Monday, December 31, 2012

The Blessings of 2012

As I look back at 2012, I feel the many ways our family was blessed.  Hopefully each of can look back and find some blessings as well.  Here are a few of ours:
            1. All 5 of us made it through the year with out any major illnesses or hospital visits.  (OK    technically we made one ER visit, but the issue resolved itself before we were actually admitted, so it should not really count)
            2.  Ben is mostly potty trained.  He spends his days in underwear, with very few accidents.  Nights are still a challenge, but I am hoping by next year he will have made significant progress.
            3.  This was the first year that I was a stay at home mom for the entire year.  While I did not get as much accomplished on the home front, I did accomplish a few things that I am proud of, like: rebuilding the DSAF of NE website, being a co-chair and the web chair for the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, continuing to volunteer as the communication director of the DSAF of NE, getting a head start on my new business ABC Signing Kids, building a website for ABC Signing Kids, signed up to be a substitute aid at school, taught knitting in 4-h and kept the blog up.  
            4.  All three boys are doing well in school.  John has been on the honor roll every semester except one.  (he missed it by .01% )   Noah is keeping his grades up even though he has a very demanding schedule of his own practices and games, and also attending his brothers events.  His grades dipped for a short while, but he knew what he had to do, and worked hard to bring them back up.  Ben loves school and is doing awesome.   While he still has challenges with speech and fine motor skills (writing), he is doing great in reading and was tested as reading at a 1st grade level.  We are extra blessed to have a great team at school which is really helping him to excel. 
             5.  All three boys enjoy sports.  We are blessed that both John and Noah are athletic and get to play a lot in their favorite sports.   I also think they are fortunate to be able to experience both winning and losing, so they can learn good sportsmanship.   Ben participated in Special Olympics Young Athletes and was much better at following directions.  He is also learning lots from attending his older brothers games and likes to pretend he is a referee or umpire at the games.
            6.  I had lots of time to take photos and 2 pictures of Ben were included in the new addition of Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome.  A photo of Ben was also chosen to be displayed in the National Buddy Walk video and was shown on one of the big screens in the heart of Time Square
            7.  Due to the photo being selected for the video, we were lucky to have Cindy Lange-Kubick from the Lincoln Journal Star come out to our house and do a lovely article about the blessing Ben is to our family.
             8.We have an awesome support system of family and friends who are there for us when we need them.  They helped us to have an awesome turnout for Ben's Brigade at the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk and help us to raise over $2000.  We also had great support  at at our first ever fundraising event for Ben's Brigade where we had a few items for sale at the Murdock 4th of July parade.  It was so much fun, we might even do it again next year.
            9. We were fortunate, that even though we are new a one income family, we still were able to support our church and many of our favorite charities. 
            10.  Finally, we are fortunate that we have each other.  Our family is not perfect.  We do not always get along (John and Noah).  But underneath it all is love, and because of that, we are blessed.

Here is hoping that you too can look back at 2012 and see many blessings,
 and hope each of you find many new blessings in 2013!





Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The day after Noah and I put up the ouside Christmas lights, Ben was sitting on the potty.  He look up at the window and with wonder and amazement in his voice he said "WOW!" as he pointed at the Christmas lights.  He said it again when he saw the Christmas tree light up, and again when he saw Grandma's Christmas lights.  

Wishing you and your families a Holiday Season is filled with lots of "WOW!" too.




Friday, December 7, 2012

A Hard Lesson to Learn

Our oldest son leaned a very important lesson this week.  While shopping at Target, he was pushing Ben in the cart and they were playing.  John playfully said "Shut your face" and Ben happily repeated it.  So they were walking down the isle saying to each other.  We told John to stop immediately as that is not something appropriate for 4 year olds (or 13 year olds) to say, but he simply walked ahead of us and kept talking quietly to Ben. 

Once in the car Ben repeated it a couple time.  Randy and I gave John the I told you so speech, that you can not say things in front of Ben that are not appropriate, because he will repeat them and this is what happens.  We told him that for every time Ben repeated it, John would lose a day on his PS3. 

