Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, October 01, 2012

31 for 21

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October 1st, 2012. 

October is Down syndrome awareness month, and today marks day 1 in the 6th Annual 31 for 21 challenge. Thirty one days to blog for Trisomy 21 - aka Down syndrome. 

I've recently discovered I have a lot of blog readers who don't come here because of their connection to Down syndrome. I always welcome questions about Down syndrome but this month in particular I'd like to encourage you to ask! I've also learned I have a lot of new readers, so I'd like to use this post to introduce our family to you.

Dean and I have been together since August 2003. 
Personally I love how my glasses cut off my eyes! Time for new ones!

We are both previously married and between us have 8 kids. Rob 26, Noah 25, Tyler 23, Bryon 23, Aaron 22, Angela 16, Axel 12, Asher 7. The only kids living at home are the three youngest. Well, that doesn't count the occasional big brother who crashes on the couch! 

Angela, who has Down syndrome, is a very spunky young lady. She can usually be found listening to music and wearing stripes of some sort. She talks incessantly but due to her hearing loss can be very difficult to understand. She doesn't seem to care. She is a sophomore in high school and talks about graduation and getting her own apartment pretty much every day! She is a very active young lady and participates in several sports throughout the year. She used to be very involved in theater but she hasn't had time for it the last couple of years. She's also just getting back into swimming after taking a hiatus the last two years. 

Axel is 12 and also has Down syndrome. He was adopted from Serbia in December 2010. He's a pretty quiet guy and communicates using American Sign Language. (ASL) He does have a lot of words he's able to say now but he relies on ASL as his preferred method of communication. Axel LOVES Thomas the Train and paper. Any kind of papers that he can call "his" make him happy but booklets, brochures and pamphlets are his favorite and I am constantly having to clean out the stash in his room! Axel also loves music, going places in the van and bossing his little brother around. 

 Asher is 7 and he joins the Down syndrome crowd here. He was adopted from Serbia in December 2011 and this month will celebrate his first birthday in our family! He really doesn't know what birthdays are yet so we're really excited for his big day which fall son Halloween. Asher came to us 100% silent. He had absolutely no method of communication and didn't make any sounds at all. None. Zero. It is hard to describe to people how a 7 year old boy can be completely silent.  That all ended in July when the kids and I took a road trip to Washington D.C. for the National Down Syndrome conference. Apparently spending 6 days in the van drove him crazy because it was on the road when he started babbling and making all kinds of faces! It's been so fun to watch him come out of his shell these last few months. He's now able to say "more", "mama" and we're working on "dada". He has about 60-70 signs that he uses now and we're hoping more words will be coming soon!

We also have an adoption blog where you can read the boys adoption stories along with our current adventures!  You can find it at

So that's us! I hope you stick around. Please don't hesitate to ask questions! If they're questions of a more personal nature please leave a way for me to respond to you privately. If you're new here, I'd love if you'd let me know how you found us!


Anonymous said...

Hey! I have been a long time reader and love your family! I am part of a club called the movement. This club is all about orphan care! We were wondering if we could make cards that you could take to Serbia for your next trip!? Contact me at

Christine said...

I enjoyed this post. So nice to read about your family.