Come along and follow our journey of being what we think is Normal..... just a average family, following God's calling and a life blessed with Down Syndrome

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lynne,
Thanks...however do i have to insert this HTML code everytime at the end of my posts to have the signature line there??? Can anyone help me with this....is there a way to have it permanitly placed in my blogger??





want to win a prize??

Hop on over to : http://www.livinwithme.com/category/giveaway/ and see her awesome give away....Im hoping that I win! I know I sure could use it with all my girls..

Friday, May 30, 2008

Singing Time....what a AWESOME product!


IF you want to see what this awesome product is go to http://www.signingtime.com/ and click on the store. They have so many NEW ones out now.....The DVD's sell for 21.99 on the site and i sell them for 19.99 plus shipping.


This is the most awesome product we have found to help teach us ALL sign language. This is for EVERYONE, NOT just someone with a disABILITY! check it out. I will order NO LATER than Tues...so email me Right away for your total. I take NON CREDIT OR DEBIT paypal, money order, check and cash.

What an inspiration....

I was so touched by this video....I can just see my girls doing this when they are older!! Way to go!!!

Remember in order to watch and hear the video you must scroll down to the music player in the lower right hand column and turn it off by clicking the ll twice

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yesterday....












Today was a good day. Gabby had a great birthday I do believe. The girls and I headed to Sams, to pick up some things and called Daddy to see if he would like to eat pizza with us there. He joined us and then walked around and did some shopping/looking with us. We come home, the girls and I, and they played. Around dinner time, I thought what a fun way to end our first Forever Family Day and Gabby's 6th birthday than a night at Chick Fil A. They played on the playground, we ate some yummy chicken and the best part, YUMMY ice cream! They all loved it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

FOREVER FAMILY DAY for Gabby and Lily

On the right side of my blog at the bottom, you need to turn the music off before you watch the video.
BEWARE!!!!
This video is about 8-9 minutes long. It shares with you our first moments together in Colombia and the home life with us as a family of 8. I feel so honored to share with you .....our FAMILY

Happy Birthday Gabby!




Happy birthday to you



Happy birthday to you


Happy birthday to Gabby


Happy birthday to you


I am honored to be your mother. I am so happy that our Jesus sent you to Daddy and I. I pray we can be a awesome role model to you and a spiritual leader as you grow and develope into a wonderful young woman. I know that Jesus has awesome plans for you and you are going to be that ray of sunshine to many people as you grow up! I rejoice today, the day of your birth.

I love you

Mommy

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One year ago today.....




William and I and our oldest daughter Lyndsey were getting ready to board our plane from Atlanta to Bogota Colombia. We were getting our girls the next day at 1pm. Stay tuned tomorrow for my new montage of our year together.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day







Please take a moment in your day to please remember the men and women who have died FIGHTING for our country! We are so blessed to live in the land of the FREE! I am honored to be apart of the military family and pray everyday for all of those overseas, and their families.

May you have a BLESSED AMERICAN MEMORIAL DAY! Remember, its just not the average day off of work!






Play list.....

Ok, I created a playlist the other day and put the code on my blog...well it should start playing when you open my blog and it doesnt. Does anyone have a clue to why?? I would love to figure it out! My list is down on the right below the archives section. All you see is a blank white section. If you put your mouse there it says click to activate and then nothing happens...HMMM

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I need my prayer warriors ...praying on our behalf!!!

Ok folks, once again I come to you for some prayer!!! God is working on me about something, and I need some prayer!!! This week is going to be a heavy week, and I need all the warriors out there praying on behalf of my family! I will share at a later time what it is.

Thank you so very much!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday..oh what a day of family fun!

