Our 1st Carnival Cruise

 

I know! I know, I’ve been away for a while! But wait till you hear about my journey back to you!

Well, here it goes…. I went on my very first cruise EVER! We had the time if our lives! The porting city was Miami, Florida and we stopped in Key West and ended the adventure in Cozumel,  Mexico! It was 5 days and four nights of fun, food, adventure, friends, and fabulous-ness (yes, it’s  a word!)

 

We could not ask for a better vacation.  At first, I had internal hesitation.  The Love Boat was the only good memory I ever had to relate toward any fun ship. Then there’s  Gilligan’s Island and Titanic to overshadowed that.  Never the less, I was able to keep it together for my 5 sons.

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Checking in and registering everyone was easy! The ship was grand! The staff was happy to see us! They even learned our names! Can you believe that? The food, the service, the shopping in Cozumel, the value, the memories! UUUgh, I can’t wait to take my girls and husband on the next trip!

 

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This trip was paid for by my oldest son and planned by my  (hope to be soon DIL) Genny!

 

 

I even thought about you!

Here’s your 1st gift:

10 Tips for a Vicory Cruise with Boys:

  1. The cruise is just the beginning. Spring for an excursion.

2. Don’t forget the camera. The water and smiles are rare and priceless.

3. If you are racist, Stay home.  No explanation needed.

4. Forget the kid’s bedtime.  Each night my boys watched a movie in the hot tub under the stars. Why stop them?

5.If you are a homeschooler, teach about your intended traveling and culture before boarding.  You’ll get the best teacher of the year title! Trust me!

6. If you’re taking more than one child, twin them up! Even the ship guest will help you keep up with them. You’ll thank me later for this!

7. If you have a long drive to the port, don’t throw away your water bottle, It quickly becomes a mobile potty.

8. Pack, then check twice before leaving home. Packing light and smart is the goal.

9. After letting your best friend know that you’re leaving, contact your credit card and cell phone company.  International rates and credit card freezing at the point of purchase is no fun!

10. Once checked in; grab the itenary and use it up! There’s so much to do!

 

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Advance Screening Invite | MY COUSIN RACHEL | Charlotte

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s mystery-romance novel of the same name, the film stars acclaimed actress Rachel Weisz and rising British star Sam Claflin (ME BEFORE YOU, THE HUNGER GAMES).

And here’s your 2nd gift! Get free passes to see #MyCousinRacheal

Till next time…… “Cheerio’!

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NC SHEROES 2017 AWARDEES

It’s Woman History Month! Let’s celebrate the amazing contributions women make to our world and our future.

We are so fortunate to have several remarkable women from our community who are going to share their journey as we as answer any question you may have for them.

Come join  Momsrising THIS Saturday March 18th 2017   Beatties Ford Rd. Regional Library at 1pm; as we highlight and celebrate our selected SHEROES!

The award ceremony and roundtable includes a “Dress Up-Fantasy”  area for the children and a light reception following.This event is free! So come on! Ready to attend? Well it’ll be here  in no time. For now get to know more about each of them here.

Meet Chautauqua Ellison, NC SHERO

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Chautauqua Ellison, NC SHERO

Born February 24, 1973, on a Saturday evening to Glenda Graves (American) and Herman Morris (Guyanese). A product of both the foster care system and adoption system. Adopted at the age of 15 after going from one abusive foster family to another and having experienced abuse with the family she hoped to have finally found love and her place of belonging only to feel the cycle of being not wanted, she came to understand what she wanted part of her journey to be. She understood she wanted to help little brown girls like herself.
A graduate of Marlboro County High School in 1992 and immediately went off to college. She attended Morris College in Sumter, SC, Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, April 1997 and graduated May 10th, 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
After graduating from college Chautauqua moves to Charlotte, NC and this is where she began her career in Early Education. Chautauqua has taught Early Education for 19 years. She is also a former HeadStart Educator.
Chautauqua became a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Queen Sheba #5 at the age of 21 and is still active with the Junior Eastern Stars affiliated with her chapter. At this time she began to have a full experience with SISTERHOOD.
Fast forward to the year 2010 and Chautauqua becomes involved with an amazing organization called I Am My Sister. She has facilitated evidence-based program pm Teen Pregnancy and Teen STDs/STI for 4 years for the organization. In 2013 Chautauqua started the first community-based club for the organization. In January of 2016, she became the Executive Director for I Am My Sister NC and SC chapter.
I Am My Sister is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides programs and resources centered around leadership development, healthy relationships, beauty and body image, career development, community service and support, entrepreneurship and workforce development, financial literacy, adolescent sexual health and teen parenting support, education and mentoring services for youth and their families.
I Am My Sister’s programs and services are available to youth and families in NC, SC, MD, NY, GA and CA.
I Am My Sister LOVES diversity! We’re PRO-YOUNG PEOPLE and don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex or disability.
Along with being an active member of the OES (Order of Eastern Star), Chautauqua is also an active member of the Black Women Caucus of Mecklenburg , a member of the School Leadership Team at Lincoln Heights School (CMS) and a member of The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Chautauqua was also a nominee for the 2017 Mayor’s Mentor Alliance Award.
Chautauqua also lives by her personal motto: In order to teach life lessons, one must have lived the lesson beginning taught.

