Saturday, June 30, 2007

Homeschooling Special Needs Children

Mary Ellen has an inspiring post over at Tales from the Bonnie Blue House about homeschooling Ryan, her autistic son. It has given hope to me, as I near the start of Christina's homeschool career.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Review of Ratatouille

(pronounced rat-at-too-ee) seemed to be creating a buzz in the blogosphere, so I went to see what all the fuss was about, hardly expecting to be charmed by the tale of a rat (no pun intended!) Remy is born a country rat among a simple family, eating garbage, and he is expected to be satisfied with his lot.
But Remy the rat has a gift of scent which sets him apart from his family, and dreams, fed by Chef Gusteau whose motto was "anyone can cook" and soon you find yourself swept away with his changing fortunes, as he finds himself imagining he's chatting with Chef Gusteau in, the food capital of the world, Paris. Linguine, a young man who has just lost his mother, Chef Gusteau's amour, is looking for work in the great restaurant, carrying a mysterious purple letter. He is treated poorly by the chef and given the meanest jobs, but, unlike Remy who, dreams of overcoming his background in order to create gormet sensations, Linguine is satisfied with mediocrity. Until that delicious soup, which Remy has made, hits the table of a food critic, and creates a sensation, getting Linguine a new job, as a chef. Remy and Linguine have discovered that, as a team, they can send the culinary world of Parish afire, and only the chef suspects the shocking truth, a rat is the secret to Linguine's success. Will his secret be revealed, and ruin him? Will Remy chose his family over his new life pursuing his dream?
Take the kids to see the family friendly, fast-moving, Ratatouille, and leave hungry for more!

Potty Training Journal

I have potty trained at least a dozen children, two as a mom, and many others when I operated a home-based daycare/ preschool. I can potty train kids who barely speak English, as I potty trained the children of Chinese scientists in my care. I can potty train active boys. So, why is my five year old Christina not trained?
One of the cardinal rules of potty training in the books I've read is readiness, shown by the child's ability to communicate. I've been waiting for this sign in vain with Christy, knowing full well she has been physically ready for two years. She is developmentally in her toddler 'no' stage, however, and I was waiting for this to pass. It isn't passing, and I'm tired of the questions from well-meaning family and friends. I read on blogs about other children with Down syndrome who were trained well before this, and so, I took the plunge.
How are we doing after two weeks? OK. If you consider that IF we remember to take Christy to the potty (the girls are in on this too) she usually goes number one. She has yet to tell us 'it's time to go' in any manner or form, and so we are the ones who are trained. This is exactly what I feared. But it IS summertime, and the best time to try this. I am not optimistic, but we will keep trying. And washing clothing!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I got what I wanted for my birthday!

I was reading my email this morning, on my birthday (I'm as old as Vatican II), and I FINALLY saw the date for the release of the Motu Proprio, 7-7-07. Now I know how long I have to wait for BIG changes for good in our Church. I'm not sure what they'll be, but I trust God, and now I truly know that
Papa Bene really loves me.

and Mulier Fortis who also is celebrating her birthday today, and newhousenewjob celebrating her birthday in Bucks, England.
We all got the birthday gift we've been waiting for!
Happy Birthday, ladies!

Homeschooled 9th Grader Featured in Wall Street Journal

Brandon helps break the stereotype of the otherworldly homeschooled youth, unable to deal with the real world. He has his own home-based mutual funds management business, featured in this Wall Street Journal article.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A New Down Syndrome Blog: All Videos

Expectant Parents Rights Blog by Noelle of Jaden's Journal fame.
Her goal in starting this new blog is to "Forever Change The Way Down Syndrome Is Viewed and Described By the Medical Community to New and Expecting Parents. My Goal is to get The Prenatally Diagnosed Condition Act that was introduced by Senator's Brownback & Kennedy, out of Limbo and PASSED! This Bill will make sure All New & Expecting Parents receive Proper Support and Updated Info. at the time of any Diagnosis. Please Help Me get This Bill Passed! We Are living in an age of Selective Abortions and NO Accountability!"
Noelle and I share Senator Brownback's horror at the 90% abortion rate for unborn babies with Down syndrome. Please visit the blog, and add your videos. I will, as soon as I can figure out how to upload one!

