our magpie

our magpie

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

holiday happenings...

well we are trying to recover from our past few days and just wanted to share a few pics from the days before Christmas. i would have posted before now but...we have been busy trying to catch up where 4 of our 5 were sick days before Christmas!! everyone except miss maggie (thank goodness!) got the throwing up every 30 minutes bug...it was awful! but i kept thinking everytime one of us would run to the bathroom 'atleast we are getting it out of the way before santa!' so....here are some pics of things the girls and i did getting ready for santa....

:: the girls working on this really cute felt garland kit by alex that was too cute and so easy!

:: here it is all finished in their room....

:: every year we do a gingerbread house...can't wait till magpie is big enough to help!

:: miss rayley beth putting the finishing touches on santa's cookies

:: miss maggie's contribution to the cookies...official sprinkle-taste-tester!

:: emme grace's note to santa...and yes it says 'hope you ingay the cokes'... of course she meant enjoy and cookies... it was a good try though!

:: the big girls dreaming over everything playmobil that they want santa to bring...

:: trying to finish up decorating...

:: and miss maggie was a perfect little angel while all of our crafting and baking was going on...just observing from her high chair....

...oh how much i love this little face ;)

so i will be back to share more pics from Christmas day when i don't have big girls ready to eat and a little girl who's waiting on momma to play....but it was a great day. emme grace said 'this has been the best Christmas ever!' , and i would have to agree. it was a wonderful Christmas. and we have so many more to look forward to. so blessed to get to experience the wonder and the magic all over through your child's eyes....how great is that?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

...tennessee snow

this past sunday we went to the annual Christmas party for the down syndrome association of middle tennessee held a vanderbilt children's hospital...we were excited to go since last year miss maggie was sick this was our first time to go. they had a santa claus and some art tables for the kids and finger foods...the big girls had fun just going somewhere new and different and we got to talk to some other families. but there was not near as big a crowd as usual they said because of the 'snowstorm'. in tennessee it doesn't take much snow to freak everyone out about driving, so when it started snowing on our way there we passed several cars that had slid off of the interstate. so we did not hang around too long because we knew the drive back home , which is about an hour , would be a long and slow ride! but i wanted to share a few pics of this wonderful hospital we feel so blessed to live near.

the entire 9th floor is the down syndrome clinic we visit yearly with miss maggie where in one place we can see therapists, ent, etc...it is a wonderful, magical hospital definitely designed with little people in mind. all the vibrant colors and whimsical, winding staircases and red wagons in the halls that pass 6 foot tall frogs with bellies glowing because they are full of fireflies don't you know? so feel very blessed to have such a wonderful place so near ....but also praying we do not ever need it (for anything other than our yearly check-ups that is ;)

:: the big sisters on the beautiful stair case

:: the amazing children's art in the hallways

:: our sweet girls

:: the entire hospital was decorated too cute for Christmas! eight foot tall 'happy' nutcrackers were everywhere!

:: this amazing 'butterfly wall' was around a stage where they put on various programs...

:: the big girls enjoying the place to themselves because there was NO ONE ELSE there! when it starts to snow in tennessee the only place you see anyone at is kroger's stocking up on groceries...ya know, because were snowed in, even if it is only an inch ;)

:: emme grace showing miss maggie the picture she made for her...in case you can't read it, it says 'i love maggie '....the big sisters are so sweet. maggie is one lucky girl :)

:: another shot of the beautiful staircase...

:: the view from inside looking out at all the snow as we were leaving...and for the south, that IS alot of snow!

:: don't you just want to eat her up ;)

:: when we arrived home we found (GASP) snow! the girls were playing in the snow in the dark!

:: snow at our house is a rare sight...so you have to grab the camera, go out in your pajamas and try to take pictures while you are shaking because it was FREEZING!

