Friday, January 21, 2011

Sponsored Kids Letters--St Patrick's Day!

I wrote to all of my sponsored kids this past weekend, and I wanted to do something different from snow, since I've probably written many snow-themed letters over the years... so I settled on... St. Patrick's Day!

I am not Irish, and I really never have celebrated this holiday in a very big way, but I decided there were some cool reasons to write about it: (1) I think it's nifty that America is made up of so many different nationalities, and that we can even celebrate a particular one all together. (2) I talked about needing to wear green so you don't get pinched--and the fact that I wear green almost all the time anyway, since it's my favorite color, so I'm usually OK even if I forget about the holiday. (3) I mentioned that we also wish each other "the luck of the Irish," and that I already consider myself very lucky to have them (the sponsored kids) as part of my extended family!

Complete with some shamrock-decorated paper, and personalized notes to each child, and it was a nice little letter!

For my American kids, I was thinking Valentine's Day. I found an absolutely adorable Valentine-making kit, which I supplemented with doilies and stickers. The toy store I got the kits from offers free gift wrapping all the time--they offered to wrap the kits with heart paper--which they did, and they PILED on the curly ribbon! I'm so excited to think of these kids with so little getting such a gorgeous package, and having the "stuff" to make fun Valentines for friends and family. I told them in a note to be sure and make special Valentines for their moms....

It's really much more fun writing letters now that I know I'm writing once per month. I can enjoy the process rather than feeling guilty because it's been so long since the last letter! The principal at my school has given me the go-ahead to form a second-Saturday letter-writing group for sponsors in our school community. I'm thinking we could all get together and pool resources like scrapbooking supplies and ideas. Hope I get some people interested in coming to it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Many heartaches

So... a lovely woman, one of the parents from our school, suffered a massive stroke a few days ago. She remains unconscious, after having had part of her skull removed to relieve swelling in her brain. If you happen to read this, please lift up a prayer for Joanne. She has maintained an awesome blog for years that has impacted thousands of people--a true woman of faith. She is only 38, and has two wonderful daughters and a terrific husband.

Yesterday, just as I was sitting in the car frantically signing a card for a mom-to-be whose baby shower I was late for, my oldest daughter called. "Mom... I was just in an accident. I don't know what to do." Steph is fine (but her car isn't). Lilia and I made our excuses at the baby shower, and drove up to the accident scene to be with Steph.

At one point, the man who hit her (a cab driver) told me, "And I just found out today I have cancer." He apologized then, saying I didn't need to hear that. What kind of cancer? I asked. Prostate. And it's advanced. "Been there, done that," I told him, and we talked a little about treatments, side effects, and support groups.

I go for weeks in which I pretty much stay in my little box. If I hear of tragedies, they seem far away. I do pray for people involved in such things, but it always seems to be distant, removed. These last few days, everything seems closer to home. Prayer seems a little more urgent: Please, please heal Joanne. Thank you that Steph wasn't hurt. Please offer comfort to the cab driver (His name is Arthur.).

Needless to say, I've been hugging Bob a lot.