Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If it helps them eat, let them have ketchup!: Four Years Ago....

If it helps them eat, let them have ketchup!: Four Years Ago....: Four years ago...I had a baby.  Not too unlike my other babies.  But, then again, very different.  You see, this baby was born in a hospital...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The big May picture post

For whatever reason, this blog is turning into a "once a month post" type blog.   Whether it being because I'm insanely busy or insanely lazy, or the fact that our computer is slow as molasses (in fact molasses may be faster), the "e", "h", and "w" keys stick, so every other word is spelled wrong and needs correction, or because I am the mother of a very active 4 year old daughter, who is apt to escape leave the house, yard, whatever is containing her, to take off and explore the world on her own.  We are also limping trying very hard to finish the school year and get those last writing papers and math problems finished (with passing grades).

  And did I mention baseball?  From now until ... I don't know, sometime, we have baseball literally every.single.night.  The joys of making the travel team.

  Babe is finished with her school for the year.  We have gone through another eye surgery this week, and we are excited to meet our "summer time" therapist.  He just so happens to be a "he".  Babe loves men.  LOVES men.  Trying to work on appropriate public responses with her is slightly harder than what I expected. But Hard can be good.  Yet that is another post.
I'm not sure how I feel about "preschool graduation".  I do know that others look at it as a HUGE deal.  Huge!  Flowers, balloons, parties.  I don't see the need to "graduate" from every little accomplishment.  We happen to work very hard at every accomplishment, and when we succeed at said accomplishment, if we wre to "graduate" or throw a party, we would literally be partying nonstop.  Sounds fun...but not really realistic.  Plus, I do not want my children to work hard and succeed just to feel the thrills of a party.  Do we cheer, clap, and sing praises?  Absolutely!!  Positive reinforcement is the best motivator. But positive reinforcement and celebratory party are not the same thing in my book. We looked at it as the "End of the Year Program".  Go me a party pooper.

Pure adorableness as we wait for our turn.  Pre-surgery we have a blast, kickin back in cool pj's, watching Doc McStuffins, coloring.  Not so sweet post surgery.  Even with apple juice and fish crackers. Notice the stamp on her forehead.  Think they can tell which eye to do the surgery on?  You mean the swollen eyelid isn't enough of a clue?  Silly Dr Katowitz.

We also had a new family member join our family. 
 Meet Henry.
To say this kitty is loved is a huge understatement.  Overly loved is more like it.  Even Daddy, who is not a cat person, has shown affection towards him.  Thank you Marilyn for our new family member!  He is such a joy!!

Mother's day and my birthday also fall in the month of May.  Both were beautiful days.  I didn't want anything but to just hang out, relaxing with my family.  And that's what we did.  Why God saw fit to bless me with this family I don't know.  I certainly do not deserve the blessing.  It pains me to think that there are so many children all throughout the world without a mommy, who don't celebrate their birthdays.  Or the mommy's who, for whatever reasons, have a empty spot in their life, where once a child filled it.  Two mom's in particular who entrusted their children to me.  Blessed me with their arrows.  I am eternally grateful.  So many more children who need to learn what love really is, and what it means to be a family.  It is not always gumdrops and rainbows.  But at the end of the day, it is well worth it.

This May was especially beautiful.. I don't know if it was because of all the snow last winter, if it is because the older I get the more I appreciate springtime, or what.  But it was beautiful. Started out with a lot of this...
That is a pond in my backyard, where there should be none.  Look closely and you can see a tree top in the middle.  Lots of rain.  I have a new deep respect for Noah.  Honestly.  Soon enough though the rain subsided, the sun came out, and we had lots of this...

We had visitors...
Yes, that is a turkey in my backyard.  Go figure!

We took naps...wherever we were...

We enjoyed the color palate that God provides in this season.


Big girl got her first babysitting gig...
Bringing in the dough!  I can't believe she is growing up so quickly.  But what a beautiful girl...inside and out.  We planted our garden, we went to the "Large Family Picnic" put on by another bloggy mom, (, whom I adore.  Finally got to meet her and her posse in person.  What a beautiful family. We all had so much fun, and look forward to going back next year.  Large Family Picnic = tons o' kids.  Someone for everyone.  Adopted, special needs, home schooled.  Pretty much everything represented.  And tons of food. 

