I am Grateful!

Tonight I’ve just been thinking about this past year and my heart is filled with gratitude! Even though I haven’t posted very much this year I wanted to at least write what is on my mind right now. I’m so grateful! Grateful for the blessings that God has given us and the things he has taught us. And by blessings I don’t just mean tangible or material things, although he has continued to provide over and over and that has been a true answer to prayer! I mean the blessings of being refined, shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit, and slowly and patiently shown more of himself to me. Most of my days (and by most I mean pretty much everyday:)) are spent changing diapers, preparing meals, playing with my kids, teaching them, and being a wife to an amazing man who is in and out of town often. My days are long and much of the time my patience is tested, my house is a mess, there is always laundry to do, I can’t leave the room for a minute before I’m needed again, I don’t have much time for myself and when I’m out anywhere with my kids people often say, “you have your hands full!” Well here is what it all boils down to – I would much rather have my hands full than empty!

The days are long but the years fly by and this year my patience has been refined and I’ve learned more about the importance of being thankful! Thankfulness bring joy! This life is more than I could have ever dreamed and harder than I ever thought it would be, and I wouldn’t trade it! When I take those moments to be thankful for the smallest of things like a couple extra minutes of sleep in the morning to big things like the gift of assurance of salvation through Jesus, my heart is joyful. And joy helps me reorder my heart and I am able to be more receptive to the Lord. When I think of JOY I think of this… J – Jesus, O – Others, Y- You!

The Lord has shown me bits and pieces of himself through my children. He reminds me particularly that we need to have child-like faith in Christ. And just as dependent as my children are on me right now is how I need to be with God. Like I said, I can’t leave the room for a minute before I’m needed or called on again. So I am reminded quite often. 🙂

Thank you Jesus for this wonderful year filled with time with my amazing children and a husband who is faithful and loves me so much. Thank you for time with my extended family, both expected and unexpected. Thank you for a getaway for Jeremy and I. Thank you for our healthy bodies and access to health care, a roof over our heads, more than enough food, a free car, all the safe traveling we have been able to do, and for putting people in my life who are the hands and feet of Jesus to me! Thank you for the amazing church body and community of faith to belong to as well as a great group of moms who have children with DS! Thank you for all the wonderful care we have been given for Liam and the people we have met as a result. AMEN!

I am GRATEFUL! Happy New Year!

Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Here is a link to a song by Jason Gray. It has been stuck in my head all day and it expresses how I’m feeling right now!



Catching Up… Karis Joy’s Birthday

Liam starts preschool today!! It’s at an Early Learning Center for typical kids and kids with special needs so I am thrilled for him to have this opportunity! He is really ready for it as I just can’t seem to teach him enough at home. They do a different activity every 15 mins. which will be SO good for him. He will be there for 3 hours 2 days/week which means I get some down time and some one on one time with my little girl! It’s a win win for everyone. 😉

Jeremy is watching Karis for me this morning so I get some much needed ME time and catching up on some blogging. Hopefully this means you will hear more from me this summer! One of the blogs I’ve been meaning to post is about Karis’ FIRST birthday and since she is 15 months old now I think it’s about time! So here are some pictures and a little bit about her party. Love my big little girl!

I love an excuse to get creative and decorate cakes, so I really enjoyed doing this cupcake for my little cupcake!

I made her a tutu to wear at her party and at first she wasn’t too sure about it but then she just decided to ignore it, which I’m glad because it looks SO adorable on her cute body!

Can’t get enough of her pretty smile!!

She LOVED her balloons! I took her to Publix to get the cupcake balloon the day before her party and she freaked out pointing at it and saying “OOOO” as loud as possible. It was pretty funny! Now everytime she sees a balloon it’s kind of a big deal. 😉

Opening gifts while her buddy Truitt looks on. Karis was the only little girl at her party! Most of her friends are Liam’s friends too.

The Spread!

The finished product!

Before she destroys her cupcake!

She wasn’t too sure at first but when she got a good taste of it… she ate some and the rest she just played in. It was nice change from Liam dry heaving on his first cake. 🙂

Liam enjoying his ice cream but a little overwhelmed at all the people at his house once he got up from his nap.

Karis enjoying her new swing and slide castle from Grandma and Grandpa!

