September was a beautiful month full of goodness. Here was what we were up to that kept me away from the blogging world.

  • George got his first haircut.


  • I joined the choir at church.
  • I started teaching a college class, which I want to write a post about.
  • We traveled to Iowa for some of my former students’ wedding.


  • George experienced his first tailgate. It was a yummy success in his book.


  • George started a new obsession with trains.


  • We went to Silver Dollar City, which is a family theme park in south Missouri. It was George’s first time there.


  • My sister-in-law and I started teaching the high school Sunday school class. Yikes!
  • My dad came and visited.


  • We went to a Chief’s game. Another George first!


  • I ran a 10K with my sister-in-law.

🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻 #rootsandblues

A video posted by Emily Whitener Roberts (@emilywhitenerroberts) on

  • We had our first visit with our Parents as Teachers educator. PAT is a really cool program that has an educator from the school district come to your house once a month before they are actually in school to talk about their development. It was really nice for her to talk with us about George’s milestones and what is upcoming.
  • We went to our local pumpkin festival. Look at how much George has changed since last year!


This month has been full of tractors and George snuggles along the way as well.

 What have you been up to lately?

October Goals

Oh hey. It’s me. It’s been a hot minute since I have been around these parts.

But, October is one of my favorite months. I love everything about October.

Before I get to my October Goals let’s see how I did in September since I have been MIA here.

  • Fitness-
    • Do yoga at least once a week-Nope. I got nothing.
    • Keep up with my 10K training-I did keep up, and I ran the race this last weekend. I matched up with my best time so I guess that is something that I didn’t do better or worse than I have before.
  • House Tasks-

    • Stain the deck-Nope.
  • Something with George
    • Play in the leaves-Fall.Is.Coming. Just arrived this week.We have no leaves to play in just yet.
    • Go to one of the state parks in our area-George and I went to Rockbridge State park and found the most marvelous creek to play in. In fact this park were we went to take our massive family pictures.


  • Something with Tom-Go to a Royals Game. Done and done. We had a fun time out with friends.


  • Something for meFigure out how to use my remote for my camera. It turns out the remote I got does not read with my camera (even though online it said it did). So I had to go buy a new one just in time to figure out the night before our family photos.


 So October, here we are.


  • Fitness-
    • Do yoga several times a week
    • Meet my step goal at least 50% of the week-I usually have a decrease in my workouts right after a race, so I want to make sure I am still being active enough.
  • House Tasks-

    • Take care of the brush pile-We just cut up a lot of dead trees, but no we need to take care of the pile it created.
  • Something with George
    • Play in the leaves-If fall cooperates.
    • All the pumpkin patches. And if I am feeling adventurous…decorating a pumpkin.
  • Something with Tom
    • Watch a new show together. We want to watch Pitch and Designated Survivor together. They are just sitting in our DVR waiting.
    • Have a bonfire. Fall is the best for bonfires.
  • Something for meFinish You Before Me. I have been trying to finish this for awhile, I just have been so busy that my downtime is literally spent asleep. So it has been hard to read more than a couple pages at a time. It’s a good book so far, so I definitely want to see how it ends. Then I want to see the movie.


Melissa Spoelstra’s ‘Total Family Makeover’ Family Fun Night Giveaway

Begin to build your family discipleship and become the key disciple-makers in your children’s lives with Melissa Spoelstra’s new book, Total Family Makeover.

George is two. In the short time we have been in year two, we have seen George explore his emotions and who he is as an individual. With that has come tantrums and unfortunately George being a bully. There have been days where I wonder if he will ever learn to listen.

This book could not have come at a better time to give me hope and encourage me as a mom of a spirited young man.

There were a couple statements that really resonated with me.

  • My son’s behavior is not a report card on me as a parent. She went more in depth about where this will lead you, and I sat in tears realizing this is what I had become. I was comparing myself to other mom’s because my kid was hitting. I was doubting how to control this little being, and I was extremely embarrassed.
  • Along with that, God is the perfect parent, and we disappoint him regularly. I do at least a couple times a day. So how can I expect myself to be perfect and raise a perfect child? That is just setting myself up for failure to have that expectation on myself.
  • It is a different mindset of shifting how our kids respond to things to how we are actually teaching them. In other words, I need to focus on my spiritual direction in order to be able to train George.

