Thursday, January 31, 2013

If I had 100 dollars...

Wow I can't believe I haven't written for a few months. 

Life has been happening and I have been hanging on for dear life.

I have also been enjoying some of the little things...

1. Snuggles from the little people in our house (did you know that snuggling with both Isaac and Olivia is almost like a human blanket during this lovely -30 degree weather)

2. Thoughts on the world with some of the medium sized people in our house (we have had some quality heart to hearts which I hope to share on here in the near future

3. Spending quality time with my hubby while he is between seasons of coaching (we have been working out together after school, watching our favorite show on the computer with hummus, pita chips and dark chocolate when kids are in bed and soaking up time together before track begins)

I have so many wonderful things to blog about (Isaac is potty trained, my sweet niece's arrival, I have been running, God has been so good and encouraging me during some tough trials recently, and my kids just keep getting cuter and I keep falling more in love with my hubby).

Since I was hoping to keep this short and sweet here is the reason I am climbing out of my blogging hibernation...

For those of you who do NOT have a kindergartner in your house, today was the 100th day of school!

For those of you who are unaware of the magnitude of this day, I will tell you that this day is one of the most beloved days of kindergarten.

The anticipation leading up to it is quite insane, and while each class is different, it is basically a celebration of everything that is 100!

Elijah was asked to bring 100 of something to put into a giant bowl for snack time. 
(My stomach churned a bit when he described the different items that were included in this "mix" and how delicious it was!)

He chose marshmallows for his snack, so last night we counted out 100 marshmallows and placed them in a bag for him to bring to school. 

Since I am not a novice kindergarten mother, I was already aware of the excitement surrounding this day and asked Elijah about it when he got home today.

Being the man of many words that he is, he told me it was fun and showed me the badge on his necklace (pictured above) stating that he is now 100 days smarter!

I challenged this as he had missed one day of school for being ill so wondered if that only made him 99 days smarter...he looked concerned for a moment and then saw me smile and told me I was funny.

I have the boys place all their papers on the kitchen table after school and I rifle through them quickly while they are distracted by food or some toy they have been longing to play with "all day" so I can toss what isn't important without little eyes seeing.

I always enjoy reading their comments, stories, or answers to open ended questions such as "If I had 100 dollars I would..."

I know it is hard to read, but on the worksheet below he was asked that exact question and his answer was "gift it to the NICU mom's and dads"

You probably can't see the stains from my tears either but they are there. 

The picture in the center is of a baby in a crib on wheels.

This boy is very hard to read, very serious, and has been struggling with being extremely selfish recently (nothing that abnormal for a 6 year old), but definitely has a different take on the world that his older brother Jonah. 

At home we have been talking a lot about serving one another as Jesus would. 

He has not willingly jumped into that boat recently!

We have also had a few talks on money (saving, spending, and giving).

You know how you talk to your kids over and over and over about things hoping some minuscule piece of the advice or instruction you give them while eventually sink in and they will start living that way?

Oh, me neither :0)

It has been a struggle to help Elijah understand why he can't stomp around our house saying unkind things, doing whatever he wants, and not helping the rest of us.

Sometimes I get sweaty, nauseous and dizzy thinking about he and his siblings as teenagers!

I just might wish to have these emotional elementary school kids and challenging toddlers back in a few years...

The tears were flowing pretty heavily when I called him to the kitchen to explain it to me.

I am 99.9% sure he thought he was in trouble when he saw me crying, but I asked him if he could explain what he would do with his $100.

He quietly explained he would give it to the moms and dads in the NICU to help pay for their baby's medicine so they could get better faster and go home.

I told him I was so proud of him, but most importantly that giving his $100 to someone who needed it more would make Jesus happy. 

He asked why I was crying and I said it was because I was so happy and proud of him that he would choose to give it away.

I honestly am sure I would have kept the $100 for myself if I were him.

He gave me a hug and said, "it's so weird that girls cry when they are happy...a guy never knows what to think...are they happy or sad?"

Such a valid point buddy!

Just in case you are concerned that he is too good to be true, here is a closer look at how he "decorated" the $100 bill...

Which made me smile, since I expected this Van Gogh excerpt from him more than his servant heart. 

So tonight as I tucked him into bed and told him how proud I was I thanked God for reminding me to live less selfishly and consider what I could do with my $100...besides buying a nice cup of coffee at Starbucks, a massage, and a new pair of jeans ;0)

I also thanked him for a glimmer of light in the tunnel of darkness that is sometimes parenting.