Meet Amanda Zullo, Founder + Owner

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Amanda Zullo is the Founder and Owner of Pop Up Produce

Pop Up Produce

Amanda Zullo is the Founder and Owner of Pop Up Produce and a 2016 Emerging City Champions grant recipient winner, sponsored by 8 80 Cities and the Knight Foundation. A designer, community engager and food enthusiast, she has a passion for health and wellness, sustainable living and fresh food. Amanda earned her Masters in Urban Design with a Post-Masters Certificate in Real Estate Development, a Bachelors of Architecture, and a Bachelors of Arts in Architecture with a Minor in Geography, all from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In both academic and professional realms, her focus has been to foster healthy communities through the built environment using design towards community activism. She has been involved in numerous local volunteer organizations, from educating the youth through various programs and work relating to community outreach.

 

Meet 2017 NC Shero: Nakisa Glover ng

She is a mom, native of Charlotte, NC and holds a biology degree from UNC-Charlotte.
She has built a track record as a community organizer, with years of experience in corporate, community and service-based work. She has a passion for advocacy and contributing positively to the community. She is the co-host of TheAgenda, a local think tank dedicated to creating space built on four pillars to Inform, Discuss, Network and take Action. As a strong collaborator, she brings her perspective to her current role with Hip Hop Caucus as National Climate Justice Organizer. She is the former national field coordinator for the Justice Action Mobilization Network (JAMN), a group dedicated to advancing climate change policy using a fusing social justice and climate justice. Her deep local and national networks mean that Ms. Glover has resources and contacts for dealing effectively with such critical issues as climate, social and economic justice. She was recently recognized as an Emerging Leader in the Climate Movement and is the recipient of the Clean Air Carolina the 2016 Airkeeper Award, joining NC Governor Roy Cooper, Dr. James Kenny, and other business leaders.

Meet NC Shero; Je’lah Singleton.

DJ

D-Jé Boogie can be contacted via the following channels: Email – http://www.djeboogie00.com Instagram – @djeboogie00 Twitter- @djeboogie00 Facebook- D-Je’ Boogie Telephone – 980.202.3036

Jèlah Singleton, aka D-Jé Boogie, is a teenage female DJ who has presently been developing her craft for a little over a year. The idea of aspiring to become a DJ occurred when she realized how she could share her creativity and her love for music with others. D-Jé believes music has no boundaries or barriers. The art of being a DJ bridges gaps of age, ethnicity and various backgrounds.

 

Music has always been a huge part of D-Jé Boogie’s life. Sharing her craft allows her to share her love for the innocence and different moods of music. The variety of DJ engagements allows her to choose and ‘’play with” the appropriate genre of music for any occasion.

Becoming a DJ has required the investment in equipment, time and learning the art of the craft. She enrolled in classes, which enhanced her love for mixing and transitioning music. While attending the WTHands DJ Academy, D-Jé Boogie was selected to appear on WBTV for one their young DJ spots. That exposure improved her confidence to perform in front of crowds. Entrepreneurship has proven to be challenging and has also required discipline. However, entrepreneurship has also allowed D-Jé Boogie, as a teenager, to be her own boss. The God-given gift of her love for music will continue to reach people of all ages and allow her to share  their special moments.

