December 13, 2017

Happy 10 Elisabeth

We are celebrating our Elisabeth’s tenth birthday!   It seems as if it was just this morning they put my little pink muffin in my hands.  Yet, when I think of the journey these last ten years have taken us on it seems we should all be a hundred.
While Elisabeth shares the beautiful heart of her brothers and sisters she is also so different from our other children.  She is super outgoing and confident which makes her a natural when it is time to get in front of an audience.  Elisabeth loves so big in a way that seems effortless and even more so when someone seems unlovable.  Her grace and eloquence are beyond her years.  Her concern for her friends and loved ones, and those she has never met, teaches us all so much.

Elisabeth is quickly becoming an accomplished violinist and aces her way through fifth grade.  This year she has begun private art lessons and we have been amazed to watch her talent bloom.  

2017 has brought many changes and much growth for our girl including glasses and in a few weeks braces.  She takes each new challenge and change as if it was nothing with a sense of excitement, adventure and endless joy.  

Her birthday plans were changed twice to accommodate a family who needed the day more and without a thought she smiled and said okay that will be great!  God bless it may I learn to have a heart like Elisabeth before I leave this earth.  So we baked this beautiful cake, made enchiladas and played games to celebrate.  Happy birthday sweet girl.  After three big brothers  I will never forget the tears I shed when Dr. A placed you in my arms and said, “Congratulations you have a daughter.”  


November 22, 2017

Front Porch Snuggles



In warmer months Addison and I take advantage of the early sunrise by starting our day on the porch rocking and snuggling together.  With shorter days it’s too dark and as winter approaches too cold for our quiet time.  Addison decided to let me know how much he misses it today by dragging me out to the porch in the cold and wind.  What else could we do but  take a break from our Thanksgiving preparations and cuddle under a blanket for a few minutes?

July 29, 2017

Early Intervention Celebration

It is hard to believe it has been over four years since we began the journey of early intervention with Addison.  After a one year extension our boy will be exiting the program in just a few short weeks.  This is so very bittersweet for us.  It is exciting to be entering this new phase, past healing and into growing.  I have always believed we had what we needed to help Addison reach his greatest potential, whatever that may be.  However, it is intimidating to be moving into unfamiliar territory without our support system.  After meeting most of his team one of the therapists we work with out of town started referring to Henry's therapists as "Team Addison" and they have been just that for the last 4 1/2 years.

July 5, 2017

Carmella 6th Birthday

Our little pixie is six!  Carmella's birthday came in the middle of a busy time including a week away, the long Fourth of July weekend and a week of hosting some teens from Virginia.  Whew!  It's no wonder she asked to spend the day just swimming and face painting which was perfect for all of us.


June 28, 2017

Light Post

One of the boys many projects during construction was installing a new light post.  

June 10, 2017

Week In Review 6-4-17

Long ago in a world before Addison and house building I made a point of posting a few photos from the previous week each Thursday.  We love looking back at these and remembering little moments we had forgotten and I love the weekly motivation to remember to take photos of the daily living as my little ones grew into big ones.  I determined to get back to that practice and somehow my goal of Saturday has already turned into Tuesday.  But here it goes.  A few snippets of our crazy world this week.

Our week started with our first Preview service.   

June 5, 2017

Preview Service

With our church launch only a few months away our team has scheduled three preview services to get the ropes of a portable church down before we open to the public in September.  

May 27, 2017

This House Is Not For Sale

Thanksgiving weekend 2001 we drove up in front of one of the ugliest houses I have ever seen.  Bushes were growing over the windows.  The yard was filled with debris, including piles of old rusted out vehicles.  The siding was faded to a color no one could identify.  When we stepped inside the smell of cigarette smoke, mold and mildew was overwhelming.  There were rodents and their tracks everywhere.  It was filthy.  The brown tile flooring, green appliances, layers of busy wallpaper, green baseboard heaters and bifold doors and the blue and green bathroom fixtures all shouted back to 1970 when the house was originally built. Almost as a joke someone had laid brand new beige wall to wall carpeting throughout to make the house "more appealing."  After seven years of searching for the perfect place to raise our family, Allen said he was going to buy it.

May 26, 2017

Balloons, Family and Hope

Every May we launch balloons in memory of our baby in Heaven.  Instead of being a sad occasion, God's grace and mercy make this a celebration of our hope we have to come.  It is hard to believe he would be seven this year! 

