Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

We are so fortunate and blessed beyond measure. Here are a few of my thankfuls for the week.

~Our Step Up for Down Syndrome celebration was amazingly fun. We had so many people that surrounded us with their love, prayers, & support. Teaming up with the Heigele family is a complete blessing in itself. Alayna definitely felt like a princess for a day! Also, I am very thankful that we raised over $400,000 and for the outstanding leadership of our DSG that uses this money to support all our families.

~Toddler silliness - Alayna continues to make me laugh daily with her funny faces, silly antics etc. For example, the other day she was pretend crying and put her hands over her face and peeked out at me to see what I would do, when she saw me catch her peeking she cracked up. Oh, how I love that girl!

~BSF class - Our Isaiah study each week has some huge point that jumps off the page and convicts me. This week it was the thought that we should be grateful to God for everything even when our lives are shaken. It is pretty easy to say thanks for the good stuff in our lives but, to really be grateful in ALL circumstances and to use each situation to grow closer to God is sometimes hard to do. But, I pray that through this study I truly grow more grateful and trust God with the present and future and pass that on to my children.

~A night out with Aidan at the KC Royals game. The Royals donated tickets to all the Step Up walk participants (YES 7000!) so that everyone could attend a game. It was a beautiful night out and Aidan really enjoyed watching his first major league game. Thanks to Grandma who stayed with Alayna since the game was passed her bedtime, giving me a great date night with my favorite 7 year old.

~Aidan continues to soar in school, on the soccer field, and at the piano. Here is a couple songs he has learned in the past few weeks he has been taking lessons, pardon the out of tune piano.

I hope your week has been great and that you truly take the time to stop and reflect on what you are grateful for and share it with us. I love reading your gratefuls!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

3 Musketeers celebrate Step Up for Down Syndrome Style

What a day we had today celebrating Alayna, LC & Jace (& all our other chromosomally enhanced buddies) at the Step Up for Down Syndrome.

Big Sarah's Mickey & Minnie Mouse themed outfits were a huge success. Thank you again Big Sarah, we missed you and love you. People couldn't wait to get a glimpse and take pictures of the adorable threesome.

We were blessed with fantastic weather and over 90 family & friends who came out to share the day with us.

A little early morning debriefing as the threesome planned their day.

Riding in style

I think Alayna worked her way through the whole crowd of our team and started working on the other 6900 people that were at the walk to get in some snuggles.

Bounce houses, pony rides, rock climbing, food and games AND the WALK!

Here is us at the starting line up, and here is Alayna working a little more snuggle time in with Pop Pop.

LC was desperately trying to get Alayna to hit the Blue Bell ice cream truck with her. LC quickly gave up and ventured out on her own when Alayna told her she just couldn't keep up.

Heigele clan we love you and are so thankful God placed you in our lives, you are forever family.

Mid walk both girls were looking sleepy (Biggie thought ahead and took a morning nap) by the end of the walk it was lights out for both Alayna & LC!

Wow you kids know how to party!

We are grateful to all those that prayed for, supported us, donated to our team and came out and walked with us. Our lives have been greatly blessed through your support.
We hope you will join us again next year to Step UP for Down Syndrome!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.
Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~Denis Waitley

Taking the time to sit and reflect on the week as I write this post helps me continue to teach my heart to be grateful.

~Jason getting home by 5 all week and having that extra time to play with the kids.

~Milestones by the minute for Alayna- It seems like sometimes we have to wait a bit for a milestone then other times they seem to rain down. Alayna learned how to blow her nose this week, is taking 5-6 steps at a time, has some new words (I spy, right there, yes), shaking her head for yes and no, recognizes tunes and is asking for songs and participating by adding words (says Up in twinkle, twinkle, says "o" in Bingo and Old MacDonald and does signs for animals and sounds), is signing potty when she is peeing in her diaper!

~A little extra provision this week. I do some admin work from home for a gal when she is on vacation. The guy I work for is great to work around Alayna's nap and therapy schedules and pays me really well.

~Aidan excelling at piano, he is so excited to play and is working on his second song already. I promise to post a video of him playing soon. I taped him today but, he missed a couple notes so he gave me strict orders to NOT put it on the blog. Wonder where he gets that perfectionist quality? hmmm....

~The outpouring of support for our Step Up for Down Syndrome team. Everyone has contributed nearly $5000 (almost $400,000 for all KC teams!). Our little three some will definitely be the best dressed team at the party on Saturday thanks to our Big Sarah.

Finally, I am really thankful for my BSF lessons that continue to stretch me and evaluate myself.

Hope you are having a great week, I know you have something that you are grateful for....come on do share!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A chance meeting?

You probably know that I don't think anything happens by chance. I believe God has a specific purpose for each of us on this Earth and although some days I have no idea what he is calling me to do (probably because I don't get quiet enough to listen) some days it is made completely clear.

Alayna & I took a trip to one of our great local parks this week and immediately were welcomed by another mom and her son.

This mom was very friendly and completely taken with Alayna. She watched Alayna, wanted to know if we knew prenatally about the ds, commented on her, was intrigued by her sign language and continued to ask questions about her.

After about 15 minutes I was starting to wonder where the conversation was going to lead.

This mom was pregnant with baby number 2 and explained to me that they had been pregnant after their son and miscarried a baby that they found out had down syndrome. She confided in me that she didn't really know much about ds and was praying for a healthy baby this time.

All the questions, the loving way she looked at Alayna, the inquisitiveness of her wanting to know all about Alayna and down syndrome was explained in that moment.

I was thankful that I didn't assume that this woman meant harm in her intrusion of our park date and afterwards was so very thankful that God put us at this park to enable us to further down syndrome awareness by answering this woman's questions.

I hope after meeting Alayna that any negative stereotypes about ds that she had were erased. I pray that if the baby she is carrying does have an extra chromosome that she will remember Alayna and all the information about ds that I gave her and that she will be a little more prepared to meet this blessing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A special delivery...just in time for the Step Up

If you have been following us for a while you know my dear friend, Sarah Russell from Little Rock, whom we lovingly refer to as "Big Sarah" (Aidan nicknamed her this when he was 1 and it stuck) decked Alayna & LC out last year for the Step up for Down Syndrome in their matching shirts, tutus and bows!

We weren't surprised when the UPS man delivered a huge package to our door on Friday afternoon with goodies for Aidan, Alayna, LC, & Jace.

Oh my goodness Big Sarah, you have outdone yourself yet again!!!!

We love you and can't thank you enough for dolling up our littles for their big day this Saturday. We will miss you terribly but, know that the kids will be the best dressed threesome at the big event.

I am not going to spoil the surprise with pictures, tune in next weekend to see how adorable Alayna, LC & Jace are in their coordinated outfits for the Step Up for Down Syndrome on Sept 25th.

Just a hint to tide you over...our team name is the 3 Musketeers:Alayna, LC & Jace and LC's favorite show is Mickey Mouse's clubhouse. Hmmm do you sense a theme?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves. — Corrie ten Boom

It seems weeks are flying by faster than I can keep up with them. Here are a few thankfuls from this week~

~My mother who comes to play with Alayna so I can volunteer in Aidan's classroom a few times a month.

~Wonderful books and a great library system. A couple great books I have read lately....The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom & A Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns. Both books have made me more thankful for what I have but also are stretching me to continue seeking for what God is truly calling me to do.

~Alayna & I started back to BSF today studying the book of Isaiah for the year. We were both thrilled to be back, enjoyed our morning and are so grateful for the ability to freely meet and learn more about the Bible.

~Even though our schedule sometimes drives me crazy I am very thankful for the great school that Aidan attends and the wonderful school & services that Alayna receives.

Here is a little clip of Alayna singing along with B-I-N-G-O! (I apologize for my singing but, she is really cute) We are thankful for her "O" sound!

Hope you have had a great week. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick catch up

Like everyone, we are crazy busy with no signs of slowing down. Here is a quick overview of what we have been up to lately.

Aidan has been back to school for a month and really enjoying 2nd grade. I am volunteering in his class every other week and it is such fun to meet his classmates and work with them.

He began piano lessons last week with our dear friend, Ms. Nancy. After one lesson he was sure he would never get it and ready to give up. But, after last night's lesson he came home playing a song and was so excited to show daddy (too bad Alayna was asleep so he had to wait until this morning). His little fingers are so ready to hit that piano every afternoon when he gets home from school. YEAH!
He is also back on the soccer pitch and ready for a new season with his team the strikers. Here is a little clip of him making a break away. He is having a blast playing and learning that you win some and you lose some and all that is important is you give it your best.

How can you go wrong with this little cutie cheering you on?

Alayna is doing great with her therapies and classes. It is so much fun to see all the new things she is learning each day.
She & I are excited to start back to BSF tomorrow morning for this year. We are studying the book of Isaiah. If you are interested, these studies are all over the world follow the link to find one in your area.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Our lives are blessed. We try to take time to notice all those wonderful things daily. Here are a few thankfuls from this week.

~A wonderful Labor day weekend with Jason & the kids. The weather was fantastic. We rode bikes, went to several parks, flew kites and played games. Doesn't get much better than that.

~A great start to piano lessons for Aidan, from our wonderful friend who just this fall began teaching lessons again.

~My parents made it back in town from their summer up north.

~A wonderful evening out for dinner with my sister, just the two of us. So thankful for time without interruptions to sit and visit.

~Today we celebrate 23 wonderful months with Alayna. I can't believe that she is one month from 2 years old.

~Sibling bond - Laundry basket rides that cause loads of giggles. (Just watch the first 10 seconds on the video).

What blessings do you have to share this week?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Hero - the snake wrangler

I came downstairs after Alayna's nap to find a teeny, tiny ringneck snake (seriously smaller than an earthworm) in my kitchen.
Thankfully, my snake wrangler had it cleared out in no time.

Note: If you ONLY knew how afraid of snakes Jason is you would seriously be patting him on the back for this rescue!

Thanks honey!!!

2nd note : I won't tell you that he called 3 times before he got home to see if I had taken it out yet. (Giggle, giggle...)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day.
~Author Unknown

~Lots of positive feedback & good discussions with people about my post When is it ok to use the R word?

~Pecan, carmel popcorn

~Bike rides & walks together as a family.

~Alayna's continued great progress. She has started taking more than her "just 3" steps (most of the time). As you can see big brother is a huge motivation for her. Her self feeding using utensils, language and pretend play skills continue to flourish.

~I always pray for God to tightly bond Aidan & Alayna. I love to sit back and watch as He shows me that they truly are bonded. Alayna continues to get SUPER excited hearing or seeing the bus bringing Aidan home. (Fast forward to 55 seconds and just watch the last 10 seconds...she LOVES her brother!)

~A great start to the soccer season for Aidan (they won 7-0) however, the game was at 8am & little sister decided to sleep in so she & I missed the season opener.

We hope you have a wonderful Labor day weekend and safe travels.

We hope you have had a great week but even if you didn't we hope that you take time to reflect on at least one thing to be thankful for and leave a comment and share it with us.