Although DJ Boogie has been trained to provide the appropriate music for many occasions, she has been labeled as having an Old Soul. Her personal music of choice is different genres of music from the 1960s -1990s

 

Meet NC Shero; Flo Ward, We Chic’d It

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Flo is a creative environmentalist and DIYer. She used her prior experiences to start  We Chic’d It!, a furniture upcycling company based in North Carolina with the mission to help keep usable solid wood antique and vintage furniture from going into our landfills.
After completing her undergraduate work in Fine Arts, she worked as a graphic designer for several publishing/marketing companies, such as AutoTrader and Pilot Media Companies, until switching careers and going back to school to become an educator/trainer of technology within the school system. Now, several years later, she uses her knowledge of color, DIYing (do it yourself crafts), and education to teach others how to refinish, refurbish, reupholster, and repurpose their home furniture and decor items. Becoming the Queen DIYer/Upcycling Creationist that everyone knows her to be. Always thinking outside of the box, and generating ideas on Facebook, Pinterest, and HomeTalk. She is a married, mother of three and lives in the Lake Norman area, near Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Meet NC Shero; Judith Wilson, – Foodie4Access

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Judith Wilson Burkes http://www.foodie4access.org http://www.sssmovement.com Facebook: #judielise #foodie4access #sssmoves #celebratec Twitter: @judielise, @sss_movement, Foodie4Accessclt

 

Judith Wilson Burkes is a nonprofit founder, author/blogger, internet radio host, community disability advocate and business owner.

Growing up in New York City, she developed a passion for the arts and all creativity. After attending an art high school against the wishes of her family, Judith tried to work for corporate America. She worked for various industries, usually finding a way to bring her love of creativity to the job, for more than 15 years, before her health made her leave the workforce in her mid-30s. She faced hardship in her relationships as well, as two marriages ended in divorce, leaving her to raise two sons on the autism spectrum virtually by herself. Despite her own health issues, Judith continued to work at home, first with her own graphic design company, and then virtually for technology-driven companies.

Moving from NY to MD, and now making Charlotte, NC her home, Judith formed her own nonprofit, Foodie4Access in 2016, to break down barriers of isolation faced by people and families touched by disability. Then, after meeting the founder of a local singles organization, Judith quickly saw the value of his idea to do for Christian singles what she was driven to do for people with disabilities.

With her two sons grown and independent, Judith now spends her time creating inclusive events that focus on changing lifestyles and mindsets.

Today, as President of The Single, Saved and Serious Movement and founder of Foodie4AccssCLT, she hopes to foster a sense of community among people who want to expand their social and entertainment horizons, while making a difference in local underserved communities, with small businesses and outreach organizations poised to make a difference.

 

“Do Not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world”. -M.Y.

This gathering is in part sponsored by Momsrising. To RSVP and find out more information, visit our Facebook event at: https://goo.gl/NXoUDw   or follow along on Twitter with NCSheroes2017

 

 

Soulful Saturday

Last weekend in the Queen City was super busy! And we loved every minute of it! I tell ya, there is never a dull moment in the QC!

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As a 70’s baby, I grew up in mainstream -everything! Every depiction of Santa that we saw — from television to movies to storybooks — shows that rosy-faced, jolly grandpa who is unapologetically white.  He looked nothing like me. Am I not generous?

Am I not generous? Are others like me, not givers? At a certain age, I think it does matter subliminally and he’s not just a jolly, ole fat guy in a red suit.

Is it possible that a long, white beard, the big-bellied man in red with dark skin would not appeal to children in predominantly black and Hispanic parts of the city?

Well, a few of my children and I got to see for ourselves this weekend. We attend two events and both had a positive turn out!

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The first was Pride Entrepreneur Education Program, (PEEP) it’s a nonprofit of Pride Magazine. They had the happiest SoulfFul Santa on the Westside there. The crafts table was there to reinforce the holiday spirt by giving children the opportunity to create gifts for their loved ones.

The other event was at the Free Store Charlotte. It was outdoors and loaded with fun!  From face painting, coat drives, amazing hot fancy and filling food complete with cocoa, jump house, fire pit, free gift table, and so much more.Image may contain: one or more people, fire, food and outdoor

Did You Know: The Mall of America – the country’s biggest indoor shopping complex – decided to hire a black Santa for the first time this year!

I wanted to know how some of my mom friends thought about ethnic Santa’s. So I spoke with three of them from my mom group, Queen City Stay At Home Moms and each had very interesting responses.

