Life in Lape Haven

Archive - January 2016

Pausing to Be Grateful

Life in Lape Haven: Pausing to Be Grateful. My recent participation in an Instagram photo challenge reminded me of the importance of daily counting my blessings and being thankful.

This post contains an affiliate link for the book. At no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link.

Over the last couple weeks, as part of the Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World launch team, I have been participating in an Instagram Daily Photo Challenge with the theme of “What are you grateful for?”

The challenge was inspired by the Gratitude Bracelet we received from the book’s author, Kristen Welch (We are THAT Family). The bracelet is made by women at the Mercy House, the maternity home in Kenya that Kristen founded. (For more on Mercy House, check out this short video.)

It’s a white-bead bracelet with three copper beads. Each copper bead is for a different question that will remind you to be grateful every day.

  1. Who do I appreciate today?
  2. Today, what made me smile?
  3. How was God good today?

Life in Lape Haven: Pausing to Be Grateful. My recent participation in an Instagram photo challenge reminded me of the importance of daily counting my blessings and being thankful.

WHO DO I APPRECIATE TODAY?

So, for the first five days, the challenge was to share “a different person each day who you appreciate.”  I’m pretty sure this was the easiest one for all of us. There were pictures of everyone’s husbands, children, best friends, parents, pastors, and so on.  However, even though we generally KNOW that we’re thankful for our families and friends, it’s something else entirely to pause in our day and really think about why we are so thankful for them and to truly take time to appreciate them. I could probably have filled all two weeks of the photo challenge on this question alone.

 

TODAY, WHAT MADE YOU SMILE?

The next five days, though, were devoted to “something that made you smile.”

To quote Buddy the Elf, “I like smiling. Smiling’s my favorite.”

I’m usually a “pretty positive, find the silver-lining, there’s always something to be thankful for, let’s play the Glad game with Pollyanna” kind of girl. Even when I have those tough days in motherhood, I don’t stay in the yucky too long. I’ll soon be looking for the good, the giggles, and the grins.

Therefore, Question Two was, again, another easy way to count my blessings.

HOW WAS GOD GOOD TODAY?

Then we got to the five days of God’s goodness, and I was stumped.

It was not because God hasn’t been good, but rather because He is SO good that it was hard to narrow it down.

After some pondering, my first photo of “How God was good today,” I took a picture of the Bible I’ve had since 10th grade, opened to a scripture that I’d circled at some point during my youth group years: Psalm 71:17 & 18: “O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is come.”

Life in Lape Haven: Pausing to Be Grateful. My recent participation in an Instagram photo challenge reminded me of the importance of daily counting my blessings and being thankful.

Having followed God since early childhood, my life has been full of God proving His goodness and faithfulness to me over and over again.

Loving me, saving me, knowing me, keeping me. That kind of goodness is hard to capture in one little Instagram picture. It would be hard to capture with a million.

The rest of my photos for the challenge were maybe less serious, but they still celebrated God’s goodness with joy:

A side-by-side of a cherry pie bar dessert I made and one of Josiah’s recent selfies.  Elijah’s to-do list for Sunday. A glimpse into my preschool Sunday school class. Homemade chicken and dumplings. My Mercy House gratitude bracelet.

 

While the challenge was for fun and to help promote gratefulness and Kristen’s new book, it also served its most meaningful purpose when it reminded me of how important it is to stop in the busyness of every day and appreciate each little detail and blessing that God has placed in our lives and His wonderful lovingkindness, mercy, and goodness in doing so.

Let me challenge you today to pause, take a minute, and think about what you would share: five people you appreciate, five things that make you smile, and five ways that God has been good to you.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  ~ James 1:17

How has God been good to you this week?

If you’d like, you can purchase your own gratitude bracelet from Mercy House, and you’ll be supporting young mothers and their children. That’s one more thing to be thankful for. 🙂

If you haven’t yet entered the giveaway to win a copy of Kristen Welch’s newest book,

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World,

ENTER TODAY!

Life in Lape Haven: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Giveaway - You can win a copy of Kristen Welch's wonderful new book.