I think Ben understood exactly what I said, because just then he started to repeat it over, and over, and over and over again.  Around 200 times of repeating it, John started to get mad at him.  It was time for another I told you so moment. But after a bit it just started getting funny. Ben was saying it with the exact same inflection that John had used.   It was all I could do not to laugh every time he said it.  Luckily I was in the seat directly in front of Ben in the car, so he could not see me smiling, but John could see me and was getting very upset. 

Part of me is very proud of Ben as he is making great improvements in speech.  Reading is helping and so is his willingness to repeat what we say.  He will repeat just about everything and he was making a great f sound when he said face.  

Unfortunately we were an hour away from home and it was going to be a long drive.  About half way home we switched it to an hour of PS3 time lost for each occurrence.  I never thought it would get that far when I first laid out the punishment.  However now that he has lost it for over 600 hours, it will still be a long time before John gets to play his new game. 

We finally talked the boys into "teaching" Ben a more appropriate phrase, so every time he started to say "Shut your face" , they would both shout "knee"  I am not sure why they chose that, but it finally worked. 
Maybe next time John will listen when we tell him to not say inappropriate things to his little brother......but I doubt it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

And The Winner Is.......

The winner of the the Signing Time Story Time DVD is ...Julie Anderson!  Julie was the first person to sign up at the craft fair and also got another entry for liking the ABC Signing Kids facebook page.  Not sure which one won it for her, but it never hurts to have your name in more than once.  Congratulations Julie!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Signing Time DVD Giveaway

We are so thankful our little Ben has received so many benefits from the Signing Time program. To read more about how Ben first stared reading at age 2, click here.   Ben was recently tested on his sight reading list as school and was found to be reading at the first grade level.   Not bad for a 4 year old.   We would like to celebrate this achievement and the holiday weekend  by sharing the gift of sign with someone else.

We are proud to announce that....

ABC Signing Kids  will be giving away a 
Story Time DVD this weekend.  
This is a great DVD to add to your collection if you already love Signing Time,  and if you are new to Signing Time, it is a great DVD to use to introduce sign language to young children. 

How can you enter?   

There are a couple different ways.
1.  Like the ABC Signing Kids facebook page.
2.  Comment on this post about you or your child's favorite sign to use,  or what sign you would like to learn.
3.  If you are in Southeast Nebraska this weekend. come to the ABC Signing Kids booth at the Holiday Extravaganza Craft Fair, located at Josoff's Social Hall in Elmwood, NE on Saturday September 24, from 9-4, to enter the drawing in person.

Good Luck !

*Maximum of 3 entries per person.  Entry deadline 4:00 pm on Saturday November 24, 2012.  Winner will be announced on Monday, September 26, 2012.  Must live in the continental United States to win.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Can't Fool This Kid

One of the things I love about the iPad is that it helps kids get motivated to learn.  It is also a ton of fun and slightly addictive  I have read more books on my Kindle app this year alone than I read in the last 10 years combined.

The games can be addictive too.

My personal favorite is Bejeweled Blitz.

 Ben's favorite is Tiger Woods Golf.

The problem with Ben's favorite, is that it happens to be his Dad's game.  The way these games work, you do tournaments to increase your average and skill, etc.  Randy had his player in pretty good shape.

Until Ben found the game that was hidden in the folder.

He was sitting quietly in the stroller at one of his brother's many games completely engrossed in the iPad.  I asked him a couple times what he was playing.   I finally got up and looked.  Randy's  player was at 70 over par.  Not good when you have your player just where you want them.

So they created a player just for Ben.

 You see he does not care if he is in first or last.  He just wants to play.   I just love that about him.  Every time the big boys try to get him to change how he doing something so he can win, I remind them too.

Ben just wants to play.  He is having fun.  Let him have fun.

