Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Looks Like...

Being the world's best patient at his latest ear check.  Slightly less hearing in his left ear, but hearing is still great!
Girly dates!
Independence Day!  
Independence Day!
Eating Popsicles and figuring out how to smile for the camera :)
Eating peas fresh from the garden.
Feeding horses.
"Yee haw!"
"Howdy, partner!"
Gabe is suddenly obsessed with horses.  Luckily for us, we have some great friends who happen to have horses!  Gabe was beyond excited to finally get to ride one.  He would have ridden into the night if we let him.  
Becoming more and more of a book worm!
Campfire fun.
The big kids were assigned to make a shelter in camp, just for fun.
Beautiful big sister.
No, this in not a postcard.  You can't make up this kind of beauty.  We're so blessed to be able to enjoy the outdoors.
Hiking with your best friend in the beautiful mountains of Idaho.
Small kid in a big ol' world.  He's ready to take it on!

Every time he sees a stump he sits down and tries to rest his elbow on his knee.  I'm not sure where he got the idea, but he's just sure this is what you do when you sit on a stump.  Makes me laugh every time.
Going for a hike to a waterfall. Yes, the orange vest is so he doesn't get lost!  This boy is fast!
Worn out from building a shelter in camp.
Climbing on big boulders in the Mountains.

Gorgeous early summer flowers in the Sawtooth Mountains.
Photo-bombing Mom's flower photos :)
Campfire memories.
Big campfires.
I told him to smile for the camera and he told me to send the picture to Olga.  Hi, Olga!
Who needs a fork?
Attacking a watermelon.
Getting hugs from big brother when you skin your knee.
Tug-of-war with your big brother and sisters. 
Visiting a fire station and jumping in the firefighters  clothes.

Blowing bubblers on Camping Trip #1

Pretending to be a dinosaur in the bushes.

Our summer has been full and fun and everything it should be.  And the best is yet to come!  We will soon be off on our first family vacation to the Oregon coast!   This will be the first time my kids have ever seen the ocean.  I can't wait to see their faces!  

I've been enjoying reading again (yay!).  These words of wisdom came from the book This I Believe, a compilation of remarkable people's personal philosophies.  Check it out!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Tomorrow (3/21) is World Down Syndrome Day.  It's held March 21st of each year because Down syndrome is caused by a 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome.  It's a day where people across the world celebrate the people they love with Down syndrome, as well as a day to create awareness of the worth of people sporting this extra chromosome.

Obviously, around here, we love those designer genes and celebrate the every day moments we get to have because of them.  In case you were wondering what life with a child with Down syndrome is like, let me give you some hints:

  You might get a kid that thoughtfully examines things one moment.....and then flashes his most rascally face the next.

Spontaneous dance parties in the most unlikely of places are completely normal.
 (This one was at Gabe's cardiology checkup) 

They might get when your pajama pants don't stay up so you go find a shoelace and fashion a belt for yourself :)

And have I mentioned imagination?  Dr. Gabe is always at our service and provides the best care.  I hope you won't mind that he has to do his charting on the computer while you get examined.

Brothers with Down syndrome make great lunch dates...

You'll find them sleeping in the cutest of places, like on dad's lap.  This may cause dads to have wildly proud grins.  
And you'll find selfies of little feet on your phone that will make you smile.

You may get a boy who loves to watch movies with you (as long as there is popcorn involved), and who loves to be silly with the camera, or gives you the "I'm tilting my head because I'm super cute" look.  

You may get notes home from the teachers. 

Or find out your little Russian, who didn't quite know what to do with a book when you first met him, had a bookworm inside his little body, just waiting to come out :)

You might be lucky enough to feel stung in the heart for a child halfway around the world who needs a mama.  

And that little boy may bring you more smiles, more happy tears, more joy than you could ever imagine.

Now, of course, every day isn't rainbows and butterflies around here.  We have our fair share of stubbornness, whining, arguing and tears.  But isn't that how it is with any child, regardless of the number of chromosomes they have?  Yes.  And that is my whole point on this World Down Syndrome Day-we are more alike than different.  And maybe the thing that sets kids with Down syndrome apart from the rest of us is that special sensitivity they have toward giving and receiving love.  In that regard, I wish I were more like them.  Happy World Down Syndrome Day!