Saturday, October 30, 2010

So much to do, so little time......

So I'll be brief. Severals load of laundry out on the line, several through dryer, cleaning porch, clearing and scrubbing pantry, grocery shopping, 4 batches of dough for stromboli, a huge batch of molasses cookies cut out, baked and now waiting to be decorated, a 5th Sunday dinner at church to help with and sleep somewhere in there. So......quickly: several of the children ended up dressed up tonight: two for a party - Nathan, a bouncer, Garrett, an m&m; several for trick or treating: two fairies, a pirate, a bow hunter, a knight and a baby m&m. All are sleeping now. I'm off to the cookies, cleaning a little in the kitchen, making sure there are cleaned and pressed clothes for church, then bed!!
Good night.

Friday, October 29, 2010

21 Things About Samuel

I saw this over on another blog - - and thought it was a wonderful idea!

1. Samuel was a "surprise" baby - a very welcome surprise.
2. Samuel and I were both born on the 13th day of a month - August (Sam) & September (me)
3. Samuel is presently in the habit of greeting people by pulling his shirt up and patting his belly for them to notice. (?)
4. Samuel is an escape artist - gates? so what? stairs? big deal! his bed? no challenge whatsoever. closed doors? he's getting close!
5. Samuel "sings" himself to sleep.
6. Samuel has 5 sisters and 5 brothers and rules the roost!
7. Samuel loves it when his big brother Nathan tosses him around. (Mama isn't so thrilled)
8. I'm pretty certain I was the first person to know that Sam had ds, when I looked down and he turned his face to me as he was being born.
9. God has always known that He would create Samuel and that Samuel was designed according to His perfect plan.
10. Samuel is a very popular young man at our church, before he could walk he would be passed around from arms to arms. Now they have to catch him.
11. Samuel loves books and paper.
12. Samuel never really crawled - he scooted around on his tush with one leg out and one leg crossed under him - and he was FAST!
13. As a newborn in the hospital, with patches over his eyes (he was under the bili lights) he could "rootch" from one end of the crib to another. He had pretty good muscle tone from the start. He also kept managing to reach up and remove the taped on patches from over his eyes. They kept having to come up with new versions.
14. As evidenced by #13 - Samuel is a very determined young man.
15.Samuel's first sign was "all done", followed by "more".
16. Samuel loves the song "Jesus Loves Me." He know some of the signs in the chorus and has recently started making muscles for the "He is strong" part.
17. Almost as soon as he could sit up (around 6-7 months) Sam would roll a ball back and forth with someone.
18. When he "prays" he grabs both little hands, tilts his chin downward, and whispers little "s" sounds. When he hears "in Jesus' Name", his head comes up, he smiles and waits for the "amen" then cheers.
19. He loves to dance, always looking around to make sure his performance is being properly appreciated.
20. Often, when he wakes up in the morning, or after nap time, he will say "bed, bed, bed" and point to my bed. So we climb in and cover up and snuggle (usually with brother Braedan) and giggle!
21. Samuel's smile lights up my heart!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No other place

"Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary's mountain.
In the Cross,
In the Cross,
Be my glory ever.
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river."

There's no other place I want to be, no other glory. That's hard to remember sometimes, because this world's attention is enticing. But it never lasts, is never unconditional, and is never enough. Only God satisfies.

"Near the Cross, O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me.
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadows o'er me."

Day to day, sometimes second by second, I need His help to walk in the way He would have me go. To be able to love as I should, forgive as I should, give to others as I should.

"Near the Cross
I'll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever.
Till I reach the golden strand just beyond the river.
In the Cross,
n the Cross,
Be my glory ever.
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river."

I'm singing this on Sunday as part of a trio. There are three parts - the soprano, the middle alto, and the lower alto (me). Each of us singing our own part, blending together. It's a beautiful arrangement. I get very nervous when we sing, I'd never make it as a soloist. I want this time to stand there and think of the One for whom I sing, knowing that He wants a JOYFUL noise, not an perfect performance that lacks reverence for Him. That's true of our lives, also. The perfect house, children, car, career, clothes, and so on may look pretty good here, but that's not what He looks at.
For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."

