Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here are just a few....


Santa, I promise I have been a good girl all year long, but I am AFRAID I have to run right now.....
(that face cracks me up)



Ashlyn has a collection of Boyd's bears....she received this Christmas angel from Papa John and Grandma Denise!



woooo hoooo Spenser finally has his own digital camera!!!



Come on...let's get this present opening party going on!!



Mason, I could have sworn I saw a bag of coal in your stocking....whose gifts are those?



Here, have some popcorn with your present!



You can never go wrong with chocolate!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Nothing is impossible for God

The Cure for Disappointment -- "I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth, Nothing is impossible for me." Jer. 32 :27

author unknown
Quote:

"We need to hear that God is still in control. We need to hear that it's not over until he says so. We need to hear that life's mishap's and tragedies are not a reason to bail out. They are simply a reason to sit tight.
Corrie Ten Boom* used to say 'When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.'...
The way to deal with discouragement? The cure for disappointment? Go back and read the story of God. Read it again and again. Be reminded that you aren't the first person to weep. And you aren't the first person to be helped. Read the story and remember the story is yours!"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's about the Cross

I love this song by the group "GO FISH" - It's about the Cross
You can disable the song "God bless the last ones" by clicking on the pause button on the pink flash player to the left.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

GIFTS




I had a really cool phone call today! A lady that I know called me up today to tell me that she was sitting there looking at a book that has Ashlyn's picture in it and was written by me! Her baby weighed 1 lb 10 oz at birth two weeks ago and she is staying at the Ronald McDonald house! She had no idea that the book even existed and I had no idea that there was a copy of it in the lending library at the Ronald McDonald House in Winston Salem! This was a very awesome feeling!!!! Isn't this GREAT!?!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I just found this video while surfing blogs tonight....
This video has an awesome message!


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We are also blessed with marvelous neighbors

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Giving God the praise and glory-

that he deserves. God has been so good to us. I can't keep it inside because I just know that my insides would explode!! Praise God that I had 3 prayers answered in one weeks time! I feel like the heavens are pouring down upon my life. The first answered prayer was something that I have prayed about for at least 3 years. Good things come to those who wait....well I kept hope and faith that God would come through on this and he sure sent an angel our way. The second answered prayer I have been praying about for over one year... I won't lie, this one was a biggie and quite a miracle! :) The 3rd answered prayer was revealed to me on my birthday yesterday and honestly it really made my year!!! I thought I was going to come out of my skin when it happened. Even though only one of these prayers directly impacted my family, they were all of equal importance. God is so good....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Good reading from the blog "Chewing the fat"

Like someone else said... "dont' judge a book by it's cover"! You have to read this story....I love it! I can see this happening in my head....nice, young man with Down syndrome who is alone and goes to the checkout line to purchase a coat and uses a credit card..... go read for yourself!

I am having a extremely hard time posting this link...so just copy and paste...you will be glad you did!


http://davehingsburger.blogspot.com/2007/11/credit-where-credit-is-due.html

Sunday, November 4, 2007

God knew what he was doing when he made me!


And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. John 9:1-3


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Yum-my apples that we made...hmmmm mmmm good!

Spenser and Mason

Mason Montana






Mommy & Mason (his real costume) and I keep swearing I am going to let the internet bill go one month so that I can fix these hare teeth! he he!


Ashlyn the GOOD WITCH!



We hope that everyone had a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Post #1 for October 31st

So I let myself down. I didn't get to post all 31 days :( I did try though. Typically I could have done this, but this month has been a VERY crazy month.

Here is Miss Jaiden, one of our favorite friends that we have in our Trisomy 21 family. Her mommy Leah and I met last year in Chicago at a gathering of T21 families. Leah and I have been friends for quite a while and it was awesome to finally meet in person. Jaiden and Ashlyn stayed at home with their daddy's while us crazy moms met up and had a little fun! We vow that we will one day meet up again and bring our wild and crazy girls to finally meet! I just know in my heart that they will love each other as well! They are so much alike in personalities and behaviors and we call them the "soul sistas". We hope to meet ya soon Jaidey girl! :)


Jaidey and her daddy



Baby Jaiden and her big brother Nicholas


Jaiden's 1st ride on a school bus!


Pretty lil girly!


