Saturday, April 28, 2007

What a Fun Day for Us!

We had a great Saturday today! Today, Dakotah and I went to Tim Horton's and sold raffle tickets for Livee's Loonies. Livee's older sister and two of her brothers joined us, and we have a lot of success and a lot of fun. They are very, very nice kids, and we are hoping that we win the lottery tonight - we all picked numbers when we were hanging out together, and had fun dreaming about how we would spend a million dollars.

Today, Wayne was working a Trade Show for the company he works for, and later in the day, the girls and I went to visit him. There were all kinds of businesses there, and I was so happy to see Paige so interested in everything. She looked at things, smiled at people, and tried to get into the koi pond that was there - it was a portable pool that would have had plenty of room for both her and those fish!!

There was also a little display of animals - baby chicks, baby ducks, kittens, etc. Paige and I were looking at the kittens, and I was trying to get her to hold the little tricolored kitty, but she had her eyes on the little orange tabby kitten that another little boy was holding. She was mesmerized.

She was so enthralled with him, that I was *this close* to going and finding Daddy and asking him if we could bring the tiny guy home with us. She was looking and looking, and as the little boy moved around with the kitten to show his friends, Paige followed them.

The kitten was only $20 - what's another pet, right? But, Wayne is NOT a cat person, and I knew it would take some fancy persuasion to talk him into it.

Anyway, the little boy tired of the kitty, and handed him back to his owner. Thinking I would let Paige cuddle him, and take him to Daddy herself (hey, her big blue eyes work better magic than mine do!) - I took the kitten and handed it to her.

She wanted no part of it!!!

What she wanted a part of was that little boy who was holding the kitty - he had been to the face painting booth and had his very own face painted like a cat. THAT'S the kitty Paige wanted!!!
She followed him around and just kept touching him on the shoulder and tilting her head so she could see his face.

It was very sweet, although the little boy was probably like, "Mooooooommmmmmmmm...that little girl is stalking me!"


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Signs - Part Three!


When Paige was about 3 or 4, I started having concerns about her development. At two, she had Speech Therapy every week. She was repeating sounds, and filling in the blanks on songs when we stopped…like Old MacDonald had a ….she would sign an animal and try to copy that sound.

She had words, and even though there were not many clear ones to anyone but us, they were purposeful and meaningful to her.

Today, she doesn’t even seem to connect with the idea of repeating after us for words. She still has a few words, perhaps 5 or so. But, they come and go. She will have a couple of words that stay for 2 or 3 months, and then, they are simply gone.

She also has a very “sing songy” voice – not the typical deeper voice you sometimes hear from a child with Down syndrome. Its lilty and sweet – one of my favorite things about her. And one of the things that led her doctor to diagnose autism.

She is a “singer” – she loves to hum, and play sound games, she will sing “dee-ah” or “nay-nay” or combinations of sounds as she entertains herself. These sounds she will repeat when we say them. Again, these groups of sounds change, and when she loses them, they don’t return through any prompting by us.


Paige has very scattered skills, as opposed to just being slow to acquire skills. Apparently, children with T21 will typically gain skills in relatively the same order as other children, albeit a bit slower.

When Paige was 2 or 3, you could put 10 videos on the floor; she could pick the one she wanted out, put it in the VCR (now the dvd player!), change the channel on the tv to the “video” and then push the correct buttons to start her video. She had favorites and knew how to use the fast forward or rewind button to get to the exact spot in her movie that she wanted to see.

Although she liked watching TV, she had favorites, and nothing else seemed to catch her attention. She loved “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and we swore that she would recognize the words on the top of the screen as we were flipping channels before the show actually came on.

She also loved watching bowling and golf on TV – go figure!!!

Since she was a tiny, tiny baby, she has never once looked at a book upsidedown. Even at 5 or 6 months, she would turn a picture book up the right way before she would look at it.

Although we don’t *think* she can read much past sight words at this point, she love, love, loves books, and will look at magazines for hours. Her favorite…a phone book or an encyclopedia.

Paige can conquer a wooden puzzle very quickly. She understands that toys need batteries replaced, and that you need batteries and a screwdriver to fix them.

She has some music toys that are her favorite that she will play over and over again – some of them have dozens of songs on them, but she knows just how many times she needs to press the button to get the song she wants to hear—and she will choose one or two favorites and listen to them over and over again.

