Sunday, January 24, 2016


Please forgive me for falling short on blog updates the past couple of weeks!  Here are some of the highlights from the past two weeks...

-Andrew had his 7 year old well check visit and he is in the 80th percentile for height!  That is unbelievable for our family!  David debated whether to request a DNA test because we are typically barely hanging onto the chart ;-).

-God continues to use the kids to realign my heart when it gets out of whack...  I was taking Grace to school last week and was a little (or A LOT) annoyed at the traffic in the HOV lane, just then I hear Grace singing worship songs in the back seat and it was like Divine perspective hit me over the head.  In that moment, Grace made it easy to have an attitude of gratitude that I even have her to take to school on my way to work.  There were plenty of times that I didn't know if I would get to see her as a 3 years old, much less going to and loving school, therefore slow drivers in the HOV lane are a minor inconvenience.  Praying to have this perspective in all things (like when she wakes us up in the middle of the night, gets bossy, etc).

Grace singing her favorite worship song, Amazing Grace!

-All three kids had a dentist appointment last week and I couldn't believe that Grace rocked the X-ray part!

-Grace's music teacher from school led an amazing music class at Gigi's Playhouse last weekend.  It was such a treat, getting to see how much Grace and all of her genetically enhanced friends of all ages (and their typical developing siblings) respond to music.  They love it!!!  It helps to have an incredibly gifted music teacher who knows how to capture their interest and hearts.

-Last Sunday was Right to Life day at church, the message given by Abby Johnson was absolutely devastating and inspiring all at the same time.  I am pro life, but I left church even more passionate about the sanctity of life than ever before.  All lives matter, let's not condone the killing of babies because they threaten our convenience or preference. The fact that the most dangerous place for a baby with Down Syndrome is in a mother's womb is an atrocity.  92% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.  That statistic alone increases my stake in the fight for life greatly because I know first hand the fear of the unknown, but I also know the blessing found on the other side of that fear.  At the same time, I want people to know that there is grace and forgiveness for decisions made in the past, what matters is how we live in the present and future.

-The big kids earned a free dress day at school for getting enough AR points.  When I asked them to pick out their clothes they both instantly chose their I Love Homies with Extra Chromes shirt!

-This weekend, the big kids both had a basketball game where they did great!  We love watching them give something their all!  Both kids have been super blessed to have amazing coaches this season.  They have taught the kids a ton about the game of basketball in such a God honoring manner.

Abigail is #11

Andrew is #4

The big kids also raced their cars at the Pinewood Derby Race (for Cub Scouts) where Andrew's car received 2nd place for the Tiger Cub Scouts and qualified him for the finals, where he finished 8th place overall out of about 80 + cars.

A HUGE shout out to Papa Toot for ALL of his help in the creation of these fun and fancy cars.
Andrew wanted flames with the number 3 on his car.  The number 3 is for Grace, since she's 3 years old.  

Abigail wanted hers to be Down Syndrome colors, blue and yellow.

Grace continues to crack us up with her antics!  Here are some of her most recent Gracisms...

*She loves to play hide and seek, but isn't very good at it because she can hardly contain her excitement, which either causes her to give away her hiding spot by laughing or jumping out of her hiding spot too early.  Last weekend, we were at David's parent's house (so that papa toot could help the big kids with their Pinewood Derby cars) and we were playing hide and seek.  Grace and I were hiding in the shower up stairs and Grandma was searching for Grace and said "is Grace in here?"  to which Grace peaks out of the shower curtain and says "YEAH!"  

*She gets super excited if she is matching with someone (clothes, hair, etc), so we can usually get her to do something that she doesn't want to do by telling her that she's going to match someone, like "Look, Grace is going to match Bubba and eat her food like Bubba!"  She also loves to do "cheers" with people, which is also a great tool to get her to obey when it comes to eating something she's not very interested in... she'll say "cheers, sissy!"

Matching Sissy!

*She LOVES going to the gym (she plays in the big kid area), so we have to be so careful not to mention the word around her unless we intend to take her because she will relentlessly beg us to take her to the gym.  She serves as a great accountability partner to get me to go to the gym though because if I tell her we are going to the gym, it forces me to go even if I don't feel like it because she won't let me off the hook.

*She loves to watch the big kids play sports, so since they are both playing basketball she tells us that she wants to go to the game by saying "Grace go to dribble shoot!"  It's hilarious that she doesn't call it basketball, but instead dribble shoot.  During the game she cheers very passionately from the side line, basically copying everything that I say.

*I love when Grace says "cheese please!"  What she means is that she wants us to take a picture of her.  The pictures are usually ones with the dogs or her Bubba and Tither.  Here are a couple examples of her most recent "cheese please!"

*She is obsessed with the video from Abigail's 3rd grade play called "A Place in the Christmas Choir."  She loves to sing and do all of the corresponding moves along with the kids on the video.  When the video is over she begs for more with such desperation that it is almost impossible to distract her with anything else.  I love her passion for music... and her sissy!

*She loves family hugs, so one of my favorite times of the morning on the weekends is bringing her in bed with us and snuggling her.  Somehow her stinky breath is so awesome combined with her sweet smile and gentle "hi momma!" This is the view I'm talking about...
 As I lay next to her I can't help but admire her beautiful almond shaped eyes and squishy nose, while reflecting on God's grace and mercy.  I remember seeing her profile on ultrasounds and feeling certain that she would have Down Syndrome (that was before we got the diagnosis of course), which sent chills down my spine.  Now, when I look at that same profile I see abundant beauty and hardly feel worthy to call her mine.  Clearly, I'm not alone in this feeling because as I type this Abigail is sitting next to me doing her spelling homework and as she was thinking out loud for a sentence to use the word beautiful, the first thing that came out of her mouth is "Grace's eyes are beautiful!"  Be still my heart!

*A giant praise is in order for the results of Grace's cardiology appointment on Wednesday of this week...  the gradient across her mitral valve is the same as it has been for the past two years!!!  I had been preparing my mind and heart to find out that it is time to go back to Boston, so I was already thinking about how great it would be if we could go over spring break that way the big kids could come with us, etc.  So, to hear that her gradient was still a 7-8 (when it gets to a 12 it's time to go back to Boston) almost felt like a dream and then when our cardiologist said that we didn't need to come back for 4-5 months (that's the longest we have ever gone between appointments, since Grace was born) was exciting and mortifying all at the same time.  I clarified to make sure that I heard her right and indeed we won't go back to see her until mid June!  Will you please pray that there are no complications between now and then (or ever really) and that God would prepare our hearts and minds and take care of all of the details, as it relates to when we go back to Boston?  THANK YOU!!!

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