Jaiden in her daddy's pilot hat


HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lovely lab work and x-ray's

I have been very busy with life for the last several days and barely have time to post this, but I was feeling like a slackard. :) So yesterday I have to take Ashlyn to the hospital to get yearly lab work and also a neck x-ray so that she could ride the horses at Saving Grace farm with her class. I honestly think that the visit yesterday took about 6 months off of my life. :( We did the x-ray first and believe me it could have gone better than it did. I was sweating when we got out of there. This chick of mine might have low muscle tone but she is NOT low in strength. We started out with this great guy who was a big ol' teddy bear... sweet as pie. (I was very thankful for this!) Then we decided we needed some back up. We layed her out on the table, he held the bottom part of her body and I tried to hold her neck/head in the correct position and then another lady got the mug shot of poor poopsies neck. Thank God the x-ray's came back in the clear. Lab was next and boy I thought she was strong getting her x-ray...that was a piece of cake compared to drawing blood from a screaming chicky. Her thyroid levels were fine, which is awesome because we were watching her levels last year. :)

I really don't know what is up with the older generation. There were 3 elderly people in the waiting room yesterday, 2 women and 1 man. I REALLY wanted to go and tell the one old lady that just because the man sitting beside her had in a hearing aide, that the rest of us weren't deaf. So Ashlyn was actually being PRETTY darned good for Ashlyn. She was playing around with a toy and then got restless and tried to escape a few times. As I am sitting there watching Ashlyn I hear the old lady go... blah, blah, blah syndrome (that was all that I heard, ha!) So then my ears perk up and I am trying to hear the rest of their conversation...yes I am nosey, I don't deny it! Then she screams out "they say it comes from lack of folic acid". She stopped there for a while and then on another escape route from Ashlyn I hear, "I could not handle that" from the old hag. :) The old man says " not now you couldn't" and she says "not then either". So I had about all that I could take without being ugly and put wild woman in a wheel chair and start wheeling her around the floor for about 25 more mintues of waiting. I think what made me mad the most was that they were just spewing at the mouth like none of us could hear them and just kept right on doing it like it was no big deal. I told Mike about it and he said I should have went up to her and said "you don't have to worry about handling her, she is mine and I can take care of her myself!

So that is my older generation story for the week.... I have one more encounter that we had the YMCA not long ago, and yes it involved another ol' lady.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Couple with Down syndrome prepare to wed


Thursday, 10/11/07

Couple with Down syndrome prepare to wed
They expect their love to transcend limitations

By CLAUDIA PINTO
Staff Writer


Doctors referred to Gwenn Resha's baby as a "mongoloid idiot" and advised her to put the infant in a nursery and have another one real quick.

"They said nursery, but they were meaning institution," Resha said. "Back then, there was no expectation that people with Down syndrome would do anything but sit and vegetate."

Resha's daughter, Berna dette, has helped to debunk that once-widespread be life. The 28-year-old has graduated from high school, acted as a paid spokeswoman for Easter Seals and Special Olympics, appeared in the movie Gummo and become an accomplished artist whose paintings sell for hundreds of dollars.

On Nov. 11, she will do something else that experts a generation ago would not have thought possible: she is getting married to a man who also has Down syndrome.

Advocates say marriage is rare between two people with Down syndrome but becoming more common because of longer life spans made possible by medical advancements. Newer laws ensure their right to education and employment, which have made independence possible.

No one tracks the number of such marriages across the country.

"I don't know of any other couple with Down syndrome who have been married in Tennessee," said Sheila Moore, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee.

"This is very exciting for Bernadette and Josh. It's also very exciting for the Down syndrome community. It's gives us hope and excitement that individuals with Down syndrome are having more opportunities and living more normal lives than ever before."

Bernadette Resha of Nashville and her fiancé, Josh Putman, of Mt. Juliet, seem unconcerned about being pioneers. They just want to be together.

"I like Bernadette. I love her like a wife," said Putman, 25. "Every time I met her, her is a good person, a good athlete. And her is a good artist."

Bernadette Resha re sponded to the kind words with a shy giggle and tenderly touched Putman's arm.

"He is my very close friend, boyfriend," she said. "I like for him to support me and be a good husband."

