Gifts and Surprises

I knew it had been a few days since we had gotten the mail, so the other night on our way out the driveway I made Zac stop so I could get it.

(getting the mail can be a very boring task most days since all it seems we receive are bills and junk mail.  every once in awhile there is something awesome in there–this is that kind of story)


I turned to him and said:

“I don’t think there will be any money in there today, but I’m expecting gifts and surprises when I get the mail these days.”


As I started leafing through a few days worth of mail I notice that Reese got an envelope.

A hand-written

from an actual person

kind of envelope.


We opened it up and out slipped a gift card to Dairy Queen!  Inside was a little note about how he needs to take his mommy out for an ice cream date.


(Do you remember a few weeks ago when I updated my status on Facebook about how Reese wanted to have a date with me at Dairy Queen but I didn’t have the funds to do so at that time?)

Well, this sweet friend of mine read that and must have been touched because she blessed us with a very sweet (literally) treat.  This is also the friend who gave me treasures from her closet after I had Emery.  She is also the friend who freely gave Reese his Leapster that he just loves to play like Daddy plays on the iPad.  This is the friend who knew my dad growing up and when she saw us all in our front yard during the Memorial Day parade came up and hugged us all.

This friend and I may not get to spend time together outside of little meet and greets here, but this friend has a special place in my heart because she’s a momma and she just knows.

She knows how it feels.

She knows how it can hurt somedays.

She just knows.

And for her…I am very grateful.

Thank you, my friend, for blessing a momma’s heart to be able to walk her little man across the driveway to Dairy Queen for a date–just the two of us.  I can’t wait to see what the conversation for that time holds!


Chocolate Shake

Tonight I was busy working at the computer on my “stay-at-home data entry” job and I started sneezing. 

I mean the kind of sneezing I usually get when I’m around a cat.

The kind of sneezing that makes my throat tickle and hard to clear.


That’s when my ears perked during a commercial.  I heard the word shake

Boy, did that sound good in that moment. 

“Shake?  Yum.  That sounds so good right now.  Did they just say shake in that commercial?”

My husband said he would go get me one and wanted to know where I wanted one from. 

(enter scene: my inability to except a gift)

We exchanged words (no fighting words…just a logical conversation) and in the end I had talked him out of buying me a shake because we need to be careful with our money and not spend frivolously.  Wanna know what he said during that talk that hit me?

“Why won’t you just let me serve you?”

Seriously, Amy.  Why won’t you? 

I sat there the rest of the evening:

still trying to clear my itchy throat

+wanting a chocolate shake (and debating in my head if I wanted a shake from McDonald’s or a frosty from Wendy’s)

+asking myself why I don’t let people do silly little things for me.  (Okay, I don’t like people doing BIG things for me either but why not at least the little things?)


I still haven’t figured it out specifically, but I know where I get it from…

my mom.

She is a fantastic giver, but not so good at receiving.



Herb and Garlic Chicken

Herb and Garlic Chicken

I am in a love affair with my crock pot.  It’s true.  

This is one of my favorite crock pot meals to make right now.  And it’s the easiest one I’ve made.  And the tastiest one I’ve made.  At least, that’s my own opinion. 

I love to check out for all my crock pot recipes.  They have an abundance of recipes for just about anything you can imagine.  We’ve made a few chicken dishes, a few soups and someday I will try the yogurt.

So, here is the recipe:

3 lbs. chicken (we use less)

1 cup chicken broth (I always add more along the way)

2 packages Lipton Savory Herb with Garlic “Secrets” Soup (I only use one packet)

Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

(We serve ours over egg noodles cooked in chicken broth.  We also had green beans and Crescent rolls.)

*Also, there are slow cooker liners at the grocery store next to the aluminum foil and baggies.  These are amazing!  I never have to clean out my crock pot after cooking anymore!  They come 4 for $2.99 at our local Kroger and if you make a crock pot meal once a week, you only have to purchase them once a month.  That’s what I do!


Sleep and Nightmares

I don’t want to discount that fact that my son claims he has been having nightmares, but the concept of a “nightmare” to a three year old makes me chuckle sometimes.


