Vacating the House

The term, “I don’t think I can take much more of this” is totally fitting for me at this point.  Our lives have been turned upside down this past week since we listed our house with a realtor and set aside our dreams to do a FSBO.  Listing with a realty means our house will get better circulation and therefore more prospective buyers.  Of course more prospective buyers means more showings.  Since we signed last Friday we have had a total of six separate showings and one open house.

On top of learning how to streamline our daily lives with the new obstacle of having a showcase-ready house with three active boys it seems we have also had a downpour of trials dropped in our laps.  In the last four days we have had one bad piece of news or event after the other starting with Thursday’s phone call from the Little Rock Zoo letting me know that the day we have our Buddy Talk outing scheduled for has been closed due to a football game and traffic.  Ugh!  Talk about panic having to try to scramble around contacting over 100 people to let them know the sudden change of plans.  I honestly felt deflated after re-counting those who could make the date change and realized that we had lost half our attendees…sigh…

On Friday about half a tree lining our driveway fell on top of our realtor’s car.  Praise the Lord no one was hurt, and the tree didn’t do any major damage to the vehicle.  It was totally unexpected and barely a breeze outside!

Saturday began with a text message to let us know that a family member had lost a greatly anticipated baby to miscarriage.

Sunday began with a trip to the ER with the entire family in tow because little I had gotten curious and decided to grab onto my hot curling iron by the barrel.  He was lucky and only had second degree burns on his thumb and index finger.

As the family sat down for lunch Sunday afternoon, I remarked to Tim that I didn’t know what else could possibly go wrong.  Then my phone buzzed letting me know I had a text message and I saw the words, “Our pastor turned in his resignation this morning.”  I think my heart cracked when I saw that message because it was sent from my dad.  Knowing what a sadness they are now facing and feeling that burden myself seemed to be the icing on the cake.

Monday morning…..After the storm I am thankful to say that God is still in COMPLETE control.  What peace to know that nothing is out of His control or takes Him by surprise.  We might not like the things we are dealt with in life, but our Father is “working all things together for His good.”  So whether it be the loss of a precious baby, a ruined tree and car, a burnt hand together with utter panic at the time, or re-arranged big plans, my God is working in and through our lives to bring glory to His name.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity and staying down, I want a heart full of thankfulness and joy.  Like being thankful for the wonderful friends I have in Janet, Vonda and Heather as well as my wonderful church family.  There was no greater encouragement than to hear “praying for you!” coming from the many friends God has blessed me with.

Life doesn’t appear as if it is going to lighten up on us anytime soon, but I plan on looking at the bright side and finding God’s perfect hand at work. 

So here are a few pictures of my “bright side” to things from this weekend.  These are a few pictures we took while vacating our home for an hour while someone came to look at the house. 🙂

Gowing and Growing

We’ve been on the go so much these past few weeks that I’ve neglected posting our adventures.  Oops! 🙂  So forgive me if this post seems to be a collage of events from all the boys meshed together.

Our recent adventures include Tim’s nighttime ritual of working on “school” with E and I.  E has become better and better at his letter recognition, and I’ve caught him several times this past week actually reading a word on his own without any help.  He feels so big when he tells me a word he’s discovered all on his own.

We’ve also been working with I on his ability to recognize different shapes and colors.  One of his new favorite games is sorting the cutlery when I empty the dishwasher.  Haha!  He’s getting very good at putting each piece into the right shaped space.  The goal is to try to teach him something that is not only beneficial to developing his fine motor skills but is also teaching him a practical life-skill – correctly putting dishes away.

I have discovered a huge shortcoming on my end when it comes to helping I with his life-skills.  I don’t like cleaning up messes so it is easier for me to just do things for him instead of letting him learn through trial and error.  I tell myself that I am “helping” him, but really when it comes down to it, I am hindering him in the long run and only helping myself.  So instead of continuing with this pattern, I have made more of an effort to let I do things on his own.  He is smart enough to know that if he complains enough or holds out long enough, we will eventually do the task for him.  Smarty pants!!!  Instead of trying to feed himself, he slides his plate back and forth between me and Tim depending on whom he sees has a free hand to put food on his fork and get it into his mouth.  He’s all about working smarter not harder!  To break him of this habit, I’ve found that he will feed himself when I don’t sit down at the table.  I simply go about completing other tasks fully expecting him to pick up his fork/spoon.  Now that he doesn’t have anyone to do it for him, it makes him work harder.

I is also very good at eating all his little brother’s food as well as his own. 🙂  He never really enjoyed eating baby food when he was a baby, but now he acts like it is the best thing under the sun.  It’s a great opportunity to get him to start properly communicating his wants with us since he is very interested in the food.

The boys have all been having a grand time together as of late.  The more mobile A becomes, the more fun it seems they all have together.  There is a whole lot less crying and screaming going on now that they are able to play together.  Praise the Lord!!! 🙂

Nothing like a little iPad time with Papa when he arrives home from the office.

Trying to teach Isaac how to give a good back massage.  Haha!

Trying to get a good photo for A’s 10-month picture…  Still can’t believe he is going to be a year old shortly!  I think his big-boy haircut makes him look older and I’m just not ready for my baby to not be a baby anymore.  Sniff, sniff..

 There is no end to the fun with these three!

 

 

 

 

Beat the Heat!

God has truly been at work in our family these past several months when it comes to new opportunities to reach out to other families in our area with Down syndrome.  I am so thankful to be a part of a group of families that all have the same vision and desire to make a positive difference for our children.  Through Heather Wood’s Fabebook group “Buddy Talk” we have been able to connect to more and more families every day.

One of the highlights of working with our group “Central Arkansas Buddy Talk” is that we have been able to organize monthly events for the remainder of the year.  Yay!  July’s event was “Beat the Heat” at War Memorial Park where families were invited to come for some fun and encouragement.  Everyone had a great time and we were able to get to know two new families.  Yippee!!!  Next week we are all going to a Traveler’s baseball game together and in September our group will be heading to the Little Rock Zoo.  Even though we aren’t seeing hundreds of families attend these outings, being able to reach out and befriend just one new family is priceless.

This past Saturday evening I had the opportunity to meet up with my friends Heather, Vonda, Janet, Tricia and Robin as we strategized and worked on projects for the up-coming “Gettin’ Down for Down Syndrome” dance hosted by the Arkansas Down Syndrome Association.  Our Cent. Ark. Buddy Talk group has been asked to organize the acitivies for this huge event, and we have been LOVING the opportunity to plan and work together.  I felt like a high schooler sprawled out on the living room floor at Heather’s house with poster boards and markers all around while laughing my head off at one of the other mom’s stories. 🙂  The dads and kids were all having a great time outside playing in the pool or on the swings while we planned and worked on our signs. 

Again, I am just utterly AMAZED at the amount of talent and motivation this group of families has!  As well as working on the up-coming event, we also had the priviledge of learning more about Tricia and Robin’s “Precious Baby Ministry for Down Syndrome” and the work they are doing with the hospitals and doctors to get information into new parents’ hands as soon as possible.  Anyone out there reading this and know of parent with a new baby diagnosed with Down syndrome, please send them over to www.3of21.com so they can be filled in on all the latest therapy and nutrition options and much, much more.  Tricia and Robin have done so much research and have put together a book with a collection of stories, articles, websites, books and other resources by parents of children with DS.

Stay tuned to see all that will be taking place in the Down syndrome world!