Berenstain Bears Living Lights Brand Surpasses 5 Million Units Sold

berenstein bears

Berenstain Bears Living Lights Brand Surpasses 5 Million Units Sold

Faith-based line of iconic brand continues to soar in popularity

berenstein bears

Grand Rapids, MI—November 5, 2015—Everyone’s favorite Bear family, Papa, Mama, Brother, Sister, and little Honey Bear, continue to be as popular as they were at their origin in 1962 by husband and wife author/illustrator duo, Stan and Jan Berenstain. This is equally true for readers of faith-based children’s books, as the Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand from Zonderkidz (a HarperCollins Christian Publishing imprint) has recently surpassed a sales milestone of five million units since the beginning of the Living Lights brand in 2008.

After a proposal from their son Mike, an active partner in the Berenstain Bears franchise since the 1980s, Stan and Jan Berenstain began a relationship with Zonderkidz to produce the first faith-based editions of their brand under the name Living Lights. Upon their passing, Mike assumed the role of  author and illustrator for all Berenstain Bears products, including the Living Lights brand.

“My parents, Stan and Jan, and I first conceived the Living Lights series of spiritually-themed Berenstain Bears books over ten years ago,” said Mike Berenstain, “Sadly, my dad passed away before the series could be launched in 2008 and my mom followed him in 2012. Since then, I have continued creating the books on my own. It has been immensely gratifying to experience the warm support and enthusiasm of our audience for this series focusing on the spiritual side of family life. Reaching the five million books sold milestone certainly highlights how our readers have taken this concept to their hearts. I hope to continue creating new books in the Living Lights line for many years to come.”

In the current resurging trend of nostalgic cartoon and book series, The Berenstain Bears remain as strong as ever for consumers who consistently turn to the Bear family to help guide their little ones in lessons of family, manners, morality, holidays, and faith. The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand offers a wide variety of books and storybook Bibles, including a full-text NIrV Bible for emerging readers and even a cookbook featuring treasured recipes from family matriarch Jan Berenstain.

Zonderkidz continues to offer Berenstain Bears titles with each new catalog to appeal to the ever-increasing demand for Living Lights books. “Reaching the milestone of five million units sold is a very exciting accomplishment for Zonderkidz. The Berenstain Bears have been a part of many families lives beginning in the early 1960s. We’re thrilled to be able to continue bringing this treasured brand into homes and libraries through our faith-based Living Lights line,” said Annette Bourland, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz. “Families trust the Berenstain Bears to help parents talk through many of life’s lessons. Through the Living Lights brand, they have a resource that helps them explain some of the intricacies of faith and culture in a way young children can relate to.”

The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand includes popular titles such as The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, and the recently released The Berenstain Bears and the Very First Christmas. The Berenstain Bears Living Lights books and Bibles are available wherever books are sold, both in-store and online. For more information on the Berenstain Bears, the history of the brand and catalog of products, visit For more information on Zonderkidz and The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand, visit

About the Author: Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Since the late 80s, he has been very much involved as a writer and illustrator with his family’s creation, the Berenstain Bears. He continued to work with his mother, Jan, creating new books, up until her death in 2012. The antics and activities of Mike’s three children have provided inspiration for many Berenstain Bears books over the years. Though Stan and Jan passed away in 2006 and 2012, respectively, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from a studio in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks much like the sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country.

Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children’s communications, it creates products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 14. Zonderkidz is also publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the third grade reading level edition of the NIV. For additional information, please visit

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources, and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit

HarperCollins Christian Publishing to Release Duck Commander Devotions for Kids February 10, 2015

HarperCollins Christian Publishing to Release Duck Commander Devotions for Kids February 10, 2015

Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard Issue First Children’s Devotional Book under the Duck Commander Brand

devotions for kids

Nashville, Tenn. (January 7, 2015) —– The mother and daughter team of Korie Robertson and Chrys Howard is releasing a new children’s book February 10, 2015, through Tommy Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Duck Commander Devotions for Kids is the first children’s devotional release under the Duck Commander brand, and the project features selected Scripture passages, anecdotal stories from the Robertson family members, prayers, and a Duck Commander In Action section. These motivational messages contain wit, humor and outdoor activities to help young believers grow stronger in their faith and are based on the core values of the Robertson family that have resonated with Americans across the country through A&E’s Duck Dynasty and the Robertsons’ Duck Commander® franchise.
“We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to share our faith with families across the country through our new Duck Commander children’s devotionals,” says Korie Robertson. “I hope this first book, Duck Commander Devotions for Kids, will be a fun tool for kids and parents to explore and develop their beliefs together.”
“Having been involved in educational ministry for many years, I’ve seen the impact that building an early faith foundation can have on our kids,” adds Chrys Howard. “Korie and I are so excited to continue to take part in that ministry by sharing faith lessons in Duck Commander Devotions for Kids.”
Duck Commander Devotions for Kids is beautifully illustrated by Holli Conger and gives vibrancy to the biblically based messages delivered by Robertson and Howard. Their down-home approach to these core truths will be very relatable to children, and the familiarity of both ladies will provide a comfort level to parents and their youngsters. As seen on A&E’s Duck Dynasty, the Robertson clan is very well-known for its dedication to family and faith and have led the program to become one of the highest-rated shows on television.
For more information about Duck Commander Devotions for Kids and upcoming Duck Commander–themed contests in conjunction with the book, please visit online at
About Korie Robertson
Korie Robertson is a New York Times best-selling author, the wife of Duck Commander® CEO Willie Robertson and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty. A mother of five, Korie balances family life and her role at Duck Commander with several ventures of her own, including her retail store Duck & Dressing, overseeing licensing for the family’s brands and philanthropic work with a children’s home in the Dominican Republic, Help One Now and adoption and foster care advocacy in Louisiana. Her writing credits include Duck Commander Devotions for Kids, The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work, Faith Commander: Living Five Values from the Parables of Jesus and The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty. Follow online @bosshogswife or
About Chrys Howard
Chrys Howard, the mother of Duck Dynasty’s, Korie Robertson, claims she really did have a life before Duck Dynasty; sometimes it’s just hard to remember what it was. She holds a degree in elementary education and spent 10 years teaching children with learning differences. After teaching, she joined the family-owned business, Howard Publishing, where she served as senior editor and creative director. She has authored a number of books, including the best-selling Hugs for Daughters and Motivationals for Moms, and she co-authored the New York Times bestseller Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Cookbook, Everything’s Better with a Beard, D is for Duck Calls and The Faith Commander church curriculum. Chrys has spent more than 30 years working with Christian youth camps; speaking to women’s groups; teaching Bible classes to children, teens, and young adults; and traveling overseas for mission efforts. She is married to John Howard, has three grown children and 13 adorable grandchildren and lives next door to Korie and Willie in West Monroe, Louisiana.
About Tommy Nelson
Tommy Nelson, the children’s division of Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins company, publishes a wide variety of high quality, enjoyable products that are consistent with the teachings found in the Bible. Tommy Nelson products are designed to expand children’s imaginations and nurture their faith while pointing them to a personal relationship with God. For more information, visit

Landmark New DVD Series from Dr. James Dobson BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY

building a family legacy




New DVD Series From America’s Family Advocate

Is the Best Advice in Generations

COLORADO SPRINGS – May 12, 2014 – Since the release of his first book, Dare to Discipline, in 1970, Dr. James Dobson, America’s best-loved family expert, gently yet convincingly overhauled the way a generation raised kids. Now, in a new DVD series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY, today’s parents again have the essentials to build lasting love, raise strong children and create an enduring legacy.

“Unchanging biblical principles change who we are, and we can pass that to our children, grandchildren and beyond,” Dr. Dobson says. “BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY can help every generation be all a family can be.”

