Jumping with Faith

Jumping with Faith

The little blonde girl with her tiny pony tail struggled on the terrain. The boulders were bigger than her little 2-year-old self, laid out end-to-end all around her. The space between some of the boulders were massive voids, with depths too deep to get into without injury. She didn’t look far ahead to determine which path was best. She plodded onward, facing the situations in front of her, tough as it was. The red-haired woman, leapt easily from one boulder to another. She was not thinking of the distance between most of them. The rocks were anywhere from 2-14 inches apart from one another. Jumping from one to the next was fun and easy. She looked ahead as she jumped, deciding which way was best to go. Her 34-year-old body was full of energy, joy, and ease. When the distance between rocks was too great, she simply stepped down one foot to the ground and stepped back up onto the next boulder. If there was water, she chose a different path to stay dry. The location remains the same, but the perspective is different. For my daughter, age 2, it was a tough journey. She’s small but so capable to do whatever challenges lie ahead of her. (Plus, she’s got 3 older siblings to follow, so she must do what she can to keep up!) For me, the mother, it was not a challenging journey. But, I’m much taller, with long legs, and good balance. She’s two. She’s determined, but the journey was tough. In the midst of this, I had a brief look into how God sees us. (How...
Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke

Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke

Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke We were in a dimly-lit, quiet hospital room. Beautiful gifts lay around from the excited grandparents and friends who had visited. My dreams of having a little boy had come true, and I stood beside the crib, drinking in his handsome face. My husband joined me, leaning on the opposite side of the crib. The moment was pure joy. Suddenly, the two new parents, inexperienced and clueless, changed their first poopy diaper alone. I didn’t expect it when a beautiful sparkling stream of urine exploded from the baby, raised in a high arc out of the crib and onto the floor. My husband and I both took a step back, unsure of how to react at first. A split-second later, my mommy instincts kicked in and I used a clean diaper to catch the ceaseless stream. I cleaned up baby, changed his sheet, and cuddled him. If only I could have looked into the future about how many gross things would lay ahead. It was a mere two weeks later. My brother set up my living room with his professional equipment to photograph our new addition. It was the idea of someone to have the new daddy hold his naked baby on his bare arm for a perfect naked-baby-picture. In the middle of taking pictures, my beautiful new baby had rocket poop blast out and onto his daddy’s arm, shirt, and the backdrop. My poor husband, the new daddy, almost dropped our new little baby, because the event shocked and disgusted him. It wasn’t our first or last experience with such grossness. We added...
7 Games for Indoor Winter Play

7 Games for Indoor Winter Play

I have kids that don’t sleep well. I mean, they have NEVER really slept well. So, my goal during the day is to wear them out. Worn out kids sleep better! (It’s true!) Also, when the kids are engaged doing something fun, they are happier. I endorse free play as well, but some days they need direction (and play with Mama!). It is hard to expel lots of energy in the winter, when the wind chill is -20 degrees F and all five of us are stuck in the house. So, here are some things that we do to burn off energy! 1. Play Hide-and-Seek You can do this with any child at any age. My 2-year-old plays and has been playing with us since she was a baby. I’m not saying she’s good at it, but she has a great time! Also, this game has been THE BEST way of teaching each of my kids to count to 30. My 2-year-old counts to 17 by herself. I don’t compare kids, but I think that’s pretty good! I also used to play this when my oldest was just a baby. We would just stay in one room. I would hide and call out to him and let him find me. It was fun! Truth be told: When I’m counting, I’m usually straightening up a room, putting dishes away, or folding some laundry. So, I feel productive, too.       2. Relay Races You don’t even need a lot of space for this one, so don’t let a small house keep you from doing it. The BEST part about...
Creative Winter Fun

Creative Winter Fun

It has been COLD here for the past several weeks. School was cancelled for several area schools due to the extreme wind chill. (-20, if you’re the curious type. And, no, I do not live in Alaska. Or Canada.) We are a family who loves to be outside. So this mama has to get creative when we are stuck indoors. So on a recent cold evening, after a long day of being inside, we played a game that we call “Avoid the Lasers.” I had some leftover crepe paper from a birthday party. So I taped it randomly to the walls of the hallway and had an instant obstacle course for the kids. My kids had a blast. My youngest, age 2, learned that she could get through quicker than her older siblings by crawling along the floor. She had a clear path to the end. She’s small and quick. The older brothers had a response to that. The kids did this for about an hour. And they could have done it much longer! (But someone got pretty cranky and we had to end sooner than the others would have liked.) The tape came off the walls pretty easily when a kid’s foot would drag over it. Don’t get too fussy when the kids knock the paper down. It happens. A lot. Stay calm. Fix it. Try again. Grab that extra crepe paper, a roll of tape, and a few kids and have some FUN. My kids love to design their own course, so do that if everyone is in a good mood! I did this one while the...
The Snake

The Snake

The days have grown cold here. We’ve had drizzle and rain, mixed with cool temperatures. The result is not good. People forget how to drive on the ice, so there have been a fair amount of car accidents. Today, I thought back to July, when it was warm and humid and all our time was spent outside. I thought of a story that I would like to tell. This is about: The Snake When I have tried to tell this story in the past, my 6 year old son interrupts me every time and says, “Wait, wait, wait. Here it is…” So, it is my turn to say, “Here it is.” This is the story of The Snake. It was a beautiful day for July. Usually in Kansas, July is just hot and humid. I don’t just mean hot and humid. I mean melt-in-the-shade, and I-feel-like-there‘s-a-wet-blanket-in-the-air-humid. This year hasn’t been nearly as hot as usual. I’ll take it. Even if it means extra cold days in the winter. I love the warm and windy days we have been enjoying lately. It was one of those beautiful, warm, slightly-windy days in July. My kids had been jumping in and out of our tiny blow-up pool. I set up a lawn chair under the only shade tree near their play area. I looked at the amazing blue sky, dotted with a few puffy white clouds. I sighed deeply. Refreshing. Relaxing. Once my kids were done with the water, we laid out beach towels, blankets, and pillows in the shade and had a snack. While they snacked, I read a chapter-book to them. They...
The Broken Mug

The Broken Mug

The joy of a clean floor I had just mopped the floor. And washed the front of the cabinets. And cleaned under the cabinets Not often do I wash under the cabinets, but once in a while, I do. And it was on this day… My 2-year-old -for whatever reason- grabbed my coffee cup and accidentally dropped it on the tile floor. The cup shattered. The coffee spilled. My little girl was upset. I moved into action quickly and calmly. I moved the upset child into the other room, and she got her clothes changed. I went back to the mess that was waiting for me.   Clean and repeat I could do a whole blog post just listing reasons why cleaning with young children is pointless. But this isn’t that type of post. While I was cleaning, my brain started listing reasons why this situation stunk. This mug was my favorite coffee mug. I used it almost every day. Now, it was shattered into a million pieces. I had just mopped the floor. A clean floor is awesome, wonderful, and beautiful. I love clean floors. So, while I was cleaning the spilled coffee, I was looking over at my still-wet mop leaning against the wall, thinking of all that time wasted earlier. I also thought, “Why do I take sugar in my coffee? This wouldn’t be quite so bad if it wasn’t getting sticky already. That dumb sugar in my coffee has made this mess a sticky mess. Ugh.” These little shards are going to cut someo—OW!   Put on a mental brake! I stopped myself from diving...