Tag Archives: playground

WATERMELON!

img_37158B is the winner of the 18 hour turn in challenge for P4P.  The prize was two of our very own Motherhouse watermelons.  Being the chief gardener I snagged a couple melons.

img_3716The reception of the children was perfect.   They were courteous, grateful, appropriately pleased with themselves, and surprised.  For a moment I forgot I was dealing with children, they had the decorum of adults.  (In the society in which we live I probably should add refined adults.)  By the way, seed spitting in outdoor watermelon eating was encouraged, and can be done with dignity.  Note the perfect form on the young man on the right below!

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As we ate the watermelon and conversed, I learned that one of our eighth graders who is a recent arrival with his family from Ireland, had never eaten watermelon before.  They don’t grow them there.  He’s the one on the left below.  (I’m not allowed to use student names here.)  We are glad to help with the enculturation experience!

img_3711I’m not sure how they brought in $1500 in 18 hours, but nothing appears to be illegal; well done!  I love it when the big kids do what they can and take the leadership which they are capable of doing.  It makes positive reinforcement so easy.  So eighth graders, thanks!  May God continue to bless you and may you, along with all our children continue to grow in wisdom age and grace.  Thanks for your ready smiles!

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And thanks to all who are helping us build a playground, may our children know the freedom proper to the children of God.    They evidenced it beautifully today.

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(If you are reading this from a distance please consider visiting our website to contribute online, God bless.)

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Mother Teresa and the Playground?

I doubt that Mother Teresa would build a playground like ours. It is clearly a first world playground. Having said that, there are certainly a number of things about the playground of which she would have wholeheartedly approved.mother teresa

First and foremost, Mother Teresa would approve of loving and taking good care of children.  She would promote a culture which values life and has a deep-seated desire to do good for The Father’s children.  I pray that is the essence of our playground.IMG_3522

Though it’s only Wednesday there have been several things this week in the construction process in which Mother Teresa would have delighted. We had a mat construction crew here which originated out of New York State. They were very hard-working men whose job was more complicated than it originally appeared. The chalk lines reminded me of the process for laying ceramic tile.  The tiles were all a little bigger than the space between the lines to allow for contraction of the tiles in the winter and expansion in the summer.  The men were of Hispanic origin, Arturo was the foreman. He was a delightful man with a heart for people. We checked on his daily progress. It was not uncommon for the perimeter of the playground to be lined with youthful observers who were always welcomed.

Saturday’s “community build” was a blessing.  Kurt Daberkow recommended the day and made remote plans for it from the early meetings.  When I asked him on Sunday evening how it went as we looked at the equipment, his response was adamant: It was a true example of teamwork.  He said the foreman from Miracle really knew what he was doing, and had no issue with keeping 40 capable workers profitably occupied.  The Knights of Columbus teamed up with many of our parents to complete the project by 6 pm.  Thanks for working together well, reminding me of the Kingdom where we will all be working together to praise the Lord!

Mother Teresa, in union with the Church, promotes the dignity of the human person as we are all created by God in His image and likeness. Can you imagine those men’s job?  How hard to be on the road so much, away from home.  From here they go to Chicago, then Indianapolis, then back here Saturday to seal our tiles.  A little kindness seemed in order. On Monday one of our parents brought some sandwiches and about 45 second graders took them lunch. Four carried the card table.  A child or two took each chair.  Five kids transported sandwiches.  Five more carried chips.  Four kids were the beverage cart with bottled water.  Five kids took napkins (OK here we were scraping for jobs). One had the trash bag. Several held the doors along the way.  In the end we were only a couple jobs short of having something for everyone to do.  By the time the last ones got out there the first group had the table and chair set up nicely in the shade and soon everything was set.

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The gentlemen were thrilled with lunch.  We were going to get a picture.  Arturo wanted a picture also to send to his family. It was a good day. IMG_3520

Later another group took him cookies and a drink. We wanted to get everyone we could in the act.  We witnessed to kindness.  Mother Teresa did that every day many times.IMG_3492

During one of the recesses one of the workmen was headed to the trailer to get some supplies when the soccer ball came his way. We didn’t know we had a soccer player among our workers. He enjoyed those few minutes of dribbling the ball around with the kids.  Sister Mary Angela was out there for that scene and she said his smile couldn’t have been broader.FullSizeRender

Mrs. Seigrist took advantage of the opportunity to practice Spanish.  She went out with several groups and prayed with the children and the men.  Sometimes the children needed a script which she had readily provided.  The kids had an opportunity to ask a couple questions.  It was also fun for the children to listen in to a short lively and meaningful conversation between Mrs. Seigrist and the workers.

