Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tae Kwon Do!

Cody started Tae Kwon Do last week and is LOVING it. It's right up his alley, as he gets to kick and punch (no contact, of course!). Truly a blast for my little (big) boy. His teacher was very encouraging, as Cody was the only new kid in the class. They spent some time teaching him some basic moves which he's been practicing all week.

Below is a picture of Caden trying'm not so sure. But he thought he was pretty cool.
Hope you all enjoyed this beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Birds, the Bees, and the Butterflies?

Yesterday I had the following conversation with my seven year-old:

Him: Mom, did you know that kids always turn out like their dads?
Me: Why do you think that?
Him: Well, because. If the dad looks a certain way, then the kids look like that too.
Me: But don't you think you and Caden are a little like me too?
Him: (pausing to think) Well, yeah. I guess so.
Me: Well, the reason you share our characteristics is because you and Caden are half daddy and half mommy.
Him: (pausing again to think) Oh. Well, how did we get that way? (Looking very serious) Oh wait!!! I know! You and daddy were probably like butterflies. They rub their butts together when they mate!
(At this point I'm regretting all we learned about butterflies, and he's still looking at me with a totally serious expression like we talk about this stuff everyday.)
Me: (doing everything humanly possible to stifle my giggles) Well, um....not exactly. Now, what would you like for lunch?

Thankfully that was the end of that.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Things I Love....

  • Spring...watching the birds nest and feed their young, seeing the flowers in full bloom, watching my boys playing and enjoying the sunny days, dirty feet and all!
  • Smelling the grills in the neighborhood cooking up all kinds of wonderful things.
  • Open, airy windows
  • Freshly cut grass
  • Planting flowers and putting up our gazebo and the outdoor furniture
  • Hearing our neighbor's dog tags jingling around through our open windows
  • Knowing that those dog tags mean that our wonderful neighbors are probably sitting outside and that their deck is open for visitors
  • The sounds of laughter as the neighborhood kids play together (yes, sometimes there is screaming and crying too!)
  • Seeing my rosebushes budding (and almost in bloom!)
  • Bike rides
  • Early morning walks where I meet my new friends, the deer.
  • The sound of the tinkly music from the ice cream truck (no, we've not bought from them...YET!)
  • Enjoying the simple, lovely things that remind me spring is here to stay.
  • Knowing tomorrow brings a parade and the reminder that we are so very privileged to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave thanks to the courageous men and women who serve our country. God bless the U.S.A!
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Passing By

We were at Sam's Club the other day because, frankly, where can you buy a huge container of strawberries for under $4? And a case of Apple and Eve juice boxes for under $8?

Before we left the store, the boys needed to go to the bathroom. There, we discovered a large box of Zyrtec that my sneezing boy desperately needed, and truly, I'm not sure where else you'd be able to find 24 pills for under $18? I know, they are expensive, but at least they're not prescription anymore, and they DO help all my boys with their allergies.

But I digress. Back to the bathroom.

As we were making our way toward the bathroom doors, we noticed a man in a motorized cart, and so we waited until he was in before the boys headed in. Cody is a little man now, and there will be NO going in the ladies bathroom anymore, no sir. The two of them now insist on the boy's room and I must wait outside for them. Obviously.

We quickly noticed that the man was having trouble managing the heavy door and his cart. He was all alone, but really seemed to be struggling. He turned and looked at us, somewhat desperately, and so I told Cody to go on in and hold the door for him. I could tell the man was so grateful for the help.

As Cody and Caden headed in, I listened at the door to make sure all was well, and I heard Cody instructing him on how to use the sink, the soap and the hand dryer. Later he told me that "the man needed lots and lots of help."

Cody then helped hold the door again so he could wheel out, and when the man came out, he looked so relieved and exclaimed, "People just kept walking by, and I couldn't get into the bathroom. I had to go so bad!"

He then proceeded to ask me what country he was in, told me he was from Chicago and then said that he was 35. (He looked to be at least 80.) He kept saying he was so confused, that he didn't know where he was, and when I asked him if he'd come to the store alone, he said that he had come there with his son, but he couldn't find him.

I was so concerned about this man, as he kept driving around and around in circles. We saw him all over the store, talking to people, probably still trying to figure out where he was.

We never did find out if he actually connected with his son (I so hope there was a son actually there in the store). That thought has haunted me ever since. I have been kicking myself for not making one of the employees aware of the situation.

