Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!!

This is the most awful post in the world. Because it's LATE. Yes, we seriously forgot Mike's mom's birthday. And she was even HERE yesterday to watch the kids for E's PT for an hour... We are awful children!!

But here is a big BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

We do love you- even when we get wrapped up in our own busy lives and don't write important dates down!

(Mike's mom's birthday was yesterday...)

Ok, who's the culprit??

I just received a very nice calendar made by... FLY LADY?? Who saw me eying calendars at Target yesterday?? And, I know I've heard of the Fly lady, but I know nothing about her other than she's supposedly the cleanliness queen or something like that, right? Uh oh, it's someone that's been to my house and knows I need help! LOL. Actually, I haven't broken in to it yet, but I'm very glad to have a calendar- and who knows, maybe Fly Lady can call me a success story one day (laughing, HARD, here!) :)

Ok, fess up, who was it?!

Yes, we're alive, just very busy

And yes, I'll back-post the last few days soon! Right now foraging through over 300 emails. Soon. Very soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27th-- Working out

Here's a little more Brianna-in-action :) I don't usually post two clips of the same kid back to back, but I couldn't help it... both opportunities were just THERE.

Cartoons ended and a work-out show came on the channel she was watching. We only get 3 so I left it on... she didn't mind! (excuse the missing pants, it's HOT here!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stepping in and helping out

A family involved with the online Ds community that has a sweet baby girl just a little younger than Brianna has come to a time that they need some help. The T21 Traveling Afghan is running an auction to help them raise some funds:

Why do they need it? Well, in addition to having a child with Ds, the father of this sweet girl was out of work for a time and just began working again. Unfortunately, he has no vacation or disability with his new job and just underwent open heart surgery. His wife is home to care for their children (and him now as well) so they have NO income during his recovery period. As you can imagine this is a stressful time for their family!

Please visit the auction and place some 'bids'. The auction closes FRIDAY!

October 26th- Down syndrome makes murder ok?

Take a look at this article:

Woman Claims Misread Test Led to Abortion

MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - A woman had an abortion after Mayo Medical Laboratories misread an amniocentesis and told her he would be born with Down syndrome, which an autopsy revealed was untrue, the woman claims in Federal Court.
The woman says Mayo Medical misinterpreted the amniotic fluid analysis. After being given a "Prenatal Aneuploidy Detection (FISH) test" Mayo Medical reported that the fetus had "an abnormal result for chromosome 21 'consistent with Down syndrome,'" according to the complaint.
A trustee for the family says that the mother decided to terminate the pregnancy based on the results of the test. When the aborted fetus was examined, it was revealed that the baby did not have Down syndrome, the trustee says.
Mayo Medical re-examined the slides and reran the test, and found a contamination error in the first test, according to the complaint.
The trustee demands $75,000 for medical malpractice, on behalf of the family, which is represented by Mark Hallberg of St. Paul.

What this article wants you to think is "wow, I feel so badly for that mother that she received the wrong test results and killed a healthy baby!"

What I think is "wow, this world is so morally messed up to believe that just because she thought the baby had Down syndrome that gives her the right to kill that baby!" This article is written so matter-of-factly that there is NO question of the 'morality' of killing a baby with Ds. This mother doesn't deserve $75,000 for medical malpractice! Had she delivered the baby and at birth they said "oh, look at that, that baby is perfectly healthy with just 46 chromosomes, 23 perfect little pairs" then would she have received $75,000 in malpractice money? No, she would have thought she'd received "a miracle."

It's only because she decided to use the information provided to her to murder the child that there is any question raised.

And guess what? When my beautiful daughter was born and she had 47 chromosomes, 22 perfect little pairs and that 21st pair with an 'extra' resulting in trisomy 21? I received a miracle!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So... WHO did the pictures??

I nervously stepped out from my 'comfort zone' and tried a NEW photo studio. Since Kristopher was born we've been going to a photo studio that does BEAUTIFUL portraits and that are wonderful to work with and spend a lot of time with our family. They did GREAT on our last 2 sets of portraits since Micah and Emma came home and that really says something because there's no question that it can be hard to work with 4 kids to get a good photo!

Really, the only reason we decided to try out a new studio is because they seemed to have better pricing. We've done this once before and we got what we paid for :( . It wasn't awful, it just wasn't the high quality we were used to.

So, with some trepidation we called up Portrait Innovations and made an appointment. I called just to find out about pricing and was somewhat confused by their way of explaining it on the phone. What I did understand was that it was $15/sheet and $16.50 for 3 sheets of 1 pose. They also have a $9.95 deal that they advertise and it's a package with a ton of pictures of the same pose. You can only do ONE of those deals "per promotional period" (not exactly sure what that means yet... because it seems to me they've been doing this 'promotion' for over a year?). Anyway, the 3 sheets can be of any different 'cuts'. 8x10, 2 5x7s, 4 3x5s, or 8 wallets.

And depending on how many poses you buy you also receive other 'free' bonus things. We ordered a pose of each of the 5 kids individually and one of the 4 kids together. We did the 9.95 package for our family picture. With that order we received a CD with low resolution photos on it of our ENTIRE sitting (not just the ones we purchased) and we were told we could use them for digital stuff. The CD also has the high res photos on it, encrypted. So if we want reprints of the photos we'd bring the CD back to them for them to print them off. We also received two 'bonus' 10x13 portraits. We could choose from a vignette, a black and white or sepia, a '2 pose' picture, or a '3 pose' picture. We decided on a 2-pose (featuring one of each of the two boys) and a 3-pose (with one of each of the three girls).

