Friday, February 23, 2007

Baby it's cold outside......

So what do you do, the wind is a blowing, and our attempts at sleighriding [on a sheet of ice] were not only slippery, but with the wind blasts coming up the Valley, we decided [it was a very light day for me today, as I only had one extra child to care for] to head to the big indoor playroom at that fast food joint that Emma Sage thinks has the greatest French Fries [and sadly, I have to agree and use all of my willpower to not sample those delectible, golden fries]

Here are two cute images from the fun....they climbed and slid,,,,,and climb and slid, over and over again. I brought a book and my camera and we were all happy campers!

Look at her static hair!!!!



Emma Sage's favorite thing these days is to tell 'Knock-Knock' jokes. She just thinks that this is the funniest thing in the world.

Her favorite, of favorites is:


"Whose There?"


"Olive Who?"

"Olive YOU!!!"

and then she laughs and laughs and proceeds to give the recipient of her joke a big hug and kiss, saying...."get it, I love you!"

Too funny!

How cool is this.......

Pete Townshend of The Who has a piece on his blog [yes, can you believe it, he blog's!] on Down syndrome.

It truly amazes me, and humbles me when you see others who 'get it'! [Especially people with great talent and fame]

In his post [which I encourage you to go read], Townshend comments on how to treat Melissa Riggio [regarding the lyrics she wrote and submitted to Rachel Fuller]

"........and I encouraged Rachel to deal with Melissa kindly but honestly, and not pull punches. When the lyrics arrived I realized no punches needed to be pulled - Melissa is a real poet, just as Mary is a real dancer."

Yes, People with Down syndrome are real. They are real people, who live real lives. They have dreams, they have talents, they have goals and they have passions.

Thank you Pete Townshed for stating this fact, and I hope others will take your lead and look at all people for who they are [not their diagnosis, skin color, race, name it] We are all part of this amazing tapastry of life and isn't it just grand!!!!


I found this piece on two friends blogs, pinwheels and saint nobody

I say friends, it is both familiar and strange, as you see these are friends who share a common bond of T21 in their lives, and thus, our life paths have crossed. It amazes me, how profoundly my life has been enriched by the birth of my daughter and her extra chromosome. I have 'met' so many people that are truly amazing souls, and if it were not for this common bond, I might never been given the opportunity for our paths to cross.

But for me, this connection to The Who is extremely powerful, as my dear Brother, Kenny, who passed away a week after Emma Sage was born, was the biggest 'The Who' fan I have ever known. For all of my high school years, my mornings were welcomed with 'Teenage Wasteland' blasting on the stereo [you know, that thing that plays vinyl records]......Kenny knew of his new neice before his death, but he never got to hold her. I know he would have treasured her. Kenny always loved the 'underdog'...........and with Emma Sage he would have been on her side of the ring rooting her along in all that she does!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

'Hopes and Dreams'

Message born of 'Hopes and Dreams' by By Ryan Holeywell, USA TODAY [click the link to read the whole story]

The above is an article about Melissa Riggio and Steve Riggio [her father and CEO of Barnes and Nobles] and their 'Hopes and Dreams'

These dreams are exactly the 'Hopes and Dreams' I have held for Emma Sage....that the world see's her.......focuses on 'who' she is and 'not' on her diagnosis.

Please take the time to read the above is wonderful and shows a picture of father and daughter [playing guitar] and has the words to a beautiful song that Melissa wrote and produced with her friend Rachel Fuller.

Also, please check out your local Barnes and Noble, as they are hosting events for children to celebrate in the gift that Trisomy 21 is.....a way for others to understand that people with Down syndrome are just that 'people, children, friends, siblings'.............we are all Human Beings and we are all unique and special in our own way.

Body Art....

Katrina had a photography project for school, and she decided to use her little sister as her model......for body art!





Monday, February 19, 2007



Life has been exactly like that of late.....a whirlwind.

With four active [very active] children and a hubby that travels non-stop as his job [Rick is in Costa Rica right now] I have to many times just stop and take a deep breath.

Presidents Weekend.....Friday through Monday. This is what we have done [and what I have not gotten done is a big part of the long list of 'To Do' things that I have been so desperately trying to get done.]

Friday the girls had a half-day. Otto had off, so that meant that I also had Abbie for the whole Ben and A.J.

We had a blast sleigh-riding [like lightening these children were racind down our field....the snow has a coating of ice over it, as we had freezing rain after the snow storm of last week and with fridged temperatures, it has not melted.

I ended up with three extra kiddos, as our neighbors came over to sleigh-ride and then have a nice warm lunch and hot chocolate.

Later afternoon, I headed out to Otto's basketball tournament, and they won!!!

After the game, the team and their families all went to Fudruckers for dinner and games.

Saturday brought morning errands and more sleigh-riding......then getting Greta off to her friends to get ready for a Sweet-Sixteen party [Katrina was working], Otto off to a friends for an afternoon of outside adventures and Emma Sage and I went to visit her friend Devany for a playdate. Thank goodness Katrina got off work at 9, as I was the designated driver for six girls to head out to a sleepover after the Sweet-Sixteen party. I got home after 1 a.m.

Sunday came and I actually got to sleep in till 9 a.m. Church and a quick stop at the grocery store....then off to take Otto to his cousin Mike's for sleigh-riding and four-wheeling......pick up Greta's friend Sara to join us for Aurthurs 8th Birthday party. Have lots of fun [a fleeting moment of thought to my very long list of 'To Do's' sitting at home waiting for me to have even a few moments to look at that darn list and cross a few items off [ha,ha, that is going to happen this weekend]. Drop off Sara, pick up Otto. Take a hot bath, head too dream land.

Monday morning, after the morning chores [you know, feeding five cats, three dogs, four kids] we headed out to the finals for Otto's basketball tournament. Greta, Emma Sage, Otto and I [Katrina was home sick with the flu].

What a game......they won 21 to 18. Otto scored 8 points and had an awesome game. Emma Sage loves to cheer for her brother and his team. We stopped for a quick lunch and went to Targets to pick up a few things that the children needed for school and such.

Got home and the phone rings.....dress everyone for sleigh-riding and head back out to take them to the park for an afternoon of fun with friends....I run home and pop a load of laundry in [yes, I got one load of laundry done this long weekend.....even though my 'To Do' list had many loads listed and a few closets to be cleaned out and items sent to the Top o'Barn Thrift shop [well, there is always next weekend!]

Dinner and a bath and a few minutes on line to write this post and upload a few pictures......and I must get to bed as six a.m. rolls around way to fast these days.

All in was a fabulous weekend.....and that 'To Do' list will go back on the refridgerator and maybe, just maybe one or two items will get checked off during the upcoming week.

I hope you all had a glorious weekend and that your 'To Do' list is as neglected as mine!!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Special 8th Birthday Celebration

We got to spend the afternoon celebrating Arthur's 8th Birthday. Arthur is my sisters nephew [her husbands, brothers little boy] and a very sweet, delightful little boy.

One very interesting thing that always makes me stop and wonder when I look into his georgous brown eyes and watch the smile widen across his angelic face is that if the amnio his Mother had when he was in utero indicated that he had an extra chromosome on his 21st pair, she would have terminated [so she announced after the test results were back and she revealed that that was not the case, but that she was carrying a perfect, healthy little boy, but if he had Down syndrome, they would have terminated]

As destiny would have it, Arthur made it into our world....wanted and loved. Cerebral Palsy is his disability......something that no prenatal test could determine, or allow his life to be considered not wanted. Arthur is here and we love him so very much!

As the years moved forward, his Mother did share with me that she is completely humbled by her 'announcement' years before.....that she loves her son so dearly and that she would have loved him with extra chromosomes or not....she loves him and that as she watches Emma Sage, she can not believe that her thoughts at the time would have allowed her to make a choice to terminate if the tests revealed a different diagnosis.

So I share with you a very special Birthday Celebration..........

The Birthday Boy!!!

Emma Sage and Arthur

Guess who is eight?!?

Waiting for the clown to arrive.

Look at these fun beads.......Mardi Gras!
Picking out a stamp with my cousin Fiona.....what fun!

Arthur getting a dolfin face stamp.

Emma Sage loved the whole process of getting the stamps ready for face painting....

My Sweet Sunshine......oh how I love you sweet little girl.

Riding on Uncle Ed's shoulders

This clown was absolutely wonderful.....he actually put his make-up on in front of the children, so that they would not be afraid of him......Emma Sage just loved the whole show.

My beautiful Sister Patti Ann [Trixi] and her littlest guy, Gabriel.
Then end of our day.....what a beautiful sunset.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My creation

"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you." "You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing.
~ Charlotte's Web by E. B. White ~
Emma Sage had a playdate with her friend Devany today. What fun. She has been talking non-stop about Devany since the girls have gotten together a few times over the past few weeks. It is so wonderful to see their friendship blossoming.
We visited Devany at her house and the girls decorated Valentine's Day cookies [they were yummy] and got to play together, and really did great at sharing and taking turns [a difficult thing when you have two young ladies that can be very strong willed.] Emma Sage was very funny at the end and was pretending that she was Devany, and was going to stay at their house and I could take Emma Sage [the real Devany] home with me. Emma Sage still takes daily naps, so on days when she doesn't get a nap, sometimes her transitioning is hard. We had to 'wait a minute' in the car before she was ready to sit down and let me buckle her in. But at times like that I always remember what my Mother would say to me
"Patience is a Virtue"
I guess I'm quite Virtuous, as my little girl has taught me a great deal about patience!
We so look forward till the next time we can play [as watching this friendship blossom just makes my heart soar!]
Thank you Devany [and your Mom and Dad too] for a wonderful day.

Think of me first as a person

Today is my dear friend Betsy's Birthday. As I went to visit her blog, as I do daily, I was met with this very powerful post.

It is amazing to me, but I have formed some of the most incredible and profound friendships in my life, based solely on the fact that we share the same bond of loving someone with an extra chromosome on their 21st pair. I have never met Betsy in real life, but I call her one of my dearest friends. That rings true with so many other amazing souls I have met on this journey. Some I've been blessed to have met in real life at this point, others, I know somewhere in the future our physical beings will cross.....but in the mean time, our spirits, our souls are joined because the the power of something most of society deems as unworthy.

So, this morning I sit here, with tears streaming down my face at a documentary that Betsy wrote about in this post.

The video production is called: My Favorite Child It is an film documentary made 40 years ago, but It might all still be sitting in a dusty box somewhere if not for Dwight Sr.’s grandson, George Ingmire. Two years ago, he started rummaging through a tangle of film spools he inherited after his grandfather’s death in 1995.

Instead, an unexpected audio tape caught his attention. On it, his grandfather’s voice is telling a story. Trying to explain. Describing his son, Dwight Core Jr., Ingmire’s uncle.

Here is a link to the whole story: Home Movie Now a Slice of Americana

The film is in two parts:

First Part


Second Part

I urge all of you to watch this amazing video. So much of it hits me hard [in a very powerful and positive way].

The point when his father talks about not being able to teach his son and they decide [which was basically the only option at the time in the 1960s] to send their beloved son to a school where people are 'trained to handle' children such as "D" just broke my heart.

I am so blessed that I am schooling my daughter at home.

and when "D's" sister talks about the loss of her Mother......I flooded with tears, as I struggle everyday with the fact that my own beloved Mother is gone. It is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. My Mother was such a huge part of my life...she was a spirit that just radiated joy and hope.

and Burney, if you are reading......when I watched this video I immediately thought of you. I love you so dearly.....and I'm so thankful that you were my Mothers' dearest friend for most of her life.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Shadow Play

Words can never truly express the love I have for my youngest child. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore her siblings.....they too are a huge part of my heart. But they will agree with me on this,,,,this child just makes all of our hearts pause, day in and day out, with such love and admiration and joy. She makes us laugh......she makes us marval at the little things. What a gift this child has. The ability to make others cherish life feel alive. To love and be loved. Simply amazing.




Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My creation

Will you be my Valentine?

Little Miss making a phone call to see if she can find a Valentine....

"Mom, what's Nash's phone number?"

"Oh, you will be my Valentine!!!" "Yeah"

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Emma Sage had a very joyous day today. She had been invited to a playdate at her friend Devany's, but because Rick was heading out, and Otto had friends over, we invited Devany come come play on the river with us. As we were heading out for our outing, Emma Sage's friend Claudia called to see if she could come over to play.

Can you say 'JOY'......this Momma's heart is so full of Joy watching her little girl enjoying her friendships.

Devany and Emma Sage get along so well. I am just so thankful that she lives close by and that her parents and I are encouraging the two to get to spend time together, as they are really beginning to develop a sweet and delightful friendship.

Here are a few pictures from our day.....


Sliding on the rope swing....I was surprised that Emma Sage wanted to go on it again, as yesterday she slipped and fell....but she was eager to try again.

My dear Greta......she is such a great big sister.....

Emma Sage had a blast pulling Devany.....and then the two of them got to sit together and had Greta and Devany's Dad, Ed pull them back and forth.....and back and forth....and back and forth! What a work out!



And then we went for Pizza......what silly little girls "I just LOVE it!"


When we were 'slipping and sliding' earlier [Emma Sage didn't want to use her skates today] so we just did the old 'sliding in your boots' which was so much fun.....but it was wonderful, as there were only about a dozen people enjoying the noon time hours.....

After lunch and I brought Greta [and two of her friends] and Otto and his cousin Michael and his best friend Michael back.......this is what the river looked like from the bridge.........what a fun day for so many in our community. Ah, the joys of childhood!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Did I tell you it is cold outside????

Burrr......we have been in a deep chill. I was doing fine till yesterday, when it really sank deep into my bones. We decided to play at the McDonalds indoor for two hours Emma Sage and her pals Ben and AJ [Friday's are my light and easy day with only two extra kiddos] went up the climging ramps, across the tubing and down the two different curly slides......wheeeeeee....what fun! I try and get the children outside everyday for fresh air and free play, but yesterday the wind was a blowing and it was just too darn cold!

Today was much nicer.....still cold, but sunny and not as windy. Plus today is Saturday, and I only have my own crew to shuttle about. Being that Katrina can drive, I guess the weekends are actaully quite easy for me.

Emma Sage and I headed out to pick-up Greta at her friends from a sleepover, taking two friends back home to their houses [did I ever tell you I have a limo-service.....more of a Mom Taxi!] We did a few errands [like pick up new elements for the hot water heater, as this Momma does love the luxury of hot water]....and since the heater stopped making the water nice and hot yesterday morning.........burr.....Did I tell you it is cold outside? Well, it seems to be a lot colder when you don't have hot water to wash the dishes, or your face ~~in.

Rick is leaving on a 12 day trip to Salt Lake City, so this errand to pick up the needed elements was a very important one. I got there five minutes before they closed.....can you say lucky!

We ate lunch and then headed to Otto's basketball game.

Here is my 'little' guy. He is the tallest boy on the team. They are Tewksbury 5th grade boys traveling team, so they are either 10 or 11 years old.


This was early in the game, they ended up winning 39 to 23. This was their last regular 'season' game and have playoffs starting next week.

Here is my guy shooting a foul shot [good follow through Otto!]


Here's Greta and Emma Sage seeing who can touch their tongue to their nose at the game......"Hey girls, you are supposed to be watching your brother play!"

Then we went to the river to skate........what a great big brother you have there little Miss....





DSC02641 maybe it is still a bit too cold. Emma Sage is saying "I've had enough"

But she didn't want to leave.....she wanted to swing on the swing [this child just loves to swing]

Wheeeeeee...................this is fun!!!


But this is how you really do it! These guys would skate as fast as they could and grab on and go flying through the air! Man, what fun!!!!


So we are going to snuggle in for the night......and get ready to head back to the river in the morning as all Emma Sage has been saying is "Can I go skating again!"

I guess from sitting in front of the woodstove all evening she has forgotten that 'IT IS COLD OUTSIDE'

Friday, February 09, 2007

Music of the Soul...... life and my children's lives have always been filled with Music. When I was a little girl, my Mother would sing to me in Gaelic. Beautiful songs, haunting songs of Ireland.

Rick loves music as much as I, so our CD player is always filled and always playing. I even have speakers [cool ones that look like rocks] outside, so when we are playing or gardening, there is Music.

I love mixing and matching CDs to play to go along with the activites we are involved with.

So of coarse all of my children, including Emma Sage have been surrounded in Music.

When Emma Sage was a little baby, I was playing music from A Woman's Heart, and a beautiful song came on in Gaelic. Emma Sage turns towards the speakers, and like she fully understood this ancient language of her ancestors, she began to sing was truly moving to I quickly pick up the phone to call my Mother to tell her that I do believe Emma Sage has recieved a gift of understanding Gaelic.

And she has......this child just adores Celtic Music [I guess since her Momma plays it daily she has no choice! lol!] but she aslo has a fascination of the guess what she is taking. Yes, she is starting violin lessons.

There is a delightful man who works at the local gas satition,,,,,his name is Dave and we have been friends for years. He is British [but I don't hold that against him, and he doesn't mind the fact that I'm Irish!].....his wife teaches violin and has offered to teach my little girl.

So, I'm thinking that maybe, just day we will see Emma Sage up on Stage with the clad of Celtic Woman [which my sister and I are going to go see on February 26th, thanks to our brother he got us tickets in our Mother's Memory].

My creation

So what do you think? Do I have a future performer on my hands?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Potato Letters

Potato letters.....

Emma Sage just loves to cook and is always finding creative ways to spell her today, she came up with potato letters while we were making homemade French Fries.

We have been so busy.....learning lots, celebrating these very cold winter days. We get outside for about a half hour clip at a fill our lungs with crisp cold air and get some of that 'cabin fever' energy spent. The pond is frozen and Emma Sage is really getting the hang of being up on her ice skates.

I've been missing my Mother so very much.......each time my little girl comes up to me and gives me a huge hug and tells me in her sweet, pixie-voice "I love you Mommy"......I smile and think of how much I love my Mommy, and how blessed I have been to have my Mothers love surround me my whole life. I pray that my own children will always know the depths of my love and how I cherish them.