Category Archives: Precious Little Girl

Saving the Dinosaurs from Extinction

Dino egg lab 2016-01-28

You knew, of course, that dinosaurs were on the endangered list. No? Really?

Check out Tina’s Dino Egg Lab–nesting areas, staff, an elevator, and even an aquarium–standard issue for rescue parks. And this, folks, is the only one of its kind. There are no dinos left in the wild (that’s why you haven’t seen any), and this is the world’s only dino hatching facility.

God must have had fun when He made the world, I often tell Tina. As we make art (always under her direction), I feel her joy in creativity, and imagine that we are catching a glimpse of the joy the Master Creator experienced at the dawn of time. For do we not, although corrupted, still bear the mark of His image?

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (New International Version)

 

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Joy in the Journey–A Battle-Scarred Fox and the Thrill of Creativity

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“Which one do you think Grandma made?’ asks my crafty granddaughter. She shows her mom the two fox corner bookmarks you see on the Ellie and Harry books.  Close scrutiny will reveal that Ellie’s fox has lovely, uniform ears. Those on Harry’s fox, on the other hand, show evidence of battle–either the fox has been in a tussle, or its crafter is folding-challenged.

Maria, in an act of kindness or perhaps a momentary lapse of memory (“What? My mom a klutz? Really?”), incorrectly guesses that I made the fox with the matching ears . . . .

and therein lies the message of the day.

Not only am I talent-free, I’m also clumsy–and that in no way eliminates me from a bright, happy morning of art activity with Tina. With the day off school and only a few tasks that need to be completed, Tina comes up with the idea of making bookmarks.

We check out YouTube videos and come up with some real winners. The instructors demonstrate EVERYTHING–neat folding (sorry, no can do), drawing lightly in pencil, and even erasing the pencil lines with your choice of two kinds of eraser.

What fun Tina and I have making the bookmarks and setting up the display for our photo shoot!

Tina’s next project–her very own craft video.

Our happy morning reminds me that Tina recently won a story contest. She might have won anyway, but the fact that hers was the only entry sealed the deal :).

Sometimes, as in the case of the klutzy grandma who had a wonderful morning and the prize-winning storygirl, all it takes to win is to show up and make an effort.

effort

This Doctor Thought She’d Seen It All

Parents today are probably the most informed and involved generation in history. And, yet, in the company of their children, they often act as though they’d rather be someplace else. That’s what they’re saying when they break eye contact to glance at their push notifications or check Facebook when they think their child’s distracted. The parents are present, their attention is not.

In my practice, I see evidence every day of how such inattention affects kids. ~Pediatrician Jane Scott

Disturbing indeed: a pediatrician who thought she’d seen it all reports a two-year-old with infected ears turning to Siri on his cell phone–rather than his dad beside him–for info. Although, I gather it didn’t bother Dad too much–he was busy on his phone as well.

earache

Eight-year-old Tommy loves electronics (and his mother wisely restricts his time on them). Nine-year-old Tina uses, rather than loves, gadgets. But both of them are also highly responsive and aware of the needs and feelings of others. They have solid relationships with the people around them. So does two-year-old May.

kindness flowers

On the other hand, I recently heard of a young man whose hands are permanently disfigured from using joysticks (he’s still playing).

deformed-hand-due-to-rheumatoid-arthritis-x-ray

And I remember reading of a kind of detox program in another country. Although the prognosis for a cure to game addiction was poor, therapists were using physical action figures to try to wean addicts away from the screen.

playing games

And that gets me thinking. It appears that electronics are here to stay. Some groups prohibit their use altogether.

Mennonites

Tommy’s and Tina’s moms have opted for teaching sensible use, like watching these French stories on YouTube.

Rosa

Rosa Goes to the City

It looks like parents and other caregivers need to decide on a plan before vulnerable children become socially impaired and/or addicted.

What do you think? Do you agree that this is a cause for concern? If so, do you have suggestions?

Little Lamb’s Book

Little Lamb

Tina’s sometime aversion to putting pencil to paper does not stop her from making a book for her absolute favorite stuffed toy–Little Lamb.

“Little Lamb’s Book,” she writes on the first one of the pages she has stapled together. It’s a book of Bible stories about–lambs.

I read the story of The Lost Sheep (Luke 15) to Little Lamb and her friend Ruby Bear. Then things take a darker turn as I read (with some judicious omissions) the story of David and Bathsheba (II Samuel 11 & 12).  We learn that Nathan the Prophet told King David about a cruel rich man who stole and killed his poor neighbour’s lamb and roasted it for his guest. I explain to my young audience that the story about David having Bathsheba’s husband killed is true, but the one about the stolen lamb is a parable.

Tina has me write the entire passage about The Lost Sheep in Little Lamb’s book.

At the honoured toy’s birthday party I read another well-loved story, Jesus Understood, from Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories.

How precious this time is!

” . . . I have placed before you an open door . . . . ” Revelation 3:8

Tina and the Tree of Knowledge

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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)

A Prank on Mom and a Baby Sister for Tommy

8:06 a.m. Tommy calls me with a secret.

“I’m going to use gross stuff to play a prank on Mom,” he says. He’s going to bring her a cup of coffee in bed, lovingly seasoned with barbecue sauce. I worry that the color might tip her off, but he says she’ll be drinking it in the dark.

Tommy’s home is a fun place for a kid to grow up.

And soon, we’re hoping, he won’t be the only kid there. The week Lisa and George got married (this is Lisa’s second marriage), we visited little May at the agency. Sixteen months old, bright, confident and utterly charming, May marched right into our hearts and planted herself there. Hope blooms as Lisa and George jump through the adoption hoops and the rest of us try to be patient.

We hear a lot about nasty foster homes–but May’s is a credit to all concerned. When contacted by the agency soon after May was born, Tricia began visiting her in the hospital–several hours a day, seven days a week. When May’s medical issues were stabilized, she went to live with Tricia.

Over 100 people attended her first birthday party (her uncle was celebrating his birthday as well), and Princess May held court until 11:00 p.m.

I wouldn’t call her spoiled, but I would say that she knows she’s loved and that she’s secure. We hope for the hoop-jumping to go as quickly as possible, believing that will give May the shortest and easiest time of adjustment.

After all, seven-year-old Tommy has his “Big Brother” T-shirt . . . surely the family is ready now.

Mosquito Mecca and a Special Story for Father’s Day

Tina and I revisit the field where we had so much fun being Wildberry Cats last year.

This time we’re tigers, which is fine while we’re running around growling. It becomes much less fine when Tina marks our territory with her jacket. The field is huge, and the huntresses quickly become the hunted as we slow down to look for the little jacket and the mosquitoes rise to the occasion.

It’s a classical game of predator-prey. Tina walks around looking for the patch of flattened grass where she laid her territory marker, and I try to cover Mosquito Mecca in a more systematic way. The predators are delighted with my bare arms, and words cannot describe their utter bliss at Tina’s bare arms, legs and feet. They send out a general invitation (no RSVP needed), and vast clouds of voracious Culicidae swarm the hapless Panthera tigris.

But–as our adversaries feast, Tina prays that we’ll find the jacket. I pray that too, but I also pray that Tina won’t be discouraged, and that she’ll learn more about persistence.

Our prayers are answered when I spot the territory marker. Just in time, we head to the restaurant for a belated Father’s Day dinner.

You may be surprised to hear about our conversation in the car. Tina talks about the fun we’ve had!

And now she has a special present for Grandpa–our story of answered prayer.