Friday, November 27, 2009

What to do with leftovers?

Thanksgiving was a nice day for us to have a little quality family time and a lot of turkey. I bought way too big a bird.

Aidan asked what are we going to do with all the leftovers.

I told him we could give it to the homeless. A great idea but I wasn't really expecting to jump up and go deliver meals to people on Thanksgiving. Oh my selfish heart.

Aidan jumped at this idea and wanted to make plates right after dinner.

So after Alayna's nap we heaped up a few plates, loaded the kids in the car and headed downtown to find someone who was in need of a meal.

Aidan was worried that we wouldn't find anyone today that needed a meal (Ugh, son there are people everyday that need a meal).

It didn't take us but a few minutes to find a man standing on the corner carrying all his possessions on his back. We pulled up and Jason asked the man if he would like a meal. The man immediately replied, "Yes please". When Jason handed him the meal the man then said, "May God bless you all". Those words are etched in my memory with a picture of this man's face.

Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink, when did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25: 37-40.

Here was a man who didn't have a place to call his own, didn't have a meal to eat on Thanksgiving, and was carrying all his possessions in a small bag on his back wishing us God's blessings.

I don't know why this man is homeless and probably will never know. I do know that a lump stayed in my throat for quite a while as I thanked God for my family, for our abundance, for this sweet man who granted us blessings and for seeing the face of Jesus today as we threw another pebble into the water.

In reflection last night, Aidan shared how wonderful it felt to serve someone else. We prayed for those men who we fed and discussed what else we can do to continue to make tiny ripples of change in our world.

Thank you God for changing all our lives with your love.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spoons what are those?

Who needs a spoon when you have 5 cute little fingers?
What you don't see is the spoon that she used for 2 bites then chucked on the floor.
So much faster and more fun using the finger method.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby class visitor

Alayna was so happy to find out that daddy took the day off so he could join her at baby class. He has been working long hours lately with the holiday rush and she has been missing that daddy of hers.

First we went to music. LC and her super crafty mommy surprised the kids with awesome bells to ring for their song, I was going to see Santa, in the Christmas performance on Dec. 2nd. Thanks so much they are beautiful All our friends loved them too.

Alayna tried to teach Jason all the songs in music class, by the end of class he was catching on

After music we moved on to OT and speech. We got to play with puzzles, light boards, peg boards, read books and work on our reaching. Oh we love our buddies and baby class.

Alayna had a little time on her hands between classes so she and LC had some great conversation (I think Alayna was spilling the beans on what we bought Aidan for Christmas as we took the opportunity while he was in school today to knock that out) shhh LC don't tell him!
Alayna definitely enjoyed daddy being in baby class and meeting all her friends.
Come back and join us real soon daddy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alayna on the move

What does our dog Ellie, Aidan and our vacuum have in common?

If you guessed what are things Alayna loves to chase after you are correct. Today Alayna climbed up 10 steps (I had to help her put the first knee up on the rise then she lifted herself up) to chase after Ellie. All I thought Ellie was good for was shedding on my carpets I didn't know she was a therapy dog.

When Aidan got home, of course she had to follow him around like she always does.

But, the funniest thing was when I got the vacuum out and she followed me around in circles and into another room to chase it. I definitely will post a video of that, it was too funny.
Go little inchworm go...she gets up on all 4's and pulls herself forward then drops down again like a little inchworm she is so close to crawling on all 4's.

She is still pulling up on everything. Tonight she stood up in the bath AHHH! I fear lots bumps and bruises in her near future!

This picture was taken at her school in October.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sad Sunday

Today the snowbirds (Grandma & Pop Pop) left to make their annual winter trip down to Brownsville (they heard the snow forecast in Denver and knew it is heading this way).

Aidan has always taken their leaving hard and today was no exception. He quickly said goodbye to them and gave grandma a picture of he and Alayna with I love you written on the back and then he scrambled into the car to head to church. He was quiet on the way to church and in tears during the service.

Alayna gave them both kisses but, is too young to have the concept of "see you in 6 months" yet. Although, I am sure when Wednesday morning comes and grandma doesn't show up to play with her she will be wondering.

As a mom it breaks my heart every time I have to watch Aidan say goodbye to them. Don't get me wrong I miss my parents each winter they go south and I am so thankful they are young at heart enough to travel and enjoy their lives but, it is devastating to see it and feel it on your 6 year old's heart.

Safe travels Grandma & Pop Pop we will see you in the spring.

Update (Monday morning): Looks like they left JUST in time...sleeting here now and snow expected today, tomorrow and Wednesday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Play date

Alayna & I had a great afternoon playing with our friends from baby class at Eli's house.

We walked in and thought we were at Toys R Us.
Eli's mom, Kim had brought out loads of toys for Alayna, LC & Eli to play with, ones that even Eli hadn't seen yet. Oh, we love that Kim! They were so much fun.
Alayna was her typical, shy self and stayed very close to me the whole afternoon. Eli did his best to welcome her with open arms

He even rolled over to her and kept her entertained with silly pacifier games (I would take Eli's pacifier out and make a popping sound...he would smile and giggle and Alayna then signed more, she thought that was funny too

LC wanted to be sure to let Eli know how much we appreciated the play date (and how handsome we all think he is) so she was sure to give him lots of wet smoochies (hold the teeth please!)
Thanks Kim & Eli for hosting us, it was a super fun day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday reflections

We went to the new parent breakfast at the DSG yesterday morning. Aidan wanted a picture of his classroom pet, Willie, which he was drawn to take care of this weekend (thankfully he is a stuffed tiger) with Alayna & LC. Aidan has to keep a journal of his adventures with Willie to take back to school on Monday. Each student in the class gets to keep him for a weekend, and all the kids love it. I am very thankful his kindergarten teacher didn't send home their corn snake last year!

