Unsatisfied Fox

When I sit in Tot’s room, I happen to face the wall with the fox on it. It has been an unsatisfactory experience because I did not like the way I put the verse on it.  It was too dark and not balanced with his tail.

So I fixed it and made it lighter and more balanced on the picture. (I think at least!)


Now I can relax. (at least until the next inspiration!)

Visiting Palo Verde Middle School

Today I had flashbacks of all the years I taught Middle School in West Side of Phoenix.

I was invited by on of my students, Barbie Firkus from GCU, to come to her class. She teaches the refugees at Palo Verde Middle School where many of them attend. She has about 28 students in two different classes representing about 20 countries ranging from Syria to the Congo. Every Friday, she has Firkus (her last name) Friday, so today I was invited to come in and read to her students.  I decided to bring Tatum.

When we arrived, they led us to the classroom with  fancy visitor badges. Walking through the school reminded so much of my teaching days. I miss those kids! They were all so well-behaved, and I know that in this environment, that can be a challenge, so I give such kudos to the school and all of their hard work.

We were welcomed with a sea of beautiful foreign 13-year old faces and a nice sign.

I chose to read them 

It’s a lovely story of unconditional friendship and the danger of gossip. 

After, Barbie (Miss Firkus) had them make some friendship bracelets. We discussed to book too as we shared the importance of kindness. She definitely models this.

Tatum made a few!

We thank you, Barbie. You are a dynamic, amazing teacher, and I’m so honored to know you. You can tell they love you to pieces. You are making a difference in their lives, and they’ll never forget you. I know I won’t. We felt so welcome!


We did see Ody-sea!

From my sweetie for Christmas, I received tickets to the new Aquarium in Scottsdale, Odysea.  And what a sight to see!!! We decided to go on a Tuesday and miss the crowds; we were smart.

Doug met us there!


Our first stop when we got in was the bathroom. There is no mirror in there. Why? Because it’s a huge window into the aquarium. Many sharks joined us as we washed our hands. Cute little guys, aren’t they?


Up we went to the first part.

Turtles. I find them adorable in all of their slowness.

Only to then find the alligators. They were sleeping and we could not get them to blink; yes we tried.

And guess who else was sleeping? Wait, a sloth was sleeping!? We knocked reeeeeally hard too! Nada.

So, off to see the birds. Yes, at an aquarium, they have toucans. Two, actually. Ricky and Lucy.

I had a moment with (I would think, Ricky?)


Tatum and I had to discuss what book we saw Toucans. Puffin Pete, Tot!

Onward, soldiers. Let’s find those penguins. But first, the piranhas. Do you think they would enjoy the Tot for a snack? EEK!

Tot had a moment now with this huge catfish. I think she was measuring.

The otters were a warm-up to the penguins. They were all cuddled up at the window trying to see Tot.

Seriously? A spatula fish? That is quite the rostrum.

How would you like to have a nose shaped as a kitchen tool?

Are we at the penguins yet?

Nope. We have anemones to pet. I had to start.

Penguins now?

He’s talking to us. Such a friendly fellow.

Tatum then wanted to measure. But where did she go?

No, you are taller than them, Tot!

They  had a fancy fountain which you could manipulate. That was so fun. And wet.

Remember Light Bright? How about a life size one!?

Off to see the octopus! Doug called him Mr. Tangley. He was definitely leggy!

Next we just enjoyed seeing the various colors; honestly, God is so creative.

We enjoyed the 3 D about the humpback whale and the living carousel. I was in awe of the beauty of the sea lions too. Just like little missles underwater. Such grace.

The focus started to wane once Tatum whispered, “Mommy, can I have baby?”

All things STOPPED> WHAT!!???? Baby! Thank Jesus that Doug had pictures so we could look through and see the last place he was with us. The beginning!! SO we retraced our steps back to the entrance and guess what!? Someone turned the little buddy in!!! Praise the LORD. I think we’ve lost baby at every attraction we’ve attended. You think I’d ask her to keep him in the car. Sheesh.

Well, we ended up just leaving then and sweet Doug bought a membership so we could back again VERY SOON. (and not rush!) Hooray. I will bask in it since the ocean and sea life are my happy place.

So much fun. Thank you for treating us, Honey. XO

The cough has won vs. dance class

When Tatum gets a cough, she gets a COUGH!!! It takes over her day, night, and activities. It also takes over my sleep.

Well, today was no different. Incessant coughing.

She could not possibly go to dance today, soooooooo what to do!!???
A craft of course!

I had purchased some cupcake holders, pipe cleaners and construction paper. OH, and who could forget glitter glue? A real hit with the Tot.

First, decorate the cupcake holders with dot paints.

Then make rain with the glitter glue!

Now, add the pipe cleaners for the handles.

Tatum made a storm!

Tatum didn’t cough once while making her storm.

Maybe the flowers will come now! We can only pray.

The fox found a home

on Tot’s wall!

Oh boy, this was a doozie of a design to draw. I was inspired to draw this fox after I saw it on a greeting card. Then, it was me, the fox, and my pencils. Well, and my DOUBT. I think this was the HARDEST yet since it required me to draw SNOW!? How do you do that?

First, the outline.

Then try to leave out the white spots. Mind you this is weeks of work in between.

Ok..more here

(the top is the copy of what I was drawing)


Top is mine. Darken and shade. SWEAT BEADS on my forehead.

I have to end it now! I’m done with him.

I get him color copied, put a verse that fits him:
“My God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16: 1-2)

Then frame the little guy.

He’s going to live under the babies.


Not sure if I love the black wording, but it will do for now. Our fox has found his home.

Nanette’s Baguettes and Tot’s class

Today was Tot’s turn to bring snack. That means she is:

  1. Line leader
  2. Book bringer

I asked if I could come in and read and they said how about today!? So I agreed!

I came in and pulled out all my tricks for engaging the little ones.

We read Nanette’s Baguettes!

They all laughed and virtually enjoyed a crunchy baguette! YUM!!! I hope they all go home and ask their mom for one. CRUNCH!

They were mesmerized, but more importantly, Tot was right up front so proud. It was such a joy for her to be proud of her mom.

I loved being a part! I can’t wait to do it again, my sweetheart. XO

Did you know, Mommy?

Today while we were driving, Tatum said, “Mommy? Did you know that God is our shepherd? He’s also our Doctor. And, mommy, he’s also our Father.”

I told her how right she was!!! So right! He loves us so much.

It was a fleeting, passing comment as she often makes while we are in the car, but it was one I did not want to let go. From the mouth of babes.

She then sang to me: There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning! God loves us!

And so it goes. My cup runeth over with wisdom from the young one.