Saturday, January 31, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Totally Tots...

We have lots going on here at Totally Tots and although MANY moms make this site what it is, we have a few who do a lot of work and writing behind the scenes. Please click on each team member's name if you'd like to read more about us!

The managers of the blog...
Signature button Carisa
Signature Button Jolanthe

Our contributing writers...

signature button Jenn
signature button Jodi







We also feature Mommy bloggers in a few of our features. If you have been featured, you are welcome to display this button on your blog if you’d like!

Featured On Totally Tots

If you’d like to submit to Totally Tots you can contact the following writers (remove spaces when emailing):
  • Crafty Corner: JennAtTotallyTots @
  • Simply Made: happybrownhouse @
  • Cute Tots: CarisaAtTotallyTots @

Above all, we hope to bring honor to Christ through this blog. Please read our mission here if you’ve never read it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Did You Know ~ Veggies ROCK!

Did You Know that tots should eat 1 cup of veggies each day? We all know how important eating vegetables is for our health. Veggies not only provide phytochemicals such as vitamins and minerals, which help protect us against diseases, they are also an important source of fiber. Different veggies contain different vitamins, so it is important to include as much variety as possible. However, getting our tots to actually eat their veggies is often a struggle.

Here are some tips to encourage your tot to eat these highly nutritious foods:

  1. Eat it Raw. Tots frequently do not like cooked veggies, but actually do not mind them raw. Try offering your tot a variety of sliced raw veggies, such as carrot sticks, bell pepper, cucumber, celery, snow peas etc. The best time to serve this healthy finger food is while you are preparing lunch or dinner. This is usually the time where your tot is the hungriest and is asking for a snack anyways.
  2. Dip it. Tots often like dipping their food. Take advantage of this and offer a dip with their veggies. Some possibilities are: cottage cheese, cream cheese, guacamole, peanut butter, hummus, or yogurt.
  3. Add them to anything. You can add veggies to many dishes your tot already likes. For example, you can add bell pepper and mushrooms to pasta with tomato sauce, or you can add peas, broccoli or spinach to macaroni and cheese. Also try to add veggies to lasagna, tacos, burritos, and casseroles. Veggies also make a great pizza topping.
  4. Sneak them in. You can sneak pureed veggies into soups or add shredded carrots or zucchini to your muffin recipe. Two books with recipes and tips about creative ways to do this are: Deceptively Delicious and The Sneaky Chef.
  5. Roast your veggies. Roasting your veggies in the oven makes them taste sweeter. As a bonus, it is super time efficient. Just toss veggies with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt before roasting.
  6. Make veggie art. Create colorful faces with olive- slice eyes, tomato ears, mushroom noses, bell-pepper mouths, and any other playful features you can think of.
  7. Be a good example. Your tot will be much more likely to eat his/her veggies when he/she sees you eat yours! Plus, it’s healthy for you too!

Please read our Did You Know ~ disclaimer below.

Did You Know-disclaimer

We strive to share from our hearts and experiences here at Totally Tots. As writers share their health and nutrition advice, please know that this is coming from self-educated mothers (unless otherwise stated). These writers are sharing what is working for them and their own tots. We are NOT doctors, or experts--just moms trying our best to raise healthy tots. If you have a question about something shared, please ask your pediatrician and follow their advice over ours!

We also realize that some health related issues can become controversial, therefore we are not taking a major FOR or AGAINST stand on things-just sharing from our personal growth. Any comments submitted that seem even slightly controversial will not be published, as that is not what this site is intended for. If you do find that something posted in this topic is VERY wrong and could harm another tot, please let us know ASAP.

The writers for this feature strive to inspire, and share with you what they have learned along the way. God bless you in your venture to raise a healthy tot!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crafty Corner ~ P is for Penguin

I wanted Sweetpea (age 39 mos) to practice the letter P for penguin, so this is what I came up with. I took some black construction paper and drew P's, and flippers(triangles) on them. Half circles on white for bellies, and diamonds on orange for beaks. I also just drew some bird feet on the orange. After I cut them out I gave them, and some googly eyes to the kid's (also present were my 5.5 year old, and a friends' 25 month old) and this is how they turned out. I did show the tots approximately where to place the pieces.
Materials Needed:
  • black, orange, white paper
  • glue stick
  • google eyes, and any other fun decorations!

