Little Mary Tuntine’s Drama in the Lunch Line


Little Mary Tuntine was having drama in the lunch line.
Other kids would push and shove when Mary  tried not to budge.
She was small and not too fast and all the kids would run past.
She loved to eat her hot lunch, but that lunch line was just too much.
One day she lost it and said ” that is it!” Little Mary Tuntine pitched a fit. She hollered, cried, and pointed her finger, at the kid she claimed the perpetrator. ” You cut in front! You are a cutter! I’m ready to toss my bread and butter!” The lunch lady calmly took Mary aside, and said in her nicest voice” No drama in the lunch line. We must be patient with those cutters and never resort into tossing our butter.” Mary rubbed her nose and breathed a deep sigh, while the lunch lady wiped a tear from her eye. I’ll always watch out for you and those so called cutters, just remember some patience, I promise it will get better. ” Mary then put her arms up and loudly proclaimed, ” I, Mary Tuntine, promise no more drama, in the lunch line.”



When Kids are excluded from their peers

When my sixth grader came home one day telling me how he sat alone at recess, it just made me want to cry. He told me that the kids he was hanging out with were trying to ditch him. I then had that familiar discussion how those kids were not really his friends. Learning social cues have always been a challenge for my son, and recognizing when he is not wanted , frequently went unnoticed. Now that my boy is older, he has become more aware of these things. I could talk until the cows come home about finding new friends or how he should just walk away if they started to be mean. This was not a solution, just a moms bla, bla, bla, same old thing.

When  the other kids words became hurtful, the mama stepped in! I’m thinking, shoot..what am I allowing? These kids have been flying under the radar for so long. One of the parents children is on the school board. No one wants to deal with this kid, let alone his parents. I certainly do not want any uneasy awkward moments when I pass the mom down the hallway. The problem was that parents of these kids were nice! They were friends. Ones I conversed with on a weekly basis. It was an awkward situation all around no matter how you looked at it. So, I decided to speak to my sons teacher. I spoke to his pe teacher, his music teacher, his math teacher. Once the main characters were involved, things started to change. I asked his math teacher for help. I told him that my son needed some new friends. In less than a second he said ; “You got it!”

That afternoon changed my sons social life! Two boys from the other class approached my son and a friendship began. It was too easy! The next day, they all played hand ball. The following day they played zombie tag. The initial perpetrators were spoken to by the teacher and humbled, well one was. One of the children told my son that he was turning a new leaf and decided to be nice.

I was stunned. It was too good to be true, or was it? You see, my son attends a Christian school. Yes, bullies are everywhere. They don’t care what school they attend. The difference here is that the kids at my sons school go to chapel once a week. They learn a weekly Bible verse and are exposed to giving back to the less fortunate. The teachers have the freedom to speak to the children about Gods word. Its not about the parents getting involved or the kids getting in trouble. It’s about the kids having to answer to their creator. A power higher than their parents, their teachers, themselves. Being reminded of what Christ taught and how he blesses us when we do our best to follow him.

This same situation may have also happened at a public school without God involved. The resolve may have turned out the same, who knows. It just gives me joy and peace to know that a so called bully had his life changing event happen because of God and not because he had to go to the principals office. These kids, with the help of their teachers and sincere conscience, figured out what it was to be compassionate. Getting on the bandwagon by firing off to the parents was not the solution. By the grace of God, and a squeaky wheel, it got all worked out.

My son is developing friendships for the first time. He has learned where his loyalties lie, and who he can trust by the grace of God.

So, don’t jump the protective mama gun when you see your child wronged. Prayerfully and patiently do what you need to do depending on the situation. Give the kids a chance to work things out, because they may just do that. Have compassion for all children, even the bullies. They may just need to be reminded  what it is to be a child of God.

Why? Because, Jesus said so.



My mother spoils my kids! My advice on how to handle it. Dont.

Shuffle, shuffle,shuffle, the light pink slippers slowly move across the linoleum floor creating a sweeping sound. Shuffle, shuffle, pause. “I’m short of breath,” she says. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, she pauses again to take another breath, then enters the room where she has two double beds. She asks me; “Do you need anything honey?”

