How Do You Teach a 6-Year-Old to Love in Action?

how to love like jesus cover picture (1)About a year ago, my oldest son was 6-years-old and struggling with the typical issues 6-year-olds struggle with: selfishness, boasting, being rude…just a me-first attitude, really. I remember telling him that what he was doing was not showing love. He immediately defended himself–” I love you all, Mom!”

That when I realized, I hadn’t really showed him what loving in action looked like. I just said he needed to love.

That’s when I went to the only source I trust for truth and teaching– the bible. I found that famous scripture in 1 Corinthians.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable, and does not count up wrongdoing. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (ESV 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)

So I read it to him.

“What is patient, Mom?”

” Patient means we wait for what we want without whining, crying, or screaming. Jesus is patient with us when we make mistakes. He waits for us to do the right thing without acting unloving.”

“What is counting up wrongdoing mean?”

I realized then, that I needed to come up with a way to explain it to him. So I went on Amazon to look for books on the topic. Nothing but silly stories out there with rhymes and such that never really explained it.

That was when I knew I just needed to write the book myself. So I did. I started writing it that summer. Even started the illustrations. And I used those to help teach my son how to love like Jesus. So I wrote the book. Its called How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents.

It has been a year, and I’m finally back in that book. I’ve revised it. I’ve finished the illustrations (pretty much) in Photoshop, and I”m almost ready to venture into the self-publication stage. But the added beauty to it is–I’ve written 2 more and co-written another 2 more with my friend Kelly. So there is much more to come. And I’ve got a few ideas for even more when I’m ready for the second and third wave of writing. This summer has been a turbo-charged writing session, but I’m excited about where it might go. For my kids. And for others.

I will definitely be thanking my son Kanan for being the inspiration for my first book. And my hope and prayer is that there are other children and parents out there who could use this book too.

What do you find your kids need help in understanding? What books do you use? What books are not out there and need to be written?


Kanan…my little bubba

He is growing up so fast!

Knowledge– He can recognize all his letters and knows their sounds, so reading is right around the corner. He is learning all of his states. He is fascinated with Megalodon, the prehistoric shark and with Tyrannosaurus Rex. He is in preschool and will be starting Kindergarten next fall. We recently just enrolled him in Calvary Kids Club at our church, which is like Awana. He just earned his first patch. Right now he is working on learning about God’s love and forgiveness of us through his son Jesus.

Play– he loves to play with his Star Wars action figures he bought with his own money and these two little ninja fighters he got at the Dollar Tree with his own money as well. He loves playing Captain America on Owen’s IPad and playing Wii Sports like baseball and boxing.

Action— he can run, and loves it. He is learning to surf, skateboard, and snowboard. He learned how to swim this summer. He loves boxing with Owen. He is not a really good sport so we have yet to get him involved in any team sports but we are hoping to get him into baseball maybe next summer.

Creativity— he finally, finally is starting to enjoy coloring! I am so excited! I am not the race-car-driving, action-figure-fighting, Wii-sport-playing type of mom. I can handle about 2 minutes of it and I’m dying of boredom. But coloring, coloring I can do for hours! So I’m really hoping to nurture this developing hobby and perhaps get Kanan to even love it. He has artistic talent in his blood, but his dad had zero….so not sure what the odds are.

Personality—he is a talker and he loves to make people laugh. He is still very sensitive. He has an amazing sense of direction. He knows where everything is at in North County and can tell you where he is at and how to get to where he is going. He is very loving toward his little brother. He can get a bit restless when stuck in the house too long. And he loves disgusting jokes about poop and farts. One of his favorite pastimes before sleep is to let his Mom do “going on a treasure hunt” on his back. He is a pretty good eater, but a much better snacker. He is known in our home for asking for a “little snack” multiple times a day.

Silly stuff— The other day, he got a hold of the scissors and decided to give himself a haircut. So he got his head shaved yesterday.

Kanan is 4!

Well Kanan’s 4th birthday was such a hit and so full of action, I actually forgot to pull out my camera and capture any of it. And given my father wasn’t there, who had he been, would have walked around the entire time with his camera around his neck, clicking away, I didn’t have him to call to make up for my unsentimental mistake. So here it is ladies and gentlemen. I took two photos total. This one is the only one that didn’t come out blurry. Kanan had just blown out his candles on his T-Rex cake and was excited as can be to eat the piece with the T-Rex’s eye.

