Saturday, May 31, 2008

"He is either on the throne,or He isn't. I believe he is."

My dear friend Meredith said this to me not so very long ago. It was in response to me trying to help her through a terrible and sad time in her family's life. She and her dh Mike had gone to Ukraine to adopt a little girl they loved desperately, only to be met with roadblock after roadblock, brick after brick in the wall they were trying so desperately to tear down and bring their daughter home. In the end, the answer was simply: No.

No meant no to parenting a little girl who would then never know the love of a mother and father, and parents whose arms would ache forever after to hold her.

No meant leaving her behind, closing the door and walking away.

No meant accepting the will of the Lord they believe in with everything in their being.


To watch this glorious journey of faith become a game of control and power to a man who had both firmly on his side was heartbreaking. I reached out to her in that time, trying to be there, to be a friend, to lend my shoulder. In the end, as always, it was she who comforted me. Her words to me that day were "He is either on the throne or He isn't. I believe He is. I need to wait and listen for His guidance."

I was screaming blindly into the night, and she, who had had this horrible injustice thrown at her...was quietly waiting for guidance from the God she loved. They did walk away from that child, but they will probably never stop parenting her, in their hearts. We spoke yesterday about another child, a little boy who has become so deep in MY heart that I expect I will always think of him as a little bit mine, even though his new family has gone to collect him. Every new picture, every description of him, and my heart swells and aches all at once. It could have been me. But it wasn't right, for me, for him, for my family. I listened for God, and the answer was no. Like Meredith & Mike, I will carry a little piece of that precious child with me. And I will find joy in the fact that he is going to be the beloved son of someone, out of that place of misery and heartache. LOVED.

When the first adoption fell through, they changed gears. Through all of the pain and hurt, they listened, and finally heard the words in their hearts they had waited for. Go get her. Another child had been on their hearts all along, but practicality and the politics of adoption there meant they had to choose...and together, they chose the child who had already been sent to the Institution, to bring her out, hoping the other child would have a little longer before she, too, was sent away. The other child, a sweet tiny waif of a girl, was named Daria.

To say she was skinny is an understatement. 15 pounds at 4 years old. She was starving to death, untouched and unloved, waiting to die. And God's voice spoke to her parents through all of that grief. "She is meant to be yours. Go get her."

Across the country they went, not knowing what to expect. Grieving one child, terrified for the other. The first child was at least in a place where she was fed and cared for to some degree. This child...this Daria...was a skeleton of a girl. Could she even make the trip? Was her heart defect so bad that she couldn't manage the altitude changes? What would bringing her home mean? Still, they felt led. Meredith had once shared photographs of their biological daughter compared to one of Daria. They could pass for twins. Except one was loved and held and showered with attention. And the other lay quietly year after year in a crib, damaged goods. Little did she know how much her life would change!

The day she posted the pictures, Meredith said:

My heart is consumed for this little girl tonight. She needs some strong arms to protect her, and a strong heart to keep her going. Please say a prayer for little Daria tonight.

The dream changed, the other little girl did not come home, and Daria became Emma Hope. The sadness in her eyes become a sparkle. She was loved. She was treasured. She was home. And God was on the throne.

Initially, they were told Emma's heart was not fixable. That the journey would be short-lived, that she would die...and soon. But a parent's hope and faith "He is either on the throne or He is not" does not let them quit. Yesterday after a persistant chase for an answer Emma could live with, we all got the best news. Emma's heart is fixable, after all. There is hope. And God is on the throne.

In leading them to Daria, He also led them to another child, a baby boy who would be called Micah. Finding him so early meant years of neglect he would be spared. Alone in a room with no other children, his Down syndrome diagnosis determining his fate, he was starving to death physically and emotionally.

But guess what? God is on the throne. Micah's life was saved, scooped up by the mommy & daddy who came for his new sister, carried back the the U.S. the beloved second son of Mike and Meredith Cornish. He would go home in time to reap the benefits of a family and a home during his infancy. God planned a two-fer, and precious Micah is living proof...God is REALLY on the throne.

A Mother's love

A Father's love.

The Father's love.

He is either on the throne or He is not. Obviously, He is.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I feel...vaguely

Ciarra had her spring concert today. Afterwards, a lady that I have really come to respect, a mom of one of Ciarra's little friends, stopped me in the hall. she told me she reads my blog.





