I am just hanging around! IMG_6292 IMG_6293 What is this? Is she doing a pose? IMG_6294

So much fun today at Scottsdale Gymnastics. For one hour, they get to run around with other 5 and unders. We met Jennie/Robert and Janette/Levi there for some romping. They hardly saw each other as they all had their own agendas.

Tatum has no fear; she just usurps the moment and lives it to the fullest. I love her philosophy of life. Truly engaged in what she is doing.


“What happens in you….

Is greater than what happens to you.” (Joel L’Bell 2014).

What is happening in me is monumental.

Today when I picked up Tatum from the childcare at Bible Study, Julia said, “I can tell you spend a lot of time with Tatum; she is so smart and kind.” She could not have told me something more significant. It made all the days of consternation worth it. All the days I am not working make sense.

What is happening in me is tremendous. My heart is softening and I am truly becoming more conformed to Jesus. I am learning to work WITH Tatum through these “two’s” and not AGAINST her.

What is happening in her is monumental. She is becoming a beautiful person, filled with a loving heart and a compassionate spirit. She is in awe of her surroundings and the people who encompass it.IMG_6285

There are moments where there are lapses and her eye is off that “bubble of kindness…” Tatum can be difficult, but you know what? This is “training up a child in how she should be.” It’s part of the journey.

What is happening in HER is tremendous. She is becoming a precious child of God. Last night she even prayed with me out loud, praying for Jesus to come into her heart. Probably not realizing it, but it’s the repetition and the modeling of love that will transform her heart.


Nicholas the charmer

Arriving at Elizabeth’s house today, Nicholas came running out in his “Hooper”man outfit to greet Tatum. First order of business? A dance. Tot had her shades on to perhaps woo him with a bit of mystery.

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After dancing, they played with the mega water bottle filling it with pebbles. Well, at least until Nicholas turned it upside down. The sweeping up process was more fun anyway.

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Playdates should be about Tatum, but being with Elizabeth and Nicholas got to be about me too this time. I adore both of them 🙂

Being the MOMMY

She wants to see everything! Her curiosity continues to need quenching as I create some concoctions on the counter. Then, “Tata taste??” as she smacks her lips. So, I have to give her teeny tiny of whatever I am making. I’m creating a taste tester.

Being the MOMMY, I let her taste and enjoy the savory flavors of new foods, and indulge in learning to create!

Being the MOMMY, while I’m making the food and her patience is waning, wanting MORE, I have to teach her to not only say please, but to wait and enjoy the meal with all of us.


Being the MOMMY, I can see she’s ready to go. However, she does not think she is ready. Tatum has to CHOOSE to go in her way, so, I encourage her to find her shoes. Being the MOMMY, sometimes I have to hurry her along when she is not willing to be hurried. The diaper has to get changed and the stuff needs to get in the car.

Being the MOMMY, I let her be her silly self with choosing silly clothes when home.



Being the MOMMY, I have to “encourage” Tatum has to put on regular clothes to go out in public.

IMG_6252Being the MOMMY, I am teaching her fun ways to learn counting! CHOO CHOO style. 




Being the MOMMY, I have to help her to not walk away before we get to 10. Attention span is of a flea.

Finally, Being TATUM’s MOMMY requires lots of love, patience and well, more patience. I am not always getting it right. In fact, I need to walk away sometimes. However, it’s the day to day little things that keep our relationship strong. I adore Being the MOMMY.


Practicing and the Payoff

Today we were in art class. What made it special? Relating to Tatum. Most of the kids in the class are accompanied by their moms, and they also are daycare children. There is a certain vibe with these moms, and I’m not judging. NOT AT ALL…I was there. However, I can attest to the day in day out…EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the day.

But I thought about what if…

What if I wasn’t with her when she was just wanting to be silly in shades?

IMG_6226 IMG_6225Or…when we wanted to try out her new bike. Of course she can’t reach the pedals, so who would push her? Sometimes, we all need a little push, right? Then it is all just like riding a bike. No problem!


Who would play in the sandbox with her? Well, in our house, it is not just any sand. It’s Pink. It’s Magnetic. It’s cleanup-able in no time flat. Love that!


Who would make her coconut pancakes on her Thomas plate?

IMG_6233More importantly, who would be there to talk her through her moments? We have to “practice” kind behavior all day long. If I had her for 2 hours after I picked her up, I would have missed out on every learning opportunity through the day, but moreover, I WOULD NOT HAVE THE RELATIONSHIP EARNED to have her trust me and listen. Nor, probably, would I be as tough. Tough love sometimes has to occur and it is easy to show that when I nurture her with warmth the rest of the time.

So, we practice. We practice not “running away!” in the parking lot when I leave her hand. We practice showing compassion and kindness to others when it is appropriate. We practice giving appreciation to those who do kind things for us. We practice not whining a request, but asking like a “big girl.” We practice sitting still and listening when someone is speaking. We don’t punish if it doesn’t happen, we re-do, redirect, try again, and celebrate the success.


Now…that is what I call a PAYOFF!

Thank you God for this opportunity.



Denise and Petro

I just adore them.

IMG_6229 IMG_6228And she did not want to leave

I truly pray for them to have one of their own. These two are the most loving people and they are ready to dote on a little Tot. In the meantime, they sure love to be with Tatum. They even offered to let me leave so they could play with her. Hmmmmm…:-)




The simplest of things can make the most incredible learning opportunities.

Starbucks bottles, straws and corks make for fun in the kitchen. Also, they build fine motor skills (but that is just a serendipity)IMG_6210 IMG_6211 IMG_6212 Then it was upstairs for using the marker on learning A. A is for Apple, and then counting 1, 2, 3. She loves feeling so powerful with this marking device. IMG_6213 IMG_6214 IMG_6215

I then decided to purchase alphabet stamps. Another fun way to learn and play with letters.


Remember Mr. Potato Head? Well, he’s in the bag. She could carry it into my room and create craziness with hands, feet, hats, eyes, and mouth in various places. And…again (fine motor skills is a bonus!)
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And the topper offer?IMG_6219 IMG_6220 IMG_6221Lacing the necklace with the ABC’s!