We originally planned to have the birthday at a MLK park, down the street. But when we slept in yesterday morning and found icky weather, we rushed around trying to work with our back up plan: our friends the Martin’s home. They were off getting tables and chairs for the gathering. Owen rushed to Dollar tree for back up games and table runners and then to Costco for pizza. I got myself and the birthday boy dressed and then grabbed our cake and presents and rushed off to the Martin’s to set up. People were already there, as I the hostess, arrived at the time the party was scheduled to start. So our gracious friends made do with Doritos, and nothing to drink until Owen arrived with the rest of our things. As for me, I didn’t realize the plates and cups were in my trunk and so thought I had forgotten them at home. So our friend Bill raised off to Dollartree again to grab more plastic plates while we used the Martins extras from their pantry. Aghhhhh! I think it was at this point I actually started to tear up a bit from feeling so overwhelmed and so bad. I took a breather outside.

But everyone had a good time. The kids ran around outside playing ball, inside playing with cars and dolls; and the toddlers toddled around with parents following them around. The adults sat around, chit-chatting, debating philosophical ideas, sharing life stories, and acting rather entertained by the children’s behavior.

I believe everyone would agree that watching the children play hot potato was the most entertaining. Children circa four years old aren’t the best of sports. As each child caught the potato when the music stopped, they stormed off angrily, some throwing the potato on the ground and then crying over their loss. By the end of the game we had one happy winner and about five crying losers. I then suggested moving on to Musical Chairs–the parent’s all laughed and agreed–maybe next year. In the meantime, Pin-the-tail-on-the Donkey seemed like a better option. The kids all could see through the poorly made blind-fold and everyone amazingly knew where the Donkey’s bottom sat.

Kanan laughed and played imaginatively with his friends all clad in animal masks after the games. We sang happy birthday, ate a delicious cake made by Albertson’s and decorated by yours truly. My T-Rex’s arms grew way bigger than they should have been, but overall at least looked like a dinosaur in the end.

Kanan loved his presents and cried excitedly with each and every one. Getting him to be patient enough to wait until home to play with his new toys proved a bit more difficult as all his friends were pressuring the alternative. We saw disaster if we gave in. But the Lightening McQueen ball seemed like a safe pick for all the kids to share as the party winded down afterward.

All in all, there was only one kid who peed his pants (on the plush couch) and no one threw up. Only five kids cried, but no one got physically hurt. Parents all walked away still friends and our hostesses still like us despite our lack of preparation for the change of events from the weather. And funny enough, the icky whether did subside, so that it probably would have been a fine day at the park. Hahahah!


Still, Owen and I were happy to be able to throw a party for little Kanan—a special day to celebrate him and praise God for blessing us with his sweet little laugh, his energy, and curiosity. He is growing up to be such an amazing kid with a sense of humor and a great imagination.

Kanan, we love you so much! Happy Birthday little man. And thank you Jesus for blessing us with him. May he grow up to love and serve you and be little light in this dark world.

Interview with Kanan Webb

I had the chance to interview the energetic young 3-year-old, Kanan Webb during our mom and son dinner-date two nights ago, just for fun. His answers were, well….interesting.

T: What is your name?

K: Kanan Christopher Webb

T: How old are you?

K: I’m this many  (holding up three fingers) but when the baby comes then I’ll be this many (holding up 4 fingers).

T: Why is the sky blue?

K: Cuz it is.

T: What color is love?

K: red

T: Where do babies come from?

K: tummies

T: Why do we wear shoes?

K: Cuz we don’t want  them to get hurt.

T: Where do kitty’s come from?

K: from their moms.

T: What is your favorite flower?

K: Green

T: What is your favorite movie?

K: Iron Man and Lightning McQueen.

T: Why do we get sick?

K: Cuz I don’t know

T: Why do we eat vegetables?

K: We want to be big and strong

T: What do you want to be when you grow up?

K: Iron Man

T: What do frogs eat?

K: flies

T: Where does pee come from?

K: from our brains

T: Why do we have cars?

K: Cuz guys drive trucks.

T: Say something in Spanish.

K: Isa sale (with the accent over the e)

T: Why do we take baths?

