Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do You Know Why I'm Crying?? (part 2)

So tonight, as she was whining and crying because she wasn't getting her way (she didn't want to go to bed...and she was GOING to go to bed!), Susi pulled her usual "But do you KNOW why I'm crying???"

"Yes, Susanna. Because Jesus died and you miss Him."

"No! Because, wait, I mean yes! But also because I forget what He looks like........waaaahhhhhh!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You Want To Know Why I'm Crying???

Oh, we've been battling a few more self-control (or rather, lack of) problems lately with a certain little girl. Things have been going VERY well...but lately, well....I'll blame it on the changing of the seasons.

Regardless, the attitude comes out, the yelling and screaming and crying. First step is to firmly let her know that it is NOT acceptable (in a nice, calm, firm voice....unlike the voice in my head at the time....) and to change the attitude, take deep breaths, get control of herself....that usually just sparks a bigger outburst, so the next step is sending her to the "naughty step" until her heart and attitude change. That is followed by a slammed door and stomping feet and hysterical sobs. Until she realizes she isn't going to get her way. Then, one of two things will happen.

Louder sobs and screams. The threat of a spanking followed by her threat of "if you spank me, I'll just cry LOUDER!" which is followed by the reminder that if she gets louder and more out of control, she'll just get ANOTHER spanking. She knows it's's happened before, so that usually puts an abrupt end to HER threats.

(By the way, Aunt Beth, did you REALLY tell my kids that spankings are when you beat your kids?????)

The other thing that will happen (if it isn't the louder sobs and screams...), is a little girl quickly falling in a heap, asking "but do you KNOW why I'm crying?" Somehow my answer of "because you aren't getting your way and you wish you were" does nothing to appease her....nor is it the answer she's looking for. "Because Jesus....Jesus....Jesus DIED!"

Sigh. The first time this happened, I melted. I reminded Susanna that Jesus ISN'T dead any more. He is waiting for us in Heaven. And He loves us very much. She continued to sob and tell me, "But I miss Him SOOO MUCH!!!" And that was my mistake.

Mistake, you say? Reminding a child that Jesus isn't dead? Yes, mistake. Now she pulls that all the time. However, my answer has changed. Slightly. I again reassure her that Jesus ISN'T dead...but if He didn't die, she'd be going to hell for her behavior. Okay, yeah, maybe that sounds a bit harsh to tell a four year old. But...that usually stops her in mid-sentence, although sometimes the sobs continue. For a few more minutes at least, especially as I walk away with the reminder, "when the attitude changes, you can come back in." Then....

A smiley tear-stained faced little girl comes in, gives me a big hug, climbs on my lap and says, "Mama, I love you SO MUCH! And I love, Jesus, too! Please forgive me for being disrespectful."

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Request for Help for Caleb....

Caleb is my nephew. He's a wonderful, sensitive, bright boy, 10 years old, the third in a family of 8 (soon to be 9) children. Caleb is usually pretty quiet, with his head in a book or his fingers on the piano. He isn't someone who is terribly outgoing, but he doesn't hesitate to make friends. From the time he was a little boy, Caleb has always had a heart for God. He asked Christ into his life at a very early age and followed that a few years later with baptism. I remember when he was about 3 or 4 years old, running around the house with his brothers, wielding a (toy) sword, and spouting off Bible verses that I didn't even realize were in the Bible...verses from I and II Chronicles, Judges, Proverbs, and more. My sister-in-law Tammy spends time each morning with the children, having Bible time and reading a daily chapter from the book of Proverbs as well as making sure her children understand what the passages mean. Their children are true examples of learning God's Word from a very young age and hiding (and applying) it in their hearts.

Last year, the Shelby Kennedy Foundation started working on the first annual National Bible Bee contest. The overall concept is similar to the National Spelling Bee with children from all over the United States going through a local contest and advancing to semi-finals in Washington D.C. on November 5 followed by Finals the following day. There are three age groups -- 7-10 years, 11-14 years, and 15-18 years. Upon registering for the Bible Bee, you were given a stack of information...hundreds of Bible verses to memorize, Bible passages, and of course the books of the Bible. Over 17,000 students enrolled in local competitions nationwide -- and at the end of the first round, scores were tallied and the top 100 children in each age group advanced to the semi-finals in Washington D.C.

