Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#14

Kart #14 is now rolling down the halls of Kosciusko Community Hospital. It's always so much fun to get a new kart going. Okay, maybe not for Andy as he was on "chase Grant around the lobby" duty. We loaded up the kart...took a few pics and went over specifics with the nursing staff. They were SO excited to have it available in their community. It was a special treat because our buddy Austin (and his brother) were there. Austin was our 10,000th recipient of a Kate's Kart book....He has become one of our favorite patients from Lutheran...as he has battled and conquered (again) cancer. He has spearheaded a book collection at his school in Warsaw for 2 years now...so we thought it was only appropriate to invite him to our "opening ceremony" when the Kart started in his hometown. It's hard to believe...we just continue to grow and grow. After every new hospital...our conversation is always: "How far is this going to go?" It's already way surpassed any thoughts we had. This Kart was donated by Sonrise at Aboite Kids Ministry. It's ways so fun to see how the whole community gets involved. Another special day for Kate's Kart...and our family. Just amazing! Celebrated with dinner at O'Charleys and a family night at home!

Wordless Wednesday


Mommy Seth Date

A couple weeks ago my friend, Shannon, was giving away 2 tickets to see Madagascar Live! on her blog. I thought, I never win, but hey, it's worth a shot! Well, I didn't win, but the girl who did evidently couldn't go, so we won the 2nd time around. Thanks to Grandma & Ted for coming to watch Grant because it just happened to be Andy's academic competition and he wouldn't be home till 9:30...we were set to go. I never told him we were going. I teased him all day on Tuesday...playing the Black Eyed Peas song, "I've got a feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night". He knew something was up. When Grandma & Ted arrived...he really began to wonder. I told him we were going to do a Kate's Kart presentation (he wasn't too excited) We did stop at the shed...picked up some books...and then I couldn't keep it a secret any longer. I told him I had tickets and the Garman. He looked at the tickets and figured it out...but when I told him it was in Indy...his smile got even bigger. We made a detour in Muncie and dropped off those said books at Ball Memorial. Then...I took him on a driving tour of my alma mater. He had never seen a college campus before...so he had lots of questions. He informed me he was going to major in basketball! Okay then! On to Indy...he had pick of dinner....his choice: Penn Station! Bonus....kids eat free on Tuesdays. Then on to the theatre...he's there....in the blue coat. Nice timing officer! We had great seats...26 rows back in the center. It wasn't quite full...but it was loud! Kids everywhere...wanting this...wining about that. Our timing worked out great...we only waited about 10 minutes...enough for 2 shots.


During the show...all the kids got lemur glasses and were encouraged to wear them...during "I like to move it, move it!



The staging was creative...the costumes cute...the backgrounds were so colorful...the music so upbeat. It may have been meant for kids...but this grown-up loved it too.




And of course...you can't have an official date with out going out for a treat! We stopped at Cold Stone Creamery on our way out of Indy. It was about 9:45...I felt like such the "bad" mom...getting looks like: Why is your kid out so late?....well...if you only knew the night we had.


The drive home was better than I thought...after an early morning wake up call from my other son...I was worried I'd be stopping a bunch. Seth stayed awake for about 1/2 the drive...we chatted...he watched some of Madagascar the movie. After he fell asleep...I just sang to the radio and played that old standby: Find the letters of the alphabet on roadsigns. That darn q...kept me alert and before I knew it...The quik mart had a sign and we passed Pizza Hut at Coventry.


Gee, I love this little guy. When we got home, he was dead tired...I put him in his jammies...gave him a hug...a kiss and said I had a really good time. His reply: So did I...and he was OUT...and I knew we built a memory that night.


Thanks Andy...thanks Grandma & Ted...thanks Shannon!


BTW...Madagascar LIVE is coming to Ft. Wayne next week...I highly recommend it...maybe have a date night of your own...minus the drive and gas tank fill-up!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kate's Kart Frenzy

It's been a bit of a Kate's Kart frenzy the past few weeks.

--Whispering Meadows Elementary! Did my presentation for one class and then the school librarian did it 17 more times to each one of the classes. (WOW!) Then...a week later I went back and went on a $1000 shopping spree at their book fair. It was so much fun...then, we went back and gave Popsicles to the winning class and had that 4th grade class label all the books.
Seth and Nate helping me shop

--Eel River Elementary! Spoke at their River Rally to the whole school a couple weeks ago and then got to go back to their book fair this past Friday and spend another $1000 that their school raised.
My #1 label-puter-oner!

--Perry Hill Elementary! Spoke at their school-wide Cougar Celebration yesterday...which just happens to be Seth's school! They are kicking off a book/fund drive over the next 2 weeks.

--Psi Iota Xi! Spoke today at a spring luncheon and fashion show given by the philanthropic sorority. It was amazing. Each of the 20 tables had a centerpiece of books tied with ribbon. Plus..there were at least 25 gift baskets that were given away in a raffle. All the proceeds will
come to Kate's Kart. It was just a fun way to spend a few hours this afternoon with a bunch of caring/giving women.

the book centerpieces...so springy and beautiful I hated to unwrap them

--Warsaw! Kart #14 is painted and we are set to get it started at Kosciusko Community Hospital on Wednesday.

Plus...another sorority is writing a grant for a few more Karts...Aboite Elementary raised some serious cash with a read-a-thon (like $2700 I think)...new volunteers being trained all the time...Volunteer Handbook being printed...Canterbury Students utilizing some of our educational books to read to inner-city children...Grant proposals need to be written...we're growing to the point that we need to find insurance coverage...tubs of books need be put away in the storage unit...Ice Cream Social is being planned...11 quilters are making covers for our Karts...I'm meeting strangers in parking lots to pick up books that their family donated in honor of their twin's 1st birthday....It's just busy!

But I tell you...when I walk into Seth's school and their is a GIANT (and I mean GIANT) poster hanging on the wall with Kate's picture on it...I have to stop and take a deep breath. When I walk into a large banquet room and see 20 tables with a table topper with the Kate's Kart logo on it...I have to stop and take a deep breath. I know I say it all the time...but really, right now I'm just overwhelmed at the growth. I'm still in shock that I continually get the opportunity to share Kate's story...to share our dream...to share the success.
People are so giving...and so generous. It truly amazes me at the team of volunteers that have and continue to give their time to our little idea in memory of our little girl.
Some days...those 18 months with Kate seem like a dream...Some days...the phenomenon that Kate's Kart is becoming seems like a dream. Truly I feel speechless.
I believe God has a "plan" for our lives...He promised us that in Jeremiah 29:11. He surprised me when he called me into youth ministry years ago...and HE has totally overwhelmed me with this ministry called Kate's Kart. No...I don't like the way and reason it got started...and I would trade it all to have her back...BUT...wow...He has done some amazing things...and through Kate's Kart...I rest assured that my future is filled with hope. And you know what...talking about my little princess everyday...and sharing her picture and story with thousands of people...isn't so bad either!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Those sneaky leprachauns

The leprechauns visited our house today! They made a mess of it...but left some things behind!

Seth was pretty excited about all the football cards laying all around.

All Grant knew was that there were suckers laying all over the floor


It all started when the boy I babysit for told Seth that leprechauns visit his house...make a mess and leave behind some treats. I had never heard of such a thing...but evidently this happens in other people's houses as well. Well, of course Seth caught on to this and today asked if the leprechauns were going to come? I said probably not, because they have never come before! Well....I emailed Andy...told him to stop at the store on the way home and mess up the house when he got home...and that we would be at the neighbors playing.

All day...Seth kept asking if they were coming. I played it up when we left to go outside and locked all the doors so they couldn't get in!

He was so surprised when get got back to the house! "They came!" Grant...well, he was just excited about the suckers.

It was a glorious day...we spent from 1-3 and 3:30-5 outside. It was beautiful..no coats...kids out playing in the neighborhood! But I can say...it does make getting the laundry done a little more difficult.

This afternoon, Seth and his 2 friends were playing and we took a break and had some rainbow cupcakes! I had made them yesterday and they were a lot of fun...a little time consuming (especially when I had to beg from 2 neighbors, one for an egg and one for red food coloring)...but a fun treat for St. Paddy's day.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Somebody's Growing Up

It's been wiggling...we've been wiggling it...and tonight I knew it was close! I put him to bed and said it would probably come out tomorrow! He asked..."what if it comes out tonight?" I said, "Then, and only then you can come downstairs." Not 5 minutes later...I heard him bounding down the stairs!






Hope that Tooth Fairy has some money tonight!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Post

So it's time for my weekly post...I say it all the time, but I do have great intentions of blogging more often...it just doesn't happen. Mainly cause I don't feel much is happening...just living life. Here's a few pics I found on my camera for the week:

We celebrated Dr. Suess's birthday way back on the 2nd with green eggs and ham for dinner!
I do not like them, Seth I am!

(Actually, it was a big hit...except the fried potatoes!)

This past week has been a rough one for the Granster! Monday it was obvious that he was NOT FEELING WELL! He was pretty lethargic Mon-Wed. Basically, he laid on the couch and watched cartoons. He had a fever, was throwing up, not eating, coughing...and just plain worn out! On Wednesday morning he woke up and his breathing was really labored. I called the doc, he got him in and we got a diagnosis of pneumonia. Poor little guy! Fortunately, we caught it early and were able to treat at home with some antibiotics. By Thursday he was feeling much better....in fact I found him at the breakfast table eating Seth's left over cereal.

And...this week he really grew up...NO MORE HIGH CHAIR! He loves sitting at the table with the rest of the family. He loves it! Can't believe that the high chair will be going away!
So, it's been a quiet week since we've been home with Grant. We rented a few movies and just relaxed at home...it was actually quite nice.

I started my spring cleaning today! I decided to tackle one room at a time (probably during naptime) Today...I started easy with the living room cause it was time to take down the snowmen! And...we found 1 paci, 3 miscellaneous socks, 2 silly bands, a matchbox car and 27 rubberbands from the newspaper. My goal is to clean all woodwork...move all furniture and sweep...and DECLUTTER! It wasn't too bad today...but when it comes to the kitchen...playroom...UCHCH!!! I can't imagine the treasures we'll find. I'm just not going to think about the fact that by the time I am done...it'll be time to start all over again!


Tonight we had my parents over for dinner...to celebrate my dad's birthday. We were making an ice cream pie...Grant woke up and I went upstairs to get him...and found this when I returned!



We were making an oreo crust...he basically stuck his whole face inside the bag we crushed the oreos in digging for crumbs! Crazy kid!

Happy Birthday Oompa!


Oreo crust..chocolate ice cream with Reese Cups added...with hot fudge! CHOCOLATE OVERLOAD!

I did squeeze in 2 Kate's Kart presentations this week...it's unbelievable the community support we are receiving! It's so cool. And..plans are underway for our 3rd annual ice cream social...mark your calendar for June 18!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life in the Fast Lane

Wow...2 more weeks have gone by without an update on the life of the Laymans! ( I know all 5 of you are on the edge of your seat waiting to hear from us) You would think with 4 snow days 2 weeks ago, I would have had time...but maybe not...as EVERYONE was home and routine went out the window.

So, once again...a highlight of the last 2 weeks.

And how bout this cutie! He is growing so fast...he is busting out of his onesies!


Seth and I have been playing Scrabble. He saw me playing on the computer...so he wanted to play. I helped him out a little (okay, maybe a lot) but he quickly got the hang of it. What a great way to spend some time together during nap time for Grant...doing math, reading, dictionary skills...and some bonding!

We got Kart #14 primed and ready to be painted! Kate's Kart is headed to Warsaw to Kosciusko Community Hospital. It's hard to believe!



Seth had his last Upward b-ball game of the year! Wow...those 2 months went fast. He had a super game and really showed a lot of improvement. We're really proud of our little super-shooter!


Even Nana and Oompa got a snow day on Friday the 25th ...they brought lunch over and then watched Grant while Andy, Seth and I went sledding. It was warming up quickly and the snow was quickly melting...but we still had a few good rides


--got our taxes done! Can we all say REFUND!! YEAH! We're planning to use part of it to re-do the nursery into a BIG BIG boy room for Seth. Grant will move into the BIG boy room (Seths) Not sure if I'm ready to not have a crib...but my boys are growing up! And since Grant can climb out of it...guess that means he is ready for a bed!
--had a fun family Friday night at the Y and then with pizza (or Subway), movie and popcorn!
--watched Inseption...wow...that was deep and confusing...and the end really really bothered me! (Wow, I've seen like 3 Oscar nominated movies this year...that's a record)
--spent an afternoon with Grandma & Ted
--spent a night in Indy with my highschool friends and their families
Life is busy...but good!

