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

12222008-jumpnland2

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)





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.





Vacation

24 11 2008

Monday morning, 7:40am…normally at this time I am getting ready to head out for work.  This morning I am sitting here in my underwear wondering if I can wait another day to shave or not.

That’s right, I am on vacation this week.  I am really looking forward to a fun week with my family.  I have plenty to do and my family is anything but restful, but I am looking forward to a excitement filled week away from work.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving.





Road trip with the Samaritan Inn

18 11 2008

The 3rd Saturday of each month, we go to the Samaritan Inn for Jubilee Kids Club.  Well, this last Saturday, we were asked to volunteer to go with the residents on their holiday “Road Trip”.  So, we decided to do that instead of the normal morning Jubilee Kids club.

Me and the boys traveled with a group of 25 or so residents from the Inn (and a few other volunteers) about an hour northwest to a ranch outside of Bells, Texas.  A cold front had come through the area the day before, so my wife and I decided it best for her to stay home with our baby girl.  And, that turned out to be a good decision, because it was quite chilly and there was just an open garage for shelter.

The boys and I had just a super time though!  The cool weather made it feel like fall.  We got to ride on a nice long hay ride, cook hot dogs and burgers, play Frisbee and other games, roast marshmallows and eat smores around a campfire, throw rocks in a lake, and other outdoors activities.  We got to experience an outhouse…before and after the sun went down!

I don’t think we actually “helped” with anything.  The property owners took care of everything and they did not forget any details.  They made it so that we could simply have a great time hanging out with our friends.

The property owners were just the nicest people in the world.  A mom and dad and two college kids who came home just for the event.  What a great thing to do for the holiday season – invite residents from a nearby homeless shelter to come and enjoy a special day at the ranch.  And, while they are there, lavish them with the warmest love money can’t buy.  And, that’s exactly what they did.

I thanked the dad on my way out.  I shook his hand and thanked him for his family’s hospitality.  The thought occurred to me that he didn’t know that I was there as a volunteer.  And, ya know, that just makes what his family did that day even better in my book.  They treated everyone there exactly the same…they treated us all like visiting royalty.