ICE!

31 12 2008

Yesterday, we took the kids to see the ICE! display at the Gaylord Texan hotel.  Thanks to our two friends who highly recommended this (here and here).  We had a really great time.  Bubba was a little clingy because he missed his morning snack and because of the cold.  Here’s a gallery of pics that tell the story better than any words I can use.





Christmas

29 12 2008

We have had a nice christmas this year in our home.  The highlights to me have been the simple things my kids have enjoyed:

  • My oldest was in his first school program, and he sang out and did the motions with all the other kids.  In the past, when he has been in a program at church, he has just stood there with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
  • My younger son sang in front of the church for the first time this Christmas.  He decided to get down on all fours (for no reason at all) and jump like a frog
  • I loved watching my kids open their simple little gifts and seeing their eyes light up.  We didn’t give them anything extravagant, but their simple happiness was so much fun to be a part of.
  • My wife put one of the gifts inside an old diaper box and wrapped it up for my younger son.  He unwrapped it and said “DIAPERS!!!”.  My wife said, did you want diapers for Christmas? and he said “YEAHHHH!!!”.  Of course he was even more excited to find what was actually inside.
  • My daughter has enjoyed the newness of everything; this being her first Christmas.  She got a stuffed panda and seems to really like it.  She giggles a little when I play with it with her.  She is just gotten so alert lately too and loves to smile and interact with people she knows.
  • My boys played with their cousin in the leaves out at my aunt and uncle’s house.  Talk about enjoying life’s simple pleasures!
  • And, of course, I can’t forget the Jubilee Kids Club Christmas party and seeing all the smiling kids faces there.  I posted about that here.

The simpleness of Christmas was the highlight for me this year.  Of course the greatest gift of all entered the world in the most simplest of ways so many years ago.
Here’s a gallery of the best shots from Christmas day.  Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.





Jump’N Land!!

22 12 2008

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Yesterday, Retread put on a great Christmas party for the kids at the Samaritan Inn.  The party consisted of an all-expense paid trip to Jump’N Land here in McKinney.  It included 2 hours “all you can bounce” fun and other games.  Each kid got some tokens to spend in the video game area.  And they all left with a gift-bag filled with candy, a book, stocking cap and gloves, and a gift.

We had 10 kids from the Inn show up plus several parents.  We had 8-9 adult volunteers and another 5 kiddos from their families.  (My whole family was there!)

12222008-jumpnlandWe had an absolute blast.  I saw so many smiles on the kids faces.  It touches me now just thinking about it.  I am so glad that we decided to get involved at the Samaritan Inn almost a year ago now.

Today my neck is a little sore from some serious sliding down this monster slide (not to mention some patches of lost skin from some mishap sliding)!

This was an event that truly meant a lot to the kids and I hope that we can make it an annual event.  I have to give credit to my friend Kyle and my wife for planning and executing this event.  I am one of the lucky ones that just showed up and had fun playing with the kids!

(pics taken from Jump’n Land website)





christmas stockings

22 12 2008

dsc054871My oldest son amazed us 3 years ago (at the age of 22 months) by very quickly learning who each stocking belonged to in our extended family.  As far as we could tell, he went through them one time with my mom, and then he simply just knew them.  And he never missed one.  Different people would quiz him on who random ones belonged to and he got it every single time with no errors.  Somehow his mind is able to look at a these tangible objects and learn it’s assigned person and lock it in his brain.

Each year since, when we pull out the stockings out of storage, we ask him which stocking belongs to whom and he is able to recite them down the line with no assistance.  This year was no exception.  I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised anymore with the feat, but I can’t help but be shocked by it still.

I have a smart kid!





I will make you eat those words.

16 12 2008

The boss and I played a fun game at dinner tonight picture-001while my wife was trying to keep Bubba awake on the potty.

(Bubba was showing the unmistakable signs of an impending bowel movement and he didn’t take his usual nap.  Doesn’t he look pleased? If you are wondering, my wife finally settled for a little grunting before letting bubba go to bed early).

Anyway, back to the point of this post – the game the boss and I played was to sound out and write down words in between bites of food.  I was actually pretty impressed with his ability to sound out words.

picture-005Don’t get me wrong; he needed lots of help – especially with the quirkiness of how some words in the English language are spelled.  (I don’t think there are any spelling rules that aren’t routinely broken.)  And, even I had to seek the council of my wise better half when attempting to help with the spelling of ‘broccoli’.

Anyway, here is a picture of his work.  We created quite a list (and actually, there are more on the back).  See if you can figure out what we were eating!

If you are having difficulty reading this masterpiece, let me give you some help.  The words are:

Column 1:

  • Foot (we were going for food, but I was willing to accept foot)picture-010
  • Food
  • Corn
  • Carrot
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Fork
  • Bowl
  • Bite
  • Teeth

Column 2:

  • Taste
  • Lick
  • Lips
  • Scooby Doo (there was a dramatic shift in theme at this point)
  • Shaggy

Anyway, I was able to kill two birds with one stone.  I exercised his mind and (even more challenging) got him to finish an entire meal.  The whole thing took an hour and a half!  But, I didn’t have to stay on his case the whole time and there wasn’t a mess afterward.  So, it was worth investing the little extra time!

Best part of all…after our game, it was bath time.

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couple fun stories

16 12 2008

Here’s a couple of good stories from my wife’s blog:

First, the story of the ever inquisitive boss who became interested in the ‘bumps’ on our daughter’s chest.

Second, the story of bubba’s attempt to get my wife turned over to child protective services.

And, since I put very little effort into this post, here’s a great pic as an added bonus:

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Snow Day

16 12 2008

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This morning, I got up early and laid out my son’s school clothes for the day.  I prepared him his breakfast.  I got his lunch and school bag all ready to go.  Then, I went into his bedroom and woke him up and carried him into the bathroom.  I gave him a shower.  Then I instructed him to go get his clothes on and eat his breakfast.

After my shower, I went in to check on his progress.  Of course he was sitting in the living room naked no even having sniffed his breakfast.  As usual, I jumped on him about not minding or paying attention.  I reminded him of the usual morning time crunch and that he better get his act together.

At that moment, I happened to glance out the window.  I noticed the street appeared to be covered over with ice.  In Dallas, that usually means school will be canceled.  So, I went and checked the district website and, sure enough:

SNOW DAY!

When I was a kid, I used to love to hear those words.  Today was the first time I heard them as a parent of a school age kid.  Very different!