But back to the iPad......Every now and then I move the golf game on the iPad, so that Ben will spend more time with his learning apps, and less time playing golf.

This morning was one of those days.

After burying the golf game deep in one of my photo app folders, I gave the iPad back to Ben.

Next thing I hear is "Looks like you are going to need a pitching wedge from this distance".  The little stinker found it, in less than 10 minutes.  Looks like I need to employ a more devious tactic next time. 

But part of me is proud of him.  What a great problem solving skill this little game of ours has taught him. There are so many great things he learns from the iPad, like matching, math, reading, and having fun.   In general the iPad has been nothing but a wonderful tool for Ben.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Burden

I would not change Ben for the world.  But I would change the world for him.   
I made this poster quite a while ago, could not decide if I should post it or not.  
Honestly we have been lucky and have been blessed to have a wonderful caring and supportive community in our small town in Nebraska.  We have had very few incidents of inappropriate behavior or language used and most have occurred when we have traveled to one of the bigger cities around us.  I have not doubt that Ben will blaze his own trail and will show us all that individuals with 
Down syndrome can accomplish many things.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Fall Ya'll!

The local Down synrome support group went to a local pumpkin patch this weekend.  We did not really mind that it was muddy since the rain that fell the night before was the first we had in weeks.  The patch was fun and our group pretty much had the place to ourselves to start the day.


They have a Scary Farm at night.  I think we will pass on that for a few years.


Ben really enjoyed the big bikes of the Roca 500.  John did not enjoy them as much due to the wet ground.  At least he got a good workout from it all.


Then there was the giant slide.  I gave John strict instructions to go down with Ben, since last year I have a photo of John letting go of a terrified Ben.  However, this year Ben was able to control his speed on this very long slide, and went back multiple times. 


Unfortunately Ben's little hind end was not big enough to dry the slide off for John, so they both ended up with damp seats. 


John helped Ben dig in the corn.  Ben enjoyed making corn angels.  He was a damp, corn dust wearing mess when he got out. 


He was sad when John made him get out of the corn to go take the group photo.  


But being with Mom made it all better.  The kid can go from happy, to totally ticked off, back to happy, faster than anyone I know. 


Hope everyone is enjoying fall as much as we are!  
Next to figure out what everyone will be for Halloween.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guardian Angel Working Overtime.

Ben's Guardian Angel must had to have pulled double shifts recently, because he was saved not once but twice with in the last week.

The first time was when we were getting ready for school.  I was looking for socks that match in my bedroom.   I hate folding socks, and had a whole basket full of unfolded ones to go thru to try to find matches for both Ben and I.  Usually I leave the bedroom door closed so Ben can't play in there, but this time I did not.  I looked over and the little stinker was sitting on my floor, playing with a quarter.  I quickly took it away from him, which made him mad, so he ran by my dresser, reached into my coin tray and ran out.  I caught him and got the rest of the coins.  Just as he was wiggling away from me, I noticed his other little hand was clenched tight.  I started to chase him down again when he popped the object into his mouth and proceeded to choke on it.

He had another quarter.

It was now stuck in his throat.

He was scared.

He was in pain.

But he was breathing.

I calmly called the Dr and explained the situation.  The nurse said if it went to the stomach it would be fine, but since Ben's was obviously stuck in his throat, it could move and block his airway, so we needed to go to the emergency room.

Outside I was calm, but inside I was in a panic.  We live a 1/2 hour away from the hospital.  What if it shifted?

On the way to the ER,  Ben went between whimpering and crying, then he started to doze off.  Not good.  So long as he was speaking to me, whining, or crying, I could focus on driving,  I turned on his favorite song, to try to wake him up.  He did wake up, even signed a few words with the song, and even gave me half a smile.  I was wondering if the quarter was on it's way down.

