Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Growing Up



Steven had hip surgery about 2 weeks ago and I don't know what they did to him, but he seems to have grown up. He has handled it very well. It has been amazing seeing how fast he is healing, but he also different in other ways. Last night he remembered an advent calendar we used to put up at Christmas but haven't for years. I don't like it because of all the small parts and it's just another thing for me to do. He never enjoyed small action figures. His fine motors skills just weren't good enough to maneuver those little parts. I got it out and he had so much fun putting it together.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One For Bekah



I know I ususally write about Steven here, but I have two stories about his princess that are just to priceless not to share. Bekah has dyslexia and part of her disability is that she misunderstands what she hears sometimes (at least thats what Childrens Hospital said, maybe she just can't hear), but anyway it makes for some interesting conversations. We have had 2 such incidents recently. One was when I was complaining about our lap top and how bad I wanted a new one. Now you need to know I consider the lap top Scott's computer so when I refer to it I say Dad's computer. So as I was telling her how I wanted a new one I said "As soon as Dad's dies I'm getting a Mac." Her very sincere and worried reply was "Why do you have to wait for Dad to die." While your still laughing I'll go on to the next one. Friday night Scott had a terrible migrain headache and in an effort to get rid of it he was using oxygen (I know it's weird but we have oxygen at our house), we keep it upstairs so he was laying in her bed using it. So when I told her "Dad had a terrible migrain and had to lay in your bed with the oxygen", she said (again completely seriously), "who is Austin."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tip a Cop



I sometimes wonder if Steven will ever really have a job, but after today I think I can put that fear to rest. We helped out at Old Chicago today with some local police officers, raising money for Special Olympics. It was called "Tip a Cop". There were envelopes on each table for people to leave donations in. I wasn't sure exactly to expect. I was a little worried they would just expect the athelets to go around and ask for donations. But I was happily surprised that they actually got to work and visit with the guests. Which made people very generous. I think meeting the kids and seeing them as a valuable person was great. The kids got to work with the hostess on seating and giving out menus, as well as clean up. Steven totally amazed me. He worked the whole time (except for when he ate his lunch). He was clearly tired at the end, but he probably worked 3hrs. Not bad for his first time. I feel confident he will have a job one day.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Confused?




Steven has recently discovered an old movie on VHS that he likes. We don't use VHS very often so he is not quite up on how to get it started. Friday while I was at work he came home from school and did his chores as always and then got ready for a movie. He must have tried very hard to figure out the VHS because by the time he called me all I heard as I answered the phone was a very stressed "I'm so fused, Mom. I can't do it." It was so funny, maybe you had to be there but I thought I would share. Unfortunatly he never did get it to work. So when I got home we had VHS lessons. Now he's got it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mountain Mobility

This summer Steven started using Mtn Mobility (a bus service for people with special needs). This bus takes riders from point A to point B without stops in between. They know their riders and their needs so it is perfect to provide more indepenance. His very first ride was quite exciting. Due to some confusion at the day camp he was leaving he accidentally got on the regular bus. There were other kids from the camp on that bus so we thought he could just ride with them and get off with them (one of the kids had a cell phone) and I could pick him up. I had called this other camper to ask them to keep Steven with them, so we had a plan. Well the regular bus makes regular stops and at one of them Steven saw a Mtn Mobility bus like he was supposed to ride and thought "oh, there's my bus". So he gets off. The other camper that was supposed to be with him wasn't sure what to do and by the time I got a call the bus he was on was gone and Steven was on his own. I kept getting calls that Steven had gotten on the wrong bus, wait it's o.k. he's with some friends, wait it's not o.k. he got off, he's alone and we don't know where he is!!! WHAT! So naturally I am freaking out. Well thank goodness for our small community. Steven went to the Mtn Mobility bus he saw and the driver called into the office and found out that there had been a mix up with Steven and graciouslly took him home. It was a good learning experience. And it was nice to see him get where he was going on his own. I needed to be drugged by the end of it but it all worked out o.k.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Silly Boy



Steven was so tired while we played skipbo tonight that he figured out a way to hold his head and his cards, but he had a little trouble seeing them. Silly Boy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Be Cool!

Steven has been in rare form for being funny lately. Maybe he should be a comedian. So the other day he sees one of our kids friends walking up to the door. Steven thinks this particular young person is very cool and wants them to like him. He turns to all of us in the room and says, "Hey everyone, Eric's coming.........Be Cool". Again we laughed until we cried.

