Monday, February 28, 2011

EMM: Adopt a Pet

All of our pets except the dog were rescue animals. We didn't get them from a shelter, but we prevented them from having to go to a shelter. The mother of our first 2 cats was a stray our friend had found. The next three were found by a co-worker and had to be bottled-fed. Even the bird came from someone else who could no longer keep it. Now Wrangler is an AKC dog that we paid for but he was in our church's auction to raise money for charity. So although we paid for him the money went to a good cause.

Our city had just opened a brand-new animal shelter when we moved here and I wanted to do some volunteering. I was a Cat Care-Taker at the shelter for about a year. It was fun to go in and just get to play with kittens and cats. And it helped to socialize the animals so that they would be better pets once they got adopted. In addition, Paul and I have been fosters for both puppies and a mama cat and her kittens. Both of those experiences were so wonderful for us. I hope we have those opportunities again once the children are older. We have also contacted the shelter several times to see what kind of supplies they needed. One of our Advent Activities is to take donations to the shelter in honor of our pets.

So if adopting a pet really isn't something you want or should do, just support your local shelter so that others can adopt.

Monday, February 21, 2011

EMM: Identity Theft

1. Shred important documents.
2. Use the mail drop boxes inside the post office.
3. Empty your home mailbox promptly.
4. Don't carry you social security card.
5. Keep personal information in a safe place at home.
6. Don't give out personal information over the phone or internet unless it is secure.
7. Create random passwords.
8. Check your credit report annually.
9. Check your bank statements regularly.

Thankfully, we do most of these without much thought. I do need to be better about shredding our documents.

Monday, February 14, 2011

EMM: Show Your Smile

Some Facts About Smiling:
  • Happy people generally don't get sick as often (which would explain why Sophie's rarely sick)

  • People are born with the ability to smile

  • Children laugh about 400 times a day

The actions for today:

  1. Smile at EVERYONE you see

  2. Keep track of how many times you smile and laugh

  3. Do things to get yourself to smile

  4. Note if you feel differently after a day of smiling

I've always known that even if you are just faking it, smiling will make you fell better so...

Fake It 'til You Make It!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Continuing Ed.

"Adult education is something that will continue as long as kids have homework."

My kids aren't yet school-age, bringing home homework each night, but I've heard stories. And I don't look forward to those days. I worked as a tutor for a non-profit organization and also on my own. I see the benefit in getting a middleman to help with your own children. I remember trying to get help from my Dad and being more frustrated than anything else. I hope that Paul and I will be able to help some but that we will also know when to get a tutor if necessary.

God will yet fill your mouth with laughter...and your lips with joyful shouting. Job 8:21

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Secret of Contentment

"An infallible way to make your child miserable is to satisfy all his demands." Henry Home

Today's devotion took an excerpt from Little Women, focusing on counting your blessings whenever you feel unhappy. Fortunately, our lives are very blessed even if we don't always notice and remember those blessings. It is important for me to count my blessings as well as helping my children learn to see the blessings in their lives. Being thankful for those blessings goes along with this. We have a special bedtime prayer blessing our family, friends, animals and "children, everywhere", but I would like to incorporate a thanksgiving prayer during the day as well.

Wise discipline imparts wisdom; spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents. Proverbs 29:15

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lighter Side

Women should not have children after 35--35 children are enough.

Today's reading was a break to just let us have a bit of a laugh. It is good to not take ourselves too seriously. But we also need to remember that we all need some down time, some to ourselves without the immediate pressures of parenting.

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127:5

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just the Facts, Ma'am

"You know children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers." John J. Plomb

That quote made me laugh. The questions the kids at the preschool ask are sometimes those questions that have no answer. As parents (and adults) we have to be careful about the answers we give children. We don't want to give them information they aren't ready for, and we don't want to ignore their questions either. Every child deserves our attention and conversation, even if it somewhat one-sided or involves the same word over and over again. You know the dialogue...child asks "why", we answer, the child asks "why" again, we answer, and so on. Right now for me it goes like this:

Sophie: Momma!
Me: Yes, Sophie?
Sophie: Momma!
Me: What, Sophie?
Sophie: Momma!
Me: Sophie!
Sophie: Momma!
Me: Sophie!
Sophie: Momma!
Me: Sophie!

You get the picture. I think she just likes hearing the back and forth exchange!

