Tag Archives: Jaedin

Our 1st Visit to the Children’s Hospital… Sweetness!

15 Aug

No photos today, although I WISH I had video of the first little girl (her mom was taking video on her iphone).  

Anyway, we got to the hospital and met with the volunteer coordinator, Krissy.  Paris and Jaedin were with me, but Abyni is too young, so she had to stay home.  I was going to have Jaedin take photos of the kids with Bean and send the photos to the parents, but Krissy said that we’ll have to wait for next time so that she can get release forms for the parents who want photos.

We went to a couple of rooms, but those kids were asleep.  The coordinator stopped at the next door and told us that our first patient was a 2 year old little girl named Faith.  We walked in to see this tiny little girl surrounded by lots of white sheets and pillows around her.  IVs in her arms and some sort of things stuck to her chest. I felt at a loss.  What should I say?  What should I NOT say?  What if I did it wrong?

I took a breath, kneeled down beside her bed and Bean started talking to her.  She was so so sweet and just a gorgeous little girl. She was obviously a little out of it and sleepy, but after Bean talked to her a little bit and played peek a boo, she tentatively held out her finger and brought it up near Bean’s mouth.  Bean pretended to nom nom nom on her finger and we had our first smile.  It was the best thing ever.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the parents leaning closer, the mom with her phone, trying to get video of that smile without distracting her.

Then Faith started reaching further, reaching under Bean’s arm.  I couldn’t figure out what she was doing, but I was trying so hard.  She hadn’t made but a few unintelligible sounds since we got there.  I didn’t want to do anything wrong, but I loved seeing her smile.  

Then she tugged on Bean’s arm and Bean leaned over… and she reached up, with an IV in each arm, it seemed to be a struggle, but she wrapped her arms around Bean and squeezed him with a big hug.  I think I had tears in my eyes.  I looked up at her mom, and she just… it was an amazing look.

After a few seconds, she pulled back and played with Bean, holding her finger out for him to “bite”, which always brought a big smile.  

Then it was time to go.  She was obviously wearing down, so Bean said “Bye Bye” and she gave a little wave with her free hand… and then reached out for another hug.  She held him so tight and laid there, patting his back for a little bit.  My joints were killing me, my feet were cramping up horribly, but I couldn’t bring myself to move.  That was the sweetest hug… 

We finally got out of that room, and I was seriously hobbling for a while after squatting down that long… and regrouped a little bit and got my emotions under control.  The next patient was sleeping, and the next was busy with the oncologist, so we went to our second and last patient.

An 8 year old named Rebecca. I was a little paranoid.  What if an 8 year old would just look at this crazy lady holding a puppet and just think it was stupid?  There was no going back, so we forged ahead.  I’m so glad we did.

We walked into the room and Rebecca was sitting up on the edge of the bed.  Bean said “Hi Rebecca!” and she giggled.  Then he asked her something else and she just giggled.  All he got were giggles, so suddenly he said, “Oh No Paris!  I don’t think she can talk!  She has no words!” all the while, Rebecca is giggling more and more…during this time her parents and siblings came in and stood in the corner watching.

Bean was getting really concerned, but willing to play along, so Bean says, “Okay, Rebecca, since you can’t talk, we’ll just play a game.  I’m going to ask you questions, and if the answer is YES, you giggle ONE TIME, if the answer is NO, giggle TWO TIMES.  Okay?”  (she giggled)  “YES?” turning to Paris, he says, “Paris, did you see that?  She giggled ONE TIME, so that means she wants to play with me!”

Then he asked her several questions about herself, if her name was really Rebecca, if she was 8 years old, if she liked sparkly things (she was wearing a sparkly head band)… then he noticed that the family was standing in the corner, so he leaned closer to Rebecca and said, “Rebecca, don’t be worried, but there are some strange people standing in the corner STARING AT US!  NO!  Don’t look!!!  Just PEEK…. see them?  Aren’t they silly?”  And she giggled some more.  Bean asked if she had a sister and she giggled, then he asked what her sister’s name was… and she giggled some more.  Bean turned to Paris and said, “Paris, did you hear that?  She doesn’t even remember her own sister’s NAME!”

He continued to ask her questions until he saw her stuffed bear and asked, “Hey, you have a bear!  What is its name?”