Monday, June 25, 2007

A new priest in the diocese of Rockville Centre

This is Father Joseph Fitzgerald. He was ordained on June 9th in my diocese. He's considered a 'late vocation' which means he led a full life before answering the call to priesthood. He spoke at the Proud 2B Catholic Fest I attended, and here is his story.
Joe was raised on Long Island and was a handball player on the US team in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This led to a career touring the world as a champion handball player. He lived in Atlanta, and was enjoying the fruits of his fame, he was even going to be appearing on MTV on a show based upon his life, when he felt called back to Long Island, to work in a parish as a Youth Minister. On a vocations retreat, he brought his youth group to at Immaculate Conception Seminary, he was asked by a priest, "Joe, you've dated half the girls on Long Island, and in Atlanta, have you ever considered dating the Catholic priesthood?" "What a strange question", Joe thought, but soon the grace of God was at work, and now Father Joe says he's never been happier!
It's important to tell these types of stories to our children, so they can see that a vocations to the priesthood is important, exciting, challenging, and a call from God. So a priest isn't a sad person thinking of what he's sacrificed, but a fulfilled man grateful for the gift of his vocation.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Review of Evan Almighty

Be sure and read my review of Evan Almighty on Causa Nostrae Laetitiae.

New Online Catholic Dictionary

There's a new reference tool for Catholic homeschoolers, the new website Catholic This new website houses a complete Modern Catholic Dictionary (authored by the late Fr. John A. Hardon) in cooperation with Eternal Life. The dictionary is presented in a simple but attractive environment and can be both browsed and searched.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Christina's Physical Therpapist, Denise

As a new mother of a child with Down syndrome, I was going through the emotional rollercoaster and lifestyle adjustments, and the first outside help to walk into our lives was Denise, the Physical Therapist. Patient and perpetually cheerful, Denise's enthusiastic encouragement worked miracles with the little baby who couldn't yet roll over.
Together they learned to sit up, crawl, stand up, walk, climb stairs, jump on one foot, jump on a trampoline, and now, ride her tricyle. They worked on her tummy strength, and coordination. Denise could cajole work out of Christina on the worst of days, and she was the one therapist whose name Christina could say, she called her 'niece'. We will all miss her sunny presence in our home, as Christina moves on to a school-based therapist, and wish her God's blessings.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Isabella took this amazing photo of a bee in mid-flight

I was waiting for the bee to land on the flowers, but instead, I took this picture while the bee was flying, by accident.
I'm glad I did! You can see the bee's eyes, his antenna, his legs, and the pattern on his wings.
I think it's an amazing photo, and I should take all my mother's photos from now on.What do you think?

Dr Ray Guardendi's talk at the IHM Conference

Six years ago, I discovered Dr. Guardendi while was speaking at the NACHE Conference. His practical advice on parenting matters, and his outageously funny sense of humor describing family situations, made me buy his CD's and, books. My favorite book of his is "Discipline that Lasts a Lifetime". His motto is that someone will discipline your children, if you don't, it may be a boss, a college professor, or it may be the court system. They may not be as understanding as you would, so discipline now and save your child from needing it later.

Dr Ray and his wife have ten several children, many of whom came as older children from terrible home situations which would make any adoptive parent shudder. So, when he says it's possible to discipline any child, and make him feel loved, he knows of what he speaks.

Thanks to him, I discovered that my little Isabella, then four, was putting one over on me. When sent to the corner for a time out, Bella would suddenly get an irresistible urge to hug me and tell me, "Mommy I love you so much I HAVE to hug you RIGHT NOW!". Funny how it never occurred to me that these urges only struck her while in time out. And I ran a day care for two years, so how could I be such a sucker?!

When I came home from this conference, and she realized her act was no longer going to get her out of time out, it vanished magically. It didn't take my bright little girl long, however to find the real culprit for Mommy's sudden enlightenment: that Dr. Ray who wrote that book she's always reading! Drats, foiled again!

