Sunday, August 31, 2008

My eatin' boy!

Mmmm...first teether biscuit!


First peach chunks!


Wouldn't let me feed him today, so I let him "drink" jarred baby food out of a cup!


Bad idea, Mommy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

St. Augustine

and little saint Augustine Patrick, pray for us!
His announcement
How loved he was and is!

I think I've mentioned before that I try to remember my miscarried babies on that saint's feast day, since I purposely didn't remember their due dates. These feast days would be special days we would have celebrated if they had been born, so I try to think of it as a special feast for our family as we remember these souls in heaven, ask for their prayers, and continue in hope of our eternal destination together! Hopefully in the coming years I will remember to do something special with the children in their siblings' memory.

St Augustine and Monica by Ary Scheffer


Today I entrust 3 special family intentions to sweet Augustine Patrick,
as well as heartfelt prayers for my friend K, a single homeschooling mom with cancer and some complications.
Can you please send up a little prayer for these intentions?
Thanks, friends!

Freedom

(I wrote this after a drive to Adoration last night where I had a flashback to my high school days, driving around the area I now call home, without a care in the world!)

Cruising in my white sports car
Hair blowing in the wind
Not a care in the world
But for the crush
And next week's biology test

Out with the girls until night's wee hours
Going no place
Thinking of no one but myself
And the crush
And the next school dance
Oh, the "freedom"!

Bouncing out of the dorm
Facing a brand new day
Smell the fresh air
Biking cross campus
Hair blowing in the wind
Setting goals
Finding Christ
Maybe I am going somewhere

Sitting in that field
Speaking to You
Begging for that love
That crush
Wanting nothing but the life I now live
Chained to the desires of my heart

A car full of car seats
Cries and whines
Dripping ice cream cones
Blankeys and books
Dolls and drawings
My mind is everywhere but here
Friends and finances
Children to teach
Bills to pay
Cleaning to do
Running a household isn't quite what I dreamed

And yet you know it's exactly what I need
Stretching my arms, my legs, my mind,
My heart
Nothing is mine anymore
Not even them
The little souls you've placed in my arms
It is all yours
Me and him and them and everything
And that's how it should be
Because here is where
I find freedom.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to Ballet

Today the girls started ballet again at their wonderful Christian studio. We recently got the DVD of their recital performance of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" and it was amazing...I'm sure we'll watch it over and over again! We are so blessed to have this studio close by...wonderful instruction, wonderful families, and Christ as the center!

Ellie has 4 little friends in her class, and Mary Clare has 2. I guess I did a good job of promoting their dance studio! I didn't realize we'd see all those friends today! Here are the beautiful ballerinas...

Elizabeth Ann Marie, queen of the Beginners!


Sisters after class


Playing outside...the studio is in the "country"


Gotta love this look. This morning when I wouldn't let her do something she wanted to, she yelled, "Mom, you're ruining my entire life!" We have a long way to go with those teenage years ahead of us!


Ellie fussing about something. I think it was the sticker she lost. Love this look too ;-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School update

One week down, another begins!

I can now declare myself an official homeschooler, no longer "we're planning to homeschool" but we are a homeschooling family! I am very at peace with this. I am totally confident it's God's will for our family right now, and the stress I thought would come with this new phase is really not there at all. Yeah, it was a hard week with discipline issues in particular. But not much different than any other week I've spent as a stay-home mom. We just have an hour of school each morning along with it. Easy peasy. (I'm sure when February rolls around, or another time this year I'll be eating my words. Week one with a kindergartener isn't too hard.)

My expectations are not too high or too low, I hope. I think I'm going to try to work on one new routine or activity each week. For example, the past few days we've been working on keeping the playroom and schoolroom clean. Now I have the room set up to finally have lessons in there tomorrow morning! And the calendar even says August! Yay me :)



Some other things I want to work on: chores for the girls, my sleep schedule, my prayer schedule, adding art into our day, nature notebooks, consistent library visits (no more fines!), organizing closets, deep cleaning...I could go on and on. Baby steps...

I'm also still finishing up Elizabeth Foss' "Real Learning" and loving it. I'm reading about chores right now and just finished the chapters on the Arts and Sports and how they fit into the life of a homeschooling family. I'm hoping to read Alice Gunther's "A Haystack Full of Needles" next. A great way to start the year with great books!

