Thursday, March 20, 2014

Busy Times!

Well, a few days ago, on Isaac's birthday,  I pulled out my camera and realized that I have not used it or downloaded pictures since before Christmas. Which means, it's time to "report" everything before I forget what has happened the past few months!  Most days are a whirlwind, but I'll do my best at capturing the important moments so that at least I can reflect on this new season of life.
For starters, we are selling our house and making a move!  But, this time it is not far...just several miles to the east.  We have considered moving closer to Jared's work since he started the commute to East Dallas last May.  After doing some research and praying about our options, we realized that if possible we would love to stay in the Highland Village area, but find something closer to the expressway Jared takes to work to cut the commute slightly.  We ended up finding some land in the older part of town, where we plan on building soon.  Jared is super excited about getting a chicken coop (no restrictions in this area) and the kids are excited to have a large yard and a much talked about dog!  I'm excited about building a smaller home, but putting some fun personal touches in it (but a bit overwhelmed with all the decisions to be made!).
Some memories that I wish to forget include constantly cleaning our house for showings.  It's been on the market for over a month.  We've had some interest, but nothing finalized yet.  The kids have tried their best to help the house sell...Julia even tried to make her new carpet look "prettier" with pink & purple food dye!  Isaac also believes that our floors look much better when splattered with milk or applesauce :)

I have been very busy making trips to the Scottish Rite hospital with Kai, where he sees his team of doctors who specialize in children with Spina Bifida.  His health has been stable, but we are addressing a new bladder/bowel program, searching for an answer to his habit of rolling his head side to side, and following up with speech and language tests, MRIs, bladder/kidney ultrasounds, etc.  I've also been meeting with his preschool teachers and therapists and discussing his goals for the upcoming year.  It has been a challenge for me to fight some stereotyping and generalizations that some of his therapists put on Kai as a "child with special needs."  They have been projecting a future of limited educational and vocational goals.  While we don't know what the future holds, everything in me wants to fight against limitations that others put on my child.  Kai is very bright, although his speech delay makes him appear more delayed than he is.  Only the Lord knows what lies ahead for Kai, and I rest in that. 
Our prayer for Kai as an infant (when we really didn't know what kind if any delays he would have), was that he would understand "The Truth."  God has done more than we could ever ask or imagine.  Last fall (September 10th), Kai communicated an interest in having Jesus come into his heart.  While I was amazed at what I was hearing (while driving with him in the van!), we pulled over and had a conversation about what that means and how that impacts the rest of his life.  He was very emotional about how our sins separate us from God.  After a while his whole face lit up and he said, "Mom!  But, the Cross!" and drew it in the air to make sure I knew what he was saying.  Jared talked to him later that night and confirmed that he definitely understands (as deeply as a 4 year old can) and has made a clear decision to follow Christ.  This alone fulfills any dreams I have for my sweet boy.

Preparing for his MRI in a "spaceship"

Being silly at the preschool Valentines party

Soccer practice

Julia is doing well and has been making a lot of new friends at school.  Several of the preschool boys' mothers have told me that their sons talk about Julia a lot :)  She is definitely used to playing with the boys at home!  She enjoyed a rare moment with Daddy on Valentines Day for a Father/Daughter dance.  She was so giddy, like she was caught up in a princess fairy tale!  She talked for days about the carriage ride and the dancing.  She also loved watching the ice skaters during the Olympics and attempted to imitate all of their moves.  She (and Kai) is currently signed up for soccer, which is the first organized sport that the kids have ever tried.  The highlight is wearing pink shin guards.  I think the poor dads that coach spend more time taking the girls inside for potty breaks than they do actually coaching the game! Now that Julia has spent more than half her life as a Texan, she is starting to talk with a slight drawl.  One of her favorite things to do is go on mommy or daddy dates for "Ahhs Cream!"

Isaac is now 3 years old!  That is hard to believe, although he is bigger than many 4 year olds.  Although Isaac has always been known as our clown, he has been showing us new sides to his multi-faceted personality.  His teacher made the comment recently that Isaac has signs of being a bit particular & methodical in his play skills.  She made the correct assumption that daddy was an engineer!  He can also be emotional and is completely terrified of the purple minions in the movie, Despicable Me 2. His voice carries loudly everywhere he goes, much like his dad.  Some of his favorite phrases are, "Hay is for Horses (after we say Hey!...which we must say a lot), "I love you, ____Julia, (Kai, etc..), and "I want to eat!"    He also thanks God for the same things during his prayers:  "Thank you for Papa(s), Uncle Zachy, Captain Hook, and Bad Guys!"  Sometimes Mommy, Daddy, siblings, and Nana(s) get added to the list!  We had a fun time celebrating Isaac's birthday last night at dinner with friends.  Isaac is excited about an upcoming visit with Papa & Grandma Jones this weekend along with a Cowboy birthday party.

Embarrassed during Birthday serenade!

Watching balloon artist!

Here are also some pictures of our highlights from Christmas:

Julia at home group's Christmas Candle Lighting Ceremony

They let Isaac have an open flame!

Santa sighting @ Seattle Tacoma airport!

Girl cousins hanging out!

Go Tell it on the Mountain!

Christmas Eve Matching PJs from Nana & Papa Christianson!

Eating the fish that "Isaac" caught!  Julia wanted to eat the eyeballs...whose child is this?