Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Eliana loves music.  I think my other children have liked music, but none have been so taken with it as Eliana.  It really seems to speak to her and just the mention of the word can set her in motion.  When she hears music - she starts to dance.  She moves her little arms up and down and sways back and forth to the beat.  All the while she is wearing a huge smile across her face. 

We have a digital piano and she can just reach the keys.  She loves to "play" the piano and dance.  I tried to capture it on video - but can't seem to find it.  Here though are some photos that I just loved!



Have a blessed day!



Duke Children's Classic

Just wanted to post again about our exciting opportunity coming up!  The Duke Children's Classic, a fundraiser for the children's hospital, is this week-end. Rebecca and I have both been asked to participate.

There will be a golf tournement, "Putting with the Stars", over the week-end.  I'm not sure if we'll try to go by this or not.  On Saturday, there will also be a luncheon for the wives and friends of the golfers.  We've been invited to attend this.  There will be "boutique" shops and a speaker as well as a lunch.  I'm not the main speaker, though I am speaking (briefly). I've been asked to share our story.   (At times I wonder how you can be brief about something that consumed your life for months.  I will though!)

I've thought through some of what I want to share - and couldn't get through it without tearing up. I was kind of surprised at the emotion just recalling the first half of Eliana's life. I don't think that is all bad though, getting emotional.  It was a very hard time.  I need to spend more time thinking and praying about what I want to share. At this point, I'm planning on sharing some of what I did in one of my blog entries called "I Didn't Know". (Can find it if anyone wants to read it - I think it was in Dec.) I don't have a lot of time, but want to share something that helps people understand and appreciate what it is like to have a child with life-threatening medical needs.  I think sometimes it helps to put a face with difficulties.  I hope that it will help people to understand or appreciate. 

Just today I was reading a forward in a book about a little girl with DS and a heart condition. She also had surgery, but it did not go as well as it did for Eliana. It made me again thankful that there were no complications for her. It also made me pray for this family for whom the outcome was so very different.  It was 20 years ago, but it does still happen today.  It reminded me too of how very frightening it was to have this looming over us for months.  I also was thankful for the Mom that used this difficulty in her life to make things better - not only for her daughter - but for others following behind her.  I want to do this too.  I want to be an encouragment. 

The other part of this is that Rebecca and Eliana will be going with me.  Rebecca was asked to make a bracelet for EACH woman in attendance - 125 of them!  She has been working soooo hard for the last month and a half! Hours and hours of time beading.  She will also have a shop there to sell bracelets (and a few necklaces).  She is hoping to raise another $5000 this year to donate. I'm not sure where she is right now, but hopefully we can update soon.

We would love your prayers. Prayers for whatever it is that God wants me to share. I'm sure He has words for me - and I do want to glorify Him. Prayers for our time there and the people that we will be talking with.

We are both very excited about going. We are thrilled to have been asked to participate.  I've enjoyed the opportunities we have had thus far and hope that there will be more in the future.  Rebecca even has a new dress. I wish I had thought ahead to look for one too. 

Thanks for sharing in our excitement!



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Memorial Day ... and more!

Whew!  I feel like I have a lot to catch up on.  I'll try to be brief.  LOL  I also have some things that have been tugging on my heart - related to beauty - but I'll try to post that on another day. 

We had a good time at the NCHE conference last week.  I went with Eliana, Christopher, Rebecca and a dear friend and her son.  I had expected my girls to go home on Friday, but Rebecca was having such a fun time (I thought she'd be bored), that she wanted to stay.  We all enjoyed our time.  I ended up carrying Eliana most of the time.  It was crowded so I ended up having her in my sling instead of the stroller.  By Sunday I was very sore!

While there, I attended several workshops.  One of the keynote speakers was Jeff Myers who spoke on a variety of subjects including leadership, guy/girl relationships, "passing the baton" of your faith and more.  He was excellent - funny, passionate and informative.  I bought a lot of his tapes and am looking forward to listening to him and sharing it with my family.  I also attended a workshop done my my sweet friend Bonita Lillie on adding "sparkle" to your homeschool.  She gave loads of great ideas of things to do in each subject to get out of the rut and just have fun!

I also tried to purchase most of our needs for school for the upcoming year.  I have most of what I need for my younger children.  Some of my purchases were things that will be beneficial to both Daniel and Eliana - puzzles, activities and games.  I also purchased art supplies, audio CD stories and of course books. 