Overall guidelines were stressed: While competing for rewards is fun, the greatest reward is drawing near to God. As the playing field narrows, cheer for the remaining finalists, even if you are not one of them. Compete in a biblical way -- give one's absolute best for God's glory and leave the results entirely in His hands.

Well, Caleb and his two older brothers entered the competition, along with their sister Hannah. Each gave their best, not knowing what the final results would be. Then, a few weeks ago, Caleb received an email:

"Congratulations! After reviewing your test scores, I am delighted to inform you that your qualification as a contestant in the 2009 Bible Bee National Contest has been confirmed!......"

Caleb is one of 100 children, ages 7-10, who advanced to the semi-finals to be held in Washington D.C.! Only three children in Ohio (not necessarily in his age group) achieved this recognition.

On November 5, Caleb will compete for one of seven, 7!, spots for the Final Challenge to be held on November 6.

Here is how you can help, if you are so led. Caleb needs to raise over $3,000 to cover hotel and food costs. Estimated costs given to the students state they should raise between $3500 and $4000. Due to friends living in the area, Ron and his family are able to drop these costs some but still have a large amount to raise (by the way, Ron is a school teacher; Tammy is a stay-at-home mom who home schools all the children -- and we all know that school teachers don't have a large salary....).

* PLEASE consider sending a donation to Caleb to help cover costs. Donations can be sent to the following address:
Ron and Tamara Toth
Carpe Diem Academy (their home school name)
2990 State Route 534
Newton Falls, Ohio 44444

* PRAY for Caleb that he will have a good mind and teachable spirit and an ability to learn

* PRAY that God would be honored and glorified in all that Caleb thinks, says, and does

* PRAY that Caleb will be able to attain the knowledge and skill required, as well as have joy in the process

* PRAY that Caleb will be transformed by God's Word along with the rest of his family as they prepare together

* PRAY for good health for Caleb and for each member of his family

* PRAY for each of the other contestants in the National Bible Bee as well.

If you would like more information on the Bible Bee, you can find it here:

Thank you sooo much for prayerfully considering your support of Caleb. What an honor it is for him to achieve this recognition the first year of this competition!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Setting the Standard...

We've been super busy lately...which is why I've not been posting like usual. However, here's some catching up!

Pumpkin parties continue to go full blast, despite the yucky weather. Last Saturday (Liz's birthday), it was cold (in the 40s), rainy, and overcast the whole time. We still had an amazing turn out. Yesterday was cold (barely in the 30s), windy, and snowy....and I'm amazed at the amount of people who came! Of course, they would often take breaks and warm up in their cars....but what surprised me were the number of little children out there. Okay, mine were, too, but Luke is part of the skit, and Susanna kept coming to warm up....

Last night, I slept around the clock. Went to bed not feeling up to par and had a low fever today, so Tony took the kids to church while I continued to sleep....almost 12 hours! I'm still feeling kinda out of it, but temp is gone, praise God! Think maybe this has something to do with burning the candle at both ends?

We did take a bit of a family break last weekend and headed toward the Cities Sunday morning to visit several orchards and a pumpkin patch. Part for business (Greenstar contacts...whoo-hoo! At least one new customer for next year and a possible new one for this year!), part for pleasure.

But back to setting the standard....when I finally got out of bed this afternoon, I ventured downstairs to find my wonderful husband cleaning our very dirty kitchen. Hand washing dishes that didn't fit into the dishwasher, wiping counters, etc. What a guy! Not only that, when he was done and finally settled down in one corner of the couch, Susi plopped between us, put her head in my lap, feet in his lap and told him "rub my THIS" (holds out clawed fingers...she like when he really rubs her tummy!). A few minutes later, "Okay, that's enough. You can rub my feet now." And he did. After a glance and chuckle towards me. And every time he slowed down, she reminded him "Keep rubbing!" And he'd continue. I just told him, "Remember, you are setting a standard. A very HIGH standard for what she will expect from a man in the future. This will help weed them out...." She then looked at me with a smile and said, "When I grow up, I think I'm going to be a princess!" That changed from last night when she hugged me and told me, "When I grow up, I want to be a Mama with two children! A boy and a girl." After listing off several nonsensical names, she settled on naming them.....Luke and Susanna.

And meanwhile, Luke continued to play with her doll house....

And Tony still has yet to rub MY tummy, feet, and back!