My husband met us at the hospital.  We were sitting in triage and they were taking weight, pulse-ox, temp, etc. when Ben started to cough.  He turned to me and finally hacked up a big pile of frothy white goo into my hands, that luckily contained a quarter.  Randy was happy that Ben hacked it up on me instead of him, so he could go back to work with out buying new clothes.   Ben went from a boy who was scared and in pain,
 back to his happy merry self, in just a couple of seconds.  Even the nurse at the desk remarked about how he turned into a totally different kid, like we flipped on a switch.
They did ask us to stay and take x-rays, just to make sure that there were no other coins that got swallowed, but all was clear.  Ben was a champ the rest of the day and laid nice and still for the X-Ray.  He got a milk shake to sooth his throat and then took a power nap on the way home.

But that was just the first episode.

The second was just a couple days ago when we got home from school.  Uncle Russ was here working on fences for the cows, and needed Noah to help.  Since it was a nice day Ben quickly ran outside to play too.  We have a large back yard, so I followed him around for awhile until Ben found a golf club to play with.

When Ben has a golf club, you need to give the boy some space.

 So he ran over to the barn to play golf where he usually does, and I went to check to see if any pumpkins survived on the other side of the yard.

I noticed Ben heading over to one of the grain bins which was the direction Uncle Russ and Noah had gone.  I remember thinking how cute it was that he wanted to tag along.  He had just finished hitting a couple balls when he stepped forward into the space between the bins to look at something.  That something was my Brother backing his truck right at Ben.  I could tell there was no way Russ could see him in that big truck.  I took off running toward them, waving my arms,  and screaming at the top of my lungs, not even able to form a real word, as I realized I was about to see my baby killed.  I was hoping that Ben might get the idea and move based on all my screaming, but he stood there like a deer in the headlights watching the truck come toward him.  Then with just 6 inches to go the truck stopped.

My brother had heard my scream.

Ben must have decided the truck was boring once it stopped moving and toddled on his merry way to finds something else to hit with his golf club.

I scooped him up and rushed to the house.  He did not understand why Mom was acting so weird and fought me the whole way to the house.  It was still a nice day out.  He wanted to play.  Once safely inside I just collapsed with him inside the back door.  I had nightmares all night of tail lights heading for Ben.

That was way too traumatic for this old mamma to take.

I am just glad Ben's Guardian Angel decided to work overtime this week.

Here is hoping for a much quieter week this next week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Step Up for Down Syndrome 2012

This weekend was our local Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk. This was my first year co-chairing the event and the day started at 6:45 am and the temperature was at 26 degrees heading for a high of 50. But that is how the weather is in Nebraska. 80 one day and freezing the next. Unfortunately we got the freezing day. But at least the sun was out and the wind was not blowing, so it did not feel that bad.
Other than the weather and some unexpected construction, the event went pretty smoothly.

 A huge thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, or walked at the event. Ben's brigade raised over $2,000 dollars and we had around 50 walkers. It was a great day and we appreciate all the support we received from family and friends.
 We are thankful to everyone who helped make the walk a huge success !

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Times Square Video

October is Down syndrome awareness month. While many bloggers are doing a 31 for 21 blog challenge, I am already a day late and am pretty sure I would fail miserably. However, I do hope to provide more information about Down syndrome this month and will try to post as much as I can. To start I would like to share the video that played in Times Square last month featuring individuals with Down syndrome at the National Buddy Walk. Ben is near the end at the 14:36 mark if you want to fast forward. However, I encourage everyone to watch as much of the video that you can. You might just learn some facts along the way and see some amazing photos.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

ABC Signing Kids

Ben's success with the ASL Sign Language program Signing Time has prompted me to become certified Baby Signing Time instructor, so I can share sign with others.  I have created the company ABC Signing Kids and I offer classes and sell the award winning Signing Time products.  I am currently taking more classes to work my way to become a Master Signing Time Instructor.
                                Click here to visit my brand new website.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Technology is SO COOL

       As I sit here at my computer, after watching via a web cam, the National Buddy Walk Video that was shown in Times Square this morning, I am amazed at how cool technology really is.  That I can be in Nebraska, and still see live action in Times Square, and grab a screen print that allowed me to capture the exact moment my sweet little guy was shown on the Sony screen is blowing my mind.  Granted, it is not the best picture.  It is dark and grainy, and it is just a tiny rectangle underneath a giant beer bottle, but it is still so cool.    I overlaid the actual photo, so you can see what it would have looked like if you were much closer.   If you look closely, you can make out his outline and drum stick.

Thank you to the NDSS for putting together a video that promotes the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  Thank you for sending a link for the webcams out to all the loved ones who could not be there, so we could feel like we are a part of the day. It is truly amazing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

We Made the News!


After Ben's photo was chosen for the National Buddy Walk video, the NDSS sent us a press release to send to our local papers.  I sent mine to Cass County Paper and the Lincoln Journal Star.  The Cass county paper ran  just the press release, and not the picture (even though I sent it numerous times).

However, the Lincoln Journal Star sent our one of their best writers who interviewed us on Tuesday and ran this very nice article on Thursday.  It was very cool.

Cindy Lange-Kubick: The W family and the blessings of Ben : The Lincoln Journal Star Online

Plus the photographer was able to do, what only one other has done before, which was to get a photo of us all looking the same direction and smiling.  Quiet a feat.  Thanks Lincoln Journal Star!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Little Rapper



It started with Ben picking up John's iPod, putting the earbud in his ear, then singing the chorus, Ice Ice Baby.  It appears that a certain big brother has been letting my sweet little Ben listen to his questionable music.   A lot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Step UP for Down Syndrome Walk

Thank you to everyone who has registered or donated to Ben's Brigade for the 2012 Capital City Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk.  Through your generosity, Ben earned 3 fact posters (pictured below) that will be displayed along the walk route at the Step Up Walk on October 6, 2012 in Lincoln NE.  A huge thank you to Erica and Images for a Lifetime for taking such adorable photos and for making the posters for the DSAF.  There will be 98 posters displayed along the walk route featuring 39 different Nebraska children with Down syndrome.   They truly are inspirational.  There is still time to register or donate.  Anyone who registers by Saturday the 15th. will get a free t-shirt with their paid registration. 
Click here to go to Ben's Team page:  



                                              We appreciate everyone's support!

First Day of School


 Not sure where the time has gone, but the first day of school came and went by quickly.   Can't believe I have an 8th and 5th grader already.  John and Noah are not happy about Ben's afternoon preschool this year, since it means they have to get up and get on the bus at 6:50. So far we have only had 1 incident of over sleeping, and that was yesterday. 

 Tried to get a photo of them getting on the bus that first day, but missed.  At least I got a photo of the bus before it drove off.  

Ben was ready for school too.  I was impressed by how quickly he could get his backpack on all by himself.  

 Once he hit the front door of school, he was all business.  There was no looking back or hugging Mom.  He was ready to go.  I am pretty sure he had a great day, filled with lots of activity.

I know because this is what he looked like 5 minutes after I picked him up from school.

Now a few weeks later, we have only had one day where he did not fall asleep after he got home from school, but usually it is just a quick cat nap.  It is much easier getting him ready for school this year too.  Maybe it is because he is maturing, maybe it is because we have more time, or maybe it is becasue his brothers are not around to bother him.  Either way it is nice to have him excited and helpful when it is time to go to school.  

County and State Fairs

This year was a particularly good year for the boys in 4-H.  Both Noah and John won their divisions in the Presentation contest that was held before the fair.  At the county fair Noah won Grand Champion and best Picture in the 4-H division for his photo of a rock splahing into water.  The photo also got a purple ribbon at the state fair. 






They were looking for kids to do interviews on the radio, and Noah got picked.  He had fun and got to talk for quite a while since the was the only 4-Her in the area
  Noah also got Grand Champion on his framed stock certificate and history of the Elmwood Theatre Corporation.  This entry got a blue ribbon at the state fair. 



