November 30, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Way past due but I can't let Thanksgiving go unmentioned here because sometime this year someone will ask about some detail and then go looking on my blog for the post.  The hallmark of most of our holidays are the food and the people we spend them with.  And, as is typical, there was no shortage of either on Thanksgiving.  

Five things that made this Thanksgiving wonderful.

1.  My annual coffee date when the girls and I gather our twenty something years worth of Thanksgiving Bon Appetites and the family recipe box and head to Starbucks for Pumpkin Spice Lattes to plan our gatherings and menus for the holiday season.  

June 30, 2016

Race 4 Respect 2016

Despite my best intentions following the Race 4 Respect 2016 to post photos right away for team members and posterity, I find myself in the now familiar position of trying to unearth and post nearly year old photos in preparation for race 2017 which is a mere six weeks away.  Team 2016 was the largest yet and a fun eclectic mix of business associates, family, friends, prayer partners, young, and ummm more mature runners and non runners alike.  Each one has been part of the team which has held us up through trial and cheered with us through triumph.  Having them with us on the day we celebrate the fighting spirit and victories of Addison and his peers means So.Very. Much. to this family.    

April 2, 2016

Family Easter Photos 2016

I have the worst luck with electronics.  Seriously, I somehow killed two phones in the last year.  I have been holding my breath hoping my most recent would hang on until March 31st when we can replace it much cheaper.  Last night it finally said, "I quit."  

And then there are the cameras.  I have burned through so many cameras over the years.  I think its because it is always with us and always in the action.  The last time Allen replaced my camera he took out the longest dummy warranty he could buy.  Smart move.  The first time I used it, we were in a hotel lobby trying to get a family portrait before we headed to our friend's wedding.  Oops... the camera went flying out of my hand and after hitting the floor flew across the slick tile.  Amazon did some magic and I had a new camera.  Then last fall I took the kids down to the C&O Canal for some running and biking.  Carmella was standing on a rock in the Potomac taking a photo of Brianna and I.  She did so great at being careful.  And then as she handed the camera back to me it slipped out of my hand and went splash... into the river.  I actually stuck it in a bag of rice for a few days, a trick I have used many times when I got caught in a rain storm running and my phone got water logged.  It's kept working on and off since October.  Like my latest phone, last week it finally said, "No more."  Allen again contacted Amazon... I love Amazon... and they gave us a refund and we ordered a new camera... which, thankfully, arrived Saturday.  

We haven't had a family photo since last fall and so much has happened since then, and the kids have grown so much... especially our Addison... I wanted to get a few pictures of everyone together on Easter.  I was happy I didn't have to rely on the phones to do the job.  

We have had amazing weather the last few weeks... kind of like May weather... but in March... which is usually just plain nasty and ugly around here.  Unfortunately, Easter was not one of them.  It was cool and overcast.  Actually, we noted it was colder, at 60 degrees on Easter, than it was on Christmas, which topped out at 80 degrees.  The crazy weather continues here on the east coast.  We still had some nice light to get a few photos.

I love Addison's face in this photo.  I look at these boys and I just think, "They are so very handsome!"   

March 26, 2016

On Family

Yesterday we received some sad news.  Very sad.  I tried so hard to stay positive.  We were working to get ready for our Easter celebration and I put everyone back on task.  I was sure the preparations would be a good distraction.

February 18, 2016

And Then There Was Music

I thought I had posted these photos for my friend Leon...last fall.  As it turns out Addison was in the hospital when I got them and I was very preoccupied with him and then it was Thanksgiving, and then I had the flu and then it was Christmas... and the girls informed me the other day that I had never done this.  Ooops.  

February 14, 2016

Mom's Thoughtful Spot

I LOVE office supplies.  Weird, I know.  The first day of school with blank notebooks, spanking new crayons and freshly sharpened pencils, has got to be one of my favorite days of the year.  My husband knows this.  My kids know this.  And a very select group of friends (up until now, anyway) know this. 

February 12, 2016

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Valentine's Dance 2016

We are always blessed when we make it to an event hosted by our local Down Syndrome Family.  F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is made up of some extraordinary people.  Unfortunately, due to Addison's fragile health and the crazy business we call life, we don't get there as often as we would like.  After our trip was cancelled we did manage a last minute appearance at the annual Valentine's event last week.  And I am just going to apologize right off the bat for some very lousy photos.  I have no idea who had the camera but I'm guessing it was a little somebody.  Although, I suppose we should be grateful because we were too busy visiting to take any photos.

February 10, 2016

The Essence of Love

I love that our children always seem to be going out of their way to find little ways to show each other, and their dear old folks, how much we are loved.  Elisabeth leaves little notes here and there.  Brianna will tuck a scripture verse in just the right place.  Carmella loves to serve dessert to all of us at the end of a long day.  Kaitlin, who is not a morning person (and that's an understatement)  regularly sets her alarm for just before sunrise so she can deliver a fresh cup of coffee to every (8) coffee drinker in our house.  Emma will join the boys in playing a game on a Saturday afternoon even when she had a nap in mind.  The boys will work together in the chicken coop on a rainy day or read to their little sisters and help them brush their teeth so I can take a run.  And just in case that day to day isn't enough, our kids get really into Valentine's Day.  

Not long after the New Year they each start disappearing into quiet corners where they eagerly work on secret projects and little expressions of love.  I always look forward to seeing what each child came up with and the way their very individual personalities come out in their cards and gifts for each other.  

One year Kaitlin sewed mini Henry Owls for each of us themed to our own personalities.  Samuel's was reminiscence of Eyeore, Elisabeth had a long golden braid like Rapunzel and mine was full of pink and some bling.  This year I happen to know Aedan has made red paper hearts with pictures of his favorite Peanuts characters and witty little sayings expressing his love toward his siblings.  And I can pretty much bet Brianna will spend an entire day in the kitchen, using every pot, burning something and then creating the perfect Martha Stewart something with chocolate, which she will wrap in something incredibly time consuming to make.