Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two Years!

The little professor is turning two in just a month! It seems crazy to think of but these last few months he has really grown, not just physically but a ton in personality. He's learning to assert his own will and while all of my children were rather persistent kiddos, he has got to be one of the strongest personalities I've met. But he has this way of looking at me and throwing the unwanted item despite a firm "no" and smoothing it over with his impish little smile followed by the cutest giggle you've ever heard. The sound is infectious and has everyone laughing above my smiling protests. Heaven help us all!

He is a go getter and we've been thrilled to see his persistence applied to walking. I think he will run as soon as he can get himself steady on two feet! The other day we figured out that his core is finally strong enough to go down the slides without any help. He was elated and walked assisted to the slide over and over. We showed him how to use the support of the rails to get up the stairs and his excitement upped another level. Even when he missed grabbing the rail and cried from his startling fall, he wouldn't back down and was right back at it again. I'm amazed at him, his enthusiasm for his achievements, his joy at the simple things of life and his fearlessness to try, try again.

He still loves the swings and playing with balls. One of his favorite pastimes is the plasma car we got for Christmas. He learned the sign for it quickly and will kick his little feet in anticipation of the speed as we go whipping around corners. Isaac is clearly his idol and if anyone can get him to eat his veggies at dinner it is big brother with his goofy faces and noises. He and Keila have reached a truce of sorts and I can find them giggling together on an off. He is sure to assert his hair pulling skills though if the mauling gets to be too much!

Here are some of my favorite shots of him through the years!

I really can't believe it's been two years. I guess his physical stature and being behind on some milestones has me feeling like he is still a baby. Down syndrome or not, he is his own soul and I need to respect that, especially as he grows older. His soul may be older than mine for all I know, just placed in a body that doesn't reflect it. I wouldn't have it any other way. How I love this little man!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Real Heroes

Being at stepping stones preschool has been a great experience. It's put us in touch with other people outside our typical LDS or church friends and we've be able to gain much from the interaction. Two of the gals I work with there are the twin daughters of Keilas's current teacher, Mrs. Berneburg. Both ladies have married police officers and one of their men in the unit died while on duty this year, Officer D Raetz. There were fundraisers to help with the wife and child left behind as well as a huge attendce of officers at the little girls kindergarten graduation. The whole unit wished to be able to attend an annual event in DC to honor all those who have fallen in the line of duty, so they hosted a fundraiser at the Deer Valley Airhanger for the police and we were so happy to enjoy the company and share in such a great cause.

You could see posters honoring many officers who had passed on from years past. These are the quiet heros you don't always remember.
The event came the day after valentines and Keila desperately wanted a rose. I'm glad we held off and spent our money here for something beautiful for her to enjoy and for a greater cause.

We enjoyed the fire trucks, helicopters, bounce houses, crafts, magic show and even dancing to live music and visiting with some of our favorite teachers from Stepping Stones.

While we had a lot of fun, i think it brought home to Isaac how much we live and work in a community. Most of all he seemed to understand that heros are not always so obvious, they are simply people doing their best to do what is right. May we always remember the sacrifices so many other make so we can enjoy the safety and freedoms we have!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Growing Older

Guess who lost her first tooth! She was eating a piece of bread with almond butter and discovered it was gone. Apparently she thought it was crunchy almond butter and swallowed her tooth!
She worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't know to visit but it looks like she made it!

In addition we decided to enroll her into gymnastics and give her an opportunity to explore her own interests. They open the gym for an hour each day and Eli has enjoyed a good workout as well!
She was hesitant to jump in the foam pit at first and needed a little help...

After a while she got the courage and then we couldn't stop her from jumping over and over! Can't believe how much this girl has grown!

Isaac has also hit his own milestone, riding a bike with ought training wheels! It was a rocky start for all involved. Had we thought about it earlier we would have bought a balance bike for him to learn on first but we made it somehow and while he's a little wobbly and needs a little work on control, I'm sure he'll be there soon!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Good Ole Family Fun

I love shots of my kids and even though we've been to the zoo so many times I still haul the 'second wife' to capture these shots. Kiddos in their element. We all love the weekend and make family time a celebration of sorts.
A random shot of Eli on the trampline, he loves bouncing and for a split second he looks like he levitating!
For one family home evening we hit the drive in version of Frozen. The kids had no idea what we were doing eating homemade pizza in a giant parking lot but they thought it was pretty cool when the show started and we could cozy up in the comfort of our van munching on popcorn. Our own private theater! It was crazy late by the time we got back but we all had so much fun!
Kent and Isaac went through some major efforts to make valentines fun for the ladies. Those are paper made flowers folks and with an ever so tempting chocolate center! Kudos for creativity!
These are the memories!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Year of the Horse

It's Chinese New Year once again! Isaac once told me he loves being Chinese because it get all the holidays everyone else gets and more! So while most people are recuperating from Christmas and New Years, we begin prep for another tradition in our home.

This will probably be the last year I get to share this in isaac's class. I can't believe how much he's grown up. He loved getting dressed up for his class and was so proud to help me hand out the red envelops. We even gave his teacher some frozen spring rolls.

Teaching in Mrs Berneburgs class was a much coveted opportunity for Keila. She misses so much the I don't volunteer with her class so it was extremely special for me to be with her. We were able to break out in smaller groups and do everything from making lanterns to watching a lion dance and eating Chinese New Year goodies and writing Chinese characters. It's amazing to me is pictorial kids are, many of them wrote the characters clearer that the alphabet.
I sold spring rolls once again for Sharing Down Syndrome Az again and was able to raise over $100. I'm told by many at the preschool that there were other families interspersed n buying next time around and I'm oping to get an email list going. It should make fundraising much easier.

We had friends in town for the holiday. The Yangs got the chance to stay for a few days where we royally feasted, played and picnicked.

Bubby fell asleep on the way out to the park.

Not much more you could ask for in the new year- friends, food, and fun! Best wishes of the year of the horse!

I love these cutie pies!