Friday, February 22, 2013


We woke up around 6am yesterday to dry ground, with the promise of snowfall that we'd talk about for years to come.

By 7am, white stuff was falling from the sky.

By 7:30, it was accumulating.

Snow was falling at a rate of 2-3" per hour.  Lightning could be seen, thunder heard.  I don't think I've ever seen anything like it before.  The weathermen were calling it thundersnow.  By 9am, it was really piling up on our deck.

It fell constantly, and it fell fast.  A break came in the afternoon, and Jim came over to clear our driveway before Bryan got home from work.  So glad that we went in halvesies with such great friends on a snow blower last summer!

We measured 12" in the driveway.

Snow picked up again as Bryan and his friend started the drive home from work...and night was falling.  Thankfully, the roads in their path had been cleared and pretty much everyone else in the city was already at home - most hadn't even ventured out.  Everything was closed - schools, churches, doctor's offices, restaurants, malls, grocery stores, UPS, even the USPS.  The guys made it home safely and it didn't take nearly as long as I'd expected.

When all was said and done, we got somewhere between 13 and 14 inches of snowfall in under 24 hours.

School was canceled again today, so we had our friend Alex over while her parents went back to work.

We're having a blast.

I overheard bits of a conversation she and Luke were having this morning...

Alex:  So, who's married?
Luke (shrugs his shoulders, not the least bit interested):  I dunno.

I walked back by a few minutes later...

Alex:  It's our anniversary.
Luke:  No, just a vacation.
Alex:  At the beach!  I'm in my bikini.
Luke:  Whatever.  Who cares about bikinis?

I love them.

I'd told Alex's mother not to expect much today, as my house is a mess and I'm completely over well-balanced homemade meals (Luke cried into EVERYTHING I prepared yesterday).  But, I surprised myself.  All of the kids had scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Zach snacked on sliced red pepper and Laughing Cow cheese.  And Alex had a salad (with red onion and tomato) with her lunch!  I did okay in the nutrition department today.

After lunch we played in the snow.

This is about half the mess we made with our snow gear.  But it was totally worth it.

And, I totally brought my A game with the after snow treats - hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies.  Bryan would be proud.  This is his department.

After a fun-filled day with no electronics of any kind...I tucked them into my bed for a movie.  They are enjoying the Wizard of Oz.

So blessed with a warm home, a full fridge, and great friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Girlfriends in God

As I was making fudge for Christmas, it occurred to me that I'd learned to make candies and rice krispie treats from some grandmotherly ladies at my childhood church.  These same ladies taught my friends and me how to sew simple things and make various crafts.  To this day, a Christmas ornament made for me by one of these ladies hangs in a place of honor on our tree every year.

As I think of these precious lades now, I remember them fondly.  They will always hold a special place in my heart.

I didn't realize it then, but they poured into my life in a meaningful way that would last a lifetime.  As we crafted and baked, I experienced their love and friendship, as well as the love and friendship of the other little girls at the table.  Girls who are still my friends, more than thirty years later.

It caused me to reflect on where I'm at today.  Not yet grandmotherly, but certainly in a role of influence over young children.

I teach Sunday school and have about 15 girls who regularly sit at my table.  Our Sunday morning schedule is packed, and only gives us about 20 minutes of small group time.  And, even that time is structured with an activity and discussion about the lesson...not fellowship.  So, I decided that a baking/craft party was in order.  I coordinated with two other table leaders, and we hosted a party for our girls.

We had a blast.

One girl announced that she'd been so excited the night before that she dreamed it was sprinkling sprinkles.  Candy sprinkles, of course.

In the kitchen we made chocolate dipped pretzel rods.

And in the Gallery we made note cards and magnets.

It was such a special time of fellowship, a short devotion on God's love, and a lot of hugs and laughter.

It was so special to see the girls easily mingling with one another.  Forming friendships.  Connecting.

When I suggested an ice breaker, a 5th grade girl jumped right in and suggested that we all go around the circle and give our name, favorite color and share one unique thing about us.  I now know that green is the favorite color for most of the girls, every girl that came from my group plays soccer, and one girl loves meat on a stick while another is a vegetarian.

I cannot wait for more time to really get to know these girls.

I had to take my boys with me...  They sat at a table across the room and quietly played games.  When we got home, Zach said, "Based on how much fun it sounded like the girls were having, I think you are a really great teacher."  Be. Still. My. Heart.  Best compliment of the day.

Then it occurred to me...  My kids were there.  My kids saw the other leaders and me serving these girls.  They'd helped me purchase the supplies necessary for our party.  They heard the RSVP phone calls coming in.  They saw the other leaders and me setting up tables and cleaning up the mess after.  They saw us being the hands of feet of their peers.  They saw the girls connecting with each other, and connecting with their leaders.  They heard and saw just what it meant to these girls to be loved on in this way.  And Zach knew it when he saw it.

I did not set out for my boys to be a part of this day at all.  After all, it was a Girlfriends in God party.  The boys party is to come soon...  But my boys were there, and they witnessed love and service.  And Zach's heart was impacted.

What a day.

We love because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19