Category Archives: Parenting

My {Different} Girl: repost


photo credit: dare to be different

Tonight, I was shopping at the Duck Duck Goose Consignment Sale in Pine Bluff with my oldest daughter Maggie. When I invited her to go with me I explained to her where we where going and that we would be shopping for her cousins. She would have to stay in the stroller, would miss her afternoon movie, and need to obey the 1st time. She chose to stay home and watch the movie. {duh}

Right before I walked out the door she ran to me and timidly said, “I changed my mind.” Cool. We grabbed flip-flops and headed out the door after asking if she needed a quick potty break. Driving in the van listening to Little Einsteins play in the back seat and my sweet 3-year-old singing along and following their every direction. Joyous!

When we arrived at the sale I reminded her of the rules, “you will have to ride in the stroller because it would be crowded and obey the 1st time.” She agreed as I buckled her in to the single stroller she’d not ridden in at least a year, legs too long, barely enough room to fold them to put them under the tray. She began questioning every part, “what’s That?” as if she’d never seen this contraption before. Goofy girl!

When we got inside there were very few shopper. Score! Quiet, calm, soothing music, and lots of rack of 1/2 price goodies! No this post is not about the consignment sale, although I am partial ;o)

We had only been there a few minutes when she, of course, was bored out of her mind, poured into the silly cup on wheels I’d brought as her chariot. Even with a book from the table for momentary entertainment, she was done. “Mamma! I needa go potty!” “Yeah, ya do.” I thought as I looked up and realized she’d just identified the restroom sign near us. I made our way pushing our now ‘hanging rack’ toward the bathroom. I helped her in, did what we needed to do, and returned to the chariot.

I’d knew what was coming and had an answer ready. “Mamma, can I walk? I wanna go play with those toys. I won’t run off!” “Yes baby. You can. You may play with the toys that are not in packages. You may NOT open things. These things are for sale just like at other stores. They are not ours so we need to be extra gentle with them. You also have to stay where I can see you. I will be at these 3 racks with the 5s and 6s on them. If  you can’t see me, I can’t see you. Make sure you can see me. K?” “Ok mamma!” she said as her body shook with excitement, hands clenched in front of her chest as she listened to my instruction.

We walked our separate ways, maybe 2 yards away from one another. She said, “I can see you! I’m right here mamma. K?” “Yes baby, you’re doing great!” She went about shuffling through the items left on the shelves showing me each, and Everyone and continually announcing every 5 steps she took, “I can see you! I’m right here mamma. K?” to which I responded, “Yes baby, you’re doing great!” I made sure she knew when I moved to the next rack so she could locate me and she took her turn announcing what new treasure she’d found. Where is this most days? LOVE IT! She was so ecstatic I’d given a little leeway to the original plan and allowed this adventure. Silly beautifully creative girl.

She began setting up camp with a baby in a high chair, purse on her arm, and attempting to locate some “tend food” for her baby. I finished up my search in the boy section and was ready to sort and narrow down my items to stay in my budget. I urged her to “clean up” and she quickly found all the toys she’d been playing with and put them back where she’d discovered them. Time for another potty break! She ask if she could go by herself. No one else was in there and I would be only feet way sorting so in she went. Several minutes later she came bursting out so proud of herself, “I washed my hands too!” she shouted. Boisterous responsibly independent girl!

I explained what I’d been doing and that now it was time to shop on the girl side. We headed off after a quick reminder of the ‘rules’. She helped me locate the size racks I needed to rummage through and then she headed back to the toy shelves, now the same distance from me on the opposite side. This side of the shelves where even more her speed! After finding her long-lost baby she’d returned to the shelf she found a purse with STUFF in it! Bringing it to me she informed me eagerly, “This purse has stuff in it…I wanna show my baby what’s inside.” I smiled, “Are we supposed to open the toys?” “BUT I wanna show my baby!” she whined. “You’ll have to pretend you know what’s inside and describe it to her.” Off she went, wheels turning.