On Karis’ birthday weekend the church also had a dedication ceremony for children and families. They made it a very special time and talked about each child and shared the life verse the parents picked out as a prayer over their child. It was neat time to be a part of the body of Christ as we choose to raise our children in the ways of the Lord. I’m so thankful for this church family and their commitment to help my family know the Lord more.

So the truth about this moment… Karis and Liam were tired because their naps were cut short. Karis was the loudest kid there! She wasn’t crying she just liked hearing her loud voice. I put her paci in her mouth and she got louder… how does that happen!!?


Mother’s Day!

Me with my precious babies on Mother’s Day 2011… taken at Rolling Hills Community Church!

My Little Water Bug! – Videos of Liam Swimming

We have been taking Liam to swimming lessons off and on since he was about 9 months old and he just loves it! He has become quite the little fearless swimmer and he is so proud to show me his skills. Here are a few videos I took from his lesson today with coach Beth Scruggs! She is amazing… and I am one proud mama!

This one is my favorite! He had just noticed where I was sitting and wanted to show me his skills… melt my heart!

Liam is getting really good at floating on his back! At first he wasn’t a fan but now he is a little pro and even kicks his feet.

Coach Beth has this great water platform. Liam opens his mouth really big and smiles and squeals as he anticipates his jump off! Too cute!

Now Booking Cinderella Parties!!

Do you want to make your little girl’s dreams come true by bringing Cinderella into your home to help celebrate your princess’s birthday!? If you have a daughter between the ages of 3 and 7 who has a special day coming up, consider bringing Cinderella to her party! I have been doing parties for almost 10 years, and I’m starting to book parties again after having 2 babies and now fitting back into my dress.;) The party fun includes face painting, story time, a craft, a game, singing, and dancing… this can all be tailored to fit your child’s hopes and dreams for her party depending on her age and stage. I come for an hour and the cost is a mere $125… and the memories you make and the sparkles in your daughter’s eyes when she sees Cinderella are priceless! To book now please email me at I look forward to making your princess’s dreams come true! 😉

12 Months of Karis Joy!!

One year ago yesterday I gave birth to my precious little baby girl! I can hardly believe she is already ONE! If I had to describe Karis in five words they would be… beautiful, joyful, dramatic, content yet determined! She is all over the place and on the verge of walking. She is pushing the laundry basket and a little push toy all over the house now in effort to keep up with her brother! She loves to play chase with mommy. Most days she is a pretty good little eater and her favorite food right now is pasta with spaghetti sauce… I’m not even sure she takes time to chew it! She is really into books right now and will sit and read them over and over even by herself. She is quite the expressive little girl and can say bye-bye, hi, (both of those sound like ba-ba and ha almost like she has a little southern accent) uh-oh (her favorite word), da-da, a-dun (for all done) boo for moo like a cow, and of course she can growl like a tiger like her brother. Her sign language has really picked up and she has learned a lot from Liam. She can sign dad/mom, eat, drink, more, all done, please, bath, ball, milk, help, shoes, strong, music, toothbrush, elephant, sleep, book, hat, dog, baby, moon, horse and flower. I’m very thankful that she is pretty content to play with toys by herself, but when there is something she wants she certainly lets me know! I am discipling her already for several reasons one being that she does not like laying down to get her diaper changed and she kicks and fusses. When I discipline her she acts like that was the worst moment of her life (which for her it probably is), so I’m constantly praying for patience! I know when Karis gets tired because she either becomes cranky or very slap happy… love those slap happy moments! Here is an example of one of those moments – <a href=”“>. She has the greatest belly laugh and I can’t get enough of it! As far as sleep, she gets about 11 hours at night and 2 during the day, so not completely ideal but it seems to be enough for her. She still gets up and cries for a few minutes every other night or so, but usually goes back to sleep unless she’s teething and then it’s usually at least an hour!! Regardless of her night sleep she seems to wake up happy about life. Whenever I pick her up from the nursery at church they always say how good Karis is and how content she is to just play! We are getting her dedicated at our church on Sunday and have chosen this verse for her:

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17

Thank you Lord for the unexpected and completely precious gift in Karis Joy!!

Enjoy these pictures of Karis from this past year of her life!

The night before she was born!

1 day old

1 month old

2 months old

3 months old

4 months old

5 months old

6 months old

7 months old

8 months old

9 months old

10 months old


11 months old

12 months old

Family Day at the Zoo!