Giveaway is open until Friday, January 29, at 11:59p.m. US residents only.

See giveaway terms for more details.

A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric

Life in Lape Haven: A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric. When I ended up with a pocketful of putty from my 2-year-old, I found a very easy solution for getting silly putty out of the fabric.

Remember that day not too long ago where my day was so epically bad that I had to post about it? Yeah, the one with not one, but two potty-training accidents in an hour, spilled milk and flour, scorched dinner, and general chaos?

Remember how I ended that night with such a sweet surprise of silly putty in my back jean pocket?

Life in Lape Haven: A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric. When I ended up with a pocketful of putty from my 2-year-old, I found a very easy solution for getting silly putty out of the fabric.

Well, good news!

I got all that silly putty out, even the deeply smashed in parts, and it was ridiculously simple.

First off, as soon as I discovered the silly putty, I pulled out as much as I could. But of course, since I’d sat on it for a while before I found it, it was stuck pretty well.

There was a good bit of silly putty left smooshed into the fabric, and I had no idea how to get it off. I actually waited a day or two before even trying to tackle the mess because I was a little worried that it would require a lot of effort.

Life in Lape Haven: A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric. When I ended up with a pocketful of putty from my 2-year-old, I found a very easy solution for getting silly putty out of the fabric.

After I pulled out as much silly putty as I could by hand.

However, I also had a few pairs of Elijah’s jeans marked up with dry erase marker, so I decided to experiment on both problems at the same time.

I investigated silly putty remedies on Pinterest and Google, and I found that many solutions called for ice cubes or freezing the silly putty and/or rubbing alcohol and WD40.

*SPOILER ALERT* – None of those are the easy solution that I found!

I did try stuffing the pocket with ice cubes, and I managed to pick a few tiny pieces off after the ice froze the putty, but glancing around at my table, I spotted something else that I decided to try.

Hand sanitizer.

With its alcohol-base but thicker consistency, I had just seen it help somewhat to get dry erase markers out of Elijah’s jeans, and since so many silly putty solutions suggestion rubbing alcohol, the hand sanitizer was worth a try.

I turned the pocket inside out, with the putty-iest parts showing and squirted some sanitizer on it.

Life in Lape Haven: A Ridiculously Simple Way to Get Silly Putty Out of Fabric. When I ended up with a pocketful of putty from my 2-year-old, I found a very easy solution for getting silly putty out of the fabric.

Hand sanitizer on the pocket.

All I did was massage the gel into the putty and use my nails to scrub it in a bit. A few seconds of working it in, and the putty dissolved, leaving the jeans clean.

That was it. A few more squirts of the sanitizer and rubbing it in, and the pocket was done. All the silly putty was gone without a whole lot of effort.

After that, I just washed the jeans as I normally would.

It was amazingly simple.

*Note: Since hand sanitizer is alcohol-based, it might stain some fabrics, such as silk. As with all cleaners, test an inconspicuous spot of the fabric first.


With boys, I’ve learned how to handle all kinds of stains:

How to Get Dry Erase Marker Out of Clothing

How to Get Grease Stains (even set-in ones) Out of Clothing

How to Get Grass Stains Out of Clothes


Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – Review & Giveaway

Life in Lape Haven: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Review & Giveaway - Kristen Welch's newest book is all about parenting upstream against a culture of entitlement, teaching our kids the true difference between “want” and “need,” and encouraging them to be compassionate and responsible. One reader will win a copy of the book in our giveaway.

No one plans to raise a selfish child or spoiled brat. Every parent dreams of their child being selfless, generous, and appreciative. But it’s challenging to raise a grateful child in a culture that has a hard time saying no. We love our kids and want to give them the world. How do we say no to our child when “every other child” gets “everything they want?”

Kristen Welch, author of We are THAT family and founder of Mercy House, is learning the way to give the world to her children is by giving them perspective. She’s discovered the ultimate yes in bringing up faith-filled kids who love God and others.

It’s never too late to raise grateful kids. With Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine gratitude in your family and create a home in which your kids don’t just say―but mean!― “thank you.”