Well once again it was Saturday and Mommy got her time out early this morning at 6am to go to some yard sales. There werent many out today, but I did find some goodies. Got the girls a few new books, some toys to take to the beach next weekend, a new Toddler songs musical CD, and several other little things...my budget was $15 and I stayed well under it! I just love the whole "hunt for a bargain" and it is a nice peaceful time for just myself! Shelley, guess what I found.....one of those highly sought after dogs your boys love so much......and I just had to get it. My girls ALL took right to it, and yes the fighting began....what is it with this dog?? So now, I need to see if i can find at least one more.....
.
I had been on a search for a sandbox that all 4 of the girls could all sit in and I posted a wanted item on freecycle....well a lady responded and said she had one in her yardsale for today, but if i wanted to get it before the yardsale it was $10...she sent me a pic and it was exactly what i had been hunting....look for pics tomorrow. Yes, i know against freecycle rules, but Im glad she did, I was willing to pay it and the girls are thrilled. William and I and all the girls loaded up at 11 and went to town. We picked up the sandbox, went to lunch, Lowes for some play sand, Toys R Us to look at new wooden swing sets (by the way we so need now with all 4 girls playing and with friends coming over during the summer) and then home. Oh and we had to find a plug for their blue pool.........mission complete. Got everything we went after and everyone was so good! We got home ate a quick dinner and the girls got in the pool.....super cold water, but they didnt care!
.
At the yardsale we got the sandbox from, she had a nice solid wood piece of furniture left over. Her husband sold it to me for less than half of what they were asking...and it totally fits what we need it for. I have several of the girls "therapy" toys in my dining room in a old 3 drawer dresser...we just needed more room, wanted it to look nice but couldnt spend alot of money...i was thrilled. We brought it home as well, and I have already put the first coat of dark stain on it. When we bought it, it had the light stain and my dining room in dark mahogany. So coat number 1 is complete. I will add a picture when i am complete with the project.
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Tomorrow William and I have nursery duty, so i wont get to be in Church...I dont mind nursery but I so hate to miss a sermon. Our pastor has resigned after "starting our church" only 7 yrs ago. It has grown to a nice size, nothing too large, but nothing real small either. I am so sad to see them go. Next weekend is his last Sunday with us. I wonder what the Lord has up His sleeve for our church?? Interesting to wait it out and see.....
Have a blessed night...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Does anyone know how to....

make your blogger page wider? I would love to make our picture go across the whole page and to make my blogs 3 columns wide or just a wider 2 column...Any ideas????

Thursday, May 22, 2008

swim time

We dont have an inground pool so the little tykes ones just have to do....well as you can see in the lovely dead grass spot, out Little Tykes blue pool with slide is broke. The plug wont stay put. WE had to pull out the pool we bought last year for just Bella and now 3 of the girls had to play in that today....looks like I need to go buy a new one......

This is Gabby, Giovanna and Lily right now while Bella takes her nap...
video

SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU SMILE

Here is Bella last night with Daddy and I after we put the other girls to bed. She loves her one on one time at night for about 30 min before we put her to bed. Since she takes a nap she usually stays up a little bit later....and thats ok with us...that is our snuggle and sing time together....

Gosh, isnt she just the cutest 3 yr old around???


Here she is playing with Daddy.I asked her what Dora's baby sister says and that is her crying..... Notice at the end, listen closely, because she is singing her ABC's....

video

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pre K graduation....


Blogger for some reason, isnt letting me add more pics...so keep checking back for Giovanna and Gabby's class pic

Where did this school year go???All 4 of the little ones will be totally finished with Preschool in the morning....tomorrow schools out for summer! Giovanna, Gabriella and Lily have now moved on to Big Girl school....so in the fall I will have 3 in Kindergarten....Oh my!

They all did fantastic during their program last night. Giovanna never once cried, called out to us, or got up from her seat....that was awesome! Gabby and Lily were a hoot! Gabby, was so worried about her gown, that every single time she had to sit down, the WHOLE dress and gown come up around her waist.....so panties for all to see..... they did great.


Enjoy seeing my angel babies....
I thought this song was very appropriate for my girls. We are coming up to our one year anniversary of our FAMILY day for Gabby and Lily, and this song says it all! God Bless America, My home sweet home! YEs all three of these angels you see are finally forever at their HOME SWEET HOME!

video

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday

Here is one of Gabby and Lily together. Lily asked to take one for PISINGOS! So here ya are Colombia! WE are coming up to our first Forever Family Day with the girls. We got them on May 28th 2007....Gabriella's 5th birthday!


