Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in Review

NICU roommate Saffron came for a visit in January

Mommy, Daddy, Auntie Christen, and Uncle Jim went to Sunriver for snow

She She came home for a visit

Bronson helping in the kitchen February

Easter present a boom boom

Handsome Easter boy

Swimming time in April

Gator riding with Aunties

March for Babies April 2010

Love of guitar is born

Zoo for Mother's Day
 
Celebrating Papa Cookie's 89th Birthday

Hiked to the top of Smith Rock for Memorial Day Weekend

1st Corvette Ride of the season

Celebrating Alanna's 1st Birthday

Church Carnival

1st Movie: Toy Story 3

Car Shows July 2010

3rd of July with Olivia

4th of July with Uncle Jim

Started sleeping in own bed July 2010

Beach Trip

Hot Summer Days

1st Parade with Dr. P and Molly

Benton County Fair August 2010

1st Boat Ride August 2010

She She comes for a visit August 2010

Beautiful Mary watched Bronson for the Summer

Enjoying a Farmer's Market

Labor Day in Sunriver

I turned 29

1st time feeding the ducks

Pumpkin Patch with Family

October 2010

Dashingly Handsome

Next American Idol October 2010 (Gift for pooping on the potty)

Kyle turned 30, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Christmas 2010

Bronson Update: 3 years old

Stats:
  • Almost 30 pounds (31 percentile)
  • 38.8 inches tall (81 percentile)
I think that we have a NORMAL and healthy 3 year old boy! I didn't need to know his stats to know that he has defeated all odds and is our miracle boy gone normal. We had a wonderful birthday party last night complete with blue party favors and a bucket to collect change for March of Dimes. Bronson raised over $60 to donate for his March for Babies walk. We will go on a field trip today to get the official count. We are beyond blessed to have such a wonderful little boy in our lives. In tradition of naming some amazing things about Bronson here they are:

  • He has the vocabulary of a 10 year old at times.
  • His sense of humor is sometimes embarrassing as he tends to use a lot of bathroom humor. Hmmm, wonder where he gets that?
  • He loves vacuums still and is delighted to have a Dyson to add to his collection.
  • He plays with boom-booms, kitchen stuff, cars, blocks, and "loveys."
  • He loves his daddy and says that he is his best friend. He also has many friends at school and talks a lot about Zachy, Demetri, and Liam.
  • He can recognize his name when written.
  • His favorite past time is watching you tube videos of vacuum infomercials or other comedic videos.
  • He isn't a big eater, but will always finish a cupcake when offered.
  • He loves making up nicknames for his friends and family.
  • He believes that he has a baby in his tummy. (His Auntie is pregnant)
  • And he is still the most stubborn kid you will meet, so he is not officially potty trained yet.

3 year old

She She and Bronson

Birthday Outfit
Change for Babies

The Bear Difference

1 Month Old with Bear

3 years old with Bear

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Santa???

From Pastor Russell Johnston: (My friend from work goes to Pastor Russell Johnston's church and he emailed me this article after our discussion about Santa)


By Mark Driscoll

’Tis the season . . . for parents to decide if they will tell the truth about Santa.


When it comes to cultural issues like Santa, Christians have three options: (1) we can reject it, (2) we can receive it, or (3) we can redeem it.

Since Santa is so pervasive in our culture, it is nearly impossible to simply reject Santa as part of our annual cultural landscape. Still, as parents we don’t feel we can simply receive the entire story of Santa because there is a lot of myth built on top of a true story.

Redeeming Santa

So, as the parents of five children, Grace and I have taken the third position to redeem Santa. We tell our kids that he was a real person who did live a long time ago. We also explain how people dress up as Santa and pretend to be him for fun, kind of like how young children like to dress up as pirates, princesses, superheroes, and a host of other people, real and imaginary. We explain how, in addition to the actual story of Santa, a lot of other stories have been added (e.g., flying reindeer, living in the North Pole, delivering presents to every child in one night) so that Santa is a combination of true and make-believe stories.

We do not, however, demonize Santa. Dressing up, having fun, and using the imagination God gave can be an act of holy worship and is something that, frankly, a lot of adults need to learn from children.

What we are concerned about, though, is lying to our children. We teach them that they can always trust us because we will tell them the truth and not lie to them. Conversely, we ask that they be honest with us and never lie. Since we also teach our children that Jesus is a real person who did perform real miracles, our fear is that if we teach them fanciful, make-believe stories as truth, it could erode confidence in our truthfulness where it really matters. So, we distinguish between lies, secrets, surprises, and pretend for our kids. We ask them not to tell lies or keep secrets, but do teach them that some surprises (like gift-giving) and pretending (like dressing up) can be fun and should be encouraged. We tell them the truth and encourage them to have fun watching Christmas shows on television and even sitting on Santa’s lap for a holiday photo if they so desire. For parents of younger children wanting them to learn the real story of Santa Claus theVeggie Tales movie Saint Nicholas is a good choice.

The Truth about Santa Claus

The larger-than-life myths surrounding Santa Claus actually emanate from the very real person of Saint Nicholas. It is difficult to know the exact details of his life with certainty, as the ancient records are sparse, but the various pieces can be put together as a mosaic of his life.

A Gift-Giver

Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara, a village in what is now Turkey. He was born into an affluent family, but his parents died tragically when he was quite young. His parents had raised him to be a devout Christian, which led him to spend his great inheritance on helping the poor, especially children. He was known to frequently give gifts to children, sometimes even hanging socks filled with treats and presents.

