Angel Eyes loves the Little House on the Prairie books. I have no idea how many times she has read them. She told me the other day that now she has to be really careful when she re-reads them so the books don't fall apart. She has a bonnet that she likes to wear, and she loves to pretend that she is in the story. She tries to enlist any willing person close enough to participate her. I've been "Ma" many times, and her sisters often oblige her by taking a part too.
She asked me a while back if I thought I could make her a Little House on the Prairie dress, and I told her I would see what I could do. I found a vintage pattern in my stash, and finally got the dress made. I was about to cut out the pinafore to go over it, when I spied a lone curtain laying across the bed in the spare bedroom where I sew. It was white with little tucks, and looked very reminiscent of a pinafore. I cut it in half, folded the top down a couple of times, ran some elastic through, made and attached some straps, and wa-la, a pinafore. I stitched it together in the front and attached a pretty button to finish it off. She was pleased, and so was I. Doesn't she make a cute little prairie girl?
Her next request has already been made. She wants a cape like Little Red Riding Hood.
If you have little ones in your life who you will be looking for a gift for in the near future. (Christmas is right around the corner.) I have a great tip for you. Bartlett the Turtle, a darling book about learning to make the most of change and the pleasant surprises and friendships that come when we least expect them. The story is engaging, entertaining, and fun to read. Everything Bartlett loves best about his world changes. Bartlett encounters disappointment, but soon learns that there are good things that also come in the midst of change too.
I received this book from someone who is very special to me. Mark Hall, the author of this tender story, came into our life through a crisis of his own. It wasn't his choice, but he accepted his circumstance and made the most of the situation. I'm so thankful that he chose to open his heart to us, and include us as family. We've been blessed ever since.
Foster care isn't ideal whether in a group home setting or in a individual foster family, but sometimes it is just the best option available at the time. My husband and I had the amazing opportunity to be foster parents for several years, and it was the one time in my life that I knew 100% I was doing what I was meant to do. We were honored to have been entrusted with such a precious time of responsibility and love to several young men. Mark is one of those young men, and we are so very proud of him!
You see sometimes in life things don't go as planned. It happens to all of us at one time or another. When things get crazy and changes that are beyond our control happen we each basically have a choice. We can wallow in self pity or we can make the best of that change and look for unexpected joy wherever we find ourselves, trusting God to comfort and help us. That is the choice Mark made. He is one of the most contagiously joyful people you will ever meet. After a period of time Mark was able to return home, and things worked out well for him and his birth family, but he also stayed a part of our family. Love is like that. It multiplies and doesn't divide.
It is so inspiring that Mark is sharing what he has learned and is encouraging children to be open for the gifts change can bring.