Tag Archive | teaching

Little eyes and ears


My election day plea is not a pitch for any candidate, but a simple request:  Many people bring their children to the polls with them.  Please do everything you can to ensure that the quality of adult social behavior those impressionable eyes see is the quality of behavior you would want them to emulate.

John 13:34-35

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

34 A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

Peace be with you all.

— Kelly

How easy it would be to show him how you feel


Here’s the song reference.

We moved our classroom over to Nonno and Deedaw’s house today; the cousins were spending the day there, and it was a rare opportunity for the six of them to enjoy each other’s company for most of a day.  Bugaboo made a brief attempt to snow Deedaw and Niece into believing that she really couldn’t read her assigned passage, but righted herself when I came in to ascertain why it had taken 15 minutes for her to decipher five lines of thirty-six point text.  Deedaw, Niece and I smothered our chuckles at her red-faced and rapid reading of the page thereafter.  Interestingly, Beanie finished her seatwork in record time, and received showers of praise from both Deedaw and Nonno as a result.

It was actually a very pleasant homeschooling morning, although I was slightly discombobulated from having to extract books and materials from a backpack instead of my little kitchen cubbies.  Mr. Man, Baby Guy, and Nephew wandered in and out of the dining room where we had stationed ourselves, I took a couple of diaper-changing breaks, and Deedaw produced a largish pan of macaroni and cheese just as the last math problems were solved.  We even worked in a round of the “Austrian Yodeler” song.

After lunch, the shorty syndicate wanted to go outside.  Niece, before heading outdoors, asked Deedaw where she might find a rake. Having been directed to the shed, she proceeded to gather the leaves in the side yard into neat piles.

I should point out here that Nonno has been ill of late, and has had a lot of difficulty getting outdoors to do his usual yard work.  Deedaw and I had discussed that last night, and I had assured her that over the course of the week, I would take care of the leaves.  Heartened by the unexpected assist from Niece, I grabbed the other big rake, distributed toy rakes among the tinier helpers, and set about raking and bagging the backyard.  Bugaboo did heroic service fetching and delivering the big leaf bags, and helping pile leaves into them. We managed to get in a couple of hours’ worth of work before Mr. Man and Baby Guy started “need a nap” meltdowns.

After Bugaboo and Beanie awoke from their naps (the boys were sacked out until nearly dinnertime), I called Deedaw to see how she and Nonno were faring.  Niece and Nephew had gone home with their father by then.  I marveled to Deedaw about Niece’s willingness to help, and asked her if Deedaw had instructed her to assist.

“No.  She did that all on her own.  She asked if she could do that right after she got here this morning.”

When I teach my seventh grade Faith Formation class later this week, and ask them the same question I ask every week, Niece will have provided a shining example for young people only a year her junior.  Oh, the question?

“How did someone say ‘I love you” without using words or giving you any material thing?”

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for a niece who sets an example of comforting the afflicted for Your blessings.  Without words, she showed a love that is patient, kind, and humble.  Please grant Your blessings the wisdom to remember her wordless teaching as they grow, and help me to reinforce the lesson with my own thoughts, words, and deeds.   Grant us all the grace to honor our parents as we should, to be Your face to them as they have been to us.  They are Your first gifts to us.

Better together


As part of her schoolwork today, Beanie made a largish lump of play clay.  While flour, salt, oil, water, and cream of tartar were being mixed and cooked, Bugaboo was sourly practicing her addition facts and lamenting that her day’s assignments did not include the concoction of moldable substances.  Beanie managed not to look too awfully smug, and I reminded Bugaboo that there are days when her own schoolwork includes a spiffy craft and Beanie’s is mostly drill.

Around 10:00, all the day’s assignments were completed.  This was about a half hour after Baby Guy decided he’d had enough of this morning and went down for an early nap.  I credit Mr. Man, who decided that he and his brother should both awaken and play a game of catch the bear between their cribs at 5:45 a.m.  Beanie snagged a couple of wipes to clean along the baseboards, Mr. Man headed for the living room to pick up the fluffs of Smudgie’s fur that seem to reproduce overnight, Bugaboo grabbed the dustpan and brush to sweep the hallway and around the living room carpet, and I started in on the breakfast dishes.

