While I was sleeping . . .

How can I possibly catch this blog up on our lives over the past few years?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .

No, no, that’s not quite right.

Somehow (actually I know how – we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us), we have made it through the worst of times and are now, in so many ways, in the best of times.  If you know what we’ve been going through of late, I’m sure you’re scratching your head at this – typically unemployment is not within the scope of the best of times.  But we’re together, and we’re happy, and we have people in our lives who we love and who love us, and best of all, we love each other.  And God is opening doors and giving us glances at dreams we in some ways had given up on.

In the past year or so we became parents again to number 10 – Elijah.  A couple months later we became grandparents.  God is so good to give us blessings upon blessings.  We also saw Daughter Number 3 become a newlywed to one of the finest young men we know.  More blessings.  We continue to live the dream in Wimberley, Texas, a little gem of a small town in the Hill Country.  We continue to homeschool, train up our children, and seek after Jesus and His ways.  Our son, Noah, who has Down syndrome and apraxia of speech is now 10, full of love, and still struggling with speech.  He continues to use a lot of sign language that increases his vocabulary and intelligibility.

My “little Etsy machine embroidery store” is growing in leaps and bounds, and I recently was challenged by a young entrepreneur, Andrew Epps of http://www.andrewepps.com, to share the story of that store, http://www.21reasons.etsy.com, and the products I sell.  As I listened to Andrew Epps’ presentation at the Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, Texas, the picture of what God has been preparing for us through the years suddenly came into focus.  This blog has been a lifeline to me – a way to share my experiences as a new mother of a child with Down syndrome, a way to give back to the special needs community through printables and ideas, through friendships and counsel.  But here it sits.  Not being updated.  For many years the main focus of my life was on Noah, just trying to get on top of this thing they call Down syndrome, this thing they call apraxia of speech, this thing they call special needs.  And honestly, this is still a big focus of my life.  But there’s more.

And so here I sit surveying just what the more is.

And I’m getting excited about sharing it with you.

Blessings,

Alyson

Upside Down – Just the Way He Likes It!

So, If you were to meet Noah, one of the first things you would notice is that although he is quite speech delayed, he understands everything that is said to him.  As a matter of fact, he understands enough to do his own kind of word play – especially if it means getting out of something he really doesn’t want to do.

The kids have pretty much overrun my bedroom as of late, and I’ve started trying to reclaim it.  So when I caught Noah with his toys and carrying box in my bed this morning, I told him to put his toys in the box.  (This is a portable mesh box – mesh on 4 sides and  fabric on the bottom with an open top.)  He did his usual frustrated groan but started picking up toys.  He’s got the obedience down – attitude, not so much.  Anyway, seeing that he had started picking up, I walked out of the room.  I just went back in to make my bed, and this is what I found:

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So, technically, the toys are “in the box,” right?  Is the fact the box is upside down just a minor detail?

“NOAH!!!!”

 

And Now He is 8

Noah celebrated his eighth birthday this week in a big way.

I didn’t have his name tracing sheets ready for him this morning, so I just nonchalantly asked him to write his name on his paper. I said each letter to prompt him, but this time I didn’t correct him when he started at the bottom of the letter instead of the top, and I didn’t give him starting dots. It was a totally hands-off approach this morning.

This is what he thought of my hands-off approach.

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“Kids with Down syndrome will accomplish much of what typical children will accomplish, but they will do it on their own time table and in their own unique way.”

Hmmm. Sounds a tad familiar.

I find as the years go by, more and more “typical” Down syndrome behavior and features are showing up and becoming a part of Noah’s personality. Fortunately, MOST of them are rather endearing.

An extradorinary little boy, the ordinary people who love him, and their journey together through the world of visual learning and speech acquisition. (And in my "free time," vintage crochet, machine embroidery, digitizing and Etsy.)