1 Samuel 16:7 b

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

There is a little man upstairs, overheard on the monitor, chattering himself to sleep. Three other young men are asleep not far away, one in the bed next to him, two in the next room who fell asleep with a Lego magazine between them. Two much taller teens are in the room down the hall, the oldest probably asleep before some of the younger ones. Getting up at 5 a.m. or earlier each day is a good reason not to stay up too late. The girls who are still at home are gradually filtering off to bed, one just off the computer, another probably upstairs on her laptop, one coming in from an evening out, and the oldest is kitty-sitting at some friends' house. Miss Erika has her own cute little place. I like being able to go through the house before I go to bed and count heads, adjust a blanket or two, remove harder or noisy toys from beds before they wake the occupants, who may then just happen to wake their mama! I am blessed. I need to remember that the next time they're all doing something loud and obnoxious at the same time!
There are so many possibilities represented in each of these children. Some wonderful, some frightening. Statistically, with this many people in one family, just think of all the illnesses, accidents, or tragedies that could befall us. And they may. This one thing is constant - God is and He is good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Saturday, as I was talking to a new acquaintance, I mentioned that my two-year old had Down Syndrome. It was relevant to the conversation, not just thrown out there. Her face immediately changed, that kind of downward turn, and there was a sympathetic "oh". I was .... I'm not sure surprised is the correct way to put it. That reaction was nowhere on my range of expectation of her reaction, I guess I was actually not expecting any reaction, at least not anymore than if I had said my two-year-old has blue eyes, or something like that. Accepting that Sam has ds has never been that kind of issue with me, at least not yet - not the fact that he actually has it. (please, please, PLEASE never use the term "suffers from down syndrome") There are certain things that I feel the need to be more aware of with him, I've mentioned some of them before. But those are just part of who he his. Anyway, when she reacted that way (she's a lovely woman, by the way) and I realized it, I think I just sort of waved my hand and said something like, "Oh, no, that's not a bad thing." And I realize that I mean it. So I don't need pity, or sympathy. I certainly don't need the - "Oh, what special people you must be!" - yeah, right, just don't spend a day a my house. My mother-of-the-year trophy would never be awarded. Samuel is my son. Period. And that makes me very, very happy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Social Butterfly

Tonight was the last soccer game of the season for Nathan and Garrett. During the girls' game, I worked in the concession stand, and Meredith watched Samuel. Toward the end of the 3rd quarter she had to leave and go pick up her father, so Samuel was very kindly looked after by one of the men at our church. When I was finished, I came out to find my boy. There he was, hanging out with Mr. Miller and "chatting" with whoever was around. While he can choose sometimes to be shy or standoffish, he generally seems to have an easy self confidence, and expectation of being well-treated and accepted by everyone he meets. I love this, because it's an indication to me that he feels loved by all of us, so what else should he expect? Our church family has been wonderful with him, young and old. His siblings are always holding him, loving on him, wrestling with him, taking his photo, welcoming him. He's adorable, and he knows how to use it. ...... But will it always be this way for him? I wonder how things will be when delays might be more evident. What about when he hits a "gawky" stage (we all do!), and the cute isn't workin' out so well? What about when his world expands and there are more strangers in his life? Will there come a time when he is not accepted, not welcomed, dismissed, and will he recognize it? Then what? But, when I think about it, that it some respect comes for all of us. I know it has with my older children, it's a part of growing up. I think I fear it more for Sam. Therefore, I guess I'M the one right now who is treating and thinking of him differently. I really want to protect him. At our recent ladies' seminar I attended a workshop about doing hard things. Hard things stretch us, grow us, mature us, and draw us closer to God, fit us for His service. Things I want for Samuel. My hard thing may be watching him go (and grow) through his hard things. I have to remember who our God is. And He is with us.

Behold, I am the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just back from a trip to Gettysburg with Lindsay. We had a wonderful drive down, a great dinner in an historic tavern, and an...., hmmmm, how to describe it, an odd ghost tour of part of the town. Not really great! But we giggled, came home a slightly different way.. (repeat to self: "We're not lost.... we're having an adventure!" , finally found a Dunkin Donuts that was open, drove more, adventured a little more (!), then got home. Our time with our children is short, and my time with Lindsay will be changing soon as she moves to a different stage of life (more on that as time goes by). So many things to think over...... but not now. It's late, tomorrow is my day to deliver papers for Meredith, and I'm tired. So it's up to check blankets on little boys, change, and climb into bed.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

14 minutes late - or so I thought

Well, I missed Saturday's post by 14 minutes. Ended up watching a movie and not paying attention to time. Sounds like I need to revisit some of my last posts and notes from devotions on using the time God gave us wisely.