Monday we celebrated Memorial Day by spending it with family and friends.  We had friends over for lunch, some games outside and then a visit to the pool.  This was Eliana's first time in our pool.  We didn't go at all last year due to the feeding tube.  It was too much at the time.  She loves taking baths and we were sure that this would translate into loving the pool as well.  We were right!  She floated around in her boat for about an hour.  The water was cold - and she didn't complain.  This boat was a hand-me-down from Daniel.  I think she rode in it more in this one day than he did ever ... cumulatively.  He still doesn't like the water.  He did put his feet in this time - more than he usually does.  (And although I have a pic of him doing this - I'm also in it and it's just not going up on the web.  *grin* )

Here's Eliana having fun.  Both Rebecca and Joshua spent a lot of time pulling her around the pool in her boat.  I had planned on doing it - but the water was just too cold for me!

More friends met us at the pool and then came home with us for a cook-out, badmiton and just time to talk and laugh.  It was a beautiful day - filled with laughter and fun.  I'm thankful for the many that have sacrificed so that we can enjoy a day like this - one in which we've made memories to last for a long time.

BTW, here is a photo of our finished (well, painted at least) room.  The other photo I posted was just the primer and the actual color is darker.  I haven't hung things on the wall yet (or even gotten everything off the floor), but I'm really enjoying the color!  I do love color!

Blessings to you friends!



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A look at our week!

Well, things continue to stay busy and full.  I like our life though - and I'm not complaining.  I'm thankful - very thankful - for all that many ways God has blessed me and our family.

So, what's been keeping us busy this week?  Here's a look:

Monday - We had our therapy appointments (occupational - sensory and feeding) for Daniel and Eliana.  We met one of the gals from the Duke Development office to deliver Rebecca's bracelets.  She delivered 125 of them!  Way to go Rebecca.  I have to say that I'm very proud of her effort.  She has spent hours and hours over the last month working on bracelets.  She has found that listening to books on tape is a fun thing to do while working.  She is still working on making more items so that she can have things to sell at the "boutique" area after the luncheon. 

This is a picture of Rebecca with the bracelets she delivered.  The quality isn't the greatest - my camera is acting up.  It's at the shop now.

Therapy went well.  Daniel did very well.  He enjoyed the sensory activities on the front end.  (He has moderate tactile defensiveness for those that might be interested.)  He really enjoys this play and looks forward each week to going to see Miss L.  After that, we go to another room to eat.  Daniel was still in a good place.  We cut up fruit - and ate most of it.  He's eaten it before, but been resistant to it recently.  Having him involved in the cutting seems to help.  He does like to help cook and I've been trying to include him more often in this activity.  He ate apples and cantaloupe and tried chocolate pudding. 

Eliana didn't do as well on the eating - though not poorly.  Her therapist wants me to try to feed her regular food/baby food 3 times a day along with our meals.  I told her that this was doable with the exception of her therapy days.  So this is our new goal. 

We also started some of our testing.  NC law requires that we test children once they reach 7 years of age.  I don't find it particularly helpful - I already know the areas in which the struggle and excel.  It's not a difficult requirement though and I'm happy to comply if it helps to keep our state homeschool friendly.  This year I'm testing my three oldest. 

We split up in the evening.  Rebecca attended a try-out for a challenge soccer league.  She enjoys the game and this is a Christian league that looks like it might be a good fit for her.  She was nervous about trying out.  I tried to encourage her by telling her that they just wanted to be sure that each girl was on the best type of team for her abilities.  It could be discouraging to be on a team if you felt your skills were lacking.  I'm hoping she plays to her ability and that the best decision is made.

I attended a workshop at our local homeschool store on writing a research paper and writing an essay.  The company is Analytical Grammar and I do highly recommend their materials.  We've used some of their books over the last two years and found it to be  very comprehensive and good.

Tuesday - We stayed home and did school!  I love days like this that are pretty uninterupted.  After a hectic yesterday, it was a welcome relief.  The boys are rowing Daniel's Duck.  It's a story of a boy that carves a duck and enters it into the spring fair.  When people laugh at it, he grabs it angrily and is about to toss it into the river when he is stopped by an older man.  The man explains that people laughed because it made them feel good.  As the two talked, the boy realized that he is speaking with a very famous artist - who carves animals.  Its a sweet story and we've enjoyed our time with it.  We've cooked and studied a variety of topics.  They are both looking forward to carving something.  (We'll use soap!)

This is the meal - chicken stew, ham and cheese biscuits and praline pumpkin pie for dessert.

The older children have continued with testing.  Daniel is happy to do his "activities".  He enjoys cutting and a wide variety of fine motor skills.  He is also liking the "literacy box" I've started putting together for Eliana.  I think that making things for her will be a benefit for him too.  He will be a good one to test things out. 

Wednesday - Another busy day with therapy.  We have speech in the morning.  Eliana continues to make improvments - though at a much slower pace.  I'm thrilled though with each new step.  It's exciting to see her trying to learn and do things.

One sign I've been working on with her for months is "milk".  I saw her using this sign (opening and closing the fist), though not in the right context.  So know I know she can physically make the sign, I just wish she would use it!  Patience - always something I need work on!

We also had physical therapy today.  I had to wake her from a nap for this though and she really didn't want to be pushed.  She had spent soooo much time in the earlier therapy session showing off how she can stand up - and she wouldn't do it in the afternoon but for a couple of seconds.  (It's not a long stand, but it's a start!)

I get many compliments on Eliana's hair - and almost always it's something Rebecca has done for her.  This one with ribbons in her braids was really cute!

Thursday - I'll be going to the NCHE conference with Eliana, Christopher and Rebecca.  We'll be going with friends.  The conference lasts until Sat, but the girls will be coming home with a friend on Friday.  It will be my first time away from Eliana for more than just a couple of hours.  (This will only be 24 - but still a night away.)  Sometimes those "firsts" can be hard. 

I'm looking forward to the conference, but this one will be quite different for me.  It will be the first one in 10 years that I've just attended.  I've been a vendor for Five in a Row for the last 10 years.  Due to changes in the way some books are being produced (digitally) and the nature of the market. the time of being a vendor has come to a close.  I'm kind of sad about it - I really enjoyed the opportunity to share this wonderful curriculum with others.  It's been a huge blessing to my family for over a decade - and hopefully many more years to come!

I should probably close as it's getting late and I still need to pack.  Some things never change.  LOL

Just thought I'd add this photo.  It's one that Daniel took of us one day at the park.  He really enjoys taking pictures and is often quite good at it! 



Monday, May 19, 2008

Guess what we've been up to?

I've posted about this a couple of times - and each time something came up (usually significant or serious) to derail any plans.  Well, we've finally gotten to it - painting! 

We've been in our house for almost 10 years - and the walls certainly show it!  We still have the contractor paint (beige) throughout a lot of the house.  Because of the type of paint job (one coat).it is not easy to clean.  Add in some active children and you get dirty off-white walls. 

We tackled our "school room" first.  (I have hopes that this won't be the last room done!)  It's the front room of the house and mainly holds books and our computer and one comfy chair.  We moved everything out into the hall.  Lots and lots of books!  (5 bookshelves - 2 large and 3 small)  This is a photo of our front entry.  It was a trick getting into the house for awhile.  :-)

Here's a before picture.  (I didn't think to take one before we started moving things, so it's not a great photo.)

Roger had a little bit of help.

I don't have a good "after" shot yet.  I still need to sort through books as I want things a little more organized than they were before.  I'd also like to add some curtains (maybe???) and a verse or quote on the wall.  I haven't figured out what yet though.

The color makes me happy - as does the clean walls!!!

Thank you Roger!



PS  We also had our halls done while we were out on our field trip last week!  That was a really bad area (esp the stairwell) and now it looks great! 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Taking Flight

I'm feeling a little slack on the blogging front.  We had our last field trip of the year with our homeschool gorup on Thursday.  We went to the Nasher Art Museum at Duke.  The children were split into small groups by age and a docent took them to view various pieces of art.  I was the youngest group and the gal that was our docent was fabulous.  She did such a good job of going slow, asking questions, listening to the answers and then giving positive feedback to the children.  Daniel was even talking about it at dinner!  :-)  They also did a hands-on art project which was fun too.

Just participating made me think that I could probably do art trips a little more often.  (They really aren't my "thing" and I tend to just view them when we schedule something with our group.)  The docent often had us just sit in front a of piece and observe it.  She would ask the children questions and then really listen and comment on the children's observations.  Some of them were hilarious too! 