May 25, 2017

Mother's Day

During this time of church transition, as much as I miss regular Sunday morning worship, I must admit I am really enjoying the Sundays we are at home with "nothing" to do.  

April 21, 2017

New

The last few months our family has claimed the promise of Psalm 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of they salvation; uphold me with thy free spirit."

April 20, 2017

Easter Morning 2017



Saturday night I threatened the family to be dressed for church and on the porch at 9:00 sharp for a picture.  With our porch newly finished and the weather forecast perfect I could not wait to get a family photo before we left for church.  And it was a complete bonus that the cherry tree was reflecting in the window.  I hate timer pictures, they are always so hard.

April 14, 2017

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 7, 2017

April Showers

We have had some serious rainy days lately.  We have definitely enjoyed using the cozy days at home wrapping up our school year.

March 21, 2017

World Down Syndrome Day 2017

 Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome, occurs when an individual has 3 copies of the 21st chromosome. Therefore on 3/21 we celebrate everything that encompasses for individuals who walk this journey.  I was reflecting about where we have been the last four years and how its changed us and grown us and what its taught us about ourselves, our family and our world.  And I asked myself what does this really mean today?

March 11, 2017

On Therapeutic Riding

In addition to traveling one week out of each month for therapy, managing contractors, reviewing proposals, college students, home school students, music lessons, and real life in there... one more reason I haven't been posting here is that I have recently been asked to write and speak in several different venues about Addison's journey and some of the specialized therapies we have used to help him recover from his seizure disorder and overcome dysphagia.  That hasn't left any "free" time for blogging.  A few weeks ago I was asked to speak to the Impact Club on behalf of Addison and the therapeutic riding program.  I have been wanting to post about this amazing type of therapy for some time and simply had no time to write so I am sharing my talk here today.  

February 12, 2017

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Valentine's Dance 2017

This weekend was our annual F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Valentine's Day Dance.  Our local down syndrome group has been such a source of information and support to us these last three (almost four!) years and we always enjoy the time we can get together and catch up with the other families.  Unfortunately, with so many family and work commitments it is a challenge for us to be involved in many events but we are always blessed when we can slip out and see how the little ones have grown and hear what the older members are up to.  The Valentine's Day Dance is one of our favorites because unlike most of the gatherings which are typically mostly members from our group this is a community wide event.  Last night's celebration even included two baseball teams and part of a local boy scout troop.  Another reason we really enjoy this event is because many of the events are during particularly busy seasons such as Christmas and Thanksgiving or times that are complicated for our family like the annual Buddy Walk which usually takes place during our vacation.  But in February there isn't typically way too many events going on so it is easier to get it in the schedule.  We were very happy to have one of our families who moved away make the trip back for the party and see how well this little one year old is doing and how big he has grown!   

I happen to think Addison looked so very handsome especially when he donned his boutonniere from his sweetheart Madison.   

January 24, 2017

Here and Now

I get periodic emails, voice mails and text messages reminding me I haven't posted since April 2, 2016.  And I think, "Hmmm... blogging.  I remember that.  It was fun."  And that's about as far as it gets because then life smacks me in the face and the moment is gone for another month.  The rare moment I have had to open my computer, seriously twice over the last nine months, I get so overwhelmed at the idea of where to start I get absolutely no where.  The other night I was thinking on this very topic and I thought, "Why not stop trying to figure out how to catch up on all that I've missed and just start with the here and now?  At least that way the world at large will stop thinking I am being held hostage or dead."

The sad fact is the here and now is quite an uninteresting and pathetic sounding post.  We are sick.  We have, in fact, been sick for  more than five weeks.  It started with 10 colds which grew into 7 cases of bronchitis and a ruptured ear drum.  Despite finishing antibiotics and many breathing treatments, there are 7 asthmatics in our home, people are still sick.  We've been to the doctors more times than I can count and threw in a trip to Children's hospital for kicks.  We've run the gamut of flu tests, strep tests and chest x-rays.  And, by the way, since its a brand new year with a brand new deductible the out of pocket expense has been astounding.  My husband seriously flipped out when the pharmacists informed him the cost of inhalers alone was $1200.  Yikes.
Doctor's office selfies