Back in November, I read those words as I considered joining the launch team for this new parenting book (which releases tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26). While I felt as though my hubby and I were doing a fairly decent job of raising our boys, who are still young at almost-3-years-old and 5, to be considerate, compassionate, and grateful, I was also excited to discover what advice and affirmation Kristen’s book would hold. Having read her blog, We are THAT Family, I knew it would be full of insightful and Biblically-founded wisdom from her experiences with her family and her relationship with God.

I was right.

Life in Lape Haven: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Review & Giveaway - Kristen Welch's newest book is all about parenting upstream against a culture of entitlement, teaching our kids the true difference between “want” and “need,” and encouraging them to be compassionate and responsible. One reader will win a copy of the book in our giveaway.

From the very first pages of the Introduction, I was being challenged and encouraged in my role as a Godly mother, to lay the right foundations for my children, even when it’s hard or they don’t think it’s fair. I was reading passages out loud to my husband and discussing the points that Kristen brought out.

As we got closer to Christmas, I wrote a post, “Why We Don’t Need More This Christmas,” about scaling back on the gifts for our children and ourselves. While this was an idea we’d already been working toward, as I read through the first chapters of Kristen’s book, which deal with the entitlement and self-centeredness of our culture, the idea of tempering our children’s expectations of Christmas became more than just a good idea, it became a starting point for change in our family’s mindset and expectations.

Through other circumstances at the time, I could see a lightbulb going off for my husband. Like me, he began to see the areas in his own life where entitlement had settled in and taken root long ago. It truly surprised him.

As the parents, we were discovering what Kristen did:

“And as uncomfortable as it sounds, parents who want less-entitled kids have to be less entitled themselves, and parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives.”

As I made my way through the rest of the book, which challenges parents on everything from unsupervised or excessive use of technology to “participation awards” and not allowing our children to fail to preparing them to be okay with being different from the world, I noticed something that was pretty impressive.

Life in Lape Haven: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World Review & Giveaway - Kristen Welch's newest book is all about parenting upstream against a culture of entitlement, teaching our kids the true difference between “want” and “need,” and encouraging them to be compassionate and responsible. One reader will win a copy of the book in our giveaway.

In everyday situations, not only was I more aware of my own entitlement and therefore putting aside more of my selfishness, but I was responding to my children’s entitled or selfish tendencies more intentionally, utilizing the wisdom and tips I’d gained from reading Kristen’s experiences, sometimes without even realizing in the moment that I was doing it.

While I love the many, many take-aways and quotables from this book, the true mark of a great book is when it makes a change in you and when you can easily apply it lessons to your life.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World is one of those books, and I wish every parent would read it.

I know that I’m very grateful that I did.

You can pre-order a copy of the book, which releases tomorrow, at RaisingGratefulKids.com or from your favorite bookseller, such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Here is an affiliate link for Amazon (which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you use the link) since it is currently only $10 on their site: Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World.

You can also read the first chapter here on Tyndale’s site, and on Kristen’s We are THAT Family blog, you can download a free journal that goes along with the book.

If you would like to see more of my thoughts on Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, you can check out “How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude” and “One Question I’ll Be Asking My Children (& Myself) Everyday.”

For more ideas on cultivating gratefulness in your home, you can follow my Raising Grateful Kids board on Pinterest. 🙂




~ GIVEAWAY ~

Because I think Kristen’s book is such a wonderful resource for parents, and I know that so many of you are eager to read it, I’m giving away a paperback copy to one of you!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! This contest is open to residents of the U.S. only and runs from Monday, January 25 (12:00 a.m.), through Friday, January 29, 2016, at 11:59pm EST (I know, specific.).  The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the contest ending. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is selected. 

*I received an advanced digital copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishing as part of my participation on the launch team and in exchange for my honest review. My recommendation is based entirely on my enjoyment of the book.*

*Book image courtesy of Tyndale Publishing House.

One Question I’ll Be Asking My Children (& Myself) Everyday

Life in Lape Haven: One Question I'll Be Asking My Children (& Myself) Everyday. Inspired by the book "Raising Grateful Kids an Entitled World" and in an effort to remind my children to think about others more, I'll be asking them this question at the end of each day.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which mean that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission when you use the link.