"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways." 1 Corinthians 13:11

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Little Words, Big Impact

Never, never be too proud to say "I'm sorry" to your child when you've made a mistake.

Adding a second child to the mix definitely changes everything, especially when the child is already a preschooler. Some days are just harder than others. I do find myself at the end of my rope and do get frustrated with the kids. I try to give myself a time-out, then come back and apologize to them for losing patience.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another."James 5:16

Monday, February 7, 2011

EMM: Donate Your Organs

So it's been a while since I posted about the Every Monday Matters book. You can get more information at the EMM website. I assumed that my drivers license stated I was a donor, but it doesn't so I will have to remedy that. I did go to the link and registered as a donor which also provided me with a card to carry.

I am sure that there are people who don't choose to be donors and I hope they have reasons that they at least believe in for not donating, but I have known I wanted to do this for many years. My grandmother donated her body to science when she died. Unfortunately, she was not a candidate for organ donation due to her health, but she still gave even in her death. This is what I would like to do as well. Whatever organs and tissue can be used is donated and everything else can go to science and research. I guess I need to make sure Paul knows what I want, too.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Mother's Heart

"Simply having children does not make mothers." John A Shedd

Today's devotion was about a woman who became the mother to her nieces and nephew. She is also known as the "mother of the age of ecology" because of her book about pesticide dangers. Instead of a top ten list or recommended reading, it had an activity for the reader to do for the next week. It asks that you to say a prayer for 5 specific children who need it. I've made my list and said the prayer for today.

"Teach the young women to be love their children." Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Power of Hearing

"If we as parents are too busy to listen to our children, how then can they understand a God who hears?" V. Gilbert Beers

This was a difficult one for me because we struggling with our communication with Logan and Sophie, too. I know that my children need me to listen to them and more importantly that they need to know I will. It is difficult when your child doesn't speak English or doesn't speak clearly. We do this back and forth, with me asking questions trying to determine what they need or want. With Logan it is especially difficult because there are times when he's not even trying to say words just grunts or yells. So, I'm never sure if he is actually talking (either English or Chinese) or just making noise. Because we've taught them both some signing, listening also means looking, watching for the sign and trying to match it to what they are saying. I can't wait for the day when we can all listen and understand!

"Let the wise listen." Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Spirit of Strength

"Mothers are like fine collectibles-as the years go by they increase in value." Author Unknown

This devotion talked about the strength that we as mothers have and more importantly how that strength helps our children. It talked about a mother's determination and the sacrifices she is willing to make. As I read this, I thought about Logan's birth mother. I can only imagine the strength it took to leave her baby at that hospital with the hope that he would have a better life than she could provide. Because he was about 9 months old, I believe she tried to find a way to give him the life he deserved. The area he was found and most likely where she was is very rural. The financial costs to provide him the best medical care he needed was more than she could bear, I'm certain. She had to make that sacrifice, to leave him, in order to allow him to have all that she wanted for him. I hope and pray that she knows in her heart that I will be the mother she wanted for her son.

"Despise not thy mother when she is old." Proverbs 23:22

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Open House, Open Heart

"You built no great cathedrals that centuries applaud, but with grace exquisite your life cathedraled God." Thomas Fessenden

Today's devotional was about a boy who was orphaned then taken in b his aunt. Years later as the aunt was nearing death, the man expressed his gratitude for the welcome she gave him as a child. We've all heard that a house is not the same as a home. And we all have our own ideas about what makes a house, a home. I've always known that "home" was a feeling. I'm known for feeling homesick even in my own house. I'm not sick for my house but for that familiar home feeling. I hope my children grow to have that same feeling about the home that we make together.

"We are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be there God, and they will be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Safety First

"As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible." Ruth Bell Graham

Today's devotion was about a mother who helped pass car seat legislation in California. She was inspired to do this after being involved in a car wreck and realizing her daughter was saved because she was buckled in. There are so many things that we have no control over. Those things we just have to let go and trust God to handle them. But then there are those things we can control. And keeping our children safe is one. The second page of the devotion was a list of "What the Bible Says You Can Know and Do Concerning Your Children." My focus for this week is to pray for my children. We've been praying for Logan (without knowing exactly who he was) for years. And now we pray for not only our own children but all the children in China and their mommies.

"Those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:10