We had a really great day. It was one of those where I stayed busy all day long, but at the end of the day it's hard to say what exactly I accomplished. I know that we had a very good day being together today, though. And that makes a bigger impact on me than any number of chores that got finished. I'm all about relationships!
We got up at 8:00 and by 9am, 2 of my 3 kids had lost a day's worth of their prized privelege. Samuel slammed a door & screamed at Savannah, so he lost TV for the day and then Savannah was mean to Samuel & argued with me, so she lost computer for the day. (And might I say that I thought I was going to have to put her in a straight jacket...she was HORRIFIED that she lost her beloved computer time.)
Within an hour after being punished, though, life was grand & stayed that way all day. Hallelujah! While I got dressed & cleaned up my bedroom, the kids were awfully quiet. I went to see why & found them like this. I was shocked. They never play together so nicely. Savannah was writing a list of Christmas songs they could sing together to create a Christmas CD. Sarah was playing on her toy computer & Samuel was playing with the Littlest Pet Shoppe animals & his car hauler truck. Each one was doing their own thing, but they were in the same room & they were swapping ideas & playing together all at the same time.
After I got done getting ready, we went to the store to pick up some milk & bread. When we got home, I had to cook our lunch, so I sent everyone outside to play for a little bit. Samuel was in the backyard singing songs to our dog with his guitar (awwww!) and the girls rode their bikes (which NEVER happens because Savannah doesn't like being outside --- she's like me, she prefers her air conditioning). It was sweet to see them all getting along & enjoying their time outside.
They came in & ate lunch, then we had our 45 minutes of reading time. Remember our at-home summer reading program that I instituted early this summer? The girls are both getting very close to their goals for the number of books they planned to read over the summer. Samuel is way off from meeting his goal, but he's really tried & has read a lot of books. Unfortunately, between his 2 day camps, 1 week of regular camp & our week of staycation, he really missed the boat in July, so he's way behind. Hopefully we can get him caught up before it's all over. This is a picture of the poster from today. (Remember, each sticker = 1 book) Samuel ALMOST finished one chapter book today. I'm sure he'll finish it up tomorrow, but today he didn't earn a sticker.
The sweetest part of my day came in the form of Sarah's compassionate heart. You see, last night I watched a show on TLC titled "A New Face for Marlie". If you get a chance to watch it, I'd highly recommend it, but be prepared for a tear-jerker. I know they've re-run the show a few times in the past couple of weeks. It is a documentary of a little girl named Marlie from Haiti. She was born completely normal, but at age 3 or 4, her face began to change. They didn't know for a long time what was wrong, but eventually learned that she had a bone disease of some sort in her facial bones. Her facial bones grew oddly & created a grossly deformed face for the girl. By age 14 (where this show picks up), the mass of oddly-shaped growths in the bones on her face weighs 16 lbs. She couldn't hold her head up on her own for more than a couple minutes, so she had to either lean her head back in a wheelchair mounted frame sort of thing or hold it up with her hands. She was too embarassed about her appearance to go to school and was shunned by other children & adults because, honestly, she looked like a monster. The doctors in Haiti had basically left her to die because they didn't know what to do with her. She was slowly being suffocated & blinded by this mass on her face. (Warning: This is the picture they showed in the show & it is quite graphic, so if children are with you as you read this or if you don't want to see it, scroll down past this picture.)
During the show, a set of twin women missionaries found out about Marlie & arranged for her to come to the United States to be operated on by a doctor in Miami. They shared how deeply their faith & that of Marlie's family effected their lives and TLC did not edit that out at all. It was really inspiring. The story showed each step of the process (even the surgeries!) and the "after" picture looked like this.
Still not perfect, but what a giant transformation from before!!
I was telling the kids about it & they wanted to see pictures. I explained that it was scary looking & if they were not sure about seeing it, it was OK. All three were so touched by the story that they really wanted to see. I looked them up online & showed them (these pictures above). They were profoundly impacted by what they saw...but apparently it really effected Sarah.
During our daily quiet time, she came to me, crying. She wanted me to pray for Marlie with her. She wanted God to continue to heal her & make her feel better about her face. We prayed together & she seemed OK. She took a piece of paper with her to draw me a picture. A while later she came back & apologized for not drawing me a picture, then said "I did this instead."
I told her that THIS was *even better* than a picture & that I was proud of her for being so compassionate. We talked about what it means to have compassion for someone and what a sweet blessing it is for God to give us compassion. She continued to feel concerned for Marlie off & on throughout the day, and stopped several times to pray for her. What a sweet baby girl I have!!
After quiet time, the kids had some free time to do "whatever" while I cooked supper. This is how I found them.
Savannah will always choose a book over TV.
Samuel played a game on the computer.
Since Sarah didn't have anyone to "socialize" with, she watched a TV show. Such a dainty, ladylike thing, huh....
I cooked this for supper tonight & it was suprisingly very good! Everyone loved it! We had a salad with it.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. Aside from having to punish 2 kids for having bad attitudes, the day was a really sweet one. Hopefully we can repeat it again & again!
Just some random pictures from today---
I love my family!