"Children are a gift..."

We just returned from dinner at a young widower's home. He has two young adult boys, but he just couldn't get over Cole. He even apologized for not being able to take his eyes off of him. I think he had the best time just being around Cole.

When he wasn't watching Cole, he was talking about his wife. It was clear how much he missed her. Then when I put the two topics of the night together, I realize to what degree this proves what the psalmist was talking about in chapter 127: "Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord." This man needs some bright spots in his days. I'm sure his children and his Christian family bring him joy, but what joy he had in being able to spend time with a child tonight!

All this brings me to a conclusion. As often as I thank God for the gift of Cole, I have no idea what a true gift and blessing he is. As often as I try to think of things to do for people who are lonely or hurting, for the last 18 months I have been sitting on a gold mine. This sweet boy who brings such joy to me has the ability to bring joy to people when I have no idea what to do to brighten their lives. Why am I not putting this gift to use?

So I'm going to challenge myself and I'd love if you mommies and daddies who are reading would join me: I'm going to use this wonderful gift that God has blessed me with less selfishly. There are so many people who would love to spend some time with a child, and so often I am keeping him to myself! So each week I'm going to try to identify someone who may be lonely or sad or just missing having little ones around and let Cole bring some joy to his/her life. What a nice way to use this precious gift God has given me.

Maybe you're already doing this, but if you're not, will you? Maybe you can't do it once a week. Maybe you can only try for once every couple of weeks or once a month, but in some way, share the gift of your children with others. They're too precious not to.


We Love the Millers

Please help us pray for Matt Miller and his family. Matt is having lots of trouble with his kidneys, and his parents are struggling with the fact that their "baby" (not so little) is sick. Please lift them up in prayer. They are such a wonderful family and have been such good friends since we moved to Bowling Green.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, and it's never had anything to do with boys. I rarely had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, which never really bothered me. Even now, Gilbert and I don't get each other gifts for the big day. We started this tradition of no gifts when we were only dating. I think it may be true that we've never given each other gifts for Valentine's.

I'm not sure why I like this holiday. Maybe it's because I have an excuse to buy candy. Having Cole, though, makes it even more fun for me. Now I have an excuse to make and give valentines without looking like a lunatic. (Why would a grown woman want to make and give valentines?) Anyway, we've been celebrating for the last two weeks. I thought I'd give you a peak at how we've been celebrating.

We used fingerpaints to make valentines for the elderly at church, as well as valentines for our grandparents. Cole also decorated sugar cookies and made a valentine to go into a care package for Auntie Em. (The boys also made a valentine for their sweet friend, Miss Mandy, who's celebrating the day by having surgery. Yuck! We sure love you, Mandy!)

Cole has gotten a good variety of Valentine's Day gifts himself, including stickers from Auntie Em, markers from Gran and Grandpa, and "Many Kisses Elmo" from Nana and Grandpoppa. More than a month ago he got my favorite gift from Nana and Em. I'll let you guess which one of the photos shows off this one.

I thought I'd better get a picture of the t-shirt as proof that at one time I actually was the only Valentine he needed.

Hope you have a fun day!

And, In Honor of this Holiday

I thought I'd include a telling picture of my sweet husband and Cole's sweet daddy. I think this tells the story of going above and beyond the call of duty.


Back to the Great White North

Well, we did make it to Bowling Green on Thursday night. We made it in at about 9 o'clock, central time and didn't see a single flake on the way. Friday morning Gilbert reported 8 inches or so in Lafayette, so I guess leaving early was a good move.

Although only one of my three major weekend engagements worked out as planned (my play date had something come up and Melissa's boys were still being quarantined), it ended up being a great time. The Gibbs' daughter went to the play with me (My "kids" were fabulous, by the way; I was SO proud) and I was able to make some visits that I didn't think I would have time to make. We saw several people at the church office on Friday (we went for a visit with Auntie Sandra); then we had the chance to see the Fowlkes, the Millers, the Loftons, and half of the Hartfords on Saturday. I also had a visit with my friend Laura at Barnes and Noble and a quick chat with Margo J. in the Staples parking lot. Then, of course, church today allowed us to see just about everyone else, although it never affords the chance to visit for nearly long enough.

After lunch we trekked back into "The Great White North," and I mean this quite literally. Cole was gracious enough to grant us permission to travel all the way through with no stopping! He slept until Indiana and was satisfied after that with a couple of interesting toys, one package of fruit snacks, a canister of pineapple puffs, a roll of smarties, two crackers, a game of watching Mom turn the interior "ites" on and off several times, and some foot tickling from the front seat. We were greeted in Lafayette by about 6 inches of snow and really cold wind. Then we made it inside just before the rain started--much different from the gorgeous weekend weather in Bowling Green. I did learn this weekend, however, that I shouldn't complain. Many of you would trade weather with me for just one good snow day.