What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quick Post (31 for 21:6)

I'm still not quite recovered from the Walk on Saturday.  I had a great time, and have enjoyed reading people's facebook posts, and seeing pictures and videos.  I need to think about it a little more before I write about it.

Let me send you to one of the 31 for 21 posts that I have really enjoyed this week:

How to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month if you don't have a child with Down syndrome

There have been so many more excellent posts, that I couldn't decide which other ones to feature!

If you want to read more about families who have a child with Down syndrome, please check out this great list of blogs that are participating in 31 for 21.  Maybe you will find a new favorite blogger.

And here's a quick picture of me and my silly guy at the Walk yesterday.  He's such a ham!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Step UP! (31 for 21:5)

Today was the Step Up for Down Syndrome Awareness Walk.  We had 1000+ people come out to walk, to dance, to cheer, and to party.  My heart is full!

Just a couple of pictures from the day!  I will add more tomorrow.  :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

ACK! (31 for 21:4)

I am going to be away from the blog today.  Why?

Do you remember my post from a few weeks ago?  Remember how I was so amazed and excited that we were going to have 275 people at our very first Step Up Walk?

The Walk is tomorrow, and there are officially 968 people registered.

Praying friends, please pray!  I think everything is going to be AWESOME.  But, oh, it is a bit terrifying at the same time.  Every day I get calls from people who just found out about it and want to register, and every day I am delighted at the prospect of meeting more local families who have a loved one with Down syndrome.

We are kicking off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in a big way!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Meet Gillian. (31 for 21:3)

Nearly a year after Ben was born, someone sent me this link: To the New Mother of a Baby with Down Syndrome.  The sender was a friend from a former workplace, and she had been part of a church that supported the blogger on missions.

It was timely, because I had been reading Gillian's blog for a while, and I loved it.  She said thoughtful things, she said hard things, and she said good things about God and His love and presence in the hard things.  

And she has two daughters with Down syndrome, two without.  And she lives in Chicago and loves MOPS and in the happy imaginary world in my head, I totally felt that we would be BFFS if we ever actually met in person.  

Yes, I am creepy online stalker lady.  And it went a little farther than that - I actually invited myself over to her house when we went to Chicago on vacation!  It turns out that we couldn't have a playdate because our schedule was packed, but I did get to talk to her on the phone.  

Since then, I've emailed her (only every once in a while - I try to reign in my creepy stalker tendencies) with questions about church and kids with special needs.  I told her about our group, and I've asked for prayer.  

She's been helpful and friendly and I have plans to marry Ben off to one of her girls one day.  And maybe Evan, too.

Since beginning to read her blog, I have wondered about her story.  I knew the basic framework: missionary in Ukraine gives birth to daughter with Down syndrome.  Returns to United States with family.  Eventually adopts another child with Down syndrome from Ukraine.

I wanted details!

And now, finally, I have them.  Gillian has written a memoir called Sun Shine Down.  It's a short read, but it gives more depth and detail to the events of her life.  I think the book is too short - there are parts where I wish she would tell me more, but I love the story.  It seems trite to say "she has a way with words," but ... she does.  She's an excellent and insightful writer.

This book fleshes out the hard parts of Polly's birth and diagnosis.  Gillian writes about her failings, and it is freeing - especially as a Christian mom - to hear someone say that they failed.  One of the poignant lines in the book: "I know of other mothers who have children with disabilities, and right away they loved them and decided to fight for them.  That isn't my story."

I have an extra copy of Sun Shine Down that I would love to give away to one reader.  If you would like to enter the drawing, please leave a comment on this post.  I will draw the winner next Friday, October 11th. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness Month (31 for 21:2)

These first few days of October will be a bit scattered on the blog.  I'm one of the organizers for the Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association's FIRST EVER Step Up for Down Syndrome! Awareness Walk.

I'm going a little bit crazy!

But it's been awesome to see how the community is coming together for this walk!  We have had lots of sponsors sign on, and the City issued a proclamation today - proclaiming that October 5th is Step Up for Down Syndrome Day in Edinburg, TX.  The other highlight for today was deliveries!  Our fact posters arrived, and they look amazing.  The RGVDSA wristbands got here, too.  And the ribbons for the end of the Walk.  It was fun to answer the door today.

Tomorrow, I have T-shirts to deliver and lots of bottled water to buy.

I feel like I should share a story or something for 31 for 21 instead of just talking about my to do list.

One recent highlight in our local Down syndrome community was that one of our teen boys scored a 70 yard touchdown in his middle school football game.  He's a great kid, and the school held a pep rally for the team, then gave him the game ball.

So, today's fact: kids with Down syndrome can play football.  If they want to.  And if their parents say it's OK.  And they can score.

Woo hoo!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness Month (31 for 21:1)

Everybody knows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I'm pretty sure it's Pastor Appreciation Month, too.  It is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month. 

This month, I'm going to *try* to blog every day.  There's a whole group of bloggers who write every day in October, and they call it "31 for 21."  Down syndrome happens when a person has three copies of the 21st chromosome.  Hence, 31 (days) for 21 (the chromosome).

I have some ideas for this month - starting with a couple of book reviews and giveaways, some picture posts, and at least one or two posts about the Step Up for Down Syndrome Awareness Walk that I'm helping to plan.  I'll introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers, and hopefully give you some more information about Down syndrome.  It'll be fun!

It will be good to get back in the habit of writing on the blog.  This space has been neglected for a while.

So - happy October!  Thanks for following along.

If you want to check out some other blogs who are participating in the 31 for 21 challenge, check out the list here.

And here's a photo of Ben back when he was my little snuggly baby.  Such a sweet boy. 

Now he's my big toddler - climbing on the furniture and throwing his goldfish crackers on the floor. But he's still a great snuggler.