We were so excited to see this cute little movie. However, in 4D?

They made the movie into 15 minutes and picked out the scariest parts!

The anticipation for the movie was more exciting than the actual show I think.
When it started, the sound was overly loud, her glasses were falling off, and the seat moved bumping our backs, but the little RIO bird was so cute! I realized that the mean bird really dominated the show, and did she understand the good vs. evil side? So many questions and concerns we have as parents that arise each second. Do they understand what you want them to understand? Do they see the lesson begin taught? Sheesh. Just over-thinking everything makes me tired!

Hold me forever

After a storm, there are always flowers.

I’m amazed by how quickly and kindly Tatum will correct her behavior when it’s not her best. Upon leaving Trader Joe’s today, she had a different idea about getting into her car seat. We had a moment of frustration, and I chose to just be quiet and wait. About five minutes later when we got home, I left her in the car seat while I took in the groceries. As I opened the door to remove her, she looked at me and said, “Mommy I want a hug. Will you please hold me?” I walked in the house clutching Tot, and she then said, “Mommy, hold me forever and ever and don’t let go. I love you.”

MELT. Ok, she has the power to absolutely make my heart sink into a big mushy pillow.

How is it that she continues to get more adorable? I think I love a certain stage, and then BOOM, she enters a new stage of completely fresh awesomeness. I guess this is how God must feel about us. I pray she can know how deeply she is loved and adored. With that knowledge, she’ll move mountains…or at least kill it in Preschool!IMG_2339

Doug & Tatum’s Afternoon (by Doug!)

Guest Blogger: Douglas Hay

So, this was the afternoon that was planned for a couple of weeks. Steph was away for most of the day giving a lecture in Las Vegas about advanced complex teaching methodologies (not for her but certainly for the rest of us). So, I had the very good fortune to spend the afternoon with the Tater Tot!!

I have planned this out so I know when to leave to pick her up and all is scheduled – or so I thought. I assumed I would just slide the car seat in my car and be on my way. Not so fast! Getting it locked down wasn’t too much of a problem but adjusting the straps was another story! I couldn’t find the adjustment to loosen the straps. Ok, I’m thinking, seriously Doug, if you can’t figure this out you should quit your engineering job.   After 15 minutes and nearly disassembling the darn thing I see the adjustment under the seat cover. Why would you hide the adjustment there?? OK, problem solved and I was on my way!

After a bit of driving I arrived at Paradise for Tots!

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I was immediately and warmly greeted by Gerry. Obviously, she was the director and she was expecting me. Still, I had to show ID and be vetted not unlike the TSA – Geesh! Ok, checked in! Signed in! Then we go the playground and I immediately see Tatum! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful just like Steph said they were. We said our goodbyes and were off. I had a snack and cup of water in the car – my strategy for hopefully keeping her awake for the ride home. Oh yes, that worked great!

Once home, we had to change into the Thomas the Train outfit! C’mon Doug, let’s go to the train park and swing!! C’MON Doug…


Hi Mommy!

Well it’s tooooooooooo late for the park. So, I quickly think – let’s play horsey!! She immediately thought that was a good idea. I didn’t think that one through because “I” had to be the horsey! …and so we did. The Horsey took Tatum through earth quakes, bucking bronco’s, etc.. . My back did just fine – good! One of us had a lot of fun (OK, we both had a lot of fun).

Now down for dinner. Steph had this already prepared and so it was streamlined. 20 sec in the micro and we were ready!

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Man – does this look good! Where’s mine?

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Cashew milk!

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Stories. There were stories. Did I say there were stories!!

At the end of dinner Steph called! So, we had a little conference call and we all got to chat it up a bit! Perfect timing Sweetheart.


Hi you guys!

Just an observation… How is it that these two girls never take a bad picture. I mean seriously – what’s up with that?

Ok, the Tot and I are going up to the bedtime routine now. This is the 3rd time tucking in Tatum and I’ve learned almost the 100 baZILLION essential items the need to be just so for a smooth process.   Tatum is doing such a great job training me. All was smooth sailing and each time we are becoming more efficient.

This is one special girl (Mom’s pretty cool too!).

Love is patient…Love is KIND

What do you look for in a school? Academics? Social aspects? Teacher/student ratios?….

All of these things mean something, sure. It’s important to have a balance in what goes into a school. However at this stage of Tot’s life, I’m sure adamant about a few things.

  1. Kindness and Love. When Tatum and I enter a school, how do we feel? Do we feel the love of Jesus applied? Is it modeled or just taught? Is Tatum loved by the staff and by the teachers and other students? How is it modeled in the classroom?
    OK, so why is this so important? Aren’t kind people walked all over? Aren’t they like doormats? Jesus would say no. Why? Because one can be kind and still filled with strength. He/she can have pride and honor in who they are (a child of God) and then have boundaries and how to be treated. Then, he/she can treat others the way God would treat those “others.” SO, it really does come down to love and kindness.
  2. Hands-on. Do these teachers and staff get down on the kids’ level and read with them? Play with them? Respect them? Teach them manners? It’s not about just teaching, folks. It’s modeling and gettin’ dirty with ’em! We are all in this together, and these kids need to see our humility in the process of learning too. They see that we are doing the work with them! They will honor that process we engage in with them, and then WANT to be engaged too!

There are many more, but at this ripe old age of 3 and a few months, I’m pretty sure that is what I want in a school.
She’ll get her numbers, letters, colors, shapes, etc down eventually.

I’ll get her reading and loving it! But the school? Well she’ll be ENGAGED with OTHERS and learning kindness and love in action WITH (fill in the blank!). Yes… WITH!! (not “at”.. )

She’s swinging into action!IMG_2284 (this picture was brought to you by the fabulous Douglas Hay)

Thank you, Paradise for Tots. I think we have a winner with your school!

A bit of this and that


She swings and a HOME RUN! OK, well maybe a first base walk.


She was sure to hit it with that twist!

Then, she decided she’d be on a Clifford kick. When I came in and got her from nap, she was surrounded by all of her Big Red doggie books. She loves the one where he participates in Sports Day.

But no sooner did she want to try on her new present from her mommy. I couldn’t resist. With her now in gymnastics, I had to enable that little body to move. The second I put it on, she was wiggling and jiggling….


Clapping and tapping…..

Jumping and romping!IMG_2275The little bits of fun we have make up a great day of laughter and joy.

These two

We again went over to bring dinner to the LOVE family and see the new baby, Weston. I needed to hold him again. While there, Tatum and Robert were up to their usual craziness….running around in circles, pretending to be dinosaurs, chasing each other, playing “mall.” Apparently, Tatum told Robert he needed a Cardinal shirt to go the mall. OK. ?

So, they calmed down, and Tatum decided to read Robert a book.

He was distracted with her beauty and brains (heehee) and laid a big one on her. Oh, Robert! IMG_2208