Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pumpkins, Hokies, and More!

This time of year the calendar is always full but with fun and festive fall activities.

This cutie went to the pumpkin patch with our afterschool church program.  That program has grown so much this year and Hope loves it!  The Conner family is always so sweet to welcome so many kids, preschoolers, and youth from church to visit their pumpkin patch and pick their perfect pumpkin!  This picture makes me sad because Hope looks so grown up here!
Thursday night Kyle and I headed to Blacksburg for a night Hokie game versus Miami.  Night games are so much fun at Lane Stadium and I love that for decades this has been one of the special things I have done with my Dad.  It thrills me that my boys love it as much as I do and that we have made some great memories in Blackburg together.  Yes, it was a late night for a work and school night but it was so worth it!
We love the Hokies and it was great to get a win versus Miami!!
Cousin Clayton also joined us and I caught this sweet moment walking to the car.  Clayton is also in sixth grade like David :)
Friday night Mike and I had a date night back in Blacksburg to attend the VT basketball tip-off banquet.  We are big fans of the VT coach, Buzz Williams and it was a great date night for us!  We were invited by the Glenns and got to sit with some other great Marion folks and mingle with the players and coaches, eat a great meal, and learn more about the VT basketball program.  We have such respect for Buzz because of his Buzz's Bunch program for special needs kids.
I took a selfie with the coach to show David!  There were some amazing auction items but they quickly got above our price range!  Ha!
My pictures are out of order again, but last week Mike and I started a new testament bible study at church.  Tonight was our night to take snacks to I got crafty thanks to pinterest and had a pumpkin themed snack!  Above are homemade cream cheese pumpkin muffins, and below are "pumpkins" made out of mandarin oranges and celery for the stem! I also made pumpkin bread with cinnamon chips.  Of course when we got to church Mike was given all the credit for the snacks!  HA!
We also got to visit with one of our favorite VT players, Seth Allen!  We will be rooting for him and all the VT players this upcoming season!

It has been a busy few days around here but I did get a night Hokie game with my oldest, a date night with my man, and time at home this weekend to try out new pumpkin recipes for bible study.  I am thankful for the beauty of this time of year and I am thankful for quality time with those I love the most.  Life is getting ready to get really busy as basketball season is coming up for all THREE of our kids!!  Enjoy the beauty of the season!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

This is What Inclusion Looks Like

Tonight I sat on a hard gym bleacher watcing an AAU practice.  This gal has spent many countless hours in the gym doing the same thing for our oldest but tonight I was sitting there for our David.  Our special needs child with low muscle tone, who has scars from battling cancer, and whose IQ is just below the magic line to be labeled with an intellectual disability, was invited to be on a local AAU basketball team.  Those who know David well know that basketball is his life, and watching him out on that court with his peers from school playing on a real team just about made this Momma come undone.  
 Tonight, my friends, I witnessed the pure straight up magic of inclusion.  Because David has been exposed to the typical curriculum in regular classes, he has made lots of friends- true friends who love him for who he is.  They certainly know he has a disability but good friends certainly do not count chromosomes.  Good friends know David loves basketball and has a pretty decent shot so when they needed a player they reached out to David.  I cannot handle the awesomeness that happened in that gym tonight.
We are certainly realistic and know that David will not be the tallest kid on the team and will not be called on to do the jump ball, or be the clutch foul shooter in a close game, but that is not what this is all about.  David has been given the opportunity to be on a team, receive a uniform, and make memories with his peers from school.  That is worth more than any basketball stats that will be kept this season in the stat book.
 Tonight the boys that missed two foul shots had to run suicides, and this Momma was probably the happiest mother ever to witness her child running suicides.  I love that the coach holds him to the same expectation as the other players, and has set the bar high for our Dave.  He does not have the ability that others may have but what this guy lacks in ability he compensates for it with heart and work ethic.
 Just when my heart was already beating out of my chest, Kyle was called out on the court to help in some drills.  I looked up and saw his awesome coach working with him on foul shots as big brother cheered him on.  God has certainly blessed our Dave with an amazing village around him!

Tonight I witnessed a beautiful example of what inclusion looks like-it looks like a child with a significant disability being included with his peers, being held to the same standard but with his friends recognizing that David was made a little differently.  I am not sure how many games this team will win this year but after witnessing their first practice, it truly does not matter because this team is made up of winners-from their coach down to every player who welcomed my son and encouraged him during his first practice.  This Momma is so thankful and overwhelmed by the magic of inclusion.

I also got to cheer on my favorite girl tonight playing tennis and this sweet girl was a joy to watch!  May her heart stay pure and her determination never dim.  She too is a winner!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hoco 2016 and Cure by Design

What a super fun weekend we just had!  Last week was Kyle's first homecoming week at MSHS.  MSHS faculty and students make it such a special week with dress up days, a variety show, a movie night, and then of course the football game and dance.  I love that my kids will go to a school with such school spirit.

Saturday night I watched in awe as my first born enjoyed his first homecoming dance.  He went in a group made up of some great kids and he asked a sweet girl to be his date.  The kids chose Mason's farm as the spot for pictures and between their beautiful smiles, gorgeous fall weather, and a picturesque farm the pictures turned out great.
I really encouraged Kyle to go to homecoming because I want him to have four great years of high school.  I want him to be involved and make memories with great friends.  He certainly chose a pretty girl (inside and out) to be his date and I so enjoyed taking their pictures.
My heart was so full watching these kids laugh and have fun together.
My Momma heart was struggling that I actually had a child old enough to attend a high school dance.  We worked with him all week on how to treat a girl- I instructed him to treat his date in a way that is pleasing to God and how he would want someone treating his sister one day:)  

This beauty, Caroline, was also in their group.  Kyle and Caroline have grown up together and he loves her so much.  He even called me from the dance worried because she was upset for a minute because some boy was dancing with a girl.  This girl is the center of their social group and she was THE freshman rep on the homecoming court.  She looked beautiful! 

handsome guys in the hay loft on the farm.
The farm was so beautiful and gave us lots of good photo opportunities.
AFter the farm the group headed downtown to eat dinner.  We had to do some last minute pictures on the Iron St. Mall.  This picture makes me smile.
I was also THAT Mom that followed them into the restaurant for one last picture.  A few Moms and I had dinner at a nearby restaurant while they ate dinner.
Meanwhile while I was playing homecoming Mom, Mike, Dave, Hope, GG, And Pops, were at the Hotel Roanoke for the Cure by Design fashion show to benefit the American Cancer Society.  David was one of the models and it was a fabulous night!
David getting ready to rock the runway.  Blessedly one of my friends from college was also attending the gala and offered us seats at her table which allowed David to have a big cheering section!! I hate I had to miss it but having multiple children means that often you have to divide and conquer and Saturday night was one of those nights for us.  Mike said David did great and was not shy at all! HA! I was so thankful that GG and Pops were willing to be there in my place and truly cheer him on.
It is amazing to think that in our family David has finished treatment for cancer and Pops is almost finished with his chemo.  I never imagined that cancer would touch us so directly.  I am so thankful for events like this where David gets to shine and to give support  to the American Cancer Society.

This past weekend all the Robinsons (minus me) were in their finest for either Homecoming or the Cure by Design Gala.  I am so thankful for a fun homecoming weekend for Kyle with a great group of friends, and I am thankful for Dave to use his sparkle and personality to help raise crucial dollars for the American Cancer Society.