I was shocked (not sure why?) to know anyone had "found me out". Not sure what I was expecting, but it truly stunned me. Im not so sure I was very gracious in my response. Dumbfounded is a good word. (Did I mention wow?)

I was humbled, she had very nice things to say about it. But I guess I never really expected anyone but my blogging buddies to read my stuff. She actually asked me if it was ok, probably because I had taken on the look of a fish out of water teehee. It is absolutely ok. It is just...a little weird. :) Kinda like that commercial about the little girl where strangers are commenting on her underpants.

I promise NOT to disclose anything untoward about my underpants if my dear anon reader will promise not to hold anything I say against me when I whine or brag too much. I am actually quite honored that she finds me readable. Did I mention that her kids are REALLY cute? ;)

Yes. Its ok. It is really actually

one of my "goals" for Ciarra's life has come true

Ciarra loves to read. And she is a pretty good reader, to boot. :) Last night she was bored, so she went into her little library room and laid down on her couch and started to read, out loud and quietly, for the next 2 plus hours. I listened now and again, and heard her buzz through book after book after book, put one away, pick another, read. She is reading for pleasure. I like that.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Ciarra is into spelling these days. She has been getting modified spelling tests at school, but is determined to do the same words as her classmates (Inclusion at its finest!) She is beginning to use the words in her writing, journals, etc, and things are starting to look a LOT more like real words now.
She has been thinking a lot about dinosaurs, too, mostly because of Pleo, I suppose.

She is fascinated by all of the terminology, and is sure now that she will be a paleontologist when she grows up. Anyway, she has been getting all dressed up in her paleontology best (Dad's flannels and shoes, some toy binocs, a too-small fishing cap) and heading out into the yard to "dig".

Last week, she rescued a "dinosaur leg" from the dog..who wasnt too happy about losing it. Just a piece of tree branch, but the poor dog loves to shred them.

Lucky for us, the dog loves Ciarra more than she does the stick. ;)

She explores, finds a "boat" (Jesse's sled)

and dinosaur footprints...shes sure!

I love to watch her world expand and see her interest in it. She is so open to everything around her, and takes such joy in things we tend to look past in our rush through life. I just adore this kid!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

at last, an answer to the freaky lab test results for Jesse

I ran into my docs office the other day to drop off camp medical papers for Ciarra, and caught him in the hallway. I asked about the test results we got for Jesse (I posted recently about my weekly heart attack...scary stuff) and he laughed out loud. I asked him WHAT happened, did they ever figure it out? He said (I think he said phlebotomist, but I cant be sure...pretty sure) He said the lab phlebotomist had run some kind of protocol that morning, quality control type thing. Normally they poke in 5 random numbers, she accidently poked in 6...Jesse's 6...and attached the name of a doc who no longer works there as the requesting doc, as they always do. Anyway, when she attached the 6th number, it flagged results to MY sons Ped, and voila..instant heartattack. He said she got in BIG trouble, and that she had to go to school for recertification or something, and that it was a BIG deal there at the lab. anyway, Im SO relieved to know no other little guy is that sick...hooray.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taking charge

not sure I mentioned this, but Ciarra has been having issues with one of her closest friends being a little bit bullying lately. Controlling her, telling her that if she did/didnt do certain things, they couldnt be friends anymore. I heard that it had gotten quite physical recently, with the friend grabbing her and dragging her to places against her will.

Obviously, I had to put a stop to that. I met with her teacher, who detailed more of it, and we both agree that we should support the friendship, but also give Ciarra more opportunities to escape the clutches of that friend and expand her circle a bit. The thing is, Ciarra is VERY popular. The other child, notsomuch. We have been noticing that people shy away from Ciarra much more when she is with this friend, because the other kids just dont seem to like her.

Now that more kids are inviting Ciarra to play at recess and after school, the friend is feeling left out. It doesnt help that she comes from a rather negative home life, where you deal with things by yelling and complaining. I am sad for her, but not to the point of letting her be abusive to my daughter.

SOOO...some change was in order. The girls had been playing together at least a couple days a week. Ciarra really loves her, and it is mutual. But I am tired of fighting, tired of hearing the mom say that MY child is a "spoiled brat"...and yes she has said that...while her child is the one really struggling to get along with anybody, stomping her feet and telling us how things would go in our own home, and generally being very hard to be around. We have decided to limit the girls time together, and to work hard to bring the other friendships that are very strong out more.

