Toddler Girl: 14 Months


My "baby" girl is already a toddler, 14 months old. Here are a few snapshots that give a peek into life these days. 

All smiles. And teeth. She's got plenty of teeth, with a new one popping up every two weeks for the last few months. Constant teething.

My son always loved to climb into laundry baskets. Now my toddler is following in his footsteps. But laundry baskets are much more fun to use as stools...

So she turns the basket upside-down and uses it to climb onto the couch, the piano bench, etc.  She seems to be more of a climber than I recall my other kids being. We'll see if this continues... and if she ends up being the first with a broken bone! 

More climbing - on a stool, then a kid-sized chair, to be able to reach snacks on the kitchen counter.

This girl loves to wear a "pretty" in her hair. I hope that continues. This picture is blurry, but you can see the pretty pink headband and button-bow in her hair.

Reading a book with big sister. She loves books. "Book" was one of her first words, right after Mama and Dada.

Never a dull moment in our house, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Days are full of activity but also full of blessing and joy. 

Book Review: How to Solve Your People Problems


How to Solve Your People Problems by Dr. Alan Godwin

My mother recommended this book to me. I read a lot of fiction, but not so many self-help type books. But she found this book to be helpful in dealing with some difficult relationships and thought I might learn from it as well. 

And learn from it I did. The book is divided into three main sections. First, there's a bit of practical information on conflict resolution. I didn't learn much new here, but the reminder was good and laid the groundwork for where the author was heading. The second section describes how to put those conflict resolution principles into practice with reasonable people. The author is making a distinction between reasonable and unreasonable people (whom he deals with in the third section). 

This differentiation was new to me. To examine the way that someone handles life and conflict and thus see their behavior as reasonable or unreasonable and then to be able to respond accordingly... what a concept! I learned a lot from these 2nd and 3rd sections of the book. I re-examined my own tendencies towards reasonable or unreasonable responses. But most significantly, the book gave practical tools for dealing with others in each camp.

I have always been one to want to talk things out. I have always believed that if we could just talk long enough, go deep enough, get to the heart of the matter, we could reach a compromise or an agreement. However, this book asserts that there are times when dealing with unreasonable people when talking will only make things worse. Less talking, more action is needed. That action may look like boundaries, like avoiding discussions on hot topics, or it may look like walking away from the situation when things start to escalate. 

I have already recommended this book to a few friends who have their own difficult relationships. 

I found it to be a quick read but very insightful and eye-opening, especially if you are in the midst of a relationship struggle and are completely unsure how to get out of it! 

Two thumbs up for How to Solve Your People Problems!

More to Love


A Special Valentine Message 

This is a day set aside to think about those we love.
We are excited to announce that we will have a new someone to love in our family coming this fall. 

We are expecting a baby in September. 
We are all super excited!

Thanks be to God, the Giver of Life. 

Taxes and Happiness


It's that time of year again - tax season! We have very simple taxes which I can prepare myself and file online. I was working on this a few days ago and wanted to share these few reflections. 

Our family had a rough year in 2014, financially. 
My husband was under-employed, working only a part-time job for 4 months last year. Then he was unemployed for another 6 weeks. Then he got a great job that he really enjoys and pays a good wage. Early in the year, I stepped down from my very part-time job at our church, as it was too much to handle with our new baby. So, as you can imagine, there was a large financial toll to all these job transitions, resulting in much less income in 2014 than in previous years.

HOWEVER... as I looked back over the year, my heart welled up in thankfulness. God completely provided for our needs. We never were late paying bills, even the large medical ones for our baby girl's birth/delivery. We didn't lose our house - didn't even come close to that! God took care of us. I praise Him for His faithfulness to us! 

Secondly, I was reminded that money doesn't buy happiness. While our year from a financial perspective was dismal, our family enjoyed a wonderful year. We all loved having a baby in our home again. What delight and joy and laughter a baby brings! While we may not have taken a family vacation in 2014 or made any big purchases, we were happy. We were together. We were loving life as we shared it together as a family. We enjoyed a simpler season of life together and it was beautiful. 

"There is a time for everything; a season for every activity under heaven." There is a time to spend and a time to save. Yet God is the Provider and Giver of Good Gifts no matter what season you find yourself in. This is the wonderful truth He has shown to me this week. Thank you, God!

Snow Fun


Winter has finally arrived!
 In fact we had about 18 inches of snow in 24 hours early last week. I love that... when we can stay inside the warm house and watch it fall. 

My kids have enjoyed playing in the snow almost daily. Even shoveling snow is fun, when you've been waiting for snow to finally come! Daddy helped the kids build a snow fort.

Here's my oldest daughter pulling baby girl on her sled. Oh, how she loved this and squealed in delight!

Hooray for snow fun!