Monday, November 21, 2011

Early 40th celebration


Last weekend we went to Fort Worth for the weekend to celebrate Wayne's 40th birthday a little early.  He has always wanted go to an NFL game, particularly the Cowboys so I planned it a little in advanced, worked it out with his boss so that he could be off part of the day on Friday and all day on Monday so that we would have plenty of time.  I got the tickets early (a gift from his parents, sisters, and me) and had them sent to Janel's house. It was supposed to be a surprise, but he figured it out as soon as I told him we were going somewhere. He's too smart.  Of course, it helped that I forgot to clear out my search history on the computer!

 We stayed with Janel and had a great time visiting with her.  We got to visit with Betty on Saturday, who is one of my dearest friends.  It's always good to see her and there is never enough time!  Sun. evening we visited with Amy (another of my dearest friends) and her family.  Gabriel had a great time playing with Audrey. I'm always amazed at how quickly he makes friends and wants to play with other kids.   It was the first time for us to see each other's kids!

Sunday Wayne and I went to the Cowboys game and really enjoyed it.  Janel graciously took care of the boys while we were there.  Our seats were up very high, but still not bad, especially with the massive Jumbo tron.  We bought some really pricey ultimate nachos and I was ultimately wishing later that I hadn't gotten them. : )  The Cowboys blew out the Bills, winning 44-7.  We picked a good game to go to.

On Monday as we were leaving, we went slightly out of our way so that we could go to In N Out Burger.  That was our favorite fast food burger place in CA and we had heard that there had been some built in D/FW area.  It did not disappoint!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MOPS playdates

These are pictures from a couple of MOPS playdates we've had this fall.  We went to tour one of the firestations in Fort Smith.  There are 10 firestations in this city, which was surprising to me, but good to know.  Gabriel loves anything having to do with firetrucks, firemen, etc.  What's interesting about him is that sometimes he doesn't want to get too close when it comes to actually seeing something in person.  He was a little scared of the firemen and didn't want to get any closer to the firetruck than the one picture I have with him standing in front.  We were actually supposed to see it up close, but they got a call in the middle of our tour and about half the men had to leave.  We moms asked a lot of questions while the kids (mostly boys) wanted to look at the many toy firetrucks, rescue trucks, and other related toys in the glass cases.  Out of all the moms, I got to put on the firesuit and had my picture taken by a man from the Fort Smith newspaper.  He took many pictures and the one that ended up in the paper was not that great.  He even took one of me with all the kids and that wasn't the one that was selected, which was disappointing.

We went to the Wild Things Farm again and it was one of the coldest days we've had, but it did warm up.  Gabriel loves going to this place.  He was not interested in sliding down their homemade slide but was happy to stand at the top and watch the other kids go down.  Next week we are going to one of the local pizza places to learn how they make pizzas.  That should be fun!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

We've come a long way!

As November rolled in, I have been reminded of this season of Thanksgiving.  Not that we should only be thankful in November or on Thanksgiving day, but every day for lots of things.  I recently read a book called "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp and it has impacted me greatly.  It's basically an incredibly, creatively written book about giving thanks in all things whether small or great.  The writer was challenged by a friend to began recording things she is grateful for, daily, at various moments as they came to her mind.  So, she in turn challenges her readers to do the same.  I have started this in a journal separate from my other journal (which I very sporadicly write in).  I may post more about this book in later blog entries, but this is one of the things she said that most impacted me.  She writes "In this counting gifts, one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life.  A lifetime of sermons on 'thanks in all things' and the shelves sagging with books on these things and I testify:life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time."

The last picture is one of the things I am grateful for.  Of course, I am grateful for all three of those guys and love them more than I can say.  But, I am so thankful how far Micah has come in adjusting to Gabriel.  The first picture was in the hospital the day after Gabriel was born.  You can see the tears in Micah's eyes.  I cannot describe to you how hard the first several weeks and months of Gabriel's life were for Micah, for me, maybe even Wayne.  I think Micah did not know what Gabriel was or why he was suddenly in our home.  He cried so much and at times would even hit me while I was holding Gabriel.  I remember talking to my dear friend Stacey on the phone just days after he was born and questioning whether we had made the right decision to have another baby. I felt like it was almost too much.  She had lots of wisdom and encouragement to give and prayed for me as we talked.  The days and weeks were hard, especially after moving to a new place with no friends and Micah spent a lot of time alone in his room when Gabriel wasn't sleeping.  The middle picture shows Gabriel lying on his little blanket with toys hanging down.  He was purposely put in front of the Christmas tree because that's the only way we could keep Micah away from the tree.  We called Gabriel the Christmas tree guard; maybe it was cruel but it worked!

Now, Micah willing gives Gabriel bedtime hugs and will occasionally play with Gabriel.  Sometimes Gabriel will pull him by the shirt to take him in his room.  Sometimes Micah is okay with this and not at other times.  We are trying to teach Gabriel to be respectful of him and understand if Micah doesn't want to play. 

There are still some things with Micah that are stressful, but this is one area that has gotten so much better.  And I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Micah is Superman!


On Halloween day, Micah's class had a party at one of his classmates' home.  The teacher invited Gabriel and me to come, so we did.  I was so proud of Micah for wearing and tolerating his Superman costume.  I wanted to be creative, but ended up going the easy way and got a Superman costume.  I knew I had to find something without a hat or a mask.  I found the Superman costume on sale so it was an easy decision!  Gabriel told me four days before Halloween that he would NOT wear a costume, I believed him so I didn't get him one.  He was fine with that and seemed to not be bothered in the least that he didn't wear one to the party or to our church's fall festival later that night. 

The party was fun, especially for Gabriel.  He had a great time playing with the other kids.  Micah enjoyed roaming all over the yard looking for unsuspecting plants, weeds, and flowers to pull with me following behind trying to keep him from pulling said plants.  Thankfully, the host (mom of Micah's classmate) was not bothered in the least and told me "Hey, flowers are for picking!  There is nothing here he can harm!" 

There was supposed to be bobbing for apples; that's the tub of water you see Micah and a couple of others playing in.  The game was stopped after the second kid spit in the tub.  They didn't seem disappointed that the game was called off.  Micah had a great time jumping on their mini trampoline and was doing this while the other kids were "trick or treating" at the back door.  Gabriel got to trick or treat for him and for Micah. 

Later that evening we went to our church's fall festival which is a huge deal.  Our church gives out free hot dogs, nachos, and candy galore to probably between 3,000 and 4,000 in the community.  There are games set up on the parking lot and the trick or treating was inside in the children's building.  Micah didn't last long, he was so tired that he just kept wanting to sit down.  Wayne took him home probably ten minutes after we had gotten there.  We had taken two vehicles for that reason. We never know how Micah will do in a situation so we are learning we need to do that so that Gabriel doesn't miss out on activities.  We only had time to trick or treat and had to wait in line for quite a while just to do that.  The food line was way too long afterwards so we came home.  Gabriel had so much fun handing out candy to trick or treaters.  I had to coach him because he was giving out handfulls of candy to gasping children.  Even after I told him "Only two pieces to each." He would still give out too much.  Oh well, it just meant we could turn out our porch light sooner.