After the art museum, we headed over to Duke Gardens for a picnic lunch and to play.  It was a beautiful day and a lovely place to be.  Lots of flowers, birds, squirrels and beauty in many places.  I love days like this when the children can just run and play and explore in nature.  I didn't take many pictures (they aren't allowed in most of the Art museum) so I thought I'd share pics from one of our field trips from last month.  ;-)

As part of the Young Eagles program, we were allowed to go flying in a small plane.  The pilot could take up 3 people at a time.  The plane was small and you entered by stepping on the wing to get into it.  Once inside, you put on headsets so that you could hear the pilot talking - and to help with the noise too! 

All of my children but Eliana took a turn.  It was fun!  Daniel and I were some of the last to go up.  He held my hand very tightly the entire time.  He did a great job and it was fun riding with him.  I wasn't sure he would want to try it as he often gets a little anxious about new experiences, but he was fine with it as long as I was by his side. 

This is the plane.

Three of my kids heading out for a ride.

A quick shot of the inside before they took off.

A shot of my children in the air.  I was praying while they were up there too!

I tried to get a good shot from the plane, but it was difficult due to the type of glass windows.


Can you see the tiny runway as we are coming in for a landing - a shaky entry at that.  lol

Back on solid ground.  I thought this shot would give you an idea of the size of the plane.  That's my 3yo almost halfway as tall as the plane! 

Thankfully, the rain held off and started up shortly after we left.  We had rescheduled this trip a couple of times due to weather and we were grateful that the third time was a go!  We have had such fun times with our FIAR group this year - as we have for many other years.  I love field trips and am blessed to have such a fun group to do them with!



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More on Mother's Day

This week has been busy -  and I'll post on the project that has kept us occupied and not on the computer so much this week (hopefully tomorrow).  In the morning, the children and I are going on a field trip to the Nasher Art Museum.  Afterwards, we are planning to picnic at Duke Gardens if the weather permits.  This is our last outing of the year with our homeschool group and we are looking forward to the time together. 

My sweet family did a wonderful job in making me feel special on Mother's Day. 

Starting off the day was breakfast in bed.  Rebecca made breakfast and brought it to me.  The little boys wanted to eat up in my room with me.  LOL  Guess we all like a little something special.  (I do have a photo of Rebecca and I with the breakfast - but really don't want to post that one!)

When I came downstairs, I walked on a "carpeted" stair to a special chair.  There was a chalk board with Happy Mother's Day written in beautiful font.  The table was decorated with a variety of flowers, cards and LOTS of chocolate.

Each of the children took turns giving me a card that they had made and a gift.  Daniel gave me gummy worms.  (Despite Rebecca urging him to get something else at the store.  This is one of his favorites and what he wanted to give.)  Isaiah gave me Dove bars - a chocolate he remembered seeing me eat when I was scrapbooking with friends.  He also gave me a tex mex snack mix.  Yum!  Joshua gave me mint chocolate m&ms - he knows I like mint.  Rebecca gave me Ghiradelli squares - the size is just right (not to mention the taste.  Roger gave me several large chocolate bars.  Did I mention that there was a LOT of chocolate?!  Oh, and balloons too!

I love the cards they made!  So sweet to see their handwriting and artistic efforts.  :-)  Rebecca also made me jewelry.  I'll try to find a pic to post.  It's a set of matching black earrings, a bracelet and a necklace.  All are really beautiful!  Christopher made a new screen saver for me with pictures of some of my favorite people.  He did forget to put himself in there though!

The day was pretty low-key.  Rebecca made me a lunch and Roger cooked kabobs for dinner.  It was wonderful not having to spend any time cooking.  (It's not my favorite activity at all!)

I am blessed beyond measure and most thankful for the gifts God has given me!

With love,


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Yesterday I was struggling with emotions - feeling grief again at our loss, as several around me were celebrating and announcing a new pregnancy.  It's not that I'm not happy for them, just still sad for us.  I would be halfway through the pregnancy by now - feeling better, showing and enjoying little kicks.   I don't always do a good job in "dealing" with my emotions.  I think I'd rather just stuff them away and try to move on - rather than ponder.  (I've never been one to do well in answering those reflective types of questions. either.)  I'm having some help though and for that I'm grateful. 

A dear friend sent a book to help me process my grief.  (Thank you Christine!!!)  It is entitled Grieving the Child I Never Knew.  It does help me to spend time thinking through and making sure I am dealing with things and don't become a walking emotional time bomb.  (Can anyone relate to that?)  Even so, at times I want to skim and not dig in.  I'm not sure why I do this - protection? denial?  fear?  I know I like to put off thinking about things. 

