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30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 30} The Greatest Gift of All

1 Dec The Reason For the Season

I was reading to Micah last night prior to our bedtime routine, in an attempt to settle his wild soul down.  So, of course we were reading, “Where the Wild Things Are.”  It was adorable to hear him repeat Max’s phrases, “Be Still!” and “Let the wild rumpus start.”

And as I sat tonight trying to settle my soul into this special season that is upon us, it instead felt like the world declaring, “Let the wild rumpus start!”

For many, the rumpus of the Christmas season began the very night we give thanks for all we have.  What better way to reflect on our abundance of blessings than to rush out and get more, right?  I don’t have a problem with those wanting to get a jump on giving and save while doing it, but the retailers pushing it earlier and earlier is just ridiculous.  I just avoid it all together!  Was the Dollar Tree even running a Black Friday special?  That’s where my DIY gifts will hail from!

We are in a consumer society that teaches us to want more, need more, and be satisfied with none.  Trying to teach little ones what Christmas really means is tough.

I am all for passing on Christmas traditions from childhood, Santa, gift giving, and The Grinch.

But I am all about the greatest and first Christmas gift, Christ.

To be cliche, He is the reason for the season, in this heart and hearth, and I hope in yours.  There is nothing better to give or to get than the FREE gift of God’s grace, wrapped beautifully in swaddling clothes, and delivered in the humble form of His son, Jesus Christ.

But I’ve been struggling on how best to deliver this message to my children’s hearts (and ours) without robbing them of simple, fun Christmas magic and joy that comes in many commercial forms ….

Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart { Days 27, 28, & 29} Moments of Joy, Melodi, and Mom

30 Nov

Let me start by saying I am not thankful for being sick the week after Thanksgiving.  I am especially not grateful that my sweet baby boy has been sick as well.  Horrible cough, fever, congestion, and draining, double ear infection makes for a miserable baby and miserable mommy.

I am however, grateful for access to good healthcare, doctors, and medicine to help alleviate the illness crud that has kept our family sick on and off for almost 3 months!

YUCK!

So, I have fallen a few days behind (again) in my thankful posts.  Let’s catch up, shall we. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 25 & 26} Gratitude and Grace

27 Nov

Yesterday was a beautiful, holy day.  Despite waking up from too little sleep with a throat that was on fire and a head that felt like an elephant was sitting on it, the day was wonderful.

We celebrated this little guy’s baptism at our church.  Yes, I cried.

My littlest tiger after his baptism

Papa Tiger performing the baptism

Yes, yesterday was awesome, despite feeling physically lousy.  We celebrated with family and rejoice that our son, Kasen, is baptized and covered by God’s grace.  We would need that grace. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 24} Boomer, Baptisms, and Blessings

25 Nov keep-calm-and-boomer-sooner-13

The past few days have been a fantastic blur of family, friends, and some awesome bedlam football.  I am so incredibly grateful to be able to be close to family.

Our sweet baby boy, Kasen, has also been sick the past couple days and that has made for a very tired mommy and daddy.

I think we kinda look like the walking dead a bit, but The Hubs looks wayyy better on less sleep than me.  Life is so unfair sometimes.  Eh, whatcha gonna do?

I guess I am going to attempt to get some beauty rest before the wee one wakes, which should be in less than 3 hrs if sick patterns hold.

So, in order to get my tired behind to bed and keep up with the thankful posts, here is a quick list of what I am grateful for today. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Days 19-23} Cousins

21 Nov

I’m cheating a bit this week by not posting every day, but it’s been a busy week and will just get busier with Thanksgiving on the way.  Hopefully I can get a little grace from you dear readers?!

When I started thinking about what I was grateful for this week, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of blessings in my life.

The boys and I took a quick day-trip in to Broken Arrow on Monday to visit family who arrived in town for Thanksgiving.  It was a wonderful day filled with lots of laughter, good food, and great company.  And it was a mere preview of what Thursday and Friday will bring.

This was one of the many reasons for laughter. Kasen was styling in the stache

I have a HUGE family, and so many people I am incredibly thankful for.  So, instead of doing a post for individuals (not enough days, what if I leave someone out?!) I am going to try and sum up the joy that my family brings to my life, specifically, cousins.  Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 10} More Time

11 Nov old-fashioned-antique-oversized-pocket-watch-wall-clock-39

It’s 10:30 Saturday night.