Well today we had our spring fling at church. We finally all wore our FAMILY shirts! They are so cute! There is a heart for each one of the girls countries and one for AMERICA. The saying is "Andrews, four countries one family"

Michael come home this weekend, and tomorrow he needs to get a ingrown toenail cut out. I hope they can get him into the base as he needs to go back to work on Tuesday. Lyndsey made it safely to FL and has been napping all weekend she said...tomorrow is her big day. She will start her new job. I will let you know how it goes!

Bella got her fingers slammed in the front glass door this afternoon, and she has not been a happy camper....Well who would be!!! She is snuggling in Daddy's lap and will go to sleep soon. Here is a few pictures of today.. I bought our Tshirts at www.heartandseoul.com Shari is wonderful and she sells MANY awesome items...so check her out!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Potty training.....

This task is such a lovely one for the parents. Bella is so READY and Giovanna needs to be..LOL! I am praying that this summer we can make some HUGE progress for Giovanna because she starts kindergarten in the fall. Bella on the other hand, loves to sit on the potty! She would stay there all day if I let her, and I am constantly making sure the bathroom door in her room is SHUT or she would be naked all the time sitting on the toilet.

Anyway, I thought I would throw this request out there to my fellow blog readers. Do you have any tips on potty training a child with Down Syndrome? Giovanna will go when I MAKE her sit on the potty, but she can just as EASILY go both number 1 and 2 in her pull up and not care a bit!!!! I HATE IT! It seems like she doesnt always associate the feeling with going to actually sitting on the potty!

Also, if any of you have any good, training pants, all in ones preferred but will do terry cloth ones as well, that you are done with.....I would so love to have them. I had totally forgot how expensive those things were! We can use any size 2 3 4 or 5 if they make them. Just let me know if you have any you are ready to part with...

Rain Rain Go Away!


Today it has been so yucky outside since around 7:30am. The girls were so looking forward to playing outside today...but NOPE! It has rained all day and there looks like no sunshine at the end of the doomy day! You cant tell very good from the picture but this is what almost 1 1/2 in of rain looks like in my front porch. I hope tomorrow will be alot nicer...since they go to Preschool for their LAST FRIDAY of the year! They have graduation on Monday night and then go to class on Wed I guess for like a party and then thats it folks!!!! I will have all 4 of my little ones home for almost 3 months before they start to school again! Any ideas on what to do with them? We love crafts, playing outside in the sprinkler and on the toys.....but there's gotta be more that doesnt cost a fortune to go to. Someone sent me a list of dates and movies showing for young children in a downtown Montgomery theatre so we may try that. I dont think Bella will sit through it though...may have to get a sitter for just her and take the others....

Lyndsey is offically moving to FL this weekend. She starts her new job on Monday and will get registered for classes in the fall at Gulf Coast in Panama City. Since Michael moved out last summer, we left his room alone, but added Bella's crib and her toddler bed in there so she sleeps upstairs....as far as Lyndsey's room.....well lets just say I can finally spread my sewing stuff out and NOT have to pack it up and move it every time Im finished. I found an awesome drop leaf table at the Salvation Army store on Monday for guess how much,.,,,,, $15.00! Its so nice...solid wood and with the leaf it is SUPER long!!!!!! so we will see about this. I guess I have to wait until sometime next week to try and figure it all out....be looking for a picture! Lyndsey and Michael's bed's are left alone and in place, because they will still be coming home I imagine at least once every 4-5 weeks.. I miss them, but this is good for them! They are getting somewhat a taste of being on their own, but still in a familiar place with some security. They both will be at my parents house in Panama City Beach, both working full time jobs, just oposite shifts and in college....so we will see! Say a prayer for "my grown babies" if you get a chance.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Giovanna and Gabby celebrate THEIR day....

The picture of Giovanna coming down the slide......This picture is NOT a picture of Fear....but a total picture of "IM LOVIN IT!" The slide was so slippery, so everytime she come down it.....she flew down! Too cute.















Tonight was Gabby and Giovanna's 6th birthday party..They had a blast! WE rented to YMCA play center playground and boy what a hit that was! Here are some pictures of their night. Leave me a comment and tell me what cha think of their birthday outfits? I wasnt quite sure about Gabby's until she put it on! Enjoy MY GIRLS on their special day!

