Laresa Watkins

A Couple Things For Which I am Not Judging You

Aug 21, 2019

So, I will admit that I am a pretty judgemental person. I know that’s not good and I am constantly working on this flaw of mine. I ask God almost every day to make me more understanding and to soften my heart towards people, and over time he has. Unfortunately for me, He does that mostly by putting me in exactly the same situation that I once judged someone for!

Here are some things that I once judged people (perhaps even you) for, but no longer do:

Buying Uncrustables. When I first saw a commercial for Uncrustables (you know, the pre-made and frozen pb&j sandwiches), I immediately commented to whoever was with me, “How lazy is that? When I have kids, I will NEVER buy those. I mean, how much trouble is it to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”

10 years and 2 kids later, you will not find my freezer without a box of Uncrustables. What I have come to realize is that IT IS REALLY HARD TO FEED THESE PEOPLE. Kids are constantly hungry and asking for snacks. Even if you fed them 30 minutes prior they will ask, as you are getting in the car, for something to eat. The answer: Go back to the freezer and get an Uncrustable. We go on lots of field trips to zoos, museums, and aquariums, and it costs roughly $1,200,586 for the three of us to eat lunch at one of these places. The solution: Stick a few Uncrustables in a lunch box. The kids each play year-round sports that have 3 hour practices that go right through dinnertime. Easy fix: Throw an Uncrustable in their bag.

Basically, what I am telling you is that I no longer judge any mother for anything. We’re all doing the best we can to raise healthy, well-adjusted children, and if that means throwing a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a bag and calling it a meal, so be it. We also eat red hotdogs at the ballpark 4 nights a week, so there’s that.

Do you know what it took to get me to this non-judgemental view? Having 2 kids who are constantly starving and not having enough time to make a sandwich. I get you, fellow Uncrustable-stockholders.

Having a Child with Unbrushed Hair. Just a few Sundays ago, my son stood up in front of the church and sang our Vacation Bible School songs for the congregation. He danced and smiled and did a great job, all the while looking like he had stuck his finger in a light socket during Sunday School.

I used to sit in church and wonder why the mother of the young girl in front of me refused to brush her daughter’s hair, but now I know: She DID brush it!

Somehow, between the bathroom and church or school or Costco (where we buy our UnCrustables), kid’s hair reverts back to the same hairstyle they woke up with. It doesn’t matter how much time, money, and energy I put into my children’s hygiene and appearance, they always look like they have nothing or no one.

So, you can see how God has worked in my life to make me less judgemental. I’m sure more things will come up in my heart that I am guilty of judging others for. And to the mom-to-be who sees my unkempt children with jelly stains on their shirts from the Uncrustables they just ate in the car: Your day will come.

Two Good Things…

Feb 17, 2016

Odd title, right?  But after the January and February that we’ve had, I’ll take what I can get.  These winter months haven’t veered much off their traditional dreary path for us.

So, I’m looking for good everywhere around me.  And when I find it, I am reveling in it and making it last.  That’s what God is trying to teach me to do, I believe.

One great thing that happened today is that we had a break from the awful, wet, freezing weather we have been experiencing.  The kids and I walked through the woods to visit Aunt Betty and ended up spending an hour playing in the creek (which is normally not much more than a dribble but is full due to aforementioned wet weather).  It was wonderful and relaxing to breathe in fresh air and soak up sunshine and watch the kids running freely.

Another blessing is that I have my camera back!  Funny story-the camera has been “broken” for over a year.  Jason and I have been passing it back and forth, saying we’re going to get it fixed but never actually doing it.  It has sat on our laundry room counter for months, just mocking me while I snapped pictures with my phone (which, I’m sorry, just doesn’t compare).  Jason ended up fixing it himself by, on the advice of a kind camera-repairperson, removing the lens and putting it back on again.  Can you believe that?

So of course I took it with me today.

Our favorite chicken, Henrietta, loved the beautiful weather today, too.  Isn't the pretty?  She lays blue eggs.

Our favorite chicken, Henrietta, loved the beautiful weather today, too. Isn’t the pretty? She lays blue eggs.


Charlie built about 5 different dams on the creek.

Charlie built no less than 500 different dams on the creek.


Crossing into the pasture.

Crossing into the pasture.


Maddie will follow Charlie anywhere (unless he is scared, and then she will lead him:)).

Maddie will follow Charlie anywhere (unless he is scared or doing something illegal, in which case she will lead him:)).


The love playing on this fallen tree.

They love playing on this fallen tree.


We got to watch these geese at the pond for awhile before they flew off.  They weren't too happy about us being there!

We got to watch these geese at the pond for awhile before they flew off. They weren’t too happy about us being there!

