/> Raising Angels: February 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Filing Cabinets and Bulletin Boards

When Nelson and I were registering for our wedding...many moons ago...we were having tons of fun. As long as he got to use the gun, he would come along. We agreed on pretty much everything.

After one such registering session, the lady helping us gave us perhaps the best piece of wisdom on the differences between men and women I've ever heard. She was chatting away about all the couples who come in to register and how she wondered if many of them make it through the first year the way they argue through this little process.

"But you guys really enjoy each other. You work well together," she noted. "So I'm going to tell you something interesting. Men, you see, are like filing cabinets. They receive information, file it away and pull it out when they need it. Women, on the other hand, are like bulletin boards. We receive information and pin it up so we can see it all the time."

It was a simple interchange but one that has come back to me many, many times over the last eleven and a half years.

I try like mad to be a filing cabinet but I just can't seem to do it. If I could, life would be simpler and probably less stressful. But that, I think is part of the beauty of the differences between men and women.

For example, if I were a filing cabinet, goodness only knows what kind of costumes my kids would wear for plays, how they would manage to memorize those mammoth monthly scriptures, or even what we would be eating for dinner...tonight.

God really did know what he was doing when He created us. I celebrate our differences and thank God I have someone to help me at least walk away from the bulletin board from time to time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Diva is Born

This morning after class, I hung around to help out with Mackenzie's class play rehearsal. I'm not the director, just more of an assistant.

Today the director was following the script carefully to prompt them on their lines. My job was to watch them on stage and correct their blocking and whatever else needed to be done.

I spent my time saying the following things a lot. "Speak up." "Turn your body to the audience." "How about looking at the person you're talking to instead of the floor."

One little actress, who just so happened to be doing her lines in a British accent (the play is Julius Ceaser), was not only saying her lines, but also telling everyone else how to say theirs. She was also letting them no in no uncertain terms when they made a wrong move or forgot to do something.

Finally I caught her at the end of a scene and gently said, "You know you are not the director. You can't stop the play to tell people what mistakes they are making. Mrs. M will be sitting right in front to do that. And really, if you don't point out the mistakes the audience may not even realize that one is being made. You have to just keep going."

She looked a little stunned but said nothing and went merrily on her way.

When Mackenzie came home from school today, she was chatting up the rehearsal. Finally, with great concern, she let me know, "Mama, X told me at recess today that Y does not like having you at play practice."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Maximilian!

I've had a lot of time to reflect on your short little life. This, in a large part, has to do with the fact that for most of it you've been fairly still. A baby that stays in one place offers a little more time for reflection than most.

You are the sweetest little boy. Your manners are impeccable. You were saying, "Peas," and "Dank choo" earlier than most kids your age can speak. In fact, I often tell people what you lack in gross motor development, you more than make up in your verbal skills.

You are still at the age where you give out hugs and kisses fairly freely. And even though it's been hard for both of us for me to leave you in the mornings to go to school, I have to admit that I love the excuse for one extra hug and kiss during the day.

Your progress this year has been nothing short of miraculous and I thank God every day for simple things like watching you walk and climb up into chairs. Today, as I watched you climb the ladder and go down the slide all by yourself, I was nearly moved to tears. Four months ago you couldn't do that and I was beginning to wonder if you ever would.

In spite of all of the effort it has taken you to move like other kids, your personality has not been affected. You are one of the easiest, happiest, and friendliest kids I know. It's not unusual for you to say hi to everyone we pass. When you hear the squeak of the door in the evenings you shout, "Daddy!" and run (okay, move a little faster...but we're working on it) into his arms.

You have been proof of God's perfect provision to us in so many ways, from your slide to your therapy to your shoes. I know how much I love you, but God loves you even more.

Maximilian I am so very glad God gave you to us. You are the perfect addition to our family. I think about this every time I hold you. I love you and I hope you'll always know that.

Happy Birthday buddy! I can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Same Prayer, Different Language

Today is the first Sunday of Lent so our parish has moved to the Latin responses during the Eucharistic prayers. Mackenzie’s ears perked up when she heard "benidictus" and she asked, "Are we singing about the pope?"