She conquered "" very easily - she could very quickly match letters, drag them to where they belonged, etc. She is very good at the computer.

But, at 10 years old, she still is having a very difficult time identifying simple body parts, like her nose, her eyes, her mouth. No matter how many ways we try to teach that to her, she just doesn’t seem to be able to connect to that.


When Paige learned to crawl, I used to take her to a play group. The room had a vinyl floor on it, that was white with intermittent black squares. We used to laugh at how Paige would only crawl on the white squares – how the black ones would stop her dead in her tracks and she would go around them.

She does that with my tattoo too – she will touch 2 of the ladybugs, but will not, not, not touch the third one.

She had some sensory issues as a baby – she hated to have dirty hands, and the tiniest amount of food on them would mean she would not eat another bite.

She also was very temperature sensitive to food – she drank her milk warm until she was probably 5 or 6 years old.

However, she is not a picky eater now, she eats a very good variety of food.

She has a thing with lights – certain lights in our house have to be turned off – she doesn’t like them on at all.

She has always loved her hands – she will “talk” to her hands and just put them up in the air and stare at them for a very long time. We have pictures of her doing this throughout her lifetime. She loves touchy things and will take the corner of a blanket and run it up and down her arm for comfort. She will also take one of my fingers and do the same thing.

She also loves playing in the sunshine as it comes into our windows, and will position herself throughout the day in the sun rays. She loves holding her toys or hands up and making shadows. She can do this for a long time - two hours at a time sometimes.

She has favorite toys that she will be very attached to for weeks at a time. Again, when she is done with them, she is done. It always takes her a very long time to like a new toy that we introduce.

She has never spinned toys or played inappropriately with toys, but she is a spinner herself. We have timed her spinning in a circle for as long as a half hour, humming, listening to one of her music toys. When she stops she is not even remotely dizzy.

But, even with these kind of strange things, she never has really insisted upon anything…she has never thrown a temper tantrum because her routine has changed, or ever appeared to get upset because we tried to distract her from what she was doing.

In fact, it has really been just the opposite – even when she was a baby, it was hard to find incentives for her – she could be playing with her favorite toy and you could walk along, take it away from her, and she would just get another toy.

Some of the real “eye openers” for me in talking with the doctor were what he described as “indiscriminate affection” – she is affectionate and lovey, and huggy with everyone…something I thought was a SURE sign she was not autistic.

She also asked if she cried or laughed frequently for no apparent reason. Paige never cries. I cannot even remember the last time she cried. But, she does have giggle fests that sometimes last a half hour or more. And we don’t always know what triggers them.

When she was about 3, we couldn’t even turn on “Who’s Line Is it Anyway” as that show for some reason sent her off into a giggle fit that would make her have to lay down to catch her breath, and give her hiccups.

Looking back, the very strange thing is, we would have to actually skip the channel, as, like I already said, it seems as if she would recognize the show from the words at the top of the screen, before the show even appeared!

Who knew! I thought she was just a happy kid!

Another question that really threw me was the doctor asking if she came to me for comfort when she was hurt.

Honestly, I cannot remember a time that Paige has displayed pain since she had her gallbladder out at 2 or 3 years old. She has such a high threshold of pain that even when she has had surgeries, the surgeons are amazed at how little pain medication they have to give.

I was kind of stunned at that one – she has never been hurt – she has never fallen down and cried, never seemed distressed, etc. She has had ear infections so bad that her eardrums burst, and she happily played and acted normal the whole time.

Still, she was, what I thought, atypical of a child with autism…she is so easy going, so friendly, so happy all the time. She is not adventurous, or a risk taker.

She can entertain herself for hours on end. I dare say we could leave her in the living room for 4 or 5 hours and come back and find her quite happy and content, playing with her toys (not that we ever actually do that, lol!!)

I will add more things as they occur to me.

What a kid she is!! So cute, and so very loved!

More Ramblings - Part Deux

Many of you have asked me about what I think were the signs of Paige having autism. Its funny, as I start to list them out, I kind of feel like “duh…no kidding she has autism.” But, when you have a child with special needs, and I think most especially when you have a child who has had a lot of medical complications, the mind can be a funny thing…

You worry that you are worrying too much, and then you worry that you aren’t worrying enough. You don’t want anyone to think you are crazy because you wonder if that bruise is a result of a bump on a chair or if its leukemia. Conversely, you are convinced its just a cold, and it turns into pneumonia.