This Crafty Corner post was written by Abbie, you can visit her at her blog, Second Star to the Right and Straight on Till Morning. Thanks Abbie for sharing this great craft idea!

Bible Bites ~ Pretty Girl

My daughter, who is still three, is a delight. She has the most beautiful blue eyes that sparkle and twinkle. She is Miss Personality; everywhere we go people are drawn to her. She gets way too much attention from strangers and way too much joy from the attention. I started to notice she was getting a little snotty from all the attention about being “pretty, cute, and adorable.” So one morning while I was fixing her hair for the day I said, “Jubilee, you are a very pretty little girl. But what makes you pretty to God?” She didn’t really know. So we talked about things like: being joyful, being obedient, being quiet, and being kind. These things make us beautiful to God. We’ve talked about it enough now that when I see that attitude rear it’s unattractive disruptive head, I can say, “Jubilee, be pretty!” And she knows I don’t mean fix your hair or bat your eyelashes, but she can put a smile on her face and be sweet. A real beauty to God!
Do not let your beauty be that of outward adorning, of arranging the hair, of wearing gold or of putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

ps-just so any of you don't think I have a daughter I haven't ever spoken of :) we have another writer here with my same name! Her name is spelled CariSSa and I am CariSa. I made our signature buttons different colors too, so hopefully that will help you out. Her button links to her blog too! This weekend I will put up a bio post for our main writers so you can get to know us all a bit better!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get Real with God ~ The Little Red Hen

Are You Like The Little Red Hen?

Remember the story of The Little Red Hen? In the story she has big plans of baking bread and asks everyone to help her. Instead, everyone has some excuse for why they can’t pitch in.

I was thinking one day about this story and I thought how different I was from her. My children are often very eager to help me out, but their childish or imperfect ways of doing the tasks often prevent me from accepting their help.

I’m a structured person. Okay, I’m a little obsessive compulsive person when it comes to my home. I get hung up on perfection and would sometimes rather turn their kindness away (and even risk hurting their feelings) then accept their help and have an "imperfect" job.

I think there is something awesome about the Little Red Hen. She is willing to share the work and the reward. I think she is like God. The Little Red Hen was perfectly capable of baking the bread all by herself. She didn’t really require the help, she just wanted it. She wanted the company and someone to share the work and reward with.

God is that way too. He doesn’t have to use us to accomplish his work, but He chooses to. He even had the tendency to use the messiest most imperfect people to do His work. He chose a man who stuttered to free His people, a teenager to carry his Son, a prostitute to protect His army, and unschooled, ordinary me to preach the Gospel to nations. He wasn’t frightened by their imperfection. Instead, He used them in spite of themselves.

In Hebrews 11:38, and really that entire chapter, the author addresses the unlikely people that God chose to do extraordinary things. In verse 38 though, it says

“They were too good for this world . . .”

Are you seeing your children through God’s eyes? He knows those tiny messy hands can hold enormous blessings just for you. Don’t cut them short because they might not do it just right. Share the work and share the reward. They are the special helpers that God has sent you.

We are blessed that God shares the reward of heaven with us. Our ways aren't always as perfect as His. We just can’t measure up to His law no matter how hard we try. Sometimes we leave smudges that He has to go back over, but He doesn't complain. He's proud of our effort and participation. That’s an amazing example to follow.

Meet Daniel...


Daniel is the baby of his family (he will be 4 this summer), with an older sister and older brother. His Mommy homeschools all 3 kids, and has since the oldest began. Daniel is full of life, and brings MUCH laughter to his family.

His (and Mommy's) Top Ten Tot School Tools...

