Friday, February 26, 2010
When you are wiping up messes for the twentieth time today, remember that God always cleans up our messes without complaining. When we are doing laundry load after laundry load, thank God you are able to have a variety of clothes and are not like the homeless man or woman downtown with only what they have on their back. When you are preparing yet another peanut butter and jelly lunch, thank God that you get to eat with your children on a regular basis and are not sitting through another meeting with your boss. When you start to whine about not having any time for yourself, that is when I want us all to remember there are women who can not give birth, carry a child or afford to adopt a baby who would willingly sacrifice their every moment to serve a baby with love. Ladies, it is all in how we think. If we think we are being taken for granted, we will be. If we think we are not appreciated, we won't be. If we think our kids are a handful, they will be. If we think it is a blessing and honor to be chosen mother of the children in our care, it will be. If we think we are blessed to have the opportunity to be at home, caring after the home and kids, it will be. So today, soak up those moments with the littles because it does pass quickly...I know, I sound old now!:) It is so true though.
I remember like it was yesterday holding that baby girl in my arms for the first time. I never dreamt at that time that I would be standing eye to eye with her and in awe of the young woman God has grown her to become. However, I also get to stand in awe of the fact that I have been blessed to be right by her side for the entire journey to get to where she is today. Don't wish away the moments just to get time alone....savor each loud, messy, crazy day and know the quiet days will come and then you will be wanting to hear those giggles once more. Go play with your kids and let the laundry wait! It's a good thing. :)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
2. I love his heart for our girls both the ones in our home and the ones far from home.
Daddy and Bean walking hand in hand..so sweet!
3. I adore how he serves his family.
4. Matt can make a tree laugh! His sense of humor is one of the first things that attracted me to him.
During one of his "projects" he still makes me giggle!
5. I love his servant's heart for not only his family but anyone who needs help. He will drop what he is doing and help out in a heartbeat without thinking.
6. I personally love how he provides for his family and how hard he works to make sure we are able to have all the special memories we have had together.
7. I love to travel with this man...he is just fun and he gets me to try things I never would do on my own.
8. Watching him hold his baby girls the first time melted my heart in a way that you can't explain, however, seeing how protective he has grown of them over the years, is just as sweet to me.
Daddy and Doodle looking way too cute!
9. I love how generous he is with all of his time, talents and treasures. He truly would give you the shirt off his back.
10. Most of all, I love this man's passion for Christ and his deep desire to continue to grow into the man God desires him to become. He strives for that every day and while he may not see it, I am fully aware that he has grown abundantly in the 18+ years we have been together. What a joy to watch God stretch and grow this man.I am thankful for all Matt does for us everyday, but today, on his birthday, I am thankful God blessed me with the joy of walking through life with this precious man. I can't even grasp where God may take him next, but I am so happy to know that I will be right by his side all the way.
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I am one of those control freak moms who was not ready for email. When we found zoobuh.com, I was in heaven. This allowed my girls to have email that I set for them. The parent sets the boundaries for the child's email account. For example, Doodle can email grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, her teachers from co-op and friends we have approved. However, Bean is only 9, she can only send email to grandparents and cousins at this point. Every email they receive or send, I receive a copy in my email box which allows me to stay on top of what is being said if needed. Regardless, there is protection there. I love it!
With that in mind, the lesson we just learned Friday has me still shaking my head! We have allowed the girls to play this little horse game and another virtual pet game. They seem very harmless. What I did not think of was the temptation these little games would put on my girls. One of the girls was on the computer Friday when she noticed her sister had new "friends". She started asking me who they were. When I finally realized what she was truly asking, I looked at the game site and realized my child had allowed strangers to be her friend. Not just strangers...grown men and women! AHHHH!!! We had talked about this exact issue. We have explained why you don't do that and what can happen. Once my heart rate lowered, I asked the child in question, what would make you think it is OK to do that? She replied, " Well, I saw this thing I wanted for my pet and the only way to get it was to have more friends. So I joined a "club" to get more friends."
Did you catch that? GREED!!! My heart sank. I had not thought through the little game teaching greed!!! So, let's just say that while some of us are not going to be using the computer for awhile, Mommy will be rethinking what games she allows her girls to use. I just never thought twice about a "harmless" little pet game.
I am thankful my girls are aware enough to ask questions about what the other is doing. Luckily, by the end of our talk, neither girl wants to be on the said program. One of them is so upset by her choice,that she has decided she doesn't want her email anymore either. A bit dramatic, but I know her heart is just heavy for doing the wrong thing this time. I am thankful this happened in our home, while we could still talk through it and explain the Internet safety rules we have in place one more time and why. Hmmm, those lessons get tougher all the time....on me! :)
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Along with that fascination, started the draw to each of the flags. So we got out our book on flags of the world. Can I tell you, that while I wish I would have thought of this on my own, I am thrilled that my child came up with it on her own. She wanted to look up the countries. She wanted to figure out what the flags look like. She wanted to learn more about them. Now, we have a map of the world next to our tv. We are going to mark each country that wins a medal as the games go on. I am thankful for the prodding of my youngest to make watching the Olympics more than just something we observe but something we use to learn about other cultures and geography. Another reason I love my job!