Ciarra has a great friend named Margaret who also has DS, and they play together at least once a week. And several kids at school have asked repeatedly to come over, but Ciarra has said no because she doesnt want to upset her friend. Many times, the friend would yell at Ciarra on the bus, when a friend was coming over. Ciarra would feel guilty, and cry. Lots of social stories later, and she is taking charge and inviting them over!

Today her friend Austin is here, they just got off the trampoline, they have played video games, had snacks, and are now watching tv. I will try to keep the visits to around 2-3 hours, so they dont get sick of each other or run out of things to do. I also have to remind Ciarra sometimes that she is the HOSTESS, and she needs to let her friends decide what they want to do, too. She would watch Curious George for an hour straight if I let her, or play Doctors, which most kids her age arent into. Today has gone really well. If we can just fill her time and shake the connection a little with this other child, maybe we can work on empowering her a little bit, and expand her circle, too.

Friendships are unique for our kids with DS. They certainly have friends, but oftentimes they dont have the kind of speech or communication skills to really connect outside of school. It takes a little extra work, and it may always be that way. But the friendships are there, with a little extra support. And thats my job, for the next few months, to build those friendships and try to show her that she doesnt need to be friends with someone who would tell her she is stupid or ugly or be so bossy that she comes home in tears. She deserves better than that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

WHAT a weekend!!

I am sitting in my quiet NOISE. Ahhhhhhhhhh. I love my kids, my men, my friends, and the noise, but...ahhhhhhhhh. It has been a hectic weekend!!

Jesse finally got home Friday, it was so good to see him. He was bone tired but seems to have enjoyed the trip. He may be a big kid now, but he still gives me hugs and kisses, and tells me he loves me often. (We are a huggy bunch here) He says he didnt miss me, though. LOL

I spent Friday afternoon shopping for prizes our business donated to the annual Spring Fair at the kids school. We ended up buying the cutest little Spiderman bike with a matching costume, a wheelbarrow to put 12 yards of crusher dust into, and also bought Jesse a new bike, he hasnt had one in years. The lady who was coordinating donations happened to call, which was GOOD...cause I dont own a truck lol. She met me at wallyworld and picked up the stuff, even brought Jesse's bike home for me. I went to the school to help with what I could while waiting for his bus to get back, so I got a preview of the awesome raffle prizes. wow.

Friday night we all hung out at the ballfield, Ciarra had a game. I enjoy gabbing with friends and just watching the games. Ciarra got a GOOD hit! She made it to first, but the team got 3 outs before she could advcance. She sure loves baseball.

Saturday morning up early to get ready for the Spring fair. Wendy and Hunter (4) and Andrea and Aislynn (3 months) joined us. It was a blast. Lots of kids games and rides, good food, good friends, and the raffle. We sat with a guy named Bubba, he runs the Special Olympics for our school. Our table ended up winning about 15 prizes between us!!

Bubba won a $600 dollar watch, some nice earrings, 3 apple trees, a bike for his grandaughter, and 2-3 other prizes. Jesse won a new bike...the spiderman bike!!...for Hunter. And he also won a spongebob swimming kit with goggles, fins, etc for Ciarra. I won a pizza gift certificate, a gc for flowers at our local greenhouse, a beautiful outdoor statue of a little girl. Wendy won a Cars DVD player and something else (?) Andrea won a movie and electronics basket. Ciarra won a huge cheetah girls giftpack with a lamp and a radio and other stuff, plus a thing of candles and cups and photo frames.

She won something else too, oh and a 25 dollar GC from the fire dept raffle to boot. (She gave that to Jesse for the spongebob thing lol) Of course, Hunter was CRAZY about the bike. It was a lot of fun.

A friend came up after and said her son told her "Ciarra is SO lucky" and the mom said "Yeah, you should maybe go rub her head for luck"...said she looked over and Ciarra's friend rubbed her head..and the next thing you know, the friend won a prize, too! Too funny. We had a little friend of Jesse's come over after the fair, he ended up staying till Sunday night.

