Thursday, September 30, 2010


Lately we have felt a tad bit discouraged about David's progress. At times it seems that his Down Syndrome diagnosis is in the far back corners of our minds. Other times it seems that it takes center stage. It often rears its head when you least expect it and you are reminded that indeed he has a significant cognitive disability.

Last night I took David to children's choir practice at church. I got to slip into the adult bible study that was going on while he was practicing in the sanctuary. The pastor was preaching about Jesus being the light, but he highlighted a scripture that hit this mom with a special needs child right in the heart.

In John, it talks about Jesus healing the blind man. The disciples asked Jesus who sinned to cause this man to be blind. Jesus replied by saying "neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be revealed in him." Alrighty. In this scripture you could substitute any disability out there and still draw the same conclusion.

Doctors often refer to David's disability as a "goof up" in the number of chromosomes that he has. A certain doctor tried to explain this to us by saying that "nature goofed" and gave him an extra set of chromosome-hence the Down Syndrome diagnosis.

Clearly that doctor does not believe in a sovereign Lord like I do. I know that David is fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator and that God certainly can keep track of the number of chromosomes that David received. David does not have Down Syndrome because of a "goof" but so that my God's good works can be revealed.

Basically as a momma with a special needs child in my home, I take this verse to mean that God was well aware of the number or chromosomes in his little body and wants to use his disability so that HE may be glorified. I get it. If Kyle or Hope reach a milestone or achieve something exciting, it would be awfully tempting to be proud and use our "good" parenting to explain the reason it was reached and for us take all the glory.

With David we know that when a milestone is reached unexpectedly or when a wonderful helper is put in our life, we know who it came from. We know who to give the credit to when I hear him read words from his books. Everytime he surpasses our expectations I know who deserves the glory.

It was such a wonderful reminder to me last night at bible study that God has, is, and will continue to do wonderful works in my David's life. Yes, there are going to be ups and downs in this walk parenting a child with special needs, but God will be there to wipe our tears over the heart breaks.He will also be there to receive the glory that He is due when we come to him in thanksgiving over the works he is doing in David's life. Glory to you Lord.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Random Stuff

I just had to share some random stuff from the last week or so. Sometimes that most precious moments happen when you least expect them!:)

David has fallen in love with the computer and I love that he pulled a chair up for Hope so that she too could watch Elmo!

And as you can see, she is pretty darn hapy that her brother included her in computer time!
As we are all still grieving for my Pawpaw my Mom ran across this amazing book by Beverly Lewis called What is Heaven Like? It is beautiful and accurately reinforces what the scriptures say about heaven. I think it has helped the boys understand a little better. I strongly recommend this book if you need to help a little one understand a little better about heaven.

I just have to tell this hilarious story about my newphew Clayton. Clayton is in kindergarten and has enough personality for three people. He is a deep thinker and he really misses Pawpaw. This past week my mother told me that he stretched out on the floor and drapped a flag over his body like Pawpaw. I find it amazing that he took in all those details from the last time he saw his Pawpaw's body in the casket. To some that may sound morbid, but I know that Pawpaw would have laughed his head off at his great-grandson:)

For my birthday my mother got me this book! Years ago I read Dr. Dobson's books on raising boys (I should probably pull out the strong-willed child again for David) but I was so thrilled to get his girly version. I am already on chapter 4 and it has really made an impact on me already. This book and my thoughts definitely deserve a post when I am finished with it. It thrills and scares me all at the same time to raise a girl.

Hope is obsessed with books and wants to sit down and read often. I used a curriculum for the boys called and I loved it! The writer of that curriculum has since introduced a curriculum for 1-2 year olds and we started it this week. Instead of focusing on a letter of the week, you study a theme to increase vocabulary and give a little structure to our school time. This week we are studying cows! It includes books, poems, songs, and you introduce a color and shape each week.

I do believe that Hope is going to be a cute and funny mix between girly girl and tomboy:) In the picture above she is sporting her tiara that she had on for most of the morning, but then in the picture below she is playing with a monster truck in her smocked nightie! I love it!

I am off to have lunch with Kyle! On Tuesdays Hope and I go to storytime and then we pick a brother to go eat with.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This weekend was our first swim meet of the season! Mike had to teach Friday night and Saturday morning, so I took Kyle by myself Saturday. He swam five events Saturday morning and five events Sunday morning. We were so thrilled that he got first place overall for his age group!! He has never done that before so it was super exciting. His friend, Bre got the girls 8 and under award!!

