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!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2012 in Review

Here's a look back at 2012. Lots of pictures and a few videos to remind us of the year behind us.

January....this month was all about helping Asher adjust to life in a family, in a home, with a bed that hadn't been slept in by multitudes and clothes that were all his own.

A "family nap" was declared by mom!

Learning to cause and effect...

Learning to love a bath

Angela chose to get rid of unnecessary stress

While Dean and I decided to add to our stress. Brilliant idea with a new kid home just a couple of weeks. But really, is there ever a GOOD time undertake a major remodeling project? Why yes, yes there is! While you're vacationing in Tahiti for four months. Too bad that wasn't us. (I had no idea we would eventually be without a sink or stove for SEVENTY SIX DAYS!!!!)

February.....  Brought us a check up at Shriners. For those who are new this was a post-op cheek up for Axel after his spinal fusion for AAI.

Which brought us to our friend Nolan's house in Philadelphia. It's always fun to hang out with friends! (they were supposed to be 'resting'!)

While were on that trip, Asher had a major injury to his finger. Poor baby took the end of it right off. It was a long couple of weeks soaking it while it healed.

We spent a lot of time in stadium seats....

While Angela played some basketball

and earned some more ribbons for her wall!

The month ended with Asher getting a major tune up. (tonsils and adenoids out along with urological reconstructive work)

March.... Could it be the kitchen is close to done? still have weeks to go, but the sheetrock is done!

I made a 30 second decision to bail to a hotel with the kids while the floors were being refinished.

We decided on paint colors...or changing chosen paint colors....

And my amazing husband got all the painting done while I kept Asher out of it.

Axel got his first ever ride in the sidecar. In March. In Minnesota! Amazing.

Finally...finally the cabinets arrived!

Asher supervised the unloading

April...oh sweet April!!!!!

Asher started school!

And therapy

And thank God in Heaven, the kitchen was FINALLY done!!! (notice there are FOUR bar stools and we only have 3 kids here. Hmmmmm) 

Just in time for Easter!

Axel helped Dean in the garage

May.... In May Asher found the wonderful sunlight and spent nearly every day soaking up the vitamin D!

It also brought track and field, and Axel's first season to participate in Special Olympics!
 And more outside time.

June...Angela turned 16 this year!

and Asher learned about mowing the lawn

And sadly we lost my niece, Princess Destany, at 6 years old.

More track medals for the wall

Angela went to camp Wawbeek for the 5th year in a row.

July...found the kids and I packing up the van for a road trip to the NDSC conference in Washington DC

And meeting many friends along the way!

It also brought a check up at Shriners in Philadelphia where we found out that Asher also has AAI!

July also brought the sudden loss of my brother in law Tony, pictured here with his daughter (my niece) Tianna at her wedding last year.

August brought Axel's 12th birthday

and a trip to the dentist for everyone!

And since it's a quiet month around here, it also allowed for extra bonding time between brothers.

Then came September and school started! YAY SCHOOL!!!

Asher, at 8 years old, is almost a full two years older than everyone in his Kindergarten class, but he is by far the smallest.

We snuck in one last parade with the cousins!

We did some more work around the house.

We even filled in our HUGE pond! No more water worries with kids here!

We made our back yard a bit safer to access...

And went to the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk

October was really busy. There was some sadness at the sudden loss of my cousin Kim. 

 but the biggest events were Halloween and Asher's birthday which falls on October 31st!

Oh and Angela started cheerleading!!! You can find her in this video, she has short hair with a big bow on top and is wearing black pants. She comes out doing a somersault so is easy to spot.

November found the kids dancing at Asher's school sock hop

and Angela's friend Adam's birthday party. 

And finally....finally we've made it to December! 
We got the lights up on the house.

then we finally got our first good snow!

Axel was in a play at school. He was the fox in the Gruffalo.

On December 14th, 2012 I was going to announce the big news in our family. Instead I turned to Facebook and found our nation mourning as 20 innocent children and 6 teachers and staff were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. My friend's daughter Charlotte was in her classroom on that fateful day. We waited and waited for the names to be released. Seeing Charlottes name listed first at the top of the list took my breath away. My prayers continue to be with their family.

 A few days later, we announced our news. We have a new son coming to our family and hope he will be here in April! I cannot post a picture of him yet, though we have seen him. He's SO HANDSOME, full of life, with a giant smile that will surely brighten the days of anyone who sees it. We cannot wait to get him home.

Christmas day finally arrived. The kids were SO excited!

With Charlotte's passing came the reconnecting of old friends lost to time and distance. We were able to reconnect to Remember Charlotte's Light. We wore pink, Charlotte's favorite color.

Charlotte's favorite song was "Home" by Phil Phillips. The day before she was killed, Charlotte and her mom Jo Jo were in the car when the song came on. Charlotte loved to sing it at the top of her lungs, "Louder Mommy!" she said, as they sang together. I know a whole group of people who will always hear those words, "Louder mommy!" whenever they hear that song. We sang in honor of Charlotte.

As we say goodbye to 2012, we remember those we've lost with heavy hearts. We remember the joys, the smiles, the blessings God gave us this year. We look ahead to 2013 with hope for peace, love and that we continue to be blessed by God however he sees fit. We anxiously await the arrival of our new son and the adventures we'll have with him. Thank you God, for seeing us to 2013!!!!


The Sumulong 3 said...

What a year! I know the sadness was difficult, especially when so much of it was unexpected.

I can't wait to hear more about your adoption journey and meet your new guy when he takes his place in your family.

I wish you a bright and blessed new year.

PS--fav pics are hands down the ones of the kids dressed for the Sock Hop. I don't remember seeing those before (?), but they are great. Runner up for me are the two of Axel and Asher in the bathroom brushing their hair. Cute!

Hope Anne said...

What a great post! Thank you for bringing The Minion and all the rest of you to visit at our house! And may God comfort your hearts as you mourn those you who died . . . looking forward with you to your son coming home!!

Lund7 said...

Wow Leah...that was a great, informative post! Love seeing all the pictures of the kids too! Happy New Year. One of these days we will have to get together again...