Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What would you do?

I was left pondering this today...because I was brought to a place of being used in a way that left me in awe.

This is what happened.

I wanted a salad from Wendy's which is 2.5 minutes from my house, and the chicken and rice was finishing on the stove, for everyone else. I grabbed the keys and left. As I was backing out, I noticed a shadow, as if something had passed by, I did not see anything as I backed up, but on second glance I saw a small boy of about five running down the sidewalk. I turned back to see where his family was, since we have a great sidewalk for walking. No one. Hmm. Then I turned back and he was rounding the corner. Gone. Little speedy. So I pulled out, and all I could think of was "this is not right." So I instantly began to run some scenarios in my head, and all I could do was stop in the middle of the road and open my door and begin asking questions. I was worried. I did not want to scare him. I did not know if he spoke English. There were cars coming. They just went around me, as if I were just stopping to smell flowers...I was talking to a kid...he was alone.

I asked him where he was going. "To the park."
I asked him did his parents know he was going there. "no."
I asked him could I take him to where they were.... bells, whistles, bullhorns, all went off in my head...DO NOT PUT HIM IN YOUR CAR. He said "no." anyway. I was still in my right mind, and more cars were coming.

Two passed by, and then I saw the glance of recognition cross his face. And the green van pulled over. Whew, they came to rescue him. I did not have to call the police. I did not have to drive behind him, as he lead me back to his family. He finally went over to the van, got in and then off they went.


Did these people not care some stranger had stopped and talked with their child? Oh my!

I went and got my salad, and then decided I was going to go hunt the neighborhood for the green van. ( It must be the detective gene in me.) It was no where. No green van. I was about to turn towards home, and then I knew the Holy Spirit told me to go to the laundry mat up the road.

YEP. There they all were. The mom was folding clothes. The kids (six of them) were watching t.v. I had to go in. The oldest girl translated for me as I told her mother that I was just concerned for her little one. I did not want her to be worried. She said she was worried that I was going to call the police and turn her in. That is why she did not say Thank you.

I drove home praying for protection for this family. If you could have seen those big brown eyes as he was seriously going to cross three lanes of traffic, just to get to the park. Be still my heart.

What would you have done?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

if only....

If only...we could do fun art stuff for school everyday! And swim on our breaks...have lunch on the deck....Popsicles whenever we want and earn JP's without doing our chores....those would be the perfect ideas from two little girls I know.

Today school was accomplished, with a little more on the teacher's to-do-list, but a sunny afternoon can be soooo tempting. The girls got out a little fun craft packet from a recent birthday, and they loved it...Dollar General and Family Dollar are great places to get little crafty activities for addition to an afternoon. Today it was using colored sand to sprinkle onto a sticky paper and end up with a colorful picture. They loved it! So did I. Little, very little supervision, quick clean up and a picture for decoration.

AND nothing says summertime, like the first batch of zucchini... this is what my lunch was made up of, and oh it was so delicious. A nice red beefsteak tomato was on the plate as well. That is some good stuff.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kate plus five

We went off to meet Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus Eight, tonight in Lakeland...along with about five hundred other fans. She was kind to speak with Stephanie, and Olivia was the photographer, and Matt was an avid fan. Steve had heard about her being in town and so we signed up to be one of the first 150 to meet her. She is little, and so cute. I really liked that she looked up to acknowledge the kids since with some she just signed and did not even look up. She had over five hundred people to get to, so it was understandable. She had some serious bodyguards.

Another adventure.

Stephanie did say I dashed her hopes when I said she would probably never get to have a sleepover with Cara and Mady, or go explore their new land. Tears I say. I asked for forgiveness, and she is thinking about it. Oh my!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In His hands

He’s got the whole world in His hands (sing it, go ahead)….wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone who has jumped on the “Earth Day” bandwagon, jumped on the “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life” bandwagon. Hey, it is great to teach about the care of our planet, I am all for being a good steward. Yet, it makes me sad to see the effort and intensity at which the message of earth care has become…when there are people who are sacrificing their lives daily, struggling to get the Word out to all nations, rubbing two nickels together while begging for support. I challenge you today, spread a message of Truth for every message of recycling.

Isaiah 40:28
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Waving in the a.m.

