Friday, October 17, 2008

Lessons Learned at the Magic Kingdom


While on our recent trip to the wonderful world of Disney, I learned so many things...some quickly, in the moment there; others, after I got home and rested with a few minutes to think. Following are some of the lessons learned while in the magic land of Jiminy Cricket, Tinkerbell, and Mickey Mouse:

1. Walk slowly. So many things are missed as you rush on by.
2. If you must rush by something, make a plan to go back and see what you missed.
3. Holding hands is not just a good safety rule.
4. Everything looks different with your glasses on.
5. Newest stuff is not always best and oldest stuff should not be avoided.
6. Walt Disney was a genius. The unfettered mind of a child can be equally genius.
7. The early bird does get the worm - and see the best stuff, and get to dance in the shows!
8. A hug from the 100% real Mickey is way worth the wait!
9. If you have fun doing something, do it many times as you can!
10. Fun stuff is a gazillion times more fun done with people that you love!
11. Open your eyes so you don't miss the good stuff!
12. There is no book or picture that matches the real life experience.
13. If you let it, the Magic will stay with you for a very long time!
14. You are never too old to wish upon a star.

This is just the beginning. As The Kid and I continue to remember the Magical time we had as a family at Disney, I'm certain we'll add lots to this list.

p.s. No words are big enough to thank the friends who made our dreams come true. Just know that we are beyond grateful!
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Second grade stuff

It seems like yesterday that I walked The Kid into a three-year old kindergarten classroom. And now he's in second grade. The school is a new one for him (and us, too). And he's off to a great start. He's making friends, playing games on the playground (in his last school, he probably only played outside half a dozen times), picking stuff he wants in his lunch box, figuring out what to say when he's stuck between girls at lunch, learning Bible verses, and falling in love with his teacher! (He's even thinking about writing more neatly just to make her happy!)

Yep, this school's way different from the last. By this time last year, he'd been screamed at by a teacher, left inside to finish seatwork, called a "stinky white boy" and discouraged lots. Homework took forever and "red lights" were all over his calendar. Dropping him off at school was so sad; he looked so dejected before he even got through the first door each day.

There is still homework, but not as much and not on Wednesdays or weekends. Yea! And there are rules, but they are enforced with grace. The Kid has been in school for two and a half weeks now and he has stayed in the blue zone (that's the place you want to be!) all but one day.

On that day, he had to write 20 "I will not talk..." lines. I'm not surprised, but he sure was. It was not his fault - he was only answering someone else's question. and I didn't want him to be rude, did I? He got near the end of writing those lines before he realized he coulda written the word "I" all the down, then the word "will" and so on. That discovery will undoubtedly be put to use many times before his school days are gone.

Well, I am so happy. He comes home smiling and gets out of the car with a happy attitude as well. I wonder if a happy year goes by faster than a tough year? Don't know if I want that, but if time is gonna fly with The Kid, I prefer it with a smile on his face! (And no one better mention third grade, college, or weddings!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Help Wanted

As we drove up to our church on Monday following the goodbye celebration planned for our pastor of eight years, The Kid asked if he could make a Help Wanted sign. I asked what he would like to do with such a sign; he replied, “Put it in the dirt by the church sign.” I asked why and he answered, “Cause we are going to need a new pastor.”

All this from the child who was too sad to write notes on Sunday morning (that excuse will only work once!) and who sniffled his way through the “farewell to our pastor” evening worship service.

The Kid is a clear reminder to me that so many of our kids have only had one pastor. For many, he is the one who led them to the Lord, knelt down to hug them as they stood in his presence with their parents, or even baptized them.

As the kids say good bye to a man they have sat under, learned from, and adored for the past eight years; they are also saying hello to uncertainty. Will a new pastor learn their name? Will he love them as much? Will he walk the journey with them in the same kind and patient way?

At this time, I am learning that it is so important that we do not make light of the questions and concerns of our children. We must treat each question and concern seriously. After answering, maybe we should complete the conversation with a prayer for the pastor, his family, and the new pastor yet to come.

This is also a great learning time for The Kid – a time to learn about how God calls men to follow Him obediently, a time to teach him to pray expectantly for what is next, a time to thank God for what has been and for what is yet to come, and a time to help him to focus on Jesus as the One he is to follow as opposed to a man.

The Kid in my house, like so many others, was the recipient of much love and encouragement from this pastor who always seemed genuinely interested in anything The Kid had to say. And now, like so many other kids, he is trying to figure out how he’s going to get along without his pastor-friend.

I am praying that the Lord seal in his heart the sweet memories of this special pastor and hold his hand and heart until he meets his next pastor-friend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rising to the Challenge

Junebug suggested that i would be the LAST one to do this thing. I can't imagine that anyone really wants to know all this stuff about me...i'm not even sure i know it all, but i'm pretty sure that most will be surprised that i did it! here goes.....