Let me give you a little background on his sleeping habits:

Our son has never been one that has ever followed a set routine.  When he was younger we tried a bedtime routine with him and it just never worked.  I thought:

ALL my friends are doing it so we HAVE to do it too.”

I figured all my friend’s kids bedtimes were so peaceful and loving and ours was so disorganized and frustrating.

I was a full-time working mom at that time and struggling with bedtime made wanting to get up in the morning harder.

(I didn’t want to get up in the morning anyway, mind you.

I wanted to be a stay at home mom but the timing just wasn’t right.)

When the routine didn’t click for him we tried the “cry it out” method.

Yeah, that lasted only one night.

About 40 minutes to be exact.

It was heart wrenching the whole time.

We lived in an apartment at the time and our two bedrooms were on opposite sides of our living space.  Having him that far away from us was very hard but thankfully we were on an end unit and the bedroom above was our upstairs neighbors office.  Nobody would hear him if we had to let him cry.  In fact, our neighbor (a young, single, cat loving gal with all the awesome Ikea furniture and nice art pieces on her walls) loved Reese and always commented on how she never heard a peep from us.

Then we moved into a duplex and we shared the entire house with my brother, his wife and their baby boy who was a year younger than Reese.  Knowing that family was next door made it easier if he was loud, but I still felt bad.  After they moved out we went through sets of neighbors that were so loud and disrespectful that our screaming kid was nothing.  Still, I insisted that we do our part and tend to him immediately.

This kid is definitely a night owl–just like his daddy.

Here I am the mommy and I am falling asleep before my child…every night.  Some nights he would stay up until 10:30pm, other nights until 1:00am, and hardly ever would he fall asleep before 8:00pm and stay asleep.

When I got pregnant with Emery I was so nauseous for the first 17 weeks that I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed to go take care of him so he usually just ended up in our bed.

(Mommy note here: We have no problem against co-sleeping, but for us…on a daily basis it just ain’t happening.) 

We would probably call this one of our (not you, you co-sleepers, you) biggest mistakes in parenting because it has taken a very long time for us to get him back into his bed.

All throughout all the change in neighbors, changes coming to our family and his imagination starting to bloom we have struggled with nightmares.  It got so bad that we invited Papa and Gamma over to help us talk to him, pray with him and annoint his room.  We have a list of sleep scriptures given to us by a family from church that they use over their daughter.  We tried everything.  For awhile it seemed to get better.

Until last night…

Like I said, I don’t want to discount his feelings, but he just cracks me up!  He feel asleep on the couch around 7:40pm (can we say, no nap today) and I really contemplated waking him and keeping him up so he would sleep through the night.  Zac got busy on the computer and a phone call, I snuck away for a bath (by myself) and Reese was still sleeping on the couch.

He transfered to his bed just fine and all was going well until


I was already up nursing and he was screaming for his daddy.  Within just a few minutes my two boys come stumbling down the hallway and both end up in our bed.  Now, remember…I was nursing so that mean all 4 of us were in our bed at 2:20am.

I was so tired.

Reese started his usual,

“I need some milk.  I want some juice.  I need some toast.  I want to watch tv”

and we started shushing him and telling him that it wasn’t morning yet and we needed to go back to sleep.

He was wide awake for awhile.

I had a hard time getting his sister to go back to sleep after nursing so I just put her in the swing in our room and she tossed and turned for awhile.  I laid in bed and told Reese to come snuggle next to me.  After awhile I could tell that he was starting to doze off but he was mumbling something.  I finally figured out he was singing a CeCe Winans song:

“I wanna be with you.  I gotta be with you.  I wanna be with you.

Oooh oooh oooh.”

How sweet.  He was singing to Jesus in his sleep.  Then this:

“Get off of me!  Ouch.  That hurts.  Momma I just had a nightmare.

You gotta pray for me.”

Of course I prayed with him.

Multiple times actually.

And so did daddy.

He eventually asked to go back to his room and fell asleep immediately and didn’t wake up again until 7:40am.

