Saturday, December 12, 2009

I've been really enjoying this advent season! I started off a little behind the 8-ball but I think I've caught up and I'm just enjoying all the things we're doing that are traditions which enhance our celebration of the gift of Immanuel (God with us). As I was doing a special Christmas unit study with the boys and we were talking about what advent means and the definitions of several other "Christmasy" words, it all of a sudden dawned on me what this season is all about. Ha, it's about time right? Well, I've known for forever that it's about the birth of our savior, the Messiah. But I asked myself this year, why do we celebrate this every year with such a great amount of time and money devoted to this celebration? All of a sudden the word "remember" came to mind. God tells us to "remember" what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. Communion is the remembrance of that act of God. All throughout the history of the nation of Israel, God told them to do things to remember what He did for them; have ceremonies, build stone piles as markers to remember. That's what Jewish festivals are all about. I don't know all the festivals and specifically why they are celebrated but I do know they are mostly celebrated to remember what God has done. There's a festival celebration to remember God's delivering Israel from slavery. There's also one for remembering that God spared the lives of the children of Israel when Queen Esther risked her life to reveal to the King, an evil plan to kill the Israelites. Well, there are many more but the point is that it blesses God when we celebrate and remember what he has done for us!! Christmas (and Easter) are set aside times when we remember something specific that God did for us. And, whatever we do to celebrate what he did and to remember it and to make it holy (or set apart) from other days, is a blessing to God!! For the last two years I've had conversations with friends about christmas trees specifically and are they pagan or what? It's taken me two years to come to the conclusion that, regardless of why the first person put that Christmas tree in their house, it's something I do because of memories, traditions and it enhances my experience with setting this time apart to remember what God did in sending His son to be my Savior. I'm so glad God spoke to me about Christmas. I've always thought it funny when people would say "are you ready for Christmas?" I've always thought it was more than just a day. This year especially I've enjoyed each and every day of the Advent season because it is more than just a day. For our family, it's a celebration that starts with Thanksgiving and continues as the decorations go up and the parties begin. We are being intentional about remembering what God has done for us. He sent His son to be our Messiah, Savior and King. A humble baby born to make us right with God. Celebrating such a momentous event should be special and longer than just a day and should be filled with lots of wonderful things to enhance our remembering. I feel so full right now!! I mean full spiritually and very blessed. In addition to the Messiah babe in the manger and the Savior on the cross, God has done soooooooooooo many things in the lives of our family and we have lots of amazing things to remember and celebrate! Merry Christmas and happy and blessed remembering what God has done for you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No school today. That was a last minute decision. Actually thought we'd do school in the afternoon after our trip to the Aquarium but we got there later than expected and stayed later than planned, so . . . . Scott and I switched cell companies and upgraded phones like you wouldn't believe. We got free Blackberries with our new plan so we have been having fun trying out all the stuff on it. This video was taken of Drayton (AKA "busy bee") at the aquarium boat play area. This short video is a sample of what she did for a solid 10 minutes - over and over and over again! Funny and busy little lady! What a doll. She'll be 1 on the 6th. WHEW! Enjoy.

Everyone in the house has a different idea of what must be going through her head and the kids' ideas make us laugh just as much as the video itself. I need to take a video of Cooper laughing at this video. Really sweet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buddy Walk Pictures

Here are some pictures of the DSAL Buddy Walk!
Every year we make "Coleman's Buddy" lanyards - here is Tradd taking a picture of his Coleman's Buddy Lanyard

Daddy and Coleman at the Buddy Walk

I received (on behalf of Seacoast Church) the "Walk the Walk" Award - here is a write up from the Seacoast Blog;
Scott Kinney, Children’s Pastor, Long Point Campus, was honored with the Walk the Walk Award by the Down Syndrome Association of the Low country. Scott was honored for his work with the special needs community, specifically his vision for the Won by One ministry and the Disability Awareness Conference he spearheaded. The award was presented to Scott by Gene Carpenter who thanked him for “making the world just a little brighter for our kids.” Scott’s passion for extending the love and message of Christ to people who are affected by disability, whether it is the disabled person, a family member, or friend, is reaching far beyond Seacoast’s walls and we are blessed to have him. Congratulations Scott!

Wando High School marching band - heading up the walk

Picture of the walkers

Another shot of the walkers
Coleman got a little tired of "walking"

Both Girls fell asleep on the walk - Tradd rode on the front of the stroller and Cooper rode on my shoulders.

Cooper enjoying some Cotton Candy at the Buddy Walk

Tradd enjoying Cotton Candy at the Buddy walk - they don't like cotton candy in a bag - it's sticky.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Painting Party

Here are some pictures of today's house painting party - It looks great! Thanks everyone.

Before Picture

After Picture

Mr. Mark Painting

Mr. Craig painting

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More Pictures and video

Drayton - Our big girls walking
Coleman - the happy princess

Tradd taking a rest at Soccer

Cooper making a kick

Homeschool beach learning day

Mr. Jim dragging the net

Cooper ice skating

Tradd skating with a walker

Homeschool t-shirts (back)

Kinney Kid's Academy t-shirts (front)

Soccer playing Cooper

Cooper ready for play

Look at that form!

