The Giving Tree

Dear Lord,

Tonight the boys handed me a book to read, that they had plucked off the nursery shelf. Placing it in my hands, Sam said, "Read this one." I read the title aloud: The Giving Tree. I sighed.

It had been so long since I read this one. As I opened the front cover and read the inscription on the title page, memories poured in of sitting on the couch next to Mom as she read it to me, and then as I read it to her. I remembered watching the tears form as she came near the end of the story.

These thoughts swirling through my head, I heard my Mom's voice, instead of my own: "There once was a tree. And she loved a boy."

God, you work in mysterious ways. Words can be pounded into our heads, screamed into our ears, and even trip us up, and we won't hear them until they are spoken to our heart in your still, small voice.

Tonight, I was not reading of the little boy and a tree, but of a little girl and her mother.

The woman loved her little girl. When the girl wanted anything, the mother made sure she would have it. If the girl needed anything, the mother made sure it was provided. She gave everything she had...everything.
"And the tree was happy."

No matter what the girl received she wanted more, and knew where to get it. She had someone to come back to. She knew her Mother loved her, and she, well... took that for granted.

Then, the girl saw herself in the future, having everything she wanted, not a mite happy, and with nothing but a trunk to come home to.

Lord, thank you for helping me to realize what I have, before it's too late.

Help me to be more like the Giving Tree, and not like the boy...

In Jesus' name,


Operation: Survival Day 7

Our last day was a hit!

Today's Theme: Jonathan Park & the Creation Response Team.

If none of you have listened to the Jonathan Park radio series, it is a fantastic way to teach kids all about the world in which we live, and defending their faith by using God's Creation as evidence. It can be purchased at Vision Forum's website.

"Summer" finishes her scrambled eggs.

"Jonathan" dusts the baseboards.

"Jim" dusts bureau tops, table tops, and the knick-knacks thereon.

"Kendell" dusts large furniture.

"Katie" sorts things to be put away.
(this is an awful picture of me)

Before picture...

yes, that's a sweater drying on a towel on the piano...

playroom doesn't look too bad before...

"Put this away, and this away, and you know where this goes..."

quite a rag bundle, huh?

Now, Nana Eddie, had fun editing our group picture. Here is the original:

Once she cut us  out, she popped in a lot of different backgrounds:

Jonathan Park and the CRT go to the Sahara...

 And the Grand Canyon...

And the Rainforest...

And to the Moon...

And my personal favorite: The bottom of the Sea...and there really is a hole there!

back row left to right:  Eddie (I don't remember his last name), Jessie Brennan, Katie Park
middle row: Jim Brennan, Jonathan Park, Kendall Park
front: Summer Melody Brennan

Summary: this week has been an awesome adventure, but all of us were glad to see Pa and Mama and Winnie home, safe and sound, at 8:00 last night.

Welcome Home, Guys!!

Operation: Survival Day 6

The finish line is in sight... only one full day to go. Pa and Mama will be on a plane home tomorrow night!

Today, though...

Was spy day. 

Get Smart themed.

Agent 13

Agent 99

Agent 23 or (when a KAOS agent is needed), Siegfried.

Agent Q: Chief of CONTROL

Ellie ;}

Agent 44

Agent 86: Maxwell Smart

After school, we cleaned up, had tea, and read our Proverbs for the day.

Then we received a mysterious phone call! A voice on the other end asked: " iz thiz KAOS?"

A few minutes later, the whole gang were dressed to go out, shoes on, and waiting on the porch. The Rutters pulled into the driveway, and we all loaded into the car. We were all told we were being taken to KAOS headquarters, where we would be interrogated...

We were being given a sample of the questions asked when we pulled into the parking lot of Bob Evans. After a delightful supper and dessert, we were dropped off at home, and had a long talk with Pa and Mama, who are now in Miami before bed.

Goodnight to all,


Operation: Survival day 5

This Sunday wasn't themed... proper Church attire was required instead.

Black and red were the colors of the day. When Mr. and Mrs. Rutter came in to drive us to church, they'd even color coordinated!!

After church, the Rutter's came home with us to have lunch. Veggie lasagna was on the menu. Here they are with Ellie, waiting for us to pour the drinks.

Ellie convinced Mrs.Rutter to massage her feet while Ellie read a coloring book to her.

Ellie and the boys napped, while KK read The Silver Chair aloud to Emma and Nana. Teatime and Proverbs reading were to follow. 

When tea things had been cleared, we pulled out Tune Twister, a Cranium game, that is great for crowds...especially if they like to sing!

Nana helps Aedan count  the beats in the measure.

Ellie grabs the microphone...needless to say, the rest of us had to pretend to use one for the remainder of the game.

Then we pulled out the Game of Life, Ellie wasn't interested in playing, so she watched an episode of The Muppet Show, while we played. While we played the game, Brianna made french fries, and potato chips, Ellie's requested "meal" as a snack.  Nana found a final bottle of apple sparkling cider on top of the cupboard in the kitchen, left over from New Year's Eve.

We played and chatted, laughed 'til we cried. Then, Ellie went to bed. That's when Uncle Frank stopped by, with four boxes of Domino's Pizza!

This one is just too cute not to add...even though it doesn't fit here.

Who could resist that face?



Operation: Survival Day 4

Day 4: Excellent!!

Howdy Cowpokes!

We were able to round up the gang for a photo shoot.

the whole gang

sam and ellie are getting "married"

little chief Aedan

ranch-hand than

cowboy sam


Uncle Frank stopped by and had breakfast.
While the eggs and bacon were frying, he entertained  the hands.

this is now blooming in Gussie's garden.

Hope all is well with you two,


Operation: Survival Day 3

Though day three had a bit of a late start, we got a good deal of our school work done. Today was Narnia Day, Here is a photographic summary:

Ellie and books. She has the phone "in case Mama calls." (She carried the phone around all day.)

Queen Lucy does reads her school reader.

Peek a boo!!


After teatime, Ellie has a Hot Cocoa mustache...and proud of it!

The boys promise to take pictures for you,  Mama, of the hyacinths, daffodils and trees when they bloomed, so here they are.

this is the apricot tree.

as is this.

planting trees...

the redbud

Gussie's garden is blooming, too!!

All's going well!!
Queen Susan