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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our very first blog award!

We have received our very first blog award! I am so excited!

I want to thank Lori from Myah's page for giving us this great award. Please take a moment to visit their blog. You will be introduced to a beautiful girl named Myah who has one of the most gorgeous smiles you will ever see! Thank you so much Lori and Myah!

Here are the rules (I didn't come up with these:)

1. The winner can (and should, really) put the logo on his/her blog
2. The winner must link to the person from whom they received their award.
3. The winner must nominate at least 7 other blogs for an award.
4. The winner must place links to those blogs on their own blog.
5. The winner must leave a message on the blogs of the people they’ve nominated.

Here are the blogs I enjoy reading on a regular basis. I am happy to nominate and pass on this award to:

Sandi at Life with Jessica. Here you can meet Jessica who also has CdLS. Sandi posts great information, funny stories, and gorgeous pictures of Jessica.

Christy at Our Adventures with Baylee. Here you can meet Baylee who also has CdLS. Christy blogs about the adventures of her family and does a great job raising awareness of the syndrome. She also rocks at flickr photos!

Heidi at God's Grace in Practice. Here you can meet Little Boy Blue, who also has CdLS. Heidi blogs about raising a child with a disability and other happenings in their family. She has two very cute little boys!

Tina at Life in Our House. Here you can meet Rosie who also has CdLS. Tina has quite a houseful ~ "a mixture of abilities and disabilities" as she puts it. Tina blogs about her daily family adventures and shares great photos.

Rhonda at Me & The Boys. Here you can meet Sean, who also has CdLS. Rhonda blogs about her two great boys and has some funny stories to share.

Karen at Ben and his Brothers. Here you can meet Ben, who also has CdLS. Karen blogs about raising four adorable boys and their family adventures.

Brenda at The Preister's. Here you can meet Charli, a beautiful 2 year old little girl that is a brave cancer survivor. Brenda blogs about their family life and raises awareness about childhood cancer.

Congratulations to all these great families! I am honored to share in your lives and I learn a lot from each and every one of you. I wish there wasn't a limit to the number of awards to pass on, as each family I know deserves recognition. So please take a few minutes and visit the families on my blog roll ~ you will meet some really great people! Thanks so much to everyone!

Homecoming Dance...

Well, our first Homecoming Dance experience has come and gone. And I am happy to say we survived. John and his date Kortney had a good time ~ and you can see from the pictures they make a very cute couple! :o) Unfortunately, they don't let parents into the school to see the gym or anything ~ when I asked John about the decorations he said "It was dark." So I will have to get the scoop on that from someone else. I suppose they figure it would take too much time to get families in and out so the kids can have time to enjoy the dance. It was almost 10:00 before they got there, as the dance doesn't start until after the football game is over. Shawn & I both accompanied John to pick his date up ~ I of course wanted pictures and it gave us a chance to meet Kortney's parents. We didn't embarrass him too much ~ I promise! And so another milestone in one of our children's lives is behind us. I managed not to shed a tear Friday ~ I handled it better than I thought I would. I know, I know, the date is wrong on the pictures ~ I am in desperate need of a new camera (Santa are you listening??). Ever since I dropped it at the airport this summer, the bottom has to be taped shut or the batteries fall out. Plus, I've had it for quite a few years. (Again ~ Santa, are you listening??) Enjoy the pics!

Aren't they cute!

He is opening the car door for her!

In front of the school

Saturday, September 27, 2008

6 pictures sums up 16 years...

