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Teaching our kids the gift of Giving this Christmas!

As we approach the Holiday Season, I really want to focus on JOY this year.  I want to make the most of Christmas.  One of our little traditions is riding around neighborhoods looking at lights.  Its fun, everyone points, pick their favorites, we laugh and just enjoy the time together.

Kids will be kids and get caught up in the wanting/wishing/hoping for all these cool toys and things they do not NEED but everywhere they look is trying to brainwash them into greedy little boogers.  This Christmas I want to focus on teaching them the REAL meaning of Christmas and giving back.

Below, are several ways that you can give back.

Meaning of Christmas:

We celebrate Christmas to remember that Jesus Christ came to this world, to fulfill a promise, and ultimately gave his life to save us.  We celebrate Jesus’s birth.  My kids can tell you this story inside and out.  A dear friend gave us a book that is great and I recommend to everyone.  You might look at the library or if not, it’s totally worth the buy.

Samaritans Christmas Child-Shoeboxes

Most people are well aware of this organization and what they do.  If you live in the South just about every church participates.  Basically, you pack shoe-boxes full of goodies for Children around the world that otherwise may not get anything.  The people delivering the boxes witness, share the gospel and help encourage those children.  It is an incredible operation.  This year the price is $9 for shipping per box.  For more information see below.

https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

My kids always enjoy doing this.  We get a box for each child.  Then I go to the dollar store, get items to pack and let the kids divide them up and packing however they see fit.  We just did this and the kids had the best time.  We talked about who might get these, and how it could affect their lives by showing these kids that someone thousands of miles away was thinking about them and put love into making this box just for them.

Shoeboxes Samaritans Purse

Care Baskets for Hospice Patients/Family

My mother is a hospice nurse, so I have connections.  She works at a Hospice Home now instead of visiting individual homes.  The families that come in to a Hospice Home usually do not have much longer.  Their families are grieving, trying to enjoy what they know will be the last days or weeks with their loved ones.  What better thing to do, than to bring some cheer to these families even if for just a moment.

These Baskets will likely be more for the families.  I asked my mom and she said things to help keep the family busy are good options.  Here is a list of items you could do: Word Search books, Card Games such as Uno, Snacks, Baked goods, Blanket, Chocolate, Fruits, chapstick, lotion, anything to help make them more comfortable.

While I’m an advocate of creating these on your own if you are short on time or creativity you can purchase pre-made baskets for all occasions on Amazon.

Retirement Homes

Along the same lines as above.  The people here usually want your TIME more than gifts.  They get lonely and just enjoy the company.  Most especially love seeing your children.  I plan to take my girls this year.  We will go with baked goods in tote, 3 happy little girls each with their favorite books, and maybe some fingernail polish.  Old ladies really enjoy having their fingernails painted by kids.  Don’t ask me why, but it makes their days and it takes the nerves out of the kids.  You can even coordinate and have your kids go and help with Bingo Night.

Hospitals

Pediatric Wards, Cancer Centers etc are a good way to show your children that there are people in so much worse situations than anything they are dealing with.  Bringing a smile to their face by giving them a small goody bag/basket is a great way to teach kids and also encourage those sick.

Again, Amazon has premade care kits.

Food Banks

Pick up some extra items next time you are at the grocery store and take to a local food bank.  There is always an increased need in the winter when people are cold and hungry.  It shows that we are trying to help those less fortunate.

Teachers

One of the most underpaid, unappreciated professions.  Make goody bags/baskets to take to teachers at your kid’s school.  It doesn’t have to just be your individual child’s teacher.  The office staff, janitorial, and all the specials get forgotten about.  You could always find out what if anything the PTSA is putting together and offer to help if you do not have the means to do this on your own.  There are tons of cute ideas on Pinterest.

Preachers/Law Enforcement/Fireman

Any public service personnel would love you to stop by.  Bake some cookies and go by just to say hello and offer them a treat.  It will help your children interact with these people in non emergency situations and be a little more comfortable with them.

Spouse’s Work

My husband is military but even if yours is not, have the kids help prepare something and go pass out to your spouse’s colleagues.  It shows them support but also your kids would love going to daddies workplace.

Send Care Packages/ Cards to Soldiers Deployed

Okay, so this one hits close to my heart.  Holidays are some of the hardest times for Soldiers deployed.  They want to be home with their families and can’t be.  Often times they have seen and endured unimaginable things and are halfway around the world thinking no one is missing them or thinking about them.  If you do not do any of the above, PLEASE take the time to send some cards overseas.  Let them know they are NOT alone.