The first mom said: “We balk at the notion that our children should believe that a white man brings them toys, when we ( black parents) are the ones working hard to make their children feel safe, loved and happy/ “

The second  mom asked, “Why can’t there be two at each at a time? Like half brothers? When I was small enough to believe in Santa, he was dressed so completely, including the beard, that I could see only his eyes behind thick glasses. I could not see, nor did I care, what skin color he was.  I would definitely take my children to go see an Asian Santa,” 

The last mom commented:” Santa’s race matters. White folk have enough superheroes. I’m white, but have no tolerance for the abysmal prejudice and past treatment of people of color in this country.”

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Although we do not celebrate Christmas, I wanted my children to see that the Santa doesn’t have to look only one way. Santa can be whatever they want him to be. Looking at my littlest Noah’s face, he may never want to go see Santa again, but he has photographic evidence that Santa can reflect the skin tones of many cultures. And that’s, well, pretty magical.

To see more culturally diverse Santas all you have to do is show up when he’s in town. Charlotte organizations like PEEPs, and The Free Store Charlotte will continue to invite him in our hearts, centers, businesses and home! black-sooul

End Notes-

Baron Davis adds a bit of color to Christmas with The Black Santa Company

The former NBA star aims to diversify the holiday with his game-changing venture.

You can find children’s books that feature a black Santa Claus, and he appears in some ornaments and other products. The website blacksanta.com, founded by the former N.B.A. player Baron Davis, sells products like T-shirts, hats and ornaments featuring images of black Santa. In a classic episode of “The Cosby Show,” Dr. Huxtable explains to one of the children that as Santa drops down each chimney, his race morphs to match that of the family he’s visiting – Asian, African-American, Caucasian and so on. -By The NYTimes

Friday Four: What NOT To Do To A Teen Mom

The memories! The moment I learned that I was pregnant, I wanted to find the largest container of orange juice and just die under a rock. From the time my little guy was born, I always felt that I had something to prove to him, our supporters,our small town, other teen moms, and myself.

100 Things You Should Never Say to a Teen Mom

Just In Case you cross this bridge, here’s 4 Things You Should Really NOT Do To a Teen Mom:

  1. Shame or Degrade her- This is number one for a reason. OMG! You have no clue how much damage this causes. When your own flesh and blood teases you, make you the family calamity, and under dog. Even worse when the fathers family and her community dishonors her. You are asking for a mess. A broken, lonely, lost mess. It’s like saying “You’ve passed the point of no return.” She may believe it. Speak blessings into her life.
  2. Discourage her- This birth has effected her life as well. Work with her. If you discover an opportunity for her, tell her about it. Babysit while she goes to school, work or appointments. Offer to do the child’s hair, help with a birthday party. Mentor and support her into a mom the baby can be proud of.
  3. Disown the unborn- Most times it’s the fathers family that snarls at a unplanned teenage pregnancy. For some reason, his family thinks the girl wants the family treasures. Well, guess what, sometimes it’s true. At this point. So what? You have the opportunity to  groom another family member to be a part of your family goals. That baby maybe the missing piece of your family vision toward greatness. Don’t kill your blessing. That’s what DNA testing is for.
  4. Expect her to forgive you after you’ve done ALL of the above.-  Something can’t be healed once destroyed. Words do hurt. Somethings you should just keep to yourself if it’s not going to help the situation. That mom may not bring it up, but she will remember. You can not get out what you don’t put in. This includes love, respect, and acknowledgement.

 

 

“Teen parents want to be acknowledged as contributing members of society, not as society’s ailment. Not only are we leaders, activists, business owners, educators and so much more, but we are also raising intelligent and curious children who go on to do great things!”
– Mariely Moronta-Santos, 27, a mom of three who lives in Brooklyn, New York, and became a mother at 16

“I wish society would look at us as mothers.”
– Caitlin Shay, 26, mother of two who lives in Apopka, Florida, and became a mother at 17

I have five more to go before I can claim a total win,but so far so good. It has not been easy. But Oh My, it’s been worth every one of the obstacles and setbacks.

