Monday, September 24, 2012

Wow. Watch this please.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Work in Progress

I'm really vowing to start the school year off on the right foot. And getting back to blogging is one of the things I think will help. Sometimes it can just be all too much. Like worrying about Lily's writing (way behind, and she hates it) and the fact that Imogene has started crossing her eyes and I think sometimes it's on purpose and sometimes it is not. Hmph. Call to the doctor. Or that the sweet little thing is covered all over her legs with bug bites. She gets them so easily because she doesn't move as fast as the rest of us and she can't really coordinate swatting them away. 20+ bites all over her body.
And then I read blogs of my friends who make me weak with guilt for worrying at all about my kids - a favorite friend is dealing with cancer in one son and CP in the other. Really, Really? What do I have to complain about?
But complain I do. Because I cannot believe we have 3 therapies to go to this fall (we are back in speech therapy). Because our washing machine smells like fish. Yep. Fish. Because Bill has traveled every week since Mid-May and has 4 more weeks on the schedule to go. straight. It just seems so much sometimes.
I am feeling so stressed about Lily starting first grade and it is all so much and what if she falls behind.
And then I read this from my new favorite blog Momastery. You have to follow it if you don't already. She's also on Facebook. She's freaking amazing.  This is her letter to her kids that they get on the first day of school every year.
And I remember.

"Dear Chase,
Hey, baby.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow.

Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me.

I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together.

When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.


Friday, July 20, 2012

No, I have not blogged in 7 months. But this video has to go somewhere that I know I can always, always get to it. What a long, long way we've come. And have you ever in your life seen someone this happy?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Catch-Up

 we so rarely see her asleep - that this was picture worthy! She fell asleep during books at bedtime! 

 Every Westminster child is highlighted as "artist of the month"- Imogene's turn in December!
 We had a wonderful time surprising the girls with a trip to see Sesame Street Live. Lily said that even though it was really a surprise for Imogene (since she's too big for SS) - she had a great time. We all did! 

 Lily had  a Monday off in December, so we went with friends to see ICE at the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor. It was fascinating. But freezing inside (2 degrees to be exact) and Imogene was really freaked out by the ice statues. They both Loved the Ice Slides though! 

 Perhaps the high-light of the school year to this point, Lily's Hip Hop performance. She had a blast and really, really knew her stuff. We LOVED every minute of it. 

 Imogene's Christmas Party at school.
 Her favorite thing - the "happy hearts" prayer! 

 Showing off the cookie she made and decorated! 

 I cannot count the number of hugs and "Merwy Chriwsmas" she gave out that day! Such a loving girl.

 OF COURSE P loved the hugs!!!

 One for the Burke too! 

 Christmas isn't complete without a trip to see Santa. Lily decided tonight that the Santa we see is in fact the one and only. He's that good. Such a dear, sweet man. He makes everyone believe. 

 He rubs his nose and makes it snow inside!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December Fun

 We took our letters to Santa to Macy's - and they donated a $1 for each to the Make a Wish foundation. We had lots of fun!

 That says, "I want a Castle Tent."

 The tree-trimming was a family affair, and Lily was a huge help. I'm so glad she had as much fun as I do decorating the tree!

 A sheep for the Christmas Pageant. She did a great job, and had so much fun. I think she'll be up for doing choir with the church in January. She learned that she CAN do it, and it's fun! She told me afterwards, "Mom, people really thought we did a great job. And I really was inspired by myself!" I think she really liked being part of that group performance. 
Maybe she has the Brown-girls theatre gene?

 She had fun - despite the hands on the face pose here.

 She liked wagging her tail. 

 Imogene was very proud of her sister! 

 Lucy was not so pleased with her part in the performance. Next year they can be angels I think.

 We are decorated for the best time of the year!!!