They had opportunities

Advocates say that Bernadette Resha and Putman are part of the first generation of children with Down syndrome who have had opportunities to be educated and employed.

Instead of living out their lives in an institution, they have been included in public schools. Their individualized education plans typically include employment training and instruction on how to live independently.

"Prior to 1975, it was
Not mandated for children with Down syndrome to be educated," said Madeleine Will, vice president of public policy for the National Down Syndrome Association.

"It's believed there were 1 million children with Down syndrome and other disabilities who weren't being educated."

In the early 1990s, the Americans with Disabilities Act required that accommodations be made in the workplace when possible, and prohibited discrimination.

As a result, "adults with Down syndrome are achieving more than ever before," Moore said. "They are graduating from high school. They are employed in our community."

In addition, medical advances have dramatically increased the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome. Will said that in the 1980s, whites with Down syndrome typically didn't live to the age of 25. That compares with an average lifespan of 55 today.

Down syndrome, caused by a chromosomal abnormality, comes with a host of
Medical conditions, including heart and digestive problems.

"Now almost all of these things can be corrected," Moore said.

While progress has been made, advocates say there are still many obstacles that people with Down syndrome face in getting married.

Will said the primary problem is that people with Down syndrome who choose to get married will receive one-quarter less in Supplemental Security Income, a federal program that gives money to people with disabilities who have little or no income.

"Sometimes they just move in together and don't get married because they can't afford it otherwise," Moore said.

Putman and Bernadette Resha will receive $300 less each month in federal benefits. That means their parents will have to provide them with additional financial support. In addition to Bernadette Resha's income as an artist, Putman works part time bagging groceries at a Publix grocery store.

It doesn't seem right to Bernadette's father, Louis Resha. "If you have a disability, you shouldn't be penalized for getting married," he said.

Independence possible

Putman was unaware of the symbolism, but he chose to propose to Bernadette on July 4: Independence Day.

Once the two are married, they will move from their parents' homes and live independently for the first time in their lives in a Nashville apartment.

Putman fondly remembers the day he asked Bernadette to marry him. It was in her parents' kitchen in the middle of a party.

"I got my knee down. I said, 'I love you a lot.' I said, 'Bernadette, will you marry me?' " Putman recalled. "Bernadette said yes. Then Bernadette started crying. Then Bernadette's dad, Louis, started crying. That was a big happy moment."

Putman and Bernadette Resha have been lifelong friends. They met at St. Bernard's preschool when Bernadette Resha was 5 and Putman was 2.

But it wasn't until 1995, when Putman accompanied the family to the Special Olympics' World Games in Connecticut, that they "somehow saw each other in a different way," Gwenn Resha said.

"I think their love for each other probably is more sincere than other people because their friendship just kept getting stronger and stronger," she said.

They like to go out to eat, go to the movies, walk in the mall, spend time together — many of the same things other couples like to do.

Like other couples, they are looking forward to getting married and spending their lives together. However, they aren't interested in having children.

"No kids," Bernadette Resha said. "It's real hard to care (for) children. It's a big task."

The two realize it will be hard enough to take care of each other. They are confident they can do it, though.

They know how to clean the house, wash clothes, and do minor cooking. Their parents will regularly check in on them.

"Our responsibility is, grow up. Be a young man and young lady," Putman said. "We together. It's nice together. Sometimes it's good and bad. We work it out."

Wordless Wednesday (a few hours late)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What is he thinking?????

I have to admit we have had pretty good luck the last 8 years as far as people saying crazy, off the wall stuff to us about Ashlyn. Last week I had my *yearly* exam with the doctor that delivered Ashlyn. We were chatting and things were going along pretty good. (or so I thought) He starts going through my chart and naming my children and telling me how old they were (oh hum, I'm glad you told me that because I couldn't remember their ages, Ha!) So when he gets to my dear Ashlyn he says "How is Ashlyn doing?" I tell him that she is doing great and he then proceeds to ask me "is she living with you?" I sure hope that my face didn't look anything like my brain was thinking.... I was not happy at all (Ashlyn's favorite saying) with this nutso question. I am pretty sure that I gave him a *are you crazy* look and told him of course she lives at home with us. (I was thinking of a million things to say to him but I am changing my ways and kept it clean!) I also let him know rather quickly that we love her very much and wouldn't have our little girl any other way (extra chromosome included) :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

