The Naughty List


Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I LOVE buying presents for my kids. Giving gifts is such a joy and seeing their faces light up with excitement is worth every penny we spend. Gifts are given from our hearts, and when it comes to presents we try to be open and honest with our kids about where they come from, meaning in our house Santa is just pretend and a fun game we play.

When my kids were younger we didn't even bring Santa up, but now that Rooster and Cupcake are old enough to enjoy and understand the game we seem to talk about Santa Clause A LOT. They are just at the age where believing and pretending go hand in hand. It's all real to them, no matter what we say!

However, the other night I overheard a conversation between my husband and my 5-year-old that made me thankful for our truth-telling. They had just gotten done reading a story that involved Santa going down his list and checking it twice. 

My 5-year-old started the conversation with, "Dad, Santa only brings toys to good boys and girls." 

"That's right. He brings sticks and rocks to the bad boys and girls." my husband said. After all, that is how the Santa story goes. 

Then with a quiver in his voice my 5-year-old said, "But dad, I don't want to get sticks and rocks." 

Now, my 5-year-old isn't a bad kid by most standards. He can be disobedient, energetic, frustrating, and sometimes completely oblivious to everything I say, but he's fun, clever, and often eager to help. I adore being around him and watching his passion for facts and details grow. I would put him on the good list every time, but maybe I'm  a little partial {wink, wink}

However, in that moment my sweet Rooster recognized that Santa might not see him in the same way. Because if Santa knew about the times when he was unkind and disobedient and "sometimes mean" as Rooster says, then Santa surely wouldn't bring presents to our house. 

With wisdom my husband spoke with reassurance, "Son, remember Santa isn't real. He's just pretend. Mom and I give you gifts because we love you." 

The truth brought tears to my eyes. 

Because honestly, my son isn't good. Neither am I. We've all sinned and no amount of kindness can erase those moments of wrongdoing. They taint us and leave us all stuck on the naughty list.

But God is gracious. His list isn't about who has been naughty or nice, but who has been forgiven. His blessings, His good and perfect gifts, are given purely out of love.

Of course, I'm pretty sure this deep truth was lost of my 5-year-old last night. After a moment of reflection he smiled and said, "Dad, if Santa brings sticks and rocks we can just build a camp fire! I like camping."

We all laughed out loud at that! 

When it's all said and done, no matter what Santa brings to your home this year, I pray that we remember that the gifts that really matter are always given freely. When it comes to our heavenly Father, it's not about working to get on the nice list. We don't have to fear that God will give us sticks and stones or withhold our blessings as punishment for sin. God doesn't work that way. 

When we are in Christ our blessings are always given freely and without measure, not blessings like presents wrapped under the tree, but of grace, peace, and strength beyond all understanding. Blessings of forgiveness and security of eternal life. 

I pray your home is filled with these good and perfect gifts this year, and that everything you gift this Christmas is given and received in love.

Hello, again!


It's been a long time since my last blog post. I'm reminded just how long when I see those old posts coming up in my time hop on Facebook and I have to admit, they always make me sad.

I'm forgetting too much. I used to think that stopping to write, reflect, and share was a luxury. However, when your kids grow as fast as mine do you are bound to miss something if you don't make these small spaces of time to record the little things.

Or big things.

I've not taken the time to write and reflect on our fourth child's birth yet. Maybe in the coming weeks I'll find the space to share that story.

I've not told you about how our first year of homeschooling has gone or how until a few weeks ago I was woefully ignorant on the phases of the moon or why exactly leaves changed color. Those little things you learn in elementary school that you push out of your mind.

I've not told you about the catechism lessons we've started teaching our children this year and how remarkable it is to see them internalizing truths so much bigger than themselves!

I've also not shared any of the ridiculously funny stories or how I adore the way Little Bear talks or how I find it so funny that my sweet Cupcake has turned into a second mama over night (Lord help us! I'm gonna change her name is bossy pants).

But I don't want to forget these things. Even if it takes time to stop and write them down. A little time now means means these memories are recorded forever.

So this little post is my reintroduction to the blogging world. It's my big, "Hello again!" I look forward to getting reacquainted, reconnecting, and most importantly, remembering for years to come.

My sweet baby #4 who is 7 months old now! 

Best Friends {The Time My Kids Spit Water Everywhere}


There is rarely a dull moment at my house. 

There are loud moments, happy moments, angry moments, lots of smelly moms, but never dull ones. 

Today as I was busy changing Roo's diaper (not really, I was playing on Facebook), his three precious older siblings decided to spit the water from their sippy cups all over their room. They'd each take a drink and then spew it out all over their toys, books, blankets, everything. 

I discovered their game when my three-year-old Cupcake had the audacity to bring me her cup and ask for more water. I had refilled her cup not too long ago and since my children rarely drink water (they are stubborn and hold out until I give into their whining for more milk), I simply asked, "You drank your water already?"

In all candor she said, "No, I spit it on my floor."

"Show me."

There is always that moment of dread that follows such an innocent confession. It could just be a few small drops on the floor, or it could be a tidal wave washing over their room and ruining everything in it's wake.

This time it was a tidal wave. There was water everywhere. I didn't even know their cups had that much water in them!

I got each of my beloved children their own small towel, disciplined them, and told them to start cleaning up their mess. Then I left the room to start a load of laundry (mostly because they were having too much fun cleaning up their mess and that really annoyed me).

As as I was throwing a particularly gross pair of poopy pants in the washer, I hear a little voice behind me.


I turned around to see my four-year-old Rooster (no doubt the tidal wave ring leader) a few feet away with a rather sad look on his face.

"What is it, son?"

"Mom, I sorry."

"Sorry, for what?"

"Sorry for spitting my water all over the floor. I not do it again."

"Yeah, that wasn't very nice. You made a big mess."

"I apologize. I will never ever spit my water again."

I took a deep breath and mustered up all my energy trying so hard not to laugh at the ridiculously long face standing in front of me.

"I forgive you. And I love you."

Instantly his frown became the cheesiest smile I've seen. He scrunched his shoulders up to ears, and said, "I love you too!"

He ran back down the hallway while I turned to finish the laundry with a smile on my face. Genuine or not, that four-year-old knows exactly how to pull his mom's heartstrings.

Then I hear it. The same little voice, this time more loudly coming from his room down the hallway.

"Guys, she forgived us!"

My two-year-old Little Bear cheered, while Cupcake hollered, "Good Job Rooster!!"

And then I laughed out loud.

There are so many moments in this parenting gig that absolutely drive me crazy. Just one moment of distraction and child-proof cups can turn into a natural disaster. A stuffed animal becomes a weapon of mass destruction. A spoonful of peanut butter becomes finger paint.

But there is something about siblings working together, for good and for bad, that just makes a momma proud. I'm sure in the days to come they'll each take turns with the short straw and have to apologize for one misstep or another. I just pray whatever it is, they are always in it together. 

Best Friends


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