Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Going To Work!

Honestly, My dream and hope is to eventually be able to stay home with my kids (hopefully there will be small ones again) and just be there for my family. But, right now I need to work and I haven't been working for about four weeks. That can cause some stress! I haven't mentioned it because I didn't want to be a complainer. Remember?

The real reason it makes me so excited is that yesterday during worship I felt the Lord say to me that the weeping had endured for the night, but the morning had finally come.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5b

The night before I had been crying out to him and asking why he did not seem to hear or care. This was His way of telling me that He has heard and He does care.

My Daddy does love me!

So, today I get to go back to work as a Substitute in the classroom at Noah's school, which is something I've been praying for for the past three years. I think that's just the beginning and it made me give a shout of joy this morning.

Can't wait to see what comes next :)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dale Tucker

Dale Tucker was a friend of my Godfamily. They all went to church together and he loved my Godsisters, especially Kelly and Cheryl. I remember the first Sunday that I met Dale, I was going to church with them for the first time and I guess Cheryl and I were both around 11 or 12. She told me on the way there that he would come over to us, probably give her a hug, and would want to know who I was. She told me that he was different and that he was actually alot older than us but not to be afraid of him he was really a sweet guy. I didn't have any clue what she was talking about and had to wonder about this guy. It turned out that Dale was a friendly guy, who loved his church family and the Lord, and who also happened to have been born with Down Syndrome.

I don't remember much about him, but I do remember that I liked him. It was kind of hard not to. You just can't not like someone who knows instinctively how to make you feel welcome. He was a part of the youth group at in his early 30's and of course I knew then it was because he was more on our level, but I didn't realize how great that was for a Southern Baptist church in Georgia in the late 80's early 90's. In fact, I guess it's pretty impressive that his parents raised him at home at all. In the day and age he was born it was still common for babies like him to be sent away. How sad! We may have never gotten the chance to know Dale? He broadened our horizons, helped us to be more accepting of people who were different than us. I know he took away misconceptions that we may have developed if we had never had the chance to know him.

I, for one, am thankful that I was blessed to know Dale Tucker.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

Tami tagged me the other day and I was so excited because I have wanted to be tagged for this post. Of course, ever since then my mind has been blank. That's the way it goes in my world.

But, I am going to just get it out here. My kids will tell you, I'm a little different. I like me that way, though.
So, here goes.

1. I was technically a single mom for about 8 years. I stood by a man who was in and out of jail and treated me like crap. It wasn't until I realized that I didn't want my kids to grow up to be like him that I finally left. One of the smartest moves I've ever made.

2.I have always loved to sing and there are so many songs that are truly like a soundtrack to my life. I actually had a chance to join a local country band at 18 and declined because I wanted to move back home to Georgia. What might've been....? Nah, I think about what might not have been and that's enough to know I made the right choice. And, I'm still young, right? Maybe my big break is right around the, yeah-break my leg maybe :)

3.As E was saying the other day, I frequently burst into song. All it takes is one word. Any word, really. And there I go. My kids think it's a sure sign that I'm nuts............ "I'm a nut. In a hut. Stole an apple off the tree. So what?!" And there I go.......

4.As a little girl I used to say I wanted to have LOTS of kids, bio and adopted. My family told me that would change as I grew up. I guess some things never do change :) I also used to keep every one of my baby dolls in my bed at night. I didn't want any of them to feel left out. Yes, even my mother thought I was strange!

5.I am terrified of camel crickets* and used to call them "demon bugs". I swear they try to attack me every time they see me and a couple have even crawled up my pants legs! EWWWW!! (see pic below)Oh yeah, and chased me screaming out of my own bathroom. TWICE!

6.I was a foster child in the state of Florida about 30 years ago. I always wonder who my foster parents were and how they may have shaped my life and I just don't realize it. My brother and I were eventually returned home to our mom.

7.I have been to Jamaica twice, but don't think I could go back for a vacation. I went both times on missions trips and loved the island and the people. If I go back it would have to be to be among the real people of Jamaica, not in a resort. It just wouldn't be the same.

Now to tag back:

7.Melissa B-Love her, but she's private for now :)
*I found this pic online, but the ones I find in my house look just like this. Maybe bigger.....especially when they're trying to jump on my face, they look much bigger....just sayin'.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dear Little Baby Snake,

Just because you are only about 4 inches long does not mean that it's ok for you to crawl across my foot. Sheesh, I can STILL feel your cold, weird flesh.....eeehwyeh..... on my poor toes. They along with the rest of me are traumatized and now the yard will be taken over completely by weeds! I know I should've been wearing real shoes to work in the garden but I'm too lazy to put them on once I decide I need to get outside. Plus, I like to be barefoot. Can't you respect that?

