Laresa Watkins

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.

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?

“Busy Box” for Younger Siblings

Aug 25, 2014

busy box for younger siblings1

We have finished up our first week of homeschooling and I am really pleased with how things are going.  Charlie seems to like school so far, and it is so rewarding to me to see him learning and to get to experience this with him.  I know every parent says this about their child, but I am pretty sure he is the smartest kid out there! 🙂

If there is anything that I know I need to improve upon, it is what Maddie does while I am teaching Charlie.  She is not ready to start school yet (“Im not old enough,” she says.), and I honestly don’t know how I could concentrate my efforts on both of them.  She spends a little time playing on her own, but is also spending a lot of that time watching television, which I don’t really like.

I was talking to my sister-in-law about this, and she suggested that I make a box for Maddie, a box that she can only play with while Charlie and I are having school.  She made one for my nephew to play with while she is talking on the phone.

I thought that was a great idea, and when I mentioned it to my mom this morning as we were on our way to do some shopping, I knew that it was going to happen!

Mama bought this cute container:

busy box for younger siblings3


Then we walked through the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby and scored some really good deals to fill it up for the Madster:

busy box for younger siblings2

Some of these things I already had at home, and I plan to also go through her toys and pick out some of the things she hasn’t played with in awhile and forgotten about.

The “Busy Box” looks so cute sitting on my fridge, and I can’t wait to show it to Maddie later today.  My hope is that it will keep her occupied while I need to concentrate on Charlie, and cut down on her TV time a little bit.

I would love to hear some other ideas for keeping a younger sibling occupied while you are having school with your older children.


*My drawing for  set of toilet targets ends tonight, so go enter now!  Just click here and enter!*

Our Free Kiwi Crate Came Today!

Jul 29, 2014

This post contains affiliate links.  Please know that any opinions are my own.

I was so excited when the kids and I checked the mail today because we had 3 packages, plus the kids had gotten a letter from their Papa in Mt. Airy.  He writes them about once a week and puts a little money in there for them, which they love.

I really like getting packages because usually by the time I get something, I have forgotten that I ordered it, so it’s a complete surprise!

While one of my boxes didn’t hold anything too exciting (a new battery for our camera), I was glad that some business cards came in that I ordered for the new MOPS group that my church is chartering.  Our meeting dates are listed on them, and we’re going to add some magnets to the back so all of the moms (the forgetful bunch that we are) can stick them on their fridges.

We also received our free craft from Kiwi crate, and we got right to work on it when we got home!  Kiwi crate is an organization that sends out boxes of ready-to-go craft projects for you to do with your kids.  I have been hearing about them for awhile now, but haven’t tried them out until this opportunity arose to get a free trial.  I’m really glad I decided to give them a try.

The free craft they are offering is the My Starlight Lantern.  I was really impressed with the quality of the products they sent, including a star-punch that we’ll be able to use for other projects.  They also included a book with other craft ideas and suggestions.

Here's what the box was like when we opened it.

Here’s what the box was like when we opened it.


Once I got the box unpacked, I had to stop what I was doing and lay Ms. Fussy-Bussy here down.  Naptime.

Once I got the box unpacked, I had to stop what I was doing and lay Ms. Fussy-Bussy here down. Naptime.


Charlie loved punching out the stars, I love the fact that we have an awesome new star-punch!

Charlie loved punching out the stars, I love the fact that we have an awesome new star-punch!


Charlie concentrating on assembling the lantern.

Charlie concentrating on assembling the lantern.

Proud of his finished product!

Proud of his finished product!


Charlie immediately took the lantern into a dark closet to test it out, and we very happy with the results.  The light actually shines through in the shape of stars.

Last night, he and Maddie had a “sleepover.”  We recently put another twin bed up in Maddie’s room, and they have been wanting to sleep together since then.  Last night was the night, and they had so much fun.  They told me that at some point in the night they got up and played.  I’m not sure how much sleep they got, because they are both obviously tired today, but it was worth it for the good time they both had!

Now Charlie wants Maddie to sleep in his room, so he’s saving the lantern for when that happens.  I just love the friendship they are forming!

If you want to try out this free craft, click here.  You will just have to pay the $3.95 shipping, which is a great deal!  This does only last until July 31, so you just have a couple of days to order.

I hope you have as much fun with your crate as we did with ours!




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