Tuesday, June 27, 2006


My creation

Emma Sage just loves to write and draw....so since we are homeschooling [and school officially started this week....I'm going to year round school Little Miss, moving at a slower pace over the summer months] because Emma Sage is so inquisitive and always eager to learn....I believe it is best to keep the flow constant, thus school year round.

If you would like to be a pen pal [or just recieve notes/postcards/drawings] in the mail, drop me an e-mail with your address and child's name and we will add you to our 'Pen Pal' list.

E-mail: tara.hintz@gmail.com


There is a wonderful new book project underway [one that I am so very excited about!]. My dear friend, AlwaysChaos, wrote a Detailed Post about the project in her blog.

Please visit, GIFTSDS, to find out more about the project and hopefully, each and everyone of you [Monica, Betsy, Nicole, Jan, Carol, Rebecca, Christine, Annette, Shannon, Stephanie, Shawn, Mary, Michelle....and on and on and on and on.........all of you amazing mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins and friends] out there who have been blessed by the magic and wonder of an extra chromosome in your life, will get out pen and paper and write an essay about what Down syndrome has brought to your life.

I can not wait to read the finished book and I do believe it will be a book that I will give as 'GIFTS' for years to come.

Peace and love, Tara Marie & Emma Sage & Clan

Monday, June 26, 2006


"To love another person is to see the face of God."-Les Miserables

There are two current news articles that deal with love, something that I believe is one of the greatest gifts of life....to love and to be loved. Whether it is the love between a Mother and a Child, Friends, Family............Love is the thread that makes life magical.

To think that just because Emma Sage has 47 chromosomes, that she is not entitled to fall in love with another ~ as she gets older, is almost as bizarre that no one has the right to fall in love.

But sadly, it has not been common for people with T21 to fall in love and marry, and while I have not done a formal research on the subject, I do recall reading somewhere [and if you know the source, I'd love to link it] that it was actually illegal for people with mental retardation to marry in some states. [or had been].

So these two following articles celebrate the beauty of love.

The first is a couple who happen to be the first Couple With Down syndrome to Marry in the United Kingdom. [The FIRST?!?]

Down's couple: A marriage to lift your heart
23:54pm 23rd June 2006

This is the title of the news article [note the non-people first language...I know, I know...I have a thing about that!] just click the link to read the article [which was very beautiful and moving,,,and the photograph in the article made my heart soar!!!!!]

and the second, with only 4 days to go is the marraige of SUJEET DESAI & CARRIE BERGERON and their Wedding story that is listed in The Knot [click here]

The love story behind Sujeet and Carrie has been one that I have just loved following. I met Sujeet at the NDSC convention in Minnesota and was over come by his aura and presence....he is truly a magical young man. I found Carrie on the Internet a few years ago and was taken by her art and story writting.....both of these young people had been inspiration to me [as I was new to the journey of Holland] and to see them fall so madly in love and to follow their hearts in the commitment of marraige makes my heart sing!!!!

I thought this quote was perfect for the love story of Sujeet and Carrie.....

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand."-Unknown

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."-Thoreau

My hope for all my children is that they live their lives to the fullest and if they fall in love and want to marry, they have the opportunity to do so.
My creation

My wish for my children, and all children is a Peaceful World to grow up in. May we all work towards creating Peace in our own lives and encouraging Peace around the World.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just As I Am..........


Just As I AM.........supporting Down Syndrome Awareness.

The Digital Scrapbook Kit that promotes Down Syndrome Awareness......so click on the above link and get involved!!!!

quiet reflections II

quiet reflections II
Originally uploaded by annikaleigh.
Emma Sage loves coming to this spot...so it has become our place to pray and meditate.....and the funny thing is, when I was a young girl I found this spot [as I would ride my bike to Spruce Run often in the summer] and to see Emma Sage's love for this same old favorite spot of mine is like the continiumn is coming full circle.......also, I think the fact that we have to pass Rita's Italian Ices may have a lot to do with it!!! lol!!! Emma Sage is addicted to the Mango Ice.

Happy little girl of mine

Happy little girl of mine
Originally uploaded by annikaleigh.
This smile of hers just melts this Momma's heart.......

The rains have arrived

The rains have arrived
Originally uploaded by annikaleigh.
Emma Sage's gear, left on the porch after or walk outside.....


Little Miss has this way about her.....

This aura,,,,the palpable presence that just surrounds us with such peace and joy. We truly spend a good part of our days with laughter and smiles from Little Misses ways....her comments, her singing, her just being.

