Monday, September 29, 2008

A Night to Remember

Sometimes in life there are unexpected blessings that you know only come from God. Today was one of those. Recently I posted about a young man (Frank)that wrote an article about the movie, Tropic Thunder. The article really tugged at Lynn and my heartstrings as we realistically saw how this young man with Down Syndrome felt the discrimination that often comes in this society. Well tonight, David and I got a chance to have dinner with him!

Frank and his mother, Cornelia had come to our school system to speak to the students during bully prevention week. I did not get to hear his speech, but I did get to sit around a dinner table with him tonight. On my right side, sat Frank who was full of jokes and one-liners. He looked across the table at my David and said "one day you will learn David that there is nothing more yummy than a pair of ladies' lips!" We all rolled!:)

On my other side, sat his dear mother, Cornelia. I had so many questions for her, but I didn't want to dare miss a moment of Frank on my other side. I don't even remember what I ate at this special dinner. Also attending, were Carol and her young adult daughter Jessica who has DS and our friends, Kilby, Seth, and Brittany. Needless to say I cannot believe we didn't get kicked out of the restaurant we laughed so hard.

Frank's mother offered a blessing for our food that made tear drops fall into my food. She thanked the Lord for special children like David, Jessica, and Frank that were put here for His purpose and to give Him glory. Not only did we have a delightful time laughing and carrying on, but I just wanted to fall on my knees and thank the Lord for this amazing oppotunity. Without David, I would not have appreciated the experience I was blessed to be apart of tonight.

Cornelia and I briefly shared the trials that raising a child with DS can offer, but oh the laughter, love, and comraderie that was around that table tonight was something to behold. I needed this boost today after the sad news that my friend Lynn's wonderful mother-in-law is in the hospital after suffering a serious stroke. The only thing missing around that table tonight was Lynn and her precious Caroline!

I was mesmerized with Frank tonight as I watch him read and study the menu at the restaurant. He could live indepedently, but chooses to live with his parents. He works in a bakery and took great detail to explain to us all the goodies he makes. His mother often looked at him with such pride and often would bury her head as he told one last joke! I will carry this experience around in my heart for a very long time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Striper pictures

I got an email today that took me by surprise. My dad who does not often email me sent me one today with the title "striper picture." My mouth dropped open as I opened that email. Clearly, I am not a good speller and he sent me a great picture of my nephew, Hunter with a big striper fish! I thought for a split second that my Dad was not the virtuous church deacon that I thought and that maybe he was interested in strippers:) That is what happens when you try to multi-task!!!!

Anyway, here is a great picture of Hunter with a huge striper FISH that he caught!! Hunter is a really cool 12 year old. He and my brother, Chad have enjoyed their new boat on Smith Mountain Lake. My Dad joined them to catch stripers, not strippers this past weekend.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Swimming Dude

The alarm went off very early this morning. Mike and I were so tired, but excited for Kyle as he took part in his first USA swim meet in Johnson City. Kyle was so nervous last night, but this morning he was excited to see his friends and try to improve his swim times. He swims in the 8 and under group, which is pretty daunting for a six-year old! He did awesome and improved his times and placed first in his heat for freestyle and backstroke. It was a fun family outing as we cheered for Kyle and his other teammates. I thought David would be a challenge to keep up with, but surprisingly he did well:) Despite the ridiculously early times for warmups, this swim team thing is fun family time!

p.s. I cannot believe this, but Mike took the pictures today. He volunteered to man the camera, and I am impressed with his results.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Glimpses of Success

Being a Mommy is so hard and lately I have really struggled with how to properly raise my sons. My nature is to hover over them and smother them with love and nurturing. But lately, I have realized the need for tough love with Kyle, especially. Last week was a tough week for Kyle as he decided he did not want to play football anymore. What a tough one for this Mommy also. Our house rule is that you must follow through on a committment, but this is a hard committment to keep since it possibly involves bodily injury:) After a long evening, Kyle decided that maybe he will stick it out with football after all.

