Friday, December 31, 2010

Tis the Season

The past few weeks have been fast and furious with the Christmas Season.

December started with Aidan and Noah finishing up multiple performances of 'The Wizard of Oz' at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. The same week Aidan and Noah were also working at the church on setup for Christmas Journey. I know for some it seems very odd that we would drop a 12 and 13 yr old off at the church and let the staff direct them most of the day without any parental supervision. But, I trust my boys are hard-workers and I know they are diligent in the tasks they are given. Plus, I trust the staff knows just how to keep them busy (and they did). They had a blast up there working with the men on the final details of setup. And then Aidan worked 'behind-the-scenes' each night assisting the staff wherever they needed help. He learned a ton of what it takes to put on such a big production. And along the way even learned that sheep are flammable. I have to say thanks to the Music Staff at FBC McKinney for investing in my boys.

At the same time that was going on, we went "live" with North America HR Advisory Services at work. My team now provides centralized HR support for all of North America. We have been working on the HR Transformation for the past year and the first two weeks of December covered many major deliverables at work. Although we have had a few technological hiccups, I'm please to say things are going well and I have an incredible team of professionals who are plugging away at making sure we deliver outstanding customer service.

Tucker and Cade have marveled at all that the Christmas season brings. They loved taking the hayride through Christmas Journey. They even wrote their own bedtime story and told me the story of Mary and Joseph one night (with just a few biblical inaccuracies). But the sweetest moment was Tucker and Cade narrating the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve for the family. They practiced and rehearsed and then delivered a flawless reading of the story.

Titus has loved the lights of Christmas. We put his playmate in front of the Christmas Tree in the Foyer and before we know it, he has generally rolled himself under the tree and is reaching for the lights. As with most 3 year olds, he loved tearing open the paper more than the present inside. It has been a blessing to have him so healthy this month. I couldn't help but think of this time last year when he was in the PICU in Cinncinnati Children's and we thought we would never get home for Christmas. And three years ago, I still remember spending his first Christmas in the NICU. We are thankful and blessed for his health. We never take it for granted. And, how fun it's been for Titus to come home from school with small projects that he has done. It's the little things like a child's handprint or finger painted that every kid has done at that age. But it seems that with special need kids, those are the little things we miss. On his last day at school, he came home with a Christmas ornament that was made at school (I'm sure with lots of teacher's help). I have to say, it was the most beautiful ornament on our tree this year.

This week we are hanging out at the house and "trying" to relax. Aidan, Noah, and I had a Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon on one of rainy days. We started at 2pm and at 10:30pm we stopped (with two more hours to go). I had forgotten that the Special Editions are about 3 1/2 to 4 hours long. Becky kept us fed with Sonic burgers and brownies while we were holed up. Plus, such a great movie with such a great recurring theme and Christian analogy- "there is always hope".

Along the way, we have had great fun at several caroling parties. Our dear friends have always had a family caroling party at their beautiful home in historic McKinney. It is so much fun to walk down the tree-lined street, stopping at each house and singing. Tucker  & Cade's speech therapists lives at one of the houses we stopped at - and she had several of her girlfriends over since she knew we were coming by. We love these family parties where we get to celebrate the season together with good friends. And our other friends take us on a hayride through their neighborhood where we sing our little hearts out and then go back for incredible food.

Last night we had a family party for my two nephews and their fiances and their parents. We are thankful for the beautiful young women that God has brought into Nathan and Jer's life and what a joy it was to meet their parents and enjoy a relaxed time (away from all the wedding planning). We look forward to Bailey and Lauren joining the family.

And tonight we celebrate New Year's Eve with good friends. For the last 10 years we have gotten together for dinner and a movie. Of course, 10 years ago, we just put the kids to bed and stayed up late. Now, the kids want to stay up late and watch their own movie (and we are falling asleep on the couch). And tomorrow will continue our New  Years Day tradition and go to the movies with another couple (going on 16 years now) - Can you say we love traditions!

As I look back over 2010, it's been quite a year. I'm thankful for my family. It's a joy and privilege to be Becky's husband and the father to Aidan, Noah, Tucker, Cade, & Titus. It's a blessing to watch them grow (physically and spiritually). Titus has had a great year healthwise and is making great strides in therapy and school. It's been a year of incredible blessing and grace - from being told my job was being moved to India to now leading an incredible team at the same company with more responsiblity.

And as always we are humbled and blessed for friends who continue to pray for us and Titus, who bless us with cards and notes on a weekly basis, who share our good times and our hardships. We are blessed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Card - 2nd Attempt

My attempt of having Shutterfly update Facebook and Blogger didn't work out as well as planned - and no one was able to open the card.

So, this should be something similar to what you should have seen.

 Here's the Daily boys wishing you Joy and Magic through the Holidays!

Aidan - 13 yrs - Learning to Serve the World, Meeting Needs where he can.

Noah - 12 yrs - Mischief and Tenderness wrapped up in 160lbs of boy.

Tucker - 6yrs - All Boy, All Energy, All the Time.

Cade - 6 yrs - Faithfully devoted, Fiery Foot-stomper.

Titus - Ever Growing, Ever Learning, Ever Content.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Joy Sage Story Christmas 5x7 folded card
Create unique Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Look at Me!

I love this photo of Titus - just hanging out in his bed.

Titus spends so much more time these days sitting up. His trunk muscles are strengthening and it's amazing to see how he can support himself when put in a sitting position. He is not to the point where he can get to a sitting position without help, but he is working on it. Last night, he was basically doing stomach crunches - his whole upper body was arching up - and his feet were also coming up. The best way to imagine it is to imagine lying flat on your back and then raising your self up to a "V" position - that is what he's doing!

And, when playing on the floor, he is working to get his knees under his body and his arms out in front of him. He is trying to hard to push himself along. It still may take awhile, but my little boy is going to crawl one of these days!

Titus is exploring more and more of his world. His little personality shines through in a new situation and after a few minutes, you can see him relax, the hands open up and he starts to wave his hands in front of him, locating things to grasp and play with. He is exploring his world with his hands more and more. I love to watch him play. Like any toddler, he has his favorite toys and activities. And like any toddler, can throw a fit when he has to stop playing with them and he's not ready to. I know this is a training issue, but it makes me laugh to hear him throw a little hissy-fit when it's time to stop playing and move to the next activity. He IS communicating with us and letting us know exactly how he feels.

Titus is loving Christmas - especially all the lights. He will reach out and try to grab the tree or anything that is shiny - and there's plenty of shiny around the house right now! The tree in the foyer is his favorite. You can see his blue mat on the floor next to the tree. If we let him, he would play there all day long!

Merry Christmas!