Today we had such a delightful Sunday. Katrina is home from Camp PALs [and boy does she have lots of wonderful stories to share]........and Otto headed off to the shore [Ocean City, NJ....my old stomping ground] for the week with his best friend Michael and his father. Rick called from Italy and is missing home very much [not common for him, but this has been a long trip this time]. We talked to Nana & PopPop and Grammy & PopPop......we did laundry, cleaned, read books, worked on finalizing our homeschooling plans, meditated at the lake and sang songs.

This is the song that reminded me the most of our sweet little girl.....so Today, I put every album I own from James Taylor [and that is all of them! lol!] and we filled the house and yard with music and just celebrated life on this rainy, but absolutely serene and beautiful Sunday.

quiet moments.......

"Something in the Way She Moves"
by James Taylor

There's something in the way she moves,
Or looks my way, or calls my name,
That seems to leave this troubled world behind.
And if I'm feeling down and blue,
Or troubled by some foolish game,
She always seems to make me change my mind.
And I feel fine anytime she's around me now,
She's around me now
Just about all the time
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now,
She's been with me now quite a long, long time
And I feel fine.~~~~~~

It isn't what she's got to say
But how she thinks and where she's been
To me, the words are nice, the way they sound
I like to hear them best that way
It doesn't much matter what they mean
If she says them mostly just to calm me down

Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning
And I find myself careening
Into places where I should not let me go.
~~ She has the power to go where no one else can find me
And to silently remind me
Of the happiness and the good times that I know, got to know

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Have Kitty will Travel.....

So today, it was just Greta & Emma Sage and Mommy. Katrina is still at camp PALS and Otto went for the day with Nana [out garage saleing and then to his cousins to visit].

Emma Sage and I had to go get Greta from her friend Kristens [they babysat together and then had a sleepover because they didn't get home till late].

We walk out the door and this is what I find.........

Heading out for the day

"What Mommy?.....What do you mean I can't bring my kitty?"

Mom,,,,kitty is coming
"I promise she will be a good girl?!?"
See Mommy....
"See Mommy, Nona is a good kitty.....she luvs you?!?"

Yes, the kitty is a keeper and her name is Nona.....from one of Emma Sage's favorite books "Strega-Nona'
I'll hold Nona safe....
See, I'm a good Momma....I hold my kitty nice and safe.

First outing to the lake
So we stopped and took some pictures by the lake.....

So, what are you telling me?  I can't put the kitty in the puddle?
I love this shot.....it is like Emma Sage is saying to me "What do you mean, I can't put the kitty in the puddle?"....lol!!! We have had a bunch of rain, so puddles abound.

Too cute....kitty and umbrella
I'm singing in the rain....just singing in the rain,,,,me and my Kitty, just singing in the rain!

The lake...
The lake was so beautiful in the rain and grey skies.

Miss Greta......
Yikes,,,,my umbrella is floating away....

And this is Emma Sage's idea of our taking Nona out shopping with us......
See, this is how you do it....

and We did,,,,she went to Target with us,,,,and as soon as we get up to the cashier,,,,Emma Sage announces to the cashier "I have my baby in Emma Sage's backpack!" to which the cashier smiles polietly and says "That's nice"....lol!!! Little did she know that the 'baby' was a real kitten!

and that was part of our day today!!!!

D is for Down syndrome

This amazing video montage was made by Renee, mommy to three beautiful children, the youngest, Kennedy, was blessed with Down syndrome [and that is how I met her online]. My friend @alwaysChaos, first posted this video on her blog [which is truly the greatest resource for all things relating to T21,,,,she finds the most incredible stories, websites, blogs and information regarding T21 and shares them with the world on her blog]

Create your own video at One True Media

I hope you take the time to play this video.....it has totally captured my heart and soul, and I hope many, many people [young and old] get the opportunity to read the ABCs of Down syndrome and carry forth with them the message of the photograph montage that we are part of this amazing world.....those of us with 46 chromosomes and those of us with 47.

Come take a look

As those of you who know me, or follow my blog, you know I have a passion for photography. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.

My first inklings of my love of photographs were when I was a little girl and my Uncle Johnny had a camera and seperate flash [that he had to hold up high when it ignited] and he would take the most amazing black&white photographs of my brother Kenny and I.

Then I fell madly in love with National Geograph Magazine and could sit for hours and hours looking at all the amazing photographs.

