Blessing Bags

Sometimes I hesitate to share something "good" we do for fear that it come off as showing off. You know what I'm saying? That verse about doing your good works in secret comes to mind. Often.

But this one wasn't my idea. We grabbed it from a friend because we thought it such a GOOD idea and I thought maybe others might also think it a good idea and the more people doing this one the better.

The girls in my Sunday School class came over tonight and we put together "blessing bags" for the homeless. What's a blessing bag? It's a bag filled with easily kept, easily opened foods that you keep in your car. When you see someone who needs it, you simply hand them a bag. Here's what we put in our bags tonight:

1 pop-top style can of chicken noodle soup
1 pop-top style can of fruit
1 package of cookies
1 package of cheese crackers
1 water bottle
1 spoon
1 card with our church contact info

We stapled these shut with a note on the outside that says, "We hope this bag provides a blessing for you today!"

We made about 60 bags. We plan to put them in the gathering area of our church tomorrow to encourage members to take one to keep in their car to hand out this week when they see someone in need.

The girls were really excited to put these together. I hope we have the courage to actually hand them out now.

St. Augustine Party, Dunham Style

StAugustine

Craig decided to celebrate the birthday of St. Augustine of Hippo with his Ethics classes today. He asked me on Tuesday if I might be interested in catering the party. I asked him what the budget was. He said, “Budget?”

Just kidding. He actually asked me what we could afford to spend. “Not much,” I said. So, we went to Sam’s and bought two trays of cookies and a whole bunch of soda – just like they had in ancient times.

The girls and I showed up for the third class and we partied like rock stars, which is to say that we colored in the back of the room for the 30-minute lecture portion of class, and then stood in the back eating cookies for the last 20 minutes. It was great fun.

On the way home, the girls all agreed they love going to school with Daddy. But then one of them said, “I like going, except when all the highschoolers start talking about how cute we are. It makes me feel dumb.” “Yeah,” another daughter said, “it makes me feel like a baby in a duckie suit.”

A baby in a duckie suit. I laughed so hard I almost had to call OnStar for assistance (and just because I can for another two hours before I go give the car back).

I told them I would make it up to them by showing them the movie Up! when we got home, as I picked it from Redbox this morning when I ran to the store for carrots for a science experiment (because we’ve never seen carrots turn into a science experiment before…ahem).

So my girls, who don’t want to be called cute, are wrapping up their celebration of this important church father with a little dose of Pixar.

Seems fitting, no?

No?

Okay, so when does anything we do ever really make sense around here?

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Better Late Than Never. Right?

IMG_3740

Yep. Here is is, November 12 and I finally got around to making a daily school schedule that fits our needs this year. Just in time for all our weekly extras to come to a halt in a month. That's the way I roll.

We've been doing most of this stuff, but more in a, "Hmmm, what should we do next?" kind of way. Not only are we not the most efficient with that method, but there are several things we just accidentally forget to to.

Believe it or not, we've done everything on the schedule this week and it hasn't felt hard or too much. Moving the girls' read alone time to the last school activity of the day was my brilliant homeschool idea of the week. (I wish I had some kind of brilliant homeschool idea of the week every week). It comes at a time everyone is really ready for a break anyway. So they get a break, but they are also getting some schooling done. It's a win-win.

And I'm using my window board again. For a while it was just cute kitchen/office decoration. It needed to have a purpose in our family again.

Our House, In the Middle of Our Street…

911

We have now lived in our house for 16 months. I don’t know if you have followed our housing track record or not, but 16 months in Dunham-ese means it’s time to move.

And I’m feeling the itch.

Craig looked at me at dinner last night with laser eyes and made me repeat after him: “We are not moving. We are NOT moving. WE ARE NOT MOVING.”

Okay. We’re not moving. But something in me really wants to. I don’t know why that is. Is it just because that’s what I’ve grown accustomed to over the past 13 years? Is it my almost-insatiable desire for change? Is it just a discontent I’ve allowed to fester inside me for just about forever? I don’t know.

I do know this: We’re going to paint the dining room over Christmas and I’m almost giddy with the thought of it. While this house shows all signs of us living here as our stuff is everywhere (and I do mean EVERYWHERE), the decor of the inside still doesn’t really match who I think we are.

I realize that every time I announce that our dining room is a screaming throw-back to 1986, I’m blaring my discontent for the peach walls with country blue border and teal granny curtains to the whole world. When I was making videos for Chevy over the past few weeks, you have no idea how hard it was for me not to mention that I didn’t choose the decor whenever I happened to catch my dining room on film.

Because really, who cares? Only me. And I know that my over-caring is a sign of discontent.

Tonight, when the three fire trucks and two police cars surrounded the apartment complex across the street, my first thought wasn’t, “Wow, I should probably pray for the people inside.” My first thought was, “Yep. It’s time to move.”

That’s how sinful I am inside.