She took her bear into her lap and said, “Hugo”

Bean freaked out, “PARIS!  PARIS!!  DID YOU HEAR THAT?  She can TALK AGAIN!  We’re making her better!!!”  To which Rebecca giggled so hard that she snorted!  Her family laughed in the background:)

Bean and Rebecca talked some more and giggled a lot.  At some point, her little brother finally got the nerve to come over and get a hug from Bean, and then he bolted back to the corner.  Rebecca gave Bean a hug good-bye, and we finally made our way out of the room.

It was only two kids, but it was such a wonderful visit with both of them… I can’t wait to do it again!  We’re shooting for once a month right now, but maybe we can work up to twice a month later.  I would love to commit to going every week, but I’m trying to not over-commit so that I dont’ end up spreading myself too thin.

We left and Jaedin said, “That made me so happy.”  He loves volunteering, so I wasn’t surprised.  We all left feeling happy that we were able to cause some wonderful smiles and giggles.  

Krissy invited us to their Christmas Party in December.  Its a big fundraiser/entertainment night and she said that she’d put us on the list.  

Wow.  What an emotional morning!  I am so glad that we went!!!

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Friday Funnies: Dangerous Boys… and Dads? Explosions and All Those Things Your Mother Never Let You Do

4 May

My son Jaedin is a good kid. He’s 15, he is self motivated, ambitious and does his chores pretty much all of the time now without being asked. He’s my science geek, A.D.D. to the max (although it seems that we’ve either found ways to help him with it, or he’s learned to compensate, because its gotten remarkably better as he’s gotten older!) and really into Air Soft. He actually runs a business buying broken Air Soft guns, then fixes and resells them at a profit.

As with many boys, he has always been intrigued by how things work. He’s taken apart all of our old broken electronic equipment, researched any way to blow things up or make things more powerful. He’s like the boy version of Tim, the Tool Man Taylor on Home Improvement.

Anyway, as you may know, my daughter Paris has a youtube channel and it is doing REALLY well. She has even started making money from it. Now Jaedin wants to start a channel. He’s been trying to think of the best kind of channel and the other day he had a sudden epiphany.

Yeah, a real conversation at The Always House.

So, as you can see, he comes by it honestly.  Thankfully, my husband is very intelligent in the realm of techie things, so I’m trusting him to make sure that Jaedin doesn’t blow up the house!

Fantastic Fun Easter Hunt Tradition for Kids!

22 Mar

As we approach the Easter holiday, I am reminded of our long standing Easter Tradition of the Clue Hunt.

Our sweet 2 year old Abyni finds her basket in the van!

It all started with Jaedin’s obsession with Blue’s Clues as a toddler.  When Easter rolled around 1999, I decided to take the Easter Egg hunt to a new level.  I made 10 “clue” cards for each child.  Jaedin was 2 1/2, so his clue cards just had pictures on them.  For instance, the first card would have a picture of a refrigerator.  He would go to the refrigerator and look for his next card.  All of his cards had a Blue’s Clues paw print on them so that he would know they were his.  Kainan’s had Thomas the Tank Engine on his, and Sprite’s just had a big “S” on them.

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Since Sprite was bigger, hers had written out clues on them.  Each card led to the next card which eventually led them to their Easter Box.

One of the most memorable years was when I buried the boys boxes in the backyard.  Their second to the last clue had kid sized gardening tools for digging and their boxes were sealed tight and buried somewhere near the swingset.  A “treasure map” led to the X where they were to dig.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t checked the weather!  It rained SO hard that night, we couldn’t tell where I had dug the night before!  We had an interesting time trying to find those boxes!!

As the kids grew older, the clues got harder and sometimes involved physical tasks.  One year Sprite had to draw a tree using her foot.  That was a hilarious task:)

These were our clues for 2009:

The clues we used were (They start with clue # 10 that leads to clue #9, etc. Some of the clues they have to perform some task for us and then we give them the next clue. We’ve done this for ten years now… its getting harder every year to think of things!): 
Abyni (age 8)
10 Down up down down
9 Flip for clue Flip 3 x FOR CLUE
8 Don’t hide here unless you’re being chased by rabid monkeys or kidnappers
7 Using NO HANDS draw a picture with a blue tree with orange leaves, etc.
6 Wakes you up in the morning
5 Deuteronomy 23:12-13
4 Give Dad one book with blue, red and yellow on the cover, a blue comb, a pink rubber band, two twisty-ties, and five screws- all in a blue cup.
3 Proverbs 30:33
2 Where the _______ ________ Are
1 Your favorite hot day place to be

