Yesterday was our sixth anniversary! We went to second service, took the kids home and fed them lunch. The kids took a nap, and we had Ben & Amanda Fagerlie offer to babysit for the evening so we could go out together, so they came over at four so we could leave. We ant to the DV30 AMC theatres but stopped in the Starbucks to get a drink first. Amy got a grande caramel macchiato with an extra pump of vanilla, and I got a triple venti white mocha. We went to see Madagascar 2, which had already been out a month but we'd not seen. We both thought it was quite funny and an overall good sequal. We then ate dinner at Olive Garden near Arrowhead mall. We ate a lot and still had leftovers to bring home. It was a great day together. My wife is an incredible blessing from the LORD. Thank you all for your well-wishes and congratulations.
The Neighborhood Ministries is a group that meets the needs of the poor community in the Metro area. Their headquarters/church/meeting place is in downtown Phoenix. One of the ministries they have is to the parents of needy families. They allow adults to volunteer there in exchange for ministry money. It's not actually money redeemable for cash, but it is redeemable for brand new items during the Christmas store. People donate brand new items to the Christmas store so that these parents can purchase them with the volunteer dollars they've earned throughout the season. Why have a store instead of just giving handouts? Well, the idea behind doing the store comes from wanting to give people a sense of dignity in providing for their families during the Christmas season when so many needy families find they have no ability to give to their children. Instead of someone coming in, giving them things, and the parents being left with a remorse and lack of dignity from not being able to support their family, they now are able to earn these gifts for their family. All that to say, KAIO, the college-age and twenty-somethings group at ncc, got to join in on helping out during the Christmas store. There were lots of different jobs, but we all were set up as personal shoppers. We got to partner with a parent, take them through the store's mad rush, carry their gifts, keep a running total of what they were spending, and make sure they didn't go over their amount. We got to do this three times. It was quite an ordeal. People rushing to and fro, looking for what they could get their family. There were bikes, video games, a PSP or two, an iPod Nano, a couple TVs, jackets, things for him, things for her, children's toys for both boys and girls, balls, movies, and even kitchen appliances (nothing huge, but there were a couple of smaller refrigerators about 3-4' tall). Carrying it all, getting it to the holding area, keeping a running total, trying to understand their Spanish (most were Hispanic and couldn't speak English), getting them checked out, and helping them to their vehicle. And all of that three times. It was quite a rush. I was truly blessed to be a part of it (and I got to utilize my Spanish a lot!). I was personal shopper #19.
It has been pretty chilly around these parts for us desert rats. We decided to take a cartrip down to Pinal County, AZ, and we thought it might be good to make sure the kids were warm. Truly, they didn't end up even needing the hats but...
...yeah, we pretty much have the cutest kids on the planet.
Amy burnt herself last weekend pretty bad. She was trying to pan sear a roast before putting it in the crockpot when some of the oil splattered up on her hand and arm. She's dealing with pain and discomfort with the burnt areas still. We aren't sure how much will be left over scars. She is handling it like a trooper. She's an amazing woman, what can I say? I love her.
On the Van Liew side of the family, there were two births in the past week. Tammy (Van Liew) Plummer gave birth to her third son, Jeremiah David, on 11/17/08. Courtney (Van Liew) Steinman gave birth to her first child, Hunter James, on 11/20/08.
I got a new hat because a couple of guys from ncc and I have joined a program called the Timothy Program through Scottsdale Bible Church. It's a program geared to help men learn to be godly men. SBC regards the class as leadership training for men. Kent DelHousaye, my pastor, can see this as deacon and elder training. Anyway, all that said, I got a hat. The kids saw me wearing it and wanted to wear it, too, instinctively wanting to be like me...you know how it is. I thought they looked cute, so I took some pictures.
This morning at the breakfast table as we were eating, a plane flew over outside. Kate heard it and turned around to look at....the window I guess. Like she could really see anything. Anyway, she said, "what's that?" Aidan then promptly answered her, "that's a plane." She then repeated, "plane" sand Aidan said, "yes." It was cute to see Aidan teaching Kate words that he already knows. I think he has been waiting for her to be able to talk to him.
Aidan has always liked pretending he was talking on a phone. Now Kate likes to do it too. The other day at lunch they were sitting at the table while I was feeding Isaiah on the couch. They both had their hands up to their ears and were having a lengthly conversation with each other on the phone. It was really funny. They were talking back and forth, laughing. They ended the conversation by saying bye to each other. Aidan has now gotten to the point of taking a "phone" out of his pocket, pretending to dial, talking, hanging up, and then putting it back in his pocket when he is done. That kid...
I have been amiss at posting on here again. What's new? I realize that there are people who read on here that aren't on face book so I need to post here too. So just a couple of funny updates on the kids. At the beginning of the week Aidan had some kind of sickness that was making his stomach hurt (eventually he did throw up). All morning he kept lifting his shirt up and asking me for a new shirt because he thought that the shirt was making his stomach hurt. It was kind of sad.
It is hard to believe that we've not posted anything in over a month now! One cute story that's recently happened I would like to share. Aidan was eating dinner, sitting to my left. He started petting my arm (I guess he was feeling my hair) and he said, "Soft.". Yes, my son called my arm soft. Not the most hypermasculine of terms, I must say, but Amy had a good laugh, and that makes it worthwhile.
What a blessing it is to watch Aidan grow. He wants to be like me. What a challenge, therefore, to be the man of God that I am to be in order that he may see what the LORD desires of us so that we may honor Him together.
Background: I was telling my students they can't add "x" and "x squared" together because they're not like terms. I used the example that I can't add up my scrambled eggs and all my chickens to say that I then have more chickens then I did before (even though the eggs that I scramble do come from chickens originally). After the students on their own discussed chickens, eggs, and the like, a student seriously asked:
Aidan decided his bath time play would include a phone call from Agoo (Mike Ogle, his grandpa, Amy's dad). He even raised that sifter up to my head for me to say hello. Yeah, he's a cute kid with a good imagination already.
Now, Kate still prefers to crawl, mind you, but she can walk. She walked from the couch into the middle of the room today. I guess Amy says that she's already taken five strides in a row, but now I've seen it with my own eyes. She's still chicken, though, so she won't walk all the time. She'll get there. Just give her some more time.
These three ladies were just sitting there having a pow wow while the birthday boys were opening their presents. It was great to see everyone at the party. Amy and our kids could make it because the kids are all still sick. I had to represent the Adam Van Liew Clan by going in my family's stead. I had a good time while there. I had to leave early so I could finish grading and help get dinner together for the fam.