Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Five years ago today... I had planned a Spring Break Tea Party for Lamb (who was 4 at the time). We had a special, Fancy Nancy-inspired menu...

gem-enhanced silverware...

and friends coming over in their princess-wear finest.

Five years ago today... I still had three weeks left until my due date.

Five years ago today... I decided to get a few last things for Easter baskets. I took my kids to my parents' house before making a quick run to Target... and then my mom noticed (sly detective that she is) that I was having pretty hard contractions about every 7-8 minutes, so she thought maybe she should come with me.

Five years ago today... I woke up looking like this...

(Well, more or less... This was taken about 6 weeks earlier in Vegas... but when your baby comes by surprise, you don't have much time to get those last-minute baby belly shots!)
and ended the day like this...

Five years ago today... I had no idea what a wild and crazy and absolutely wonderful ride I was about to take.



Today... I shake my head at the wonder of it all.


Today... I thank God that He loves me enough to entrust me with this boy (and his big brother and sister).
Today... I celebrate 5 years with this incredible boy.
Today... Roo has something to tell you.

Happy birthday, Roo! I love you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

State of the Roo Address: What's good, what's bad, what's new, and what's next

OK, my friends, are you sitting down? Take a deep breath and take this in... next week, Roo will be FIVE YEARS OLD! FIVE!!!! I seriously got tears in my eyes as I typed that. Five. I almost said, "I must have slept through a year or two somewhere", but we all know that's not true--I've hardly slept AT ALL in the last 5 (ahem, TEN) years, so I don't know what my excuse is. But I know that it just seems so utterly impossible.

But here we are.

You guys, Roo has grown and changed so very much over the last year, and since I have been especially bad at blogging lately (I just looked back over to my blog history and realized that I was apparently awesome in 2011. That was my big year, I guess. How did I blog so much with a kindergartener, preschooler, and infant? I can't blog like that NOW with everyone in school 3-4 days per week!), I would like to bring you all up to speed on this amazing little boy.

What's Good

  • While Roo continues to be stubborn and ornery, his listening and understanding have improved DRAMATICALLY over the last year. Even simple commands like "Go get your coat!" or "Come here, Buddy!" would be met with a blank stare this time last year. Now he "gets" just about everything I ask him to do. Now, whether or not he chooses to do it... that's a different story. But he's getting better at that too.
  • I absolutely love his school. He currently attends a county-run preschool that is housed in our county DD school. He is incredibly loved there. I'm not in the school very often (he rides the bus), but when I am, I am overwhelmed at the people who call out his name as we walk down the hall.
  • You guys, a little less than five years ago, I mentally circled this Spring on the calendar. THIS is when he was supposed to have heart surgery to repair a hole that the cardiologist said was too big to close on its own. But as you may remember, IT CLOSED ON ITS OWN! So here we are, NOT preparing my baby for heart surgery!
  • Roo's vocabulary is growing by the minute, I swear. He talks so much these days, and is slowly becoming more understandable. He even has several sentences that he says regularly, like "Where did it go?" (usually after he has thrown something), "Layla (our dog) is a good girl", and "Lamby, sit here!" (pointing to the seat next to him).
  • Speaking of Lamb, she is absolutely amazing with him. Both bigs are, but she just has something special with him. They are absolutely inseparable at home.
  • He is eating more food! What? His favorites are still graham crackers and yogurt (and pancakes and ice cream and cookies...), but he is expanding his palate more and more. Most nights we give him a small plate of whatever we are having for dinner, and he'll eat most of that before we pull out the yogurt. He eats chicken and steak really well, and has recently started chowing down scrambled eggs and quiche whenever we have them (which is almost every morning). He's still not wild about fruits or veggies, although he likes raisins, Craisins, and pineapple. He will also eat just about anything if it is in soup form. Even if it's chunky, so it is not necessarily about having it in a smooth texture. Who knows. The kid is a mystery unfolding.
  • He has actually taken on a couple of chores completely on his own (which has me thinking that I need to give him some new ones). When we come home from somewhere, he will let the dog out of her crate and let her outside. Also, any time he hears her barking at the door, he'll let her back in. (We have to monitor these to make sure he doesn't take off! More on that in the next section.) When the big kids clean up after dinner, he grabs a towel to help wipe down the table. And in the mornings, he always takes his dirty PJs and puts them in the laundry room.
  • Some of Roo's current (and continuing) likes: Paw Patrol, Elmo, "Frozen" (still!), fist bumps, singing & dancing, throwing (still!), running, playing outside, and grandparents :-)

