Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Judy Update

A few days after the last post Judy's main doctor returned on the scene and started down a new path...very different than the weekend docs (they were pretty much letting her die). Judy responded well and is getting stronger each day. Just over a week ago, she was transported from Louisville back to Owensboro. She seems to be doing well and I know she is happy to be at home. Hospice comes once per week and Ray is taking good care of her. Hopes are for her to get strong enough to undergo either an experimental therapy treatment or more surgery. Thanks for the prayers...keep them going.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Judy Garvin Update

As many know, Steve's mom, Judy is battling cancer (melanomma)and has been in Louisville since last Monday. The plan was to begin chemo but she has been too weak to undergo that. Yesterday the docs told the family that there is little they can do at this point to help her. The family is all there now with her in these last days. Please pray for her and the rest of family. Thanks.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Official


I'm going back into the workforce. I will be teaching theology at a local high school, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. It's a small catholic school with about 100 students. Along with teaching 4 classes I will be the Lead Teacher. St. Thomas Aquinas is one of three schools and because each school is small they have a Lead Teacher, which is overseen by the President. I will be the Lead Teacher at the High School.
I'm excited about teaching again and look forward to the opportunity to help teens grow in their faith.

St. Thomas Aquinas pray for me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Are you addicted if.....


you load three small kids up in the van, still in their PJs, at 6:45 in the morning for a trip to the local gas station to buy a Mountain Dew?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GRADSA

GRADSA (Green River Area Down Syndrome Association) is the support group that serves the Owensboro, KY area, which is where we were living when Abbey was born. This organization was a big part of helping us learn so much about Down syndrome and supported us through that first tough year of medical issues, etc.

We still receive their newsletter Heart Strings and enjoy keeping up with the families and activities. I love reading the newsletter and always read every article carefully but the most recent one had two articles that touched me. One was about two friends who were both told during pregnancy that something was wrong with their babies. When the babies were born they both had Down syndrome. Read Friends Share a Common Bond. Amazing and beautiful...God works in mysterious ways. The other article was about a sibling of a boy with Down syndrome. It touched me to read how her life was affected by her brother. Read Sibling Relationships. It makes me think about my boys and wonder what their relationships will be like with Abbey. How will having her in their lives shape them?

Thank you to GRADSA for the awesome stuff they do for the Down syndrome community. And thanks to God who uses those with Down syndrome to enrich our lives in more ways than we even know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Call for pictures

The National Down Syndrome Society is seeking photos of individuals with Down syndrome to include in its Time Square Contest. The video will showcase individuals with Down syndrome from all over the world, will air on the Panasonic News Corporation Astrovision screen in Times Square on September 28th at 10:30 a.m. The winning photographs will feature children, teens, and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning with friends, and family.
I submitted my three pictures. Here is the link to submit online.
Below are my three pictures:




Thanks GRADSA for the information

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breakfast on the Farm

This morning we took kids to a local farm (Doc and Ann Van De Walle Farm) which offered an all you could eat breakfast for just $6 each with the kids eating for free. They lost money on Abbey. Breakfast included pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, applesauce, cheese curds, locally taped maple syrup and ice cream. The eggs were the best, cooked with bacon and cheese on top. We also took a walking tour of the farm which featured about 1500 cows and even was able to watch them milk the cows. Other activities also included a petting zoo, a picture with a calf, milk mustache picture booth, a bouncy room for the kids, and an opportunity to ride a pony.
On the way to the farm it was raining but by the time we started eating it had stopped and the rest of the morning was dry. The hospitality was tremendous and the event ran like a well oiled machine, even offering a hay ride to your car. I'm not too surprised since it was run by a bunch of good ol' country folks. The kids had a great time. Abbey loved the pony ride but was surprisingly a little nervous around the petting zoo. Alex wanted nothing to do with the ponies but had some interest in the petting zoo. Kim loved the ice cream, not a big surprise.










Andrew even enjoyed the food!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Back Home


