4 Things I’ve Learned This First Year of Working from Home

I cannot believe it has been one year since I packed up my classroom at a high school in Temecula and went home to work with my husband. Time has definitely flown by and I have learned so much.

1. Family Is More Important To Me Than Ever Before

Family vacations are so important

Our family at the Grand Canyon during Spring Break

I took the plunge and left my comfortable and safe job of teaching to risk the economical consequences of being home more with my kids. While I still work, being there with them in the morning for breakfast, taking them to school, doing homework with them, and even helping my oldest son with his independent studies once a week has given me a drive to want to step it up. To do more with them. Be more with them. Instead of reading teaching books to improve my teaching, I’m reading parenting books to improve my parenting. I’m reading one right now called Different Children, Different Needs that is just life changing for me. It is helping me see the different qualities in my children and¬†how my words and behavior as a parent can nurture and hurt them based on those qualities. I’m not done with it yet. But it inspires me to love my kids and discipline them differently. We are also setting a two year goal to move all our kids to a hybrid homeschool. The lessons and practice I’m getting now will help me do well when that time comes, if God wills it.

2. Working Alongside My Husband Has Brought Us So Much Closer and More Aligned


Owen and I in our live stream studio for our upcoming show, Power Your Passion.

We have had to spend A LOT of time together. Wow! And with that, we have had to annoy each other, love each other, and communicate with each other all. day. long. It actually has helped us uncover the fact that we both communicate differently. And so we have had to be students of each other in a whole new way than before. Learning our DISC profiles have been incredibly helpful and that is the same tool we have used to communicate better with our children. But let me tell you– having a common goal, sitting together at night both working on the same project, stressing together and rejoicing together over successes and failures in our business has been incredibly good for us. I don’t feel so disconnected, trying to understand why he felt a certain way about his work and trying to remember names of people and such while I feigned interest. He does not struggle anymore with resenting my piles of papers to grade or my long commute home because it is taking attention from him or the family…the list goes on. Through this all, we have also come along side each other in a marriage ministry and are helping other couples become more aligned. That common ministry has helped us become better spouses as well, forcing ourselves to practice what we preach.

3. I’mMore Complicated Than I Thought I Was


I thought that if I came home from work that I wouldn’t be as busy, that I would workout more, that I would be more present, that I’d blog more, and all of that. But I’m learning that some of my issues are truly issues and are rooted in myself, not on my circumstances. I can only blog if I wake up earlier, and I’m still struggling in that department. Sleep wins the argument every morning! I also still go through long phases of not exercising like I should (and with not walking around my classroom all day, it has definitely affected my weight, so I need to fix this). I still struggle with being present and now have reminders set up on my phone, and am working to be more conscious of my tendency to be lost in my thoughts and overly task oriented. The books I’m reading are helping me see this as well. And I’m learning that I create business in my life. I do it to myself. So I’m looking forward to growing in these areas.

4. God is Moving and the Future is Grand

IMG_8285God is teaching Owen and I so much about the power of faith, and opening doors for us in areas I’d never dreamed. Who knows what the future holds but the silhouettes forming on the horizon of the future are nothing like would have expected had someone asked me to forecast the future a year or more ago. We have started a family vlog, are looking at investing into an idea of Owen’s with one of our friends, are getting more marriage ministry opportunities, and more. We are even now working on house projects together to improve our home and planning to hopefully move our family to the Austin area in Texas when Kanan graduates high school. We still have concerns about Owen’s health and with the risk of owning a business, and kids there are plenty of worries, but that is where God is teaching so much about faith and trust. We live by him each day. And no matter what happens, we are trusting in Him and his plans for us.


Summer Blessings

13445400_10154927222784746_4419286371882224395_n (1)After our trial the last year with cancer, it has been such a nice break this summer. This morning at church, our pastor had us look at where God has us right now and where he might be taking us in his big plans. During that time, as I reflected on where he has me right now, I couldn’t help but praise Him as I saw blessing after blessing in His active working my life. I wanted to share them with you and let you know that every single thing on this list has been given to me by God and for God–No one can tell me there is no God because I know Him personally! ūüôā This isn’t an eloquently written post by any means, but its truth and I felt lead to share.