It’s a strange balance that we must somehow find…and there was a time when Paige was very little that the only diseases/syndromes, etc. that I could rule out in my own mind were those she couldn’t have simply because females or white children, or whatever, couldn’t get them. Everything else, from cerebral palsy to degenerative diseases, to wondering if she had had any sort of birth injury was fair game to me.

But…I made peace with that, and came to know that my daughter was simply…my daughter. With whatever blips and bumps and genetic goofiness she had – she was Paige.

When we finally, finally found her gallbladder problems, I was like “OF COURSE!!!” I beat myself up – why didn’t I know this?? It was classic gallbladder symptoms. But…no one caught it…not doctors who (probably, lol) know a whole lot more about it than me! :)

So, perhaps I should have figured this out earlier. And perhaps not. Perhaps something happened somewhere along the line that caused this – and, then again, perhaps not. I know there is lots of speculation about immunizations, at the same time – she was in and out of the hospital nearly a hundred times in her first years of life - would I have forgiven myself if she caught something because I had refused them?

In the end, I will leave this research to someone else. I still believe that Paige is not broken and does not need to be fixed. If anything, I feel even more connected to her now, as there is a rhyme and reason to some things, and that will help us to help her learn even better.

Anyway, as best I can, I will list some of the things that I believe are symptoms of her having autism. I will add to this list as I think of things. My hope is that some of you will find great relief in knowing that is not something you need to worry about for your child. And, statistically, some of you may want to investigate a little further as 1 in 150 children are now diagnosed with some form of Autism.

Please know that every child is unique – and these are just Paige things I’ve noticed. Also, please understand this is 10 years of things – she is very much just a sweet little girl who joins our family in all of our activities, who laughs and smiles, and has a pretty normal life – whatever normal actually is.

And now...heeerrrrrrrrreeeeeee's Autism (Part one)

So, in the last week, I have heard the term “dual diagnosis” about a million times. I guess the dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Vaters Association just wasn’t enough – her esophagus has been behaving much too well to get too much attention anymore.

Although, I’m not entirely sure of that either, as her Pediatrician suspects there may be a hernia on her fundo incision, and we have to do an upper GI to take a look at that. And she was not happy with Paige’s feet – her right foot turns in so much that it is badly malformed now. We have had very little success with arch supports and braces, but we will try again, and hope it doesn’t make her hips any worse.

I can’t say that I’m surprised that Paige was diagnosed as autistic, although I guess I wanted her to take one look at her and say, “Oh my goodness, NO WAY is she autistic.” Instead, she tried gently to tell me that, although some children with T21 have “autistic tendencies,” she would consider Paige to be genuinely autistic.

Like I’ve said to some people I’ve spoken to about this, leave it to Paige to do it up right if she’s gonna do it!

Really, we should have caught this long ago. When she was 3-4 years old, there were so many signs – and this is the age when it begins to appear for kids, especially those who have T21 as well. We spent the better part of our life going to see geneticists because everyone suspected there was “something more” going on with Paige.

But, test after test, family tree after family tree drawn on a paper, lol, we found only slight indications of what could be different.

At the time, Paige was very sick with her gallbladder, although it had not yet been diagnosed. So, many of the speculations took a back seat to getting her well and keeping her that way.

And, we decided to live our life instead of analyze it. Paige was, and still is, Paige. Our quest to find something genetic was more important for future generations than it was for us…unless something was found that we could fix, we really didn’t need to know. And we all know that genes are genes – there’s not much changing them.

Perhaps its better that we have just found out at 10 years old. Maybe it would have been too overwhelming for us 6 years ago. I remember thanking God for giving me Down syndrome instead of autism, because I “couldn’t handle” autism.

I guess He showed me!!!

And it’s kind of neat the way Down syndrome and autism sort of cancel each other out in some ways. Paige is still a very lovey, huggy little girl – probably a result of that extra chromosome. She has a sweet gentle personality, and has never had a melt down or a temper tantrum. Wherever that comes from, I’ll take it!