That afternoon, Ciarra and I got ready and went to a Selah concert! I had fallen in love with their music while following Audrey Caroline's story on Bring the Rain. I have felt my own faith growing through her words. I was VERY lucky to get tickets. So away we went. It was held in a big church in Bangor. Ciarr and I got GREAT seats. We were 2 rows back, center stage. She really has a relationship with God, almost as though she went to church every week, which we dont do at all. I really slack at the going to church thing, and it is my biggest guilt as a mom. Throughout the concert, she was standing with her arms up, conducting, really feeling the music. It is interesting to be Ciarra's mom and also be a people watcher. This child gets more attention than you can imagine. For one, shes really cute, dontyathink? ;) But no, it is something different, people respond to her, their kindest smiles and their most heartwarming kindnesses come out with her. She draws people in, and especially in a church, especially at a concert, where people know God, she seemed to have a ready-made fanbase. She doesnt even know it, though. But *I* see it. The wide open smiles that I only get when she is with me, the knowing nods, acceptance, sharing the joy of loving a kid who is truly so OPEN and sweet. (Well, MOSTLY sweet..she did call Wendy a "pain in the ass" during the concert, at a more Jeff Dunham DVDs to watch for her.)

We ended up leaving the auditorium a few minutes before it ended for a potty break, so we were in just the right place to get to the front of the line for autographs. Well, let me rephrase that. We WERE at the front of the line, obviously waiting there, but sitting on a bench and NOT right at the table. A lady with 2 kids walked up, and proclaimed "I told you so, we would be first." and jumped right in...and I let her, cause whatever. She seemed like one of THOSE kinda people, just not friendly, not NICE. And she proceeded to prove me right, for one of the only times in my life with Ciarra someone said or did something unkind to her. Her son seemed to be about Ciarra's age, and Ciarra was sitting on the bench, I was back in The kid said something about "Why isnt that little girl in line, Mom?" and the sister said "Shes reading a book." and the mom said...ready for this?.."THOSE KIDS cant really read, she is just pretending to read." Said ALLLL kinds of sticky sweet, of course, as though if she said it nicely enough, I would not mind her pointing out that my kid..couldnt read. Luckily for me, Ciarra heard it too. Yep, thats what I said...LUCKY for me. Lucky for the lady, too, because instead of me pounding the hell out of church...CIARRA set her straight. She started to read OUT LOUD, plainly and clearly...perfectly. The boy must have said something else, because the mom turned him around away from us and ignored us from then on, pointedly.

Ok, here's the not-so-Christian part. (well, besides me wanting to punch her) When the folks from Selah came over to the table, they spotted Ciarra immediately. During the concert, she had been holding her photograph of them, the one you get autographed? And she looked at it, then held it up JUST as Todd stood in front of her on the stage, and said to him "HEY, THATS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!" he stopped, leaned down, smiled at her, and said "It sure is, honey, do you want to turn around and hold it up so everyone can see?" and she did. During the concert, this sweet man with an INCREDIBLE voice stopped long enough to include a star struck little girl in his show. I could literally hear the smiles, people going "omg my gosh shes SO precious" etc (little did they know "Wendy is a pain in the ass" had JUST come out of her mouth seconds before, lol.) So, there we were after the concert, at the table, and these 2 kids are handing the people their pictures, and Ciarra is getting all of their attention. I KNOW it burned the moms butt, especially when 2 church ladies went by and said loud enough for all of us to hear "THAT little girl has the spirit in her, did you see her dancing and laughing?" So, to Miss Perfect and her 2 just-like-her-in-the-future-doubters...nanee nanee booboo. First isnt always best. ;)