Since we were going to the fair on Wednesday to see the bucket calf show, I asked Noah if he wanted to enter a basket in the basket contest, since the entry time was going to be during our visit.  He ended up getting 1st place with a trophy and a ribbon.  He thought that was pretty cool.  


 Our friend Kate had two goats in one class, so Noah got to help out by showing one for her.  I would say a better description was that the goat showed him, since it mostly drug him around the ring.  But the judge was very forgiving.



 John wanted to do the cake auction this year and made a cake with Olympic rings on it.  It sold for $100. 









John also got a trophy for Reserved Champion Wild Flower photo.  It was cool seeing both boys on stage at the same time.
















Here is his reserved champion photo. 




All of their hard work payed off, because we got to spend a day at the Nebraska State Fair.













John got to do his presentation while we were there.  We were a bit late and they would not let him use our laptop, so the videos in his power point did not work.  He still got a blue ribbon which was good considering he experienced technical difficulty.


He got a special recognition for his photo of a bald eagle on our pond.  Above it is Noah's photo of the Blue Heron that also lives on the pond.  Both birds happen to be sitting on the same log (but they were taken at different times)  



His Child Development book about Ben's Farm got a purple too.  Love the expression on his face.  I don't think there was anything worse than being forced to pose for a picture, when there was the entire state fair to explore waiting right outside.  


I will leave you with this.  Only at the Nebraska state fair would you see something like this.  They were not running when we went by, but I am sure they could get a ride on one of the ones outside the house right now if they really wanted too. 







Monday, August 27, 2012

Inclusion Starts at Home.

A few weeks ago we slipped away to Branson, MO for a quick vacation.  While it is not really our favorite place to go, it is an easy place for us to go, which is why we return so often.  The shows are not really our thing, however, that are plenty of things to do in a town that runs on tourism. 

Our condo, and a nice swimming pool, and that was one of the first things on our list.  After a couple other swimming adventures with Ben this summer, one with a life jacket and one without, we decided to pick up a life jacket during our initial trip to the store to stock up on supplies while we were there.  It was a good thing we did.  Ben feels that he must be with his brothers in the deep end of the pool. and has no fear of the water. 


This trip, we decided that it would be a good time to take the boys back to Dixie Stampede. Noah was a baby the last time we went, and did not remember it.   This is Dolly Parton's show, where they serve chicken and pork lion that you eat with your fingers, around an arena where the North challenges the South, over a variety of events.  There were lots of horses and riding, buffalo, long horn cattle, soldiers and girls in pretty dresses.  All three boys LOVED it.  Especially Ben.  Even during the pre-show,  while a 14 year old boy juggled, Ben was glued to the show.  He bounced on my lap, clapped, cheered, and had a wonderful time.  The show is pretty expensive, but it was worth every penny to see the reactions of my kids.  Even our teenager had a great time.  No cameras were allowed, so I don't have any picture, but if I had taken any,  they would have been of Ben and the pure joy he experienced by being included in the fun. 

Putt Putt golf was also on the list.  Unfortunately it was getting hot already the morning that we went.  Ben made it about half way through, and then just sat down in the shade. 

 He still enjoyed just being with the family while we finished the rest of the course.

One of the other favorite activities of my boys while in Branson, has always been the go-carts.  They have carts of all sizes for any driver.  The place was busy when we stopped to get tickets, so I just dropped Randy and the boys off at the office.  I thought he would get a card with some points and then come back to the car and we would plan how to use the ride points.  But after a bit, I saw them all run of to the biggest track.  Ben was asleep, so I parked in the shade down by the medium size track and since it was nice that day, so I had the windows down.  I could hear the recording they had that gave the size restrictions, and rule for 2 drivers.  I know that kids had to be over 36 inches tall to be a passenger, and that Ben fit the criteria.   Ben woke up and was excited,  saying and signing car and please over and over again.  I look over in time to notice Randy and Noah getting off the cars that Ben could ride on, and making a run for the start of the line to go again.  I quick got out my phone to call Randy, and told him that his son would like to ride on the go carts too.  He replied, that Noah was not tall enough to go on the big track that they went to this other track that Noah could ride on.  I said, "Randy, you have another son who would like to ride".  Randy said, "Oh!  I did not even think about him being big enough to ride on these".  We got Ben out and he was so excited. 
I think the look on his face says enough about what he thought about riding on the go-carts.