I planned on getting so many things done today.

Then it took me TWO hours to fall asleep, I was on night-shift with Kasen, and didn’t actually get some sleep until after 5am! So my day didn’t start until 10:30.

Not what I had in mind.  I guess I should have gotten up and done something when I couldn’t sleep at 2am.  Meh.  Nope, I lay in bed, trying to clear my head and let slumber sweep me away.

10:30 and way behind, so I did a quick, condensed work-out in the bedroom, freshened up (yep, no shower to save time), threw on a hat and some make-up, and gathered some DVD’s that were overdue at the library.  EEK!  I then begged Micah to go on a Mommy/Son date with me; library, McDonald’s, Walmart.  Who wouldn’t want to go?  My 3 year-old son, that’s who.  He told me no.  He wanted to stay home with daddy.  I begged/bribed a few more times.  No dice.  I left.

I received a phone call about two minutes later, just as I was pulling up on the library (small town folks).  Micah sweetly asked me to come back home and get him.  Daddy must have guilt-tripped our little monkey. Continue reading

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 5} Road Home

6 Nov

I am late in posting my fifth day of gratitude, but for a good reason.  The boys and I made a spur of the moment day trip back home to Broken Arrow, OK.  I didn’t take my laptop and even though I have the WordPress app on my phone, I’m not a fan of actually posting from it.

I was busy anyways!

I had a similar view on my drive home

I interviewed for a job last Tuesday and I am supposed to hear back sometime by Wednesday.  I am not great at waiting on those results.  Instead of trying to entertain both boys while my mind was racing at home, I decided a quick trip in to see family and maybe a friend would be a great way to spend the day.

It was!  The boys got to spend quality time with their Mima (great-grandmother), I had lunch with a friend from school, and we had a family dinner out with the larger, extended family, which included 4 dolls under the age of 4 to love on!  It was a long day, but it was a huge blessing as well.

As we pulled in to the driveway at 10:20, both boys exhausted and my eyes drooping, my heart felt lighter and I was thankful to have family close enough to visit on the spur of the moment (even if it is 1 1/2 hrs away!)  The drive isn’t bad and this time of year is lined with my favorite view of gorgeous fall foliage.  It was quite relaxing.

So, I may be a day late, but I am extra grateful that I can travel the road home and be welcomed with loving arms whenever the mood strikes, at least for now.

Gracefully~~Heather

 

30 Days of a Thankful Heart {Day 1} To Good Health and Happiness

1 Nov Micah on his tree at three

November has long be regarded as the month in which we reflect on thankfulness.  Family, friends, and lots of delicious food.  What isn’t to be thankful about those things?

During this month, I will post everyday on at least one thing or person that I am thankful for.  The posts may be short or long, but they will all be straight from my heart.

Here we go….

Day 1~~Health and Happiness

We recently took a day trip in to Broken Arrow to surprise my mom for her birthday.  I made sure to pack the camera and come cute clothes for the boys because we were also going to try to swing by a pumpkin patch and capture some perfect pictures.  Right.  Do things ever go according to plan with children in tow? Continue reading

10 Scriptures to Soothe Mommy’s Soul

24 Sep Harried Heather at the end of my rope

(Fair Warning: This is a lengthy post.  My lack of posts has built up and is now overflowing.  Read it through…it’s worth it.  I’m also biased!)

Yesterday (Sunday) is often considered to be a day of rest.  Sabbath.

Not so in my world.

We are a ministry family.  My husband is the senior pastor of our church and that means Sunday is a work day, and not just for him.  I’m currently the children’s ministry director and even when I am not teaching on a Sunday, I am checking in with leaders, counting little heads, hands, and hearts, and collecting the change in our Children’s Change Jar.  By the time the service is over and we have fellowshipped with as many congregants as possible, chased our almost 3-yr old son  all over the sanctuary (altar rails, chairs, stage…), and consoled our now cranky almost 4-month old, we are wiped out.

But the day isn’t even over!

If it’s a good day, I will have a delicious crockpot meal simmering in the slow-cooker.  The scent will tantalize our tastebuds as we drag in through the front door.  We can sit and eat in relative relaxation for a little bit, but let’s be honest; we haven’t had a relaxing meal on a regular basis in almost 3 years.  Hmmm, why is that?