What's Bad

  • Roo continues to have no regard for safety. Last summer (I can't remember if I posted this already) we were on vacation in Florida, hanging out with some friends at the rental house on the beach, and we realized that we didn't know where Roo was. He had left the house, walked across the wooden steps that go over the dunes, and was juuuuuuuuust getting ready to set foot on the neverending expanse of beach that is the Florida coastline. I have never been more scared/relieved/drained/panicked/thankful in my life. Then a few weeks ago, my entire family (my crew, my mom and dad, my brothers with their wives and kids) was hanging out at my parents' house, when my hubby looked out the window and said, "Roo is outside." You guys, it was 0 degrees outside. He had on no coat. And when my teenage nephews went out after him (with no shoes on--bless), he ran away, laughing! I also get regular reports from church about how many times he escaped from his classroom. NO REGARD FOR SAFETY.
  • Play dates with Roo are tough. For one thing, his disregard for safety (have I mentioned that?) also manifests itself as an intense curiosity to explore new places, whether it is a park, someone's house, or a "play area" at a restaurant. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is extremely stressful to try to keep an eye on him every second, while also trying to manage a conversation with a friend. And if there are multiple people there, forget about it. I leave in tears, feeling like I can't connect with anyone. Another contributing factor is that we just don't get invited much. That's really not a plea for pity, just a fact of life right now. Roo is getting ready to turn 5, but he is still at a stage where he plays more by himself, alongside but not really with other kids--not to mention the fact that he doesn't communicate like a typical 3-5 year old, so no one is exactly dying to invite him over.
  • When Roo was a baby, I absolutely LOVED how long that stage lasted. I mean, it was bittersweet, because it was hard that he couldn't do the things that other babies his age were doing, but the prolonged snuggly, cuddly baby stuff was AWESOME. And getting to really enjoy each new phase and milestone? Delicious. But here we are, still in this slightly-above-toddler-but-not-quite-out-of-it stage that involves lots of chasing and saying things a zillion times and playing catch and... it's just not my forte, guys. I am so sad every day that he gets on the bus, but I am overwhelmed with anxiety on the days he is home. I have no idea what to do with him all day. I can only roll the ball back & forth so many times, but I really want to invest in him when I have him home and to myself. I had this same struggle with the older two, but the phase didn't last nearly as long. I'm looking forward to nicer weather, when we can get outside more.
  • Some of Roo's current (and continuing) dislikes: Fruits and veggies, holding hands, being told "no", and bedtime :-)

What's New

  • Roo is now starting to answer questions! This is HUGE! Abstract concepts like that are really tough for him to understand. He has known some basic colors (red, yellow, blue) for months now, but if you would point to something and say, "What color is this?" He would reply, "This." In other words, any question you asked him, he would just repeat the last thing you said. But now he is getting it. He'll answer questions about colors and animals sounds. He'll say "no" (or at least shake his head) if he doesn't want something. He's got another question he can answer, too, but you'll have to wait to hear that one. His ability to answer is still pretty much limited to those areas, but he's making progress. It's exciting!
  • For Christmas we got Roo a balance bike, and he loves it! It is so fun to watch him scooting around--so far it's just been in the living room, but I can't wait to get him outside with it. :-) If you're not familiar with balance bikes, they are a relatively new concept, and they are fantastic! It is a bike with no pedals and no training wheels--he sits on it and scoots with his feet. It teaches him to work on balance first instead of pedaling. The idea is that it is easier for kids to add pedaling later on, after they have learned the balance of coasting without training wheels.
  • He has suddenly started calling me "mama" instead of "mommy." I have know idea where that came from.
  • He is starting to drink (a little) from an open cup instead of a sippy. This has been a tremendous battle with him. Fortunately, one of his favorite things to drink from an open cup is a smoothie. I LOVE this because I make smoothies with fruit, kale or spinach, milk, and a little bit of protein powder. It's a great way to get my non-fruit-and-veggie-eater to gulp down some good stuff!