And my thoughts and prayers go out to all those friends with little ones starting school this week. Such an exciting time of year and I remember well the days of preparing for the first day as a student and as a teacher...so much fun! I can't wait to see those pictures of the jumpers and backpacks :)

Have a great week!

Scared of the dark

Mary Clare is scared of the dark. She won't go to sleep at night without Steven or me in the room with her. The other night she had wandered into our bed and started screaming for me. I was doing something and asked her to come here, but she wouldn't come. I went into our room to find her under the covers crying hysterically about a shadow she saw move on the wall. She was too scared to run out of the room to me. Once Mommy or Daddy enters the room, all is well.

But I think I'm like this with Christ sometimes. I am fine all day, doing my own thing and forgetting to speak to him, pray to him. But evening enters (or trials, sufferings, whatever) and then I start screaming...HELP! I'm too frozen to move and can only beg for His help. He always comes through, the fear or trials melt away, and I fall asleep peacefully and all-too-often start a new day without welcoming Him in again.

I pray that as each day passes, I will spend more time with Christ. That little by little I will come to him every morning and not just when I'm "scared of the dark".

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Brought to you by the letter B!

(The camera works! Apparently the rechargeable batteries were causing some problems. My cell phone is working too, thanks to a generous soul in my homeschool group who gave me her old phone.)

Batteries work! Woohoo!


Bottles are fun to chew on! But don't worry, I only chewed on it a second and then screamed almost the whole way home! Also, notice some bug bites on my face


Baptism gift


Baby-good morning!


Baptized in Christ! Welcome to the Church, MM!


Bags for the food pantry to color at the Baptism party!


A beautiful Saturday...hope yours was too :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Finally some pictures,

thanks to my friend Beverly, and the generous Methodist church nearby that has a nice little storytime, a yummy cafe, and a huge FREE indoor playland for rainy days! We had a fun time on Tuesday, and thanks for the pics, Bev!

lunch with the K family!


crafts at the storytime


Ellie and Joseph had a fun time together!



so did Mommy and Stevie!


Mary Clare sliding with Steven Joseph, see him looking to me for reassurance!


Pulling up on the alligator


Kids posing on the alligator


And the most beautiful baby girl around here, our Goddaughter Cecilia!


And for good measure, our beautiful California girl, our Goddaughter and niece Addison


And well, I can't forget Steven's Godson, our nephew Major!


Do we have cute Godkids or what?

Everything is breaking!!!

The camera is broken.
My cell phone won't turn on.
My computer is freezing up on certain websites; it was also freezing while the girls were trying to watch the DVD of the dance recital.

What is up with this?
Get behind me, satan!

(Do you know that spell check doesn't want satan spelled with a lowercase "s" but doesn't mind God with a lowercase "g"? Maybe we need to create a Christian spellcheck!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschool Day 3

We're trudging along. It's gloomy and rainy, and my camera still needs batteries, not to mention my computer freezes every time I try to open my blog and a few others on Blogger (if anyone can help, let me know!). We're still fighting battles with homeschooling and behavior, but I'm sure things will calm down in a few days (or weeks!).

Big news is that we started Math U See this morning! Mary Clare loved it and I think it will be a good fit for our family. She's doing the first grade program, which is a bit challenging, so we'll take it slowly and work at her own unique pace. Again, that's what I love about homeschooling!

I know I have a lot of readers who don't homeschool or don't even have young kids, so I hope I don't sound boastful. I'm trying to encourage myself as well as other homeschoolers, as we begin this journey. Knowing that next Monday would be the day she would enter "real" kindergarten is a little emotional for me. I loved school growing up, taught school before kids, and still have a teensy bit of a feeling inside that she'll be missing out on something.

And she will. I can admit that. But she'll also be gaining something different...the ability to learn all day long with her family and learn at her perfect pace. She is blessed with a huge network of homeschooling friends who we see several times a week. She'll get to have nature and science clubs, PE class, First Friday class, and we'll get to celebrate so many Church feasts in a special way with our group and our family.

I have continued reading "Real Learning" by Elizabeth Foss, and I highly recommend that book to all homeschoolers. Last night I was reading about having a "tea time" each afternoon. It's a great way to sit together for snacks, have a bible study or talk about the feast day, and even invite friends over to celebrate special days like birthdays and baptism days. I love the idea and will try to integrate it as the year goes by. This could even be done by non-homeschooling moms, a great way for the children to wind down and share about their day at school without running straight to the TV or to start homework. You can bake yummy treats together or just have a healthy snack, and even decorate the table for special days.