“No, grandma,” I reply. “I’m ok.” “Are you sure? Wait…” she says with a whisper, “Here, take this, and don’t tell your grandmother!” She hands me a Milano cookie as I slip under the covers in the bed next to hers. “Oh, grandma!” I say giggling “thanks for the cookie.”

This is my memory of staying the night with my great grandma. She and my grandma(my great grandmas daughter) lived together after my great grandpa passed away. I had the privilege and gift to have known them both. I loved staying the night and always stayed in the bed next to her. She would always fill up a covered glass with ice water for me to keep by my bedside. She would always sneak a cookie into the room for me to eat and we would always listen to her favorite talk radio station while in bed. She would often secretly hand me a $10.00 or even $20.00 bill as if it were a crime before I left to go back home. We went out to dinners, with dessert afterward! I was spoiled! I loved it! I loved every moment of it. We watched cable t.v and stayed up late. My great grandma was the sweetest, kindest person I had ever met, like really and truly ever met, till this day! People could do no wrong in her eyes. She saw the good in everyone, even my bratty brother!  She refused to believe he was a total pest so I just gave up trying to convince her. Being at my grandmas house was pure magic.

So, when I had my first child, I naturally remembered all of the spoiling my grandma provided me. Not! It was rough. I questioned everything my mother told me, I fought her every time she gave my son treats or toys. She was spoiling him and I felt he was getting too used to it.  Conflict and uneasiness started to brew between my mom and I. Our once close relationship started to turn ugly. Then the sign went up in her house. What happens at Grandmas, Stays at Grandmas. Ok, whatever I thought. Then I started to remember all of the fun I had with my grandmas. They spoiled me rotten! My grandma spoiled me with dance lessons, going to posh tea houses, shopping for clothes I could never afford, and my great grandma spoiled me with well…everything a little kid could want. I didn’t feel like I was owed anything. I always felt grateful, undeserving. More than the spoiling, they created memories. Memories that will never leave me. The best memories a young person could have.

I needed to let go of the strife between my mother and myself. I finally did. I let go. My mom is always there for me. She takes care of my children when I need a break. She is there whenever I need her and she loves my children like they were her own. They love her back. They cant wait to go to her farm whenever we get the chance. The kids look for eggs in the chicken coop, they feed the cats, they play with the dogs, they pick oranges and  do crafts, and they eat M&M’s for dinner. I don’t care. They are being loved and memories are being established. How awesome is that. This is what we need to remember.

A friend of mine has a  mother in law, who picks the kids up from school on a daily basis, drives them to her house, feeds them dinner and then drives them home. She frequently keeps the kids overnight so that her daughter can have a break. What a fantastic mother in law and grandmother to these kids, right? Not according to her! My friend was in an uproar that the grandmother would feed the kids junk at her house. Really? Is that it? She would get upset that the grandmother would allow the kids to put their feet up on the sofa. She asked me if she should confront her mother in law about this. My response was if you want full on war and uncomfortable, awkwardness, go for it! I reminded her of all of the things her mother in law does for her and her children and that what happens at grandmas, stays at grandmas. Allow the kids to have some fun, create memories, and love being at grandmas. Was it worth the confrontation? Not in my book! I had been there, done that and am never going back!

My grandmas were incredible, influential people in my life. I am partly the person I am today because of them. I am not a horrible person because they gave me cookies in bed, slipped me $20.00 bills and took me to posh tea houses. I am a better person because of it.

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle went the sound of my IMG_5842 grandmas slippers as she walked across the floor, opening up the cupboard door to sneak me yet another cookie to eat while I was in bed. “Shhhhh! Don’t tell your grandmother!”

Why? Because my great grandma said so

Teaching the young to respect themselves without compromising their dignity

It’s October and also breast cancer awareness month. Several of my friends attend a breast cancer charity event every year which include free swag bags, alcohol and lots of food. Sounds like a blast huh? My friends try to get me to go by enticing me with how good the food, music and free gifts are. It bothers me that this is their main focus on going however would for sure argue that it isn’t. But, this is all I hear. I have yet to attend.

My grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy at an early age, then another later on. Her cancer  spread its nasty self  into her knee. The bone was replaced and it was a horrific surgery and recovery. The cancer then decided to show itself  by way of tumor in her abdomen, spine and throughout her body. She was nauseous, in pain and it was a very hard and painful thing to see. She was a strong educated woman. She was the rock in our family, the one who encouraged us to follow our dreams and always recognized our talents and gifts and encouraged us to continue developing them. She was a realist. She saw things as they were. She could read people out and continually educated us all. She saw things that others did not and was very intuitive. She always bought an extra loaf of bread of quart of milk for the homeless person who was always in the grocery store parking lot. She said she would rather feed the homeless than give them money as she did not want them to use the money for boos. She was an artist. She helped her community through the Soroptomist organization in her community. The organization motto was Women helping Women. It was a fantastic organization and I enjoyed being a part of it. Events to help women get back on their feet after a divorce, or being homeless or anything else to help women educate themselves and get back on their feet was what her organization did. The events were tactful, classy and filled with dignity. They also raised  money that was intended to be raised for the cause. There was no catch phrase or shock factor involved to raise funds. It was done with dignity.

So, how does this all tie in with raising our young ones to respect themselves without compromising their dignity? First things first. Many may disagree with me, many cancer patients may disagree with me and do, but hear me out. The saving the “Ta Ta’s”, saving “Second base,” “Save the boobies” phrases are just plain tacky and compromising the dignity of women. I hear comments like, “Who cares! These shock phrases are raising funds to help find a cure!” So it doesn’t matter what you put on a t-shirt, at least money is being raised. We are teaching our young children that we need to lower ourselves in order to raise money. How about save a LIFE! I cannot imagine my grandmother approving let alone wearing a t t-shirt like this. This is about life, not a woman’s “Ta Ta’s.”  Breast cancer Killed my grandmother, It spread its nasty self into my aunts body and my great-grandmother as well. It could find its way into my mother, myself and my daughter. I want to live to see my grandchildren. Why do we settle for this and allow these phrases to de sensitized our culture and our children? If my son came home saying “save the ta ta’s” I would be furious. Breast cancer does not only affect the breasts, It SPREADS to other parts of the body. This is why women opt for a mastectomy. When I saw a Facebook post of a photo of a friend at the event and a caption over it saying “Save the Boobies!” I almost went ballistic. This is not the message we need to be sending to our children. What would Jesus do? What would he say? Yes, we need to have a sense of humor but at the expense of a woman going through chemo? Going through hair loss? Going through major surgery and taking away her femininity at the same time? Compromising our dignity for a buck to raise money. Breast cancer walks are terrific.I would love to participate in one of those. Wearing the pink ribbon, pink shirt as a symbol is classy and dignified. Why do we need anything else?  Why should we compromise? Why should a cancer patient compromise? Every person is different. I have read plenty of stories about breast cancer survivors having a non issue with the catch phrases out there. For them, good thing, for me, not. Breast cancer detection did not save my grandmas breasts. It did not save the “ta ta’s.” It killed her. She is now gone. She was an amazing woman who was loved and respected and I intend to honor her by teaching my children to respect others and themselves and not compromise because everyone else is saying it, doing it and wearing it. How many catch phrases do you see out there for prostate awareness? Hmmmmm…something to think about right? The effects of prostate cancer can render  man to lose his masculinity if severe enough. But, women are used to being sexualized in the name of cancer, right? Time to take a stand and show our young ones what is right. Do something to change this. Id rather go on a walk or run to raise money for this great cause. This is what went down at the event some of my friends attended. They paid for a cheap ticket, ate until they were bloated and drank until they were drunk. They danced all night and brought home free gifts. Give me that alcohol, those gifts, that food so that I can carry it over to the dying woman’s hospital bed who has breast cancer with NO breasts. Now, give that woman a shirt to wear that says “save second base or better yet, “save the ta ta’s.” Think about it…..IMG_2785

My prayer today is that we can teach our young children to respect the seriousness of this cancer and do it with class and dignity. It can be done. And while I’m on my Humongous, ginormous soap box, no man should ever use any of these phrases. It’s just plain disrespectful. Why? Because my beautiful , wonderful, dignified grandmother who died from Breast Cancer said so.