Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Update On My Dad...

First off, I sincerely want to thank all of you for your comments, encouragement and prayers for my dad. For people we don't even know to be praying for him and for our family, it just really means a lot and is so very comforting.

I've always been very honest on this blog and when I shared my raw emotions of my dad I did so because that's really what happened and that's how I was feeling. I felt I needed others to know how I was feeling because I so desperately needed others to pray with us. So thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

My dad's surgery went very well!! A small part of the tumor was on the skull but they were able to "scrape" it off without calling the neurosurgeon in, so that's a very good thing. They tested tissue and a CT scan was done and as far as they could see, all is clear and there are no melanomas remaining. No spreading has occurred as far as all the tests and scans show. He did have to get skin grafts taken from his back and thigh and now that is the main thing we are praying for-for the skin graft to take and for no infection.

My dad is still in the hospital but will be released this afternoon. They have to be extremely careful with the skin graft but my dad is up an and moving and ready to leave. He doesn't like to be pampered and wants to get back to his normal routine but obviously he'll have to take it slow. If you all knew my dad, honestly, you'd just love him! He is so up beat, outgoing, funny and caring. Through all of this, his spirits have been high and I know your prayers have helped him stay positive.

We plan on visiting him for Labor Day this coming weekend and I just can't wait to see him and give him a huge hug!!

We love you dad!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It May Take An Army... change the perception of how people view individuals with Down syndrome.
So we're rounding up the troops again this year for Bennett's Brigade! Our local Buddy Walk is less than a month away (September 25th) and we're excited for a fun filled day with friends and family that are willing to step up for Bennett and others with Down syndrome and show their support.
The Buddy Walk is about awareness and raising money for local and national Down syndrome organizations. It's about acceptance. Acceptance of individuals that may be a little different but deserve the same respect as any other human being. It's also about acceptance to the families of these individuals, I believe, because you can really feel alone in the "special needs world" and when friends are able to walk and donate it shows you that they support the things you do for your child and want to help make a difference.
It's also a wonderful opportunity to show your children that everyone is different and that it's perfectly okay to be different. I think it's great to expose your "typical" kids to kids that have special needs-sure they may ask questions but if they don't know that it's okay to be different then how will they ever know to be compassionate towards people like Bennett? You can't shelter them. They need to see that these kids are really just like them and want to play and run and have friends just like they do.
Bennett will be ready to "walk" in his camo "gear" on September 25th;)

So while it may take an army to raise awareness, Bennett's Brigade will be there to support the thousands of individuals with Down syndrome, changing people's hearts and minds, one person at a time.

If you'd like to donate to Bennett's Brigade, we'd greatly appreciate it, we're getting closer and closer to our goal! All money goes to local and national Down syndrome organizations. Click here to do just that!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let Go, Let God.

I know I've asked this several times now but all you prayer warriors out there, we need you now. My dad will be having his surgery on Saturday to once again, remove more melanoma from his head. It has been rescheduled several times and most recently because one of the surgeons took a closer look at his MRI from a couple of weeks ago and felt it was a little more involved. The tumor is very close to his skull and we are PRAYING it is not attached to it. A neurosurgeon will be on call in case they find that it is but we really need that to not be the case.

I've only collapsed to my knees before God twice in my life but last night was the third time. Just begging Him to please heal my dad. To please let this have a positive outcome. To please guide these surgeons. To please keep this cancer from spreading. To please let me have many, many more years with my dad. We've been through a lot as a family these last 2 years or so and we desperately need this to be okay.

I'm sure many of you have been where I am now, feeling desperate and wanting to do something but knowing you're not able. I'm trying so hard to not let the girls see me get upset and keeping myself busy so I don't go down that road of fear.

I don't know what lies before us with all of this but what I do know is that God does. He knows and like my mom has told me, this isn't a surprise to God so I've got to trust that whatever happens, it's in God's hands and His ways are always better than ours.

Let Go, Let God.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."-
Joshua 1:9

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mama Bear...

Has pulled her claws back in:)

After a rather negative post yesterday, I wanted to end the week with some pictures of the little cub boy that makes me the passionate person I now am.

{Please note that I realize it is August and my son is in his Halloween getup but this was for my clothing business and I happened to think he looked kinda cute;)}

He has my ♥.

His little smile.

His adorable laugh.

His curious ways.

I will defend and protect him until the day is done.

I am forever changed because of this little boy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why Is This Acceptable??

Okay, sorry for the video posts but I feel it's my duty as Bennett's mommy to post this...