WELL OUR MOTHER'S DAY ADVENTURE!

You can click on the pictures to make them larger...Also, on the video there is a play button to push. Enjoy!








My Mother's Day adventure was a good one! It started out with my son coming home for the weekend and having ALL 6 of my kids together.....then We went to church in the morning and after church we went to my favorite place to eat... PEACH PARK! This is about 30 min from my house by oh so wonderful. It is like a restaurant with a road side store with fresh fruits and vegies.......they sell the best BBQ in the south and the most wonderful homemade peach pie and peach ice cream!!! Oh so good. They have a nice outside area with walking trails, family swings, a creek, and best of all at the top of the walking trails is a nice playground area for the kids. ALl 6 of my kids had a great time. This was so fun! We then come home after about 4 hours at peach park and the girls went outside and played some more! They all love it outside.
Michael spent some more time with his buddies before having to head back to Fl on Monday morning. Enjoy the pics of our day!
ALSO.................My Giovanna's birthday is today Sunday May 11th. She turns 6 yrs old. She woke up to find a huge stuffed birthday cake on her bed (I do this with all the kids the morning of "their" day. Found this at Claire's a few years back and they love it) and then Michael went out to check the mail, I forgot to on Sat and found a birthday card from Grandma Glenda and Grandpa John......THAT HIT THE SPOT! My girls are the biggest fans of all 3 Shrek movies and this was a Shrek birthday card that had music! Thanks Glenda, Giovanna loved it but as you can see so did all the others! Excuse the messy Den, I had been doing laundry on Sat night!


video

Sunday, May 11, 2008

HAppy Birthday to my princess Giovanna


Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Giovanna
Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!!!
Today my sweet little girl turns 6 yrs old. Today is the day that we all rejoice in her birth! She is a very sweet, loving, energetic, and full of life little angel. I love you sweetheart!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Happy Mother's Day


On this special day I would like to say HAPPY MOTHERS day to my very own Mom. She is a wonderful and compassionate woman whom I love dearly....and on this day I think of 3 other woman. My girls birthmothers..they have all made a very HUGE decision and Im sure this is a very difficult day for them. I pray that they all know their girls are loved more than anything and are in a good Chrisitian home! I think of them all so often. I have had the honor to meet Isabella's birthmom when she was 7 months old and I will treasure that week we spent together forever. I got to know her and two of her 4 boys and have many pictures of them all together. She is a sweet and lovely lady. I probably will never get the honor of meeting Gabby and Lily's mom as that was not a very good situation so not sure if we will pursue that now or if at all. Giovanna on the other hand....we are gettting ready to do a birthmother search in Guatemala and I pray she will be easily found. I SO WANT to meet this lady and bring Giovanna with us. I want her to see this happy healthy and LOVED angel that she blessed us with. I want her mind to rest at ease with knowing she is healthy and cared for. The last time she seen her she was deathly sick with her heart condition. Pray for us in this situation that it is a good one all the way around.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL MY FRIENDS in blogland. Enjoy your special day. And to my Mommy...I love you!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday


Well today was a good day. I woke up early just out of the blue at 6 am to go to the bathroom, I decided since I was up I would go to a few yardsales..I havent gone to ANY this year so far... I got dressed and headed out the door. My first stop I was so thrilled...I found the girls a blue Little TYkes merry-go-round. I had seen one of these a while back but it wasnt for sale..but today I found their toy for just $5.00! I was totally thrilled. William claims our backyard looks like we run a school or daycare, but hey it has all come from yard sales so probably for less than $100 we have tons of stuff! They will be getting a new fancy swing set /jungle gym though soon!

When I got home from yard sales, we just hung around until Lyndsey and Michael made it home from Florida. Lyndsey asked me to go to town with her, so off to the shower i went. Lyndse, Lily and I went to Montgomery and ended up at Hobby Lobby! I love that store! I have several sewing projects to do now...and 2 of them needs to get done by Tuesday for their birthday.