This time, at the IHM Conference, Dr. Ray was in his usually side-splitting form, telling tales of trouble in the Guarendi household. Sandwiched between hilarious anecdotes, however, is sound parenting advice. Dr. Guarendi discusses a nationwide study of the top families in the nation, and says the most important factor these families cited in raising their children was R_E_S_P_E_C_T. Dr Guarendi warns us not to tolerate the slightest roll of the eyes, the deep sigh, the tossing of the head, and do NOT under any circumstances tolerate, "whatever" as a response! What would we think if, an audience member asked him a question, and he responded that way? This guys' a jerk; was his example to us.
We have to cultivate our "look" which tells our child no more nonsense will be tolerated, without our having to lose control. If we have done our homework, ie punishments for similar infringements in the past, all we'll need is "the look". A creative list of consequences includes: essays of whatever length, free trips to the child's room, grounding which cuts off all access to electricity (phone, TV, computer, radio, Ipod, X-box)and my personal favorite, where the fighting siblings sit across the table from one another, and neither may get up until the other one gives permission. I have never seen this one fail to eventually make them friends again, once the thrill of torturing one another wears off.
Dr Ray Guardendi has several Catholic radio shows where he can be called with questions, and a new series on EWTN with Fr. Kevin Fete, "What Catholics really believe", where he discusses the Faith, and his return to the Catholic Church from Evangelicalism.
Pictured here is his latest book, Great Teens, which I was going to review here, till one of my friends with multiple teens begged to borrow it first. If it's from Dr. Ray, you can be sure it's witty, and practical. He inscribed my copy to Isabella: Dear Isabella, Oh no! Mom's got another one of those awful books!
Dr. Ray.

Monday, June 18, 2007

We have a few pets

One thing I have not mentioned in my family stories here, is that we are a household with pets. Lots of them. I grew up with a cat and a dog, and a small yard. We have a big yard, and soft hearts, leading to more that your average count of pets. I think it helps me feel like I have a large family. They add to the fun, to the work, and to the character of our home. Cookie, he black lab, and all the cats are rescued. We take the dogs to the beach round the corner, and they keep us actively walking. The affection is mutual.

Isabella the animal whisperer, took these portraits of the cats, Sammy, Noel and Fritzi. Max is seen above playing with Molly the Retriever.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Special Needs Dads

Vicki Forman in her Special Needs Mama column wrote about Special Needs Dads. She writes:
"Special needs mamas trade articles, books, websites, names of specialists. We research and discuss how to get the best educational bang for our buck, what benefits are available to our kids. We call each other to talk about medications, doctors, educational plans. But the fathers are different. I know of only one support group in our area for special needs dads. Amidst the hundreds of websites for special needs mamas, I can think of only a handful written by, and for, the dads.
Maybe it's because the moms are frantically sharing resources and information that special needs dads tend to stand back, watching, vigilant and aware in a different way. My husband used to spend his days making computer games for kids. The hours were long and the pay was good but the work itself became increasingly meaningless in the face of what was at home: a kid who would probably never play one of those games, and whose needs went far beyond tossing a ball in the front yard."

Tears welled up in my eyes as I recall chiding my husband for not being like me, which, I felt was the only way to respond to the challenge of raising a child like Christina. Blogging, posting on forums, publishing articles, attending conferences, and starting conversations with perfect strangers who have a child with Down syndrome is my style, but it' s not the only way to parent. Memories like this sprang to mind:
It's nine o'clock on a Saturday morning. I am reading my email, and I hear the familiar sounds of a computer program Francisco has on his laptop in the next room. "A . . .Apple". He is sitting as he so often does, with Christina on his lap, patiently teaching her to speak, and read her letters.
Anything Daddy does fascinates her, so her attention is riveted on the computer screen, as she attempts to repeat the sounds she hears, "apple". I suddenly realized how much time they spend doing this slow-moving exercise, with Christina happily perched on Daddy's lap, and I wondered how much of her burgeoning vocabulary could be attributed to this activity. I felt convicted of never giving Francisco credit for his patient work, helping Christina in the area of her greatest challenge, speech.
My mind races to other areas where he is helping her grow. . . tossing her ball in the living room, teaching her to climb the jungle gym, and the way she'll eat anything he offers her when they eat alone together (the latest surprise was her eating sardines!) With mommy, her palate is far less adventurous, and I worry that her diet has little variety.
Special fatherhood may be different than special motherhood, but it is no less important. I thank God for giving Christina the wonderful father she has, who sees her needs and quietly meets them, up until now, without recognition.