Anyway, as we were struggling all week with how to handle this football situation, I got a note home from Kyle's teacher reporting that he had earned enough Kid Cash to have lunch with ANYONE in the building. (Kid cash is a positive behavior program where children earn "kid cash" for good behavior). Kyle could have chosen anyone-his cool first grade friends, teachers, etc.. but he chose David. After such a tough week where Mike and I (actually just me) struggled with a tough decision, we saw a glimmer of success-Kyle chose his brother first and foremost. I do not know if this is always how it will be with these two, but at this moment in time, Kyle would rather have lunch with his four-year old brother than anyone. Needless to say, this mommy's heart was full of pride and love. Often when times are tough is when we appreciate these small glimmers of success that maybe as parents we are getting it right more often than we give ourselves credit for it.

p.s. As I write this post, my boys are having a major standoff over a big yellow bucket in our family room. Perhaps this lunch date was a once in a lifetime encounter:)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Previous Post

Hey! For some reason, on my last post (Future Olympian?) the words did not come up always?! It is above this techno-wannabe's head as to why, but I just wanted to clarify what David was doing in those picture. A new gymnastics facility has opened here recently and I signed David up for a tumble tykes class with several of his girlfriends. (There are several boys in the class, which made Mike happy!) Anyway, we enrolled him in this class to work on his weak tummy muscles. As you can see from the pics, he LOVED every moment of it, and it still showing off his stamp he got for good behavior! It was such joy to watch him!:) Enjoy the pics and have a great day:)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Future Olympian?!

Today David started gymnastics class! He is in a class called Tumble Tykes at a new gymnastics facility here. We were so excited for him to have this opportunity to work on his weak tummy muscles and have fun with his friends! David knew many of the children in the class and surprisingly he did awesome! We got in the car to go home, and he signed "more!"

Touching his toes in the warmup! He stayed on his carpet square and seemed to love the warmup moves:) David is checking out the girl beside him!

Jumping into the foam ball pit. At first he was a little leery, but he loved it!

Oops..what is a little gymnastics without a face plant or two! Mike was sitting behind me and you heard a collective gasp from him and the other parents. David just jumped right up and kept jumping on the tumble track. I don't think Mike will come again to watch David, I think this one class did his nerves in!:)

Is this not the cutest picture! They were suppose to be jumping like a pencil with their arms straight up in the air. I believe David is getting ready for Christmas early with his reindeer antlers!!:) What a cutie:)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Football Frenzy!

Well, we made it through the first real football game and Kyle is still grinning! He loves it even though he learned tonight there is another team coming after him! Bless his heart, on the first play of the game, Kyle got the ball and ran for a touchdown. Frankly I have never seen him move that fast and as his mother I know why he had that speed-he was running for his life so he wouldn't get tackled!! Here are several pictures of the touchdown!

This afternoon David was so excited about Kyle's game that he found the helmet and had to get some downs in in our living room! It is definite football frenzy in our house! Next week starts the regular season games-I will be there with bells on cheering my guts out as always:) Go Cowboys!

With my new camera lens, I got really close on this picture!

Sweet David having some after school football fun in our Steelers helmet:)

Opening drive of the game-go baby go!:) It all happened so fast, that it was hard to cheer and take pictures at the same time.

My angel faces. Several minutes after this precious angelic picture was taken, Kyle tackled David which ensued a Robinson riot!!!:)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Boy-Scared Mom!

I should have known this football thing would not go away. Kyle has been talking about playing football well over a year now. Signups were last week, and I simply thought somewhere in my mind that he would see what it would be like and back out-no such luck for this worried Mommy. He came home from "uniform pickup night" with this getup on and this smile plastered to his face! He was so proud of himself:)

The next night would be the first practice. A light rain fell and I smugly thought that this first practice would put an end to this football stuff. I soon realized, however, that the rain actually made him MORE excited about this upcoming first practice. Mike took him and I watched from the sidelines as my son had the time of his life! He loved the stretching and warmup just as much as he loved the playing part. This week, however, will be his first game-I cannot wait to see if his enthusiasm grows or dims as he comes into contact with an opposing team. In the meantime, I will be in the laundry room trying to figure out where all these pads go in this pair of tiny white pants!:)