Building on highlights from his historic first film series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY adds new footage from Dobson’s lifetime of experience and learning. Eight DVDs—supported by books and study guides—bring rare intergenerational advice from Dr. Dobson; his wife, Shirley; daughter, Danae; and son, Ryan:

  • Your Legacy
  • Bringing up Boys
  • Bringing up Girls
  • Love For A Lifetime
  • The Strong-Willed Child
  • Dare To Discipline
  • Straight Talk To Men
  • Wanting To Believe with Ryan Dobson
  • Plus bonus features

Behind the BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY story is a family legacy story. More than a century ago, a chain of events dramatized in YOUR LEGACY, followed Dr. Dobson’s great-grandfather’s conviction to consistently plead with God for a strong Christian faith to be born in every member of his family for the next four generations.

In the late 1970s as his speaking and travel schedule exploded across the country, Dr. Dobson was left with too little time for his own family.  The solution: Record his lectures on seven films.  The title: Focus on the Family. The surprise: The series hit a nerve worldwide. Audience numbers—mostly in church showings (pre-DVD!)—soared past 80 million. Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child became household items.

Flash forward to a few years ago as Ryan Dobson, now a parent, finds the old films on DVD. “The first thing I did was laugh at my dad’s glasses and clothes, but I realized quickly how valuable and timeless this information was,” Ryan said. “I picked up the phone and said, ‘Dad, my friends and I need this!’”

Why not reprise? Why not take the best of Dobson speaking when he had young children . . . and add contemporary Dobson wisdom as he caps a remarkable career in Christian family counseling. In eight separate presentations, film crews captured the magic. The result is must-have on then-and-now parenting insight.

In BRINGING UP GIRLS, for example, grown-up Danae Dobson, the original “strong-willed child,” looks back with the father who raised her.

“For anyone in the midst of raising a girl, here are important steps to building a woman of strength and character,” Danae said.

Produced and directed by David Nixon, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY is available on DVD in October at leading Christian retailers and online. A simulcast, also available worldwide in churches across America, from October 1-5, introduces the series to a million people. New books, study guides and re-releases of many of Dr. Dobson’s classic titles support this milestone work in his legendary ministry.

“I’m at a place where I could have just retired,” Dr. Dobson said. “But God told me the job’s not finished.”


Author of more than 40 books, Dr. Dobson currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a ministry and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his doctorate in child development from USC. He founded and is chair emeritus of Focus on the Family.

For more information, visit:

When We Just Have To Say "No"

As a parent, I’ve learned that one of my favorite things to do is to give our son gifts. If he likes something, I really enjoy getting him little gifts or toys related to that subject. It’s just fun for both of us. Since he’s been born, apparently that’s a favorite pastime of our parents too, as Will has acquired many toys and fun stuff since he was born. (And we are being buried alive in them, but that’s another story).

So, I got a text from my wife Amy today who took Will to the mall for a hair cut. She had promised to take him to a pet store to see the fish tanks in which one of them has a tank ornament that is a jellyfish. It just so happens that our little 3-and-a-half-year-old is a big fan of jellyfish and almost anything else aquatic. Up until this visit, that particular tank ornament was not for sale.

But now it is.

Amy’s text asked me if she can get it for Will because he really, really wants it. She adds that it’s $20. My first reaction is that we usually just get him what he wants if it’s cool and harmless and inexpensive. (And honestly, I’ve blown $20 plenty of times on, um… “office desk ornaments”.) But we’ve been broke-as-a-joke lately, so I just came out with a flat “No” first.

She then sends me this photo:

imageSure, that looks kinda cool, but… is it really suitable for a 3 year old to play with? And how durable is it outside of a fish tank? And he actually already has a plush jellyfish… So I stuck to my guns and said no again.

I get another text from her. It’s this photo:

image2With the caption “Poor thing… I wish you were here.” (The photo still wrenches my heart even as I type this)

And she had a good point. It’s one thing to say “no” over text message and another to tell the child to their face. It wasn’t easy for me to do, but between the two of us, it was easier for me to not have to actually deal with a sad little cutie face. I tried to bargain with him through her, telling her to tell him I recently got him a new little [cheaper] LEGO spaceship for us all to play together (which he wanted for us to do recently), and Amy bravely left the mall without the fishy figurine.