:: and just to make you smile...rayley beth's picture she drew on our snow day! that is rayley beth on the right listening to her ipod...emme grace in the middle with a dinosaur on her head (because she loves dinosaurs right now)... and at the top that is candy andy, our elf on a shelf and our bird. we do have candy andy...we don't have a bird. but apparently rayley beth wants one :)

now off to check on olga and see what secret patti has been hiding...hoping that this sweet angel has found a forever home :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010


....'giving is better than receiving', something i have been told for as long as i can remember. and i can't recall exactly when my heart realized it so many years ago. because when we are children the receiving part seems pretty good....but as we grow we see that the true joy comes from giving to others. helping others. it is really like we get a gift when we give the gift because it makes our heart so happy. i have definitely enjoyed giving even more since having my girls. to watch their face light up when they get what they asked for from santa...their sweet smiles and innocent excitement as they peek to see what is under the tree. it brings me far more joy to watch them than to open any gift i could ever receive for myself.

every Christmas my girls and i pick something to give to ....and this year something has touched my heart. so deeply. i know there are so many causes. so many charities that we start to feel overwelmed. so we just choose to do nothing because we can't decide or feel like our little bit we can give will not help. but all of our 'little bits' can make a lot. it can make a difference.

when i saw this sweet little girl's picture and i look at her i eyes i see my sweet maggie. i believe that is why it bothers me so much to know her fate unless we change it. because i think if my sweet girl had not been so blessed to have been born into our family in this country. this country that is so accepting of children born with that extra chromosome. because other countries are not accepting... at all.


children born with ds are immediately put in an orphanage until the age of five. if they have not been adopted they are then transferred to a mental institution. where their heads are shaved and they are put in a metal crib and left there. and if they try to get out of the crib they are chained to the crib. our sweet angels are not even given a chance. a comment from someone from russia said they have no choice because people with down syndrome are 'mentally unstable and violent'... this is how other countries view these sweet souls like maggie. because they do not even give them a chance.

i first saw miss olga's sweet picture on stephanie's blog , http://www.ourdailysmiles.blogspot.com/...along with a 5 minute video that was filmed at one of these institutions, and i cannot get the images out of my head. but i feel that my eyes were opened to these sweet children to help. help with prayers, help give money and help spread awareness.

then patti who has lily, her 10 month old cutie blessed with that magic chromosome also saw olga's picture and prayed and decided to do what she could. please go to her blog and read her beautiful post... http://babynumber10.blogspot.com/2010/12/most-important-post-i-have-ever-written.html
.....they are giving away an ipod touch and other items that have been donated by drawing from the people who make a donation to olga. even if you can only do $5...if every person who reads this just leaves a little it will add up. they have already raised over $5,100...but it takes over $20,000 to bring olga to a loving family. to a loving country where she will be accepted and not locked away.

i know it seems overwhelming, there are so many children that need help....but please give yourself a true gift this Christmas. the gift of playing a part in helping miss olga be with a loving family where she belongs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

random happy

...just some random things that are making me smile, which always include miss maggie of course! one of her newest things is when she wakes up from nap....now that our girl is crawling all over the place, we are having to close off doors. this includes the door into my bedroom when she is taking a nap. this is where she almost always takes her nap since she shares a room with her sisters in our tiny carriage house! so i put her on a quilt on the floor and USED to listen for her so wake up...but now this is how i know miss priss is up...

....i see a tiny little hand sticking out from under the door and a cute face smashed against the glass looking out the door! ( and yes i do know a glass door is not that practical for a bedroom door...but you know it was the look i wanted. an old wooden french door. and it does look really good...just not always so practical :)

:: our girl always wakes up with a smile...looks at you for a minute through the glass and then starts hitting the door like 'let me out now!'

:: miss maggie's 'excited face'! she and her boyfriend zeke both do this face when they get excited! i do not know if it is a common ds thing or it is just a maggie and zeke thing :) anybody else with that magic chromosome at their house see this face also?

and of course getting out Christmas stuff...which i love. i love to take out each ornament and remember who it is from or where we got it and on what occasion...

:: when rayley beth saw this one she said 'i did not do a 'bery' good job on that girl!' to which i replied baby yes you did, you were only three when you did that!
i love that little stick girl with the funny little fingers!

:: the first ornament jeffrey and i bought as mr. and mrs. in gatlinburg on a trip with my sister and brother in law ....

:: the gum drop branches coming out of the tree the girls and i make every year

:: the funny little santa and snowmen and elves on our light over our island in our kitchen

:: the funny little angel in her striped tights and mary janes beside my bed that reminds me of all my girls everytime i look at her...

