Saturday, January 21

Woodland Park Zoo

We've been going to Children's Hospital in Seattle a little bit more lately.
So I thought what better way to spend some birthday/Christmas cash gifts for the boys than a Zoo membership!
It took us twenty minutes from Children's to get to the zoo.
And that included the beloved chicken mcnugget run!!

Since I was by myself and had the sit/stand stroller, I decided to put Tommy's harness on and let him walk about a bit.  Also, the zoo was fairly empty, so I thought if he had a meltdown OR a super fast run away moment.... I wouldn't be stared at by too many.  ha ha!

We loved the trail of vines and looking at all the primates.  The winter months are EXCELLENT to see animals as many are napping in hay piles right near the glass!

Here are the boys and I next to the elephants, there is both an african and an indian elephant behind us.  Very cool!

Tommy found his beloved meerkats.  Adorable and FAST just like him!!

These are gray owls.  They were HUGE.  My sister Debbie was sharing some facts on owls with me one evening when one probably snuck away with her chicken.  I had no idea how HUGE they were.

We'll be back to Children's in January for PASS clinic and then in February for ear tubes plus a sedated echo for cardiology.... and then a break till April for a sedated BAER hearing test.  And guess what?  That means a visit to the zoo is going to be a popular treat for us after the yukky hospital. 

Winter wonderland

Winter finally arrived to Ferndale.

We had a total snow fall of around 14 inches

And the boys really enjoyed it!

Somehow snow always makes things beautiful!

Grandma Dorothy came to our home and took over the reins of kids and household for four days... which meant Colin and I took off for four days (first time in probably six years). 

First night in Leavenworth and then the next two nights we stayed in a small town called Conconully with five other couples renting out a home there.  Very fun to be with friends! 

Grandma Dorothy is a blessing to us in so many ways.  She is a daily educator in a very soft way to all the kids, Colin and I.  She encourages us and we always have great conversations about life.  We love you Grandma Dor-tea!  At dinner while praying, Liam said he was grateful that Grandma let him crawl in bed with her and snuggle while we were gone.  Too sweet!

I thought everyone would enjoy the boys school pictures.  Not sure if I've posted them yet on here.

And a picture of Hannah and me out for coffee chat at least once a week.  Just us. 

And my cute niece Madison. 

The boys have loved the library.

A silly picture with Grandma Sue.

Sunday, January 8

The week in review

Hard to believe the first week of 2012 is done.  Where does the time go so quickly?

I'm going to try to blog once a week if not more often.  I absolutely love sharing our family joys and trials, but it seems like time is so precious I don't blog as often as I would love to.  But I absolutely love the encouragement and sharing that I get with other mommy bloggers and friends. 

So here is our week in review. 

 Monday we enjoyed playing at our neighbor Mitchell's house.  Liam and Mitchell dressed up and really had fun together.  So I got a chance to visit with my friend Tiffany and dream about gardening and farming changes coming up this spring.  Tiffany homeschools her kids and is always busy, so this was a nice treat to visit.

 Wednesday is our Awana evening for Liam and I.  We go to a church that we don't attend for their wonderful program.  Nate babysat Tommy until Colin got home from work late which was wonderful not to have to watch my gypsy wandering (and non verbal) child and just concentrate on Liam.  The Awana teachers are amazing and surprised the kids with a "snow ball fight" with styrofoam peanuts.  I really enjoy helping the kids with their crafts and practicing their bible verses.  Such a sweet program and Liam really enjoys it. 

Nate and Hannah started back to school at Whatcom (they do Running Start) Community college on Wednesday.  Nate made my lunch while he was making his own.  And when I got to work I had to laugh because he labeled EVERY single ziplock baggy with my name.  So cute!

 On Saturday we went to a very fun birthday party for my 6 year old nephew Andrew down in Monroe.  It was a swimming party and Colin and I had fun swimming with the twins.  And it was very apparent we need more swim lessons!

After the party, and since we were in Monroe, we knew my mom was sick (with a bad head cold) and my parents would probably love some help with chores and a homemade meal so we ran thru a grocery store and then stopped by.  I made lasagna and Liam and i picked up all the pruning sticks my dad (89 years young) had just finished doing.  What a fun day to spend with both my sister and her son plus my parents. 

Today started off not so great.  I had planned to return to attend church at our 'old' church which I miss so much but woke to a flat tire on the van.  And I mean FLAT tire.  So Colin was busy replacing the tire but not in time for church.  Bummer.  Unloaded the twins and changed my plans for the day.  I did have plans to meet Hannah for coffee and help her on her senior culminating project, a high school requirement, which she is doing for Down syndrome outreach.  Since she is staying at her dad's house mostly, I really treasure the time that I see her. She is doing great with recovery but relationships are still stressful so our time together is usually stressful for her and I'm so sorry for those feelings.  Although she cancelled our coffee, she and her boyfriend Brandon came over for dinner (spaghetti and caesar salad plus apple dumpling desserts) and a rouing game of monopoly. 

 The boys having fun with their sister while she had time to play with them. 

Brandon and Liam as monopoly parteners

I forget what day this was taken on but I just love the way God can paint a sky!

Tommy and Liam really get into their mini air hockey table fun!
Lots going on this week to look forward too.  I'm having a small procedure on Monday (and kinda anxious so I would appreciate prayers for comfort and peace), Tuesday we will be in Seattle all day at Children's and then me and Colin have a surprise planned (shhh, he turns 50!!)

Thursday, January 5

2011 in review

Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe it's 2012, that date just sounds odd to me and hopefully the newness will wear off on it.  I thought it would be fun to look back on 2011 in review and see all our family has done, grown, seen, and been encouraged by.

The year started off with potty training Liam which was a huge success for not only him but sure did lessen the load for twin diapers.  Colin had knee surgery also at the beginning of the year to remove a small cyst from under his knee cap so he was home recovering for many weeks.  We enjoyed meeting more families with kiddos with Down syndrome at the Spring Fling and Buddy Walk and many park events, so much fun and so many new friends! 

We started "Operation G-tube wean" with Tommy in the spring of 2011 and that ended on 10/5/11 with successfully taking the Gtube out while at home one day and his stoma has healed so nicely on it's own.  He is sipping from sippy cups and eating orally.  Oh what a blessing that has been.

All six of us enjoyed talking at a Grange in the summer time about what it means to have a family member with Down syndrome and what a wonderful lifetime Tommy has. 

August was busy with a two week vacation to Montana for all six of us.  Followed by a month for Hannah being admitted inpatient to a youth alcohol treatment facility.  We are so happy to support her recovery and watch as she walks courageously on in that battle. 

September the teenagers returned to Running Start which is college classes at our community college so that they can receive some college credit along with their high school diploma.  Hannah enjoyed cheerleading for basketball and Nate has been training with his dad to compete in an Olympic distance triatholon in Kona, HI in April 2012. 

Thanksgiving and Christmas were wonderful family times and I'll post pictures soon as I'm catching up on blogging.  What a great year 2011 was and we really appreciated YOUR encouragement and prayers. 

Tommy Adventures