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.