Anyway, we got the autographs, a quick picture, and I got to tell Todd that Angie's story had touched me so much, and that they would be ok, and that we were all praying for them. He seemed very moved by that. But mostly, he seemed quite smitten with my daughter. He has 3 little girls at home, I imagine he must miss them like crazy on tour. We also got to meet Amy, who told the story of being overweight..she said FAT...onstage...and how she didnt think she deserved love. OH how I can relate to her, and I told her so. I thanked her for being so open and told her I thought she was BEAUTIFUL..and she is. And BOY can that woman belt it out!! So, we hit McDonalds on the way home, and got Ciarra tucked in and settled the boys. I LOVED this concert, but now I had to switch gears...Sat night in a beautiful church with Christians and prayers...Selah. SUNDAY night would bring Rodney Carrington and his offbeat humor, bad language, and hysterical humor. We had a double date planned with friends.
Rodney was SO funny, and yes, raunchy. But he has a voice that is just stunningly good. He could easily be "just a singer" but he chooses to be a singing comedian. He had the entire crowd on their feet, and we laughed ourselves silly. Jim and I, Rob and Wendy. It was an AWESOME weekend. Now I gotta go to school, real life intrudes, and I have a meeting about a kid..who shall remain nameless...who is VERY close to Ciarra...but is bullying her regularly. I got a note home Friday detailing some of it, and have actually had phone calls from a few kids parents to tell me their kids were concerned. It is going to be a very painful thing, Im afraid, to go through. Ciarra LOVES this kid, but I simply wont have someone being physical with her, or calling her a DUMMY and STUPID..which is happening very often. Not just casual, but "you are dumb and stupid and cant talk right." From someone she adores. It will be handled today, and I hope and pray my daughter doesnt get hurt emotionally by me having to be the mommy. It isnt ALL fun and games.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

my weekly heart attack

I went to a friends house tonight to try to get her pc running, was gone a few hours. Ciarra went with me. Jim went coyote hunting, Kristin was out with friends, Jesse is on his Maine Studies trip. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders go on a trip every yr to somewhere in Maine to learn about nature, survival etc. This year they're gone Wed early am to friday late night. They sleep out in the elements, hike Cadillac mountain, and survive. I missed him the minute he left today, and of course, I all knew that, right?

So, I get home tonight and the phone is ringing, Jim grabs it, it is Dr A (our Ped) he says "this is Dr A, may I speak to Jesse's mom Michelle?" (dont know who he thought he was talking to lol) Anyway, Jim gets this VERY worried look on his face, hands me the phone. We both thought right away maybe Ciarras tests had turned up bad, after all...then Jim says "he said JESSE's Mom!"...uhoh.

I listen, Jim paces...Dr asks if Jesse is in the ER, "where is Jesse right now?"...Im like "no, he isnt in the ER, he is...omg...hes on his class trip...whats going ON?!" he asks me if there is ANY way that Jesse has been brought to the hosp without my knowledge.."they'de call you, right?"

Im starting to panic a little...Jim is past that. WHATS GOING ON??? He says that he just got lab reports for Jesse, his bdate, his ss number, our phone number, everything checks out...and the labs are BAD. Something about a calcium level(??? how can calcium levels be so bad?) and that if this IS Jesse, he needs to be in the PICU NOW....holy crap WHAT IS GOING ON???

He says it may be some weird accident, that it doesnt look right, some other Docs name on the paperwork, a doc that isnt even here anymore, no vital signs done etc...he wonders WHATS GOING ON???

He tells me he will call the ER, for me to call and find a way to check on he ok? is he on the trip and safe? can I even reach them up on the Mountain?

Doc calls the ER to see if Jesse is there, I call several chaperones I know who went on their cells..of course no reception. UGH. I call the Principal at 9:30 at night...."uh, Im so sorry to call, but do you know if something has happened to my son? wouldnt someone call me? Can we reach anyone to check on him???" Principal is freaked out, too. He goes to the school in his jammies, gets cell phone numbers, and calls me back.

In the meantime, on the other line, Doc A is calling...Jesse is NOT in the ER, they are talking to the lab this a fluke report? WHATS GOING ON?

I play juggle with the lines, tell the Principal that Doc says Jesse is NOT at the ER...could Jesse be at an ER nearer the Mountain? He starts to call every cell phone he can, Doc A lets me go and starts calling the Lab, because SOME kid is very ill and needs to be admitted quickly...hes talking extremely serious stuff.

Principal THANKFULLY calls me back, he has reached a teacher there, Jesse is there and ok, safe and sound, has not been to any doctors. I can breathe, feel my stomach tighten and want to puke...omg. Jim is standing looking at me wondering which way do we GO to make sure this boy is safe? I am so relieved you cannot even imagine.

IF something happened, what the HELL would I do? I love this little kid so much it makes me ache to even think of him being hurt and me not there. I was So scared. And I hope whoever the kid really was that he is safe tonight, too, because no mother should have to worry that her little boy is so sick and be so helpless to do anything for him.

UPDATE: Thurs AM. The chaperones are starting to call me back, seeing m number on their...ahem...many cellphones. LOL I explain, they all tell me he is fine, had a great breakfast, they would call me, dont worry. Phew.

