Sermons, Starbucks, Stories, Signatures, Swimming, and Snuggles.

Today, Sunday, was an extra special day. Not only did we visit my dearest friend, Bobby’s new church, but we had some great conversation.

Dr. Bobby Brewer, Tatum’s Godfather, has just become lead pastor at North Chapel in Fountain Hills. It’s a quaint little local church right in the heart of the town. Honestly, it’s truly an intimate gathering with raw solid Biblical teaching. Amazing. Tatum sang with me, and then she went into the little room with three other children. Bobby is using God’s gifts that he’s been given, ministering to the town, and I think, starting a revival of foundational followers. Also, he’s ministering to the Native Americans who all need Jesus so deeply. His message, being on Nehemiah 8, was all about us starting a revival within ourselves by reading our Bibles and not giving up; not letting this “world” get to us, but rather be lights. If we are going to judge, we should be searching within ourselves what we need to repent.  Very good.

After filling our hearts, it was time to fill our bellies with some coffee, treats, and conversation with the Tot and Mama. Tatum enjoyed some coconut chips and a tall water, and we all enjoyed listening to Tatum tell a story about John and Dino. (Oh, yes, John, Dino, and Bella are her kids, and they are always the stars of her stories) I just bought her a new book (she now has FOUR Bible story books. Help me Jesus…make me stop!) and we have been reading it, so somehow parts of Nehemiah, Noah, and Jeremiah sometimes get strewn throughout her stories. 61HupuFtaOL._AC_US320_QL65_


IMG_3806After many minutes of randomness and me reminding her that a conversation requires her to ask questions and listen also, we headed home. But first, she had to say goodbye to everyone in the store. Why is she so social at times, and at others, she is so shy? Example: at church, “Hi Tatum so nice to meet you.” Silence and staring (at times). I remind her to look into the person’s eyes and say, “thank you; so nice to meet you too!” Ugh…

Since she was on a roll telling me stories, I thought she could draw a bit as we started our “lessons” on our letters. While I was up for a minute, I returned to her brilliant drawing. She was busy drawing legs on the “lady.”IMG_3808

I asked her if her legs came out of her face. She laughed and decided to draw arms too. Why not!?


I hope it wasn’t me, but if it was, I need to grow my hair out a bit because I seem to be balding.

Anyhoo, we’ve been practicing her name. I can do it myself! This is her mantra. Yes, I know Tatum, but let me show you where the letters go. Whenever we practice her name, she puts the letters all over the place. So we are practicing left to right. Ok…we are getting there.

Swimming came later for my little fish. However, the serendipity of this whole day was the snuggling that came at the end of the day. For me, this is the best part. Sundays truly are the best day of the week, and this one, in particular, made me smile and feel like the most grateful girl in the whole world.

Tough times need more LOVE

Yesterday at church, Pastor Terry reminded us that in these tough times of so much division, we need to remember that JESUS has overcome this world! John 16: 33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Ok, so what does this mean to us right now? Not a day goes by when I don’t hear about a horrific event on the news. Just yesterday, I weeped for our policemen as they are being unfairly attacked. There is so much more to come which will require us to be on our knees. What this means is that we need to be MORE loving to our neighbors. Although the solution may be to fight back and be angry, it’s in this time that we need to exhibit MORE gratitude for what we have and for who we are in Christ. More people need to see the Love of Jesus; not the judging or criticizing that the world does to who or what we don’t agree.


Tatum is learning about gratitude; she is learning about the LOVE that we need to show to people and to overcome the evil that exists. (which she unfortunately will discover). The only way she’ll survive this scary world is to be prepared; to be armed with the WORD, with the HOLY SPIRIT in her heart to guide her, and with the knowledge that GOD loves her no matter what. I will also add that is learning to be so thankful for what she already has and to be grateful that she is a child of the KING.  I’m pretty sure that the people who commit such heinous acts do not know these things (or have rejected them). Perhaps, we need to be the lights shining in the darkness; a light cannot shine if it is covered; it also exposes evil and can enlighten that darkness.

Right now, I can protect her and teach her all that is GOOD and all that is RIGHT. With God’s help, I can fill her with the wisdom I have learned and am still learning. She can then share it first with her baby and Coti, and then more in the future, right?


She can also sing her worship music as she often does so beautifullyIMG_3730She will be the light; she will be the bright light of LOVE, driving out the EVIL.

These tough times require this.

Happy Sad

Sometimes I am not home and I have to have others help me take care of Tatum. It does take a village you know. Well, it is no secret that I’m absolutely gaga-crazy about my Tot. Just recently, I had to leave her overnight so I could go to Vegas for GCU. Doug usually helps, which I so appreciate, but this time, Janette and Levi got the privilege.

When we arrived, immediately, she jumped right into playing, but not before she raided Levi’s closet for an outfit. Janette was not used to this concept since she’s used to her boy staying in the boy’s clothes for the whole day if not two. Not Tot. She has to have many outfits in the day. She finally settled on Paw Patrol (at least for a minute). 


Shoes are not out of the question either when trying on outfits. Doug’s shoes are especially fun.
20160619_120517_resized 20160619_120514_resizedBut I digress…

Before I left her with Janette, I told her about a new emotion I was feeling: HAPPY SAD: I’m happy that she is going to have so much fun with Levi! I’m sad because I will miss giving her lots of kisses and love tonight.

And this is how it is with Tatum…a roll of emotions stemming from having so much love for her.  Being her mommy is the biggest honor I could ever have. There are no shoes big enough to fill the love I have for her.


Brekkie, Heat, Broken Wings and Sports!