TOMORROW IS GIOVANNA GRACE'S 6TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! I cant believe that my angel baby will be 6 years old! I just asked William what he thought about her birthmom!!! Does she still remember her on this special day? Does she wonder what ever become of this beautiful daughter she loved so much? Does she wonder if she survived her terrible heart condition and ever joined a family that adores her? This woman will always hold a VERY special place in my heart. Through the adoption paperwork, we have found out her terrible past with her husband and the way she come to the decision to place Giovanna for adoption...and then her being born with the heart condition and Down Syndrome she just knew she had to place her! WEll we are the lucky or shalll I say VERY BLESSED people to raise her and call her OUR LOVED DAUGHTER! So tomorrow will be the day that we REJOICE that she WAS born!!! What better way to spend my Mother's Day than to celebrate not only being a Mom to my wonderful children, but the birth of one special little lady!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We have had a good day so far....




Well this morning the girls got up and were done eating and being dressed by 8:30 so we got our shoes on and headed outside. They had a blast. WE got our back porch ready for summer, moved around our playhouse and finally set up our Little Tykes Cottage playhouse outside. It had been in their bedroom forever and since they love playing in their room with other toys as well, I decided to remove it and set it up outside. So now there are 2 playhouses outside and we made like alittle courtyard, with the houses, kitchen, 2 picnic tables and other toys.... They had a fun time having snack time outside and kept calling it their picnic.

The girls were thrilled to play outside all morning. About 11:30 we headed inside and went straight to the bathtub! They love the tub. WE ate lunch and Bella went down for a nap while the big girl took a rest in the living room watching their all time favorite movie SHREK!

The weather is suppose to get yucky here this afternoon, so now the inside chores start....laundry, laundry and more laundry along with dishes! What fun it is to be MOM.

This weekend is our special day so hopefully there will be NO cleaning on Sunday!

Giovanna's 6th birthday falls on Mother's day this year! Gabby's 6th birthday is on the 28th so they will have a joined party at the YMCA play center on Tuesday evening with pizza, cake and lots of fun! Be on the lookout for pictures!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Please pray for me right now....

Im struggling right now with a battle with either myself and God or myself and myself! I need my prayer warriors out there to PLEASE stand on my behalf in prayer. The prayer request right now is private, but I know there are a few out there that do know! And for those of you who do know and are reading my blog.....no i dont have an answer to the prayer, but pray for total confirmation SOON!

Andrea from Reeces Rainbow sent this out to our group this morning and it hit me right in the heart!

Isaiah 40:31
Passage: Isaiah 40:3131 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.


Journal: What does it mean to "wait for the Lord?" It is an important consideration since the promised result is both strength and endurance. Hope is part of the equation. [Lam. 3:24-26 -- "'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in him.' The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."] The context in Lamentations, much like the context in Isaiah, involves advice to a people facing the challenges of suffering. The exhortation is to "wait quietly." That is, we are never to blame God for action or inaction, or to accuse God of mismanaging our life.


I am speculating here, but perhaps the cross provides a picture of "waiting quietly for the salvation of the LORD." That is, in the midst of the noise of the crucifixion on earth [the taunts, the beatings, the crowds, the earthquakes, the darkness, the very noise of Satan], there was likely a triumphant and blanketing quietness in heaven as all eternity silently rejoiced at the Lord's salvation.This picture leads to a second point. We often become disillusioned when we see the wicked prosper, or the righteous suffer. The Father's sacrificial gift of the Son, on the surface, suggests that the wicked did prosper and the righteous did suffer. Yet, in reality, the suffering of one brought salvation for the many. The righteous did in fact prosper and the wicked will in fact suffer. Thus, waiting on the Lord involves the constant battle to shun the here and now for the promise of the now and forever. It is a daily battle to "wait for the Lord," and a battle in which Satan is actively poised in opposition. So it is that Isaiah is encouraging his brothers and sisters to have an endurance that is drawn from the well of faith. Their life was difficult. Our life is often difficult.


We must stop looking down. We must always look up. It is a test of our patience. It is a test of our faith. Weariness often sets in. It is here, as the waves of our trouble and depression sweep toward us, that God will renew our strength and allow us to "mount up with wings like eagles."


