Saturday, October 15, 2011

Buddy Walk 2011

Earlier this year the Waco area formed the Heart of Texas Down Syndrome Network. I am the secretary of the group. October 2nd was our Inaugural Buddy Walk. We originally planned on around 150 to attend. As the weeks went by the registrations came pouring in and we ended up with over 350 attendees and volunteers! We were thrilled by the support we got from our friends and the community in general. We were joined by our friends the Lillards, Ms. Chiles, (Ben's teacher) her son Britt and Sarah Lake, a friend from Special Olympics. The day was warm and beautiful. All the planning and hard work put into this event by all the volunteers really paid off. Everyone seemed to have a great time, especially Ben. Note the picture playing ball with the Midway Middle School Cheerleaders!

Last Saturday Ben participated in the Special Olympics for bocce. He had a great morning walking around with the Baylor cheerleaders (I swear the boy is a magnet for cheerleaders!) and he even got to carry the torch for our team. At the end of the morning he came away with a silver medal after playing with his buddy Ben Clarkson.

I had some sad news last week.  My mom, who will be 93 next week, has cancer again.  Five years ago she had colon cancer.  Now it is in her liver.  The doctor said she could have up to two years if she does nothing.  Considering her age, she decided to just let nature take its course.  She is already tired and spends most days just lying around the house.  Since she can't see well due to the macular degeneration, she spends most of her time listening to the t.v.   She has had a good life.  She married two wonderful men, had four kids, four grandchildren and three great grand children. When I was growing up she and my dad had tons of friends.  Of course, most of her friends are gone now, so I am grateful that she has good neighbors.

This year for Founders Day we all participated by being on a float.  I was on the McGregor Tiara Literary Society float and Ben and Walter were on the Zion Lutheran float.  It was a fun day!  When my camera starts working I will post some pics from bocce.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another openin', another show!

And off we go to Broadway land! Yes, once again I am directing a show for my elementary school. This year we are doing a Broadway Revue. Eight different songs from seven shows. Had to do both It's a Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow from Annie. With over 40 little girls involved how could I NOT? It will be a lot of work, but I have lots of great help from parents and grandparents.

Ben is once again playing Upward Basketball and loving it. Last year he got pneumonia and missed the last few weeks. Back in November he won a gold medal at the Special Olympics for bowling. We are so proud of our boy!

I must get busy memorizing music for my choir, the Central Texas Master Singers. We will be recording in May. I am so excited about that! We will finally have a CD we can sell. I can't wait to get one for my mom.

I hope everyone is well this time of year. Lots of people are getting sick. So far I have not gotten anything, lets hope it stays that way!

Blessings to all!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My dear sweet Ben.

A few weeks ago Walter caught a bad cold. I got it next, then Ben started hacking away. Two weeks before spring break Ben seemed okay one day and then really sick the next. I knew on Saturday that he really didn't feel well so we stayed home from basketball. The next morning he started upchucking because of all the drainage in his tummy. Poor baby, he could not keep anything down. After Walter got home from church I noticed that Ben was not breathing right. He didn't look good and I really started to worry about him. I thought to myself that we really needed to get him up to the emergency room. Just then Walter came in the room and said, "I think we need to go to the ER". So we went.

The nursing staff at Providence is really awesome. Our first nurse, an itty bitty blonde named Kristy, was so good with Ben. He even called her Sharpay, which of course is the highest compliment he can give. If you haven't seen High School Musical, the character of Sharpay is the cute blonde diva. So Sharpay, er, Kristy, got an IV going with the help of a big guy named Andrew. Walter and I stepped out of the room to make a few phone calls and texts, but really we just wanted to not be in the room if he screamed. After a few minutes, Andrew left and I was actually shocked that we hadn't heard a peep out of our boy. A little bit later radiology came and got Ben for a chest x-ray. The doctor came in and confirmed that Ben had pneumonia. He said because of his inability to keep anything down that Ben needed to be hospitalized.

A little while later we went up to the third floor. The pediatric wing is called Munchkinland. The whole hall is decorated with murals depicting The Wizard of OZ characters. They even had a carpet specially made to look like the yellow brick road. Ben was in the Dorothy and Glinda room. Inside the rooms look just like any other hospital room, but our nurse, Misty, made sure that Ben had a stuffed TOTO to snuggle with.

Ben had a pretty rough night and I got about two hours of sleep. Ben was so good even though he felt really rotten. The part he hated the most was having the IV in his arm. The nurses were all wonderful and took really good care of us. Yes, us. They expect a parent to always be there while your child is in the hospital. Of course I wasn't about to leave my boy. I called the school to let them know that I wouldn't be in for a few days. I also called the teacher I work with to let her know. The only thing I couldn't work around was that the play I was directing was in production week. ARGH! Of all the weeks to have to be at the hospital. I canceled a rehearsal and finally drove in on Wednesday to have the last rehearsal. It sure felt good to get home and have a shower! By then Ben was doing better and back to eating real food. He did need one more day getting his blood work back to normal and he finally got to come home on Thursday.