At any rate, we do not want to spend our lives analyzing her every move, and trying to attribute it to this or that – she is as she should be – wonderfully, gloriously made by God, just as He wanted her to be made.

I wish I could share the feeling of peace that I have whenever Paige is near me…I feel invincible, like nothing can hurt me or stop me or bother me. She has empowered me so much and I feel so lucky to have her.

I have met many, many wonderful people because of the little extra chromosome she has. I have been welcomed into a wonderful family that fully understands the joy of her. And, for a moment, I was a little sad that I might not be a part of this community as much anymore – after all, she is now different even from those so much like her.

But, I know that is silly – the bonds I have made will not change. The people who love her will not see her differently because she has another word on a medical file somewhere.

And…who knows…maybe we will meet even more people along the way whose paths are taking the same twists and turns we are.

It’s a glorious life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For Patricia...

I'm sure many of you remember the video "Think of Me First As a Person" - a family's story about their son, brother and uncle Dwight who has Down syndrome. We were all so very touched by this beautiful story that many of us blogged about it.

My entry.

Well, Dwight's sister, Patricia, mom to George, who created the movie posted a comment on my blog. Since then, Patricia and I have kept in contact with one another - she has become a very wonderful friend!

Patricia is an amazing woman who bikes hundreds of miles a year, often in support of a very worthy cause. Its no wonder Dwight has been so lucky in his life - as this family is truly incredible.

Patricia has given me permission to share an article that she wrote about her bike riding shortly after her father's death.

Here is her inspiring story:
              Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc.

DATE: Sunday, October 1, 1995 TAG: 9509270041


EIGHT YEARS AGO I signed up to bike 100 miles for the American Lung Association Colonial Virginia Bike Trek for the first time.

I had two reasons to do this: First, my husband told me I could never bike 100 miles. He said that he was in good enough shape to compete in a 100-mile bike trek but there was no way I could accomplish such a feat!

That was all I needed to hear. I would have to prove him wrong. My second reason for wanting to do the trek was I wanted to make a difference. I have always felt very strongly about the smoking issue and lung disease. I believe in the valuable work of the American Lung Association of Virginia and how they help people with lung disease. So it seemed only natural to help raise money for a cause I believed in.

My strong feelings about lung disease hit close to home. My dad, Dwight L. Core Sr., was a smoker. For years, I watched what cigarettes did to him. I would ask him to quit. I'd tell him how much I loved him and that I'd miss him when he was gone. Usually this would only make him angry. His reply was, he enjoyed smoking and didn't wish to give it up. It gave him pleasure.

He knew his health was deteriorating. We had a number of disagreements about his smoking. For a while I didn't go over to my parents' home. I didn't like the second-hand smoke, plus I didn't like seeing what continued smoking was doing to my dad's health.

My mom intervened and asked my dad not to smoke around me. He agreed. Three years ago my dad became very ill and was hospitalized. He never smoked again.

My dad was always one of the largest contributors to my bike treks. When he mailed me his check he would always write a note, telling how proud he was of his daughter and her accomplishments.

When I had raised over $25,000 and was at that time the largest fund-raiser in the state, my name was added to the National Wall of Recognition in New York. I was given a plaque. I gave it to my dad. He treasured the plaque and would show it off to people, like the man who brought him his oxygen and breathing supplies.

In fact, my dad gave the oxygen man one of my fund-raising letters. The man wrote a check for $100 to the ALAVA in honor of my bike trek.

The first year I did the trek, I averaged about 10 miles an hour for the two days. I was so slow my husband didn't ride with me. That night I was so sore I had to get a massage. The day after I finished I ached all over. Now I cover the 50 miles each day in a little over three hours.

Over the years, I've gained far more than I've given. I am in great shape physically. Now, I go on biking vacations. I've biked in Vermont and Florida. My level of self-confidence is off the charts. I know I can accomplish anything I want in life. I love the high I get from biking. I can be feeling sorry for myself, then I push myself to go for a bike ride. Afterward, I count my blessings. But the biggest blessing of all has been in the brave and caring people I've met.

The first seven years I biked in honor of my dad. This year I will bike in his memory. He died July 6.

My dad taught me so much about life. Fortunately, a week before he died, I was able to tell him my feelings from my heart, the kind of feelings that so often we just don't take the time to share.

