Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday Elijah!!!

Life with Elijah has been so unpredictable and mostly fun. He is always the character.  He takes being a pain in his sisters butt as a real job.  He has more energy that the other 6 family members in our house combined.  He has a love for his brothers that he is not ashamed to show to others.  He is fantastic in school.  He loves t-ball and is a really good player.  His speed running makes lots of people talk..

Here are a few photos from the past:

On his 8th Birthday we got him a personalized bat from Brookville Wood Products, took him to the batting cages to try it out and then he got special time with daddy last night as they went to a State College Spikes baseball game.  Elijah even got a ball!!!

Happy Birthday Buddy We Love YOU!!!!  Now off to grandma and papa's for pizza, wings and cake and ice cream.. YUM :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twins Dancing to Barney song

Last night the twins were being really silly and Camille grabbed the video camera and captured the fun:

Pennsylvania Christain Camp.... here comes my Camille

Tristin has been going to the Pennsylvania Christian Camp summer camp program for a few years now. Today my Camille left for her first week away from home more excited than I have seen her in a long time. I am certain that this is going to be so good for her not only to just get away and have some fun without her usual responsibilities here at home, but to go out in the world and meet new friends that she would not otherwise ever meet.

Just like when Tristin went for the first time, I have some anxiety over Millie being gone for a week... and I have some jealousy over the fact that "I didn't get to do this kind of stuff when I was a kid". Due to our family dynamic of having our twins with Down Syndrome and Autism, my older three children really have missed out on being a kid as much I would have liked them to. Camille has been mother hen since the day Caleb came home from the NICU at just over 4 pounds. She is my helper, she is the goto girl when the twins get hurt or need something. She has an amazing spirit and the biggest heart that I have ever seen in a little girl.

For this reason I hope that she gets some good christian encouragement this week, I hope that she makes a lifelong friend, I hope that this week she learns how much she is loved not only by her parents and family but from God the Father.

Love you Millie!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Comfortable nap?? .... I think NOT

This is my boys in 5 years... this is how I felt...


As I watched this video today I felt like I knew this little boy. His actions, his humming, his behaviors are almost identical to what I see at home on a daily basis. Seeing the progress he has made makes my efforts even more fueled.

Raising children with special needs is by no means easy, but it certainly contains more powerful reflections on just how easy we have it compared to them. How we take so much for granted and yet complain about it. Seeing my boys go through what they have to go through, all the doctors visits, therapies, behavior modifications from "professionals", and daily struggles to make people understand what they want... I have no right to complain about the price of tea in China.

Life Handed Me Lemons... and we are being SERVED lemonade.

There really are no words that I can begin to come up with to thank the women from my church at the DuBois Church of Christ,the moms in my MOPS group, my family, and my friends for helping me and my family in our time of need. So I quote the Apostle Paul in Philemon 1:4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.

When I fell three weeks ago with Caleb I would have never thought that the recovery would turn out to include surgery and staying off my leg for an extended period. Any of you who personally know me, knows "THIS IS KILLING ME" I am always on the go from sun up to sun down. I have been told by many that this might just be God's way to slow me down for a little bit, to that I laugh. But now three weeks down, I may have another thought..

God is teaching me what its like to accept help. That's right!! It is H-A-R-D to need help, let alone ask for help. Help getting groceries, going to doctors appointment and therapies, bathing my children, laundry and household duties (including meals). Its embarrassing and humbling to allow people into your home when its messy, to ask for help in your garden when the weeds quite frankly almost look better than the plants themselves. To just allow people in.

What I feel God has taught me is that Caleb and Isaac accept help everyday for things that they cannot themselves do. They may look around and see other children doing things that they cannot yet do for themselves. They may go to a birthday party and see all the children interacting without adult supervision or guidance and wonder why mom or dad has to help them hold a bat to hit the pinata. They may see other children feeding themselves at a restaurant and feel a sense of embarrassment that mom has to help them scoop their food onto their spoon so that they may bring it to their mouth. They may wonder why they have wrap around workers going out in the community with them to help keep them safe when their brother and sisters do not have anyone.

I honestly don't know if they have any of the above feelings that I have expressed but as they age I know they will know and feel that they are different. And I know that they will accept help that is given to them that will make their life easier and better. They truly have taught me more than I feel I will ever teach them.

With each meal that comes my family prays for the Lord to Bless the Hands that prepared each meal (or in some cases the hearts that went out and bought prepared foods) for our families enjoyment. And I also thank God for the wonderful people he has put into our life for support and encouragement as we continue on our journey living with and learning about Down Syndrome and Autism and how that changes our family dynamic from others, for the good!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sometimes hardships serve a purpose

I saw this today on a blog I follow, The Malone Family Blog, and just had to share it.. It really spoke to me and I know it will speak to you..

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Its VOTING time!!

Back in May I was honored to have won a makeover from my local JCPenny's in a promotion they were doing together with Matrix hair supplies.  You can read about my makeover here.  Part of the promotion was to give someone within the community who has made a change a makeover, then from all the local winners within the U.S. they put together a webpage to VOTE for the best makeover stories. 

Now I am calling my blog readers to help with your VOTE.  Please visit, search for Hanzely and VOTE.. only one vote per computer and/or phone, so I would appreciate you spreading the word for me as well.  The top 5 people will win $5,000 to give to an after school program of their choice.  I would love to do something for children with special needs in my area with that money.

C'Mon, vote already would ya????

and THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!