13512128_10154932488199746_4493964367166036115_nSo the first thing is my relationship with my children has grown this summer. When my daycare provider told me that she needed the kids to come in at least 2 times a week this summer to keep their spots open (3 kids is a lot of income to lose for the summer when you are a daycare provider), my first thought was “Maybe I can use that time for me time! I can go to the beach, read a book, take a nap!” And then of course, the other day could¬†be used for business–lesson planning, work on my books, my app, Owen’s business, etc. At first that is what I planned to do with those two days¬†until God clearly spoke to me and told me to use that free day to take one of my kids out each week on a date for one-on-one time. 13415497_10154891369579746_7140565395515364686_oWhile I was sad to lose my lost me time, I knew it was right and also loved the idea. I ¬†knew it was much better and God-glorifying than a me day. So I’ve been doing it and it has been such a wonderful time! James and I went to a movie, had lunch together and chatted, then held hands as we walked to the beach. Kanan and I did something similar, but he actually talked me into jumping in the cold ocean water and body surf with him. Once I got past being cold, I had an exhilarating time. I felt alive! Then Benny and I enjoyed our one-on-one time at Chucky E Cheeses and the Lego Land Water Park. He is going through a whiney phase lately which he still pulled on our special day, but with his bright brown eyes and chubby cheeks, He was easy to forgive. Won’t have time for Scotty to get a date in without causing an imbalance with the boys, but she alrady gets so much attention given she’s the baby. I really feel the boys are the ones who really need that special time. But even on days when we are all together, we have had such a great time going to Balboa park on free museum days, enjoying the refreshing water at the waterpark on hot days, or working in the yard.

Next, when I found out the cost of making an app last year, the marriage app project that my friend Nikki-Marie from TheMomIWantToBe.com were working on last year seemed to feel impossible. I put my focus on my sick husband and teaching and pretty much forgot about it. That is until my cousin came up with an app concept and started successfully crowd-funding to make it. It has since inspired me and Nikki-Marie to do the same and we are now writing the scrip13434815_10154926962694746_32091562682476397_nts and getting the logo made for the campaign. We both strongly believe that this app could potentially save marriages if people use it. What is more God-glorifying than that? We are praying God blesses our endeavors and helps us get the funds to make it. Hoping to have the video filmed at least before I return to work.

Then, we found a new church. And while our old church was wonderful and helped Owen and I grow so much, we are so excited to grow deeper and make more friends in the church community as well as follow God’s lead in where he plans to take us through this next church community. If someone had told me two years ago we were¬†going to leave our old church, I would have kicked and screamed and cried. But over the last two years, God has really prepared my heart for this change. We like the church too so much. Our new pastor has an interactive way of teaching–having us pull out paper and draw concept pictures so we can connect to the teaching as it relates to13442337_10154926961649746_7051367176373135726_n our lives. He teaches verse by verse. We just finished going through the book of Nehemiah and just started the book of Jonah. Seeing how these prophets helped create change in large communities for God’s glory has been so inspiring. While the¬†church itself is¬†much smaller than our old church, the new pastor’s vision is to be very active in the world. Everyone there¬†is really friendly too. The pastor and his wife even took us our family out to lunch and had our kids play while we got to know each other! ¬†We are really excited about his vision for our community and how we might be involved to serve God’s purpose and heart for people.

Finally, Owen and I have been talking about moving to Temecula the last few months. It wouldn’t be for a couple more years, but Owen has been so excited about the move and passionate about the decision.While the idea of living closer to work and being more connected to that community as w13445686_10154927222944746_2781050758264998830_nell as the lower cost of housing was appealing to me, I knew if we did, I’d have to ask my oldest son to choose who he wanted to live with. And I knew he’d choose his Dad. The idea of losing my son has been weighing so heavily on my heart. I have wept so much over it in private moments. Having him every other weekend for material things seemed like such an awful decision, but ¬†When I first brought up my issue with moving, he didn’t budge. I don’t remember how I worded it, but it was brief. So I have resorted to prayer the last two months. ¬†I’m doing a Beth Moore study right now on Believing God and during the study I came to recognize that God loves my son Kanan as well. And he would not want any decision to be made that could hurt him. I felt lead to trust that he would take care of it. I didn’t know how, but he would. Then a week ago, Owen prayed out loud during family prayer for God to let him know if He wanted us to move to Temecula or not. I praised God then because I knew that believe godGod must be working on his heart for him to be questioning the decision and asking God. I thought, I would wait for God to tell him. But¬†a few days ago, I was hanging out with my friend Brianne, who I feel God used to speak to me. I brought up the move to Temecula and she immediately pointed out the concern for Kanan. She suggested I speak to Owen again about it, but I decided to just wait and let God speak to him because I didn’t want to start a fight and didn’t think Owen would agree with me. Maybe God could speak to him through a friend or divine revelation. But last night, I felt God tell me “Why are you waiting for Me to speak to Him through someone else? Don’t you think I could use you to speak to Him?” So I got up the courage to risk a fight and I told him my concern. But I brought up the possible damage it could cause Kanan and our family. Immediately, he said that he never considered those possibilities and that we would not move to Temecula. Then today, he brought it up again, saying that it his job to keep our family together. Yes! No fight. God just worked. He took care of it. He worked on Owen’s heart and worked on me to get the courage to bring up a sensitive subject when I hate conflict.