Spiritual Fatherhood

As we celebrate Father's Day, let's not forget those spiritual fathers to whom we owe our faith. Both my mother and I wished our priests a Happy Father's Day for their service in the sacraments, and teaching in their homilies. Priests give up physical families for spirtitual families, and need to hear some praise from them sometimes. Like our earthly fathers, they too can be taken for granted.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
12. I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
Originally Posted by Anita Moore

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feast of St Anthony

As Italian-Americans, we naturally have a statue of St Anthony in our front yard, but my Irish Grandma Helen, had a devotion to the good saint as well.
She could frequently be found beneath his statue in St. Joseph's Church asking for the good saint's intercession in finding a good Catholic husband for her daughter Eleanor. Below that very statue of St. Anthony, on his lunch hour from the Doubleday Publishers accross Franklin Avenue, came Ralph Crafa, who was studying for his Bachelor's Degree while working. He too was praying for a devout Catholic spouse.
Soon the couple, my parents, were introduced, and married. I owe my very existence to the prayers of St. Anthony. Grazie, or is it obrigado? St. Anthony was Portugese, you know!
So, when, in my late twenties, I was anxious about finding a husband, and approached my confessor, a missionary to Panama, Fr. John Kennedy, he recited the following prayer in Spanish:
"San Antonio, San Antonio, busca me un novio, San Benito, San Benito, que sea bonito. "translation: "St. Anthony, St. Anthony, find me a husband, St. Benedict, St. Benedict, make him handsome. " That prayer, coupled with the incomperable results of the St. Anthony novena of Franciscan University of Steubenville's switchboard operator, I offer you the results here: my handsome husband, Francisco.
Now, many of you pray for St. Anthony's intercession for finding lost objects. I must say, St. Anthony has found me 90% of the items I have begged him to help me find, usually in a state of panic. Couldn't they make car keys that beep when you call them?
Could you join me in prayer for my engagement and wedding rings, as well as that lost letter (now a relic) from Mother Teresa?

National Catholic Home School Message Board Launched

Dear Leticia,

We met briefly at the IHM Conference this past weekend, and I wanted to pass on information about the new national Catholic homeschooling message board I just launched. This is a press release, and I would be most appreciative if you wanted to pass it on to anyone else.

God bless,
Draper Warren
CHSNA Vice-President of Communications

For Immediate ReleaseCATHOLIC HOME SCHOOL NETWORK OF AMERICA LAUNCHES NATIONAL CATHOLIC HOME SCHOOL MESSAGE BOARDChantilly, Virginia. On Friday, June 8, 2007, The Catholic Home School Network of America (CHSNA) announced the creation of a new website and message board designed to connect thousands of Catholic homeschooling parents from across the country. The announcement took place at the Immaculate Heart of Mary National Home School and Parent Conference, which has become the largest Catholic homeschooling conference in the country. Dedicated to supporting parents in their role as the primary educators of their children, the new website was envisioned to become a focal point for information about Catholic curriculum providers and home study programs as well as a place for parents to exchange information and advice. Perhaps more importantly, it will be a place for Catholic homeschooling parents to establish friendships based upon shared values and goals. According to Draper Warren, Vice-President of Communications for CHSNA, "There is a wealth of knowledge and experience that veteran homeschooling parents have and can pass on to those who are new to homeschooling. An online community of this sort establishes a regular way to share practical experiences about what works and what doesn't." In creating this message board project, CHSNA joined forces with the technical team of, where Mr. Warren also serves as senior administrator. is a large message board for Catholic homeschooling students which has 2,485 registered users and has almost one million posts. Mr. Warren expressed the hope that the new message board would surpass the great success of the website, and that it would afford the same benefits to parents which the students on are currently able to enjoy.The Catholic Home School Network of America has been involved in advocating parents' rights to homeschool their children, publishing a booklet in 1998 entitled "Responsibilities and Rights of Parents in Religious Education." More recently, CHSNA President Dr. Catherine Moran, together with CHSNA Vice-President of Operations Mrs. Virginia Seuffert, and Dr. Mary Kay Clark, President of Seton Home Study School, traveled to Rome to meet with Roman Curial officials such as Francis Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Michael Miller, Secretary for Catholic Education to better familiarize them with the important role homeschooling holds in American Catholic education. For further information, please contact Draper Warren by email at, or visit the CHSNA website at