A few moments later, Beanie came skipping through to deposit her grimy wipes in the trash cans, and rendered me nearly speechless by asking, “Mommy, do you have any other chores I can do?”  Once I had recovered, I told her she could take the other dustpan and brush from behind the trash can and see if Bugaboo or Mr. Man needed help.  Shortly thereafter, Beanie and Mr. Man came giggling into the kitchen, balancing a dustpan full of dog hair between them, and managed to empty most of it into the trash can instead of the dogs’ water dish.

The rest of the day was relatively peaceful; we read stories for a while, had warm biscuits, honeycrisp apples, and slices of nice sharp cheddar for lunch, then the tribe caught the Barney Halloween special on Netflix while I dozed on the couch for a few minutes (I was up an hour before the boys, for the record) before we all headed to the back yard to play “chase the puppy” on a glorious October afternoon.

After dinner, we dropped Bugaboo off at Faith Formation (think Sunday school, but on Monday night), then came home for some more story time, a can of enormous olives, and some desperately needed baths.  Beanie generously ceded the privilege of story choosing entirely to her little brothers.  Once we had tucked them in, she and I headed upstairs for our Monday night Mommy and Beanie time (Bugaboo goes fencing with Daddy after Faith Formation).  After she put her toys away, she danced over to the kitchen table to see what tonight’s adventures might be.  She helped me chop dates, nuts, and candy for an orange slice cake, then, to her very great delight, got two make-your-own-Halloween-sticker-scene sheets for her very own.  Beanie is FANATICAL about stickers, and she set to decorating a couple of haunted houses with great glee, narrating what was happening as she built each one.  I love her stories, because everything is innocent and sweet.  Even the ghosts are nice in Beanie’s stories — they’re the ones that know the best candy to put in trick-or-treaters’ pumpkins is the chocolate kind.

Once she was all stickered out, she polished off the rest of the olives while I got her play clay, now cooled, from the refrigerator.  She gleefully dumped it out of the bag, dug her little hands merrily into it, and started to build a big snowman.  After a few rolls of the dough, she sighed and slumped back in her chair.

“What’s wrong, Beanie?  Do you need some help?”

“No, I don’t need any help.”

“Is the dough too cold.”

“No, the dough’s not too cold.  It’s just not as much fun without Bugaboo.  Will she and Daddy be home soon?  I miss making things with her.”

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your blessings, for whom we prayed for so long.  Thank You for guiding us to teach them that they are each other’s first and best friends, and that every joyful thing becomes even greater when it is shared.  Help us to continue and extend that lesson with the, Lord, that whatever they have can be shared with whomever they meet.  Please remind us that whenever two or more are gathered together in Your name, You are there, and that whenever we reach out a hand in love to share the bounty with which You have blessed us, we honor You.

Riders on the storm


Here’s the song reference.

We had some horrific lines of thunderstorms roll through here yesterday, and the three ambulatory members of the tribe spent a good part of the afternoon and early evening trying to watch out the windows.  I say that they were trying to do so because I kept shooing them AWAY from the windows, since the weather radio was lit up with a steady stream of tornado and severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.

During one break in the storms, Bugaboo observed, “There is a little peek of sunshine coming through the clouds.  That means there must be a rainbow.”  I complimented her on her recall, and invited her, Beanie and Mr. Man to check all the windows to see if they could find one.  Unfortunately, none was visible from our little corner of the world.  However, just before the girls went to bed, I chanced to check Facebook.  Lo and behold, a friend had posted a photo of a beautiful rainbow, arcing across the sky above Wegmans.  I ran into the kitchen, where Bugaboo and Beanie were cadging one last pre-bedtime snack from Daddy, and showed them the picture.  Bugaboo jumped up in her chair and said, “Wow!  I knew there would be a rainbow!  God always sends rainbows after storms!”

Yes, he does, my love.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for the storms that deepen our appreciation for calm, and for the rainbows that follow lightning.  Please help us teach Your blessings that in every frightening or destructive thing, we can see Your beauty if we pause to consider Your promises.

This is the day that never ends


Here’s the song reference.

Whether I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday or had my peace disturbed by two wee girls whining at everyone before 7 a.m. I could not say, but we had an epidemic of crankiness around here yesterday.  I really wanted to do some major housecleaning yesterday, but it did not happen because every time I stood for a moment to think about what needed to be done, one or another of our little blessings emitted a shriek of a pitch and volume that indicated a possible injury.  This makes it hard for me to concentrate and to remain calm.

