Monday, August 23, 2010

Megarama Day 2010

A beautiful ranch ~ The Forgotten Children's Ranch
I'm a lighthouse nut - and had to snap a picture of this as we headed out on the ferry.
A wagon ride.

The tractor that pulled the wagon.

Well, hello there old man!

Beauty of a horse.

Ethan, sportin' the look!

Phillip with Butter on the horse.

Cute! I especially like that good lookin' man with his hat on that doesn't quite fit! ;)
Really, I love that this man isn't too proud to put a cheesy hat on and do all the "kid" activities. He is SUCH a good Daddy.

Gabriel on his horse.

Ethan was enthralled and all smiles while on his horse. Love this kid with his brilliant radiant sunshine smile!

Chloe and Daddy on the horse.

I think all little girls LOVE horses!

Isaac lovin' his ride.

Justus getting a bit tired of the cowpoke look.

"Awww... that's better."

This little girl saw Butter, and wanted to touch him. I'm finding that is pretty common among those with Ds ~ wanting to explore new people or things by touch. For those of you who know and have been around Butter - you know this to be true of him. Watch your glasses ... and your nose! ;)

Ellie made Ivanna a bracelet during craft time!

THE perfect stroller! These are triplets. The first little girl has Ds.

During dessert time, Tim - the "sheriff" and a few other cowpokes got up and did an impromptu rendition to "Toy Story's" - 'You Gotta Friend In Me'

LOVE the expression on their faces!

Dear, sweet Annabelle - she's all about her orange frosting!

Butter really enjoyed his cupcake!

This funny gentleman played banjo and sung silly songs on our hayride. He told crazy stories and made our trip a great memory.

These two girls were beautiful to watch. We were on the wagon, and they sat next to each other. The one on the left LOVES cheese, the other little girl only likes meat. Phillip said they were perfect together - MEAT AND CHEESE! LOL
Everyone laughed. But watch the next two photos. The care and love. Beautiful.

Every year the Down Syndrome Community here in the greater Seattle area sponsors what is called Megarama Day at the Forgotten Children's Ranch on Whidbey Island. It is a day filled with beautiful faces, exploring beautiful scenery as well as many fun "cowboy like" activities. It's a day to recognize and give something special to not just those with Down syndrome, but their WHOLE family. That's my kind of activity! ;) The theme is of course, that of the old west ~ as the setting is on a horse ranch. The ranch is stunning. Set against a sunny backdrop of a sky and amongst lush green fields with a peek-a-boo view of the water. Awesome ... yet what was even better, was to see children AND adults with Down syndrome - smiling, happy, faces - all different "levels" of Ds ~ but all seemingly so happy. It filled my heart with joy. It's not something you see everyday - other people with Ds, it unfortunately is becoming less common, but forget about that for the moment ~ look at these faces!!! Ohhhh ... I wish you could have been there to experience it. It is something I won't forget and look forward to going to next year. AND ... guess what?!? Next year we get to take Matthew and Ivanna! Wooo Hooooo!

We met another woman there - whom I have had the privilege of exchanging emails with already - who has adopted five boys with Ds. The first two were domestic adoptions and the last three little boys were adopted from a Russian orphanage! I can't tell you how it felt to hold a little one who had been rescued from an institution. I couldn't help but feel as if I was holding onto Matthew - I truly, did not want to let go. I kissed his cheeks and I am sure his mom thought I was a bit strange. ;) I didn't get pictures of them, but they have promised to be at our Benefit dinner (see our adoption blog this Saturday - ALL of them! YAY!

So enjoy these pictures. We enjoyed the day immensely ~ and are so very thankful for the opportunity to have gone. Our children enjoyed horse rides ~ even Butter! They got to do crafts, pet horses, go on a hay ride, and play capture the flag. They also got to explore an old western town the ranch has set up. So - Much - Fun!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good Medicine


Bite your teeth CUTE!

Come one ... laugh ... you know you want to!
Proverb 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons Butter is doing so well ;)
This kid laughs and smiles almost all the time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Berry Pickin'

Ethan's best friend, Austin - with a creepy critter from the river!
An amazing bridge over the river. This was so very cool.

My most handsome Gabriel, in deep contemplation - or just tired of Mom asking him to pose.

Get it girl! This is Faith, Chloe's best buddy. She is also our little niece - just cuz! She doesn't like sweets at all ...

My sweet Lu running through the wheat fields.

Ah ha! There is sweet Faith.

Loved this pic.

Clayton and little Ellie Lu... cute.

Give ya two guesses ...

Making our way to the berries ... and Chloe is already sweet lookin' enough.

My sweet friend Amanda - she really is just ignoring the camera.

My Butter just hangin' in the grass.

My Isaac is growing into such a handsome ... (do I really have to say it?!?) ... man.

Chloe ... pondering the fields aplenty.

Purple Haze ...

A couple of weeks ago we headed to Sequim with our friends, the Savages, Newcombs, Mcarthurs and the McGaugheys where we all picked berries on a farm there. The farm was picturesque and the kids had a GrEaT time. The farm must be over one thousand acres big. Once there you can pick lavender, blueberries, marionberries, strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, blackberries, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. It was a U-Pick and ahem ... a U-Eat. ;)

After berry pickin' and eatin' we took a break and had a picnic there on the farm next to a patch of wheat that was as tall as some of the kiddos and taller than others. The kids ran through it chasing one another, while we ladies sat in the sun and laughed. It was a great time of fellowship.

We packed up our berry stained kids, paid for our harvest and headed over to the river - where I saw the neatest bridge I have ever seen. It was a GREAT day. We definitely want to get over there and do it again. So now, we have our memories - and a freezer full of sun ripened berries. LOVE IT!