Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thanks for the Encouragement

THANK YOU to those of you who have given me encouragement on my last Sunday with my beloved team.  It's been a difficult process to leave after 10+ years . . . the team started as one child with Autism and me, and now we have four classrooms (each with excellent leaders and volunteers who know and love those kids), each of which has between 4 and 7 regularly attending students.  I love each and every volunteer like family members - because really, they are my family members, even if they're not biological.  We have weathered storms together and celebrated joys together.  And I will miss them.  Thanks to those of you who have been praying for the transition to be seamless and for me to navigate cautiously through saying the right things and doing what's best for the team.  God enabled me to finish well.

I got some great cards and hugs.  My favorite cards were from student volunteers (one is 11, one 15) who told me that I have been a great role model for them.  The 15 year-old wrote that she hopes to do something as amazing with her life as what I'm doing  WOW.  I pray that God uses each one of these volunteers to keep reaching kids for Jesus and blessing families!

And now some cute kitties . . . it's still chilly here, so the babies are doing a lot of very cute snuggling!

Though hanging out in the sun is nice, too.

Baltazar and Bjarne are even sleeping closer together than usual.

Though Baltazar found a sunny spot, high atop the pile of pillows in the guest bedroom!

And Claude found a stack of freshly-washed towels.  She looks like a queen!

Allistair enjoys sleeping with all his paws in the air!  (This gives me a chance to kiss his soft belly!)

When he sits up tall, his tail swoops around!  Very elegant!

Juildeen came over on Friday and we made chocolate-chip-raisin cookies (by her request - I wanted to make Christmassy cookies, but she had a strong opinion on the matter)!  Allistair kept getting on the counter, which Juildeen thought was hilarious.  And then he stole Juildeen's shoe.  She said, "Allistair, bring back the shoe!  That's MINE!"  Great memories.

A couple of days ago, Allistair was sleepy and chilly, and he climbed up on the couch and just plopped himself down on top of Baltazar.

My brother made up a word when we were little: "put-up-a-tive".  It means tolerant.  Baltazar is exemplifying that quality here!!! 

Last night our friends Joe and Laurie (Mark, this is the Joe that worked in the lab with you at the U of MN - he lives less than a mile from us now!) took us to see some Christmas lights and displays we hadn't seen before.  There's a neighborhood that strings lights from house to house across the street!  The picture below shows how many people were there and you can see Santa's sleigh and reindeer crossing above the street.

Then there was a family that transformed their backyard into a walk of remembrance type of thing . . . there were stations with beautiful paintings, music, and recorded audio, telling the history behind Jesus' birth and the reason for His coming to Earth.  It was moving and very beautiful.  I found it especially touching when small children would say, "Look!  It's Jesus!" and point, all excited, for their siblings or parents.

Piles of cats:

More piles of cats - the little ones seem to think the big ones are pillows!

Allistair does the cutest face-washing!

Face-Washing, Part Two

A secret hiding under the blankie!

Another secret!!!
And one last photo that just made me happy because I am a science-fiction girl through-and-through!  (Though I don't love Pez - I prefer Sweet Tarts or cinnamon or butterscotch flavors!)

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