By around 9:30, I was snarking at all four of them.  My usual fail-safe, sending them all into the backyard for a scavenger hunt or soccer game, didn’t work.  Bugaboo stayed outside for roughly ninety seconds before returning to where I was trying to clean the kitchen counters while providing a standing support for Baby Guy, whining wretchedly that there were bugs in the yard, it was hot, there wasn’t a flat place where she could ride her scooter, it was humid, a bee had buzzed at her, and the dew on the grass had gotten her shoes wet.

I resorted to Netflix.  We have about a dozen “vintage” animated series in our queue, and I declared a day of watching one episode of each show, then pretending to be someone from the show.  The only flaw in my otherwise awesome plan for keeping the kids occupied and entertained was that Bugaboo was the only child who was even remotely interested in watching a video screen yesterday — and she wasn’t interested in doing anything but watching the video screen.  Beanie, Mr. Man, and Baby Guy are more or less indifferent to television and movies, although Beanie likes to watch hockey, football, and judo.  Ironically, she is the same child who loves Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, and all things pink.

Rather than describe the frustration of the day in minute detail, suffice it to say that very little cleaning got done, I spent entirely too much time and energy hollering at the tiny people, and they responded in kind.  The alacrity with which they follow whatever example I set for them is a little chilling sometimes.  It’s a rare day when not even storytime can settle us all down, but Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man whined and complained through each other’s chosen stories, which definitely takes the fun out of that pastime.

Near the end of the day, Bugaboo was curled up watching Dumbo, which was airing on one of the Disney channels last night, Beanie was happily playing with Polly Pockets in the girls’ room, Baby Guy was playing with Daddy in our room, and Mr. Man was bringing me his books to read, one after another, all his favorite rhythmic stories from Dr. Seuss and Bill Martin.  I paused in the middle of Green Eggs and Ham, realizing that no one was complaining about anything, and smiled.  Mr. Man looked up to see why I had stopped, patted my shoulder, and said, “Mama smile.  Nice Mama.”

There’s really nothing quite like being convicted by a two year old.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for a home to clean, and for Your four blessings who help make the messes.  Thank You for the moments when their quiet joy reminds me that I have allowed anger to take root where love should live.  Please help me remember that I teach them in every moment, whether or not any school books are present, and that the lessons they learn may take Your own grace to undo.  Please grant me a gentle tongue, and remind me to pause before I use it.  Before I sharply send them away so that I can do something that seems important at the moment, please remind me that You Yourself instructed Your disciples to let the children come to you, and that the tenor of my rebuke can distance them from You.  Grant me the grace of recalling Your words before I utter my own.

Perhaps a little too much noise


Here’s the song reference.

Our playgroup met yesterday, and Bugaboo did, in fact, greatly enjoy showing off her new scooter.  I discovered that we’ll need to do a little work on the concept of sharing with our friends, since the friend who is always so generous with her own scooter would barely strap on the helmet before Bugaboo informed her that her turn was over.  It’s not the hardest lesson to teach, but it’s a tough one to learn — and it’s a difficult one to practice when you’re five years old and you’ve had your spiffy new scooter for exactly one day.

We had quite the rambunctious crowd, too, with about a dozen toddlers in raucous attendance. There are times when it’s a challenge for me to gauge the noise level in the room, as I can’t hear much out of one ear, but the other moms are wonderful about monitoring for overly loud shrieks and wails.  On some days, though, we get involved in our own conversations, and in grinning at the antics of our assembled broods. About an hour into the mayhem, I saw one of the lovely ladies who works in the parish office at the doors leading from the vestibule, so I headed over to meet her at the door.  “Too loud?”  I asked sheepishly.  “Yep, too loud,” she replied.  “We heard that one shriek all the way up in the office, and there are people praying in the sanctuary.”

Oops.  Since the parish office is separated from our playgroup space by the sanctuary and a flight of steps, that’s pretty loud.  I apologized, and we reminded our riot of little blessings that quieter, indoor voices were required.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr. Man was the source of the shriek that was heard upstairs, so I’ll likely need to redouble my efforts to find a way to get him to understand the concept of “volume control.”

