December 29, 2013


This morning while Tabitha was taking her morning cat nap and Ransom was busy pouring dry pinto beans into a toy garbage truck, I wrote "Prayer Matters" at the top of my blue and white card, right underneath "2014" and got started on my prayer list for the coming year. 

It was double meaning as in, "matters of prayer" but also the obvious "Prayer does matter" and sometimes I need reminding of that. 

For my birthday Brett got me a really awesome "journaling bible" which basically means really wide margins that are lined so you can write next to verses that stick out to you. I'm guessing it was meant for bible study in the more academic sense, but for me it has revitalized my prayer life. Sometime that has faulted a lot in the last year. Make that two. Basically ever since Ransom could pick up a pencil and scribble in my prayer journal. I'm not blaming anyone but me, but let's just say...its hard to put a prayer together, much less a basic full sentence without interruption with babies and toddlers sucking your life force (oops that was a bit dramatic)! But now that I've got a place to write again, and as my bible reading guides my prayers, I write them down ( usually just a few sentences) that way when I'm interrupted I know exactly where I's written right in front of me! 

But then another Mommy Brain area needed addressing. I've got tons of things that I'm praying for at any given time, but my Mommy Brain has assured me that I can't keep them all straight. 

So entered the prayer card. It's a list of the Big Prayers.  For me that means I don't put "hope I can make it to and from the grocery store in one piece today!" on the prayer list. No, that prayer is just going to happen...but we're talking praying for the Mom of a friend who passed away this year, or the friend who's marriage is rocky with a chance of avalanche. We're talking prayers like "10 people from our neighborhood find Jesus this year." or "That Ransom finds a good friend his own age." "That our friend will be healed of his life threatening illness"
The prayers that may take a while, the ones that I need to return to day after day. 

Basically it's like a Prayer version of New Years Resolutions except that I know I can't do the things on my list! In fact, the fact that I can't do them makes them all the cooler. Because I know that Jesus can. 

One of the cool editions to the prayer list this year is that right at the top I always put Brett, Ransom and Tabitha's name..not that I'll ever forget to pray for them...but this year I flipped the card over and wrote something new: 

This year I got the idea from a friend to pray through the Fruits of the Spirit for my husband and children. And not just "May they have love, amen" but basically anything and everything I can think of in regards to each word. 
For instance joy: May ____ have joy even when times are rough. May ____ be joyful in the middle of the night when ___ has a nightmare. May _____ find Joy in giving to others. etc etc. 
Hopefully it'll give me a lot of new "material" in praying for them! Especially for my children. I feel like I spend so much time praying for our present season that I forget or loose sight of praying for big things. Salvation, schooling, friends, spouses there are allllll sorts of things I want to be praying for on a regular basis. 

Right underneath my families names are the names of seven people who I've got BIG THINGS to pray for them about. These are the lost, the downtrodden, the sick, the broken hearted in my life. I love them and it just so happens that when I asked God who to put on my list he gave me 7 names!! COOL! Because now I get to pray for one of them every day of the week!! 

There are of course other things on my card too.  The dreams, the worries, the goals. And I also made room for some blank space for the BIG prayers that I know will cross our path in 2014. Because that's what life is stock full of things that we can decidedly not handle alone. They too will be going on the Prayer Matters Card. 

May we all go into 2014 with our eyes upon Jesus the Author and Perfecter. He is Worthy and I wish each of us a growing relationship with Him this year! 

December 15, 2013

I guest posted today...

Hey friends! Today I'm honored to share that I'm guest blogging over at my friend Renee's blog. I met Renee and her son Apollo ( as well as one of her other daughters, Tilly) while we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House last year. I was first drawn to them because her son had GORGEOUS golden ringlets and seemed to be about the same age as Ransom. Oh, and they were running around outside with short sleeves on and it was, like, 60 degrees ( CLEARLY they weren't from Texas! hahaha!). Sure enough, they were in Houston all the way from Washington state for a surgery for Apollo. I since learned what an interesting lady Renee and her whole family truly was and have enjoyed keeping up with them on her blog. ( 14 children! homeschooling! adoption! child with health problems! mission trips! Crafts! Recipes! ALL THINGS I'm TOTALLY into reading about!)

As with many of the children that we met at the Ronald McDonald House, Apollo's health problems are ongoing and he remains one of those kids that remains a permanent fixture on my  prayer list. How thankful I am for that time at the RM House for so many reasons! But the children I met there have forever changed me. And I am honored to keep praying for them even now.

I must also mention that Renee asked me to guest post for her today because she's in New Zealand! JEALOUSLY!!! I hope she gives a shout out to my alma mater while she's there.

So head on over, give Renee's blog a peruse and read my post about my Christmas Great Expectations.  