Yesterday when I picked up Elijah from school, I did the same thing nearly every parent does when they see their children at the end of the day:  I asked him, “How was your day?

I actually hate that question. It’s so cliché, but even more so, it never really invites real conversation since the only answers you are likely to get are “Good” or “Fine.”  Somedays Elijah will be really excited about something that happened, such as when he “clips up” to purple (the best spot on their behavior charts) and gets a prize. Otherwise, he doesn’t elaborate much with that question.

So, I generally try to ask more engaging, open-ended questions, such as, “What was the best part about today?” While that has been a decent question to get Elijah sharing, I wanted to be asking questions that encouraged him to see his day in a new way.

Since reading Kristen Welch’s (We are THAT Family) new book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, I’ve found myself rethinking certain things that I say and do as a mom and how that sets my children’s expectations and attitudes.

For example, asking Elijah if he had a good time or fun day at school (or church or his grandparents, etc), reinforces the idea that he should always be having fun or made to be happy. Hmmmm.

As Kristen shared,

 “I bought into the lie that it’s my job to make my kids’ childhood magical and fun, to guarantee that every day will be an adventure all about them.”

If that’s how we think, that’s what our children will expect. They will think life is 1) all about fun, and 2) all about them. Neither is true.

Kristen explained it this way,

“I think this requirement of being happy all the time is where entitlement thrives. In my parenting poll, when I asked, “What do you want most for your kids?” there were two main answers: I want them to follow Christ, and I want them to be happy. Sometimes both aren’t possible at the same time. Think about it. If we fix every problem, cater to every need, and bend over backwards to keep our kids happy all the time, we are setting them up for a false reality because life won’t always offer them the same courtesy.”

Sure, it’s an innocent question. Will he have a good time and fun at those places? Hopefully. However, he’s not going to school or church to be entertained or amused or comfortable. He’s going to learn and grow. (PS: Adults, church and school are not for YOUR entertainment or comfort, either. That whole “learning and growing” thing is for us, too.)

Spending time with family is not just about him, either. Is Grandpa fun? Yes. Will Grandma feed Elijah? Most likely. Does Elijah have to be the center of attention, or doing just what HE wants to the whole time we are there? No. I want him to be aware of others, even considering others before himself. I hope that I am doing the same.

So, instead of asking questions that make Elijah feel as though everyone else’s world should revolve around him and every day should be super awesome just for him, I want to ask him questions that shift his focus a little bit.

Yesterday, God put this question for Elijah in my heart.

While we were working on his snack, I asked him, “So, did you get to help anybody today?”

He paused for a second, and then his face lit up. LIT UP.

“Yes, well, sort of. I tried to help Harley with her coat, but I had my gloves on, so I couldn’t zip it all the way.”

Today, his answer was, “No,” somewhat sadly. Then, “No, wait! I DID help someone. I helped Julian tie his shoes.”

Do I want him to feel as though he HAS to do good deeds all day long? No. It’s not about works. It’s about awareness and perspective.

What if my asking him this one question each afternoon causes him to look for opportunities to reach out and help others every day? And what if my asking him that question does the same for me?

It’s just a reminder to think of others at least once during our day.

Then maybe one day when I ask him “What was the best part of your day?” and “Did you help someone today,” the answer to both will be the same thing.

That would be pretty cool.

For more of my thoughts on Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World:

How My Children Remind Me to Pray With Gratitude

Why We Don’t Need More This Christmas

Life in Lape Haven: One Question I'll Be Asking My Children (& Myself) Everyday. Inspired by the book "Raising Grateful Kids an Entitled World" and in an effort to remind my children to think about others more, I'll be asking them this question at the end of each day.

You can pre-order Kristen’s book, which releases on January 26, by visiting RaisingGratefulKids.com or from Amazon, Christianbooks.com, or Barnes & Noble. If you’d like to read the first chapter, you can find it here.

