Archive for March, 2010

Bedtime Stories – The Wheels Story

March 14, 2010
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Tonight’s adventure was a short one involving Challenger visiting 57 Chev.

While their parents were visiting inside, 57 Chev and Challenger were racing in the park and street, when Challenger noticed a puddle next to the trailer 57 Chev’s parents owned. Challenger had a big thrill driving through the puddle of course, made much more fun as it splashed water and dirt on the trailer. 57 Chev got into the action too, driving through the puddle, and making the trailer even dirtier! Both cars were having a blast racing through this puddle, seeing how much mud they could get on the trailer.

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After a while, their parents came out and were horrified at the mess the young cars made. Challenger and 57 Chev felt terrible about it. After a stern, short discussion about how to treat other peoples things, they helped their parent clean it up.

The End.

Linkert Winter activities

March 13, 2010

I took the kids to the Early Childhood “Daddy and me” night out with the girls. It was a nice event with crafts, snack, play, and another dad brought his guitar and lead some songs. The girls were not on their best behavior unfortunately.

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We met up with the Sebaskys to go ice skating at the Shirley Hills ice rink.

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I had taken our girls out a couple weeks earlier, so they were a bit more familiar with being on the ice… this was Kendall and Masons first time, they really stuck with it though!

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Last year Janet bought this helper for new skaters. Here Kendall takes a turn.

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Cecelia skated strong. She moved around the ice pretty good with no assistance.

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Maeve is more cautious… but got around a bit without assistance.

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The kid in the background was showing off… zipping around at perilous speeds. Punk.

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Cecelia and Mason share.

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Uh… that’s not skating Maeve.

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Here’s the gang. Had a great time!

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Maeve imitating the Speed skaters while watching the Olympics.

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Local Mound businesses the other day organized a Moonlight Trail Walk at the end of February. We hooked up with the Villamils for a nice dinner, and some cupcake decorating.

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Here we are on the walk. The path was not as easy to walk as one would’ve hoped, but the kids did great, and we made part of the trek.

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Stopped at the campfire on the way back and enjoyed some suckers.

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Maeve kicking back.

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The girls love helping mom in the kitchen.

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March 13, 2010

Getting your new kid to sleep can be a difficult challenge. Here’s some tips.

First you want to think about starting a routine for the baby when your life starts to settle down after having the baby home for a week or so. Some babies absolutely need routines, others are much more easy going, and if a routine isn’t followed they can get by just fine.

The routine that worked great for our kids, and for practically all the babies in my daycare, comes from a book my wife read after Maeve, our first child was born, called Babywise. I didn’t read the book, but my wife told me enough to make it work for Maeve, and everyone else since.

The pattern to remember is Sleep, Eat, Play, repeat.

The idea is that the baby (and you!) will know what is to be expected, and what happens next. So when the baby wakes up, it will know that it is time to eat. After the baby eats, it is time for it to play. Then it’s time for a nap.

The benefit is, if the baby has been playing for a while, you can probably guess that it’s tired, and want to sleep, since it ate only an hour or so ago.

I highly recommend this pattern for any new baby and new parent.

March 13, 2010
Putting your new baby to sleep

Getting your new kid to sleep can be a difficult challenge… one I still struggle with my brand new 4 year old. Here’s some tips.

First you want to think about starting a routine for the baby when your life starts to settle down after having the baby home for a week or so. Some babies absolutely need routines, others are much more easy going, and if a routine isn’t followed they can get by just fine.

The routine that worked great for our kids, and for practically all the babies in my daycare, comes from a book my wife read after Maeve, our first child was born, called Babywise. I didn’t read the book, but my wife told me enough to make it work for Maeve, and everyone else since.

The pattern to remember is Sleep, Eat, Play, repeat.

The idea is that the baby (and you!) will know what is to be expected, and what happens next. So when the baby wakes up, it will know that it is time to eat. After the baby eats, it is time for it to play. Then it’s time for a nap.

The benefit is, if the baby has been playing for a while, you can probably guess that it’s tired, and want to sleep, since it ate only an hour or so ago.

I highly recommend this pattern for any new baby and new parent.