Why is this acceptable for her to say this? Please tell me. If she were to say the word (and I'm going to type this because I feel it needs it's full affect, so forgive me) Nigger, no one would have laughed. Or fag, or whatever other slang people say that is offensive to certain groups of people. Oh Adrienne you've crossed the line comparing it to the "N" word. Have I? It's just as offensive to say the word RETARD or RETARDED even when using it as a slang term!! Get a clue! This word is hurtful! And I'm so sick of people saying it like it's nothing! It's time to stop saying it! Like, why couldn't she say the word stupid- I realize you have to say something to describe how you felt or whatever but to say "like a retard", really? Are you a child?? Can you not come up with a better word? I will not let up on this word. Please, stop saying it if you do say it, plain and simple!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You MUST Watch This!

I posted this to my facebook profile but I had to share on here for those that didn't see.
This little boy sings or "raps" a song for his little sister and it just brings me to tears because he doesn't care that she has Down syndrome, he thinks she's perfect and beautiful just the way she is. It's about acceptance really. And that's what I want for Bennett, for people to accept him and think he's perfect just the way God made him. And I know that Bennett's sisters already feel the same way this little boy does and that will never change because it's all they know. Just take a few minutes to watch this and tell me you didn't get just a little teary eyed.

Dinner and Chalk!

Now, I'm not a huge fan of placemats on my black kitchen table. I like the look of just the shiny black and it's so hard to fine the exact placemat that matches my kitchen, while being kid friendly. So in the past it's just been random kid placemats {because they will ruin the table if I don't use them} that I stash away when we have guests over. Until now!
I've had the Avocado Green quilting fabric for the children's clothes I make but then I found it laminated!! That's when I decided to go with this damask in the whole kitchen. This laminated fabric is kid safe and wipes easily but that's not all I did!!
Okay wait, first I just had to show the applique up close-of course I had to do the applique-these girls are possessive over their things;) Now onto the really cool part-flip the placemat over and...
It's a chalk board!!

Chalk fabric to be exact but you can use regular chalk and wipe it with a wet cloth-I just use baby wipes and it works great!
So while the kids are waiting for dinner, they doodle! Oh how I love this! Pretty on one side and fun on the other!

Yep, they like it.
So while I still prefer the black table when we have adult guests (unless some adult would like to doodle while they wait;)), it's perfect for every day use for the kids. Bennett still needs his suction cup placemat because this one will go flying but I can live with that...for now.

So this was relatively easy to do. There are lots of kinds of laminated fabric but my particular favorite is Michael Miller fabrics. And chalk fabric can be found on the web as well and possibly at a local fabric store. They are not cheap though but you don't need a ton. I just sewed the laminated fabric and chalk fabric together (wrong sides) and then used the black laminated fabric as the bias tape. That was a little more difficult. But the cool thing is, is that you could take these to a restaurant, just roll it up in your diaper bag (if you still carry one) and your kids are entertained and safe from germs;0

I think my kitchen is complete now! Onto the back patio-hope to share this at a later time!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Mini Kitchen Makeover!

So Mike and I move just about every 2 years and we're coming up on our 2 years in this current house but it doesn't look like we'll be moving any time soon. Which is fine. Most people would hate to move every two years but I love starting over in a new house! I love decorating and finding a place for every little thing and unfortunately this moving thing has caused a little boredom issue with me. Therefore I decided to do a "mini makeover" of the kitchen. I've been using the same paint colors in all our houses and I swear this is it for this color palette! I need to lighten things up and get away from my old standby colors of red, green {although I still love green} and gold. So this is my attempt to do that!
Here's the before. Hard to take pictures of this kitchen because it's not huge and there isn't a ton of wall space {why I thought I could easily tackle this project-not so much}.
It's a nice kitchen, just needed some brightening up with all the dark wood, table and rug.
And here's the after!
Beadboard wallpaper my friends. I didn't want to wait for Mike to install the real stuff because he's super busy and quite frankly, I'm impatient. So I tackled this myself, having never done it before and not sure if I'll do it again! Ha! Actually it wasn't that bad, I just wasn't thinking that with smaller wall space came a lot more precise cutting.

Another fun thing I've been wanting to add was a chalkboard so I just painted over some glass (from an old picture I didn't like anymore) with chalk board pant, painted the old dark frame white and hung it securely to the wall and then for looks with the green and white damask tie.

Here's a closer look at the beadboard wallpaper. I think it looks pretty close to the real thing.

It's just so much brighter now and cleaner looking.

So I had to get rid of my old colors- red, green, gold-okay, obviously I'm not ready to give up green but I decided to make green, black and white my new colors in here. I changed these seat cushions that I had recovered a couple of years ago to this:

Avocado Green Damask-LOVE. In my next post I'll tell you what inspired me for this particular fabric.
I took down the old, red, green and gold valance and made this very simple one in my new favorite fabric.