Every time he went around the track I got the same smile.  It was so sweet.

But what this whole trip has reminded me, is that Ben just wants to be included in everything we do as a family.  Yes there are times, when Ben stays home with one of us, because it is just plain hard sometime to include him.  He is a runner, and will take off in the blink of an eye.  When we do include him, he spends way too much time in a stroller because  the stroller is easy, and it lets us enjoy events.   But what does that teach him?  It certainly does not teach him to stay with us when we are out.    So my goal for this next,month, is to limit the use of the stroller, while continuing to let Ben experience events with the family.  There are so many things that he is big enough to do now, so long as we remember to include him. Besides,  I want to see way more smiles like the one I see above.   It is really priceless.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fifth Time is a Charm

Every year since Ben was born, I have submitted a photo to be shown on the video screen in Times Square in New York, for the National Buddy Walk.  This year his photo was finally chosen! 
Ben will appear in the bright lights of Broadway on Saturday, September 22, as part of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) annual Times Square Video Presentation, which embodies the NDSS mission to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
  
The photo of Ben was selected from over 1,000 entries in the NDSS worldwide call for photos. Over 200 photographs will appear in the video, which will be shown on the News Corporation Sony Screen, located in the heart of Times Square.  

Ben is pictured playing on his big brother’s drum set.  He loves music of all kinds. 
  
The Times Square video presentation kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The video presentation will be followed by the 18th Annual New York City Buddy Walk® in Central Park. This year, Buddy Walk and Step Up Walk events will be held in more than 300 cities across the country, as well as select international locations, in and around October.   

Our own Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk in Lincoln, NE will be held on October 6, 2012.  Here is a link to Ben's Brigades fundraising page.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

So Sweet

Tonight Randy was tired and went to be early.  When it was time for Ben to go to bed he kept trying to go in to our bedroom instead of his.  I told him "Shh we need to be quiet and not bother Daddy, because he is sleeping already.  Ben shook his head like he understood and quietly peaked his head around the door and started blowing kisses to Daddy, then he signed and said "I love you,  Daddy.  Then said "night night, with more kisses blown.  It was so stinking sweet.  Made my heart melt. 
Thanks Ben, for giving me moments like this!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy Brithday Noah!

With the latest milestone in our house, we now have 2 boys in double digits.  Noah just turned 10!  For us it was a quiet day.  Mom and John up at 4 to drop John at the bus for de tasseling.  Mom tried to go back to bed, and finally fell  asleep 10 minutes before Ben woke up.


At our house we make home made birthday pancakes to start the day celebrating.  Noah's spelled out his name and had chocolate chips.
 
 Ben got some too.
Then we had to rush to Lincoln for a Van appointment at 9:00, so I asked Noah if he would prefer to go to Grandma and Grandpa's instead of hanging out at a car dealership.  He thought that would be best too. 

After a morning of Grandma spoiling we went shopping and he got to get a professional hair cut.  He was getting tired of getting nicked by the Mom salon and found that to be quite a treat.   Then,  he got to pick out  supper for the family.  True to form, Noah flaunted his diverse tastes by choosing blackened salmon, steamed broccoli, and corn or the cob, for our menu.   We finished with his usual preference of   cheesecake.  No candles for this boy.
Believe it or not, I did not get a picture of Noah on his Birthday, so will have to share one from a couple weeks ago, when he and Ben were playing in the sprinkler.

Happy Birthday Noah.  I am so proud of you.  You are funny, silly, smart, athletic, creative, competitive, and a really great brother.  Hope you enjoyed your special day.