Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Moments with Mimi--Influences and Sea Shells

Yikes, I guess it really has been a while since I have been able to blog.  I cringed when I logged on and saw the date of my last post.  But I do have an excuse...

 Our family has just returned from our very first visit together to Disneyworld!!!  I hope to post more about our trip later, but feel so profoundly blessed for the chance we had to be together and to make precious memories!!!  From dining with Cinderella and dancing with Prince Charming at the Magic Kingdom to watching an action-packed stunt show at Hollywood Studios, Tucker, Tate, and Sadie had a blast, and truly, Kevin and I did too.  A dream really is a wish your heart makes...Here are just a few pics from our time together on our winter break!


Today, Mimi shares about a special memory she made with my precious niece, Catherine Anne. Mimi reminds us all of the power of our influence, and her post reminds me of the saying, "At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou. 

 Influence...its a powerful thing! Read, enjoy, and be encouraged! Shannon
Influences and Sea Shells 

Whew! This 2013 has really been a busy time. It seems I have truly travelled from Christmas to President’s Day, without slowing, stopping, or yielding at any given intersection!!! I feel like I have not even taken the moving vehicle out of gear!!! 

On one of the prettier days that we have had recently, I was thrilled to be entertained by my three year old granddaughter at the beach for a couple of hours. And I do mean entertained. The weather wasn’t warm enough for an ocean adventure, so games on the boardwalk leading to the waters’ edge would have to suffice. 

The walkway worked nicely as our playground. We were animals, singers, cooks, and dancers as we played in the ocean breeze. Sometimes we were even dancing animals and singing cooks—or other interesting combinations!!! 

Do you wonder sometimes what influences our kids to respond in their own unique ways? As our afternoon beach/boardwalk adventure was drawing to a close, I asked Catherine Anne if she wanted to walk back to the edge of the ocean and look for sea shells. And I smiled as I asked myself the most pressing question of the afternoon, could we go to the beach and yet not go home wet and sandy??? 

We ventured to the ocean’s edge and found a virtual treasure chest of ocean trinkets; we were amazed at the assorted sizes and colors of shells before us. I noticed how quiet and serious she became as she closely examined the shells. She rejected the broken ones, while meticulously sorting the others. Her tiny hands were not large enough to gather, hold, and sort, so I offered to keep the extras for her. 

She found a small golden brown one and held it up for me to see. She said, “Look, Mya will like this one – it is so pretty!!!” She held it up for me to see, but returned it quickly to her pile of special ones that she was placing to the side. 

As she paused to think, I realized that I had seen the power of an influence on this small child. I remembered that Catherine Anne’s Mya had spent countless “special” grandmother moments with her hosting tea parties. The prettiest dishes were used, and priceless time was well invested as they played, prepared, and dressed the part for their tea party adventures. 

Catherine Anne only had a sea shell in her hand, but it could have easily been a family heirloom being selected. Her Mya was miles away from her, but Mya’s influences of admiring and selecting “pretty” trinkets was with Catherine Anne in that moment. See, she remembered and connected the something “pretty” in her hands, with the someone influential in her little heart. 

As I said earlier, my day at the beach was an afternoon of actively being entertained. Amazingly, we finished our adventure only a little damp from the ocean spray and with very little sand in our shoes. I even managed to bring an assortment of shells back with me for the cousins here at home. But Catherine Anne held onto the golden brown one for her Mya…and I held onto this moment and its life lesson. 

I smiled today as I unzipped the center compartment of my wallet to fish for loose change. I am much more aware of my own responsibility of being influential to the little lives around me…for there—amongst my loose change—is my own shiny shell presented to me by Catherine Anne. Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne) 
Psalm 112:9 "They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor." 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Moments with Mimi--Love Came Calling

Happy Valentine's Week to you all!  I cannot believe how quickly the calendar passes from December to February!  This week's Monday Moment with Mimi is all about love that seeks and saves...the love of Christ.  Read, enjoy, and share!  Have a great week!  Shannon :-)

“Love Came Calling”

Happy Valentine’s Day to all, and I hope lots of flowers, cards, and candy find their way to you this week!!! February 14th is the day to celebrate loved ones of every age, so remember to do your part!

Do you remember your “first” love? Or are you like me? That was so many, many years ago!!! I can fondly recall my neighborhood childhood friends, and even first “boy” friends that from that bygone era. We played ball, rode bikes, and climbed trees—real love and oh my, what romance!!! (Do kids even want to climb trees anymore? I do have a couple of magnolia trees that my grandchildren will still climb up and hide in sometimes.)

As a child, there was a sycamore tree on the edge of our triangular shaped yard that I would sit in unnoticed to watch the neighborhood kids coming home from school. I would patiently wait for my daddy to come home from work, looking out for him while perched atop a medium-high branch. Upon arriving home, Dad did not come looking for me, but he would whistle loudly, and I would scurry quickly down. I knew love had called, or rather whistled, for me to come home.

Those memories of climbing trees bring to mind the timeless children’s song about “Zacchaeus” based upon Luke 19. I have such sweet memories of singing that song with its precise hand motions and clearly articulated words. I especially enjoyed the part when the song converts into the strong words from Jesus commanding Zacchaeus, “You come down, for I am going to your house today!” I can see little children’s fingers pointing and shaking to the imaginary little man in the tree. I am not sure that scenario exactly occurred in scripture that way, but it did make for a special children’s song!!!

