Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter 2016 was full of family, church, fun and faith.  This was my first official Holy week on staff at church as the middle school youth director and though I am exhausted this day after Easter, it was wonderful. 

Christmas and Easter are about the only time we are off together as a family.  Our spring break is short this year due to snow, but we are thankful for anytime we have off together.  On Hope's list was to make resurrection rolls and dye Easter eggs.  We checked them both off of our list.
We had planned to take the kids to Dollywood on Saturday, but Friday night we decided that we really would just stay home and catch up around the house and take the kids to see Zootopia. 
We even ran into the Easter bunny at the movies!!
We attended Maundy Thurssday service Thursday night at church.  Mike came straight from work, Hope and Dave had on play clothes and Kyle came straight from basketball.  We made it and that is all what matters. Friday we then had Good Friday service which remembers the death that Jesus died on the cross. The youth had a part in that service. 
Here is Kyle taking a candle out of the church.  To symbolize Jesus' death all elements of Him are taken out of the sanctuary during the service.  I wonder how sad, scared and hopeless Jesus' disciples felt after his crucifixion.  They followed him so loyally for three years and they must have felt so sad after his death.  The service was very powerful. 
Saturday night at midnight the pastor held an Easter vigil fire at the church.  I took Kyle and Tanner and along with 18 other youth, the pastor, and senior high youth director and we sat around the fire.  I am too old to make it all night but  I made it until about 2:45 a.m.  It was a lot of fun and I was so proud of the youth for coming out to wait for Jesus.  About 8 of them made it all night long until the sunrise service at 7 a.m. This princess needed a few hours of sleep so I came home and slept for three hours and made it back to the sunrise service. 
At the sunrise service we started at the fire and took the light of the world back into the dark sanctuary.  I was so impressed with the youth that made it all night long.  Their parents were also expecting them to be bright-eyed and busy tailed and wearing their easter best in just a few hours. 
After the sunrise service there was a wonderful breakfast with homemade sausage and gravy! There were also bunny pancakes!  It was wonderful and my little bunnies met me there. 
We came home and cleaned up for Easter church.  I caught this precious moment of Kyle fixing his brother's hair. 
Robinson girls:)
Our sweet Easter bunnies
After church we headed to Radford for Easter lunch. Here are our kids with their great grandmother.  She is in a wheel chair temporarily due to a sore on her foot. My 96 year old great aunt was also there. 
My Dad got Kyle a new fishing pole for Easter and here he is teaching him all about it.  These two have such a sweet relationship and they are looking forward to fishing together this spring and summer.
Seeing the cross full of flowers that symbolize life and hope blesses me so much each Easter.  Easter is my favorite holiday ever.  We live in a world where not much is sacred anymore, so it touches me when we stop for a few days during a very holy week and take time to remember what Jesus did for us.  I am so thankful for a Risen Savior!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is March 21 (3/21) which means it is time to celebrate all the awesome people in our life that sport that extra chromosome.  For some reason today I have been very emotional thinking about the last 11 years as I have parented David and walked this journey of raising our sweet boy.
Here is our gorgeous David one week old.  He was tiny, floppy due to low muscle tone, and the sweetest baby ever!!  I was so proud of him but I was so scared and so overwhelmed.  When the doctor shared the news with me that our baby was showing signs of Down Sydrome I said to her very frankly "God made him and made him for us" and that is how I knew that God was so present with us during his birth.  The day he was born was sacred because that was the day Mike and I were forever changed. 
How could we not be overwhelmed in love for this beautiful baby that needed us so?  How could we not be in awe that God chose us to parent this child?  When you have faith in God, you know that everything he makes is perfect.  So therefore, we know that our David is simply perfect.  He was given to us to teach us all about God and his glory. 
This angel baby has taught me how to love.  Really love. Deeply and tenderly.  He has taught me to see that everyone has gifts that can be used for God's kingdom. David has taught us all how much God loves us and how to truly praise Him.  David has also taught us to see the world through a different lens and this is what I am most thankful for.  Life is not measured by how much stuff we have,  or how many accolades or worldly success one can attain.  Life is measured by how we serve and love each other.  Life is also measured by how we serve those who cannot serve us back. 
David has taught me that good friends do not count chromosomes as he has always blessed David with a wonderful village around him. 
I remember laying in the hospital bed worrying about the kind of life we could provide David.  A day post partum I felt so overwhelmed and I worried so that he would be lonely and sitting on the sideline of life.  How absurd that sounds now, but when you are 28 years old laying in a hospital bed cuddling the baby you did not expect to deliver, those dark thoughts tried to sneak in.  Clearly we can laugh now since David has a bigger social life than any of us!  God has blessed this little guy with sports, church, school, and activities. 
Eleven years ago we also did not know that besides the twist in the road of Down Syndrome we would also watch this warrior face and fight cancer.  We now watch him on the other side of intensive treatment victorious and as an ambassador for UVA children's hospital.  I had no idea on his delivery day the fight and strength this child would show fighting cancer.  Things like childhood cancer do now make sense on this side of heaven but it has been another twist and turn in the journey of parenting David.  We are all forever changed due to his presence in our life.
We are so thankful for all those folks in our life that encourage and love our boy as much as we do.
We are also so thankful that he has two siblings that will always have his back.  Kyle is old enough and articulate enough now to tell me how David has changed him as well. 