A wonderful day today at our ladies' seminar. I'll post more tomorrow (or, I guess, later today!) I think that the best use of my time now would be to go to sleep!


Now after viewing the post, it still says Saturday, October 23, 2010 - I guess I'm okay after all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Keeping at it

Another day, another post......this is one of those times that I'm feeling as though I'm just posting to keep that 31 for 21 going. Nothing amazing, nothing profound, no new development to report. Just a regular day. But I guess that in itself is something wonderful. When I read blogs of mothers whose children are experiencing health crises, undergoing chemotherapy, those who have experienced loss....... The days that are unremarkable, just ordinary, keep-at-the-work God gives you days, are really blessings. And, if we're lucky, our lives are made up of those types of days.

And smiles like this!!

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Ps 90:12

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Ps 90:17

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Autumn Color

Some of went to an apple festival on Sunday. Afterwards, I took most of the rest of the boys to choir and church, while Meredith, Shelby, and Lindsay looked after Samuel, sort of.

They carved pumpkins..

And then, apparently, they went out into the pasture for a photo shoot. They had lots of nice photos. They placed several of these on facebook. I found the next one kind of amusing.

And if you look in the background, up in the left, you'll see the little brother they were watching!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some like it hot........

So, Samuel decided to take a little nap on the sofa.

And yes, that's a bottle of hot sauce tucked under his arm.
Why?..... I'm not really sure. But it sure made for an interesting photo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Heritage From the Lord

I guess you could say our quiver is full!

Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127 ESV

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines heritage as the following:
1. Inheritance; an estate that passes from an ancestor to an heir by descent or course of law; that which is inherited. In Scot's law, it sometimes signifies immovable estate, in distinction from movable.
2. In Scripture, the saints or people of God are called his heritage, as being claimed by him, and the objects of his special care. 1 Pet.5.

Other Bible translations have the word gift instead of heritage. This psalm reminds me that the children in my family have been placed here thoughtfully and with purpose by a God who can do nothing wrong or by mistake. We are a family by His perfect design.

The Bible doesn't say that only the pretty ones, or the smart ones, are a gift, a heritage. It makes no mention of some being of less value than others. There's no exception made for a child who might be considered "faulty" in the world's eyes. Even the ones with an extra chromosome. They are as much a heritage, a gift, as all of the others!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Almost forgot to do this!

My sweet little boy, who has almost always been so adorable and obedient at bed time, has lately decided to show another side of his character! He can hike himself up and over the side of his bed pretty easily when he wants to! So tonight, after I tucked him in, I listened over the monitor and could tell he was escaping. So I stood at the bottom of the stairs and waited. He came tip-toeing out the door of the bedroom, I called up, "get back in that bed, mister!" and the next thing I saw was his little feet up in the air as he went over backwards in surprise!!! Another trip back upstairs, another tuck-in, with a warning to stay put, a few minutes of tears, and then he started talking himself to sleep. He has had few of the muscle tone issues that children with ds can have, so he has little difficulty getting into - or out of - almost anything he cares to. It can be frustrating, but also relieving, along with a little amusing!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I plan on being quick here tonight. I need sleep! And I have a terrible tendency to NOT get off the computer at an appropriate time.

Since today was Sunday, and I made it to both services and choir practice - something that I haven't been very regular lately - I find this quote from Susannah Wesley very interesting.

Help me, Lord, to remember that religion (Christianity) is not to be confined to the church ... nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Thy Presence. Susanna Wesley

And where am I not in His presence? Do my children see me live my Christianity? Does my husband? Do my choices of how I spend my time reflect a Christ-like attitude? My pastor's message this morning (a good, timely one) touched on this. And, as I face a Monday, the "start" of the working week, I'm praying and meditating on the ways I spend my time. That I would "redeem the time."

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long day. I woke up at 5 a.m. when Nathan got up to do his papers. Started some laundry. Got Nate and Garrett to the church so they could go to an all day harvest party a couple of hours away. Back home, and cleaning the kitchen. Trying to find all the cobwebs hiding up in my beams. Curtains washed and put back up. Door windows mostly cleaned (until the dog decided he needed to see outside). Various odds and ends going on. Grocery shopping. Now, three pans of lasagna in the refrigerator to pop in the oven for lunch! Some of us will be heading to an apple festival after lunch, so I'd like to have something that can be ready and we can get going.

