Friday, October 26, 2012

Buddy Walk Here We Come

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for us! We will begin a new that we didn't know existed this time last year.  We will participate in our first Buddy Walk with our little man.

The Buddy Walk is an event that was started by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. Okay, so I must admit...I just stole that tidbit of info straight from the NDSS site to tell you the technical definition of what the Buddy Walk is. For me, it represents so much more...I will be celebrating the life of a little boy that has forever changed mine and so many others.

The love and support that we receive from our friends and family is amazing, and I am so appreciative of those who are joining us tomorrow. We refer to Deacon as "Our Little Sunshine" because he brightens our home daily with his unconditional love, his smile, and the pure joy that he brings us.  And over this past year, I have seen those rays of sunshine radiate outside of our home to those around us...friends, family, and even complete strangers. I know how he impacts me, but when I see how he impacts them, I get overwhelmed with emotion...a good overwhelmed. The kind that makes your heart feel like it's going to explode.
This journey will not always be easy. I know the older Deacon gets, the harder it will get, because I know that there will be a day when we will have to face a world full of people that are uneducated on Down Syndrome and can be so cold and cruel.  I have even had a few moments already where I have had to face this. But there is also a world full of kind, loving, considerate and compassionate people, and I will work hard to surround Deacon with these type of people. The ones who love, support, and embrace him for who he is and that will see him as a baby, child, teenager, adult first rather than a diagnosis.  So far this has been an easy task...pretty much effortless, and for that I am so grateful!
So I want to say thank you to all of my friends and family for being such great support! Thanks to those who have donated, those who are walking with us tomorrow, those who have bought a t-shirt, those who have prayed for us throughout the past year, and even for those who just take the time to read this blog. I cannot wait to tell you all about our first Buddy Walk! There is a chance that it could rain on our parade tomorrow, but that is okay, because I will still have my Little Pocket Full of Sunshine! ;)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Playing a Little Catch-Up

So, I'm wondering where the heck September went?!  It's been way too long since my last post, and I've got some catching up to do, so here goes...

We started off this month slow enjoying our bonus days out of school with some balloon entertainment, a little costume action,  quality time with the fam, and of course some good grub.

(My mouth is watering just remembering how awesome that shrimp was. Have I mentioned that I love being married to a man that likes to cook?!)

For Labor Day we took a quick overnight trip to my brother-in-law's hog farm where we rode four-wheelers, shot guns at targets, searched for bugs, and witnessed the first signs of fall as we watched leaves fall to the ground while we sat on the porch drinking coffee. And even though it was 100 degrees outside, we built a fire, roasted marshmallows, and made s'mores, because no camping trip would be complete without a fire and s'mores.

I love making these kind of memories. I loved watching my boy be all-boy.

I loved watching my little man snuggle with his Poppa on his first camping trip.

And I loved watching my girly-girl still being girly only with a little dirt on her face.

The highlight of the trip for Noah was the new little friend that he found during his four-wheeler exploration with Poppa. He was so intrigued by this little guy. Sadly, the feelings were not reciprocated, because "Turtis" made an escape the moment he got a chance, and we weren't able to find him.

Sister's highlight was the moment she made her Pops extremely proud by shooting a 410 with the help of her Daddy.  The look of pride in her face puts a smile on mine.  I'm sure a lot of it was knowing that she did something her brother was scared to do.

And I'm pretty sure the lowlight was when she was bitten by the farm cat, Cowboy.

How did I not see that one coming????

Of course, the cat bite got infected, which resulted in a rabies scare and a Quickcare turned ER trip. This was only the beginning of a two week stretch of illnesses amongst all 3 of my kiddos. From pink eye to Hand/foot/mouth disease we spend quite a bit of time in and out of the Dr.'s office.

Aside from the Doc visits, we've had a lot going, lots of catering, preaching, singing, photography, Kelly's Kids, Up With Downs Meetings and Buddy Walk planning, etc. We do a little bit of everything just so we can do our own thing.  And we try our best to do everything that we do in a way that glorifies God. It's so awesome to see how He can work in our lives and in the lives of others when we let him.  We've seen a lot of that this month.

Good example: Dustin starting a catering business led to him cooking for a prison in Minden every other Saturday.  Cooking for the prison led to the Warden asking him to preach in a revival there.  Preaching the 1st night of revival led to 18 prisoners getting saved and now knowing that whatever crimes they have committed, they have been forgiven and will spend their eternities in Heaven. How cool is that?!

Those lives being changed had nothing to do with Dustin and everything to do with how awesome God is! That being said, I must admit how glad I am that I married a good Christian man!  The Lord knew I would need him to help me stay straightened out!  I know he is going to read this and be shocked that I am bragging on him after the way I have been treating him the past few days, because I have been slightly irritated with him. BUT...he is a great Dad, and I love that he has a big heart and true concern for others. My world completely revolves around him and our three beautiful babies!

I have been feeling a little guilty lately about not getting to spend much quality time with the kids. The months of October-December are my all-time favorite months out of the year, but they are also our busiest months.  I cannot tell you how giddy I get when the weather starts to get cooler, the leaves start to change, and the holidays begin. Oh, how I love a Holiday! I was ready to spend some time with the kids and start celebrating, so I marked October 1st on my calendar as "Family Pumpkin Night"--only I couldn't wait til October 1st, so we had it last week. I know you are probably wondering what the heck is that, so I'll tell you.

Basically, it's just something I made up for a good excuse to purchase lots of the festive items on the dollar aisle at Target, to bust out Halloween decorations and pajamas, play Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin, make a pumpkin-shaped pizza, and whatever else we feel like doing that goes along with the theme. I decorated the house while the kids were at school, and as soon as they got home the festivities began!

Dustin and my friends make fun of me because I am such a holiday freak!

I had absolutely no clue when I bought the game of Halloween Truth or Dare that it would be so much fun...with dares such as run outside and cackle like a witch, do the hokey pokey, sing 'I'm a Little Teapot' while holding your tongue, call someone random and yell 'trick or treat', etc. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during that game...especially when my dare was to dramatically sing a love song to the person to your right, who just so happened to be Dustin.  I cannot all, but I attempted Unchained Melody and realized that I do not know the words to that song like I thought I did!

(Disclaimer-No, we did not allow Deacon to eat the toilet paper, and I do not allow Dustin to wear his 'Smooth Like Butta' shirt out of the house!)

We had so much fun with no computers, no DS, no Wii, no T.V., no phones--just the five of us hanging out together. We ended the night with some Halloween books and snuggles.

I am a sucker for family traditions...whether it's carrying on the ones my parents started or starting new ones that hopefully my children will pass on. I look forward to all of the other fun Holiday times that we will get to share together over the next few months and for years to come.

This year October starts another tradition for us from now on...celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness month.  We are so excited to be planning for our first Buddy Walk at the end of this month!  This time last year, we knew our life was about to change, but we had no clue how much. And this year I get to celebrate the life of the cutest, sweetest, most life-changing little pumpkin ever! :)

Happy Fall Y'all!