If you do not know where to find this information you can go to a local USO and I’m sure they can help.

Blessing Bags

I started a year or two ago, putting together some blessing bags, and keeping in each vehicle.  When we come up to homeless people at intersections or what have you, we hand out these bags.  I know a lot of people have mixed emotions about giving to these people.  We hear so many stories of people standing at street corners than at the end of the day driving off in expensive cars and totally taking advantage of people.  That is why this is a good alternative.  Jesus says over and over in the Bible to LOVE.  We are not to judge, to question, to worry about whether we are being taken advantage of or not.  I’d rather get to Heaven and Jesus have an account of all the people who took advantage of my kindness and generosity than to see me as a Scrooge.

Items for Blessing Bags: Travel toothpaste./toothbrush, soap, tissue, hand warmers or gloves, snacks/food items, a gift card to McDonald’s or a food place so if they are truly hungry they can get something to eat.)  I also always a card or something with some scripture and encouragement in it.  I have recently added a sheet with local charities and places they can go for additional help.

I'd rather get to Heaven and Jesus have an account of all the people who took advantage of my kindness and generosity than to see me as a Scrooge. Click To Tweet

Let’s Change the Focus

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas of ways to teach your children about GIVING this Christmas instead of focusing nonstop of getting.  Not only will it help your children see that there is more to Christmas than presents, but it is a way we can spread Gods love during this Holiday season.  There are so many people who just want to know they are thought of and loved.

New Phase of Life-Kids will all be in school

I get asked a lot, what am I going to do when Isabelle starts preschool.  Meaning, all 3 kids are at school.  We have another year before that will become a reality, but non the less I’ve really been doing quite a bit of thinking about it.
First off, I work from home so it’s not like I will have nothing to do.  Most people know this fact yet because I am home with the kids, take and pick the big two up from school, and involved in every aspect of their lives, it’s simply forgotten by all.  However, I put in 25-30 hours per week.
This mostly consists of me working when Isabelle naps, and between 8 PM to midnight.  There are not many nights that I go to bed before 11 pm.  If everyone sits down to watch a movie I tend to jump on the computer and do some work.
My hubby is great and has re-arranged his schedule a bit to where he can stay home a little longer in the mornings and lets me sleep till 6:30.  I wake up and he has already woken the kids up, and put me a big fresh pot of coffee on.  He helps with the kid’s breakfast before heading out.  That leaves finishing up breakfast, packing lunches, getting the kid’s dressed and out the door to me.
So, here are some of my thoughts for when I get all the kid’s in school.
  1. I could actually set up a real office and work during the hours they are at school.
  2. Would love to volunteer more at the kids school.
  3. I could get involved in a charity.  I have always wanted to support the USO or other military organizations that do so much for our soldiers.
  4. I know I want to go back to college and finally finish my accounting degree.
Obviously, #1 is most appealing.  I would love to go back to being able to work during the day and actually spend my evenings and weekends hanging out with my family instead of committed to the computer and work.  I love my job, I’m good at it, I am blessed to be able to do it from home and be there for my family.  After 6 years and increased responsibilities/hours, it does take a toll.  It would be great to be able to go to bed at the same time as my husband.
I get sad thinking about all the kids being in school.  We will be entering a  NEW stage of life.  While it comes with many benefits, its also a reality that they are growing up.  No more babies!  I know that we are only given them a short time, in the grand scheme of things.  Eighteen years to raise, guide, and try to get them in the right direction before they go off on their own in this big scary world.
I pick with my kids and say they have to go to a local college so they can still stay with mommy.  Any that know me, know I have still not let my 10- year old go to a sleepover.  I like my kids under my roof, where I know they are safe.  Then we have our youngest, Miss Isabelle who says she is going to build a tree house in the backyard and live there forever.  😀
So I guess this is a little more of a rambling and whats on my heart and mind.  If you are reading this, pray for me.  Pray for the decisions ahead.  I would love to do the same for you.  Also, be sure to hug your kids a little tighter tonight.  To have a little more patience and remember that they are only yours a while.  Ultimately they belong to God and His will be done.  I pray each of my children will come to know and accept Jesus in their hearts.  I pray that He will use them mightily in His kingdom even if its outside mommies comfort zone.  I pray that he will guide and direct our path as we come to this new phase of Life.
Hug your kids a little tighter tonight and remember that they are only yours for a short time in the grand scheme of things. Click To Tweet

Practical Shopping Guide by Age 0-10

With all the birthday parties lately, I have struggled with what to get everyone.  I started thinking, and figured I am probably not alone.  So I wanted to put together something as a quick guide to what to get kids, age appropriate.  This works for Birthdays or Christmas that’s coming up.
Ages 0-1

Infants always need diapers, wipes, bibs, feeding accessories, teething toys, and anything that makes noise.  The little toy phones, shining lights, or balls are an easy win.  Books with lots of colors, pictures, and are HARD are also great.  Do not get paper books.

