Why I love/do not love Thursdays

Thursdays are bittersweet. Tatum goes to school, and I usually have my mom’s group at church.

We have a nice breakfast together after I get her her daily flower.

Tatum also has chapel at school, so we both get a little Jesus and a lotta lovin’ from our friends.

Then there’s school. Ah…..GCU. A new week starts every Thursday, so I have usually a ton of grading to accomplish, AND a new class for the week each Thursday to launch (and sometimes a brand new class). I also physically go to GCU to teach a cohort class of live students. This means I leave Tot every Thursday about 2:30 or so.

While I get ready, Tatum gets ready to read a bazillion or so books. And she does.

Graciously, my mom watches Tatum for two hours, and then my sweet Doug leaves work early and comes to watch Tatum for the final hours before bed, and then he puts her to bed. We have quite a routine going now.

I always send Tot and Doug a picture and they always send something back to me.

Hi Tot and Doug!


Hi mommy! 

And then I wonder…bandaid on her face? OK!?

Doug has antics with her.

 Did I mention antics?

On his way home from putting Tot to bed, I then talk to Doug all the way home on my way home (if the timing is right). Sometimes I get to talk about my class because they are so awesome. Yes, I get chocolate from them!

It’s a smoothly oiled machine, those Thursdays. I miss the Tot like mad, but I know she’s in terrific hands, and she’s having a great time. Did I mention antics!?


Monday non-madness

Tot came in this morning before the sun to tell me she had a nightmare about a whale. I let her come into my room and sleep with me, yet I did not fall back to sleep. It’s when I get awakened that I’m extra sleepy during the day!

Anyway, I made my bed (as she handed me my pillows), spent a bit with Jesus while she played, and then she told me not to come in her room (she was preparing a surprise. Five minutes later, she called for me, and do you know what she did?

She made her bed (and it is hard because of the million pillows and the way it’s tucked in.

She was so proud of herself and I was too!

Then, after tucking in Mr. Potatohead (yes..for realz)


She informed me that she was to get herself dressed (as she sometimes does), but this time she was pretty adamant.

She then wanted to take my picture and since I was in my morning face, I couldn’t run away fast enough for her to grab my phone. Little cutie pie.

We read the devotion, headed downstairs, and she proceeded to sing worship songs to mom, Coti and me.

“We’re going to sing sing sing, we’re going to shout shout shout praise the Lord! When the gates are opened wide I’m going to sit by Jesus side praise the Lord!”

And so it is. No spec of madness in sight. Where did it go?

Making friends on a Sunday

First, it started out with a bit of volunteering. I decided to be in with Tot in the 3’s and 4’s room so I could get a feel for what it would be like to volunteer regularly. She made many little friends, and so did I! I loved seeing how the kids learn about Jesus. They play in the room, and then they all go into the “Warehouse” for singing, a little puppet show, and a video about the verse of the day. She will definitely learn the Bible at Scottsdale Bible. Also, she will develop a relationship with Jesus the way they stress it.

Then, we headed in the coffee shop to meet Doug and go to the next service.

Goofy goofs!

Aren’t they just so cute together?

Later, Tot and I headed to our favorite puppet theater to see the Frog Prince.

The theme was excellent about a princess keeping her promises. Then she was “forced” to befriend a frog if she was to keep her promise. The serendipity of this was that when she kissed him (because he hurt his toe), he turned into a prince. He had a spell put on him that when he was kissed by a “true” friend, he would become a boy again. She realized she could be a true friend!

She then got to meet and hug the puppets.

We learned about the importance of making friends and being a friend. I treasure our time together because Tatum and I always not only have fun together, but we learn about Jesus’ love and how when that is in our hearts, we can be truly the best friends, daughters, sons, mommies, and daddies. Thank you Jesus!

Four is fabulous

It really is. I find that every single day, Tatum is more vivacious, creative and hilarious!

Today, we spent the day with friends at the Play Place. I had to join in the fun.

Sometimes, it is UP and DOWN. But, when I feel it, I go to Jesus. It’s been so refreshing to be in HIS word every morning, even if it’s short. Tatum finds me curled up on my rocking chair praying and reading. It sets the tone for the day. Then, I can handle the swings…….

