Friday, April 27, 2012

Two great books for a special mother on Mother's Day

Author and special mom Amy Julia Becker was kind enough to plug my book on her blog, "Thin Places".
She suggests that moms deserve a good book or two for Mother's Day.
 I couldn't agree more!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

A Christina Day at Old Sturbridge Village

Christina has been off from school all week. No one else has off from school, Gabbi is preparing for chemistry, psychology,  and physiology finals, and Bella is reading The Divine Comedy as expeditiously as possible since all three books arrived from inter-library loan on the same day and must be returned soon. I have enjoyed reading it with her, but I wanted to give Christina some one on one time.

The spring weather is sunny and delightful, so I took Christina to Old Sturbridge Village to see the spring lambs. My camera batteries were dead, so we have no lamb photos.
I decided to give Christina the gift of time. We would go through OSV on her timetable (within reason, or we might still be there!) We spent as long as she wanted on what she wanted to see. No pushing her through pretty houses for my viewing pleasure or forcing her to sit through talks she doesn't understand.
She led me to sit in the schoolhouse, where she enjoys the desks and the company of the children, the coopers shop, where she impressed the cooper (barrel maker) with her skills at the wood shaping bench (this is her fifth time to OSV this year) and the barnyard where we watched the animals. We gazed at the lovely little white lambs tagging along behind their massive wooly mothers, responding to their calls with tiny bleats, and nursing with gusto as they rammed their little heads into mom's belly for more milk! What a delight it was to see her enjoy herself on the playground, when she has been denied it at school because of the risk of falling with her delicate vertebrae.
Walking leisurely through the village, stopping for a picnic or two, taking time to splash in the stone sink in one house, and trace a twig in the water of a horse trough, gave me a sense that I was on vacation. It was the most enjoyable day I've spent at OSV, with no agenda besides following Christina's lead. I wondered why I haven't done it this way before, and resolve to make tomorrow another Christina day at home. Maybe we'll walk along the river, or sit and watch birds in our little shrine in the woods.
Whenever I am interviewed about raising a child with Down syndrome, I always praise Christina's ability to stop and smell the flowers, but too often I forget to allow her to slow me down to life in the moment, absorbing the sights, sounds and aromas of life.

Thank you Lord, for this gift of a child who has the gift of living in the moment. Help me to learn from her to relish the details of this wonderful life we share.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A spring swim with daddy and Christina

The water was too frigid for Mom to join in, but Christina enjoyed it with gusto and Daddy was a good sport, helping her swim safely.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter at our house

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Gabbi is inducted into Phi Theta Kappa

Its a moment close to any mother's heart, but especially dear when you homeschooled your daughter for eleven years. This is what you dreamt about when you pictured her future, an intelligent, articulate young woman meeting life's challenges with success.

 Gabbi's grade point average of 3.7 at Three Rivers Community College where she takes her difficult pre-nursing courses (pre-calculus, Anatomy and Physiology and Organic Chemistry) is a source of pride to her and her family. She was inducted this week into the national honor society for community colleges, Phi Theta Kappa.

We have high hopes for her future as a nursing student at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Congratulations, to my beautiful scholar, you have really done well with the gifts God has given you. You are an inspiration to your younger sisters and a source of pride for your father and I. Your future is bright, you can do anything you want to do.
We love you Gabbi!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Ipad and Christina

Christina loves the computer, with the Starfall site she learned her letters, and she goes on PBS Kids often. We have applied for a grant for an Ipad 3 . She used it in speech therapy at UCONN Hearing and Speech Center, and has one at school she can't take home. Rather than watch movies when she comes home on inclement days, I'd like to see if we can engage her in some of these Ipad apps on this website. 

So far, she loves the Tom the Kitten app, where a cute grey tabby cat repeats what she says. I will post our favorite apps here when we get the Ipad.
Check out this post on Down Syndrome New Mama about apps for kids with Down syndrome.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Meditation for Holy Week on Christ crowned in thorns

Was the horrible sight of the crowning of thorns the first and only time Our Lady saw Jesus crowned in humility? The Lord's whole earthly life, taking on the nature of a human being was a humiliation. Since no man before Christ was born perfect and sinless and the teaching of the Trinity cannot be known through human reason alone, who on earth is able to distinguish the God-Man from sinful humanity? How humble is the Lord! It is similar to entering a penitentiary, wearing prison garb, yet never having committed a crime and being willing to be seen first as a criminal. How many examples must Our Lady have witnessed of this unending display of humility which culminates in the Lord's Crowning with thorns and cruel mockery by the soldiers.

Our Blessed Lady herself said to St. Bridget, "I heard some say that my Son was a thief; others, that He was an impostor; others, that no one deserved death more than He did; and every word was a new sword of grief to my heart."
St. Alphonsus di Liguori, The Glories of Mary, 446-7.

St. Augustine says: Man sinned and became guilty; God is born a man to free man from his guilt. Man fell, but God descended; man fell miserably, but God descended mercifully; man fell through pride, God descended with his grace.
St. Augustine
Office of Readings , Saturday from January 2nd to Epiphany
from the daily email of Mary Vitamin. 
(Helen, known as "Mary Vitamin" has just lost her mother, please remember her in your prayers)
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