Pretty much an awesome month.  Good start to the summer.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Remember the show Friends?  Every Thursday night we would sit watching a bunch of people, "Friends", live life.  They didn't always do stuff.  They either sat at home or in a coffee shop.  It was the sharing of life that was what was so appealing.  The togetherness, comraderie, encouraging.  I have friends like that.  We hail from all over the United States.  New York, Wisconsin, Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, California, Pennsylvania.  Did I mention we are from all over?  Unfortunately being from all over means we can't just meet at one's house or the local coffee shop.  We keep in touch through the internet, e-mail, text.  But once a year.  Once a year, we who are able, get together for a weekend.  A weekend of no sleep (literally), talking, praying, encouraging.  The only "out" we do is perhaps a walk, if the weather cooperates, or church on Sunday.  We need nothing but food (there always seems to be so much of that), shelter (we are so blessed that the husbands and kids move out to Grandma's for the weekend, while the other husbands, and older children - seriously - my oldest daughter ROCKS THE HOUSE!  She is just so awesome, stay home and play Mr. Mom, running our households), and fellowship (always the best part).  We have fun.  We laugh, we cry,  we pray, we eat.  Fun!  I always come home relaxed, and renewed, despite the fact that I almost ALWAYS fly through stormy weather.  I can tell them anything; they are the very few people in the world who know the true me and my sins.  And they love me.  And they pray for me.  And I them.  I absolutely love these women.  How blessed I am!  And to think our adoption brought us so much more than just two more awesome kids.  I stand in awe Lord, at your mercy.
                                          Beautiful friendships.  I can't wait until next year!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four Years Ago....

Four years ago...I had a baby.  Not too unlike my other babies.  But, then again, very different.  You see, this baby was born in a hospital, just like my other babies I birthed.  But this hospital was a world renowned Children's Hospital.  This baby had a heart condition.  No left or right in this baby's heart...only a top and a bottom.  When I was pregnant with this baby, I prayed for this baby, not unlike my other babies.  But my prayers were different. I didn't really even pray for the heart condition. That I could handle.  I prayed that God would heal this baby, but not from the heart condition.  I prayed she would be born with 2 21st chromosomes.  You see, I was ignorant.  I knew what 3 21st chromosomes meant. But I only knew what it meant to me, in my very small, and selfish world.  I knew nothing about Down Syndrome.  In my ignorance I assigned it a value that didn't go past the name...special + needs.  Fast forward 4 years.  This is what I now know.
               I know that I am blessed because I was able to relish those little years a little bit longer.

But she will grow up...not unlike my other children

I know there will be good days

As well as bad...not too unlike my other children.

I know sometimes life will be hard.

But most days are filled with wonder and laughter...not too unlike my other children.

She likes pretty things...not unlike my other girls.
And tasty things...not unlike my other children.

And has her own dislikes...not unlike my other children.

I know that my life is more...with her in it.

I know that she really is not unlike my other children.  She is are my other children.  She has do all my other children.  Down Syndrome isn't really that different.  It definitely isn't something to be afraid of.  Knowledge is power.  Knowledge is important.

I really wouldn't want it any other way.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!  Mommy loves you so very much.  

March madness

March certainly comes in like a lion.  It leaves the very same way.  Fast and furious.  Passing us from the hurried hectic way of winter to the next season of life.... Baseball.
  Trouble #3 celebrated in Duck Dynasty style in February, as he turned 6.
complete with beards...
...camouflage cake

and donut eating contests

Never one to pass up a good donut, even my dad got in on the action. #waytogograndpa

More snow.
And a new bike

We celebrate big time in March.  Trouble #1 and The Babe both have birthdays in the month of March.  The man of the house also celebrates a birthday this month, albeit celebrating only because his children make him.  That's the way it is when you reach a certain year, and then pass it.

Trouble #1 and the Babe usually have a joint party.

And then there is "Tom Branson Day".   Do you think it's a problem when my kids go into a market and state (loudly), "look's a Tom Branson Balloon, and Tom Branson cookies!"  Ok, so the rest of the world celebrates it as St Patty's Day.  Sue me.

Whaaat? I make all the Irish food to go along with it.

We are finally done with this!
And moving along to this.
sometimes it's about more than the game. :)
And just can't get the game in.
but hopefully,
that will bring in this

Welcome back spring. 
 "then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."  -Leviticus 26:4