Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Greenes!

It's been pretty busy around here, but we're doing great.

As of December 18th, I'm officially done teaching.  They've hired a replacement for me, so that felt good to hand it off.

Nathan has three semesters of his masters under his belt.  One more to go!  The fall drama went well and now we're looking at spring.

Lizbeth is excelling in Kindergarten, though she often gets bored :-)  Hard to keep that girl challenged.  She absolutely loves everything artsy or crafty, taking after her mommy.

Matthew doesn't love school, so we're pulling him back to three half days now that I won't be teaching and can get him at lunch.  But he still loves anything cars and has started declaring he wants to be an astronaut.

Fun times all around!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Desires of Our Hearts

Anyone who knows Matthew knows he is all about cars.

For the past few weeks, Matthew has endlessly asked to "race the cars on the racetrack".  A new mall where we live has a Carrera store with a racetrack that you can pay to race the cars.  His favorite thing is to spend a half hour (more if I'd let him) walking around the shop looking at every model car they have.  He then asks to race them.

The problem is, it costs nearly $10 to race for 20 minutes.  As much as he would love it, we've talked about it and just don't feel it's a wise use of money.

But every day, he asks again.  We again explain that it costs a lot of money to race the cars.  He says he'll save up his allowance (his allowance is about 50 cents a week).  We explain that even so, it would take a long, long time to save that much money and we don't think it's a good use of his funds.  He sticks out his chin stubbornly.

Friday, he came home from school excitedly.  The school recently started a book reading program.  If they meet a set "goal" for reading X number of times a week for a month, they earn a prize ticket.  The ticket can then be redeemed for one of five prizes.  He had turned in his reading log a few days previously and was anxiously waiting for when they would hand him his prize.  I didn't remember the options, only that one of them was for a bag of cookies, so I was hoping he would not be disappointed after all his hard work.

He hopped of the bus happily.  "Mom, I can race the cars!" 

"Honey, we've talked about this, and it's really too expensive.  I'm sorry, but you can't race the cars."

"No, mommy, I got my prize ticket today, and one thing I can do is race the cars!"

Sure enough, he pulled out his ticket and listed as a prize redemption was one free 20 minute turn to "race the cars".

This brings tears to my eyes, because it has been so difficult to tell his tender heart "no" over and over again.  I had questioned our decision.  After all, we have $10.  Or maybe we can use some his Christmas money from his grandparents.  Or maybe he can do extra chores.  Or...but I just came back to that it just didn't seem like a good use of money.

He has truly worked hard to meet his goal.  Although he obviously can not truly read on his own, he has remembered most days to ask us to read to him.  Other days he has sat on the couch and "read" to himself, turning page by page, carefully studying every picture.  Some simple books he has mostly memorized and will "read" pages or lines of them to me.

It felt so perfect then, that after his hard work he had won such a perfect gift. 

It also provided a perfect opportunity to talk about how the Father meets the desires of our hearts.  He is usually reluctant to praying outside of meals and bedtime, but he happily got down on his knees with me and thanked the Father for this wonderful and unexpected gift that we had not even thought to ask of HIM. 

Thank you, Father, for providing even these silly things for which we don't even think to ask.