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Quality Time Tips from My Crew

the simpsonsHere are a few things that we can all do together no matter our age,

  1. Eat. Whether you go out to dinner or make dinner together at home. This allows you to actually spend time together and have to interact. I suggest putting away all electronic devices (even the parents) and just being with each other.
  2. Dance. All these dances out now, the kids would love to believe they are all new, but we know there just a variation of dances we did and our parents did. The joy comes in allowing them to teach you how to do the dance. By the way the Quan is just the Four Corners, BOOM!
  3. Play with fashion. I often allow my kids to dress me. I like seeing their ideas of what I should or should not wear, it’s funny to me. (Note: I may never wear some of the outfits outside the home, lol)
  4. Take a ride. We love getting on the freeway and just driving. We have discovered the love of more places this way. We get lost, sometimes, but because we are not on a schedule at that time it doesn’t matter. We stop to eat plan our route to find our way back home and jam to our music.
  5. Scavenger Hunting. I love making up a scavenger hunt. Our favorite place to do this is Toys R Us. I make up clues about toys in the stores and the kids get to use their phones to take pictures and send to me once found. Yes, my 18 year old loves this too.
  6. We participate within our community. It all started with Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play, we got outside and got to playing, now it’s family tradition. Even if we miss the day, we make up our own day to go outside together, during good weather which is around 74 degrees for mommy. We also volunteer with the group Cleveland YoungLives. I want them to have a sense of community, what better way to show them, then to work alongside them.
  7. SkyZone, Chuck E. Cheese, Skating, Bowling. No matter how old they get, whenever I announce we are going to one of these places, excitement fills the air. Why wouldn’t it? I love jumping all around with no inhibitions. Teaching them how to skate has been a great joy of mine. By the way all can skate except Symone #fixitJesus. Bowling, we are one competitive family, so there’s always a good match and trash talking. Now Chuck E. Cheese is a demon for any parent, but because I love them and Symone knows how to get a lot of tickets, we venture there as well.
  8. Movie time. In my house we are action junkies, mix that with a cartoon or superhero, it’s a good time. Currently we are awaiting the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Everyone even Anissa (3) will have their eyes glued on that screen.
  9. Walking down memory lane. Pulling out old pictures, music, and videos, always gets everyone’s attention. The telling of stories that seem so long ago is always good for a laugh. Laughter is good for the soul and that’s why we do it so often.
  10. Live by example. Whatever I am passionate about I go all the way in with. And now so do my babies. If I’m passionate about them then they go in with each other. We take our time together seriously and make it a priority. Show an interest in your family, embrace, and love on them as often as you can.

 

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Quality Time Anyone?

praying childrenPeople always ask me how many children I have and how old are they. They are always shocked to find out the varying ages.  My oldest is Symone (18), my only son Jamiel (12), and my little princess Anissa (3).  I know there are some huge age gaps there.  My only explanation for this, I was having so much fun with each of them when they decided to stop being bothered with me, I had another, lol.  Just kidding, but not.  I enjoyed all the years I was able to enjoy with each child in their first developmental stages that this did become for me and them their specific time to have mommy all to themselves.  You may wonder how this is possible seeing at some point I had two then three children.  I’ll let you in on a little secret….At some point in time in their growing up, your children will become tired of YOU, yes YOU!  They won’t want to hang out with you, you are no longer fun, you are a bank machine, taxi driver, lawyer, note writing, maid, that is no longer fun for them.  Just kidding, but you get my drift as they grow and develop other relationships you as their parent, despite giving birth to them and caring for them, move downward on their list of priorities.  And that’s okay, we all have done it even if we don’t want to admit it.  I always wanted five children, yes five, but my God in His infinite wisdom knew to give me the three.  With these three and their spacing I was able to give each child time with me to just be that kid going through that stage at that time.  (I salute you all with the stair step kids, I couldn’t do it).  My dilemma now that they are all here and aging (I don’t age but they do), how can we spend quality time as a family when we all have varying interest?  I’ll tell you….

mental symoneSymone (18), my first, had interest in so many things. Whatever she wanted to try we did.  From dance, saxophone, softball, singing, dancing, and cooking to name a few.  I was always busy with her and thus felt I did not have time for any more children.  I enjoyed each and every moment I was able to run around, participate, wear ear plugs, and laugh because it was just the two of us.  As she grew older and developed friendships she began to do these interests with others.  I was invited along but just as a chaperone.  It was at this time I was shocked by my doctor who informed me after my appointment that I may want to pull over to the side of the road.  Scared and automatically going to negative thoughts I was informed I was expecting.  Just when I thought life was about to get boring, enters Jamiel (12).  I wasted no time telling Symone about her baby brother, to which she had a total meltdown.  What a diva!