When I saw him later, he begged me to go to the store to buy it for him, but I told him it’s too expensive and he already has jellyfish (and tons of other fun stuff) to play with. He has since mostly let it go, and… guess what… we’re all still alive!

I’m sure God can relate to us being persistent and stubborn children who ask for things and expect to always get our way, but while it wouldn’t have killed us to buy that item for him, I just felt like it was a lot of money to spend on something that he didn’t NEED, wasn’t even really a toy, and we really shouldn’t be spending money on at the moment (and, without it, live does go on, the Earth still spins, Oreos still taste delicious, etc). Plus I do think it’s important to not just get our children EVERYthing they want just because they want it. It can’t be healthy.

But I’ll tell ya this… it’s a super hard thing to do and I do wish, as a parent, we could give them all the desires of their little hearts. But God knows that’s just not always the best or even right thing.

Speaker and Bible Teacher Sue Detweiler To Release Debut Book, 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom




Book Discusses Challenges of Being A Mother, Identifies

 Nine Traits Corresponding to Fruits of the Spirit

9 traits

SOURCE: McCain & Co. PR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 30, 2014) – Morgan James Faith, an imprint of Morgan James Publishing, is set to release the debut book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst With God’s Best, from Bible teacher and speaker Sue Detweiler. The digital version will be available May 9 on Amazon and the author’s website, just in time for Mother’s Day, with the print version slated to hit bookstore shelves in October.

The book, according to Detweiler, who is the mother of six, is not a parenting how-to book, but, rather, a book intended to reach into the hearts of moms to help them overcome unresolved issues, find peace with their imperfections, learn from their mistakes, tap into God’s power to break negative patterns, and joyfully, as Detweiler says, “become the best you.”

“The book is not about how to raise the perfect child,” Detweiler says, “It’s more of a conversation with moms of all ages, to help them when they are feeling overwhelmed,” she says, adding that she hopes the book reaches out to those moms going through a difficult time, particularly for those who know they should embrace being a mother, but for whom it doesn’t come naturally.

Each chapter begins with one of the nine traits of a life-giving mom, which correspond to the nine fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5, and concludes with an intimate prayer to God asking for help and guidance. Detweiler utilizes the concept of opposites to make her point: His love replaces our anger; His joy replaces our sadness; His goodness replaces our manipulation.

The book also incorporates a study guide intended for individual or group study.

Inspiration for the book, according to Detweiler, came after she realized how challenging it was to be a mom herself, while dealing with the myriad of distractions in our ever-changing world.

In addition to raising and homeschooling her children, now ages 14 to 24, including two sons that she and her husband adopted five years ago, Detweiler has also juggled a role in pastoral ministry for much of her adult life. Detweiler has served as principal of New Song Christian Academy, where her children were enrolled, and supervised the LIFE School of Ministry, which she helped prepare pastors and leaders for ministry.

“While I had all these other responsibilities on my plate, I was still a mom,” she says, “and it wasn’t always easy. I wanted to be ‘the best mom in the world’ to my children, but sometimes I felt like the worst.”

In the book, Detweiler is unafraid to reveal the times she wasn’t at her best. She describes a  life-changing season which followed the night she and her infant daughter almost died in a house fire.

Detweiler, a new mom, was home alone with five-week-old Rachel when their house caught on fire. It is believed that an arsonist ignited the empty home next to them, setting three homes ablaze. To make matters worse, the fire department was delayed by a train and only one fire truck was on the scene to deal with all three fires. Because of the smoke, Detweiler was disoriented and was unable to get to her daughter.

“My husband arrived in time to alert the firemen to our situation and we were saved. We were happy to be alive, but you can imagine the emotions,” she says. “We didn’t have a house. We didn’t have diapers for the baby. We lived at a neighbor’s home until we could get things sorted out.”

At the same time, Rachel developed colic, spending three to four hours each night screaming. The pressure was almost too much for Detweiler, as she recounts in Chapter 1 of the book.