Success IS Indeed the greatest revenge. It is true. I would put my neck on a chopping block to swear by it. As I sit back and think of the upcoming month, I can’t help but smile and try to contain my extreme excitement.  I know it’s nothing but grace and mercy, but My God, the favor that is upon me right now is what I’ve been waiting on. I have FOUR graduates busting caps and gowns this year!  Two of my daughters, my oldest son and my husband.  Can you believe that?

This teen mom, single mom, mother of nine, once displaced*, gal from South Carolina, has 8 remaining- healthy children and every last one of them are thriving! Being a teen mom is not the worst thing to happen. When it happens encourage her to accept the call of motherhood and be the best she can possibly be. That way everyone wins.

I’m so grateful for my parents. I KNOW that I disappointed them. I KNOW that they too were catching slack because of their baby girl getting pregnant as a teen. I know my sisters were tried after the town knew that I was giving up ‘my cookies’. I am sorry everyone. I hope my recent accomplishments say thank, I’m proud of. You’ve done a great job by the children, So glad you didn’t let us down. Because of you I am a doula, wedding officiant, homeschooler, brander ambassador, mom coach, Queen City Stay At Home Moms organizer, social activist, and wife.

Happy Friday,

Kelle

Benefits for Teen Mothers

The best way to help teen moms: treating pregnancy as more than a medical event

Wednesday WOW: NC Sheroes; “Moving Forward”

Sometimes Sheroes are right in our back yard!  They are the ones that get up everyday, no matter what’s going on at home, in their mind, or in their account and make it happen. No excuses , no delays- they are unselfishly walking in their calling and impressing the world one day, move, and thought at a time.

You may or may not  know their names, or ever spoken to them, but you’ve seen them or results of their incredible work. They are “Sheroes; Moving Forward!”

 

 

 

On April 2nd, at 11″30 am, We will honor our sheroes by resting their capes and revealing why they are so bold, brave and unstoppable!

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library presents NC SHEROES  “Moving Forward!”

 

THIS IS OUR 2nd year celebrating with MomsRising NC  and my moms group Queen City Stay At Home Moms.

 

We will honor 6 amazing women, who have made significant contributions to the Women’s movement right here in North Carolina.

After an introduction, we will award each Shero. Then go into a Round-table. Come prepared to find out why women matter and should be empowered to have a voice! Bring a child with you. It’s lessons like these that stick with them!

 

Here is our impressive line up!

Tawanna Ross- Award wining Gospel Hip Hop artist

Asha Sims- Gentle Yoga instructor

Melody Gross- Doula

 Nadine Ford – Farmer/gardener

Cassie Pressley- Teen Vegan Baker

Tina B. – Social activist

Special Guest TBA later.

Sweet Right?!  We’ll see you there! This ceremony is complete with  refreshments! So don’t worry about stopping for breakfast. And …Yes bring the kids, we’ll have a station for them to entertain themselves need be.

April 2,2016

11:30 Am

Beatties Ford Public Library, Charlotte NC

All are welcomed and encourage to attend. Free Parking, Refreshments and Admission

RSVP Here or Here! 

 

This is from last year. More videos are on YouTube. (go on and click it, it’ll show)

Friday Four: Lessons From a Student Athlete’s Mom

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I think everyone has a story, but If I may, let me tell you why I am sitting here smiling from ear to ear.  It’s a classic story. Teen girl from a small town get pregnant and quits school to raise her child and never leaves the small town.BUT this isn’t my story!

I had a son at 16 years old. I finished college. Got married. Now I work from home . Today, that child graduates from college  with a college degree in May!

Be Happy For Where You Are.

  Be the Best At What You Are.

But Never Stay Where You Are- KLP

I will never claim to know everything. But these are four tips I want to share with you to help get through those college years with your student athlete!