We arrived back home last Saturday. We left Kentucky around 2am and decided to take another route, going up through Illinois. It was a much better trip and we did it in the amount of same time even with hitting a big delay north of Chicago. The kids were great.
Everyone is on an antibiotic. It all started the week before we left. Kim called from home saying she had strep throat and since Abbey looked like she wasn't feeling well the doctor called in an antibiotic. Once we got home Alex had a low grade fever for several days. Since he had all the signs of strep the doctor put him on an antibiotic. So we had him check Andrew and he also put him on an antibiotic.
Abey's summer speech pathologist came to the house twice this week. She will be coming twice a week every other week for the rest of the summer. Her sessions are 30 minutes each. I am really impressed with what I have seen.
The audiologist has scheduled an ABR for Abbey. After the results from the ABR she will also do some hearing test in the hearing booth. All of this will hopefully give us a better idea of Abbey's hearing. We are slowly moving in the right direction in getting an appropriate education plan together.
The kids are adjusting to their new summer schedule. I have a 8th grade girl helping me out several hours each day. It allows me to take them to the park, the library, or others places. We have made several trip to the park and had a great time at the library on Thursday. Stuart Stotts (musician/storyteller) was performing. When we go to these things I'm always worried if Abbey is going to be able to pay attention long enough. The last several times she has done great. I must give credit to the school for teaching her this skill. She has her dad's gene when it comes to this!
I have started a Scripture Study on the Gospel of Matthew on Monday nights. I went to the first class last Monday and it was great. Father has changed the daily Mass schedule so Kim is able to go to morning Mass twice a week. We have also volunteered to work the upcoming parish festival. Hopefully all of this will help us get plugged into the parish and the community.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More about Kentucky

Everyone has gone home but the kids and I are staying a little longer. The kids had a blast with their cousins!



Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kentucky

We are in Kentucky for several weeks visiting my parents. The trip down was good except for the deer that decided to jump out in front of us. It was about 4:30 in the morning and we were on some back country road because of construction being done on the main road. I noticed several deer off the road to the right but missed the one to the left until it was too late. Everyone is fine but Kim woke the kids with her loud scream which caused them to start crying. After a few minutes Andrew went back to sleep and Alex's said, "that was fun daddy". I'm not sure Abbey even woke. The van drove fine and I pulled ove about a mile up the road to see the damage. It could have been much worse. All in all we were very fortionate. Thank you St. Christopher.
It is really hot. The temperature has been in the 90's since we have been here and the rest of the week looks the same. Abbey and Alex are having fun playing with their cousins. Andrew is still not sure of all the new people but is slowly making new friends.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Alex Barton

Many of you have probably heard about Alex Barton, who is a kid with Autism, who was voted out of his kindergarten class by his classmates. If you haven't read it you can read it here.
She has more and a great discussion on "the whys and hows of inclusion". It is something almost every parent faces when their child with special needs begins school. It is long but a must read.

Weather

It's the beginning of June and things are starting to warm up. It was in the 60's last week and 65 this weekend. It did get back down in the 30's Thursday night. The best thing, NO HUMIDITY. Kim took some pictures of the flowers outside our house.










Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's 7:15...





It's 7:15 and after a long day at school.....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day


...this day is more than the beginning of summer but a time to remember those who have fought for our freedom.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Hard Drive

Gateway sent me my new hard drive and I installed it with no problem. The computer store restored 99% of my files, at this point no music or pictures were lost. I will be posting some short videos of the kids.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walk by Faith

Things in our life often don't tern out as we expect or as we would like. Times like these makes it is difficult to see God's will or better yet understand it. In all of this we are asked to remain faithful.
Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Hard Drive

Something has caused my hard rive to not work correctly so Gateway is sending me a new one. I cannot open Outlook and when I try and do certain tasks the computer shuts down. For the first time I purchased the warranty option and it is going to pay off. I will try and post but no promises until it is fixed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Zoo

On Saturday we took the kids to a local zoo. It's not your typical zoo but what is really cool about it is that you can get close to the animals. You can read more about it here. The kids had a great time.


More pictures on the sidebar, including them feeding the animals.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Up and Posting again

As you probably have noticed it has been over 3 months since I last posted something.The last 3 months have been difficult, mostly because my headaches returned with more frequency. I have seen several doctors but I have had little luck finding out what is causing this . The neurologist put me on some medicine which made things worse but since has corrected that issue. Thank God! Moving again, being away from family and friends, staying at home with the kids, and the reoccurring viral meningitis are all contributing factors. All of this, and not knowing exactly for sure why I get headaches has become frustrating. It made for an interesting Lent and in hindsight is minor in comparison to how Christ suffered for us.
Things have been much better the last 3-4 weeks. I was able to make a quick visit to Kentucky to see my mom who is recovering from having cancer surgery. It was great to spend some quiet time with her and also to have an evening out with friends.
We are finally starting to see warmer weather. The other day I took Alex and Andrew to the local park and for a walk down by the water to see the boats and hopefully see some fish.
We recently celebrated Alex's 3rd birthday. Kim's mom, sister, and her kids came to visit. It was great to see everyone and Abbey and Alex enjoyed playing with their cousins. Andrew wasn't so excited at first but warmed up to things after that. Andrew is different from our other two, who have never met a stranger.
Abbey is almost finished with school. She will have some summer school but we don't know the details at this point. It will be discussed at her next IEP meeting. Much more on that later.
Andrew is making his way around the house. It won't be long before he starts crawling.