It was a beautiful day in TN on Thursday last week and Jeremy took the morning off so that we could take the kids to the zoo for the first time! I’m pretty sure it was more fun for Jeremy and I but the kids had fun too.;) It’s just so exciting to be able to see it through their eyes. Liam was given a Baby Animals DVD from my grandparents a couple years ago and it features animals from the San Diego Zoo and Liam has watched it least 50 times! On the DVD there is a song that describes each animal, so as we saw the different animals of course I had to sing all the songs and I’m pretty sure he loved it! Liam also received a tiger shirt for Christmas last year (he loves tigers mostly because he can growl like one whenever he sees one) so he wore it and I couldn’t take enough pictures of him.

The bamboo was just so neat that I couldn’t resist putting them in the thick of it for a photo. 😉

A sweet lady came along and saw me taking that photo of the kids and offered to take a family picture. How nice!

Liam loves meerkats and I think it’s because I sing the song about them from the DVD all the time. 😉 He also has a book with meerkats in it so he enjoyed smiling and pointing at them as they ran by us.

Here is a good picture of Jeremy sporting his Chuck Norris look. 😉  I think he wears the beard well!

Liam is growling like a tiger in this picture and little does he know there are 2 tigers over his right shoulder in the background. Unfortunately they were too far away for him to really care.

Admiring the new flamingo exhibit.

As soon as he saw the elephants he did the sign for ‘elephant’… melted my heart!

Just a cute shot of Liam enjoying the elephants.

The zoo has the greatest play area for kids! Unfortunately it was nap time before we got to play but we will be back to take advantage of it at some point!

One more shot of Liam in his tiger shirt!

I took this as we were leaving the zoo… spring is here!!

A Mark of Distinction

A few weeks ago I mustered up the courage to pull out the finger paint and let Liam explore its wonder. Needless to say, once he figured out it wasn’t food, he played in it for quite a while and didn’t want to quit. Now, whenever something remotely close to liquid falls on his tray (ie. ketchup), he thinks it’s finger paint and smears it everywhere. Oh well, at least he’s not afraid of it! He was enamored with his colored hands and kept pointing to his right hand with his left and showing me. Then he would talk to his right hand like he usually does and hold it above his head and stare at it in amazement. It was pretty cute! I managed to get Liam’s hand print on a couple of Valentines in the process, as you will notice in the picture below.

Liam’s left handprint isn’t like most hands which is why this Valentine is so special to me! If you look closely at his left hand you will notice he has one line going across his hand, whereas most people have 2 lines just like his right hand. The one line is fairly prominent to me on this print especially since I know what to look for. Let me know if you can see the difference! This mark of distinction was pointed out to me the day of Liam’s birth by the pediatrician who informed us of some of the noticeable characteristics Liam had of Down syndrome. It was those characteristics that endeared him to me even more! This one in particular (the line on the hand) is common in DS and is technically called the transverse palmar crease or simian line. It can be found on one hand or two, but for Liam it is only on his left hand. The single line doesn’t affect his ability to function in any way. It’s just uniquely Liam and I love it!!

My Little Joy!!

Here are some precious recent pictures of Karis. I call her “my little joy” because her middle name is Joy and she bring so much of it into my life… along with her dramatic streak of course. She is quite the expressive little girl… shocking, I know!;) I will post more about her when she turns ONE in a couple weeks but for now enjoy these little moments of joy!

Karis signing “please” and wearing pigtails for the first time!

Karis can be a good eater… I’ll let you be the judge if she was at this meal.

Skyping with Nana and Papa Thiessen. She LOVES attention even from the computer screen!

As soon as the front door opens Karis tries to escape. She loves being outside!

Karis is so expressive… especially when she watches Elmo!


My Little Conductor!

Every night after bath-time Liam and Karis enjoy listening to music while getting ready for bed. It’s actually become a necessary part of our routine. When it’s time to get ready for bed they both head straight for the CD player and do the sign for music. We’ve had the same CD playing for a while now so they are able to anticipate each song and dance along. Liam is starting to pick out the words he knows the sign language to and sign along. It’s pretty cute. And Karis likes to dance along too! Liam also enjoys conducting some of the songs. Here is one of his favorites!