One day, I laid Rachel down on the blanket and slowly backed away. Her screaming drove me to the edge of feeling like I couldn’t cope. I began to feel claustrophobic and trapped. My heart raced as my mind shut down. “I’m losing it,” I thought. “If I don’t get out of the house, I don’t know what I will do.” I went to the kitchen and dialed the number of a neighbor.

“Can you take my baby?” I quietly pleaded, as soon as she answered the phone. “I have to get out of here.”

Hearing the tremor in my voice, the neighbor agreed to help me. No doubt, she saw my glazed look as I handed her my infant and drove off. What would have happened if she hadn’t been there for me? I don’t know. I was truly desperate.

Desperation is a driving force in our lives to seek change. It is during the pressure-cooker seasons in our lives when we find out our areas of weakness and vulnerability. Pressure cookers are known for being hot, dangerous, and able to blow their lid. That house fire revealed the hidden habits of my own heart that needed God’s healing touch. It’s the heat of life that shows the hidden fractures of our hearts. A Life-Giving Mom uses the pressure-cooker seasons to reevaluate. Allow your own areas of need to propel you toward getting help. As you learn new skills, you will become a better person as well as a better mom.

“Some books for parents include all of the ‘good parenting’ stories,” she says. “But I tell my ‘bad parenting’ stories–those moments when I didn’t make the right choice, when I felt overwhelmed, when I blew it. I use those examples to reach out to the mom who wants to walk with God, who wants the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be evident in the way she parents, but who is coming to grips with how often she ends up falling short.”

For more information about Detweiler and 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom, visit

About Morgan James Publishing:

Since its inception in 2003, Morgan James Publishing has grown from publishing six books per year to publishing an average of 150 front list titles each year. With a backlist of over 1,900 titles, Morgan James Publishing  provides independent authors with the vital information, inspiration and guidance they need to be successful.


Morgan James Publishing has been named to Publisher’s Weekly list of fast-growing independent publishers three times. According to PW’s Lynn Andriani and Jim Milliot, “Morgan James makes an extraordinary effort to help its authors to grow their own business.”


Morgan James has also been recognized by Fast Company magazine’s Readers Choice Fast 50.


For more information, visit


About Sue Detweiler:

Sue Detweiler is a mother of six, author, speaker and Bible teacher. Her Healing Rain radio feature is heard on many Christian radio stations across the country. Her internet radio program, Inspiring Women, features interviews with authors such as New York Times best-seller Dan Miller (48 Days To The Work You Love).


As a faithful steward, Detweiler has developed her God-given talent to communicate and articulate profound truths in simple and relatable ways. Her experience in marriage, motherhood and ministry exemplifies the life of a woman who has embraced her call and is fully alive to all that God has created her to be. Her debut book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom, is scheduled for release in digital form on May 9, just in time for Mother’s Day 2014, with the print version following in October.


For more information about Detweiler and 9 Traits Of A Life-Giving Mom, visit

Upcoming His Kidz United CD Series Features Kids Singing Today's Top Christian Hits


‘Hallelujah,’ First Single From Unique CD Series, Offered As Easter Download by Worship Leader Magazine

his kidz

SOURCE: McCain & Co. PR

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 18, 2014) – His Kidz United and INgrooves/Capitol Christian Distribution have announced the upcoming release of the His Kidz United CD series, a music brand for kids ages 5-14 which features kid-sung versions of today’s top Christian hits, including “Overcomer” by Mandisa, “Shake” by MercyMe, and “Speak Life” by TobyMac. 

On April 29, His Kidz United, Volume 1 releases to major retail outlets, including Family Christian Stores, Walmart, Lifeway, Mardel Christian Stores, iTunes and Amazon. On the same day, two digital versions will also be released–a sing-a-long version and an instrumental version of all 18 songs on the project. All products will be bundled and discounted at the His Kidz United website. 

The His Kidz United series is slated to release four new volumes per year. Each album offers 16 popular favorites plus two bonus originals.


Parents of four themselves, His Kidz United founders Jimmy and Mai Swan recognized a gap in the supply of uplifting Christian music kids can truly appreciate. A labor of love transformed the best of CCM into an album with which their own children would quickly fall in love.