Wait on the Lord, for your hope is in Him.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A specail child

A Special Child
by Sharon Harris
You weren't like other children,
And God was well aware,
You'd need a caring family,
With love enough to share.
And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven't been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.
Your winning smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.
We're proud that we've been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The job that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.
A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above,
A child who's taught us many things,
But most of all-
"Real Love”
I found this poem and it so describes my feelings toward all three of our girls with Down Syndrome. We could not have been given any greater gift in our girls....We so love them ALL just the way they are!

A day of relaxation!!!!

For Christmas my awesome hubby bought me a day at the spa....I havent gotten to use it yet, so today is the day!!! I am so looking forward to a massage & facial. I have to go back on Wednesday though for my manicure and pedicure because the girl is out today..so two days of some relaxation...sounds wonderful to me. Here is the link if you wanna come for a day..http://smartskinspasalon.com/index.html

The girls only have a few more weeks of preschool. Giovanna, Gabby and Lily have their preschool graduation on May 19th and their last day is the 21st. I cant believe it is here already. What am i gonna do with 4 little girls all summer long....anyone have any suggestions? Gas prices are gonna be a killer and I drive a surburban......YIKES!

Have a blessed day..

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Dear Lyndsey


Her job that she currently has, has given her the pink slip! On Thursday her secretary job will come to an end. They are really tight on money right now and said that with business slow they have to let her go and just forward calls to their cell phones...

She has shown an intrest in going to Panama City Beach with Michael and live at my parents, work there full time and go to school there...So she put a call into my dad, and he talked to one of the companies renting from him in his strip plaza and she has an interview there on Friday. It will be for a Window company that sells to contractors there on the beach. I believe it will also be a full time secretary job and she can go to college there at Gulf Coast Community College. The tuition there about floored us....we are paying now right at $200 a semester hour for her to go here at Auburn University Montgomery campus and there it is only $69 a hour..so with that all said it is worth her going just for the school tuition break. MAN, college has gone up! Im sure there are more expensive schools out there, but for us paying out of pocket so she can be debt free its killing us! She finally applied for financial aide so we will see how that goes with the new school.

Here is my oldest beauty! She went shopping last night and come home with these shorts...she said "Mom did you wear these when you were my age..." I almost died....YES all the style from the 80's is so coming back and my baby is wearing them!!!
I will miss her dearly if she chooses to go there but it will be good for her to get out from underneath us and see what it is all about. Her and Michael will still have one another and that will be good for both of them as well. He gets so homesick so having his twin sister there will be nice....Lyndsey on the other hand loves to be away and out...so this should work for both of them.
I love you my dear baby....you will always be my first baby girl! I love you!




Mystery shopping????

Anyone out there ever done this? I have gotten emails from this company now for over 2 yrs and have always just deleted them...well a few weeks ago i thought i would give it a try. I did a nice lunch Deli called Jason's Deli and then today I did the Burger King on base...so with only 2 under my belt and both of them UNSUCCESSFUL I was wondering if anyone out there has ever done this. I know its not my fault if they dont do what the survey says but GESH.. I sure would love to turn in one that has done it correctly.

I thought both shops overall in my own opinion did well...and I will go back to both of them in the future. I would really like to do some retail shops....not just food ones. If anyone that lives in a fairly somewhat large area you outta check it out....its fast, fun and you get paid. Im hoping to do at least 3-4 a month...not much money but hey if im gonna go to lunch with my hubby I might as well get it for free and paid for my time..right?

Have a good day.

The IEP meeting....

Sorry I forgot to post to the blog....

WE were nervous about the meeting, but when we were there, we started to lighten up a little bit.. They didnt agree with everything we were wanting but it wasnt too far off. We will try it for the first few weeks of school and see how it goes...if we dont see improvement or like the paraprofessional we will call another IEP and try it our way.

Gabby will be in the self contained class for all her acedemics and then right before lunch will come into the regular class for lunch, playtime, PE etc.....Giovanna will be in total inclusion with an aide for her and no more than 2 other kids. She will be getting the one on one she needs with the aide. Gabby really needs the self contained room for the more focused situations because she really has no clue about alot of the "school" things she should already know. Giovanna is doing so well....but she still NEEDS alot of help with transition, potty and a few other little things.