6am: Tatum: Mommy!!! Wake up, Mommy! I’m hungry!

Me: I’ll give you whatever you want; just let me sleep!

Ha..that is how I felt this morning since I probably fell asleep about 5:55am from a restless night sleep. But, Tatum had remembered I had promised her we were going out to breakfast! I got a coupon in the mail for Scramble which is a bit down the street from us; so what the hey! We decided to walk that way!

Now usually this would have been a great idea, but today was to be a record heat wave. At 8am, it was already almost 90, but I figured it would be fun to walk. She held my hand tight and enjoyed watching all the cars zoom by. We even ran through the sprinklers! That brought back memories of AZ summers, and it definitely helped the cooling factor.


We finally arrived and took our seats. It was a place where you order and sit, so that’s what we did!

After a few dollar pancakes, eggs, bacon, and lots of coffee for me, we headed back. OK, so the heat index had grown about 10 degrees in one hour. What!!!?? So we headed to the pool for a swim.

Being only 9am, we had the place to ourselves. All except a little bird stuck in the drain. This took most of the morning (one hour or so) to retrieve the stuck birdie. I finally got him out with the pool scooper, and laid him on the grass. His wing was hurt and he just shook. Tatum and I (well, actually I) were struggling to enjoy the pool watching this poor creature struggle so much. Later, my mom took out some food and water to him and we prayed for his healing. It just killed me to see him in so much pain. Gosh….

Anyway, it was a day to try out a new place called Sport ball. We arrived at 3pm for her “multi sport” lesson. This way she has an introduction into all 8 of their sports. They only did 3 today, and she LOVED basketball (just like my dad!) IMG_3508IMG_3509 IMG_3511

After this, we signed her up and she got a jersey. The coaches fell in love with the little Tot. We’ll see if she likes any of these sports the most. I’m kinda praying she likes and picks up golf. Deep down I want to play that with her since I need a partner to hack around with.

What a fun day. I am wiped, but spending all that time with the little gal just made being wiped not so terrible.


Hmmmmm…. I just wonder what the future holds for her. All I can do is introduce her to opportunities! Love this gal!

Savoring the moments

Tatum’s brain amazes me. If she’s not telling me (or her animals) a story, she’s creating something beyond my imagination. The stories she weaves together take bits from her memory, a conversation she overheard me having, and perhaps an experience she just had. I sit in awe and just listen to her tales. Maybe she gets it from me? As we drive in the car, I’m always telling her a crazy off the beaten path tale with made up characters like George the giraffe and Olivia the octopus. I cannot top her creativity however!

This brings me to the point. SAVORING. Sure, I am in a hurry at times and honestly, I just don’t have patience. Like when we needed to leave and she hopped in my seat to be the driver. “Tatum I need to get you in your carseat; we’re going to be late!”

IMG_3490She was just so darn funny, so I had to just enjoy the moment.

I’m learning to STOP and savor. One day, she won’t need me and I’ll miss our little moments together.

So…I learn to savor. This is my new goal with her (and with everything really!)

Just the other day, I came into her room and she had created a “swimming pool.” She had each of her dolls wait on the side as she gave them lessons. IMG_3492

Or when I was leaving her room so she could read Samuel Whiskers to her baby.

She told it with such song in her voice and remembered so much of the story, she had it down! I savored this moment.

We have such fun together and it is all because we make the best of our time. We don’t need flashy places to go or tons of toys. With our stories, her imagination, and a lot of laughs, the moments are easily savored.

I love you, Tot.

Last Day of Preschool

Taking her to Preschool today was a bit hard. It was the last day she’d be with Miss Kristin. When we arrived, Miss Kristin had not arrived yet, so she had not the usual comforts. So I kept hearing her yell for “Mommy,” and it broke my heart. She is ALWAYS fine when I leave (she cries for only 30 seconds), but today, it was harder because she didn’t want me to leave. I called the school, and Miss Kristin finally showed up and sent me this pic:


She seemed happy and I could relax. However, it’s funny, when she is at school, I honestly miss her. I wonder what she is doing and how she is getting along. But I do know that the input that she is receiving is all positive and the people love her so much.

When I picked her up, I surprised her with her new shirt to celebrate the school:IMG_3468 IMG_3470We also were greeted by a cool lizard outside our house: (GINORMOUS!)


I also had found one of my OLD phones, and I gave it to her. Garbage to me; treasure to her. She instantly called John and Becca . Now, I have no idea if these are real people but the conversation she was having was intriguing. “John, dude, what you doing?” Then she pauses for the answer and says, “Really? OH!” So funny! IMG_3473Then it was time to hold Bella and “Look something up.” It was very important, she told me. Apparently it had something to do with writing and “A” on the easel. IMG_3476 IMG_3475Because she did it just perfectly (Up, down, across!) 

This Tot of mine!!! Personality just OOOOOZES out of every pore, and I cannot stop laughing. XXOO

A newfound confidence in gymnastics

This time around, she was oozing confidence and charm. Just past Christmas she had her first presentation, and this was the Spring one.

Taina and Jen had been working with her for this past six months, and boy did she improve. Her improvement came in the form of poise and POWER! That kiddo is strong and a real ball of fire. Taina, of course, calls her “one of a kind” because she is such a mature little Tot.  The did the warm up (well, just Avery and Alton and coaches Jenn and Taina) and then waited their turn.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 4.45.47 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 4.45.29 PM IMG_3439She began with her gymnast pose….

and ended with the same! IMG_3447
IMG_3450Great job little Caterpillars! Next stop: Ladybugs! Thank you Taina and Jen!!!