December 10, 2013

What's for Christmas....Ransom

I'm posting this as part of my little Christmas series on gifts for my kiddos. You can view the first post, if you missed it, here.

While it was a little hard to stick to my 4 presents rule for Tabitha, it was MUCH harder for Ransom, and I'm glad we're starting this rule early in their lives. I know that as the years go on it will be that much harder to combat the "geemies" on both sides of the board.

That being said, here are the winners and runners up for Ransom's presents this year:

Ransom ( age 3 and a half):

Read: This was hard. It always is. There are so many books I want for Ransom, but I'm gonna be honest with you, this year, because he already has so many beautiful books and I know he's just going to get more, I went with the cheap route. And I also went with the route of "Lets learn some lessons". Thus "The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts" and "The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving"


Ransom LOVES the Berenstain Bear books. He inherited all of mine from when I was a little girl, and I love how they are a good teaching tool for various lessons we face on a daily basis ( can you guess our current "learning" issues!?! hahah).

I have a running list of back up books for Ransom at all times, but here's one that should be on any little boys Christmas list: "Steam Train, Dream Train"  Isn't it gorgeous?


I decided to go with something a little fun for Ransom's "wear" category...afterall, it is Christmas! I'm pretty darn excited about this present and I can't wait to see him wearing them! However, *REAL TALK* I haven't actually purchased this gift yet...yeah, I've got to make a trip to my local boot barn and it just hasn't happened yet.  But don't you think Ransom's gonna be ADORABLE tromping around in something like this?! 

My runner up was in a close race. But the boots ended up winning out by just a little. You'll see why...
Yeah, I was such a tough call! I can totally seeing him running around with these boots on for days on end, especially since he loves playing fireman. But, in the end I decided I would rather not have to fight the battle of not letting him wear his rain boots to school every day....You can purchase this set for your little fireman for just $19.99 on Zulily right now if you act fast! 


This is always the hard category when it comes to Christmas gifts, you don't want your kid getting new pencils ( unless they are really awesome pencils) for Christmas, so I went with something that I feel like Ransom does need, but that he might also have a little fun with. And, there's a little story behind this one, so buckle up. Ransom only has one real board game. We won it at a white elephant a few years ago, and it's Candyland. Not the best little boy boardgame and so I don't have to tell you that he doesn't really like it that much and when he does want to play with it, he definitely doesn't want to play by the rules. That being said, I think he needs to start learning how to wait your turn and follow rules and learn how to loose well, all things that playing games teach you. So, I thought back to when I was little and one of my favorite board games was Memory. 
Now, I went through all the current Memory boardgames and I didn't like the pictures very much. And, well, the pictures are kind of important in Memory! SO I went on ebay and I found the exact Memory game that I had when I was a little girl, still in the wrapper for $15 bucks. I was SO EXCITED! ( it says ages 5-7 on the box...that's ridiculous!)

Now, after I purchased my totally awesome Memory game that I CANNOT WAIT TO PLAY ( wait, who's Christmas present is this again!?! haha!) I saw this incredibly cool memory game on Kelle Hampton's blog. I'm still tempted to buy this one for someone else, because its GORGEOUS. You get to actually upload you're own pictures for the set! Isn't it lovely?! 

Oooooh, so hard! Especially for a very active little 3 year old who could have fun with just about anything! But, in the end I went with something I really think he's going to enjoy: Legos!!
I ended up finding this set at Sam's Club for $10 less than Amazon or Toys R Us, so SCORE! Of course, I'm sure those annoying Black Friday People got this for like $5 or something, but I can't handle that kind of pressure. 

Of course, the present that I went back and forth and back and forth with the Legos over is similar and yet fact, I'm still not sure I made the right decision ( it DOES say "4+" on the Lego box after all!! EEK!) However, a few months ago, my parents gave Ransom some little lego candies that are the same size as little lego blocks and you can even build with them! Added bonus they are pure sugar ( thanks Grandparents!)! I was surprised at how Ransom sat and made little towers with those candies, even though they didn't always fit together well ( candy, afterall)....Ok, so I went with Legos, but every little boy needs a good set of wooden blocks too! So maybe in the future he'll unwrap a set of Wooden Blocks like these : 

So, there you have it! What Ransom will be unwrapping from his parents this year! Of course, I have a lot of other fun finds on my Amazon Wish List for Ransom that you can check out if you'd like some ideas for the 3 year old boy on your list or if you're just curious. (I think the "I dressed myself" pin might be handy in the coming months ;-) ) 

December 08, 2013

What's for Christmas....Tabitha

I thought I'd do a little Christmas presents series for fun, basically two different posts one for Ransom one for Tabitha....