My Best friend

My very best friend in the whole, wide world (I said this when I was little) who I met in kindergarten, came to visit us back in August. Her name is Renee and she now lives all the way across the country in Oregon. :( She stayed with us for about 6 days. (which was entirely too short of a stay) She has 3 beautiful girls back home, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last October. I flew out to Oregon with her mom (I am a chicken and didn't want to fly alone) and stayed for about 5-6 days with them. The last time that I saw Renee was when she came home about 7 years ago with her oldest daughter and was pregnant with her second daughter. She now has #3 and I got to meet everyone! So this time when she came she got to meet Mason who wasn't born yet when she came home last and she was able to see my teenager who was 5 then and Ashlyn who was only 1 back them. This is so crazy and I don't even know why it was a concern to me, but in the back of my head I was thinking I hope that she just loves all of them and doesn't leave here feeling sorry for me. (about Ashlyn) I guess my reasoning for this is because I love Ashlyn with all of my heart and would feel just terrible if my best friend didn't *get it* (do you know what I mean?) There are still people in my life that I think still don't get it. It is all hard to explain, but anyway my worries were nothing.... Ashlyn wrapped her around her little finger as well. She was in love with my 3 kids as much as I had fallen in love with her 3 kids :)

Here are some pictures from our visit...

Don't you think it went over pretty well???






Ashlyn loves Renee so much! Renee sat around feeding her ice cream all week...so how could Ashlyn NOT love her?? ha ha!




Oh and one funny thing. Ashlyn could say Renee, but she decided that she would call Renee BRENDA all week. It was hilarious and made us laugh every time she called her that. Ashlyn would throw up her hand and say "good morning Brenda", with this sneaky little smile. She knew her name wasn't Brenda but she sure insisted on calling her that!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Story behind - God bless the last ones.....

God bless the last ones (the first song playing on my blog)
by Matthew West

I love this guy...the song is awesome (to me)

Behind the Song:
Mark 10:44, Matthew 5:5
"A few years ago, I was traveling around the country as an independent artist and singing my songs for anyone who would listen. One day my travels led me to a concert in Kansas City, and a girl named Taylor. Her dad was the sound engineer for my concert, and I remember seeing her run into the auditorium and sit down in the front row during my sound check. Well, if anyone’s seen me do a sound check you might know that it’s not uncommon for me to make up silly little songs about some random inspiration of the moment. And so I began to write a song about Taylor. Little did I know I was making a new friend that day, and when I jumped off the stage to meet her, she reached out her arms and gave me the best hug in the history of hugs! You see, Taylor has Down Syndrome, and the moment I met her I remember feeling sorry for her. But the more time I spent with her, I could see clearly that God has a special purpose for this little girl. In the last few years she has had a profound impact on my life. This song is inspired by real events in Taylor’s young life, times when she has been an inspiration to everyone around her. As I’ve been working on this concept of History, it overwhelms my heart that history makers come in all shapes and sizes. “And the last shall be the first…”" - Matthew West

Friday, October 5, 2007

I'm trying!


Oh my goodness - I feel like a real slacker here lately. I am working 12 hr shifts for the next several days...

Here's Ashy with her armband from the fair a few weeks ago. I was so upset because I didn't get to go ...I had to work, ugh. This little turkey waited to do this when I wasn't at the fair. She was riding a lot of the rides and was laughing so hard (says her daddy). In the past she would cry and scream if you tried to put her on the merry-go-round, the little cars out side of deptartment stores, etc And now she thinks she can just go right on to the fair without me and decide that she is a big girl now and ride the rides like both of her brothers. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

HAPPY 13TH birthday Spenser







Today is Spenser's 13th birthday. He was born just 3 minutes ago, 11:17 that is!! What is so special about Spenser? Well first of all he was my first baby so that makes him special because of him I became a mommy!! :) He is a wonderful brother to his little sissy Ashlyn and little brother to Mason. Spenser loooooves Ashlyn to pieces. He is forever telling me that he will always take care of her... he gives me goosebumpbs every time he says it! She's pretty into him too.

He really does love me, he he!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check her out!