Anyway, during this time, I was also struggling to find a job as a new teacher out of college. I was so passionate about teaching. I loved kids and wanted to engage them in whatever we were studying. I had lots of ideas and could not wait to get into my own classroom. However, just like the infertility, God's plan was different than mine. Instead of giving me my own class, which is so what I thought I wanted and needed, He gave me what He KNEW I needed. I was hired to be an instructional assistant for special needs students who were going to be a part of this school's inclusion program. That meant, I would be in another teacher's room, but my role was to help the "labeled" students meet the class load or to teach similar things to their level. Basically, my job was to help the students feel as much a part of the classroom as possible and iron out the bumps. Where needed, I was to give instruction at their level and try to make up any deficits. I was scared to death when I got hired!!! Can I do this? What happens if I mess up? I had no training in special education beyond the two classes we took for my degree. Will that be enough?
That first year, I had three students I was "in charge" of in that room: Chris M., Chris D., and Christina. See a pattern? Seriously though, one of the children had Down Syndrome and truly fit in more socially but struggled academically. Inclusion helped him shine with his buddies. The other just needed a bit more time in learning concepts and truly did not appear to need the label given. The last one had developmental delays due to radiation treatment when he was three. He had brain cancer at age three and struggled to "catch up" to his twin brother after that. His brother was a genius! Truly! So the parents goal was never that he catch up to his brother, but that he would be"normal" one day. My heart melted with these three. God knew I needed to see the world through their eyes. You see, there is a reason these children were in my life at this time. "Special Needs" is a title that I struggle with because truly, I was the one with special needs and they met them. As I would sit and help one of the boys with their reading, he would sit and look at me. He appeared to be looking through me! Sometimes, it would creep me out! But I would ask:"Chris, are you ok?"
His reply was precious to me,"Shh! Mrs. Miller (with a slight slurring of the l's to sound more like Mrs. Miwwer) You have angels all around your head. Shhh! We don't want them to go away!"
You know what, those moments made me feel uncomfortable at first but after hearing him say that from time to time, it was so precious. Looking back now, it was a true gift from God. He also was able to see the joy in all things. This child memorized full movies from Disney and loved everything Disney! He would tell me a story and light up. We giggled our way through his lessons often. And he loved to hold my hand and play with my fingernails, which were always long and painted at that time! Those hugs, smiles and constant show of spiritual protection was what I needed at that time. God knew that and I did not.
The following year, God placed me with this one child again. I was his personal instructional assistant with a teacher who I loved working with. His growth that year was amazing! But mine was greater. That was the year we were having infertility treatments galore while we found out about each of our siblings expecting their first child. They were all due within 6 months of each other and that just about did me in. I knew it was selfish yet the pain could not be masked. But the joy of my job allowed me to see God at work. This child was the joy and light I needed at that time. God knew how He was going to bring our family together, but I did not at that time. I did know that what I was facing was not as hard as what the special needs kids had to face every day. My eyes were opened and my heart had room to let this child's love pour in. Boy did it! This little guy filled that void for me at that time.
After we adopted Doodle, I took her to meet this precious family. Seeing my answer to prayer in my student's arms was precious. He was so excited and could not wait to teach her about Lion King! Sadly, time has gotten away and we lost touch. However, next week we will catch up and I will get the chance to thank them in person for the gift they gave me during that time. I am so grateful for God's hand on my life and leading me in ways I did not understand at the time. I am also grateful that He never stops doing that. So if you are not where you think you should be in your life, don't fret. God has you there for a reason. Soak up the moment He has for you and know something better is around the corner. I would not go back and change one day I spent soaking up God's love through this precious child.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Doodle doing official "page" job...or posing, you decide. :)
Grandma introduced her special pages to the other senators.
Grandma and Doodle in front of the Seal of Indiana.
The girls with Governor Daniels.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The bottles all ready to observe.
After a bit of time, all three of the warmer bottles gave us the needed information to finish the project. We were able to determine two things: 1.) gases move quicker when warm 2.) if you want to keep your pop from going flat, put it in the refrigerator.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
One of our trees covered in snow... so pretty!!!
Two more trees just looking beautiful.
Large bowls of snow!
Monday, February 8, 2010
As we prepared for the Super Bowl at our house, I was reminded of the last time our team went to the big game three years ago. At that time, my mother-in-law and father-in-law managed to get four tickets. They took their children to the game. So fun! Here is the picture before they left:
But we have proof they were there! Here it is...Grandma and Grandpa headed to their seats.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
She also is growing into this little lady with sweet friends who I adore. While she has several friends, she tends to be more like her momma and have a couple really good friends with lots of buddies. So, recently, she spent some time with one of her closer friends from co-op. They had a blast. The next day, she asked if she could email her friend to play chess online. So I agreed and she called her friend. I helped both of them find each other on the game site. Once I had set them up, I left the room to get something done and let them talk and play. When I came back, this is what I found:
Oh boy! Here we go!
Monday, February 1, 2010
It is amazing to watch the girls eat up history at 9 and 12. I did not appreciate it until I was teaching it to them honestly. Part of that, I think is due to the fact that we study history chronologically and repeat every four years. Whereas, when I was in school it was quite scattered each year. This is our second time to study the ancients and this time there is more meat involved. I expect more from Doodle's notebook because she is older as well. Regardless, I just love walking in the room and seeing them like this: