Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Can't wait to show more pics and tell you all stories of our great Halloween...but that'll have to wait till to excited for an extra hour of sleep!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Can you believe it? This month, Kate's Kart will have passed out it's 10,000 book. With 10 hospitals, we aren't sure exactly when or where it happened...but it did! Totally amazing. We thought we might celebrate a's worthy of celebrating I think.

So...we checked w/ the child-life specialist at Lutheran and asked her for a patient who she knew would be there. Together, we chose Austin...a 10 year old oncology patient, going through his 3rd round of chemo. We found out his interests and put the plan in motion.

So..last Monday, some volunteers and I go find Austin...take him some balloons and the complete set of Captain Underpants series (all 10 of them)...including a blow-up Captain Underpants himself! Austin was thrilled...the look on his face was priceless.

I could honestly say...that experience totally solidified why we do Kate's made the countless hours I put into Kate's Kart each week work SO WORTH WHILE. I know for a few moments...Austin forgot what was going on...and found joy in a cartoon hero who only wears a cape & his underwear.

So...totally cool story in itself...right! gets so much better. I'm talking with Austin...he mentions that his mom read Kate's mom's blog! Okay, I'm confused...I'm Kate's Mom...I don't' know Austin. We talk some more...find out where he is from...things start clicking! His mom is friends with one of my dearest friends, Deanna and through that connection, Austin's mom, Angie, began following my blog and praying for Kate during her hospital journey 2 years ago. Deanna...tells me about Austin a while ago via her blog and I have been praying for an Austin I never met and his journey w/ cancer. (are you following me?) And we are...celebrating our commemorative 10,000 book...and Austin is the kid randomly chosen.

What's so cool...with God, this was not random. I totally believe God in his amazing way of dealing with the small details of life orchestrated this whole thing. Isn't it cool how God has a way of bringing His people together. I LOVE IT!

Plus...the newspaper is doing an article on Kate's Kart and it's success over the past year and so we even had a photographer there. I will cherish these pics...always. You can see the link to the article HERE!

Oh yeah...and after our completely amazing book drive through Borders...we are now the chosen recipients of the Barnes & Noble Christmas Charity Project! Both stores in Ft. Wayne will be collecting books for us from Nov. 1 through January 1. Plus...we have another exciting project in the works...I'm telling you...we are so blessed!

We're in the paper

Click HERE to see a link to the latest publicity Kate's Kate is getting. I haven't even seen it in print yet...but they already have it online. I'm guessing it will be in today's paper.

It's a great article and sums up Kate's Kart really well in such a short amount of space...I'm particularly excited about the pic of Austin getting a book (not of me...but at least of the experience)....more on that story to come!

Kate's Kart is blessed....thanks to all of you!

Zoo Halloween

My Nascar driver and little piggy!

My mom won free tickets to the Zoo Halloween on the radio...they were busy this week and couldn't gave them to us! YEAH! It's another crazy week in the Layman house, so even though it was raining on Tuesday night...we loaded up the kids and umbrellas and headed to the zoo...only to find that they closed early! Something about the volunteers leaving early. I know it was raining...but not really THAT hard...just a drizzle. We were VERY disappointed.

Well...we had no other night to go as a daddy so graciously called his mom and she drove up for the day. She was my hero today! I had so much to do w/ Kate's Kart...she came up early and watched the kids while I got some work done! YEAH...for Grandma!
So..we get there to find a HUGE line..everyone else in Ft. Wayne wanted to come out on such a nice evening. We waited in line for over 30 minutes...only to find out that with our free passes, we could go right in! Oops! Oh well, It was a beautiful night to stand in, it's fun to see all the kids in costume, right?
We had a blast...seeing all the decorated pumpkins...getting candy...doing mazes. The only thing missing...daddy! And the poor guy was stuck at school doing parent/teacher conferences! We love you and missed you daddy!
Grandma and Seth w/ Bob & Larry

Grandma and her 2 boys!

Broomhilda, the friendly witch
My two little cutie-patooties!

This trick or treating is HARD work! He was zonked for the last 1/2
Thanks Nana & Oompa for the tickets...thanks Grandma for going with us! We are truly blessed with great parents for us and grandparents for our boys

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

17 Weeks

Wednesday, October 28
17 Weeks

At 17 weeks Grant...
...rubs his eyes when he is cute
...went on his first camping trip
(that's him in his carseat...just waiting for us to get ready to leave)

...slept in a pack n play for the first time (didn't sleep well...woke up several times each night)
...sat by the campfire
...doesn't really care for his tummy...has NO interest in lifting his head, he just sucks his fingers

...loves watching his brother do ANYTHING
...went to see Where the Wild Thing Are...and actually stayed awake for the whole thing. He was quite startled at the loud digital sound announcement at the beginning
...turns his music player/mobile on and off during the night w/ his feet
...can take his paci out of his mouth AND put it back in....sometimes!
...makes mommy smile EVERYDAY!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Camping

It was Andy's fall break the past few we took advantage of an extra long weekend and some extra generous parents and took my parent's RV and headed to Potato Creek State Park. We left Saturday morning, after Seth went to his evaluation for Upward Basketball.

We got there by lunchtime, set-up and spent the afternoon in the RV since it was pouring down rain. It didn't bother Seth one bit...he brought along his craft supplies and we all colored.
It cleared up later that day and we bundled up and took a walk around the campground. Several campsites were totally decked out for Halloween.

After playing on the playground...taking some bike rides...dinner in the RV.... and another walk to see the campground lit up...we called it a night.
Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful fall day. We took a long hike...played football...cooked hotdogs over the fire for lunch...more bike rides...more playground...watched a little Colts football (we were "roughing" it w/ our flat screen television)...played a little football...and then cooked Hobo dinners on the fire and of course...roasted marshmallows.

