Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Bye, Buddy

Buddy the Elf showed up in our house for the first time this holiday season.  He really didn't cause a lot of trouble, not like some of the other Elves we've heard about....until the final countdown to Christmas.  With 7 days remaing until Christmas, Buddy decided to spice things up and go out with a bang. 
Buddy toilet papered our Christmas tree!

Buddy added a few touches to some of our photos.

Buddy reading a nice story about Barney to some of Jayden's pez.

Barricading Jayden in her room with some of Sophia's blocks.
Ziplining his way down to the playroom.... destroy it!

Buddy turned our milk GREEN.

Buddy took all of our ornaments off of our tree.

Hang on Captain America!
Even though Buddy caused some mischief his last week with us, we still really enjoyed having him here and are looking forward to his return back from the North Pole after Thanksgiving next year! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Emotions running high today.

I'm not really sure where I want to go with this post, or even where to start.  I didn't hear about Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary until early that afternoon, when I was sitting waiting on Jayden's Holiday Sing Along to start.  It wasn't until later when I got home and started reading about what happened that my heart ached for those children and their families, for the school and that community.  How does this happen?  What kind of sick monster does something like this to innocent CHILDREN!  I don't know?  I have no answers myself, but have read over and over again these past few days about gun control and mental illness and more security at schools, but what is the answer to ending such evil in our society?  I have no idea. 

This morning I got my girls ready for school, like normal, and was feeling ok.  I got Sophia on the bus and then got in the car to take Jayden to school and that's when it hit me.  As I pulled up to the school and into the circle drive, my emotions hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'm about to let my oldest baby out of my sight and send her into what is supposed to be a safe place, but from what we heard on Friday, it isn't.  I saw the kids running inside and walking down the hall in bunches that had just gotten off the bus.  I looked over at Jayden axiously waiting for me to stop so she could jump out of the car and go see her classmates and friends and her teacher, completely oblivious to the events that happened to kids her age just a few days prior.  She was happy and excited about another day at school and all I could do was hold the tears back long enough to give her one last hug and kiss goodbye for the day.  The thought of sending my babies off to school for a few hours and then never being able to hold them again, makes me want to die inside.  My deepest condolences and prayers go out to each of the victim's families.  I can only imagine the heartbreak that is going on in that community today. 

Out of everything that I've read these past three days, one thing I know for sure is that God is with my babies each and every second of each and every day.  Just because my children don't learn about religion or say prayers at school, the God that I believe in, would never abandon them in their time of need.  God is with my children every where they go.  That's what I believe.  I have to believe that, because if I didn't, then I would never feel safe leaving my children's side for a moment.  All I know for sure today, is that getting Sophia off the bus and picking Jayden up from school today, can not get here fast enough.  I am feeling things today that I really didn't expect to feel, but my emotions are definitely running high today.     



Monday, December 10, 2012

A little this and a little that.

I'm back :)  I told you October totally wipes me out and blogging is almost the last thing I feel like doing this time of year.  But I thought I'd check in and share some pictures on my blog.  November was a pretty slow month for us, which is always nice coming out of October, which is always a very busy month for us!  Now with December in full swing and Christmas right around the corner, our calendar is filling up again, but honestly, I like it that way!
Jayden and Sophia taking a break at the park for a photo :)

Out enjoying an unseasonably nice day.

Sophia trying to ride Shelby dog :)

The good ole stomach bug hit our house a few weeks ago, HARD.  It first took out Sophia, then hit Jayden, then Randy and finally me.  Lucky for me, I got the better end of the deal than the rest of them, but it was not a pretty 4 days at the Russell house :/.  So glad that's behind us!

Jayden showing off her loot from her first WWE live event.  I don't know for sure how she got into this whole wrestling thing, but it cracks me up listening to her talk about it!

Sporty Sophia ready to play some ball out at Great Grandma and Grandpa's house on Thanksgiving.  I was so excited to get her into a soccer program this spring through the UPWARD program at one of our local churches, but unfortunately kids with special needs have to be 5 before they can start playing :(  She's one heck of a kicker now, she's going to tear it up in two years!

Just clowning around :)

I found these charts and reward bucks at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago and thought, for $3 maybe something like this would help Jayden with responsibility and keeping her attitude in check a little better.  So far so good.  The top chart is a behavior chart and whenever she starts getting disrespectful or out of line, she gets a "strike."  Four strikes and she doesn't get a check on the job chart for being respectful that day.  I started giving her 7 "jobs" to do daily.  Some of them are things she has to do regardless, like brushing her teeth and hair, but it's how long it takes her to do them after being told that I'm looking at.  We struggle in the mornings sometimes with Jayden not wanting to get up and get ready.  So I tell her once, go get dressed, brush your teeth and brush your hair.  Then I set the timer for 10 minutes and if she does it within that time, she gets a check and a reward buck for doing each in a timely manner.  Anyway, long story short, she has the opportunity to earn 7 reward bucks per day, 35 per school week.  So when she earns 35 reward bucks, she can cash those in for $5.  We started this last week and she messed around a few mornings and didn't stay on task and lost the chance for some bucks, but as of  today, she has earned her $5.  We're not expecting her to do keep up on the weekends, for right now, but we're still in the beginning stages of this and I must say I'm pretty pleased with how things are going so far :)

At the children's museum one Sunday afternoon :)

We got a cute picture of the girls before heading out to our Down syndrome playgroup Christmas party this Saturday, which was so much fun!  It's rare to see Jayden in anything "girly", but she was a trooper and I appreciate it :)