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Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I had the most wonderful weekend with Matthew's family.  We had Makayla for a day and I was so excited to get to know her.  I could use the practice of patience, love, and understanding.  I always worry that I won't have the patience that I need with my own kids.  I would love to see Makayla more and we won't be in Austin forever.  I guess I think too much about how my own nieces and nephews have changed so much over the years and I have missed out on so many things.  I don't want to miss out on Makayla's life either.  My absence at home is apparent and my family forgives me for it but that doesn't change the fact that I am not there.  I work hard at not feeling guilty and they in turn try not to cause guilt.  

Anyway, Sarah was out of town and so Makayla was spending time with Matthew's parents and with us. We took her to the Children's Museum with Nicole, Michael and Shannon Carter and her four lovely children. It was great that Shannon's oldest, Shae, is seven and so she and Makayla got along splendidly. I only imagine having someone your age to play with is better than two adults!

There was a great kitchen where we could sit at the window and order food.  Shae and Makayla were so cute!  
There was a weird place where the kids were learning about how milk is taken from a cow, transported and bottled.  I don't think anyone really cared about the process.  The cool part was a transport system for milk bottles that was set up with an air flow.  A bottle was put in the tube and was shot up to the ceiling, looped around and came out in a station to be collected.  The kids loved putting the bottles in the chute and Makayla was really good at it!
My least favorite part was the Mexican-inspired area.  It was ridiculous.  There could have been a really cool exhibit about Egyptians or Australia or Vikings or I can imagine several other neat things that children would have enjoyed....  But, we are in Texas and many kids have a hispanic heritage so they need to learn about it at the children's museum.  Maybe that comes off mean and I don't want to insult anyone with a hispanic background.  I just feel it isn't necessary at the museum.  They should be learning a hispanic culture but at a museum there are so many cultures they could be learning about that they wouldn't get at home.  Ya know what I mean?  Anyway, the girls had a good time playing instruments and amusing themselves.
I wasn't the best photographer and I could have gotten much better pictures, especially in the arts and engineering area.  I am disappointed with myself.  I'll have to work on that.  Makayla made some art out of green paper and a popsicle stick.  She wrote on it, "I love you two".  Yeah, I'm keeping that.

After the museum, Matthew and I took Makayla to get some food and then to Terra Toys.  I don't know if it is a good idea to take children to a toy store but, hey, I'm not a parent.  She wound up getting two books which is admirable since we could have left with the whole store bagged up.  I remember when I was in Cincy and Amanda was little.  She wanted to go to a toy store after we had been shopping all afternoon and my sister said I could take her but that she was not to get anything.  So after we wandered around I noticed she was saying to herself, "I'm going to get this, and this and that and oh, I want that."  So I asked her how she was going to pay for all this stuff she was planning on getting and she turned to me and said, "You have money."  Wow...  I think she was seven or eight at that point.  I was a little shocked.  When I was a kid I never wanted toys, I only wanted candy.  Probably because I had enough stuff at home to play with I never cared about getting "new" things.  (And that wanting candy thing still hasn't changed....)

I was sad to give Makayla back to Matthew's parents.  She is too adorable and she warmed up to me pretty easily.  She drew a few pictures of me for me and I put them on my fridge.  She sat on my lap at the museum and hugged me a few times.  I would be more affectionate with her but I tend to wait to see what kids want from me before getting all over them.  And, she is Matthew's niece.  He doesn't see her all the time and she adores him and crawls all over him.  It is very cute and I don't want to be in the way of that.  

At Mass the next day I was hoping she would sit between us but she wanted her Gramma and that was very sweet.  Karol went up with her to the children's liturgy and I hope she had a good time.  I wish we could have seen more of her that day but her mom came home and she was with her.

Sunday evening, I had Matthew and his parents over for dinner and we grilled kabobs and had a salad and some bread.  It was healthy and delicious.  I love how everything off the grill tastes so good.  I really love Matthew's parents and listening to them talk about being kids and their lives.  I would love to do that every week.  They are wonderful grandparents to Makayla and I can really appreciate seeing that.  My parents are good too, but there was an adjustment period.  My own grandma was so perfect that it is hard to stand up to her.  She set the bar high and so my siblings have high expectations of my parents.  When they don't meet them.....eeeek!  They try and I give them kudos for that.

Anyway, splendid weekend and I have so much to look forward to this week!

Lord, thank you for the many blessings that I have in my life.  I cherish each and every one of them and I can only sing joyfully to You for Your love and generosity.  I understand that to whom much is given, much is expected.  I pray that I am worthy and meet those expectations.  Help me to listen when You are speaking to me and to succumb fully to Your will.  I pray that you bless those whom I love and bless their lives with Your presence.  Answer their prayers, oh Lord, for they need You and Your grace.

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