Monday, February 22, 2010

Generous Jillian

(scroll down for more!)

Mom, how much money do I have in my savings account?

Hmmm, I'm not exactly sure Jillian. But I think it's somewhere between 200 and 300 hundred dollars.

In my head, I'm wondering what she's got her heart set on now - Ivy, her American Girl Doll's best friend? A certain Nintendo ds game? The latest light up, blinged out Skechers that run $50? But I should have known better because in her heart, my middle child is a giver.

I want to give money to Haiti.

gasp! Such a kind and gentle spirit exists in my sweet Jillybean. She voted to add a meal that she doesn't like to the lunch menu simply because three of her friends wanted it. After all, I can just bring a cold lunch that day! Disagreeing over which movie to watch on movie night? Jillian will choose the movie her brother or sister want just to make them happy. Home from school on Presidents' Day, we watched Ellen give a viewer $20,000. Jillian announced that if Ellen gave her $20,000, she'd bring it to her 1st grade teacher to buy 'stuff we need for our classroom.' Prayers at bedtime follow a pattern in our family. We ask each child three questions: what are you thankful for, sorry for, and who do you want to pray for today. Each night Jillian struggles to find someone who really, really needs her prayers. This is Jesus in my little 6 year old girl - goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, joy - expressed in many ways every day. Big and small. And this was big.

We checked the balance of her bank account, which was close to $250. (An account that grows with each birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine's day or any other time she recieves gifts of money. They are never to young to learn to be wise with their money.)

I want to give one hundred dollars!


Yeah, really - 100 dollars to help the people of Haiti get the things they need.

Wow. More than one-third of her savings account to help those in need. In itself, that kindness is enough from my sweet, joyful 1st grader. But as we talked about Haiti, I knew her generosity could inspire others to give as well.

So will YOU join Jillian?

I challenge each of you to match her generous gift to Haiti - $100!

She is extremely excited at the idea that because of her gift and this challenge on my blog, Haiti will recieve so much more. We are donating Jillian's gift (and our matching gift) to the Haiti Earthquake disaster relief through Compassion International - a Christian child advocacy ministry.

Please prayerfully consider joining Jillian in her donation -- and then leave your comment to let us know your gift was made so that we can show how much her $100 grew!


How will the money be used? Compassion International breaks down the uses for donations to Haiti in this way:

$25 provides clean drinking to a family for a week

$50 helps feed a family with food such as rice, beans, canned meat, and oil for a week

$100 provides basic medical supplies for a church partner to treat up to 50 patients

$500 helps provide critical life items like temporary shelter, blankets and clothing for up to 10 families

$1500 helps to rebuild a home

You can also give through any other organization of your choosing, such as the American Red Cross. Unable to give $100? Give what you can - every dollar donated can make a difference!

NEED AN INCENTIVE? Donate BY FEBRUARY 28th and you can deduct it from your 2009 taxes!!!

Keep praying . . .

Friday, February 19, 2010

rambling thoughts. . .

I've been thinking a lot lately about my grandmother - my dad's mom. She passed away in 2006 and is greatly missed. You know how it's those little things or moments that remind you of someone? That's what usually happens for me. When I'm drying the dishes and using one of those embroidered flour-sack towels, I think of Grandma Marie. I had a set that she made and for a long time wouldn't use them. They were special and I didn't want to ruin them! But grandma would have wanted me to use them, so I did. And they are no longer white, and they are fraying and many have holes. A mention of that to my mom, and voila! I had an entire new set of these towels (thanks, mom). And even though I use these new towels made by my mom, they still remind me of Grandma Marie.

Knox blocks. Any idea what those are? C'mon - the jello squares made with flavored Jell-O and unflavored gelatin? Grandma made them for every family gathering - orange and yellow for Thanksgiving, red and green for Christmas. It isn't a holiday unless I make those and I always make sure to remind my kids how Grandma Marie always, always made knox blocks.

Hot cocoa. This might have only happened one time, but I vividly remember Grandma making me hot cocoa in a very tiny mug. For some reason, that mug made it taste oh-so-much better than usual. I wish I had that tiny mug and saucer.

Lace cookies. Or were they called butter cookies - whatever. They were the thinest, laciest cookies you could practically see through them. And they were so yummy! The calorie and fat count was likely so high they'd never be made by today's moms, but I'm glad Grandma didn't worry about those things. She often served us graham crackers spread with frosting for a snack. My kids get apple slices or something equally healthy and not nearly as much fun.

Rumikub. Grandma loved to play games and this was one of her favorites.

Jesus. I have a children's book that I read to my little ones about the fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, g00dness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The story encourages children to do the right thing and then explains "that's Jesus in me." Grandma Marie had Jesus in her -- and His light shone brightly to all through her. I know that she is in Heaven with her Savior and she is wrapped tightly in his arms and perfect in her spirit.

Grandma Marie was a stay-at-home mom before it was called SAHM. Back then, it was a housewife. Even more than that, she was a farmwife. I can only imagine what her days were like as a mother of young children. She raised 4 boys on a farm without the conveniences of today. When the monotony of my day gets to me, or the kids are making me crazy, or I haven't even made a dent in my to-do list and dinner hasn't even crossed my mind, I think of Grandma Marie for a little perspective. A long day with the kids? There was no option to call Grandpa on his cell phone and ask if he'd please pick up dinner on his way home. Oops, I mean supper!

(just found this draft in my postings and am posting it as is . . . unfinished as I was likely interrupted while writing. Thanks Grandma for all the memories!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

and the answer is . . .

Either the photo gave it away, or too many people read my facebook profile about painting before the piano arrived! The girls already began their lessons and are excited! The only problem is figuring out the best way to share - who plays first, etc. Elliott only seems interested in playing it when his sisters are practicing, creating a bit of a struggle. I am enjoying sitting next to them and helping them along -- my knowledge is limited, so that time will not last long!
And in other news, I sold Elliott's toddler bed right out from under him yesterday. I was posting several baby/toddler items on craigslist and decided it was a good time to let that go also. He's been waking up and coming into our bed every (yes EVERY) night. That little bed didn't give him any room to roll around, so we thought a bigger bed might help his sleeping habits. Too bad we didn't have the other bed already! Thank goodness Grandma gave us a couple of single inflatable beds - Elliott cuddled into his 'new bed' last night, tucked into aqua sheets covered in brightly colored flowers. "My new bed is soooo CUTE!" He will not even discuss what color or pattern of sheets and comforter he wants for his big bed -- THIS is his big bed and he wants the blue flower sheets!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guessing Game

Something new arrived at our house on Saturday . . . the kids are intrigued!
Can you guess what it is?
(no fair guessing if you already know the answer!)