Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ohhh... Caleb Now what??

Have you ever had one of those scary moments that you don't know if you should panic OR run for your camera?  I had one of those moments the other day.  Caleb and Isaac have recently found out that if they shut the door to their bedroom, they have privacy.  They love this.  I'll go and open the door to peek in and check in on them and they both bolt towards the door and slam the door in my face and then I hear them both giggling.  Its actually quite cute, however, they also get into some mischief sometimes.   One thing they do often is emptying the dressers out or how about throwing their whole stack of a case of 82 diapers on the floor, and most recently Caleb found out how to get ontop of his dresser.  YIKES!!!   I couldn't help but run for my camera (while another adult supervised him on the dresser) and get some priceless photos of this event.

Sometimes parents of children with Down Syndrome celebrate the craziest things.  I was nervous that he would not be able to get down and of course worst case fall and get hurt.  But more than anything I was SOOO PROUD of him for using  his gross motor skills to pull his weight up on this dresser.  I truly was impressed, nervous, but impressed.

Here is how I found him:

Then I asked him how he thought he would get down.  He thought about it,...


He quickly realized that this was not going to work, so back he got back up ontop...

and thought and yelled at me...

then he thought he would try the side approach towards the bed... humm sounds good...

After this photo, mom jumped to the rescue, but this photo is priceless!!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

From Our Family to Yours....

We Wish you A Merry Christmas!!

Call for Prayer

As we celebrate Christmas this year, there are those that are greiving a loss.  One such family held a very special spot in my heart and I am very saddened by the news.  I occasionally follow some adoption stories from Reeces Rainbow and came across this family earlier this year.  THIS family IS an amazing inspiration.  Please take a moment to pray for the Loux family, they lost an amazing man this week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

He shoots..He scores...He cheers!!!

Have you ever had a toy that has needed a battery replaced and you just keep on forgetting about it and forgetting about it? That is what happened to a Leap Basketball Hoop game the boys loved playing with. It has been probably six months since it has been played with and mainly that was because of my neglect to replace the batteries. When you have 25 toys needing new batteries in your house you tend to only concentrate on those that get most of the use.

So....I stocked up on batteries for Christmas. I saw the basketball game sitting there and thought Hey, lets get this hooked up for the boys again. Well, let me tell you. They played together in the playroom for OVER AN HOUR together. They were laughing, taking turns, clapping and cheering for each other. It literally brought a tear to mama's eyes. It was so darned cute and I was tickled with the photos I captured of the day.

Caleb especially loves putting the balls in the basket. There are settings you can choose, one counts to 10, another says one letter of the alphabet with each basket, and yet another function spells out simple words like CAT DOG PIG... They love the alphabet and numbers the most.






Now that was a great basketball game in my book!!

Updated Photos of Tristin, Camille, and Elijah

Our kiddos are growing up so fast. My camera has been on the fritz for the past several months and I finally got a different one, so I've been bombarding my children with taking their photos so I can update for family and friends. We have alot of family that will not be able to come home this year for Christmas so I wanted to share how big the older three are getting.

She is in the 6th Grade and attends the same Middle School grandma teaches at. This has been very beneficial to her and I when the need for a ride arises. She likes the school, has made new friends, and she likes the challenge it presents to her, but she DOES NOT like getting up at 6am and getting on the bus at 7am. She takes after her mama :) She is in her second year of being a Cadet Girl Scout and is working hard on her Silver Award for this year.

She is in Second Grade and is excited to learn cursive writing and math. She likes to do subtraction even though it gives her trouble sometimes, she keeps at it. She is in brownies and has a really good time with her troop. Camille has made great progress this year and we enjoy watching her develop a strong personality...sometimes good, sometimes bad. She is the most caring kid, she LOVES her little cousins and is a great caregiver to Kylie, Tyler, and Alex when we visit with them.

