Monday, September 22, 2008

Wake up America!

I have seen this posted before, but as I was listening to it tonight, I thought I would put it up as food for thought.

We are getting ready to choose a leader.
If the Bridegroom comes, will He find us a nation that is waiting in anticipation....

Or will we be sleeping?

Real People...

This is just the greatest call! I didn't get to hear it on Rush's show that day, but I had to post it here after I heard about it from someone else.
God Bless the Palin family for giving so much to those with Down's Syndrome. No matter what the outcome of this election, these very special people have a wonderful advocate in Sarah Palin.


RUSH: Kurt in Pittsburgh, hello, sir. Nice to have you on the EIB Network, and how about the Steelers defense?

CALLER: How about those Steelers, huh?

RUSH: How about that?

CALLER: Hey, listen, Rush, longtime listener, first-time caller, one of those Bible, family, gun clingers from western Pennsylvania.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: And I wanted to share a story with you. A week ago last Saturday we went to the Palin-McCain rally in Washington, Pennsylvania, was the day after he announced her, and we have a five-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, and we made a sign that said: "We Love Kids with Down Syndrome." So when they pulled in in their bus the sign did catch their, McCain and Palin and the rest of their family, it caught their eye, we could tell, they gave us a thumbs-up from the bus, so we were all excited just by that --

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. Who gave you the thumbs up, McCain and Palin?

CALLER: McCain, Palin, Cindy McCain, we could see them from the bus. We were in a position where we had eye contact with them --

RUSH: Oh, cool!

CALLER: My wife was holding our daughter.

RUSH: Very, very, very cool.

CALLER: It was really cool, Rush. I was like, "Wow, that's awesome," because I love Governor Palin and so I thought that's really neat. So then we moved around as the bus was getting ready to pull out, we kind of positioned ourselves so we could just wave them on and a Secret Service agent came up to us and said, "Hey, can you come with us?" I was like, "Do we have a choice?"

RUSH: (laughing) You shouldn't have worried. It's not the Clinton administration.

CALLER: Right. So we accompanied them up the hill, we went right to the bus, where it was, and Governor Palin, Senator McCain, Cindy, Todd Palin, they're all standing there. We're in this inner circle with just us and them, and the Secret Service agent, and they came right up to us and thanked us for coming out, said they loved our sign, and Governor Palin immediately said, "May I hold your daughter?" and our daughter Chloe, who's five, went right to her, and I have some pictures I'd love to send you maybe when I'm done here, but Governor Palin was hugging Chloe, and then her little daughter brought their baby Trig who has Down syndrome from the bus, he was napping, and Chloe went right over and kissed him on the cheek, and my son Nolan who's nine, he thanked her.

RUSH: This is amazing.

CALLER: I will send you all the stuff, Senator McCain was talking to my son, and we thanked him for his service, and he asked my son if he wanted to see the bus, and we were hanging out and it was very surreal. I felt like we could have had a pizza and a beer with them, they were so warm.

RUSH: You know what? I want to put you on hold. I want Snerdley to give you our super-secret, known-only-to-three-people here, e-mail address.

CALLER: I will send you everything, Rush.

RUSH: And then could you send us these pictures? Would you mind if we put them on the website?

CALLER: I would be honored, and my main thing is they are warm, kind, genuine people, and they represent the best of this country.

RUSH: That's right. And when you send these pictures, make sure you identify them. I mean, we'll know Palin and McCain, of course. Identify yourselves.

CALLER: I will, I will identify everybody in the picture, Rush, and God bless you for being a beacon of hope and truth in this country.

RUSH: Oh, no, no. It's nothing, it's nothing. You're doing the Lord's work.

CALLER: Well, we're very blessed and I want people to know what a blessing it is to have a child with Down syndrome. These kids, they're angels.

RUSH: That's the thing. There's always good to be found in everything that happens. It may be a while before it reveals itself.

CALLER: Absolutely.

RUSH: Right, and when she hugged my daughter I said, here's the difference, this candidate embraces life and all its limitless possibilities.

RUSH: All right.

CALLER: That's what she is.

RUSH: Terrific, okay, I gotta run here, but I'm going to put you on hold.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you, Kurt. I really appreciate it.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Lilly!

Lilly is ONE!!
Hard to believe it's been a year since we met you, Sweetie!

You are such a Blessing to our family!

Here is Lilly's gift from Mommy and Daddy!
She had a very pretty cake to offer her guests,
And a little cake of her very own!
She knew just what to do with it too...
Start with a little taste...
then dig in and enjoy!
It's gonna take awhile to get the pink off...But pink is her color.