 

How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude

Life in Lape Haven: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude. While listening to my little boys pray can be sweetly amusing, it can also be challenging and convicting because of how easily they thank God for the little things.
As most of you know by now, I’ve been reading (and LOVING!) an advance copy of Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World,  a new book from Kristen Welch, writer of the blog, We are THAT Family, as part of her launch team. Well, today you are in for a treat!!! For the first time ever, I am co-hosting a blog hop all about gratitude, inspired by the book and featuring soooo many great bloggers! We’re all sharing about what gratitude looks like in our homes.

Life in Lape Haven: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude. While listening to my little boys pray can be sweetly amusing, it can also be challenging and convicting because of how easily they thank God for the little things.

 

When the blog hop theme was announced, the thing that kept coming to my heart was the voice of my not-quite-3-year-old praying at bedtime recently:

“Thank You for me. Thank You for Vinny. Thank You for ice cream and watching a movie. And thank You that horsies be nice to us.”

That was Josiah’s prayer.  Since he’s so young, it is always fun and somewhat amusing to hear what he wants to thank God for every night. He usually adds in a surprise or two, such as the “horsies be nice to us.” (We haven’t been anywhere near horses since the fall, so I’m not sure why that was on his mind.) My other son, Elijah, at 5 years old, can be equally random, or seemingly so.

However, as entertaining as my children’s prayers are, they are always precious, often inspiring, and sometimes convicting.

From the time our boys were able to repeat simple words, Brad and I have encouraged them to say their own prayers at night, rather than recite a memorized prayer. We have kept it fairly easy for them because praying should be, after all, fairly easy. Sometimes we adults like to overthink and complicate things that God hasn’t.

Prayer is talking to Him, sharing your heart and seeking His, and “with thanksgiving, let(ting) your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

Since we didn’t want Elijah and Josiah to get the idea that so many seem to have of God as a heavenly Santa Claus, who is just at our beck and call, doing whatever we want, we’ve always stressed the “with thanksgiving” part of their praying.

In teaching them to pray, if they needed help,  I would prompt them with something such as, “Tell God what you’re thankful for or what you liked about today, and then ask Him to help with something you need help with.”

As a mom, it blesses my heart when I hear them pray because nine times out of ten, they pray longer about the things they are thankful for than things that they need or want. And the things that they are thankful for show me that, even though they’ve learned how to pray by listening to us and following our examples and leading, sometimes they have a more grateful heart than I do.

They thank God not only for their family members (including our dog, Vinny), but they thank him for specific toys, special moments in their days, and random things about the world that they’ve noticed or experienced. Oh, and Batman. (Seriously, one of Josiah’s other prayers had the line, “Thank You for Jesus and Batman.”)

I’ve also begun to see Elijah’s thankfulness transfer from the “praise” part of his prayers to his requests. After Elijah and I had a conversation one day about the difference between wants and needs, and I showed him a video of a lady in Africa walking miles just to get water, he began to pray not only for what he thought he needed or wanted, but also praying for what others needed, praying for people all over the world. Because he was thankful for what he had, he wasn’t filling his prayers with “give me,” but with “give them.”  (He’s also been enjoying using this daily prayer journal printable for his prayer time.)

Life in Lape Haven: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude. While listening to my little boys pray can be sweetly amusing, it can also be challenging and convicting because of how easily they thank God for the little things.

Listening to my son ask God to give people clean water makes me proud of him and challenges me.

Listening to my littlest guy thanking God for everything he could possible think of – Grandma, Grandpa, candy, Star Wars, “for no spiders” (AMEN!) – shows me his heart and causes me to look deeper into my own.

Am I taking time in my prayers to stop and thank God, really thank Him, for all the wonderful things He’s given me and done for me? Honestly, if I tried to thank Him for it all, I would easily be “praying without ceasing.”

Furthermore, am I praying not just for me, my family, my friends, and our needs but for a world that needs God, too?

As Kristen says in Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, “We teach gratitude by living it. We are the example.”

Sometimes, our kids surprise and humble us, though, by teaching us and being the example we need.

Life in Lape Haven: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude. While listening to my little boys pray can be sweetly amusing, it can also be challenging and convicting because of how easily they thank God for the little things.