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Launching Bark Boats in the Pond

Alice of Cottage Blessings began a tradition of Wednesday nature outings with our homeschool group in beautiful Old Westbury Gardens.
Isabella, our family explorer, brought us to this 'secret' pond, where she and Christina spent a busy hour building, launching, and racing bark boats, complete with passengers (see the round, spiky little guys in the boat?)
Don't you just love what happens to little ones when they get absorbed in their very own natural activities? I could watch them all day.

I am David

A Movie to Celebrate: I am David
Based on the novel "North to Freedom", by Anne Holm, "I am David" is the story of a boy of 12 who escapes a Communist prison camp, in post-war Europe, and begins an impossible journey to find his mother in Denmark. In his journey through Italy, however he finds much that he is not searching for. Terrified for his life, and possessing nothing other than a canvas bag with his identification papers, and a mysterious letter he must carry to Denmark, David (Ben Tibbet) cowering from the sights and sounds of ordinary life, and using only the label on a tomato can as a map, begins the impossibly long walk northward.He suffers from constant incomprehensible flashbacks about his imprisonment, and his only friend, Johannes(Jim Caviezel) who was afraid to attempt escape from the camp."They'll kill us", Johann says to David as he speaks of escape one night. "How do you know they're not going to kill us anyway?" David replied.His spirit will serve him well, through all the hardships of the road, where he is helped by the intercession of St. Elizabeth, whose holy card he was given by a kindly baker. He shrinks from kindness, however, as the recurring memory of pain haunts him and robs him of his ability to smile. Only his warm memory of his mother's face gives him peace on his journey, until, unexpectedly, he experiences an epiphany that there were those even in the darkness of the prison camp who loved him, and that some people in this world may be trusted.This emotionally powerful movie had me completely riveted, and the Christian imagery was critical in understanding the climax of the film. Performances by "The Passion of the Christ" stars, (Pontius Pilate, and St. Peter) add to the intensity of the sense of redemption.You will appreciate your home and family in a new way after seeing, "I am David".Suzanne Temple of Blessed Among Men, comments on this film here.

Corpus Christi Procession

Fr. Roy Tvrdik of the Monfort Fathers, at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island, led the Corpus Christi Procession. For most of the First Holy Communion children who participated, it was their first procession, followed by their first Benediction. Thanks, Fr. Roy.

On Eucharistic Adoration

"Each time a priest repeats the Eucharistic sacrifice," he added, "he lends his voice, hands and heart to Christ, Who wished to remain with us and to be the pulsating heart of the Church. But even after the celebration of the divine mysteries, the Lord Jesus remains alive in the tabernacle and, for this reason, a special form of praise of Him is Eucharistic adoration." Outside Mass, this practice "prolongs and intensifies the events of the liturgical celebration, and makes it possible to welcome Christ truly and profoundly."
Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, June 11, 2007

Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference

Authentic Catholic Education: The Parental Duty was the theme of this year's Conference, in Chantilly, Virginia. Speakers included: Dr. Ray Guarendi, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, Mr. James Stenson, Fr. Paul Scalia, Dr. Mary Kay Clark, Fr. Pablo Straub, Mrs. Virginia Seuffert, and Mrs. Laura Berquist. I will be posting on the talks which I attended.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Feast of Corpus Christi

O Salutaris Hostia
O Salutaris Hostia
Quae caeli pandis ostium:
Bella premunt hostilia,
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria,
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.