She found friends! I love it when kids make friends so quickly and easily! All it took was, “what’s your name?” and their off! There was less, “I can see you! I’m right here mamma. K?” “Yes baby, you’re doing great!” interaction but I was fine with that because she was still obeying! They’d soon become intrenched in a game of good-old-fashion “house”. Chatter back and forth with this older little girl, maybe 7-8. I continually checked over my shoulder to make sure she was ok, and…there. Then I saw it. The girl had the purse. Ya know, the one with the stuff in it. They both sat down among an assortment of little toys. Maggie watched in anticipation………………she opened it.

I felt like I was watching my daughter years down the road sitting with a drug dealer or something. I know, I know, your all laughing your heads off right now. “NOT a big deal!” your saying. I know, but this felt like yet another one of those turning points. Was I going to be different. Was I going to parent different? How was I going to parent different? How far was too far?

Maggie watched the girl get each piece out. Simple little pieces: comb, mirror, keys. I watched Maggie watch. Then, she reached for on of the pieces. I decided: Different! “Maggie!”….”Maggie…baby, please come here.” The little girl heard me first and pointed in my direction. Maggie casually turned in my direction and when noticing my gesture hoped up and came over. “Maggie, are we supposed to open the toys?” “Uh, that girl…” she began, turning to point at her new friend. I interuped, “I know. Mamma asked You not to open the closed toys. Some times our friends will do things that mamma has ask you Not to do. When that happens you will need to not play with them while they are doing that, o.k.? I know it’s hard!” She gazed over her shoulder back at her new friend, “…O.K. mamma.”

I wanted to cry! I couldn’t believe I just ask my baby to be the weirdo that stops playing with someone who’s making a choise her mamma’s ask her not to make. “You don’t have to go tell her” I said quietly, trying to cushion the blow as I saw in her eyes that she felt she needed to go instruct her new friend to return the items to inside the purse. I had no idea where that childs mom was and didn’t want to be insulting. At least that was my excuse for not allowing my baby to continue in her “repentance”.

I watched, fighting back tears, as she walked to the shelf and picked out a different toy. Not even one she’d been toting around from the beginning that was now located near the new friend and “the purse”. The girl hallered, “Mamma! Mamma!” I quickly looked her direction only to notice she was talking to Maggie. MAGGIE had been the mamma in the game of “house”. {LOVE} that my 3-year-old was the mom, the responsible, the in charge one in this little game! Maggie glanced her way and simply said, “I can’t play. My mamma said we aren’t supposed to open the toys. You gotta put the stuff back in the purse.” Maggie stared at her (confused) friend for a few moments then went on playing.

{Heart Break} The girl went back to play and Maggie did her thing. I few minutes later Maggie came around the corner…with ‘the [closed/refilled] purse’,…and tears forming. “Mamma…” “What Maggie!?!” I ask with a knot in my throat as I rushed toward her and bent down. “My friends has to leave…” “Awe, baby. I’m sorry!”

I did it {different}. She was becoming {different}.

I hugged her. Strong, courageous, obedient, convicted, gentle, loving, yet still so little, girl.


Link Ups:


How I Made (& Use) My Preschooler’s Routine Chore Chart


This year my goal is to get my house in order! You know what I mean, everyone running on a comfortable routine that keeps things moving, but with room to grow.

Paper Pushing.

One of the things I made last summer was this chart, for lack of a better term, for my oldest daughter {3.5-years-old}. She is always asking, “What are we doing next?” “What are we doing today?” “Can I do _____ now?” She is also a huge help with some things if I have the time to train her how as well as reminder her to do them. I’m praying that, with a little consistency on my part, these tools can help our entire household stay in order this year.

