Archives for October 2013

Teachable Moments by Jessie Weaver



Some days, I think I might actually have this parenting thing somewhat under control. (Then something happens like I trip over the trash can lid that’s on the floor and bang my baby’s head onto the corner of the china cabinet, and I change my mind.)

My daughter, Libbie, who’s 3, has been running a fever for the past day and a half, so we’ve had a lot of time at home. During a better hour this morning, I offered to let her do one of her favorite activities: paint.

“Will you paint WITH me, Mommy?” she asked sweetly, the dark circles under her big blue eyes making her look even more pathetic. I agree, and she instructs me on where I am to sit, that I need a separate page of paper, where to put the water, what colors to paint. While she makes, well, a big purple watery mess, I use half my brain to paint a simple rainbow.



As soon as she deciphers its shape, Libbie exclaims, “It’s like Noah!” And I beam. Because somewhere in there with the (somewhat correct) words to “Jingle Bells” and ways to annoy her baby brother, she related rainbows with the Bible.

So while we paint, I simply retell the story of Noah’s ark, illustrating my story as we go. She wants me to paint Noah and people and animals, so I craft a few flying birds and a bear with my big sponge brush. They look ridiculous, but I don’t care. Because we’re learning and having fun.

Being a stay-at-home mom is all about these teachable moments. They make it worth every tear, coupon, and suppressed scream.

Originally published January 11, 2012. Which means, BTW, that the fever my daughter had was the start of her lovely battle with pneumonia! Agh!

Jessie Weaver When Jessie Weaver is not busy being the resident ParentLife Blogger, she writes at Vanderbilt Wife and also for magazines like HomeLife and ParentLife. She lives in Chattanooga with her husband, where they run after three crazy kids (ages 5, 2, and 7 months).

Banana Bread Recipe

We hope you enjoy this great banana bread recipe!

Best Banana Bread

1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c. oil
3 Tbsp. Milk
1 c. mashed banana (2 lg)
½ c. chopped pecans or walnuts.

Stir dry ingredients together. Mix in eggs, oil, and milk. Then stir in banana and nuts until just blended. Bake 350 for 1 hr. (less for muffin tins).

Pumpkin Bread

Celebrate the season with this yummy recipe for Pumpkin Bread! And make sure to check back tomorrow for a great banana bread recipe!

Makes 3 small aluminum pan loaves.

2 ½ c. flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
1 16-oz. Can pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 ½ c. vegetable oil
5 eggs
3 tsp. Vanilla
1 lemon pudding (3 oz. Instant)
1 butterscotch pudding (3 oz. Instant) (or 2 french vanilla if you can’t find lemon and butterscotch)

Mix all together in large mixing bowl with beaters until very smooth. Put into sprayed pans or muffin tins. Bake almost an hour at 350 (less time if using muffin tins!)

Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Biblically Based Kids’ Music That Parents Can Stand

Hearing my kids sing song after song from what they’ve heard has been enlightening. It makes me even more sure I want to present them with healthy, biblical messages all the time – and that definitely includes their music, which they hear and repeat all the time. Let’s face it, though – some kids’ music is enough to make you want to drill a hole in your head.

Here are some albums that I love and are totally tolerant for this on-the-go mom.


The Rizers Rise Up! – The Rizers – Has songs based on Scripture and includes the Scripture references in the songs. Fun, rock beats.

Jesus Music Box – Yancy – We reviewed it here.

Seeds Family Worship albums – These all have themed songs that are fun to listen to and teach Truth.

Hide ‘Em in Your Heart Vols. 1 and 2 – Steve Green – These oldies but goodies teach simple tunes to Scripture verses. I still remember most of them from singing them in children’s choir!


Do you have any great music your kids AND you love to share?

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month by Ellen Stumbo

down syndrome awareness
October is Down syndrome Awareness month. Six years ago, I was aware that there was something called Down syndrome. Our close friends had a daughter with Down syndrome and I took care of her while her mom worked a part-time job. But two years later, when my daughter was born with Down syndrome, my awareness changed.