1. Were you named after anyone? Yeah, sorta...i was gonna be named after my dad if i was a boy and they were gonna call me bobby, so when i was a girl, they picked a name that would go with bobby for a nickname. i dumped that nickname for my real name when i started school.
2.sorry...accidentally deleted it...oops
3. Do you like your handwriting? Yeah. I have really nice handwriting - esp. printing
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? fired bologna...jk, but i remember loving it when i was a kid!
5. Do you have kids? Yeah, two or three, depends who you ask....
6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? prolly not.
7. Do you use sarcasm? mostly with my husband
8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep.
9. Would you bungee jump? did something very similar about 10 years been there, done that and was sooo surprised my pants were dry when my feet were back on the ground!
10. What is your favorite cereal? frosted shredded wheat
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? nope
12. Do you think you are strong? Physically? Nope. Mentally? Absolutely. Emotionally? Nope.
13. What is your favorite ice cream? pralines and cream. What else is there?
14. What is the first thing you notice about people? definitely, their teeth
15. Red or pink? Either. I don't really have a preference.
16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself? Not answering this one.
17. Who do you miss the most? B
18. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? Sure.
19. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Blue shorts. No shoes.
20. What was the last thing you ate? banana
21. What are you listening to right now? M.A.S.H.
22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I would rather be a highlighter
23. Favorite smells? New candles..almost any flavor (except chocolate - why would they do that???)
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Junebug
25. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Most of the time.
26. Favorite sports to watch? Anything kids are playing.
27. Hair color? Depends on if I've had time to get the boxed mix out to put on it. Right now, it's a little grayer (is that a word?) than I like.
28. Eye color? Brown
29. Do you wear contacts? nope
30. Favorite food? fried rice from Kyotos.
31. Scary movies or happy endings? No scary movies.
32. Last movie you watched? WALL-E
33. What color shirt are you wearing? grey tshirt
34. Favorite season? Fall
35. Hugs or kisses? depends on what's inside them
36. Favorite dessert? Something with caramel - and no chocolate
37. Most likely to respond? ??
38. Least likely to respond? if i wasn't the one typing this, i'd say me!
39. What book are you reading now? The Other Boelyn Girl and Red River
40. What is on your mouse pad? I don't have a mouse pad.
41. What did you watch on tv last night? who can remember last night? i did watch 2 episodes of friends, season 8 on my ipod, however.
42. Favorite sound? laughing kids - especially mine
43. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Def the Beatles. But I like the Stones, too. (ditto from BB)
44. What is the farthest you have been from home? Cambodia...a whole day away.
45. What specific subject do you feel you know better than any other subject? I feel more comfortable discussing predicates...
46. If you could spend a whole day with any one historical figure, who would it be? Elvis
47. You're driving your car late at night and come to a red light. If there are no cars in either direction, do you stop? long enough to be really sure no one is coming
48. Do you have a special talent? not really
49. Where were you born? st dominic's hospital in jackson
50. Whose answers are you looking forward to getting back? anyone's will do

Do you feel like you know me better? Are you suprised by your discoveries?
Come back soon......................

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Seven Years of Blessings

Tonight I kissed a six year old good night. In the morning, I'll hug a seven year old. And that's all I've got to say about that!!!

To The Kid in our house.....
Very little did we know that your visit with us would last so long! And we are so glad it has. You have brought our home much laughter, many smiles, and lots of tears. Our prayer for you has not ever changed: "God, please do whatever it takes to make him your man." Sometimes. I've wanted God to ask my opinion about exactly what that should be; but mostly I am content to be on the journey with you.

This has been a big year. You have learned to read really well. You can add and subtract with the best of them. You've lost lots of teeth. And no one is faster on a little red bike than you! You have learned that dogs die, mommies get sick (and well again!) and that Jesus loves you most of all! You've done book reports, been a "ring bear," acted in a play, sung on the stage in big church and been baptized. Yep, it's been a big year all right!

You've learned hard stuff, too. Sometimes judges take too long to make decisions, teachers yell, people who should call you forget to, and that too often people will judge you by the color of your skin. You have learned that sometimes storms come, but God is always bigger than any storm!

Some of your favorites this year,,,meeting Haley Barbour (now you aspire to be governor!), weekends, Webkinz, National Geographic anything, Thomas Alva Edison, Scooby Doo, parks, worms, dirt, mud, frogs, going on "dates" with mom, digging in the garden or watching NOVA with dad, watching cartoons with Gran, harry and Fritz. You now own about 30 bears all of whom have names and personalities.

Only God knows what next year will bring. My prayer for will continue to be, "God, please do what it takes to make him your man." And like last year and the five before that, we'll journey through whatever that is together.

Happy Birthday to You!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Oh Happy (Birth)Day!!

On this day two years ago, God smiled down from heaven and wrapped a piece of Himself in the flesh of a sweet baby girl. Tori makes me laugh and smile all at once. She is definitely her mother's child and that's ok with me, too! Every life she is a part of is happier and sweeter and so blessed just to know her.

Happy Birthday, Tori!
Grandmommy loves you!

Right Away, All the Way, and with a Happy Heart

For several years now, my standard for obedience for The Kid in my house has been to obey “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.” (I am so grateful to the mom who taught it to me. It makes me remember that we as moms should always be supporting one another.) Lately, however, I’ve been wondering if it would be enough for me to expect one or the other of these standards and let the others go. Otherwise I may never reach this lofty parenting goal. For example, if I call The Kid away from the computer, is it enough that he comes immediately? Should it bother me that he comes stomping and growling at me? Or if I send him to straighten his room, should I be content with the fact that he is not complaining even though he doesn’t even begin the task of picking up his stuff? Maybe I should lower my standards because, after all, he is only six!

After pondering this for some time now, I have become convinced of these three things:
1. God- through my friend- revealed the standard. It is His expectation, not just for my child, but for me as well.
2. I’m never going to get what I don’t model. Does my child see me completing my tasks “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart?” In other words, if I want to see it in my child, I’d better BE it first.
3. Sometimes obedience comes more easily and completely if the request is wrapped in encouragement, praise, and confidence in the child’s ability to perform the task. I find the same is true for myself. I am more willing to go the extra mile for someone who believes in me.

I have the proverbial head-hitting hammer I use often. It even comes with Bible verses like, “Honor your mother so you can live a long life!” and “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might,” and “Work like you’re doing it for Jesus…” I am discovering, as a result of this pondering, that it is so much easier to bonk someone else on the head (especially if the head belongs to someone shorter thatn me!) than it is to stop and take a look at myself. So that’s what I’m off to do and you can be sure that I’ll be more intentional about obeying God “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.”