Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My baby got bit

It's often hard when out in public to know how to react to an injury caused by another child. I'm sure all of us at some point have been in the position where our child was the one getting shoved down the slide or hit in the head for no apparent reason. To the same degree, I'm sure that all of us have been the mother of the offender and tried to apologize profusely for our own child's actions to only receive a cold glare or snide comment.

Let's face it. It's hard to know quite what to say or do in those situations.

Possibly the best response I've ever received was by a very humble mother and father at a McDonald's many years ago. For some reason their son had it out for Elizabeth and more than once chased her down to the ground. Mind you, I tend to be an observing kind of mom that doesn't jump up out of her seat every time someone cries. (Those who know me, I can hear you giggling right now.) But this time I actually left my Diet Coke and saved her life. Realizing what had happened, the parents together put on the child's shoes walked up to my table and said, "We are so sorry that our son has hurt your little girl. We are working on this and praying for him everyday. "

The parents didn't whine or make excuses or defend what had happened or force a half hearted apology. It was a simple statement that spoke volumes to me about how much these parents loved their son and the grace that we need to give eachother as fellow moms and dads.

Today at the library John was bitten by another two year old when their game got too rough. It wasn't a personal attack. It wasn't lack of parental supervision. It just happened. And rather than calling the police (as someone suggested), I pray that this mom was given the grace and encouragement she needs to keep on doing the good work of raising her son.

Frugal Bedroom Makeover Part 1

Well, it's finally done. After about three months of planning, frugal shopping, and some previously untapped creativity the girls' bedroom is now officially made over. The goal was to spend around $50 to transform their bright, girlish bedroom into one that reflected their changing tastes. We were committed to using the existing furniture and enhancing what we already own.

We started with the colors. The girls chose creme, brown, light blue and light aqua. And from there the plans were formed.

The first thing that had to change was the furniture. Both of these dressers are older than myself and have been passed down and painted several times before.

With about three coats of dark brown paint,Pumpernickel, and new knobs the dressers were transformed.

It took two quarts of paint at $18 and 14 silver knobs for $14. As you can probably guess, we went way over budget redoing this room, but I think that the changes were well worth it.

While the dressers were drying the painting of the walls and sewing the duvet covers began....

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Giving Gifts

A friend and I were discussing this week the meaning of gifts and their significance in the lives of our children. Living in a society of wealth and convenience tends to lead our hearts toward material things and away from people. Gratitude and contentment are the marks of God's own, yet the pull of the world is strong and seemingly irresistible.

Today our family met and my parents delighted to give gifts to their grandchildren. First, we went to Half Priced Books where the children were given a chance to browse and choose books. It was interesting to see the range of topics that were selected. Each child is so unique.

Later my parents gave each one of the kids a piece of construction paper. They were to tear out the shape of a pig, a cow, a bee or a rabbit. Then they each displayed their work and we all guessed what they had made.

We were then told that each of these animals were given in the childrens' names to another family on the other side of the world. The gift of these animals would provide the income and food that is needed. My mother spoke in tears of a local homeless shelter that also received a gift on behalf of the children. This winter some families will sleep in a warm bed because of this gift.

We pray that our children will grow in their understanding of the gift they were witness to today.

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." -Philippians 2:2-3