What's Next

  • Potty training!!!! You may have seen on here or on my Facebook page that I did a short attempt at potty training after he showed some initial interest. It was a big, huge, complete disaster! I sat him on the potty every 30 minutes for 2 days, and he did not successfully use the potty ONE SINGLE TIME. We went through a lot of laundry in those two days. In April, though, I am going to try a similar-but-different approach. Although I want to be consistent and give him every opportunity for success, I am a big believer in not causing undue stress for anyone. If there is one thing that I have learned from this kid, it's that he'll be ready when he's ready. He crawled until he was three, then started RUNNING everywhere. He fought hard to sleep in his crib for months and months, then one day said, "Mommy? In the bed?" and never looked back. When he's ready for something, he's ready. Until then, he is just.not.gonna.do.it.
  • School. Oh, school. Next year, Roo will be moving to a new school. He will NOT, though, be going to kindergarten. By law, he doesn't have to do that until he is 6, so we are going to do one more year of preschool. He will still be in the same program--a county-run preschool housed in another school--but now it will be housed in our local elementary school (where the bigs attend). This has pros and cons, but I think (hope) it's the right choice for us. It will be nice to have him 2 minutes away instead of 20. And it will help him to adjust to the new building/environment before kindergarten. Speaking of kindergarten, I have HUGE reservations about that and have already had sleepless nights trying to figure out the best thing for him. I'm sure I'll be talking more about that as time goes on, but if you want to pray for us, that's a good place to start.
  • Church. In the next year or so, Roo will be at an age where kids are transitioning into some of the "big kid" programs. We have a fabulous kids' ministry director who is working with us on figuring out which things will be a good fit for him and what it will take to make some of those things happen. For instance, there is a Wednesday night program for boys that Monkey absolutely LOVES. (Also, Lamb is in a fantastic program for girls that night, and Mr. Fantastic and I attend a Bible study.) Right now, Roo is still in the nursery, where he just plays. In the fall, he really should move up to the preschool program, and in kindergarten he'd move up to the boys' program with Monkey--but I'm not sure how that will work. These are bigger groups of kids (where Roo can get overwhelmed and/or decide to run off), and unlike school, we're not talking about people who have a college education in working with kids or experience in working with kids with special needs. There are options we are exploring. I am incredibly thankful for yet another group of people who love Roo--and our family--and want to help him grow and learn in the best environment for everyone.

So that is Roo right now in a nutshell. A big nutshell. Maybe a coconut shell. We continue to be just... incredibly, incredibly thankful that God turned our world upside down 5 years ago.

And no, this does not take the place of a typical birthday post. That is coming too. Because, more of this.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Oh, for the love...

I am learning, you guys. I am learning not to say things like, "It has been so busy lately" or "When things calm down..." or "I'll have time for this after..." No. Just NO. Life is ALWAYS busy, and I am never going to just magically stumble on the time to catch up on everything I want to do.

BUT. I'm also learning that the idea of "doing it all" is a big fat lie. I can't. And I shouldn't try. When I overload myself with every good thing, whether I want it or not, whether I'm good at it or not, I am no good to anyone--not any reading audience (real or theoretical), not my friends, not my family, and definitely not myself. I have to unload some of the good--maybe a lot of it--to make space for the best.

I have done this before, shifted priorities, changed or eliminated involvements. It is always hard, but this might be the first time I feel like I am actually doing it well. I am being intentional, not just drifting along. I am making decisions before it is down to the wire. I am considering my own passions and talents, and also what my husband thinks, and through it all seeking God's wisdom. And it feels really good.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions about how this might apply to your life. I have to tell you, though, that this isn't the last time you'll be hearing from me about this topic. In the last 6 months, this is what God has been whispering to me. First He gave me the idea to speak about giving yourself the freedom to say "no." Then He led me to read Lysa TerKeurst's The Best Yes. Then He led me through a 2-month struggle with feeling completely insignificant--in the midst of which I got a request to speak at a moms' group... about struggling to feel significant in our everyday lives. And then... THEN He told me that it might be time for me to step down from women's ministry leadership in my church. And I really didn't see that all of these things were connected... until now.

A few weeks ago, my ministry hero and would-totally-be-BFFs-if-I-moved-to-Austin Jen Hatmaker posted that she needed some women to help launch her next book. I saw a similar post by her last year and applied. For that book, the launch team was comprised of 300 women, and the spots were gone in less than 2 hours. I was not among the elite.

So when I saw Jen's post about her new book (coming out in August)--and realized that it had only been 12 minutes since she posted it AND that this time the team would be 500 strong--I jumped at the chance. I knew my odds weren't great, but I needed to try. Me and 5000 other people. For real. FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE applied for this. We were told we would hear within 2 weeks.

