Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jayce Speak

We are back to enjoy a little more humor from my near 3 year old, Jayce.

Lately, when ever I ask Jayce to do something for me, I always get this answer:
Um, let me check my phone....
Um, I'd like to know who said that in front of him. Ok, it very well might have been me.

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Today, as we were leaving church, Jayce looks at me and says:
Mommy, run like a choo-choo train! Look, just like me! Choo, choo!! Choo, choo!!

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After I allowed Jayce and Grayson to climb around in our van the other day, Jayce asked me:
Mommy, when is it my turn to drive? Uh, never!!

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Last week, I had the responsibility, along with Jeremy, to tell Jayce that his Grandpa had gone to heaven.
When we walked into the house after Jeremy's dad passed away, Jayce immediately noticed that the Grandpa, along with all of the hospital paraphernalia, was missing. Of course, he asked where Grandpa was. We informed Jayce that Grandpa was in heaven, with Jesus and God. (It's hard to try to explain the Trinity to a three year old boy.) He asked if he could see heaven, Jesus, and Grandpa, and we explained that he couldn't see them, but that they were real, and that Grandpa wasn't sick anymore or in pain anymore. He told us that heaven was up in the clouds, and that was the end of the conversation.
Today, Jayce asked to swing in the backyard. He told me that he wanted to go really high. He said:
Swing me up into the clouds! Swing me into the clouds so I can see heaven, Jesus, and Grandpa!
Ah, to have the faith of a child.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Memorial Plans

The family had the chance to sit down and put together the plans for the Memorial Service for Ron this weekend. The plans are as follows:
Friday, October 23 Visitation at Metcalf & Jonkoff Funeral Services on Cascade Road in Grand Rapids
1-4pm and 6-8pm
Saturday, October 24 Memorial Service at Berean Baptist Church on Coit in Grand Rapids
2pm

We appreciate you continued thoughts and prayers.
My husband lost his father tonight. Ron went home to Jesus around midnight Sunday night. He was a great man, a Godly person, a fantastic father, a wonderful Grandpa, a dedicated teacher, the best father-in-law a girl could ask for. Please keep our family in your prayers over the next couple of day/weeks.


Memorial Day Weekend, Summer 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jeremy's Dad

The past couple of days have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Jeremy's dad and his family. A couple of days ago, Ron had a great day - he was able to eat some, carry on conversations, and was interacting with the boys a lot. I've heard that there is a calm before the storm, and I think that was it. Since then, he's been having a lot of breathing problems and has been in and out (but mostly out) of consciousness. It seems (and medical professionals have also said this) that his time is running short. The family is rallying around Ron and Karen, spending time with them and watching over Ron when Karen needs breaks. Thankfully, my parents are in town and are able to watch the boys so I can be at Ron and Karen's house with Jeremy.
Please keep Jeremy and his family in your prayers tonight and tomorrow. I know this is going to be the beginning of a few rough weeks. Please pray that Ron is comfortable and pain-free. Please pray for peace for everyone, for understanding, for comfort, for Jesus' arms to be wrapped around them.
Thank you. Melissa

Friday, October 16, 2009

ArtPrize - a preview **UPDATED**

**UPDATE**
I've been meaning to get my post about ArtPrize up here, but these past couple of days have proven to be a little more time consuming than I had otherwise predicted. But, I'll post about that later...
For those who asked ( Jenney), the last picture is a HUGE sculpture made of balloons! Hanging from the ceiling, HUGE. Jeremy and Jayce stood inside it, and Jer only had to slightly duck to get underneath. Fun stuff.


We took a couple of afternoons last week to check out Grand Rapid's first ArtPrize. I'm planning on writing a whole post on it, but I wanted to throw a few pictures up while I'm working on it.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Jayce Speak

Ahh, the mind of a near three year old. I wish there was a way to figure out some of the stuff he's come up with lately. Here's a sample of some of the stuff that has Jeremy and I rolling on the floor in laughter.

