01-16-18 Four Bible Stories for Kids and Grown Ups…

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4 Bible Stories for Kids and Grown Ups

By C. 

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500 million years ago (or less or more) Adam and Eve was born. God loved them. One day Adam and Eve disobeyed God, filling the world with darkness.

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One day Jesus was born to save the world and he was born in a stable.

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One night Jesus died on a cross to wash away our sins.

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Three days later a miracle happened and Jesus rose from the dead.

 

01-15-18 Remember the Mummy-Monster

By now you have no doubt forgotten about the incident this past fall when Baby E had an unfortunate encounter with a ‘mummy monster’ at the local CVS as we waited for our turn at the minute clinic. While you might have forgotten, he certainly has not. The Mummy Monster has become a regular in our bedtime routine as Baby E’s number one reason for not wanting to sleep in his bed. This evening, he murmured the dread name between tearful gasps as he begged to sleep in my bed. Now I really don’t mind one of the kids finding their way into my bed in the middle of the night, especially if Tim isn’t home, but I insist they start in their own bed at night. I laid with him for awhile, explaining that the Mummy Monster was not real and it was not going to get him, and Big E even agreed to let Baby E wake him whenever he needs to to make sure there’s no monster nearby. Big E beamed with that big brother pride that told me he looked toward to his new responsibility.

With the long weekend over, we slip back into our routines again tomorrow. We enjoyed our visit out to the new house. The kids played video games with Aunt Julie, and did their own fair share of hide and seek. We didn’t do much running around, opting to stick close to the house and rest. The ride home this evening was uneventful, and bedtime went smoothly, with the kids reading a whopping 13 books before brushing their teeth. That brings their total up to 47. 🙂

I’m so grateful for the long weekend and the chance to spend it with my family, and I’m also looking forward to short work week ahead. 🙂

PS- Bring on the snow!!

01-14-18 The Community Center

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We sat in the car in front of a nondescript community center. The website had told us that this is where the church would be meeting, but a glance at the parking lot made me realize that this was going to be much different than what we are used to. There would be no blending into a crowd here, no sneaking in unseen. With only a couple of dozen vehicles in the parking lot, we would not go unnoticed.

The last time I searched for a church, I was in my first year of college, but since we will eventually be moving too far away from our home church to visit weekly, we decided to get head a start by looking into local congregations. This was our first stop.

As I walked the halls of that community center, I wondered how non believers do it. I knew every step was taking me closer to a room full of strangers, but as fellow believers, I was confident that while I might not know them, we carry the same heritage.

It’s moments like these that it helps to have small children. While we had sent the older two with my mom and sister to their church, we had Baby E with us, and I figured he would be a great buffer. After all, if there is a lull in the conversation, someone would be sure to ask about him.

We were greeted by smiling faces, eager to show us where we needed to go, and encouraging us to take Baby E into the service with us if that made us more comfortable. It made him more comfortable so we did. Some of the songs weren’t familiar, but their tunes and melodies were easy to pick up, and while we sang I surveyed the room in front of us. We had chosen seats near the back in case Baby E made a fuss, and I watched the people around me, realizing that I was the only one not wearing a coat. It’s cold, I noted, before hearing the pastor mention that the heat had stopped working.

When the songs and communion were over, the pastor got up to speak. He opened up the Bible to a chapter in James and went verse by verse. My mouth nearly dropped open as the sermon directly corresponded to the very things Tim and I had been talking about last night in the parking lot outside the grocery store. It always amazes me when that happens.

After the service, the pastor and his wife greeted us and we chatted for a little while, Baby E providing the common ground of parenting experience to bridge any awkward moments.

While I went in nervous, I came out encouraged by our experience. We will visit more churches in the months to come, but it was a good feeling to not strike out the first time we tried. The people seemed kind and the preaching was solid. It was small, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I would be interested in seeing how the kids would integrate, but all in all, I think it went well.

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We promised Baby E a donut if he behaved well during the service, and he did great. In fact, he actually fell asleep in Tim’s arms for most of the sermon, so he more than earned his donut. We took him to Dunkin Donuts after church and he chose out his own donut and soaked up his one on one time with mommy and daddy. 🙂

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10-13-18 Date Night

One of the most important things that Tim and I can do for our children is to invest in our marriage, and tonight we did just that. With my parents and sister watching the kids, Tim and I snuck away for a movie night. We went and saw Star Wars, which was very fun, but the highlight of my evening was sitting in the car outside a 24-hour grocery store taking about our lives- our fears, our hopes, and the things that lie between.