Smack dab in the middle of Philippians 4 I find this:

…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I
know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”

Oh, how I wish I could honestly say that. I really don’t know what it means to be content in any and every situation. I don’t know contentment with peach walls. I don’t know contentment with probable drug busts across my street. I don’t know contentment with an unfinished attic and basement. I don’t know contentment.

As I think it could very well be that God will have us stay in this house for the rest of our days, I need to learn that secret of contentment. I agreed we are NOT moving, and I need to be okay with that.

And I need to learn soon.

Missing: Tooth

First Lost Tooth

If you’ve seen one lost tooth, you’ve seen a hundred. Until it’s your first one. Honestly? I wasn’t thinking too much about this, but it is Millie’s first lost tooth and to her, it’s a Very Big Deal. All night long she kept saying things like, “This will be my first dinner without that tooth!” and “This will be my first piece of candy without that tooth!”

It would be a shame for the Tooth Fairy Mama to forget to visit tonight, wouldn’t it? Because while it may be the 30th lost tooth I’ve had to deal with, for Millie, it’s #1.

And I need to treat it like it’s #1 for me too.

On Editing Life

…Ah, the edit function. It isn’t that I don’t want to portray an
accurate picture of life as we know it, it’s just that I don’t
particularly want to showcase my own sin (or the sin of my children)
for the world to see. It is a really great thing to draw the edit box
around the 30 seconds of someone’s squabble and just hit delete.
Presto! Sin gone!…

The rest of it is here at WORLDMag.com.

=====

The last time I posted here I subjected you to a couple of my home movies. Now I’m the first to know I don’t have one ounce of video expertise. I never even owned a video camera until three weeks ago! I like to think I’m getting better, but only time (and someone really objective—that is, my husband) will tell.

As I’ve carried my little camera around capturing footage everywhere I go, I’ve caught a lot of life on film—the good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating, the hilarious, and the mundane. All the raw footage resides in iMovie on my iMac right now, but most of it will eventually make its way to the trash can, never to see the light of day.

Ah, the edit function. It isn’t that I don’t want to portray an accurate picture of life as we know it, it’s just that I don’t particularly want to showcase my own sin (or the sin of my children) for the world to see. It is a really great thing to draw the edit box around the 30 seconds of someone’s squabble and just hit delete. Presto! Sin gone!

Oh, if only life were that way. As it is, I have no edit function for the multitude of math struggles and the rest of life’s daily irritations. I can’t drag a yellow box around the things I wish were different and hit delete (even though I really wish I could).

But even if I could edit out my bad behavior, Scripture teaches that I still need a Savior. I wouldn’t see my need for a savior if I could deal with my sin myself. I wouldn’t view my kids as less needy of grace if I could edit out their sinful struggles. I wouldn’t pray and depend on God if I could just move my garbage to the trash can on my own.

Rest assured, I don’t see sin as God’s “gift” to me to learn to depend upon him more—James tells us that God does not tempt (though he does test). But I do see my lack of real-life editing skills as further proof for my desperate need for an editor—the Editor—with His skilled eye focused on editing my story into His, which is the greatest story ever told.

The name of His editing program? Sanctification.

Missing: October

Fall

Okay, I need to know what you did with it. Where did you put October? I've been hunting around for a few days and I can't find it anywhere. I'm afraid it has suffered the same fate as my 10-year-old's stinky sneakers. Yeah, we can't find those anywhere either.

I'm thinking about offering a reward to anyone who can find October for me. It is imperative that I find it. I left something really valuable there. I'm really sad about it.

Please, November, don't get your feelings hurt. I like you and all. I just like you when it's time for you. It doesn't feel right yet. I mean, how in the world did we get to the 12th week of school already? Sure, we have the stacks of weekly notebook pages to show for it, but really. I know 12 weeks couldn't have gone by already.

Could they?

Maybe I just need to go to bed and wake up again in the spring. Or maybe I need to embrace life as it is and not as I wish it would be. Because as it is, it is just going by so darn fast. And I wish it would slow down, just an itty bitty bit.

Pause. Breathe. Enjoy.

Fall.

Chevy Test Drive Party in Maplewood

Last Saturday, two guys from Don Brown Chevrolet and I joined forces to fulfill missions both of us had. Their mission? To get as many people as possible to test drive either the 2010 Traverse or Equinox. My mission? To get as many of my friends as possible an easy way to secure their free massage.

Chloe and I were the first to arrive on the scene to set up our table of goodies. John and Craig from Don Brown arrived next. From there we had a steady stream of ladies (and sometimes whole families!) test driving the cars until noon.

Megan Dunham: Chevy Test Drive Party from The Dunhams on Vimeo.

Many thanks to John and Craig for bringing the cars, Massage Envy for the great incentive, and the City of Maplewood for the use of the pool parking lot.

What? You didn’t get to come? No worries! Go here to find the Mid-America Chevy dealer closest to you to take your own test drive of the 2010 Traverse or Equinox and get your certificate for the free one-hour massage from Massage Envy. You have two more weeks to make it happen!