Grace Notes

Homeschooling has been a bit of a drag the past few weeks. Our warm, beautiful spring turned back to snow; St. Nick has been hard to motivate because he's developed a single-minded fixation on Legos; Little Fish and Mud Pie have been ill. I also tend to beat myself up over little things - I don't run around very much so we don't go on educational outings more than once a month or so; my friend got caterpillars (yes, HeartMom, I mean you!) and the mere thought of caterpillars in the house sends shivers of horror up my spine. How can I be a good homeschooling mom if I don't leave the house? If I don't buy caterpillars?

I'd pretty much convinced myself that I wasn't a good homeschooling mom at all.

And then yesterday, before the snowstorm hit, I sent the boys out to play in the mud, or, uh yard. Suddenly St. Nick hollered, "I found a baby porcupine! A baby porcupine is on the stairs!"

It wasn't a porcupine, although I can certainly see why he'd think it was. It was one of these not-so-little guys (those aren't blades of grass - they're tulip greens!):

Ewww.

And what is doubly amazing, is that I actually helped St. Nick make a habitat and put the critter in it (or rather, watched while he put the critter in it). It's now on our dining room window ledge, happily munching away on ivy and tulip leaves. A caterpillar! A real, live caterpillar that we will grow and watch turn into a moth!

I don't tend to read deeply spiritual meanings into everyday events, but I couldn't help but pray a quiet 'Thank You' for the one thing that would most encourage me in this homeschooling journey. A little Note of Grace, proof that God is there, and He does care, sent quite literally to my very doorstep.

Some caterpillar links: NPWRC information on caterpillars.

Wikipedia on the Giant Leopard Moth (which we think this guy will become).

Bug Guide: A source for more great pictures of this and other creepy-crawlies. (Another picture.)

Update!

He/she/it emerged!