So right now I am just basking in God’s love and mercies. We are not experiencing any trials right now and I feel so safe.I feel very much like we under God’s canopy of protection right now. It is a joyous place to be. I know that if you are not in a trial that you just left one or about to be in one. We had a huge one this last year. And while I know this middle place won’t last forever, I want to acknowledge it, and thank God for it. I also hope to encourage any of you who are reading this to trust in God. He is so good and mighty!

5 Day Free Book Promotion On Children’s Book–How To Love Like Jesus

download your free copy of How To Love Like Jesus, here.

Click this Image for Your Free Download!

Book Promotion on How To Love Like Jesus: A Guide For Children and Their Parents runs from Monday, May 11th- Friday, May 15th.

Everyone knows that children, God-bless them, struggle with that me-first, center of the universe attitude. And it is our job as adults to help train them out of that mindset so they can be responsible adults who people like and want to be around. While we all struggle with being unloving from time-to-time, children need daily training. And just like us, they each will have their own personal areas of weakness.

  • impatience

  • unkindness

  • rudeness

  • boastfulness

  • delighting in mischief and wrongdoing

  • demands his/her own way

  • hopelessness/faithlessness

  • gives up easily/without grace

  • holds grudges/unforgiving

All of these, the bible says are symptoms of an unloving heart. It’s very normal, very common. It is something we all struggle with in one way or another. But with some great explanations, helpful advice, and funny but relatable scenarios, How To Love Like Jesus works on helping your child come to recognize some of this unloving behavior as unloving and inspires them to being more loving, like Jesus. Instead, they can seek to become the following:

  • patient

  • kind

  • polite

  • boastful in Jesus or others

  • delighting in truth and goodness

  • Selfless

  • hopeful/faithful

  • doesn’t give up/shows grace toward others

  • forgiving

This is a great book for parents, teachers, babysitters, aunts and uncles, and grandparents to have on hand for those little ones when they come around. Not only does it teach them, but they will actually enjoy it. My kids love the book and so many others who have purchased the book have shared the same. This week only, I’m giving the kindle version of the book away for FREE. I just want it out there so people have the resource and can spread the news to their friends and family. If you like the kindle version, I do encourage you to come back to buy the paperback copy. For some reason, kids still love to get their hands on real books these days. And the best part about paperback is that they can open it anytime, without needing to ask if they can hold the kindle reader or other device you have.

Click Here to Download your free kindle version now.

Click Here to Download Now!

But there are many technology savvy families out there and getting the free kindle version is a great way to try out the book to see if you’d be happy after buying it. So check out this affiliate link below. It will take you to Amazon where you can download it this week for free. If you don’t have a kindle reader, don’t worry– you can still download the book. Here is a link to download a kindle reader app for your iPhone, other smartphone, or even your PC!:¬†Free Apps to Read Kindles on Your Other Devices Here!
Please, leave a review on Amazon for me. I’d love to know what you appreciate about the book, and what you’d like to see more/less of. I’m using this info for the 2nd edition as well as for my next few books coming out in the future.

Children Lesson on the Spring Season and Christ’s Resurrection¬†

Spring reminds us that Jesus is aliveThis is a multiple intelligence lesson that incorporates art, science, and theology. I use the classic Into, Through, and Beyond Approach to Teaching. 

supplies needed-– paper, crayons, computer with Google images up and ready, and a spring day with flowers blossoming. 

Into–Tapping into Prior Knowledge and/or Scaffolding and Building Background Knowledge:

  1. kids drawings of trees of each season to teach background for spring and Jesus Resurrection

    The pictures of trees my 3 year old drew. summer, autumn, winter, spring

    Show kids pictures of summer trees and explain to them about the full leaves.

  2. Draw a simple picture of a summer tree and have the kids copy. You can incorporate naming the best colors here as well. We did brown trunk, green leaves, and red apples.
  3. Show kids pictures of fall trees and explain what happens to the leaves and why.
  4. Draw a simple picture of an autumn tree and have the kids copy. Discuss colors as well. My kids used red, orange, yellow, and brown.
  5. Show kids pictures of winter trees and explain what happens to the leaves and why. I discuss how the leaves and flowers die in the fall and the tree looks dead.
  6. Show pictures of spring trees and explain what happens to the tree and why. We talked about the leaves and flowers coming back to life.
  7. Draw a simple picture of a spring tree and have the kids copy (my kids got tired of drawing trees at this point but were happy to watch me draw mine).

Through– The Heart of the Lesson

kids find flowers as a sign of spring and remember that Jesus is alive2. Mini-Lecture: Explain to them how Jesus died on a cross on a tree and that three days later he came back to life. Explain that this happened on the Feast of First Fruits which is a Jewish Spring Holy Day at the end of Passover. Then tell them that when we see the leaves on the trees sprouting and the flowers blossoming, we know that Spring is here and can remember that God is so powerful he brings the dead back to life. And he did this with Jesus in the spring. Draw a simple picture of Jesus on the cross and Jesus coming out of the tomb. I used stick figures so it was real quick.

