Encourage Daily Campaign

Remember The Woman at the Giant? I hope you do, and if not I encourage you to read her story. She quite possibly changed the outcome of my summer this year.

See, I was in a bit of a funk. I can't really describe it in any other way, but I was struggling with finding a true purpose. As Mr. C has transitioned from the infant to toddler years (For the record, I'm pretty sure his Pediatrician called him a preschooler at his two year check up. And I almost hit the floor.), I'm struggling finding a vision and direction for which way I want to go. Right now Mr. Kuda is probably thinking, "Back to work would be a good start," but we're not quite there yet :)

Something happened in the midst of her encouragement in that check-out line, as the tears were swelling up with frustration and worry and am-I-doing-this-mommy-thing-right. She sparked something in me, and I can't quite shake it.

Encouragement. This very thing is what has gotten me through the past year. Not only through those I've met and become close to, although those friendships have redefined me as a mom and a friend and a woman. No, it's been the casual remarks of strangers. The smile and a knowing nod of the mother who's already been through the trenches.

The other morning I was praying hard. Hands buried, eyes burning hard prayers. Lord, give me my path! I feel like I'm on the verge of something, God, but I just don't know what it is. And I am so frustrated!

And then He gave me the idea. To start a campaign. Of encouragement and paying it forward. Of moms and dads and grandmas and friends and neighbors.

Ok, great, Lord! You gave me an idea! And how in the world am I going to do that?

And then my feedly feed popped up The Nester's 31 Day writing challenge for October. And then a blogger friend of mine liked it on Facebook. And then someone else mentioned it in conversation. And then my feedly did something weird, and it popped up again in my feed.

I'm listening, Lord, and I'm trying to be obedient. Join me in thirty-one days of encouragement. Share who's encouraged you, who's inspired you, ways that you encourage your friends, family and neighbors.

Look out for my first post on Wednesday, October 1! You can find each day's post here, and it will also have links at the bottom to the previous posts of the months. If you'd like to subscribe by email so you get each post in your inbox, by all means, please do!

See you in October!

xoxo, k.


Five Minute Friday: Because

Every week, a whole heap of fabulous women get together and write for Five Minute Friday. Today's prompt is...



It was 'red day.' As I came in to wake her, I paused to capture the memory of stuffed animals surrounding her head, the comforter pulled up to her chin, and the wavy mess of hair across her forehead. I brushed her hair aside. It's time to wake up honey. It's red day! It's going to be a great day!

She promptly rolled over (catching glimpses of her teenage years), and with a waiver of tears in her throat she curtly stated, "I am not wearing red. It is not red day for me."

Shocked at the non-conformist reaction to red day, my face burned and I tried my hardest not to let the anger push past my lips. "But everyone will be wearing red, Miss E. You need to wear red."

"I don't like red. I am not wearing red. I want to be different."

I couldn't let it go. I didn't force her to wear red, but I couldn't let her be. I kept reminding her what everyone else would be doing. I forced a red sweatshirt on her brother, and even grabbed a red shirt for her school tote, telling her that if she changed her mind she would have the option to change at school.

As we drove the 30 minutes to school, my heart was saddened as the usually rambunctious and chatty girl sat in the back seat silently, staring out the window. I had broken her spirit of individuality and independence that morning. And I needed to fix it.

"Miss E, I am sorry. I should not have made you feel bad for not wearing red. I am proud of your decision this morning, and I'm proud that you stuck up for yourself. That was a brave thing to do. I love that you want to be different today."

She smiled at me in the rearview mirror.

Because I let my own insecurities get in the way, my own fears of rejection because of my differences, I almost let her go to the same place I go. I almost let her believe that it's not ok to be different.

But she is fearfully and wonderfully made, and because God was able to show me this glimpse of His mercy and grace, I was able to see past my own fears and insecurities. And because of this otherwise ordinary morning, a three year old changed the way I look at what it means to be comfortable in her own skin. She stuck up for herself against her own momma, and I could not have been more proud.


Thanks for reading today! In case you're not familiar, next week (on October 1), I'll be venturing into an unknown territory: writing for 31 days straight on one topic. I'll continue with the Five Minute Friday prompts throughout the month, but I will try to stay on my theme of the month: Finding ways to Encourage Others Daily. I hope you'll join me on my adventure!

Until next time,
Mrs. Kuda


Tot School: Letter T

(Miss E ~ 46 months)
(Mr. C ~ 24 months)

Linking up over at the Tot School Gathering Place!

I don't know about y'all, but we're finally getting into the swing of things as far as the new school year goes. Adding a few new activities has definitely been an adjustment, but we're getting there! And naps. Naps are still few and far between, but they're there, hiding intermittently throughout the week. What a difference a nap makes!

This week, we celebrated the Letter T! Mr. C is probably into every stereotypical toy/topic that your average two year old boy would enjoy, so T made him oh so happy! Since sister loves her brother so, she was happy to oblige.

We started off the week with trucks and trains, galore! I try to rotate toys a little bit as to keep things new, so knowing the letter T was coming, these had been put away for a few weeks. They were so excited to have the train set out again! We have both the Conductor Carl and Thomas the Train sets, and they love to have the trains mingle :)

Y'all. Both kids INDEPENDENTLY set up the train set this week. I was doing dishes, and they did this themselves! Miss E actually sang a song about the letter T, and I about fell on the floor. It was a great day.

Both kiddos are really into do-a-dots right now, so it was a perfect way to start on our table top activities.

Mr. C celebrated his second birthday, and got some AWESOME toys and books that fit right in with our theme! A friend (who is very familiar with this boy's love language of all things that go) gave Mr. C Sally Sutton's Roadwork, and the corresponding CAT mini-machines. We matched the corresponding trucks to each part of the story, and Miss E acted them out.  It was such a fun change to our typical Tot School day :)

Yes. That is my foot.

Both kiddos are still really into table top tasks, so I try to take advantage of it. Miss E did the letter maze, while Charlie used letter T stampers.

She worked so hard to make a pattern (blue, purple, pink) with her stickers.

Both kids worked well together using play dough to make our letter of the week. I used this time to review last week's letter, as well.

We're still working on cutting, and finding better ways to cater to each child's skills. Miss E cuts out the animals for our letter T, and Mr. C practices with strips of construction paper.

We're still working on shapes, too, so we used another of Mr. C's birthday gifts (Melissa and Doug's Pattern Blocks) in our Tot School time. This was another great activity for some independence! Miss E actually started a game, shouting out shapes to Mr. C, and they were giggling all the way. So fun!

That was our week! Hope you enjoyed how we explored the letter T. See you next week!

xoxo, k.
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