The tallest of smalls

When I picked up Tatum from school on Monday, two little girls were playing right next to Tatum. The two little girls seemed to be playing with a baby doll. They apparently named her Tatum.

As I approached Tatum, she seemed sad. She said that the two little girls were calling her a baby. I told Tatum that it was probably the baby they were playing with, so she asked them. The girls said, “No, it’s you that is a baby. Why are you in this class anyway?”

My mother claws came out. WWWHHHHAAAAT did you say to my child!? But I did not say that. I said, “Do you think that is kind?”

I told the girls she belonged in the class right with them and maybe they should be kinder.

I then spoke to Ms. V. She mentioned that she’d chat with the little girls.

When I got home that night, I encouraged Tatum that her little self was huge with a beautiful heart and tremendous might. I then read her this book

It’s a great book by Max Lucado about not the size of the person but what is inside that matters as this boy was reminded by Jesus.

Later that week, the two girls apologized to me and they all played together. No matter either way because Tatum can truly hold her own. I’m proud of the way she handled it anyway. She was kind back no matter how it went down. That is all that I can ask.

 

Robot Puppet Day

We made it so.

Today’s craft? Recycled parts of mismashed items into a wonder robot puppet. Thanks to some research online and coming upon this expert’s site (since I have not the talent or creativity).  I found this little gem filled with ideas and tools to help this amateur artist.

First thing I had to do was find some of her old artwork and make some various squares and rectangles. I cut them up and put them in piles.

Then, it was time to decorate the head. (the smaller square).

We had all sorts of eyeballs, sparkly pieces, buttons and stickers to make the decorations.

Body time:

We then stuck the head to the body and picked out some legs and arms while Coti watched of course

Using brads, we connected the arms and legs.


Then we added the stick which was just removed from a hanger (the cardboard piece). A popsicle stick at the top and some glue did the trick. VOILA!


What do you think Coti?

Rolan and Pogan. At least these are the names of the moment. The show shall begin!

For the piece de resistance, Tatum decided to retire to the closet for some quiet coloring.

Puppeteering is quite tiring!

Stay tuned for more “artistic” work with the Tot and me!

A pensive and grateful day

It was 5 years ago TODAY that a phone call came to me in my classroom. It was the first day of school, and a message was left on my voicemail to call Dr. Kaufman back. I couldn’t get to him immediately since it was the first day, so I called him after school. A phone call that would change my life forever.

Three months later, I’m cutting the cord of this beautiful


 

baby girl.


My cup overfloweth

Today, I cannot believe it has been five years since that day. I have never experienced this kind of love, and having her in my life has exploded my heart and given me a depth of love only a parent could feel. I get it, God. I see how you feel about me! Your heart breaks for me as mine does for my Tot.

I pray for her protection, but at the same time, I pray for her opportunity to experience the gamut of challenge and struggle so she can grow into the woman You created her to be. A scary thought but probably necessary. Can it be that she can be given true Godly character with just enough struggle and climb that it could occur with a righteous amount of cushion?? You know my heart, Lord. Guide her and please keep her in your arms.

She is a strong girl with fervor! Just look at her sing to Coti with all of her might!

I was a bit more timid as a tot. Strong in spirit, but…

this tot!!? Quite the dynamo. Strong in spirit and might.

(Mom recycled it for Tatum). She wears it with gusto!

Thanks Mama!

Today, we will celebrate. Well, I’ll celebrate Tatum being in my life and her taking hold of this life and LIVING it with full passion and wonder as she has since that first day of her life.

I love you Tatum Isabella Knight. May God bless your steps and may He continue to give me wisdom raising you!

Presenting Delicious Art

Fridays….ah. One of my favorite days of the week. Why? Because it is Tot and my day to enjoy each other. And Coti of course.

We love you Snuggle Bug. Notice his happy spot with a MyPillow Bed. This dog is definitely blessed.

Ok. Back to the day.

So, I decided to inspire Tot with some art from Wayne Thiebaud. I found some of his art on a Pinterest post. He is a dessert artist, so what could be more fun!?
First we made some scrappy dos! You can use any kind of scraps from old random pieces of paper. No waste allowed.

Then once we had a pile of confetti….

I showed her a YouTube of his art. 

Then we got to work on some ice cream cones! This guy makes dessert come alive.  Here is a picture of some art inspired by his cones.

We made the cones


She cut them out… (notice the shapes!)

Then we started the flavors. What shall we make? I made lemon.

She made lime with a cherry


VOILA! Blueberry, lime, and (blue) raspberry dripping down.

She did it all by herself. My little artist.

She wanted to continue so she got the paint, disrobed, and went to work. (couldn’t find her smock so hey? Why not!)

Coti was exhausted watching her. So he kept her shirt warm.

I’m making a DOT now!

Masterpieces done and drying.

I worked on my latest creation (TBA) while she artisted it up.

We will continue to create together! I love our Fridays for extended projects.

Skating, swimming, and snuggling later. Perfecto! (OH, and we did have some real ice cream to celebrate).

