Sunday, August 30
Wednesday, August 26
Monday, August 24
Hannah, Nate and I spent six days and nights at the NW Washington fair with their 4H projects.
Here is a “12 days (although it was only 6) of fair” …. You can sing it to the 12 days of Christmas only if you are very tired like we are J I thought it would be more fun than writing about our experience.
12 times Nate milked our goat Finn. Many times it took at least three kids to get that goat milked. At least one literally had to hold her up as she was smart to want to lay down so Nate couldn't finish milking. In the picture he is with Pearl going into showmanship. They are both adorable!
11 combined meals (breakfasts and lunches) we ate in our travel trailer parked across from the fairgrounds. This marks the first year (out of six years now) we have had air conditioning and electricity. The kids and I LOVED the comfort both of those bring. Tommy and Liam liked watching a movie in the trailer when Daddy brought them out on some of the days and they were too tired to see more fair activities.
10 people with Ds that we met (or remet) during the fair. Tommy even got to high five our older friend Steve. It was wonderful to make new friends too with families we share common ‘extra genes’ with.
9 loads of laundry was done after the fair....the amount of dust, dirt, animal stuff, strange pocket contents….. on those clothes was amazing! I think my tombstone will read "she did alot laundry in her day" because it is by far my greatest accomplishment, keeping my kids in clean clothes.
8 am was the number on the clock most days I finally made it up to the barns. However, Hannah was up to the horse barn at 6am to exercise her horse and clean the stall. Nate was up to his around 7am to milk and muck out. My morning routine was by far the latest start to my mornings and is directly attributed to two great teens being able to muck out their stalls, milk and tack up for events totally by themselves. Wow, I wonder what the morning clock will read next year!
7 the total number of times that Nate experienced “Hot sauce shots” at his 4-H club potlucks…. Including one that had 4 million on the hottness scale. And he did that one TWICE. Much thanks to Joyce’s family for that hot event. Nate complained for days.
6 shows that Hannah competed in for Horse classes; Trail, Pattern A, Pattern B, Showmanship, bareback, and stockseat. Both are gorgeous and she did really well.
5 cousins visited Hannah and Nate at the fair (Andrew, Mack, Gabe, Madison, William) All had a good time! Our neighbor Mitchell is on the tractor with Tommy & Liam and we kidded that they look like triplets as Mitchell is only three weeks older than the twins!
4 different departments were entered this year by our kids; Science – Nate entered two rockets him and Colin made; Horse – Hannah competed a lot with her horse Babe and even did a couple of reigning events; Goats – Nate took our milk goat plus two of our cute dry yearlings; Gardening – Nate and Hannah both competed with vegetables and flowers
3 ribbons contained the word ‘champion’ or ‘special award’ in them (Reserve Champion Trail ride for Hannah, Nate earned Champion 4-H flower (a pretty sunflower) and his vegetable creation earned a beautiful Special award ribbon)
2 – the number of young adults that Hannah and Nate have become. They enjoyed the culmination of a year of hard work. They are between the stages of youth and adult and these six days of us living at the fair allowed them the experience of adventure, discovery and excitement…. in a fairly safe environment and surrounded by people that truely care for them. Both of their leaders are amazing women who use all opportunities as teachable moments (even the really sucky ones). Learning occurs on so many levels! But with some of their new young adult freedoms came uncertainty in some interactions and the need for lots of guidance and positive encouragement. And some clever 'reality' parenting to help them learn more of their ‘young adult skills’. It wasn’t perfect, sometimes we were rather ugly, but most of the time it was great…. I continue to be proud of these two!
1 - mommy tried to keep all six of us in our family going in the right direction at the correct time … and tried it all with a joyful heart! We had a blast J There were still smiles on all of our faces when we came home on Sunday. I guess that says it all.
Thursday, August 13
Tuesday, August 11
Saturday, August 8
Friday, August 7
Colin, Nate, the twins and I all went to Ice Age 3. Yes, it was CRAZY taking 2 1/2 years old to it, but the theatre had many small children watching, and family and friends said it was good, so we just blended right in. I sat with Tommy in the wheelchair accessable area (once I could tell there was no one needing the area) and it worked out great. I pulled his stroller in beside me on my right side so I could grab G-tube feeding stuff and snacks. I also packed a blanket he likes to cuddle with and he sat in my lap for an hour.... which is rare. His face was so enthralled with that big screen and the characters. By all accounts Nate and Colin really enjoyed watching Liam take in the movie too, and hands full of popcorn!
Hannah and her friend saw the new Julia-Julie movie and said it was good. It was nice that she could 'get a little independence' from us for a bit. We gave Nate the same option as we knew another family watching that movie so it was somewhat supervised, but he said he wouldn't miss the boys seeing a movie on the big screen. Too sweet!
Then we ended up at Red Robin for dinner which we haven't been to in a very long time. It was delicious! All of us really enjoyed a family night out.
Tuesday, August 4
Monday, August 3
One family that inspires me with an older son that has Down syndrome is Dan Drinker's:
We stop by there every few months to read their progress on a documentary. But what fascinated me today was there newest account of their life, their mom Diane's correspondance with the schools that Dan attended over almost 20 years. Each year seems to have it's own small diary.
Diane Drinker communicated with Daniel's teachers using a composition book he would transport between school and home. Each book documents an often daily dialogue concerning Dan's academic life.
Her son is retyping all the correspondance between parent and teacher here:
Dan's academic life. http://drinkerdiaries.blogspot.com/
Yes, it is from a different time, many years ago. But is it really from a different time? Some of the thoughts ring true for me today and we are only beginning. Just thought you might want to glance at this fun family.
Saturday, August 1
The twins and I met up with my sister Debbie and her kids at the Kids Craft fair at the library. We saw my friend Becky and her daughter Madeline and lots of families enjoying a MUCH cooler day.
Tommy had a front row seat in the stroller for the violin music :)
To end the day we ended up in aunt Debbie's pool (third time this week) and although I forgot my suit, Debbi/Nate/Hannah enjoyed the water with the boys
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