Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Hate Being A Penguin

My (thoughtful, kind and caring) friend Deb is a teacher at our local Catholic grade school where she teaches a combined classroom of first and second graders... and in her class are my friend Susie's son, Jonathan (2nd grade), and my friend Meg's son, Ben (1st grade).

I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall in that room everyday. :)

halloween (Batman aka Jonathan, and Dracula aka Ben) 

It's been such a fun year for me, because Deb's class has made me their project of sorts. Around Thanksgiving time each year, the kids in Deb's class make cards for the elderly/homebound members of the parish associated with the school. Even though I'm not a member of that parish or on the list (or elderly thankyouverymuch), Deb told the kids that she had a friend that couldn't leave the house and thought it would be nice to make me cards, too.

She said Jonboy and Benny Boy (yep, that's what I call them) were eager to tell the class that they were my friends, too, and when she made a comment about how much I would love the cards when I was lonely Jonboy quickly quipped:

"Oh, she's never lonely. She has Riley!"

He may have heard me tell him that a few times. Good to know he's really listening. :)

So at Thanksgiving this year I received two big cards, decorated by Jonboy:


and Benny Boy:


that contained cards from the entire class:


(photo-taking was momentarily interrupted by a jealous dog who needed some attention and a toy thrown for him):

ANYWAY... I absolutely loved my cards and the sweet sentiments they all wrote to me. Some were signed "your pal" and many wrote about their favorite Thanksgiving food or where they were going for the holiday. Seriously, I loved each and every one of them more than you can know. And at the same time discovered that I'm not too bad at deciphering phonetic spelling!

So I was thrilled when Christmas rolled around and I received a new batch of cards that were even more decorated and elaborate than before:


Deb has played a cd of my songs in her classroom from time to time, so I had letters about the music and even a few that said they hoped the cold weather wasn't too hard on me. I'll admit, my eyes might have leaked a little over that one. Such little people, and yet they have such very big hearts.

And, oh my cow... did I laugh, too. Because sometimes, a kid just needs to tell it like it is... like the following card that I can't get enough of. The outside is a drawing of a penguin that says:

IMG_4186 "I hate being a penguin!"

And on the inside is a drawing of an elf that says:

IMG_4211"I love being an elf!"

Yep, this one hit the nail on the head, because they are pretty much the sweetest little elves I've ever met.


  1. Oh that penguin one is too cute. "I hate being a penguin"! Kids can say the funniest things. It is so sweet that they made those cards for you.

    Not only did Jonathan and Benny tell that they knew you with words, man it shows on their little cards! Those boys decorated with their whole hearts, didn't they?

  2. you said "oh my cow!"

    and i love how God's lavishing His love on you and showing you He cares. and using penguins and elves and li'l ones to do that.

  3. @anita: you are SO right; Deb couldn't get them to do any other work. I think Jonboy traced and outlined every single letter and picture he drew. It was FULLY decorated... those boys have big, sweet hearts.

    @alece: I've totally stolen "oh my cow" from you... because in truth, what typically would come out of my mouth is, "oh my hell!" and I've been trying to find a less-harsh replacement. Oh my cow seems to roll off the tongue as easily so it's like my homage to you, friend! :) And yes... God blesses me in more ways that I can even begin to keep track of. But little ones are definitely the ones that fill my heart the most and the easiest. I'm lucky to have friends that let me love their kids like they're my own.

  4. I forgot to tell you--I went Goodwill book shopping today (Paperbacks are only 1.29! It's enough to make the heart rate pick up!). I saw several of those little Max Lucado books there. Every time I picked one up to get all nostalgic about you, I found there was no strawberry Kool-Aid on it. Shoot. Oh, well.

  5. my thoughts exactly on the cow business. and i'm honored, friend! :)

    it's 5 AM. i need to sleep. pronto.

  6. Several times my husband has gone in to talk to one of our kid's classes about what a geologist does. And we both love it when he receives a big envelope of thank you cards, made by the class. They are precious and hilarious, and the artwork on them is definitely priceless. I think we still have the first bunch he ever received, which was probably in 1995!

  7. Aww, this reminds me of my "little boys" (28 & 32 with my KT sandwiched in the middle)!

    I re-sent that email and replied to your comment email, so you should get 2 unless I'm on your spam list. No harm, foul...

    Oh, and little girl with the curl? Do you know how much people PAY to have their hair look like that?? Wow, I'm jealous. Blessings, Candy

  8. Our family is blessed to know Deb!!! I have always kept all my cards from students when I was teaching..they are very special!

  9. Okay these are wonderful! From now on when I'm in a sour mood I'm going to sum it up by saying...
    "I hate being a penguin"
    Why do I love that so much!?!?!?
    Made me grin

  10. Oh my, that is so sweet! What a blessing!

    And oh, the truths we hear from kids - who doesn't hate being a penguin when they're really an elf inside? :)

  11. I loved getting cards like that when I used to volunteer at my kids elementary school (a LONG time ago). The would say the funniest things. The girls would usually include flowers and balloons and the boys would have monsters and lightning bolts.
    Have a wonderful day Sara.
    Sending you WARM hugs!

  12. And now you've made them famous! They are so going to love that... just like I already know you will get a chuckle when you see what I also got in the mail... today... its that wavelength thing... I'm tellin ya...

    Plus, I love seeing all the ways you are loved! So, so, so, many : )

  13. Jon-boy loved the picture - and was so glad he was on the same post as Benny-boy! I'm so glad to share my boys with you Sara - there are times I would give them to you, ya know! Loved catching up on your blogs this morning - you are an inspiration to all who know you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Riley does look a tad jealous he didn't get any cards.

    You gave the kids the gift of your voice and they returned the love.

    I do wonder about that penguin card. My favorite comic strip character was Berkeley Breathed's Opus the penguin.

  15. Sara,
    I'm so glad that you enjoyed the cards from my students. They really put their heart and soul into them because they know how much you mean to me, and so many other people. I can't wait to get back to school and share this blog with them. They will be absolutely thrilled!