Art from the Heart

Tuesdays. They used to be a day for Tatum and me. Now, she is in school 9-12. This means that I need to make sure when I’m with her, we spend solid quality time.

One thing she is doing daily is a little phonics with my mom. She also does some math or practicing of her letters or spelling. This is wonderful for her academic growth, but one thing that definitely could be nurtured is her creative bent. My sister-in-law reminded of this, and I got inspired. Probably too inspired! I want to do an art project (even if it’s 5 minutes) daily.

When I get an idea, I tend to go overboard in my plan. I don’t usually do something halfway. I go ALL OUT! So, I started looking up art ideas. This led me to wanting to create an “art center” in her room. Why not!? The blueprint of how her room could be set up is now an obsession. How can I organize it to make it conducive to art projects? This then led me to Pinterest which led me to Michaels. (can you say cha-ching!) Yep. I purchased a few items to make this work. Then, I hit Amazon of course and the money continues to be plucked from my wallet as if it grows on trees. (doesn’t it??) Well, stay tuned for what I do next with this “art center.”

In the meantime, we are making art from the heart. I love giraffes, so we decided to embark on this mini idea. It did not require much in terms of materials so perfect!

We got started making the body and I let Tot decorate.

Add the legs (clothes pins)

And of course give them names. Ollie and Wally.

Daily, Tatum wants me to make her a watch, bracelet, ring or glasses. One of these wearable artistic pieces. Today, a pair of glasses and a watch so she could time herself. Now, if I took pictures of every piece we made, I could fill a whole blog book. Ha!

She wanted glitter on these babies.

While it dries, she will wait. Patience is our skill of the week. (for all of us, mind you). I’m not sure it worked because we instantly moved to making the watch. Now,  she …….Tick tock tick tock….

 

….wants to know when the glasses will be dry.


Aye yie yie! Patience is a virtue my child.

All in an attempt in making art from the heart.

Stay tuned for more art projects and designs.

 

God knows our needs and He provides!!!

And blesses us BEYOND what we can imagine.

Such is true today when Tatum walked into her new Preschool class.  (as today was  the first day).

Her new teachers were to be Miss Karen and Miss Jen. There were to be 22 students of which she knew 4 (Robert, Eloise, Eden, Sahaja). I pulled Miss Jen aside and shared with her that Tatum has been doing 30 minutes of phonics almost daily, and she needs to be challenged.

She then told me that all of the teachers have been talking about her and they have had an idea. I was taken aback.

Really? What??

Paradise for Tots is truly a Christian Preschool, but they do have one Kindergarten class. Ms. V and Coach Matt are the teachers of the Kinders. Well, they suggested that Tatum should be in this class (as an advanced Preschooler), and then repeat Kindergarten next year in an advanced setting. (Since I AM NOT READY for my Tot to be in Kinder!!! Sheesh…next stop college and then bye! (I can’t even)).

I told Tatum this idea to try next week, and she begged me to go today. Huh? No wonder she has not liked school. She is bored. Plus, she did not even want to be with the littles in her Pre-K class.

This was an AHA moment for me. AND AN ANSWER to prayer.

I have wondered…..How is she going to be in a class where she knows the content? Will she have behavior problems?

So…God just gave me this present today.

We crossed the hall to visit Ms. V, and she instantly gleamed. TATUM!!! We’d love to have you. She mentioned there’ll be only 11 kiddos.

Ms. V is so good with the kids; they’ll be learning Spanish; Coach Matt, being a man,  will also be her teacher (he is the owner’s son and is a gem).  AND…Tatum will be challenged. The kids are so mature too.

When I picked up Tatum, there was a sparkle in her eye that has not been there. She is being lifted UP, rising to the occasion.

Thank you, God, for providing this. I had no idea what was the answer. But, boy, He provides… and provide in waves!!!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

 

Hope and Light for a New School Year

This summer has been filled with so much joy. A season is ending, and a new one is about to begin.

When Tatum entered my life, she literally lit me up with joy, and she continues to light up (with smiles, laughter and something special) everyone around her (and especially ME!).

I figured these shoes would light up her day especially when she finds herself in a scary unknown place. Starting new things can be somewhat mysterious, so these shoes can represent a joy in her step as she lights up her hope!

Can I get an AMEN!?

The promise of her bright future is something I pray for daily.  Just like God gives us His promises in this rainbow,

I know He’s watching out for her…

With so much love. (Thanks you Jesus for providing a way back to HIM!)

This love and BLESSING was so apparent this morning when we arose. First, I had to give her a special gift so she knew the garment closest to her body was filled with my hugs.


That’s right. Days of the week undies, and today is Wednesday! (her first day of Preschool.


She made sure she had an Apple Watch to match, so she whipped out her scissors, glue and paper and got to work.


Ok, now we are ready

Now, what we are about to discover could only have come from God. He heard my fears, cries, and desires. I did not even know what I was praying for, but He interceded, translated and answered. Stay tuned.

Sweet Tatum, you are on your way!!! I love you so very much.