Another smile from Coleman

Look at this cutie

Friday, September 11, 2009

First Days of School

I'm going to let Meghan do the writing on this, I'll just post the pictures and videos.

Welcome to Kinney Kids Academy!!!!
Cooper 4K
Tradd 1st Grade

Cooper learning to ride a two wheeler!

Tradd learning to ride a two wheeler!

The boys are taking Ice Skating as one of their classes this year - here are some photos and video of Tradd and Cooper on their first day on the ice.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

2009 Summer Vacation

Got back this Monday from 2 weeks up north. After traveling 2400 miles, we're wiped out and our cups are running over!! We spent about 10 days in Michigan on the lake fishing, boating, tubing, skiing, having water fights, playing cards, eating and just visiting. Tradd pretty much just fished the whole time. He did quite well and managed to catch an 18 inch large mouth bass all by himself (cousin Brandon helped him land it). Tradd also tried to ski for the first time. We never really got to the point of saying "hit it" cuz' his skis were just never ready. But, I was thrilled he said he wanted to try.

Cooper did a little bit of everything and was not quite as obsessive as Tradd about fishing. Cooper found a stray cat and they quickly bonded. He bravely told Uncle Dave that he wanted to go for a speed boat ride and when they went real fast, Cooper sat down on the floor of the boat and said "this isn't fun Uncle Dave!" When he did go fishing with Uncle Rob, Cooper caught a 24 inch Pike and so did Tradd.

Drayton and Coleman had fun playing in a little blow-up pool and they also loved all the attention from family. Scott's family joined us at the cottage and we all had a really great time. Coleman and her cousin Nicole are real pals so Coleman really had lots of one on one time with her.

The weather was beautiful about 4 days and then there were those cold, windy and rainy days too but we really had a good time anyway. At one point, between our cottage and my brother's cottage, there were 21 of us. We ate dinner together every evening and played together during the day. What a blast!!! It's cherry season in MI so mom made homemade cherry pie almost every evening. She also made homemade blueberry muffins nearly every night so I saw mom buy lots of flour and sugar from the local grocery throughout the week. Scott and I didn't have cell phone coverage at the cottage. I loved this but my wonderful husband went into some withdrawal I think. He loved to go into town on a daily basis to get the newspaper and other things, like bait for all of Tradd's fishing. His cell had coverage in a local cemetery (don't ask me how he ever discovered this) so I think he frequented this place throughout the week as well. I was in my glory staying at the cottage looking out at the lake, sitting in the sun, watching and listening for Loon and looking out for Bald Eagles. The day that Tradd caught his big bass, we were in the backyard and we saw a Bald Eagle land in the top of a nearby tree. What a surprise!!! The tree was 40 yards away and it was only about 35 feet tall. Incredible!! Later in the week, we saw 4 flying together. 2 were mature adults and 2 were young. We also saw/heard the Loon everyday. I love that sound. A couple of cottages up the road from us is a farm with three horses. It was of course very exciting for the children and horses are my fave!!
After Michigan, we stopped back in Ohio at mom and dad's house for a few days. So we have a couple pics of that. This was the year for my 20th reunion from High School. Yikes!! Pretty crazy to see these virtual strangers. Scott kept asking if I was having fun and I think my answer was "not really fun but glad I'm here, this is interesting." Some of the people I really wanted to see weren't there. Anyway, it was definitely worth while.
Well, it was a great vacation and the kids really did very well in the car all that way. We don't do the DVD player thing and we don't even have a working CD player so it's the radio or just our singing but it's usually good family time. Between the games and the silly songs, nap time, eating and answering the kids millions of questions, it all went by very fast. I used to drive the whole trip but Scott now does the driving because he gets sick if he's turning around doing stuff for the kids. This is quite a transition for me and for him but we managed very nicely!! I'm feeling very tired today so my writing seems a bit dull. There are so many fun stories but I think I captured the highlights. Scott can add his two cents later if he chooses. What a blessing it is to have wonderful family get-togethers where there is peace and fellowship, to have this cottage that is 90 years old and provides such therapeutic retreats, to have safe travels for all who came and also for vehicles that worked well all that way too!!!! The blessings are numerous and so are the memories. Speaking of blessings and memories: Scott and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on the 16th. We took some time away from the kids at the cottage and went to a nearby town to do some window shopping and just hang out together. We had to take Drayton with us because of nursing and I forgot to get a pump and some bottles before the trip. Well, we had a nice time anyway and of course bought some things for the kids. Now it's time to do some serious planning for the next school year. I think I'll have the boys do a music class with some other kids. Should be fun I think and Coleman might be in a special pre-school where she'll get some extra therapy. We're looking into this. My thought is, the more therapy the better. She's doing great but more can only help! Because of the kids' activites outside of the home that may mean that my house will actually get cleaned once in a while. It's really shabby right now! UGH!! (Of course it may also mean that it'll get worse because I'll be in the car more for drop off and pick up.)