The following post was originally posted on our temporary blog on Friday, September 26:

16 years ago today, Shawn and I were married in a lovely ceremony in our small hometown of Albion. The weather was beautiful, everything went off without a hitch, and so began our life for the next 16 years. The six pictures I posted pretty much sum up our lives the past 16 years ~ our wedding picture from 1992, bringing John home in 1993, Tommie in 1996, and then the babies ~ Joey, Emma & Abbie in 2004,2005, and 2006 respectively. The times in between have been filled with many joys, sorrows, laughter and tears. Not everything has always gone smoothly, but those times are greatly outweighed by the good times. Today as I do a little reflecting, I am eternally grateful for all the blessings that have been bestowed on us. I know you're wondering if Shawn and I will get to sneak away for a romantic dinner or evening on the town tonight. The answer is no ~ we will be spending the evening sending our oldest, John, on his way to his first Homecoming dance with his girlfriend so it's a big night for our household. I can't believe my baby is going to a high school dance! At least this year he isn't old enough to drive on his own yet so we will still get to give them a ride. Hopefully this will make it a little less emotionally difficult for us old foggies. I hope he has a great time ~ don't worry, I'll embarrass him by taking lots of pictures! This morning when John was on his way out the door to school, I said "Hey - don't you have anything to say to me today?" He replies "Oh yeah, Happy Birthday! See you later!" I have trained him well. Thanks for the wishes, John.

Our wedding day ~ Sept. 26, 1992

John 1993

Tommie 1996
Here comes more babies...
Joey 2004

Emma 2005

Abbie 2006

Friday, September 26, 2008

We're back!!!

We're back where we belong! I am so excited! Thank you to our good friend Brenda ~ somehow she recovered my lost items and got our blog to work again. So now I will work on getting things back in order after our brief mix-up and hopefully things will go smoothly from now on. I promise I won't try any new stuff that I don't know anything about. Happy Friday! :o)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We've moved...

As you can see, I have royally messed things up, and I can't figure out how to get it back. For an explanation of my mistakes, please visit us now at
Walk with the Riedmiller Family ~ Part Two. Don't worry, we are still the same great family you have grown to love! :o) So come visit us over there, maybe you have some pointers to help us out of this. You'll have to excuse the mess in our new home ~ it will be a few days before we get things in order. Hope to see you there!

I screwed up our blog...

If anybody is visiting us in the next few hours, I have completely screwed up our blog and lost a lot of customizing I had done. I am still trying to figure things out and how to get it right again, so please bear with me. Sorry! :o(

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Special Exposure/Wordless Wednesday

Our CdLS blog challenge for last Sunday was to write about any public scrutiny we may have faced while out and about with our children with CdLS. In my post, I wrote that we haven't really had any horrible experiences when taking Joey to various places, although when he was younger and his little sister Emma was a baby, we used to get a lot of "Are they twins?" questions. These questions didn't usually bother me, although I did get tired of the raised eyebrows and funny looks when I explained that Joey was older than Emma. We still get a lot of this ~ no more twin questions ~ but people have a hard time believing Joey is older than his two younger sisters, Emma and Abbie. Anyway, I decided to post these pictures today of Joey when he was younger, and Emma when she was a baby. In these photos, Joey is about 16 months, and Emma is around 5 months. Aren't they adorable? :o) I know I say it all the time, but I can't believe how fast kids grow and change. Oh well, all 5 will still be my babies no matter how old they get. :o) Happy WW!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Littlest Heroes Project

We are fortunate enough to have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a great organization called The Littlest Heroes Project. The Littlest Heroes project is a non-profit based organization made up of professional photographers nationwide that provide free photo sessions for our nation's Littlest Heroes. They are there to let the kids know that they are heroes to many, and to share their inspirational stories and photos with the world. A huge thank you goes out to Angie Feehan of New World Designs here in Columbus for the great job she did with the photos of Joey. She really captured his spirit and we are thrilled with all the photos we received. We also want to thank Brenda, a good friend who turned us on to this special project. You can also read about her daughter Charli and her brave fight with cancer at this website. We are grateful to have had this chance to share Joey's story and spread awareness about Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. So please click on this link,
The Littlest Heroes Project to check out Joey and read his story in their Meet Our Heroes Gallery. You can't miss him ~ he is playing one of his keyboards. :o) Please also take a moment to read some of the other children's stories ~ they are all definately Little Heroes!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

CdLS Blog Challenge ~ Public Scrutiny

We have all dealt with public scrutiny when out and about with our child with CdLS. Our challenge for today is to tell about our most memorable experience (good, bad, funny, or downright strange).