But the one other thing that has stayed with me is what Cody said afterward.

"Mom, this reminds me of the story about the good samaritan. Everyone kept passing by, but the one finally stopped and cared."

I have to admit that I am often guilty of this. I rush around, moving from one activity or place to the next, focused inwardly on my schedule and tasks, and I'm sure I've just passed by, missing many opportunities to help somebody who needed it. The man at Sam's told me that he doesn't know what he would have done in the bathroom had it not been for the boys helping him.

I think the Lord knew I needed an object lesson in opening my eyes and looking for those in need. They're all around if we'll just slow down and actually stop.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Down at the River

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
~Psalm 42:1

This morning, I was out for an early morning walk. It's a beautiful day here today. When I left the house, the sun was just coming up and there was enough of a chill in the air to see my breath and need layered clothing. The sky was clear and blue and the birds were singing (they still are as I type this!). I'm thinking that I may forgo the praise and worship music on my ipod tomorrow and just listen to the sounds of Creation singing His praises!

My walk took me to the river nearby, and just as I was rounding the bend to head back in the direction of home, I noticed two deer standing very still, watching me. I continued walking, so as not to disturb them, but as soon as they felt I was far enough away from them, they both walked to the river's edge and drank.

I immediately thought about the verse that says, "As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee...." What a beautiful picture.

May we each take time today to drink the Living Water our gracious God has abundantly given us. It's there for the taking if we will just come to the river.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

All Creatures Great and Small...The Lord God Made Them All!

We had the amazing privilege of hatching painted lady butterflies for the past few weeks. From start to finish, the process was absolutely miraculous, and I am so thankful for the experience! We were all spellbound as we watched the tiny caterpillars grow and flourish...

They ate and ate and ate some more. Insect Lore sent us the caterpillars in a little plastic container. There was a brown substance at the bottom that they ate. They spun silk to protect themselves and move about their habitat more easily.

After getting their fill, they all crawled to the top of the lid and got in their "j" formations. Before our eyes, they all went into chrysalis form. We actually watched one of the caterpillars turn into a chrysalis!

The next step was the part I was most worried about...moving them from the container into their butterfly habitat. I was so thrilled to have 5 perfect specimens and I was scared something would go wrong in the transfer.
I shouldn't have worried. The butterflies...ALL 5 OF THEM...hatched into perfect, beautiful butterflies one week later!!!
Aren't they lovely? We actually saw three of them emerge from their chrysalis. It was absolutely miraculous. I tried desperately to get it on video, but my camera kept giving me trouble. I was so disappointed, but then I realized that maybe God intended for us to just watch it happen with our own eyes.

And then, it was time to let them go. Painted Lady butterflies only live for approximately two weeks, and we wanted them to have the opportunity to continue the cycle of life. We released them with the hopes that they lay eggs. Today, I planted some flowers in our yard that attract butterflies, so who knows? We may see some of their "kids" and "grandkids" this summer!

I want to close with this story: One of my former students is graduating from my alma mater, and she came to our house today. She used to babysit my kids, and one summer, she brought a teeny, tiny monarch caterpillar to our house in a peanut jar. For weeks, we watched the amazing transformation take place, and she, along with us, witnessed the miracle that is the butterfly.

She told me today that sharing in that amazing process convinced her that there was no way it just happened by chance. She said that she knew for certain that there was a Creator behind that transformation. She told me today that it was a pivotal moment in her own faith.

I couldn't agree more. Only an AWESOME, amazing creative Genius could be behind the life cycle of a butterfly.

And next month, we're going to find some monarch caterpillars and do it all over again. : )

Friday, May 01, 2009


Monday was awards night for Awana.  Cody has been a participant since he was two and he LOVES it.  So do I.  Our church does such an excellent job with the kids.  His leaders are so loving and encouraging.  The material gets more challenging as the years go on, but what a thrill to get to the end of the book!  Cody learned more of God's Word this year and will carry that with him throughout his life.  This year, he learned Psalm 23, all the books of the bible in order, and many other verses.  He "adopted" a missionary this year that he prayed for and supported out of his own money.  The other day, we ran into them at church (they are on furlough and were visiting) and it was so neat to hear Cody ask them, "Did you get my envelope with the money?" They giggled and said they were sure the church had sent it to them.  

Thank you, Awana leaders, for making this year fantastic.  We are so grateful to God for you!