3. Lab: Tell them to go outside and look for signs of Spring. My kids loved going in the backyard and finding all the flowers blossoming. They eagerly screamed– “Jesus is alive!” during this time. Be excited and make it fun for them. Ask them if they find flowers– what does this help us remember? Prompt them to reply if they don’t– Jesus is alive!

kids show off their pictures of trees on a spring day Beyond–How do you know if they learned it? 

4. Lay out the pictures they drew in order from summer, autumn, winter, and spring and then the picture of Jesus on the cross and Jesus coming out of the tomb.

5. Ask them to explain what is happening in the pictures. Coach them through it if they struggle. Then do it again when Dad comes home. ūüôā

Here is a video of my 3 year old son, explaining the pictures and my 2 year old chiming in. 

Why Spring Reminds Us of the Power of Jesus

To Celebrate Easter or To Not Celebrate Easter–The Ongoing Debate in Christianity

spring flowers remind us of new lifeThere is a lot of controversy within the Christian community as to whether or not they should celebrate Easter. The debate is because the traditional Christian celebration for the Resurrection of Christ falls on the Pagan Spring Equinox called Easter where Pagans of the past worshiped other gods on that day as part of their Spring festival.

My family too began to question whether or not we should celebrate as well. Yet, as I’ve read more of the bible, I’ve come to a place where I feel the proper understanding of the holiday and its biblical basis is important.

From this, our family has come to a place of loving Spring because it does remind of Jesus. While¬†we don’t pretend there is an Easter Bunny, we happily celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and give praise to God for the Spring season on the same American Holiday of Easter. This is why:

God’s Seasons are Prophetic

Genesis 1:14 – And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

Spring Feasts are Prophetic of JesusWhat a lot of people don’t realize is perfectly planned for Christ to resurrect from the dead in the Spring. And I don’t think God does anything without full knowledge and planning. Not only to Christ resurrect in the Spring, he resurrected on a Jewish Spring Feast called The Feast of First Fruits. Now I know it is not Spring around the world at the same time due to the various Hemispheres, but Israel is in the same hemisphere as America and so we get the benefit of seeing its correlation with Spring the way the Israelites did. And God gave Christ first the Jews and then extended that gift to the rest of the world.

passover blood on door posts will show a cross when connected

Many don’t connect the dots on the door post, but if they did, they would see a cross.

The Jews commemorate God’s grace over them on Passover as they remember how God sent the angel of darkness over Egypt killing the first-born of all the Egyptians but sparing the Hebrews, who in obedience to Moses’s direction painted sacrificial blood over their door posts in spots that would actually create a cross if connected. Every year they were to remember that day by sacrificing a lamb without blemish and eating bread without leaven. This bread is pierced in the heat as it is cooked and the fire often leaves stripes across it. Many Messianic Jews continue to celebrate Passover, but now recognizing that it was prophetic of the death of their own Messiah, the first-born of God who was perfect and unblemished. He died on the day during Passover week when the lamb of God is to be sacrificed. And his blood on the cross now protects them from the Angel of eternal death. Christ reminds us in the gospels that the Passover Bread is to remind us of his body that was pierced and broken for us and the accompanying wine is to remind of his blood that was shed for us in stripes across his back and in the piercings of his hands and feet.

Leviticus 23: 15-17: ” ‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks.Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of first fruits to the LORD.

Right after¬†Passover ends, the Jews are also to celebrate God’s grace through the season of Spring. This Feast is called The Feast of First Fruits and they give thanks to God for the early crop that comes in Spring.
Tweet: When spring comes, the first sprout of  green leaves reminds them that Spring is here and the early crops become ripe for harvest.

This is an especially joyful occasion given that in Winter, trees become barren as the leaves die. But when spring comes, the first sprout of  green leaves reminds them that Spring is here and the early crops become ripe for harvest.

God in the Old testament often asked for the first of everything. First borne sons were to work in the temple and become Levites, first crops were to be given to God, etc. The Feast of First Fruits were to be given to the Levites, God’s first-born of all the Jew who were to live strictly on God’s grace and provision as they worked in the temple, and not by any man-made method, unlike the rest of God’s tribes who worked the traditional way.

God did not have Christ resurrect from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits on accident.

Jesus is the First Fruit of our SalvationChrist fulfills this prophetic Feast in the Prophetic season of Spring. Christ is the First Fruit of all who will be resurrected on the last day. God showed that he has power over death by raising his son back to life. And he preempted that for thousands of years every Spring. Spring reminds us that God has power over death. That he can restore the barren and desolate and bring forth life and vitality. Today it serves not as prophecy but as a reminder of what God did for us through Christ and the promise that we too have been given new life, eternal life, and do not need to fear death any longer or the spiritual barrenness and death that this fallen world breeds.

