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Month: September 2011



There has been a lot of talk the last week about what we were all doing 10 years ago.  And 10 years ago today, we were celebrating Savannah’s first birthday.
Joy came in the morning.

This 11th birthday is tricky for me.  
She’s my baby girl.  
She’s Savannah.

A friend recently said there is always a child that you wonder how they got that old, that fast.  And this year, for me, it’s Savannah.

How is it that she is in her last year of elementary school?

A few weeks ago she asked me when she could start flat ironing (straightening) her hair.  Kind of caught me off guard.  When did she start caring about her hair?

Her beautiful, thick Rapunzel-ish hair.  The hair that was CARROT orange when she was a baby.  Now people stop me and ask if they can take her to the hair salon with them because they want their hair to be the exact color as hers.

And as pretty as I think Savannah is … I think it’s her heart that is most beautiful.
You see, she and I are birds of a feather on many things.  We’re forgetful, we love to have a good time, we want to do it all and we want to see it all. 

Last week … the first week of homework for 5th grade, I got emails from two of her three teachers.  They began … “If you are receiving this email your child failed to turn in a homework assignment this past week”.

TRUST ME … in 9 + years of schooling for Caroline and 7 + years for Brittany, I’ve never gotten one of these emails.  And when I asked Savannah about it she said … “It was probably a mistake”.  The teachers mistake … not hers!  🙂  I told her she needed to really think about it and figure out what went wrong.  She came back and said that she forgot to have something signed … and I’m hopeful it won’t happen again.  
Truth be told, it probably will.
I’m enough like her to know.

Then yesterday I went to church and her Sunday School teacher from last year (she just promoted) came up to me and said … “The silver necklace and the note Savannah gave me were so precious”.  
And I honestly had no idea what she was talking about. 
She must have noticed my blank look because she said … “you do know Savannah gave me a necklace and a letter, right?”.  And I had to tell her that honestly … I did not. 

Savannah, on her own initiative, had written her a letter thanking her for what she had taught her (it was a page in length and her teacher said she wanted to photo copy it so I could read it).  She wrapped the letter in some silver Mardi Gras beads … cheap, plastic beads that she treasured none the less.

And although she may forget her homework (and that is really, really important, I know) … I’m so thankful for her heart that blessed her teacher with what she had …. sweet words and a silver bead Mardi Gras necklace. 
Her teacher wore those plastic beads into church and told other people what Savannah had done.  Savannah had blessed her.

There’s a part of me that wishes Savannah would have told me she wanted to give her a gift (there’s a bigger part of me that wishes I would have thought of it) … I could have upgraded the necklace … but it’s better knowing that she did it on her own.  I think it’s more meaningful and honestly, it inspires me to want to do better with blessing others.
She delights us now … just as much as she did the day she wore that pink party hat.  She is an encourager to everyone in our family …  and to others as well.

Savannah Grace … you bring us great joy.

Happy 11th Birthday baby girl!

Where were you?

Where were you?

Last week we got a TV installed (finally!).  It was just in time to see all the 9-11 coverage.  CNN, The History Channel, Dateline NBC … you name it, we’ve watched bits and pieces of all the dramatic footage.  And this year in particular, the children have asked lots of questions and have wanted to see the accounts.  

And one of the inevitable questions you hear the reporters ask people is … “Where were you when you heard?”.  One lady responded that she saw the footage, she assumed it was from a movie.  
If only it were a movie.

And tonight, I told my kids the story of how I heard ….

Caroline had gone to school and Brittany and Savannah were at home.  I was turning on Barney for Brittany to watch but the TV was still on NBC from the night before.  I heard Matt Lauer on NBC talking about a plane that had hit the World Trade Center and just as the picture came into focus, the second plane flew into the other building.  Immediately they knew this wasn’t another accident but, in fact, an attack.  

I never turned Barney on that day.  As with the rest of the nation, we watched it unfold, minute by minute.  Sometime between 8 and 9, I got a phone call from my mom.  She was yelling … “What is happening?!?!  What is happening?”.

You see, my parents were at the White House.  They had taken a group of students from Arkansas Baptist High School on a trip to Washington, DC.  My dad was driving the bus.  
I can still remember EXACTLY what the background of the phone call sounded like … it was as if you could hear the anxiety and the confusion in between hearing the Secret Service yelling for them to “RUN”.  

The phone went silent, cut off by the millions of cellular calls that were trying to be made.  Or perhaps it was cut off during the craziness of the run.  I did not hear from my mom again until the next day.  Maybe it was late that night … all I know is it was a LONG time. 

I took Brittany to her preschool that day and told my friend Cindy about the phone call.  We sat down and prayed for their safety.  I assumed they were making their way to safer territory and they were.  I think they drove all the way to Tennessee before they stopped for the night.  

What the day before had been a wrong turn my dad had made on the streets of DC turned out the next day to be a blessing in disguise.  The officers were telling my dad he couldn’t get through one way but he remembered the “wrong turn” from the day before and expertly took that bus away from the the city … while the smoke was rising from the Pentagon.

You know why they were safe?

They were safe because a group of American heroes attempted to overtake an airplane in rural Pennsylvania.  With the words “Let’s Roll”, they fought and although they lost their lives … many, many people were saved because of their heroic actions.

Including my mom and dad and the students and sponsors on the trip.

For those men bravery and heroism weren’t just words, they were actions.  And it will never be known how many they saved because of what they did.

Yes, we remember.  We remember because we cannot forgot.  We remember because we don’t want to forget.  We remember because while so many of us didn’t lose a loved one … so many people did.  

And ten years later we are all still moved by the images and the remembrances … and we pray.

God shed your grace on us.