Jayce was sitting at the table working on puzzles the other night while I was working on the computer. Out of the blue, this conversation took place:
Jayce: Mommy, I love you.
Me: Aww, Jayce, thank you. I love you too. (My mommy heart melted into a puddle on the floor.)
Jayce: I even love you when you cry.

Um, thanks?

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We took a couple of afternoons this week, and went downtown and enjoyed some of the ArtPrize artwork (Which, if you haven't been down yet, go today! It's awesome, and it ends today...).
Jayce ran up on a lawn in the middle of one of the displays, which was about 50 campaigning signs and music being piped out of a nearby building. Jeremy quickly grabbed him off of the lawn, and Jayce yelled, "No, Daddy! I just have to dance!!"

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While also at ArtPrize, we were checking out a mural on the side of the Children's Museum. It was a Mosaic made of various kinds of tile and mirror. I asked Jayce if he wanted to feel it, and he said yes. While he was running his fingers over the mural, I asked him what it felt like. Jayce replied, "It feels like chicken!" What?

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When getting ready for the Silent Night Parade the other night, I asked Jayce if he wanted to go look at some fire trucks. He looked at me with a very serious demeanor, and said, "Oh yes. Fire trucks are pretty."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Silent Night Parade

Last night, we had the honor and privilege to attend the Silent Night Parade for West Michigan. This week is Fire Prevention Week, and Thursday of Fire Prevention Week is suppose The Silent Night Parade is a "ceremony that recognizes and remembers any firefighter, active or retired, that has answered the Last Alarm in the past 12 months, no matter whether it was in the line of duty or not." Then all of the attending fire departments line up their rigs and have a parade with their emergency lights on (but no sirens) between two stations. Because Jayce loves fire trucks and police cars, and because Jeremy works with a lot of the departments that were involved in the parade, we decided to go and show our support for our local firefighters.
Jayce insisted on wearing his fireman hat when we left the house.
Grayson got in on the action too.
We found a parking lot along the route of the parade and set up camp there. The best thing about our new van is that the backseat folds into a way that you can tailgate! The boys had fun running around in the wet grass while we waited.
Jayce was getting really excited about seeing the fire trucks! Well, that and all of the running around he was doing outside. We hadn't been out in a while... it's been constantly raining around here.
And then the parade began. The street was alive with lights.
The boys sat entranced for a few minutes.
Can you see the look on Grayson's face? He was actually making an "ooo" sound while he was watching the emergency lights go past.
The parade lasted for a long time. There were probably 20+ trucks involved. It made for quite the display. And for very excited kids.
We hopped into our car and followed the parade to Station #2 so we could check out the fire trucks up close and in person. This is one of Grand Rapids newest trucks. The ladder had neon lights on it, and it extended so far. Just look at how small the truck is in comparison to the ladder. Too cool.
Grayson was amazed by the size of the trucks. He had a kick checking it out.
Jayce got to climb up into one of the trucks and sit in the passenger seat. He kept on saying that the truck he was in was going to "crash" the truck in front of it. This kid is really coming up with some hilarious stuff to say lately.
We had a fantastic time at the Silent Night Parade. Jayce and Grayson (and Jeremy, actually) loved looking at the fire trucks up close and getting to see so many with their lights flashing. We are already looking forward to it next year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

SERIOUSLY?!?

Have you ever been waiting for a parking space with your turn signal on and have someone take it at the last second? Have you ever been cut off by someone that believes only they have the right of way? Have you ever been watching TV and have someone take the remote and change the channel? Have you been held up in construction traffic when it narrows down to one lane and watched those people fly down the disappearing lane because they are too good to follow the rules? Have you ever had someone take the last doughnut when you had called dibs? Have you ever seen a car full of teenagers climb out of a car parked in a spot designated for expecting mothers?