  1. Provide Birth Control– Since my son was not a virgin upon entering college, stopping at the big box store to purchase supplies including a large box of condoms was on list of “Must Do!” I didn’t want to play stupid. My son is a 6’8  basketball player. Grown women ,non African american women, and everything in between was hitting on him before he left for school and I knew that attending college and left to his own desires……. it would not end. So as always, it’s better safe than sorry parents.
  2. Stay Connected like AT&T– Now there’s FaceTime, Texting, Instagram, SnapChat,  and even cheap gas (yes, I said it) While there is nothing like a care package or phone call, don’t limit yourself to those two things. Be your child’s biggest fan! You should always be his/her biggest support system. College is stressful and can be over whelming.Continue to guide your child.                           Those pressley Boys 7-6-2015 12-21-33 PM
  3. Be supportive like banker– Give them money but be very discriminate. If you were giving them allowance when they were home, continue sending them money. Unless they are at a D1 school*, where money is slipped to them (athletes) here and there, your child is gonna need money for his/ her basic needs. Yet, be smart about it. There’s nothing more regretful than paying for your child to party their way out of school. Now some kids will get little jobs while taking classes. That’s a great thing.You may still have to help with upkeep of the car and other misc things.
  4. Accept help with a crystal ball.- giWhen my son first started playing basketball, everyone wanted to “help.” Then when he felt like being a goof ball and messing up, they fled. Nothing hurts more than that, for him or myself. From that experience, I’ve learned to evaluate everyone on a individual basis. I know that everyone that smiles in our face isn’t always the best one to trust with your child. It’s true,Not everyone wants something. Finding sincerely good people can be hard at times. But when you do find someone to look out for your son – you keep them. And you make sure they know that they are appreciated. I sleep so good at night knowing that almost every game my son has ever went to, there were warm hugs and familiar smiles waiting for him in that city. Even on campus, he has a circle of people that love him for who he his. That’s a blessing!                                                             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiGoh1BUJk4

This post was sponsored by Charlotte’s Youth Broadcasting Camp

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It’s the only full service broadcasting summer workshop for teens.

Get more details here! (If you like it, go on and register. Discounts are available now!)

Wednesday Wow: Family Valentine’s Day Party GiveAway

Want to win tickets to the 3rd annual Family Valentines Day Party this Saturday in the QC? I hope so because this contest is too easy!  The perks of being a small time blogger is paying off for you.

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We are having a “Sweet Minion” Family Valentine’s Day Party! As a mom, finding affordable opportunities for my family to enjoy together is a priority. It’s rare that we go out ALL together, but when we do, it has to make sense, and it has to be safe!  This is it! We’re having:

  • A live DJ (Julie Brim)
  • A Real Magician (Houdini’s World)
  • A Vegan based Dessert bar (Cassie’s Sweetz)
  • A $5.Gift Shop  (various vendors selling brand new items for $5. or less!)
  •  Fun  games, photo opportunities 
  • A SAFE family event with Free parking! 

dj minionHere’s how to get some of these 32 tickets. If you belong to any of the following categories- read up!

Note: Theminion bakerse offers excludes goodie bags and reserved tables. We want to make sure we are serving the ones that need this the most. And because our entertainment is so amazing, we want to have a good crowd for them to absorb the loving energy!

So be sure to tag your favorite business, organization, club, and group. This is gonna be huge!

If you have a non profit, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you own a daycare, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you own a support group for families, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

If you are a organizer for a mom group, like our page and we will give you a family four pack.

Give the passes to whomever you choose! This offer is for the 1st 4 industries to enter. That’s 16 people. Now for the public sector. We need more traffic. We’re new’ish.

 Don’t expect to be offered a chair when you are visiting a place where the chief sits on the floor. (Ghana)

So I have 4 family packs to give you!  And yes, for up to $80 per family in value, there’s a few things I’ll need from you. (trust me, it’s easier than you think)

  1. Like and follow–> my blog, FB, Twitter, Instagram and then comment on this post BELOW or here on the event page. The more you like, the better your chances! Fair right?
  2. That’s IT. Winners will be announced on Facebook,called & or emailed! Hurry the party is THIS SATURDAY!

See you Saturday at the hottest mom powered family event of the year!

Friday Four: Finding Chastity

Ok, yes, I know it may be strange for a teen mom like myself to bring up chastity, but YES…. I am. I mean, think about it. Who better? I think I scared my husband so much that when he found out we were having daughters, the first thing came out of his mouth was”I want to get my girls to wear chastity belts!” True story.    It was the first time I have ever heard about chastity belts, but as time past, it was shout out time after time at very interesting times ranging from self preservation to political statements.

 

Believe it or not, there was an Italian woman forced to ask firefighters to liberate her from a chastity belt because she lost the key to the contraption. The woman, who has not been named due to privacy reasons, reportedly wore the belt of her own volition to stop herself from having sexual relations. Chastity belts were long thought to have been inflicted on medieval wives in order to prevent them from having affairs, but historians now believe that they are the stuff of myth; most references to chastity belts in medieval literature are satirical. Our anonymous Italian friend, it seems, did not get the memo. If only she had guarded the key to her iron panties with the same sort of fervor that she dedicated to protecting her loins. NY TIMES

“I tried to push her away, but she wouldn’t stop until she was finished. When she was, she said, “You better not say shit to no one or else you gonna get a terrible whupping.” R. Kelly via The Black Voices

4 Ways to ENCOURAGE chastity to teens:

  1. Protect what your child is exposed.  Give the talk, but walk the walk. Our children can more easily recognize the distinction between right and wrong when we are consistent models of right behavior in all matters. So know that there are some magazines, t.v. shows. and conversations you may need to keep out their reach.

“I tried to push her away, but she wouldn’t stop until she was finished. When she was, she said, “You better not say shit to no one or else you gonna get a terrible whupping.” R. Kelly via The Black Voices

2. Be mindful of who your child is exposed to. Having the right influence around your children is detrimental. My husband and I never let our children out of our sight until they were old enough to articulate what went on around them and understood that their body was private. Our ideal influence are positive, loving (but not too loving*) respectful and non over sexually seductive -dressed person, media, t.v. programs and music..

When my niece was young, like 12,  she made it very clear that not only did she know her daughter had a boyfriend she also said that she did care.  She though because her daughter minion family partydidn’t go anywhere with the boy, that meant there was no concern for that relationship. Well guess what happened less than 3 years later? Yes, she got pregnant. While I didn’t rub it in her face or reminded  her that girls don’t go from pumps to flops. Sex was bound to happen. I thanked God that I never questioned my rules toward my daughters on having boyfriends at a young age.

3. If you haven’t already, build trust. That leads to many opportunities for discussion  and  influence on the subject. We parents have so much more power than we give our-self credit for.

4.Last but not least. Get your child involved in worthwhile activities, like music, sports, drama, and hobbies that develop talents.

ring

I never share pictures of gifts, but I had to share this one. Kaylah’s Sweet 16 gift arrived. Kudos to my Dad, the first man to place a ring on his granddaughter’s hand, he has definitely set the bar. Love him infinity. He said “who’s her Grandpa”!!

More great tips on teen chastity

eHere – yes, just click that 🙂

Alright ladies, keep it locked down.

Jabela!

Friday Four: Home school, Charter, High and Private

This year we got two of our children accepted for an Opportunity Educational grant. The Opportunity Scholarship Program expands school choice in North Carolina through scholarship grants for eligible children in kindergarten through 12th

 

It wasn’t hard at all to get it. All I did was apply. It took less than a hour and I did it for five of my children.

Our children have been to public school, charter schools, regular high schools in low income zones and now high school in high income zone.  Let me be  the first to tell you , there is MESS in all of them if you skip a beat.

Our oldest daughter was attending Kennedy Charter last year. They put so many electives in her day. They kept promising to fix it the following semester and it never happened. Because they were easy classes, my daughter got comfortable with them too so of course she wouldn’t say anything.  As we began the process to transfer her to her current high school, instead of her being a senior, she a junior.

Now at the high income high school, ( for reading pleasure, let’s say Providence High) the counselor there won’t return phone calls to figure out a way to get her out in time. When my daughter discovered at opportunity, she replies that she has never heard of it.   So now she passing the same classes she’s taken already.

As we now prepare ourselves for private school. I am creating a checklist for signals to lookout for. Of course you can never be to sure of anything, but from dealing with a few educational warehouses,  I now can sense when to grab my child and run. Types_of_Schools_Venn_Diagram

Disclosure: I acknowledge that school systems are blessed with many gifted administrators and dedicated teachers, not all educational facilities are created equal. However, here are my four points of caution. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

