Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
WHOOOOOOOO!!! Are you clapping? Are you cheering? Are tears running down your cheeks? Are you screaming, "BLONDIE, BLONDIE, BLONDIE?" I am (between coughs that is).
Monday, January 26, 2009
Like swimming in a giant aquarium.
And then the 2nd Manatee excursion on Saturday.
Aren't they cute? No wake Florida, and quit fertilizing your yards - these mammals are spectacular.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Sorry about the flash in this one - window glare
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I came across this little girl while reading some of my favorite blogs from people who have adopted special needs kids or have adopted and have large families (www.buildingtheblocks.blogspot.com and recoveringnoah.blogspot.com ) These ladies are great by themselves, but one of their friends is going through a crisis. Their daughter Abby has cancer and is beginning a very yucky part of her chemo. After watching my Dad go through treatment I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it is to think about a tiny little girl trying to fight. I watched my big strong dad become a very old man through his illness. So, I am throwing a LOT of prayers over to their Abby and her crisis, and remembering that miracles do happen. If you want to drop them a line you can find Abby's family at www.riggsfamilyblog.com . I don't know this family, but they have an amazing amount of strength.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I am generally a quietly spiritual person. I have a religion in which I have faith, and belief, but I don't generally speak about God to many people. I know people who have experienced the same crisis my family has faced, and then share their testimony with others through church or groups. That isn't me. I guess I have my blog to share our experiences, but I will rarely speak about God here. For me it is a private belief, a private place for me to be at peace with myself and God.
My aunt posted this video from youtube on her facebook (Thanks Liz) and I think it fits the theme we try to live as a family. We teach all of our children that they are miracles. They are not defined by their looks, or their money, or their disability or illness (they all have "issues"). Rather they are defined by their character, and their abilities to help others. This is what I try to teach my children. It was brought to my attention earlier this year when Blondie brought home a biography type assignment early in first grade. One of the questions asked, "Why are you special?" Blondie wrote that she was special because she had brain surgery. It caught me off guard because that isn't what makes her special. She has incredible perseverence, and is FUNNY as ... heck. She is generally cheerful and outgoing. Now when Cheesie had the same question for her class she said, "I am special because I am Cheesie." Same family, different perspectives. So then I really took a look at how I speak to Blondie about the type of person she is, and we continue to work on perfecting things that have nothing to do with her body or therapy. I'm glad there are people like this man out there to give us all a little reality check.
We knew several months before my Dad passed away that he wasn't responding to chemo. I was stressed, I was sad, I was angry. I happened to go to my daughter's school that day and heard from the teacher that she hadn't done her schoolwork for a few days - unacceptable. I only had to look at her to hear the excuse. She told me that it was hard to concentrate because Granddad was so sick. I erupted. Shouldn't have.... but I did. "Don't you dare use Graddad as an excuse not to do your work." I went on to rant that my father valued independence and responsibility and found great honor in work. These things were important to him. There was never an excuse not to do your best, we might fail, but we had to put forth our best work. I later recounted this conversation to Dad, and it was the first time I ever heard him cry (we were on the phone). He said, "You get it Kelly, you understand what I believe." I promised to carry on that same philosophy to my girls, which I do everyday.
I believe God may expect the same things from us as people - disabled or not. We take whatever comes our way and we move through the experience. We can't hide from it, we must participate in it - painful or joyous. We need to learn from the experience and grow as people, not wallow in the negative energy. We are all miracles, but we need to learn to be as independent as possible and responsible for ourselves. We need to help others, and find honor in working.
I'm finished rambling. Enjoy the evening.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
All this was being presided over by Maggie. She sleeps on our stairs, just high enough to see through the front windows and guard us from cars passing by, and those darn people who insist on exercising on her road. So if you ever pop over and need to use the stairs - be sure to skip the 4th one from the bottom, because that spot is taken.