You guys. THREE DAYS LATER... I got the email. I'm in! I AM PART OF THE LAUNCH TEAM! I don't even have words for this. Short of having something of my own published, I can't imagine being more excited! I received a digital copy of the book immediately, and the hard copy followed about a week later.

And can I just tell you, this is no coincidence. This team. This book. Friends, this book is bringing it all together for me. The power in unloading my life. The search for significance. Some other things that God has been laying on my heart--like growing relationships with the parents of my kids' friends. It is all coming together so beautifully, wrapped up in humor and grace from Jen. (We are in a closed FB group together now--I totally get to call her Jen.)

The book is called For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. You can preorder it on Amazon here. And you need to do it. NOW. Go ahead, I'll wait. And here's the thing... at this point, I can't tell you tons about the book. I will be talking about it a LOT as we approach its release date, but for now I need to mostly keep it to myself. But I am telling you, you need to read this book. It will set you free, because she tells you stuff like this: "We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise." And this: "Wise women know what to hold onto and what to release, and how to walk confidently in their choices--no regrets, no apologies, no guilt." YES. This is what I need, what we need.

This isn't even what I planned to write about when I sat down here today. But it's what I needed to say. God is shifting my priorities, shaping me, and I am still figuring it out--but I am telling you, so very much of it is summed up in For the Love. I can't wait to tell you all about it. (And in the meantime, this whole experience is leading me to be here with you all more. We are going to have so much fun!)

Friday, January 30, 2015

The wonder of Roo

You guys, this kid. Some days I just have to shake my head in amazement. And amusement.

(Also, before you go any further, there's a lot of potty talk in this one. You might want to skip it if you aren't big on oversharing.)

About a month ago, I introduced Roo to the potty. I would NOT say that I started potty training. I simply took off his pants and diaper, he sat on his little potty, we read a book, and then I put his diaper back on. I've been doing that--with little to no consistency, to be honest--a few times a day ever since. Occasionally he'll ask for it, and I'll sit him there. But honestly, he hadn't seemed to make any connection between sitting on the potty and what is actually SUPPOSED to happen on the potty, and I didn't feel ready to push it yet.

Last night, my hubby and I went to a great seminar through our local Down's support group, and the first half of it was all about potty training. When we came home, I told Mr. Wonderful that sometime next month (after he and I take a much-needed grown-ups only weekend away) I will probably keep him home from school for a week and really get started on the whole process.

And then this morning. Oh my goodness. After taking the big kids to school, we came home to just chill out for the day, and Roo said, "Mommy... Potty?"

Well, sure. Let's sit on the potty. Why not? I called my mom to pass the time while I waited for him to be done.

But then I looked down at him, and I saw what looked like... a drip. Of something. What was it? He stood up... And YES! His potty had pee in it! A LOT of pee!


I told my mom I'd call her back, hunted down Roo's treat, and praised him to high heaven. He peed on the potty! Today! Right after the potty training seminar! What are the chances???

Well, since we're on a roll, let's just go with it. Right? I set my timer for 30 minutes.

It went off, I sat him on the potty again... AND HE POOPED! What??????

It was just a tiny bit, but SERIOUSLY. You guys. He pooped on the potty. He went from NOTHING to pee and poop both on the same day.

After that, the rest of the morning was anti-climactic. We sat on the potty every 30 minutes, but no more success--and twice his diaper was wet. But whatever. We're really just trying it out--I wasn't planning on this at all.

So then we went to Panera for lunch with my mother-in-law. (Rest easy, I'm going to give you a break from the potty talk for a few minutes.) She and I each ordered soup and salad, and I said I'd just share my soup with Roo. (That kid will eat just about anything in soup form.)

Share. Right. He ate 2--TWO--bowls of broccoli cheese soup. All.by.himself. I ate THREE BITES of soup! Who the heck IS this kid??? And then Gram got him a chocolate chip cookie. He ate that too.

(He absolutely refused to smile for the camera. In fact, as soon as he saw it, he would turn away and shake his head "no." I had to snap this one quick before he realized what was happening.)
Also, a very kind lady who works at Panera took a liking to Roo. This happens everywhere we go--it is just incredible. She must have come over three or four times to talk to him. And then before we left... she brought me another cookie for him--in a bag, so he could have it later. So kind. And so crazy to me how much people just adore this boy!

So after all that, we were gone for almost 2 hours. He was, of course, in a diaper while we were gone (yep, back to the potty talk), so I just assumed that he would be soaking wet, and I was totally unconcerned. I walked him upstairs for his nap... and he asked to sit on the potty again. So I took off his diaper--which was almost totally dry--and sat him on the potty...