He's our little wild man. He loves his new black pug, Rosco and spends lots of time chasing him around and getting him all excited. He has taught Rosco to chase his tail and it about drives me up a wall. Elijah is in first grade and doing absolutely fabulous. He is an amazing reader and I see good things for his academic future. He is a Tiger Scout and learning how to get along as a pack. He wanted to badly to sing the song "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth", he worked hard at it and his wish came true... no front teeth :)

Oh and we have a new hunter in the family. Tom has taken Tristin under his wing and is mentoring her in hunting this year. She passed her Hunters Safety Course and I'm hopeful that she'll have a successful hunt in the spring.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yo Gabba Gabba Fix

Caleb and Isaac are into Yo Gabba Gabba this year. Non stop about four or five shows per day they watch and they even made up a sign for the show. They wave their hands in the air above their head like the green monster Brobee does. Its so darned cute!!! Anyway we went to a Christmas party with the kids on Sunday put on by a fantastic organization here called Caring and Sharing for Kids. This organization has helped us out so much with the many trips to Pittsburgh we have had over the past four years. They are currently serving 215 area children and all of this began with the dream of one woman named Sally. Sally and her husband have been such a blessing to so many and I pray that God blesses her as much as she has us..

Here are photos from the party. We submitted our letters to Santa in November and he brought all their presents to the party. We say lots of smiling faces that day!!

Isaac got Brobee

Caleb got Plex:

Camille was excited to get the Apples to Apples Junior game:

Elijah and his webkinz:

And Tristin was pleased with her gift certificate to Wal-Mart!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Photos with Santa....not so good!!


I never win!!!!

But I did today!!!! I am so excited. I usually don't bother to enter give-a-ways because I never win anything. This time I entered because it was something that I was VERY intrigued by but didn't know if I wanted to shell out the money for it. I know that we will put this to good use and I'm hoping that it will pull some speech out of the twins. If nothing else it will increase their signing skills.

I won the Teach your Baby to Read series. I entered the contest on a great site for give-a-ways called Pink Nothings and they notified me today that I was the winner!!! Hip Hip Hooray, that totally made my Christmas!! Even Tom is excited about it.

So I will be able to review this for you in a couple weeks after we use the program with the boys. The one benefit that I see with this is that we have a staff of TSS's come in home three times a week and do work with the boys. Some of their work includes doing drills with the boys. This has been very effective in teaching them their colors and shapes. I will be sure to add the Teach your Baby to Read DVD's into the daily work schedule.

You can learn more about this program at http://www.yourbabycanread.com

Monday, December 14, 2009

The twins TV Debut

We were asked back in September if we would allow Isaac to be a model in our local American Red Cross winter campaign. Of course we thought that was such an honor to be asked. Not to mention we love to show off our beautiful children, even under such circumstances. When the initial contact took place I assumed they would just photograph Isaac and use his beautiful face all over. Then they called to set everything up and said we all had to wear matching pants. "We All??" Yes Mrs. Hanzely, you will need to tell Isaac's story for him since he is unable to right now.. Oh Great, now I have to show off my mug....LOL

Off the subject, but this little episode motivated me to lose the weight I've been losing over the past three months. To bad I didn't do it before the photo shoot :)

I went and donated blood today and got to talk to Beth. She is the person who made the first phone call asking if I would allow Isaac to be their model. It was so nice to see her and for her to see the twins and how well they are doing. They were the hit of the 45 minutes we were there. Accompanied by their TSS, they sat very nicely and watched their portable DVD player and just glanced up every once in awhile to make sure mommy was still there in the same room. I couldn't have been more proud of them today. They really are good boys!!

I was glad to see Beth, because I received a DVD of all the photos, tv commercial and webcast they filmed and wanted to know if I could share this on my blog. She made a phone call... and Here It Is....

TV Commercial:

I will get some of the photos up later. There were some really cute ones!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Who's teaching their baby to read?

So who has seen this infomercial? I honestly have not. My older three kids have and they often tell me Mmom get this for the boys", but when I see that I think.. that ain't gonna happen with my twins.