Tomorrow we should have our (hopefully) final visit with the orthopedist about Mary Clare's leg. Please keep us in prayer that the x-rays will relieve the small concern they have about an issue unrelated to her injury. I hope the rain slows down for that and a nature club afterwards, and so that we can enjoy our neighborhood pool a bit more before it closes during the week starting Monday.

And I can't finish without a small Stevie update--he's cruising! Pulling up and walking along furniture...my big boy! I hope to have some pictures up soon.

May your Wednesday be blessed!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

Well, no pictures since the camera still has no batteries. But I don't think I would've posted pictures anyway...

The most memorable part of the morning...wearing underwear to Kindergarten in the living room! Where else can you do that? Certainly not at traditional school. Mary Clare was testing lots of limits and started off by refusing to get dressed. Oh well!

She did ask to see her new math book and spent about 10 minutes playing with the blocks after breakfast. Hopefully she will like it when we begin Math U See in the next week or two. I decided to start with saying the pledge and singing a couple patriotic songs, which MC also refused to participate in, but Ellie gladly obliged!

I am planning to start Monday mornings (after prayer and pledge) with journal writing about the weekend. Again, MC didn't want to dictate anything for me to write, so Ellie helped me write a story about their time with their cousins last night. Mary Clare wanted to illustrate and finally got engaged in our activities!

We wrote our story, worked on a page of math, a page of handwriting, did a lesson of 100 Easy Lessons (after I started one lesson with Ellie, again getting MC interested), and read about Sodom and Gomorrah in the children's bible (which she illustrated for her bible dictation, but wouldn't dictate). Ellie also worked on some pages in her preschool activity book.

I think this will be a few weeks of transition, testing limits and staying committed to daily school time. Up until now, Mary Clare has chosen all that she wanted to do when she wanted to do it. So having a set time to work for about an hour is making her feel a bit stifled. I have to chose my battles wisely (hence Kindergarten in her underwear), and stay committed to our schedule.

Right now she is complaining on the phone to her grandma about her hands being tired from working for so long...one hour! I'm not sure how she'd survive a 7-hour day at school! So, a successful first day of "Kindergarten"...I put it in quotes because really she has already completed most of her Kindergarten materials and is primarily working in first grade texts. Her aunt called it "kindergarten and a half" last night...fairly accurate! That's another advantage of homeschooling since we aren't tied to the school year or her classmates' progress. We can go through books at her own pace and base our activities around the family.

I'm so thankful to be able to school on our own terms, at our own times, and in our own choice of attire ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

still here

A quick post this Sunday night since I realized today that it had been several days since I posted. Mary Clare is doing much better walking on her leg. We will visit the doctor again later this week to check up on another concern with her knee. Hopefully then we'll be clear of doctor visits for a long time!

We attended the wonderful homeschool conference over the weekend where I finally made my big math choice, Math U See! Unfortunately I had shown Mary Clare another very colorful and appealing math curriculum before making my decision, so she is a bit disappointed in my choice at the moment. I'm not sure when we'll start with it since she still hasn't finished a few pages of her Singapore Kindergarten Math.

I'm also not sure if we'll actually start our official school schedule tomorrow. We have had a lot going on, including a wonderful visit with Steven's family all evening! My mind is very cluttered with a handful of big "to-do's" that I'd like to take care of so I can fully focus on homeschooling. But I guess I might never have a "clear mind" to fully focus on schooling...it's just going to be part of our every day life that I need to make a daily priority!

Also, my camera batteries died and the others I put in today didn't work; I'm hoping nothing is wrong with my camera! So hopefully I will have some better posts with pictures this week! Hope you all had a super Sunday and that this new week is full of blessings!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The clock will strike midnight

Just after midnight I walked into the living room, tears streaming down my face. I had just watched the YouTube video of the Good Morning America interview with Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. They discussed the loss of sweet Maria, their 5 year-old killed in a driveway accident. I believe there is also a powerful YouTube video series of their interview on Larry King Live. It's painful but hopeful to watch a family in profound grief but with great faith.

The living room is littered with stuff...paper "cheesecakes" from Mary Clare's latest favorite game, Little People toys having a Sea World adventure on Stevie's ball rollercoaster, endless scraps of paper (these girls LOVE scissors!), clothes dropped on the way to the bathtub, a little paper crown which I think was made as a bracelet for me a few days ago. And then I wander into the playroom...the playroom and schoolroom which were thoroughly cleaned this morning. Naked Barbies and their clothes and shoes line the floor with scissors and more paper scraps. Scrabble letters (so much for that game!), markers, crayons, plastic pots and pans, you name it. I must clean again. We have guests coming in the morning. Guests with toddlers who need a safe place to play!