Why Do American Christians Celebrate Easter Then and Not The Feast of First Fruits?

The Catholic Church years ago, when trying to Christianize the Pagan world, found that within a few days of the Feast of First Fruits, the pagans were celebrating spring. In order to evangelize to them, they used that holiday to preach the resurrected Christ and celebrated this on the same day. In the same way, Good Friday is the Christian version of Passover, and is not actually on the same day, but around it (in order to keep it about 3 days before Easter). Good Friday and Easter are not on the more accurate days of Passover and the Feast of First Fruits (the true anniversaries of Christ’s death and resurrection). They were compromises the Catholic church made in order to evangelize to a Pagan world. Is this necessarily wrong? That is to be debated. But I believe there is biblical reasons to justify their cause. Paul often ate swine and even meat sacrificed to other gods in order to evangelize to the Greeks and Romans of his time. He was able to do this with a clear conscience knowing that God made all animals clean and that these so-called gods were nothing. He had not sacrificed them to idols. His God was sovereign over his life. God has power over all. HE explained this to the Colossians here:

Colossians 2: 16-17 – Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day– things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ

Today, we continue to live in a world filled with unbelievers. They are the modern-day Pagan who do not worship the Living God, but chase after other “gods.” Most American’s celebrate Easter with only a selection using it as a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For most, it is simply a celebration of Spring. And many with children add the Easter bunny. Some go to the other extreme.

I had some Jehovah” Witnesses come to my door the other day, inviting me to their temple to commemorate the death of Jesus. I asked them– “Do you have a service that celebrates Christ’s resurrection?” They shook their head no. I exclaimed, “Why not? If Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith is useless, right?” I went on to explain the joy of celebrating the risen Christ and God’s power over death. I clarified that commemorating his death is good, but to not forget the best part. They were speechless. They had nothing to say except that they agreed Jesus’s resurrection was important in establishing his future kingdom. I’m hoping that they realize their fear of celebrating the pagan holiday of Easter has lead them actually away from celebrating the Living Christ! It doesn’t have to be Easter if they don’t like that day. I get it. But celebrate the Feast of First Fruits then!

This too may motivate some of you to no longer celebrate Easter and to instead celebrate his resurrection on the actual day of Feast of First Fruits. Some may choose to now celebrate or commemorate Christ’s Death on the first day of Passover. Some may want to continue to celebrate on Good Friday and Easter Sunday as an evangelism tool to their friends and family who do not know or have a relationship with Jesus. I think this is where it becomes a personal conviction. But I personally don’t think one is more right than the other.

As a family, we remember that God gave us Spring to remember his Power and his Son. We know that Paul reminds is to be joyful in all things and be thankful in all things. We do not believe there is anything wrong with celebrating the arrival of Spring.

Spring reminds us that Jesus came back to LifeBut we also don’t think one can properly appreciate the arrival of Spring without acknowledging its purpose in our lives both physically with majestic beauty of its flowers and fruit as well as spiritually–with Christ being the first fruit of our future resurrection and God’s majestic grace in our lives by giving us his son–the bread and water that will never leave us hungry or thirsty.

We don’t include the Easter Bunny (personally, I feel convicted by doing this because I feel it’s lying and fear that if my kids learn I made the Easter bunny up on the same day as Christ, maybe Christ is just a lie too). And we don’t even do Easter baskets or hunts. Although I don’t think there is anything really wrong with Easter baskets¬†as long as kid’s know the real celebration of the day and are taught about why we correlate spring with Jesus. I did a lesson with my own kids on the topic and will be linking it here soon so you can see how I did this. And when I do celebrate Spring with my family members who do not know Jesus, I will be sure to share why Spring reminds me of Jesus, and how perfectly and poetically God planned the day of his Resurrection.

Even non-believers cannot say they did not see God in his creation. Spring is one of the many ways God reveals himself to us.

Romans 1:20 – For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Also visit the Christian mommy blogger for great talking points with your kids about the significance of this season. Or at Equipping Godly Women.

Please share– did this help you get a better understanding of Spring, Easter, and Christ’s Resurrection? I would love for you to respond in the comments how this has helped you or whether or not you celebrate Easter and Why. Also–if this did help you, I encourage you to share it with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Spring and Happy Resurrection Day!

My Proof Copy is Here!

book proof 2I have been going back and forth with the book designer I hired to make sure the layout looked good in print when using Amazon’s self-publishing contractor called Create Space. But I finally got my proof and I am very happy with it. The skin shade of my darker-skinned characters is¬†a bit darker than it¬†looked on the digital pdf, so their facial features are a bit harder to see, but otherwise, my characters¬†look mostly close to what I had intended. The picture of me at the back is slightly warmer in its color than the original but still looks like me so that is good. ūüôā

But here is the most exciting part: The book is effective. 

