Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Tribute - Aunt Deane

Monday I had the blessing of attending the funeral of my great-aunt Deane. What a incredible woman; what an incredible life she lived. She never married nor had children of her own, yet she was never alone. She was like a mother to my mom, and a grandma to all of us children. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of visiting Aunt Deane on Thanksgiving. She would always spoil us with great cooking and love.

Here are some of the things that will always remind me of her:
Macaroni and Cheese with hotdogs
Seeing my drawings hanging on her fridge (I imagine some of them are still there)
Making houses and boats out of popsicle sticks
Cream on cold cereal for breakfast
'Little Miss' books
The organ (she was an exceptional organists)
Playing with milk lids
$2 bills on Valentines Day

The last time I saw Aunt Deane was nearly two years ago. Here is a picture of our visit then. I love you Aunt Deane and will miss you! Thank you for your example of love and a life a selfless serving.

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, January 18, 2008

More, More, More

We were all sitting at dinner last night - excited that Jason was home to eat with us (lately he doesn't get home until Antalya has already gone to bed). Antalya finished eating what was on her tray. I had my fork in one hand, so instead of signing and saying "more?" I just asked her if she wanted more. Of course I didn't expect a response. Even with several months of me signing and talking in two word sentences, it seemed as if Antalya was still no where closer to understanding the idea that words mean things.

So I asked her if she wanted more. Without a moments hesitation she quickly put her fingers tips together forming the sign that means more and looked up and smiled at me. Oh what a moment! I feel as if a new door has just appeared and we have stepped inside - the door to learning through language. Antalya has begun to understand language and communicate back to us what she is learning! I have always known that she would learn to sign and eventually speak words, but I am still awed at the miracle of it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Brent Martin

Have you ever changed check-out lines at the grocery store when you noticed that the person bagging your items had a disability. Maybe it was because you were in a hurry, and you knew they would take a little more time bagging your groceries? Or maybe you just weren't sure why, but you did anyways. It saddens me to admit that before Antalya was born, I had done this on several occasions.

At our local grocery store there are two baggers with disabilities. Now when I go there, if I happen to get one of them as my bagger, I feel blessed. Blessed that my life could be touched by theirs, however small the moment is; touched by their gentle nature, their strong work ethic, and positive attitude they both portray. I think of their mothers, and how pleased they must be that their child is able to work and support themselves; pleased that their child has accomplished so much; pleased that they have had the opportunity to raise that child to an adult.

This morning I read about a tragedy that occured in the UK back in August. I feel outraged that such a thing as this could happen. To read about Brent Martin go to Chewing the Fat or click here to read the BBC report .

I know that changing the way our children think about people with disabilities must begin with us. I urge all of us to be more kind and compassionate. To teach our children to rejoice in differences - whether those differences be racial, ethnic, religious, or individuals that are just "different" than the way we are. I think as a whole we have come a long ways in equality, but the disabled community still has a long ways to go. Lets work together to educate ourselves and our children so atrocities such as this won't occur in the world our children are creating. For some great ideas visit the blog entry about Brent at Praying for Parker.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that. ~Golda Meir

Today at the store I ran into a good friend and homeschooling mom to four children. Seeing her and her children reminded me of a beautiful poem she has on her blog titled "They Tie You Down".

It got me thinking about how much I love being a mother. There is absolutely nothing I would enjoy more than doing what I do on daily basis. Although it is difficult to put into words how I feel, here are a few reasons why I love being a mother:

1. Little girl bear hugs which include Antalya's arms wrapped tightly around my neck, her legs hugging my waist, and her teeth biting my chin (I know she means it as a big kiss!)

2. A reason and motivation to get out of bed early

3. A shopping buddy

4. More giggles in one day than I thought were possible

5. Sticky little fingers

6. Bathtime

7. Fixing dinner with a backpack on my back a little head peaking over my shoulder

8. Caring more about someone else than I do myself

9. Early morning cuddles with all of us in bed

10. A reason to put off cleaning the house - it's more fun and worthwhile to play!

11. Excitement about the future

12. Naptime

13. It is the only job that requires 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with no days off that can bring incredible amounts of happiness, joy, and love into one's life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm still here...

just been busy, busy, busy. For now here's a picture of Antalya in an outfit that I wore when I was little. Thanks Mom for saving it! You can't beat clothing from the '70's.