Today I took my kids grocery shopping with me. The best part of going to Meijer to do my grocery shopping is that I have built in bribery when I need the boys to be good. There are several things the boys like to look at when we are getting our groceries (Lightning and Mater stuff, fishies) and there's always the 1 cent horsey ride after we've checked out. The morning, the boys did very well at the grocery store, especially considering it had already been a long morning and they were tired, so a horsey ride was definitely in order. I pulled our cart over next to the empty horse. I unbuckled Jayce and reached for two pennies in my wallet. As Jayce climbed off of his seat on my cart, a little girl, probably 6 or 7 years old, ran over and jumped on the horse. I looked at her, and started to say something when I saw her mom walk up. "_______, I think that little boy was getting on the horse next." Complaining and whining ensued, but not from my child. The mother looks at me, and says to her daughter, "Ok, fine. Just make it quick," and she put her penny in the horse to start her ride. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

You should be so proud that I managed to hold my tongue (even when Jayce asked when it was going to be his turn). I figured that I was teaching my kids a lesson in patience and how to deal with those people who always think they come first. After all, we've all dealt with situations like above, and one day my kids will too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me! Monday - 300th Post!!

Is it not so fitting that my 300th post is a Not Me! Monday post, one where I do not confess to all of those things that I would love to forget from this week. Here we go!

I have not accidentally exposed my one year old to chickenpox/shingles several times this week. I did not insist at several occasions that my youngest son has had the chickenpox vaccine, and was not willing take him over to visit his grandfather who possibly has shingles. I did not only realize my massive mistake only when I noticed a couple of small red bumps on his belly today. I did not put two and two together, and come to the conclusion that the low grade fever he seemed to be running yesterday could be because of the chickenpox instead of teething (like I thought). I did not realize all of this only after it dawned on me that at his 1 year appointment I decided to hold off on his chickenpox vaccine for a couple of months. I am not kicking myself for this now. I am not praying that this is all in my head, because I am not a little bit like that.

I did not witness a waterfall in my bathroom this morning. I was not getting out of the shower yesterday morning, when my two year old came in to use the bathroom. He did not sit down and proceed to urinate in a large arc, all over the floor. I did not yell his name to get his attention, only to have him stick his leg in the air to try to stop the urine from getting on the floor. I did not call my husband into the bathroom to help me clean up (I was not just getting out of the shower...), while laughing hysterically. As we were in clean up mode, I did not hear the sounds of someone walking around upstairs. I did not yell, run up stair in only a towel and find my one year old (who doesn't do stairs well, at least going down) sitting on his brother's bed. I did not neglect to put up the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs and my one year old did not go up the stairs without anyone watching or helping or noticing, only because I was not too busy laughing at my two year old's arc of urine. I am not that childish and neglectful.

How about you? Is there anything that you would love to forget about this week? Consider a little confession, MckMama-style. Check out her Not Me! Monday list, and all of the other blog carnival participants, over at My Charming Kids!

Friday, October 2, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes

Jayce and I have been talking about Jesus and heaven a lot lately.

I suppose it started because he was having a hard time sleeping: getting scared by strange things, wanting the lights on, waking up in a terror and telling me it was because he'd lost me. We'd already been praying nightly, mainly for Grandpa, but it seemed like he wasn't really grasping who Jesus is.
The first couple of conversations went a little like this:
Me: Good night, Jayce. I love you.
Jayce: Mommy, I'm going to be scared.
Me: Jayce, you don't need to be scared. Jesus is here, and he will always keep you safe.
Jayce: Where is Jesus? I see him?
Me: We can't see Jesus, but he's right here (I pat his chest). He's with you.
Jayce: Jesus is not here. (Jayce gets a little irrational when he's upset.)
Me: Yes, Jesus is here. And he loves you very much. He will keep you safe while you sleep. Good night Jayce.
Jayce is finally at an age that he's been going to a class with a lesson when we are at church on Wednesdays. Every Wednesday morning I ask Jayce what he learned about at church, and he always answers, "Jesus." When I probe just a little bit further, he'll usually tell me that he learned that "Jesus loves me" and then we'll sing the song.
Given Jeremy's dad's health situation, and with the advice from some close friends, I've started to talk to Jayce about heaven too. I usually tell him that heaven is a very special place that God/Jesus lives at, and that heaven is special because no one ever gets sick and people sing songs and everyone is happy there. Of course, Jayce questioned where heaven was; I told him it was up in the clouds. Not exactly based in theology, but an answer that Jayce (sort of) accepted by saying, "I go up in the clouds and see heaven?"
Tonight, I realized that my teaching about Jesus and heaven is starting to set it. As I tucked Jayce into bed, he looked at me and said, "Mommy, I'm going to be scared tonight." I told him that he didn't need to be scared, because Jesus was going to be right there (patted his chest again) with him. Jayce responded by saying, "Jesus is right here. He's cuddling right here with me," and patted right next to him. I got a huge smile on my face and told him that he was exactly right.
Then he moved Goofy to where he had patted and said, "No, Goofy is going to cuddle me. Jesus can be over there."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Detroit Zoo