As I remember my own daddy’s whistling for me, I recall dearly how quickly I would scamper down from my not-so-high post. His whistle let me know HE wanted to see ME. All my life, I knew without a doubt, at the sound of his whistle, my father’s love was calling for me.

Christ summoned Zacchaeus down from his hidden lookout because he wanted him. Jesus did not just want to stay at Zacchaeus’ house that day; He wanted to reside in his heart that day. This Valentine’s Day, look carefully for someone to summon down that may be perched out of sight, and let them feel how special they are. They, like Zacchaeus, may be a wee little person just waiting for your call and needing your hug.

An important closing verse from the Bible story was not included in the children’s song. For me, this line is really all about love…and it’s a much more valuable love than a Valentine’s Day can bring. The last verse of the Bible story states, “For the Son of Man came to ‘seek’ and to save what was lost.” Real love came calling for Zacchaeus. Real love came seeking for him to come down that day.

So this Valentine’s week, purpose to “seek” someone out. They may be in the tree waiting for you to pass by, listening for your call, and needing to feel your touch. If Jesus has the heart of love to “seek” out a wee little man to save, we should do no less. Let’s not miss the opportunities on this “Day of Love” to exhibit the real meaning of love to those around us! Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)

Luke 19:1-10 
“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly…… Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Freebie for Your Saturday! :-)

Hi, everyone!  Hope you have had a super Saturday.  Kevin and I got to enjoy an early-Valentine dinner.  So fun and so thankful for good friends!
I wanted to make sure you knew about a Valentine devotion FREEBIE for you and your family at my TpT store.  Hope you enjoy!  Simply click the link below to download your copy.
Ephesians 3:18, "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of Christ." 
Love, Shannon :-)
Love That Lasts (Family Valentine's Day Devotions)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monday Moments with Mimi--To Be a Tightrope Walker

Hi!  So sorry this post is a day late.  Grrrr...ran into some technical difficulties last night.  :-)  Today's post contains great encouragement about believing that we CAN and that we WILL.  In Christ, all things are possible.  Read, enjoy, and share!  Love, Shannon :-)
To Be a Tight Rope Walker

There is an expression that says, “Kids say the darndest things.”  When I was a teenager, I can recall a television show by this title in which very young children were interviewed.  At the time, their sincere, impromptu answers would cause my mom to literally laugh out loud. 

Today, from conversing with my grandchildren to teaching little ones, I wholeheartedly agree; they DO say the darndest things.   But in many of these instances, children speak quite honestly about themselves. They are expressing an incredible belief in themselves with a determination that follows, a fact that bears notice.   

I called my youngest daughter the other day to tell her I was planning a visit to come and watch my grandson’s basketball game.  Her response was that Tuesday would be the perfect day!!!   It was “perfect” because that very same morning, her 3 year old was having a “Circus Day” activity at her school, and I could attend both the game and the "circus."  And that is truly a perfect day for me!!!  

It was only right that I talk to Catherine Anne about the circus.  After a somewhat broken phone conversation, I continued, rather excitedly saying “Catherine Anne, I am coming to your school for Circus Day.  I can’t wait!!!”  She responded just as excitedly, “I am going to be a tight-rope walker!!!”

I paused a second for just the proper response and could only say, “Oh, really!”   She then responded, “Uh huh!” with that confident tone in her small voice.  She did not explain or elaborate on her plan for accomplishing this act.  She merely stated her cause. 

She said, “I am going to BE a tight-rope walker.”  She expressed no concern for the height of the tight-rope or her ability to balance on it.  In truth, I am sure she will be only inches from a safe landing where no true balancing is required.  It will be something very safe and sure for a three year old's fun Circus Day adventure.  Nevertheless, what she expressed was the assured belief in what she was going to be and the determination to make it happen!

 See, she did not say that she was going to dress up like the Circus Character, but she was going to BE the character.  This is a refreshing reminder for us.  Sometimes in our life’s journey, it is easier to dress a part or play a part than to be that real person.  Often, it requires a strong belief that we CAN, and a determination that we WILL.

For us as we grow older, that first step off of the platform and onto the wire it is the hardest.  Haven’t you heard?  Don’t look down. Keep your eyes forward.   

But BELIEF is a powerful tool for all ages.  It enables us to accomplish much and brings us much joy.  

Believe in yourself, because you believe God enables you to walk, and walk with confidence.  With God, we also are only inches away from a safe landing.  Really, we never have to worry about falling at all!!!  And yes, like Catherine Anne, I also want to be a tight rope walker.  Blessings, Mimi (AKA Anne)
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”  2 Corinthians 4:18

Friday, February 1, 2013

Superbowl Plans and Super Sales! :-)

Well, I thought this would be a calm weekend for the Bryant fam, but maybe not?!  Our 13 year old just brought us a note inviting him to be a part of a reading competition tomorrow morning at 8:45...sigh...oh well, I guess sleeping late will have to wait for another Saturday. ;-)

Of course, on the calendar for Sunday for Kevin and the boys is the Superbowl!  We were hoping our Atlanta Falcons could make it to the end, but alas, guess we'll have to choose between the 49ers or the Ravens...  

For all of you Super Shoppers, I wanted to let you know about some Super Savings you can take advantage of this Super Bowl weekend.  I will be having online sales at both my Teachers Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers stores.  Stop by for some great deals on holiday goodies, as well as daily resources for enrichment and extension opportunities--perfect for adding rigor and differentiation all year!!!

Have a relaxing weekend with your families and friends!  Blessings, Shannon :-)