But in the midst of my cleaning comes a cry from the bedroom. Baby is ready to nurse again. But there is no room in the bed. Too many bodies already there. We find another spot and in a few minutes he is back to sleep. And I am back to picking up.

It was a rough day. A different kind of "real learning" day. I tried to make cinnamon toast for breakfast. We had no sugar. It went downhill from there. Over the course of the day we had screaming, fighting, biting, hitting, throwing, back-talk, time-outs, and hysterics. There were no books read, no activities attended. I was lucky to get one load of laundry washed. I had a handful of phone calls to make and received some upsetting emails (minor stuff). I didn't get much accomplished off my "checklist" and still haven't found my planner. Mary Clare is utterly frustrated at her inability to walk and do what she wants. Ellie is in a mimicking stage and parrots any mean words, plus she is getting rough with the baby. And Steven Joseph needs my constant attention so he doesn't try to eat things off the floor or pull up on something only to crash his head in a big fall. He awakens whenever the screaming begins.

I was trying to run an errand all day that never happened. And I need to go to the grocery store. I think I currently am suffering from grocerystoreiphobia. I avoid taking all 3 kids there at all costs. Not that they're that bad in the store, but the whole process from finding their shoes to putting the groceries away is just exhausting. There was nothing I wanted to cook for dinner and I was getting shaky by 5pm. We needed to get out of the house. But the baby had just fallen asleep. When he finally woke up it was nearly 7pm and I thought we would just go to Luby's Cafeteria since kids can eat for $2 on Wednesday nights (so much for the Weds/Sat freebies there!). Steven was working late.

We all somehow made it into the car and pulled up to Luby's. I had second thoughts. I don't think clearly when I'm hungry, tired, and have whiny children. How was I going to take all of them into Luby's when MC can't walk? I can't push a stroller and a food tray and a high chair. It would be hard for her to hop that whole way. I pulled out and drove to Sonic. Sobbing from the backseat Luby's-lover ensued. But the drive-in was a much better option and Daddy even met us there!

We ended the day on a better note, with bathtime and a Wiggles movie and prayertime. And tonight I am a happy mom. Because I am blessed with 3 beautiful, wonderful children. They fill my days with little frustrations, but mostly they fill them with joy. I am blessed to be home with them, teaching them to deal with their frustrations. I'm not sure I always do the best job at it. I spent way to much time escaping here on the iMac today. Hopefully tomorrow I will be more present to them. More quick to answer their needs before frustration ensues. More patient with them. More loving.

Steven Curtis Chapman talked in the interview about his song "Cinderella". It was written about his little girls, taking the time to dance with them and enjoy the present moment. He thought he would never be able to sing it again after the death of his daughter Maria in May. But then he realized that he must keep singing it. Because that is the legacy of Maria. The clock will strike midnight for all these children at some point. They might pass on too early or hopefully they will just grow up. But that paper cheesecake maker and that dancer with the ribbonless tap shoes will be gone all too soon.

And so tomorrow I must take the time to sit with them. To read. To make paper cheesecakes and watch ballet performances. To watch him babble and wave and clap his hands. To tell them how much I love them. How much God loves them.

"Because all too soon, the clock will strike midnight. And she'll be gone."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Gwekfest!"

Ellie was running around the house tonight, dragging her blanky and crying out, "gwekfest, gwekfest, I want gwekfest!" I had to laugh out loud. She wanted breakfast at 10:30pm.

Still working on that bedtime.

One good thing...a decade of the rosary and/or a few Latin chants almost ALWAYS puts them to sleep. All of them :)

Real Learning

I've been reading Real Learning by Elizabeth Foss this week. It's a great motivation for the beginning of our homeschooling year! The book is about the use of the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education in a Catholic homeschooling family.

I didn't know much about the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling until I started this book several months back (and started reading some blogs and the 4Real forums linked on the sidebar); I've always planned to use Mother of Divine Grace and the classical approach. But I love the way the Charlotte Mason ideals foster a love for learning as the child is educated through "living books" and experiences with the natural world. I feel it can be a wonderful way to approach various subjects and a great way to grow as a family by experiencing literature and nature together.