Are you a waver or a commencer? What is a commencer you ask? Well, I could not think of what someone is called who just says goodbye and leaves it at that. So, I figure, commencer is good…they have commenced the event. Done. Goodbye. A waver is one who drags out the goodbye. Fourteen byes, stand at the window to wave or go outside and stand and wave, maybe even go to the end of the driveway and wave as the car leaves down the road. Which are you?

With ten years (almost) behind us, Steve and I have merged our two ways of leaving or saying goodbye. Which do you think I am? Steve? The girls are a good mix of both…warranted by the circumstance. Of course, one way is not better than the other, just different.

What about a morning or night person? Which are you? Me? Definitely, night. Now, if it is six a.m. in my book, few words as necessary need to be exchanged. I am a night owl…I watch tv late. I clean late. I read late. I plan late. This does not mean I wake up a grouch. I just like to communicate less before nine in the morning. Steve on the other hand is a morning person. His eyelids part and he is ready for the day. He is like a splash of aqua velva or a whiff of smelling salts.

With ten years (almost) behind us, Steve and I have merged our daily schedule. He stays up a little later, loves it when he wakes up to a newly decorated room with fresh paint on the walls. I love it when he lets me sleep in and takes care of breakfast with the girls and sometimes surprises me with an omelet and a carbonated beverage. Time folks, it takes time for the changes to occur. But it sure is fun.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Racial Profiling

MWF-40ish-drives a minivan-guess that is all it took for the ones that protect and serve in our local mid-size city to decide it was a day to flip the switch, let the lights do the dance and pull me over. Oh, and I was going five miles over the speed limit.

There was not a ticket involved. My "numbers" were ran, and I guess the officer decided that his initial vibes of me being in a neighborhood that was not of my race, did not constitute me being there to purchase any mood altering substances. He then let me know I did not need to be in a place like this neighborhood. Did I know how dangerous it is? He also told me people like me need to stay out of this area.

PEOPLE LIKE ME? Are you kidding me? I guess he meant it as a compliment. Still I am pondering that comment.

But before I could go and after I had got the great news of no ticket, I asked if I could get out of the van and speak to him. He surprisingly agreed. I wanted to have a conversation that was out of ear shot of my kids, mostly because I did not want them to associate fear with our friends who lived in that neighborhood. I wanted him to know that I was dropping two young girls off at their home after they had spent the day with us, and that I had thought it was much better to take them home after rollerskating than have them walk home, after all, it is the "hood". I left him with a portion of gratitude and accepted his mercy hoping I had been a witness of kindness that particular officer does not see everyday.

I had a small taste of the world today and the views that are associated with safety, but as I drove home and knew that I was never out of the protection of the Lord.

I smiled because of a blogging friend from Dallas, Texas that came to mind...Melissa. If you want to read about a family that has put all prejudices aside for the sake of the gospel, read about their adventure and love of life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just incase

Just incase some of you think I make this stuff up....this is how my girls have found themselves by nine o'clock on a Monday morning. Breakfast was done, school was announced to begin at ten.

I found them like this...

Exactly the way they feel most comfortable. In the mud. or in the makeup. Both of them fill me up! I love their style.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Day

Pretty girls protected by strong arms of cousin Conrad.
Both girls got curly hairdos for the big day.

Mee-Maw showed up with 20,000 calories worth of chocolate. Stephanie had wanted one of these since Christmas. How long will it last around here...oh my goodness.

This lovely centerpiece was a work of art made by our family. It was a joint effort and so much fun. We used tissue paper and glue on the eggs and the lilies were made out of paper and pencils.
One quick little note about this special day was a little illustrated note I found of Stephanie's that described the events of Good Friday and the Resurrection Day.
" Once Jesus had died on the cross He was carried to a toom for three days. He laid in there and not one bird sang, not one. "Fear not!" said Jesus.
"But three days later the birds sang, the fish swam, and everyone danced, for Jesus was alive and had saved us from our sins." "Touch my hands, they have holes from the nails." said Jesus.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life Lessons

Today we were all about learning life lessons.

First in doing some EGG-periments, we decided an oval egg would have been much more pleasant for a hen to lay that a square one. It also was a lot stronger as an oval too. It could hold the weight of the momma sitting on it for hours. We all took turns squeezing it, none of us could get it to crack even with all of our force. But apparently, Conrad is quite the muscle man-he broke them over and over. We are currently deciding what happens to an egg if it sits in vinegar for 24 hours. Hmm....