To clarify: OUR Ped had absolutely zero to do with this. His only part in it was to be the recipient of the bad lab results. He is as freaked out by the mistake as I am, and obviously worried about the other kid, too. I probably wont get to find out more, for confidentiality reasons, but Im sure praying this other little guy is safe, too. Scary.

His email to me tonight reminds me WHY we love this guy:

As the phone rang and rang, I had visions of you and Jim being in the ED or in the PICU. I scoured PowerChart looking for any electronic trace. When Jim answered the phone in a nonchalant manner, I knew right away there was nothing wrong. Jesse couldn’t have an ionized calcium of 2.4 with non anxious parents sitting at home. So, it was so much relief when he was OK.
They are trying to track down any emergency room doctors who ordered a calcium level around 7:10 AM. Then, they can correlate who the patient was. It is very possible the patient is somewhere at home. Scary. Who knows? Maybe I am saving a life and don’t even know it.

I am so glad he is OK. I was frantic before I called you. And to think people think doctors don’t care.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

future PRESIDENT??? Uhhh....

so he has one more to go to: 1
he has been to 57 already: 58
and he cant go to 2 more: 60

where the heck are all these extra states HIDING? (And are they red or blue?)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I had a really nice Mother's Day. Jim let me sleep in, then helped make breakfast. Jesse & Ciarra and I made cinnamon rolls together, then Jim and I baked some cookies. The guys went out and did some major yardwork, I caught up on some laundry. Then we had friends come over, Rob & Wendy, their son Hunter (4) and daughter Andrea (20) and her new baby Aislynn. It is busy when we are all here together. The guys went 4 wheeling and then BBQd when they got back. Wendy and I played around with pictures and blogs Ciarra and Hunter played and laughed all afternoon, and Andrea and baby Aislynn tried to overcome a crying jag lol. Poor baby seems not to feel well, and is already cutting teeth! Jesse is the Baby Whisperer, the kid LOVES babies! We had a nice dinner, BBQ ribs, burgers, dogs, steak, stuffing, veggies, chips...and chocolate cream pie (which I didnt TOUCH thank you very much)
It was a really nice day. Unfortunately Kristin wasnt here for much of it. Her friend mackenzie flew in from Kent State in the afternoon, and Kristin and some friends drove down to pick her up. She bought me some beautiful flowers and a balloon, though. :) And Jim bought me a beautiful ring to replace my engagement ring I pretty. It was a really fun and happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's Day gift from Jim

I lost my engagement ring a few years ago in Chicago. So he replaced it.
I HATE rings that stand up off the band, they rub my fingers like crazy (Im SO not a girly girl!) the old ring had one main diamond that stuck up and poked me with a cluster of three diamonds on each side..owie. I wanted smooth...I LOVE this one. :)

Sports sports and more sports

Special Olympics was FUN. :) The entire 3rd grade showed up, with their signs.

We also started baseball again recently. Ciarra is the team catcher again, she is pretty good at it actually. She got one single this week, but got tagged out at, she isnt. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

ok...big announcement here....we need your help!!

Scrapbookers, crafty people, Ebay sellers, and organized people, we need your help!

If you look around the internet, you are sure to find story after story of heartbreak. SO many people with so many needs. How can we ever know them all, much less help, when there are simply so many? I do my best to help in small ways, but my family is not rich, and my resources are much smaller than my heart.
One child who has been on my heart for several years now is a precious little boy named Parker. It was Parker's cute face that first caught my attention, and his constant battle for health.

His health issues include:

1.Pulmonary Hypertension

2. sleep apnea.

3. Tracheotomy.


5. Tethered Spinal Cord

6. Failure to Thrive

7. G-tube

8. Bowel Obstruction

9. Colostomy

10. Down syndrome.

That is a lot going on for such a little guy, huh? If you were to read his webpage, though, you would not find yourself crying or sad. You would find yourself smiling, and find strength in yourself you didn't know you had. If this teeny little guy can go through all of this, and still be SO tough, well then, *I* can do anything I set my mind to. When I am feeling sorry for myself, I read his mother's words and recognize quickly just how lucky I really am. There is no self-pity here, just the honesty and determination of a mother who adores her baby boy.