 

Ages 2-3

This age group is starting to explore and begin really learning and picking up everything.  Color books with the big fat crayons are fun.  Educational books that have lots of pictures and are hard are still good choices here (ABC, Colors, Shapes).  Beginner puzzles with large pieces are another great choice.  If you want something more play worthy, you can always go with sidewalk chalk, BUBBLES, Balls, or even bath play toys.  We moms can never have too many of those.  Dolls or Trucks if you want gender specific.

Age 4-5 (Pre-K to Kindergarten)

This age is really where we are trying to get them ready for school.  Alphabet EVERYTHING is encouraged here.  They make puzzles, refrigerator magnets, dry erase boards, books, seriously, any and everything you can find to help kids learn their alphabet.  Color books are still great as well as BUBBLES.  Why do kids love those darn bubbles so much?  I also recommend books that are more in preparation for school.  Berenstein Bears, Dr. Seuss Beginners, look specifically for books that only have a few sentences per page and still have pictures.  This age kids are usually into specific characters so ask what theme they like and you can always get stuff to match the theme (EX: Kaylee has always been a Minnie fan, so coloring books or other items with Minnie were a bigger hit.)  All else fails, get school supplies.

Age 6-7 (Usually Kindergarten-1st Grade)

Books are strongly emphasized at this age because that is one of the most important things they are learning in school.  As a  mom I really appreciate books that are new to my kid and might help them be encouraged to read.  They need to be age appropriate though (Level 1 reader or if they have letter index A B or C).

Toys for this age group would include: Dry Erase boards, Coloring Books, Primary Journal, and Lego’s.  Girls- Barbie’s, Dolls, Doll Accessories, cookie cutters to help bake, Shopkins or hair accessories.  Boys- Nerf Stuff, Lego’s, Outdoor ball gear, Anything remote control or drone like.

 

 

Ages 8-10

From here on up it gets a lot more tricky.  At this age a lot of kids are really into electronics (IPODS, Playstation, XBox, Ipad etc) and tend to be obsessed with those things.  This age group cash or gift cards are a good go to if you don’t know the kid well.  Again, books are always an awesome gift in my opinion.  I have all girls so my oldest likes Glimmer Girls series now but started with Fancy Nancy or Nancy Clancy, Grandmas Attic is a good neutral series.  For boys book series that are good are Hardy Boys or Magic Tree house.

In addition, you can also go with things like the lego’s are still appropriate.

Girls tend to like Shopkin’s, LOL dolls, Journals, Stationary, Stamping, Fairy Gardens, Crafty everything!  They make tons of easy to select crafts.  Hair accessories, brushes, chap-stick etc will also go over well.  Boys seem to be harder but maybe it’s because I don’t have boys.  I would still say the hygiene gift sets would be good.  Board games can work for girls or boys this age as well as card games, fidget toys, etc.

 

Hopefully this has given you some practical ideas that are not terribly expensive.  If you have any suggestions to add, I’d love your feedback.

My Baby Turned 10- Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!

My firstborn  baby turned 10 on Wednesday.  How in the world is that possible?  Seems like yesterday we were bringing that tiny peanut home from the hospital.  She was a month early and as a result, weighed 4.6 pounds when we brought her home from the hospital.  She looked like a baby doll.  I was terrified I wouldn’t know what to do once I had her.  It’s amazing how those mommy instincts kick in immediately.

She has been on her own timing since day one.  Full speed ahead!  This child is always ahead of schedule on everything!  I was told to expect her to be about a month behind yet she never ceased to amaze the doctors.  She was walking at 9 months old and could talk in complete sentences at a year old.  She has always been a tiny thing.

Allyssa is also a little evangelist.  As a little bitty thing she started inviting anyone and everyone to come to church with her.  Now that she is getting big stuff, she is a little more shy about that, but still very much outspoken.  Just earlier tonight I looked over and she was sitting in the chair reading her Bible.  On her own, not asked, just because.

This little beauty is beyond amazing.  She is growing into such a little lady.  Oh time be still.  I do not find it a coincident that she was born in October which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.  God has an amazing way of making even the small things into something big.  Just another part of His Story in my life.  How this little peanut came to be and we get to celebrate her birth, and therefore the reminder of how she got here, every year.

