Day 1 – 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband

Day 1 – 31 Days of Prayer for Your Husband

This weekend I went to a ladies conference with my friend Nichole Boggs. Nichole and I met back in 2011 when we moved to Atlanta and started in the City of Refuge Program. Nichole and her family lived right below our house.. so not only were we in COR together, we also shared a backyard :)

Real MomentumShe has 9 kids now and her husband started a non profit organizationReal Momentum. Nichole and her husband both speak. They even have some speaking events that her kids join in with as well.

You can read more about their ministry HERE. In short it is geared towards men and families. Its a great ministry and if you Pastor a church or want this couple to come speak do check out their website. You’ll be blessed.

Nichole asked me to come to the conference a few weeks ago and for once I was actually able to go. With Travis’ ever changing hours and days off, it is almost impossible for these things to ever work out. So it was cool it worked out this time.

I had a great time and it was nice to get away for a few days and spend time with this sweet friend. I also got to reuinte unknowingly with my friend Elisabeth who is also a Pastors Wife. Her and I use to be neighbors back in 2004 when we lived in Seminary Housing! Her and her husband Chris at the time had 2 kids, we had none. :) Was so cool to see her. She now has 8 kids! Big families rock. Just saying.

_MG_5229Nichole spoke to a room of about 250 Pastors Wives and their friends. Was great to hear her speak for the first time. Shes got a talent and ease about her speaking… that makes it easy to listen to. She did a great job.

I will say it was a little weird being at a Pastors Wives conference and not being a Pastors wife at the moment. I feel some times like a Pastors wife still but I’m not. I’m a cops wife. It has been good for me to be on this side of things though. God has been able to teach us both things we would have never learned had we never gotten out of ministry full time.

One of the things she encouraged the ladies to do was to start 31 Days of Prayer for our Husbands. Since it is Feb 1st today, I thought Id post Day 1 here :) and if you all want to hear more of the Days she listed on the handout, comment and let me know. Otherwise ill probably just post some of them from time to time on my instagram.

Day 1- Pray that your husband will grow spiritually and consider his accountability before the Lord. Pray that he will guard his heart by developing spiritual disciplines. Bible reading and study, prayer, medication, spiritual memorization, etc.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
2 Peter 3:18

“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4:23

Nichole has a small book on what she spoke about available on their website too. Its very inexpensive! Only $5. Check it out HERE.

**The above image for those curious was taken years back when Travis had his beard (I miss it!). He was preaching at our old church back in NC…***

Lindsey P. Emery Art Giveaway

Lindsey P. Emery Art Giveaway

It is no secret that I love art.

Prior to becoming a photographer I was very much into sketch art… and even at one point went to college for graphic design. I loved using my hands to create and have always had a real appreciation for artist.

I have a few artist friends in the Atlanta area I have made.

Melissa Payne Baker was my first artist friend I made after moving here. An amazing lady, mom and artist who I adore. I have 3 of her paintings in my home and each of them is very special to me.

I was super exciting when Melissa agreed to mentor my friend Lindsey. Who has wanted to start an art business for some time… but it got put on hold due to moves, cancer and, well… life.

Super excited for Lindsey to finally have her business off the ground and moving right along.

She gave me a beautiful piece for Christmas and I just had to share it.

Art on Mantel

ED9A5563 Art on Mantel

Art on Mantel

Lindsey wanted to

give away a 6×6 mini canvas away on my blog!

Its a cute bird nest canvas and would make a great addition to a mantel, book shelf, collage wall, etc. You can view Lindsey’s website at Lindsey P. Emery Designs.

To enter this giveaway you have to live in the USA. Just fill out the Raffle Copter below to enter.

Thanks everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Super simple tip for creating Salves and Ointments

Super simple tip for creating Salves and Ointments

Melting Essential Oils to create Salves and LotionI get a lot of request these days for my Athletes Foot Salve. It did wonders on my husband… so I’ve had lots of readers interested in trying it too. Because of this, Ive been making a lot of batches of this stuff… and while making up a double batch I figured out another way to heat up the oils. I use to put all the butters/oils into a double boiler… and then pour the liquid into the glass jars… this worked fine but it made clean up a chore.

So the other day while making it up, I decided to just use the glass jars as the “double boiler” and put those into a skillet with water. The water heated up and melted the oils directly in the glass container! I have done this twice now and Ive never had an issue.

I just heat up everything in the tiny glass jar. Stir it really well, then take it off the heat and add in my essential oils. Allow to sit and it then hardens into the salve I was trying to create.

So tip to all those making my Athletes Foot Salve or any other salve type stuff, this method will save you some clean up time and hassle.

For all those new here. I use Rocky Mountain Oils for my source of Essenital Oils.

View more of my Essential Oil post HERE.