This picture cracks me up because here is Kyle's coach, Ms. Meg, giving him a pep talk before his first event. It looks like she is lecturing him but that is definitely not her personality! She is a super laid back coach and he adores her.
Butterfly baby:) It was really a special weekend because I took Hope and David to Radford Friday night. Kyle and I went to the high school football game and then came home early to rest up for the meet. My youngest two did great at my parents' house.

Here are Kyle and Bre after they figured out that they both won FIRST place for their age group!!

Hope did very well at the meet, but I got so tickled how unruly and wild her curls got in that humid pool area. Her curls got bigger and wilder as the day went on! Bless her heart, she is going to have hair just like me. Humidity does weird things to my hair too-that is why we can never live any further south than we do now! HA!

Our cute little winners with their trophies! It is exciting to win first place in one event, but to win the overall award is super exciting!! I was so encouraged as I watched our young and old LASO swimmers encourage each other and cheer for each other. The swimmers would have died from embarrassment if a parent would have knelt down by the side of the pool and yelled, but it is cool when your teammate does!
I really enjoy swimming because I think there are lots and lots of good lessons to come from it. You have to work hard to swim and I pray that Kyle will gain a strong work ethic from the sport. You work months and months in the pool practicing hard to shave tenths and hundredths of a second off of your record.
This weekend went by in a blur as we cheered on our LASO kids in our first swim meet of the season. Sometime over the weekend I turned the big 35! That milestone requires a separate post, but I will say that I am thankful for my life and all the lessons I have learned in those 35 years. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Music Lovers

On Thursday nights I take my two music lovers to Music Together at a local church. Mrs. RaeAnn comes and teaches a music class for children ages birth-five(ish). My two music lovers ADORE this class and it is one of the highlights of the week. We have a CD that we listen to at home!

Last night David decided to take his guitar and play with Mrs. Raeann. I love it!:) This boy is a guitar-playing fool and one day soon we hope to get him guitar lessons.
The class is after dinner, so it is called a "pajama class" and the children are encouraged to wear comfy pj's. Hope got to wear her hand-smocked nightie that was a gift from Karen. David wore sports clothes because that is what he sleeps in.

Pardon how terrible and sweaty I look here. The room does not have AC in it and we have had a freak heat wave here this week.

I love that David gets Hope her instruments and is always wanting to help her.

David temporarily joined the Blevins family for snuggle time. Thankfully their girls were sweet enough to allow a boy in the mix!

Hope listens so intently and I am convinced that this class is one of the reasons that she is so verbal these days and sings all the time. The songs from this class truly become the soundtrack to our family time. We have two CD's-one for the car and one for home. David and Hope ask for this music way before asking for a certain TV show.
I am so thankful that my kids have this opportunity. I can do a lot for my children, but unfortunately music instruction is out of my comfort zone! I am so thankful for our Thursday nights where we can gather with friends and sing and dance our hearts out!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Heart Full

All day long today I have fought back sweet tears as my heart has been full of joy. Yes, I still miss my Pawpaw and yes, life is not a bowl of cherries everyday but today I was just reminded of how amazing Jesus really is.

My sweet, sweet eight year-old son was very sad this morning when he realized that he was going to be late to "see you at the pole." This is an event where one day a year children meet around the flag pole to pray for their school and friends. Kyle's bible teacher helped organize this event and he did not remember until we were on our way to school. He made me drive in front of the school versus the regular drop-off route so he could see if he was still in time to pray. I cannot tell you how full my heart was that my big, ever-growing eight year-old was excited to get to school to pray with kids from his school.

I am not sharing this sweet story about Kyle to brag about our parenting skills or the number of times this child has been to church. I think my tears came so readily today because I knew that Jesus has captured that child's heart. Yes, Mike and I have taken him to church and such, but Jesus has captured his heart.

I was so moved during prayer time today because I realized that despite the number of times I have been unfaithful, He is always faithful. Despite the number of times that I have not always shown Kyle the right way, His ways are always right. Despite love and kindness that I have not always modeled, His love is unconditional.

Mike and I have always taken that verse in the bible about training up your children so literally and we see it as the big commission of parenting. We believe that children must be taught the values that we want them to have-it truly does not happen by osmosis or chance!

Today I was reminded that Jesus is so faithful and that we are made to be in fellowship with him. My eight year old bolted out of our car to try to get to that flagpole today. I pray that he always pursues Jesus with this determination and that he is always this excited to be in fellowship with our Father. This Momma has a heart full of love tonight for the One who pursues us and loves us despite our flaws and our sin.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Funny Text

It appears that the hour I was gone to the PTO meeting at Kyle's school my boys had a lot of fun playing together.
I hear they played some basketball and then moved on to football. They tackled and had a great time.
After the meeting I got into my car and received a text from Mike asking about David's front teeth. To get an email from your husband asking about front teeth that you do not think are even loose is troubling.