"Not exactly," I whispered while showing her the sheet with the words, "this is the prayer in Latin."

Satisfied, her attention turned back to mass and, with the sheet of Latin verses in hand, she was prepared to participate. After singing the Agnus Dei, she turned to me and asked, "Was that the Our Father in Italian?"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just Watching

Lately I'm finding myself just watching. Watching Max as he sings in the back seat and plays with his animal crackers before he eats them. Watching Aiden read to his siblings. Watching Dawson put together puzzles with more patience and accuracy than most adults. Watching Mackenzie blossoming into quite the young lady.

I'm not sure if it's that I'm getting older, or that I have more time now that I don't have three babies who constantly need me, or that I'm just the tiniest bit wiser. Whatever the case, I'm glad, oh so glad, that I'm doing it.

Watching helps me appreciate the miracle of life I've been blessed to participate in. It helps me slow down and take a breath. It helps me learn. It helps me love.

If you haven't done it lately, I highly recommend it. It doesn't cost anything, it's easy to do and it will warm your heart so much it might...just...melt.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, One, Two Princes...

kneel before you. Princes, princes who adore you...I mean me=)

Sorry. I just...couldn't...resist!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A School Project

I often wonder what teachers (yes, even though I am one myself) are thinking when they assign young students massive projects - projects that require time, money and lots of patience. I wonder if they realize that in essence they are requiring a big chunk of all of the afore mentioned items from the parents as well.

The project pictured below was assigned to Mackenzie on Thursday, the day before a packed weekend of events to celebrate the birthday of the community that sponsors her school. Not great timing in my opinion. However, in my support of teachers in general, I never share these kinds of thoughts with my kids.

So, much to Mackenzie's chagrin, while her friends were all out playing Sunday afternoon, she was inside researching. I take these projects as wonderful opportunities to teach my children. I am also a big stickler for having them do the projects themselves. I willingly supervise but I will not do it for them.

This one required some time on the computer researching the four layers of the rainforest. She had to know about the vegetation, animals and people who lived there. She found some wonderful pictures and in the process learned how to search on the computer, click on links, go back to a previous page, open several windows at once and how to find the one she needed.

From there she conceived the idea of what she wanted to do and drew out a picture to guide her. At this point she enlisted the help of my cousin, who just so happens to be an artist with some free time on her hands. At this point she figured my cousin could do the rest so she could go play.

I promptly informed her that this would not be the way it worked and that Teri, like me was there to help her, not to do it for her. So, Mackenzie went on to draw and color each of the animals by hand. She gathered the rocks for the waterfall and the sticks for the trees. With help, she hot glued everything in place.

In the end, she came out with a beautiful diorama of a rainforest. More importantly, she came away with a knowledge of how to make the computer work for her, how to do simple research and to plan ahead. And, as you can see by her sweet, beaming face, she also walked away with a sense of accomplishment and personal pride in a job well done.

Ahem...I guess it wasn't such a bad idea after all. I guess those teachers kind of know what they're doing don't they;).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


it is a comin'. There is so much to think...pray about. I haven't arrived at a resolution yet. I have some ideas. I'm just waiting for the Lord to speak. Let's hope He does it soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just Wondering

We had the day off today and I decided to take the kids to the movie. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about taking all 4 kids. The last time I tried this, it did not go so great. You know, one against four is not good odds.

But that was last summer, and everyone is a little older, and...time heals memories. I decided to try it again. I did however call for some backup and my mom and my cousin joined us.

We arrived early and found some good seats and sat through the commercials and previews with barely a sound from anyone. Max even opted to sit in his very own seat, which I had to keep my hand on to prevent him from being swallowed up by it.

The movie started and other than asking for the snacks to be passed, I didn't hear a peep from any of them. Max sat for a whole hour in his seat before moving on to my lap and then my mom's. It was a perfect movie experience.

