Monday, April 27, 2009

A few words about Compassion

If any of you have visited my blog recently, or follow me on Twitter, you've seen that I've been posting buttons in my sidebar and tweeting a lot about Compassion International's Bloggers in India. They arrived in Kolkata (Calcutta) a few of days ago and will be blogging about their experiences this week as they are meeting with children and their families living in poverty. Some of the children are sponsored through Compassion, and some (many!) are still in need of sponsorship. The goal of the trip is to bring awareness of the need for sponsorship, and to get as many children sponsored as possible. (To learn more about Compassion and what they stand for, click here!)

You can follow these bloggers' posts here. Clicking will take you directly to the page where you can link to and read all of the bloggers' posts and updates. They will be posting daily on their blogs about their experiences. So far they have visited Mother Teresa's tomb and the orphanages where she lived and worked, as well as a few projects. I believe they most recently were at a rural project that helps moms and babies.

You can view pictures of their trip here on Flickr.

To see some of the many children in desperate need of sponsorship, click here.

Sponsoring a child not only provides them with food and schooling, but it gives them hope for a future. Many of these children see no hope in their lives. They only know the poverty they live in and do not even know they can dream to have more in life, to be more. Compassion workers help these children set goals and help them realize they are worthy and loved. Sponsors are so vital to the lives of these kids for so many reasons. But one reason really stuck out above all the others...

For most of these children, their sponsor is the only person who has ever said, "I love you" to them.

Yes, their parents love them, but from what I have learned from reading these blog posts in the past few days, parents in India do not (or rarely) express love to their children. They do love them and do the best they can to provide for them, but children do not hear the words, "I love you" from their parents. (See reference in this post.)

If you are not familiar with Compassion, I encourage you to read some of these blogs this week... The writers are very gifted writers and are not trying to coerce or force anyone into sponsoring a child, but they are allowing us to see a glimpse of what they are experiencing there in India. Each one has told amazing, move-you-to-tears, inspiring stories. Real stories about real children facing real poverty and hopelessness. Showing us a way we can make a real difference.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Since I've been so good about finding time to get pics on here lately (uh... yeah, that was a little sarcasm...) I decided to upload more right away lest the days and weeks get away from me once again.

Or I lose my USB cable again.

Which was, of all places, in the camera bag in our bedroom.

No wonder I couldn't find it!! Seth put it away where it belongs! ;)

When we returned from IKEA, Ruby decided this looked pretty cozy.

Not to be outdone by little sister... Love the cheesy grin.

This was the only shot I got of all 3 on Easter. Well, that's not true... it's the only one where you can see all their faces and nobody is crying buckets.

Ah, yes. The crying...

Looking for eggs! (This was before the crying!)

Happy again, post-crying, swinging with Daddy!

(See more pics in previous post!)

And here they are, in random order

So, I promised pics! Here they are, in random order! Enjoy!

Ethan lost his first tooth!

My sister, carrying Ruby in the Snuggli! She carried her halfway around IKEA like this!

Kibby, laughing at... Hm, I can't remember... (It was February - long time ago!)

Ruby enjoying her first homemade chocolate chip cookie (even though she looks a little unsure here!)

And I just thought this was a hoot. Cracks me up, so I had to share! :)

That's all Blogger would let me upload into one post, since I didn't take the time to re-size the photos! More coming sooooon!

Coming soon...

I finally found my USB cable for my camera! Pics coming soon! :)

You know, after I get Ethan off to school.

And get breakfast.

And start some laundry.

And take a nap. (Because that right there is enough to wear me out...)


okay, okay... I guess I did say "soon", didn't I? :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

A few moments of peace... ahhhhh...

Seth took the two older kids to Sam's Club tonight, so it's just me an Ruby hangin' out. She's watching Signing Time and I'm attempting a blog post. We'll see if I can get it published before the rest of the family returns and chaos resumes!

Ruby has been acting strange lately. Clingy. Whiney. Not wanting to eat. Waking up at night screaming, but then falling back asleep, and then waking up an hour later with another shrill cry (the kind that makes your heart leap out of your chest, especially when you're sleeping and all's quiet!) Puzzling. No fever. No rash. No obvious, distressing symptoms. No teeth coming in. She's had a runny nose for a week or so, but its Spring, and all my kids seem to get that this time of year. (Seth too!) One thing that has puzzled me a little is that for the past 3 or 4 mornings her nose has been stuffy and a little bloody. This morning, after a good night's sleep, I noticed a spot of blood on her sheets (about the size of a lime.) It was where her face had been for the most part of the night. So... was it from her nose? From her mouth? Neither appeared to look bloody this morning. Then I remembered that yesterday she fell in the hall, where there is no carpeting, flat on her face, and when I picked her up I noticed some blood in her mouth. (Hm, could it still be from that?) She wouldn't let me look to see if it was coming from her lip, gums, or tongue. She absolutely hates it when someone tries to look in her mouth! Always has! So, it's still a mystery. She has eaten a little better today than she had been the past few days. She has her 18-month check up coming soon, so if any of this continues, I'll be bringing it up to her pediatrician...

Kibby has been her normal giggly self lately. Perhaps more giggly than usual, even. Ordinary little things I do make her collapse in a fit of giggles. And then of course she wants me to keep repeating whatever I did. Over and over and OVER. Must be the age... Her potty-training has been going well! She rarely has an accident - only when she can't get to the bathroom because someone else is in there. And overnight... still not quite there, but she wakes up dry about 50 - 75% of the time, though! Let's see... Not much else new to report on her.

Ethan has been getting back into the swing of school, after enjoying a week off last week for Spring Break. He is excited for Easter coming up and going to our church's musical, and of course for the Easter Bunny to come! He has been behaving well in school (since the St. Patrick's Day chocolate-snitching incident...) His teacher still checks his backpack and coat everyday at the end of the day, though, to make sure he hasn't swiped anything from the classroom. (Remember in the Fall he brought home some magnets from his class? So the chocolate was a 2nd offense, except he was caught right away and returned them. But yeah...) His teacher reports that he is doing well academically, is well-liked and has lots of friends and is behaving well in class, with the exception of all the kids needing reminders to not talk when it's listening / work time. Ethan is a chatterbox, that's true!

Today he got a pedometer from his school (the gym teacher, they all got them) and he's been runing around the house all night trying to get a really high number. He was on about 3,000 steps when they left for Sam's...

Me, I've probably taken about one-tenth that today?? :) Yes, the couch is still my friend!

One last thing. (Chaos is coming, I heard the garage door open!) Our strange knocking... Well, Seth must not have believed me that there was an animal up there... he NEVER checked! And I haven't heard anything since. Things that make you go hmm...

However, now that the weather is warming... if I start to smell any nasty dead-animal odor coming from ANYWHERE in the house... you can bet your britches it will NOT be me taking care of it!!! :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Strange Knocking

This morning I was trying to get my kids settled back into bed around 8AM, after changing Ruby's diaper and cuddling Kibby a bit. I was really hoping I could get another hour of sleep because I didn't sleep well at work last night.

When I was about to crawl into my bed I heard a quiet knocking coming from somewhere near my closet. I went over to investigate, thinking Ethan was trying to play a trick on Mommy. Nobody in the closet. I checked on Ethan. Sleeping in his bed. No knocking coming from him!

I kept hearing it, so I went out into the living room and listened, then back to my room to listen... and still, I heard the soft but insistent knocking. What the heck?

I was beginning to get really puzzled (and a little scared!) I went downstairs, below where my closet was and listened. The sound was definitely coming from up, not down... so I headed back to my room. (By this time the girls were sitting up, looking at me and wondering what in the world I was doing.) I still heard the noise, so I called Seth at work.

I think he thought I was bonkers.

I described what I was hearing and where it seemed to be coming from. I said, "maybe it's an animal in our attic or something? At least I hope it's an animal.... and not a person!" He kinda laughed at that. The only way in or out of our attic (that is big enough for a person to fit) is through the door in the ceiling in our hallway.

Okay, so yes, it makes sense that its NOT a person. But it sure SOUNDS like one.

Or an animal. What do I know?

I took a hanger and hit the ceiling in my closet. More thumping. I hit the wall next to the ceiling, this time a bit harder. I heard sort of a scurry / hopping noise. Whatever it was was moving away from my closet area.

So after Seth says he's not worried about it, I said what any logical woman would say.

"I'm calling (the neighbor)!"

So I called our neighbors, and the husband was nice enough to take a look around the outside of our house, and offered to look up in our attic, even. (I said, "no, that's ok..." I'd hate for him to be bit by some crazed, scared-out-of-it's-mind squirrel!)

So, finally, at 9:00, I settled my girls once again, and crawled into bed. And I heard it again. Irritating. I laid awake wondering what kind of animal it could be. Probably a squirrel... hopefully not a rat... yes, probably a squirrel...

So now what? I decided to just forget it and try to nap... and eventually I did.

Later, I called my parents and got some ideas from them about how to get the animal out of the attic. My dad suggested a trap. My mom and I laughed about the scene from the Great Outdoors movie where John Candy and Dan Akroyd tried to capture a bat in their vacation lodge... ahh, funny movie... but we're not going try their method. :)

So what did we end up doing?

Absolutely nothing! (yet!)

When Seth got home from work, I took off and spent the evening at the mall with a friend of mine who was giddy with some exciting news and I forgot all about it! Until getting home and getting the kids to bed...

Now I wonder how well we'll all sleep tonight... But I'm off to bed, so I guess I'll find out!