Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

This year we decided to go 100% electronic in our holiday greetings. The card has not been watermarked as I know some of you want to print it out.

click images to enlarge them

For extra fun we've included a pop up card as well. Click below to play it and click on the "presents" to enlarge them, then click again to minimize them.
Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Christmas pop up
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Installment 3, Fall 2009 Photos, Donita Jacobson Photography













Praying for Polly

Our wonderful friends the Marchenkos could use your prayers and good thoughts. Their beautiful little girl Polly will have her first of 2 brain surgeries tomorrow at 7:45am Central Time. You can read more about this amazing family on their blog HERE or by clicking this button.

Monday, December 14, 2009

NORAD Tracks Santa's Sleigh


1,200 volunteers with the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) are scheduled to take phone calls on Christmas Eve to give real-time updates on Santa's progress. 1-877-HI-NORAD
1-877-446-6723, noradtracksanta@gmail.com and http://www.noradsanta.org/

Last night Alexander didn't get to sleep until after 11 because of visions of sugar plums that danced in his head. To watch the magic of Christmas through the eyes of my children is the best Christmas gift of all.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cool Auction


A really great family that I've become friends with are hosting an auction to raise funds for their international adoption of a little girl through the organization Reece's Rainbow. Lily has Down syndrome (just like their biological daughter Ruby). She will be a great addition to the family. International adoptions are really expensive but the benefits are tremendous. Children in orphanages in Eastern Europe with Ds or other special needs 'live' lives we wouldn't wish on an enemy and don't survive to be very old. If they do make it to 3-5 years of age, they are committed to a mental institution where they are basically left to die. Help my friends bring their little one home to her forever family by checking out the auction. There are some amazing items available for great prices. It closes on December 15th with the hope that most items will arrive by Christmas. Auction is HERE.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Installment 2, Sophia: She Walks! Donita Jacobson photography




Bonus shot taken at our Down Syndrome Network Holiday Party

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gingerbread Memories

video

*My Christmas songs playlist is back up from last year on the sidebar. Float over song titles and artist's names for more info. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Angel Tree Project

Have you ordered your ornament yet this year? We love Reece's Rainbow and the Christmas Angel Tree Project is such a wonderful way to get involved with this live saving organization.

Give the "Gift of a Family" this Christmas

The precious faces shown (click HERE) are those of actual orphaned children with Down syndrome. They are waiting for their "forever families" in different countries around the world. They range in age from 4 months to 5 years of age. Your sponsorship donations this Christmas can literally change the course of their lives, and ensure that they spend NEXT Christmas at home with a loving family of their own.

Learn more about this incredible organization by watching the video HERE or visiting the site HERE. The direct link to the Christmas Angel Tree Project is HERE or on the sidebar of this blog.

Our ornament from last year HERE.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Trip in One Minute or Less

We drove a long way. My laptop died as soon as we rolled into town (not good). Then on Thursday at lunch we ate a lot at Mark's parent's house. It was good.

A few hours later we went to my cousin Michelle's house. We ate a lot. It was good.

That night Mark and Kent went gambling after the kids went to bed. He did not return with any winnings. At least it was good that he got out.

Friday morning me and my BFF Darcy went toy shopping (with Helena in tow) and then to lunch and Vicky's (without Helena). Mark got a new suit for his job interview. That night the extended family (Mark's dad's side) all began pouring into town. We all congregated at his Aunt Mary's house. They noticed that Mark and I have lost weight. After the kids went to bed, I headed out with Darcy. It was good. (no pics)

Saturday there was lots more hanging out with family and eating, and eating, and shopping. Mark's uncle Bill fixed my computer and I got into trouble for having too much stuff on my desktop (which I had no idea was a bad thing). I saw my grandpa in the nursing home. We exchanged Christmas gifts with Mark's brothers. Alexander really, really liked his gift.

video
Then we headed back to Mark's Aunt Mary's house for Thanksmas. We ate a lot. Gifts were exchanged in a white elephant kind of way. It was good. (no pics)

Sunday afternoon we headed to my baby sister Kate's new house. We ate a lot. At my request, we all had our Slankets that were given to us by my parents for Christmas last year. Slankets and Snuggies are goofy. They make us feel as if we're in a Slanket cult. The men all tried to get out of taking pictures. Unfortunately my dad was the only guy not to make it out. We took goofy pictures in our slankets for no other reason than for fun. It was good.

We drove a long way and then slept in our own beds and it was good.

click the pictures to enlarge

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Miracle

If you're a member of the Ds community, you are probably aware of this story. For those who are not, let me have the joy of sharing this amazing family with you.

Eight days ago, while her father was on a mission trip to Africa, eleven year old Lydia had a conversation with her mother. She had learned of a little girl named Darya in a foreign land, living in an orphanage and who happens to have Down syndrome. She was told by others who had been to her orphanage that this little girl was never spoken to, never held.

Lydia is one sibling in a family of 5 kids; 2 siblings are adopted, 2 have Ds (one biological 1 adopted). Lydia asked her mom if she would adopt Darya if she (at 11 years old) were able to raise the funds necessary for this international adoption, a whopping $20,000, before Thanksgiving. Her mom agreed. After all, $20,000 is a lot of money for an eleven year old to raise and she only had 8 days to raise it. That's right. I said 8 days.

With donations from 300 individuals, Lydia has raised $26,550 in 8 days, which means that not only will Darya be coming home, but every penny over the $20,000 goal will be going to another family, also adopting a child internationally, who happens to have Ds, through the amazing Reece's Rainbow organization.

Do you believe in miracles? I know I do. Read more about their story and watch them on the news HERE.

Monday, November 23, 2009

That Was Absurd, Let's Eat Dead Bird

I have a fondness for vintage photos of women used as modern art, particularly when used in a smart a$$ way. This is my business card holder (now neglected in a desk).

Erin Smith art decorates my sidebar on this blog. (2 pieces, "Everything's been fabulous since I realized my life is just like a Norman Rockwell's painting," introduces you to my blog and "I'm sorry I just please need you to shut up for one minute" is just before the archives)
However, my hands-down favorite artist is Anne Taintor. I picked up this bag in Madison.

These are some of her magnets.

However, the point of all this is not to show you some images that I love (that's a bonus). We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years. For many, this means travel and spending time with family. While there are many joys to be had, there is also a serious amount of stress and drama involved for a good percentage of us. It is in honor of the not-so-fun parts of the holidays that I bring you the following.
This is an Anne Taintor napkin.

This is the 2009 Anne Taintor calendar image for November.

and finally, here's a clip from a movie that I love and consider a must watch during this Thanksgiving holiday.
So, here's to you an yours as you travel or stay put, and as you experience the highs and lows that the holidays bring. Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Festival of Trees

Did you see us? Sophie and I were honored to be a part of the Larkin's Place at the Y tree display at the Junior League's Festival of Trees this weekend. We went today and Alexander had a nice conversation with Santa. It went much better than last year.
Poor Soph had rubbed her scab off of her nose in church and was a bloody mess. I really should have bought her those reindeer antlers on a head band.

Here's a look at the tree for Larkin's Place. This 'tree,' made of brightly colored pillows and items of different textures, was designed to be a sensory delight. Can you see who's in the photo to the left of the tree? Why, it's our good friend Larkin, Sophie, Mark Johnson, me, and new friends.

Here's the original image

This is the really cool poster with the line, Can you picture yourself here? Some of the people are yellowed out for effect. Can you guess which one is Soph?

That's right. Sophie was photographed with the great paralympian Jean Driscoll. (PLEASE read more about Jean HERE).


It was a great way to kick off the holiday season. Here's one last photo taken at the Y.