I will be posting more often and will soon post some recent pictures on the sidebar

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lent


Having a cross of ashes on your head can bring about many questions from non-catholic and sometimes Catholics about the season of lent. Here is the answer to some basic questions one might have.
You can also find morehere

"Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return,"

Monday, February 4, 2008

"My Way" has resigned


Bob Knight, the greatest college basketball coach ever has resigned.
Knight passed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith as the winningest Division I coach Jan. 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880. To celebrate the milestone Knight chose "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, a mantra for how he navigated his personal and professional worlds.
The 67-year-old Knight has been a head coach for 42 years at three Division I schools. He got his 100th victory at Army, then moved to Indiana, where his Hoosiers went 662-239 and won three national championships from 1971-2000.

Even though I'm a huge Kentucky fan and he was the enemy for many years I have great respect for the man and what he accomplished as a teacher and a coach.

Read the rest of the story here!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Update on my mom

My mother’s surgery went well. The doctor removed the lymph node and more tissue and lymph node in the area. They plan to do a biopsy on the other lymph node to see if the cancer has spread. We hope to know more next week My mother is recovering well and we are grateful for all the prayers.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Prayers, Please.

My mother is recovering from surgery done earlier today. She had the lymph node under her right arm removed. A biopsy was done last week and it was determined that she has melanoma in the lymph node. According to the CAT scan(CT) done on Wednesday, the melanoma had not spread to any other parts of her body. I will post more as I know the details.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hidden Treasures

According to Megan's got 47 this video was created to help those in the Catholic community deal with the diagnosis of Trisomy 21. Hidden Treasures was recently created by a group of families who want to share their stories of having a child with Trisomy 21. Enjoy their video and thier new blog.

It's official......


It's official, the weather stinks in MI. This morning the wind chill was -34 below. It wouldn't be that bad if I could sit on the couch and be in the comfort of my home but the city makes you get out and clear the snow from the walk ways so the mail man can get to your house. I don't disagree with them but it doesn't make it any more pleasurable. On top of that it was wet snow. It started off as rain, then freezing rain, and then about 3-4 inches of driffting snow. If that wasn't enough, it is trash day and our city does not have toters. You put your trash bags out at the curb, no more than 6. I guess it could be worse. I could be shoveling the snow and not have a snow blower. At this point it is the best purchase I have made in some time, even better than the new TV.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Look

As you probably have noticed I have decided to change the look of the blog in hopes this might encourage me to post more often. I have also added some things to my sidebar. If you have a child with special needs you will find many of the links helpful in your "fight" for your child receiving a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE). If you are a UK fan I hope you like the new UK widget. I couldn't help but add this one. I hope you like the new look and most importantly I hope the new links are helpful to parents who have kids with special needs.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Video

Tom at Narrow Ridge linked this video about a mom and her daughter with Down syndrome reaching out to obstetricians to help them "put a face" on the condition.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Great Blog!

As many of you might know I spend time on the computer, after the kids are in bed,reading blogs trying to become more educated about Down syndrome and to connect with other parents who have kids with special needs, mostly down Syndrome. Mommy Life is one of my favorite blogs to read. She has so many interesting posts and a wealth of information and resources. Her latest blog is a great reminder of the importance of creating a child friendly environment in your home. This is not always possible for us because Abbey has not yet learned what is safe and what is not but their our some things we could do to make it better.

The post was also a reminder to me that I need to let the kids help me more. A good example is when it comes time for lunch. I often make their lunch, but today I decided to have Alex help me. He found the ham and cheese in the refrigerator and then went and got the bread from the bread box. He was so proud of himself for being a good helper. He even told me so, "Daddy, I'm a good helper". These are the things I love about being a homemaker!

I also have a list of other blogs I enjoy reading on my sidebar.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Special Education: Important Information for Parents...


has much information for parents and advocates helping children with special needs receive a Free Appropriate Education (FAPE). On their webpage it says,
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law that provides your child with the right to a free, appropriate public education. The purpose of the IDEA is "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living..." 20 U.S.C. 1400(d) (Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 20).
Here is one of their articles, which I found helpful. I just ordered some of their training material. I hope it helps.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Abbey had a check-up with the Cardiologist today. Everything looked good and so we don't need to see him for another 12 months. The Cardiologist was very impressed with the quality of work done by Abbey Heart Surgeon (Dr. Austin). This is not the first time we have heard this.