Monday, August 26, 2013

Courage - Joshua 1:6-9

This was my takeaway from quiet time this morning ...

Joshua 1:6-9

Some of you need this reminder ... as I did this morning.  :-) 

These verses are some of my favorites.  Though I still have moments of fear, weakness, and discouragement, this is my reminder of God's heart for me.  "Be strong and courageous." And ... the promise that "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."  What a promise - I am not alone!  I can rely on Him to be my strength and my courage.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pudding Paint

We have been up since 5am!

Usually I'm the only one up that early, and I love my quiet moments before the house wakes up. Lately, my little guy has been getting up around 5:30.  Today he woke up at 5:00 and would not go back to sleep. 

So we have played with his zoo play set, eaten breakfast, climbed up and down the stairs, and had three diaper changes... Now we are painting with pudding. 

He loves this activity. We don't do this often (sugar overload!), but it keeps his attention for quite a while when we paint. Imagine how long it would take you to eat an entire pack of pudding with your index finger!

Currently, he has turned the pudding upside down, and he is drumming to the beat in his head. I love watching him in these moments of exploration and creativity.  Many times, these creative moments are accompanied by a little song or new "words."  His sweet, little voice always makes me smile. 

While I may wish that he would sleep longer in the morning, I am blessed to be part of these fun moments. I know they will end way too soon. 

Ok... The pudding container just became a snowman's carrot... Time to clean up!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Toddler Travel: A 12-Hour Road Trip!

We spent 12 hours in the car yesterday.  Yes, 12!  We've been vising my husband's family in Wisconsin, but I had to be back for a meeting today.  Rather than having to leave a day earlier than we'd planned, we decided to marathon-drive our way home.  Since we have a 17-month-old son, we had to do a little extra planning on the front end of the trip.  Otherwise, we could have had a miserable day.
Here are my 5 tips for a long car ride, toddler edition:

Tip #1 - Baby Wipes

Seriously, bring MORE baby wipes than you think you need.  When we travel, I usually use between 1-2 whole 100-ct wipes packages.  It's easier to have extra on hand so that you can use as much as you need.  Whenever I bring "just enough," there is always some major mess that occurs to thwart my planning.  (Thwart?  Where did that come from?)

Tip #2 - Noisemaker 

We have a great noisemaker for nighttime that plugs into the wall.  However, that doesn't work for the car ride.  Someone gave us this little lamb when my son was born, and it has proved to be a life-saver.  My son fights naps in the car because he doesn't want to miss anything.  When mama and daddy are both awake in the car, his little brain is on overload of possible fun!  This noisemaker has a timer and several different noise settings.  Our current favorite is whale sounds.  We'll turn this on at naptime, and it helps to calm our little guy.

Tip #3 - Orange Fishies 

I think my son could eat his weight in orange fishies.  It doesn't take a lot of fishies, but 5-8 of these orange guys can work wonders!  When it was nearing lunchtime, we were in the middle of nowhere.  Orange fishies.  When we were nearly stopped from road construction traffic, my son thought it was time to get out and play.  Orange fishies.  When it was clearly dinner time, we were 15 minutes from home.  Orange fishies.  Don't underestimate the power of a few fish.

Tip #4 - A few of the favorite DVDs
My son LOOOOOVES Go Diego Go!  He is allowed to watch one episode after his nap each day, and he gets so excited to hear that theme song.  When travelling 12 hours in a car, please don't hold yourself to the normal rules of entertainment.  In a normal day, my son does not watch a movie; he does not watch multiple episodes of Diego in a row.  However, desperate times call for desperate measures.  A 12 hour car trip is one of those desperate times.  He was absolutely beside himself when he got to watch a whole disc of Diego (4 episodes) all at once.  More importantly, we got to drive 90 minutes with a very happy little boy.  I'm not suggesting that the DVD player needs to run nonstop, but a movie or a few extra episodes of your child's favorite show will work wonders in terms of parental serenity.  You can only sing the same song so many times before you go insane! 
We will get back to the normal entertainment viewing today, but it was 100% worth the extra TV time yesterday to have a few moments of quiet calmness.
Tip #5 - Toys!
We are really into animals these days.  It probably has something to do with Diego ... Anyway, we have a set of 8 safari animals.  They are an absolute must-have for a car ride.  My little guy played with these 8 animals for hours over the course of the day.  We heard a lot of lion roars and jaguar growls.  Zebra and hippo practiced their jumping skills.  Rhino took a nose dive off into the diaper bag.  He was happy playing with his favorite toys and taking them on new adventures.  We were happy that he was having fun instead of being fussy or bored.
These are just a few things that made my life easier yesterday.
Car rides are rarely fun, but we made the best out of our day.  Remember that the car will eventually stop at its destination.  Remember that you really do love everyone in the car and try to react with kindness and love. 
Remember these 5 tips for travelling with a toddler.
What tips can you share with me?  What is one item you won't leave home without?

Saturday, August 17, 2013


So, I promised to be real and transparent.  This is one of those real moments. 

If you were spying on me last night, you would have seen an ugly moment.  Not a messy hair moment, but an angry moment.

How I got there is not important, really.  There was no drama, no argument, nothing... Just a situation where I reacted.  I did not get angry outwardly, lash out, or treat anyone poorly.  No, I stuffed the anger inward and let it settle in my mind.  