She showed Daddy how to break the Pinata...and she showed all of us how to open presents. She was very careful, she played with them and was very cheerful even though she was SO tired!We were so happy to share this day with you Lilly!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Soccer Saturday

Saturdays in the Fall...

Get up early to get everybody into their uniforms and off to the field!
This is going to be a challenging season, with three boys in the same league and some of the fields MILES apart!

Today wasn't bad at all. The weather was perfect!! Oh wow, I just wish everyday could be like that. Sunny, about 75, and a touch of a breeze.

The boys also all had local games and that made life much easier.
John played at 9:00 and had to be at the field at 8:30. He was at the home field, which is only a few miles from our house. The Gravel Hill field is really beautiful.
The Hurricanes, John's U12 team, played very well today. John is here on the far left.
They won their game 3-2.
There are some pretty talented players on this team and John really seems to be coming into his own. He likes the position he played today, halfback, and he seems to get plenty of play.

Brendan also played very well. His team is really amazing!
They have about six of the really top players in the league, in their age group, and they are going to be unbeatable if they get to stay together. Brendan was on the field quite a bit, and is not at all intimidated by any of the other players.
I think Hockey is actually better suited to him and I am really going to pursue it after soccer. Soccer is fun but there just isn't enough contact for Brendan.
He played Goalie for the last quarter and made a couple of good saves. He likes goalie and the defensive positions.

Paul did great! His coach has nicknamed him "The Animal" which is a riot if you have ever watched Paul play Soccer. The coaches are so good with him and they are doing their best to get him to focus on the play. Yeah... that's the idea, and a good one.
He is only six and he is young yet for getting the big picture. He loves to get out there, he is very social and he likes to practice. It's just so much fun watching him learn.

Here's Paul and Nate with Brendan helping them practice before the game.

John learned another important skill tonight:
How to operate the lawnmower!
He started it right up and took off down the lawn. Tim is still coaching him on the concept of walking in a straight line...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Boys Do On Vacation...

I hadn't posted these yet because it takes so long to load video, but I want to get them up so that the boys can show off the latest skill they have acquired.
This was something else...
Thanks so much to Dan and Chris for all the instruction and exercise you endured.
And to Matt and Josh, who were so generous in sharing your bikes. It meant so much to the boys.

As you can see, Brendan was having a ball!

John caught on really quickly and rode all over the place!

Paul wasn't ready to go by himself, so he caught a ride with Uncle Dan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayers for a friend...

I have a friend that I have been working with, as an organizer, for about a year now.
She started out as a client of Sappari Solutions, and has become a good friend.
She has so many challenges, and yet she faces life with an amazing amount of Grace, courage and a wonderful sense of humor.
Her life was complicated before, but since I left for vacation her husband has become seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. He has been the one to pay all the bills, and keep the affairs in order.
Now he is unable to do all those things, and this poor woman is having to deal with his illness, her own issues, and the household.
Please keep her, and her husband, in your prayers. Life has been hard for them and they really need God's help....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Homecoming Surprises...

I had a couple of neat things awaiting me when we got home from Washington...

First, imagine my surprise when I saw what the "weeds" in between the stones in the yard turned out to be!

I didn't have time to pull them like I usually do, and I thought the leaves looked kind of familiar.
When I got home they were full-fledged Petunias! And so pretty! I have no idea where the seeds came from, but I am gonna throw some more around next spring.

Also, my wonderful husband welcomed me home with another surprise. He had seen these Wood Mosaics when he was on travel in Kentucky, and he ordered one for me! It arrived today and it is just beautiful! If you look closely you can see what lighthouse it is. (Hint: Look around my blog...)
It is SO thoughtful of him, but that's just the kind of guy he is.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Back!

Well, I'm back in the thick of it.
I just have to say "Thanks, Barbara!"
A little perspective and some time to think and I realize that there is no time left to be concerned about anything but the Truth.
The truth about the Culture of Life, and the direction that we have to take as a country, has never been more important.
PLEASE, PLEASE read up on the voting records of these two candidates. Please inform yourself on the issues that hang in the balance and be sure that you are making an informed choice when you vote this year.
There are many issues at stake...

Some of them aren't just politics...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Paulism...