Abyni 10 Guitar
Abyni 9 (Daddy)
Abyni 8 return air duct
Abyni 7 Daddy
Abyni 6 bedroom window
Abyni 5 toilet
Abyni 4 Daddy
Abyni 3 Stick of butter
Abyni 2 In the Wild Things Book
Abyni 1 pool

Paris (age 8)
10 Find something that says, “Lose Ten Pounds”
9 Flip 3 x FOR CLUE
8 This is where we keep things that are born on ears
7 Using NO HANDS draw a picture with a totally new dress design with accessories, scarf, hat, jewelry, etc.
6 Directly below Invisible flier
5 Hola! Habla Espanol?
4 Give Dad one screw, a blue comb, a pink rubberband, something folded into the shape of an animal, and five pennies- all in a white cup.
3 Sounds like Chilly
2 Wicked Things you Create
1 The place where daddy throws you

Paris 10
Paris 9 (Daddy)
Paris 8 Pantry (can of corn)
Paris 7 Daddy
Paris 6 Directly underneath the “invisible” fairy in Paris’ room
Paris 5 BJU Spanish Book
Paris 4 Daddy
Paris 3 Sounds like Chilly…
Paris 2 In the Candle maker
Paris 1 pool

Jaedin (age 12)
10 Find something that has ALL of the following words on it: Conspiracy, Angela, Francine, required
9 Do 5 push ups and 5 sit ups FOR CLUE
8 This is where we keep things that are born on ears
7 Using NO HANDS draw a picture with a drawing of a blue tailed skink eating a pineapple
6 Genesis 3:18 “You will eat ______”
5 Deuteronomy 23:12-13
4 Give Dad one screw, a blue comb, a pink rubber band, something folded into the shape of an animal, and five pennies- all in a white cup.
3 Chile on the map
2 Your (paying) job takes place here
1 Find the picture of the kitchen tree swallow

Jaedin 10
Jaedin 9 (Daddy)
Jaedin 8 Pantry (can of corn)
Jaedin 7 Daddy
Jaedin 6 fruit
Jaedin 5 toilet
Jaedin 4 Daddy
Jaedin 3 Stick of butter
Jaedin 2 Kitchen Computer
Jaedin 1 Kitchen table bird book, page48

Kainan (age 12)
10 Find something that has ALL of the following words on it: April, Civil, Month, Saved
9 Do 10 push ups and 10 sit ups FOR CLUE
8 This is where we keep things that are born on ears
7 Using NO HANDS draw a picture with a sports logo from the NBA… daddy must be able to recognize it before you get your clue.
6 Genesis 3:18 “You will eat ______”
5 Deuteronomy 23:12-13
4 Give Dad one screw, something made from wood (a stick doesn’t count), something made out of metal, something heavier than Abyni, two things that weigh less than a penny, and five pennies.
3 Proverbs 30:33
2 Where the Wild Things are… not on paper
1 Oooh… la la… hot stuff

Kainan 10 April 1865 by Jay Winik
Kainan 9 (Daddy)
Kainan 8 Pantry (can of corn)
Kainan 7 Daddy
Kainan 6 fruit
Kainan 5 toilet
Kainan 4 Daddy
Kainan 3 Stick of butter
Kainan 2 In Daddy’s leather jacket pocket
Kainan 1 oven

Sprite (age 17)
10 Find something that has ALL of the following words on it: Darwin, Survival, New York
9 Do 10 push ups and 10 sit ups FOR CLUE
8 This is where we keep things that are born on ears
7 Using NO HANDS draw a picture of yourself and Bobo doing Thriller
6 This is where caterpillars may appear if I wait too long to use the GiGi appliance
5 Deuteronomy 23:12-13
4 Give Dad the following things: Something that weighs more than five pounds, but less than 10 pounds; Something folded into the shape of an animal, something that is both green AND orange, something that says happy on it (you can’t WRITE happy).
3 Proverbs 30:33
2 Your job’s helper’s home
1 In the sitting room, Behind That boy, Above my head and beside your sister in stripes.

Sprite 10 Darwin Awards book
Sprite 9 (Daddy)
Sprite 8 Pantry (can of corn)
Sprite 7 Daddy
Sprite 6 hair remover strips of cloth
Sprite 5 toilet
Sprite 4 Daddy
Sprite 3 Stick of butter
Sprite 2 in the soap dispenser of the dishwasher
Sprite 1 (Map)

Do you do an Easter Egg Hunt?  What is your favorite tradition?

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