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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family pictures from today.

Today, since Lyndsey and Mike were home we wanted to get some new family pictures made. Bella turned FIVE on Dec 21st so we had to get those done as well. Here are just a few from today...if you are on my facebook, there are more there, but it is late and Im heading to bed. i will upload more tomorrow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. .

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old.

For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school"s Winter Pageant.

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production, unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his
Teacher, she assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation.

All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then.
Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas w as aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message,
"Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, as she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together.

A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

And, I believe, He still is.
Amazed in His presence.... humbled by His love.


Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Holy Spirit is sure moving!

I can across this video off my online friend Allison's blog. I have watched it about three times and had to go get William to come watch it again. The Lord was for sure there during this video shoot.

Hallelujah is the highest praise!

What a awesome way to start off my Christmas day then to see this. Jesus you are so praised and how I want my life to shine! This man was a testimony to you...and i want to do the same! Thank you Lord for sending your precious son today!!

(Remember to turn off the music on the blog on the bottom right)




Wednesday, December 23, 2009

wont you help her find her family?

TODAY I HAVE A VERY HEAVY HEART! This little Indian Princess holds such a big part of my heart and she doesnt even know it. I prayed all year for the Lord to PLEASE bring a family for her, our girls pray for her nightly....Why hasnt the Lord sent someone yet?? I told William all I wanted for Christmas was a box with V's picture in it and that would mean....we are the family! Well we need about 22K dollars before that can happen. SO I beg of you all to pray for this sweet little girl in the next 48 hours and then for the coming year. Pray that the Lord will bring a family for her so THIS WILL BE HER LAST CHRISTMAS SITTING IN A INDIAN ORPHANAGE. So when her 8th birthday rolls around again in October, that just maybe her new family will be getting close to traveling to pick her up. If you want more information about this sweet girl please email me at rlba272 At hotmail dot com. I would love to help her "unspoken dreams" of a family come true for her....wont you help me?

V is 7yrs old, has down syndrome and is overall a very healthy little girl. She goes to school, loves to play with the other children in her orphanage, can fed and dress herself, loves to be held and loved on and most importantly shows that she can bond with her new family. she is one of the "favorites" in her orphanage and she has been there since she was approx 2 weeks old. It is her "time" to finally be leaving the orphanage for the last time.......Please help her!

If you would love to make a donation to "her" fund for a family please also contact me. International adoption is so expensive and it is so sad that the money is what stops a family from coming together. When a family can provide that child's every need and sometimes wants but yet doesnt have the money upfront to get the paperwork and child here. This is so disheartning....if you would like to see other children just like V waiting to find their family....visit What a awesome gift to give this holiday season, the gift of a forever family!

Christmas blessing

A Christmas BLESSING for our family. A few weeks ago I was contacted via email from a lady in Montgomery. Her husband is a pastor of a church there and she found out about our family, through the grapevine and has been following our blog....HELLO!

She said that the woman's ministry there wants to send us a little "something" for Christmas and would I please send her my mailing address. I did and in the mail the other day came a very nice surprise...a $300. check. We feel so blessed and honored that they would think of us. We have spent that money by giving back. I did buy each of the 4 girls a nice little doll outfit to go with their new dolls they will get on Christmas but we felt we needed to bless someone else too. So I went to Walmart and shopped away. I was able to take some gifts to the WELCOME center in Millbrook to bless another family with. Thank you so very much for considering our family for your Christmas blessing. It not only helped us it helped another family too!

then this morning I get a lovely email from another local person.... here it is:

I just had to say Merry Christmas! You have a lovely family and I'm thankful for people like you and your husband who are willing to take care of these beautiful children! You are special!
Have a blessed Christmas, filled with laughter and love!

My reply to her was that we are the blessed ones. Our girls continue to show me the true meaning of love and acceptance. Our Lord loves us unconditionally....

I guess these two visitors on my blog have found out about our family through the small town network we are in....however you found us...Im so glad that our family can share with you and everyone else reading, the joys of down syndrome and the everyday laughter, saddness and adventure of the Andrews crew.


Monday, December 21, 2009

UPDATE: Tonight we took all 5 girls to Cici's pizza for Isabella's birthday dinner. That is her favorite food so off we went. It is still hard to believe our little girl is now FIVE years old. Where did the time go?