Check out the step-by-step process to making and using this routine chore chart as well as FREE PRINTABLES so you can make one for your home simply and easily. I’m sharing all of this over at the homemaker’s challenge. While you’re over there, you should check out all the other GREAT new years posts! {Homemaker’s Challenge F-R-E-E Recipe eBook coming soon!}

How is your new year going? Start the conversation below!

Advent {Day 14}: Packing with Littles


As you know {I talk about it the ALL the time}, our family travels a lot with our littles (~3.5, 2, and 1)! I’ve learned a few helpful hints that help us making sure we have everythings we need when we travel 3+ hours from home and have to entertain for that drive time.

I’m sharing these simple hints over at! Go check’m out. Hope they help!!!

I’m sure I missed tons of helpful packing hints. PLEASE SHARE!

To read more Rothacher’s Advent Days click—>
Advent {Day 1}: Cookie Swap

Advent {Day 2}: Dizzie Izzie’s
Advent {Day 3}: Giving Christmas Away
Advent {Day 4}: Homemade Gifts
Advent {Day 5}: HIPPY Christmas Party
Advent {Day 6}: The Fridge 
Advent {Day 7}: Sprinkle Joy @ Home
Advent {Day 8}: UpCycle Gift Wrap
Advent {Day 9}: Sugar Cookies (Gift Ideas Series)
Advent {Day 10}: Snack Mix (Gift Idea Series)
Advent {Day 11}: Relentless Christmas Party
Advent {Day 12}: eBook for ANY Woman! (Gift Idea Series)
Advent {Day 13}: A Rock’n Angel Tree Gift

Advent {Day 5}: HIPPY Christmas Party


I don’t do solo very well….

Tonight was Maggie’s HIPPY Christmas party. I told myself when we started doing this program that one of the reasons we were doing it was for her to have another social outlet. Since we are going to homeschool I feel like I need to make this a priority now.


Matt had an Athletic Banquet tonight. Same time.

Today was terribly rainy, windy, yucky! We’d had our typically terrible Wal-Mart trip, short naps, and attempted to do a little of our HIPPY work while incorporating gift making. Ugg

Needless to say, when it came time to pack the car and head out the door for the party I was less than thrilled about the outing. I hadn’t even told Mags about it as to not have to hear questioning from the riddler all day. I so wanted to skip. Sitting there trying to decided if it was ‘worth’ it I decided not only for my childs social needs but for mine as well, we’d headed out on this evening venture.

When pulling out of the driveway at 4:45 I question my memory…”5 or 5:30?” I pulled in and there on the elementary school sign said 5.
I was gonna go grab a hot chocolate.

We loaded the double stroller with a baby and a toddler, diaper bag, cups, camera, gift for our “HIPPY lady” and in we went. {Praising God the rain storm had stopped}

We were early.

It didn’t really start until 5:30. I know, some of you are thinking, “Good for you!” and other know exactly the feeling I’m about to tell all you early birds about, “Crap.” When a mom of 3 gets somewhere 30 minutes early with minimal support at a new environment, not toddler/baby friendly, and has to wait…………………………………………………..yeah. Things could melt down fast.

I let Mags play with her sweet friend Natally and her big sis who arrived early as well. But the toddler and baby remained in the stroller as long as possible. I fed Jamin his baby food {slowly}, pulled him out of the carseat and propped him up in the stroller seat to eat some cereal. Delaying the “CUP!!!” and “MORE PeeeeeZ!” feasco I gave Izzie some cereal as well while she gazed at the table of snack-like dinner yummies just a few feet away.

And I’m out.

I’d delayed as long as possible. More kids were showing up so I needed Mags to sit with me at the cafeteria table, Izzie was no longer satisfied with the handful of Cheerios and received her cup, and Jamin needed his bottle {my last trick up my sleeve to keep him content in the stroller}. The time now, you ask? 5:25. Actually, if felt like that but I honestly don’t know since I was counting babies over and over again like a loon. Mags used the elementary school potty for the 1st time. Izzie’s diaper leaked, I changed her in the hallway, and her poor pants were wet the rest of the night. J made it, content with cereal thus far.

