Saturday, March 23, 2013

1st Movie in a Theater

For a while now, Annika has been able to sit through movies at home.  She usually rotates watching her favorite for about 25-100 times, and then Mommy and Daddy pick a new favorite.  We've been thinking about taking her to her first movie at a theater for a few months now, but just haven't found the right movie or the right time.  This weekend, Grandma Jan took Asher for the day and we decided to take Annika to see The Croods.  It was a cute movie about cavemen.  There was laughter, drama, silly humor, etc.  But the best part of the movie was experiencing the wonder of the theater through her three year old eyes: 'Look at the cartoons on the screen.'  'I want to go into the movie and be the tiger.'  Eating popcorn and nachos.  Her sitting on Monica's lap for most of the movie.  It was all great.
At bedtime, when we asked her what her favorite part of the day was, she said 'When we went to the movie.'

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just Because

I ran across these pictures on the computer and thought they were cute.  Asher has just started playing in his new toy, which is fun to watch.  Annika loves him so much and always wants to be hugging or kissing on him.  Asher is usually very entertained by watching whatever Annika does.  We bought Annika these puzzles for Christmas and it's probably the toy that gets used the most.  She loves them.  On this day, she was showing Asher how to put them together.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

5 Months

Asher is 5 months.  He is such a happy baby.  Only cries when he is really hungry.  Other than that he is pretty content to just be around us.  He loves to sit in his chair and watch Annika play.  Especially if she is playing with Derek.  That is his favorite.  I usually dread taking these monthly pictures.  But, Asher is such a smily baby this time it was so easy!  He is pretty close to sitting up, but not quiet there yet.  He is also very close to rolling over.  One of his favorite things to do now is grab his toes.  It's cute, unless you are trying to change his diaper.  He loves to sleep on his side with his pacifier in his mouth and his blanket over his head.  He goes to bed super easy, but is still not sleeping all night.  Hopefully that will happen soon!  So, happy 5 months from Batman and Captain America.

Snow Ice Cream

On our fourth snow day in less than a week, we were all feeling a little tired of the snow.  Annika didn't even ask to go outside to play.  So, we decided to bring the snow inside to her.  We made snow ice cream.  I was surprised at how good this was!  Annika, who can be picky about what she eats, liked it too.  This is definitely something we will do again.  

And, Done

After playing in the snow and cooking, Annika wanted to watch cartoons in our room.  It took about five minutes for her to fall asleep.  


I found a recipe online to make a single cookie so Annika and I decided to try it out.  She wanted chocolate chips and M&M's.  It was very easy and Annika loved getting to help.  She gave it a 
thumbs up!

Hot Chocolate

What goes better with playing in the snow than HOT CHOCOLATE!


Snow Part 2

As if the first round of snow was not enough, not even a week later we got another 10 inches.  This time, Annika wanted to play in the front yard.  I was smart and stayed inside with Asher, but I did take some pictures from the front porch.  Annika had a blast playing in the snow while Derek shoveled the sidewalk and dug out the cars.  She helped shovel, built a snowman, and then painted.  After about an hour we had to drag her in with the promise that we could go back out later.  It was sure pretty and we enjoyed the extra two days off from work.  But, I am ready for spring and all of this snow to be over!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Love. Acceptance.

Derek and I decided about 6 years ago we wanted to have a baby.  It was almost three years before we got pregnant.  By this time, I had pretty much given up.  It wasn't a great time for me.  So when we found out we were pregnant we were over the moon.  We told family and close friends and the people at our church.  Actually more people knew than I wanted.  This pregnancy lasted nine weeks.  We were devastated.  I knew this was something that happened to many, many people, but I was mad.  Mad at God most of all.  Why would he give us this great gift only to take it away?  I never wanted to set foot in church again.  The only problem was, I was part of the team in charge of the elementary school ministry.  I had to go back.  I hated even walking into the building.  What could I give to these kids when I wanted nothing to do with God? How could I teach kids to love God when I was so very angry with him?  On top of these feelings, I felt guilty for feeling them.  What would people think?  Would I be judged for thinking them?  Walking into the building that morning was one of the most difficult days ever.  Most people knew what happened and I just didn't want to deal with it.  I wanted to get the day over with.  What could I possibly get out of being there?  My heart was closed off and I wasn't ready for it to open up again.  But from the moment we opened the doors we were welcomed with nothing but love and acceptance.  Love for me, Derek, and our baby.  What blew me away was the acceptance.  I was accepted where I was.  Not liking, let alone loving God.  I was told it was okay, He could handle my anger.  That no matter how mad I was, God could take it.  I was told that it was okay for the kids to see me upset.  The kids loved me and wanted and needed me there, no matter what.  The one thing I was told was I could not stop coming to church.  If I kept coming, it would get better.  Derek and I had attend this church since we were married.  But walking out that day was the first day I truly felt I belonged.  We were hurting, and they were there.  No matter what.  This little church taught me that I would not be judged, but instead I would be accepted where I was.  It didn't matter where.  I was loved. 

Today our church said good-bye to a fellow member.  When this man started attending our church he was homeless and an alcoholic.  I remember him sitting in the front row every week dancing.  It was obvious he loved our music.  Bob being at our church changed it for the better.  He was the first homeless person to call Redemption home, but certainly not the last.  Over the years Bob decided to quit drinking.  He became a fixture at church.  It will be strange not seeing him there every week.  As I sat at his memorial service today I was struck by how many people were affected by Bob.  He changed by coming to our little church.  But he also changed so many people.  He was loved.  He was accepted.  He was most certainly not judged. 

The number of homeless at our church has grown.  A lot.  Our church has changed because of this.  For the better, in my opinion.  I must admit I do not know most of these people.  Not because they are homeless.  But because they are strangers.  Being around people I do not know is not something I am comfortable with.  I struggle finding the right words to say unless I know the person well.  I get how this may come off as me being snobby, or just not nice.  When in reality I just don't know what to say so I stand back.  I want to break out of this for a number of reasons but the most important is my children.  If they see me stand back they probably will too.  I know I can't change what their personality will be, but I can help them feel comfortable in certain situations.  Being around the people at church seems like a great place to start.  I love watching Annika on Sunday mornings.  Actually, watching all of the children.  They have no idea who is homeless and who is not.  They just want to go to church, have a doughnut, have some fun, and possibly learn something.  And they don't care who they are sitting next too.  They are just happy to be there.  I know at some point Annika and Asher will know there is a difference.  I just hope that before that happens I can teach them that the difference doesn't matter.  I just hope I can teach them to love and accept.

 It seems that is what our church does.  Loves and accepts.  Without judgement.  What a wonderful place to call home.