kids say the funniest things: my day at school

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i have two grand children: Jake almost 7 yrs old and Ella who just turned 6 yrs old.

i started volunteering today at my grand children’s school. apparently, it’s not common in NZ schools to have parent volunteers. the children were amazed to have a new face in their classrooms. it seemed even more intriguing to them since i was a grand parent.

20140401-211648.jpgi thought i would share some of the funny things the children said to me today.

20140401-211830.jpgi truly enjoyed myself and look forward to going back.

20140401-214120.jpgthe cute things children said to me today:
1. Who are you and why are you here?

2. Teacher: Jake, would you like to tell the class who this is and why she is here? Jake: This is my great grandma. She’s here to help us do fun stuff. If she says to us to us to read a book, should we say yes or no?

3. Boy: That girl likes me! (Me:she does? How do you know?) boy: cause I’m hot.

4. (Girl swinging from the monkey bars): I’m having a break from school for a while…I’m too tired for school.

5. Are you sure you are jake’s great grandma? My great grandma is real old. I think she’s like 50 or something. How old are you? (Jake: in 1 more year she will be as old as my mom!) (I’m 53 and my daughter is 25!)

6. girl: I have a really big house. We need lots of room because my grandma lives with us and she takes up a lot of room. If she would move out we wouldn’t have to live in a big house anymore.

7. Me to a little boy with hair the color of Ella’s: it looks like you and Ella have been coloring out of the same crayon box. Little boy: yip! We have the best color. (They both have red hair).

8. I asked if someone could show me where the restroom was. My grandson volunteered to show me where to find it. A little girl said to me: it’s probably better if you use the girl one. (I assured her i would make sure he showed me to the right one).

9. Standing at the restroom door one little girl says to me: look, if there are wees on the seat, just wipe it off with your hand. No worries.

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Act of Kindness Opportunity: One person can’t do everything but everyone can do something.

BooneI’d like to introduce you to my friend from college Boone Bureenok.

I met Boone when I was in Bible College.

He returned home after school and is now pastoring a church in his homeland which runs an orphanage.

They provide a home for children whose families are unable to care for them for a variety of reasons.

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Boone’s heart is heavy.

He needs help to save their church, property & orphanage.

There is much going on Thailand at the moment as we can see from a distance via the news.

Firstly, he has asked for prayer. The dream he has to provide a home to orphan children is under threat.

The weight of responsibility in itself will be great.

Secondly, the bank has required that he meet a $3800 payment by 21 March 2014.

To many this does not seem like an overwhelming amount but for a small orphanage in Thailand in might as well be millions.

To date they have raised $2000 and they still need $1200.

Another college friend, Dora Walker, has put together a plea for help from fellow Tomlinson College Alumni.

Dora and I talked the other day and we concluded that maybe we as individuals can’t do everything but everyone can do something.

It is this simple. To raise the remaining $1200 by the deadline it would take:

100 people who could give $12 each.

In NZ, that is less than the cost of a meal out.

Boone has a pay pal account set up and everyone can use his email address if they are able to give. 

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Many of us around the world are blessed to be able to hold our children close and feed them their favourite meal today.

I think we could honour that blessing by taking advantage of this act of kindness opportunity and sharing with children who do not have what we have today.

I have been blogging now for almost a year. My heart’s desire was to be able to reach out to the hurting hearts of this world.

Although, I am not known to ask for money, I am asking today that you once again…

look inside your heart…

does this situation speak to your heart and can you help?

if you can please give generously.

you can contact Boone via email to donate directly at boone180001955@gmail.com.

Remember, no act of kindness, no matter the size, goes unnoticeable or unrewarded.

God Bless!

D

A Secret About “That Woman” in Your Life

20140321-090848.jpgi love this photo. this is my maternal grandmother driving a tractor on the family farm.

i don’t think i could drive a tractor to save my life. i have excuses like i’m so short that i can’t see important things around me and i have been known to run over things in a big vehicle, let alone a big tractor.

but, i’m not afraid to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty. i mean, really dirty! eww, some if the jobs I have agreed to do for the sake of my family and family business makes my head spin sometimes.

want to know a secret about women?

a woman will give you everything she’s got to give!

she will!

she will get up early, work her fingers to the bone, give every last ounce of strength she can muster in her day and collapse only after everyone else is fully looked after knowing within a few hours (if she gets a few hours of uninterrupted sleep) she will start all over again.

she does it because of the deep well of love that resides in her heart.

i have been reading so many posts, blogs, notes, and tweets from exhausted women all over the world. these women are assisting hard working men, growing children, people who are unable to help themselves, elderly family members, charities and friends.

they give and give…

what would your world be like without “that women” who keeps it flowing so seemlessly?

the secret is that women will give to you beyond what you can imagine -you don’t have to manipulate or extract it from her! in return, her heart needs your respect, love and appreciation.

respect, love and appreciation will fuel her in ways that not even she understands.

celebrate her!

cherish her!

hug her!

and today (if not everyday!)..,

thank her.

because she is aiding your success, one tiny, exhausting task at a time!

and believe me…it’s no small thing…until those tiny tasks land in your lap and you need to fill her shoes.

i give honor to my grandmothers, my aunts, my cousins and MY MOTHER (whose shoes i’ll never properly fill), my friends, and readers who give and have given so selflessly to make life more successful.

you are awesome!
D

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

deeclarknz.comthis flower is commonly called a red hot fire poker in New Zealand. stems shoot out from within draping green foliage.

it is one of my favourite NZ plants.

when we moved into our little cottage, i was pleased to see one in the gardens.

deeclarknz.cominside the foliage of this beautiful plant lives a colony of snails.

by now you have probably guessed that i am not a seasoned gardener.

as i found these tiny little creatures fascinating.

emerging from inside their portable homes, to enjoy the sunlight…

or so i thought!

even though they are considered a garden pest, i delighted in photographing their journeys inside my plant that day.

