Category Archives: My Peanut

All things Gracin!

NOT the Blissful follow up you were expecting

Okay, before you get your big girl panties in a frenzy, yes, Blissdom Canada 2013 was fill of bliss.

Yes, I came home feeling spoiled, inspired and loved.

The wine was great,  the food was excellent (as was confirmed by my scale this morning), the sponsors were terrific, the speakers were phenomenal. Tears of every kind were shed.

I learned a little, felt a lot and above all was reconnected with my dreams and for all of that, I do want to give a few shout outs…

First off, all you Blissdom Girls (& couple boys) you’re fabulous in every sense of the word. You ROCKED this challenge and proved that Canadians have all it takes to be the success we dream of. You are inspirations and I’m honoured to be able to call at least some of you my friends!

Sleep Country Canada – Although I didn’t win your Tempur-Pedic bed, “Bliss” is a welcome addition to our family. Thank you.

Image

19 Crimes – Thanks for delicious wine, the cool t-shirt and for allowing me to wrap myself in your silky Australian accent. (Yes, ladies I was enraptured by the man, please don’t pretend that you weren’t!)
Good luck on your big launch this new year. I’m sure your “preferred location” will be absolutely fabulous! (And, just so you’re not lying awake worrying about me, my husband did let me in the house even though I didn’t win one of your gorgeous baskets.) 😉 Image

Cottonelle – If I could make a  suggestion for next year, KLEENEX! Blissdom Canada likes to bring out our tears and we can never find KLEENEX. Please, next year, could you bring that in your arsenal of awesomeness? That being said, #LetsTalkBums… Thank you for saving us from the standard 1-ply hotel TP! My bum is feeling very loved. 🙂

The BeautyTeam – You took a 40-year-old tired, and very sick mom and made her feel like there was still some beauty to be found! Thank you for that. Image

Tim Hortons – I’m not going to thank you for the donuts that made my scale jump to crazy heights this morning but I am truly grateful of the #timspiration and the peppermint tea I lived on this weekend as I fought a cold while attending Blissdom. Thank you. Your staff was tremendous and I loved having to the chance to connect with them.

philosophy – THANK YOU! Tiffany introduced me to “keep the Peace” and she has officially changed my world. #Fact

UNICEF – Always nice to get a chance to catch up with all that you do and are striving for. Image Plumpy Nut was an experience, I now truly appreciate my running water but, even more importantly, I’ve been challenged to make bigger changes in my world and I’m hoping that you will be a big part of it. #StayTuned

McDonald’s – Thanks for not bringing fries and Big Macs – my scale thanks you too. 😉

Canadian Lentils – All I want to say is “YUM!” ….Delicious, delicious, delicious!Image

Maple Leaf Foods – You’re right! Bacon makes everything better!

Chevrolet – Although I was EXTREMELY disappointed to miss your test driving session on Thursday, I was happy to see you’re pretty faces at Blissdom again. corvetteThank you for the power station and for introducing us to the Chevrolet Hockey Helmet Program & “Chevy” – that kid’s got some moves!”

And since I could go on all day with specific mentions of sponsors, I’ll just leave it at this…. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

 

 

Now on to the good part and why this is NOT a “Blissful” follow-up…

I am shutting down this blog.

Image

Yes, after spending three days at the best blogging conference in the county, this post and one more (to let you know my plan) will be my last.
I will no longer be blogging on “A bear, A ladybug and A peanut”.

Thanks Blissdom Canada for giving me the courage & support to bring this to an end. I love you all!

Stay tuned, I promise you’ll all want to see where this weekend has led me, I just have to fill my husband in first. 😉

Lots of Blissful Love,
Jen 

Advertisements

How do I pick? …HostelBookers #7 Supershots Challenge

Leave it to a friend to remind you to take some time to reminisce as well as get you back on track with something that is important in your life yet you always put off for another day.

Last night I received a tweet from @tweepwife (www.lifecache.ca) challenging me to search through the thousands of photography files that have built up on my hard drive and participate in the HostelBookers 7 Super Shots.

What I found through the search was that I love my photos and sharing with others should be something that I dedicate more of my time to. What I also determined was narrowing the choices to only seven was hard!

So I limited my choices to those taken in past the 18 months and this is what I’ve decided to share as I walk down memory lane….

1. A photo that… Takes my breath away

This photo is a moment I captured when my father-in-laws barn burnt down. It takes my breath away for a few reasons. First the colours & composition just worked. It showed the viewer exactly the intensity that those of us present felt at that moment. You can feel the heat, power and allure that a fire of this magnitude creates. The living body a fire becomes is breath taking and every time I see this picture, I am reminded of that fact.

