Spotlight on a Mean Mom – Jenna Martucci

Spotlight on a Mean Mom shines on MOPS leader, Jenna Martucci!

Welcome to our weekly “Spotlight on a Mean Mom”!

Has your child ever said you were mean? It hurts, doesn’t it?

Here’s a little wisdom–what a child defines as mean… a mom defines a little differently.

Mean Moms instill loving boundaries and have a tough outer shell to stay the course. 

The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Kids will be available March 2015.

I had some help from some very special ladies while working on this book over the summer. Mean moms and marshmallow moms raised their hands to be a part of The Mean Mom Team, a focus group I pulled together on Facebook. (If you’d like to join or want to be interviewed yourself just click on “The Mean Mom Team“. We’d LOVE to have you!)

Today’s spotlight shines on someone I’ve known for a very, very long time. I can’t wait for you to meet her. She’s been a dear friend of mine since we were MUCH YOUNGER  and looked way better in a bathing suit.

Would you please say howdy to our Mean Mama — Jenna Martucci!

Welcome Mean Mom - Jenna Martucci!

Hi Jenna! So glad to have you with us today!

Hey Ya’ll!  My name is Mean Mom aka. Jenna Martucci and I currently live in Omaha, NE with my three beautifully made kiddos – 12 year old twin sons Alexander and Christopher and 7 year old daughter Addison Grace.

Jenna, why don’t you share with us your most recent “mean mom” decision.

My most recent mean mom decision has had to do with following thru with a commitment that my son Alex has made.  He really struggles with emotions of not feeling like he gets to do fun things like ALL his friends do.  He is very active but we limit organized activities to two a season which interferes with all the FUN stuff whether it is high school football games that he can’t go to because of baseball practice or school fun activities because of scouts.  We don’t let him go to those ‘FUN’ activities because he has made a commitment to whatever activity was already scheduled that evening and he really struggles with us being “mean” because of it.  We never let him have any fun RIGHT!

Do you have a little “mean mom” wisdom you can share with us today? 

You know you have made the right decision if it makes your kids think you’re the meanest.  If we let them do everything they wanted and they were always happy with us we would not be doing our job raising them to be responsible adults. They need to know how to follow thru and be respectful and responsible for themselves and each other. Being “mean” is way harder than being nice, for me anyway, and that can make parenting hard, but in the end it is so worth it.  I can already see the responsible, wonderful men my boys are grow up to be and it makes my heart sing!

 Jenna, has being a mom changed the way you look at God? 

TOTALLY!  I look at him way more now from my knees than I ever did before being a mom.  Really in all seriousness, being a mom has made me realize more than before that all things happen thru God and with God at our sides and we need Him to carry us thru the parenthood stages.

Being a “mean mom” means putting your husband BEFORE your kids. How do you keep your marriage a priority in the Martucci home?

I think this is always hard with kids, but I stop what I am doing when he comes home from work (if I can do so safely) and I sit in the bedroom with him while he changes clothes so we can share our day. Also, I work from home. So I try really hard to accomplish the list of to do’s and internet surfing (FB checking and email) during the day so that on evenings we are both home, after the kids are in bed we can sit together on the couch watching a show we BOTH LIKE to watch and talk. Those items on the to-do list that I don’t get done have to wait for the next day and no more time is spent on the computer. It is like quitting time at any other job where you leave it at work.  I leave it all in the office until morning. It is our time to connect in quiet without distractions.

Jenna, it’s been GREAT to have you here today. Is there anything else that keeps you busy besides your family? How can other moms connect with you? 

I am a ministry leader with MOPS Int. as a MOPS Volunteer Staff ministry coach for Military MOPS.   Plus, I am a Tastefully Simple consultant and leader helping busy moms with the scary question “Mom what’s for dinner?” for 11 years now and have a business Facebook page   www.facebook.com/TastefullySimplewithJenna  and website www.tastefullysimple.com/web/jmartucci .  


For the Love of God –It’s HERE!

 

Jenny Sulpizio for the love of God book

 

 

The day has finally arrived! Jenny Sulpizio’s book has launched.

Am I a little excited? Um, yeah…

Do I wish EVERYONE would click on this Amazon LINK and order one of their very own.

ABSOLUTELY!

Instead, I’m giving away a copy of my own. So,  “LIKE” or share  Jenny’s author page with your friends and leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on Friday–because I’m just AWESOME like that.

While you’re here, make sure to read Jenny’s words below. You may not be able to wait for Friday for your chance to win. If you’re impatient like me, here’s the Amazon link to order your book today.

A message from one of the dearest gals I know–Jenny Sulpizio. 

“Being new is never easy especially when it comes to finding your faith. But you don’t need a big neon sign to point the way to God. Instead, you need a friend to tell it to you straight, equip you with information, and provide some much-needed encouragement along the way. Indeed, you need guidance from a woman who has already walked a mile in your shoes.

Jenny Lee Sulpizio invites you to silence those doubts, experience God’s grace, and breathe in the unconditional love you were always meant to know. It’s a guide for women unsure of their Creator, in search of answers, and interested in pursuing a genuine relationship with the Lord. Because this walk with God — this journey with Jesus?It’s about to change everything.

 

WILL YOU STAND IN THE GAP AND MINISTER TO THOSE WHO HAVE YET TO DISCOVER GOD’s GRACE, FORGIVENESS, & LOVE?

Each one of us knows someone in desperate need of the grace and freedom found in a relationship with Jesus.

Someone who needs her fears recognized, her questions answered, and her disbelief turned on its head in light of the Truth. Because it’s time, isn’t it? Time for you and I to reach out. To lead. To do more. It’s time to encourage a world that’s willingly ignored God, to start embracing Him instead.

In For the Love of God, Jenny Lee Sulpizio invites her readers to silence those doubts, experience God’s grace, and breathe in the unconditional love they were always meant to know. It’s a guide for women unsure of their Creator, in search of answers, and interested in pursuing a genuine relationship with the Lord. Because this walk with God — this journey with Jesus? It’s about to change everything.

Join us in this movement, friends. Together, we can impact this world for Him. #IAMHIS  #GODSGIRL bit.ly/gods-girl​jenny sulpizio


Spotlight on a Mean Mom –Nicole Hitchcock

Spotlight on a Mean Mom - JoanneKraft.com

Welcome to our weekly “Spotlight on a Mean Mom”!

Has your child ever said you were mean? It hurts, doesn’t it?

Here’s a little wisdom–what a child defines as mean… a mom defines a little differently.

Mean Moms instill loving boundaries and have a tough outer shell to stay the course. 

The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Kids will be available March 2015.

I had some help from some very special ladies while working on this book over the summer. Mean moms and marshmallow moms raised their hands to be a part of The Mean Mom Team, a focus group I pulled together on Facebook. (If you’d like to join or want to be interviewed yourself just click on “The Mean Mom Team“. We’d LOVE to have you!)

Today’s spotlight shines on someone I’ve known for a very, very long time. I can’t wait for you to meet her. She’s been a dear friend of mine since we were MUCH YOUNGER  and looked way better in a bathing suit.

Would you please say howdy to our Mean Mama — Nicole Hitchcock!

joannekraft.com mean mom nicole hitchcock

Nicole is a registered nurse and  lives in San Ramon, California. She’s been married to Robbie for 24 years. She’s also a self-proclaimed mean mom to Jeremy (20) and Hannah (18). While she might think she’s “mean”, her grown up kids don’t seem to see her that way at all.

I guess that’s the best parenting pat-on-the-back a mean mom can have, isn’t it? When all your hard work pays off and being mean isn’t really seen as mean after all.

Nicole, it’s so great to have you here! Fill us in on any mean mom-decisions you’ve had to make recently.

Since both of my kids are away from home and in college, I haven’t had to make any Mean Mom decisions recently. My role as a mother has changed drastically since my kids went away to college. I am now primarily providing guidance and support. I also send them  ” mom/nurse wisdom and advice texts” such as “get your flu shot” or “make sure to not walk alone at night”. Not sure these are always needed or wanted but I think they secretly like them or at least I’d like to believe they do!  (They have commented that they like that I am watching out for them!)

 Is there any mean mom wisdom you can share with our readers?

Guide your children in doing what is right even if it is not the popular thing to do. Set expectations which may be different for each child since they are each unique individuals. Model those behaviors yourself!  Stick with what you believe in and don’t back down from your decisions. Tell them regularly how proud you are of them along with what they need to work on. Be open to criticism yourself! Listen to your children and really hear what they are saying. This will help create mutual respect and understanding.

The rest of the wisdom I have comes straight from my kids. I asked them about being a mean mom and they shared their thoughts with me:

 Jeremy (20) You definitely raised us with guidance and didn’t let us wreak havoc everywhere. Though you knew when to ease up. 

Hannah (18)–” I feel like you set your expectations for us early on so we knew what was right and wrong. … I wanted to behave well, stay out of trouble, etc. not because I didn’t want to be grounded or get in trouble. It was because I didn’t want to disappoint you. I wanted to be the best person I could be so that you would be proud of me.

You  did a good job of telling me how proud you were of me, but also bringing up the things I needed to work on. You also stuck with what you believed in and once you made your decision about something, you didn’t change your mind which I think is really important because it made me respect you. 

 You were pretty “mean” about pg-13 movies because I remember some of my friends watched them at a really early age and you didn’t let us do that which I am very appreciative of now. At the time I thought it was stupid but now I realize that we didn’t need to be watching that at such a young age.

Nicole, do you have a favorite scripture verse for your mothering journey?

I receive daily devotions from Proverbs 31 ministries via email. I often forward these to my kids when there is something I think they would like or need to hear. I also send them bible verses, quotes or let them know I am praying for them regularly. These are a few favorites I LOVE below.

Psalm 46:10- Be still and know that I am God

Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Philippians 4: 6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Joshua 1:9   Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

What do you do to keep your marriage the number one priority in your home? 

My husband and I keep our marriage a priority by spending alone time together and making “family time” as well.  We purposely let our children see us compliment one another and see our affection towards one another. We also make it a point to mention the little things we do for one another. ie. ” Isn’t mom a good cook”,  ” Dad sent me flowers today” or “Dad sent me the nicest text” etc. Now that we are empty nesters, we’re grateful we valued our marriage and took time early on to keep it strong.

 

joannekraft.com mean mom moment

Funniest Mean mom moment is displayed in the scribbled out wedding picture to your left. When my son was about 3,  we put him on a “Time Out”  in our bedroom. Later that night, my husband and I found our wedding picture.

We laughed so hard. He’s twenty years old  and it’s still such a funny memory for us. We love this photo and still have it today!


Life in the South –Meet Martha White

JoanneKraft.com lifeinthesouth martha whiteWhen we moved to Tennessee I expected food to be alot different. The biggest surprise? Things really weren’t.

Sure, there were a few items on the menu like okra and turnip greens but the biggest surprise was– Fried Bologna sandwiches.

Who in their right mind likes bologna –fried or not?

My sister would be in that camp. She likes that pinkish-grey mystery meat. As a matter of fact, she LOVES it. Her favorite? Peanut butter and bologna sandwiches. A sick and twisted tradition my father passed down.  I didn’t get the bologna DNA. Thank you God!

I digress.  

There is a lady in the south I met very early on. She’s responsible for biscuits, cornbread, blueberry muffins and my kids favorite: cinnamon chip biscuits. In California, Krusteez is the dry mix you can buy in the baking section at the store. Here, Martha is the best baking mix and most popular girl in the south.

I thought it was time you were properly introduced. 

martha white 3

WHO IS MARTHA WHITE?

In 1899, Richard Lindsey Sr. founded Nashville’s Royal Flour Mill with his wife, Katherine. They were known in the area for producing some of the highest-quality flour, perfect for Southern cooking. When it came time to name his finest flour, Richard thought of his finest accomplishment, his daughter, Martha White Lindsey.

LIVE AT THE GRAND OLE’ OPRY

With an advertising budget of only $25 per week, Martha White broadened its advertising by sponsoring Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry—the country’s longest-running live radio broadcast. Today, the historic Martha White logo backdrop—once used on the Opry stage—is in the permanent collection at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Martha White has a heritage as deep and long as the fields of cotton around here. Which makes Brad Paisley’s song “Southern Comfort Zone” even more special– because I finally understand the line:

“You have fed me you have saved me Billy Graham and Martha White.”

A  fun VIDEO fact: The “Dixieland” chorus is sung by The Brentwood Baptist Choir about 15 minutes up the road from us.

Watch Brad’s video HERE.

If you’re planning on a visit, or you’re packing up the family and moving to the south, don’t worry if you’re not the best biscuit-maker. There’s help for even the most helpless baker. Like I said, no worries, Martha’s got your back.

 


Are You Clear as Mud?

joannekraft.com are you clear as mudHave you ever taken The Five Love Languages test by Gary Chapman? If you have, you know what language speaks most to you.

  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Words of Affirmation

Paul and I took these tests years ago and his were very clear. Mine? Well, mine were about as clear as mud.  

I scored a three way tie between Acts of Service/Words of Affirmation/Receiving Gifts. There was no first place language my best-buddy could lean on. Which removed a clear coarse of action he could take to remedy any relational speed bumps.

It’s a struggle for me to make up my mind–as you can tell. Now, imagine my poor husband, kids and friends when their lives bump up against mine. Pretty frustrating.

Yesterday, the web designer I’m working with asked me to take a test about my “brand”. There were TEN different topics I was being ranked in from “Transparency” to “Teaching”. Her question for me was to write down the top FIVE things I ranked highest in.

I scored a FIVE way tie. Yep, there were FIVE things that were exactly of the same importance to me.

Fretting over making decisions is as natural to me as breathing.

I’ll have a skinny vanilla latte…no, make that a soy chai….wait..change that to a green tea with one pump sweetener…actually, what I really want is a nonfat mocha–but hold the whipped cream.”

Trying to find my “brand” is not my style. I’m as clear as mud when I need to  focus. There are some who have a “brand” without even knowing it. These gals are the ones who write about Jesus and nothing else, or the ones who LOVE to challenge their readers with organizational prompts or daily recipes.

I covet their clarity. 

Why is it painful for me to make a choice? I believe the underlying root is fear. Fear of the wrong decision has me in a strangle hold. What would life be like if I woke up and said “NO.” to fear? Fear is a deceptive foe. It convinces me I hold the power to make my life perfect with every right choice.

The Bible says, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37  The truth is, when God is for me there’s LOTS of ways I can make the right choice. There’s nothing I should worry and fret about. As long my choices are for good then I really should let go of the rest. And, even if my choice makes a big belly flop God promises all things work out for the good–for those who love Him.

We need clarity when we are in relationships. A husband needs to know his wife makes a choice and sticks with it. Children need a mom who can cut a path and stay on it. 

How about you and I make a pact? Let’s take that next step together. Indecision is the enemy of progress. I refuse to be held captive by “choices” today–I choose to choose something, anything that will put my heart and feet in action.


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