Easy way to Melt down Oils and Butters to create Essential Oil Salves and ointments

Easy way to Melt down Oils and Butters to create Essential Oil Salves and ointments

Teaching Care

Teaching Care

I get stopped often while out with my boys. Especially if I am running an errand… waiting in line somewhere… or trying on clothes (yes I have taken all four of my boys into a dressing room area – now that they are older they wait outside my dressing room, but you get the idea). When people ask me “Are all these yours?” :) I often wonder if they think I am their nanny or sister… but when I respond “Yup, all 4.” Their response more times than not is “Bless your heart.

For years my boys never really said anything when people would say this.

They were oblivious to the words of most strangers… and would just go on doing whatever boys do while out in public. :) Now that my older two are 8 and 10, they notice a lot more.

Caleb who is 10 often ask me “Why do people always say that?

I then have to explain to him that people think 4 kids is a lot… which I guess it is… but even more so they believe that having four boys especially is unusually hard and crazy to deal with.

Boys are crazy.

… and a tad foolish at times (then again so are girls).

They are loud.

Love to wrestle.

Run, jump, climb.

… but one thing that my boys are as well, is very caring.

Teaching boys CareI never believed you had to teach boys to love or care… but I am learning as I grow and my children grow, that caring… is far more than just loving each other. Caring is something we teach our boys to do as well.

Teaching them to care for those around them.

To care for their friends.

To care for their home.

Their things.

Their bodies.

To care for and respect authority.

To care about what they say to each other and how that may affect the other person.

Having boys is so much more than reigning in the hyper activity and rowdy play.

I have seen first hand how amazingly caring boys can be… but I have also seen how disrespectful and uncaring children can be when not taught to care. When I became a mother I never realized the responsibility that was being set for me in raising children. I knew the obvious responsibility. Clothing, loving, feeding, education a child… but its far more.

Thankful for wisdom.


From elders/adults I look up to.

All of which have helped me to raise four boys who are growing up to be amazing young men.

They are young… and while society seems to expect so little from children at the age my kids are… and really on into the teen years. I expect a lot and I believe we don’t give our kids enough credit for how amazing they can be, even at age 8 and 10.

They have their fights.

Their spats over stupidness.

The uncontrollable silliness on a night off.

… but while the world may see “Bless her Heart as they see me with a line of boys behind me in a store… I’m thinking “They Bless my Heart” and I am so thankful I can actually go out to a store and enjoy them.

Do I want to grocery shop with them every week? Not really haha. They are children… and children can be distracting while shopping, even while well behaved. It is far easier to grocery shop without them… but if I had to go to the store weekly with all four of my boys, it would be absolutely doable.

Enjoy motherhood.

Let them be children.

… but instill in them a desire to care.

6 Simple Steps to Potty Train your Toddler

6 Simple Steps to Potty Train your Toddler

I was asked via email recently some tips on potty training. As I wrote my response I thought “you know… I cant recall if over the years I did a post about this, but I should!” So I sat down after sending that email and decided to write out a post on my tips to potty training.

Before we dig in. A small disclaimer. I AM NO EXPERT but I am a mom of 4 boys, 3 of which all potty trained either slightly before age 2 or right after age 2. All of which trained rather quickly and by using the same methods.

So, my ability to train must not be to terrible :)

Caleb my 1st born was 26 mo when he trained. I swore Id never have more than 1 kid in diapers at a time. Taite my 2nd born was born right when Caleb got trained. Perfect timing. :-D Taite trained unusually early at 21 months old. However, he seemed to do everything early . From walking, talking to sleeping in a big boy bed by 16 mo. So it was at no surprised he completed that milestone early as well [Taite, btw is the one featured in the images on this post – He’s now 8 year old]. Owen I forget his exact age but it was over age 2… possibly closer to age 3. He could have trained earlier but I kept putting it off since I was busy with two other kids.

Before you start training your tot. One thing to be aware of is knowing if they are ready. I have found that when my toddlers start staying dry for hours… that they are ready. Also some of the time, they will show interest in sitting on a toilet. Some of my kids did this but not all. The “staying dry” though for me is the real evidence and if your toddler can go an hour without peeing in his diaper, you better believe he can go an hour in underwear.

So lets get started….

6 Simple Steps to Potty Training your Toddler:

6 Simple Steps to Potty Training your Toddler

1. Schedule in some time.

– I always found that setting aside a week to train was always best. You don’t want to have a hectic week and expect to train your child in the midst of school plays, field trips and work. You want to plan on tackling this when you know you can be home for a good majority of the time.

2. Go ahead and ditch the diapers.

– When you want to begin. Ditch the diapers “almost” completely. By this I mean, while lil man or lil lady is awake, he or she should not be in a diaper. DO NOT BUY PULL UPS! They are a waste of money and do nothing more than what a diaper could. The only diapers you will want to use are during “nap time” and “bed time.” That portion of the training comes later.

3. Take your tot shopping for some big boy undies or panties.

– Let your cutie pick out their choice of undies. This will make them feel involved and special… and also, who would deny their favorite Thomas the Train underwear. It is just one more encouraging way to get them on board. If your kid could careless what the undies look like, I do recommend these. They are thicker and help catch some of the pee in the case of an accident.

