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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am sad...

I am sad. Unfortunately, Shawn and I faced a personal loss this past weekend and have had a rough few days. Thanks honey for staying strong and all you've done with the kids and the housework while I try to get back on my feet. I also want to thank my sister for all her help - you are the best! I am on an emotional roller coaster right now and I am having a difficult time getting past all of this. I thought if I put some of my feelings in writing it would help me to heal. Thank you all for your support while I try to get back on track physically and emotionally.

You Are Loved...
A soft cry we'll never hear
A sweet smile we'll never see
Why did this happen?
How can this be?
No cheeks to caress
Or shower kisses upon
No tiny hands to hold
The dreams are all gone.
We won't know what you looked like
How big you would grow to be
Whose personality you may have
Hear you talk and laugh with glee
We won't have a chance to comfort you
And make everything alright
We won't get to take you to the park
Or watch you ride a bike.
Even though we couldn't meet
We love you with all our hearts
Before we got to be together
God chose for us to be apart.
He will take good care of you
Our angel up above
Our time was not meant to be right now
Just know that you are loved.

written by R Riedmiller 6/29/09

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Got Buttermilk?

Here is a short video of Joey on Buttermilk at his horseback riding session last week. He is doing a great job and gets so excited when we get there each week! I ask him if he's ready to ride the horsie and see Patty (the wonderful woman who runs the program) and he claps his hands and laughs with pure delight. It is an awesome sight to see!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Dad...

Dear Dad,
I am writing this to wish you a Happy Father's Day. I think about you every day. Things have not been the same since you have been gone. Mom is doing okay but she misses you terribly. She is always talking about you and sharing memories. She isn't the same anymore either - none of us are. Andrea, Eric and I have been taking good care of her and I just wanted to let you know that. I keep busy taking care of the kids - their schedules are hectic but we manage. Baseball season will be over soon then things will slow down a little. Andrea has been off work for awhile - she had to have surgery for carpel tunnel syndrome and will go back soon. Eric started farming in the spring and really likes it. He and Sherry are building a new house soon. The grandkids are all fine - growing up way too fast. Since you have been gone, Tommie turned 13, Baby Aubree had her first birthday, Emma is 4 now, Joey is 5 and Abbie celebrated her 3rd birthday. Cooper will turn 2 soon and John will be 16 next month - can you believe it? We visit you often and mom chose a beautiful headstone for your new home. You would definately approve. I know you are watching over us and keeping us all safe. Rest in peace Dad. We love you and miss you.

Love, Rachelle

In loving memory of Richard Lawson September 30, 1939 - January 14, 2009

God Wouldn't Wait

We wanted to keep you longer
But God just wouldn't wait.
Is it supposed to make us stronger?
Will we ever have answers of your fate?
We knew the time would come some day
And no one ever knows when.
We can't waste time wondering
Or thinking of what might have been.
Dad, you were a special man
Unique- as some would say.
We loved your sense of humor
And your funny, quirky ways.
We know that you are healthy now,
Better than before.
God chose to end your suffering
You will be strong forever more.
For now please walk beside us,
Guide us on our way
Until God decides He just can't wait
And we meet again one day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Joey of the jungle

Well, Saturday and Sunday I had a chance to spend some quality time alone with John and the little ones. Shawn and Tommie were off to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the weekend for a baseball tournament. Sioux Falls is about a 3 1/2 hour drive north of where we live in Nebraska. How did he end up taking only one child and I was left with four? That issue is still being debated. Anyway, we could have done whatever we wanted whenever we wanted too. Did we take it easy, hang out around home, maybe take a nap? No way. We traveled 65 miles out of town to watch John play baseball. Why would some thirty something mother decide to take a 5, 4 & 3 year old that far by herself? Is she crazy? Well, probably a little. Okay, a lot. She thought it would be fun and how hard could it be? It's not much different than being at the park - is it? She forgot that they are a handful at ball games when her husband is around to help out. That we need one person just to entertain Joey and keep him happy and one person to keep track of the girls and keep the concession stand in business. She learned her lesson, let me tell you. Thank goodness there was a park right by the ball field where we spent a majority of our time playing - and I tried to watch the baseball action through the cracks in the fence, strained my ears to hear the announcer and tryied to figure out which side was cheering the loudest and when. The kids didn't behave too badly, let's just say they were very energetic. That would be the best way to put it. Here are a few pics from our fun filled adventure!

Aren't they sweet? How much trouble could they be on a road trip?

Joey tore up the jungle gym - he loved it!

The girls kept busy...