How do I know?

I tested it out last night on my son, Kanan, for whom I originally wrote this book!

  • We sat down and read the book, making sure after each section to go over the questions and talk about it. He thoughtfully reflected on each one–thinking about how he could demonstrate patience, politeness, kindness, etc.
  • At the end of the book, I prompt the child to think about which areas of love they struggle on most. Kanan was able to go back and flip to 4 different areas where he struggles: jealousy, counting wrongs of others, delighting in wrongdoing, and losing hope in others.
  • Then I prompted him to pray to Jesus to help him in those areas, just like my book advises. We prayed together. It was so awesome watching my son become convicted by the Word of God.

No, my book is not the bible, but it takes a verse from the bible, and breaks it down word-by-word to help them understand. A child cannot be convicted by the Word of God if the child does not understand it. And if we only tell them what love is, but don’t show them, and give them time to think about their own actions, they won’t think about it long enough to become convicted and grow.

I love God’s word. His word convicts us of our sin, but thankfully, it reminds us as well that we have a savior who paid the price for us and with his spirit, can give us the power to change. And if we mess up and stumble, he is there to help us up to try again, washing every stumble away. We can then do well in our actions, not to save us, but because we are saved. It is a beautiful, harmonious, dichotomy.¬†

I’ll approve the proof tonight and keep you posted on it’s release.

UPDATE: The Book is now available for purchase! Check it out here or click on the link on the side bar to the right.

Do You Have a Breastfed Baby Who Refuses the Bottle? Here’s a Strange Solution That Makes Sense!

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 9.53.53 AM

Buy a bottle with a Latex¬†Nipple. And if you have a fast let-down when breast-feeding (a lot comes out and fast) then buy a bottle with a Medium flow Latex¬†nipple. Gerber Essentials makes them. And I know Nuk also makes them, although they are harder to find. Here’s my story and why this strange solution makes absolute sense:

My oldest son, Kanan, and my newest infant, Scotland refused to take the bottle. With Kanan, I had been nursing him for about 5 months and needed to return to work. I was so upset when he refused the bottle I offered him. I bought a fancy Dr. Brown’s and he refused. Then I tried other expensive bottles that so many mother’s swore by. Nope. He hated them all. In desperation one day, I finally pulled out the cheap Platex nurser bottle with the yellow Latex¬†nipple, from the back of my cupboard. One that I got as a baby shower gift that I thought nothing of. With all the fancy colic-free bottles out there, why have my child drink from cheap bottle I could buy at the grocery store, right?

He took it.

The only thing I could think of as to why he would take that one, was that the latex nipple had a texture more closely resembling skin. Silicone nipples do not at all. I tried all the bottles with the “real breast-like” shaped nipples. But they were all silicone.

Then three children later, I got another child who refused the fancy bottles with the silicone nipples. Similarly, I was getting ready to go back to work. I bought four different ones. All resembling breast like shapes. I even sought after the Playtex¬†nurser with the latex¬†nipple. Couldn’t find the latex¬†nippled versions (it has been 7 years. They may have just phased them out), so I bought the silicone nipple version, thinking maybe it was just the nipple shape after all. Nope. Scotland¬†refused them all.

Finally the week I am at work, after two days of my daughter giving her daycare provider hell, and making her resort to feeding her with a syringe, I decided to head back to the grocery store to find another option.

On the bottom shelf, there stood these bottles. The cheapest in the store. They were called Gerber Essentials. They had silicone nipples, but there was a 10 pack of medium-flow latex nipples, selling next to the bottles. My daughter was only 10 weeks old at the time. Too young for a medium flow nipple. But I thought it was worth the shot.

Sure enough, she took it.

Now I think I figured out why. First, I still believe that the latex texture is more skin-like than silicone. Hands down. But I think there may be something to the medium-flow as well.

See I’ve always had a fast let down. When the milk comes out, it comes out fast. I can hear my baby gulping fast to keep up with it. I wonder if the slow-flow of the newborn bottles is just too slow for my children’s taste because they have gotten used to my let down. They don’t have to work as hard. Those slow-flow bottles are just too slow for them. ūüôā I remember my son, the first to take the latex¬†nipple, took it, but then¬†I switched to medium flow because it just took him forever to finish the bottle and he would get frustrated half way through. Once I switched to fast¬†flow, he loved it.

I’ve come to believe this is not just my story, but a common story. Just in chitchat with a few other women in my life, I have already met two others whose children preferred the cheap, grocery store latex nipples sold by Gerber or even Disney.

They are hard to find these days in the higher end stores. The best bet is to find them at the grocery store or on the internet. For your convenience I’m including links to them here as well. They are affiliate links so there’s no extra charge to you, but if you buy them through the links I send, I get a small share of Amazon’s profit to help support my blog.