I think mother Teresa would’ve also enjoyed the blessing of the playground. The gathering was prayerful, invoking the Father’s goodness on the project, along with thanking the many donors for their help. We blessed the playground as the last tiles are being installed so that the blessing could be there before the play began.  “Run the race so as to win….”, the reader proclaimed…..Father Townsend used the asperges to sprinkle us with the blessing that reminded us of the Polish broom. There was no broom but we were thoroughly blessed. When we arrived for the blessing the workmen were busy finishing up. As we began, they, too, made the sign of the cross and a couple of them knelt down joining us in the blessing. The unity of our faith was evident.

After the blessing, as the workers were preparing to leave, Arturo asked if he could pray in the church for a few minutes.  I said, “of course, that’s what the church is there for! ”  I had one last item to retrieve and said I would meet him back there.  A few minutes later I went over to church and saw one man kneeling at the communion rail praying. He had on a bright orange shirt; Arturo’s shirt was black both days. I got the feeling that the chief always wore a black shirt. Wondering if that was him, I went up to the front of the church where I could see and knelt down to pray until he finished. He stayed there quite some time and when he left I met him in the vestibule thanked him again and gave him the information.  With heartfelt gratitude Arturo spoke of what a blessing it was to work at our church and school. The kindness we had given was obviously recognized and received with gratitude. God be praised in the simple giving and receiving among His people!  Yes, Mother Teresa would be pleased.IMG_3525signature with links

 

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Heavenly Playground

We are building a BEAUTIFUL PLAYGROUND!  Progress is being made and quickly, finally.  We have been saving for this playground for several years, and what a blessing to see the effort of years becoming incarnate.  In the next few weeks we hope to make steady progress through to completion!  We will keep you posted (do this with your children and you will probably get your wings clipped).  I am not a child and as principal I have a few privileges, therefore I took a close look at the equipment, to the point of unpacking a couple items.  Some of them look like great fun on which to play!

Two in particular really make me wish I was a kid again.  The group swing is a hit with adolescents, as they can be with their friends as they play, according to Eric Crouch, the CEO of Crouch Recreation who is our equipment vendor.

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Group Swing in brown cardboard in the lower right with the green edge showing.

The green edge on the swing with a little “give” to it should keep teeth intact for the most part.  The holes in the center allow for drainage from the disc.  The foundation under the anchor poles should allow for half our school to be on that swing and still be soundly grounded. I can hardly wait to see the kids using it.

The other which I can’t wait to see operational is the Ten Spin.  You can sit in five places and stand in five places.  A “Merry Go Round” on which you can stand – as a kid I would have loved that.

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Ten Spin in it’s wrapper.

There are handles for the standing riders.  The standing children will likely be the ones spinning the ride using the stationary wheel in the center.  I can only imagine trying to spin the thing as fast as my little arms would allow.  (I’m also glad this equipment is fully safety tested, as I revert to adulthood.  The Merry Go Round we used as children certainly wasn’t safety tested.  Did you ever get in the middle and use leverage and mechanical advantage to push the thing?  If you fell down, you lost your head if you got up at the wrong time.  We learned quickly.)IMG_3467

Heaven:  the equipment reminds me of heaven in a very real and parallel way.  We are here now, looking toward a future reality that will be “so much fun” in a way that will go beyond our wildest dreams.  We get to anticipate snippets here and now as we gaze on the equipment, but the full reality has yet to unfold.  Now, we try to imagine what heaven will be like, but the experience is beyond us.  As a matter of fact, the reality is so far beyond us that what will evolve will have a dimension beyond anything we now see.  (At present the equipment is flat on the ground, it will be 3-D very soon.) IMG_3471

The equipment is firmly anchored.  The Kingdom of God is grounded so firmly nothing will ever shake it.  In this constantly changing world we long for such permanence, and goodness.  Let us long for that which is to come, and may every longing of this life, large and small, remind us that we are made for Him and for heaven.

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Waiting for the tree to grow? Won’t the shade be great!

Perfect happiness is an ordered desire of our hearts which will be absolutely fulfilled in heaven.  That fulfillment will be one in which we will be in community.  The group with which we rejoice will be a unified group.  Together we will rejoice in the Lord.  The playground will be very good; let’s make it a stepping stone to remind us of the reality for which we are made.  Lord, every time I watch kids on that swing, help me see it as a sign of that which is to come.  There we will celebrate beyond any festivity this life has ever known.

Let’s also not expect perfect happiness from the things of this life which are to draw us to the next, we are not intended to live in permanent disappointment, but rather to continually look toward that which will not disappoint.  In heaven we will know perfect fulfillment.

God bless us all in the meantime.

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