Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Second Son

For more years than I can look back and count, I have wanted to sponsor a child from a developing country. When I was quite young, I asked my father about it and he asked me if I would always, every month, be able to pay that thirty-dollar amount. He discussed with me that this was a very big commitment, that once you sponsor a child, you have made a commitment to them until they are done with the program. I could not, at that age, commit to sponsor a child.

I remembered my father’s words for many years when I would see these pictures of children. I remembered them as I went through college and as I started my own family. I remembered them well as I struggled to keep quality food on our own table. Finally, this last year, I remembered them as my husband and I talked about sponsoring a child. We were ready. I looked over the website at Compassion International and peered into the eyes of hundreds of needy children. They all needed help, EVERY single one of them. I wanted to sponsor every last one of them. My momma heart wanted to scoop them all up and hold them close and smell their hair and sing sweet songs. I just looked over at John and told him that I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t chose just one! How could I know who needed us, who we needed? It was impossible for me, so I chose instead to press the button on the side that would link us up with a child in greatest need. A child, who had been waiting the longest, or for some other reason, was put into the greatest need category. I thought we would find out right then whom we had been paired with, but that was not the case. I was told that we would find out who we had been paired with in a week or two when our packet would arrive.

I anxiously waited. The day the packet came I honestly cried. Our relationship, our bond was born on that very day. We had a new child in our hearts. His name is Brayan, and he lives in Columbia. His birthday is the day after Christmas and falls right between my own two little ones birth years. He just turned 6 and mine just turned 7 and 5. The first letter we received from him was such an extreme delight! He had drawn us a picture and had inquired about us, his sponsors. My children loved the colored pencil drawing that Brayan had sent to us and they quickly pulled out their own crayons and paper to respond to Brayan. They drew pictures to send to this little boy and I wrote him a letter, and sent the money to cover a birthday gift for this precious little one.

Brayan’s picture is right on the front of our refrigerator and it will always have a place of great importance in our home. He is the child that we love, that we hold in our prayers that someone else gets to hold and sing songs to.

The drawing at the top of this post is the one that Brayan sent to us. I imagine that this is a drawing of the mountains of Columbia and that the building with the cross on it and the rainbow above is the center that he now attends because of his being in the Compassion program.

When you are able, please consider sponsoring a child like Brayan. On the side bar of my blog is a link to Compassion International, you just may want to check it out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I am thinking of something

I was giving my little girl a bath tonight when without prompting she started to play a game with me as I scrubbed her head.

Girl- "I am thinking of something that is black and white."
Me- "And red all over?"
Girl- "nooooooooo, I am thinking of something that is black and white and is an animal."
Me- "Really?"
Girl- "Yup."
Me- "Ok, is it a skunk?"
Girl- "Nope."
Me- "A Zebra?"
Girl- "No, it has claws."
Me- "Ah, claws. Um... a badger?"
Girl- "No."
Me- "Does it live around here?"
Girl- "No it doesn't."
Me- "um, where does it live?"
Girl- "In the forest."
Me-(to myself) "that didn't help me much!" (to her) "um."
Girl- "It climbs trees."
Me- "Racoon?"
Girl- "Nope."
Me- "Panda Bear?"
Girl- "Nope."
Me- "Is it a bear?"
Girl- "Nope, it lives far away, like, well... giraffes, and lions and tigers."
Me- "Is it a TIGER?!"

I think I screamed this last part, like I just won a million dollars! Her little face turned up towards me and with a big smile she responded, "YES!" I just laughed! How fun!

It takes me awhile lately to give the Girl her bath because she has been having issues with her scalp and I have to scrub this stuff onto her head, wait awhile, then rinse, then scrub the conditioner on her head, and let it sit, then rinse. We played this game the entire time. We went through tigers, to coral, to sea stars, to cats, to butterflies, to sea suns, to I can't even tell you them all. I was so impressed with the way she talked to me about all of these things and the way she gave me clues. She was truly a natural at this, and I am not biased at all. The thing that I suppose I enjoyed the most is that, for the first time with this little girl, she had invented a game, for me, and it actually challenged me. It took me a while to think about the clues she gave and to really think about the different animals that it could be. It wasn't something easy that I just acted as if it was hard, it was a true game. I consider this to be quite the moment for her, it was almost as if we just had a very different connecting moment. It reminded me of the first time we had a conversation that was more than, "Milk." "Say Please?" "Pease!!!" "Good job!" We just connected in a different way, and frankly it made the whole hair process much more fun for both of us.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Got Track Marks...

I have an addiction. Some of you may have heard of this addiction in the past, many of you though have blithely talked with me daily, read my nonsense and known me for years without having realized my dark story. This is the darkest time of year for me and this problem of mine. I knew it had come when I was running, yes running, through the commissary on Tuesday morning. I looked across over the freezer chests and I heard an involuntary sharp intake of my own breath! There! My eyes grew large, my palms grew sweaty. I suddenly realized that there was something over there that I needed to pick up. The cart, the kids and I went running quickly over and I slipped a hand out and picked up the small package and dumped it in on top of my full cart. We headed out.