I have been giving this topic a lot of thought and trying to figure out what I want to say. We take Joey all over the place ~ baseball, football, and basketball games, the store, the park, and the homes of friends and family. He goes to school four days a week, horseback riding one day a week, and out to his private therapy facility three times a week. We had him to his first baseball game when he was about 2 weeks old. His schedule now is almost as hectic as his two older brothers.
Fortunately, we have not had any bad or ugly situations we have had to deal with. I know we do get a lot of looks when Joey is out crawling around everywhere or climbing on something or maybe fussing a little bit. Usually, people comment on how cute he is and ask his age. I know they expect me to say a few months old, or maybe 1 or 1 1/2, but when I say 4 years, we get a lot of raised eyebrows but no rude comments (so far anyway). One thing that sticks out in my mind is when Joey was a baby, we had Emma when Joey was only 10 1/2 months old. She was born six weeks before his first birthday. Needless to say, it didn't take long for Emma to get just as big as Joey and bigger. When we were at ball games or wherever, they would be laying on a blanket playing together, and we would get a lot of "Are they twins?" questions. I would smile and say "No, our son Joey is actually a few months older than his sister". Most people would just leave it at that and go on their way. Since Joey's diagnosis, we have always tried to let people know as much as we can about CdLS. Our friends, our children's friends, families of the teammates from our son's various sporting activities, and our family have always been very accepting of Joey. We are never afraid to talk about his condition, and we always encourage people we know to ask questions if they want to. Everyone is always really happy to see Joey (and his little sisters too!) and to find out what new things he may be doing. I feel if we are comfortable with our situation, then other people will be too. I am always very thankful for all the people that have come into our lives because of Joey, and the positive experiences we have had greatly outweigh any raised eyebrows or goofy looks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday's FencePost #4...

Welcome to my evening edition of Friday's Fencepost. I apologize to my dedicated readers(okay, okay, reader) for the lateness ~ I've been dealing with a cranky, tired two year old all day who is not feeling well. Anyway, I've decided to try out some more poetry on you today. I tried to think of some interesting, riveting topic to discuss but couldn't really come up with anything so you are my guinea pigs again this week. As always, comments are appreciated, as long as they portray me as a gifted writer :o) Okay, here it goes...

I Know that Joey Loves Me ~

I know that Joey loves me
each and every day of the week.
I know that Joey loves me
even though he cannot speak.

I know he loves me on Monday
when I kiss his little cheek
He doesn't turn his head away ~
it's a great way to start my week.

I know he loves me on Tuesday
when I get him up for school.
He smiles, laughs, and claps his hands ~
I think this is pretty cool.

I know he loves me on Wednesday
when we go see Sparky the horse.
He is very happy when we go there ~
this brings on more smiles, of course.

I know he loves me on Thursday
when we go to therapy.
He really loves to go there
and is as happy as can be.

I know he loves me on Friday
when we are playing a game or two.
He takes my hand so gently
to show me what he wants to do.

I know he loves me on Saturday
when it's time to take a bath.
He could stay in there forever~
he loves to splish and splash.

I know he loves me on Sunday
when he calls me "mama" loud and clear.
And when I kneel down to pray
I thank God for bringing him here.

Copyright 2008 by Rachelle Riedmiller

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Special Exposure ~ Wordless Wednesday

I usually share pictures of Joey on Wordless Wednesday, but today I just had to post these photos of Emma napping with "her kitties" yesterday. She wants to hold them all the time, which usually they aren't too cooperative with her. But if she happens to fall asleep in the chair, they are right there cuddled up with her. Her first words upon waking were "Mommy, my kitties sleeped with me!" ;o)

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Monday, September 15, 2008

CdLS Sunday Blog Challenge on Monday...Life's Simple Pleasures

Our CdLS blog challenge for Sunday is to list some things that give us simple pleasure. I know, I know, it's Monday, but I figured I would still give it a whirl.
Here are some of the simpler things I enjoy...

