Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year! It is the year of the Dragon and we had a great celebration. This year was a little bit of a different group and it was fun to share the tradition with new people too. I made a dragon cake that I am quite proud of and the kids were thrilled with.

Just before CNY we finally had a mini snow day. There was no school, since no one knows how to drive anything more than rain around here, so the kids built a snowman in a hurry before it melted! Then we peeled the drenched clothes off their freezing bodies and started the drying process. By afternoon it was all gone and life had returned to normal.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heaven has a new angel tonight

I have followed the blogs of a couple of little boys for more than two years now. Both of them were born with a horrible, awful disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, EB for short. Jonah is a little cutie who, despite this disease, is thriving and growing. Tripp has not been so lucky. Tripp has suffered every possible side affect ending up with a feeding tube, trach, constant pain, blindness and the inability to even move over the last couple of months. Today he finally earned his wings. He was a special blessing whose mother has proven to be an amazing young woman. The life Tripp lived was by no means a life of high quality. Yet he touched thousands and thousands of others in his short time here - more than most of us will be able to say! He has brought about an awareness of EB that never before existed. The two years of agony he lived had a purpose and now that purpose will live on in his memory. Please say a prayer for his mother and others who loved him! His blog is in my side bar if you want to check it out.

Why do I follow these blogs? Why to I subject myself to the sadness and suffering when I don't have to? I have asked myself this many times. I don't do it to make myself sad, nor is it to make myself feel better about my life. I find it very hard to put in to words the reasons I follow these stories.

The word compassion means: (1) a deep awareness and sympathy of the sufferings of another. (2) the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

In addition to having the sorrow that is felt for the

suffering of others, it is a willingness and an urge

to assist them. The word compassion actually means

to do something about feeling sorry, to be affected

by their situation. It is to enter into another's sorrow

and pain. When we feel true compassion, we will be

moved inwardly. It means to be tenderhearted; to

be sensitive and affectionate, to be moved with

tender feelings over the pain and sufferings of others.

I have cried with and for these families. I have held my own children tighter. I have celebrated the triumphs as well - not every situation has a tragic ending. To be with these people in spirit is to feel a human connection that is unlike any other.

The suffering of innocent children is horrifying beyond words. But if we can somehow participate in suffering that we can not relieve, then somehow maybe our silent presence will relieve it.

Tonight I celebrate how well Jonah is doing while aching for the loss that Tripp's family is feeling. Do I know their pain? No. Lord willing, I never will. But if I should, then I can only imagine the comfort I might feel in knowing others were hurting with me and trying to ease my burden by simply sharing it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

First Grader!

I haven't made it very public yet but I guess it's time. Paige "graduated" from Kindergarten in December and started first grade today (January 3). We went through a long drawn out evaluation process and finally got the results we expected in December. All Fall she spent 1/2 of her kindergarten day down in a first grade classroom so the transition was not difficult. I suspect the full day will take some adjuting too though! We are very proud of her and how well she put up with the testing and moving around - kind of a rough start to a school career. Now we hope things can settle down into a semi-normal routine!


Paige started gymnastics in November. I had told her that as soon as football season was over she could start. She was always so good sitting through two hour practices in the rain and going to two games every Saturday!
By the end of the month she was asked to join the pre-team class! It is two hours of hard work every Saturday and she loves it! Somehow she still has the energy to come bouncing over to me at the end of it too. We have been amazed at how natural it all seems to her and how quickly she learns! They would like her to start a second day of training to get her ready for meets by Fall. Who knew?