I was aware I did not want to have a baby with Down syndrome. I was aware of my broken dreams for our future. Aware that I had become a special needs mom without any say in the matter. I was aware that God had a plan, but I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

So I cried and shook my fist at God because I didn’t think I deserved a baby with Down syndrome. I lived my life to serve God, I was a pastor’s wife, why was He doing this to me? Why did He choose a broken baby for me? I wanted my baby to die because I couldn’t handle her diagnosis.

Then I got a call from my baby’s doctor, he was concerned about her health. A possibly terminal liver condition. Maybe she would die if we didn’t do something about it. And my awareness changed once more.

I became aware of how selfish I was. Aware of how little I knew about unconditional love, and how consumed I was with my grief. I became quite aware that my baby wasn’t broken. I was. So broken.

And then I chose love. With everything in me I was going to love my baby because I couldn’t bear the idea of standing before God without loving His child, the beloved He had entrusted to me. I had a change of heart. God was beginning to mend my brokenness.

Now, six years later, I am aware of how beautiful my daughter’s life is. I am aware that she brings me more joy and love I thought I could have in my life. I am aware of shades of color I never knew were possible. I am aware that there is love, oh so much love.

And I am aware that she is the little girl I always wanted. My pride. My joy. My heart.

To read more about this story, stop by HERE.

ellenstumboEllen Stumbo is a writer and speaker. She is the mother of three daughters: Ellie; Nichole, who has Down syndrome; and Nina, who was adopted and also has special needs. She is wife to Andy, a pastor.

Reconnect With Your Spouse

It’s important for new moms to remember that new dads have their own share of stress, most keeping full-time jobs in addition to helping with the new baby at home. Both parents should attempt be sympathetic to the other’s needs. One vital need: Time with each other! Consider the following ways to keep your marriage strong.

1. Make time for just the two of you- Finding time to spend together alone is always harder than in seems. Strive to make a date at least once a week for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate- in every way possible. Schedule a time to talk about subjects other than the baby. Speak on the phone, and send text messages and emails throughout the day.

3. Play! Take up a new hobby together. Always wanted to go antiquing or learn to play golf? Whether you bring the baby along, or utilize caregivers, do it together.

Weekend Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Added to Saturday Linky Love at Vanderbilt Wife.

Great solution for kids!


The Kid’s SPIbelt™ (MSRP $16.99) is sleek, expandable, secure, and does not bounce. It can hold any phone, keys, identification and many other small personal items. Perfect for children who need medical supplies such as inhalers, insulin pumps or epipens, SPIbelt™ won’t ride or shift while participating in vigorous activities. And parents can relax knowing their children’s items such as house keys and medical supplies won’t be lost.

Real Life Solutions with Dr. Linda Mintle

Q: I feel like my fourth grader is becoming too anxious over school work and grades. How do I help her calm down?

A: Anxiety is a common problem in children today. They often feel the pressure of doing well in school very early on. It doesn’t help to tell her not to worry. Rather, help her identify what she is feeling. If she can acknowledge the feeling, you can work on the specifics. Listen to what is bothering her. What is the source of her stress? Is she afraid to fail, worried she will disappoint you, feeling competitive with other children, wanting to please a teacher, etc.? Whatever is at the core, help her think more positively about the issue. For example, “I can’t always get a perfect grade but I can do my best.” ‘Not every teacher will love me but that is OK.” Teach her some ways to relax and distract herself from the constant thoughts of schoolwork. Exercise of any kind helps with stress and anxiety. Make sure she is eating well (getting a good breakfast) and getting enough sleep because poor nutrition and sleep deprivation can contribute to anxious feelings. Also, make sure you are not unconsciously pressuring her. Sometimes the way parents talk about school and expectations can bring on stress. Most of all, be a calm example. She will pick up on your anxious feelings if you are also worried about doing well and getting things done. So model handling stress in ways that can help her as well.

Resource: Helping Children to Cope with Change, Stress and Anxiety: A Photocopiable Activities Book by Deborah M. Plummer (Author), Alice Harper (Illustrator), Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010)