Awkward

A few days ago we were at the table eating dinner. And Steven has a little gas. Well not really a little, more like big. And loud, it reverberated off the chair! We were all so shocked we just looked at Steven, stunned. He nervously looked around the room, his eyes shifting left to right and slowely said, "Aawwkkward". We all busted up histarically laughing. If I could only get one of these moments on video!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Steven the actor

Steven really should be an actor. He loves acting out scenes from movies. His current favorite one is Tangled. If you have seen it you will love this.


video

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mmmmm hotdogs

Those that know me will know I don't eat hotdogs. How can I knowingly ingest something with 25 grams of fat in it. I wish I didn't know that, then I could be happily oblivious, but I do. So on Fridays Steven's class makes food to practice cooking skills. So he choose to make hotdogs. I had no idea he planned on sharing, but when he called me that afternoon after getting of the bus (he always calls me at work to let me know he got home safely) he excited announced that he had brought home hotdogs for me and Scott. I wasn't sure exactly what he meant, but I could tell he was very excited and proud of himself. It wasn't until I got home that I fully understood. As I walked in the door he ran to the refridgerator and grabbed to sandwich bags one with my name and one with Scotts on it. He had lovingly bagged 1/2 of a hotdog for me and a whole one for Scott. Bun, mustard, relish and all. What could I do? No matter how opposed I am to hotdogs I just couldn't crush him in that way. So we waited for Scott to get home and grinned and bared it. And here is the proof.
videoSteven also has a magic trick for all of you. I'll let is speak for itself.
video

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm watching you

While Bekah was home for spring break she and Steven when out for lunch and ice cream one day. Steven was soooo excited. he talked about going for days before they went. Sometimes when his Princess is home his behavior isn't the best. I think he has unrealistic expectations of what it will be like when she is home and although she does spend quite a lot of time with him, he gets frusterated when she goes out with friends. So on the day they were to go out to lunch I said "You better be nice today". I wasn't really thinking he would be bad, it was more like insurance. But he took me very seriously, so when they got in the car to do a few erands before lunch he was talking to himself (again), and reminding himself to be good. Then he looked into the side mirror of the car and said "I'm watching you" and used his first two fingers to point from his eyes to his eyes in the mirror. You'll have to use your imagination, but it was absolutely hilarious.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Special Olympics







Last weekend was the Colorado State Special Olympics winter games. Unfortunately it was not Stevens best day. We got the wrong boots and he was in pain the whole day. It was such a bummer. He had been doing so well. He started the day off badly and we couldn't figure out why. He kept saying his legs hurt, not his feet. After a long, difficult, trying day we figured out it was his boots. They were tilted too far forward, making his legs stay bent all day. He sat down every 50 yards or so. His legs were so tired he was crying on our first run after lunch, before we even got to the race coarse. He finally made it and did well on the coarse. He even got a gold medal! He was very happy about that. But we still had to get down the mountain. We did what we call the horse. He gets behind me with his skiis between mine and holds on to my waist and we ski together. That way I can guide his skiis and he doesn't have to work so hard. It's tough because he weighs more than I do, so he is pushing me. It takes all I have to control our speed. So his coach and I took turns doing this and got him down the mountain and got those aweful boots off. He was so exhausted he just sat and stared into space for about an hour. Then when the music started for the dance I thought, this will get him going. But when the music started...nothing. Then about 15 minutes later I see his head start to bob. Then a little at a time his body started moving and before you knew it he was up moving to the music. But he stayed on the edge of the dance floor, not ready to commit. Finally they played Thriller. That was it, he was ready to go all out. So we did end the day on a good note. It has been a season filled with ups and downs, but all in all is has been great. He has really progressed well. Much of his success I have to contribute to his coach (Kent). On the days that I was ready to give up he was there pushing us to keep going. I am so glad he did. Just like all good things, the reward is so much better if you had some struggles along the way.

video

Monday, February 28, 2011

Why are you talking to yourself?

So funny I have to share. Most of you know that Steven talks to himself... a lot. It can drive me crazy, but I learned that this is actually a normal an important behavior for him. Well on our drive home from Arkansas last week (we went to visit Bekah for parents weekend) I was talking on my phone with my headphones while everyone in the car slept. Or so I thought. Steven was apparently awake and listening. After some time he leaned forward and asked "Why are you talking to yourself"? I had to laugh. After all, I am constantly telling him he needs to limit his self talk to our home. So he was just making sure I wasn't breaking the rules.

More skiing

Steven has really blossomed at skiing. I can't believe the difference since early January. He began barely being able to make it down. It literally took about an hour for his first run each week. During that hour he would complain and argue and be generally disagreeable and difficult. By the time that run was almost over I was always ready to throw in the towel. He would get so exhausted that his legs would start to shake and he would have to sit down in the middle of a run just to rest and 3 runs was all he could muster. Well last week he was to have a race on Friday at Sunlight resort so I decided to take him up to Copper Mtn. on Thursday to do a few runs in hopes that he would start off Friday having just practiced and maybe avoid the dreaded 1 hour first run. I don't know if muscle memory finally kicked in or what, but Thursday was fantastic. The first run was a little shaky, but for the most part he did really well, but after that he was amazing. He had a great attitude and was skiing so fast at times I had a hard time catching him. That was terrifying. I would ski as fast as I could praying "please Lord, don't let him fall". He didn't. I have been trying to get him to follow me so he could learn to cross the hill and use his turns to keep from going to fast, but he always fights me. Well not that day. After I caught him and got in front he did great. He followed me very well and didn't even get tired. He never said his legs hurt and didn't sit down one time! I was amazed.
Well that day of practice was the turning point. At his race Friday he was all smiles and loved it. He did 10 runs and never complained once. He got two 4th place ribbons and has decided he loves skiing and snow. Who new.
He has one more race coming up this Sunday so I'll let you know how it goes.
video