While unpacking groceries I got to it... and tossed it on the counter, I didn't have time to indulge my addiction quite yet. When I did, I ripped open the package with my teeth and grabbed a few, waiting for the satisfaction to hit. It... didn't... quite... happen! What?! I grabbed the bag and read it quickly. Blast. These are DARK chocolate Cadbury Mini-Eggs, not MILK chocolate Cadbury mini-eggs. I quietly let out a brief sigh. Drat. I ate more anyways. Not quite the same...
The problem is that I do have an addiction to these. I only allow myself two bags a year. In years past however, with only two bags, I have had massive addiction headaches ensue after I finished my two bags. Sad? Um. Yes. Do I still allow myself two bags? Yes.

This one didn't count.

I am not the only one with this sad addiction there are others.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Staying Four

My little girl was in complete outright tears tonight. She was tired and cold from taking a bath and was ready to get her teeth brushed when she announced that she wanted to be a grown up. This is a common request from my little curly headed one. I replied, "Well, you need to enjoy being where you are. You will only be four until tomorrow morning; you will only be five for one year. You will never be four again, and you will never be five again except this one year. Enjoy where you are!"

This came from me, someone who never wanted to be any older than six. I wanted to be six forever... I loved the whole Peter Pan mentality and the Never Growing upness of Neverland.

My daughter looked horrified and burst into tears. Amidst the blubbering I made out the words, "want to be four... always... don't ... want... birthday..."

My little girl will be five tomorrow. At 7:44pm tonight, she wanted to be grown up, at 7:46pm tonight, she wanted to be four for the rest of her life. I scooped her up and carried her in to see her daddy who was reading on the bed. I briefly explained why the little one was so distraught and he snuggled her down with him with a smile at me.

We said all we could as parents of an almost five year old and we hugged and kissed the little one and carried her off to bed. She cried a bit more as I prayed with her and talked with her.

She is four only for tonight... tomorrow old age beckons.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Seven Years Ago right now...

I was hearing the cries of my newborn baby boy, and I hadn't even seen him yet. I was feeling things I hadn't known existed and my world was changing in a way I didn't yet fully understand.

Looking back? Those first sounds from that wee man were easily one of the most important sounds I have ever heard.

Happy Birthday my Little Man.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Before Green Gables

I happen to be an Anne of Green Gables addict. I will honestly say that without any qualms. I started reading Montgomery's books when I was about 10 and I have never looked back. I consider them some serious comfort reading. I found Anne on the wonderful PBS channel growing up in Pittsburgh, PA. We would rush home from wherever we happened to be and the entire family would be completely glued to the TV watching the Anne series. I then found out about the books and requested them for Christmas. My grandmother, another avid reader, bought me the whole Anne series and I devoured them all in a very short time and wanted more. Slowly over the years, I have bought nearly everything written by Montgomery, I have reread these books more times than I can count. One of my absolute dream vacations would be to go to PEI; I keep thinking that someday The Girl and I will run on up to the Island and explore to our hearts content. I will need to wait until she is old enough to read the books herself... and then there is no looking back... we will burn rubber out of the driveway! Yes, I am addicted.

Today, I heard of this interesting article that discusses a "new" Anne book. This is a prequel that is authorized by Montgomery's family. L.M. Montgomery herself died during WWII, and so she has no say in the matter, but her family obviously thinks this is a good idea. I, however, do not but I am not making money on it, so take that as you will. I suppose it bothers me because I think Montgomery left enough about Anne's life to have it stand on it's own. In the books, Anne never wanted to discuss her time much before Green Gables though she did on very rare occasions. She did give enough information over time however, that you are able to piece together the basics. I don't believe that this book is necessary... and I don't believe that Montgomery herself would like it much. There is quite a bit to be said for leaving things to the imagination and I would think that Montgomery herself would have enjoyed us imagining all sorts of other endings and beginnings to the lives of her characters. Her characters have such large imaginations that I can't fathom her wanting us to have absolutely everything filled in for us.

All of that being said I will, unfortunately, be purchasing this book. How sad is that?! I know that I will not be able to help myself and I will report to the bookstore to check it out and then I will buy it and will probably not like it. Can I stop myself? I seriously doubt it.

I will post a review here just for all of you. Oh... and if perchance you have not read the L.M. Montgomery books, particularly The Anne series and The Blue Castle and The Story Girl, then run out and get them now. I am not kidding... they are more than worth it. There is a reason that Canada is making an Anne postage stamp to celebrate the 100 year anniversary and an Anne coin etc... etc... You will be missing out if you never read these books and it will be all your fault, cause I warned you right here on my little blog.

Friday, February 1, 2008

throwing a pity party

So, I am sick and not feeling like writing but figured I would post that I was sick. I have sorta flu like symptoms but not sure if I actually have the flu. The Girl actually shared her loverly sickness with me. Wasn't that sweet?

So, I am coughing like crazy and am achy and snotty and miserable.

We have 9 good inches of snow on top of this, and it is good packing snow. I am quite perturbed that I can't really be out in the snow playing with the kids cause if I spend more than five minutes out there I end up needing to use my inhaler. I am not sure if I can manage to sound more pathetic. I would love to take them sledding, or to take advantage of the good snow to make a neat little snow house. It is not to be, even though this is the best snow we have had since we moved here.

I did have to go out earlier today cause my Spazador decided that it would be fun to escape the yard by slipping under the shed. Now, I will admit that I had looked at this possibility and had decided that she simply couldn't fit under the shed. She is a lab, not a little thing... she is huge and bouncy, and apparently can fit in places you wouldn't think she could fit into. So, I had some fun of getting her back in the yard, all the while wearing my oh, so cool bumble bee boots.

And this is me... throwing myself a pity party!

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