PLEASE pray for us as Im just so nervous about her going to school. She or Gabby can tell me if anything has happened, if anyone has done anything to them, if their therapist showed up or not...etc...so i so need the feel GODS peace! I know socially they both will do fantastic!

HAve a blessed day.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Today is the day.....

Giovanna and Gabby's first Kindergarten IEP will be this morning. Im just finishing up my WANTS and MUST HAVE's and printing them out to hand out. Im so nervous! BUt I know we are the ONLY ones that will be fighting for what THEY NEED! So this meeting must take place. We will be there from 10-12:30 Central time tomorrow so please say a prayer for William and I. This will be the first major meeting he has ever attended. My list is not as detailed as i wanted but you all can give me more ADVICE on what to add and what to take off!

Here it is:


IEP for Kindergarten school year 2008-2009
Gabriella Joy Andrews
Parents: William and Rita Andrews
About Gabby:
Gabriella will be a 6yr 3mth old girl with Down Syndrome starting her first year of
Kindergarten. She was adopted from Colombia, South America last summer on her 5th
birthday. She currently is taking the medication SYNTHROID for her thyroid condition.
She is very small for her age, due to illness, poor nutrition, and not being correctly
diagnosed with a thyroid condition. She has a low immune system and stays sick with
upper respiratory infections and ear infections from Nov- April. She is a fun loving and kind
little princess. She loves baby dolls, playing outside and playing with her play kitchen with
dishes.
Services we are requesting:
• Transportation via Mini-Bus to and from school. We will start this after a few weeks
of school, so she can easily transition into her new school and atmosphere.
The Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy listed below is to be done with the
therapist themselves, not paraprofessional or special Ed teachers.
• Speech Pathology (Individual) 3 times a week in 30-45 minute block AND Speech
Therapy 2 times a week for 30-45 minutes that can be individual or in a Group
setting with no more than 2 other children. Total of 5 times a week
• Occupational Therapy (Individual) 1 time a week in 30-45 minute block
• Physical Therapy (Individual) 1 time a month for 45 -60 minutes
• This is in addition to the other pull out, special ed, resource time she will be getting
Medical Concerns: Consistent Toileting.
Gabby needs to be taken to the bathroom on a regular basis. She needs help with wiping,
and hand washing.
PARAPROFESSIONAL NEEDS FEMALE only (see #11)
Regular Classroom Expectations / Modifications (i.e., testing, written work, time limits,
behavior management):
1. Must have a Paraprofessional to help with toileting, transitioning, instructional support,
and social skills training in the classroom. The Paraprofessional should have training in
Down Syndrome, American Sign Language and knowledge of providing visual aids.
2. Paraprofessional will alert Gabby to upcoming transitions.
3. Gabby needs to always be close to the teacher for clear visual reception.
4. Use of visual support for Gabby to process steps (e.g. Sign language, photos, picture
symbols).
5. Instructions should always be brief, clear, concise, and specific. Gabby needs
constant reminding. Sometimes it takes telling her 3-4 times before she "gets it"
6. Allow extra 30-60 seconds for Gabby to process verbal information. Repeat if necessary
7. Monitor comprehension and ask Gabby for feedback (ask her to try to repeat the words,
OR show you in pictures or sign language). Even though she may make sounds to you
doesn’t mean she always knows what you are saying. She needs visual.
8. Incorporate frequent breaks into her routine to allow for her to regroup and not be
overwhelmed...When she is showing signs of restlessness give her a 5-10 min break.
9. Breakdown routine into simple steps with visual supports and or sign language.
10. Gabby shall never be left unattended. Transitioning to another area of the school
such as restroom, lunchroom, library, playground etc. She may wander off but will usually
stay with a group if an adult is present.
11. Gabby needs reminding about toileting and must have someone there to help with
wiping and hand washing. She is very short for her age, so there must be a high stool for
her to stand on or somebody to lift her up.
12. The paraprofessional will help Gabby in the lunchroom with getting her lunch and
staying put at the table.
Other Information
A daily home/school communication notebook must to be used.
All therapists must send a weekly communication form to the parents so activities learned
at school can be reinforced at home.
TRANSPORTATION:
Once school starts and Gabby gets settled into a routine, we will want to use the bus. This
will be to and from school. This will be a special Ed bus with at least one aide. She needs
to have a 3 or 5 point harness seat belt, because she can unbuckle a regular belt.