Yesterday we had a "real learning" day. We are aiming to start "school" next Monday but are still doing educational activities at home. Tuesday just happened to be one of those days where things "clicked". We woke up for breakfast and talked about the visit my parents would make at lunchtime. We decided to go pick some flowers to make a bouquet and set the table. Mary Clare made colorful placemats with each person's name and the table looked so nice!



But NeNe and PaPa were running late so we needed to find something else to keep us busy until their arrival...books! We read Because A Little Bug went Ka-Choo by Dr. Seuss and talked about how one little thing can cause a whole host of reactions. We talked about making our own book with a similar storyline. So she dictated to me a cute little story about a dog. I thought two of the character names were very creative: Mrs. Hedgeherd and Mr. Doodleburg :)

NeNe and PaPa brought a yummy lunch and some special treats for our poor injured lamb. Mary Clare is still unable to use her left leg (sprained her knee) so we're hoping our doctor appointment tomorrow will help us figure out how to help it get better. My mom was so thoughtful to notice my disappointment in missing Mary Clare's feast day. She brought a little St. Clare card and a printout of the life of St. Clare. The girls loved their little presents and it helped ease the exit of the grandparents, which normally makes for a very dramatic and sorrowful departure.

We also had plans to go to an event at the library with our homeschool friends, so we got everyone out to the car and arrived just after it started. The program was about African Spiritual music and drums and the kids really enjoyed learning the rhythms and hearing the storyteller tell about the experience of black slaves escaping to freedom. After the program we went to the children's section of the library and picked out another stack of quality books that we spent the evening reading...Babar, Lyle the Crocodile, Circus Caps for Sale, some of My First Little House books, Curious George, and more! I picked out books I was curious to read myself, so it made it more fun for me to read too. I'm trying to get over my fear of checking out books. We lose things so easily and have hundreds of books already that it's hard to keep track. But I know it's worth it in the end to have a richer selection of books to read!

I read the story of St. Clare's life aloud over dinner, and afterwards, in Charlotte Mason style, I asked MC what she remembered about what I read. It's good to see what they catch (things like St. Francis cutting off St. Clare's hair) and what they miss (things like the story of St. Clare holding up a monstrance and scaring away the rough soldiers who were going to raid the convent). Then we can discuss again some of the main points and make sure she has a good sense of what the story is about. I need to remember to do that more often, to stop and explain things during our reading, and to ask questions to check for comprehension.

It was a good day and I'm hopeful that the transition into the official school year will go smoothly. I need to work on my bed time and wake time so that I can get up early for school and do the bulk of our work in the mornings. I'm also really looking forward to getting lots of motivation and some needed books from the homeschool convention this weekend. And I'm looking forward to seeing some friends...and praying for all those moms I've encountered that are still discerning the school choices these last couple weeks. Best wishes to all who embark on this new school year, whether in-home or out-of-home!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday night musings

It's 11pm.
My baby is in my lap, wide-eyed watching his sister gracefully dance around the room.
The sister who took a 5pm nap.
And who asked no less than 100 times today if we could please go to the grocery store so she could get some candy with the coins in her purse.
And who asked at 10pm if we had sprinkles for her next birthday. She is very ready to turn four. 8 months to go!
The baby turns to the computer and waves and claps, learning to move his hands and fingers. He is pleased.
I set him on the floor where he now army-crawls with both arms, straight to the huge red plastic baseball bat.
He is all boy.
He cannot get enough of the jarred baby foods which the girls had no interest in. Food, food, he wants it.
He finds every.little.toy.or.piece.of.trash. that is the size he could choke on.
Big sister sleeps soundly with her daddy.
After a weekend hubby swore we wouldn't ever have...2 birthday parties in one day!
She sprained her knee on an inflatable slide and had a trip to the ER which will be followed up by a trip to an orthopedist. Fun. She cannot walk. Only hops around the house.
Today was her feast day, St. Clare. I totally forgot until I read someone's blog tonight. But I did "make" a no-bake cheesecake so tomorrow I'll declare it was for her feast day. And try to do something else fun for the poor injured girl.
A strange man was knocking at the door this morning (I was still in PJs and 2 kids still asleep). He finally walked away and I called the police. Turns out he was a surveyor. Better safe than sorry.
Steven wants to grow out his hair for his hunting trip next month. It is so curly!
I have so many things to do and most importantly I am trying to prepare to start our official year homeschooling on Monday. Maybe I'll postpone it a week. But I'll try not to.
I need to go to bed.
But I need 2 kids to fall asleep first.