  1. Melissa & Doug Puzzles
  2. Automoblox
  3. Bottle Top Names
  4. Rocking Moon Game
  5. Pegs & Pegboard
  6. My Book of Easy Mazes~Kumon
  7. Wooden Beads
  8. LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Alphabet Set
  9. Play Doh
  10. Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush

His Favorite DVDs, TV shows...

  1. Backyardigans
  2. Imagination Movers
  3. Finding Nemo
  4. Cars

His Favorite Books...

  1. I Spy
  2. Time for Tom (Veggietales)
  3. Usborne-That's Not My...(series)
  4. Noah & the Big Boat
  5. Is Your Mama a Llama?

Daniel's Mommy blogs at Philly Five 4 Him.

Do you want your tot to be featured one week? Go here to learn more details!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Introducing TOTALLY TOTS!

Welcome to the brand new TOTALLY TOTS blog! This blog was conceived and designed all in one night when I woke up out of a dead sleep around 2 in the morning. After lying in bed fighting the ideas racing through my mind, I finally got up and spent an hour on the computer getting them all out of my head.

After that night, I began to bring the racing ideas to reality, and took some time to see if this was really the direction the Lord wanted me to go. Doors just kept opening and ideas kept flowing, so I continued to go with it and here we are!

I was going to wait and launch when all of the details were ironed out, but then I realized that the Lord will take us on this journey together as we grow as moms of tots-together. You can read a bit more in my About post.

For now, we will be launching features as they are ready, with more and more being added as time goes on. Be sure to add us to your *blogs I follow* list or a reader so you can see when new things are added! I really just want this to be a great resource for moms of tots who are desiring to keep their young children at home and raise them to love the Lord!

So, I invite you to join me on this journey. You can add our sidebar button to your blog(html over there on the right), write a post on your blog to help spread the word, or just join in as a reader(follow info on the left sidebar, subscribe info on the right sidebar)!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About Totally Tots...

Totally Tots was designed for Christian moms who are choosing to keep their tots at home in possible preparation for a homeschooling future. I don't doubt it will be a resource for all moms of tots, but it grew out of a desire to give moms who keep their tots at home as a place to come together and grow together.

What is a tot?
Here we define a tot as any child between the ages of 12 and 47 months (1-3). Some people call them toddlers, we call them tots!

Totally Tots was designed by Carisa (Christian, missionary, homeschooling mom of two boys,and a baby girl), you can read about the beginning of the blog here. After almost a year online, the blog grew to over 1000 subscribers and became to much for Carisa to keep up with, so she partnered up with Jolanthe and they now maintain the blog together. They are also assisted by an amazing group of mom bloggers. When reading a post, be sure to look for the *written by* button at the end of the post which will tell you who wrote that particular post. This button will also link back to the writer's home blog.

To read Our Mission, click here.
To see our very first Introducing Totally Tots post, click here.
To read more about our main features, click here.
If you'd like to meet our *Behind the Scenes* team, click here.

Totally Tots was designed with the idea of bringing many moms of tots together, we hope you'll be one of them!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Main Features

Totally Tots is ALL about tots, written by Christian moms of tots (or who have kids who were recently tots).

We have a few main features on our blog...

Cute Tots...simple photos of a few cute tots featured on the 5th Tuesday of months that have 5 Tuesday's, click here to learn how to submit your tot's photo.

Get Real with God...Devotions, inspirations, and encouragement for moms of tots.

Simply Made...posts showcasing a simple learning tool for you to make for your tot.

Crafty Corner...posts about crafts you can easily do with your tot at home. Click here to read how you can share crafts YOU have done with your tot!

Terrific Tot Sites...We will be featuring great sites online for tots, along with some great blgos who participate in Tot School

In My Heart...hiding God's word in tiny hearts. We share many resources for a new memory verse with each post.

Now I Know My ABCs...Working our way through the alphabet with great ideas for tots.

Once Upon a Book...We choose a monthly theme and post 4 different books with ideas all focused on that theme.

Book Basket...posted monthly, to give you all of the books that will be featured in the upcoming 2 months so you can gather them and be ready!