I got my first camera [a little 110] when I was about 8 or 9, and would take lots of pictures [although we never seemed to get all the film to the photostore to be developed].

Then I had a Polaroid that would spit the pictures out at you, and during high school we had fun capturing our teenage years with that.

When I took photography class in high school as a sophmore, I was captured 'Hook-line-and-sinker' into the realm of photography and darkrooms.

My high school graduation present from my first love was a Canon AE1........and that is still one of the cameras I use today. That camera caught most of my life on film......for a while I had my own darkroom, but of late, I send it out and have it captured on CD so I can play 'virtual darkroom' on the computer [although I only have a free program called Picasa, someday I will be able to purchase PS and then really play 'virtual' darkroom].

Now I have a SonyCybershot [that I got for my 40th Birthday...how in the heck did I turn 40 and how in the heck was it two and a half years ago?] and I am saving my pennies for a good Digital SLR....

Still, given the fact that my tools are not the 'bestest' I have been able to create some works of art that I am so very proud of.

Here is a link to a blog from a group that I belong to on Flickr.com [they are an amazing group of people from around the world that capture on film 'The World Through My Eyes'....

If you scroll down through the blog, you will see two of my entries that have been award top honors.

Oh, and if you are wondering about my alias 'AnnikaLeigh', that is my computer screen name that I started using when I first ventured into the world of the Internet back in 1996..........the name is a reminder of a baby I miscarried........so even though sweet, 'AnnikaLeigh' did not make it into our world alive,,,she lives on in our hearts forever, as my alias.

Artist earns top award in National Contest

The headlines read:

In a father's experience, perfection
Shorewood artist's work earns top award in national contest

Posted: June 23, 2006

<>Whether painting the wrinkled face of a farmer, the long shadows cast by a man shoveling snow or the inquisitive face of his young son, Shorewood artist David Lenz wants to tell the truth through images that are as close to reality as possible..................................The National Portrait Gallery, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., was to give its top prize to Lenz on Friday night in its first-ever national portrait competition, which attracted more than 4,000 emerging and midcareer artists...................................................The person in Lenz' winning portrait, "Sam and the Perfect World," is his 9-year-old son Sam, who has Down syndrome. In the painting, Sam leans forward quizzically and confidently meets the viewer's gaze. Behind him, beyond a barbed-wire fence that runs low across the frame, a lush valley opens up and a sun stands high with a halo-like ring around it.<<Please Read entire article here>>

What excites me the most about this article [yup, you guessed it....that the winning portrait is of a person with Trisomy21],,,,,and that I love the fact that the title reflects so much to me my feelings of Emma Sage in our life. With her in our life, my world is infact 'perfect'....because she has allowed me to see clearly..........to live freely...........to love deeply..............to care emensly..........to to realize that every single human being on our plant is a gift and that all life needs to be nurtured and cherished.

We have been hoping to head to Washington, D.C. on a trip, and now I will make sure we head there this year and go to the National Gallary to see the portrait of Sam.

Congratulations David Lenz!!!!! and 'Thank You'!!!!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sheer Being..........

"Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being." Albert Einstein

So you are wondering, what does this quote from Einstein have to do with our day today? It actually has much to do with all of our days with Emma Sage.

First, the mystery of the eternity of life, was revealed to me upon the conception of this little girl as told in the above link of her Birth Story.

Secondly, there is not a day that goes by that anyone in Emma Sage's prescence does not feel the power of her soul.....she has this aura about her that just radiates life and goodness. Everywhere we go, she captures people with her spirit and you can see within minutes the sense of peace and calm come over those that get to interact with her.......and last night was no different. We went to Immaculate Conceptions Summer Festival....and every where we went, people stopped to engage with this little social butterfly. I saw more smiles and response to her just 'BEING' all night long.

So here in photographs are a bit of 'Sheer Being' [and loving ever minute of it]

Face Painting at the fair
First she got her face painted....and the story behind this moment of 'Sheer Being' is a young teenager came up to us and said "Would she like her face painted?" and Emma Sage said "yes, please".........she picked out the star with a rainbow and the girl painted said that was the perfect image for little Miss,,,,and when we went to go pay, the woman collecting the money [who was watching the two teenagers with Emma Sage swooning over her said....."No, this one is on us!"]

Look what I have....
See Mommy, I'm a radiant star!