:: all of our nativity scenes and how all my girls love to play with the baby Jesus :)

:: the gingerbread 'girl' that the big girls and i had to make for magpie to take to project help (one of the places she goes for therapy)...i think it looks just like her :)

:: the garland over our bed...i do an ornament each year with a pic of the girls and i usually hang them on the tree, but they get kind of lost in all of the other ornaments! so... this year i decided to give them a special spot in our room and i love it...and so does miss maggie! she loves to lay in the bed looking at all the pictures of her sisters and blow them kisses!! awwww... our girl is so sweet!

:: gifts for my girls...i love to wrap up Christmas gifts with all of the cute colorful ribbons and put cute ornaments on top

can you tell how much i love Christmas yet? i remember when i was little we would always go and cut down a cedar tree on our farm... and even then i loved to help my mom put on all of the ornaments and watch as she covered the tree with tinsel icicles and the 'angel hair', you remember that fiberglass stuff? i think they quit making that because it was dangerous! remember how it would cut your finger sometimes? and i remember just laying under the tree looking up at it thinking it was the most beautiful thing in the world...just laying there dreaming about what santa would bring and what he would fill my stocking with and being so excited to get to see all of my cousins....and Christmas decorations for me still hold some sort of magic. they make a home feel more cozy and i just love how excited my girls get each year when it is time to get everything out. and through my girls i get to have that child-like excitement of waiting on santa all over again...how wonderful is that?

...and last 'happy' of this week....

...rayley beth's art. she draws the cutest, most creative little people you have ever seen! we think she needs to illustrate a children's book! i love to find her cute little drawings everywhere and then have her explain the story behind them...her drawings always make you smile. so she made these cute little girls and even knew how to make them stand up like a paper doll...so i decided to put them on the calendar on our fridge. they make me smile every time i look at them :) and the big, black eyes are new. she said she changed them because 'these kind of eyes make the girls look cuter'...and i have to agree! and that last girl is holding a wrench because rayley beth said she is 'tool girl'...she sees her daddy use a lot of tools!

so lots of happy at our house this week...and once i figure out how to do video i will post another happy, our girl signing. it is so cute, she now does 11 signs...the newest being 'baby'....it is so stinkin cute when she does it!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

our buddy walk...finally!

i know i said i would post some pics from our buddy walk about a month ago.....but better late than never, right? it was our magpie's first buddy walk here in nashville,tn and it was truly a beautiful day. not only was the weather amazing...like 75 degrees and sunny, but just celebrating the love we have for our girl and all the others blessed with that magic chromosome :) i did not try to get together a big team since this was her first year we really wanted to go and see really just what it was all about . it was really just a TON of people (they said this year was the biggest ever with over 2,000 people registered!) there to walk in celebration of all of these sweet souls. they did also have a few blow up jumpy things ...(that the big sisters liked of course) and a fun fifties kinda band. and everybody had huge picnics set up to feed their 'team'... luckily we carried a picnic for our smallish team of 9 because we thought there might be food there, but the only food was cotton candy and popcorn! but we had a great time and got to talk to other families and will definitely be doing it next year and taking along several more of miss maggie's adoring fans now that we know what it is all about :) so on with the pics....

miss maggie ready to 'walk'...or actually be pushed in her comfy stroller like the little princess that she is :)

our team there to show love and support for our girl

little miss limber...this is how she always rides in her stroller, sits in her highchair, sleeps...

mag's sign that me and the big sisters made

miss maggie getting her medal at the finish line from a member of the vanderbilt girl's basketball team

the beautiful centennial park where the walk was held

our girl signing 'eat' as soon as she saw the food coming out :)

the big sisters had to make a leaf pile to jump in before we left...and i wasn't sure how miss maggie would feel about the crinkly leaves, but she LOVED it!

miss emme grace observing the ducks that were also enjoying the beautiful day ...and all of the extra people there to feed them :)

rayley beth..the one who can ALWAYS make her baby sister laugh and laugh ...

our sweet and funny girl :)

the view out our den windows the morning of the walk...talk about a wonderful way to start a wonderful day :)

so it really was an amazing thing to be a part of...yet another thing to be grateful for that we may have never gotten to experience had it not been for our sweet maggie. you could literally feel all of the love that all of the parents and grandparents and brothers and sisters and friends have for all of these sweet angels that bless us with that little bit of magic ;)