Then within 2 hours of getting home Aidan complained of a sore throat and had a fever of 102. Neither of the kids get sick hardly ever so when they complain you know they are sick... Yep, sure enough he has strep throat.
Ugh, hope we didn't pass it on to any of our friends at the breakfast...especially his 2nd sister LC ! I have already warned Courtney to dunk LC in sanitizer. AHH!

Jason took Aidan to after care and got him started on antibiotics while Alayna and I visited with my college buddy, Jan. She just returned from a mission trip to Tajikistan, where she was able to use her medical background (she is a PT not a full time missionary) and deep love for Christ to serve a population that had never been introduced to Christianity. She had some awesome pictures and stories to tell us of how one man is quietly serving the people there and through his service many people are coming to Christ.

She also showed us pictures and told us stories of the people in the leper colonies...I didn't even know there were still leper colonies in the world. I know we are blessed by the lives we have but it brings us so far back into reality when we not only hear but also, do something about others in the world who aren't as fortunate as us.

We threw another pebble when we financially supported (it wasn't a big amount trust me it was a SMALL pebble) Jan so that she was able to listen and follow God's call and bring His message to others. Listening to her talk I envisioned those awesome ripples on the still water... how many lives were changed by her visit? And how when we throw those tiny pebbles no matter how small, our reflection disappears, as it should be, our focus is not on ourselves but rather on Christ and how we can get others to meet Him. God truly is amazing by leading us to these small pebbles in our lives.

We are also thankful that God gave us this opportunity to experience a little more of his love. We are also thankful that Aidan is fever free and feeling much better. He is excited that he can go back to school tomorrow.

Keep throwing those pebbles, no matter what their size it definitely starts movement. Please let us know what ripples you have seen in your water.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Simple toys are so much fun

Alayna loves when we buy the big box of diapers...

she then has a boat to ride in (row, row, row your boat over and over and over. As many times as she continues to show me that more sign I am happy to drive the boat), a cave to crawl in and out of, a mountain to climb on and of course, something to chew on (that top tooth is almost through the gum line).

Oh, the possibilities are endless and priceless all at the same time. We enjoy the multi sensory toys too don't get us wrong they are great motivators. Alayna loves that leap table and will crawl over you to get to it and pull herself up on it like nobody's business.
But, there is just something to be said about a kid who can be entertained or entertain themself with the "simple toys" in life! Aidan used to spend hours (years I should say) "cooking" with some dried beans, a pan and spoon. What a great way to grow their imaginations.
What toys do/did your kids enjoy?

We have enjoyed the nice temperatures this week by playing outside and going to our neighborhood park. Alayna loves the swings! (Which is a complete opposite of Aidan he never wanted to swing until he was 2).

Today is great grandma's 96th birthday...since we can't visit her (no kids allowed at the nursing home during flu season & she won't come out anymore) we did the next best thing...made her Oreo truffles. She LOVES our Oreo truffles (thanks Nan)! Happy birthday great grandma! We love you!

My aunt Dona (Pop Pop's sister) flew in for the weekend to surprise great grandma. She is coming to meet Alayna and visit Aidan tonight for dinner.

On Saturday, we have another great DSG new parent breakfast then in the afternoon Alayna gets more new company, my best buddy from college, Jan is coming in from Colorado for a visit! YIPPEE!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ripples of change...

Sunday afternoon was a beautiful warm, sunny day. We could have taken the kids to the park, the zoo or on a bike ride. But, instead we chose to follow our church's lead in a day of service for others and I am so glad we did.

After church we all met at Metro Lutheran Ministries, for a little in service on what they do there and what our tasks for the day would be.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive we were able to help stock the shelves for the food pantry. I stood in awe of how fast Aidan & Grace took to working and how hard they both worked knowing that the next morning someone would be coming to get some much needed food.

Several groups stayed at MLM to work while others went to 4 different homes to work and still other groups went to ReStart homeless shelter to work.

Our small group was slotted to go and help at a Lutheran church in the downtown area. We had 18 people, including the kids and what an impact especially those kids had on this huge church with a dwindling congregation.

The building in its time was beautiful with ornate pews and stained glass but, unfortunately the congregation has gotten older and so small that they don't even use the sanctuary anymore they all fit in the chapel area.

The kids and women grabbed dust cloths and Old English polish, vacuums and mops and spiffed up the whole sanctuary, chapel and greeting hall. The men covered the windows for winter, fixed ceiling tiles and other odds and end jobs that needed to be completed.

At the end of the afternoon we were all physically tired but, spiritually lifted.

Aidan wants to go back and serve at the food pantry again and serve meals at the homeless shelter. We most certainly will go and do these things and take Alayna too when she gets old enough to work.

I love throwing a pebble into still water and watching the ripple effect emanate out from the center. I guess that is why I was an educator, I saw the ripple effect that teachers and administrators have on kids.

Sunday, we threw a small pebble of service into the world and though we may never see the ripples that have been left behind I can attest that our hearts felt the movement and were changed because of this day.

Have you stopped to throw a pebble lately?