Snapshot Moments

Life has been moving at breakneck speed around our house since the beginning of September, especially for Eldest. In addition to her twenty plus hour a week competitive marching band schedule and a very challenging course load at school, she has been working on early admissions to colleges.   Some days I feel as if I’m barely keeping all of our heads above water with the day-to-day demands of life.

The other night I was feeling like the day would never end. It had been a long day of work, after-school activities, homework, dinner prep and clean up, lunch making and laundry and I just wanted to sit down when Eldest let us know that we would be needed for proofing her college application essays. The Mister and I exchanged glances and knew that there would be no relaxing on the sofa catching up on our favorite TV shows that evening or probably for the next few nights.

Friends have told me how busy senior year is and that it is over in the blink of an eye and I am beginning to understand what they were talking about. The past two months have disappeared like a vapor and I have hardly had a chance to catch my breath between activities. Back to school nights, school conferences, Homecoming, band performances and more have flown by!

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Last Marching Band Performance at a Football Game

So as we all gathered in the living room together, pouring over her college essays, I realized we had spent more time with Eldest this week working with her on these college applications than we had in a long time. I started getting emotional thinking about the fact that a year from now, she would be gone. In the midst of my weariness and feelings of being overwhelmed with life, I found myself feeling so happy and content in that moment. It was just an ordinary weeknight at home together, but I would cherish the memory of this night. Staring at Eldest, her youth and the excitement of so many wonderful opportunities ahead of her in life, yet still always my little girl, my heart was happy, yet melancholy. I said a silent prayer of thanks to God for the gift of this child no longer a child but a young woman.

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All grown up!

I tried to remember the words of my older, wiser sister Jules who said, don’t be sad when they leave because they come back and give you grand babies one day! I see Jules enjoying that stage of life and realize this isn’t the end, only the beginning of a wonderful life of many “snapshot moments”, these tiny snippets of time with our loved ones that we hold on to and cherish all of our days.

I’m happy to say all college applications were completed this weekend, now we can all breathe and relax a little-oh wait, now I need to start birthday shopping and planning for Little One’s December birthday and Christmas! It’ll be okay; we are just collecting more “snapshot moments” for the memory books!

I wish you a great week and some special “snapshot moments”.

~Blessings,

Jen

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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On my way home from dropping Little One off at school today, I noticed an elderly neighbor shoveling the end of her driveway.  As I drove past, I considered stopping but felt kind of awkward about it.  I pulled in my driveway and thought about my own Mom and how I would not want her out shoveling her driveway, so I turned around and drove back.  Turns out, she was shoveling  because she had received a notice from the post office that they wouldn’t deliver her mail until she cleared the snow by her mailbox.

She was so thankful for my offer of help and as I shoveled, we chatted and learned a bit about each other.  She shared that her husband had passed away last year and that she was learning to do many things by herself such as taking care of the yard, bills etc. for the first time.  I am very blessed to live in a neighborhood where I know most of my neighbors.  Our children play together, running from yard to yard, we have impromptu backyard gatherings,  an informal “neighborhood watch” and we help each other out.  I had not met this particular neighbor yet, but I was so happy to meet someone new and get to know her.  I could hear the relief in her voice when I gave her my number and told her to call us if she ever needed anything.  I would hope that someone would do the same for my Mom if she ever needed help.

In this day and age of people driving straight into their garage, shutting the door and not coming out, I realize I have  something special in this little neighborhood of mine! If I am ever in a pickle, like the time Hubby was traveling and my garage door broke with my car trapped inside, I knew there were several neighbors I could ask  for help.  I had no problem finding a neighbor who came right over and held up the door so I could get my car out!  I love the feeling of community and watching out for each other that we share.

I think we could all benefit from some of those “old-fashioned” practices of front porch (or back patio) gatherings, taking a plate of cookies to a neighbor, making a meal for someone who is sick or has a new baby, or just watching out for each other.  All of these things help us feel connected and give us a sense of community that is so important in this busy world we live in.

How about you?  Do you know your neighbors? If not, I encourage you to take that step and say hello or offer a helping hand.

~Blessings

Jen

God Working Again! A Story of How Prayer Works

Sarah's donation God Working

My daughter Sarah breast fed her son after he was born. Now this girl was like a milk machine. Never did I with 4 children ever produce an excess of milk. Of course back then we didn’t have the fancy “milking machines” they have now!!!! Sarah was able to freeze and save a lot of her milk and had planned on giving it to her sister’s baby because her sister was not able to nurse her baby. Her generous actions were futile though as little Emma seemed to be allergic to dairy and because Sarah drinks so much milk, little Emma just couldn’t tolerate it. This week Karen tried to reintroduce it just a little at a time and she got fussy again. So yesterday the decision was made to give the milk away. Sarah  found a group on Facebook called Human Milk for Human babies and posted that she had 1000 ounces of milk. She quickly had a response from a couple in Windsor, Ontario that wanted it. They had adopted a little girl from Northern Canada and had wanted to give her breast milk until she was two. They were down to the last few bottles and Mom was ready to accept that they would probably have to be done. But then she prayed and asked God for direction, and as you can see from the picture….we know the rest of the story. She saw Sarah’s post and immediately responded that they would take it and would drive to get it. One of my favorite moments and the most touching thing  I heard the Mom say, was how many people had helped to feed their daughter. I thought it was pretty cool that my daughter gets to be one of those women.

Now that was part 1 of how God was part of this story. Part 2 was when the woman shared a little bit about how they adopted their little girl. You see, the mother had planned on aborting this little girl. But the little girl’s mom had a prayerful grandmother. When her grandma found out what she was going to do, she got her granddaughter to agree to carry the baby as long as grandma could find someone to adopt the baby. It was a 1300 mile journey and I don’t know the details of everything they went through, but this mom said there were many mountains that were put in front of them and they all just crumbled before them and they were able to move through with the adoption. She firmly believes that God intended all along for them to parent this child. She doesn’t believe in coincidences, everything happened the way God wanted it to happen. I agree with her 100%.

I felt this was just a beautiful story and a great gift that my daughter was able to give. It actually gave me chills to witness this exchange. Have you ever had a God moment like this happen. We would love to hear your stories. Please share with us!!!!

Peace!

Julie