husband switched banks we had this week scheduled off for all three of us to take off and Staycate together.

But a fantastic job came open at a small-town bank (here in Hot Springs) and he jumped at the chance.  Given the way his first few weeks have gone at that job, a week off was a small price to pay.  It makes me so happy to see him SO much happier (and less unnecessarily stressed!).  And he'll get a vacation this year, he just has to wait out his first 90 days.

(By the way...on an unrelated note, I have a crazy fantastic surprise lined up for him in the relatively near future and I'm busting at the seams because he's going to LOVE it.  And it will probably be a picture overload when it happens, so you'll all feel like you were right there with us....wherever "there" is.)

Anyway, back to the point of the blog.

Today is Day #1 of mine and Ty's Staycation (my first ever...I'm not one to take off and just stay home, but it fits in our budget and as pretty darn relaxing, too!).

We've been making a surprisingly short list of things we want to do together this week.  So far Ty had that he wants to go to Entergy Park and catch crawdads and he also wants to paint something sometime this week.

Easy enough.

My main hope for the week is to clean my car, inside and out.

Last night, before bed, Ty told me he wants to do science experiments today though.  We've previously done the baking soda and vinegar makes lava and the tornado in the bottle as well as a rainbow in a bottle.

So after tucking him in bed I set out to explore some science experiments for us to do.

One was cleaning pennies with vinegar and salt, which Ty thought was pretty cool.  I think he could have cleaned every penny in the house but the solution seemed to weaken after a bit (thankfully!)

Next up we started what will be a week-long process of making our own rock candy suckers.

I make a super-saturated sugar solution, dyed it blue and suspended some wooden skewers in some lager glasses.  (Glad to know we finally have a use for those things!)  That was a little less Ty-involved than I'd hoped because of the boiling liquid factor.  But he'll be excited to watch the sugar crystals materialize throughout the week.  And even more so to give them a taste and see how we did.

And then we threw together a green tornado in a jar and the kid was happy.

After that, science got interrupted by crafts when Ty went and got paper and crayons to make his own Dragon Radar like one his Daddy has (they're Dragonball Z nerds).

But Mama brought out the big guns.  (Namely the jigsaw and dremel) and cut out a disc of wood and we painted it up for him.


And then, since Ty abandoned me for Zelda on the Wii, I got a little craft-time in for myself.

With a charm bracelet.



Doesn't look like much, necessarily, but it's got pennies on it for 1982, 1985, 2005 and 2010.

My birth year.

Jason's birth year.

Ty's birth year.

And the year Jason & I got married and we became a family.

Plus it makes use of an old silver charm bracelet that hasn't been worn in 10 years.

So that's Staycation Day 1.

I think we'll spend the rest of the afternoon being less productive.  Maybe army men, play doh or a movie together.

Finally, a vacation that I won't need to take another vacation to recover from!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | Movie Montage


Jason (while exercising):  "Don't you wish we could just do a montage like they do in the movies?  At the end of the song we'd be in shape!"

Yes.  Yes I do.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | Satan's Greatest Feat


"I believe that one of the greatest feats Satan has accomplished in this world is downgrading the seriousness of Sin.  He comes into our lives whispering lies in our ear like, "It's not a big deal", "everybody's doing it", and the problem is we're letting him do it!

-Pastor Ben at LakePointe Church
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | Golden Ticket


The question isn't how far you can get from God and still be okay, still have your Golden Ticket to heaven.  The question is how CLOSE can you get to God.

Pastor Ben at LakePointe Church
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

You Are What You Do


The thing about life is that it's messy.  Sometimes things go out of their natural order, like in my life for instance.  First came baby, then came marriage.  The key is to remember that you are still Lovable, you are still Forgivable, you are still Redeemable.  When there are others that would have you stoned for your sins, God would have you Forgiven.
That's what I posed for my Facebook status this morning.

And to be honest, I've waited on a text, a message, or a phone call going "What's up?  What brought this up?"  Because there's typically a very real-life reason behind most of my blogs or statuses.  I might wait a week, a month, or even a year down the road, but there's usually a trigger.

This time the only trigger wasn't real life.  Well, it was but it wasn't.

I had a dream last night of a time long ago and far away.

A time when I first began to fear and then become nervously excited about a great and wonderful adventure I've now been on for more than six years.

I dreamed of the time when I discovered I was pregnant with Ty.  And all the thoughts, feelings, words and emotions that surrounded those months.

I dreamed of those who supported me without question of what happened or who the baby's father was.

And I dreamed of those who wounded me in ways that they'll never come to realize.