If it’s a fantastic day we will splurge and endure the craziness of eating out with two children under the age of 3 and indulge in Mexican food.  Pass the salsa and chips please!

Yesterday was a good day.

I had dinner on low and slow in the crockpot so we had gourmet turkey sandwiches for lunch.  Micah (the 3 yr. old) wanted PB crackers and squeeze fruit.  He ate the fruit and pushed the crackers around his plate.  He was hungry later.  Not surprised.  All was normal and even calm in the Tiger house.

Then it was time for naps.

It needs to be said that Sunday afternoon naps are a sacred and time-honored tradition that Aaron and I treasure and have made a priority in our relationship for the past ten years.  Come hell, high water, or a second kid, we will have our Sunday nap.

Unless there is a football game on.  Or a ministry meeting.  Or a family function.  Or a preschooler with a stubborn streak a mile long.

You get the picture though.  We don’t just like our rest.  We NEED our Sunday refueling nap to sustain us through small groups, meetings, and any other church event that might be scheduled.

Aaron took Micah back to his room to settle down for naptime.  I was nursing Kasen, ready to swaddle that little bug and get him drifting off ASAP so Mommy could settle in for a long Sunday snooze.

Both boys had other intentions.

Micah dug in his tenacious little heels and refused to settle, sleep, or even stay still.  I was tagged in to take over for Aaron.  Kasen was handed off smoothly with no fumble.  Micah cared for the change in coaches about as much as the NFL is loving the fill-in refs.  He yelled, he screamed, he kicked, and he flopped.  If the Emmy’s handed out an award for Best Dramatic Tantrum, he would have it in the bag.

We ignored him.  We talked calmly and soothingly to him.  We carried him back to his room and shut the door (that does not have a lock?!) I held him tightly in a loving hold to stop the flailing. We gave him options.  We attempted to reason, reward, cajole, and bribe the child to stop throwing the fit.  We FAILED!!!

I even attempted singing a new temper song we had learned just that morning watching PBS’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, even though I knew I was messing the words up.  “I’m so mad I could roar, but instead I’ll count to four.  One. Two. Three. Four.”  Something like that.  It even seemed like that was working.  Until it wasn’t.  The fit resumed in full force after a few calmer, shuddering breaths.  I should have sung the song to myself a few times.  After a slap in the face (my face), elbow to the stomach (yep, mine), and a scream in the ear (mine too), I lost all my patience and my mind for a moment.

Savage Mommy Tiger roared.  Right in the face of her little tiger cub.  Continue reading

Fall Frame of Mind

22 Sep Fall at Highbridge in KY

It’s official!  Fall is here!  According to the calendar it is the first day of Fall, and my heart is so happy.

A gorgeous Fall picture I snapped a few years back while living in KY.

Of course, I am ready for Fall to arrive as soon as September begins.  I want to break out the pumpkins, hang the Autumn wreaths, snuggle up with some cider and watch the leaves change and flit from the trees.  However, all good things take time, and Fall is certainly taking its sweet time appearing lately.

Fall temperatures should never reach into the 90’s and God forbid, triple digits, yet I’m afraid those days are not totally over.  Despite the drought this year, the recent rains have allowed trees and grass to green up once again, and there is hope for beautiful Fall foliage.  This time last year most trees had already turned brown and were losing dead leaves.  I’m ecstatic at the thought of driving down the highway and actually seeing the color-changing leaves in all their Autumn splendor.

There is just something about this time of year that speaks to my soul.  The air is crisp and cool, the scent of pumpkins and apples mixed with spices swirl in the air, and it’s time to break out hoodies and cozy blankets and snuggle up at football games.  Perhaps it is Autumn that pumps in my veins as an October baby, and fills my harvest heart with joy.  Fall causes me to slow down, reflect on life, and just breathe it all in.

I was reflecting on the beauty of Fall yesterday and all it causes me to think and feel, and I realized that my view on life seems to shift when Fall arrives.  Just as the trees, flowers, and animals begin to prepare for winter during the Fall by slowing growth, storing food, and shedding the old, I too find myself sifting through the chaos the year has stored up.

I find myself in a Fall frame of mind.  I rediscover the beauty within myself and the grace from above as they swirl together, changing the color of my soul.  I find refreshment and renewal.  I find the joy in life again. Continue reading