The bursts of emotions pumping into our day

And finally, I can enjoy a story she reads to me (or 20). FOR ME and



her kids…..

And when the day is all said and done, the fabulous four year old comes into my room wearing the onesie she discovered in her old clothes, and I’m reminded how much I miss her two’s and three’s, but I sure embrace the four’s.

I love you Tatum Isabella.  (and Pippi!)

Justice, leadership, and sing-a-longs

I witnessed Tatum taking charge today. At the park, there were three young tots (about 2-3 years old), and they all were fighting over a small stroller. Tatum marched right up to the three of them, stood with her hands out and convinced them that they should all SHARE.

Yes, my little Tot has that sense of fairness, and she doesn’t want anyone to be left out or hurt.

Later that day, we headed to a new trail called Horse Lover’s Park. This meandering trail is humongous, and leads right to a little pond. This was our goal. Olivia, Uli (O’s mom), Tot and me all started along the trail. Tot took off running and Olivia yelled for her to stop and wait. Apparently, Olivia is not a runner.

Then, she caught up. Well, Tot stopped and then they were side-tracked with getting walking sticks.

Olivia stopped often to sit and “think” as she would say. Tatum would do the work of Uli and coax Olivia to keep going. It was successful.

Then, the walking stick we found doubled as a …..guess? Tatum turned it into a….

Microphone. It was time for a concert. She told us all to be the audience. Then she would have Olivia come up on “stage” and join the sing along.

Tatum would sing worship songs, and Olivia sang about BINGO the dog. Tatum had us all going with how much God loves us. She was evangelizing to them!!! Love it.

Tatum has the skill of getting everyone to join in the songs, but also to bring them onto the stage! I’m talking PIZZAZZ.

“Uli, now every time I say hearts or bubbles, you clap, OK?” (This is just a sample)

If Uli did not clap, she’d politely remind her.

Did we make it to the pond? Well, not quite, but we did sing, dance, create a band as we walked, and enjoyed the sunshine with friends. Perfect.

Conference, Chicks, Closeness and Communication

Tatum’s class conference was today, so we headed off for school early this morning. Ms. Chris and Ms. Angie glowed about Tot. She is beyond her years in academics, as I knew. My concern was more social. How was she doing? They said she has NO PROBLEM standing up for herself and not letting others boss her around. Of course, she can be a bit “bossy,” but to them they found that to be a strength. To this mom, I want her to just soften the edges and be stern, fair, and share; but not bossy.  All the girls get along swimmingly: Jessica, Eden, Zoe, Eloise, Olivia, and Samantha

Here is her report:

They mentioned her Bible knowledge was exquisite! She loves the stories and always answers the questions. (happy dance)

Letters and numbers all without help.  (I love the “W?”)



SO, then we met a couple of the girls at the park: Olivia and Eloise. The girls played and played. GIRLS sans the drama! Happy dance again!

The moms? We dished about food prep, what they will and won’t eat, schools and silly quirks from our kids. The basic compare and contrast.

Tot and I spent the rest of the day, just her and me. My kind of thing.

Tatum and I….we are a pair. It’s been a process of storming lately. Lots of emotional outbursts and figuring out WHAT will work to not only calm her down but teach her how to handle her emotions and then how to act out/ or not upon experiencing disappointment or frustration. WE BOTH are learning!

Sometimes, an unkind word will seep out of her mouth. We discussed what to do as a preemptive measure so…..

Today she says:

“I thought about what I was going to say and it was going to be mean, so I took a breath and threw it away! I gave it to Jesus to throw away!!!!” Hooray for Tot.

Now, if we could just work on the crying over unnecessary things. Taking breaths and thinking before speaking works. But so does discussing choices with her. We discuss the choices we make create consequences good and bad. So……. to put it in Tot’s terms, when she begins to whine or get that crying outburst beginning, I look at her and say, “Let’s try again and take a breath…think about what you’re doing….” We talk through it.  It’s a process, like I said, but what is happening is our RELATIONSHIP is strengthened through this because the conflicts bring us closer. One thing we do is COMMUNICATE everything out. (sometimes AFTER the situation, but we do process it,  pray and move on)

This is the face I like to see; Free and spirited!



This is my Tot who I adore, cherish, and admire. I LOVE YOU SWEET TOT!