So we were driving home from a Soccer game yesterday and Paul was riding in the back of the van, and suddenly he says "I wonder which insurance company I should use when I grow up, like Traveler's or State Farm...?."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The People's Election

I had to post this.
Isn't it amazing how real people have had the chance to speak, via the internet, during this election?
This guy isn't a pundit with a huge salary, working for a network with a big budget.
This ad didn't cost anything, but it is worth it's weight in gold.

I feel so privileged to be living in a time where people like this young man have a chance to be heard.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Little Truth

Star Trig

How baby Palin will change the discussion about children with Down syndrome.

By Barbara Curtis, September 8, 2008

Last week when Sarah Palin took the stage at the Republican National Convention she brought along a little extra someone whose very existence – suddenly center stage – would ignite a long overdue national discussion of what it means to welcome a child with Down syndrome.

The conversation actually began in the 1950s when a few brave mothers and fathers looked their doctors in the eye and said they wanted to take their babies home – extra chromosome and all – ignoring the standard advice: "Your baby is a Mongoloid. We know a place we can send him. We recommend you go back and try again."

Parents of today's children with Down syndrome owe a debt of gratitude to those pioneers who just said no to warehousing "defective" babies; who let go of their grief for the child they had expected and learned to appreciate the unexpected love and joy of the child they had.

It was a quiet revolution which taught us that love indeed was the answer. We learned that when they are raised at home in a loving family, children with Down syndrome were capable of far more than we'd ever dreamed. And while there is a wide range of ability – isn't there in the general population as well? – with proper support many individuals with Down syndrome could learn to read, hold jobs, live semi-independently, even, in some cases, marry.

The American public school system helped in this process, prodded by parents and advocates who insisted that every child deserved an education. And while it may have started with trailers behind the school, today our kids – instead of being segregated and stigmatized – are part of classrooms across the country.

The full inclusion of these children has been beneficial for more than just the kids with special needs. The generation that's grown up rubbing elbows with kids like Trig Palin has learned to value qualities beyond intelligence and appearance. Four years ago, the students at our local high school voted a classmate with Down syndrome homecoming queen – an event that has been occuring with surprising frequency throughout the country.

In many ways it's truly a wonderful world Trig is on his way to encountering. A world full of family, friends, and professionals who understand his needs and are eager to help him reach his potential.

But even as the quality of life has dramatically improved for individuals with Down syndrome, 90 percent of those diagnosed prenatally are aborted before they are ever given a chance to change hearts or make their mark on society.

Those of us with children with Down syndrome – no matter where we stand politically – have been torn by these conflicting messages from our culture: Yes, your child is worth our society's investment in resources and time but if it's not too late, Maybe you should just get rid of him and try again.

Trig's mother didn't do that, didn't avail herself of the quiet, convenient solution to her "problem." Sarah Palin is part of the one in ten mothers who chose to continue her pregnancy after hearing the diagnoses. And in doing so she's opened herself and her family to an adventure in learning that those who've never experienced could not possibly understand.

Because of Palin's choice, Trig is privileged to live to experience the blessings of being a baby, a child, and eventually a man with Down syndrome in a world that is becoming increasingly more open, more accepting of those with special needs.

But because his mom is also now a candidate for Vice President, he is also entering the national stage. Indeed, he already has on the platform in St. Paul, when his mother turned him out to introduce us to a face that's – well, just a little different.

The Palin family has shown through their example that having a baby with Down syndrome is not a tragedy. During her mom's acceptance speech, when Piper Palin licked her hand to lovingly smooth her brother's hair and as Baby Trig was passed from one set of arms to another – including Cindy McCain's – we saw a picture of the exquisite tenderness a child with Down syndrome brings out in those around him.

That face, with the characteristic sweetly almond-shaped eyes, is opening an unexpected new phase in the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate.

Trig makes it personal.

Some people, though, may never see it that way. For instance, Dr. Andre Lalonde, executive vice president of a Canadian OB/GYN group, frets that Palin's example will lead to declining abortion rates.

How do we rebut such a preposterous premise? How do we turn people from the eugenics of Down syndrome abortion to a welcoming, trusting faith in the inherent value of life?

It won't be easy. But the task of changing hearts and minds has already begun. It started when Governor Palin – a woman in leadership – gave birth to a son with Down syndrome, took her place on the national stage, and made Trig Palin's visage the Face Seen Round the World.

Barbara Curtis, a former abortion rights advocate, is now mother of 12, including four sons with Down syndrome (3 adopted) as well as a prolific writer (9 books and 900 articles to date). She blogs at

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Related: Join the group, Special Needs Moms for McCain/Palin