One great outcome of hardship is that you are more aware when a good moment comes along.  You can see God at work in the little things, glimpses of Him you may not have noticed before.  Because, ya’ll…. “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:11)

I believe it with all my heart.

Laresa Sits Down For Lunch

Oct 7, 2015

My Great Aunt Betty has been living with my mom for a little over a year now.  She moved here from Florida and we are so happy to have her next door.  We love her dearly.  She tells wonderful stories about her life (which has been pretty exciting) and lets the kids play with her canes.  Plus, she makes the best vegetable soup EVER.

One thing about Aunty Betty, though, is that she doesn’t sit down for meals.  She stands at the counter.  I won’t reveal her age, but I will tell you that she has earned a seat at the table, for sure!

When there are lots of people at mama’s house and every chair is taken and people are even sitting in the living room with plates on their laps, everyone offers Aunt Betty a seat and she always refuses.  They wonder why she won’t sit down, but I totally understand because I do the same thing.

It’s part of being a mom and wife and the person in charge of everyone else eating.  I have found that during breakfast and lunch at my home, and sometimes dinner, I stand at the kitchen island while the kids sit on the other side.  I make their meals then kind of flit around while they eat.  I take a bite, wash a dish, take a bite, refill a drink, take a bite, wipe off the counter.

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I was feeling like this was productive, like I was “dove-tailing” (a term I learned in home-ec in high school that means you do several things at once), like I was getting a bit ahead.  But what I have learned is that I was actually missing out.  I was missing out on a simple opportunity to sit down and rest and talk with my family.

Jason has a lot to say to me in the mornings at breakfast.  C and M have a lot to say to me at lunch.  They are very entertaining and have some really great things they want to tell me, and I was missing out on that because I thought I could get a dish in the dishwasher a few moments sooner.

I am definitely a Martha. I know it. I own it.

“Martha, Martha, you worry and fret about so many things and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, it is not to be taken from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

So lately, I have been making more of an effort to sit down for meals.  Even if me and the kids are just sitting down for a quick sandwich, it is an important time.  They tell me so many things about their morning, they tell me made-up jokes, they ask me questions.

They also love to test my math skills (What’s 2+2? What’s 8+8? What’s 9+24+564?). So I am apparently going to have to get a calculator for lunchtime. 🙂

This post is post #6 for the #Write31Days writing challenge.  Please click the picture below to read my other posts for this month.  

Just Write 31 Days theme pic

Rules of Tea Partying

Aug 1, 2015

So, I had to cancel all of our wonderful Saturday plans this morning when Maddie woke up with a stomach virus.  Dreams of manicures and pedicures and birthday parties out the window.  Jason was spending the day playing in a golf tournament, so a long Saturday at home stretched before me.

Needless to say, the kids and I started the day in a funk.  To get over this, we decided to have a tea party for lunch. We had little sandwiches and little muffins and blueberries and cantaloupe, and we drank water out of tea cups sitting on their own dishes.  Maddie brought 2 dolls to the tea party, and Charlie brought his stuffed shark, “Sharky,” who kept disrupting the formal affair with his pooting and burping.


I learned several things at this tea party:

1-The kids will eat lots of anything, as long as it is cut up very small and you call it “mini” whatever.

2-You MUST drink your “tea” with your pinky finger in the air.

3-There is no pooting at tea parties.

4-You must drink your tea with a loud slurping sound.

5-There is no burping at tea parties.


I learned a lot, but the most important thing I learned is that we won’t be going to the O’Henry for the Nutcracker Tea in December.  Or if we do, we won’t bring Sharky along!

A Christmas Tree for the Birds

Jan 3, 2015

The saga with our Christmas tree continues.  We have redecorated it for New Years and hung on to it as long as I can stand it.  When I told Charlie yesterday that it was going outside, he started to protest, until I told him we were turning it into a home for the birds and squirrels.

I’m not sure what people who live in a city do with their trees, but here we have tons of options.  We can throw them in the woods, tie a weight of some sort on them and throw them into a pond to make a little home for the fish, or just set them on fire.  We even have a nearby tiger refuge that accepts the trees as donations.  Apparently, the tigers love to play with them.

After talking with my mom and mother-in-law, I learned that my latest idea wasn’t a new one, but I still think it’s pretty cute.   It satisfied Charlie’s need to keep our tree forever, and it will give us something to do for the rest of the winter.

To make our Christmas Tree for the Birds, we strung popcorn (leftover from our Christmas popcorn tin) into garland.  We hung it on the tree (which Jason stood up on the fence in front of our house), then smeared globs of peanut butter onto the branches.  The kids pressed more popcorn and bird food into the peanut butter.

A Christmas Tree for the Birds 2


A Christmas Tree for the Birds 1


We look forward to keeping our tree stocked with goodies for the animals that populate the woods, and to watching them from our front door!

What do you do with your Christmas tree?

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