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since many of my blogs deal with the things we find inside the heart, i compared how i looked at these creatures as adorable, harmless little beings. the truth is that they are not harmless if i want my plant to flourish and grow. in the same way, we can allow things to co-exist deep inside our hearts that seems harmless; have been there for a long time and we’ve grown used to their presence; or might even appear to be adorable at first glance but allowing them to remain there, inside of our hearts, will prevent growth. they might cause damage even if it is ever so slightly at first.

i suppose i will have to address the gardening issue but for today, these little creatures are a part of my submission for The Weekly Photo Challenge.

Enjoy.

D

Inspiring Story: The Father of Invention

David Cook of The Chattanooga NewsFree Press shared this inspiring story. I am certain my readers will find this inspirational so I wanted to share it with you.20140319-191605.jpg

The Reynolds’ Wrap is Andrew’s parent’s blog.

Meet Andrew Reynolds, the luckiest little kid around.

Two years ago, he was born without a right hand.

Or a left hand.

His right leg ended at his knee.

His left leg? Just below it.

Then he was abandoned by his mother in an orphanage in Ukraine.

(What’s that? Oh, yes. The lucky part.)

So last summer, little Andrew’s lying in a Ukrainian orphanage, limbless and hopeless, when in walks the man who would soon become his dad.

The man looks down at the boy he soon will adopt, and sees what could be instead of what is. The man takes some duct tape, a potholder and a wooden Ukrainian spoon, and thingamajiggers them together — the potholder wrapped around the boy’s left stub, the spoon coming out the end like a new forearm, the tape holding it altogether — and presto!

Within days, Andrew’s playing with toys, laughing, like someone just catapulted him out of the orphanage and into a Disneyland of possibilities.

“He went from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can,’” said Ezra Reynolds.

This is what Ezra does: He helps people go from I can’t to I can. Ezra is a design specialist for Signal Centers, which helps people — especially disabled ones — find full and independent lives.

Paraplegics. A woman with Parkinson’s. A boy who could only move his finger. A man with a clubbed hand. Using anything from old arcade parts to aluminum foil, Ezra invents devices so they can use a computer, play with toys, keep their jobs.

But his greatest invention?

He gave Andrew something he didn’t have.

“Independence,” said Ezra.

Last summer, Ezra and his wife, Kelly, traveled to Ukraine to adopt their fourth child. There they met Andrew. He was 18 months old and could do nothing on his own. Not eat. Not play. Not move. They placed a toy in front of him, and he cried.

“He’d been taught he can’t do these things because of his disability,” said Ezra.

Ezra invents the spoon-arm, then, after they bring Andrew to their Chattanooga home, Ezra invents something like a miniature surfboard with wheels that teaches Andrew how to use his half-limbs to move around.

Soon Andrew discards the board and begins moving around on his own. See the pattern? Dependence is replaced by invention, which leads to independence … and, among other things, the ability to pry open the fridge.

“We see him scooching off with the mayonnaise,” Ezra said.

Talk to Ezra, and you realize quickly his brain is working exponentially faster than yours, 1.21 gigawatts compared to a single-strand bulb. He’s 33, graduated from Central High, then the University of Tennessee Chattanooga with a degree in computer science and another in electrical engineering.

For inspiration, he wanders around Lowe’s, just looking, like Michelangelo in a marble quarry. His Signal Centers workshop is part Ace Hardware, part Google.

(He once met a boy who’d lost his hand, some fingers and his lower leg, and was terrified of a prosthesis. So Ezra found a Woody doll from “Toy Story.” He sawed off the hand, fingers and lower leg, and built a toy prosthesis. He gave it to the boy, so that when the boy went to get his prosthesis, he’d have some company. “It’s not so bad if you have a buddy,” Ezra said.)

Each week, Ezra takes his designs to the place he loves most: the 3D printer on the fourth floor of the Chattanooga Public Library.

“The limits are what I can envision in my head,” Ezra said.

Ezra uses the 3D printer to build devices that help his Signal Centers clients: the blind, dyslexic and paraplegic.

And one day, he used the 3D printer to make a new prosthesis for Andrew.

It’s like a plastic bracelet with an O on top. It Velcro-straps to Andrew’s stub, so his half-arm now has a cuff with an O above it that can hold a colored marker or a spoon and let Andrew begin to do things like everybody else.

“Like write, or eat,” said Ezra.

With a spoon in his 3D-printed prosthesis, Andrew eats second helpings of spaghetti. He steals his sisters’ toys. He pulls all the Kleenexes out of the box. Ezra and Kelly scold him, but it’s the softest, kindest scolding in parenting history.

“On the inside, we’re saying, ‘Yes!’” said Ezra.

You see? Andrew’s the luckiest. Sure, you could say he got a bum deal in life. That he got shortchanged.

You could say that. But you’d be wrong.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then love is the father. That day in the Ukrainian orphanage, Ezra looked on his son not with pity, but with hope.

He tinkered with a wooden spoon and duct tape. He huddled over the 3D printer. He imagined, believed and created. Because that’s what inventors do.

They invent new devices.

But Andrew?

His dad invented him a new life.

Contact David Cook at dcook@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DavidCookTFP.

like Ezra many are given “you can’t” messages that break their hearts. given support, opportunity and hope, those messages can be deafened.

i encourage you, dear reader, to remember that you can do anything you set your mind to do.

don’t accept limits.

let Ezra and his dad inspire you.
D