Over the past couple of weeks Jake and I have decided that Elisabeth is old enough to work for an allowance. We are chinsy... she gets a measly $1.00 a week to be paid in nickels. We have been having problems in our house with having toys put away after kids are done playing, with not flushing the toilet, and being too sassy. Ellie earns $1.00 for doing her assigned chores for the week. It costs a nickel if Mom or Dad had to pick up a discarded toy on the floor and put it in "The Store of Mom and Dad". If Ellie wants the toy back she has to pay us a nickel. She is also notorious for not flushing the toilet. In order to break this disgusting habit it will now cost her a dime for every time she forgets. Being sassy or back talking about doing chores makes it so that she cannot earn her dollar at all. She knows the drill and has had to pay up Mom and Dad for the things she has forgotten to do. Thankfully she also realized that she has the money to do it and having the toys picked up and the toilet flushed has become much easier for her!
So after several weeks of this, Elisabeth has earned enough money to purchase some sidewalk chalk and a mini paint set she has had her eyes on for a while. She took her money jar into Target with me on Saturday and after we picked out her purchases, she was very concerned.
Ellie: "Mom, are you sure that Target takes nickels and dollar bills? I mean, you ALWAYS use your debit card. I don't think they take cash!"
Me: "Its ok. Cash is better than a debit card any day."
Ellie: "Ok..." (I could tell she didn't believe me at all).
So we got up to the checkout line and she proudly handed her purchases over to pay for them. She pulls out her money and proceeds to count by 5's the correct amount of change. She eyed the checker very closely and said, "Mom says you take cash; its all I have. I'm too young for a debit card!"
But something magical happened at that checkout line. Ellie learned the value of money and hard work. She used her math skills to figure out what she could afford to buy and didn't ask for anything more than what she could afford by herself. She used her math skills to count the appropriate amount of change by herself and even if the cashier couldn't believe that it took so long to help Ellie, Ellie and I could have cared less.
Maybe for a month that it how I should choose to do my grocery shopping... maybe I could "relearn" the art of buying only what I need and can afford. It gets to be too easy sometimes to just swipe the card without truly thinking about the amount of money I just spent. Strange that a 6 year old could teach me a lesson like that.
1 in every 120 babies are born with a heart defect. What if that ONE was YOURS?
Our Little Man
We unknowingly became elite members of a world no one wants to be a part of on January 22, 2008 with the birth of our little boy, Nathan, but looking back we can't imagine life any differently. Nathan has had to endure 21 surgeries in the first 25 months of his life including open heart surgery for Tetralogy of Fallot, jaw surgery at 3 days old, 5 cleft surgeries and many surgeries involving his airway, ears, and eyes. He has a g-tube which he uses as his sole source of nutrition. In February 2010 he underwent a second jaw distraction as he was showing signs of right heart failure.
Nathan is our little hero; our witness that prayers are answered individually and that we couldn't be blessed with better family and friends to support us.
One day my world came crashing down, I'll never be the same. They told me that my baby was sick. I thought, "Am I to blame"? I don't think I can handle this. I am really not that strong. It seemed my heart was breaking. I have loved him for so long. I will not give up on this child. I will listen to your advice. I will give my son any chance. No matter what the price. I will learn all that I need To help my baby thrive. I'll even use that feeding tube. My child must survive! Will he need a lot of therapy? Will he gain the needed weight? Please God, help me do this. As I accept our fate. When the monitors beep at night, it serves as my reminder. How many parents would love that sound. Tomorrow I will be kinder. As another Angel earns his wings, I run to my baby's bed. I watch him sleep for quite a while. I bend down and kiss his head. I cry for the parents whose hearts have been broken. I look to You wondering why? Oh Lord, I just can't know your ways.... no matter how I try. And yet, I trust you hold his life, and guide us through each day. My mind says savor each moment he's here, but my heart begs, "PLEASE let him stay"! From pacing the surgical waiting room, to sitting by his bed. From wishing for a good nights sleep, to learning every med. From wondering, "Will he be alright?", to watching him reach out his hands. With every smile my heart just melts, despite life's harsh demands. For all who see that faded line. I look to them and smile. You see my child is loved so much. I would face ANY trial. That scar I trace with my finger (It's the door to his beautiful heart). God must have known how much I'd love him (Just as He loved him from the start). A heart mom is always a heart mom. Now wise beyond her years. For those who have angels in heaven, Our hearts share in all of your tears. Every day I will try and remember, I was chosen for him (and no other). I will always embrace that beautiful day....... When I became a "Heart Mother".
~Stephanie HustedMommy to Braeden HLHS post FontanCarepage name: babyhusted
I "borrowed" this poem off of another blog. I'm not sure who the author is, but it truly touched my heart.(Original version found at http://garyandcamille.blogspot.com Thank you!) Heart Poem:
It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that she is just going for a visit. She is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. She asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart. Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday. And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."