It wasn’t until just before I started typing this that he told me what his nightmare was about:

“A baby was touching my head.  And my car was red.  You gotta pray for me again.”

Again.  That childlike innocence and faith is so precious to me.  This sweet boy has dreams about kids taking his books, or that his car was red and not green and it seems like the end of the world to him.

What are things that I label as “bad” or “wrong” that I misinterpret?  Where can I slow down during my day to see things the way a child does?  Are the first words in my head “I gotta pray” whenever a situation arises?   I’m learning to rid myself of all those toxic thoughts and focus on Him instead…but that’s a whole other post for another day!

“He washed my sins away…”

Tonight, as I was trying to get some work done I put Reese at the sink for some “water play”.

(Insert Mommy Truth #1 here: I actually gave him some dirty dishes to play with that needed to be cleaned.)

Whenever we do dishes or sit down to work on a computer in our home (or anything really) there is music playing.  Tonight we had dishes going + work on the computer so you KNOW that there was music playing.

Without even realizing it, I’m signing away to “Oh, happy day.  Happy day.  You washed my sins away.”

It’s then that I hear my sweet little boy singing “Oh, happy day.  Happy day.  You washed my sins away” too.

And then it hit me:
Does Reese even know what he’s singing?  Can a three year old comprehend the meaning of sin?

So, I decided to find out.

I turned around from the computer desk and asked:

“Reese, do you know what the word sin means?”

His response was this:

“It’s like doing the dishes forever and ever.”

“The dishes, huh?  When the song says ‘You washed my sins away’ you think it’s like doing the dishes?”

“Yes, you gotta wash them forever and ever and get all the bubbles off.”

“Huh.  Well, did you know that sin is when we do something bad?  And when you do you just have to say ‘Oh, Jesus.  I’m so sorry I did that.’ Then Jesus will say, ‘Reese, I forgive you.'”

“Oh, that’s so nice!  I can do that for Jesus.”

When I do the dishes now I’ll be thinking of Reese washing away the filth and dirt from our dishes just like Jesus washes away the filth and dirt from our hearts.

Oh, that childlike faith.  I love it.

My Kid: The Teacher

Just this afternoon I had a little conversation with my son that went something like this:

“Reese, please don’t take my pop.  I’m thirsty.”

“But, I have to.”

“No Reese.  Please give me my pop back.  My mouth is dry and I need a drink.”

“You can’t have it, momma.”

“Reese,  that is my drink and I would like it back.”

“But, you said we have to share things with others the last day!”

If you have talked to my son enough, you know that he says “the last day” or “yesterday” a lot when referring to something he previously did or saw.  It can be quite comical the phrases he adds it onto!

But you see, he was right.  I did tell him that he needed to share.

(You mean, he’s actually listening to me behind all the screaming and arguing?)

How is it that something so simple can be taught to me (again) by a three year old who is gulping down my Dr. Pepper at 12:00pm on a Tuesday afternoon?

It got me thinking:

Beside the little things we share like food, gifts, our bed, life events…..

What else do I need to share?  Like, for real…the really important stuff…

  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Money/Resources
  • Time
  • Wisdom
  • Grace
  • A relationship with my Papa God

What would others be missing out on if I didn’t share these things with them?

What would I be missing out on if I didn’t share these things with others?

Thanks little man for just a little reminder to stop thinking about me so much and start thinking about others.

Yes, that was MY kid!

Yes, that was my kid who screamed all the way through Kroger today!

Yes, that was my kid saying:

“I don’t want to be here!”

+”I NEED this green car!”

+ “I don’t like to go this way!”

+ “You gotta be nice to me!”

+ “You don’t want a Hulk band aid for your boo-boo?”

+ “You GOTTA get me that Chipmunks movie!”


Yes. That was MY kid!

And yes, that was my kid who fell asleep in the car before we even pulled out of the parking lot. And yes, that was my kid who I carried all the up to to his room to finish his nap. And yes, that was my kid who was talking to me in his sleep saying, “I wanna watch Phinneas and Ferb”.

And yes, that is my kid who is still sleeping.

And YES, I’m going to ATTEMPT a nap too!