5:40- YES! I got kicked off. We got in line {all 4 of us} to grab some lunch meat, diced cheeses, and olives! Headed back to the table where we’d set up camp. Maggie and Izzie sat by me picking at their dinner and chugging their juice cups and J finally got his bottle, shaking milk all over himself, as usual, when he has about an ounce left. I chatted with a few friends and got to relax watching my girls making the normal meal mess all over the table knowing I didn’t have to be the one to clean it up.

6ish we went to find Santa and get our picture taken. Surprisingly everyone was okay with that. I think watching all the other kids crawl up there, playing with their friends while waiting and the candy cane at the end were all pieces to the puzzle that is a calm Santa picture! J went straight to him. Izzie didn’t want to sit on his lap {she wanted to feel his costume as if he were a doll} but that was probably better {remember wet pants?}. Since Mags saw Izzie didn’t want to sit but she knew we all needed to be in the picture she easily let me put her on his knee. Izzie wouldn’t stop checking out his suit long enough to turn around and cheese. Oh well.

After grabbing some crafts to take home and loading all of our belongings we made it back in the van by 7ish. Not to shabby. *side note: SCORE! We didn’t ruin anyone’s Santa belief even though several parents were talking to their children about Santa bringing them gifts and Mags is usually a walking spoiler alert ;o)

How are you Christmas Parties going? Do you have too many? Not enough? Please Share!!!

To read more Rothacher’s Advent Days click—>
Advent {Day 1}: Cookie Swap

Advent {Day 2}: Dizzie Izzie’s
Advent {Day 3}: Giving Christmas Away
Advent {Day 4}: Homemade Gifts

Advent {Day 4}: Homemade Gifts


Maggie’s turn in the kitchen and as a guest blogger!

Hi, my name is Magdalene Reese! I am 3.5 years old and I love playing mamma! Today I’ll be showing you how to make homemade playdough. You can share it like we are going to do if you want to. You can even print the labels my mamma made. Let’s start with the recipe. It’s the easiest one I’ve seen but then again…this is my 1st time making playdough.

Homemade Playdough

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
Lots of teaspoons of Water


Dump flour in a bowl.

Add oil.

Add salt.

Add water until it’s doughy consistancy. If it gets too sticky just add some more flour. {I like using a teaspoon or tablespoon to add the water from a larger measuring cup because it feels like I get to put way more ingredients in}

Mix with fork. Using your hands to need the dough gets it more evenly mixed {and it’s more fun!}

If you like things that are colorful like me then you might want to add some food coloring to your dough to make it prettier. I was afraid my hands would get stained from the dye so my mommie put plastic bags over my hands and held them on with loose fitting rubber bands.

After I had on my homemade gloves I needed the food coloring into the dough. We added a little water on top of it before needing it and that help spread the color better. We then added a little more flour to make sure it wasn’t too sticky and it ended up looking kind of like peppermint! Perfect for Christmas gifts!

We divided up the dough up the dough and then rolled them into little balls to stick down into our jars.

To give all my Sunday school friends a Christmas present we divided the dough into baby food jars and added a playdough poem. We flipped the label upside down, painted with mod podge, then rolled the jar across it {covering the remaining sticky residue from the original label}.

Then we cut tissue paper into little squares and tied them on around the lid with curling ribbon.

Click   Playdough Jar Printable for the printable label that fits baby food jars! Hope my friends like’m!

Thanks for letting me tell you about my 1st time making my own playdough!

What kind of homemade gifts to you like to make/receive?

To read more Rothacher’s Advent Days click—>
Advent {Day 1}: Cookie Swap

Advent {Day 2}: Dizzie Izzie’s
Advent {Day 3}: Giving Christmas Away

Advent {Day 3}: Giving Christmas Away


As a family, we have begun the tradition of teaching our children to give Christmas away.