2. A photo that… makes me laugh or smile

The moments I cherish most as a parent are those I see the true love and devotion my kids have for one another. When they give each other a hug of support or take the time to sit and read together. Or, as in this photo, when they take each others hands and together run into the world full of hope, love and excitement. Catching these moments on film are few and far between but when I do, it allows me to relive that feeling of pride as I sit back and smile in reflection.

3. A photo that… makes me dream

What makes me dream isn’t the actual photo but the subject it highlights. For those of you who know my family, one of our goals is to change the way the world sees my daughter. To change the preconceived notions surrounding Down Syndrome and all individuals our society deems “less” in some way. Everyday I see the beautiful smile, bright eyes and determination in the face of my ladybug and I remind myself that together will meet all of her challenges head on. We will build her up and make all her dreams come true. We will strip away the labels and show society that she and all of her friends have something to share with this world. That is our dream.

4. A photo that… makes me think

To appreciate the true magnitude of this image, click to enlarge

Our family had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC last year. During our tour of the area we showed our children many monuments and buildings of significance. My son found the Korean War Monument most preeminent but for me Arlington Cemetery gave me the greatest pause. The vastidity was overwhelming and I spent much time thinking of the individuals & families who suffer as a result of the hatred within our world.

5. A photo that… makes my mouth water

Last summer we visited Nashville for a conference about Social Media & Agriculture hosted by AgChat. Before we departed this lovely city we took some time to visit the local farmers market. The colours, the smells, the freshness of the produce touched every sense as we walked through the stalls. This is just one of the numerous images from that day that, as farmers, we felt showcased the value of agriculture as well as tempted ones taste buds to reach out and grab a bite!

6. A photo that… tells a story

This is a photo that I’ve shared online before but that captures a very precious story for our family. My husband was raised on a dairy farm. He spent his whole life around cows and as a family we had hope to raise our children the same way. Unfortunately, that dream will not come to fruition as the dairy portion of his family’s farm was retired last July. Prior to that our kids spent many hours in the barn helping with chores and acting as the “Welcoming Committee” to new arrivals. Having this moment with our girls and a brand new “steaming” calf captured on film is priceless and is a token for them to remember being a part of their family’s history.

And finally my last pic for this challenge.
7. A photo that… I am most proud of (My National Geographic shot)

First, I need to clarify… I don’t necessarily believe this is the photo “I’m most proud of” but I could see it in a National Geographic spread. I wanted to include this image in this challenge because it’s different than the others I’ve shared and, in my opinion, the movement, colour and composition are bang on. I was thrilled with this shot and wished at the time I had a magazine to share it with. This photo was taken on our Floridian vacation in one of the perfectly lit Sea World Aquariums. Jellyfish always seem to draw me in with their fluid movements and gracefulness and this picture captures that for me. I find these exotic creatures fill me a calmness few other things in this hectic world can and I’m grateful to have this photo to remind me of that feeling.

As I bring this post to a close I would like to thank @tweepwife for getting me back to my blog and my photography. This challenge reminded me that I have passions of my own and I need to take the time to embrace them again. To fill my soul so that I may fill others.

And now, I spread this challenge to others. – I have choosen seven bloggers (instead of the requested five) to give it their best shots in the HostelBookers 7 Super Shots:

My choosen Agriculture reps include…
@JPlovesCOTTON from http://janiceperson.com
@kmrivard from http://kellymrivard.com
@AR_ranchhand from http://agricultureproud.com

My choosen Down Syndrome reps include…
@CarrieWChildren from http://www.carriewithchildren.com/about-carrie-with-children
@DownSideUp from http://www.downssideup.com/

And two extras who I would like to represent Huron County with the brightest lights…
@sarahnadian from http://atransparentlife.com/
Melissa Wormington (who’s not on twitter but who’s blog should be seen by many!) from http://melissawormington.blogspot.ca

Go to it girls and guy! Show the world what you’ve shot!

Jen

Jan 5 – Smiles for Daddy

My husband was away this day and the kids wanted me to send him some pictures for many different reasons.
Little Bear wanted Daddy to see her pompoms.

Our Ladybug wanted to send hugs.

and Peanut, he thought it would be fun to pose with his bear.

So for this day, you get three glimpses into our silly world!

Jan 4 – Animals from Down Under

No, not the kids!
My sister is living in Australia for the next year or so and sent some fun little cut outs for the kids to put together.

Animals from Down Under

Sinking Ship’s “GIVER” comes to Goderich!

Summer Fun!

Canada Day Parade!

Yesterday I was thrilled to be apart of the first ever Club 21 Canada Day Parade Float!