Little Books for Little Cooks...We feature a fun book and a simple activity to do in the kitchen with your tot that extends from the story.

Mommy Made Printables...A monthly collection of fun printables made by moms for tots.

From Tots to Teens...A Biblically based parenting feature written by a mom of 9!

Play with Me...Each month we will feature a new toy for tots and tons of ideas of hwo you can play with your tot!

If you have an idea for a feature you'd like to see, or if you'd like to tell us which features are your favorite, leave us a comment below!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TOTally Working For Me

Do you have something that is working for you and your tot (at least for the moment)? We'd love to hear about it! We can all learn from each other, that's what this section is for.

To submit a TOTally Working For Me post, please do the following...
  1. Email your post to JolantheAtTotallyTots @
  2. Write your post in your actual email.
  3. Attach any photos to be included as jpegs, full sized please.
  4. In the Subject line of your email, please write: "TOTally Working For Me- your name"
  5. Your post can be about anything that you think would be beneficial to another mom.
  6. When you submit a TOTally Working for Me idea, we will let other readers know where they can find you at your personal blog if you'd like. If you want your blog (one only) linked up at the end of your post, include that in your email

Here is an example of a TOTALLY Working for Me idea...

My tot Krash is annoying (to say the least) at dinner time. Why? Because he won't sit in his booster seat. He has the Cooshee Booster Seat and we love it, BUT it doesn't have a strap. So, we got out a belt and belted him down, now he is no longer annoying!!!! Instead of crawling onto the table, into his brother's plate, and out of his seat, he now sits facing his plate... with no wiggle room! It's TOTally working for us!

Cute Tots

Is your tot cute? Well, of course!!!! Mine sure is!!!

Email (CarisaAtTotallyTots @ gmail dot com) us a photo (full sized jpeg) of your tot, and a link where you would like the photo to link to (your blog). In the subject line of your email please write "My Cute Tot...from: your name"

If your photo is chosen, we will edit, crop, and post the photo on a weekly post entitled "Cute Tots." We plan to post photos on the 5th Tuesday of months that have 5 Tuesday's in 2011.

Here is an example of an edited photo, linked back to mom's (my) blog...


The idea is just to share cute tots and to give link-backs to spread the word about other mom's of tots who blog!

We will only link to G-rated Mommy blogs, please do not send in a link to your business or a non-Mommy blog!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Want to Write?

Currently we are not looking for any new team members, if this changes, we will put the criteria and info back up here!

Thanks and God Bless!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Do You Know Jesus?

Our greatest desire is for people to come to know God personally. The simple truth is that there is a God who created you and loves you very much. (Genesis 1:1) He gave us life and deserves our gratitude and love.

We, however, have chosen to disobey Him and sin against Him; all of us have done wrong and failed to do what is right. (Romans 3:23) We may not be more sinful than our neighbor, or we may be far worse than anyone we know, it does not matter. Either way, we are guilty before God. (1 John 1:8)

God is perfect, completely good, always right and fair. He cannot tolerate sin. He cannot simply overlook the fact that we have chosen to disobey Him. The Bible says, "the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) This means that the fair payment for our rebellion against God is death. It is the punishment that we deserve.

Jesus, the one and only Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect sinless life. He was crucified even though He was completely innocent. He received the punishment that we deserved. He was the perfect sacrifice, He was put into our place and took on Himself the sentence of death that should have been ours. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus did not, however, remain dead. After three days, He rose from the grave and later ascended into heaven. He will return for all those who are trusting in Him as their Savior.


Jesus died for you. You can be saved by asking Him for forgiveness from your sins. If you are willing to repent of your sin, He is waiting to forgive you. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past, if you cry out to Jesus for forgiveness, He will not reject you. The word "repent" literally means "to turn away from." You need to look at your life, admit that you are a sinner, genuinely desire to turn your back on that sin, and ask Him to forgive you. If you do this, He promises to forgive you. (1 John 1:9)

True Christianity is not about attending a particular church, or how your parents raised you, or what country you were born in. Being a Christian means that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that He is your Savior. It's not good enough that your priest, pastor, mother, or aunt knows Jesus, you must know Him for yourself. They cannot believe in Him for you, you must believe for yourself. They cannot repent for you, you must repent for yourself. (John 3:16)

Jesus is everywhere all the time. He can hear you now if you ask Him for forgiveness. Please turn your life over to Him NOW. Time slips by so quickly, don't miss this opportunity. If you want to pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior, you can say a prayer something like this:

"Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You."