Today FIVE years ago, in a hospital far far away from us, a little angel girl was born. My family was celebrating Christmas and none of us knew that we were about to be blessed with a new daughter, granddaughter, sister and cousin. thank you Lord for always fulfilling our hearts and blessing us! Happy Birthday to our sweet little Indian princess....Isabella Faith!

It is by FAITH that we have our little girl.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Sands of Christmas

The Sands of Christmas

I had no Christmas Spirit when I breathed a heavy sigh
and looked across the table where the bills were piled too high
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix
My stocks were down another and the Chargers lost by six
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take
And so I flipped the T.V. on to catch a little break

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust
No snowflakes hung upon the wind just clouds of swirling dust
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh
Eight Hummves ran a column ... right behind an M1A
A group of boys walked past the tank not one was past his teens T
heir eyes were hard as polished flint their faces drawn and lean
They walked the street in armor their rifles shouldered tight
Their dearest wish for Christmas was to have a Silent Night

Other Soldiers gathered hunkered down against the wind
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again
There wasn't much at all to put their hearts at ease
They had no Christmas turkey..just a pack of MRE's
They didn't have garland or a stocking I could see
They didn't need an ornament...They lacked a Christmas Tree
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition
The only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition"

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side
He asked me what it was I feared and why it was I cried
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
And kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear
There's nothing wrong my little son for safe we sleep tonight
Our Heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right
To worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all
Instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall

He looked at me as children do and said "It's Always Right
To Thank the Ones Who Help Us and Perhaps that We Should Write"
And so we pushed the bills aside and sat to draft a note
To Thank the many far from home and this is what we wrote
"God Bless You All and Keep YOU Safe and Speed Your Way Back Home
Remember That We Love You So and You Are Not Alone
The Gift You Give You Share With All A Present Everyday
You Give The Gift Of Liberty and That...We Cannot Repay"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well this past weekend the 12th was my big 40th Dday... It was a rainy and dreary day, but William made it wonderful! He scheduled a spa time for me and off I went. I was to follow his text's for my places to go but with the rain and all I just ended back up at the house after the spa and waalaa...there were a few friends over for food, cake and presents. Several of them had to cancel due to the rain, sickness and other holiday parties... I did however enjoy the time together with friends and my husband and 4 of our children.

William totally surprised me and got me the new 3GS iphone in white. I had a iphone but it wasnt the 3GS....I love it! He also loaded me up with itunes gift card. Thanks baby!!!!!

I have been having a really rough time lately with some emotional baggage so if you all would please lift me up in prayer I sure would appreciate it.

Lyndsey flies home on Friday and will be here for two weeks. She is excited to finally be coming home. The last time she was here was back in April. The girls are so excited to see her too. Michael will be coming home the day after Christmas for a week so I will have all my kiddos under the same roof again, for a short time anyway. PTL!

Well I hope you all have a fantastic day. Tonight is Isabella's Christmas program so it should be cute....she is a cat in the play...MEOW!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

go check this out....sounds too cool to win!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas pic

Well Sorry I havent updated in a week. Thanksgiving was good. We went to FL to see my family and Michael. My dad was out of the hospital and home. He is still in alot of pain and could use the prayers still storming heaven for him. He has a long rode ahead of him in recovery.

Saturday night we got home and Michael and Sarah (his girlfriend and childhood friend) come home with us. William and Michael went to the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Bucs game in Atlanta on Sunday. They were really excited to get to go. Will had bought tickets through his work a few months ago and was eager to get to head to the game for some "guy time" with Mike.

Sarah and I took the girls to the mall to see Santa. They loved it.

Today, Wednesday, the girls come home from school in a good mood. They are standing in the living room giving me a concert. They are cracking me up. If you look closely of the ones in the concert picture, look at their faces...Bella is really letting it out in one picture as well as the next one Giovanna and Gabby are looking at Bella like "girl I didnt know you had that in ya!" All four of them never cease to amaze me, they make me laugh and they make me cry! God really gave us some special gifts, ones we never had even deampt of! Thank you Lord for my six blessings!!!!

Lyndsey will be flying home on the 18th for her Christmas break. She will be here for two weeks.
We are all excited!