Indy Weekend...Plan B

Last weekend, we went to Indy on Saturday to meet up with 3 of my high school friends and their families (unfortunately, Kar & Jeff from Michigan couldn't make it). So...we gather from South Bend, Ft. Wayne and Cincinnati, only to discover we had a major mix-up with the hotel...at the waterpark! Yep, we had planned on spending the next 2 days at the indoor waterpark. Well...when the hotel booked us in the executive suites, with no kids allowed and no waterpark passes...we had to a make a new plan and fast! There was NO room in the Inn nor in the waterpark (as it was sold-out).

So...picture 8 adults and 10 disappointed kids standing in a hotel lobby making plan B! We had phones searching the Internet and a bunch of us crammed into a tiny closet where there was a computer. We found a hotel on the north side of town with suite rooms and a pool! So...we headed to the new hotel, checked in and headed to the pool. Not quite as nice as a waterpark...but really, the kids didn't seem to care. Then...off to Culvers for dinner and then back to the hotel for games and chatting in the lobby. It turned out okay...and the kids seemed to have a fun time. The adults had a fun time too...chatting and playing games as well...and then 3 of the 4 moms got a chance for some girl-talk after everyone else went to bed!

Then...after indulging in the free breakfast buffet...and a vote...we ended up a the children's Museum in Indy. It wasn't very crowded and ended up being a fun day. We hadn't been since Grant has been mobile...he loved it! What kid wouldn't love that place. After a full day...we all said our goodbyes and headed in all directions back home. Overall...I think things worked out for the best...what fun would the waterpark have been when it was sold out? (We heard there was a 1.5 hour wait for the slides! YUCK!) The best part was that we all got together...we got some (not nearly enough) time to chat and catch-up and the kids had a blast! You know...there is just something about those friends you've had for 25+ years. And right here would be the perfect place for a pic of all us...but I failed in that area....all I got was one of all of the kids.


and of course...some of my cutie-patooties! Seth in the dinosphere


Digging in the dinosaur pit! I found it interesting that every 2 months they re-cover this fossil with a mix of stone, tire and glue. The kids do all the digging. Once the whole thing is dug out...they completely cover it up again and a new round of kids starting digging!

We were running out of time...so I took Grant to the playscape and Andy and Seth toured some other areas. Grant absolutely LOVED every part of this place. Imagine a room as big as a gym with activities geared for 1-2 year olds. He would play in the water...then cry when I took him out to go to the sand area...where he would cry when I took him out to go to the climbing area. Guess the little guy just couldn't figure out that there was SO much for him to do! It was 3:00 in the afternoon, with NO NAP...and he was going strong!




Choo Choo! Trains are quickly becoming one of Grant's favorites!


So much to do...so many toys...so much fun!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

20 Months

Tuesday, March 1
20 Months

At 20 months Grant:
--will try and repeat words...he's almost like a parrot. It is so cool to see how much his vocabulary has exploded
--most used words include: stuck, all done, all gone, cookie,juice, i did it, there it is
--is going to be one of those kids who wants to be outside all the time
--loves loves loves books--he loves looking at picture books...especially ones with flaps and touch and feel. We can't put him down without reading to him.
--is starting a new fashion trend--which includes the onesie hanging out, because you are growing too fast and keep popping the snaps
--is still mesmerized by Yo Gabba Gabba and the Wiggles
--when he wakes up...he is UP...even if it is 4:00 in the morning. He loves to watch cartoons in the morning
--mimics Seth...whatever Seth does, Grant does. "Monkey See...Monkey Do"
--puts himself in time-out. We've put Grant in time-out a few times and obviously, Seth has been there. Recently, if I say "no" in a very firm voice, he'll go and sit in the time-out chair. It's hilarious...he just sits there for a minute or so and then gets up and goes about his business
--loves playing basketball at the Y with his brother...he bounces and chases the ball all over the gym
--is learning to drink out of a regular cup...it just can't be real full!
--loved the playscape at the Children's Museum..he could have played all day in there
--still loves climbing on people...especially their heads
--is one of our special little Valentine's
.