After fuming for a few moments, I chose to sit outside for a few minutes.  Now, the old me would have stormed outside, stewed about the situation, and laid blame in other people.  In this situation, there is no one to blame.  Like I said, there wasn't a reason for me to get angry other than that's just what I chose.  However, the old me would have blamed someone regardless of that truth.  The old me would have sat outside fuming that my husband hadn't come to see what was wrong with me.  The old me would have plotted ways to pick a fight with someone (probably my husband) just to make myself feel better. 

However, I'm thankful that the old me is gone.  Yes, I was angry.  Yes, I wanted to blame someone.  BUT, I didn't.  I sat down to sit with my anger.  I allowed myself to feel the feelings.  I stayed angry for a few minutes.  I did not look to blame someone, and I calmed down quickly.  

I surrendered my feelings and processed through them.  I acknowledged that I am currently exhausted. I admitted that I needed a few moments alone to recharge and to refresh.  I prayed, confessed my anger, and allowed myself some grace.  Then I let it all go. 

When I was ready, I came back inside, ready to be with my family again.  The old me would have been mad all night, but not the me I am today.  I processed through the ugly moment.  I chose to let it go and enjoy the rest of my night. 

I'm not proud of my ugly moment tonight, but I am committed to remember James 1:19-20.  I am committed to be transparent with those of you who are Spying on Sarah.

What are your ugly moments like?

Only in Green Bay ...

I enjoy visiting my in-laws in Green Bay.  Today, I pretended to be a tourist, and I had fun taking pictures of all the Packer tributes as we ran errands to the bank, bakery, and grocery store.  I love that this city loves their team so much!  I decided to put a few fun thoughts down in honor of the green and gold.  :-)

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

You see a life-size Aaron Rogers cut out at the bank ...

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

You see this banner at the grocery store ... Along with green and gold, football-shaped cheese in the deli section!  Sadly, I did not get a picture of that one.  

Random alert ... This banner shares a moment with some downtown De Pere pictures ... And the bakery pictured in the middle is awesome!!

You know you're in Green Bay when ...

The checkout lanes are lined with Packer flags, and all the checkers are wearing Packer jerseys.  Yes, they ALL were wearing Packers jerseys!!

And... You know you're in Green Bay when ...

There's a brat fry today!

Go Pack Go!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Moment with Dad

I've started getting up at 5.  It's time for me. Quiet time, writing, reading, blogging, Facebook, breakfast... It changes daily. It is whatever I make it. I've done this for a whopping five days, but I am really enjoying that quiet time in the mornings before the rest of the house wakes up. 

We are traveling this weekend, and my husband asked me if I was still planning on getting up at 5 while visiting family. Yes!  Especially when we visit family!  It may be the only quiet moment all day. 

This morning's moment wasn't quiet, though. Today, I enjoyed a moment with my dad. Many, actually. 

By 5:15, we were both up and in the kitchen.  While he sipped his coffee and I drank my Spark, we chatted.  

My husband and I don't live in the same state as either set of our parents. While we visit each other as often as we can, these moments of quiet, uninterrupted conversation are rare.  Siblings, parents, kids, places to be, work... They can get in the way sometimes. None of these things are bad, but they can distract the time to talk and share stories. 

So, today we talked. We shared about what each of us is learning and writing. We talked about my awesome little boy and all the new and funny things he is doing. We talked about ministry. We simply hung out. 

With so many other "things" going on, it is refreshing to enjoy a moment to just "be."  

I need more of these moments. 

On the Road ...

I spent most of the day in the car ... Driving the last six hours to Wisconsin.  Well, technically my husband drove the whole way, and I rode in the back with our little mister. Anyway, I'm excited to spend the next three days with my husband's family. 

This was my view at one point. Bright sunshine, a few harmless clouds, and a bridge.  What a beautiful day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Amazed by his appetite

My sweet boy must be going through a growth spurt.  Moments like this make me anxious about his teenage years. 

Yes, this is a random post, but you're the one spying on me, remember?

This morning, my son decided that he needed to be part of the 5Club and has been up since 5am!  When I put him down for his morning nap, he had a few moments of quiet time in his room.  But then...

I heard "Eat."  While I'm thankful that he is able to communicate that need, I am amazed at how often my child requests food!  Thinking he was just trying to get out of nap time, I ignored the request for a few minutes.  However, when "Eat" was repeated, I gave in and fed him!

This is what gets me - toddler growth spurt moment!  I started by giving him a snack portion of broccoli.  When he finished that, he asked for more (both verbally and with sign language - just in case I did not receive his message clearly!).  One snack led to another and another... by the time he was finished, he had eaten more than I do in a typical meal.  He ate the following:  broccoli, watermelon, graham cracker pieces, chips and salsa (crumbs, not whole chips), and two portions of macaroni and cheese!!

If you were spying on me this morning, you would have been amazed at this big boy appetite, too.  I don't have to worry about leftovers going bad today!

Do little girls eat this much, too? 

Size 5W at 17 months.  How big will these feet be in 5 years? 10?

Book time with Baby

If you were spying on me right now...

You'd see me snuggled up with my 17-month-old son. 

You'd see the massive stack of books he pulled from the shelf. 

You'd hear his sweet voice naming the animals he knows or making animal sounds. (We read a LOT of animal books!)

You'd hear me - affirming his words, reading, correcting, encouraging, reminding him to "be gentle" ...

Most of all, you'd see me ... Loving my day job!