I dreamed of telling my sister the night I found out I was pregnant.  I dreamed of how nervous and scared I was.  And I dreamed of how she shared my feelings up until the point that it was confirmed.  I dreamed how she almost instantly switched to being excited for me, buying me my first baby present within 24 hours of the positive pregnancy test.

I dreamed about sitting around the table to break the news to my parents.  I dreamed of the rose that my Mama sent me the day after our family pow-wow revealing my situation (the rose that I still have on a shelf in my room).  I dreamed of my Daddy's instant smile the second he heard the news.  I dreamed of a brief but life-changing conversation that he and I had that night before I went to bed.

I dreamed about standing in front of the church that I attended at the time and admitting to them what I had done and what had resulted.  I dreamed about how many of them hugged me and commended me for the courage it took to stand before anyone, much less a church, and say what I had said.

And then I dreamed about hurtful words that peppered my pregnancy.  Spoken words, public words, typed words, and whispered words.  Part of it I expected from the get-go.  Small-town people sometimes have a way of acting small-minded.  And there were a dozen or so people that made sure to act the part.  But some of the people who hurt me the most were people I expected better from.  Friends or leaders that suddenly turned on me when I needed them most.

When there was an opportunity to show love and compassion and forgiveness....well...there was a complete and utter failure on the part of some individuals I'd previously respected, admired, and considered friends.

This is what I dreamed of last night.  And as much as I loved reliving the good parts...the hugs, the support, the encouragement, the joy when I allowed myself to feel it...I loved reliving all of that.  But as real as that was in my dream, the hurt and the embarrassment was all the more real than I remember.

And it made me mad.

Because I'm not the only woman or girl this has happened to.

I have a friend who's a grown woman with kids and grand-kids and she has very strong feelings about how she was treated when she was in my same situation well over 30 years ago.

And I hear talk about girls and women--both teenage and grown--who find themselves in a scary place that really is embarrassing and you hear about the hateful things that are being said to them and about them.  You see people alienating themselves from them.  Or you see others using them to get in the know and find out any juicy details about her life that might spice up the Gossip Mill.


It just makes me mad because there's not a single person out there that hasn't done something that they shouldn't have.  Maybe they didn't get caught.  Maybe they didn't have anything happen as a result of it.  But they're just as sinful and guilty as I am or any other girl who's worn the title of "Unwed Mother" because a sin is a sin is a sin.

What makes me maddest is that these women and girls are in a place where they will remember what you said and how you made them feel.  I will forever remember my family and the friends--the true friends--who were honestly there for me and who honestly loved me and who honestly were everything that my heart needed them to be at that time.  But I will also remember how I felt when I opened email after email to find unloving, unforgiving and un-Christian-like words on my screen.  I will remember how I felt to be singled out as a whore by a Christian leader.  I will remember that when others had the chance to show God's love, they failed by not even attempting to.

Don't be the person others remember by your hateful acts.  Be the ones they keep around and cherish for your sincerity and love.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | Life is Messy


The thing about life is that it's messy.  Sometimes things go out of their natural order, like in my life for instance.  First came baby, then came marriage.  The key is to remember that you are still Lovable, you are still Forgivable, you are still Redeemable.  When there are others that would have you stoned for your sings, God would have you Forgiven.

-Ashley B. Harris
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | One Word


Our job as Christians is not to judge.  It is not to condemn or criticize or to call out the sins of others so that we can wash them white as snow.  Our job as Christians is not to place ourselves above others so that they can live by the example of hypocritical purity that we set.  Our job is plain and simple and can be summed up in one word.

Love.

-Ashley B. Harris
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Most viewed....


Interesting.

I was checking out some improvements to the Blogger site and noticed that it has stats broken down for each blog post, so I was curious to see which blogs were my more popular or most frequently viewed blogs.

Just in case you're interested, here are my top 6 by page visits:

The Tale of the Public Toilet Seat (87)

My Baby Daddy (95)

Bring on the Straight Jacket (112)

Disney Pictures (412)

Down for the Count (1392)

Kiss and Tell (2687)

If the numbers beside those last two aren't inspiration to get my blogging butt back in gear, I don't know what is!!
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Tyisms | Birthday


Ty:  "The only thing I wish I got for my birthday is a little drum set.  Then I'd be rockin' all over the place!"

Someday he'll realize this was an intentional oversight on our part.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Quoticisms | Caylee Anthony


God help, if anything ever happened to my boy, everyone would know my innocence by my drive to find and hopefully annihilate his murderer.  My innocence would be apparent by my inability to rest (much less party, laugh or get a tattoo) while his murderer was free.  God help Caylee Anthony because her mama sure didn't.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.