3 years ago we became even more intentional about this when we had our 1st child and it’s been growing ever since. I would love to share more with you about the adventure God has taken us on as a family. I’m over at homemakerschallengedotcom telling our vision for giving Christmas away as well as practical ways for your family to join in this teachable season!

Our family is learning that if we really believe that God loved us enough to give His Son to save us then we can be “His hands, His feet, His love”–the entire year–not just during the Christmas season.


Please share your stories of Advent here or over at homemakerschallengedotcom! I LOVE hearing them!

To read more Rothacher’s Advent Days click—>Advent {Day 1}: Cookie Swap and Advent {Day 2}: Dizzie Izzie’s

Creative fun


The other day I brought this walker up from the basement to clean it up for my 10 month old. It was gross. I pulled the fabric seat liner thingy out and threw it in the wash. Then I scrubbed up the entire thing. My almost-2-year-old watched this entire process. She stared at the toy after it was clean. She slowly walked over to it and began playing with the toys on the tray. 22 months old. Not a baby. Not a big girl. I decided to stick her in the seat-less walker and let her “drive” it around the house. Success! She LOVED it!!! I was hoping this would {momentarily} decrease the fights over who will drive (push) the little tikes car and who will ride.

Didn’t really work. When my 3.5-year old woke from her nap and discovered the new toy in our house, saw how her sister had learned to crawl into it and how it worked she wanted a turn.

Then, big sis, taught her to climb over and out rather sitting down and crawling under.

Yep, everyone but the 10 month old had their turn while the seat was being washed and dried. That’s okay. He had his turn.

In BOTH! ;o)

What wierd creative thing are you going to do today? Maybe something you Pinned? Let’s start doing them! Share!!!



Technology…oh the love hate relationship we have.

God created everything and it was {is?} good. He’s given us so many things that our lives are benefiting from but all also have the opportunity to become a sin.
Why would God “make” things we are commanded to ‘flee’ from? If I have these tough questions how am I supposed to answer the incessant questioning of my 3-year-old?
Recently she is always asking me, “Did God made ____?” She ask this about everything! Some answers are a simple “Yes” others are a little trickier.

“Did God make me?”

“Did God make that tree?”

“Did God make that bird?”

“Did God make that car?”

“Did God make that building?”

“Did God make that phone?”
“Uhhhh… {I’ve been tried to come up with a go-to answer for these types of questions}
… God made people smart enough to make things.” Said through clinched teeth wondering if that answer would suffice. Does she understand that? Is that the right answer?

God made Maggie, trees, and birds. And God saw it was good! -Genisis 1

It’s easy to say that. But did God make that building for His creation to use to sin against Him? Did God make that phone for His creation to use it to sin against Him and His creation?

Tough answers for an ever-growing mommy trying to train up her children in the way they should go so they will not depart from it. I want what I teach them to be the TRUTH. If they are not going to depart from it then I want it to be correct. The Truth.

What would your answer be to these probing questions?

George Muller


My girls and I were sitting at the table this morning eating breakfast when all of a sudden my 3.5-year-old ask me, “‘Member George Muller?” I said I did and then we had a conversation about who he was and where we had heard about him. When she didn’t trust my memory she began singing, “George MUUUller, I WAnt to Know!”

Would you like to know a bit about good ‘ole George?

“GEORGE MULLER – A Man Who Simply Trusted God…reflections by & about an ordinary man who placed implicit trust in an extraordinary God and took His Word at face value – “open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10)”

God can do extraordinary things in our lives when we trust Him enough to let Him! God can do amazing things in the lives of those around us as well but we have to be willing to listen to His guidance! Be extra sensitive to God’s prompting, not just this season but even more so because there are so many hurts that are magnified this time of year.


Do you have any personal stories of God’s provision for you, your family, or friends? Do you have any stories about how you were able to be used by God in provision for someone else?