Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gluten Free Cookie Swap

We had our very first gluten free cookie swap at our house this year. It is something we hope to do every year with the families from the R.O.C.K. group.

This year we had five families participate. It was mostly moms with children under the age of 7, but we did have one brave 12 year old come out for the fun as well.

What a blast...as you can see Ethan was elbow deep in frosting! One mom brought along all the toppings and ingredients necessary for cookie decorating. All gluten free of course, but the look on these kids little faces when they were told that EVERYTHING on the table was for them to eat...was priceless. It's a wonderful site to see such happiness on the faces of such little children over something that most of us would take for granted.

How many parties have you gone to where you looked at the table and wondered what up there was okay for you to eat? How many parties have you gone to where you wondered if what you did just eat would make you sick later? That's what these little kids (and adults) have to do everywhere they go. Except for this cookie swap. Granted we had food coloring to clean up, cookie toppings all over the floor, and 5 or 6 kids running off all of that sugar later, but it was well worth it.

One mom even brought gluten free pizza in real pizza boxes. I have to say I was thrilled to see a real pizza box in my house with pizza that we could all eat. AND the best part is this pizza was delicious the morning after as well. (I love a yummy slice of cold pizza in the morning!)

The cookies were all delicious as well, and the kids were just overwhelmed by so much yumminess within their reach. Mike and I were so happy to have held this party for not only these families, but for our children as well. Ethan and Josh had a blast, (although Josh missed the cookie decorating as it was way past his bedtime) as they were the only little boys running around with a bunch of girls. We look forward to doing more of these types of get togethers for everyone within our group. It was a wonderful way for us, the parents, to be able to compare notes on our children's health, discuss what has and hasn't worked for food ideas, and just share with each other our fears of how the outside world perceives our children with this disease. (For example schools, families, friends etc.) We know we can't put them in a bubble and protect them forever, but wouldn't it be nice?? :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy 4th Birthday Ethan!!

Yes, I know, not the picture of 4 year old happiness and bliss...but as any of you know who have or had 4 year olds...it isn't always easy to get a good picture these days. Needless to say, he was all smiles after the picture!

Oh my little...I'm sorry...BIG guy has become a 4 year old. Mike and I cannot believe 4 years have passed, today, since we brought this monkey into the world!! :) We would never have guessed four years ago that we would be celebrating his birthday in John Deere style. We would never have guessed that this would be the first birthday that we celebrated completely gluten free. We're so happy though, that we've made it this far and are capable of providing him with such a wonderful day. He kept saying throughout the day how happy he was. Of course that was just before and after saying, "when will everyone get here so I can blow out the candles and eat my cake??"

For you see, this is the first cake Ethan has been able to consume after blowing out the candles. Every party we've been too, (except for his friend Zachary's a fellow Celiac) we've brought gluten free cupcakes with us so that Ethan can "have his cake and eat it too!" Never has he complained about it. He doesn't even ask to eat the "other cake" because we are always prepared. I can't tell you the level of excitement on this little guys face when he saw his gluten free cake. He talked about it all week and even mentioned a couple of times that he wanted to share it with all of his friends because he could. He just stared at this cake from the moment it arrived. No, I didn't make it. I used to make the kids cakes, and loved every minute of it. But since I found this wonderful woman through our church know as "The Cake Lady", we've had her make our cakes. This was her first gluten free cake and she was more than willing to make it specifically as it needed to be made. It was delicious.

Everything on the table was 100% gluten free. We had meatballs, chicken wings, chips and salsa, a spinach and artichoke dip, and a veggie plate. It was so nice for me to not have to worry every time I saw my children chewing on something I didn't give them. Especially with so many people around. I have to say though, that just about everyone that was present I would trust my children's diet to anyway...but I digress.

Needless to say, it was a John Deere/Thomas the Tank Engine birthday. Ethan's two passions together in one party, he didn't know which gift to play with first. I have to say that Pepe's gift was a big hit...a rather large John Deere wagon. Ethan insists that the weather is just fine to take it for a little walk outside. I insist it won't happen unless we get chains for the wheels so it can handle the snow, or Mommy is the one that gets inside for a ride!!

He just loved every gift he received so much, that he ran off wanting to play with it, not realizing he still had more gifts to open. I have to say though that I was very proud of the way he did gifts this year. Mike and I had discussed that we really wanted to make sure he slowed down, opened cards, and took the time to thank the people he received the gift from. It worked! He just enjoyed every minute of it, and that night when he went to bed I asked him what the very best part of the day was and he told me "all of it, especially the cake!"

Happy Birthday to you our little man! We love you!