Monday, October 28, 2013

Sooo Big!!!

Liam received his first of many diplomas today! I can't even remember off the top of my head when Liam started Early Intervention Services, but I know he was just a tiny tot. In the beginning Liam struggled with many health and developmental issues. He struggled with fine and gross motor skills, vision and communication skills and struggled/s with feeding issues. Over time, after many home visit appointments, and with the help of his therapists, he reached most of his milestones. Eventually he met all of the motor skill goals we had set for him and DDI Vantage (our local Early Intervention Service company) stopped coming. After we had brought Sara home and she started services, it was recommended that we have Liam re-evaluated to see if we would once again qualify for services. This time for speech therapy. Before his ear tubes which were placed in March, he was not talking. He did qualify again and had a speech therapist and an OT come out to our home weekly. Eventually he started using words and forming sentences and it was amazing to see him speak of all of the things that were in his mind. Poor little guy wanted to speak, he just couldn't hear so once his ears were clear, his speech was more and more clear too. We knew when DDI picked him up again that it wasn't going to be for very long because once a child turns 3, they no longer qualify for services and are left in the hands of their school district. We had a few meetings with the Early Childhood Center here in Murray to see if he would qualify for pre-school but after many tests they decided that Liam was developing appropriately and he did not qualify. Although I am sure he would have loved pre-school, I was happy to not have another one of my babies leave the nest for school, happy that I didn't have to drive him to school, and happier that he has come so far and is right where he needs to be developmentally. My little man has overcome so much and it makes my heart sing to know that he is right on track! With his 3rd birthday coming up this week, he had his final/exit appointment with his therapists today. It was bittersweet and goodbyes are always hard for me, but I am happy to have had them in our home, helping Liam reach his fullest potential. I am sure we will see them around since Sara will continue to receive services for another year and eventually speech therapy but for now, so long Julie and Sue! My fun-size, full of life, happy, mischievous, terror, but very smart little man graduated! The sky is the limit for this one and I am sure he will continue to soar!! Well done Liam, you are sooo big!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meant To Be

365 days ago we welcomed a baby girl into our home. Our 40 day and 40 night adventure came to an end and our family was complete! Our journey to Sara began on September 1, 2012 and we arrived home on October 10, 2012. Many, many thanks to all of those who supported, prayed for, donated to, and showed love to us during this time! Our mission was successful because of our "village". THANK YOU!

Our Ukrainian Princess is a dream come true. She truly is a gift from God and with the gift of a family she is able to shine! She is singing the songs that she was meant to sing and touching the lives she was meant to touch. Every detail of her life was orchestrated by His hands and I am humbled that we are part of the plan. We are the receivers of this beautiful gift and we are grateful and honored. Sara is perfectly, wonderfully, beautifully meant to be. "It's a meaningful life you've been given so live it well!" Happy anniversary Sara Lily!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gotcha Forever and Ever!

Happy Gotcha Day to our Sara Lily!

On October 8, 2012 Sara left the walls of the 
only place she knew since she was 7 days old. She resided in that place for the first 10 months of her life. 

She had a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and several nannies who tended to her and provided care,
 but no one or nothing she could call her own.

  That was all about to change. 
Her "orphan" clothes were going to be removed and replaced with her very own.

On October 8, 2012 she was taken from that place she had called "home" and into the arms of a mom and a dad who chose her to be a part of their family. 

She finally became the princess that she was destined to be!

She finally had something to smile about because she knew that she was on her way HOME.....

......where should would be loved and cherished forever and ever!!

Sara has blossomed right before our eyes and we are happy to say that she is right where she belongs!

Gotcha Sara! Forever and ever!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today

I am a mother of 5 beautiful children, wife of a charming prince, sister of 2 hilarious brothers, daughter of wonderful parents, friend to many great people, Princess of a Heavenly King. I believe in God, the Eternal Father and in His son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am a Mormon.

If you have ever wondered about the Mormon Church or want to learn more I invite you to listen to the 183rd Semiannual General Conference that is being held this weekend (Sat. and Sun). There are 5 sessions in total. They are held at 10 am and 2pm MST Sat. and Sun. and the Priesthood Session is held tonight (Sat.) at 6pm. Conference allows members of the church as well as non-members to listen and learn from the leaders of our church. You can visit this link to watch or listen. (If you don't have time to do it now, you can visit that link to read, listen or watch later.) I look forward to this time each year to receive instruction and inspiration from a living prophet and apostles and to hear the Tabernacle Choir sing. The spoken word and music fills my soul with joy and hope and inspires me to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

This time is even more special because my oldest son Cole has the opportunity to sing in the Priesthood Choir for the Priesthood Session tonight. This is a once in a lifetime experience where he will be able to  sit in the same seats that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir usually occupy and sing praises unto the Lord. He along with hundreds of other young men will have the chance to provide the music for this historical session. I say historical because for the first time ever this Priesthood Session will be broadcast around the world for all to see. In the past this session was only available for the men of the church to see, but today it will be shown all over the world. I am thrilled not only because I have the chance to hear and hopefully see Cole (fingers crossed he gets on camera) but our family in England will get a chance to do the same. I was so excited to tell Mark's mum about this opportunity for Cole and although she was thrilled she had really hoped that she could see it. Weeks later my friend posted a link on Facebook with the news that this session would be broadcast. I couldn't wait to share it with our family! Now Cole's grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins will have a chance to hear him.

I had the chance to attend the dress rehearsal on Wednesday and Mark will be able to attend the session tonight held at the Conference Center. Just being at the rehearsal was an awesome experience and my heart was filled with song, literally. I was overwhelmed with the spirit and felt very touched that my son is a part of this wonderful choir! I love music and feel the spirit so strongly when I hear or sing hymns. After one of Cole's choir practices I was talking to him about how I get the chills and feel an overwhelming sense of peace when I sing and he expressed to me with excitement, "Me too!" I am so happy he is able to recognize that feeling and that it comes from the Spirit of God. I live a blessed life and feel blessed that my family and I have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives! I am grateful for all of the opportunities that are given to me and my children because of our church membership. There is sunshine in my soul today!

Wednesday's Priesthood Choir rehearsal in the Conference Center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
We're hoping to see Cole during the TV broadcast on Sat. night (6 pm). Look for him, he is sitting on the right side of the pulpit, right next to the organ, front row, 4 boys in.
Everyone's crazy about a sharp dressed man!
Cole and his awesome supporters. They enjoyed hearing the boys sing as much as I did.
Cole will be singing with many of his friends! What a great experience for them all. 

Good luck!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just Like You

Happy Fall ya'll and Happy October! I absolutely love this time of year!! I love October even more now because it is National Down syndrome month. In October 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution proclaiming the first "National Down Syndrome Month". This resolution is part of an ongoing national effort to raise awareness about the abilities of people with Down syndrome.

I invite you to take 14 minutes out of your day to watch this video "Just Like You". It does a great job raising awareness about Down syndrome. Sara and others who have Down syndrome are just like you. Watch and you will see! Down syndrome rocks!