This came in the mail yesterday. The County Attorney wrote a letter to me THANKING ME for adopting Tatum. The government is not always so bad. Today, I did not  mind my tax dollars at work.

Thank you Bill Montgomery.

Push! You can do it!

She is ALMOST THERE! She will be sitting up pretty soon! 🙂


The world will be a bit larger when you can see from up high; keep embracing your opportunities, and be open to all of them! Keep that joy in your heart, smile, and know that you are LOVED by God, by ME, and by your family.

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Myth or Miracle? It’s a Mystery!

One would have to wonder…..

For about a week now, Tatum is showing all the signs of teething: drooling like a fountain, grumpiness..hmph!, sucking her fist and fingers, sucking EVERYTHING…etc. In fact, in between each bite of food, she inserts her two fingers into her mouth. It takes FOOORRREEEVERRR to feed her with each bite. Spoon in, fingers in, spoon in, fingers in….

So, I revisited my old post: Teething Time, jumped on Amazon and purchased everything. I even added a 30-day free trial to PRIME so I could get 2nd day air for free. Saturday….arrival of my goodies!

I first put the teething ring into the freezer and put on her beads. According to Bouncy Baby Boutique, these teething necklaces release a succinic acid, a naturally occurring component in amber that makes it so effective. “Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects!”  They are not to be chewed but just held against her skin (via her neck).

Then I handed her Villa the Giraffe. Now, this squeaking, chewable giraffe seems to double as a Coti toy, and he got a bit confused thinking it was his. He still is struggling with this issue. Well, within 3 minutes, the squeaker stopped working as she spit up right into the hole. Hmmmm. The freezing cold teething ring froze off her little fingers and then produced a large wail. Teething tabs to the rescue but first, I gave her some Tylenol. Within one hour, I had all five goodies going!

Sunday….new girl! She is laughing, joking, attempting to talk and grabbing every toy possible, including my hair.

Coti waits…..


and waits…..

IMG_2900 IMG_2905 IMG_2908 IMG_2914Myth? I think not. These amber beads are pretty nifty; I’ll keep em.. and Tatum too! 🙂

Reading and the Joy of Discovery!

I am on a roll! One of the joys of my job is I get to “test” books for my curriculum. So far, I’ve read quite a few. For 8th, I’d like to add (to what they currently read) To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, and The Pearl. For 7th, I’ll add The Breadwinner, Johnny Tremain, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Stand Tall, Bad Boy, and the Story of Helen Keller.


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As I read with Tatum, and hopefully modeling this obsession, mom bought her Pat the Bunny. Coti is of course taking it all in.


After this..she discovers cups! Putting one inside another is definitely a puzzle she is discovering


Maybe she will figure out how to get the bell out of the cube?


The Secret?

Last night, we watched an incredible independent movie. It was called The Letter Writer. Hollywood would not have touched this one as it was not flashy or filled with “excitement” via unbecoming behavior. (think Hangover?)

The story begins with a high school girl daydreaming of her career as a rock star. Of course the setting of her dream is her Algebra class which she is currently failing. Also being raised by her single hard-working mom has left her searching for some other role models and ways to find happiness. One day, she receives this letter from an anonymous source describing in detail how she is destined to be great and that she is destined for amazing things. She just must recognize her talents, her gifts and take her failures as a guide for her future. After much searching, she finds that this writer lives in a retirement home. He picks 10 names out of the phone book every day and writes a letter of encouragement. The letter writer, Sam, and Maggy (the girl) form a beautiful friendship. He teaches her the joy of generosity. Sam doesn’t want to waste his elder years, so he has decided to use his words for GOOD. He spends his time giving of encouragement. Generosity begets generosity. She slowly changes in the movie into a phenomenal giver and encourager. She finds the secret to happiness.

Today, in church, this was the message as well. Joy is not a feeling; joy is not due to our circumstances. It is from an attitude we adopt. Joy comes from giving of our time, talents and treasures. I continue to learn this concept of generosity and joy. Man, sometimes, I get so darn down, and if only I can remember that in that time, I turn outward and not inward. Tatum can learn this as well, and she will find the joy in her life. She will get knocked down; she will fail. But, if she can continue to adopt the attitude of gratitude (which produces generosity), she will be a huge success! 🙂


Summa-time Summary: Books, Balls and Bonding

Summertime! We are one month into our grand vacation of pleasurable memories. Finally, we have settled into a routine. It looks a little bit like this:

As I enter her room around 7am, her coos are followed by flapping of her arms, as she sees me say, “Good Morning, Tater!!!” This s is followed by a “The prettiest little girl in the whole wide world; she’s the tot of my dreams she’s my Tot…” song. Thank goodness she doesn’t know I cannot sing yet. I have a fan.

What will she wear? She grabs it from her basket since she seems to want to grab everything she can. If it is not pink or flowery, the “theys” will say, “Oh…what a cute little boy!” Well, perhaps it is that she has no hair.


Breakfast! Rice, multigrain, or oatmeal with pureed pears, apples, or nanners. Can I grab that too? This is a constant theme.

Upon me giving in to her taking the spoon to suck, we read the devotions. Too bad Charles Spurgeon does not have a Baby Einstein version of his work. This was today: ”Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear the crown of glory, and that hand of labour shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Lament not thy troubles, but rather rejoice that ere long thou wilt be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”  In other words, have joy despite your circumstances. See? I can do this.


We then retire to her house for a game of catch. Her right (and left!) hook are powerful.  Major Leagues…. Here she comes!


Sometimes, we meet a friend for coffee which is another battle of grabbing and more grabbing of straws, napkins, my coffee(!), water bottle, etc, and I become the “pick-up artiest”. Here today, we met Bob, her twin.


Wal-Mart or some shopping palace is next, and she gets to see all the sights. Learning about low prices is just what she needs to learn right now (ha-ha)


Upon her 1:00 bottle and some puréed beans, peas, sweet taters or squash we revisit Sesame Street Old School. Again…I repeat, OLD SCHOOL> Elmo will not be coming to our house anytime soon or ever.

As she plays in her house in her room, I work in there with her. She finally takes a nap (We hope) IMG_2838IMG_2830

only to enjoy her 4:00 bottle. Home stretch to 6:30/7 for bath and more fruit and veggies. What a day! Her 10 Little Lady bugs await to be discussed. Quack, buzz, tweet, and ribbit and of course the turtle, ladybug, caterpillar noises which I produce become the thrill of evening. Little does she know that a ladybug does not purr. (Or do they)



What a day. May angels surround her crib and may God bless her little crab butt dreams.



Staying Power

I have planned it well, I must say! We arrive when the music is playing, and Tatum is in AWE! She loves the music and the singing,

Then I feed her while the service begins. This takes a good 15 minutes, and then LAP TIME! She seems to keep it quiet and happy the whole time. God is good. Holy Spirit is in the air and in her 🙂IMG_9292