Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mortimer and Millicent: Tommy Strides Up to the Plate

Mortimer Jan 2015

“It’s your job to help him have a good life,” I tell Tommy.

Tommy seems surprised. He loves his new hamster, and knows that it’s his job to take care of him–which includes keeping him upstairs and away from Millicent the cat. Mortimer and Millicent would only be a good mix in Millicent’s eyes.

But perhaps Tommy hasn’t heard the term “have a good life” in connection with animals. It’s a refreshing thought for him. I believe that it’s our job–all of us–to make life easier and pleasanter for the people and animals around us.

I’m thrilled that Lisa found Mortimer on the Internet. He was given away by a family that, although they no longer wished to care for Mortimer, chose to find him a good home.

Mortimer rolls around the kitchen and living room in his ball, but he particularly enjoys being underfoot. Perhaps he knows he has come to a good place, just as Tommy knows that his pet is safe as well as mobile in the ball. And we all believe that little May (who will be two years old this spring) is coming to a good home, too.

Proud pet owner and soon-to-be big brother, Tommy is striding up to the plate!


A 6:15 AM Call from the Mayor

Saturday!! 6:15 a.m.

I am awakened by a call on my cell: “You haven’t paid your bills for a whole year,” declares Mayor Tommy. He’s going to turn off my power. It’s mid-winter, and I will be without heat as well.

I protest that I’ve been paying my bills, but that I haven’t received any receipts for a year, and suggest the problem is with his office.

That afternoon he calls back, and I suggest he contact my bank, which will confirm that the money has been taken out of my account. He does so, and now the mailman is the chief suspect. Whew!

Some of the happiest memories of my childhood are of playing pretend games with my friends. We changed rules and roles at will, as Tommy and Tina do. I even had a lovely set of dishes–real china–that my mother had played with when she was a little girl.

Does this kind of play have any useful function?

I had known much of this (quoted from from “The Importance of Pretend Play”)

When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, he learns how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. When your child pretends to be different characters, he has the experience of “walking in someone else’s shoes,” which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy.

But I had not even imagined this:

According to the Early Childhood Research & Practice Journal (Doris Bergen, Volume 4, Number 1),

Although not specifically focused on pretense, a longitudinal study in which preschool children were rated on the complexity of their block play (which has a high symbolic component) and then were followed into their high school years found (controlling for IQ and gender) positive relationships with seventh-grade mathematical test scores and high school measures of math grades, number of math courses, and number of honors courses (Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001).

Pretty impressive! Mayor Tommy can call me anytime.

Tina and the Tree of Knowledge

2015-01-01 Tina Tree Knowledge
Now is not the time for breakfast on this festive New Year’s Day!

Tina and I share a love of colors and a fascination in mixing them. She sets up the art table, and I enjoy painting my leaves THREE shades of green. I outline flower petals in one color and fill them in with another. She and I chat about Colton Burpo’s description of Heaven . . . . the colors were MORE, he says.

Tina’s rendition of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is not only resplendent with color, it gets me thinking about her mom, her church and her school. The church and school support her mom’s teaching about God, His love, and our duty to love and serve Him.

The moment passes, and our next creations are mixed media masterpieces of paper, soap, tape, staples, sparkles, paint, foam, and tin foil dishes. But Tina has mounted our watercolor paintings on her wall, and I am left with the happy memory of a little girl’s art flowing from her faith.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works . . .”  (Ephesians 2:10)