We awoke Monday to another glorious fall day...and the campground almost completely deserted. We enjoyed some time by the fire......loaded up the camper...drove to the Nature Center...took another hike...collected some leaves
...took a nap (at least 1 of us did)
...and found the most perfect spot for a outdoor picnic. Seriously, you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.

A quick stop for ice cream on the way home...and then proof...that it was a superb, tiring, weekend.

Grant was an excellent camper...he loved his stroller rides, Moby hikes and playing on the bed. Seth, of course loved every aspect of it...and Andy and I just enjoyed our boys and some time away! No computer...just a few quick phone calls to Nana & Oompa about the camper...and nothing that HAD to be was great! Even better....going to bed w/ the kids at 9:30! WOO HOO!
Thanks Nana & Oompa for trusting us w/ your brand new RV! We built some great family memories!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

16 Weeks

Wednesday, October 21
16 Weeks
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At 16 weeks, Grant....
--still has his mouth open all the time
--is beginning to suck on just a few fingers, instead of entire fist

--is in size 3 diapers
--rolled over from his back to tummy
--had his 3 month professional photo shoot (can't wait to show those pics)
--is getting quite good at manipulating spinning toys on his swing and exersaucer
--loves his exersaucer

--has been waking up at 6:30 for a quick mornign snack (fortunately, he'll go right back down)
--went to Grandmas....but didn't help with the raking
--can sit up momentarily, if propped between your legs
--giggles and giggles and giggles
--chews and chews and chews
--drools and drools and drools

(notice the line of drool and drool soaked shirt)
--attended his first carnival at Seth's school
--does 180s in his crib at night
--makes me smile EVERYDAY!

That time of the year

It's that time...when we head to Grandma's to help with the leaves. They are by NO means all the way down yet...but Andy, Seth, Grandma and Ted worked hard to get a good start this past Saturday. I tell you...that Seth is a WORKER! He worked for over 3 hours...raking and helping his daddy. What a blessing he is! he didn't work the WHOLE time

Sparky, the stray cat who now has a home at Grandma's, thanks to a lot of loving from a little boy everytime he visits

I somehow lucked out and got Grant duty...we stayed inside...did a little of this (at least he did)...a little eating and some browsing through catalogs. We did make a few quick trips outside to see the progress.

And...I met Ted's daughter' was nice to meet them before the wedding! Yep, Grandma is getting married. We are very happy for her and so glad she found a Godly man to share her life with.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

15 weeks

Wednesday, October 14
15 Weeksat 15 weeks Grant...

--giggles when you tickle him...especially under the chin, on the bottom of the foot or in the crease of the upper thigh
--is beginning to really hold his head up while on his tummy

--is grabbing at any and everything
--spent a morning with neighbor Bonnie while mommy went on a fieldtrip with brother

--took his first trip to the dentist with mommy & big brother
--plays with toys...holds on with both hands and puts to his mouth

--watched his cousins play at their church on Sunday
--wore a winter snowsuit to his cousin's soccer game
--was loved on by Grandma, Nana & Oompa all in one day
--pulls himself way up in the bouncy the point where it makes mommy nervous that he's going to plop out

--sat in the Bumbo seat for the first time...likes it for a few minutes at a time

--is doing better at falling asleep by himself when put in his crib for nap/bed time

--loves chewing on anything he finds to put in his mouth

--continues to bring us so much joy...really, we couldn't have asked for a better baby!

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, I went with Seth's preschool class to a local produce farm. It was a beautiful morning to be outside...exploring the sights and sounds and smells of a fall farm. His teacher did a great job...going over all the different types of fall produce...and then the best part was hiking out into the muddy field to pick their own pumpkin.

This one was so took Seth and his buddy, Nate, to hold it!

"Wow...look at this one!"

Seth and Mrs. Holley...snipping it right out of the field!

The final many to choose from!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Recap

Chalk up another great weekend....the highlights include:
Friday Night:

Seth and Andy went out for dinner and a movie...while mommy, 2 girlfriends and Grant scrapbooked. I'm really hoping to get back into the once-a-month scrapbooking schedule. Grant was not the most cooperative it really wasn't until he went down for the night at 10:00 that I really got in a groove. My friends left around 11:30...but I stayed up till 3! Yikes...yeah I paid for that one on Saturday! We had a lot of fun...and even had a new friend join us this time...she is actually a "pro" and works for a scrapbook company doing design work for them!
Saturday morning was the season end game for Upward Soccer. I just have to say...Seth was "ON FIRE!" I'm not bragging (okay, maybe I am) but he seriously had at least 8 goals! He would just keep taking the ball and shooting. He even passed many times to the other kids. I have seen so much improvement with him this year. He really enjoyed the year and is going to miss playing...but he wants to sign up for basketball which begins in December.

Grandma came up for the game...and we all went for breakfast after the game. Then...just some relaxing, playing and a little yardwork before heading back for the Season End Celebration. The Upward Crew did a great job organizing a night of fun for the kids...they ended it all with a really good firework display. I was impressed. It was a little (okay, a lot) on the freezing side...but we made it...and were glad to have left Grant w/ Nana & Oompa.

Sunday morning we visited my brother's church to watch him and his 2 sons, Elijah and Lucas play. Elijah played the drums, Doug sang and played mandolin and 6 year old Lucas stood on chair and played upright bass. They did great...maybe I can get a video. Then...lunch and playtime at their house before coming home and watching a lot of football.

Grant and Nia played too...but as you can see...Grant STILL isn't sure about Nia. Remember THIS traumatic experience 6 weeks ago? I love the look on his face..."why does she keep touching me?"

And before you know it...the weekends comes another week!