jamiel fordJamiel came on the scene and I was ecstatic, A SON! We had so much fun together and from the time he could open the door for me he would, always such a gentlemen.  Jamiel’s passions included star gazing, football, soccer, dance, music (he loves all genres, as well as Symone) and cooking.  I loved seeing things through the male prospective and in time Symone and Jamiel developed a bond of love like no other.  Our quality time consisted of a lot of competitions.  We would play the Wii games for who would have to do what chores, we would race to clean up the yard, our mall runs would be scavenger hunts, and meal time since they both liked to cook was an Olympic sport in which I was the judge.  Now let’s move on down the road to many, many years later, SURPRISE, there’s another joining the crew.  Welcome to the stage Anissa.  I have to say this announcement with two children under my belt went quite differently, we were all excited to welcome our final team member. (yes, I’m done!)

my lip gloss is poppin

Anissa is a spitfire. She keeps us all on her toes.  Being the youngest of the crew we are still developing her interest.  So far we love dance, music (all the children love dance and music), taking care of other little ones, shopping, pampering ourselves, and ordering others around.  If you can’t tell, each child reflects a specific time in my life, this little one came at a time when I was loving all over me.  So why do you need to know how I spent quality time with each, so you’ll have an understanding of how we mesh now.

It’s hard to find things that we all want to do, when we are all doing life at different pinnacles. I’ve found somethings that works for each of us.  1.  Dinner, we cross paths at some point to eat.  Eating allows us to be in each other’s presence and have a conversation about whatever.  We laugh a lot!  2.  Prayer- each morning before they leave my presence, I pray with my children.  We actually take turns and Anissa has begun to repeat the prayers of her older siblings.  3.  We dance.  Check above there’s rhythm and soul among my children.  Catch us Saturday /Sunday mornings with the radio turned up and us hittin some dance.  We also car dance, a lot, catch our snapchats.  4.  Every day we tell each other we love each other.  If we never venture out to a mall or movie or dinner again with each other, we know it’s not because we don’t love each other.  I see love in each of them and it’s amazing to catch them looking at each other with love.  5.  We actually do enjoy shopping together (I just re-discovered shopping on my own), but I also love hanging with the crew.  Grocery shopping, picking out outfits for each other (that we don’t buy, as we have very different tastes), shopping for décor, and shopping for special occasions, it’s fun.  What I’m trying to say is that you have to find what works best for you and your crew.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money or time doing it.  It’s the quality of the effort to make it happen that matters most.

So what do you all do to spend time together, we’d love some new ventures to take on?

 

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Being Nanekia…. 5 Reasons I Exude the Confidence I didn’t know I had

nanekiaWell, this whole Being Nanekia thing has taken a life of its own.  At first it started out about Being Mary Jane, but now, since the show is on sabbatical, I’m my own Mary Jane and so it’s about me, plain old Nanekia.  In recent conversations I’ve been having, people have made mention that they admire my confidence.  This threw me completely off guard, in no way, shape, or form did I think I was giving off this vibe.  I always say it’s just me being me, if that equals confidence then so be it.  As I have developed the blog I’ve become aware of the fact that maybe I do exude a little confidence and I didn’t even know it.  So here are my 5 reasons I exude confidence I didn’t know I had…

1.  I believe in myself

There was a point in my life where I thought I had to make sure everyone around me felt encouraged, felt like I had their back, they could depend on me.  In return I expected the same things from them.  When I didn’t get it I felt confused.  Why were they not able to believe in me the way I believed in them.  Luckily with each new day you are granted  new mercies and one day I woke up.  Why did I need anyone to believe in me or my dreams, I believe in me and my dreams.  I made up my mind and told myself daily that if no one else believed in me, I believe in me.  The power in those words fueled a fire within me and I felt unstoppable.  Whenever I decided to do something, I did it, with no regrets.  I believed I harness a power that had been laying dormant in me and once the beast awoke there was no going back.  So there you have it I BELIEVE IN ME!

2.  Others are watching me

By others, I mean those little people I gave birth to.  I can’t preach to them self-love if I’m not showing them that I love myself.  You have to be a living example every day of how you want your children to be.  We sometimes attempt to pour into them, when we have nothing to pour because we ourselves have empty cups.  Children pick-up on things and we tend to think they have no clue.  Guess what?!  They are watching you in silence my friend and they learn from you.  You are the foundation for how they will build and mold their own confidence.  I love myself and live in that love every day.  If that’s confidence take that as #2.

3.  I like myself

My grandma always told us that God commands that we love everybody, with that being said, you don’t have to like everybody.  I like who I am as a person.  Now you may say that some people don’t follow the command to love and that’s cool, but I know I love me.  For me, to genuinely like yourself as a person you have to embrace everything that you are, flaws and all.  So what if there’s a stretch mark here and there or grays sprouting up everywhere.  As I say I never was one to skinny dip, I chunky dunk.  I like every little roll of flesh, moles, freckles placed on this body.  This may sound arrogant, but I just like being around myself.  Hey, that’s just how I feel.  I crack myself up and me and this personality get along very well.  I look in the mirror every day and I’m proud of the person I see.  I can’t wait to see what we get into each day.  I like where she’s going and I can’t wait until she gets there and embarks on something new.  Hey call that #3. Confidence, making a conscious decision to like yourself.