A great shot of Abbie whining at the concession stand...

The only picture I managed to get of John...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Silverware conspiracy theory....

I have entered some kind of silverware twilight zone. A land where pieces of silverware vanish - never to be seen or heard from again. It started several weeks ago with the spoons. They were the first to go. My teaspoons slowly but surely started disappearing. Now it seems the forks decided to get in on the act. Before you know it, the butter knives will think this looks like fun and start leaving me too. Followed by the tablespoons,the steak knives, spatulas and corn on the cob holders. My can opener already is never in the same place I know I left him in. This great abandonment by my tableware has me puzzled. I take good care of them - I clean them in the antibacterial cycle in the dishwasher so they don't obsess about germs. I put them away in their nice little separate compartments. Heck - they even have their own drawer - aptly titled the silverware drawer. What more can I do? Maybe they are getting angry with me because their neighbor, the junk drawer, has too many occupants already and the population grows daily. Maybe they don't like it when cute little sticky hands grab them by the neck and bang them on the table. Maybe I was a little too stern when I told the few remaining spoons that I would be forced to go to Walmart and buy some shiny new replacements for them if they didn't stop disappearing. I guess the forks over heard this and didn't like the sounds of my threats because shortly after that is when they started jumping ship with their spoon friends. I do have a personal theory. I think they are all at some every day silverware party - drinking, laughing at me, and dancing with all of our missing socks. In the meantime, I will patiently wait for their return.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday 13 - Week 12 edition L

Welcome back to my very own version of Thursday 13 - Friday style! We have had a hectic couple of days (so what else is new?) but for me the lateness of this post is bordering on Thursday 13 - Saturday Edition! I know I could do Friday 14 or Saturday 16 or Sunday 17 or something like that but I am going to stick with my commitment to myself and do these Thursday 13 posts until I reach the light at the end of the tunnel - the letter Z! (Also, 13 words that start with the same letter each week is enough for me - let alone 14, 15, or more! lol) I can't let myself get down dwelling on the reality of an alphabetical Thursday 13 promise - i.e., it's a commitment that might get me committed, there are some scary things out there like Q, W and X, and also the haunting thought that by the time I am done with these 26 posts, a half of year of my life will have passed by! Ok Rachelle - deep breath and on with the show!

1. Love - There can't be an L themed post without the best L word of all - Love!

2. Laughter - There is not a lot that is more sweeter sounding to my ears than the sound of a child's laughter!

3. Live - I might as well go for it - live, laugh, love as the saying goes!

4. Loops - Fruit Loops cereal is a favorite amongst the little ones around here!

5. Lottery - Who wouldn't love to win the lottery! I don't play much so I guess I can't complain that I haven't won! I get an occasional Powerball ticket when the pot gets big or a $1 scratch ticket here and there.

6. License - John will be getting his driver's license next month!

7. Laundry - We are never caught up! It is an endless chore in a household of 7 people!

8. Lamp - Joey sleeps with a small lamp on his his room. If we try to shut it off after he goes to sleep he wakes up so we just leave it on all night. Then we have to remove it as soon as he gets out of bed in the mornings or he will pull it right off the dresser.

9. Linebacker - John's position on the high school football team.

10. Lollipops - One or two lollipops on reserve in one's purse solves a lot of one's problems!

11. Labrador - We used to have a dog named Maggie who was a black lab/retriever mix. Unfortunately she passed away in 2004 from heart failure. She was a good old dog!

12. Learn - I am so amazed at all the new things Joey learns every day!

13. Lacustrine - The L word of the week. It means: of or relating to or living near lakes.

Thanks for joining in the L letter fun! Come back next Thursday (or Friday?!?) for massive mountains of M fun!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pictures anyone?

I just wanted to pass on some pictures of the last few days - the girls had their first trip to a circus, Joey got an elephant light, it was hot enough to have some outside water play time, my birthday came and went and Joey continues with his amazing food stacking skills. John hit another home run in Thursday nights baseball game and his team won again on Friday to bring their Legion team record to 8 wins no losses. Go Reds! Tommie was to have 2 baseball games in Grand Island Saturday but they were cancelled due to the 4+ inches of rain they had during the night. We got about 2 1/2 inches so everything is wet, wet, wet! Friday's temp was in the high 80's and the kids were running around in their swimsuits and today it barely reached 60 degrees. It is cool and gloomy outside today - in no way was it suitable for June! Joey has been doing really well - he seems to be fighting the gunky eye thing again but we already have the eye drops going so hopefully that will take care of it. I really don't want to put him through another tear duct probe. He has an appointment with his pediatric GI doc in July for a check up and goes to the Children's Developmental Clinic at Children's Hospital in Omaha the end of July. So right now his doctor schedule is pretty tame - knock on wood! This week John's got a couple baseball games and a tourney in Grand Island, Tommie's got a tourney in Sioux Falls this weekend, Joey's got therapy and horseback riding, the girls have their every day antics and Shawn and I will do our best to keep up with everything. Enjoy the pics!

Me, the girls and my Aunt Carol with the delicious coffee cake she made me for my birthday...

Joey and his souvenier elephant light we brought him from the circus...

What's a circus without cotton candy?

Hula Hoop lady...

The girls rode ponies at intermission...

This guy was just hanging around...

A singing pig...

These 2 did some kind of fast magic clothing changing act...

Tommie & Abbie watching all the action...

Tommie and Emma checking things out...

Emma in the shark pool Tommie bought for them...

Tommie has to get in on the fun too!

Shouldn't you always eat chocolate outside when it's 89 degrees?

I got some good shots of Abbie...

Emma and Abbie...

Emma napping with her kitties...

Joey showing off his food stacking skills - this time with boxed goods. Pay no attention to the kitchen floor that desperately needed mopped!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday 13 - Week 11 Edition K

This week I contemplated skipping my Thursday 13 post because I was fearful of the letter "K". I think it might prove to be a little difficult. But for my loyal Thursday 13 fans (and you know who you both are!) I decided to push my fears aside and give it my best shot. On with the party!

1. Kindergarten - Can you believe Joey will start Kindergarten in the fall? This August will actually be the beginning of our 3 year Kindergarten run - Joey in 2009, Emma in 2010, and Abbie in 2011. Then John will graduate from high school in 2012!

2. Krusty Krab - The home of many of Sponge Bob's adventures!

3. Kite - The last time I flew a kite was several years ago.

4. Kitten - We have had all 3 of our cats since they were kittens. Casey is 11 years and Reggie and Blackie are 2 years.

5. King - Shawn thinks he is the king of the castle. But we all know who is really in charge around here. It's Emma.

6. Kids - We have 5!

7. Kentucky - I've never been but I would love to visit someday!

8. Kmart - We don't have one in the town we live in. All we have is a good old Super Walmart. The closest Kmart is probably 60 miles away.

9. Kisses - I could smother my kids' cheeks with kisses all day long if they would let me!

10. Kiwi - Abbie just came up to me with her watermelon pj's on and the word kiwi popped into my head. Personally I don't eat kiwi but I'm sure there are some fans of it out there in blogland!

11. Koala - We have seen these cute little bears at the zoo!

12. Kitchen - Someday I would love to remodel my kitchen!

13. Kitembilla - This is our random K word this week. It is a maroon-purple gooseberry-like fruit of India having tart-sweet purple pulp used especially for preserves; small shrubby spiny tree cultivated for its maroon-purple fruit with sweet purple pulp tasking like gooseberries; Sri Lanka and India

Hope you enjoyed my little corner of the alphabet this week! Come back next week for loads of L word fun!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What would your answer be?

"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Joey, cannot learn things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

My answer:
Acceptance in today's society is what many people strive for. Whether it be in social situations, your workplace, your school or even within your own family, acceptance usually makes us feel better in one way or another. Most people want to be considered "normal" or "typical" and get uncomfortable when they fear society may look at them in a different way. In our world, acceptance has taken on a whole new meaning. Since our son, Joey, was born in 2004 with a rare genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, we have had to gain acceptance into many new and different social circles. The circles we have been introduced into are circles that the majority of people will go a lifetime without having to know anything about. The hardest thing I have ever had to learn to accept is the fact that I have a child with a disability. Do any of us plan for this? No. We want to be just like everybody else. A normal baby, normal doctor's visits, normal feedings, normal schedule, normal looks from people when we are out in public with our children. Do I think it is fair that my son has to work so damn hard every single day of his life? No. But I do feel that it has made all of us stronger and better people to have been accepted into Joey's world. It is the most important and highest status I will ever gain and I am so proud to wear this badge of acceptance.

So where is the natural, normal order of things for my son? Is it in the doctor's visits, the specialist appointments, the tests, the procedures, the schools, the therapies? Or is it in the joy, the love, the laughter, the sweet moments and all the precious, unbelievable gifts Joey gives and receives every day? Our natural order is wrapped up in all of these things. Joey may not learn and grow as other children do but that's okay. He does things in his own way and in his own time with his own flair. And that order is just fine with me.

What would your answer be?

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