If you would like to pre-order Kristen’s book, you still have time!  You can preorder the book (through January 25) at RaisingGratefulKids.com for $16. Also, if you’d like to read the first chapter, you can find it here on the Tyndale House site. You can also download a FREE printable journal to accompany the book.

Life in Lape Haven: How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude. While listening to my little boys pray can be sweetly amusing, it can also be challenging and convicting because of how easily they thank God for the little things.

I am so honored to be a co-host of this Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World BLOG HOP with this wonderful community of bloggers. They are each sharing their own thoughts on what gratefulness looks like in their lives and their families, as well as encouragement, tips, and activities to help you cultivate gratefulness in your homes. Make sure you check out each one!

Inspiring an Attitude of Gratitude – by Alison
Rasisng Grateful Kids – by amanda
Why You Can’t Buy Gratitude At The Dollar Store – by Andrea
Missing – Gratefulness in our home – by Ange
Choosing Gratitude – by Angela
Gratefullness – by chaley
5 Steps to Gratitude-Fille Family – by Christa
Practicing Grateful Parenting – by Dana
Sing a Song – by Hannah
Cultivating gratitude in our family – by Jamie
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Gratefulness In Our Home – by Jana
Let It Begin With Me – by Jen
Choosing Gratefulness – by Jennifer
Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – The Book – by jeri
Eradicating Entitlement – What are you rooted in? – by Jessica
Gratefulness in our home – by Kate
The Problem With Entitlement is that it begins with us – by Katelyn
7 Unusual Ways I Know How to Be Grateful – by Kathryn
Raising Grateful Kids – by Keri
How My Children Remind Me to Pray with Gratitude – by Kishona
Grateful – by Kristy
Entitlement: The Ugly Truth of a Beautiful Lie – by Leigha
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Raise Grateful Kids – by Lindsey
Dear Son: How Do I Teach You To Be Grateful Without Guilt? – by Marie Osborne
Gratitude, A Practical Definition – by Mia
Cultivating Gratitude in Our Home – by Nancy
Learning Gratitude through Chronic Illness – by Rachel
Being Grateful – by Rebecca
I’ve Found Something I Can’t Live Without – by Sarah
The Power of Naming our Gifts – by Sarah
Outfitted – by Sarah Jo
Growing Gratitude in our Family – by Sondra
Teaching Gratefulness – by Stephanie
How Grateful Looks From Here – by Alison
Fighting Entitlement in Children and All of us – by Leah
Entitlement Problem – by Karrie
Grateful Today – by Krystal

For more ideas and tips on cultivating gratitude in your home, you can follow my Raising Grateful Kids board on Pinterest.

More on gratitude:

Why We Don’t Need More This Christmas

The Boy and the Backpack

Elijah and the Clean Water

 

Going on a Date with My 5-year-old

Life in Lape Haven: Going on a Date with My 5-year-old. I didn't realize how important some Mommy and me time was to my son until I scheduled a date night for us to spend some time together, one-on-one. His excitement proved that it was something very special to him.

When Elijah brought home the flyer for a “Me and My Gal” night at his school, I admit – at first I dismissed it as something I didn’t particularly want to do. I doubted that he even paid any attention to the note about a glow-in-the-dark themed dance/game night for the boys at his school to bring their “favorite girl” (mom, grandma, aunt) to, and that was fine with me.

However, I didn’t throw the note away.

The next day while I was cleaning the kitchen, I looked at the note again, and I felt as though God wanted me to ask Elijah about. In my heart, I immediately knew that this would be important to him and important to my relationship with him.

That day he came home and mentioned the “glow party,” saying that he wanted to go.

The more I talked to him about it, though, I realized the main reason he wanted to go: he wanted to be with me.

Then as I thought about that, I decided that we had another option in addition to “go to the party” or “don’t go.”

So, I gave Elijah a choice: we could go to the school event (where it would be somewhat awkward for us because we didn’t know anyone else going, where it would be a later night than he was used to, and where we wouldn’t be as free to just be us with all the dancing and games planned), or we could go on a “Mommy-Elijah date” where he got to plan what we did and where we went.