Sheer Fun!!!
She loved the rides
Checking to see
Fair B&W
On this ride there were so many strangers just waving back at Emma Sage who was so gleefully waving to all she passed!
I see you...
Hey Mommy, you're upside-down!
Wow,,,they have tickets too
Wow, they have tickets too!!

Her favorite ride
This was by far her most favorite ride and went on it 5 times.
She rode this ride 5 times....
Waving to Otto and Kelsy
Waving hello!!! She did this all night long.....call her the 'Good Will Ambassador to Humanity'
Look what Otto won me
and Look What Otto Won her.....her most favorite of beings....Elmo!
Cousins at the fair
Cousins having fun....Otto and Kelsy
Fair time...
and then we saw the fireworks [which Little Miss does not really like being right under them, as the noise just is too loud for this gentle, quiet being....

and then off to drop everyone off and home to bed...............with our little girl who lifts our hearts and spirits all day long!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What a Glorious, Busy, Day.....

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~ Abraham Lincoln

..........and boy did we pack a lot of LIFE into our day today. First we played with our friends and had lunch...then Grammy came over to babysit for us and Emma Sage, Greta, Kristen [Greta's bestfriend] and I headed to New York City for a photo shoot for Toys R Us.
Getting my make-up on....
Getting her hair & make-up done [Emma Sage just loves this part!]

Getting ready to get on set,,,,
Saying 'Hello' to Michael [IKEL] on the set....Emma Sage adores this guy...he has been at most of the photoshoots we have done for ToysRus....

Emma Sage and Lucy....
Making a new friend on the set,,,her name was Lucy!

My little girl.....
I can't get over how grown-up my little girl looks here......

On set
On set...last minute primping....
Out for a drive....
How cute are these two together....the had a great session....the really worked well together and were the best of friends as they left the studio together.
Walking back to Port Authority
Walking back to Port Authority....Greta, Kristen and Emma Sage

Stopping for a Starbucks...
A stop at Starbucks......yummmy, decafe frappachino

Emma Sage loves the 'pretty building' as she calls it....this was from the parking garage where we parked...we were on the 5th floor
Good-bye New York City......then we headed home as quickly as we could....

We grabbed a bite to eat [and drink] and headed home as quickly as we could because Otto's Little League team was playing in the World Series.....and guess what!?!

They WON!!!!
North Hunterdon Little League World Champions
Go METS.....8 to 0......
Otto and his trophy
Otto and his trophy,,,,winning shirt and a huge smile!!! What a glorious day we had...
This smile just melts my heart....he was just so excited.
Ummmm,,,,Ice Cream
Then we went with the team to Gronsky's Milk House for ice cream and fun!

Sitting by the river
Sitting by the river waiting to go home....

and home we are,,,tired, but so full of joy from such a magical and glorious day!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Fathers Day......

Well....our Fathers Day was celebrate in part on the phone as Daddy is in Sardinia, Italy [so his breakfast in bed will just have to wait a few weeks].

Rick said Sardinia is just beautiful and Italy is still by-far one of his most favorite places on earth [and he has been to pretty much every county so far].

Otto had a great Fathers Day as his Little League Team [The Mets] won the division championship and is off to the World Series on Tuesday.

Here is a picture after the game [and boy was it a hot day]....I think Otto looks like a young Babe Ruth in this photograph [and his hits today echoed the great Bambino's]

My Met....

and the final score.....
9 to 2

and then we went to Grammy and PopPop's to say hello and visit for Fathers Day. Rick was able to call home to his Dad so that was wonderful.

We then headed down to my sisters and brother-in-laws and had a BBQ with my Dad and Mom, brother and his family and my bil family. The cousins always have so much fun playing badmitton, swimming, biking and eating yummy food.

Little Miss though had her first accident....she was riding along with her cousins down the driveway and crashed her tricycle into the sticker bushes.....and of coarse I was out photographing them riding and caught the accident.....

The Crash
The Crash
Here is Otto rescueing Emma Sage from the sticker bushes

Checking for injuries
Checking for her injuries.....and Kelsy pointing to Emma Sages cut forehead.

Poor little girl....
My poor Baby.......look at her boo-boo

Back on the bike
But injuries and all....she wanted to get right back on the trike and keep on peddling!

and two pictures of two of my neices...

This is Princess Fiona [my sisters youngest]
Princess Fiona

and Princess Rori [my brothers youngest]
Princess Rori
She looks so much like Katrina did as a toddler.

and that was our Fathers Day.

We hope you all got to celebrate the special Fathers in your lives.......