Saturday, June 30, 2007

Emma Sage has a New Cousin.......

With great Joy we welcome to the World Sweet Baby..........

Wait, she has not recieved her name yet!

This morning, at 5:30 a.m. [a time that I found amazing, since that is the time that my dear Mother would arrive to work 'at the same hospital'....for over 27 years!] My Brother Michael and his lovely Victoria welcomed a little baby girl!

She was 9.9 ozs........and 21 inches long [one big girl!....I told Michael this is going to be his six footer like our sister Patti is!]

Mother and Baby are doing just wonderfully....and Ronan and Rori got to visit their new baby sister this afternoon.

Here are two pictures of Ronan and Rori and one of Emma Sage and Ronan and one of all the cousins, taken at Easter with now Mamie has 11 Great-grandchildren on our side of her family [My Dad is her oldest son]

What fun......a new baby cousin to play with and love!
Ronan and a picture of his beloved Nana
This is Ronan and a picture of his beloved Nana

Now we have to add one more!!!!

Contemplating Rori...
and Big Sister Rori!!!!

I can't wait till tomorrow to hold this sweet little bundle....and to find our her name!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Emma Sage has always had very strong language skills, both receptive and expressive. Her intelligibility gets clearer and clearer as the days roll forward.

Sometimes though, she gets talking so fast [when she is excited about something] and we {who understand her the best} even have a hard time understanding some words.

This happened the other day with Greta.

The girls were busy talking about something.....and Emma Sage replies to Greta { and she does not understand exactly what she is saying} so Greta Says "What?" to which Emma Sage restates the the same result....Greta did not understand again. This went on a few times.....and then frustrated, Emma Sage grabs Greta on both sides of her face and brings her face close to hers and says it again....slowly and clearly. To which Greta bursts out laughing and Emma Sage demands her to "STOP......It's NOT funny!"

Poor Greta tried to stop her she realized that this is a struggle Emma Sage sometimes has [clear speech] and it does bother her greatly that all of her thoughts are not always understood by others.

I think that this is the biggest thing that we deal with in regards to Emma Sage's extra chromosome.........and one that frustrates her the most.



Emma Sage has a very healthy opinion of herself......

The other day we were driving in the car, on the way to the library.

We were all talking and Emma Sage was saying the funniest things....So I say, "You are so funny"

To which she replies.....

"No Mommy, I'm beautiful......YOU are funny!"


This child just makes us laugh and laugh

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I have many stories to share from Katrina's week at Camp PALS as a counselor......but here are a few images till I get the time to share.....

and a link to Meridith Viera [of the Today Show and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire] has a blog entry about her son, Gabe who was also a counselor this year.

Katrina and her camper, Kimberly [they had the greatest week together]

The Spunky Starfish counselors....

The Spunky Starfish campers....


Looking for bugs and frogs......

Watching the stars and moon......

Reading books on a blanket under a tree.......

Playing a country fairs.....

Watching fireworks......

Spending time with cousins.....

Missing my Mother dearly......

Enjoying our summer days......

That is where we have been and where we will be for the next two months.

I hope to post when I can [boy do I have so many pictures and wonderful stories to share]....but will have to do that here and there, as while our summer is filled with lots of fun, lazy-hazy day activities.....we are still very busy and I am trying so hard to limit my time on the computer.

So.....I leave you with these few......

Eating Blackberries that we have been picking on our property....along with Bosen Berries, Cherries, Japanese Winesap [red raspberries...the wild kind] and yummy blackberries.

This is how our fingers look everday.......stained.....yummy!

Playing a game at our T-ball [and the whole league] picnic. Emma Sage even hit the bulls-eye on the dunking tank.....dunking her coach!

Enjoying the fair with her cousin Fiona......we had such a great evening, my sister Patti and I....and our kiddos [well most of them....I had two....she had all four of hers!]

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

An Introduction to the House.....

Or should I say "The cutest, littlest bundle of joy to be introduced to the House"

Representitive Cathy McMorris Rodgers brings her son Cole to House floorfor an introduction.......

How wonderful this is. May every member realize that all people [46 or 47nd chromosome] are all part of this great land.....and all people are important parts of humanity.

Monday, June 18, 2007


You know that roller coaster I have been is still taking me for a ride, and let me tell you, it is one wild, crazy, exhilarating ride!

I have so many things to post about.....but alas, not enough time to get it done. I hope to catch up this is my main journal of our I need to capture as much in writing and pictures as I can.

Katrina graduated high school on Friday night.

It was such a beautiful night and we are so proud and excited for her as she begins a new chapter of her life.

Instead of heading to the Project Graduation and partying for the night.....we took her down to Cabrini College for the start of the 2007 Camp PALS.

We are so proud of Katrina's volunteer activities with PALS and Camp PALS. Her love for her little sister transcends from her family to her desire to work with other teenagers with Down syndrome.....a perfect example of inclusion.

This year there is a new feature of Camp they are maintaining a BLOG.

So, click on this link and you can read about the 2007 session of Camp PALS!

and here are a few pictures from graduation.

Katrina graduated with a 3.4 average. There were 48 other students with a 3.4.....over a 100 with a 3.7 or better and 88% of her graduating class [of 368] are heading off to college in the fall. What an amazing group of young people.

The Class of 2007

Katrina is in the second to the last row on the end.....and her Aunt Heidi is two rows ahead of her in a black robe wearing her major colors from college. My children have been blessed to have their Aunt as a teacher in their high school [great for Mom too as I have eyes and ears abound! wink~wink......the girls are very good girls and I really don't need 'eyes and ears'....but it is so much fun for them to have their Aunt around they are very close.

Emma Sage at the graduation....she was so excited. She kept saying "I'm so happy, cause Nini is so happy!"......and then she would clasp her hands as if in prayer and say "I hope Nini Wins!" she thought it was some kind of competitive event [like her watching her playing sports and such through the years!!

Otto and Michael [our cousin] watching the ceremony!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sharing a Wonderful Essay.....

Written by Michele Westmaas ~ Who is a mom, a wife, and an advocate for people with disabilities.

To outsiders, the lives of children with disabilities can look very bleak
for the children and their families. People wonder how we can cope with
such dreary circumstances. Frankly, there are days when we wonder how we
will cope.

Recently, a friend came upon such a day. She's known since birth that her
nearly 2-year-old daughter is profoundly deaf. But the other day, final MRI
results revealed that she has no auditory nerves -- crushing any hopes of a
cochlear implant or other kind of hearing assistance. My friend felt
sideswiped by grief as she suddenly realized how tightly she'd been holding
on to the hope of some intervention to bring her daughter sound.

Thus began a profound conversation about hope and grief, expectations and
trust. I used to think that hope would get us through tough times. But now
I think hope may be a dangerous place to hang your hat.

Consider my friend's daughter. Her hearing is the same as it's always been.
The only thing that changed is her parents' awareness of what that is. Each
time we get bad news about our children's condition, nothing has really
changed - just our knowledge of it. Our knowing or not knowing usually will
not stop what is to be. The grief is not about a new condition or
situation; it is about our lost hopes.

When hopes are really expectations of how things should and will be, we are
setting ourselves up for grief when those expectations are not met. We have
no control over how things will be. The future will unfold as it is meant
to - regardless of our "shoulds", expectations, and hopes.

So what do we do with our hope? We use hope as a compass to direct our path
and give substance to our vision. But we temper precarious hope with
gratitude and trust. Trust that whatever comes will be just as it must be.
Trust that we will endure any trial that comes our way. Trust that for
everything that appears bad, there is goodness on the underside. Gratitude
for that good -- for the new understandings and insights that can be found
under every obstacle and tragedy in our path. Gratitude for the wonderful
gift that is our child.

When we find ourselves weary and stooped under the weight of our worries,
when our instinct is to hold tightly to hope with eyes clenched shut and a
white-knuckled grip, our despair can be lifted with a combination of trust
and gratitude. Open your eyes, soften your grip, trust, allow, and be
thankful for what is.

Contact Michele by email at


I thought this was such a wonderful piece, and exactly how I view our life with Emma Sage.......With ~ open eyes, soft and knowing she is exactly who she is supposed to be and what a marvelous gift that is!

I hope you enjoyed this essay as much as I did.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sharing an Amazing Gift....

A friend I met online, another Mother blessed with a child with Trisomy 21, is an artist. She was looking for a drawing to be commissioned to help buy her husband a Father's Day I asked her to draw Emma Sage [so I could give it as a gift to my husband for Father's Day]

I have not recieved it as of yet, but she sent me a photograph of it [not a scanned image]. I am so over joyed!

What an amazing Gift Naomi has to be able to look at a picture and put the image down on paper.....I'm in awe of her ability and so thankful she took this commission.

When I get the drawing, I will scan it in and post it.

I can't wait to see Rick's reaction to this he just adores his little girl [I actually kid him about getting one more tatoo [he has one....that he waited to get till he was 40] the tatoo artist named 'Kat' on Miami Ink, as she specializes in portraits....and in many of the show, you see people coming in to have tatoo's done of their beloved children. He just laughs at me and tells me 'one is enough'

So I share with you a very special gift, by a very amazing Woman and Mother....


Love.........get your tissues

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.
~Paul (A.D. First Century) 1 Corinthians 13:4-7~
KUSA Chanal 9 News
I sat with Emma Sage and Greta watching this video clip tonight. We laughed, we cried, our hearts were filled with such joy.
Emma Sage announced that she was going to marry Nash [her boyfriend, as she tells everyone she meets. Emma Sage has met Nash two times....and he has captured her heart forever!
At one point, I say to Emma Sage "Greta can be your Maid-of-Honor"
to which Emma Sage replied
"No, Devany is my friend, she is my Maid-of-Honor, your my sister!" Lol!!!!!
So someday, my hope [as it is for all four of my children] is that they meet a soul-mate and are able to make a loving life with that person......especially, Emma Sage, as she has so much love to share!
So what do you think??? Wasn't that so very beautiful!
"Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love."
~Erich Fromm~

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


"Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have lies in this: When I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it in all its bearings. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought." ~Alexander Hamilton

I know this will come as a surprise to some people, but Emma Sage is a genius........she may not be a genius as depicted by standardized tests, or academic grades....but she is a genius on life. On the observation of life around her. She studies things, she explores things......she puts effort into everything she does. She is a genius of life, and I'm so thrilled to be enjoying the journey with her, as she opens my eyes to so many ordinary things that seem to get over looked.

Otto and Emma Sage love to explore....especially, at our pond. At this outing, they were collecting frog egg sacks to bring back up to the house, so we could witness the development cycle of frogs, from eggs to tadpoles to frogs!! What fun, except the part about trying to keep the cats away from the!! They thought it was 'dinner'!


Otto and Emma Sage exploring at the pond.....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hello Everyone

As you can see, Tara Marie and Emma Sage have had a few makeovers this weekend. The nav bar, just above, provides quick links to their website, and likewise back to the blog. They are now universal in terms of themes as well. Their homeschool blog has a new look too.

Thanks TM for being such a wonderful Guinea pig for my blog and website growth and experience.

Much love, Rebecca

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dance Recital......

Actually, Dance Recital Dress Rehearsal.

Katrina, Greta and Grammy got to take Emma Sage to her Dance Recital Dress Rehearsal on Monday [it was earlier in the day and I could not break away from my job]

Here are two clips from her two routines.....

The first is Tap.....

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and the second is her ballet routine....

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and YES, I cried watching these, as it was the first time I got to see her dressed-up on the stage this year.

If you notice....Emma Sage was quite amazed at being able to see her shadow behind her from the bright dance class she gets to watch her moves in a mirror in front of her and this 'new' experience of being on stage was quite intriging to her! lol!

Our formal recital is on Saturday and we are blessed that my grand-mother [Mamie] and my Aunt are able to come see the show!!!!

Life is truly a Blessing.....espeically watching five year olds in Tu-tu's dancing on stage!

An Emma Sage Funny......

Actually, this child makes me laugh all day long with her quick answers and funny observations on life!

I must get a note book to carry with me, as this old brain usually laughs so hard it forgets about the 'funny' by the time I have a chance to sit at the computer and BLOG about it!

Today was our last dance class. We have a weekly routine [as it is our lightest childcare day because of dance] that we say good-bye to a few of our friends at noon, and then we head to McDonalds for our junk-food allotment of the week and off to dance class.

Today there were three friends [and I figured I'd get a snack-wrap, as usually, I just steal a FF or two and an ice coffee for my treat].

The order seemed long.......

Me: "three Happy Meals, one with milk, one with a juice box and one with a Sprite....please"

The Magic Talking Box: "Would you like salt, ketchup, dip with those?"

Me: "Yes, please, Sweet and Sour and Ketchup"

The Magic Talking Box: "Anything else?"

Me: "Yes, please, a snack wrap"

The Magic Talking Box: "Grilled or Crispy?"

Me: "Grilled, Please"

The Magic Talking Box: "Anything else?"

Me: "Yes, please, three apple dippers"

The Magic Talking Box: "Boys or Girls Toys?"

Me: "Two boys, one girl"

The Magic Talking Box: "Oh, never mind, it is Sherek....they are for both"

Me: "and extra napkins please"

The Magic Talking Box: "Is that all?"

Me: "No, a large Iced Coffee, sugar and milk"

The Magica Talking Box: "Regular coffee or French Vanilla....."

Me: "Regular, Please"

The Magic Talking Box: "Is that all?"

Me: "Yes, Thank you"

The Magic Talking Box: "That will be $17.68 and the first window"

Me: "Thank you"

As we are driving to the First window, Emma Sage exclaims "WOW, Mommy, you are a good talker!!!!"


Too funny!!

"Well, thank you" I say to her "You are a good talker too!"

Monday, June 04, 2007

Please Come Vote.....

Here is the official LINK to the Father's Day photograph contest that I entered Emma Sage and her Daddy in.

Please come VOTE for my Special Girl and her Daddy [who loves her to pieces]

This is the picture I entered....


But this is the one that I really loved....


The voting is by honor system, only one vote per family.....which we will abide by....BUT if all of Emma Sage's family and friends who visit our blog would like to go vote too....Well, that is OK [and we would greatly appreciate it!]

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New Jersey Special Olympics

On Saturday, we traveled to The College of New Jersey [Trenton State] and Emma Sage participated in her "first" Special Olympics.

We also got to watch the Gymnastics and Swimming events and Emma Sage is eager to participate in both as she gets older!! Actually, she will start gymnastics this fall.....and swimming [and yes, Momma is just gonna be busier and busier!]

What fun we had!!!!!

The program is called Young Athletes Program and it was started by a grant between the Special Olympics New Jersey and The New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry. Emma Sage got an amazing kit of items to use at home and she had a blast with all the activities.

Here are a few pictures of our day.........Enjoy!!!!
Emma Sage and her instructor, Ms. Kara!

Look how high Emma Sage she ready for gymnasitcs or what? Or maybe the Rockette's? lol!!!

Katrina, Greta and Otto at the tent for the Young Athletes Program.

Waiting for her next 'event'

Listening to the directions on throwing out the 'first' ball....
Posing for pictures with all the 'Olympians' that threw out the 'first' balls in honor of Special Olympic Day at the Trenton Thunder

OK.....this child seriously cracks me up.....look at her 'moves' walking off the field. [I was taking these from the other side of the field, so they are a bit blurry].....she looks like she is ready to walk the balance beam!!!!

Special Olympic Day!!!!

Standing with Boomer

Katrina and Emma Sage........Otto also attended the game [Greta say'd home as she was having a sleepover]

Emma Sage watching the game with her new friend Jenna that she made at the games.....these two were the cutest together. We met at the tent and then we were sitting next to each other at the game....what fun!!!

Can you say "Italian Ice lips....yes, it was a cherry red Italian Ice that she ate just before this picture! lol!"

Are these two too cute or what?
and in Black and White
Watching the fireworks......Emma Sage does not like the loud bangs!!!!

Can you say....."Happy Girl!"

and a Big Thank you to Special Olympics New Jersey.....we had a magical time and look forward to watching Emma Sage participate over the years!

Throwing out the First Pitch

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Emma Sage participated in her FIRST Special Olympics this past Saturday at the College of New Jersey [Trenton State as most of us remember it......and her Grammy's Alma Mater]......New Jersey Special Olympics has a Young Athlete Program that they put together with The College of Medicine and Dentistry and what fun we had. At the afternoon events, the director asked us if Emma Sage would like to take part in the Opening Ceremonies at the Trenton Thunder and 'Throw' the first pitch.

This is the video clip I took of the most favorite moment of the whole thing is her running open arms into her big sisters arms.....what sibling love!