“Up until now, there have been no other products like His Kidz United CDs,” says Jimmy Swan, executive producer of the project. “Why wouldn’t parents want to invest in positive Christian music for their children? And while the music is focusing on kids ages 5 to 14, we’re finding that young adults and even parents enjoy listening to the music, too!”


In celebration of Holy Week, Worship Leader magazine is offering the song “Hallelujah” from the upcoming His Kidz United CD, Volume 1, as a free download to its audience this week. To download the song, visit ( or


“‘Hallelujah’ is an elegant song that uses the voices of children to drive home some of Christianity’s foundational beliefs: God’s love for us, His provision in our lives, and the good news that we belong to the Father,” says Jeremy Armstrong, managing editor of Worship Leader. “This is a perfect song for kids, even adults, to sing today, and made even more poignant as we prepare to celebrate Easter.”


Proceeds of His Kidz United CDs benefit the Dallas Neighborhood Art & Music School–also known as NAMS School of Music–where all of the tracks are recorded and produced with NAMS students performing on the series.


Swan felt it was paramount to have a consistent group of kids performing on the series, and his friendship with the school’s director, Levi Bradford, made the collaboration a natural fit. 


“Kids listen to kids,” says Swan. “Parents are careful to teach their kids about ‘stranger danger.’ When an adult approaches a kid, they tend to get shy. But the minute another kid enters the room, there is an instant connection. As a parent, I want to impact my kids with spiritual messages and let them rejoice in the Lord. What is the best way to do this? Let them connect with their peers!”


Sales figures from recent kid-focused projects prove that adults invest in kids. The Frozen soundtrack from the animated Disney blockbuster film of the same name hit No. 1 on the charts and sold three million copies of the DVD right out of the gate, and the KIDZ BOP CD series released by Razor & Tie has sold more than 16 million units of its first 25 titles.  


With the official April 29 release of His Kidz United, Vol. 1 just weeks away, the CD can be pre-ordered through major retailers.


“Our mission with this series is to give kids an opportunity to be encouraged, inspired and drawn to the Lord through the powerful tool of music, and give them something to relate to,” Swan says. 


For more information, visit or like on Facebook at

April 15, 2014 Journal Entry – "To Spin or Not To Spin"

Over the weekend, Will got violently ill, waking up in the middle of the night, puking all over his crib. Amy spent most of the next 36 or so hours by his side, even sleeping with him on the couch the next night.

Two nights later, Amy and I were struck with apparently the same sickness at virtually the same time, and we ended up being sidelined for a full day. Thankfully, her parents took Will for almost 2 days so we could recover.

Tonight, Will was back home and slowly recovering from a nap in the car ride home from his grandparents. He was coughing and gagging a lot, but seemed fine for the most part. I was trying to get some work done in my office when a finally smiley Will came running in.


He hops on my desk chair and wants to survey the decorations on my desk. Then he slides down and slurs something about wanting a “Spin ride.”

So I start spinning him in my chair. The sound of a microwave chiming yanks him out of my office and back downstairs, and so I resume working. But before long, I hear the pitter patter of little hands and feet coming back up the stairs. And, before long, he’s wedging himself between me and my keyboard to get me to spin him in my chair.

I hear that little inner voice saying “Someday… Someday you’ll give anything for him to be 3 again and ask to be spun in your chair.”

So I heed the Ghost of Christmas Future’s warning and get up to spin Will in my chair. Except… he seems to never want me to stop. Finally, I tell him to sit tight for one last spin. But this time, when I stopped it, he gags and puts his hand to his mouth.

I had a bad feeling about this.

With sparing you the gory details, he vomited all over my chair (which has a porous “pattern” on a vinyl surface, mind you). As I stand there in shock, not knowing what to do with my puke-covered child or chair, and with Amy otherwise occupied in the bathroom downstairs, I grabbed my son–who’s now complaining about the smell–and dumped him off in the upstairs bathroom where he was about to have a bath anyway, just as Amy was coming up the stairs, and proceeded to try to salvage what I fear is a doomed desk chair.

