Sunday, August 31, 2008


"Go Spartans!"

Joe doesn't really stand a chance.

I was in a grouchy mood this morning so I went out to do the shopping and when I returned home these two meet me at the door. Emma explained, "When I was cleaning out my closet I found this cheerleader dress and realized that it was too small. Then I thought....I know who it would fit!"

Labor Day Weekend

Molly (pushing 4), Emma (8), Daniel (8), Charlie (pushing 2), Joe (5)

Emma & Daniel ready for third grade.
It is a hot last weekend of the summer in mid-Michigan. Yesterday we went to the aquatic center for the last time and then in the afternoon had the Conlins over for dinner and play. Since our kids rarely sit down at the same time at the table, I thought I should document this incredible achievement.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Win-Win in our Household

John McCain's Vice Presidential pick Sarah Palin is the mother of a son born last April who happens to have an extra chromosome! I was happy last night after Obama's speech now I am positively delighted! Either way this election goes, it is a win-win for our household. To read more on her initial thoughts regarding the diagnosis click HERE. I noticed that some DNC speakers mentioned disability (especially the autism spectrum). It will be so great to have a prominent public figure demonstrate (at least for the next couple of months for sure) that an extra chromosome is not a tragedy.

Hmmm....I can't help but wonder if her son's IEPs will go smoother than Joe's.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Repeat after me

"When you pray, move your feet!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Morning

Joe says, "okay, mama, cheeeeeeese, all done with cheese now."

Today is crazy hair day at Camp Pa-Wa-Pi

Chris begins his first day of classes after a year sabbatical--ouch! Emma is enjoying her last week at the Y Camp Pa-Wa-Pi and Joe is less than enthusiastic about going to Spartan for 2 more days. He is ready for a new start at Red Cedar. I am trying to get my head around the new semester.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Morning

This morning Emma, Joe, & I went to Red Cedar Elementary School (Joe's school) to play on the new playground. We met a family that one of their children had been in Mrs. Olance's class and couldn't say enough positive things about the class. The kids start school on Tuesday Sept. 2nd. I begin the new semester at MSU at 10:20 AM tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Getting Ready for School

Emma checking her class list (Joe next to Emma)

Emma & her friend Zachary Sneathen (see Sneathen Family Blog)

Joe & Ms. "M"

Joe & Mrs. Olance

Emma & Joe are getting ready for school! This morning Chris, Joe & I visited Joe's kindergarten classroom. We talked with Joe's teacher Mrs. Olance and one of the parapros Ms. Marzowski. Joe had fun playing with toys and sitting at his desk. Emma found out that she will be in Mrs. Daley's 3rd grade class and l.ate this afternoon we walked to Marble School to read the list of her classmates. It's going to be a great year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Cracked Me Up

This image had been circulating on my pals' blogs, I finally borrowed it from Tristan & Chanelle's blog. To see cute Tristan and read more thoughts from Kari click HERE.

Monday, August 18, 2008

After Dinner Story

Chris is reading the third Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" to Emma. If lollipops are offered, Joe will hang around and listen too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In the Garden

Back at Home

We dropped off Joe's paperwork and he is ready to start kindergarten! Am I ready for him to start kindergarten?

Emma in her own bed surrounded by groovy friends.

Emma & Joe loved our vacation but they are also happy to be back at home in their own beds running around their own neighborhood. Emma is still at Camp Pawapi for a couple more weeks and Joe is going to Spartan Child Development Center just a couple of times before he says goodbye to his friends and the staff.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Cousins Frilingos

Paul (2 1/2), Liam (10 mos), Evan (3), Emma (8), Joe (5)

Paul, Emma, Liam, Joe, Evan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flowers for Evan on a Michigan Swing

My favorite Special Needs writer, "Special Needs Mama" Vicki Forman lost her beautiful son Evan last month. We are just back home from vacation and I was checking in on blogs and I can't believe it. I followed her son's remarkable progress in school last year after I read her essay "The Mother at the Swings." My blogging friends are putting flowers on swings in memory of Evan. If you would like to view this beautiful virtual memorial, click HERE.

Tropic Thunder

I usually love Ben Stiller films but after reading the editorial by Special Olympics President Timothy Shriver printed in the Washington post, I will join my fellow bloggers and urge my readers to not only boycott but speak up against the insulting "humor" in this movie. The only way to make the world a more inclusive place for people like my son Joe, is to stop calling them names and ridiculing their challenges. In the one scene written about in this editorial kids with intellectual abilities are referred to as "full retards" as compared to people with physical disabilities or someone on the Autism spectrum. The phrase that is used "don't pull a full retard" will likely be making the rounds this fall in local schools and playgrounds. One more thing for me to worry about as Joe begins kindergarten this fall. If you wish to read the editorial that includes the above mentioned scene click HERE.

Thanks to Michelle at Big Blueberry Eyes for posting about the film.

To see a response video click HERE.

If you would like to join me and sign a pledge to help to end the use of the "R-word" click HERE. The pledge is sponsored by Special Olympics.

And still more from my home girl Michelle.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Greetings from Orlando!

We just came home from a fabulous 2-week trip to Florida. Once we are unpacked I will post all of the photos. Highlights include: Cocoa Beach, a day at Gatorland, the Lego area at Buena Vista, and Aunt Jen conquering her fear of water slides!

Monday, August 04, 2008