This year to make sure I kept our kids Christmas ( and our bank account) in check, we're sticking to the READ, WEAR, WANT, NEED categories.
I got this idea off of pinterest and I think it was one of the best things to come from the hours of mindless scrolling that Pinterest inevitably brings about. *double sigh*
Basically each of our children will receive one item from each of these categories and that is it. Done. No more presents.

P.S. this is actually much harder to do than I thought! Gosh, I love getting christmas presents for people!! So, that being said this blog post will help me out. I will not only tell you what I decided to get my kids of Christmas, but also what I thought about getting them. You know, the runners up gifts. So, at least in my mind, those back up gifts will get the credit they so deserve.

First off, Tabitha ( my almost 1 year old)

Read: I got her Peek-a-moo, we had a similar book in the series "Peek-a-zoo" for Ransom but it was a used copy and sadly didn't make it to Tabitha. I think she's gonna love it as much as Ransom did his book.

The runner up for my book choice for Tabitha was Sense and Sensibility: A Babylit Opposites Primer. I've told you about other favorite from this author "Pride and Prejudice: A Babylit Counting Book" in another post. I think this one looks like its going to be just as good! Maybe I'll get it for Tabitha's birthday!

So, just to go ahead and spread the love just a little bit and show you that I have other addictions....I got my next present for Tabitha from my OTHER favorite website/drug: Zulily  ( if you aren't already a member ( its free) go click on that link, and if you then purchase something I'll get $15 bucks. So that'd be cool!)...They have revolving deals on this site and the things I've purchased have been babyleggings,  high quality toys, like Melissa and Doug toys, Manhattan Toys-all for ridiculously good deals. The addictive quality about this site?! Well, shipping is a basic $5 shipping...and after you buy ONE item and pay your five dollar shipping...ALL YOUR OTHER ORDERS THAT DAY ARE FREE SHIPPING. Whaaaat!?!? And that's the story about how Abigail ordered tons of stuff in a feverish fit at 11:45pm and then woke up the next morning wondering what in the world I'd done....true story. I had to cut myself off for a while. *sigh* 
Ok, so back to the point: I got Tabitha this rockin' little hat and gloves set on Zulily .....sadly as I mentioned the sales over there are revolving and its no longer available. Here's a teeny tiny picture so you can be sad that you missed out: 

The runner up in the "Wear" category was this totally awesome bib and I ended up not getting it because it just didn't seem as fun as the hat and gloves as far as Christmas presents go...but it's still super cute and I LOVE these "smock" type bibs. I have one from IKEA that I got for Ransom ( so its boy colors) and she has to wear it all the time, the bib below however came in SO MANY adorable patterns that it was hard to pick my favorite. Bird cages? Win. Especially now that it's winter-its the only thing that protects ALL OF HER PERSON from her ANIMALISTIC eating habits is this : 

Need: OK, lets be honest...this is the category that has to be a little bit "flimsy" when it comes to Christmas presents. You don't want your kids opening underwear on Christmas morning. So please notice that this isn't a need per say...

This is another Zulily purchase that I got a month or so ago so sadly I don't have a link for you. But I have something similar for Ransom and I wanted Tabitha to have her own: It's a dinner plate that has her name on it. Ransom has one that has a Hippopotamus on it that he loves, and Tabitha's has a tree made out of butterflies. 

 Let me just say though, personalized items are always a fun gift for kids. 

My runner up for Need for Tabitha was kicked out of the running almost immediately. Mostly because it was for me. Not her. Haha! Though she IS in a major "take everything out of the basket" phase so I suppose she would have liked it: 

Bottom line is that up until now Tabitha's toys have been relatively little and nonintrusive. Buuuut they are now starting to make their presence known and I'm in need of more storage around the house. I love these brown baskets because I can stick them almost anywhere! 

Want: Best category for sure!! And definitely the most fun to buy! Lucky for me, Tabitha's birthday is on January 5th so anything that's left on my list for her, I can always carry over to her birthday! YAY!

I'm so excited about this present, her very first Baby Doll! After extensive research I went with the Stella Doll. I loved that she was completely soft, that her paci was a magnet rather than some weird hole left behind in her mouth when it wasn't in. I loved that she had "beans" in her limbs and body to create some comforting weight. I also loved the accessories for future presents. Isn't she cute?! 

One of the many runner-ups to the Doll was this adorable little shopping basket set. Tabitha is SO into taking things out and putting things in, that I figured she'd enjoy something like this. It also had the added benefit of hopefully growing with her and becoming a good imagination game in the future. But, in the end, I went with the doll because, lets face it, I wanted to be the one to get her her first doll. How I love to be a Mommy to a little girl!!