I'm just sayin', next time you see me out there please turn and wriggle the other way, and I'll try not to scream. Then my boys won't come runnin' outta the house like Rambo trying to take down a warlord. And the few flowers I have left will live to come back next year.

Thanks mucho,
AKA Barefoot Weed Puller and Expert Screamer and Hyperventilatorer

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 13, 2008

High School Can Be.....

...a lot of things. For some it was tough, for others it was some of the best years of their lives. I was really amazed tonight to find a story about a bunch of high school seniors that brought tears to my eyes and made my heart sing.

You have to read their story. I can't help but think of what a different perspective these kids have when it comes to people's differences or challenges. Actually, I think that is the difference, they didn't see her "differences". They saw past them to the unique friend that she' been to them all.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coveting More Prayers

My dear hubby just found out yesterday that he has Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is trying really hard to be strong, but it is very obvious to me that it is really bothering him A LOT. I know he is worried about what it will do to his body and how he will be able to continue to care for his family. I am just trying to stay positive and hope that with treatment he will be able to enjoy doing all the things he's become used to doing.

If you want to pray for us we would so appreciate it right now. I believe that God can even work this for good in the end and am holding on to that. Besides that, He could also choose to heal him totally. We really just need peace, I know that Rick is stressed and I hate to think of him being anxious over this issue.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for me and my anxiety issues-I truly did feel a huge difference and I know that prayer can open doors and move mountains.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

600x4 = One Crazy Kid

Get It Down; 31 for 21

This kid was honored last night for receiving perfect scores on ALL four of his SOL's (AKA Standards of Learning tests). We're super proud of him and had plans to take his picture up in front at the school board meeting, but wouldn't ya know it? My camera battery was dead!

These pics are more true to the Noah we live with every day, so it's all good in the end. I forced him to put on clean jeans and a polo, but if he'd had his way he'd have gone in font of everyone last night in a pair of dirty shorts and a t-shirt. What can I say, he marches to his very own drummer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What is the DEAL?

Yesterday I alluded to having had a bad day, but I still wasn't sure at the time what caused it so I left it alone. Plus, I don't like to be a complainer and lately I feel like that's all I've been doing. Uggh, makes me wanna slap myself!

Well, I still don't feel like myself and I've decided if I complain just enough to ask you all to pray that's ok. Right? I have been having some anxiety problems and maybe a little depression thrown in too. Sunday was really bad because I was dealing with behaviors from "The Girls" all weekend it felt like. To be honest, on Sunday and most of Monday I was really blaming them for how I was feeling. Which, of course, just made it worse because I have this guilt complex too. I've started to think that maybe it's not so much them but just something I'm going through. I've even thought maybe it is some kind of spiritual attack. There has been a passion burning in my heart to start an orphan/adoption ministry in our church and just when I get to the place to really begin to get the ball rolling this happens. Also, we felt that this was God's Will for the girls to be here with us and now this issue is making me doubt that.

So, if anyone is reading this please pray for me and "the Girls" and our family as a whole. All the changes have been tough on every one and I know there have been times when the boys, Austin especially, have been very frustrated with things that "the Girls" have done that effect them in a negative way. Temper tantrums and little girl attitudes are really hard to take when you're used to nothing but frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails. That Sugar and spice stuff? Who wrote that? Or maybe I'm just seeing nothing but spice right now and the sugar will come later. Yeah, that's probably it.

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Monday, October 6, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! ( I hope)

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Crazy title.... I know, I'm a geek, and I can't even remember the name of that movie.
Oh wait..... it was 21

Renee over at Life With My Special K's is having her Blogaversary today! Congratulations to Renee! On top of that, she's given me the perfect post to make up for not posting yesterday and breaking the 31 for 21 challenge I thought I was going to do so well with.

Yesterday was a day like I haven't had in a while and hope not to have again. We'll have to go there later.

Back to Renee: she's giving away four awesome gift baskets filled with all kinds of pampering goodies that ladies enjoy. Head on over and check it out. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment.

You know you want to!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Carissa is a woman my age that I went to high school in Virginia with. She's one of the only people from that high school that I actually don't mind running into. Don't know if I mentioned it before, but the high school I moved to in 11th grade was awful, I hated it and felt most of the kids there were hateful. But, that's another post for another time. Today is Carissa's day.

If I'm being honest, I have to say I don't really remember Carissa much from school. But, she remembered me. I remember her from W*l-m*rt. I was working there about 3 years after high school and one evening Carissa came in with her mom to shop. She made her way over to me and reminded me that we went to school together. Then she asked me tons of questions about myself. When she found out that I had two children she wanted to know all about them as well. I had a great time that evening chatting with Carissa while I was working. I had forgotten how sweet and genuinely caring she was. She didn't ask me all those questions because she was nosy and she wanted to run off and gossip about me to all her girlfriends, she asked because she really cared. She hung out with me because she enjoyed my company, and I enjoyed hers. It got to where I hoped that Carissa and her mom would come to the store on evenings that I worked. I loved listening to her talk and her laugh makes me smile now just to think about it.

