Friday, October 24, 2014

Weirdest Zoo Exhibit

Over the weekend Keith and I took the kids to the Akron Zoo for Boo at the Zoo.  While I have more to share about our time there, the weirdest zoo exhibit I've ever seen was a part of our trip too. 
 
 
Yes, that's Caleb lifting a tail on a picture of an animal to smell their excrements. 
 
He even convinced Daddy into trying it too.
 
 
The photo is blurry because I had to act VERY quickly to get a photo of it before he moved.  He certainly didn't stay there for long smelling that!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I can't

One of Elinore's new favorite things to say is I can't.  I'm not a fan of this saying!  Sometimes she'll say it with things she really can't to, but she also will when she just doesn't want to do things.  We're working on that one.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

34 Week Appointment

Last Friday I had my 34 week appointment for the little baby to come.  The little one's heartrate was 145 bpm.  My blood pressure had a number that was a little higher than usual, but still very much within the normal range, so that was good.  I'm still measuring about a week behind where I am, which they say is acceptable too. 

The doctor also said at my next appointment, which is just shy of 36 weeks they'll check my cervix and check again for the baby to see if it is still breech since it was at 32 weeks.  (Let's hope not!)  She said if it is, they can do a procedure in the hospital to try to turn the baby.  She reccomended it assuming I had a relatively straight forward delivery with my last pregnancy.  I said doing that was much preferred to the alternative, which would be a c-section!  (That is probably one of my biggest fears about labor and deliver at this point, a c-section.  Although I'm sure it would be fine in the end too.)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Earlier this month we had parent-teacher conferences.  Keith and I headed into them a little nervous to see how things were going.  The teachers had asked us to meet about Caden, but we talked briefly about Caleb too.  We were SO happy to hear they are both doing well! 

Caden's teacher was so positive, helpful and encouraging about the progress he's making and the potential he has that I literally wanted to cry at one point early in the conference.  It was so wonderful to hear from a teacher that is willing to work with him. 

Keith and I weren't overly happy with his teacher last year, but he still did well during the school year.  This year, we're blown away with the fact that he seems to be in a much better place than he was a year ago!

Caden likes to fidgit, a lot.  And his teacher found a way to help him fidgit quietly at his desk that is not distracting to him, his peers or the teacher.  She has give him a small soft ball to play with in his hands during the day while she's teaching.  He has rules in place that it's only for him and when he's not at his desk it's goes to his teachers desk and he follows them all well!  He came home from school telling us about it and recognizing that it helps him.  His teacher echo'd all of that at conferences.  We're SO happy she's found something to help him focus.  And we're so proud of him for recognizing that and succceeding in school! 

Caleb's teacher also said Caleb is doing well and succeeding.  He's on pace and there are no concerns at this point, which is so encouraging to hear! 

Dear boys, we're very proud of you.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Community Support

I've never written much about our community and how its supports its own.  While we live it an embrace it daily at home, I want to write it down to remember it and to share with the kids when their older to remind them the importance of being there and supporting others.  I've seen this in action in our community several times over the last 5.5 years we've lived here. 

Recently, our family participated in a Beneft Brunch that has had me thinking about it more and more.  There is a gentelman in our community who is in his 50s and works part time at a processing plant in our town.  About a year ago he was very ill and spent over a month in the hospital.  A friend of ours from church was close friends with him; she and her husband stepped into help.  They found that the place he was living was no longer inhabitable and he needed a new place to live and a lot of things to fill the place.  Back in the late winter or early spring they got him set up with a new apartment in town and took donations of needed items and monetary too.  We supported him then of course, and we were happy to see him able to move into a new home once he was relaesd to live on his own again.

Months later, the medical bills became a lot of him and so the party and conference center in town used one of their Sunday Brunch meals as a fundraiser for him.  My family of 5, plus my mom attended with us, and it was a great experience.  He was there at the door greating and thanking everyone for their support.  Elinore even went right to him and let him old her, which is rare for her!  We supported the raffle, and won a few things too.  (The boys love the witch, and we have new padding for the high chair for the new baby now too!) 

A week later the kids and I ran into him at the bank in town, and he thanks us again for being there and talked to the kids.  He just had a great spirit about him and was certainly showing his appreciation.  It was a wonderful thing, and something I'm glad we could be a part of and our kids too.  The event raised about $3,800 to help pay for his medical bills, which is awesome!

This whole experience with the bunch had be thinking about other things in our community.  I try as best I can to help regularly serve the SOUP dinners at our church.  They are twice a month and are a open to anyone free meal no questions asked.  Keith has attended occasionally with me and the kids take turns participating too.  When Elinore was younger it was commong for her to be on my back in the carrier hanging out while we served others.  Now she stays home with Daddy more often, but the boys take turns coming and helping; I want them to experience service to others. 

Later this month the community is also holding a 5K.  This is the second 5K in two years held at our local high school.  Each year it has been to support a student in our school system fighting a disease.  The boys ran in the first Miles for Madison Fun Run early last year.  This year, we are registered as a family to walk the 5K together. 

A group in our church with the help of our local Lion's club, which Keith is a member of, also provides 'Baskets of Hope' at Christmast and sometimes Easter to families and individuals who are in need for the holidays.  As a Lion, Keith helps deliever those baskets out into the community. 

There are so many more examples of the love and support in our community, but these are on my mind as something to capture about our current community and family commitment to helping.  For as many as we particpate in, we miss just as many.  It feels wonderful to be able to tell our kids that there is a community of support around us showing their love for the Lord and people.