Every Day Lifesavers

As a mom, you know those times that you feel that everything may bust?

Well, try including these lifesavers to give you space to breathe.

I pull out these lifesavers in my typical day…

Hallmark's Nap Position

Hallmark’s Nap Position

1. Implement a nap time.

Whether all the kids nap or not, it’s grown into a quiet hour

where the older kids play alone and the babies nap

and mommy gets a few moments alone.

Now the kids look forward to it

and depend on the alone time.

And mommy gets giddy!


Joyful, the Third & Hallmark take an opportunity to delight in the outdoors!

2. Spend time outdoors every day

Whether it’s running around the park,

walking to the urban grocery store,

throwing sand in the ocean

or exploring new grounds,

outside air and new scenes shake up everyone’s outlook in life.


How can you say no to this?

3. Teach the kids to play together

Yes, all kids fight at some point

but do your best to integrate sibling play

throughout the day.

After awhile, it just becomes second nature.


Sisters sharing memories together.

4. Encourage a love of books.

Maybe start reading to the kids in their birth language

but also encourage other languages.

Young children’s brains are sponges with languages,

use that to your benefit!

As you show a desire and love for reading,

the kids will follow.

Arabic textbook for me

Arabic textbook for me

5. Encourage imaginative play


Dinosaurs at the library


As kids read, they’ll develop creative imagination.

Play dress up with them,

let them wear your necklaces

and clomp around in your boots and heels.

This brings hours of play for the kids!


Knight/Princess Joyful

6. Include them in what you enjoy

Explain what the rules of football are,

show them how to knead bread,

pull out pastels and let the kids paint pictures.


Mr. Optimist explaining tennis to Hallmark & Sweet Cheeks

 And then realize, sometimes, the kids just want their mama.

Let go of the dishes, forget the dirty bathrooms,

remind yourself there’s fixings for quesadillas for a quick dinner

and remember your worthiness is not in what you accomplish but who you are in Christ.


Sweet Cheeks trapping me so I couldn’t possibly forget her.


Operation Tomato Garden


What mother makes her kids look into the sun for a picture???? This one.

I am super excited about this new project!

We are going to construct an experiment and collect data for what tomato plants produce the most.


The Third with Better Boy tomato plant.

We picked up different tomato plants for each child and I have seeds already

and will compare, contrast and don’t forget, taste the fruit of our labors.


Joyful with Big Beef tomato plant.

I’m excited about this project but I don’t have high hopes as we’ll be gone for 6 weeks

and will be leaving the plants unattended.

Still the memories already are stacking up!


Hallmark with Roma Tomato Plant.


Sweet Cheeks with the Ace Tomato.

We’ll update on instagram our progress!

Look me up:Instagram


Digging and Planting, here we come!


11 Ways Not To Relax

I had to follow up the last post with this one…some of it’s humorous but most is sadly true and we, Americans, seem to struggle with it.

11 ways to not relax

1. Check your phone constantly


It’s rare to find me without my phone.

2. Keep looking at the clock.
3. Sit around hungry.


Don’t eat good homemade pizza.

4. Pay bills.

5. Don’t look for beauty in life.


Photo cred: Caleb Chancey Photography

6. Take offense to everyone


Too cool for school

7. Think of all the ways you’ve failed and put yourself down


Working Hard at his acrobats

8. Don’t listen to good music.

Don't listen to good music.

Photography credit: Caleb Chancey Photography

9. Stop drinking water.


10. Remember all the lies Satan wants you to believe.


Photo Credit: Caleb Chancey Photography

11. Believe that success in the eyes of man is important.

What would you add to this list?

11 Other Ways to Relax

Hey all! I’ve got family in town so this is just a quick continuation from a few posts ago.


Kiss a baby


Eat Good Food


Find Reasons to Laugh


Be creative with your kids’ hair



Take a nap

Watch a sunrise or sunset

Watch a sunrise or sunset


Drink hot tea

Wear Happy Colors

Wear Happy Colors

9. Take a walk

10. Turn off your phone.

11. Remember God’s grace is sufficient to cover all your mistakes.

What would you add to this list?

5 Ways to Relax and Truly Enjoy Life

how to relax and truly enjoy life

The title sounds too good to be realistic, right? And like you, I don’t have lots of free moments in my day, so I am learning to grab and cherish these fleeting breaths! And don’t kid yourself, the next post I’ll have up is how to multitask like a genie because that’s more of what I do.

Today I realized that I don’t get tickled very often. I love to laugh but I have outgrown being tickled. It just doesn’t feel good. After thinking about it, I deduced that it makes me uncomfortable because I am not in control of the tickles. Whoever is tickling me has the upper hand and I like to be the one that decides that (hence I had kids so I could tickle them). So today I am going to try and let myself relax and have the freedom to laugh loudly when I am tickled and enjoy the roller coaster of the unknown tickles!


Mr. Optimistic is always ready for a laugh!

1. Learn to sit quietly and breathe.

I know that sounds too meditative and quacky but it really helped me start getting my mind centered on enjoying the present. I may have 2 minutes to myself while I am hiding in my closet tying my shoelaces as the kids are clambering in the kitchen for their water bottles. When I (remember) choose to snatch that still moment in the closet and evaluate my breathing to see if I am frustrated and panting or nervous and holding my breath, I can then change my technique to slow my breath down and enjoy some good diaphragm breathing…more oxygen to my brain and heat to my body is a good thing!

As I exercise that habit, I am better able to think clearly and enjoy the stillness of the 30 seconds I get and rejuvenate a bit.


Rarely does Sweet Cheeks fall asleep in my lap, so I sat there and breathed and smelled her beautiful baby scent.

2. Read books.

Not kid books that you speed read through before nap time, but books that have quality and are interesting to you. I like to read more than one book at a time. I think that decision is to unconsciously give me options if one book is boring! But it’s really hard for me to chisel out time in my day, I wasn’t keeping reading a priority for myself. I finally realized the only way I would sit down was if I allotted myself a certain amount of minutes to read guilt-free whether it was articles I had saved on my iPhone browser or if it was the bedside book. If you struggle with sitting quietly and reading, set a timer (I put in 10 minutes) and sit down and read whatever is on your mind. The time will be restorative to you and to your kids!


No reading a cookbook doesn’t count unless it’s more than just recipes!

3. Read More or Less by Jeff Shinabarger. He wrote this book on “choosing a lifestyle of excessive generosity”. And no, he does not make you feel guilty! Rather, you start being thankful for all you really have.

4.  Exercise.

By moving your body you generate the exercise endorphins that’ll help you persevere. It brightens my mood to workout even if it’s just a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for 10 minutes. And if you can’t, just breathe. Find a flower and smell it.


The Third showing off some acrobat skills.


Climbing door frames is one form of exercise.

5. Enjoy the outdoors.

Find a spot outside that you can relish and find peace there. We are blessed to live right now in one of the most beautiful places in the U.S. I have no excuses for leaving my unkept house to go outside and take in the landscape art of the Creator.


One of the many views in my area.