Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Funny

Overheard from the back of the van...

Kate: Have you had lime juice?

Nate: No.

Kate: Have you had a lime?

Nate: Yes.

Kate: Well think of a lime and take away everything except the juice.

Nate: Hmm.  I need lime juice.  And bacon.

Gabby: I don't think that's right.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shoe Boxes!

I've been able to pack Operation Christmas Child boxes with several different groups over the years, but this year I got to be with the girls' AHG troop as they packed their boxes.  They resided in my house for a couple of weeks, but we were able to drop them off yesterday afternoon!  The fellow who was volunteering at the drop off center told us that after a stop off in another part of town our boxes would head for a hub in Atlanta and then on to Africa!

The troop preparing to pray over the boxes

 Some of the boxes in my trunk--they didn't all fit there!  We also were able to print bar codes to place on the box tops, so once they arrive in the country to be distributed we'll get a message telling us where they ended up.

My little American Heritage Girls ready to drop off the boxes.

Kate at the drop off--she forgot her coat and it was below freezing.  Brrr.  Nate helped with the heavy lifting.  He got to pack up a box to take to our church.

We made a stuffed toy together to go in his.  I've worked with the girls on sewing and he has demanded to keep up, learning to whip stitch.  He'll at least be able to fix a hem and sew on a button when he's grown.

The girls made little dolls.  Gabby was putting the gathers in a skirt here.  This was a sample that we showed the Tenderhearts in her troop when they stuffed dollies for me one evening.
(tutorial here)

The drop off point!  We went in and had the chance to pray over the boxes again with the volunteer collecting the boxes today.

The best part of the event this year, for me, was learning that one of Justin's students had received a shoe box as a child before his family immigrated to the United States.  It was the first present he ever received.  For many years, he kept the box, because it meant so much to him.  You can give a child their first present and a glimpse of the love of God all wrapped up in a little shoe box.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Life Lessons in Chocolate Chip Cookies

Once upon a time I was a special education teacher.  My students and their parents taught me a great deal about compassion, tenacity, and a great many other things.  Most of the time these lessons were beautiful and wordless.  There was one lesson, though somewhat less poignant, that has stuck with me.  I think of it every time it snows.  Twelve years ago I was teaching in a rural district outside of Cincinnati.  It was our first year in our first house.  We had so much snow that between it and scheduled holidays and in-services we didn't have a five day school week from some time in December until March.  I was reveling in all that I was able to accomplish in my new home.  One of my student's parents did not like the change of schedule quite so much!  In the communcation notebook where we wrote about her son's day so she would know what he had been doing that day, she wrote that, "Some day when you have children you won't like snow days either!"  At that point we'd been hoping for a baby for more than a year.  I promised myself that on snow days I would bake chocolate chip cookies with my children.

This week is arguably the busiest of the fall for us.  The girls are in a play this week, so between long practices and more performances than we were planning on (it got bumped from two to three).  I planned the day to include spelling and physics before sending them off to practice with some tasks to do between scenes.  Then I heard the shouts, "Snow!  It's snowing!"  For those up north it would barely be called flurries, but down here in the south my kids were excited about snow.  So they bundled up and played outside while I baked them chocolate chip cookies.

I get that it is hard to have your plans turned on their ear.  It isn't always easy to rearrange your schedule, figure out what you're going to serve when you weren't planning for so many at lunch, and  you might have had to put something extra special on hold, but I want my littles to know that I am glad that they are around.  They got wet and cold pretty quickly, so we were able to have their spelling, but though we may not have had that physics lesson today, they did get a little lesson in being valued.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


My little man is FIVE!
You are full of energy,
 Learning to read,

 And love to tag along with your big sisters' studies.

You are funny!

You love to work with your Daddy

 and build Legos with him too.

You adore your baby sister.

 You tell me that you want to be a fire fighter and an EMT when you grow up.

You got a bike this year too.

 Happy 5th Birthday Nate!  (Cake a day early due to busyness of today.  He picked a coconut cake with chocolate covered strawberries).

You are my little buddy, and I love you bunches!!!

I hope that you grow to be a strong and wise man.  Happy birthday!