  1. The large majority of your teachers have less than five years of experience- The best schools have solid veteran teaching forces, mixing in talented newcomers each year as teachers retire or move into administration or other job opportunities. When you run off your veteran teachers, you not only do not have teachers who can mentor the younger staff members and help them reach their full potential, but you also are increasing the odds that you are going to hire some less gifted teachers just to fill the vacancies. That makes it that much harder to understand why so many state legislatures are appropriating millions for inexperienced Teach for America instructors instead of spending that money to keep their best teachers in the classroom.”
  2. Does your child seem fixated on designer labels and trendy clothes for school? This is a symptom of an approach that emphasizes external rather than internal values, causing children to rely on shallower means of comparison and acceptance, rather than deeper values.
  3. The community is not involved in its schools- In many school districts, the community is kept at arm’s length until it is time to pass another bond issue or tax levy increase. Or the community involvement is restricted to a carefully selected group of business and civic leaders or the spouses of those leaders. A successful school district is one in which the involvement is organic and comes from all segments of the community, not just the ones who are needed when it comes time to ask for money. In some school districts, the community is asked for its input and then guided to give the input the administrators are seeking so they can say whatever initiative they have has the support of the community. That is not community involvement; that is pure spin
  4. Your child suffers a staggering drop in self-confidence. “Your child may begin to call himself ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or is overly anxious about homework.”This is often a sign that the teaching style your child is meeting in the classroom is in direct conflict with what he or she requires to learn. Conversely, if your child is not being challenged, you may notice that he or she has started to act out in the classroom or regularly complains about being bored at school.”

More on Schooling:

Types of schooling

8 Signs Of A Bad School

The top-five reasons to avoid a high school

Wish us luck!

Jabela

 

Friday Four: Plan B- Alternatives To College

This year, like many other parents, I wonder what college my child will end up at. In my cases, I have three graduating within the next two years. Then a six year gap before the next graduation rush. With such a large number of blessings, it comes a bunch of questions. I know accept that everyone of them will not go to college. That’s okay, but what I won’t accept is not having a plan after graduation.

college

In many other countries, college is free. Not here in the U. S. (Yet)  Beside that  a traditional four-year degree isn’t your only ticket to a good job with a solid salary. Some kids may get lucky an pass the bar without going to college and go on to becoming on successful lawyer, baby sit enough of siblings of cousins to become a certified nanny like my friend, Dominique Rice of Perfect Placement . I even know of a man that makes good money helping other people make money. his business is called Charlotte’s Open Air Market. So it can be done! Here’s a couple of ideas to ease your mind about  ‘College or Bust’ theories:

  1. Start A Business At the end of it all, you’re gonna work hard. why not work for yourself?  With drive, initiative, and a quality product, it may be more attainable than you think to make it on your own. In fact, some of the most successful people of the 20th and 21st centuries were entrepreneurs without a college degree.
  2. Pick Up a Certificate Almost 30 million jobs in the U.S. pay $35,000 or more and don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Georgetown center. But that doesn’t mean your education can stop after high school. Most middle-wage jobs — $35,000 to $75,000 a year — in fields with increasing demand, such as health care, information technology and public services, require some form of post–high school certification.   Mom Coach: Noun/ See QC Supermom. A mature woman that supports other mothers in child related issues. She uses her wit, education, personal experiences, influence and resources to help reach desired goals.

    3. Travel the world. Get a job and save up money to leave the country. Check out a world completely different from our own. Do it for a year. You will meet other foreigners traveling. You will learn what poverty is. You will learn the value of how to stretch a dollar. You will often be in situations where you need to learn how to survive despite the odds being against you. If you’re going to throw up you might as well do it from dysentery than from drinking too much at a frat party.1 You will learn a little bit more about eastern religions compared with the western religions you grew up with.

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  4. SELL YOURSELF Expose yourself to anything and everything positive that you possibly can. When he/she has found passion in that field, encourage her/her to sell his/ her skills. Then SCALE it into sellable items to save wear and tear on yourself.  I.e. dvd, keychains, trainings, etc. Mastering a unique skill builds discipline, lets you socialize with other people of all ages and backgrounds but who have similar passions, and gets you paid! COOLBEANS.COM

Education doesn’t have to be tedious, boring, and repetitive, but it should be a self-discovery process that encompasses not only your intellectual growth, but also your professional and personal development. Your child is NOT worthless. That’s what they want you to think. If you don’t go to college you will NOT “ruin your life”.

I was excited to learn about Berea College: . It’s green, smart and progressive. ….. and FREE! There are others doing it creatively too!

never learned in schoolBest Jobs Without a Degree!

The College Conspiracy

Best Colleges for Non Traditional Students

Watch More videos & PLEASE follow me on Twitter- ( CLICK HERE )

Encourage a Senior This Weekend,

Jabela, QC Supermom