I thanked him for being my Dad. told him how he taught me to be loving, sensitive and caring. He also taught me to be assertive and stand up for what I believe. My assertiveness has allowed me not to be shy about asking people to contribute to the ALAVA for my 100-mile bike trek. Counting this year, I have raised more than $39,000 in eight years. I hope to raise that total a great deal more in the next week.

The response over the years has been overwhelming. Many of the checks come from people who have lost someone they love to lung disease.

I have a special scroll with all the names of the people I'm riding for.

On Saturday, before I begin the 100-mile ride, I'll pack the scroll away in my bike bag. On the scroll will be dad's name along with Dorothea Reiner, Eleanore Burns, Anne and James Moore, Carl Heylek, Norena Cunningham and others. They'll all be with me in spirit on my journey.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My 100th Blog Entry

This is my 100th Blog Entry! I thought I would celebrate by sharing a very special project I am working on. Our friends Leonard and Carol, have invited our family to be a part of their incredible fund-raiser for our Children's Hospital.

We know so many children (including our own!) whose very lives have been saved by this hospital. As many of you probably already know, Paige was the kick-off baby for the telethon for CHEO when she was a year old.

Len and Carol have 7 children, and their goal was to raise $200 per family member for the hospital. just two short weeks, this project has skyrocketed, and it's looking like their goal will be doubled and doubled and doubled, many times over.

We have put decorated cannisters up at local businesses, and done some radio commercials, and some promotions within our schools, as well as scheduled some events in the next few weeks.

Won't you please visit Livee's Loonies to meet our very special Miss Princess Olivia, and her family, and see how wonderfully generous our community is.

Be sure and leave Miss Livee a "hello"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kudos to Paige's School Board

I have to share this with my readers. A few years ago, I sat on Parent Council at my children's school. They go to a Catholic School in our area. I was very, very active in the school; and I enjoyed my time there.

However, we had a "bad apple" situation at the school with a member of our administration. It was a rough, trying time, as many of us had to step out of our comfort zones, and, in essence, become very "toughened" to nasty comments, intimidation games, etc.

It was really one of those times when I had to evaluate what I was doing and why I was doing it. I wanted to walk away; but I just kept thinking that I needed to set an example for my children. I HAD to show them that you have to do the right thing, even when it causes stress and even when it is uncomfortable.

Even two years later, I realize that the bad feelings that happened were not caused by me, or the people I fought this battle with, but rather, as a result of what happened. Still, the costs were great to us - we lost faith in people we believed in, we lost credibility as a Parent Council because of the mess, etc.

Now, I am much less active in the school. Dakotah goes to high school now, and I concentrate my efforts on Paige's needs specifically.

Still...there is an amazing staff and principal at her school now, and I am very happy with the fact that I have chosen that school for Paige.

Today - I went in to speak with the principal and another teacher about "Livee's Loonies" - and as I was speaking to the Principal, I noticed the poster announcing "Catholic Education Week" in our school board.

Our board operates 50 schools in 8 counties, and employs 850 teachers and 450 support staff...and supports 15,000 students. That's a lot of school, in a lot of area (12,165 sq. kms!)

The theme of Catholic Education Week this year is "We are all created in God's Image."

Imagine how very pleased I was to see the 4 little children on the poster - all cute, happy, smiling faces - and the little boy in the bottom left hand corner, with freckles sprinkled across his nose, a big smile on his face - well, he too, was created in God's image - just like Paige - wonderfully and fearfully made in His image - with a little dusting of Down sydnrome thrown in! :)

I'm so proud of the Board and their decision to put this little boy's adorable face on that poster as a reminder to all 15,000 students, and all 1300 staff who will see it on a daily basis of how wonderful diversity is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Beautiful Song...

I have always loved this song - my friend, Donna, who is an amazing singer, has sung this song at many weddings I've attended. I haven't heard it for years, but it has been playing in my head for a few days now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sometimes, There's Nothing But Awe

As many of you may know, the reason that we found out that Paige had Down syndrome prenatally is because we could not see her stomach or kidneys on numerous ultrasounds, and we were told she most likely had Trisomy 13 or 18 - trisomies that are almost always fatal.