After playgroup, it was home for lunch and naps.  I actually enforced naptime for Bugaboo and Beanie yesterday, since their sleep schedules went to pieces with all the excitement of the past week, with a resultant epic case of grouchiness yesterday morning.  While they slept, I managed to do a little cleaning in the kitchen, but not before I abandoned myself to an hour on the couch with my Kindle and a cup of coffee to read in the blessed silence of four sleeping children.  As the subtitle of the blog says, it’s all about “finding joy and a stronger faith in the little things.”

I must confess that one of the big joys that will derive from a little thing will be when Mr. Man learns the proper use of the cups he is constantly picking up . . . and when he stops responding to having them taken away from him with phenomenal displays of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for four little blessings who are full of life, energy, and enthusiasm.  Please help me direct their enthusiasm into pursuits and behaviors that are pleasing to You, but to provide that direction gently, that they will not learn to get their way by raising their voices.  It is Your way, not our, that we seek to obtain.  Thank You for all the wonderful examples of softly-spoken mothers You have sent to our parish moms’ group and to the blogosphere, and please help me follow the teaching You send me through them.  Please bless those ladies with the knowledge that they are teaching Your ways wisely and well, and grant them the grace of children who bring honor to their parents and glory to You.

You say it’s your birthday, we’re gonna have a good time


Here’s the song reference.

Bugaboo’s fifth birthday was an absolute riot of activity and good cheer.  Time constraints will not permit me to go into a lot of detail, but if a picture really does say a thousand words, you’ll find the equivalent of War and Peace in the gallery.

Our day began well before 7:00, as both Bugaboo and Beanie were far too excited to sleep, and by the time Daddy left for work at 7:45, Bugaboo had opened all her gifts and was cheerfully playing with a few new toys.  We did “theme boxes” for her; she likes Tinkerbell, Strawberry Shortcake, Spider-Man and Transformers, so she had one box for each.  Each box had a small toy or two (except the Transformers one, which had a big Optimus Prime voice-changing helmet) and a quartet of books about the character.  She also received her first watch, which caused her to exclaim, “I must really be a big girl now!”

Grandma arrived about a half-hour after Daddy left, bearing with her a new scooter (and a helmet — Grandma worked in emergency x-ray for almost 50 years and has rather strong opinions about kids, wheels, and helmets), along with some snacks and crafts for all of  her grandbabies to share.  Suncatchers were painted, scratch art cards were scratched, and then everything chewable by Smudgie was hurriedly stowed for our weekly trip to the farm.

We passed a pleasant hour playing at the farm before I retrieved our big box of vegetables, made a quick stop at home to drop off the box (which also contained a half-dozen of the biggest eggs I’ve ever seen), then headed for the tribe’s favorite unhealthy lunch spot, Big Yellow M.  Grandma rode herd on the tribe in the play area while I waited in line for the food.  As I stood there, my mother suddenly appeared beside me and thrust Baby Guy into my arms, then turned and rushed back to the play area. I figured Baby Guy had gotten a little too wiggly, but then I heard the unmistakeable shriek of a frightened Mr. Man.  Casting about quickly to see what had happened, I spied Grandma spryly climbing the webbed-in steps of the kid Habitrail, where Mr. Man had become lost.  Bugaboo scampered past Grandma and played tour guide, and, after I had plunked our tray down on a table and secured Baby Guy in a high chair with a small pile of fries, Grandma and I switched places, as she discovered that there’s a bit of a trick to getting Mr. Man out of the Habitrail without injury to anyone.  We roundly praised Bugaboo for being such a caring and brave big sister, I gave Grandma mad props for getting into the Habitrail, and Mr. Man, after a little chocolate milk and a couple of fries, decided that he still likes Big Yellow M just fine.

After that, it was definitely time to head home for a nap.  Baby Guy, Mr. Man, and Beanie all went to sleep after brief protestations, but Bugaboo kept wandering out to make sure nothing else interesting was happening.  After about an hour, Grandma left to go check in to her hotel, and Bugaboo came back down the hall to see if, perhaps, maybe, there might be the tiniest chance that she could watch a little bit of TV to relax.  One “Tom and Jerry,” one “Puppy in My Pocket,” one “Mr. Men Show (during which she was joined by Beanie),” and one “Super Hero Squad” later, the rest of the tribe was awake, Grandma had returned, Daddy was on his way home from work, and Mommy was bustling about the kitchen trying to get dinner on the table at 5:00, which was when we had told Nonno and Deedaw (who were bringing little cousin Dubs with them).