Christina at Prince Vince meets the world is giving away a pair of wellies from her very own Vincent Shoe store. That's right you could win a pair of cutie patootie wellies for your special guy or gal!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The flop and drop


Don't you act like you don't know what I am talking about. (he he)
I sure would like to know more about the extra chromosome that Ashlyn has and many other kids with DS who decide to hit the ground when they don't want to do something in particular. She is 8 years old and still pulling that trick on me! It's a good thing for my back that she hasn't gained a whole lot of weight lately. ha! In this picture she had just gotten off the bus (took her shoes off on the bus) layed herself out flat on the driveway and refused to go inside! ha ha I had Spenser run in and grab my camera to capture the moment :) Typically she will just sit down on her fanny and not budge and inch...but this day she decided that she would take a little rest break sprawled out on the concrete! Isn't she a little old for this stuff???

Monday, October 1, 2007

31 for 21 - day 1 -Ashlyn's day--UPDATED!

I am dedicating my first day of blogging for 31 for 21 to our little girlfriend Ashlyn M. What a sweet and beautiful little girl she is. She was diagnosed with Leukemia recently and will be spending a month (YIKES) in the hospital undergoing treatment. I had the pleasure of meeting the little sweet pea amd her family last year at a IRL meeting in Chicago. What a lovey love girl she is... I think we all wanted to sneak her home with us, he he!

What a beautiful girl she is....



Ashlyn's care page
Her username is ashlynnichole


Please send up lot's of prayers for Ashlyn. I know that her family would appreciate them!
We love you Ashlyn!
Love~
Traci & Ashlyn

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Get it down

Get down on it, get down on it..yeah, yeah....

Get it down 31 for 21 :)

Okay I am challenging myself to blog every day for 31 days for Trisomy 21 aka Down syndrome. October is Down syndrome awareness month and I think this is a wonderful way to get the word out on how great our beautiful kids, friends, family members etc. are. See the little green button to the left side? Click on that link and it will take you to some groovy bloggage about Down syndrome. I hope that I can live up the promise, I'll admit-- I'm skeered!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why Lord?

I know that we aren't supposed to question our Heavenly Father, but sometimes it is hard not to. Two precious little girls with Down syndrome have been diagnosed recently with Leukemia. After *my* Ashlyn licked infantile spasms, the big L word has always been a huge fear to me. I hold these two families of Ashlyn and Chelsea up in my prayers and hope that everyone who reads this will give God their prayers for peace and quick healing.

Here are two powerful songs that I hope that you will listen to and rememer that God has purpose for every trial that we go through. I found the wonderful talent of Rita Springer surfing through blogs. These songs give such hope to those of us who are hurting and in need of strength. Please listen! If you look to the left and scroll down until you see a orange and pink flash fetich audio player, click on the buttons that are two lines ll to pause the music that automatically loads and plays on my blog so that you can listen to the music from the videos!

*WARNING* for the video "the Cross or the Crowd" ... it has graphic video from "the Passion of the Christ" movie. If you are squeemish, close your eyes and just listen to the music. It is beautiful!

I Have to Believe

The Crowd or the Cross

Warning this video has *GRAPHIC* footage from "Passion of the Christ" If you are easily squeemish, close your eyes and listen to the beautiful music!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy birthday Princess Ashlyn




Happy 8th birthday to the most beautiful, precious princess in all of the land. My dearest Ashlyn I love you with every ounce of my spirit, mind and body. You are the breath in my lungs and the beat in my heart and I cannot imagine my life without you. When God gave you to me, it was the biggest blessing to my life and I do not know what in the world I did that was so good to deserve a special gift like you.


Here you are just 3 years and 2 mos ago...it was the first day that you started walking. I remember it like it was yesterday. You were 4 years and 10 mos old. and the day was such a special day! You sure have come a long way baby --- from being a tiny baby battling those beastly infantile spasms for a year, unable to do much at all.... to the feisty, fast, silly, loving, beautiful, sassy, precious princess that you are today.

Look at you running now!!!


Happy Birthday Beautiful!





A look at Ashy through the years

Baby Ashlyn

Noodle girl

Ashlyn, baby brother Mason & big brother Spenser

Me & my daddy

Mommy & Ashlyn



Learning to walk with a walker
Ashlyn in her *wilder* days, LOL

You lost your first tooth at 7 years old

You being beautiful you!