And to tie it all together I added the fabric to these basic white kitchen towels-so easy to do!

I also took down the dark curtains we had up over the sliding glass door and put up white ones-this was a couple of months ago and amazingly, they aren't filthy from little dirty fingers or a flying spoon from Bennett-seriously, he chucks them onto the floor and I'm pretty sure he thinks it's funny.

In my next post I'll show you my favorite part of my "mini makeover", I'll give you a hint:

it involves eating and chalk.

Can't wait to show you! {plus I'm too lazy to load more pictures right now}.

Friday, August 13, 2010

10 Years!

Happy 10th Anniversary to my wonderful husband Michael!! You're the best and some how you put up with me after 14 years together;)!! And you still treat me like a queen! I love you!

{We pretty much celebrated last weekend at a rare outing with friends-but this is proof that we went out- without the kids!} I made the babysitter take this-LOL.

Here's to many more date nights with you Michael!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Three's A Crowd...

When it comes to cribs! This is what I found when I came to check on Bennett after his nap...
The girls climbed in with Bennett since "he was awake!" I think he went back and forth on deciding if he liked this idea. The girls, of course had a blast!
He seems to be enjoying it here though;)

Even when I pulled them out, Harper was trying to climb back in.

Speaking of cribs, I don't think I've ever encouraged my kids to pull up in their crib but I've been working with Bennett and I think he's very close! He totally wants to and really tries to but he's just not there yet. I'm just glad he's finally standing in his crib-with a little bit of my help.
"You gonna get me outta here mom?"

Poor Bennett, he can't help it that his sisters are wild and crazy;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster.

So it's been a little tense around here lately. I've written about my dad and the melanoma scare he had back in March. The surgery went well and we were told they got it all and it had not spread. We were elated!

This summer he's been participating in a clinical trial for melanoma patients and he has basically been miserable with the medicine he's been taking. Like, really sick and extremely tired. My dad is a man on the go so it's really hard for him to be like this. And then his dear sister passed away in July, she had melanoma as well. I feel terrible for my dad that he's had such rough spring/summer.

We stayed with my parents while attending my aunts funeral and my dad had some swelling near his incision site from where they removed the melanoma. It was a bit painful but the doctors thought it was just from the surgery and they would drain it. Well they drained some of it and took a biopsy of it. I guess we really thought we were in the clear for a while with this melanoma stuff however, the biopsy came back having more melanoma cells in it. I was shocked and devastated. They did an MRI and PET scan and then we had to wait. We all know that the waiting is the worst. So many things come into your head. You just don't know what to think and can't help but be afraid.

I've been waiting for a call today from my parents as they were going to find out the results. The phone rang and I just prayed that it was good news (as good as it could be, we already knew there was more melanoma). So what they found was 2 more melanomas not within the borders that they removed the first time but they haven't spread-this is the best it could be right now. And we are thanking God for that swelling because if it hadn't done that we would have never known that there was more in there. So the next step will be for my dad to have another surgery and I believe it will be soon. We are asking for your prayers right now.

  • that the surgery goes well and my dad recovers well.
  • the surgeon knows exactly how to remove these melanomas entirely (they are under the skin).
We are all relieved right now since it has not spread and so, so thankful for that but we know that there are still hurdles to jump. We are also so very thankful for all of you that have prayed for my dad. Really, I cannot thank you enough. But please keep them coming!!;)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

Monday, August 9, 2010

Daddy's Boy...Maybe Not Yet.

Bennett loves his daddy, he really does...
He has fun wrestling on the floor
and being turned upside down.
It's fun playing with daddy!
Uh oh, it was fun playing with daddy.

But now he spots his mommy.
And then it's all over because he's going to do whatever he can to get to her.

I guess he's still a mama's boy;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa Visit!

Last week Mike's parents came up for a little visit! They live in a land far, far away, that we long to eventually end up in, known as: The South! LOL. Maybe we'll get back down there some day.

We haven't seen them in 7 months so the kids really enjoyed spending time with them...

and I think they enjoyed seeing how much the kids have changed!
Not sure where Harper was in all these pics. She's a busy bee and I believe during this particular photo shoot she ended up whacking Grandpa on the hand {accidentally} with a mini golf club and gave poor Grandpa a rather large knot on his knuckle-it was huge! But he was okay. Ahh that Harper, it never ends with her.

Bennett got a kick out of Grandpa and I think he had fun showing off all his new tricks:)

All in all it was a great visit and we're so glad you could come up to see us Grandma and Grandpa!! We love you and we look forward to seeing you hopefully soon!!