Please respond if you get positive results! I would love to know if my theory works for other desperate mothers out there. ūüôā While I wish Playtex Nurser nipples were still around, they are not. But Gerber gets it done! And I recently discovered Nuk has one as well with a glass bottle for those Mamas wanting a plastic free home. These here are the nipples, I recommend. Plan to have your bottle woes disappear!!!

Gerber First Essential Clear View BPA Free Plastic Nurser With Latex Nipple, Assorted Colors, 9 Ounce, 3 Pack

Gerber 6 pack of latex nipples

Nuk Ready to Feed Latex Nipples (2 pack). 

Nuk glass feeding bottle 

My Forecast for 2015 by Goal Setting the Smart Way

smart goal setting conceptOne reason why people don’t like to set New Years Resolutions is because they don’t achieve them. I was this way once as well and I’ve learned it’s because I make them too broad, immeasurable, make them pipe dreams that just can’t be achieved, not really important to my life, and with no due date other than “by the end of the year.” These are just recipes for disaster. So I’m doing it the smart way this year.

Unfortunately, it is day 1 and I’m bitterly behind my first goal so will have to modify it. I set to launch my children’s book How To Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents today. I was going to market it today with a great pitch toward parents whose goals this year are to teach their children to be more godly this year. And right when I attempted to add the back cover description onto the Amazon Kindle Description, I noticed a glaring typo. An entire verb missing from the very first sentence on the back cover. This is a mistake I can’t just look over. If the first sentence on a back cover has a typo, who on Earth would even attempt to read on? Not me, that’s for sure! So I just emailed the book designer, asked them to fix it ASAP and offered to pay whatever cost necessary. I just hope and pray they get it ¬†back to me in the next day or so. So disappointing. I don’t know how I missed it during all of the draft checks.

But I’m not going to let this stop me from forecasting my goals for this year. I’m trying to hit a few different areas: professional, spiritual, family, and personal. I know many people don’t like to set New Year’s Resolutions, and that is fine for them. But as for me, I find the new year inspiring and no better time than to make goals. And thankfully, I just learned of this application called MindBloom which I plan on downloading as well. Also–Coach.Me is supposed to be good. Will play around with both and see which one works for me. Supposedly with MindBloom you can type in your goals, get alerts that ask you how you are doing with them, and also add inspirational photos and music that plays for you as you work on your goals.

So here they are, and feel free to hold me accountable by asking me throughout the year how I’m doing with them.

Professional Goal(s): 

1. Get my Resume Website Launched by Summer.

2. Get my Children’s Book launched on Amazon as soon as I get the revised draft from the book designer (hopefully this week!) and then begin marketing it on Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.

3. Get the¬†1st draft of my Marriage/Love app completed by Valentines Day. My good friend and blogger Nikki Marie at http://TheMomIWantToBe.com and I are excitedly drafting this. We cant wait to find an app programmer and get this launched on iphones and androids all across America. More on this later. Don’t want to reveal too much too soon. ūüėČ

Spiritual Goals:

1. Pray on the way to Work Again, Listen to Worship music, and Listen to my Audio Bible (I got out of the habit of doing this the entire way to work. Started doing it just the last 10 minutes of my drive and not having enough time to do all three. I think all three are important and want my entire 45 minutes to work to be focused on worshiping and drawing close to my Lord and Savior.

2. To be a light more in other areas of my life, not just ministering to my kids. I talked about this a few blogs ago. I’m extremely busy, especially when working. So my light will most likely be limited to just encouraging¬†texts and messages to my friends and family. But I also want to make a few meals this year for people, donating clothes, and above all else, be better at praying for people other than me and immediate family. There’s another great App out there that will help me remember to diligently pray for others more. Its called Prayer Notes. You can list people and groups, what to pray for them, and even get reminders.

Family Goals:

1. To be more consistent in disciplining my children and coupling it with giving them the gospel message when they show defiance or rebellion.

2. To be consistent in reading with my children and fostering a love of books. 

3. To watch less television with Owen and the kids. Owen and I are canceling our Netflix and Hulu Plus in order to ensure we replace that time with more reading, games, music, and talking for family and couple activities and downtime. I’ve always hated television anyway because I see what a time waster it is. Plus I actually get depressed if I watch it too much. Unfortunately, Owen loves television. So I often get sucked into it even when I don’t want to. This is going to be so helpful! I can’t wait to just sit and talk with him. Or listen to music together.

Health Goals:

1. To Lose 10 pounds of fat by October 27th. I’m 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. Usually I hold onto this weight until I finish breastfeeding. But I also use breastfeeding as an excuse to have extra treats. I don’t want to do this, this time. And I don’t want to do stupid things to lose 10 pounds which prevents one from losing actual fat. I want to work out twice a week (once at the gym doing the elliptical trainer and circuit workouts, and going to Fit Camp once a week at a nearby Dojo that holds them for free). I don’t just want to be thinner, but firmer. We don’t plan on having any more children so now is the time to get back into great shape.