Sunday, January 30, 2011

One of the camps Steven goes to in the summer put on a "Dancing with the Stars" dance for the kids on Friday night (no parents allowed). Steven loves to dance as most people with special needs do. I don't know why but they all love it. We decided the even though it was in Denver we just had to take him. He dressed in his Sunday best and off we went. We as we pulled up to the hotel I could feel my nerves starting to get the best of me. I don't know why, but I was so nervous about this. What if he didn't know anyone, what if no one talked to him? What if he was too embarrassed to dance? You know all the things mom's worry about.
As we walked in I could hear the music and see the balloons. It was much like a prom. Steven walked right up the registration table and told them his name, they gave him a name tag, took his picture with Hanna Montana (not the real thing, a cardboard cut out), and went straight in, right to the middle of the floor and started dancing. I stood their a little dazed and thought I can't just leave him. But as I watched I began to realize some of the benefits of having a disability (or in this case ability) like Down Syndrome. Steven wasn't worried about not knowing anyone, or if anyone would talk to him, or what people would think of his dancing. He knew he loved dancing and obviously everyone else there did too. So he got right too it. As I stood in the door watching this unfold I got a little misty in the eyes and had to act like nothing was wrong. As I said before I couldn't just leave him so I went in and got his attention and just as I was about to tell him Dad and I would be back in a little bit they began playing Summer Lovin from Grease (one of Stevens favorite movies and apparently one of everyone else’s), well he could have cared less if I ever came back at that moment. He started jumping up and down saying it's my song, it's my song. I told him we would be back later anyway and he said o.k. and kept right on dancing. Scott and I got to go out to dinner alone which was a treat, but I have to admit we were ready to get back to watch all the fun. When we got back Steven excitedly waved and brought Ashley (his new girlfriend) over to meet us. She was a volunteer there to help make sure everyone got involved and enjoyed themselves, and of coarse she was blond. Men definitely have their preferences. What a sweet girl. Any teen that will spend a Friday night making a difference in someone’s life is high on my list. After we met she went back to the dance floor followed closely by her admirer. Well just then the DJ played Your the One That I want, also from Grease. I saw Stevens shoulders start to shimmy and the next thing I knew his sport coat came flying over the crowd right into Scott’s arms. Why didn't I take the video camera! It was priceless. We saw many of his moves including a little break dancing. I am so sorry to those of you who want to kill me for not getting pictures. Hopefully we will get another chance.

Well that’s the latest in our lives. I will try not to let so much time go by between posts.

Skiing

I know I'm not being a very good blogger. This is a bad excuse, but I have been too busy. We'll I just couldn't let you guys miss out on what I have to share.We decided to sign Steven up for Special Olympics skiing this year. For those of you who don't know Steven that well, he doesn't really like skiing and winter is his least favorite season. He usually stands looking out the window saying "I love grass and sun". So skiing is something we do just to keep him physical during the winter. He has only skied about 5 times a year for the last few years and even that has been with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. They have used a harness system with him until the last time he went last winter. He is definitely the least experienced person on the team. We have been twice so far and I can't believe how much he has improved. He is so funny. He says he doesn't like it, but he is so excited every time we get to the bottom of the hill. The last time we went it was snowing so hard that the snow was up to his knees in areas. He didn't like that much. He was doing well but then he fell. After that it was "I can't, I can't, I can't, so we took turns putting him (all 155lbs) between our skis behind us and had him hold on to our waist and just got him down. But by the time we got to the bottom it had cleared up a lot and he wanted to go again. We finished up successfully but then on the way home as he talked to his imaginary friends he was saying how he didn't like skiing and wasn't going again. But by Thursday he said he wanted to ski on Saturday. So the next time we go I will try and get a video so you can enjoy this more fully

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Straight to the Heart

It's been a while since my last post. Just too busy. I know that is a bad excuse, but I decided I had to stop and post what Steven said tonight. It was one of those hilarious moments, but it makes you stop and think.
So were sitting at the table (Steven, Bekah, and I) just talking about how I don't want Bekah to go back to school (college) on Sunday. I said I needed her to stay and help me with Steven, to remind him to take his medicine, pick him up when I can't and so on. And while I was going on and on Steven was listening and understanding exactly what I meant. He looked at Bekah and pointed at me and said "Yeah, it's really hard for her"..... It was so spontaneous I broke out laughing so hard that it lead to tears. Partly because it was so funny, but partly because it showed me how much he understands and that he knew I was saying he was a lot of work:( Wow! Dont kids have a way of going straight to the heart.