Friday, June 8, 2007

A Tribute to my Aunt Barbara

Barbara Viviano was born to Italian-American parents, James and Filomena Crafa in Queens, NY during the Great Depression. Her father had come to America as a child, from Pietrelcina, Italy, the same town as Padre Pio, in front of whose statue you see us. (We like to think that since Padre Pio is a paesano, that he watches over our family.)

My father, her brother, said the following in his eloquent eulogy,

"By the standards of today's culture, which exalts politicians who favor murdering the unborn, and practice sexual immorality, Barbara was nobody, she owned no furs or jewels, had no fame, held no prestigious career. She was a simple wife to a loving husband for 55 years, and warm-hearted mother of a single daughter, whose very presence exuded love. She attended Mass, and sang, yet she was too timid to lend her beautiful voice to the choir. She never traveled far from home, because she was afraid to learn to drive. Her last year of life was marked by excruciating suffering, yet she never complained, and smiled at those of us who came to visit her.
She reminds us of another simple Mother, who only raised one Child, who held no career, or degrees, yet her only Son changed the world. Barbara reflects Mary's gentleness and love to us, and she is deeply missed, but we have faith that she is now in her Mother's arms, and we will wait for our reunion in Heaven."
Well spoken, Dad, and something it would we would do well to remember each time we think that motherhood, or faith isn't important and material things are.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Barbara Curtis on Moms who Blog

Blogging moms are a new source of support for one another, according to Mommy Life's author,Barbara Curtis, mother to twelve including three children with Down syndrome.
She says,
"They've learned that they don't have to turn on the TV as a lifeline to the "real" world. At some point while visiting over the back fences, they've discovered that the world portrayed on morning shows is far from real or relevant anyway. As Julie Jackson, a former morning show viewer who now reads my blog, explained: "I find the big three morning shows are simply a daily PR machine designed to get me to buy new makeup, or 'the new little black dress' for spring, or to attend a movie première. I don't need to spend an hour watching advertisements posing as a talk show. Mommy blogs generally talk about what matters to me as a mom. I don't need more tips on eyeliner application – I need tips on how to keep my housework under control while I try to raise babies into adults."
I understand how they feel, I almost never watch regular TV (not counting EWTN) and much prefer tone of the bloggers I read, who build up my faith, encourage me when I'm down, and give me lots of ideas for enriching my homeschooling.

Sunday at the Nature Preserve

In my family, we have started a tradition of nature walks as a family after Sunday Mass. This is a wonderful treat for the girls, as Daddy knows lots about nature, having grown up in the mountains of El Salvador. Something happens to Francisco out there in nature which is fascinating to watch, and the girls are drawn by his excitement at discovering a snapping turtle sunning himself in the pond, of evidence of a herd of deer.
We enjoyed the great variety of wildflowers in this preserve; here are the daisies which blanketed the meadow. Unfortunately, my camera batteries wore out, so I'll try and get back for those gorgeous purple lupines next week.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


To the teenager who, fourteen years ago, gave me the best job I've ever had; motherhood.
Thank you for being my sweet, fashionable, gorgeous oldest daughter.
You made my dearest wish come true, a teenager you can talk to, who helps around the house, and loves her sisters(and her parents). You taught me how to homeschool you, and in a few short years, you will teach me how to let go of a grown child.

God bless you.

The Beatrice Brigade.

If your confidence in your worthiness to homeschool, or the worth of what you are investing so much time and effort in, is lagging just read John Reynold's piece in the Scriptorum. It will remind you that we are changing lives, those dearest to us, and those whom we never dreamed we'd touch.
HT Catholic Zoo

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Happy 10th Birthday, Isabella Maria

You are the spirit of the family, the one who makes us laugh with your spot-on imitations, your antics with Christina, and your excitement about each family event. You are the first to break out the Christmas decorations. . . before Thanksgiving! You spend hours enjoying the woods in our backyard, or with our animals, and they flock to you. Your stories show great imagination, and your smile is contagious, sorry we caught you here with your beautiful eyes closed! I love the enthusiasm you bring to our lives, and your boundless energy. Thanks for making me take walks to the beach, and noticing each detail of nature when we're there, I love you, Bella, my beautiful girl!
God bless you!