Laresa Watkins

24/31 Days

Oct 24, 2017

People ask me quite often about books that I am reading or books I am reading to my kids right now.  I thought I would share some of my favorites:

1-Maddie (6 yrs. old) loves the Junie B. Jones series.  Junie B. is seriously obnoxious, so prepare yourself!

2-Another of Maddie’s favorites (and mine, too, because these were my favorites when I was a child) are the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary.  Ramona is also obnoxious, but in more of an 80’s-style than modern-day obnoxiousness.  😉

3-We’re reading “Missionary Stories With the Millers” by Mildred A. Martin as part of our history curriculum, and we have enjoyed every single story.  It has really opened our eyes to how the gospel has been spread all over the world, and how brave missionaries are.

4-The kids beg me every day to read to them from “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. We just finished up book #2  (“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”) and will probably begin #3 tomorrow.

5-I read a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez every summer, and this summer was “Of Love and Other Demons.”  When you read one of his books, you just feel really accomplished, you know? Like you’ve really done something. I always look forward to picking out a new one each summer.

6-Charlie’s current favorites are the Captain Underpants books.  I can’t say that I am a huge fan of the movie or of the books, but they do have a really cool flip book inside each book, and they have inspired Charlie to create his own comic books, so that’s a positive.

7-I read all of the Harry Potter books as they came out, and now I am enjoying so much reading them to Charlie.  The only problem is that I can’t put them down, and he ends up getting to stay up past his bedtime!

8-My moms group is studying “Shepherding A Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp this year, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Obviously, I love reading to C and M, especially books that I read as a child.  Every summer I make it a goal to read at least one book for myself, and I usually end up reading more than that, but during the school year I don’t have too much time for reading, and I’m too tired at nighttime and end up going to sleep a few pages in.

Just like I’m about to go to sleep right now…

11/31 Days

Oct 11, 2017

This year Charlie is in 3rd grade and Maddie is in 1st grade.  In addition to the workload of reading, writing, spelling, science and math that we were used to, I changed up curriculums this year, adding in history and language arts.  There is just more to do as the kids get older, and for the first time in my life I am dealing with a time management problem.

I guess it’s a good thing that I haven’t had a problem with time management until the age of 38, right?

One thing I don’t want to do is give up our field trips.  The kids love them, but I really think I love them more.  🙂  I get to see and learn new things, and hang out with my friends.  The fact that I get to count it as a school day is just a bonus.

Today we visited Homeland Creamery, a dairy farm about 30 miles from here.  We got to go on a hayride around the farm, learn how a huge dairy operation runs, see a lot of beautiful cows, and eat ice cream.

Hashtag Blessed.



9/31 Days

Oct 9, 2017

About once a year, Charlie and Maddie will beg me to have a lemonade stand.  I’ll put them off for awhile because it is a little trouble, and I don’t particularly enjoy sitting at the road begging people for money.  🙂

Today I gave in and we sold stuff at the end of our driveway, but it wasn’t lemonade this year.  Really, I didn’t have to do any work, aside from carrying some chairs and duct tape down the driveway. (On a side note: To my friends with babies and toddlers-it does get a lot easier!)

Charlie has been working for days making comic books.  He wrote and illustrated them, and I helped him make copies and staple them together.  He sold them for $1 each, with each customer also receiving a free copy.  He did not sell the original copy, though, since he was charging $10 for it.  My little entrepreneur! He’s saving his money up for our visit to Disney in a couple of months.

Maddie sold some drawings that she has been working on for several weeks.  She is a tough one when it comes to school, and I haven’t been able to find a subject that she really enjoys.  This year we began studying history and different cultures, and it was so wonderful to see her fall in love with those subjects.  She is really concerned that there are people in the world that don’t know God and don’t have Bibles, so she wants to do something to send Bibles to China or India.  She has been drawing pictures that she wanted to sell to fund this.  All of her pictures sold today, and we’ll be donating the money to the Gideons tomorrow.  I’m proud of her and inspired by her giving heart.

Anytime we do something like this, I am so touched by the people in my community.  The first people to stop were people I have never even seen before, and they saw the kids and knew how happy it would make them to sell something.  Our neighbors, family, and friends stopped what they were doing and came to buy something from C and M.  It definitely made me feel grateful to be where I am.

“What can I give back to God
for the blessings he’s poured out on me?” Psalm 116:12

5 Signs That You’ve Had a Really Fun Day

Dec 11, 2014

5 Signs that you have had a really fun day:

1.  As you undress the kids for their bath, you realize they have worn costumes ALL DAY. All day.

2.  On your way to bed, you walk through the living room and see the kids’ juice cups from that morning still lying in the floor, along with their pajamas from the night before….and you’re too tired to them up.

3.  As you crawl (literally crawl) into bed that night, your body aching from exhaustion, you notice that you never made the bed. There was no time for such trivial housekeeping that day.

4.  Lying in bed in a haze of exhaustion, you flip through your photos from the day and realize that this was the only one you took:


There was just too much fun going on to stop and take pictures.  (I do wish I had more of Emma in the picture than her arm, though!)

5.  You are super-tired, but can’t sleep because you keep replaying the day in your head.


Obviously, we had a fun day today.  I hope your’s was good, too!


Charlie and Maddie’s Thanksgiving Lunch

Nov 20, 2014

A few weeks ago, I read A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving to C and M.  In the book, Charlie Brown (accidentally) has all of his friends over for Thanksgiving lunch.  Of course, C wanted to invite all of his friends over for Thanksgiving lunch, so the kids got to choose a few friends to have over today.

We sent out Evites, then began planning our lunch.  We decided to make our lunch like the first Thanksgiving, and I was surprised, upon looking further into it, that the first Thanksgiving was really nothing like the Thanksgiving we celebrate today!

Here is some information about our lunch today.

When the kids got here, they decorated vests that I had cut out of paper grocery bags.  You just cut up the middle of the bag, cutting a hole in the bottom of the bag for the head, then turn the bag inside out so the writing is on the inside, then add arm holes on each side for their arms. Then the kids colored their vests.  Here’s Charlie modeling for you!!




The kids also made headdresses using construction paper, feathers, and tape.  We dug out the Halloween makeup to paint their faces.

Maddie, of course, had to be an Indian princess!



The kids sat on the floor to have their lunch, just like the pilgrims and Indians sat on the ground, or on a stump.



And our lunch was really strange, but simple!  We had fish sticks, rice pudding, carrots, and plain cranberries (like the first Thanksgiving), plus some pizza (which the pilgrims did not have:)).



While the kids were eating, I gave them a little info about the first Thanksgiving.  It was really interesting to learn that they actually ate eel, cabbage, carrots, and spice pudding.  There was no sugar (so no pumpkin pie or cranberry salad), and possibly no turkey at the first Thanksgiving!

This was a really fun day for us, and required very little preparation or work on my end. It would be good for a group of kids, or a fun lunch for you and your kids one day before Thanksgiving.  And who doesn’t love fish sticks?

If you do decide to do it, you should check out Scholastic’s website  or Mother Hubbard’s website for some great information on the first Thanksgiving!


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