On the way home as I was thinking about how wonderful it was to be entering into this new stage, I briefly wondered if having a 23 month old who can sit through an entire movie in the theater is something to be proud of or embarrassed by. I mean, is this bad to have a toddler so easily entranced by the big screen or is this normal?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All Hearts

There were sugar cookie hearts...

and pancake hearts, and chocolate hearts and lollipop hearts...

all for the loves of my life!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just Some Proof

Like I said before...coats on and tongues out.
This was the moment of real excitement. There were big, big flakes and they were actually sticking!
Max loved every minute of it. Until about 2 hours in when he said, "No like cold Mama."
I've loved our laundry/mud room since the day we planned for it. Today I fell in love all over again.
As the day wore on everything got a little prettier.
And prettier.
Even the snowmen watched in awe (with a little extra sparkle themselves).
We TOTALLY love the snow!


I was told by my students in class today that it WAS going to snow. Sure, I told them. No really, they insisted. There was a 100% chance. By this afternoon we will have snow, they assured me with certainty.

And now as I sit here by the window, I find that they were indeed right. It has just started to really come down. I mean I can see it falling from the sky. It's truly amazing!

Like all good Southerners, all the kids in the neighborhood are outside with their coats on and their tongues out. I can hear the screams of excitement. They are chanting, "It's SNOWING!"

It's beautiful. Snow is a wonderful thing down here in the south. We NEVER get it and so it is novelty in its purest form. Everything and everyone stops. We go outside and dance. We huddle inside by the fire with cocoa. We sit by the window and stare.

Excuse me now while I go outside and take some pictures of them playing. In fact, I think I’ve got some playing to do as well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'll Take That as a Yes

"Aiden, would you like a meatball sub for your lunch tomorrow?"

Aiden's face lit up and his jaw dropped open and then he sang, "Joy to the world!"

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes it's your week that's not so good. Every once in awhile you have a less than stellar month. And then there are "seasons".

We call them seasons not so much because they have distinct beginnings and endings, but rather, they don't. We wishfully call them seasons, hoping, praying that they won't last forever. We call them seasons so we can move forward with great hope that things will change...get better.

Of course there are good seasons too. Seasons we want to last forever. Seasons like falling in love, snuggling with babies, and personal triumphs.

To everything there is a season right? It seems some are just better than others.

Monday, February 08, 2010

At Least He's Listening to Something

Tonight at the dinner table we were talking about how to behave at the Atrium, where the kids go to Catechesis. Mackenzie was reporting some bad behavior from Aiden.

After some discussion, I said to Aiden, "It is important that you be on your best behavior in there. In fact it's important that you pay attention and do what you're supposed to in there more than anywhere else."

To which Aiden replied without missing a beat, "I thought church was the most important place."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Not So Fast!

"Max, who has the next birthday?" I asked him today.


"And, how old are you going to be?"

"Four, figh, six," he said.

"No, you're going to be two years old," I informed him, holding up two fingers.

"No, I four, figh, six," he laughed.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

His Grace is Enough

I was making my way through the maze of the Medical College of Georgia's Children's Medical Center with Maximilian today when the big deal of his situation hit me again. I think it has something to do with seeing a pediatric neurologist who knows us by name. There's just something about walking into that office with its big name tag on the door that makes me feel, well, heavy.

Granted, there is really no labeled disability on Max's chart. They use terms like "developmental delays", "low tone", and "muscle weakness". Neither his doctors, nor his therapist can explain why he is the way he is. It seems he's a bit of an anomaly.

The funny thing is that I don't really think about it that much. Max is who he is. I love him and his struggles aren’t huge challenges, they are Max.

On the drive home I felt amazed that in the midst of this huge issue, I've looked past the inconveniences, challenges and trials. I've looked past them not because they're unimportant but because I can't change them. This is life with Max right now and yes, it's difficult, but it's Max and I love him so I don't count the cost. I can't explain it other than grace...God's grace.

There are certainly harder things to go through, more difficult challenges to confront but I believe that no matter what comes my way; God’s grace will be there for me.

Please be sure to remind me of this when I’m walking through them!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Read This

I was just checking in over here and found this. I think it's worthy of reading. What do you think?

Monday, February 01, 2010

What Do You Do When...

Your toddler pulls this out of the cabinet and says, "I ant dis for unch."?
You fix him these of course!