Some pictures from the cousins' house over the weekend:
I think this is the best toy ever. Even grown men were creating games with it the other night (no names mentioned here), so I had to find a 2nd one for the baby to play with. Houses with triplets have 2 of things like this.

He's cute even when crying, isn't he? Everyone keeps calling him a pretty boy. Hopefully he starts to look more boyish as he gets older!

Pirate cousins

Look out below!

Friday, August 08, 2008

What does this mean?


I know I'm the Early Childhood Education major and all...
But what does it mean that she knows the letters of her name but puts them in a different order each time?
Precious.

Friday Fun

Good morning kiddos :)


Both helping to feed their brother while mommy makes pancakes!

Some links I liked tonight

~Lauren shares about a pro-lifer's talk with Obama
~Melissa Wiley gives some awesome links and ideas for homeschoolers and all parents
~Danielle Bean tells it like it is
~Jen gets some great comments about why God made humans
~and Angie is totally honest about her feelings about homeschooling, and has a beautiful schoolroom!
~Oooh, oooh! And I will hopefully get to hear this guy speak at a homeschool convention next weekend!

Milestones today

~first pull-up on the coffee table
~first food he doesn't like...peas! How sad was it that we found it funny to give him a little more peas in between the squash and watch him cringe and shiver and hesitate to eat anything else. Poor baby!
~and here's how big he is...MC can hardly hold him anymore!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

from St. Augustine

"If you see charity, you see the Trinity."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scootin' Stevie!

video

Why we're not schooling in the schoolroom


My goal for the next few weeks...clean the schoolroom each afternoon so it will be ready for school in the morning. Right now we just do lessons in the living room because I can't concentrate in a messy room! I'm glad the girls love to do all sorts of crafts and projects together in there. But it would be nice to work in a space that has our calendar, letter charts, kid-sized table, and all the supplies we need.

Right now I think our official start date is going to be August 18th. That gives me almost 2 more weeks to get a schedule planned out. Hopefully I'll also get to attend a big homeschool conference the weekend before since it's less than 5 minutes from my house! I'm hoping it will help me finally choose a math program...and maybe a phonics program too...

Trying to stay dry with Eduoard on its way! Hopefully hubby will be home early :) Praying for all those who live near the gulf coast today!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Never enough



Last week at one of my meetings, one of the moms did an activity with the kids that was really meaningful. She had them decorate paper bags and they talked about what they could put in them to give to people on the street if they saw someone in need. Mary Clare and Ellie created these "Homeless Bags" and were occupied with further decorations, cards, snacks, water bottles, and other special plans to fill them.

We happened to be driving to a nearby suburb later in the week, so I threw the Homeless Bags in the car just in case. Sure enough, on the way home from my parents' house while stopped in a long line at an intersection I caught sight of a woman holding a sign. I told the girls we would get to give out one of the bags and drove up to the woman and handed it to her. "God bless you!" she said. Her sign read "Living in the woods. Anything helps."

We spent the rest of the drive home talking about this lady and what it means to be homeless and prayed for her that night. Ellie kept suggesting she go to our bank to get some money. I had to explain how the money gets to the bank from Daddy's work! Mary Clare was very concerned that she hadn't put enough snacks in the bag...that we didn't buy the suggested toothpaste or toothbrushes to put inside...that she didn't put some coins from her piggy bank in the bag.

My heart melted at the charity she was showing. And I thought of how much she is like me. I always think back on things I could've done better...how I should've said something else...how I should've bought that other gift...I still regret my choice for the first dance at our wedding and frequently hear a song and wish I would've thought of it 7 years ago! How ridiculous is that! Steven got onto me a few weeks ago after I was questioning him about the appropriateness of a birthday gift purchase after the party was OVER! Needless to say, I don't want my children to share this trait. So I kept telling Mary Clare that the items in the bag were probably just what that lady needed. Maybe she already had a toothbrush and she could've gotten some gifts of money that day, but hopefully our small gifts of snacks, water, and a card saying "Jesus Blesses You" was just what she needed at that time.

I should've also reminded her that what we give in charity is really never enough. We can give financially, materially, and even offer our prayers for others. But Christ is the only one who can give what all of us really need. What we have to give is never enough. But he is more than enough.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Don't try this at home



his first taste of lasagna (sauce)...that was one happy baby...until about 1am!
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