Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sleeping Beauties

Ryan and I check on Evan and Makenna each night before we go to sleep. There is something so beautiful about how relaxed and peaceful children are at night.

Makenna is a super light sleeper so getting pictures of her sleeping was a miracle. She usually stirs or wakes up when the door opens. The little ballerina monkey in this picture is the snuggly toy Makenna loves sleeping with each night. Even when she rolls around or tosses and turns in her crib, she takes the little monkey with her!

Evan likes to sleep at the end of his crib. He’s getting so long that many nights we’ll find his legs (up to his knees) hanging out the side! During a nap the other day, I caught him sleeping with his legs tucked under him and his butt up in the air–like he did when he was a baby.

Denver Children’s Museum

A friend raved about the Denver Children’s Museum which made me put it on the list of places to take Evan. We got to go last week with the Estevez family. Evan had a blast climbing all over a fire truck, going shopping at a mini Whole Foods (they even had cash register and credit card swipe thing for a child to play the “cashier” role), dressing up as a squirrel and a bunny, and hanging out in their pretend vet area.

If you live in the Denver area, have kids, and haven’t gone, you need to check it out! We can’t wait to go back, especially because the Bubble room was closed this time and because Ryan wasn’t along and there’s a construction/building section that we know he’d love! Family memberships are tax deductible and if you sign up the same day you go the first time, they deduct that day’s admission from your membership.

Evan’s Fun in the Backyard

Evan loves spending time in our backyard. He feels so proud of himself when he helps his dad rake and mow the lawn.

One of Evan’s birthday gifts this year was a water/sand table. As he loves to play with water anytime he can, he’s enamored with this! Evan spends hours playing out here and we haven’t even added sand to the other side yet.

Three Year Old Evan

The longer I know Evan, the more I adore the little person he is! He has such a sweet heart and cracks me up on a daily basis. Here’s what he’s up to as a three year old:

*He gets incentives for eating well. The incentives are anything from playing with special toys to getting extra books read to him at bedtime to being able to use scissors. The one he’s been picking the most is “tickle time.” Tickle time is five minutes of someone tickling him—it could be Mom, Dad, or on occasion a “guest tickler” (i.e. Shannon and Doug). Additionally, he also LOVES having his back or arms rubbed. Despite how anti-snuggle he was when he was a baby, this boy now craves physical contact!

*Evan continues to be an awesome older brother. He treats Makenna with extreme gentleness and care. And if Ryan or I don’t respond to Makenna quickly enough in his opinion, Evan lets us know it! Evan can make Makenna smile and laugh when no one else can. We just heard a story of how Makenna was crying in a car ride from the Springs to Denver and when the adult looked back when it got quiet, she found Evan and Makenna both sleeping and Evan was holding Makenna’s hand.

*He’s jabbering up a storm. While past professionals have had concerns about how short his sentences/phrases used to be, I don’t think that’s a concern any longer! He’s also moved on from saying “No” to most things and now says “okay.” So much easier to work with…

*Evan has sporadic fears of bears (teddy bears included). One of them that used to be in his room was banned to the basement, but he still brings up concerns that the bear is going to come up and get him. Despite these fears, he also wants to see the bears sometimes.

*He prefers to have his door open at night and enjoys taking off the sheet of his crib and his pajamas. He can put his pajamas back on himself, the sheets not so much. Evan has also managed to climb INTO his crib but has not figured out how to climb out of it just yet. We’re thankful for this and will keep him in the crib for a bit longer.

*Favorite toys: anything to do with trucks, cars or buses, a sand/water plastic table on our deck, plastic yard tools (shovels, rakes, buckets, etc.), an electric toy screwdriver, and a wooden pizza set.

You Make Beautiful Things…

I first heard this song at Journey Church in Centennial. Since then I found the music video on YouTube, love the video too! How amazing that God can make beautiful things out of dust…this hope, this belief is why I know that God is doing mighty things in some of the hard times we’ve had as a family and know that God can do mighty things in the lives of the teenagers I’ve worked with! He can redeem and use any situation for His glory!

All this pain, I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all

All this earth, could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around, hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Beautiful Things by The Michael Gungor Band.
Filmed by @ledango

Resources (Couponing & Children’s Medical Issues)

I always love to share resources that have helped me with others. Since we’ve embarked on this journey with Evan, our medical expenses have sky rocketed, even with health insurance, so I’ve been looking for ways to save money.

Enter couponing! Now that I’ve been at it for a few months, I’m amazed at how much you can save by purchasing something on sale, plus a coupon (and if you’re lucky, you can stack a sale, a store coupon, and a manufacturer coupon!). It makes me sick to think how much money I “wasted” before by paying full price for things! Two websites that have been integral to my couponing hobby are:

Briefly, the Krazy Coupon Lady explains how to start couponing, the difference between proactive vs. reactive shopping, how to “stack” deals, and gives you daily and weekly updates for the major stores. The Coupon Mom website allows you to locate your local grocery or multipurpose store and match the current sales with coupons. I tend to use Krazy Coupon Lady much more, but have friends who swear by the second website.

Additionally, a friend just sent me an email with some resources to help us with Evan’s medical and feeding therapy expenses. Thought I’d pass the information along in case anyone else out there is in the same boat:

United Health Care Children’s Foundation offers medical assistance grants (up to $5,000) to parents to cover medical services to improve the quality of life of children. These grants can cover such things as different types of therapy & other medical necessities & kids have to be covered by a commercial health plan. For more information, check out their website:

There are details about financial eligibility requirements on their website. For example, for our family of four, we have to have a gross annual income of $100,000 or less to be considered for the grant. There is also a requirement that the service(s) you want them to pay for were done within sixty days of your application, if they’ve already happened. We won’t be able to get grant money for Evan’s surgery in February but might be able to get help paying for his feeding therapy in the future.

A second resource Tina mentioned was the Disabled Children’s Relief Fund. She said that they focus attention on children who need more care than what their insurance provides. I haven’t looked into this resource yet but plan to later this week. Their website is: