Friday, March 30, 2012

Abandoned and rejected: one final hurdle

In September, I posted Abandoned and rejected introducing you to Clare and her soon to be family, the Fristoes who live right here in Kansas City.  In September they still needed $16,000 to bring Clare home and were furiously working on paperwork to get everything completed.
Clare knows her family is coming.  Here she is opening her care package from them.
Do you think she is thrilled to be getting a family or what?

Six months later they have everything completed and have travel news!

They will be picking Clare up in less than 8 weeks!  

However, due to the delays from immigration they are going to be traveling when airline prices are more expensive so they are short $3500.

They are holding an iPad2 giveaway (with some other things like a iTunes $50 giftcard) for only $5 an entry and yes they are tax deductible through Reece's Rainbow.

This giveaway ends next Friday April 6th (Good Friday) at midnight.  I am begging for these sweet people as they have struggled and scrimped to raise all the funds for this adoption.  Help them make their Easter celebration an even more joyous one.

Clare will be blessed to be home in this family, I can't wait to meet her and see her blossom.

Please go over to their blog today and help them out: pray, donate, share on FB, Twitter, blogs etc.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


 Nothing says welcome to warm spring nights better than a cool popsicle dripping down your chin!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

If you are ever in Ukraine

The very talented Lucille Brown of Reece's Rainbow created this poster and a couple others to hang in the DAP, Prosector General and other official buildings in Ukraine.

Click on the link to go to Poppies Blooming blog and check out the other posters she created to share information about how wonderful children with special needs are.

We are thrilled our sweet Dariya was included and pray that through these posters many people's hearts and minds will be changed about children with special needs especially in that country.

If you are ever in Ukraine please take a picture of one of these for us.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day: A reason to celebrate!!!!

When parents learn that their child has down syndrome whether prenatally or at birth the news isn't usually cause for celebration.  

However, those same parents when they stop worrying about the "what ifs and what might be's" and enjoy their child as the wonderful creation God blessed them with they soon learn that down syndrome does not define their child nor restrict their child from living a full and fabulous life.

It truly is a reason to celebrate.

With the new prenatal, blood screening for down syndrome my fear is that one day there will be no more children born with down syndrome. 

For my girls this means lack of services &  no connection to other families or individuals with ds.

Today marks the 7th year that World Down Syndrome has been celebrated on 3/21.  

This date was chosen as people with down syndrome have triplicate of the 21st chromosome.

Even the United Nations is recognizing today as WDSD!!!!

We love our girls and their extra chromosome and shout it from the rooftops.

We are blessed.

We hope you will join us in our celebration today and take our challenge to tell at least ONE person you meet today about down syndrome and how my girls (or your own child/grandchild/cousin/aunt/uncle whomever has ds in your life) have positively touched your life.

Advocacy at its best!

Please leave us a comment and let us know who you shared with today!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back to the grind

We had such a fabulous spring break with beautiful weather.  We took in a new park everyday and thoroughly enjoyed family time.

But, as all good things must come to an end today was the first day back to school for the kids.
Loved Alayna's face too much not to share!
She really was excited!
The girls were super excited to be heading back to school and Alayna even told me, "more school" as soon as she got home.  Guess she had a great day.

Aidan and I headed out to the dentist and orthodontist this morning before he headed to school.  I don't usually take pictures of Aidan at the dentist but he was a good sport to model "appropriate behavior" at the dentist.  I am going to make a book for his little Ukrainian sister who doesn't really enjoy the dentist visits. The girls had their check ups a couple weeks ago and you know who screamed right through it and they hardly touched her!  Alayna on the other hand jumped up in the chair and didn't fuss a bit.
Smile pretty Aidan!
In February, Aidan entered the build your best snowman competition at his ortho's office.  Now remember we didn't have any snow this winter so Aidan had to get creative.  He used floam for the snowman and it came out adorable.  To Aidan's surprise and excitement he won a Flip video camera for his entry!  Go Aidan. 
Look what I won!!!!
Celebrating Mommy's birthday
I only wish we had a video of the kids singing happy birthday to me.
Alayna sang every word and blew out my candle for me!
I am blessed!!!
Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Robots and hideouts

Just in case you didn't think we are weird enough...

 Jason turned Alayna into some kind of robot from outer space.  

Obviously being daddy's girl he can talk her into anything (and vice versa)!

And if you think daddy can talk the girls into anything you should see how fast they move when Aidan says "let's go make a hideout".
Under your bed?

Oh they were having a grand ol' time with pillows and blankets to boot.

Yep, pretty weird but pretty fun!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring break sunshine

We were thrilled when spring break fell this week and the weather is forecasted in the low 80's each day. 

Sweetness of seeing these two walk hand in hand up the sidewalk (while I was chasing Dariya up the other sidewalk of course)
We took the opportunity to get out early and take in one of our great local parks.  Praying that with my trusty side kick, Aidan that I could manage two on-the-go preschoolers.  

We had the pleasure of running into our "favorite" UPS driver and having lunch with him in the park.

We count it as a successful outing, well unless you count that one time when Dariya got away from Aidan and was in the parking lot before I realized and could catch her.  Ugh!

Sunny mornings at the park make for sweet slumbers for two tired girls and some fun time for me to hang out with Aidan.
AHH, we do so love spring break.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reading is fun

As a former teacher, I know the importance of reading.  

As children with ds tend to have great sight word memory the reading specialists suggest teaching children with down syndrome to sight read before you teach them the alphabet as the letters and sounds probably won't have as much meaning to them.

It would be my kids who do it backwards (per the specialists).

Alayna has known her letters and sounds for a long time (not because of anything special I did but rather because she wanted to learn them) and Dariya is quickly picking them all up because she knows her sister already knows them.  

Truthfully, Alayna memorized her letters exactly the same way Aidan memorized his.  They played with those magnetic letters on the fridge or foam ones in the bathtub and would make up things for each letter.  For example, A is for Alayna, D is for Dariya, P is for Pop Pop etc.  The ones Aidan made up were all around characters from Dora the Explorer as he loved that show when he was little.  D is for Dora, B is for Boots etc.

Alayna has been able to sight read words including our names since last spring.  So I wrongly assumed she would just take off and by now she would be reading novels.  Well ok not really novels but, you know what I mean.
However, she hasn't been too interested in continuing working on learning sight words so I dropped it for a while.  

After the reading conference I attended at the end of January I have tried to make a conscious effort to work on reading a few minutes each day with the girls.  

Thankfully they both have been super excited about it and are requesting these books daily.

Here is a couple clips of her in action.  She had this book memorized after the first couple times she read it and has now transferred the words to other books and is so excited when she sees a sight word she knows in one of our reading books or in the real world.  

Praying that both girls have a love for reading, like their big brother the book worm!  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pretty in curls

Last weekend I decided to put Alayna's hair in curlers before she went to bed and oh my was she excited about the curls she had the next day for church.

Of course it added to the fun when EVERYONE at church told her how pretty she looked!

I guess I know what I will be doing every Saturday night!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Not sure what has happened in our house but, all of a sudden my girls are playing with dinosaurs and matchbox cars!  

We are so glad we didn't garage sale too many of Aidan's boy toys.  I am secretly giddy because after Aidan's LOVE for dinosaurs when he was little I have a strange affection for them.

We took the girls out to T Rex (just to look at the dinosaurs not to eat mind you, I can make a mean hamburger at home and save the $50  ;) 
They were both intrigued and absolutely loved the place.  

We have been marching around our house with Laurie Berkner's We are the dinosaur for days...

Pure delight from these two.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday

To our surprise a beautiful pink box arrived on our doorstep this week.   It was addressed to me but, I knew as soon as I saw the return address who it was from, Polly Kirton and who it was to, Dariya and her sibs!

Polly is one of the kindest people I have met in blog land.  Her daughter Kristen was an inspiring young lady who brought Polly into our lives.

Kristen lost her battle with cancer summer of 2010 but, Polly didn't crawl under a rock and hide although I am sure she has had plenty of days that she has wanted to.  Instead, Polly donates her time, talents and resources wherever she can.

She continues to advocate for orphans with down syndrome, deliver goodies to the hospital that Kristen spent many days at and raise money for cancer research.  She truly is inspiring.

This week we are truly grateful for blog friends who go out of their way to welcome our girl home in the sweetest of ways.

Polly made the each of the kids their own pillowcases!  You could hardly contain the excitement as the girls ripped open the box and dug through the tissue paper.

Aidan showing off his pillowcase, flashlight and the girls light up eggs

Dariya couldn't quite figure out why her new "dress" didn't  quite fit.  LOL

Thank you Polly from the bottom of our hearts.