Brand spanking new baby – We let the baby sleep as much as it wanted

It’s hard, but she has got to learn to fall asleep on her own. One method that has worked for most of the kids that come to my daycare is this…

1. Be sure she is tired (but not sleeping), a clean diaper is on, and everything is ready in her room to sleep (music, comfort item, pacifier)
2. Put her down in her crib on her back, do the sign for sleep, and say something short and soothing (Good night dear, go to sleep) and walk out of the room.
3. If she does cry, don’t go in the room. Wait 5 minutes.
4. After 5 minutes, if the crying doesn’t stop, go in, don’t pick her up, but briefly try to comfort her, fix her pacifier, tell her she’s ok and to go to sleep, do the sleep sign again, and then walk in the room.
5. Repeat step 4 over, except wait 10 minutes, then wait 15 minutes, then 20.

It tears your heart to hear them cry, but if you stick with this _everytime_ it’s naptime or they go to sleep at night, everyone will benefit. She will learn to sleep on her own. You will be able to get things done while she sleeps. I strongly urge you to try this.

For the kids that I have used this on, they have learned to sleep on their own usually by the 3rd day… 7 days at the most. I did have one kid who took over a month, but he had reflux issues which didn’t help.

I should add that this process should be used by everyone that puts the kid to sleep.

The sign we used for sleep…
http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/BED

Cecelia turns Four!

March 12, 2010

Cecelia’s birthday was a couple days ago, so we invited some friends over Saturday for a party.

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The highlight game was musical chairs… I don’t think I’ve ever seen a musical chairs game go _so_ well…. we played it twice!

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Even Isaiah played… though he wasn’t so sure about the whole thing.

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The game was supposed to be herding balloons with brooms… but the wind just lifted the balloons off the deck and just made things difficult… so we just made it a relay race.

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Cecelia’s fish cake… prepared by mom.

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Then Sunday we met the Burfiends, my folks and the Bradways at a bowling ally to celebrate.

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The kids did a great job!

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Cecelia sends it down the lane!

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Enjoying our time with Hans.

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Grandpa takes a turn.

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There goes Seth!

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Happy Birthday Cecelia!

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Cecelia Horse cake (also shaped in a number 4)

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With one of her gifts was makeup… sigh.

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Late winter days at Basso

March 12, 2010

We got a new friend coming to Basso!

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Josh has been busy learning colors… he’s busy learning yellow here.

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We like cars… we like ramps… we like cars jumping off ramps into the bins!

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Sawyer enjoying a book.

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Josh flashes some necklaces he made.

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Our old friend Peter stopped by. Here he’s playing games with Cecelia.

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The kids like playing on the rocking recliner lately.

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Shaping things with play-doh.

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Isaiah flashes a grin.

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We enjoy our freshly snowless deck. Once it warmed up… it was pretty easy to push the ice and snow off the deck.

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Coloring some green with Sawyer and Isaiah.

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The Basso gang.

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Isaiah pushing trucks…. everyone likes to push the trucks!

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I guess everyone likes tea parties too… this one hosted outside by Cecelia and Maeve.

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Janet realized Isaiah had a shirt on that had a striking resemblence to a cake pattern in a book she recently acquired.

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Sawyer is a little slow to eat, but loves watching what the other kids are up to.

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Maeve peeking around the corner

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Tea party inside this time… hosted by Cecelia and Maeve. These seem to be happening quite more frequently now that Janet is home.

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Sawyer and Josh playing with the laundry baskets.

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The Little Voice

March 8, 2010

This was one of those days that one never forgets.

A couple months ago, if you would’ve asked me who Allen Anderson was, I would’ve shrugged my shoulders and given you a blank look.

A couple months ago I got invited to be a part of an online support group for Allen Anderson. Since the name meant nothing to me, I figured it was an accident, and nearly clicked ignore, but something stopped me. That little voice in me that always wants to do good, suggested to wait… think about this… it could be important.

I thought about it throughout the day, and into the night. Looked again at the people who were joining this group, and _none_ of them looked familiar with the exception of my Aunt Carolyn, who had invited me to join this group.

