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100 Boxes and a Comedy of Errors 

 My sense of humor has surely been tested this week.

My heart has grown 1,000 times bigger.

The first week of my 42nd year of life was surely full of surprises, obstacles, and unexpected blessings.

It's best if I start at the beginning.


My Birthday

I had the best weekend. My sweet husband took me to dinner (just the two of us) on Saturday night, and then on Sunday evening we had a family dinner at my father-in-law's house.

He is so good to me. There was a big cake and presents, too. {You're never too old for cake and presents.}

As we went to get into my van to go to my father-in-law's house, my van DIED. Yes, died. It's very old and we knew we would be getting a new one soon, but not quite THIS soon.


Pictured above:

My hubby and I - I'm very, very blessed.

We live near a quaint little town where The Walking Dead is filmed.  When we go out to eat there I always get a kick out of all of the Woodbury scenery.

My pretty cake

My new (to me) van. I love it - it has everything we need. 


What makes this week so challenging (and now humorous that I look back on it) was the comedy of errors that occured.

My driver's license expired on my birthday. I couldn't have it renewed yet because I needed my birth certificate or passport.  You have to send your original birth certificate away when you apply for a passport.

I have just applied for my passport.

See my problem?

You need a valid driver's license to purchase a car.

I finally received my passport.

The DMV in our town was flooded and closed on Monday and Tuesday. I didn't have time to get to the next closest DMV. (Plus, my van was dead and I was borrowing a friend's truck.)


Did I mention I needed to transport 100 boxes for our CC service project for Operation Christmas Child on Tuesday? (By the grace of God that worked out!)

On Wednesday Grant and I headed to the newly opened DMV (Anna had to stay home and do schoolwork) and to get my license.

By 10 p.m on Wednesday I had my new van and was exhausted. 

See what I mean? A total comedy of errors. 


Packing 100 Boxes

Our Classical Conversations community rocks!

65 children brought enough supplies to pack 100 boxes. 

We set up a huge assembly line and each child filled a box, then the adults filled the left over boxes. 

I've been reading Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts. This book has CHANGED me. I want to tell the story of Samaritan's Purse to everyone I meet.

You have NO IDEA the difference one box can make - for the giver, and for the receiver.

Look at this collage!

From my son helping me fold the first 25 boxes, to the little ones who raided their piggy banks to help pay for shipping costs, there were so many blessings on packing day!


A friend of mine, whose family has been going through an extended time of unemployment, came to me and told me how BLESSED they had been by filling the boxes. She told me it felt so GOOD to give after so much time of relying on the kindness of their friends and family. 

As we cried and hugged, I could see the amazing blessings that lie on THIS SIDE of a shoebox - the giving side. 

It's amazing, my friends.

Look at all of the precious children who gave of themselves and packed boxes.

My heart was truly FULL. Overflowing. 

I was emotionally drained at the end of the day. I cried several times at the goodness surrounding us.

The kids created an assembly line and we filled my borrowed truck with the 100 boxes.

As we stood there and surveyed the full truck, a little one looked at me and said,

"Miss Mary, are you driving the boxes to Ecuador NOW?" 

Such a sweetheart.

National Collection Week

Collection Week for Operation Christmas child is November 18-25.

Have you packed your boxes? Here are some tips for packing. 

After National Collection Week I will only have 3 weeks until my trip to Ecuador. I am BEYOND excited!

Why I Almost Stopped Homeschool

It seems that homeschool discouragement runs rampant this time of year.

I wrote a post for The Homeschool Classroom this week entitled: Homeschool: When You Feel Like Giving Up. I shared about last year - which was a hard year for me. I nearly gave up, but I'm glad I didn't. 

So many people wrote to me about this post, commented on it, and shared it on Facebook. Many of my local homeschool friends at CC spoke with me about how there were so glad to see a mom sharing that homeschool is HARD and some things we can do to combat our feelings of being discouraged.

I'm not an expert, but I do know that relaxing your homeschool or even stopping for a time isn't giving up. It's giving yourself the time you need to start again fresh. Please don't feel guilty about taking a break or about sharing that you are struggling!


Here it is the end of the week, and I am EXHAUSTED.

My head and heart are very full. 

I hope you had a wonderful week - or if it wasn't wonderful you at least realize that next week is new and full of promise.

I love this Collage Friday community!

If you'd like to link, you can do so in a couple of ways:

  • Enter your link below. Be sure to link to your post with photo collages and link back to this post (or include the Collage Friday button on your blog).
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Reader Comments (15)

What a week! We are packing our boxes today!

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelissa newell

What a week, but what a lovely van to get at the end of it! Happy, happy birthday!
I've linked up a series I've written this week about how we homeschool. If it doesn't fit the criteria please do delete it!

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire @ Angelicscalliwags

What a week, what a week, what a week! And wow 100 boxes! love the Ms Mary are you driving the boxes to Ecuador? Thanks for being such a big encourager to so many :)

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTricia

Wow, what a week...full of ups and downs! Happy birthday, my friend! My birthday was this week, too. We have had similar problems with my two oldest getting their driver's licences. Wow, what a great Operation Christmas Child giving. You are always an inspiration.

Wow, What a week you had. How wonderful you were able to hang on to the blessings instead of the frustrations. You are inspiring.
Blessings, Dawn

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Oh my goodness what a week indeed! You deserve a very relaxing birthday weekend, Mary! Thank you for always being so reliable with this lovely linkup, no matter what's going on in your life! Lucinda

Mary, Mary, Mary. What a week! I am so glad you didn't give up homeschooling. Each year has its season and you need to just look forward and keep your head up. You are doing a magnificent job and if you ever doubt it, email me and I will give you a pep talk! Seriously.
Thanks for the link-up that encourages me every time, both by reading your post, other posts, and encouraging me to keep writing about my experiences as a former homeschooler. Life is the biggest lesson of all and homeschool prepares our families for that lesson and adventure.

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb-Harmony Art Mom

Yes what a week but there was so much beauty in it. Your shoebox collection just made me tear up. So many blessings. I WOULD LOVE to watch filming of The Walking Dead. We love that show, grossness and all. Happy weekend Mary and thank you for the link up.

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

You did have a rough week. I'm glad you have a new van that you like and it can make things easier again. You all did accomplish quite a bit too. All those boxes packed and ready to go. I hope you are feeling just as ready for your trip. I'm sure you will be a blessing to all those you work with.

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

You are such a sweetheart Mary! God bless you and your family!

November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia

I have had car issue this week too! I wish a new one (to me) was in our budget.
Happy Birthday Mary! I'm glad you had an evening out with your husband before your comedy of errors week hit. So glad though that you ended on a high note!

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Fun to read today. I'm glad you got a new van!

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGena

As usual- you inspire and encourage me, Miss Mary! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

November 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWonder Mom

Oh my goodness! I am so sorry how rough your week was. So glad you didn't let it get you down. You accomplished a great task with those boxes! Good job to you and your community! I love this idea!

I redesigned our homeschool due to our co-op. While teaching a lesson I noticed that my children were able to work at a much faster pace then the other kids. Now I want to be clear I am not saying they are smarter, special or better just fast workers (like their Mom & Dad). Then it dawned on me (aka God knocked me upside the head) that I had assigned too much work to my kiddos but because they are quick workers. I lessened their (and my) load, re-evaluated what was important and what was expendable. We now have a very joyful homeschool and a less stressed out Mama! ;) Blessings! Kyle

November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

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