Tom sent this note out recently and thought it would be fitting to share a sweet Emily story with you today:
FROM TOM: "Emily and I had a talk about the Rice Bowls last weekend. I told her every time we put money into the Rice Bowl, we are helping babies who do not have mommies and daddies. Last night, as Jenni gave her some change, Emily said "Up, up, up" which means she was going to go upstairs to our room and put change in the piggy bank (which we have pretty much always done). However, once I said, "Let's put it in the Rice Bowl for the babies", she got very excited, ran over to the bowl on a living room table, got it down, took great care putting the change in, and then placed it right back where it went. Then, she clapped and ran to Jenni in the kitchen saying, "Babies! Mommies ..... daddies......babies!" I don't know how much she gets but I'm convinced she knows she is helping babies with every coin or dollar dropped.
I pray as we come into our last week of collection before gathering day on the 1st of Feb. that we all adopted this heart of excitement of helping the babies without mommies and daddies. Emily was in that boat for 8 months so she is the face of the heart we desire to have on this campaign! One more week for Rice Bowls - Jump In!"
(FROM JENNI: You can click on either of today's pictures to follow the link to this great organization. They not only believe in feeding children and meeting their basic needs, but they also serve in countries that allow them to spread the Gospel message to these children and ultimately to their families. Our church is very excited about participating in this outreach this month!)
Yeah, yeah... I forgot to post this Christmas picture for you guys when I was actually sending out Christmas cards! Happy New Year Everyone!
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Another fun email I had to share... To those of us who have children in our lives, whether they are our own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students... here is something to make you chuckle.
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.
After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.
And the first thing he said was, "DON'T!"
"Don't what?", Adam replied.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit.", God said.
"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit!"
"Do NOT eat the fruit!", said God.
"Because I am your Father and I said so!", God replied - wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.
A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked!
"Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?", God asked.
"Uh huh" Adam replied.
"Then why did you?" said the Father.
"I don't know." said Eve.
"She started it!" Adam said.
Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.
Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.
BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY!
If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.
2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you SHOULDN'T have said.
5. The main purpose of holding childrens' parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.
ADVICE FOR THE DAY: Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.
IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A HEADACHE, DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN BOTTLE:
"TAKE TWO ASPIRIN" AND "KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN"!!!!!
So it's now January 4th and I have been off work for 2 weeks for Christmas Break (now-a-days called "Winter Break" by nearly every public school because they have to be politically correct). I have had a blast spending every day with Emily. We've spent our days fingerpainting, reading lots of books, playing with sticker books from Aunt Shell and playing with out newly acquired Play-doh set (or "doh-doh" according to Em).
Here are a few Em Updates for you:
I'm still very happy with the fact that we decided early on to start teaching Emily sign language. We've learned right along with her and it's been so helpful. Emily has always understood everything we've been talking about even though her favorite phrase right now seems to be, "Huh?!?" Her verbal skills still aren't quite where others her age are but they ARE increasing every day. We started learning basic signs by watching a Baby Einstein DVD. That seems to be what peaked her interest and she started imitating the signs she was learning there. That DVD had a decent number of signs on it, but many of them were not signs that a toddler would use in every day life to express their needs. I stumbled across a set of 3 Signing Time DVDs and they are now Emily's favorite videos... even topping Elmo! The Signing Time DVDs have a little boy named Alex and a little girl name Leah. Emily knows the signs for each of their names and frequently imitates things they do. Some day, I'll post a list of the signs that Emily knows.
...I was going to post a lot more updates in this entry... but it's already way past due... I do another entry another day for you.