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.

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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!





couple of firsts

10 12 2008

Last night we had a couple of firsts at our house.

First fire of the winter.  The weather outside got rather frightful (or at least cold) so we decided to make a delightful fire.  We listened to some christmas music and read a book.

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First people food for sissy.  We planned to wait until her four month birthday on the 19th to start her on cereal.  But, lately, she has taken an interest in people food.  That combined with the fact that she still wakes up once a night made us decide to go ahead and get the ball rolling.

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Christmas is coming.

26 11 2008

Today we spent the day putting out all our Christmas lights and decorations.  Everyone had a good time.  I did my best to not be grumpy.  (I generally don’t enjoy spending an entire day putting out decorations that will take another entire day to take down a month later…go ahead…call me scrooge).

The Boss (our 4 yr old) was my helper putting up lights on the house.  He would hand me the clips while I would clip the lights to the fascia board.  At one point, we had half of the house covered and we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.  Then, daddy made one slip and one clip dropped followed by a domino affect of falling clips and lights all the way to where we had started.  In my mind, I was cursing the ground that the lights had fallen on.  To my son, I said “Well, when you make a mistake, buddy, you just have to hold your head up high, pick up the pieces and try it again”.  And, that’s just what we did!

All in all, we got the lights up and my wife did a great job with the nativity and the inside decorations.  It all looks nice and we had a very nice day.  But, we are all extremely tired.

So far, vacation has been all I had hoped.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Boss didn’t get his nap today so he was rather cranky tonight.  I was a little hard on him getting ready for bed.  Allow me to quote from his prayer, “Thank you for Momma, thank you for my sister, thank you for my brother….thank you for MOTHER (emphasis his).”  Oh well, at least he is thankful for something in the spirit of the holiday!

Here’s some pics from the day:

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Another fun filled day

26 11 2008

Today was another adventure.

First thing this morning, I took the kids (all three) over to Nanny and Poppas for the day.  Then, my wife and I went out and did all our christmas shopping.  It took a few hours and we had to come back twice to feed the baby (she is nursing exclusively), but we managed to get nearly everyone on our list covered.

The first time we came back to feed the baby our youngest son came in and brightened up when he saw me and said “Hi, Daddy!!”.  You had to be there, but it was a nice moment :).  His older brother caught a lizard and was looking for a jar to put it in.  He fixed it up with water and some grass and spent much of the afternoon figuring out how to get it some bugs to eat.  He never did reach his goal.  The younger son got a jar and put water and grass in it and spent much of the afternoon figuring out how to get a lizard in it!  He didn’t reach his goal either.  Maybe tomorrow…

After finishing up the christmas shopping, my wife and I went out for a 5K run.  We each run several times a week, but we NEVER get to run together.  In fact, today was the first time I think.  The weather was nice and we enjoyed it.

Then, to top off the day, my parents got free tickets to the Mavs – Pacers game at American Airlines Center.  The Mavs got the victory.  We took the train there and back which is a staple of our Mavs game expeditions that the kids seem to enjoy as much as the game itself.

And, now we are home with the kids in bed.  We did manage to make our oldest son feel guilty enough about his lizard being trapped inside that jar that when we got home, he woke up enough to ask me to take the lizard out and let it go in the backyard.  We might have overdone the guilt trip just a touch.

Anyway, sorry for the scattered post.  It’s late and I wanted to get this out before heading to bed.  Here are pics taken from the game tonight.  They were taken with my phone so I am sorry about the low quality.