  • 10 Years Old
    10 Years Old
  • Newborn
    Newborn
    4lbs 14 ounces
  • 1st Birthday
    1st Birthday
  • 2 Years Old
    2 Years Old
  • 3 Years Old
    3 Years Old
  • 4 Years Old
    4 Years Old
  • 5 Years Old
    5 Years Old
  • 6 Years Old
    6 Years Old
  • 6 Years Old
    6 Years Old
  • 7 Years Old
    7 Years Old
  • 8 Years Old
    8 Years Old
  • 9 Years Old
    9 Years Old

 

 

Allyssa wanted to go out for her birthday so we let her pick wherever she wanted to go.  She decided Mexican.  We also agreed that she could have a sleepover with one or two friends.  So last night we had one of her friends from school sleepover.  They had a good time.  We did a campfire, hotdogs and Hamburgers, smores, and cake.  Then Jeremy made breakfast Saturday morning and I had some painting for them to work on.  They really enjoyed being in the woods and with our goats which is where they spent a lot of time.

We decided to get her a new bike.  She had about outgrown her other bike and the kids really enjoy riding their bikes around here so we thought it would be a good idea to get her one for her birthday instead of Christmas when it might be too cold to ride much.  This way she can enjoy for longer before the weather turns cold.

I'd say she's excited. Happy birthday baby girl. #big10 #happybirthday #weloveyou

A post shared by Tannah🐐 (@tannahsjourney) on

 

If you are interested in her birth story you can find it here.

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/07/25/our-miracle-child-long-story/

Teen Valley Ranch Weekend

For the first time in my life, I went away for the weekend without my parents or husband, and took the kids to Teen Valley Ranch.  To some that may sound lame.  However, I should also re-iterate that I got married at 19.  I went from living with my parents to living with my husband.

This was a HUGE deal to me.  Silly as it may sound.  I tried everything to convince someone, anyone, into going with no success.  When we booked the weekend, I made sure it was one that Jeremy wouldn’t have drill.  However, when he got his new position and transferred units, his new drill schedule of course had him working this weekend.  So, while our circumstances were less than ideal, when I commit to something I follow through.

Now, that brings us to our weekend.  I completely stressed over this trip for a month leading up to it.  The thought of driving 4 hours, just the 3 kids and me absolutely petrified me.  I woke up Friday morning, broken out in a rash, horrible stress headache, and my nerves torn to pieces.

I took the big 2 kids to school, then Isabelle and I came home to finish loading the car, taking care of the animals, and doing all the last-minute items.  About 11:15 we headed out, stopped and grabbed some lunch and went to pick the girls up from school at noon.  From there, we headed to my husband work on the way out, to tell him bye.  Of course, it started raining just to make my stress level higher.

He could tell I was nervous, and he told me I didn’t have to do this and I could still head home.  I told him, NO, I wasn’t turning back now.  I knew once I made it there we would be okay.  I was just nervous about driving there, stopping with 3 girls, and terrified I would get lost.  Two GPS’s running and a print out, and I can still get turned around.  There is really no help for me.  😀

We said a prayer together, he wiped my tears, and we headed out.  Of course, I got turned around leaving his work, it was raining, I needed gas, and my head was killing me.  I finally made it to the major highway and was rolling good.  However, when we got about 45 minutes down the interstate, they had a HUGE area of road construction.  Took us about an hour to go maybe 5 miles.  I pulled off and got gas, and once we got past that area we were fine.

The girls did great.  Isabelle finally fell asleep after the construction area and slept most the rest of the way.  I decided to stop at a rest area when we go up into the mountains.  It was beautiful, cool, and much-needed pit stop to stretch and get out for a few minutes.  From there it was easy travel because I remembered where I was and we made it to the camp with no trouble.

Finally There…..

Once we got to the camp we got signed in, and settled into our camp room.  This camp is largely used for summer kids camp so rooms include 6 bunk bed, with prison mattresses, a bathroom and sink.  If you are going, I’d recommend doubling up the mattress pads.  Worked like a charm and I slept fine doing that.  They do have some cabins but the other group had reserved them all this time around.

Dinner was at 6:30.  The kids were starving and they had burritos, chips, cheese dip etc.  It was really great.  Then we had our first session.  How the session works is you come in, do some icebreaker games, then they sent the kids to various places.  Toddlers went upstairs to play, elementary went to the gym for games, songs, and a lesson.  Middle and High schoolers went to Walt Bobs Cafe.  This allowed the adults to be able to have time to calm down and focus on what we came for.

