"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Evidence

If you are like me—and I suspect you are—you can look around your home at any given time and see the “evidence” of the people who share that home with you.

Sometimes the clues are kind of cute.

Oh, did you need to use the stairs? Sorry, those are taken.

You didn’t want your laptop, did you? I’m kind of using it.

Pie? What pie? What makes you think I touched the pie?

Other times, those “clues” are not really that cute at all. Like the other day when our four year old went to the bathroom (and I mean REALLY went to the bathroom) and then decided to do us a big favor and clean the toilet…only she forgot to flush it first. (That was not on the list of why Amy smiles. And don’t worry, I didn’t take a picture.) She was just trying to be helpful, but…  AGGGHHHH!!!!!

Finding sticky spots on the floor, dirty dishes in the sink, shoes all over the living room, and crumbs on the couch are all evidence of the people who live in this house. And while I don’t exactly consider those things fun to find, I do try to remind myself often that these are simply signs that I am surrounded daily by the people I love the most.

I will always remember sitting in a Bible class one Wednesday night and listening to an older lady who had lost her husband. Her advice to those who were married was this: “Be thankful every time you have to bend down and pick up your husband’s dirty socks from the floor. He may not have thrown them in the hamper the way you’d have liked, but be glad he’s still around to get them dirty.” I think I was in junior high that year, so of course it didn’t apply to me then. But to this day I still think about her wise words when I catch myself gritting my teeth as I clean up a mess I didn’t make. Because she’s right: I would rather have them AND their messes than to not have either!

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

(Proverbs 14:4)

I hope you are smiling as you look around at the “evidence” of your loved ones …even if it’s on your floor. Aren’t they worth it?

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They are us

Those of you who stop by here regularly may remember from this post, or maybe from this one, that my youngest daughter often surprises me with her unexpected responses to my questions. I love her original answers and wish I took the time to document more of them.

Last fall we enjoyed going through this little preschool workbook together:

On one occasion, I showed her the picture below and asked the related question: “What game are the children playing?”

Her answer? “Math.”

OK, so I guess I can appreciate that she noticed the numbers and made that connection. But mostly, I’m thinking we need to bust out that sidewalk chalk way more often around here!

A few pages later, she correctly answered the first question, “What can you use to write letters to friends?” with “Computer.” (Although, I think the answer I would have given as a child–pen and paper–would have been perfectly acceptable, too. Just sayin’.)

To the bonus question, “What else can you do with it?” she answered, “Work on my blog.” Yes, she said “MY blog.” As in, Remington’s.

Bear in mind that she has almost never seen me working on my own blog, as I usually only do that when she’s asleep. I guess that’s why it struck me as funny when I found her sitting at the kids’ computer desk one day, and asked her what she was doing, and she answered, “Oh, I’m just working. On my blog.”

(Notice that the computer isn’t even on!)

You know where I’m going with this, right? Our children ARE watching us. What are they seeing? What are they copying?

I love this quote by David Bly:

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.

Kind of scary, huh? But it’s also very motivating. If we want our kids to be world changers; if we want them to be honest and hardworking and loving and forgiving; if we want them to be people of integrity, then let’s work on having those characteristics ourselves. We can’t ask of them what we’re not willing to do.

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If Juan won a wand

“Hey,” he asked Remi, “Did you and Mommy get some pretzels at the store?”

Eyes wide, she asked, “HOW did you know that?”

He smiled, obviously enjoying her reaction. “Does it seem like I’m magic?”

“Of course not, Daddy. You can’t be magic.”

Surprised (and maybe just a little deflated), he asked, “Why not?”

“Because you’re not a ballerina!”

Now he was just confused. “What makes ballerinas magic?”

“Because they have a ‘WON’ [wand].”

(This, said in that “duh” voice you often hear from toddlers who are sure they know everything, was in reference to the scepter-type wands ballerina princesses carry. But duh, you knew that, right?)

She went on to add,

“There was a kid at PTP, and his parents named him ‘WON’ [Juan].”

There was silence, while she thought about that, followed by this conclusion:

[shrugging shoulders] “I guess they thought he was magic.”

Remi with her magic "won."

Remi with her magic “won”

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“Hey, Mommy,” she said, “look at my new scroll!” And she proudly held up the roll of black lawn trash bags and unrolled it for me to see. (Yes, you read that right. Trash bags.)

“What do you have there?” I asked.

She explained that it was her “scroll,” and that she was right in the middle of reading the Old Testament—specifically, the book of New Corinthians. She laid it down on the dining room table and unrolled it more, exclaiming, “Boy, I sure have a lot to read! Look, it goes all the way to this piece of cereal!” (This was said while pointing to a piece of cereal still sitting randomly on the table, long after breakfast was over. Sigh. At least it let her know just how much reading she had ahead of her.)

