Hi everyone-I am seriously in complete SHOCK that Summer is about over!

Today I’m squeezing in ONE more day trip with the kids, then tomorrow will be getting all the Back to School stuff in order. CRAZY!!!

Yesterday was our Wedding anniversary. I did a Smilebox (2 years ago! WOW!) of some of the photos from our Hawaiian Wedding —>CLICK HERE<— if you want to see that.

 We actually had an ALL day date! Now that is not something that happens often. We traveled to Boston MA to do the Duck Tours and ate in Little Italy. Got a Lobster Claw pastry from Mikes too (I swear its 5,000 calories ALONE! LOL!) and just enjoyed each others company. We were able to reflect on how much has happened in the years we spent together. Actually each year is always full of SOMETHING crazy! LOL!  Be it having our children, buying and renovating our home, Alexa’s Cancer, getting our first pet, my brother living with us, then this was the year of “surgeries”. Noah had got circumcised, I had my gall bladder out, and Jay had his back Discetomy! LOL! I’m NOT complaining-trust me! They are all minor and fixable things so I am very happy. It is just crazy to reflect on some of the changes our family has had over the years.

All in all, we are happy we have weathered anything that has come our way, together! We are happier, stronger, and more thankful for what we have-than ever! I look forward to the next 100 years together (Yes I plan that by the time I get old we CAN live that long :))

On a crafty note-believe it or not I have TONS going on and TONS to share 😀 I hope to actually get to my computer to do it soon! LOL!

I swear I will post my other Top 5 ASAP!!

Now in preparation for Back to School I decided to use the Color Challenge –> HERE for my card today

#1 Teacher


I thought this was cute and funky! I love the non-traditional school colors!

LOVED my own layout! LOL!!!

To start, I made my own scenery for this one. You can see my video for that —>HERE I then made sure her head was out of frame for a nice POP.


This is WS- Annika from The Greeting Farm, who I bought after seeing Julie Campbell use it HERE😀 (thanks girl! You made me spend a small fortune that day! LOL!

The #1 Teacher is stamped on a die cut tag. That sentiment is from Lizzie Anne Designs – School Days. Love that set!

This is a Thank You card for Cindy Coutts who sent my daughter Alexa the entire Math Program we needed for her 😀 It was such a wonderful gesture, and is very much appreciated! After Alexa makes her card, it will go postal (as Alexa informed me this girl doesn’t look at all like her! LOL!)

On a “funny note” Jay and I were going through a scrapbook that ALL my PSF’s made for Alexa’s Make a Wish trip to Disney, and Alexa was browsing the photos. They did an AMAZING job creating this album for her and I am SO thankful to have it. There is one photo of her with Mickey Ears on (one of my faves from that trip)-and you can’t see ANY hair. Well that is because she didn’t have any while going through her Chemo. Anyway, Alexa looks at the photo-puzzled. She says “Is that me? It sort of looks like me .” She then starts laughing and places her hand on her forehead , kind of like a DUH!!!(dramatically) and answers her own question “Oh! Yeah! That IS me! I had Cancer! I forgot I had no hair!” then just giggled and turned the page.

HOLY CRAP! I was just in a pause moment, that something like that was just a small bump in the road to her, a glimmer of a fading memory to Alexa. I’m often not sure sometimes WHAT she gets about certain things, and am often surprised by just how much she really DOES get, but doesn’t EXPRESS to me very often until the craziest times. A huge part of me is happy she didn’t recall all the real terrifying things that went on, and I was happy I THINK I did a good job concealing my own worst thoughts, fears and feelings during that time

I cannot believe how long Alexa’s hair is getting now, as you will see in  the Back to School photos I will get once they go back Wednesday. Out of all my kids, Alexa’s yearly milestones seem so much more HUGE to me. Everything she can do is so much harder for her, effortless for them. Bittersweet to me sometimes. But, give her the chance and  she will do it!

I remember a time when the bus would show up and she could NOT climb up the stairs without help! Well, now she insists waiting for the bus BY HERSELF, and me not running to the door when she gets off! As she will tell you “I’m not a baby, I’m 9 now!” She just likes to come off the bus, walk in, and announce to me that she is home. Its so weird sometimes to see that she is actually growing into this independent, feisty young lady. I’m so proud of her. Admittedly it can be hard to let go and not protect her every step of the way.

I reminded myself of a dog my mom once had! Her name was Annie. She was this huge German Shepard. Well, when Alexa was a baby, my mom would have her at night while I worked (I was a nurse, and as a single mom would work nights so I could take care of Alexa during the days). Anyway once Alexa could crawl, Annie would stand over her, every INCH, in attempts to “protect” her every move! It was the strangest thing! Alexa couldn’t even attempt to walk on her own because the dog was ALWAYS hovering over her. Not knowingly trying to prevent her from walking, but meaning well, and protecting her.

I am often reminded that I am that dog, and cannot stand over her every move. How will she walk on her own if I  always hover over her?

Many people have so many misconceptions about people with Down Syndrome and other special needs for that matter. Alexa proves that to me daily. Things I was told she’d NEVER do, but does!

She writes some of the most amazing poems! She literally sits there ALL day and either reads books or writes poems and stories. She tells me all the time that she wants to write stories when she grows up. I know she will do just that 😀

I am enrolling her in Art Classes this fall. I’m very excited about this for her as I have HUNTED for a Art Program for 3 years now! Finally we have found a class for something Alexa loves to do. Each week there will be something new taught. How fun for her! 

Someone said to me recently, after me telling them about Alexa enrolling “Oh! Isn’t that nice. I didn’t know they had art classes for kids with special needs!” My jaw sort of hit the floor then. While it was a “simple” and innocent comment, it cut like a knife.

Alexa is just like every other kid. Things can be harder for her, but she does do the work so she can do it just like everyone else. All I replied was “She isn’t taking a special art class, she will be with other 9 year old kids.” 

Sometimes the hardest thing about raising a child like Alexa, is pushing past the worlds misconceptions, and limits they have placed. We have all come so far, but there is so far to travel. I know I am up for journey 😀

Well that does it for me today-One more day of fun with my children before we get ready to head back to school!

Amber starts Kindergarten and I just cannot even believe it!

Time sure does fly.