So how can you help? What can YOU do that will make a difference? Parker is on several expensive medications, and has already had two surgeries and many stays in the PICU at Primary Children’s Hospital in SLC, Utah. He has another series of surgeries coming right up. Because insurance only partially covers Parker’s numerous medical bills, a special account has been set up at all Zion’s Banks in the name of Parker Reed Hodson. These funds will help to ensure that Parker is able to get the care that is absolutely necessary to his overall health, well being, and quality of life. All donations benefit the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act in the name of Parker Reed Hodson.

Some of Parker's friends would like to do a unique fundraiser for him! We think we may have a way to help raise money for Parker's Fund without costing any of us an arm and a leg, or requiring too much of our precious time from our own families. A virtual craft fair!!!

One thing about the scrapbooking community, it is always up for a challenge. Folks that spend their hours creating memories and treasuring the moments will surely understand what it means for this family to be able to treasure every one of them with Parker.

If a whole bunch of us created scrapbook pages, sets, or kits that could be sold on Ebay, we could send the Pages 4 Parker to a central disbursement person, who would ship them out as they sell. The pages could depict any event or milestone, from First Birthdays to Weddings, Baby Showers, Proms, First Steps, First Teeth, Ballet recitals, Karate, Baseball...the list is endless...just create a page that someone out there will want to buy, and allow us to send the profits to this precious child and help take some of the load off of his family. Please, if you can spare the time, create something beautiful in his honor. Make it about anything you desire. In fact, if you don't scrap, but still feel moved to help, feel free to be in touch with us and tell us what you might be able to offer. Whatever it is, we will lovingly accept on his behalf.


1) AWARENESS of the project-Can you can help us spread the word to every scrapbooking mama you know? Help us make Pages 4 Parker a huge success. Send this information to everyone you know, ask them to forward it, too. If you can, print off the information and take it to your local crafting stores.

2) ORGANIZERS- do you Ebay enough to know the ins and outs? Can you help us set up this virtual craft sale, to maximize profits and avoid pitfalls? Can you help with listings, etc?

3) CENTRAL SHIPPERS- are you organized enough to be the central shipping person for this project? It would mean receiving and cataloging items as they come in. You should own a digital camera and be able to photograph the items digitally so we can show them on the blog and on Ebay.

4) PRAYER WARRIORS- Parker needs prayer. Remember him in your prayers every day, he is about to undergo some extremely painful surgeries. Pray for his family too, that they not worry too much and are at peace with his surgeries.

We are working on where to send your finished product, and how to maximize your gift to it's fullest extent, but you can get started now if you'de like. THANK YOU for caring!! Check back often for more information.

If you aren't crafty, and still want to help, maybe you could make a small donation to his paypal fund. An account has been associated with Parker’s fund, making it easy for you to donate online. By simply clicking Make a Donation here or on the button provided in the sidebar on the right hand side of the first page of Parker’s blog.
Scrappers...start your engines...and please check Pages 4 Parker for more details.

On behalf of Parker and his family, thank you.

Friday, May 09, 2008

told ya-it IS all about MeMeMe--thanks Emily

Dear brilliant Emily at Lovely & Amazing (and don't miss the 2nd blog, for the second child, who is so cute it hurts) has tagged me too! I love Emily, she challenges me to think. And even though it isn't likely we could BE on more polar opposite ends of the political spectrum, she is one of the few who manages to have my respect. Because she gives it back. Anyway, here is Emily's MeMe for Me.

In honor of our most sacred of holidays, Mother's Day, I have a meme to spread through Blogland. It's time to play tag everyone! Please don't hate me.

Before I was a mother I was:

1) Oblivious

2) Self-confident

3) Always right :)

4) Lonely

5) Longing

As a mother I am:

1) driven to do it right

2) exceptionally aware of their emotional health

3) incredibly surprised that they turned out so well

4) constantly amazed at how much I can stomach/manage/muster/ the people who call me "Mom"

5) Incredibly aware of the passage of time.

Would the me of yesteryear like the me of today? I think she would be surprised. I think she would be proud of this me, mostly. I think she would not believe that this me isnt rich, gorgeous, or hysterically funny. Oh wait, I AM gorgeous. I forgot.

In honor of Mother's Day, I am going to honor some really awesome Moms I know by NOT making them do (Forgive me Em. I just tagged everyone and their brother.)