This book has a great format too. It makes it really easy to pick up and read for the practical ideas and not feel weighed down by text.

Spoelstra weaves in scripture with practical activities for you to explore for modeling and training. I really like this aspect because I can be really dense sometimes, and at the end of the day when I am reading before bed, sometimes I just need someone to tell me the bottom line.

With George’s increase in communication and sense of awareness, Tom and I have talked at great lengths at what we want to model and hopefully instill in George as a Christian family. We want him to learn about Jesus and have compassion for the world, and these are definitely things we can start now even though his sentences consist of two words or just “No” or “mine.”

While I believe this book was intended for moms, Tom and I are really using it to give us a better foundation as parents and set the tone as a team. It has opened our eyes to different things we should be considering and habits that we should be creating now. It also reaffirmed some of the things we were already doing. To be honest though, it is hard to think about being responsible for your own spiritual development as an adult, but then to tack on the daunting task of helping a child build their own concept of God, it can be a lot. This was great to see that our worries are common and reaffirmed that we are on the right track. At the end of each chapter there are discussion questions that we can talk about and that has been great for our marriage as well. While we have been together for 10 years, we learned a lot by going through this book together.

And the examples she gives where invaluable for me at least. I love to hear what other parents do so that was my favorite part of the book.

There is a lot of scripture throughout which I think would lead this book to be a great Sunday School class option or for any new parent class that a church may do. If anything it would be a great gift for a baby shower.

This book is great. I didn’t feel like I was getting lectured to; it was more like getting coffee with a mentor. It is filled with ideas and things that just make sense. It focuses on the basics of establishing values, and to me that is so much more important than how to teach my kid how to dress himself. (Although that is a basic that eventually I would like for him to fully master.)

Disciples are made, not born. Whether your children are babes in arms or teenagers getting ready to leave the nest, making disciples at home starts with you! Give your family a makeover with this practical approach to helping your children learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Plan an evening of fun, pizza, devotionals, and games with your family! Melissa is giving away a Family Fun Night Prize Pack.


One grand prize winner will receive:


Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 7. The winner will be announced October 10 on Melissa’s blog.


Curious George Birthday Party

We had the best birthday party to celebrate George turning two.

The theme was obvious with his name. When we were pregnant, we knew that eventually we would want to have a Curious George party. I still feel like I can pick out his themes for at least one more birthday, but the “curious” really fit his nature this year too.

Ironically though, we do not watch a lot of Curious George. We do read a lot of Curious George books!

Here is everything we did for the party.

We got our invitations from DottyDigitalParty on Etsy. We just printed these off at Walmart photo to mail off. There is just something about sending real mail.

Curious George Invitation


Table Centerpieces-I used cupcake toppers found from JulyPrintParty on Etsy. Then I glued them to pinwheels. I found the pinwheels on Oriental Trading. I really lucked out on the colors matching perfectly! Then the jars my sister-in-law already owned. Score! I found some Curious George balloons on Amazon.


The pinwheels ended up being a huge hit with the kids, and most walked out with two or three. A party favor I wasn’t expecting!


Food Decorations:


I got the banner from LuvibeeKidsCo and printed it out at home.

The serving bowls came either from the church or my sister-in-law. I got table cloths, plates, silverware, napkins, and cups from Target, Party City or the Dollar Tree.

With stuff we already owned, I really only spent maybe 30 bucks between the foodware and table decorations.


We did banana splits, pretzels, and a veggie tray. Easy peasy, and fairly cheap as far as party food goes. Total cost here was about $60.


We put the pretzels in Curious George book pages. These are all books that George had already destroyed. Reuse!


Even though we had the party around banana splits, every birthday needs cake!


A local grocery store did the cake…for 20 dollars. TWENTY dollars!! Midwest folks run to your Hy-Vee for your cake needs. I just took in a picture, and they did this. I did buy the George topper off Amazon.