With the help of a tractor & wagon from one of our farm families, some strategically placed Canadian flags and a few not so subtle Down Syndrome Awareness signs, we loaded up some of our kids and families and joined the festivities as we made our way around the Square in Goderich for the annual Canada Day Parade!

The float was a great success and more importantly, we all had a fantastic time!

Our Canada Day Float

A Bear and a Ladybug waving to the crowd.

Our message to the crowd... "don't DIS my ABILITY!"

and "more ALIKE than DIFFERENT"

Brought to you by Club 21 - Huron County!

HAPPY CANADA DAY from Club 21 – Huron County!

Happy Canada Day!

Proud Canadians!

From my family to yours, Happy Canada Day Weekend. We hope you’re enjoying the sun.

Fool me once, shame on you!

Well, today my, too smart for his own good, son learned a valuable lesson. Don’t try to fool mom with the “I’m sick. Can you please come and pick me up.” routine.

I received a phone call from his school at 2:25 pm saying he wasn’t feeling well and he didn’t feel up to finishing his day and taking the bus home.

Now at the time, I honestly thought it was feasible that he could possibly be sick. Our little bear was sick all last week and ladybug wasn’t herself today either, so I, in my ‘cleaning the house all day’ attire, made the 15 min trek to town to pick him up.

When I got there it was pretty clear that, although he maybe a little tired, he was well enough that he could have finished his day. However, by this point there was only 20 mins left of class, a 20 min recess and a 40 min bus ride home… so I brought him home.

Upon arriving home, his sickness seemed to miraculously be cured.

He could run. He could spin. He could hop around like a lunatic.

I questioned his claim.

“But I am sick, Momma. My head hurts.” was the answer I received.

No, I really don’t think you are.

And in all my motherly wisdom, I calmly (although possibly with a slightly increased volume) informed my dear son that there are consequenses for boys who cry wolf and the next time he calls home claiming to be “sick”, he’d better have some solid evidence to back up the claim otherwise he will be out of luck!

“You’ll have to be running a fever off the chart or throwing up a lung before I ever agree to bring you home early again.” were my final words.

From now on there will be no ‘get out of school free’ cards.

Tough lesson for a seven year old.    

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

And for the record my little peanut,

your Momma ain’t no fool.

Challenges of a different child

When people see our family most people look at our daughter and comment on how well she’s doing and how we are an such an amazing family  for helping her over come her challenges. Funny enough, my ladybug’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome offers up less ‘challenges’ than most assume. Yes, she takes a little extra time to reach some goals but her own determination gets her through that, not necessary anything I do.

My son, on the other hand, offers me up challenges but his are coming from a whole other direction.

He is smart. I’m not saying he’s a genius or anything like that (I hate parents that make that uneducated deduction.) but he is very smart. I mean some times the ideas and thoughts that come out of his head leave me wondering where exactly he came from. Don’t get me wrong, I married a very intelligent guy and I like to think that I can hold my own in the smarts department but our son is on a whole other level.

He’s seven, reading books that were made for 12-18 year olds. He taught himself (using an iPad program) to play chess in January and the first week of April got third place at a regional tournament. He hears or reads about something that catches his interest and follows through by researching the topic to death or until something more interesting comes along.

This past February we went to Washington as part of a two-week family vacation that took us to Ottawa, Washington, Orlando, and home again – as well as all points in between. When we got home I expected all the discussion to revolve around our one day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom (and for my girls it definitely was) but for my son, he wanted to learn more about the Korean War. Yes, the Korean War. And let me tell you, he was none to impressed with the fact that his school library had nothing to offer him on the subject.

He loves to help ‘save the world’. He loves David Suzuki. Plastic water bottles have been banned from our house. He wants to do litter patrol up and down our roads. He gave up his birthday party to raise money for Japan’s earthquake survivors.

But that’s how he works. Learning about history. Building robots that work (no Lego here folks). Teaching himself Chess. Saving the world – one cause at a time.

The challenge isn’t who he is but keeping him engaged. School bores him. Books that interest and challenge him but are age appropriate are hard to find. He just turned seven three weeks ago! And all the novels are violent, scary and nightmare inducing. He brought a book home from school last week, “Blood and Iron – Building the Railway”, it’s a diary of young Chinese worker who was brought to Canada to help build the railway in 1882. It’s a true story. It’s History. It’s scary, upsetting and gory! With this book I can’t tell him “it isn’t true, it’s a story out of someone’s imagination, it’s nothing that could ever really happen.” Problem is that he wants to learn about history and the world but the books that are age appropriate don’t give him enough.

At school our little ladybug gets a specialized program designed to help her succeed despite her ‘challenges’ but in grade one my advanced child is told to wait. In grade FOUR he’ll be evaluated and a special program can be implemented.

My problem is getting him to go to school until then.