In the middle of a great day of school, I had this great idea of teaching a life lesson on practical jokes. There are ways to do it right and ways to do it wrong. Some of you know I have done it both ways....hence, the lesson. We got permisson to pull this one. School officals and parents chimed in.


Kay-Kay loved it! She got a kick out of it! We did not even have to wash her car afterwards.

The day was great, especially after we finished our bunny cake with leftover icing to taste.

We did have our first home meeting for the adoption, this afternoon, and it was very comfortable. After going through a three inch stack of papers, our name is into the system for making a match. Please continue to pray with us about this.


The bunny died today. In our driveway. There was high hopes of enjoying this tastey bit of sugar...but those hopes are gone. He fell to his death. But it was quick and painless.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

temporal vs. eternal

The girls took bundles of balloons home from a party the other night, and it was a moment where we threw caution to the wind and played out in the moonshine! They were pictures I knew I would want to see over and girls running in the wind and jumping with a joyful heart. In the end we let them go, it was a chance to remind them of the temporal joy versus our eternal hope with joy everlasting.

Psalm 121
1-2 I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
3-4 He won't let you stumble, your Guardian God won't fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel's Guardian will never doze or sleep.
5-6 God's your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke.
7-8 God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lapbooks and school

We have been so busy learning about History. This semester began with the 1800's. It has been very interesting and I wish they would remember all of it forever, but that is just the teacher in me.

Stephanie seemed to enjoy our study on Lewis and Clark, but she loved Sacajawea. Her lap book is something she is so proud of, and before you start to hate me and think I am so creative, I used this wonderful site. I love it. There are so many topics, books and subjects that are out there to use. Don't say I never told you!

Stephanie and Olivia have been fans of Laura Ingalls for a few years, so I just could not wait to read them one of my childhood favorites. They have had bonnets for at least two years, and so we studied the author and some actual photos of her family. The accordion book looks so much harder than it is, and it is another one of Steph's projects she was proud to show off. We actually googled most of the images and just printed them off.

Olivia opted for a poster board for her study on butterflies this month instead of a lap book. She loves it! She is so proud. She seemed to be like a magnet for caterpillars on our last camping trip, acting like Ms. Jr. Ranger and taking care of them all. Oh my!

Both girls took the time to study the rain forest too. We read many books including the Great Kapok Tree. The lap book we did on this was just so great. They love their almost finished product. We actually did this as a group project with Emma and Maddie and got in some science time. Emma wondered how did I know all this "scientist stuff", she cracks me up. They are feeling quite GREEN today and ready to defend all the animals and trees. So many times the only answer that seemed acceptable to their question was recognizing the Creator and His magnificence.

Thanks for sharing our some of our schooling.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Olivia

She is six. Oh, she is six. I had not even opened an eye to the world, and I hear a faint quiet whisper saying, "Mom, can I put on my new nails?" "Please?"

Of course, I knew when I was seeing the hours roll by last night without any concern for my sleeping, that I would greet this morning with less enthusiasm than I needed. Needless to say, with nails like this, how can one sleep?

Then I had the older sister so sweetly wondering since it is 8:01, "aren't we still taking Olivia to McDonald's for her birthday breakfast?"

The celebration began yesterday when Olivia and Maddie shared their party at the local park. It was an ice cream sundae fiesta! Bikes added into the mix made for a fun time...the rain began about 2.5 minutes before the entourage arrived. And it continued up until we were leaving and packing the cars...a little rain never hurt... unless it is muggy and a smoldering heat index of the high eighties. All discomfort ended when the wrapping paper started ripping. Both girls squealed with glee.

Any party is better with Cheetos, so that is the consensus in these parts.

Maddie asked for a llama....we opted for the stuffed version...she loved it!

Olivia is known by most as a girly girl who loves a good outfit, and some entertainment (like the new soundtrack to the Hannah Montana Movie)or a new DVD. Crafts of any kind added into the mix are like a cherry on top.

Today we will add a flew cartwheels, jumps and flips into the day with gymnastics, and then off for a birthday dinner with Daddy and presents from us.

We are so blessed to have this gift of our daughter. She lets me live my life with a greater smile, more love in my heart and a raised eyebrow. She has cheeks you just want to kiss, hair that is always brushed and fixed, feelings she wears on her sleeves, and a heart that is willing to please. I love her so.