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November 2012 entries

Six Years Ago Today...

I became the mother of a beautiful baby named Gabrielle Rebekah, named after the angel Gabriel and my grandmother Reba Hershey. Our "Baby Elle" was and still is one of the most joyful children ever. She absolutely loves life and delights in all its pleasures. I truly can't imagine my life without her in it!

Happy Birthday, Ellie Belle.

Six Years Ago Today...

Six Years Ago Today...


The Limitations of Mind Eraser

This morning Gabrielle told me about a bad dream she had: "We were going camping and little Liam fell down and cracked his head open. It was bleeding and I was really afraid so I woke up."

Giving her a hug, I asked, "What about your mind eraser? Couldn't you just erase it?"

"Mom, unfortunately, I can't do that when I am sleeping."


Go to Hell?

Once again, the minivan (Volkswagen, remember? We are trendy, darn it!) has inspired deep philosophical conversation between me and my children. Today, the topic was Hell. Why not?

Aidan wanted to know how Lucifer went from being an angel to being the Devil. Then Gabrielle wanted to know what the Devil looked like. Then Liam said, "Christmas tree!"

I am not sure he was taking the conversation seriously, though, so we moved on.

Next, Ellie wanted to know where the Devil lived. Aidan told her that he roamed the Earth trying to capture people. Then Aidan asked what Hell was.

Hmm. Is Hell an actual fiery pit of eternal torture, or was Jesus referencing the garbage pit located outside of town where they burned trash as a metaphor for eternal separation from God and from the Communion of Saints? And did that driver not learn what a turn signal was in Driver's Ed?

I settled for a combination of eternal separation from God and fiery pit. And for good measure, I added that only really bad people go there.

Gabrielle thought about this for a moment and then said, "Then I think ------ (a boy from school) is going there."

"Why do you say that?"

"Well, he never uses his listening ears and he talks when the teacher is talking."

Forget detention and trips to the office! Ha! Let's hope Gabrielle doesn't become a principal someday!

"No, Ellie. Your friend makes bad choices, but he's a kid. He isn't evil. Evil people intentionally disobey God and do bad things on purpose just to hurt people."

Liam, again clearly not interested in being productive: "Truck!"

As we pulled into the parking space at Sam's, Aidan offered this observation: "Mom, do you think the bad man who told those people from the Middle East to bomb the Twin Towers is in hell now?"

"Why, yes, Aidan, I do."

Aidan: "See, Ellie. Killing people is a LOT worse than talking when the teacher is talking."

And that's Hell in a nutshell, folks. Any questions?


Mind Eraser

Ellie: "Ah!" (Shakes head.)

Me: "What are you doing?"

E: "Well, when I get a bad thought in my mind, I just erase it and make sure there are only good thoughts in my head. Like you know, pink ponies with purple hair."

Me: "What was the bad thought?"

E: "It was like a zombie. Oh, hold on. It's back. Erase! Erase! Ok, we're good. Back to the pony."


Tyson Update

Remember that Puggle we adopted after Duke died in a moment of weakness? He is still a schizoid, and recently broke his leg because he keeps jumping off the back of the couch at his new house in Orlando. Evidently, he has not slowed down much, and judging by these pictures, he is still really happy in Florida at the Puggle Whisperer's house.

Tyson Update

Tyson Update


Giving Thanks!

Today, we hosted a family meal for Thanksgiving. While Michael prepped the bird, the kids and I made cards for each person to write what (s)he are grateful for.

While it was really nice to have everyone at our house today, miles and physical realms kept us apart from some of our loved ones. I set an empty plate as a symbol of those who could not be with us physically today.

And this year, we added Baby Leann to our table for her first Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for, so many blessings!


Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks!


Attitude of Gratitude

This week, I assigned gratitude letters to my students. I first considered thank you notes, but as my students will tell you, I am on a crusade for them to support all their claims with evidence and specific details. Three inches of space on a card just would not do.

Their letters were supposed to be one page, and most exceeded the length requirement. I encouraged them to write to someone who has helped to shape who they are today, or someone whose efforts and support have gone unrecognized until now. Some students even wrote to deceased loved ones, expressing what they wish they had said before it was too late.

The letters were read only by me, and I encouraged them to hand-deliver the letters over Thanksgiving break if possible. And believe me, I truly hope that each student does deliver their words of gratitude. Their letters were beautifully constructed and thoughtfully crafted. I found myself tearing up a little as I proofread them, and I know they will mean the world to their intended recipients.

If anything, the assignment was my attempt to help my students realize how truly fortunate they are -- not because of material possessions or wealth, but because of the richness of the relationships in their lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!