Recently, my 7-year-old daughter made a mailbox out of paper and taped it to the outside of her room. I began using this as an opportunity to send her notes of love and encouragement. So, at various times of the day, without her seeing me, I would sneak a note into her mailbox. That night, I put in a note for her to find in the morning. I awoke the next morning with my daughter jumping on my bed saying, “How did you do it Mommy? I got a letter from you in the night!”
Excited, she busied herself in making a paper mailbox for me, taping it to the outside of my room. And the written communication began in earnest. Notes of love continued through the week.
Two days ago, I bought her a small toy while we were out shopping together. We came home and after supper, she quickly disappeared saying, “Don’t come into my room, Mommy.” Knowing that she was working on some little project, I busied myself washing the dishes and cleaning up. Excitedly, my daughter then appeared saying, “There’s a letter in your mailbox!” And as we went to my mailbox together, I could see a rolled up piece of blue paper sticking out.
Unrolling the paper, I read her crayoned message: “Dear Mommy, I love you. Thank you for the toy. But just becuse you got me a toy dose not mane I love you more than I did be for. I could never tell you how much I love you.”
Tears welled up in my eyes as my precious girl flung her arms around me in a big hug.
As I stood there enjoying the embrace of my daughter, I was reminded that our Heavenly Father also receives such joy when we offer our love to Him with the excitement and simplicity of a child.
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I think summer is the by far the best time of the year! Not just because the weather is warm and the days long. I love it because my daughter is home all day long. Now, for some people that may not be exactly a good thing but I really believe it is a matter of perspective. In the grand scheme of things, we have these children for such a short time. I want to enjoy and appreciate every moment. Sometimes that means playing a video game I don’t necessarily want to play. Sometimes it means watching a show I don’t necessarily want to watch. But if watching that show or playing that game gives me a moment where my daughter snuggles up close to me… I’ll take it every time. You see, I know and accept that there will come a day (all too soon) when she will be too old for snuggling and video games with dad. She will be talking on the phone and focused on her social life and that is how it should be I guess. I just don’t want to look back with any regrets… longing for a time when she wanted to be with me but I was too busy. Summer allows me this time more than ever and that is why it is my favorite time of the year!
One safety note that is just as applicable in summer as during the rest of the year. Our children will face more and greater risks/threats out there than ever before. It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Luckily technology has provided a way to mitigate much of the risk to our children by helping us directly identify the exact individuals that should not be associated with them to begin with. Online background check sites (the good and reliable ones at least) can help you learn tons of information such as criminal records or even a quick nationwide sex offender registry check. There is a wealth of information you can access in a single report and it can be done online, anonymously and it is completely legal. Prices for the background check itself costs a minimum of $14.95 but can also be a bit higher depending how deep of a search you wish to perform. I use http://www.CompleteReviews.net to help me find the best possible background checks on the market today. They conduct in-depth testing on all the major background check providers and then recommend the best options. They will also answer any questions you might have related to background checks.
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When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.
On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite! « Continue reading »
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What do you allow, as gate-keepers if you will, to put daily into your child’s body? This is fully, 100%, your choice, your responsibility, your failure if you are not actively choosing wisely. As parents, we tend to claim God’s protection over our children, but God never intended for us to blindly follow the world in any way, no, not one aspect of our lives. I am noticing a failure among us to educate, and continue to educate ourselves about anything and everything regarding these children given to us for a short time that we are responsible for nourishing. He intended for us to use discernment, use His teaching, to bring us to an educated understanding of what is best for us. This is not happenstance. This is not a lottery to see if we “get” healthy kids. You play “the” role, not just “a” role, in providing for these children as the Lord has provided for you. « Continue reading »
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Like coal miners, parents plunge deep into dark and untrammeled spaces, searching for nuggets of goodness and truth along the way. And sometimes, like coalminers, we get lost. We hit a dead end. And the canary chirping happily in it’s swinging cage, goes silent.
This summer, I lost my way as a parent. Between moving and leading a top-to-bottom renovation of our new apartment, between writing grant applications and taking care of legal issues related to my nonprofit, I took a few wrong turns, caught up in the To Do’s and Didn’t Do’s scratched onto my notepad. Thankfully I have not one, but two canaries on my shoulders. When they stopped tweeting, I knew it was time to pause and reevaluate. « Continue reading »
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It was a sweet and simple ceremony.
Perhaps it was the beauty of the day with its cool pre-summer breeze and sunny afternoon , but most likely it was the picking of the pretty yellow flowers in the backyard that prompted the sudden proposal. “Mom, let’s get married,” he said holding the big bunch of yellow beauties. A few days before, I had noticed the shock of yellow in the corner of our backyard that we refer to as “the swamp”. I knew it was some kind of weed, but I had no idea the magnitude of it until I was right up on it. It grew high and had coiled, thick, purplish vines with the sweetest little yellow flowers with orange centers. I had asked Riley about coming with me to cut the flowers and he happily agreed. We grabbed a scissors from the kitchen and meandered our way to the swamp avoiding doggy land mines to reach the mammoth weed. He didn’t know, nor did he care what it was, he was just as enamored with the yellow flowers as I was. And, I suppose, that is was prompted his desire to wed. So, there it was, actually the third proposal of my life (but that’s another whole story!) and I thought, do I decline? « Continue reading »
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Tonight I am up late… remembering. I love the power of memory as it intertwines with emotion to form a temporary reality. In quiet solitude, this gift of memory allows me to sit for awhile with my mother who passed away many years ago. It gives me glimpses into moments I will forever cherish and allows me to relive past experiences that define the meanings of my life. Tonight an open window in my mind has taken me back to a very special place where I learned a new meaning to the word “love”… « Continue reading »
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I sat with the sand between my toes last week, watching my kids tumble in a pile across the beach on a lazy vacation day. It was the first time in years that I can remember being able to read my own book while they played amongst themselves, happily. My eyes wandered a lot, to them, and their growing, tumbling, sand-covered bodies, fearlessly conquering the waves of the Atlantic. « Continue reading »
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My mom passed away two months ago. I have not been the same since. Not just because I lost her, but because of what I learned about my two college age sons.
The first thing they each said when I told them of her aggressive cancer diagnosis was, “How soon can I go see her”, halfway across the country. Neither had the time or money and neither gave it a second thought. They spent an entire weekend devoted to creating last memories with her, building a snowman in her front yard as she watched from inside with her oxygen and cane until she couldn’t contain herself anymore and ran out in socks to have a picture taken with them and the now famous snowman. They baked Christmas cookies and threw pieces of dough at each other until she joined in laughing. When they had to say their final good-byes, both were incredibly strong. « Continue reading »
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Things I’ve Learned As A Young Mother
Sound effects are a useful tool in motivating young children to do what you want them to do. Ive learned All body actions can have a coordinating sound effect and that sometimes when your finally around grown up’s the occasional sound effect may come out.
Sponge Bob promotes creepy laughter in small children. « Continue reading »
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