I'm going to try and finish reading "The Holiness of God" before I go to sleep tonight. Very simply written (I like that!) but it really is giving me a lot to think about. The difference between God's mercy and His judgment - both always righteous. And how we (like the Old Testament Hebrews) come to expect Him to always be only merciful and are shocked when He metes out justice. Which He has to do - He is Holy.

Looking forward to church tomorrow. I'm trying to be ready as much as possible tonight, so that I can get everyone going in the morning and still be ready to worship!

....Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.
Isaiah 6:3
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Revelation 4:8

Friday, October 15, 2010

I just spent about 20 minutes watching Samuel and Meredith chasing each other around the kitchen, with Meredith hiding and Samuel running to her so she would jump out and "scare" him. Now, Sam's two. Meredith is nineteen! She just happens to love her little brother very much.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This past June, Samuel and I took a trip down to Florida to visit my father and stepmother.

He was a great little traveler on the way down.
I think we giggled the whole way!

He posed for a photo session in front of a swamp. (Looked for alligators almost every day we were there - nothin'!

We did, however, make the acquaintance of the these rather large birds, sandhill cranes, who apparently believe they are in charge. I didn't argue.

And this speedy character who slowed down just enough to snap this right outside the house.

But the best part was snuggling with Grandpa................

..........and Mammaw! (well, and Xena, too, although she didn't seem to appreciate our visit as much!)

Then it was time to say goodbye.......

And get on the plane back home..... "no photos, please!"

Well, maybe just one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My extra special guy

Just some photos today, very randomly chosen, of a certain little guy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I just watched the first of the trapped Chilean miners be brought up to the surface. The whole situation is mind boggling. Being trapped for 69 days far underground, the first 17 days without anyone knowing for sure they were alive, with a two-day ration of food. And now, it looks as though all will be brought alive over a period of hours. What that must feel like? I am severely claustrophobic. To be trapped that way, well, let's just say that shortly after the cave-in, there would have only been 32 miners - they would have gotten rid of me very quickly! But seriously, these men have been trapped, in the dark, unable to save themselves. What a picture of us! Trapped, in the dark, unable to save ourselves. Only the loving mercy of a gracious Savior can set us free. No digging ourselves out, no heavy machinery, just the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, only out of love, which we can't even do anything to deserve. I am thankful to God tonight for the rescue of those men, restored and free. And I am deeply thankful and mindful tonight, because of their plight and rescue, for the salvation, the rescue, I have through my Savior.
I love you, O Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.

He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death entangled me;

the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

The cords of the grave coiled around me;

the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called to the Lord;

I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice;

my cry came before him, into his ears.

The earth trembled and quaked,

and the foundations of the mountains shook;

they trembled because he was angry.

Smoke rose from his nostrils;

consuming fire came from his mouth,

burning coals blazed out of it.

He parted the heavens and came down;

dark clouds were under his feet.

He mounted the cherubim and flew;

he soared on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—

the dark rain clouds of the sky.

Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,

with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

The Lord thundered from heaven;

the voice of the Most High resounded.

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies,

great bolts of lightning and routed them.

The valleys of the sea were exposed

and the foundations of the earth laid bare

at your rebuke, O Lord,

at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from my foes, who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place;

he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:1-19

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just a short post tonight. It's after 11pm and I'm watching the BBC version (6 hours) of Pride and Prejudice with Meredith! Not all 6 hours!

A beautiful and wild storm tonight - lots of lightning. An impressive reminder of the One who created and controls it.

"At this also my heart trembles,
And leaps from its place.
Listen closely to the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth.
"Under the whole heaven He lets it loose,
And His lightning to the ends of the earth.
"After it, a voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
And He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.
"God thunders with His voice wondrously,
Doing great things which we cannot comprehend. Job 37:1-5

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One of the things I have noticed that Samuel having DS makes a difference to me is that I take him more seriously. Let me explain. I'm a pretty easy going mama, even with the first one. My children don't get rushed to the doctor at the first sniffle (fortunately they've all been very healthy), if they seemed a little extra tired or grumpy, I'd keep an eye on them, but figured it would soon pass, if, as toddlers, they didn't want to eat a lot one day, I knew they'd make up for it the next day or so. It's different with Samuel. He isn't the greatest eater and I am a little more worried. His weight is fine, his activity level is high, he sleeps well. So overall, he seems fine. I just keep thinking about all the nutrients necessary for optimal brain development. I'm thinking about supplements for him, something we've never really done. I'd just like to give him every "boost" I can. I'm not sure where to start. I know there are some supplements that are marketed to those with DS, but I'm afraid of over supplementing. What to do?