I haven't seen Carissa in a while now. I stopped working at W*l-M*rt years ago, and since we moved we rarely even go to that town anymore. I know, however, that if I were to run into Carissa tomorrow she would call me by my name and she would say hello to my boys as if she's watched them grow up through these years. She may just be one of the best friends I've ever been blessed to have in my life.

Oh, did I forget to mention? Carissa was born with Down Syndrome.

Friday, October 3, 2008

No Child Left Behind.....hmm?

Get It Down; 31 for 21

I don't really understand a whole lot about the whole NCLB (No Child Left Behind) concept. I know it's supposed to put policies in place that ensure that all our kids are learning what they need to succeed, but from what I see something has gone awry in the plan.

Here's the deal: My kids are pretty smart, I'm not trying to brag on them or be that annoying mom, I'm just telling it like it is. Austin is in high level classes in 7th grade. He's always been good at math and this year is taking Algebra-which is considered a 9th grade course. Noah is also doing very well academically and is in the gifted reading and math programs at the elementary school. I've just been happy the past few years that they have had these options and are being encouraged to perform at the highest level they can achieve. Not having kids who were just considered "average", I never really thought there was any difference in the way all the kids were being educated. Turns out I was wrong.

"The Girls" are both intelligent and have the potential to do very well, but they need to be pushed to achieve. This is what you get when you have two kids who have gone to at least SEVEN, maybe more, different schools in their entire school career. Add that to the fact that parents who have their own issues going on aren't always so involved with how their kids are doing in school. Anyone will tell you that parental involvement makes a BIG difference in how kids perform. This means that though they both could do very well, they both are just barely getting by. This doesn't bother us because we figure we will work with the teachers and make sure they are doing their homework, projects, etc. Giving them a little push when they need it, encouragement when they hit a rough patch, and just general help wherever it's needed. Just like we do with our kids. Eventually they will improve and soon be working to their full potential. Right?

Um...not so much! See, we had the pleasure recently of meeting the teachers. The most surprising thing we heard was from Skippy's Language Arts teacher, I'll paraphrase: "I have kids and after football and dance, etc there's no time for homework. So, I don't give a lot." We shared this with her caseworker and her reaction was the same as ours, "and she's a teacher?!" On top of that when she does bring work home it's very simple. It's almost as if they don't want to challenge them. As for Mississippi's teachers most of what we've heard from them is how well she's doing and what a great start she's made. This would make us feel wonderful if her grades and her work reflected that, but she CANNOT spell and when she first came to us getting her to read anything other than a picture book resulted in a meltdown. It's almost as if because her teachers know she is a foster child they are being extra nice to her. Yeah, she's been through a lot and it's sad. But, she doesn't need someone to hold her hand and feel sorry for her, she needs people to push her to rise above the obstacles in her life. She's never going to learn to do that if they just pity her because of where she's come from.

So, this is the conclusion that I have come up with, and I wonder if it's just my county or if it's like this all over. I think that the schools lose funding if the kids don't test well. They've figured out that there are some kids who can be challenged and do really well and there are others that they can't be sure will be able to test and pass if they don't just give them an easy ride. It sounds to me like all the kids who don't get the chance to prove they can handle being challenged are being left behind. They're being sacrificed so that the school doesn't look bad. So much for No Child Left Behind!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Get It Down; 31 for 21

Why is it as soon as you commit to doing something that something becomes the LAST thing you think about doing? Or is that just me? I'm determined to stick it out in this 31 for 21 challenge and I'm going to. I am going to share my story, a few actually, about some folks with Down Syndrome who have touched my life. But, not tonight. Maybe tomorrow, but I'm not gonna commit to that :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Down Syndrome Awareness Month - 31:21

Get It Down; 31 for 21

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to help raise awareness I decided to take part in the 31 for 21 Challenge. See the cool button at the top? The challenge goes like this. I blog for the whole 31 days of October about anything my little heart desires and do it all to raise awareness of Down Syndrome or, Trisomy 21. Hence the "31 for 21".

I'll get into my reasons for deciding to take this challenge, why Down Syndrome is something I want to raise awareness of and all that, later. I would like to ask for help though. Ask me something. Anything. And I'll use those questions as blog posts to make sure I'm up to the challenge for this WHOLE month. Don't worry it's not cheating, other folks are doing it too. Actually, I stole the idea from another blogging Mama who's taking the challenge as well.