My little sunflower created by God

Last month, Ms. V, Tatum’s teacher, told us that the kids would be performing a Creation Play to celebrate God’s creations. She assigned Tatum to be a flower. She was a bit sad because she wanted to be the son, but Anthony would be the sun. So, I suggested a sunflower.

My favorite flower is the sunflower and it’s not necessarily for its beauty. It just reminds me of my father. The last time I saw him, I brought him a bouquet of these bright flowers because they brighten up a room and are filled with joy.

According to, sunflowers symbolize” adoration, loyalty and longevity….. They provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes which mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light.”

I find that Tatum is much like the sunflower in that she is full of energy and joy, brightening up any room.

So I got her a costume and we were ready.

All the kids sat in a line. (note she sat next to the sun, Anthony!)

And it began:

Ms. V started in Genesis 1.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Slowly she went through each day, and the kids stood and said their part.

I’m a little sunflower created by God

Then the sun, stars, dragonfly (closest to a dragon for Ryder), kitty cats (Alice loves cats), cheetahs (they’re just fast and cool! The kids got to pick what animals and bugs to be), Adam and Eve.

Then they sang some wonderful celebratory songs about God’s love for us.

Deliciously delightful. I loved how each child had a chance to speak and present.

We love you, class and Ms. V and Coach Matt!


Leaving for Louisiana means many things. First, I get the opportunity to speak to a group of soon-to-be teachers in Shreveport. It’s an honor to get to fly to a different place and encourage others.

This always lights my fire.

However, with traveling comes perspective. It also comes with noticing many things.

Thing 1: The south truly is hospitable. Everyone from the TSA agents to the hotel attendants are beyond kind. They make you feel special.

Thing 2: What happened to conversation and playing? Cell phones and tablets have replaced eyeballs looking at each other to converse and kids playing with toys. Moms now tote only an iPad and headphones to allow the child to tune out and be completely distracted. No imagining. No creative play. No coloring. Just stare at a screen. In fact, that is pretty much all I see on the plane and at the airport: A bunch of screen-crazed zombies.

Thing 3: I have a very kind, giving boyfriend. He did more than I could have imagined to make sure Tatum was taken care of. He picked her up and took her to his house for a game of LIFE.

She got to take not only a bath but in a royal tub filled with cups and salad bowls. He makes her special meals and gives her lots of love in my absence.

She gets a special cozy bed at the foot of his bed.

She looks pretty darn content.

Thing 3: Did I mention I have a sacrificing boyfriend? He took the day off to make sure Tatum got to school on time and then picked her up for lunch and fun at the park.

I think she’s enjoying herself, yes? I’m very blessed and grateful.

Thing 4: Going away can be good for perspective. When I came home, I couldn’t wait to give my Tot a bigger hug and bigger kiss than usual. Doug deserved a huge hug, but I failed to show my appreciation as much as I should have.

The next day for Tatum and me  it meant the next day, we’d make it a fun day; I’d treat her to a special breakfast at Scramble ….

and a fun craft….

I’m glad that when my Tatum cannot figure out what to do, she chooses to pull out some books, lines up her dolls, and reads.

Noticing is good. I am one not to have my nose in my phone. I tend to notice. Lord, help me to notice more often, and not take anything for granted. This life is but a whisper.

Obedience is a choice

Today, I took it personally. Sure, we train our children up in how they should go, and they should follow every bit of it perfectly, right? Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? (I know better).

If someone told me this, I’d say, well, sure, but nobody is perfect, and definitely children with undeveloped brains cannot do the right thing every single time.

Especially my sweet Tatum!

My sweet Tatum is human and definitely makes the wrong choice sometimes.

This morning when I picked her up fro m her Sunday school class, Holly, her teacher, told me she did not obey today, and it was the worst of the worst today. She did not sit during the lesson, she did not color when asked, and she just did not want to follow directions.

My heart sank. Really!?

The car ride home was pure silence. Tatum kept saying, Mommy, I feel so sad. All I could say to her was, We will talk when we get home. I want to look at you.  

We went right upstairs and sat in her room. I talked to her about why we obey.  Why do we even go to church? Why do we do the right thing? All of her answers revolved around because God loves us and we love Him.

I don’t want her to obey or do the right thing for me or because I tell her to. No. I want her to understand the bigger picture. It pleases God. It makes him happy. It shows we love Him when we follow His direction; when we obey our leaders; when we are kind; when we respect others. She gets this, but she doesn’t always make the right choice.

Well, bingo. We don’t as adults either, but the key is how do we handle it after.
How do we repent and TURN from it and change? We do what Tatum and I did.

We prayed. We asked for forgiveness. We asked for help in changing. We asked for our ways to be like His ways. We also will…NO, she will seek out Holly, and will ask for her forgiveness.

She lost some privileges for the week. Some big ones. But, I think it made an impression on her. I cannot take it personally. I can only do my best as her Mommy. I love that little girl with all of my heart.


This child…It’s amazing how she is growing. It’s hard to believe that she is almost five. She is becoming a little-big girl with a vivid personality. Lively, bubbly, and STRONG. Being her mom is the biggest joy, and I only see it growing.

She decided she wanted to have a dog-themed birthday party. Hoping to invite dogs, we made some fun dog crafts.

Not sure how the dogs would do with cake and treats all over the table. Maybe Max and Otis can come (see above). OK, Mommy. 

Back to what I was saying. Our interactions continue to grow because if ever there is tension or any negative reactions, we “talk it out” as she likes to say. She even is using this strategy with her friends at school. Like I said, the joy of being her mom and watching her blossom has to be the most precious part of my life. I’m honored.


Baby’s surgery

He had an abscess in his little neck.

I told her he would need surgery

We don’t want it to become serious after all!

So, I got my tools: a needle, gloves, and tan thread.

Baby, are you OK?

Good as new!

We love you, Baby.


She swallowed a frog

It appears and sounds as if my daughter has swallowed a large BULLFROG. Her voice is about two octaves higher too. My little Tot has big time allergies.

So, our Tuesday this week was a bit more low key.

We headed to the library and she played to her heart’s content. It is so fun to watch her interact with the blocks and make them into a city.

I picked up a book to read. A few good pearls in this one!

Isn’t that so true!
We headed home for a craft du jour. We decided to make a book with foam pieces. You just can’t beat the fun on this one.

I made some characters, and she worked on the food page. We needed some protagonists and of course a super hero!

Then the antagonist obviously is this scarrrrrrrrreeeeee monster!



We then started our story.

She kept changing the order of events so the bad guy would be taken down by super hero Jackson. She also wanted to add a “Once Upon A Time” piece with a house and tree. You know…..”It was a quiet day and then….!!!!!!!”

Now we are ready for the final  story ending with another clown that looks more creepy than friendly. There must be a sequel now!?

Although it was low key, we had a blast. Voice or no voice, this froggy gal is my choice for a fun day.

I love you and your brain, Tot. XO

Coti’s Life in a game

Tot and I wanted to celebrate Coti AND make a matching game. So, we picked out 30 pics of Coti’s life, made doubles, and got to work cutting and pasting.

Here are the pics starting from his puppiness!

It was just us for a long time..


Hi Coti!!!

He loved his tiger!

Remember this, Coti?

He had a little ahem…surgery

And very puffy!

He loved to surf. ..

Our first Christmas.


And then…..this little bundle arrived. WHO IS THIS!?

And then I had my achilles surgery. He comforted me.

Won’t you play with me???

Tatum will.

She fell for him too.

And dressed him.

And even got a doggie that looked like him.


I love you, Coti.

We love you Coti!!!