It must have been a mistake. Allen Anderson was some kid who clearly got into trouble and was trying to work it out. I wanted to be supportive, but really… who was I to this kid? Do I join this group, or do I ignore? The little voice that wants me to do good, was getting louder, said wait… think about this… it could be important.

All day long today, I’ve been thinking back to that moment when I had that choice. How easy it would’ve been to just ignore the invitation. No one would’ve said anything. No one would’ve missed me. My life would’ve continued as it was, Allen Anderson would’ve never known the difference if I had joined his support group or not.

It was late in the evening, on the second day with this choice that I made the connection. Allen was my cousin’s kid. This was family. Granted… family who I rarely see… hardly know… but they are family. Allen and his family was looking for support. I confess… I still hesitated on joining the support group. I was skeptical that something like this would be meaningful in anyway to Allen, his family, or to me for that matter. But I joined in hopes that my cousin and his family may, in some small way, be uplifted that we were paying attention.

So I joined Allen’s support group on Facebook.

Again, just a small gesture. I did little else except to read the updates from Allen’s brother and mother on the page. Allen enrolled in MN Teen Challenge, and was recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. Recovering from a life where he was constantly getting into trouble that nearly killed him. His brother and mother would occasionally ask for messages of support that they could share with Allen. That small part of me wanted to write something… but Allen wouldn’t know who I was… anything I could write would be meaningless. So I never did. I just read the updates, and hoped things would work out for Allen.

We are fortunate at our church that we have MN Teen Challenge come once a year to share a service with us. This includes having about 60-80 adults, aging from 14-60 come in front of our congregation, and share some wonderful music, and testify some of their personal stories of struggle and triumph. The music and the stories make a powerful presentation of how effective this program is to help people get a second chance in life. There are stories about mother’s who have their children taken from them because of their drug problems, men who lived in homelessness just trying to get that next high, people that were stuck in a bad situation and couldn’t, for whatever reason, make the right choices, and constantly getting themselves in life threatening situations. This program (MN Teen Challenge) has a good record of helping these people overcome their struggles, and give them the confidence and life skills to make a better life for themselves, and their families.

We are also fortunate at our church to have a member, Jim Mackin, who works for MN Teen Challenge.

I am also very fortunate to have a wife who will say and ask questions that I may not. She must work with that little voice in my head, because she asked Jim about the possibility of having Allen come to our church. He suggested to her that it would be no problem.

So I stood again at a choice. Is it weird to pull strings so that Allen could come to our church? Allen’s family was clearly going to all the churches Allen was visiting… would they be comfortable coming to our church? We had already made tentative plans for celebration of Cecelia’s birthday party, if Allen came, how does that change things?

I’m sorry to share that a big part of me suggested that I shouldn’t make a fuss. Don’t bother our friend from church with our personal business. Allen will never know that we decided to bypass on the chance to have him come to our church, his family will never know, the world will go on… but that little voice in me persisted.

Janet was also persistent. We talked about it for over a week until finally decided to push the button, and ask Jim to see if he could make things work out. In effect, we decided to bother our friend to have Allen, this kid… this distant cousin of mine who wouldn’t know me from anyone else, come to our church and hear about his story that we knew very little about. My gut ached all week, as I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do.

I could spend the next several paragraphs detailing what happen Sunday morning at my church, but I would be wasting my time. If I were given a microphone, and allowed to have an hour of broadcast time on the radio to tell you what happened when Allen and his family greeted me, it would mean little to you. If I had the ability to hire Shakespeare and Steven Speilberg, and have them write and produce a movie about my Sunday morning, it would be a huge flop, and no one would want to see it.

All I will say today is that Allen and his family gave beautiful testimonies today about their struggles and their triumphs. They inspired many tears from the congregation, including me. After the service, it was a great opportunity to sit down, and share a memorable meal with Allen and his family.

Today was one of the days in my life I will remember forever, and keep close to my heart. Today was one of those days where I could look back at those seemingly unimportant decisions that I made… and now know that they did matter… they did mean something. Not only to Allen and his family… but to me.

A couple months ago, I listened to that little voice. I think tomorrow… I’m going to listen for it a little harder.