Romans 10: 9-10 says, "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." You are now completely forgiven, a new creation, innocent in the eyes of God. Welcome to the family of God!

It is important for you to start to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Just like any relationship, you need to spend time with someone if you want to know them well. The way to know God is through the Bible. It's important to find a church you can attend where they teach the Bible. This will allow you to talk with a pastor who will help explain questions you might have, and it will give you a chance to spend time with other Christians who can encourage you.

Here are a few links to get you started on your journey...

How to Know God

Being Sure of Your Faith

Clarifying Christianity

Please feel free to email us if you'd like to talk about anything, one of our team members will be happy to get back to you and help in any way possible.

Our Statement of Faith...

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God's infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, and is without error and the final authority in all aspects of life. 2 Timothy 3: 15-17; 2 Peter 1: 19-21; John 10:35

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that God has always been and always will be. He is all-powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at the same time. He is a God of love- but also a holy God who cannot ignore sin. Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-17; 10:30; 2Cor. 13:14; Psalm 90:2; 139; 1Pet 1:15

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His substitution and the death of Christ on the cross and His shed blood, was the once for all atoning sacrifice for our sins past, present and future. We believe He rose bodily from the dead on the third day now sits at the right hand of the Father. We believe He now helps, cares for us and is preparing a place for believers. He will return personally at anytime to defeat Satan, judge all people and rule His kingdom. John 20:28; 1:29; 20:11-16; Rom. 9:4,5; Heb. 4:15; 2:17-18; Matt. 24:30-31

We believe the Holy Spirit is a person and is God. He lives within true believers and compels them to live right. We believe that the Holy Spirit also teaches, leads, empowers, gives gifts, helps and produces fruit in the lives of believers. Acts 10:19; 5:3-4; 1:8; 1Cor. 3:16; John 14:26; Rom. 8:14

We believe that God created man in His image and without sin. However Adam sinned and all of mankind fell into a sinful condition from which he is unable to recover, in and of himself. Every person is born spiritually dead, with a sin nature and under the penalty of eternal death. Gen. 1:27; 3:1-6; Rom. 5:12,19; Eph. 2:3; Ps. 51:5

We believe that salvation from sin has been provided through Jesus Christ, who took our punishment. We believe that salvation is a free gift from God. It is given only to those who believe and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. When a person trusts in Jesus Christ their sins are forgiven, they become a child of God and they will live forever in heaven. Those who die without Christ will be forever separated from God in the Lake of Fire. 1Pet. 2:24; Acts 4:12; 1Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 3:22-23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; 3:36; Revelation 20:11-15

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the Church includes all true believers everywhere in the world, but that God's plan involves the meeting together of local groups of believers for fellowship, worship, Bible study and prayer. Hebrews 10:23-25; Acts 2:41-42, 46-47; 1 Cor. 12:12-13, 27;

Are YOU seeking? Please go here to read further.

Our Mission...

Our Mission for Totally Tots is to unite and encourage Christian Moms to train up their children in the way they should go. We desire Totally Tots to be a place where we encourage one another in love, and joyfully share ideas that will strengthen us in training up the next generation of Kingdom warriors. We believe that we can learn from each other's experiences and provide wisdom gained by them.

We believe that one of the best ways to do this is to encourage each other in faith, by our spoken and written words. It is our hope that as we unite women in Christ, the young will glean wisdom from the old, one will gain strength from another, and together we’ll shed light to the world. Our greatest hope is that through all we share on Totally Tots - that our children will be a reflection of our hearts on fire for His glory.

You can read our statement of faith here.