The test for T21-Down syndrome - is just kind of thrown in with the amnio testing that was done. I've always believed that is one of the reasons we so easily accepted T21, and didn't have any mourning period like many families do. We were just so glad that she had a condition that was compatible with life.

And still...we had to pray. With no stomach or kidneys, she would not survive at birth. We hoped that she would live long enough to retrieve organs to help another baby live. We kept this information to ourselves, as we wanted to celebrate every moment that she was with us, before and after she was born.

Even if she were to be taken from us, we would not let that rob us of the joy we had in hoping for her, wanting her, waiting for her. We were determined to cherish every single moment of her.

Joyfully, gloriously, amazingly, she arrived screaming and alive. A true miracle had arrived to our family. Hours later, she would crash, and we would learn that she had esophageal atresia, and a tracheal fistula that was causing her to basically drown and dehydrate at the same time.

Again, miracle after miracle came to us, and she survived. She is a healthy, happy, amazing 10-year-old little girl now.

It may be hard to understand, but had she not lived, she would have still been our miracle. She was so loved before she was even here to cherish. And had she been born alive and been able to donate an organ, she would have been someone else's miracle too.

No one should ever, ever think of her as 'less than' anything.

My child has empowered me in great ways; I am a different, better person because of her. I understand gratitude in a way that I never would have been able to in any other way.

And, so, when I saw this video, my heart went right back to those days. I admire Eliot's parents so, so much, and can only hope that I would have been half as brave, and half as aware of the great miracle they witnessed.

99 days - 99 balloons - could YOU change the world in that short of time?

Eliot's webpage.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It Took Too Many Years...

but, I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be a genie. Actually, I wouldn't mind just looking like a genie for a few days.

Although voted "Most Business Minded" and "Most Likely To Suceed" (as well as "Most Sensitive") in my high school graduating class, my concept of success has greatly changed over the past decade or so.

I'll be honest here. I don't particulary want to work. I don't really want a job. I don't want to be a career person, moving up the corporate ladder - although at one time in my life, that was all I wanted. I wouldn't even care if I was making money, provided I actually had enough money not to care.

Instead of a working for a living, I'm very ready to move into the "life's work" role. I want time - time to be able to make a REAL difference in the world, and in the lives of those around me.

In the last few days, I have been fortunate enough to be asked to be a part of a very special project called "Livee's Loonies." I have had so much fun helping, and have felt renewed in spirit as we've started to create this project.

Our local newspaper featured an article yesterday about inclusion in the community and a huge initiative that will be going into schools, and early learning centers to help teach this very important subject.

They are looking for volunteers to train to do this work - I want the time and financial freedom to sign up as a volunteer for this project.

I am a big believer that all of us have a life story to tell - and I want to touch the lives of those who's life stories have touched me.

I've said it a million times - I am being called to do something profound. And that voice just keeps getting louder and louder and louder.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Risen!!!

Alleluia! The most glorious day of the year!! A day that brings new hope, new life, and remembrance to our faith. I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!

Our family had the most fun this morning! We have friends who have seven children - the youngest, Princess Olivia, has T21. Olivia has had a rough couple of years, with lots of bouts of pneumonia, and was recently hospitalized again.

This family is one of the nicest, sweetest families we've ever known. All of the kids are so polite and respectful, and fun to be around.

We wanted to do something for them for Easter that would let them know we were thinking of them, and that we had also been there -- Paige has spent a couple of Easters in the hospital too, and its rough - you always feel like you are torn between home and hospital and don't have enough time or energy to do both.

So, this morning at 5 a.m., we snuck out to their house, and hid 140 plastic eggs filled with candy around the outside of their house. We wanted to do it anonymously, but the Mommy in me said, "if I didn't know who it came from, my kids wouldn't be allowed to eat it!"

We left 7 hand painted chocolate eggs with names of all the kids on their front porch, along with a note to Mom and Dad from us.

We were so nervous we were going to get caught - it was still dark outside, and we were wandering all over their property, lol. I was praying that Leonard didn't own a b.b. gun, because if he did, my butt on my hands and knees on his front porch would have been the target!

We had such fun!!! And after, we came back, all got back into bed, and woke up knowing they would have a great surprise when they woke up.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I love this baby!!!

