Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

All Aboard hosted a party - for girls only - and when Beth got home she told me, "I did have fun with my friends."

About 15 minutes before it ended I texted her, "Take some pictures!"

They played board games and made some art projects, it was fun for her to just hang out with girls for a change. I love All Aboard and the opportunities they provide for our grown up kids with special needs.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Why We Chose To Keep Her

We found out Beth had Down Syndrome the night she was born. It was 1984 and the life expectancy for someone with Down Syndrome was 25 years.

When Chuck came into my hospital room the next day, he came over to the side of my bed, took my hand and said, "We can still love her, can't we?" To be honest, I had never considered giving her up. It never even crossed my mind, but when he said that I knew that he felt the same way and we'd definitely be taking Beth home.

Then the doctor came in and told us our options. We could take her home, we could put her up for adoption, or we could put her in an institution. I was surprised that putting your baby in an institution was still an option in the 80's, I thought that wasn't done anymore. I remember being shocked that he even suggested it. I don't know what options they give parents today but I hope that's not one of them. 

We told him that our decision was made, we'd bring her home. From that point on, everything was geared for that. The nurses taught me how to nurse her, and watched me dress her for the first time. Everyone's plan was for us to take Beth home and it really helped me feel 'normal'. There were so many other things that put me in a different category from all the other new moms and I was so thankful that the hospital staff didn't question us or treat us any differently. Once our decision was made, that was that.

Chuck and I were worried about how our family would respond to her diagnosis and we even talked about how we should tell them. We decided it would be better if they all found out at the same time and we started calling everyone and asked them to come to the hospital. Of course while we had them on the phone, everyone asked if I was alright and then they'd ask if Beth was okay but we just told them that there were some things we needed to talk to them about. 

I was holding Beth when they all trickled in. We definitely wanted Beth there when we told them. We said she was showing signs of Down Syndrome, then we kind of held our breath for a minute. But we didn't need to worry because they were so supportive! One by one they started asking us questions about Down Syndrome, about what her development would be like, and they all wanted to hold her.

Even with family support we knew it wouldn't be easy. Actually we didn't know what it would be like, but we knew we would take her home, love her and just take life one day at a time. She was our daughter and it didn't matter if she had a disability or not, we were taking her home.

Beth at 5 months 

We chose to keep her because she was our daughter and for us, there was no other option.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ooops. I Forgot To Explain What It's Like To Be Old

A few months back I asked if you remembered the phrase Pounding The Pavement but I realized I never explained what it meant! Raise your hand if you've heard it before... okay, a few of you, that's good.

It used to be that when you needed a job you looked through the classifieds in the newspaper, found stores or companies that were hiring, then dressed in your nicest clothes and walked from place to place. That's where 'pounding the pavement' came from. All that walking.

If they were hiring, they would hand you an application and you'd sit there and fill it out. With a pen. Then you'd go home and sit by the phone. Literally, because it was attached to the wall. And you'd wait.

If you didn't get a call, often times you would go back to the store and ask them if they had filled the position. It was important back then to be face to face, to let them see you. That proved to an employer that you really were interested in the job. If you didn't bother to come in, they didn't bother to hire you.

Nowadays it's all done on-line. You go on-line to see if they're hiring. The applications are on-line. You submit them on-line. The employer will contact you on-line...

Times, they are a changin'! 

As far as my girls, both Sharaya and Diana are working 2 jobs and Beth is still 'pounding the pavement'. Her job coach is looking into jobs at hospitals, churches, the school district... no openings yet, but she continues to look.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When Was The Last Time?

This poor blog. I think about it when I'm driving the car. Or crawling into bed at 11:30 at night. I really want to do a better job at posting more often.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy but I managed to capture a few shots of Beth...

Carrying Bibles back to the CRC after our Sunday school class 

She is such a great help in our class; bringing and returning the Bibles; she fills a pitcher with water for us, then empties and returns in back to the office; she really has a servants heart.

Nick joined us on January 7 and Beth was so excited! She talked about it for days. He came over after church and had lunch, then we played a little Mexican Train.

Then a few days ago Beth asked to get her hair cut. She told me what she wanted and I thought she would change her mind but she didn't! I told the stylist and...

Taa Daa! She absolutely loves it! All one length with an undercut. We've spent some time every morning curling the ends under and she is thrilled with it! 

When was the last time you got your hair cut? Were you happy with the results?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Every Single Thing Every Single Day

Beth loves to go to the grocery store. She walks around filling her cart with all kinds of... well, actually, with all the same things every single time. She brings her list and struts through the store like she's just won the lottery!

We like to snack at our house. We buy things like fruit cups, cheese sticks, bananas, granola bars. Rather than making a burrito or having chips and dip, we're more likely to just grab a quick item that's easy to eat.

Some of the things on Beth's list -
Jello cups
Fruit cups
Cheese Sticks
Granola Bars
Salad Kits
Frozen Dinners...

She buys the same thing every single time. Which, okay, I do too, to an extent. The same bread, same milk, I know where it is and how much it costs so I don't have to think too much about it. 

But here is where the issue is with Beth: if she's home all day and lunch time rolls around, she has:

some cheese-its
a yogurt
a fruit cup
one banana
a salad
a granola bar
a cheese stick...

You see where I'm going with this? She eats everything. Every day. 

We all went to the grocery store a couple weeks ago and after just 4 days (I'm not exaggerating!) Beth came upstairs and said she was completely out of food. 

'What?!? You just bought all that food! How could you be out already?!' Her food is all hers. She takes it downstairs and we don't even see it so I know we didn't eat it!

The jello comes in 6 small cups (although she buys the large ones.) The fruit cups come with 8 in a container, the granola bars have 6 or 8... we were just shocked that she had eaten so much in just a few days.

So now I'm trying to get her to only eat some of the things each day. Have a yogurt on Monday and a fruit cup on Tuesday. The food will last longer and she'll get more of a variety. We'll see how she does.

What about you? Do you tend to buy and eat the same things? Is there an item that you just have to have each week? (For me it's chocolate. A small bag of M&Ms, a few truffles... I just can't stay away from the chocolate!)

Friday, January 5, 2018


Diana turned 27 this year, on December 27th.

We had this in mind when we flew her out for Christmas so we got to celebrate them both with her!

Sharaya asked if we would buy a plain cake so she could decorate the top. I was thinking of a sweet sentiment telling Diana how much we loved her and how important she was to us... 

 Ahh, sisters. Can you feel the love?! 😀
Happy Birthday Diana!!