One funny story from Tuesday, I needed to go get Ben something to eat. His meal came and it just wasn't anything he would eat. I told the nurse that I needed to go downstairs and she made sure that he knew how to call her on the intercom. I get back and she came in to tell me that Ben had called her while I was out. She had walked into the room to see what she could do for him and he just pointed to the t.v. and announced, "I'm watching Spongebob"! My silly boy, I love him so.

He got home Thursday morning and I put him back on the couch and turned on the t.v. I had a show to get to! My kids did a great job! Later I found out that the little first grader who had the lead was sick. She got home from the play and her mom said she'd had a fever of 101. What a little trooper! Well, the show must go on.

I decided to keep Ben home until Monday so he could continue his recuperation over the weekend. Of course that meant that he missed his last two basketball games. Oh well, baseball will start soon and he enjoys that too. A week later I took him to see his doctor and after a new set of chest x-rays I am happy to say that he is all better! It was a new experience for us. This is the first time he has been hospitalized for sickness. He has had day surgeries before, but that is just in and out. Spending five days in the hospital is another story all together!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reality with Ben

So today we went into church and sat down in our normal spot. Ben helped with the "Noisy Offering" and then we had the sharing of the peace. I went upstairs for the choir anthem and when it was over I heard the dreaded sound. "Blkhlwkehtlwke!!" Ben was at the lectern spouting his own sermon. This hasn't happened in a while. I thought we were past it. By the time I got halfway up the aisle Walter had gotten him away from the microphone. He has been told before not to do this. Many times. Ben went back to our seats and sat down. I made him get up and we left the church. Outside I told him I was not happy. I reminded him that he needs to stay in his seat. He took his own sweet time going down the stairs. We got in the car and went home. We got to the house and I told him to go to his room. Of course he starts crying and I let him wail for a few minutes. I then knocked on his door and sat down with him. After giving him kleenex and wiping his face, I said, "I love you Ben, but you have to stay in your seat when we go to church".


We are now watching Harry Potter 4 on the big TV. Almost time for lunch.

I feel like baking. Made lemon cookies yesterday. Maybe bread today. With homemade soup for dinner. Sounds good on this cool drizzly day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chocolate Snobbery!!!

For my birthday this year my daughter decided on an event in Seattle for the two of us. It was a surprise until the moment we walked up to the door of THEO CHOCOLATE. YUM! Just seeing the word chocolate makes me feel good. As we entered the small retail space you could smell the aroma of the chocolate. All over the room were pedestals with chocolate bars and SAMPLES of every flavor they make. I don't mean just a few pieces were put out. I mean they had chopped up LOTS of chocolate so that you could sample every type of bar they make. We wandered, sampling everything from the fabulous Jane Goodall 45% organic milk chocolate to the Single Origin Costa Rican 91% dark chocolate. The flavor varieties were everything from basic milk and dark chocolate to unique and exotic flavors like Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate and Bread and Chocolate Dark Chocolate.
After we gorged ourselves on all the samples, it was time for the tour. Our effervescent guide Rachael was extremely knowledgable regarding the history of the company and chocolate. Our tour included lots of samples (YAY!) and a walk through the small but efficient factory. The machines were not actually running the day we went through, but I think this did make it easier to hear our guide. When we went into the roasting room it was very warm and the air was perfumed with the fabulous aroma of the chocolate. The air felt like a chocolate bath. Mmmm, if only all air could smell and feel this way. Heaven!
After the tour we went back to the retail room and bought chocolate. And more chocolate. The great thing about THEO chocolate is that it is all Fair Trade Certified and Organic. On some of the bars the only ingredients listed are Cocoa beans and Sugar. It is pure and made in small batches. The only place I can purchase it here in Texas is at Pier 1. The next time you want excellent chocolate (be prepared to spend a little extra, it is not cheap) try THEO chocolate. It has increased my chocolate snobbery by leaps and bounds!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009


I am so excited! We leave for vacation on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to fresh seafood, lavender fields and lots of time with my family. My daughter is planning a day in Seattle. We will be seeing Harry Potter 6 at the IMAX theater and then she has a surprise for me somewhere. I know it involves eating, but she said it wasn't exactly a meal. Hmmmm. Knowing her she has found something yummy. Maybe a place that makes fabulous desserts? I don't want to speculate too much, it might spoil the surprise. Walter and I are also planning a day in Seattle just to eat at Ivar's and meet up with friends on that side of the sound.

It will also be good to see lots of old friends. Since the advent of Facebook, I have been in contact with lots of pals from high school. We are planning on a get together. I am also planning a "birthday party" for those of us with summer birthdays. My sister and I and my daughter and niece all have summer birthdays. It should be a fun gathering. We will get a big birthday cake and forget the presents. Just lots of family time is all the present I need.

My big day that I am really looking forward to is July 17 at the Sequim Lavender Festival. I can't wait for a trip to my favorite place, Purple Haze Lavender Farm. I wonder what goodies they will have for us this year? Plus the street fair is fabulous. Lots of gorgeous jewelry.

Must go now. I have last minute shopping I must do and my toes need a pedicure! Oh my!