being called "General" by my oldest son
my 12 year old's baby soft "kissin" cheeks
hearing Joey play his keyboard
how happy Emma is to see me after preschool class
hearing Abbie sing a song
having my husband rub my feet (when I can talk him into it!)
a tiny kiss or an I love you from the kids
a child's laugh
the smell of fresh cut grass
chocolate covered peanuts
a conversation with a good friend
having someone else unload the dishwasher or fold some clothes
a good book and a little time to read
a crisp, cool morning and beautiful fall afternoons

Another part to the challenge is to write about if I think I would enjoy different simple pleasures if I did not have a child with special needs. My answer is no, I don't think so. I would still like the same things, and having a child with special needs has taught me to slow down a little and take things a day at a time. Having Joey has just added more pleasures to my life.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fight Childhood Cancer

Today is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day. A friend of mine has a daughter that battled a rare form of childhood cancer when she was just a few months old. Fortunately, she won this battle and is now a beautiful, active 2 year old. Please take a moment today to visit her blog, Welcome to the World of Charli, listed under my families I admire blog list. There is a lot of important information that we all can benefit from. Her mother does a lot to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and hopefully one day soon a cure will be found. Good luck Brenda and Charli - you both are very brave!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday's Fencepost # 3...

For my third edition of Friday's Fencepost, I have decided to share a portion of a paper written by Ashley, one of Joey's biggest fans. She accompanied us on our journey to Chicago this summer to attend the CdLS Conference. She does a lot for Joey and helps us raise awareness about this syndrome.

Settling into my seat across the aisle from Joey and Rachelle, I am slowly beginning to feel relief. I had been so nervous about flying with a four year old and a woman who had never flown before, but we made it through one flight and only had about an hour left in the air. Joey was his happy-go-lucky self and Rachelle seemed to be finally relaxing and enjoying the flight. As I began flipping through the most recent addition of Sky Mall magazine the woman seated next to me leans over and peers across the aisle to Joey, who is playing with his favorite musical toy. Lowering her voice, she asks me, "What happened to him? What's wrong with him? Is it Downs?" I somehow control the urge to smack her for her blissful ignorance and calmly state that Joey is a happy four year old boy and, no, he does not have Downs.
This is not the first time I have had to explain Joey's condition and normally I am grateful to spread the word. However, with the tone this woman has taken I feel it even more necessary to educate her in hopes that she can, in the future, approach a similiar situation with a different attitude. So I go into what has become my rehearsed speech about "What happened to Joey."
While the woman next to me smiles politely through my entire spiel, she has the look I have seen so many times and have even worn on my own face. She is wishing she had kept her mouth closed and then she would not have been so overwhelmed with all this information about a completely random stranger. This is what most people choose to do when they meet Joey because they are simply unaware and would much rather continue through life in their own blissful ignorance. I will be the first to admit that, until Joey came into my world, I had the same attitude. So, as I wrap up Joey's story in a nutshell, I return her polite smile and we continue through our flight in silence. As we exit the plane and this woman sees me struggling to put Joey in his wheelchair she smiles again and says "Enjoy your time in Chicago." I look at Joey's smiling face and respond "We will and thank you for learning about Cornelia de Lange Syndrome with us."

There is more to this beautifully written story. It goes on to tell about our fears and apprehensions about being first time conference attendees, our incredible journey, and how it was truly a life changing event. I was unaware of Ashley's encounter with this woman until I read her paper. Thank you for your words Ashley, and for loving Joey.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11...

