Monday, December 20, 2010

So This Is Christmas

This past week we did a few crafts and baked some fun cookies. We haven't done as much as I had hoped, but it all seems to be just enough. We've been having a lovely time together this season, and that's the most important part.

The boys had so much fun making melted snowman cookies, and man were they yummy!

We also made some pompom ornaments for the tree.
And when we ran out of pompoms, we found some candy, and made a candy ornament. (Hints the above picture with candy stuffed cheeks) We sprayed so that we wouldn't attract critters.

We spent the rest of the week cozied up with a fire, hot cocoa, games, and movies. And, though are season is not as filled with fun projects and goodies as I had in mind, we are living. And by that I mean, that we are spending our time together, no pressure, enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of the season. 
Life is good.

 Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A First Birthday at 9 years old

Jaiden turned 9 on Sunday. That morning he woke not having so much as a clue it was his birthday. This was not surprise to us. His daddy woke up at 6:30 to get him his favorite donuts, and we piled them high and stuck candles in and sang a lovely Happy Birthday tune (to which Tibby says always makes him laugh). I personally don't think we sound all that bad =]
But, in the middle of the song, it clicked. For the first time in this 9 year old boy's life, he realized it was HIS birthday.

We headed to church where some had seen on my facebook that it was his birthday, so they all sang to him. He was thrilled about that! We then took him to Red Robin for lunch. He loves that place. When you tell them it is someone's birthday, they make sure everyone knows it. They all came over to sing to him and bring him a sundae. I didn't have a camera to capture this moment, but it is forever in my mind. His smile was bigger than I have ever seen, he was so overwhelmed with excitement, I could tell he could barely breathe. He covered his grin with his hands, and though it was loud with all the singing to him, I could hear him squeal with excitement.

I never looked at the people around us, I didn't even hear the words of the song they were singing. I was doing a  laugh-cry, about to burst because this is the most precious moment I've ever witnessed in my life with him. He was happy, and I was so so happy for him.

When they were done, his daddy looked at me in the same bursting emotion I had, and asked "did you see that?"

We took him to  see Voyage of The Dawn Treader (Narnia) which of course he enjoyed When we came home, I made a cake, ordered the pizza he requested and we all piled in the living room for an evening family party just for him.

Happy Birthday sweet boy. You light up the world.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Time For Rest

This past weekend my husband and I were invited to attend a Marriage Retreat. Now, this isn't just any retreat. It was almost like a vacation, retreat, and a meeting of new friends all in one.

They had paid for the hotel we stayed in, all of our favorite snacks, and all the meals for the entire weekend. They also had a wonderful Life Is Good canvas bag filled with goodies, books, and much more.

All of this was far more than we ever needed, but it felt like a gift quietly given to us from God.

When we walked in, we knew no one. We were introduced to the 3 other couples, and became instant life long friends. Family. We had never been with others all weekend who were all from different parts of the country, all different ages, and had been through so many different things in life. The one thing God had bonded us together with was that we all had a child with special needs.

Now let me tell you what a breath of fresh air it was to not wonder when the moment will be that you share you have a special needs child, or when the moment will cross your mind that your 8 year has never done what someone elses'  has, OR the moment that comes when you again get smacked in the face that your life is different.

There was none of that. Only the feeling that we 100% completely fit in. We weren't different. Here, we were "normal".

Now, we don't always go around feeling sorry for ourselves when we are around accepting friends. Those are just some thoughts that cross your mind for a quick second and then leave. I'm just saying that the absence of those questions in my head were SO obvious this past weekend. One of the most comforting few days I've ever had.

We had moments with our new friends, moments learning about personalities and marriage, lots of time alone with our spouse, a date with our spouse out on the town, moments of filling our stomachs full of delicious food and dessert, and the filling of our hearts with time spent in prayer, meditation, and a few hours alone with God for the Sabbath.

As we talked around the room, I could sense how concerned we all were for our children. I could also feel how weary each and every one of us can get. But, in all of that, I saw the joy and sense of humor we all had despite our lives. I believe that the joy and laughter we all shared was only the grace, the love, the heart of God. We could choose to let this stuff get the best of us, or we can see God in all we do, involve Him in our daily lives, and watch as He works something we all may see as broken out for His good.

One of the biggest things that stuck out to me this past weekend was this:
I have so much to learn from these kids. If I could see people through their eyes I would not measure anyone by these measuring sticks we all tend to use based on your clothes, salary, homes, jobs, or even your face. I would love you unconditionally if only you will let me. I would make you see the lighter side in life. I would make you see Jesus. Because that's where He is at. Those are His eyes. That is His love.

It truly was an honor to spend the weekend led entirely by God. And it truly is a privilege to have these wonderful children in our lives, that most only get a glimpse of when they're out and about, but we get to be with every single day. By the grace of God.

 "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves,
and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."
T. Merton


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