They start out with prayer, music as a time of worship, and then Mr. Greg comes in and does the speaking time.  Mr. Greg is funny, down to earth, well spoken, and really easy to listen to.  He ties stories into the lesson and really drills home the point with scripture.  I should inform you, if you have never been and about to go take a sweater or blanket.  Right before he comes in, he cuts the air down, and its freezing in there.  We went back in March also, and it actually snowed overnight, he still cut the air on.  Not joking!

Our session finished up around 9:15.  They have several things you can do in the evenings, however with it already past the kids bedtime, I let them do the hayride and then we went back to the room.  Luckily, everyone was tired and I didn’t have too much trouble getting them to go to bed.  In case you are interested they have hayride, campfire with smores, the cafe is open, the gym is open, putt putt, etc.

Leave it to my kids to wake up around 6:15 on Saturday morning.  I tried to keep them quiet and laying in bed.  You can image how well that worked.  Finally we got up, I got everyone dressed, and we went ahead and walked down to the cafeteria area.  They really do have the best breakfast.  You can choose from Biscuits and Gravy, Bacon, Grits, Eggs, Cereal, Yogart, and milk or juice.

After breakfast they do quiet time.  They give you a print out to use as a general idea.  This was probably one of the most frustrating times of the weekend for me.  You are supposed to break off into different areas, and have this serious, quiet time.  Isabelle just turned 4 and has NO attention just like her older sister.  Trying to keep the kids focused, engaged, and getting anything out of it was near impossible.  Great idea, and was an awesome time when we went in the spring and I had Jeremy there to help, just didn’t work out so well this time.  It is supposed to encourage you to have family quiet time daily in everyday life which is a great concept.

Here are a few photos following our quiet time.

After that you go back and have another session.  They do the morning session different.  They have a thing called “Word of God, Speak.”  This is a time where the adults come together and worship through music and scripture reading.  It is really cool and an awesome experience.  I would love to implement that occasionally in our church setting.

Then there was an hour of down time before lunch.  The kids played a little putt putt, ran around, and we just hung out for a few minutes.  After lunch you have all afternoon to do things around the camp.  They have amazing activities more than you can possibly do.  We however, took the opportunity to my kids disapproval, to take a nap.  My head was still hurting and Isabelle really needed a nap.  Turns out, Kaylee, Isabelle and I all took a nap.  Allyssa read her book for her upcoming book report during this time.

We got up about 3pm which worked out perfectly because that is what time they open certain activities.  We went and did horseback riding first.  The rock-wall was also a BIG hit.  It was too cold last time we went to much of anything outdoors so this time we took full advantage.  Allyssa climbed to the top of the rock wall twice.  Kaylee got not quite half way up and they even helped Isabelle do it.  Really great time.

The two big kids then went and changed into bathing suits and did the zip line into the pond.  Mommy and Isabelle sat back and watched.  They were not so impressed with this.  Apparently it hurt landing in the water. They needed baths after this so I headed back to the room to get them cleaned up and thankfully Mr. Randy played with Isabelle for a few minutes.

By the time we had done all that it was time for the kickball tournament.  Isabelle and I kinda walked around and did our own thing while the other two played kickball.  Then it was dinner and another session.  We did another hayride and headed to bed.  The great thing is on Saturday Night they do live music in the cafe and its a really great time to relax, listen to music, and just fellowship.  I didn’t get to do that this time but our rooms were above the cafe so I was able to enjoy the music from our room.  That was probably Jeremy’s favorite thing about last time we went.

Sunday we woke up, had breakfast, packed our things and loaded the van, had quiet time, another session, lunch and headed out.

The kids really had a nice time and besides Isabelle running off and keeping me busy, it was fun.  Not very relaxing without Jeremy there but fun.  I was the only one without a spouse I believe, and I was sure missing Jeremy.  BUT….We did it!  I made it work and tried to make the most of it.  Not really much time to sit around and talk and relax like last time.  I look forward to going again next year, with my husband, and having a great family time.  Don’t think I’d do it again without him.

So….if you have been debating going…I say DO IT.  IF, I can go and take 3 kids 10 and under by myself you can do it.  It really is a good time for the whole family.  There are a ton of activities you can do in free time.  WiFi and cellphones don’t work well there so its time to unplug and focus on family and God.  It’s not super preachy or overly dramatized which I appreciate.  Everyone there is very kind, helpful, and relaxed.  Kids can be let free to a certain degree.  It really is family centered.