I follow another blog called Pink Nothings who is giving this away as a free Christmas Giveaway. I love following this site because the one sister has two BEAUTIFUL girls both with Down Syndrome. They are not twins, there is a two year age difference. The parents were shocked (as everyone would be) when the second daughter came along blessed with an extra chromosome like her big sister. Obviously, parents experiencing the same road as have a dear spot in my heart.

Anyway, if you follow the link to Pink Nothings above you will be able to witness first hand seeing a four year old girl with Down Syndrome reading. It truly brought a tear to my eye, that was amazing! My boys are still at a disadvantage because they are completely non-verbal, BUT they do sign and we could just teach them the sign along with the words. My guys amaze me everyday. They are very smart. They are very interested in learning. They get bored very easily so they MUST be engaged in something every single day. Things from watching Signing times and enforcing new signs, to doing fine motor skills playing with toys, to running around and wrestling with the older siblings. They really are normal kids and I always love finding new techniques to help them learn. They are both very visual guys, so this Teach your Baby to Learn intrigues me.

If you have used it, or know of anyone who has. Give me some feedback.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quote for today...

Lost time is NEVER found again
-Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Where did November go????

Really! I can't believe how busy that month ended up for me and doing what you may ask?? I don't know....

I have been training to run my first 5k, which I DID on Thanksgiving morning... thank you thank you very much :)

The twins and I have been going through a bit of a transition with getting a new TSS worker in the house and replacing our favorite TSS ever Colleen. She had to move onto bigger and better positions within her company and I wish her Good Luck in all that she does. I am struggling a bit getting used to someone else coming in and working with the boys when we had the Best there was.. and now this new girl doesn't even SING??? What??? She's young and I think it embarrasses her to sign in front of other people. One piece of advice for anyone who comes in contact with my boys. They are so motivated by music and signing that if you even just sung the ABC's or the Wheels on the Bus or Five Little Monkies Jumping on the Bed, you would INSTANTLY be the boys favorite person in the whole wide world..LOL

I went and got the boys sized for an adaptive stroller last month. They are getting so big and I cannot handle them out in the community alone by myself so for safety we went ahead with ordering them a "wheelchair" stroller to use. The weight goes upto 110 pounds each so its something we can use for a long long time to come.

I observed the twin at preschool one day last month and it brought tears to my eyes seeing how far they've come and just how involved they are in the classroom. They were signing songs and the boys were making the gestures before the words even came out. They anticipated what was coming next for like four songs. I was so tickled!!!

Another thing that happened last month was that we got word that BOTH boys were approved for a wish from Make-A-Wish. We don't know what they are going to do yet, but we're excited for them.

Tristin got to go deer hunting for the first time Monday, she did not get anything but is still hopeful to go out this weekend and give it another try.

Camille has been getting a better attitude about things lately. A couple times this month she cranked up her MP3 player and helped around the house so much I almost felt like paying her a housekeeper fee!! When she wants to do something she sure does a great job at it.

Elijah has become the Wii master all the sudden. He gets on that system everyday. I think its a boy thing? LOL but he can't even read all the words in some of the games that give hints or advice and he still masters the game. Oh and another great point to make about him, I went out for a jog one day and he asked if he could come. I didn't think it would hurt to try and see what he had in him, he jogged a mile with me and his pace was faster than mine!! I was so proud of him and I think he may be my training buddy come spring :)

Tom and I have kept busy with everyday life. But the most noteable thing for November was that we both got to attend the Arc's National Convention in Pittsburgh November 12 - 14. This was so beneficial for us both, being that we both just got involved with the organization this year. I am the Executive Director and he is the Vice President of our branch. I am excited and hopeful that we will be able to use some of the knowledge gained at the convention to bring more services to our area. As a matter of fact, I met with a grant writer today to see about getting a grant for integrated sports in the area and field trips for the families of our parent support group. Let's hope :O)