Throughout the day she continued reading from her scroll, occasionally stopping to struggle over “a hard word” she was reading. Although she was mainly “reading” to herself, and therefore softly, I picked up a few tidbits now and then:

“You shall not praise the Lord as a guest of Egypt.”

“[something about] members of the faith”

“Always be thankful for healthy food, and for everything you want . . . like hands.”

Eventually she decided the strain on her eyes was just too great, since the words on the scroll were written “this small” (said holding her thumb and pointer finger so close together they were almost touching). She went for her glasses, and with a sigh of relief, was able to continue reading.

I love the way this little girl’s mind works. It makes me smile! I hope you are smiling today, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Good, clean fun

Shhhhh…..Can you keep a secret?

The kiddos in one of our homeschool groups enjoyed a fun, end-of-the-school-year party last week. Since our family does school year round, I made sure to keep that “end-of-the-year” part quiet (and you will, too, right?!) but we were all about the party part! Here are the kids that were present that day, after they were all thoroughly slimed from the games we played:

We started the event by loading them up on pizza…

…followed by some red velvet cupcakes to celebrate our sweet friend’s birthday. (Happy birthday, Ellen!)

Then we headed outside for some silly games, beginning with the old standby—sack races.

We started with the littlest racers…

…who really had absolutely no idea what was going on…

…followed by the bigger kids…

…and then, even the teens got in on the action. Those teens can jump, too!

Actually, the adults got in on this activity, as well. I will not be posting pictures of our race. (Let’s just leave it at that.)

Next up were some funny relays.

Next it was time to pass out the eggs. Again, the little ones didn’t have a clue what was up, but they’re such good sports they just went along anyway!

And they are ready for the spoon relay!

Then it was time for the egg toss. Of all the games we played, I can’t say for sure which was the most fun for the kids…but this one definitely provided me with the most hilarious pictures. They started out close together…

…and gradually spread apart. Notice their funny faces as they try to catch their eggs!

Look at E’s face (and look at her hands to see why)!

After the egg toss, it was time to cool down with some snow cones before our next round of games.

This is where things started to get really messy. Thankfully, the moms who planned it had the foresight to bring old T-shirts for the kids to wear. We started with a couple of brave volunteers:

Then we added a very willing decorating committee…

Time for some new volunteers…

I knew it wouldn’t take much looking on my part to find someone who was eating the ammunition. Yep—that would be K.

So, what do you do with a face like this?

You trust your friends to lend a helping hand…

Finally, we broke out the Silly String. I should add that by this point the kids were soaked and slimed from the shaving cream and the water used attempting to wash it off, as well as some raw egg here and there…all of which made a nice, sticky canvas for the Silly String…

Apparently, a couple of the boys found the discarded shaving cream cans, too.

I loved watching siblings play together. I loved watching kids of such different ages enjoying each other, helping each other, and loving each other. I loved the big smiles on the faces of parents and children alike. I loved that it was all good, clean fun.

Here we all are…hot, sweaty, and exhausted. And happy. And very, very thankful.

Not because the school year is over…but because we were able to experience it. Together.

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Helpful?

“Mommy! Remi is shaving her legs with her chicken strip!”

It probably should have surprised me, but it didn’t. Remington is in that stage. She wants to do the things big people do, and will attempt to accomplish that by whatever means possible.

Our Big Girl

Lately, she’s been especially anxious to “help out” around the house…if you can call it helping!

I recently caught her diligently scrubbing the bumper of our SUV…with her toothbrush.

Not long after that I found her carefully cleaning up the milk she had spilled…with her tongue.

Honestly, it’s impossible to get mad when she is so determined to help out! And of course, it makes me think, What if I were that determined to help?

In fact, what if we all wanted to help so badly that we just DID? No excuses, no “I don’t know how to fix it.” What if we just TRIED and did the best we could do, with what we have, like Remi? After all, even if the results weren’t really that helpful (like Remi’s!) to the people we wanted to help, maybe it would be good for US to have tried.

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)
Who could you help out today?
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Hey, moms–do less!

Most of us who are mothers struggle, for one reason or another, with “mommy guilt” from time to time. Often, we are made to feel like we should be doing more. Rarely are we told we should be doing less, but maybe it’s time to start thinking that way.

Julie B. Beck said it, and I agree:

“Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world.  That is influence; that is power.” 

Here they are, my very good reasons to start “doing less:”

Thank you, Ms. Beck, for the inspiration. I am taking your words to heart.

Thanks for stopping by!

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