Elijah proved my theory of “just wanting to be with Mommy” correct. Without hesitation or second thoughts, he chose to do a date night, just us.

He also immediately suggested that we should go to the Japanese steakhouse for our date.

If only.

After explaining that not even Daddy usually got to take me there on a date, we discussed a more appropriate budget, and he made his second suggestion: going to get frozen yogurt. (We would have let him pick something a little more expensive, but that was what he wanted).

Then he proved that even though he’s only 5-years-old, he knows the way to a girl’s heart.

He said, “Then we can go to Hobby Lobby, if you want, Mommy. “

IF I want to go to Hobby Lobby? Hahaha.

Frozen yogurt and Hobby Lobby? Sounded like a great idea to me.




For the next couple of weeks, his world only existed on time that was measured by when our date night was. He counted down the days, he told everyone about “getting to take Mommy on a date,” he wrote about it in his journal at school, and he reminded me every day that we had a special night coming up.

At one point, I thought I might have another thing on the night we had picked, and he was nearly in tears until I realized it was a week later.

I honestly never thought he would latch onto this idea as firmly as he did or that time with Mommy was something he was missing so much.

I probably should have. I mean, I’ve often thought about how we definitely want to do that as the boys get older. But I should have known he needed that to start now.

He’s still adjusting to being in school all day after having spent pretty much all day, every day with me since he was born. His time when he gets home is spent playing with his brother, eating dinner, reading his homework book, and getting ready for bed. There hasn’t been much Elijah-Mommy time, and definitely not as much as he was used to before school.

The day of our date I don’t know how his teacher got him to focus on his work at all. He was bouncing from the moment he got out of bed in the morning until, and especially when, I picked him up in the afternoon. He told his teacher where we were going, probably for the fiftieth time that week, bless her heart.

And then we were off…well, after we dropped Josiah off at his “date with Grandma.”

En route to the frozen yogurt place, Elijah told me that “tonight is going to be amazing.”

He was so desperate for time with me that yogurt, Hobby Lobby, and a stop into Target for something we needed at the house was “amazing” to him.

Clearly, we need to spend more one-on-one time together.

Life in Lape Haven: Going on a Date with My 5-year-old. I didn't realize how important some Mommy and me time was to my son until I scheduled a date night for us to spend some time together, one-on-one. His excitement proved that it was something very special to him.

However, it was a delightful evening. We tasted different flavors of yogurt, then filled our cups with our favorites and topped them with a few items from the multitude of offerings, including berries, waffle cone pieces, and whipped cream. Elijah added a gummy frog to his because his teacher said that’s what she liked from that yogurt place. (You know, during one of the many conversations he had with her about his date with Mommy.)

While we ate, he talked about his day, much like he would any other day. There were no deep discussions, no major life advice shared with him. Just us being together. And it was wonderful.

He brought money with him for Hobby Lobby…$1.25…so he could buy something…for himself (Some date.) He was thrilled when we found a stamp with the letter “E” in the clearance items for only $0.75. We were able to get him a child-friendly ink pad for only about $1 or so (using their weekly 40% off coupon) – Mommy’s treat.

After we’d wandered through the wonderland of Hobby Lobby long enough, we headed to Target. When we were checking out, he whispered to me that he was going to ask the cashier for two stickers, one for him and one for me, “since we are on a date.”

I’m not sure if the cashier heard him or not, but seconds later, she actually offered him a sticker before he could ask.

“Can I have two? I’m on a date with my Mommy, “ he told her.

Of course, the lady smiled and happily gave us two special stickers. Elijah just beamed.

I’m not sure if the night lived up to Elijah’s “amazing” expectations, but I know he was a very happy boy.

Something that to me was so simple and that started with something that I almost completely ignored meant the world to him.

So much so that the next morning, he was still glowing and measuring time by our date.

He climbed into bed, gave me a hug, and said, “It’s the day after our date, Mommy.”

I asked him then and there if he’d go out with me again.

 

Do you have special date nights or times with each of your children?

 

Earlier this year I shared my thoughts on Elijah’s first day of school in the post, Embracing the Moments of “Mommy Sadness.”