This is my nephew, Craig's son, Cameron, a.k.a. "Baby Will." Isn't this the cutest little baby you've ever seen?!?!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What a wonderful surprise...

Paige came home from school today with a big envelope full of notes and pictures. I often send in crafts for her class to do - at Christmas, each child in her class had a Christmas ornament or gift to take home for their Mom and Dad, and this week, they did Easter crafts.

The envelope contained thank-you's from all of the kids in her class, and I want to share them. Most of them have drawings on them, but many are in pencil, and have the kids' last names on them, so I'm not going to scan in.

Here they are, misspellings and all!

(The kids call either call me by my last name - "Mrs. L...." , or many of them still call me "Mrs. P" - something they adopted in kindergarten, because, well, I belong to Paige, lol.

"Mrs. L, Thank you for the crafts that you bought for us. There wonderful and my parents love them. I enjoy spending time with Paige. She is so nice and smart. Paige is wonderful!"
--Sincerely, Taylor

"Dear Mrs. P, Thank you for all the Easter and Christmas crafts! I appreciate it! I like to make crafts with Paige. Paige is a very nice girl, and you are a very nice girl too. Have a magical Easter." -- Sincerely, Shiara

"Dear Mrs. L - Thank you for letting us make crafts and for buying them. It was really king of you. I love spending time with Paige when I cook with her. May God bless you with all the love you give to us." - Sincerely, Pamela (Note, on this note, there is a little "tally" in the top corner, that says, "God loves you" and it has 6 little stroke marks, lol...)

"Dear Mrs. L - Thank you for buying all of those beautiful crafts. My mom and dad loved them. I hope they like the Easter craft. I really enjoy Paige. She rocks." -- Sincerely Andrew

"Dear Mrs. P - Thank you so much for all the crafts you have brought. I love makeing them with Paige. I guarantee you that my parents are going to love this." -- from Allison

"Dear Mrs. L - Thank you very much for the Easter crafts. I think it was a nice thing that you did. I love Paige. Right now, almost everybody does." Thank you -- Keananne

"Mrs. L - Thank you for the crafts. I injoy baking whith Paige. -- Mandee (note, this picture has a bright sun in each corner on the top, lol)

"Mrs. L - May God Bless you with His love. My mom and dad loved the Easter craft and even saved the Christmas one. I have fun with Paige. " -- Sincerely, Caitlin

"Mrs. P - Thank you for the crafts. Paige is kind and very intelligent. I like to play with her because she is very playful." - Venessa

"Mrs L - Thank you for the Easter and Christmas crafts. I have fun making the crafts with Paige. My mom and dad will like it too." - Samuel (note: this picture has a drawing of Paige walking our dog -- she is about 2" big in the picture, and Kirby is about 8" big, lol!)

"Mrs. L - Thank you for buy craft. My parents love the craft I made. I love makeing the crafts. I loved makeing the Christmas craft. I loved makeing the Easter Craft. I love spending time with Paige makeing the Christmas craft and Easter craft. " - sincerely Tristan

"Mrs. L - Thank you for the crafts. Mtirletty. (note, I have no idea what this means!) I like spending time with Paige because she is so smart. She is one of the sartest kids in our classs." -- from Sheldon

"Mrs. L - Thank you for the crafts. I twas fun making them. The arts and crafts." - Richelle

"Mrs. L - Thank you for the crafts. at Christmas and Easter. Thank you very much for letting me spend time with Paige." - from Jaccob

"Mrs L - Thank you so much for the Easter and Christmas crafts. I'm sure that my parents will love my art. Thanks" - William (Note: William has drawn himself nailed to a cross, with Paige looking on, lol)


Isn't that sweet, funny, and very touching?!?!

How Fun!

I had my blog critiqued. Billy Mac must be a busy boy, because he sure critiques a lot of blogs!

Here's what he had to say about mine:

Right back in the swing of things with the mom blogs...picking up where I left off, we are treated to Betsy's blog about her life and times with her family and 2 daughters. This is a very well written and interesting blog with some good posts. There is an eye opening (no pun intended) post about sleepwalking and...uh...sleep driving, and this touching post to her dad on the 9th anniversary of his death. SO why not stop over and say hello to Betsy...especially since she has named her own holiday back in March as National "visit a blog" Day! Nice job and keep the blog rolling.