The moral of the story? Make time for spinning… but maybe call it “enough” a spin earlier. ;)

March 24, 2014 Journal Entry: Prayer Time

Most “bed times” consist of Amy marching Will into his room, brushing his teeth, reading him a story, etc. and then they both call for me to come into his room for prayer time.

Tonight went a little different.

I walked into his room where Will is lying in his crib: “Hey buddy! What’s up?”

Will: “Yes.”

I looked at Amy: “We’ll get there…. OK, it’s prayer time! Who’s going to say the Our Father, you or mommy?”

Will: “Will.”

Me: “OK!”

Amy starts it and Will says it with her.

Will: “Our Father, whoartinhebbin, hallowed be dye n…”

Will starts snoring.

March 20, 2014 Journal Entry – "It's SPOOOOOKY!"

Most nights when Will goes to sleep, I leave his room to finish work in my office next door, or retreat to my mancave in the basement for some much needed downtime. Often times, Amy will fall asleep in Will’s room while reading him a story or because she’s just too tired to get out of the room (she actually has a sleeping disorder called “narcolepsy” which doesn’t help).

Last night, Amy and I left his room and I went into the office and she went to sleep for the night. But most nights, she keeps Will’s baby video monitor by her side so she can be up and at his aid in a heartbeat. This time, she forgot it though.

Shortly after we all went our separate ways, so to speak, I hear Will in his room repeatedly saying “It’s spooky!”

We’d just got done re-watching Frozen not long before bedtime, and he’s genuinely frightened of the snow beast in the movie. Oddly enough, he likes it and is terrified of it at the same time. (He even stomped around the room and pretended to BE it).

After several instances of “It’s SPOOOO-KEEE!”, I went in his room and asked him what was wrong. He repeated that it was spooky, so I rubbed his back and asked what was spooky. I asked if it was the snow monster and he said yes, but then said something about a big bug.

No idea.

Maybe he had a nightmare, maybe it’s just his imagination, but I have no idea what big bug could be vexing the poor little guy. So I assured him we’re here to keep him safe and that he can go back to sleep.

I closed the door to his room and I hear him repeat that it’s spooky, so I opened his door and looked at him and he smiled.

OK, I guess he’s just having fun with me. I repeated that little exercise (opening the door to him saying it was spooky again) a couple times and then said “Goodnight” and closed the door.

I returned to my desk and then heard him talking to himself. This time, it quickly escalated into soft sobs and whimpering and calling for “Mommy”.

I popped up off my chair and opened the door and he sat up clutching his blankets to his mouth and sort of rocking back and forth a little bit. I asked him what was wrong and he wouldn’t speak.

So I did what any clueless parent might do… I asked if he’d like me to read him a story.

He quickly said “Yes” and laid back down, so I went over to his book shelf and rummaged through the collection. “No… nah… nope…” None of them sounded interesting… to me.

Then I found a Garfield book. Eureka! Something I was given to by a college friend who knew I was a big Garfield buff.

“Garfield to the Rescue!”

Garfield to the Rescue

A hero story? Perfect! So I start reading this thing to him… and it turns out to be about this guy called “The Petman” who kidnaps pets and cages them up in a warehouse… and he has a big menacing Doberman dog to guard the place.

What the heck did I pick? I ended up trying to read it with a lightness in my voice that the story didn’t offer, and changed words like “menacing” and “Doberman” to “ugly” and “dog”. Will didn’t react to it at all, actually, so I assumed the story still went over surprisingly well.

After it was over, I offered to read one more story, and grabbed the far lighter “Goodnight, Duckling.” He sat up to look at the board book pages and excitedly followed along with the simplistic (and so simple it was almost insulting) book that he seemed to have (easily) memorized. After it was over (which was in about 5 seconds), I assured him that we were here in the house to keep him safe and I’d be next door in the office if he needed me.

Goodnight, My Duckling

He then laid back down and soon fell asleep. While I feel bad for the little guy for having a rough night (after what was a rough day), it was heartwarming to get to share these moments with him.