(This is fast becoming our official potty activity--it's What Does the Fox Say? You know... like the song. He loves it! LOVES.it.)

And he PEED and POOPED! What the heck?!?

I have to tell you, the timing of this is absolutely mind-boggling to me. I went to a potty training seminar LAST NIGHT... and now he has suddenly decided that TODAY is the day to potty train???

This boy is a wonder.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Every day, every burden

Praise be to the Lord,
to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Psalm 68:19

If you have been reading for a while or have heard me speak, you probably know that this is one of my very favorite verses. God bears our burdens daily. Every day. No matter what. He never refuses because they are too big for Him to handle. He never refuses because they are too small and petty for Him to bother with. Every single day, whatever your burden, He is there.

That brought me tremendous comfort when Roo was diagnosed and I thought my world was ending. It got me through days of depression, when I could hardly put one foot in front of the other. It has run through my mind over and over as I have sat with friends who were struggling through various life situations.

And today. Today has been a tough one, friends. Nothing is wrong, really. I am just overwhelmed with life. I got up early to get a few things done, and fell asleep during my quiet time. I can't get caught up on laundry. For every item I put away, Roo throws 10 more across the room. I tried to get something out of the fridge, and a whole shelf fell out--and I can't get it back in. This has been a 1 step forward, 3 steps back kind of day. The kind of day that seems too big for me but too small for God.

But then he reminded me of this verse. Daily. No problem too big or too small. "Remember yesterday?" He asked me.

Yesterday. As I was getting ready to pack my kids' lunches (one of my LEAST favorite chores of all time), I checked the school web site and realized that French toast sticks--their favorite--was being served. Score! I didn't have to pack.

But there's something you need to know: In my house, we have a rule that I pay for their lunches ONLY. If they want something extra--a slushie, chips, etc--they have to take their own spending money to pay for it. (I started this because they were FLYING through their lunch money, buying extra treats every day--sometimes for their friends, too!) And on French toast stick day, you can buy double French toast sticks for a dollar. (It might be 50 cents. There was a brief discussion about this. But really, the amount doesn't matter.) Each of the big kids counted a dollar out of their spending money. Lamb put hers right in her backpack, but Monkey kept playing with his quarters, tossing them, rubbing them together, tossing them, knocking them into each other. I told him to put them in his pocket, and he did... for a good 30 seconds, and then they were back out. I reminded him again, and again he couldn't keep away from them.

As soon as the kids got on the bus, I turned around and saw them: 4 shiny quarters, laying on the floor. My heart groaned inside. My poor sweet Monkey, he is so emotionally fragile lately, and he is so eager to please. He wouldn't realize he had forgotten the money until it was time to use it. He wouldn't know that it would be OK for him to go ahead and buy the extra food on his lunch account just this once.

I considered running the money over to the school, but decided that was silly. It was one thing if he needed the money to eat, but to go to the school and burden someone with going to his class and interrupting his teacher just so that he could have EXTRA food didn't seem wise. It would have to be a life lesson for him.

I know, I know. It's such a small thing. But I worried all day about him and his darn lunch money. My stomach was in knots. And I prayed about it. I prayed about French toast sticks, you guys. OK, not really. Really, I prayed for Monkey and his day and his heart.

And do you know what happened? That kid got in the van after school just as happy as could be. "Mommy, guess what! I asked for double French toast sticks at lunch (which should have been six all together), but they only had 5 left... so they didn't charge me for them!" He never even realized that he didn't have his dollar with him. He got his extra French toast sticks. AND in his mind he got a deal, which to my little business man in training, was the absolute highlight of his day.

Every day. Every burden. No problem too big or too small.

He will bear it. He will provide.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Tonight after I put Roo's pajamas on, he stood up and climbed into my lap. He curled up into me like he only does when he is really, really tired. It's been a busy few days at our zoo. As he snuggled up tight, I pressed my cheek against him and remembered to "give his bald head a kiss" for a friend who is missing him. :-) And I was struck again by the love that he has brought into our lives--his incredible love, the people we have met because of him, the people we continue to meet who love him. Our hearts have grown two sizes too big because of this one sweet boy.

And I thought... I can't believe that I get to be his mommy. That out of everyone in the world, God chose me. I am so incredibly thankful.

There was a time when I couldn't imagine those words. I thought my ultimate goal would be acceptance. I thought that the people who claimed to be thankful for Down syndrome were lying--even to themselves. But I was so indescribably wrong.