Does anyone else love Amazon Wish Lists as much as I do?!?!  I'm a HUGE fan and I have them going all year for each of my kids as well as for myself. Its not all fun and games ( presents etc.) sometimes its things like socks or the kind of magical spot cleaner that I can only find on amazon-but I keep it all on my wishlists for easy access. Anyway, if your interested to see other things that I put on Tabitha's wish list that didn't make the cut or will end up being presents from Grandparents etc, then feel free to take a look

I don't know why Amazon isn't paying me. I'm basically their minion at this point. *sigh * 

December 07, 2013

Blanket time

Note to the reader: If you do not believe in spankings ( as in a swat on the behind with a wooden spoon or a quick spank on the hand, done not in anger but in Love, then please feel free to skip this post and come back later when I post my "what I got my kids of Christmas post which is coming in a little while...) I do not feel like arguing with you about it. So thanks and see you soon!

Yesterday was a doozy in the Wilson Household. I don't know how many 3-year-old-spankings took place but there were a lot along with an equal number of timeouts and there was probably even more crying and whining. It was out. of. control.

Which brought us to the evening. Around 6pm I was donezo. So, I was really happy that we'd reached the part of the day when we will often do "Blanket Time" with Ransom. We like to do it after dinner because that's often a restless and whiney time for Ransom anyway and its often a time when we need to get a few things done ( usually dinner dishes etc). And lets be honest, Brett and I have usually had a long day of childrearing and armyworking and we could all use a little bitty break. And so Blanket Time was implemented.

In our house its actually "rug" time, but it started before we actually owned the rug we now do it on, so it started out on an actual blanket. Basically you just need something that has "boundaries". And with my 2 year old ( when this started he was still 2) I also wanted him to not be in a gated area or a playpen, but in something that he could technically get out of, and therefore he'd have to learn some discipline/rule following too! WIN.

Now, I know a bunch of people that do this with there MUCH younger children ( as in under 1). And if you'd like info on that I'd be happy to pass on the details. However, I think to do it with a younger child you have to be pretty disciplined about doing it every single day and turns out I'm not that disciplined and so we got out of practice and didn't really start doing it until Ransom was older and we could teach him about blanket time and then do it when it was needed ( often every day, often not...) .

So with that being said this is the short course of how we taught Ransom- age 2- to do blanket time.

1. We told Ransom the rules well before hand. "We're going to be doing this fun thing called blanket time after dinner!! You get to get any toys you want on your blanket, and then you have to stay on the blanket to play with them! There is no talking to Mommy and Daddy or playing with Mommy and Daddy during blanket time! You just get to play by yourself! And THEN at the end the duck will quack on Mommies phone and blanket time will be over! ( for us, a duck quacking was reward enough, but feel free to add something like a sticker or a stamp for a reward of a job well done, if you'd like.)

2. We discussed the rules SEVERAL more times.

3. We get out the blanket, and help him pick out his toys and transfer them to the blanket, make sure he has plenty so that he won't have the chance of being the least bit bored. Remind of the rules AGAIN.

4. The hard part is doing blanket time the first couple of times. Your child will inevitably, leave the blanket, talk to you, ask you to play with them etc. etc. each time you will have to put them back on the blanket, tell them not to talk to you during blanket time, remind them of the rules again and again.
After a while ( you will know when!) you will know that your child KNOWS the rules and is just breaking them.

5. When Ransom fully knew the rules and just chose to break them we started giving him hand spankings when he would break the blanket rules. We felt like full blown "go to your room spankings" defeated and overblew the whole point of blanket time. These little hand spankings were enough discipline for us to show Ransom that we meant business and that he needed to do blanket time correctly. There were tantrums. We persevered.

6. It took about a week of blanket time every single day ( 15 minutes of time) before we had a non-cry blanket time. As in a whole blanket time without any discipline taking place. I honestly doubted if it was going to EVER be worth the trouble...

7. BUT once Ransom got it down, realized he had to follow the rules and stay in the boundaries he started to really LOVE blanket time! He would actually ASK for it! He will often stay on his blanket for 45 minutes ( usually we just do 30)!

* other things to consider*
We do blanket time in a place that Ransom can see us. Its right in the middle of our living area so that he doesn't feel "alone" necessarily even though he's suppose to be playing alone.

Once Ransom really got use to blanket time I wouldn't even set my timer ( sneaky sneaky) and would just have Ransom play until I could tell he was getting restless ( or he'd even ask if the duck had quacked yet) and then if it had been a goodly amount of time then I'd just set the timer for 1 minute and have it quack on demand. Haha!

I know a lot of people that, once they've taught their child "blanket time" they'll take the blanket with them to bible studies or coffee times with friends and put down their blanket and PRESTO! their child is happily quiet and contained until said time is complete!

*There are obviously variations to blanket time and I've seen it done many different ways with many different age kids- I'm interested to hear your positive input on the matter!
A view from the kitchen of Ransom doing blanket time, and a little sister watching.