We will never know why God chose us to be David's parents, but 11 years later I can only give praise to our God for giving us his fearfully and wonderfully made child who has taught me how to be the woman god wants me to be. I am forever humbled to be called David's Mommy.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March Update

I simply cannot believe it is Palm Sunday today.  I know Easter is early this year,  but it feels as though we just put the Christmas tree away! 
These two along with their Daddy ref finished up their Upward basketball season this past week.  David will now graduate to Special Olympics basketball next year.  Hope adores basketball and thanks to her older brothers and coaches, she has improved so much! 
Hope and David have also been enjoying their kids yoga class!  This class has been awesome for David's strength and core muscles.  David is athletic but still has some stamina issues and low muscle tone.  Here he is doing the caterpillar pose! 
Here is Hope doing the tree pose!  Friday afternoon after yoga we had a family dinner at home and then we settled in to watch the Hokies play BYU in the NIT tournament.  The game was late for us, but I stayed up to cheer for my Hokies.  I went to bed after midnight and then was up Saturday morning at 6 to go cheer for my favorite basketball player!
Kyle had an AAU tournament in Christiansburg early Saturday morning.  I was able to catch two of his games.  I love watching this guy play basketball!!  He had a great day and even blocked a shot for our team to hold on and win in overtime.  Kyle is so quiet and shy but I love seeing his leadership skills and passion on the court. 

After catching two of Kyle's games we picked up pops and one of David's dear friends, to head to Charlotte to watch the Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets play!
After buying matching jerseys they found some cute cheerleaders for a photo op! 
God has blessed David with some sweet friends and we are so thankful.  We are also so thankful Pops got to spend the day with us and watch some basketball-NBA style. After getting home at midnight, it was a little difficult to wake up for church but we made it!
Here is our sweet girl in the palm processional at church.  There were several of us moms waiting in the back of the church for the time to bring the palms in.  One of the hilarious girls said "hey wait... we are suppose to yell Ohio when we walk in right?"  Close but lets try Hosanna instead!!! Children are truly hilarious. 

No afternoon nap for this girl, because it was time for our annual Easter egg hunt with our down Syndrome group. It is always so much fun, but today we had new babies!!!!!!!  Everyone knows that I adore babies so I had to get my hands on them.
Here is gorgeous Jessie!  He was born in December and he took my breath away.  I sat down with his Mom and chatted.  I think she was overwhelmed when she first walked in.  A diagnosis of down syndrome is a shock and like us, she had no idea her son would have that extra little chromosome.  I pray that she was encouraged and excited for what is in store for her family after being around so many other children with designer chromosomes.  David has brought such joy to our entire family and I am so thankful God chose us to be his parents. 
Baby Alice also attended her first ever egg hunt!  David even got brave enough to hold her! 
This picture makes me belly laugh.  Caroline and I decided to take a selfie and  I smiled my big cheesy smile. Caroline then said "no like this" and showed me how to make duck lips!  I rolled and then of course made duck lips.
Kay Clawson captured this picture of my boys.  I love this picture because Kyle rarely smiles that big smile.  I love the relationship these boys have and I am so thankful David has two great siblings. 

This tired but feeling so blessed Momma is ready for bed.  Between yoga class, cheering for the Hokies, two early AAU games, an NBA game, Palm Sunday at church and then an Easter egg hunt with some of the cutest kids ever, I am exhausted.  Blessed but exhausted. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Robinson Update

Our family has been so busy but blessed lately. 
Hope and David have started a kids yoga class and they love it!! It is great for David's core strength and his balance.  Such a great option for our kids locally.
This past Saturday night at church our amazing middle school youth hosted a princess tea party for little girls in the community as a fundraiser for our summer mission trip.  It was a huge success with close to 60 princesses showing up for the royal treatment including hair, nails and makeup.  We also had a bible study time to learn Psalm 139:14 I am fearfully and wonderfully made. It was an amazing night at FUMC!!!
Before the tea party Saturday, we rushed to Kingsport to watch Kyle play two games of basketball.  He was not 100% after having the flu last week.  I love to watch him play something he loves so much! He got shoved down and hit his head pretty hard.  I was not a happy momma-basketball is rough!!!
Here is my little fearfully and wonderfully made princess after her royal treatment of hair, nails and makeup!  She had such a blast with her church girl friends.
The amazing Victoria did a circle braid in Hope's hair!!  It was gorgeous-she is so talented. 
Every Sunday morning David choses to sit alone on the front row so he an be close to the praise band.  Yesterday he sat with us because these beautiful ladies sat with us also!  We joked that only these pretty girls would make David change his seat at church! Ha!

Middle school youth is keeping me incredibly busy these days but I love every single second of it.  I love watching them mature and grow in their faith.  It is humbling to watch God work!  This Saturday night we are hosting a youth worship night at church and I cannot wait!! 

Life is very busy these days but it is full with lots of great stuff including church activities, sports, school, preschool and youth for me, Life is good and God is great.