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!!!

Tatum’s LOVE Day #3

Three years ago today, it was confirmed. Tatum was officially my daughter. However, she had been in my heart for many years prior. God had been preparing my heart (my home) for her presence.

We spent today after school counting; little did she know that the amount of blessings she has given me is countless. Infinite. That would be too many penguins to count!



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She, in her new Hello Kitty LOVE shirt, presents to me new surprises and blessings every single day. Right now, she’s calling me to her tea party. Gotta go!

Gifts that matter

Today, being my 47th birthday, I had a chance to reflect a bit. Celebrating a birthday is a bit different these days because of the presence of Facebook. So, there are the face to face birthday wishes, and then there are the ones that come virtually. It is like having one big birthday bash but without all the fluff. I’ll take this because I did receive a lovely note from a past student who put so many things into perspective for me.

Often, we wonder why it is that we went through a difficult season. Then, something comes our way that shows exactly why. Tatum coming into my life is the first reason I know I worked at Tesseract. But then, there’s the students. Occasionally I will receive a thank you note telling me I made a difference in  their lives. One in particular occurred today, and I had no idea that I helped her so much. Yes, with the writing and grammar, but she particularly said I taught her empathy and compassion. What? How about they taught ME this. Anyway, I find it very satisfying to be in this profession for these reasons…making a difference.

Tatum and Mom took me to lunch, and we had CUPCAKES! IMG_5700 IMG_5709She did share a bite with me, the little cupcake lover!

Then when we got home, cards came even from the doggie!
IMG_5721Tatum gave me the sweetest cardIMG_5713, and you can even make out what it says. A nice toucan shirt was given to her to present the card to me.

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What fun, and what a blessing to celebrate part of my birthday with the most important ladies in my life!

Birthday Surprise to Mommy! (Guest Blogger: Doug)

Weeks before Stephanie’s birthday, Tatum and I had a special craft day to make a Mother’s day gift (which I featured in another blog) and a Birthday gift. Now, this little project was going to be so much fun because it involved making CEMENT! Yup, honest to goodness cement!   Tatum was going to make a personalized cement stepping stone for Mommy (with a little guidance from me!).   First things first, we are going mix the cement in a tub with gloves on. The white cement is in the tub ready to be mixed, water bottles at hand, we are go to start!

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Hey Doug! I’m getting the glove on. I’m ready to mix the cement! Ok, sounds good I say enthusiastically! I mean, craft projects don’t get better than this – Right?

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Then, a voice of reason pops into my head – Sweetie, you better let Doug mix this, it can get kinda messy ya know.

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So, I mix the cement and pour it into the heart shaped mold while Tatum sorts all of the jewels.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.17.12 PMCheck out these cool colors!

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Mission accomplished – all sorted! The round shiny ones are the favorites. Let’s put those in first!

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Now the really fun part – squishing your hands into the wet cement – Awesome!

That was sooooo fun! Your 3-year old hand forever frozen in time in this soon to be stepping stone. How cool is that!

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Finally it’s time: Surprise Mommy – Happy Birthday!

But first the card. Check out the heart and other neat artwork!Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.17.44 PM

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Yup – They still fit!

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Then straight out the front door, Tatum was determined to get this PERFECTLY placed where all could see.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.18.01 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.18.05 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.18.09 PMLooks perfect right there!

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Tatum and I had lots of fun making this great birthday memory for Steph (and a great memory for us too!).   The stepping stone says HAPPY B-DAY 2016 but what it really says is:


Imagination creates the fun

How do Scrabble dice become marshmallows? Or little counting bears become candles and assorted toppings for a cake? With Tatum, she turns the most basic object into a thing of extraordinary wonder.

She made me a birthday party with all the trimmings. The table was set, and the cake was ready. She even had these little assorted lego blocks which became various pieces of candy.
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I felt so special to be invited! John, her imaginary friend, was there too. She made sure he had plenty of cake and candles.


Thank you, Tot. You are a lovely hostess!

Who is spoiled?

Tatum’s mommy. Doug did it again. He completely wowed me over with a birthday party that will be hard to top. How did he do it? Hiring the best event planning company? Going to the top caterer in the valley? Neither. He did it all by himself from the invitations to the cake. Who does that!? And even includes my friends and family… awesome.

When I first arrived, two pink heart balloons welcomed me. IMG_3298

Then I came inside and his dear friend Ted was slicing watermelon as Doug finished the beef brisket which was cooking all day and prepared the day before. He took the day off before the party so he could get everything done. I think he just wanted a day off and needed an excuse, but don’t tell him I told you that!

Seriously, though, the setup was impeccable and the guests would be well taken care of. My buddies started to arrive.

Suzy Q (Susan) got her margarita and I got her to give me a big smile…Love you sister!IMG_3301

My buddy Denise who I just adore. IMG_3308

and hubby PetroIMG_3312Doug making sure the beers were ready to grab.

Sharon and Andy

And I needed a shot with my dear friend, Sharon.

And hooray! Kelly (my cousin) with Nyla and Levi….they’re getting so big!IMG_3320 IMG_3321 dear friend



and her hubby, Ethan. …love these two.

Family of Doug’s came: Craig (bro), Darlene (mom), David and two daughters, and Andy (Craig’s son)

the spread was beautiful outside on the patio..

Terri and Leti and more friends in the dining room



Waiting for the cake on the patio. We all wanted to just move in because of this gorgeous back yard. 20160514_203818_resized
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Telling us about this cake…he totally made it from scratch. Vanilla frozen yogurt with pecan crust and dark chocolate. Cupcakes, you have lost first place. EVERYONE salivated over this. Good thing he didn’t leave it in the back of his car too long.


Baby, I love you. Thank you for making my evening so very amazing. I can’t imagine a nicer more special thing to do for girl. You make me feel like a queen.20160514_210135_resized