4. Buy a toddler toilet seat. NOT a potty.

– This is a matter of personal preference here… I at one point had one of those cute potty seats that sat beside the “normal” toilet… and while those are cute and seem to make sense… to me, they did nothing but stink, result in my having to clean one more toilet and created fear in my child when it came to “normal toilets.” So to me, starting out your tot with a “potty seat” that sits onto a “NORMAL” Potty, is the way to go. You can find these anywhere. Walmart sells them as well as amazon. There are lots of choices. If you have a boy, I would suggest one with a tiny “pee shield.” Here is one that has it. The only time I would ever use a “porta” style potty, is in the car. :) For the car I do keep a Baby Bjorn Potty available for those training periods. :)

5. Buy some reward treats to encourage sitting often.

– When I begin training I always try to make going to the potty fun. I try to never make it seem like a punishment… and one way to do this was to always offer a treat when they went. Our drug of choice was gummy bears :) – but you could use M&M’s or whatever candy you would like. Don’t make the reward a strawberry tho. I mean really, this is potty training. Give that kid some sugar, or something hah… When my tot would sit, even if he didn’t pee, I would give him a gummy bear. I would then tell him if he wanted to get “TWO” gummy bears, he’d have to pee. If he wanted “THREE” gummy bears, he’d have to poop. You better believe when they did poop and I handed them 3 gummy bears, they got super excited.

6. Plan to use a timer.

– Now this is really the method portion of “Steps” in training. For me, the key was finding out how long my child could go between peeing. You will not know exactly how long until you start. A good “general start time” to go by though is 20 minutes. So lets say your child wakes up. That morning is the day you want to start training. So get super excited, smile a lot and tell your little one “Today we get to wear our big boy undies! First thing we have to do though is try to go potty.” I would then let them sit on the potty for just a moment. Ask if they have to pee… make a “psssss….” sound and if they went great, if not, its okay too. I would then set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, put your toddler onto the potty. Making again a big deal about it and getting super excited. Say things like “Its time to go potty. Lets see if we can pee pee.” and then make the same “pssss….” sound. I find the sound effects help btw, but those are obviously optional. :) If your child went pee, awesome! Re-set the timer for 20 minutes again. If after 20 minutes your child doesn’t pee… that is fine too. What I would do in these instances is just set the timer for an additional 15 minutes or so. Then after that time, Id put him on the potty again. So 35 minutes had passed. If he went, great, if not. Again, just add on some more time. Eventually what happens is you get a general idea as to how long a time period your kid can go without peeing. I remember my children being able to go 45 minutes from the get go. You obviously will want to factor in how much they drink too. :) If they drink a lot of juice or water… then take that into consideration and take them sooner.

Potty Training without TearsThat really is about it.

For me this timer method worked really well.

The gummy bears never failed me :) and always encouraged my kids. Most of my children would train within a week or so. Once they grasp the concepts of peeing and pooping on the potty, that is when I started letting them go through nap time with out a diaper. The night time “wetting” thing is also something you may not be able to “surpass” initially with potty training. I have found that with boys especially, it can take YEARS for them to go through the night without wetting. In fact some Doctors say its totally normal for a boy to wet their bed to age 10 without much concern. Crazy huh?

Hopefully this list was helpful to those reading.

Potty Training as scary as it seems to “new moms” – trust me, its not that bad.

Just stay positive.

Encouraging to those lil tots.

… and try to make it fun.

& one last tip. Allowing your kid to go pantless is a good idea the 1st few days. [Not naked, pantless. Finding a pile of poo on the floor isnt ideal, so undies will at least keep from this happening – pantless, good, naked, not so much.] If its winter, turn up the heat if possible. When you start training any child, there will be accidents and a good many to begin with. Its totally normal and begins to familiarize them with what is going on. So don’t sweat a few puddles haha… just maybe place some towels on your sofa and prepare a bit for the idea of this happening… cause, well, it will. :)

& below is a list of a few extra’s I like to have for training “outside” the home.

(totally optional)

- Undies that snap down the side. This way if they have a poo accident while out, you aren’t ripping underwear off with scissors or slidding poo down their leg as you attempt to salvage a pair of underwear. (keeping it real) So underwear that snap down the side are nice to have for outings. This ETSY shop had a lot of cute ones.

- A wet bag to put any soiled clothes in. Accidents will happen… having a washable wet bag is nice to have handy for those times. I have found ours invaluable!

- Foldable Potty Seat if your little one is skittish with big potty usage… but will use the toddler seat that sit on top of a normal toilet at home – yet while out refuses any toilet sitting without a “seat.” They do have FOLDABLE potty seats you can take with you. We did have to use one of these for Caleb, who was super skittish with toilets after a scare at an air port when a toilet automatically flushed on him. :-\

& I think, finally that is all. HAHA. I plan to start training Reed very soon. He is ready. I just keep putting it off. I plan to order some of the trainers above for him (at the etsy shop). I will for sure let you all know how I like those if you want.

Happy Training!