I used to pity people who had loved ones with disabilities. Then after Roo was born, I cringed with the thought of people pitying me.

But now I know the truth: I am the lucky one.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tis the Season!

Is it really Christmastime already??? We have had tons of fun already this season, and I thought I'd share some highlights with you.

Last Friday, December 5, we had the wonderful opportunity to ride the Polar Express! Our local Down syndrome group bought a whole car and offered discount tickets to the families. Our kids were BEYOND EXCITED!

Hanging out with some elves before we boarded. Roo was not a fan of this particular photo opportunity.
I love, love, LOVE their penguin PJs! And Lamb's have matching doll pajamas as well. (The doll came along for the night, too. :-) )

Quality time with Daddy
Feeding Daddy popcorn
No trip on the Polar Express would be complete without hot chocolate...
...and cookies!
It's the North Pole!!!!
I love this shot. :-)

On the way home, we sang Christmas carols. These two love the microphone! Roo did too, but I was too busy trying to keep him from grabbing it to take a picture while he WAS grabbing it.
It's way too cold at the North Pole for us to get out of the train. Bummer. But would you believe that Santa Claus actually hopped on board?!? He came to visit us as we rode...

Roo absolutely LOVES Santa!!!


I had a hard time getting a pic. For one thing, Roo wouldn't stop looking at him long enough to let me get a shot. For another, he kept pushing the big kids away so that he could have Santa to himself. :-)

St. Nick signed Twas the Night Before Christmas for us.
This was one Christmas experience that I would call a huge success! I am so thankful we got to go! Lamb knows the truth about Santa, but she still loves the magic of it all. And Monkey is a believer, and Roo is SO much more into Christmas and Santa and snowmen and all things holiday this year. It was the perfect time to go!
Next up, I took their pictures in their Christmas outfits for cards. And for my own little photo collection. Are they cuties or what?


Later that day, we had our annual Santa Party. My mom and her sister gather with all of their kids and grandchildren to celebrate, and a special visitor comes to give each child a gift. It is quite the soiree!
My boys playing a little foosball

He's here! He's here! Is this guy not the best Santa ever?!?

It wasn't even Roo's turn to get up there. Santa was telling the kids a story, and Roo climbed on up.

So happy!

This is my oldest nephew. He was the ring bearer in my wedding a month before his 2nd birthday. He's now almost 16. And considerably taller than I am. And probably won't appreciate it if he discovers that I put this photo online. I'm getting teary just looking at it.

How much longer will she do this happily?!?

As much as Roo loves Santa, he would NOT sit on Santa's lap when it was his turn. (I think all of the commotion of everyone cheering for him kind of freaked him out. He doesn't love large groups.) I snapped this while all of the kids were gathering to get their pic taken with the big guy.
Look at all those kids!!!!

Roo got Chase (from "Paw Patrol"--his favorite show) from Santa. He's not huge on stuffed animals and kept asking me to make it work. (He thinks all toys should be electronic.) But he really does enjoy Chase...

...Here he is singing "Jesus Loves Me" and putting Chase to bed. :-)

Monkey got Twister. All the kids loved it. :-)

Roo kept sneaking cookies when I wasn't looking. I'm pretty sure this was number 5.

Are we adorable or what?!?
And last up (for today), the Christmas music program from Roo's school. As it turned out, my nephew's school band came to play for Roo's school! It was so neat to have him there!
(He's the one waving, in case you weren't sure.) ;-)
I didn't even know that this was actually Roo's PROGRAM--that he would be up on stage singing! His class was the first to go up...
There he is being led by--or more accurately, leading--the world's best classroom aide EVER. So thankful for Miss Dona!
He is ready for clapping and singing!

I love this! I had a hard time getting pics up there. Every time I took a shot, the lady in front of me leaned over to talk to the person next to her. Every time!
Nana & Papa came to see their boys!
And after the music was done, we had another visit from Santa! (Yep, the same Santa that we had at our party. Of COURSE. He's the real Santa, duh!) Roo sat on his lap THREE TIMES! It was partly because of Roo's love for St. Nick, and partly because he continued to thwart my efforts to get a good picture of them together. I finally snapped this one on the third try... although I felt a little guilty, because this wasn't actually Roo's turn. He pulled away from me while I was talking to someone, ran up and climbed onto Santa's lap between kids. Stinker.
That's how our December is going so far. What's new with you?