So... you can do the math, but it was $115 and change after tax for 38 sheets of photos! That's just over $3/sheet :)

I mentioned the other photo studio that we've gone to up until this time... Their photos are $15/sheet. Their 'packages' are $40 (this is a low guess, I think it was $40 something) and are an 8x10, 2 5x7 and 8 wallets (no choice of different sizes). Really what we wanted were family photos to share and large pic's of each child and the group of kids. We would have bought the package for that one and gotten an additional 5x7 sheet ($55). We would have gotten ourselves 8x10s of each of the kids and one of the 4 kids together ($90). Then we would have put grandparents' names on the list of people allowed to order reprints so that they could go get additional photos if they'd like... because we couldn't afford to give them any more! I usually have a coupon for one free sheet and 20% off additional purchases... so 10 sheets would have cost us about $110.

We got almost 4x as many pages of photos and paid $5.

And the photos are really great!

Ok, the only 'down side' I see... they were not as free about taking multiple pic's of one pose or checking to make sure they got a good one before going on. So we had several attempts that we COULD have gotten a great photo, but by the time Brianna decided to smile, Kristopher had the back of his head in it or Emma looked down... Just trying an extra minute would have gotten an AWESOME picture. But it wasn't the case.

Oh, and that whole 'disability factor'? We DID tell them ahead of time that we had children with disabilities, we planned an appointment and made sure to eat an early dinner and leave plenty of time to get to the pictures. We also asked ahead and to see if they would have an additional person besides the cameraman available to help pose the kids and get their attention. In our case we ended up with 2 people because we were the only ones there and hey, our kids are fun! :) At 6:15 as we finished looking at photos and choosing what to buy... the ladies at the studio commented that they were the best behaved little ones they'd had all day. I say this not to brag (tho I guess i can do a bit of that here too since it is my blog LOL) but to say that the entire experience was pleasant for both our family and the photographers. I wonder whether they had expectations one way or the other when I told them over the phone on Friday that we were bringing in 5 children under 7 and 3 that are disabled? I think they might have a different opinion now :) At least I hope so!!

Anyway, there's our photo experience. One that we'll DEFINITELY repeat in the future.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24th- I’m pretty sure

That I’m the most blessed wife and mother around…




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Friday, October 23, 2009

Praying for Polly

My friend Gillian has a daughter just a few months different in age from Brianna. We met a while back now through Internet forums for Down syndrome and just recently she completed her own adoption of a child with Down syndrome from Ukraine, Evangeline (Evie).

They've been home only a short time and just this week they received a second diagnosis for their biological daughter- one that's not easy to take regardless of the circumstances- and yet one that they have accepted with a grace that far outweighs anything you could expect. Polina (Polly) has Moyamoya. This is a constricting of blood flow in the brain which requires brain surgery and isn't something that will just "go away." They discovered this when Polly had a series of seizures paired with a stroke and paralysis of one leg.

Thank God that they have found it this early, but such a scary thing in the prospect of further strokes before the brain surgery can be performed in mid-November.

Please join me in praying for Polly and the entire family (they have an almost-3 yr old, Polly is 3, and two elementary-age daughters as well). If you have a blog please share this button tto show your support for the family as well as spread the word so that the Body of Christ can come together and lift up one of His precious children and her family in their hour of greatest need.

Grab This Button

October 23rd- Brianna's animal walks

Some days I wish there was a camera available to just follow my kids around and record all their hilarious stuff :) Of course, that camera man would be ME... and I'm not available, nor is the camera, 24/7. Because I have five kids. And a husband. And a home. But occasionally the camera and camera man both happen to be there at a point in time where one of the kids' antics are caught on tape :) So... I give you the animal monster, Brianna... She knows all her animal sounds and signs and you can even see that feisty attitude coming out! I know some of you don't believe me! LOL

Part way through you'll see her go to the sliders and yell at "Daddy". Well... daddy is at work. But the "little Daddy" that she CALLS Daddy would be Micah. His name is so close to Michael that Brianna has dubbed him 'daddy' as well!

It's almost 5 minutes long- which is LONG- so be warned :) But it's awful cute if I do say so myself!

Photo and video editing at

PS. No, I would not REALLY want a camera to follow my kids around. It was a joke. I definitely do NOT want a TV show to tear up my family Thankyouverymuch! Just in case it might have come across that way. I would like an automated camera that I could say "tape that!" and it would be there and record it without me having to find the camera, put new batteries in, grab the memory stick that I left in the computer, get to the child, and somehow tape the kid without them having already stopped what they were doing. Just in case I wasn't clear :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Bruce!

I have no idea whether you read my blog or not, but hey, this will show up on FB too now :) I hope you had a great day today!

(Bruce is my older brother, he's the big 32 this year! Ha, I gave your age away :) You're a man, you can take it, right? :) )

October 21st- Fall is here!

Kristopher took this pic.  It’s really my daytime world in one photo.  Baby girl, laptop, and on the left top you can see the swing.  Lynae and I are happy with just the stuff in this photo on days that she and I are home alone.  Granted she spends much more time on my lap than she does in the swing, and I spend way more time on the couch than I do up and doing what I should be some days :)  But there you are… my “RR office” :)

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After school in the ‘grass’ (which needs water badly) having peanut butter Oreos!

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Micah doesn’t eat cookies, but he was hamming it up, I love these pictures :)

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I finally got my van “all dressed up” too!  Check out the window decal (thanks Christine!) and the RR magnet!

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Yep, Mike got a magnet too :)

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One of my favorite things about fall… pajamas :)

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