Christmas was wonderful, we spent a lot of time with our families and the kids were spoiled rotten. I finally took down my Christmas tree today, with the help of my parents who came to hang out with the kids while I shoveled and cleaned my house. My mom even vacuumed the (fake) pine needles up for me! The kids had a snow day yesterday (with no snow, it was just cold) but I had to sleep so the babysitter came. Today I'm home alone with them and really having a good time! Parenting is hard but at least they're cute ;)
Ryan has been being even funnier than usually lately, which is not easy! My nephew was over yesterday and kept saying, "My hulk! My hulk!" in regards to a toy. Ryan piped up with, "It's not going to be anyone's hulk in a minute if you keep saying that." LOL! He loves to parent his cousin and sister. It's so funny hearing him repeat things I've said a million times.
A lot has changed for us lately. We've left our church and are attending a new one. For some of you, this may seem like no big deal. But to us it is a HUGE deal and a great time of transition. If you are the praying sort, please pray for us and the kids as we sort through this transition period. It's been going great so far. Greg and I have kind of jumped in with both feet and have already joined a young marrieds small group. We're not used to being new in this situation as we were leaders in our old church, but everyone was extremely welcoming and our first time went great! We're starting a new study at church with our small group next week and we're really looking forward to it.
We met at someone's house for our small group last week and brought the kids along. I always worry about bringing Lauren somewhere new because it would absolutely break my heart for her not to be accepted. I know it's bound to happen eventually but so far we've been spared that hurt. At church on Sunday she was welcomed into her age-appropriate classroom and really seemed to have fun! And at our small group meeting she played with the other kids and both kids had a great time. The ever-adaptable Ryan even invited himself back over to play!
While I'm learning that I can't force everyone to love my children as much as I do, for now while they're young I feel as though I have the responsibility to guard their hearts. This is made especially challenging with Lauren having Down syndrome. I feel like it's my responsibility to guard BOTH kids from experiencing judgment based on Lauren's special needs. This is a challenging task for any person to take this on, as we can only be accountable for our own actions. But my hope is that for a little while longer I can protect my children from small-mindedness and ignorance as well as the hurt they cause. This is why I have such anxiety regarding change. I am so incredibly thankful that we've been welcomed to our new church and small group with open arms.
Thankfully Ryan has actually been agreeing (for the first time ever) to wear a hat outside!
Lauren REALLY missed school over Christmas break! As you can tell, she was ecstatic to be back with her friends and teachers!