01-12-18 Reading Progress

The children and I read eight books this evening, which brings the big kid’s totals up to 33 books each. On the way out to visit our new house in the morning, we will return them and pick up some more for the weekend. The kids are really enjoying all of the extra reading time that we have been doing, and I get great kid snuggles out of it, so I’m on board! The one they liked the best this evening was “Please open this book!” which is a kind of interactive story along the lines of “There’s a Monster at the End of This Book.” It was the only one they asked to read again.

I’m a huge Mo Willems fan, having just read Nanette’s Baguette for the first time this week (we are regular Elephant and Piggie book readers), but I hadn’t heard of “Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator,” but that was pretty adorable.

Last night we read “The King of Quizzical Island” which is the closest book I have found to my all time favorite children’s book “The Emperor of Absurdia.” The King had the same kind of light hearted and silly adventuring that the Emperor has.

I speed read through “Jumanji” because I didn’t really find that one very interesting, but Big E seemed to like it. He said he had read it in school before. “Dear Yeti” was not terribly interesting, however the illustrations were adorable.

As for me, I finished another book last night, and if I count the audio book I finished the other day, that makes 5 novels since January 1. I grabbed another book off the shelf this evening to start on. I’m hoping for a few quiet moments this weekend to make some progress on it. It’s a book of short stories, which isn’t typically my purview, but I like the author so I thought I’d give it a try. 🙂

01-11-18 Squandered.

There are moments like tonight, when I get to the end of my day, and I just feel like I squandered it. I look at my sleeping children and I wonder why I was so upset with them. The truth is, they were difficult this evening, but so was I. I was grumpy and tired and dealing with things in my head that shouldn’t have played into my interaction with them, but they did. I wish I could have a do-over, but since I know can’t, I tucked their covers up around them and kissed them on their sleeping cheeks. Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully we all wake up just a little bit happier!

We are going to spend this weekend in the new house, and we are excited because it is a long weekend for me and the kids. Tomorrow night can’t come soon enough!!

01-10-18 Random

I’m really tired this evening and I was running low on ideas about what to write about but I came across this list of random questions so I figured I’d answer some of them. Be prepared to know more about me than you’d ever care to. 😂

Have you ever been in the opposite sex’s public toilet? Yes… California Pizza Kitchen. Not sure how I missed that I was in the wrong bathroom until I was about to leave and saw a urinal. Oh, and there was absolutely someone in the other stall. 😳😳

Have you ever written a poem? Yes. I signed up for a creative writing class at the community college once and showed up to class only to find out it was all poetry. Ended up being published in the college literary magazine. 

Do you like catsup on or beside your fries? Beside, but I prefer honey mustard.

Have you ever been a boy/girl scout? No.

Have you ever written a book? No.

Would you rather eat a Big Mac or a Whopper? Fast food burgers freak me out, so neither.

Have you ever gone skinny-dipping? Yes.

Would you ever parachute out of a plane? Not likely.

True or False: You would rather eat steak than pizza. Probably pizza

Did you have a baby blanket? Yes. It was raggedy Ann and Andy. My dad used it as a rag at the shop. There were tears. I’ve forgiven him.

Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? No.

Have you ever had a birthday party at McDonalds? No, but my sister did and I was super jealous.

Can you flip your eye-lids up? This is a thing?

Are you double jointed? No, I’m the least flexible person in the world.

If you could be any age, what age would you be? 24

If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first? Wait for it to fill with water.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? Yes.

How many times have you flown in an airplane in the last year? None. I hate flying.

How many foreign countries have you visited? Three. Canada, Germany, France

If you fell into quicksand, would you try to swim or try to float? Is there a right answer for this? I guess float.

Do you ask for directions when you are lost? Without hesitation.

Have you ever held a Mexican jumping bean? No.

Are you more like Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland? Alice, more likely.

Do you talk in your sleep? Yes. I once asked Tim to stop making kittens with his feet.

Would you rather shovel snow or mow the lawn? Shovel snow. It would mean I had a day off!!

Have you ever broken a bone? My ankle and my finger. 

Have you ever locked yourself out of the house? All the time as a kid.