I received another blessing a few weeks ago, and I'm not sure if I shared about it.  Rebecca  made me a small scrapbook about our "little one".  It is filled with special things and notes in her own sweet handwriting.  It has an ultrasound picture, a poem she wrote for our baby, a picture of the rose bush we planted in memory and more.  It's really a very loving keepsake.  I am again amazed at the heart of this young woman, my daughter.  This was hard for her and yet she is finding a way to deal with her grief and also bless me at the same time.   

As I was thinking yesterday, my 6yo asked me if I knew what was coming in two days.  He also asked me if this was my favorite day.  I had to honestly answer "no" because of all that I see around me in regards to this day.  While it is meant to be a day for celebration, it is also filled with a variety of emotions for so many people. 

  • HAPPINESS - for those blessed with family they love - mothers and children

  • GRIEF - for those that have lost their mother or a child

  • GUILT - for those who have not lived up to the expectations - their own or someone elses

  • JOY - for those celebrating a life within

  • ANGER - for those who feel pushed into something they don't want; a relationship that drains them or a person that they will never be able to please

  • FEAR or PAIN - for those in a difficult place with someone that they love

  • PEACE - for those who find contentment right where they are; living just where God has them

Life is hard.  God is good.  I'm thankful that even in the midst of the hard things, that I have something ... someone good to cling to!  I am blessed in so many ways. 

I am blessed to have a wonderful Mom that I wish we could spend the day with too!  I love you Mom!  I am thankful for the example you are and have been to me on how to be a mom and wife.  I'm thankful for the interests and talents you have shared with me.  I'm thankful for the love of God that you showed me at a very early age.  I am thankful that you have given me wings, let me make my own choices and mistakes and yet support me through it all.  I am so thankful for you Mom!  I love you!

I am thankful to be a Mom as well!  I can't imagine anything that has taught me more than being a mom.  When I was growing up I never imagined that I would have a large family.  (I still don't really feel like six is all that large - though it certainly seems to be to most people.)  Once I had a child though, I knew that this was a blessing I would be thrilled to have more of!  I love having children.  I love being a Mom!  Children are a gift from God, they are His reward.

For my dear friends that are hurting, I'm praying for you.  I am thankful for the ones of you that are also praying for me.  I'm praying today for any that read this, that you would find peace and love in the arms of the One who loves you!  Crawl up into your Daddy God's lap and let Him love on you, give you peace and just delight in you.  

God is good.

With love,


Monday, May 5, 2008

Duke Children's Classic - and more Wholehearted Bracelets

I wanted to share something exciting with you.  I should have shared it weeks ago, but like the previous post mentioned - I'm behind.  :-)

I've been invited to speak at a luncheon that is part of the Duke Children's Classic.  Read more about it here.    This is a huge event for the hospital involving a golf tournement.  On Sat, there is a luncheon for the wives and friends of the golfers.  I'm not the keynote, but will be sharing/speaking at the lunch. 

I don't know the details yet, but expect that they will just want to hear "my story".  It can be hard to condense the last year into a story - but it can be done.  It is certainly easier to share at this point than it was a year ago.  We've come a long way.  As hard as those early days were - I'm thankful for them.  I'm thankful for the difficult road as it opened my eyes and my heart to so many things.  Things I might never have seen if it had not been for Eliana.  I remember early on someone telling me that I'd have a "story to tell" and me thinking that I didn't want a story to tell!  (Yes, I was fussing about it.  I just wanted a boring, uneventful life at that point.)  God's way is definitely best. 

My eyes see beauty in a whole new way.  My heart understands pain, suffering, fear and peace in depths I hadn't experienced before.  My mind knows that facts will never be stronger than faith, love and hope.  I know with all of my heart that we have been entrusted with a special gift - a blessing sent to us from God.  ALL children are a gift from God.  A blessing.  An incredible blessing.

Rebecca has also been asked to participate.  They have asked her to make a bracelet for every woman in attendance - 100 to 125 of them!  All of them in pink and/or orange which are their theme colors.  Well, they are pink as we have had a very hard time finding any orange beads.  We are also having trouble finding the metal heart beads - her signature bead.  Our local store no longer carries them.  If you find them, we would love to know where so that we can get more.  ETA:  Just last night we found some at a different craft store and bought all that they had! 

Rebecca has been working so very hard.  She has made over 100 bracelets in the last 4 weeks!  That's a lot of bracelets and many, many hours.  She has found that listening to books on tape is a great way to pass the time.  I have joined her in making them as have some of her friends, which is a fun way to work.  (Her friends bracelets aren't counted in her total above.)  Most of the time though, it's just Rebecca working.  I'm so proud of her effort and diligence!