Like most of America, I remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about the attack on the Twin Towers. I was working at a daycare at the time (this was before we had the little ones) and a coworker and I had the children outside on the playground. My coworker's daughter called her, and told her about the attack and what was all over the television stations. When she relayed the information to me, I was stunned. We couldn't believe what was happening. When we went inside, we turned on the radio and tried to comprehend what we were hearing. Of course, we could only catch bits and pieces as we still had our jobs to do, but kept hoping and praying that things weren't as bad as they seemed. When I went home for lunch and turned on the news, I couldn't believe my eyes. I had yet to see any coverage, and the images that were being shown overwhelmed me. I could not even begin to imagine what these people were going through. So today, on the anniversary of one of the most tragic events in our nations history, my heart goes out to all the victims, their families, the police officers, firefighters, medical personal, and volunteers who were most directly affected by this horrific tragedy. They will all be in my thoughts and prayers today. If you would like to share the story of where you were or what was happening in your life on 9/11, please feel free to do so. I would love to hear any rembrances about the day all of America changed. Thank you and may God Bless America.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Joyful Journey...

A memorable moment...Today, my oldest son John and I went to our local Walgreens store. He drove of course, came into the store with me, looked around a little bit, and announced he was going to the car to listen to music. I said fine, I'll be out in a few minutes. Less than 2 minutes later, he was back inside the store, a look of sheer panic on his face, asking me if I had the car keys. I said no, you drove, you should have the keys. He said the doors are locked and he can't find the keys. I said did you check all your pockets, he said I think so, and headed back out the door. I continued my shopping, figuring I would deal with it when I was done. He didn't come back in so I thought he must have found the keys in one of the many pockets of his cargo shorts. I check out, go out to the car, which he is sitting in. I said where did you find the keys? He looks at me with a sly smile on his face and says they were in the car. The first time I went to the wrong car, I went to the one over there. Sure enough, two spaces down, there is a car very similar to his, same exact color. I was laughing with him, not at him you know :)

I am grateful...for cooler weather this week.

I laugh...refer to above story.

I remember...when my mom could walk well on her own.

I love...hearing Joey play his keyboard. He is doing it right now.

Something new...a dishwasher we got a couple weeks ago :)

I will celebrate...today is Saturday. I love Saturdays.

For more about Joyful Journey or to participate, visit www.daniellebatog.com

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday's Fencepost #2...an experiment in poetry

For my second edition of Friday's Fencepost, I am going to use our visitors in a little experiment and try out a poem I wrote. I love to dabble with poetry, and try to write some for special occasions or moments in our life. This is a new one, hot off the presses, from when I was feeling a little low the other day. Hopefully it will be painless for you to read, and will only take a couple minutes, I promise. Let me know what you think - feedback is appreciated as long as it makes me look good! lol :)


Today I find myself crying
For reasons that are yet unclear.
Maybe it's for nothing or everything
Or maybe some unknown fear.
Maybe it's for my kids or your kids
Or all kids, all kinds.
Maybe it's for the piles of dirty laundry
Or because I have dusty blinds.
Maybe it's for the way things used to be
Or the way they are today.
Maybe it's for how fast time flies
Or the things we're afraid to say.
Maybe it's for the past
And the way I thought things would be.
Or maybe it's for the future
And all its uncertainty.
Maybe it's for my weaknesses
Or my strengths - I can't be sure.
Or maybe because I have the knowledge
That through all things - love endures.
Today I find myself crying
But I'll count my blessings and pray
Tomorrow will be much brighter
I'll just take it day by day.

Copyright Rachelle Riedmiller 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Freshman Football

John had his first freshman football game tonight. I am still having a hard time coping with the fact that he is in high school. Unfortunately, they lost 26-6 against a team from Lincoln. Hopefully they will do better next time. We hauled Tommie and the little ones to watch the game and my mother-in-law also came so John had quite the cheering section. Shawn was in charge of the picture taking, so that is why there are only two. He'll get the hang of it eventually. John is #75 if you can spot him anywhere. Go Discoverers!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Husker Party -- Baby Style

For those of you who don't know, folks in Nebraska go crazy for Husker football season. We have parties, wear red, and eat tons of great food. We joined my sister and her family on Saturday for such a party -- baby style. Some friends and their two daughters also joined us. We had a lot of fun cheering the Huskers to their first victory of the season. On Monday we went to my Aunt Carol and Uncle Paul's farm west of Albion to help celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. More great food and quality family time. Happy 50th Aunt Carol and Uncle Paul! We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!

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