Friday, January 28, 2011



I have asked this question so many times in the past 24 hours.

Why, Lord?

A text from a friend, 22 weeks pregnant, last night: Please pray, I’m on my way to the hospital.

A couple of hours later: I’m going to lose my daughter.

Sleep doesn’t come. I toss and turn and cry and all I can think of is her pain, her labor, her sorrow.

Why, Lord?

I search the Scriptures, encouraged by passages in Psalms and Isaiah. He will wipe away our tears, He knows our sorrow, He keeps our tears in His bottle, He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; He is near to those with broken hearts. I pass on a few of His life-giving words and try to sleep again.

I wake in the night, checking my phone for messages. In the wee hours there is one: “She is gone.” Three short words. One tiny life. Countless lives changed in that instant.

And the tears come fresh. And I beg God, “Why? Why her? Why now? Lord, how can this be right?” He reminds me then that ‘there is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.’ (Proverbs 16:25)

I search His Word again, looking for answers, for comfort, for strength. He brings me promise after promise: He is good; He is here; He loves me; He loves my friend (even so much more than I do); He is holding her precious daughter in His arms today; we will see her again on the day we meet Him; He does have a plan - a perfect plan. A plan to grow us, not to hurt us. He knows exactly what He's doing. Everything works together for good to those that love Him.

Though the ‘why’ feelings threaten to take over, the Word reminds me that the truth is that God is all of these things. Even on the days when I don’t feel like He is.

And, later in the morning, He reminds me of another person who has also experienced a great loss. And this man’s ministry is multiplied tenfold because of His constant, faithful, even joyful testimony to God‘s faithfulness through his grief and sorrow. There is a reason. I believe with my whole heart that God has a beautiful story to tell through my friend’s life.

But today is sorrow and grieving and confusion and exhaustion and pain.

Please, please pray that God will wrap His arms around my friend and her family in an undeniable way. Please pray that God will work through this - that others would even be brought to Him through this difficult time in her life.

I can’t wait to see the answers to today’s painful questions in the amazing story that God is writing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tot School - Letters K and L

Well, I'm back!!! We have been doing Tot School these last couple of weeks, though I have NOT found the time to blog about it! Life has been crazy, but for great reasons! :) First of all, Christmas - my parents and sister visited - we had a great day together (before all three of them came down with the stomach flu that had just finished going through our family).

Here are Grandpa and Auntie Beth playing with Zachary's new giraffe puzzle:

This puzzle is double-sided with letters on one side and numbers 1-26 on the other!

So, two weeks ago, we studied the letter K. Here is our morning circle time board: Funny story about the K is for Kick your Legs - the first day I said that, I was finding some supplies & he started the kicking without me - I turned around and looked at him, and he was actually using his feet to kick himself in the legs. "Mommy, why does it say kick your legs?" he asked. It was SO funny. :)

Here is an updated picture of his sight word wall:

And here we are making our K collage by kissing our K! :) We were wearing lipstick. :)

Lipstick Face!
Our finished K:

We have all of our letters from this school year hanging on one side of the schoolroom: I love it! :)

Here are the kids playing with the AquaDoodle mat. Right before I took this picture, Natalie was drawing on the corner of the mat with the pen! :) Zachary said he was making 'a big wet man'. :)

Natalie sucking the water out of the pen. :)

Zachary traced the letter K without any help from me! :)

Then, last week, we focused on the letter L. Here is our morning board: the Kindness song is from the Music Machine Fruit of the Spirit CD.

Here we are making our L - first the glue:

PLENTY of glue:
then we stuck on our leaves. Since our yard is buried under six or ten feet of snow, this was one time that I was glad to have a random milk crate full of fall leaves still out on our porch! :) Yay for not cleaning the porch! :)

The finished product:

We used our clothespin cards:

And this is quickly becoming a favorite activity - the PickUpSticks and some containers - one is from bubbles, one from Parmesan cheese.

Natalie reaching for another stick:

working to get it in the container...
Success! Yay! (love that squishy little baby footie....) :)
Zachary used his square shape viewer to find squares this week: he found a puzzle base

and some blocks (I love how Natalie is reading while we're doing Z's activity)

more reading... :)
Zachary found some more square blocks

We played with our letter L playdough mat this week, and Natalie got a turn to experience the playdough too.

She liked it! :)

She dropped some so she bent over & picked it up - she's getting much more sure of herself & SO close to walking! :) I caught her standing up on her own from a sitting position in the middle of a room a few times this week, and she walks along the walls with just one hand on the wall for balance!

Zachary using a butter knife to cut the playdough.

Using a wooden block to stamp the letters into the playdough - this was a good sensory activity that also gave us an opportunity to discuss the letters!

We painted with cotton balls and white paint on blue paper to make clouds: (our unit this month is weather and I tried to focus on clouds this week - we read It Looked Like Spilt Milk, from the library, and then painted some clouds).

Our finished clouds - mine on the bottom, Z's on the top:

We attempted to make a cloud in a bottle two different days, by using hot water in the bottle, and ice on a rag on the top, but we never got it to work. Anybody have any tips? We got condensation on the bottle inside but no cloud!

Just for fun:

Here's Natalie getting into her favorite crackers in the pantry! :)

And Natalie all dressed up for church, and NOT too happy that Mama is choosing to take a picture instead of immediately delivering her morning banana and toast! :)

And Zachary, excited about waiting for the cloud in the bottle:

To see what everyone else is doing for Tot School this week, head on over to 1+1+1=1!