But sure enough, David lost BOTH of his front teeth playing football with Kyle! Thankfully our dentist friend was outside watering his flowers and I took David by for a driveway consultation and he gave him the "all clear!" Even though the teeth had a little help with that game of football, he is at a perfectly appropriate age to lose those two teeth!:)

So tonight, my big first grader was so excited to leave his tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy. Unfortunately only one was recovered from the football field (?) so the tooth fairy will just have to believe that there really were two lost tonight!:)
DAvid was so excited that he had a hard time going to sleep-anticipating a fairy being in your own room toting money is pretty darn exciting stuff! He really wants the tooth fairy to bring him $10 so he can buy a Frosty. God love him-that is all he could think of to spend his money on:) Hopefully the tooth fairy will not be too sleepy to remember to visit this little toothless wonder tonight and leave him some Frosty money!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Mom and two boys

Saturday was such a thrill for me! I got to take Kyle and one of his sweet friends, Caleb to the Virginia Tech game:) My Dad has tickets and we love to go to the games. Lately I have felt like our household has been divided with Mike and Kyle going to do sports stuff and me staying home with David and Hope. I love that scenario, but I have also been missing time with my biggest boy.

So, I got to leave the diaper bag and my two youngest at home and head to Blacksburg with my eldest and Caleb. The weather was beautiful and we had such fun. Thankfully the Hokies pulled out their first win of the season and we cheered our guts out.

I want my boys to remember the times that Mom took them to sports stuff too! Mike is such a great hands-on sports Dad that coaches most of their teams, but I enjoyed every minute of being the only girl with these two cool kids and my Dad.

I want my boys to look back and remember that Mom was not too "girly girl" to scream at football games and jump up and down with them during "Enter Sandman." I want my boys to know that I am trying so so so hard to fit into their sports world and I am learning.

This Momma wants to love what my boys love and yesterday we loved us some Hokie football!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I am finally understanding that life is truly about choices. Now that I am no longer a foot-stomping brat (well, most days I am not) and I am almost in my mid-thirties (gasp!) I finally now get it that you cannot have it all.

Years ago I decided to give up any notion of a "career" to be a Momma. It was not an especially tough decision at the time despite the fact that when I made that decision I had a few courses under my belt towards my masters degree in Special Education. (nice foreshadowing there huh?!)

So for the last nine years or so I have been home to mother the babes that God has blessed us with. Life as a stay-at-home momma is not always easy. Heaven knows there is very little glamour in cleaning toilets and scrubbing stubborn cheese off the lasagna pan. There is no award ceremony on TV for the "best" mommy, and the people in my household can at times, take this momma for granted. I earn no money and my social security check down the road will be ridiculously small.

But, there are days like today when I take my little piggy-tailed girl to the park to play, that being at home with her just feels right and I am so amazingly thankful to God. We listened to the leaves falling from the trees, we looked for fish, we slid a million times down the slide, and this momma enjoyed being in the moment with a little girl that will not always be this little.

I hope in the next few years I will be able to use my teaching degree again and teach some little people somewhere. Maybe one of these days I might even wear a "power" suit again (are those even in style now)?

But today, I am thankful for this little girl who reminds me how fast life is hurling by and I am beyond thankful that today I was right by her side.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random Pictures and Thoughts

Here are some precious pictures of my two playmates from yesterday. Last night David and Hope had their first music class for the semester. They were both so excited to get a new CD to listen to at home. We came home and David started playing it right away. We love the new songs and it was so sweet to watch them play as those songs played loudly in our living room.

As a mom of almost nine years now (gasp!) I have the perspective that precious stages do not last forever and I am choosing to cherish each stage. I LOVE this stage that Hope is in. She is still tiny (20 pounds now at 15 months) but she is walking everywhere and just takes the world in. I love reading books with her:) She is also very into kissing and here is a sweet kiss I caught between her and David!
She is loving her little pigtails and she keeps them in all day long.

I love this stage where a laundry basket can seriously entertain her and David for hours!

Loving on the her sweet Bitty Baby.

David is also very into books (hence the pile behind him) and these little animal counters. He is suppose to use them for doing Math, but I think I caught him in this picture playing football with them! Ha!
On a random note, if you listen to the new song that is first on my blog playlist you are in for a real treat. The song is called The More I seek You and I am in love with it. I have played it now for two days straight and It just speaks to my heart right now.
We all feel weary and overwhelmed during various stages of our life. We all feel spent because our "tank" is empty. This song just ministers to my soul. I love the chorus
I want to sit at your feet
Drink from the Cup in your hand
Lean back against you and Breathe
Feel your heartbeat
This love is so deep
It is more than I can stand
I melt in your peace
It's overwhelming
I don't know about you today, but I really need a Father that I can lean against and allow His peace to overwhelm this stressed-out, calendar maxed out, weary Momma.
Also, the part about feeling Jesus' heartbeat just makes me have chill bumps all over. We all have loved ones with Him now and just to know that they are in his presence and can feel his touch brings me joy. I still miss my Pawpaw so much and this line about leaning on Jesus and just breathing touches me so. BECAUSE of Jesus my Pawpaw is able to literally lean on Jesus now and take a deep unassisted breath. He is witnessing first hand the overwhelming peace that can only come from the King of Kings.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Girl

It just seems like life is flying by fast too fast for this little girl in our house. I honestly cannot believe how toddler-like she looks these days. Her hair is getting long and crazy, so this weekend, we experiemented with some pigtails and ponytails. Mike really wants her hair to grow out so the beautician told us not to cut it now and just let it grow out.

I love me some piggytails on a cute little girl:)
Walking barefoot through the backyard.

She loves our new playground and really loves to slide.

Sweet baby legs:)

Kyle is so great to help her do stuff liking slide down the big slide.

She has also fallen hopelessly in love with Elmo. Here she is actually watching TV! This is the first show/character that she will actually watch and here she is dancing to his little song. She also can sing the "la la la la elmo's world song!"

Walking to get to her baby stroller. She loves that thing and the baby inside of it.

I love this cute hairbow that I bought for her at Dollywood. There is a new monogram shop there that has the cutest stuff. God bless my Dad for watching my boys so I could shop there for a minute:)

I love the polka-dotted legs and her new Bobux shoes:)

It has been fun to shop for her fall clothes this year because they have such cute things for her size and age. I love little leggings and tops to match and of course we had some great hand-me-downs from the Whites. I am not ready for cooler weather yet, but when it comes this little one has a closet full of clothes ready to go!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Football Weekend

We have certainly enjoyed lots of football this weekend. Mike is teaching a new class for UVA in Roanoke at the Higher Ed Center, so I took all three of my babes home to Radford for the night. Chad and I took our boys to watch Radford play George Wythe.

I have to admit that it was super surreal to be at my high school alma mater with my boys in tow. It was fun to see some of our extended family and the boys had fun. Here is my Kyle sporting the black and gold.

My Dad has kept the clock for the high school varsity and JV games for the last 42 years. It blows me away that he has volunteered for that job for all these years. As a child, it was such a treat to hide in the toasty press box with my Dad on those cold Friday nights in Radford. The boys had to visit Pops in the press box before the game.

You have to be almost silent up there because Pops has to pay attention to the field referees and there are two different announcers going on during the game. Kyle and Clayton snuck up there during the fourth quarter to watch Pops in action.

David is sitting on my cousin, Abram's shoulders. Abram plays baseball for Radford University and David wore him out at the game! His brother, Harrison, plays for RAdford so we cheered for him all night. David cheered his guts out for him until he passed out in the arms of my mom's friend Shirley during the fourth quarter. Carrying that 50 pound child out of that game in sandals was certainly a challenge:)
The next morning it was time for Hokie football!!

Here are my boys with their cousin, Brandon. Brandon and Matt came up from Knoxville to use Pawpaw's tickets. Pawpaw had already bought the tickets for this year and I am sure it would have thrilled him for his grandson and great-grandson to use those tickets. This was Brandon's first ever VT game, so we made it special by tailgating. Unfortunately the weather and the Hokie players did not cooperate to make it a perfect day.

Playing a little football in their "white out" shirts that GG bought them. I am thinking of possibly burning those suckers-who needs a constant reminder of one of the worst loses in VT history? Uggh.

Every tailgate needs a few chicken tenders and a few cute boys:)

Pops and Kyle

Matt and Chad during our tailgate before the rain started. I think the boys had a blast tailgating-they played a little corn hole and of course we took a few trips to the port-a-potties. :)
Unfortunately all the fun we had did not make those Hokies play any better and we lost to JMU. Unbelieveable for the whole Hokie nation, but it is a good lesson to teach our kiddos that to be a fan you must be a loyal fan-through the good days at Lane Stadium and like today, the ones you want to forget. Next up next weekend is East Carolina and I just hope and pray those hokie boys practice really hard this week:)