Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I love shopping and I love a great deal. I also happen to be sort of a morning person. Therefore,

After eating too much food, I veg out on the couch and dive into the sale ads. I get a paper and pen and I make out a "game plan" of which stores we need to be at and when for the best deals. This year I discovered that you can look at the sale ads online ahead of time (yeah, I know, I'm a little behind in the times). I am extremely excited about this deal specifically.

We have been discussing getting these for awhile now. I will be getting to Target bright and early!

I'm so excited.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It Depends On How You Look At It

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?'

'It was great, Dad.'

'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked.

'Oh yeah,' said the son.

'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?' asked the father.

The son answered:

'I saw that we have one dog and they had four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.

Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.'

The boy's father was speechless.

Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'

Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hust Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Hust Look-A-Like Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Pedigree - Family tree search

Wordless Wednesday

Thoughts of a Mom

Many of you I have never even met face to face, but I've searched you out every day. I've looked for you on the Internet, on playgrounds and in grocery stores. I've become an expert at identifying you. You are well worn. You are stronger than you ever wanted to be. Your words ring experience, experience you culled with your very heart and soul. You are compassionate beyond the expectations of this world. You are my "sisters”.

Yes, you and I, my friend, are sisters in a sorority. A very elite sorority. We are special. Just like any other sorority, we were chosen to be members. Some of us were invited to join immediately, some not for months or even years. Some of us even tried to refuse membership, but to no avail.

We were initiated in neurologist's offices and NICU units, in obstetrician’s offices, in emergency rooms, and during ultrasounds. We were initiated with somber telephone calls, consultations, evaluations, blood tests, x-rays, MRI films, and heart surgeries.

All of us have one thing in common. One day things were fine. We were pregnant, or we had just given birth, or we were nursing our newborn, or we were playing with our toddler. Yes, one minute everything was fine. Then, whether it happened in an instant, as it often does, or over the course of a few weeks or months, our entire lives changed. Something wasn't quite right. Then we found ourselves mothers of children with special needs.

We are united, we sisters, regardless of the diversity of our children's special needs. Some of our children undergo chemotherapy. Some need respirators and ventilators. Some are unable to talk, some are unable to walk. Some eat through feeding tubes. Some live in a different world.

We do not discriminate against those mothers whose children's needs are not as "special" as our child's. We have mutual respect and empathy for all the women who walk in our shoes.

We are knowledgeable. We have educated ourselves with whatever materials we could find. We know "the" specialists in the field. We know "the" neurologists, "the" hospitals, "the" wonder drugs, "the" treatments. We know "the" tests that need to be done, we know "the" degenerative and progressive diseases, and we hold our breath while our children are tested for them. Without formal education, we could become board certified in neurology, endocrinology, and psychiatry.

We have taken on our insurance companies and school boards to get what our children need to survive, and to flourish. We have prevailed upon the State to include augmentative communication devices in special education classes and mainstream schools for our children with cerebral palsy. We have labored to prove to insurance companies the medical necessity of gait trainers and other adaptive equipment for our children with spinal cord defects. We have sued municipalities to have our children properly classified so they could receive education and evaluation commensurate with their diagnosis.

We have learned to deal with the rest of the world, even if that means walking away from it.

We have tolerated scorn in supermarkets during "tantrums" and gritted our teeth while discipline was advocated by the person behind us on line.

We have tolerated inane suggestions and home remedies from well-meaning strangers.

We have tolerated mothers of children without special needs complaining about chicken pox and ear infections.

We have learned that many of our closest friends can't understand what it's like to be in our sorority, and don't even want to try.

We have our own personal copies of Emily Perl Kingsley's "A Trip To Holland" and Erma Bombeck's "The Special Mother”. We keep them by our bedside and read and reread them during our toughest hours.

We have coped with holidays. We have found ways to get our physically handicapped children to the neighbors' front doors on Halloween, and we have found ways to help our deaf children form the words, "trick or treat”. We have accepted that our children with sensory dysfunction will never wear velvet or lace on Christmas. We have painted a canvas of lights and a blazing Yule log with our words for our blind children. We have pureed turkey on Thanksgiving. We have bought white chocolate bunnies for Easter. And all the while, we have tried to create a festive atmosphere for the rest of our family.

We've gotten up every morning since our journey began wondering how we'd make it through another day, and gone to bed every evening not sure how we did it.

We've mourned the fact that we never got to relax and sip red wine in Italy. We've mourned the fact that our trip to Holland has required much more baggage than we ever imagined when we first visited the travel agent. And we've mourned because we left for the airport without most of the things we needed for the trip.

But we, sisters, we keep the faith always. We never stop believing. Our love for our special children and our belief in all that they will achieve in life knows no bounds. We dream of them scoring touchdowns and extra points and home runs. We visualize them running sprints and marathons. We dream of them planting vegetable seeds, riding horses and chopping down trees. We hear their angelic voices singing Christmas carols. We see their palettes smeared with watercolors, and their fingers flying over ivory keys in a concert hall. We are amazed at the grace of their pirouettes. We never, never stop believing in all they will accomplish as they pass through this world.

But in the meantime, my sisters, the most important thing we do, is hold tight to their little hands as together, we special mothers and our special children, reach for the stars.

By Maureen K. Higgins

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We're going to "The Ball"

What is Kelly's Upside Down Ball? It is a fun night out and 100% of the proceeds go to families who have a child with leukemia and Down syndrome. You know you want to come. Here are all the details.

Can't make it? I hope you find it in your heart to donate to this wonderful cause. Click here to help out so many families who need it.

I will be volunteering at the ball tomorrow night. This year's theme is Country! I am SO not a country girl, but I think I have found cowboy hats for me and Dave to borrow. The boys will be going to the kid's party. It starts at 7pm (Mitchell's bedtime) so we'll see how they do. I've heard it is a great time, I can't wait. (I couldn't make it last year cuz Mitchell was just born).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun With Food Photo Contest

5 Minutes For Mom is having a photo contest. Click here to check it out.

Here's Cameron from his 1st birthday after eating his cupcake - still one of my favorite photos.

I hope we win (the prize is $500 in groceries). Boy, could we use that our fridge is EMPTY!

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wedded Bliss

Our friends, Andy & Erin are getting married today (FINALLY!). They are both such amazing people and we love them dearly. Erin is bubbly, fun, outgoing, and a great listener. Andy is compassionate, funny, outgoing, fun and also a great listener. They both love children so much and I pray that the Lord blesses them with many children when the time is right. I know they are going to make wonderful parents.

I also know that Erin is going to make a beautiful bride and that Andy is going to cry (probably during the entire ceremony). I can't wait to celebrate your new lives together.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm totally going to play this at my next party.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sweet 16

My oldest niece, Brittany Marie, is 16 today.

I was so excited about becoming an aunt for the first time. I waited at the hospital for hours the night before you were born, not realizing that labor and delivery can take awhile.

The next day when I saw you in the nursery, I remember thinking, that can't be MY niece, she's all wrinkly and icky looking. You were beautiful, but I was an egostical 18 year old with very limited exposure to babies.

You are a genuinely wonderful person and I am SO proud to call you my niece and Cameron's Godmother.

Happy 16th Birthday Brittany! I love you.