2. To Cut out Bread/Wheat out of our regular diet. It isn’t good for us. It turns to sugar. We have an intolerance/allergy anyway, especially Owen. He immediately stuffs up when he has it and his breathing issues is actually hurting his red blood cell count, so out of love for him, we just need to stop. Gluten Free is expensive, so I’d rather just eliminate bread altogether. I’m not going to go Paleo, but I do want to lean towards Primal (which from what I understand is Paleo but with dairy). We don’t do a lot of dairy because we have allergies/intolerance to it, but in moderation, it doesn’t hurt us and I absolutely love cheese and sour cream so would probably be extremely depressed if I lost it. I just need to get inspired: lettuce wrap tacos, spaghetti squash pastas, veggies dipped in tuna salad instead of crackers…that sort of thing. There are a lot of great food bloggers out there who have yummy paleo/primal recipes and I want to regularly visit them to get inspired.

So those are my goals. What are yours? Any apps we should know about to help us reach ours? Feel free to comment to show you are out there! Happy 2015!

Children’s Book on How to Love like Jesus is Coming Soon!

Are you looking for a book to help your children learn how to be more loving? Not sure if my book is¬†something right for you or your kids? Here is an excerpt from my first edition below! How to Love Like Jesus: A Guide for Children and Their Parents¬†is a 32 page book that breaks down the famous verse “Love is patient, love is kind” etc for kid-friendly life-application. Each section is illustrated with examples and includes¬†engaging questions to answer with a parent or alone depending on the child’s age. The book can be for parents to read with their kids or for kids to read on their own. It is written at a 2nd-3rd grade reading level but the content and application can be good for ages 3-12.

Some minor changes have been made since this draft that will make it even better. For example, I am swapping the pages so that the larger image comes first for context. Then there have been changes made with some of the wording in the text for easier readability.

The E-book will be out soon on Amazon for FREE! Would love people to download it and leave reviews. If you like it, the print version will also be available for purchase at a reasonable price. Hopefully in time for Christmas!!


Whisper: 5 minute Friday Post

Painting by Karl Witkowski--available for reuse with modification.

Paintintg by Karl Witkowski–available for reuse with modification.

As part of 5 Minute Friday, I am supposed to blog for 5 minutes on a word prompt given by the blogger at KateMotaung.com who hosts the writing activity. My routine is to do this on my prep period at work. I set my timer and I go. Timer is set. Here we go:


My babies don’t know how to whisper. Well I take that back. Only in a couple of situations can they whisper. When we read the last page of “Good Night Moon” when it says, “Good night noises, everywhere.” I whisper that line and they love it. They whisper with me with big eyes and big smiles before closing the books and snuggling up in their sheets. It is a warm connection I can have with them before we go to sleep.

This morning, Benjamin woke up happily at¬†6 AM, calling “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” and tapping his sleeping shoulders.

“Shhhhhhh” Owen¬†kept saying.

But Benny wouldn’t. Benny was ready to get up and doesn’t understand the purpose of using a whisper voice in the wee hours of the morning when everyone is asleep–to speak and connect with us, without the sleeping others¬†hearing.

But later, he rushed to me when I came out of the bathroom where I was discreetly putting on makeup and brushing my teeth, listening to him talk Owen into putting on the Elmos show —

“Mommy!” he called loudly.

“Shhhhhh” I whispered, “We need to whisper. Everyone is asleep.”

He reached up his arms eagerly, showing me he wanted a hug. I bent down and pressed his little body onto my big, 8-month-pregnant belly, and I rocked him.

And then he whispered his favorite phrase in these special moments: “baby Mommy, Mommy baby.”

I love it when he whispers that. I hear, “I love you” in those words. I feel so connected to him in those moments, like an invisible umbilical cord still connects us.

Five-Minute-Friday-4Today as I write this, I sit in the back of this classroom filled with teenagers with special needs. There are 5 teachers in this room with 20 students. These teens with down syndrome and severe learning disabilities, and various physical disabilities as well, clearly look different as they learn to fill out job applications and how to add up grocery receipts, but¬†are so happy and kind and eager to greet me when I come¬†in and ask questions about my belly as they play with their hair or rock in their chairs. ¬†Like children. And I wonder how many other teenagers, whisper when they walk by–closely connecting with their friends¬†nearby but never trying to connect with these people because they are different. Never get close enough to whisper in their ears their secrets or compliments. How many whispering sounds do these people hear when they walk through the halls, without knowing the words? ¬†How many eyes avert away and disconnect?

Whispers…we connect with people we whisper to. How I want all whispers to be out of love, and nothing more.