4.  I embrace the whole picture (forgive the language)

In a conversation with my buddy Shadae she explains it perfectly:  Some people will walk through a rain forest and they will observe all the beautiful scenery, enjoy all the sounds and smells. While doing this they look down in the road and it appears that something has shitted right there in the middle of the road, despite being grossed out they don’t become fixated on the one thing that appears to be negative.  Others will walk through that same rain forest see all the greatness the other person saw, notice the shit and stay fixated the entire time on the shit, they can’t get past the negative.  Me, I’m stepping over the shit so that I can enjoy the moment!  I’m not always in a positive mood, but for the most part I try to see the good or at least a laugh in everything.  Confidence is knowing, SHIT HAPPENS and sometimes you gotta get over it.

5.  What is meant for me I KNOW is meant for me

My relationship with God is just that, MY relationship.  I have complete and total faith that whatever God has written in the book of life for my story is what is truly meant just for me.  My God tells me in His word not to stress about it because He’s already taken care of everything.  Confidence, knowing that a power greater than you is working for your greater good so you can gon and brush your shoulder off.

John 16:  31 “Do you now believe?”Jesus replied. 32“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Matthew 6:   25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life  ?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
And there you have it, I just trust me to be me and that my friends is Confidence!

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Celebrating Black History & Black Love

It’s all fair in love and war! For the month of February Just One Hot Mom has been featuring #blackhistory #blacklove.  Sit back relax and enjoy quotes and photos from some of my favorite couples.

Stealey's
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Cor. 4-8, The Stealey’s

Drew & Boo I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me. ~ Gabby Douglas via Drew Harris

 

Minor'sLove, Trust, Loyalty and Communication =EVERLASTING LOVE~ Natasha Minor

 

BumpersMarriage is a team sport… I am only as strong as you are weak! We play to win; we play for keeps!- The Bumper’s

JanontiaSometimes you have to go through some things before you find that one that appreciates all the things that you do. When you find them, hold on to them.” We have a bond like no other. Communication is big for us. We talk about EVERYTHING. With that comes trust & everything else just falls into place. ~ Ja’Nontia

Smith'sBeing faithful to God, togetherness, open communication, loving each other every day. WE are one unit and there is no separation between this unit. The Smith’s

Craig'sTrue love is God’s love. It is black love; it is white love and the true love of every color. It is the love we ought to show to ourselves and the love we show to others. God’s love never fails.~ The Craig’s

Godbott'sFriends Forever…Lovers for Eternity- The Godbott’s

Dickson'sI love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate then when I fall asleep your eyes close.” – Pablo Neruda via The Dickson’s

White'sTongue and teeth can fall out BUT they need each other to operate.- The White’s

Watts'My peace in a world of war~ Lynn Watts

Carroll'sIf you know me loving me has to be one of the hardest things to do, but this man has found a way to do it for 21 years. If I told you that every day was easy and that we’ve never seen days that we didn’t think we would make it I would be telling a lie! Has he broken my heart a time or two yes, as I have his. But in the end we both acknowledged it and realized we would be losing more by giving up, and allowing the enemy to win! We both know that he is mine and I am his and no one will ever love us as we love each other. My husband is my best friend, my confidant, my provider and my lover! I would climb the highest mountain and Swim the deepest oceans for this man, would walk across the desert just to get to him, there isn’t anything in this world that I wouldn’t do to keep a smile on this man’s face…I love him in place where space and time doesn’t exist!! Veronica Carroll

Ford's John & Shonteea Ford. 10 years of marriage on 8/05/16. “When your mate is the first person in your prayers, the first person you share good and bad news with, the first person you think of as your best friend is the key to knowing that your marriage has the foundation to last the test of time.- The Ford’s

LoveCuz mami’s a rider, and I’m a roller, put us together, how they gon’ stop both us? Whatever she lacks, I’m right over her shoulder, when I’m off track mami is keepin me focused, so let’s, lock this down like it’s supposed to be the ’03 Bonnie and Clyde, Hov’ and B~ Jay-Z via One Handsome Dad & Just One Hot Mom

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Mommy You Need A Makeover

So, my children and I have very different taste when it comes to how we all dress. I always ask their opinion before I head out to events and sometimes they score high with their observations and others not so much.  So far Valentine’s Day, we decided to challenge each other and see who could give mom a Valentine’s Day look that would WOW us all.  See below.  The final look will be revealed on Instagram: @justonehotmom, Facebook:  Just One Hot Mom and Twitter:  @just1hotmom on Valentine’s Day!