One of our house customs is that if it is your birthday, you get to choose the menu.  Bugaboo decided that she wanted steak, macaroni and cheese, carrots, and bread for her feast, so at least there wasn’t any terribly difficult prep work involved.  Grandma did an heroic job of keeping the kids clear of the kitchen while I worked.  Nonno and Deedaw ran a little late, so by the time they arrived, we had fed the tribe and thus did not have to play musical chairs (we can seat eight at our kitchen table — ten poses quite the logistical problem).  As it happened, Nonno and Deedaw arrived with Dubs not long after Bugaboo, Beanie and Mr. Man had cleaned their plates, and thus were met by an excited birthday girl who was wildly curious about the contents of the brightly colored bags her paternal grandparents had brought.  To her very great credit, she shared all of her birthday toys with all of her siblings and her wee cousin, too, even the much-desired actually-transforming-Transformers she received from Nonno and Deedaw.

Once the adults and Dubs had eaten, and Baby Guy had polished off a second helping of macaroni, we cleared the table for singing and cake.  While we were putting the food away, Mr. Man ambled in and began requesting art supplies.  There is a special kind of chaos that attends a two year old boy using paint and markers while his parents are trying to put away food and wash dishes.  After we had sung “Happy Birthday” to Bugaboo and passed around slices of cake, we discovered that adding frosting to the aforementioned two-year old boy is something that has to be seen, because there are no words in any language that adequately describe the resultant mess — or at least none that I could use in this blog.

After all the grandparents left in a flurry of hugs and kisses, we tucked in the boys and let the girls stay up a few extra minutes for an extended storytime (sort of mandatory when one has almost 20 new books).  As we tucked her into her bed, Bugaboo declared she had “the absolute best and most awesomest birthday ever!”

Mission accomplished.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for five years of Bugaboo, for her wit, beauty, and kindness.  Thank You for the large and loving family with which You have blessed her.  Please help us all raise her into a woman who will be a joy to her family and to You.

And that’s when I first saw the bear


Not literally, just literarily.  Here’s the song reference.  It’s dreadfully inappropriate (and really more of a spoken word piece than a song), but it’s the song that popped into my head as the “blog moment” happened.

We had a mellow sort of rainy day around here; I baked bread, read stories, slogged through five loads of tiny laundry, tried to create a little order in the chaosium of our kitchen, enforced naptime, that kind of thing.  The morning’s big bright spot was the discovery of Bugaboo’s toy computer, which had been missing and missed for almost eighteen months.  Somehow, it turned up under my nightstand.  She and Beanie celebrated by playing games on their respective “computers” for about an hour until Mr. Man and Baby Guy awoke, at which time there were waffles all around, followed by paint for the ladies, a dry erase marker book for Mr. Man, and lots of blocks for both boys while the girls got up to mischief with their fairies in their room.

Bugaboo didn’t nap with Beanie and the boys, but she was very good about observing quiet time.  When she tiptoed from the girls’ room, I told her since she was doing such a good job with her listening, she could have a special craft project all to herself.  Quickly gathering some toilet paper roll cores, fuzzy yarn, scrap paper and glue, I showed her how to make a dog with the assembled supplies.  She was delighted, and set about creating a veritable kennel of cardboard canines.  When Beanie arrived just as the last roll core had been covered in fuzzy yarn, she was a little distraught, so I grabbed our last Zoo Pals cup, squirted glue around the rim, and told her she could make the snake into a wild thing — then quickly explained to Bugaboo that since she’d had a craft all to herself, she needed to let Beanie have her own craft, too.  There are pictures in the gallery.  Disaster was thereby averted, and Bugaboo wandered off to see if Smudgie wanted to be brushed while Beanie cheerfully adorned her cup with strands of yarn.