While my brother was home last weekend, we went to the Detroit Zoo to check out some different animals that were not at our local zoo. I have so many memories of going to this zoo, so it was fun to be able to take my kids there for the first time. I specifically remember climbing all over this hippo when we'd get to the park. Naturally, I made the boys pose there so I could take a few pictures.
Our first stop was in the aviary building, where the butterflies and birds were housed. Grayson was pretty excited to be able to nearly touch a butterfly. I suppose he doesn't remember this past spring when we saw them a few times at the Gardens.
Grayson was elated to see some of the birds that were living at the zoo. I absolutely love to see pictures of Jeremy and the boys smiling and laughing together.
Grayson tried to take off and go check out a bird that walked across the path in front of us.
Everyone here is checking out the tigers.
The sleeping, boring tigers. Turns out our very small, very limited zoo was much better in that our tiger was up and walking around the entire time.
The boys climbed all over this statue while we watched. Well, I snapped pictures.
I also convinced (forced) the boys to sit on the statue together so I could take more pictures. I take a lot of pictures.
This guy here decided to pose for us.
I think this is my mom and Jayce checking out the lions... or maybe they were mountain lions. Can't tell you which, for sure.
Uncle Kevin liked being goofy with the boys on his shoulders. He was jumping with Grayson up there.
... and up! Grayson was really enjoying it.
Jayce got to hitch a ride because his shoes were hurting his feet and Jeremy hadn't gotten back from the car with his sandals. Can you see the zebras in the background?
We got an up close and personal look at the giraffes. They were being fed just before we made our way up to the deck to view them, and the giraffes were still looking for a handout. I couldn't convince Grayson to look at me when they were nearby.
After lunch, we took off to see the neatest exhibit of the entire zoo: the polar bears and seals. Grayson was extremely excited to see a polar bear.
This polar bear was just laying out in the grass and weeds. It seems so foreign to me... Until I thought about LOST and the polar bear in the jungle.
Grayson got a ride on Jeremy's shoulders while we were waiting for our turn to walk through the underwater exhibit.
Jayce compared his foot size with a polar bears foot print.
Jeremy and Grayson sharing a sleepy moment while we waited.
Uncle Kevin and Jayce showing off their muscles while we waited.
This was my favorite part! There was a tunnel that went under the pool for the polar bears and the seals. When we first walked into the tunnel, it was incredibly backed up and hard to walk through. Here's why:
The polar bear was sitting right on top of the tunnel! We definitely had a great underbelly view.
Everyone was excited to see the seals swimming over the tunnel while we were in there.
Grayson was on the lookout for the aquatic animals.
Jayce tried to reach out and touch the seals.
There was a glacier wall that we could feel. Brr...
Another neat exhibit the zoo had was their kangaroos. We were able to walk through their exhibit with instructions to allow those kangaroos crossing the path some space. Pictured here is the only kangaroo that was upright. The rest were sleeping.
To end our fun day at the zoo, we took a train ride back to the front of the park. Grayson and Jayce really enjoyed the train ride; the rest of us did too, but we mostly enjoyed the fact that we didn't have to walk back to the front of the park.
We were all exhausted after our long day. Jayce could barely keep his eyes open on the train ride.
Same with this little guy.
We had a fantastic time at the Detroit Zoo; so fantastic that everyone (but our driver) passed out on the way home. It was truly a great day.