The cake plate I already owned, and the wagon my Grandpa made for George for Christmas. I loved being able to use it here!


I am pretty fortunate that my mom is an artist. I asked her to make these carnival cutouts, and she did an amazing job! I love having personal touches like these!

I just attached it to my photography stands. So much fun!


We have so many kids in our family and in our friend group, so we know that we have to have things for them to do.

This activity crawl thing my in-laws had in their basement. Win.

This ball pit was the best idea! We half-inflated a swimming pool my in-laws owned and then filled it with balls. We had a couple bags of these balls already, but we did have to buy a few more. We got some at Walmart and off Amazon. We spent about $30 here.


George loved the doodle station! All this was free too. I printed the coloring pages for free off here. And my sister-in-law is awesome and supplied the rest. She also made the big signs! We have talent in our family!



I got Curious George books off Scholastic for all the kiddos to take. Then I clipped these Thank You tags that I got off Etsy from BloomingDESIGNprints. The basket and chalkboard we already owned. Total cost here was about $35.


Someone had gifted us George’s shirt for his birthday last year. I got the adult shirts off Amazon. I have been using Ibotta (which is a way to get money back on your here to start your own paybacks. Seriously, I have been using it for 6 months and have gotten around $100 so far.) I had gift cards from Ibotta that made these shirts free. Score.

We had it in our church gym, which is free and means I don’t have to clean my house. Win win win.

We really saved a lot by doing the printing at home, using stuff we had on hand, and shopping around for the last 6 months. I would seriously wait until I had Amazon gift cards or until I got a special discount code to buy most things online. And all the stuff off Etsy was mere dollars. It is worth planning a year in advance to get great deals.

We spent a little over $200 for this party, which some may think is silly, but it was so much fun. I loved having our family and friends there to celebrate our little man. Birthdays are the one day of the year I feel like you should be spoiled so we will go all out. I love to see how all the details come together.

I already have ideas for his next birthday. I know I am crazy…

September Goals

September is one of my favorite months. I love the start of school time. I love fall. I love the song “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.

It is going to be a great month.

Let’s see how I did with August though.

  • Fitness-
    • Do cross-training a couple times a week. I managed to do this. I did some boxing and yoga.
    • Keep up with my 10K training. I was doing really well until last week when I got the back to school flu and birthday prep. I am hoping to get back on it this week.
  • House Tasks-

    • Organize George’s toys-I did this with his toys and clothes. Just in time to make room for all his new trucks.
  • 08211619140827162042
    • Build a new porch-WE DID THIS! Well Tom did 90% of this. Yay for a handy hubby.
  • 0807161744a
    • Stain the deck-This did not get done mostly because it kept raining on the days that Tom has off. First rule of staining is that your wood needs to be dry.
  • Something with George
    • Introduce him to sidewalk chalk. He loved to put it on his clothes..
  • 0820160904b
    • Celebrate him turning TWO! Yes, and I just cried on the eve of his birthday…
  • Something with Tom-dinner and a movie. We spent a whole day out! Ironically the last movie that we saw together was the last Bourne movie, and that was the movie we saw this month. It was really good! And saw was the Red Lobster and walking through ALL of Target.
  • Something for medo some research to purchase more natural make-up. I did some research, asked around, and tested some products. I think I am going to go with Bare Minerals. I wore it for my wedding and a little afterwards, and I really loved it. I just stopped because of the cost.

Not too shabby!

  • Fitness-
    • Do yoga at least once a week
    • Keep up with my 10K training.
  • House Tasks-

    • Stain the deck
  • Something with George
    • Play in the leaves-Fall.Is.Coming
    • Go to one of the state parks in our area
  • Something with Tom-Go to a Royals Game. We already bought tickets so this shouldn’t be too hard to complete.
  • Something for meFigure out how to use my remote for my camera. I have had the remote for awhile, but I still don’t know how to use it. Family picture time is just around the corner though so it is time.

 What are your goals this month?