Perhaps his most famous act of kindness was helping three sisters. Because their family was too poor to pay for their wedding dowry, three young Christian women were facing a life of prostitution until Nicholas paid their dowry, thereby saving them from a horrible life of sexual slavery.

A Bishop and Saint

Nicholas grew to be a well-loved Christian leader and was eventually voted the Bishop of Myra, a port city that the apostle Paul had previously visited (Acts 27:5-6). Nicholas reportedly also traveled to the legendary Council of Nicaea, where he helped defend the deity of Jesus Christ in A.D. 325.

Following his death on December 6, 343, he was canonized as a saint. The anniversary of his death became the St. Nicholas holiday when gifts were given in his memory. He remained a very popular saint among Catholic and Orthodox Christians, with some two thousand churches named after him. The holiday in his honor eventually merged with Christmas, since they were celebrated within weeks of one another.

Misnomer

During the Reformation, however, Nicholas fell out of favor with Protestants, who did not approve of canonizing certain people as saints and venerating them with holidays. His holiday was not celebrated in any Protestant country except Holland, where his legend as Sinterklass lived on. In Germany, Martin Luther replaced him with the Christ child as the object of holiday celebration, or, in German, Christkindl. Over time, the celebration of the Christ child was simply pronounced Kris Kringle and oddly became just another name for Santa Claus.

Folklore

The legends about Santa Claus are most likely a compilation of other folklore. For example, there was a myth in Nicholas’ day that a demon was entering people’s homes to terrorize children and that Nicholas cast it out of a home. This myth may explain why it was eventually believed that he came down people’s chimneys.

Also, there was a Siberian myth (near the North Pole) that a holy man, or shaman, entered people’s homes through their chimneys to leave them mushrooms as gifts. According to the legend, he would hang them in front of the fire to dry. Reindeer would reportedly eat them and become intoxicated. This may have started the myth that the reindeer could fly, as it was believed that the shaman could also fly. This myth may have merged with the Santa Claus myth, and if so, explains him traveling from the North Pole to slide down chimneys and leave presents on fireplace mantles before flying away with reindeer.

These stories of Santa Claus were first brought to America by Dutch immigrants. In the early twentieth century, stores began having Santa Claus present for children during the Christmas season. Children also began sending letters to the North Pole as the legends surrounding an otherwise simple Christian man grew.

In sum, Saint Nick was a wonderful man who loved and served Jesus faithfully. So, we gladly include him in our Christmas traditions to remind us of what it looks like for someone to live a life of devotion to Jesus as God. Our kids thank us for being both honest and fun, which we think is what Jesus wants.

Christmas 2010

Kyle and I were reminiscing these past couple of days that we have had the most magical and wonderful Christmas ever. The holidays are so much better being able to view them through a child's eyes. I think that this will probably be the first Christmas that Bronson remembers and it has been lovely. Bronson was so excited to wake up on Christmas morning and realize that Santa had visited our home. He was beyond excited to see that he had brought him a Baby Dyson. Bronson is still obsessed with vacuums and I think this one topped the cake.

I have to back up a bit to explain that this was the first Christmas in Kyle's entire life that he didn't spend Christmas Eve at his parents. We decided that we needed to start our own tradition and that Bronson needed to wake up at his own house the morning of Christmas. We spent the entire day at my mom's house and then went to visit some family on Christmas Eve. It was so nice to be able to relax and spend time with my sisters and mom. Mom's new house has plenty of room for everyone to stretch out and enjoy themselves. Bronson fell asleep on the way home from mom's house so we decided to just let him sleep through the night. I put out cookies for Santa and Santa left a note thanking Bronson. I didn't want him to worry about forgetting this part.

Fast Forward: Christmas morning...Bronson was so thankful for each and every gift that he received. He kept saying, this is so cool and that is "so bery nice of you." It was so nice to be able to have time to relax and share these memories with our little family. Bronson kept asking if this was Jesus' birthday party? We had been talking a lot about it and trying as best as we can to explain to our son the true meaning of Christmas. We also explained that we celebrate by spending time with our family. As we drove down to Kyle's parents for the afternoon Bronson had the biggest smile on his face. He kept saying how happy he was. He said he was so happy to spend all this time with mommy and daddy. He really knows how to melt our hearts.

We finished our Christmas by sharing a meal with Kyle's family and spending the night there. Bronson woke up with an amazing case of the hives and things have been a bit weird since. No problem, Dr. P to the rescue and Bronson is now on steroids. We think it must be an allergic reaction to something he ate, but this poor kid even had hives on the bottoms of his feet and around his eyes. I am glad that I am off this week to deal with the side effects of a 3 year old on steroids, but this isn't how I pictured spending my vacation.

My Family

My Favorite Guys

Nana and her kiddos

Christmas 2010

Mommy and Bronson

Christmas Boy

Showing off his old and new vacuums

Deets Family 2010

Papa Cookie and Bronson

Papa Huey and Bronson

Our Little Miracle Boy

Papa and Yaya with Bronson
Kyle and I celebrated our 7th anniversary by going out to dinner last night. Christen was sweet enough to watch him so that we could eat dinner at our favorite restaurant. Unfortunately he slept the whole time we were gone and decided it was party time when we returned. It was okay, because we spent the night redecorating his room for his birthday. Bronson now has a full sized bed complete with guitar decor. He loves his "big cozy teenager bed."