I’m sure I’m missing some but from what I can recall the various activities are: Putt Putt, Volleyball, Ping Pong, Basketball, Rock Wall, Hiking, Horseback Riding, River Rafting, Zipline, Board/Card Games, Coffee Shop, Kickball, Hay Rides, Campfire with Smores, Cornhole, Horseshoes, Tether Ball and the list goes on and on.

Enjoy the sideshows of photos.  It was so beautiful.  Weather was gorgeous, leaves were beautiful.

 

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Kaylee’s Eye Exam

Today, was a unique day around our house.  Kaylee had her annual eye exam, which meant she stayed home all day.  See, last year around this time she was coming home with headaches daily, irritable, and complaining of blurry vision.  I took her to our normal doctor and he referred her to the eye doctor.

She was prescribed eye glasses that only needed to be worn while reading.  After today’s visit she was given a new prescription, meaning new glasses.  She is a bit far-sighted and he is hopeful she will grow out of the need for glasses.

We are very blessed to have such a caring, and awesome teacher this year.  Her teacher sent home a travel buddy for Kaylee to take with her.  The idea is to take photos with the travel buddy at the eye doctor and then show the glass your adventure.

This made Kaylee go from extremely scared and dreading going, to overly excited.  You have no idea how much this mom appreciates the change of heart.  As you can see below she has the travel buddy in every picture(the first one is in her lap).

She was so excited and allowed them numb her eyes with NO tears.  The lady was VERY impressed that Kaylee even let her touch the eye with the little gadget.  She said she can NEVER do that with kids as young as Kaylee.

It was a really great visit.  Since she is under 10 they had to put drops that numb her eye, not dilate them.  They said she could return to school but wouldn’t be able to read or focus on up close work very well for a few hours.  Well, she’s in 1st grade so I decided to keep her out the remainder of the day as there is no way she would not be having to read or do work.

SOOOOO, we had a fun day instead.  We picked Isabelle up, went and got my oil changed then I took the girls to Sonic.  I let them get milkshakes with their meals (don’t usually).  Came home and played with the goats, rode the golf cart, and just had fun with my 2 youngest girlies.

Poor Allyssa had a big day at school today.  She had a presentation and paper due today on Mt. Elbrus.  She also had to get her book approved for a book report due at the end of the month.  I was not able to go and see her presentation but I know she did wonderful.  She is one smart kiddo.

I must have worn the two little ones out.  This was my view when I pulled up to the school this afternoon.

New Moms…What I Wish I had known

Most women dream of having kids, and what it will be like.  99% of the time those thoughts are on the little bitty baby.  However, they grow up, things don’t go as planned, and everyone has opinions.  New Moms….Top 5 things I wish I knew…..
  1. They grow up!  It’s inevitable, but they don’t stay little bitty for long.  Instead of being stressed over every little thing, take a deep breath, and enjoy those moments as they will not last.
  2. Every child is different.  What works with one child will not always work with the next.  One size, does not fit all when it comes to kids.
  3. Follow your own instincts.  Most people mean well, however, you will have EVERYONE coming at you offering different advice.  This can come in handy, but can also add additional stress to some situations.  Always, and I mean ALWAYS… go with your instincts and don’t let others get to you.  This was by far one of the hardest lessons I learned.
  4. Learn how to say “No”.  This is another lesson I learned the hard way.  When I had my firstborn, she was a preemie, and we battled with breastfeeding.  People would stop by, and didn’t want to breastfeed in front of everyone.  Breastfeeding failed with her and I will always question if I could have done things differently.  Also, I would be asked to do things I usually did with no problem but would have made life a lot easier, and less stressful, if I just said NO.
  5. Don’t google symptoms.  This is self-explanatory.  Unless you are a doctor, don’t try to self-diagnose.  Just take them to the doctor.  My husband swears we personally paid for our doctor’s new doctor office.  I am one of those moms, who take my kids all the time.  We are military and therefore have good insurance.  I’m going to use it.

Now, I’m going to talk a little more in details about postpartum.  3 of the most important pieces of advice I can give.

1. Prepare for no sleep. We know that sleep will be tough going into this.  However, you do not truly understand how significant this is, until a few weeks into it.  I can’t emphasize this enough!  Some people say nap when they nap.  All the better to those that can do that.  Didn’t work for me.  I ended up cleaning up, preparing meals, taking a shower, or doing other needed to do items while she slept.

If you are breastfeeding this is even more difficult.  Even if you have one of those husbands who are extra helpful, they don’t have the equipment to help.  If you can pump and have enough that your husband can do at least one nighttime feeding great.  You also have to keep up supply and skipping feedings will make you miserable.

