Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year - 2010 In Retrospect

As I consider our journey this year, I am reminded that it is good to see the world with eternity in mind. As I continue to wait for our CHRISTMAS cards to arrive (due to a delay in shipping from the printer to us,) I realize that we spend so much time worrying about unimportant and temporal things. Our Christmas wishes will have the same spirit, sentiment and impact after Christmas as they would have had before December 25th. I have also been reminded this year that it is refreshing to see the world through the eyes of a child, in this case, our energetic toddler Patrick! Here are a few of our 2010 family highlights:

February - Patrick "officially" became a Turner as we headed to the Superior court of Orange County to finish the legal portion of his adoption. We were thankful to have friends and family members present for the festivities (see the "It's Official" post from February 11, 2010 for details.) And although this was not a big change for us, as Patrick has been integrated into our family from his first day of life, it was a touching and meaningful ceremony as the State of California declared that Patrick now had all the rights and privileges of a biological heir in the eyes of the law. Praise God for His abundant provision!

May - We packed up our little boy, bags, car seat, snacks, toys, and beach clothes and headed to Edisto Beach, South Carolina for a week on the Atlantic Ocean with Jim's parents, younger siblings, spouses, and 4 "little cousins." The kids and adults alike had a spectacular time, and we enjoyed our time of R & R together on the sand.

August - Jim's sister Julie delivered Patrick's newest cousin Dean Robert Collins and we all rejoiced! We can't wait to meet Baby Dean in person on our next Turner family get together in 2011. Patrick, Jim and I also started Gymboree classes together (directed play on structures and gym mats designed to help kids improve motor, verbal, and social skills.) We did these classes 3 times a week for 4 months and were amazed at Patrick's development through the guided activities.

October - We celebrated Patrick's 2nd birthday with a Thomas the Tank Engine party at a local park. Many friends (and kids!) were on hand for this joyous event, and Patrick had a BALL with the balloons, gifts, and all things Thomas! We also enjoyed visiting Patrick's Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) in Arizona later in the month. Patrick was a literal "chatterbox" on the car trip and in AZ, and we loved sharing his joy and energy with our family out west.

December - A week after Thanksgiving we flew to Denver and spent 6 days in the snow with Jim's parents in Beaver Creek, a lovely ski resort near Vail, Colorado. Patrick had his first "ski" experience (although Daddy did all the work,) and we continued to build lasting family memories of the snow in Beaver Creek, whose slogan is "Not Exactly Roughing It." Not exactly, indeed! :) The highlight was a snow day near the end of our trip when we skied, strolled, and played in the snow with complete abandon! Patrick was in snow-induced heaven, and we had a fun time sharing quality time with Nana & Papa.

We celebrated Christmas quietly at home and church and were able to reflect upon the significant connection between the Baby in the Manger and the Savior on the Cross. We pray that 2011 finds you earnestly seeking Him as we continue to live our lives in service of the One who loved us enough to send His Son to earth to sacrifice Himself on our behalf.

Happy New Year to All, and To All a Good Night . . .

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

A wonderful intersection of Biagi, Handel, and lots of pictures of Patrick and the presents. Thanks to all the friends and family that were a part of our Christmas.

Christmas 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The homeless perspective

Today I had the privilege of donating clothes to a wonderful organization. The organization is Children Today in Long Beach. The mission of Children Today is to provide community based services to children and families experiencing homelessness, fostering long-term family stability and success. The service that I saw today was the Play House in West Long Beach. In the early 1990's I worked with inner city kids in Long Beach so I know most all of the areas and I can tell you that this is a perfect spot for the facility but not a place where the typical Orange County person would find themselves. The Play House is a place for kids of homeless parents to enjoy time eating, playing, doing art projects, playing in the park and on a play structure all in the comfort and safety of the facility while the parents work on finding permanent housing, jobs, etc.

As I toured the facility after dropping off the clothes that the Turner's, Donaldson's and Faulk's had donated I asked myself the question, "What is the difference between Patrick and these kids?" The answer was, absolutely nothing. The economic circumstances differ and the culture is different but the reality is that kids during the early years know nothing of these things. They just want comfort, love and stability. That is what Children Today helps provide. As I saw the kids at the facility I just wanted to stop and play with them and be a part of their life, but alas a work day awaited me.

So what can we do? How can we be a part of the solution? The answer is "it's all about the clothes." Homeless Moms and Dads do not always have clean clothes for their kids and as the kids play the clothes often become dirty. Sometimes accidents happen (as every parent is well aware) that cause the clothes to become soiled. At these times Children Today can offer the kids a new set of clothes from the ones that have been donated. These clothes are a gift to the kids and the parents and nothing is expected in return. So therefore there is a constant need for clothes for the kids (ages 6 months to 6 years)

What are you doing with the clothes that your kid has outgrown? Goodwill, closet storage, etc.? If you are reading this and are in Orange County, please help me help the kids who need it the most. I will pick up your old clothes and deliver them to the Play House and together we can be a part of the solution. Just leave a comment or a Facebook message at any time.

For the kids


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Epic Adventure

I find it useful to catalog the adventures of Patrick and this one was no exception. It was a wonderful experience showing Patrick the snow and giving him his first taste of skiing. Based on the feedback from Patrick I think we have a ski bum on our hands. The epic adventure is now complete

BeaverCreekDec2010 The Epic Adventure from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Night Time at the Snow

It is fun showing Patrick new experiences. We finally got to introduce him to falling snow (white rain as we call it). We continue to wonder what goes through his mind with these new experiences but something are better not known
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Word Cup Birds of Prey 2010

In addition to enjoying Beaver Creek we got to see the Birds of Prey World Cup skiing race. This was an added bonus to our trip. Who knows? Maybe Patrick will like skiing that much in a few years!!

Beaver Creek Birds of Prey World Cup 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skiing Time

It is well know that I love skiing and despite not having skied for 5 years I was still excited about going up to the mountain. Especially because this year we got to expose Patrick to the joys of coming down the mountain and enjoying the snow. Day 1 is complete so enjoy the video


Beaver Creek Dec 2010 from Jim Turner on Vimeo.