Nov. 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gifts that Support the Poor

I know it is only September, but I have already begun to think about what I want to give as gifts this Christmas. I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about items that you could purchase for this holiday season that support the poor.

Asha Imports is a free trade company that is selling various products made by the poor. Sari Bari blankets and Freeset jute bags are made by women who are working for freedom from the sex trade in Kolkata, India. Last year the documentary filmCalcutta Hilton was released about the work that Freeset is doing. We have both a blanket and several bags and love them.

Word Made Flesh Lima and Romania are both selling Chrismas cards made by kids who live on the streets. Profits go to helping WMF continue to minister to the needs ogf the children.

This post is dedicated to Kristin. Happy Birthday girl. Keep up the good work in the "dirty city". We love you!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Zoo and Other Things

Today we had a nice family visit to our local Lowry Park Zoo. I forgot the camera, so we don't have pictures. We had a good time. The monkeys were awesome swinging on the ropes and playing with each other. The elephants were taking a bath in their waterfall. The giraffes were eating. The new tiger cubs were playing with their mom. The kids were great and had fun watching all the animals.

Isaac's nose didn't come out as bad a we throught. It is still a little swollen and a little black and blue. He doesn't complain about it at all, but talks about trying to "float" a lot.

Prema's school transition has been hard on everyone. Prema has so much to adjust to that it is very overwhelming. She is struggling with the lack of 1:1 attention, peer interactions, number of new people, etc. Her teacher is doing an excellent job of trying to make adjustments necessary to help Prema pay attention and feel safe. The boys and I were struggling with the amount of time I was having to be away 5 days a week. So for now we have created a 3 day school week 3 hours per day to benefit everyone. We have increased her OT and PT to twice a week and have her classroom time down to 1:1 and a little bit of large group instruction. Everyone is doing better with the changes. We'll keep it this way for a while until everyone feels more settled with the current schedule.

Tonight Kyle and Isaac are going to a USF football game with Grandpa and Grandma Cullum. Isaac is already preparing himself for the noise level requesting ear plugs. Hopefully I will remember to give them the camera so that I can post some pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Hurt Nose

Isaac decided that he wanted to try to "float" over Grandma Cullum. His attempt was unsuccessful when he landed on the floor and slammed his nose into the bottom of the couch. ouch! Isaac wants you all to know that we called Dr. Gadea and asked her what to do. The office was closed so the nurse told us to ice it, give him Tylenol, and call tomorrow with an update. We sure hope it's not broken.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Love Fall!

Fall seems to finally be arriving. The temperatures are lower and the humidity for the most part is less. For the first time it really is feeling like fall for me here in Florida. I usually miss my Wisconsin fall with the beautiful rolling hills decorated with the fall colors. However fall here and fall there can both give you great weather to spend hours playing at the park, making homemade candy apples, and watching movies with some popcorn.
Below are the pics from this weekend: Isaac on the slide at the park, Eli's first time swinging, Prema's first time making candy apples, and Isaac's first time eating candy apples. He loved them..can you tell?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Isaac Is Now Sporting Underwear

Isaac has had 2 successful days wearing underwear without any accidents, even during nap time. For the last month or so he's been running around naked whenever he is home practicing using the toilet. At first he would dash to the toilet when he was inside. When he was outside he would either choose not to come in and decide to "water" the plants/grass instead or wait till the last minute and loose it on the way in. Gradually he got better and better always coming inside to use the toilet and no longer needing to dash. So this week we've been offering him a choice to wear underwear or a diaper when he leaves the house. He has chosen underwear each time and has warned us when he needs to use the bathroom with plenty of time. I am quite excited and sad at the same time. We used cloth diapers with Isaac and currently are with Eli, so I am happy to have less diapers to clean out. I am sad that time seems to be moving way too fast watching him grow.

Update: Isaac talks about the fire alarm serveral times every day. He shares the story with anyone that may not know yet. He seems to still be processing the whole event still.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Isaac Dismissed the Congregation

Truth. He didn't say the departing "Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord." Instead he pulled the fire alarm during the closing announcements. We sit in the far back of the church to try and stay as discrete as possible. Trying to avoid the stares from intrigued people wanting to watch Prema and I sign and Isaac saying and doing cute things. Eli started crying so I turned to try and calm him down. Isaac stood in his chair and pulled the alarm directly above his head. I stood up and tried to tell Father that it was a false alarm, but I also didn't want to shout. The whole church knows who Isaac is as he has interrupted church before. As a baby he would gleefully babble during silent prayer time and Fr. Mike would hear him and start laughing giving Isaac an "Amen". As a toddler in the beginning stages of talking he would shout "Fr. Mike, Fr. Mike" until Fr. Mike would acknowledge his presence. And as a well spoken 2 year old Isaac has echoed Fr. Mike's enthusiastic talking at times in hopes of being like Fr. Mike. So I am sure all woudl be somewhat amused in knowing Isaac pulled the alarm I couldn't bring myself to shout the news and allow all the stay in their seats (not sure if that is even legal). However, as I tried to keep Isaac calm as he realized what he had done and Eli still asleep in the car seat, some nice messengers quietly notified Father that Isaac had pulled the alarm. Isaac was very scared. He began crying. Once all was clear to return to church, I took Isaac to see the firemen and had him tell them that he pulled the alarm. He told them with confidence but quickly started asking to go home. Then I took him to Fr. Mike to say he was sorry. He nicely apologized and then started to cry. Fr. Mike gave him a hug and told him he forgave him. I was thouroughly embarrassed since one year ago Prema pulled the alarm at church too while I was in the office working. Now the other two just need to encourage Eli to do the same. But as we left Fr. Mike responded "hey don't worry, we're just making memories." That is certainly true. Isaac told the whole story to Grandma and Grandpa Cullum the minute he saw them. And later today Grandpa Cullum asked Isaac if he wanted to go and see the fire alarm at a restaurant (joke). Isaac got really nervous and said "No I just want to go home". So I think that he has learned a huge lesson in the least harmful way.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Home Again

We got home Monday evening but it has been quite crazy since our return. We had a good time in Wisconsin. All of the kids did very well flying. Prema did much better overall than her last trip to Wisconsin. Everyone loved seeing the kids. The wedding was nice. Both Matthew and Megan looked good and happy. Here are Some pictures for you to see some of the highlights.

We managed to have ice cream at the Union with my good friend Leah. Prior to our ice cream we ate pizza at Uno's where Kyle and I ate on our own wedding night. The campus was buzzing with students as their first week of classes. It was fun to walk around State Street, a definite people watcher heaven.

After ice cream we visited the Henry Vilas Zoo. They just received 2 new giraffes that week after the other 3 died. We enjoyed watching the orangatang sit and stare at us while swatting flies away, the badger pacing back and forth, and the prairie dogs digging their holes.

Friday afternoon we enjoyed some great mexican food with my family.

Friday evening was the rehearsal dinner. My mom had 2 ice cream cakes with deer hunting and fishing images on them for my brother. Isaac LOVED the cake. His piece was huge and he spent 5 minutes concentrating on eating every last drop. When he was done the green frosting would not come off his upper lip.

The wedding was fun. It was neat to watch Isaac and Prema expereince their first wedding. They loved the toasts, the food, and the dancing. Kyle was absolutely awesome dancing away with Prema. You should have seen him do the twist and chicken dance with her. It was funny and adorable. Isaac lit up the dance floor with his moves. The boy has rhythm. He was the entertainment of the evening. It was pure joy watching him enjoy himself.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Wisconsin Bound

My brother Matthew is getting married on Saturday. So tomorrow afternoon we will make the trip to Wisconsin to celebrate with him and Megan. We are a bit nervous about flying with all three kids. Even through Prema is older she usually makes our travel the most difficult; especially flying. Even if we tell her that we are flying to stay for a short while and will return home again she never fully believes us until we make it home. Until that time she is hypervigilant and constantly worried about what will happen next. She is already asking every time we leave the house if we are going to Uncle Matthew's wedding now. Last time we went to Wiscosinsin we came back to endless weeks of bad behavior.

But once we are there I look forward to a hair cut and hopefully a fishing trip for the kids with my dad. I am also hoping for a moment to hang out at the Union eating ice cream with the kids. The weather report is not looking to good for nice late summer temps for sitting outside at the Union next to water, but one can hope.