So, summertime is wonder time, right? With a 9 year old and 3 year old, we have wondered about the little things in our own backyard and wandered to broaden our perspective as well. It’s been a good summer so far, but definitely a challenging one! Anyone who has a 3 year old ‘knows’ about the challenging part, right? I mean, seriously!?! It’s not that we have had the most compliant well behaved child by any means in our spunky toddler, but what. just. happened? I am definitely in the thick of it raising this one! She is super affectionate (on her own terms when it’s her idea), heart melting, and fierce laughter all wrapped up into one ball of boundless, sleepless energy! It has never occurred to her that most people actually require SLEEP! or more than 30 seconds of silence, or time to themselves. She sticks to me like Glue, and that can be really messy sometimes. But, I love it and love her! She is pure sunshine… until she isn’t. She is WILD and thus far untamable. What in the world? We are often at a loss as to how to tame this fantastic, energetic, and loveable beast. I am now 100% certain that her initials are accurately descriptive of her (MES). Yes, she is a mess! She has discovered- that once her parents are in sleep coma and she still has energy to expend (sometime in that 10/11 pm- 4 am time frame)- that she can draw on walls, scale her shelves and dresser and empty them, use a new tube of toothpaste to finger paint the carpet, vaseline to grease the stair spindles, etc. The list is LONG folks…. really long. And I know theoretically that I will miss this tireless toddler time… but not until I have had time to rest and recover in a few years. She challenges me to be a better version of myself, to push through hard times, and to be patient (still working a lot on this one). So, if you need a really good laugh or encouragement as a parent of a toddler, I hope you have found this helpful. God delivers BIG blessings in our little bundles, and my two biggest earthly gifts are my two kids! HE keeps me grounded through the toil, laughter, tears, hugs and kisses! I am finding myself late at night looking to Him and His word more often than in the first 3 years of my littlest’s existence, and I consider that a blessing. I earnestly pray that I have the wisdom to raise this spunky, spirited human being who is a light to those around her! So dear friends, if you are in the thick of it, let’s continue to provoke each other to do good, to love our spouses and our children! Big, messy hugs to you!
Summertime helpful hints for the ‘littles’ in your life:
- BADGER sunscreen does a great job of BLOCKING sun from penetrating the skin even in our pasty white, red headed, blue eyed boy. It is the only thing we have found (and we have tried LOTS) that does not cause skin irritation or breakouts, and that he doesn’t get even a little bit pink with. Plus, a little goes a LONG way.
- Caterpillar sprinkler that screws on to the end of a hose. It is the cheapest and BEST water play toy for at home, hands down, unless you have a pool. We have tried slip and slides, tarps, other contraptions that are store-bought or made and this one, for $8.99 at HomeGoods and I’m sure other places, is a great memory maker!
- Shaklee’s All purpose cleaner! It’s Scentless, and You can use it to clean windows, clean toilets, clean kitchen counters and even hardwoods… those in Birmingham area, Amy Overby or Stacie Jackson can hook you up!
- Basement Bins: we are able to sort and keep somewhat organized with a water toy bin, a flipflop and bathing suit bin for each child, and a straight sturdy post to slide life jackets on and off.
- We also have multiple loosely packed bags for each child for events like hiking (bug spray, hand sanitizer, hat, bandaids and antiseptic spray), swimming, church, library, and a bag of the old school portable DVD players and DVD movies for road trips.
- One Step Ahead’s Sun Smarties pop up beach tent. We have had ours for 8 years and it is still in very good condition! This was worth every penny spent and so convenient because it collapses down and is worn handsfree as a light weight backpack.
What helps you stay organized when the schedule is non existent?
A good way to start fresh! Today, i am outlining the next 6 weeks of our summer Bible study for the kids! Do you have any great ideas for a rising 4th grader and a 3 year old? Once it’s down on paper, I’ll share with you what we have decided to do!
In the Thick of It
Good afternoon! Do you ever feel like you are ‘in the thick of it’? Whether it’s in parenting, a tough academic course, a marriage, or your relationship with God or with others? Do you ever get bogged down in the minutia of it that it is hard to see the surface? Man, you’re MY TRIBE! Welcome!
I LOVE being in the thick of it (most of the time). Right? I mean, who doesn’t? We want to be there as a support for others during the ups and downs of life because we genuinely LOVE and are interested in them. My life’s mantra has become Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the springs of life.” In trying to do this, I often fail. YEP. That’s right. I sometimes spend too much time on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat looking at everyone else’s ‘life’ as they show us, rather than paying attention to mine. So, what gives when you genuinely LOVE others and are interested in them? This verse helps center me! It helps me to put down the iPad, paint and sing with my children, have a meaningful conversation with my husband (and also friends) and read my Bible. That’s what being in the Thick of It means to me. Here I am, trying to maximize my influence on those I am around, enjoy and embrace the present, and remembering to Love, Laugh and get to Heaven.
Can’t wait to share the funny stories, things that inspire me to do better, and to HEAR what tips you have for me and my family while we are here together, In the Thick of IT! And also, I’m readying myself to get back in shape physically, so another topic for another day will be In the Thick o FIT! 🙂
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