After naps, dinner, dessert, and a very enthusiastic welcome for Daddy, we tried to settle the tribe in for some family story time.  Mr. Man wanted some Daddy time to himself, however, and the girls had to be sent off to their room to clean up the results of their attempt to create a snowstorm in their room with a very large canister of baby powder (I opted NOT to photograph that).  Baby Guy, finding himself minus both his big brother and Daddy, became distressed, wailing and crying.  Milk didn’t help, hugs didn’t help, singing didn’t help, so I opted for the last resort that, in my five years of motherhood, has failed but rarely.  I grabbed the nearest board book, nestled him snugly into my lap, and started to read.

Baby Guy saw the picture of the bear and immediately quieted.  I read that book, which has been a favorite of each of our little blessings, at least three times in a row, with our small, chubby son cuddled against my chest, his eager fingers reaching out to touch each of the animals.  When we finished our little story interlude, he wriggled off my lap, pulled himself up using the edge of the couch, and reached for what appears to be his new favorite tale.  I handed it to him, and he plopped down on his plump rump, staring at the book with a cheery little smile.  As he waved his treasure in the air, he burbled, “Bow bay!  Bow Bay!  Bow Bay!”

I suspect the day is not far off when, if Baby Guy is bored, sad, or in need of a Mommy moment, he’ll adopt his siblings’ habit of meandering around to all the bookshelves until he finds something he’d like to read, then climbing into my lap for a snuggle and a story.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for my parents, who taught me to read and to appreciate books before I could talk; thank You for the grace to recognize their wisdom and pass that teaching along to Your blessings.  Thank You for the means to build Your blessings a library that enlightens and entertains them, and for strong eyes to read to them.  Thank You for Your early disciples who compiled Your love letters to us into a book, for those who preserved those early manuscripts, for those have labored under Your guidance to translate them into modern languages, for those who have made faithful renderings of Your parables and the stories from Your life and illustrated them in a way that makes them beautiful to children.  Thank You for brown bears, yellow ducks, and green frogs, and for giving us enough imagination to find the fun in the thought of blue horses and purple cats.  Thank You for little blessings whose favorite way to spend time together is snuggled up around me with a pile of books, and for the stories they invent on their own.  Please help me teach them that if they choose their books well, they will always have a way to find entertainment, information, or wisdom — and please help me teach them the difference between the three.

Knock, knock, knockin’


Here’s the song reference.

Bugaboo and Beanie have reached that delightful age where they try to tell jokes. I have aided and abetted this stage of their development by providing several CDs of silly kids’ songs, complete with intermittent joke-telling, that play nearly constantly in the kitchen during the time the tribe spends in there.  This morning, the two of them reduced each other to helpless giggles while attempting to tell the following joke:

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana!

They never did get it quite right, but it was absolutely hilarious listening to them try, especially since neither of them could stop laughing long enough to choke out the punch line.  Of course, I eventually indulged their request to “tell it the right way,” and then added one that had Beanie literally falling out of her chair when Bugaboo fell for it, to wit:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Boo.
Boo who?
Aww, don’t cry!

Grandma, who has heard them trying to tell the “orange” knock-knock joke several times (back when Bugaboo’s retelling was limited to “Knock knock bana!”), happened to be on the phone with me during part of the time the girls were giving each other giggle fits, and informed me that she had been inspired by their enthusiasm for the fruity humor to purchase an entire book of knock-knock jokes for Bugaboo’s birthday.  Once I recovered from choking on my coffee, my mother and I passed a pleasant few minutes reminiscing about a morning radio host from my childhood who used to have a “Stump the DJ” call-in segment every morning, in which listeners were invited to try to tell him a joke he’d never heard, and the treasure of my elementary school years, Truly Tasteless Jokes, through which I learned to laugh at stereotypes and myself — and what jokes to never, ever tell around my Granny.

I’m actually looking forward to enjoying knock-knock jokes again.

Today’s prayer:  Lord, thank You for the reminders of how to laugh on days when it doesn’t come easily, and that there are some ways to enjoy words with friends that don’t involve a computer.  Thank You for the lively minds and lips of Your blessings, and for Your assurance that there will be times to laugh along with times to weep.  Thank You also, Lord, for knock-knock jokes.  I realize that probably wasn’t what You had in mind when You told us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me,” but I’m planning to teach Your blessings that we can always offer our smiles and laughter as prayers to You, prayers of thanksgiving for the joy we find in You.