Monday, March 24, 2008

A very, very fun day!

Matthew had a great day today!

Have you ever had an especially nice day ~ one that you would like to repeat over and over again? Today was that kind of day for me ... almost perfect ... no complaints!

Grandpa Jones and I arrived over at Di's this morning at 10:00. Since it was Monday morning and every Monday morning for the past 16-17 weeks I have mailed a letter to Jesse, today was no different ~ except I asked Ems, Chris and Matthew to help me. We got to work on it right away. Emma wanted to color a picture for her daddy, so she got started drawing it. Chris wanted to cut out hearts to send, and Matthew wanted me to trace his hand so he could color it and send it. Once we got started, everyone copied each other's ideas and so we ended up stuffing an envelope pretty fat and sending it off to Jesse. We put each child's name on each heart or picture so Jesse would know who did the beautiful artwork. Emma helped me by spelling each name, and several times she wrote out each name for me. She is doing really well on her letters and her spelling ~ PLUS she sounds out small words by making each letter's sound and is on her way to reading! She seems to enjoy all of this very much.

We got Jesse's envelope ready, licked the stamps and then all of us walked over to the mailbox, which is right by Emma's bus stop. What a beautiful morning it was in El Paso! Clear blue sky and cool enough for a light jacket. Since it was so pleasant outside, we decided we would walk to the park that is behind the houses across the street from Di's (kind of diagonal) and play there. It's a nice size playground, everything colored red ~ Chris's favorite color ~ and Jesse's (and mine!). There are tunnels to crawl through, two nice slides, some cool climbing equipment, and it isn't too high for Matthew to do by himself. We were the only family at the park for awhile, but then two other children joined us: Vanessa (4) and Anthony (5) who live way across the field. What nice kids too! Underneath the playground equipment is kind of a rough sand/tiny gravel base that the kids were all digging in. They were finding cool stones and some nice rocks but before long they were digging up some dangerous stuff like broken glass, thorny burs, sharp plastic pieces, etc. So I kept taking these objects from them to throw away. All of them became like little junior archeologists trying to find stuff to give to me. It was kind of alarming to me that this stuff was anywhere NEAR a playground. We did have fun, though, just talking about the rocks and sand and all of the things God has made. I really enjoyed meeting Vanessa and Anthony and Ems, Chris and Matthew enjoyed making two new friends!
The kids really enjoyed watching the turtles swimming
and sunning themselves ...Emma thought it was funny the way
the turtles would climb up on the logs and knock
each other off ...

Christopher thought it was a bit hot
and that the animals "really smelled"
but he had fun looking at the animals ...

It was a beautiful sunny day at the zoo!
What a nice picture of Diana and Matthew!

We enjoyed a small dish of ice cream together ... The sea lions were SO cool ...This is where we saw them swimming
under the water ...
It was fun to see them SO close!

... especially when one would open up its mouth
and BARK and make faces!
This was Chris's favorite part.

After lunch, our destination was the El Paso Zoo. We had two really fun hours there. We saw a spectacled bear, some elephants, American alligators, turtles sunning themselves in a pond, some monkeys, a beautiful leopard, an amazing tiger (although it was difficult to see him), a couple of sleeping Orangatuns ~ but the most fun animals to see were the sea lions. We were able to see them swimming in their pool and playing, but then Grandpa Jones showed us the way, down a ramp, to see the sea lions swimming under the water. There was a huge window and the sea lions would come right up to the window and open their mouths wide like they were biting and make the funniest faces. Chris and Emma and Matthew thought it was so funny. I wished I had brought my tape recorder so that I could hear their beautiful laughter again and again!

The elephants finally came out of hiding ...
the first time we walked by, they were NO WHERE
to be found ...

We went home for dinner, and afterwards we played school for awhile and then had story time. I intended to bring a bunch of my children's books from home along with me, but I forgot the pile that I had stacked on a shelf upstairs at home ~ I ended up only bringing three books to read. The kids have plenty of books at their house, but they wanted me to read the three that I brought along. I read them yesterday, but they wanted to hear them again today. One of the books is called, "The Fourth Little Pig" and it's just a cute story. I asked Emma if she could remember the story today and tell it to us before I read it again. She has such a good memory. She told her brothers the whole story and hardly forgot any of it ~ she just sparkled as she told it to them! I also brought two Lift-the-Flap type books: one of Old Testament stories (Creation, Noah and the ark, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, etc.) and one of New Testament stories (Jesus as a little boy, Jesus and Zaccheus, Jesus Feeding the 5000, Jesus teaching his disciples how to fish, etc.). Emma, Christopher and Matthew had all had their showers/baths, were in the PJ's, and sat in a semi-circle while I read these books and interacted with them. What a joy it was! Matthew isn't quite three, so some of this was hard for him ~ but for the most part, he sat quietly, listened, and joined in when asked to. Christopher, who is all wiggles and TOTAL boy, sat at complete attention ~ you should have seen his face! He loved all of the stories. Emma enjoyed every single minute!
Grandpa Jones and Diana were on the couch listening and observing ... Mr. Jones says that if I can keep a 3, 4 and 5-year old content for 40 minutes while reading three books, I should be able to teach the 3-year-old class at Calvary ~ he says if I just do what I do with my grandchildren, I will do just fine! It was nice to hear that, because I have had huge doubts that I will ever be ready to teach the 3-year-old class. I think tonight, for the first time, I am less worried about it and feel a real peace about where God is leading me.

Well, tomorrow is ZERO DAY ... that's what Emma is calling it ... because that is our last day at her house. We already cried a little bit about it today, but then we promised each other that we would just have fun today AND tomorrow and save our tears for later. I will tell you all about ZERO DAY tomorrow.


Futuristics said...

NICE Blog :)

Anonymous said...

Shocked why we thought you would be happy!

Anonymous said...

hi carol... I loved reading about your days with the children.. lovely... my deepest thoughts and all my prayers for you today... from one huge grandma heart to another.... know that i am praying... love you karen

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a great day. Thanks for keeping us posted. We know Diana and the kids are loving your visit. Mom and Dad Hand

Mom Jones said...

Hi Karen! Thank you for praying. My heart is so heavy this morning and the tears are falling and I must stop them before I get to Diana's! I want the children and I to have another happy day together. Knowing you are praying will make a big difference.

Hi Mom and Dad Hand! Hopefully sometime Thursday I will be able to load the pictures and insert them into each day's narrative. The pictures of the children are just beautiful ... I know you will love them. :)

Sabrina said...

I'm praying for you too Mom especially on zero day today. I know how sad your heart is. I love you!

Ruthanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruthanne said...

Hi Carol!- I have enjoyed reading about your trip! It is just a little like being able to talk to you because you write just like you talk, which I like! I feel for you having to leave your little grandchildren!! It was very hard for us to leave Shari and Mark the other day - I can't imagine what it will be like having to leave my granddaughter. YES! IT IS A GIRL!! :) :) :) I am so excited - I just found out today and I just keep smiling! But seeing what you go through, I know it will be difficult to have her living in another state! I will email you a picture of Shari.

Ruthanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.