Anytime, anyone has sleep problems, it will affect your mood, your emotions, and how you overall feel.  After having a baby, you are tired, hormonal, and most likely a little more emotional anyhow.  This can have significant effects.

My firstborn had a horrible case of colic.  I’m not talking a little fussiness.  I’m talking, screamed nonstop, nothing anyone did helped for long.  I remember literally putting her down for bed, and if she slept 2 hours I was lucky.  I spent most the night standing up, bouncing, singing, and swaying with her to get her to sleep any.  It was horrible!  I wish I had a step counter back then.  Everyone wondered how I lost my weight so fast, well let me tell you, it was from never sitting down.  All this to say, I didn’t get much sleep.  I started back work full time 6 weeks after having her.  I would go to work, work all day, come home to a fussy baby, and be up most the night.  The doctor diagnosed her with colic and we tried several different formulas and colic drops, anything to ease her discomfort.

My second child came, and was a happy baby.  My best baby of all of them actually.  However, I struggled sleeping.  I would lay down and it’s like my brain wouldn’t turn off.  I suffered some postpartum depression with her.  Mild, but non-the less.  A large part, I felt was not getting sleep.  I finally talked to my doctor who prescribed me something to take at night, just to help me sleep.  It’s amazing how much getting sleep, helped me feel better.  That and taking walks.  Fresh air, sun, and God’s beauty will do amazing things when you are down.

2. Take care of yourself.  This is so important.  Take people up on their offer to babysit your newborn.  See if you have line up someone to come to your home even, if you can.  Go take a long shower, start some clothes in the washer, go to the grocery store, or go get a pedicure.  Anything that will make you feel better.  I wish I had done this!  If I wasn’t for my mom the first year with Allyssa, I don’t know how I would have survived.

3. Date Night.  When you have a baby, they need you all the time.  If they cry, you go rushing over, even if you are in conversation with your husband.  He still needs your attention too.  He needs to know he is still important, loved, and needed by you.  When your kids are grown, you will still have your husband.  Make sure you are making him a priority too.  Your husband should still be head of the household, baby or not.  Date night is beneficial to both.  It will give you a much needed and deserved break.  I highly recommend, trying to limit baby talk while on your date.  I know, you are rolling your eyes right now, but seriously…. for an hour or two put your spouse first.  Ask how his work is going, what he has going on, where you want to go on vacation to, dreams, goals, etc……

If you enjoyed this Blog Post please comment below, like, and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE…

As always, thank you for reading and any feedback is always welcomed!

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http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/07/24/miscarriages/

http://tannahsjourney.com/2017/07/31/from-one-mom-to-another/

New Scripture Cards-FREE

If you want to receive these scripture cards regularly, be sure to subscribe to my blog.  That way they will be emailed to you, to open and save.  Don’t miss out!!!

I am attaching a PDF file for the new scripture cards.

Scripture Cards-Click HERE for PDF, not on image

Here are also some links to some I’ve found on Pinterest and saved.  I did not produce the below scripture cards, but really like them.

Proud Momma Moment-Raising Jesus Girls

My friends and family know, but some reading will not.  Kaylee, our middle daughter, was held back and did Kindergarten twice.  This was a really hard thing for Jeremy and I to come to grips with.  However, it was by far the best decision for Kaylee.  She did fantastic with Kindergarten last year.  She built confidence with her reading, developed better math skills, and most importantly did not come home crying and struggling. 

The one area, that bothered me was that she did not make good friends.  She had a love/hate relationship with one girl in her class but no strong bond, with anyone.  As petty as it may sound here are the things I prayed non-stop about this summer for Kaylee.

  1. That she was be excited about school, and eager to learn.
  2. That she would make a good friend/friends this year, who would help her grow, encourage her, and be the kind of friend we want her to have.
  3. I prayed for her teacher, and God to put her in the right class for her.
  4. That no one would pick on her about her glasses.
  5. That she would show love/kindness to all in her class.

So, today it made my day, when she jumped in the car telling me about wearing her glasses, without being asked to.  Then went on to tell me she told ____________(a certain child, I wish not to name, that has mental/learning disability), good job, and encouraged him today. 

Later this evening, we went to a birthday dinner for my niece, and ran into her teacher.  Her teacher was telling me how great Kaylee was doing, and how proud she was of Kaylee, for encouraging this same child.  There is nothing, that makes this momma more happy, than to know my child is showing empathy, love, compassion, and putting the fruits of the spirit to work.

We all mess up, fall short, make mistakes daily.  However, my biggest job at this stage of life, is my children.  Raising them right, to love others and follow Christ.  That is a HARD job!  I fail them daily.  I do the best I can to make sure we are praying morning, noon, night, when someone gets hurt, when we hear a need, etc.  We take the kids to church, and our church is more an extended family to us. 

They are raised in church, around fellow believers, and we are active.  I head the fellowship team, my husband is on the worship team, a deacon, and we step in when needed to fill in for Sunday school, or anywhere else we see the need.  I go and decorate the church, and take the kids with me.  Jeremy goes and practices on the drums, and we take the kids.  I am usually cleaning or organizing around the church while he plays around, and the kids are there.  They don’t have a choice but to be saturated in the church.  The church is not the building, its the people.

Our church family is amazing.  When I had Isabelle, we had meals delivered almost daily for 3 weeks.  That was the absolute best blessing anyone has ever given me.  When Jeremy’s mom died, our church stepped up again, brought meals, helped with the funeral in any way we needed, and several came to the service 2 hours away.  When our water pump died on a weekend, we had 2 men from the church come and help pull the 300FT deep pump, and replace it.  The same two men, came and repaired a roof leak.  I could go on, and on.  We are a church of service.  We help each other out.  When there is a need you step in, and take care of people.  I believe whole-heartily, that is what Jesus wants. 

Circling back around, that is what we are trying to teach our children.  Show them how to live for Christ.  It’s not just on Sunday mornings.  We lived our lives that way for a long time.  I am so thankful we have come as far as we have.  I pray we continue to grow closer to Christ, and lead our children in the right direction.  We have a long ways to go, but each day is a step closer. 

I understand, some people do not understand this.  How we can put so much hope, and faith into the unknown.  Something so hard to understand.  I can tell you story after story, about how God is real, and how we have seen and experienced personal situations that can only be explained as God.  I do NOT throw the Bible upside everyone I come in contact with.  However, I do try to show love and respect to everyone.  I try to be a witness by the way I live my life. I try to make sure to instill in our children, that HATE is not acceptable.  We will not condone it, and they will get in big trouble if we find out they are behaving in that manner.  I want to raise Jesus Girls.

I love the quote:

Albert Camus

 

A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom!

When we decided that I would be a stay at home mom, it was a frightening thought.  I was blessed with the opportunity to work from home. While it was supposed to be short term, I am now close to 7 years with the company.  I could not be more thankful for the ability to stay home with my kids, and work at home.

Having said that, it can be ALOT to manage some days.  Today has been one of those days.  I have Management Meetings every other Tuesday morning.  During the summer months, I have been able to do them via conference call. 

Today started out a little unique.  I had to take my grandmother to an appointment.  So, my wonderful hubby made me coffee this morning, and helped me prepare the kids lunches before he had to leave.  He woke the big girls up on his way out.  They came down, I made them breakfast, got them dressed.  Had Allyssa, go let the goats out.  Fixed hair, made sure they had everything ready to get out the door.  We loaded up in the van, headed to get my grandmother. 

School Lunch

I took the kids and dropped them off at school.  I took my grandmother to her appointment, and dropped her off.  While she was in, Isabelle and I, went and picked up medicine, took the dog to the groomer, and went back to pick her up.  Took her home, and came home ourselves.  I quickly tried to get Isabelle all set up with cartoons, a snack, a drink, and plenty to keep her busy for a few minutes.  Not my ideal scenario, but sometimes you just have to make do.  I had to be on my conference call at 10:00.  I called in, did what I had to do, took notes, and kept coming in to check on her every few minutes.  When i was done with my call, this is what I found…….

This kid drives me crazy some days.  She is also refusing to take a nap today.  I’ve put her to bed 3 times already.  While I am trying to have her nap, I’m also folding and putting away clothes.  Trying to do a little work, eat lunch, and pay some bills.

At about 2:15 we will leave to go pick up her sisters from school.  We will get home by 3:30, at which time I will give the kids a snack and get homework done.  Tonight is Isabelle’s Open House for preschool.  Jeremy will be home in time to turn around, and head out again.  We will grab something to eat, head to Open House, and get home in time to get the kids ready for bed.  Busy day!  Once the kids are in bed, I will get on my laptop and do my actual work.  I usually am up until about 11 or so working. 

Some days I really think going back to work full time would be a much easier thing to do.  However, I also know I will never regret spending this time at home with the kids.  When I get old, I will look back and appreciate the time I had with them, and instead wish I had done more for them, I’m sure.

Prayers Always Appreciated!!!!

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