Today's weather was absolutely gorgeous. Most of the family spent some portion of it outside. Not me. I spent most of it in bed. Some sort of stomach, head, all over body ache thing. I can't remember the last time I spent most of a day in bed. Not even after a C-section. It was kind of nice, actually. In fact, I plan on returning there pretty shortly. I'm reading Sproul'l "The Holiness of God." I'm not a big highlighter, but there are some sections that I keep reading over and over. I have a pile of good books to read. Good for the winter weather coming up. I also finished a dishcloth and saw a new crochet pattern to try. Time to be thinking about Christmas gifts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I just spent the latter part of the evening snuggling a little guy to sleep, not something he usually does anymore. I love when he starts singing to himself, then gradually gets quieter, and quieter, then his breathing gets deeper and he relaxes right into me. Of course, this was after several songs and prayer. He folds his little hands and "whispers", squinting as if he's got his eyes closed while actually looking up to see what I'm doing. I look forward to the day when he folds his hands and bows his head and knows to whom he speaks. But for now, he's just a little man learning a little bit at a time.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Well, she made it to Alaska today, safe and sound. Hopefully her return trip next week will be a little less eventful.

A beautiful day today. We spent part of it just wandering around the farm. Meredith and Samuel and I took the donkeys for a little walk. Or maybe the donkeys took us for a little walk. I did put Samuel on one of them for a moment and, while Samuel wasn't thrilled, the donkey didn't seem to mind at all!

We'll be eating fresh chicken tomorrow night. Some friends who raise meat birds are having a butchering day at their place. I have three lone meat birds left, so Nathan will be taking them over and processing them. We still have 10 or so whole birds in the freezer, so I'll just roast these up. I'm hoping not to end up helping much - I did most of ours earlier this summer, and I have a boatload of other things to do.

I'm planning on taking some photos for Sam's book. I have a couple of albums that I want to fill with photos of people and things that Sam knows, along with cards printed with the name of the person or object, and make a book that we can use to help him along with his speech. He loves books, will spend 20 minutes or more sitting and looking at pages, even books without a lot of pictures, he likes the print. He had a new sign he kept doing tonight, over and over, trying to tell us something, but it wasn't clear what he meant and none of us recognized the sign. He would point his finger, tap it to his cheek, and then sort of twist it. Then he'd look at us, smile and sort of nod his head, like, "hey, guys, wasn't that good? Now get me what I asked for!" We never did figure it out. He was wearing overalls today and looked like such a BOY, not a baby. Time is going so fast.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where in the World Is Lindsay?

My 3rd oldest daughter is supposed to be on her way to Alaska right now, in fact just about there. Instead she's (hopefully) in or about in Seattle. Her first flight was delayed due to some un-badged persons loading bags onto a plane at the Philadelphia airport. When she finally did get into Philadelphia, she - along with many other - had missed connecting flights. So....... she flew out to Seattle, and, after spending tonight in a hotel, will be flying on to Alaska.
Another example of how our lives don't always go as planned! But now she'll be able to say she's been in Seattle (I would like to go there)! And hopefully the rest of her journey will go as expected.
Samuel certainly wasn't planned. At my age and already having 10 children, we figured we were through. But God had a different plan, and I am so completely thankful that He did.

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why do I wait till 11pm to get on here and try and post something?! I'm not even going to attempt anything weighty tonight. I need to go and spend some time reading my Bible. I'm trying to get through the New Testament by the end of October. Started in September. I slowed down and need to catch up. It's different, reading straight through. I normally read a bit, make notes, journal, read a bit more. Sometimes I think my journaling and note taking is more focused on me. This way I feel as if I'm focusing more on what God has to say about Himself.
What to say today about ds? Nothing. It isn't on the forefront every single day around here. And that's all right.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another soft, rainy day here in northeast PA. And since I didn't have to go out anywhere, it was actually enjoyable! The two older boys, however, had another soccer game - away this time - and they said the field was horrible.