They will also have "boutiques" with items for the attendees to purchase.  Rebecca will have one of these too.  She is planning on making a variety of things to add to her collection once she meets her goal of the pink bracelets.  This was a big order and I'm proud of her and the hard work she has put into it so far.  Many hours a week my sweet girl has devoted.  She really is amazing, isn't she?  Her goal for the year is to reach $10,000.  Last year, I might have doubted, this year, I know she can do it!

If any of you want more information on Rebecca's bracelet ministry, I've added a few links to my sidebar to explain what she has done.  If you are interested in purchasing bracelets, please email me.

If you feel led to pray, I would love prayers that I would speak words that would encourage, challenge and inspire people.  I want to speak the words that God has for me.  I'm excited about this opportunity and thankful for it as well. 

My girls - pretty special each in their own way.



Thursday, May 1, 2008

So behind ... will I ever catch up?

I doubt it.  There are so many things I want to do - and never enough time to do them.  Some things have been waiting for far too long!!!  Like thank you notes.  *blush*  I have typically been so good about doing this, but have certainly dropped the ball over the last year. 

Maybe making a list will help.  Or just serve as a reminder.  Here a list of some things I want or need to do.

*Sort clothes - pull out clothes that are too small (pass down) or stained (toss).  Figure out needs for summer clothing for everyone.  I've started on this, but it is not a small task. 

*Declutter - talking about not a small task.  LOL  The attic and garage and playroom need soooo much work.  I need to just set aside 15 min a day and try to tackle it.  I did some on the garage yesterday - and Roger took a load of things to the dump.  It's a little bit of progress.

*Reading - I have a stack of books I feel like I *need* to read - from homeschooling high school to learning about various motor skills improvements with Down syndrome.

*Scrapbooking - the job that is never caught up!  It is fun though. 

*Making activity boxes for my younger children - I want to do some developmental learning boxes for them.  Things that will be fun and also helpful.  Daniel loves having these to do during our school time.  I think Eliana would benefit from some more directed play as well.

*Researching/praying/planning for the next school year - I need to figure out new curriculum for my oldest two.  Our conference is in a few more weeks and I like to do most of my buying here if possible.  I want to support the vendors that attend and I like being able to look at things there.

*Chores - I've really slacked up a lot on these since ... well, you know.  LOL  I need to work on new charts.  The children are all really helpful - but some more than others and dividing things up would help all of us.  I need to do more training of the younger boys as well. 

If this sounds like fun to anyone - please feel free to come on over as I would love company as I tackle some of these projects.

Our day today was so much fun!  We had a field day with our homeschool group.  I wish I could share pics - but most of mine didn't turn out.  I'll try to post some later if any worked.  I'm not sure what is going on with my camera - it isn't that old.  (4.5 years) 

We split the children by ages and had a variety of games going on.  Some of them included 3-legged race, egg and spoon race, long jump, football throw, backwards race, kickball, sack race and more.  All of my children LOVED this day!  These are things that we don't often do as homeschoolers and it was fun to take time to do this with our friends.  My children are already asking about doing this next year.  I think it will be a fun new tradition for our group. 

This week-end, Roger and Joshua are going on a Civil War trip with a UNC tour group.  This is Joshua's first trip of this type and he is so excited.  Roger is the host and Joshua is looking forward to being his assistant - helping and serving the others on the tour.  He asked if I thought he would do a good job -  I assured him that he would be great in this role!  Christopher has been on several of these trips and it's neat that now Joshua gets a turn. 

When Roger first talked with Joshua, he wasn't sure if the topic would be interesting to him.  Joshua replied, "What kid isn't interested in the Civil War?  I've always wanted to learn more about iron-clads.".  His older brother has been a Civil War buff for a long time, so he has had plenty of exposure.  I think having time with his Dad will be pretty special too. 

The rest of us have a football game this week-end and a picnic.  The picnic is sponsored by our local Down syndrome group.  I think it will be a fun time to meet and connect with some others.  I'm really hoping it doesn't rain so that we can attend. 

I have more things I want to post - esp pictures.  Maybe I should list those too so I can get around to doing it.  ;-) 

Praying that the rest of you week is filled with laughter, love and joy.  Praying that you would know how precious it is to be loved deeply by the One who made you.  Praying that you would know His peace, purpose and passion as you walk through your day.

With love,