K: Cuz we’re dirty

T: What is your favorite food?

K: creme cheese

T: What is your favorite drink?

K: milk and dinner

T: Who do you want to marry when you grow up?

K: Papa

Kanan is three!!

Kanan making a silly smile on the morning of his birthday.

Kanan turned three on March 11th of this month. He has grown into such an amazing little boy—so handsome, and smart, and funny. He loves trains, trucks, snowboarding, skateboarding, running, eating pasta and blueberries, and jumping on our bed in the nude. He is very out going and friendly with mostly everyone. He loves girls and he loves playing anything with Owen. He hugs me often and says the sweetest things like, “Mama, you’re soft.”  He adores singing and his current favorite song is “Be a Man” from Mulan. He also loves Ariel’s song, “Part of Your World,” and “Hacuna Matata” from Lion King.

He hates brushing his teeth and learning to do his duty in the big boy potty. He is such a blessing and my heart just swells thinking about him and praising God for him.

Thank you God for bringing Kanan to me. He is such a little light. I pray Lord that you keep your hand on him—love him, talk to him through your creation, and show him The Truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Wakin’ Up Step-Dad

I’m quickly learning that one of the things I despise most in this world is blending with one of the things I love most: waking up and being a dad (or dad-like figure).

Before the gift of coffee

When Kanan starts waking up in the morning he whines for mama. That’s when Theresa jumps out of bed like there is a fire in the house and brings him into our room. He loves that. Actually… I love that too. While we are still waking up he is over there talking and chatting about trucks and trains and says, “Mama, I wanna get up. I wanna wake up now.” Of course, that is code for, “Mama, get up.”

So after a little fighting, he has won. We are up now but we are not watching news, or a sermon, or listening to Itunes… we are watching Boom Chicka Boom (or some other nonsensical name) and Kanan couldn’t be happier. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the coffee to kick in…


kanan caught candy

This is a reenactment of what I discovered. Imagine this with chocolate all over his face and his hand in the candy bag.

Tonight, after an hour-long good night conversation with my husband Owen on the phone, I hung up the phone and attempted to get some last-minute, late night work in before I went to bed. It was approaching 10 o’clock. But then I heard a little child’s voice in my bedroom and realized Kanan was awake. I peeked into the room, expecting to see my sweet little son in his bed with his legs in the air and a car in his hand or something. But no. Instead I found my son, face covered in chocolate, sitting in the center of the floor amongst a pile of empty Halloween candy wrappers, lolly pop sticks sticky and bald, with his hand in his Halloween bag reaching for more. My mouth dropped open. He just sat there staring at me. Then I said, “Kanan, what did you do?” and he ran into his bed embarrassed and started to cry.

I cleaned him up. Brushed his teeth again. And explained to him that he can never do that again. That he must ask me before he can eat candy. And that he can get sick by eating that much. He said okay. It was adorable.

candy eaten

I discovered two more bald lolly pop sticks after I took this photo and threw out the candy.

I cleaned up all the candy wrappers and took the pictures for record. After the last photo, I did find two more bald lolly pop sticks. So all together he ate 7 lolly pops, half of two other lolly pops, a bag of Skittles, and one Reeses Peanut Butter cup. He was up for that entire hour I was talking with Owen, eating all of that candy. our

I learned a valuable lesson today. Never ever ever leave the Halloween candy bag on your dresser in the bedroom. Your two-year-old will find it. And he will eat ALL of it.

Kanan Loves To Paint Pumpkins!

nolan birthday_retreat in Oct_and pumpkin painting 2009 030
Last Monday—Colombus Day, Kanan got a cute little pumpkin from his daycare provider Bobbi. When we brought it home, we decided it needed some color. So I pulled out my acrylic paints, laid out some newspaper, and let Kanan have fun. He loved to dip the brushes in the thick, bold paint and mix colors in ways I never thought possible! Check out some of the cute pics on our Flickr page. Happy October!

Kanan Can Memorize Lyrics!

Here is a cute video as proof. He is singing (with Mom’s help, so excuse my annoying Mommy singing voice) “Are You Sleeping Brother John.” And in the car today, there was a song on the radio called “Good Morning Planetariuim” by Falling Up and Kanan actually sang one of the words at the right part! 🙂 I am so proud. 🙂