IEP for Kindergarten school year 2008-2009
Giovanna Grace Andrews
Parents: William and Rita Andrews
About Giovanna:
Giovanna will be a 6yr 3mth old girl with Down Syndrome starting her first year of
Kindergarten. She has been in a preschool setting three days a week for 3 yrs. She was
adopted from Guatemala at the age of 22 months. She has had open-heart surgery,
multiple ear tubes placed, and eye surgery for blocked tear ducts. She currently is not
taking any medication. She has a low immune system and stays sick with upper
respiratory infections and ear infections from Nov- April. She is a fun loving and kind little
princess. She loves baby dolls, puzzles, playing outside and playing with her play kitchen
with dishes.
Services we are requesting:
• Transportation via Mini-Bus to and from school. We will start this after a few weeks
of school, so she can easily transition into her new school and atmosphere.
For the Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy below this is with the therapist
themselves, not paraprofessionals or special education teachers.
• Speech Pathology (Individual) 2 times a week in 45-60 minute block AND Speech
Therapy 2 times a week for 45-60 minutes that can be individual or in a Group
setting with no more than 2 other children. Total of 4 times a week
• Occupational Therapy (Individual) 1 time a week in 45-60 minute block
• Physical Therapy (Individual) 1 time a month for 45 -60 minutes
• This is in addition to the other pull out, special ed, resource time she will be getting
Medical Concerns: Consistent Toileting.
Giovanna needs to be taken to the bathroom every hour. She needs to be told its "potty
time" and then taken. She has to be told to sit on the potty because she will GET UP
several times. Once she sits there, sometimes for 3-5 min she does go. She needs help
with wiping, making sure her pull up is correctly on, and hand washing.
PARAPROFESSIONAL NEEDS FEMALE only (see #11)
Regular Classroom Expectations / Modifications (i.e., testing, written work, time limits,
behavior management):
1. Must have a Paraprofessional to help with toileting, transitioning, instructional support,
and social skills training in the classroom. The Paraprofessional should have training in
Down Syndrome, American Sign Language and knowledge of providing visual aids.
2. Paraprofessional will alert Giovanna to upcoming transitions. She gets upset easily with
new situations or something she is not ready for.
3. Giovanna needs to always be close to the teacher for clear visual reception.
4. Use of visual support for Giovanna to process steps (e.g. Sign language, photos, picture
symbols).
5. Instructions should always be brief, clear, concise, and specific. Giovanna needs
constant reminding.
6. Allow extra 30-60 seconds for Giovanna to process verbal information. Repeat if
necessary.
7. Monitor comprehension and ask Giovanna for feedback (ask her to try to repeat what
was said, OR show you in pictures or sign language). Even though she may repeat it to
you doesn’t mean she always knows what you are saying. She needs visual.
8. Incorporate frequent breaks into her routine to allow for her to regroup and not be
overwhelmed...When she is showing signs of restlessness give her a 5-10 min break.
9. Breakdown routine into simple steps with visual supports.
10. Giovanna shall never be left unattended. Transitioning to another area of the school
such as restroom, lunchroom, library, playground etc....She loves to wander off and is
FAST.
11. Giovanna needs reminding about toileting and must have someone there to help with
wiping, making sure her pull up is accurately on, and hand washing.
12. The paraprofessional will help Giovanna in the lunchroom with getting her lunch and
staying put at the table.
Other Information
A daily home/school communication notebook must to be used.
All therapists must send a weekly communication form to the parents so activities learned
at school can be reinforced at home.
TRANSPORTATION:
Once school starts and Giovanna gets settled into a routine, we will want to use the bus.
This will be to and from school. This will be a special Ed bus with at least one aide. She
needs to have a 3 or 5 point harness seat belt, because she can unbuckle a regular belt.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My first Montage.....

On our vacation we went to see William's Dad and they got to meet the girls for the first time.