Do you need corrective lenses? Yes, but I hate the way I look in then.

What is your favorite fruit? Grapes

What is your least favorite fruit? Grapefruit

If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick? Amazon

What brand sports apparel do you wear the most? Ha ha ha!

Have you ever had surgery? Seven times

What do you like to collect? Books and sharks teeth

01-09-18 The Night We Walked On Water

We drove by the beach on the way to the post office this evening, and I was not at all surprised to find it deserted. With temperatures barely peaking in the teens for the past week, most people have tucked themselves away in the warmest corners of their homes. Today, however temps reached into the low 40’s and the contrast made me more than eager to soak in what warmth the last rays of sunshine could yield. I noted that the water in bay looked frozen and the kids begged to go down onto the beach.

The water was frozen, at least the section I normally let the children wade in during the warm summer months. The sandbar extends about 50 yards, and all 50 of that seemed to be a solid sheet of ice. There were a few people walking out near the edges, leaning down, talking to ducks and taking photographs.

I told the children they could walk on the ice- not far, no more than ten feet in. In amazement they gingerly stepped onto the frozen water, testing the strength before jumping on. The ice was very solid indeed, especially that close to the shore. They slid their feet along as they walked, pretending to ice skate, and marveling at the fact they were above the water. They smiled and giggled and pleaded to go further, but I stood my ground. (Secretly I wished Tim were with us, as he would not have hesitated to take them out further, but I’m the worrying type, so we stayed close to shore.)

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When we had exhausted our icy adventures, we dropped by the library for more books, and this evening after dinner we curled up on the couch and read seven of them. We had made a plan for the kids to get through 50 books this month, and both C and E are sitting at 23, so if we keep up our momentum, we should be able to reach it.

The kids had an unexpected snow day today. We had woken up to a 2 hour delay, but due to all the ice on the roads and sidewalks, school got cancelled, much to the delight of my children. And while I still had to work, Baby E was very excited that C and Big E would be spending the day with him. With the warmer temps, we will slide back into our normal routine in the morning.

 

 

01-08-17 Stolen Hours

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I chose a table tucked away in the corner of the coffee shop, less for its solitude and more on the merits of it being the only unoccupied table in the establishment. As I waited for my name to be called and my drink to materialize, I pulled the hardcover book from my purse. I had dedicated the next hour and a grande peppermint mocha to the first ten chapters of the book, thankful that 35 miles away, my work had closed early due to an impending ice storm.

Earlier in the day, when I looked at the weather map only two counties weren’t colored in purple, and mine was one of them. While the schools around my job were shutting their doors, my children were still in their classes with no chance of an early dismissal. We were only getting rain. So I sat in a coffeeshop, sipping my drink and devouring sentences as fast as my eyes could chase them. The quiet din of the coffeeshop and the occasional opening of the door were the only reminders that I wasn’t actually traversing the countryside of Newport, Rhode Island or searching for the details of an unexplained suicide deep within the safe confines of one of America’s oldest think tanks.

At the end of my hour, I drained the last few cold drops of my coffee and shut my book. It was time to get the kids. I knew they would be disappointed that my mom’s group was cancelled this evening, but I hoped the prospect of a visiting cousin at Grandma’s house would be enough to cheer them up, and it was. We got home with some time to spare before their cousin got picked up and we ended the evening with dinner and a few books.

My quiet solitude at the coffeeshop this afternoon was a godsend, and I reveled in every moment of it, thankful for the stolen hours. I’ll read a few more pages in my book this evening, maybe enough to learn the significance of the forgotten room or the burnt photograph found in the ashes of its fireplace, but the rest will have to wait for tomorrow evening, for I doubt we’ll have time to meet again before then.

 

01-07-18 Content

Clearly I am going to regret staying up this late on a work night, but the truth is I wasn’t ready to let my weekend go. I had a hundred pages left in a novel I picked up yesterday and I was determined to finish it before bed, and so I did. That makes three novels in a week. Three new worlds bouncing around in my head.

Tim worked a lot this week, and didn’t get home until yesterday evening, so I decided to make the best of our one day together before the crazy starts again tomorrow. The result was  a truly lovely day that I got to spend with my sweet family. Nothing big happened. Just church, lunch, and a trip to the grocery store, but by the end of the day I felt utterly happy, watching my family scarf down dinner and work their way through ice cream.

Complete contentment.