Project Advent, Day 21: Cookies for Carillon


I stayed up last night until far too late, playing Skyrim.  Today has been pretty non-stop action, too.  We actually completed today's service pretty early in the day, but I'm sitting here now, struggling to keep my eyes open long enough to tell you about it!  If this isn't quite as interesting an entry as usual, chalk it up to sleepiness.

Blake and Ava are out of school now, and I wanted to do something that I could include them in.  I called one of the directors at Carillon, a retirement community in Lubbock, to see if we could come pay a visit.  They were pleased to put us on their calendar, and to let us come.  After we had breakfast with Courtney and dropped Jack at daycare, we came back home to get started.

Blake and Ava put on aprons and started putting cookies on cookie sheets.  This was one spot where I did go ahead and opt for the easier choice by purchasing those cookies that are already mixed and cut into pieces, so that we wouldn't be in the kitchen all morning.

Once the cookies were made and cooled, it was to the car, and to Carillon.  There was a really great Christmas display there that they wanted their pictures taken with.  Then Tiffany, who works at Carillon, met with us and spent the next hour escorting us through some of the areas where residents were gathered, and letting us visit with them.

The kids were so wonderful.  They were polite and respectful, friendly and loving, and open to the experience of visiting with new people.  They each sang Christmas songs for some of the residents, and Ava showed off some of her ballet moves.  Blake talked with a man who retired from the Navy a long time ago, telling him all that he knows about ships.  One kind grandfather shook Blake's hand, and then kissed Ava's, which she just about swooned over.  On our way home, they both told me what a fun time they had this morning.  That part was the most unexpected.  I had hoped that they would enjoy themselves, and see the joy that their visit might bring to others, but they really, genuinely had fun.  I was full of pride over these two.

This is nothing to do with the service project, but I got the chance to end the day feeling proud of them, too, as they performed in our church's childrens' Christmas pageant.  Ava was a star, and Blake was a wise man.  Here's some pictures.
Gratitude Project: I'm just feeling a general feeling of gratitude tonight.  For the warm bed I'm about to climb into, for my wife who I will sleep beside, for the friend who I am having breakfast with in the morning, and for the extended family who I will be seeing tomorrow night.


Andrea G. said...

Awww! A christmas pageant! I haven't been to one of those in ages! My church doesn't seem to do that.  Is Ava standing next to a puppy shepherd/wise man?  :)  Your kids and your blog are lovely!!

Academomia said...

Such a nice idea!  I love the pictures too.  I bet the Christmas pageant was wonderful!  Miss you guys.

Danny Holwerda said...

Miss you, too!  I love reading about your boys!

Danny Holwerda said...

Yeah, they split the roles up by age groups.  Some kids were barn animals, some shepherds, etc.  Thank you!

Paula B Moore said...

I love that you took your kids to Carillon.  Because of the age of some of my extended family, I spent a lot of time around the elderly as a child.  It didn't seem any different to me - they were family, so of course we would want to spend time with them.  By the time I was in upper elementary school doing service projects with 4-H at nursing homes, etc. I realized how many of my friends were "scared" or uncomfortable in nursing homes or retirement homes because it was unfamiliar to them.  

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