Monthly Archives: December 2013

The beginning of a decade

I know it’s the end of the year and doesn’t seem like the beginning of a decade…

But for this guy:

Christmastime 2013 033The 30s began last week!

We had such a fun month of counting down and celebrating Joel 🙂 (It’s pretty easy to spoil someone who deserves it!)

He truly is the most amazing man I know.

He’s diligent about seeking God’s heart and striving to be obedient to Him

He desires to treat me and our children with the respect, love, and discipline we require as his family

He sets an example with his humility

He serves us even though we don’t deserve it

He loves us when we are unworthy

He’s my best friend and my favorite person to spend time with in all the world

I’m so blessed to be his wife and thankful that he is my husband!

Christmastime 2013 030

From Thanksgiving to New Years: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!


Browse around…

As always, loving The Better Mom today about challenging me with the reality I AM CONTAGIOUS: everything about me…my attitude, my facial expressions, and most importantly, my attention on (or off) God.  I am always desperate for encouragement, challenge, accountability, and the surrender to correct thinking…so thankful for how God uses many avenues to deliver it!

This ADORABLE childrens play of The Christmas Story (on Ann’s blog)

Men experiencing what it is like to have contractions. Hahahahaha

I’m so excited to start this marriage devotional from The Unveiled Wife for the month of January with my Late Night Bible Study Girls 🙂  Joel and I did a month long marriage challenge back in April and I feel like I could write (well, probably talk) a book about what we learned, what we changed, and how God has blessed so many areas of our lives from the transformations that happened that month!

Have anything to share that you’ve enjoyed reading about, learning about, or watching today?!


Alone playtime

I recently posted about Sully’s introduction to Blanket Time in our morning routine

Once we had that settled and squared away, I began implementing Alone Playtime for him in their room

Basically, he spends a chunk of time playing alone in his room and he can’t leave (notice the gate)Thanksgivingish '13 030

This is to teach him independence and contentment and also gives me time to spend alone with Mylin or getting chores, (blogs…), or some rest in.  AGAIN, this will be a very helpful tool when we have our newest member arriving and he will be taking up so much time nursing!  I’ll be able to focus and rest calmly with him while the kids can be in a safe space, playing happily!

I was nervous to begin this practice (it takes over his time he used to spend taking morning naps, which we stopped last month) because with Mylin, it was so difficult to implement successfully!  I struggled (like most parents, probably) with consistency and knowing how much to expect of my children.  So when she was 18 months old I kept starting and stopping alone playtime for weeks and maybe even months!

However, with Sullivan, I was confident, determined, and knew my windown of opportunity was small since I may not have been able to have the energy and focus to do it if I waited until baby arrived!

This is how we implemented alone playtime:

1. Make sure room is safe for child and has some toys/books/animals to play with

2. Put on a c.d. (we use the exact same one every day) that is only used for alone playtime

3. Prep child that he is going to do a great job playing by himself and mommy will be back soon!

4. Kiss, hug, and smile as you put up gate and walk away

5. Know that child will probably cry nonstop until you return, so keep these first few times short: about 10-15 minutes

6. Come back; kiss, hug, and smile as you tell your child, “you did so great at alone playtime!” and join them in their room to help them pick up and put away everything they got out

7. Keep repeating steps 1-6 and eventually lengthen time as they begin to not cry the entire time (but know they may still cry a lot)

8.  Work up the time to whatever suits your family and schedule best (we will have alone playtime usually 40-60 minutes per morning)

I accidentely made the transition for Sully very easy from the crying-for-15-minutes to happily-playing-for-60-minutes.  One morning, I decided I would clean the upstairs bathroom while he was in playtime (Mylin still does playtime too, she is in the nursery now, where I have placed just a few toys for her, since she shares a room and toys with Sully).  Since he could see me doing this from his doorway, he didn’t cry and began moving back and forth from his doorway into his bedroom playing for a bit, and then back to check on me.  Before I knew it he completely ignored me and was happily sitting in the rocking chair with books.  I was astonished!  From that day on, he will contentedly play in his room without crying for any length of time (within reason)!

If this sounds like it would fit your family, or something that you need to fit your family – I highly recommend it!  Ask me any other questions and I can hopefully explain this to your further!

What do you have in your mornings that is necessary in order for you to have a schedule/routine, consistency, and opportunities to teach your kids character?!  I am always looking for ideas!



Growth Chart

Little Mister is 18 months old!
He is repeating practically everything we say – even to the point that about a month ago we started writing down all of his words in preparation for his 18 month check-up, but by the time it came, there’s no point! He’ll say many regularly and correctly, but most of the time he just repeats anything that Joel, Mylin or I say 🙂

Thanksgivingish '13 003(Can you spot the photo-bomber in the background?!)

He has really begun to love having a ‘baby’ to carry around (a bunny, in most cases) and rocking it, craddling it, patting it’s back, and kissing it.  In the above picture, he was wearing it in his own little sling!  Such a nurturer, just like his big sister – which makes Mommy so happy for the (very near) future when he really will have a baby to love on and nurture!

Anyways, we recently finally finished a project we’ve been wanting to complete since he was born: A Growth Chart!

We were gifted one for Mylin in our family Christmas homemade gift exchange, when she was 6 months old.  So Joel bought the ‘ingredients’ necessary to create one for our little Sully-man!

Thanksgivingish '13 001

Thanksgivingish '13 004Turned out pretty cute, right?!

Now that we finally have that one done…we need to get another one made for the little man’s arrival in just a few short weeks…I wonder what name will be on that board?!