Since I am attempting to blog every day this month for Down Syndrome awareness, I've been thinking about what to write about in regards to the way Down Syndrome has impacted our family. We've been very blessed in that Samuel has had no major health issues - heart, ears, eyes, digestive system: all doing very well, thank you. As far as physical development, age appropriate on some levels, slightly slower on some levels, and ahead on a few others. (His fine motor skills have been amazing from the beginning - that kid could spot and pick up a tiny piece of lint a block away!) His speech delay is a big issue for me, most of my children were very early talkers. But then, he's only 25 months, and there are children without ds who talk late. He is using some signs, lately more and more. He is a very determined young man and likes to get his point across! He is very active - as are most two-year-olds - and into everything. So most of the time, there is no issue, he's just Sam. Just like all of the other children - all 10 of them, HE has impacted our family, Down Syndrome has not. At least, not in a major way, not yet. There are those times now, though, when I have to think about it. Sometimes in small ways, when he gets the "double-take" when we're out. I want to say, with a smile, "Why, yes, he does. Isn't he just beautiful? Aren't I blessed?" And in other ways, when I read on someone else's blog about a sweet baby who has been diagnosed with leukemia. That, I confess, is a knot in my stomach sometimes. I have to keep in mind that the God who designed and created my little one, who, from the beginning of time knew there would be a Sam-I-am, knows what the future holds for him, and for our family, that He has a plan for my guy, and for the rest of us, and that it's a good one, to bless us. I get excited then to think about what He has in store for Samuel. And for those of us who love him.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4!

This isn't quite as simple as I thought it would be, posting each day of October. These past few days have been so busy and I don't really seem to have anything profound to say here.
Samuel had a 3 month evaluation today. He did very well - showed off his new signs (tree, book, sort of mama, and a couple of others), did very well with some of the puzzle toys, played the itsy-bitsy spider, and ring around the rosy, and said "bed." We're making progress!!

In the kitchen, I turned a fresh ham into black bean chili/soup, and a batch of porkette. That should last a couple of days, anyway! Some of the soup went to a soccer game with my two older boys, Nathan, 17, and Garrett, 14. The team played in a constant drizzle..... and they lost...... sigh. Then back home to get warm and fed, and now pretty much everyone has gone to bed. Sam and Braedan, 3, and I sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jesus, Name Above All Names," complete with the signs.

I got to hear a part of a radio message this morning about the grace of God. I am so humbled and amazed that He can love someone like me, who messes up daily. But He does. His Word tells me that ("the Bible tells me so!"), and I am putting my trust and faith in Him that because He loves me, He will work within me, for His Glory.
Phil. 1:6
For I am
confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
So, I can expect great things of a great God!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Okay, so I didn't really have a post for yesterday; however, I did add the 31 for 21 button, so, does that count as an entry?!

Church this morning, just Sam and I - the rest were still sleeping off the fair. Then spaghetti at home, back to the fair to dismantle a display and some of the pens, then some groceries, then back to choir and church. Now home to a house that definitely needs a little TLC - preferably from more than just me. Monday, you are coming too swiftly..... I need to check some lesson plans. Maybe I can start by having the boys write a composition on "What I did at the Fair." That might occupy a bit of time.

I am way too tired to be playing around here for long, so I'll close with something I've been praying from the Psalms:

Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5

Friday, October 1, 2010

31 for 21

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. So... I think I'm going to commit to posting something each day of October (31 for 21 - Trisomy 21 is Down Syndrome). Maybe that way I'll get in the habit of actually using this blog!

In honor of that topic, I guess my first post should have something to do with Samuel, my presently not-too-thrilled two-year-old, who just happens to have T-21. The not-too-thrilled part comes about due to the fact that he has been put to bed. I snuggled, I sang, I prayed, so it's time. I think he's just too tired.

It's quiet here tonight. Only four of the 11 children are in, and one of them is getting ready to go meet a friend. Two of the others are asleep, and from the sounds of things, Samuel is heading in that direction, too. The rest are at the Bloomsburg Fair. We are a 4H family, and six of the brood have hogs and sheep there this week, and tonight is auction night. So I'm going to have a little time to myself. What to do?! I think I'd better get some paperwork organizing for school that I keep putting off because Samuel enjoys "helping." The usual two-year-old stuff. Which, given the T-21, I appreciate more than with some of the other children. Usually! He is a wonderful, active, curious little man, and I am so thankful to have been blessed to have him in our family.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16

God is good!!