Wednesday, October 5, 2011

21 Things About Our Family

There are people out there who think that a diagnosis of Down syndrome will completely change a family.  That life will suddenly become unrecognizable.  I beg to differ!  There are things that have changed for us, but that seems to happen anytime a new child is added and, as a result, the family dynamics change.  We are more busy…but mostly because our kids are getting older and are involved in more things.  Yes…we’ve had a few more appointments with Daniel, most of which are related to his heart.  We are simply a regular family, trying to do the best we can to raise our kids and grow into the people we are meant to become.  I also don’t believe Daniel was sent to us because we’re such a great family.  On the contrary, I think he was sent to us to teach us how to be great.

Here is a list of 21 tidbits about our ordinary, but very blessed, family.

1. Our family was created on August 10, 1999, when Jared and I were married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.  It just so happens that it was one day before the historic tornado that carved a path through downtown SLC.

2. We have lived in 6 different locations, including 2 years in sunny California.

3. We have never been to Disneyland.  But we have been to Legoland.

4. When Emily and Josh were little (before the others came along), we liked to play a game called Pollywog.  It was a silly game that Jared made up (probably to bring a smile to the face of an unhappy child…or maybe a grouchy mom).  It involved tying a blanket around one’s head and bouncing around, with an occasional outburst of “Pollywog!”  Emily and Josh loved it.

5. We have never owned a brand new vehicle.  We’re cheap.

6. We have lived in our house for 6 years.  That is three times as long as we have lived in any other place.

7. We love to sit down and watch movies together.  Including the Monkeys (yeah, that TV series from waaaay back in the 60’s).

8. We love to play music loudly while we work together.

9. Speaking of music…our kids know the lyrics and writers of more ‘60s and ‘70s music than I thought possible.  It’s scary.  But I’m glad they’re not into Justin Beiber and all those other teeny-bopper groups.

10. The first time we took our kids to a movie in a theater was to see “Napoleon Dynamite” while we lived in California (so we just had Emily and Josh).

11. We enjoy having Donut Fest for a Family Home Evening treat.  We each pick out a donut at the grocery store, bring them home and cut them into pieces to sample all the variety.

12. The only movie we have been to – in a theater - as a complete family (since Daniel arrived) is “Cars 2.”  We had a great time, but in all honesty…it’s just easier and more enjoyable to watch a movie at home, on the couch and in our PJs!

13. We celebrate our house’s birthday (the day we closed) every year.

14. Our house and one apartment were brand new when we moved into them.

15. Our rent for a 900 square-foot apartment in California was more than the mortgage on our 2500 square-foot house.

16. We have had 2 fish (they both died, see here and here), and 6 cats (3 have disappeared, we gave 1 away, 1 was run over on the street in front of our house, and we still have 1).  That’s not a great track record!  Which makes it sooo easy to say “NO!” to the dog the kids want us to get!

17. Three of our five kids have had oxygen at some point in their lives.  Emily had it when she was five for around two weeks because of pneumonia.  Rachel had it for the first two months of her life because she was born five weeks early.  And now Daniel, who will surely break the length record.  We are oxygen pros!

18. We like to eat leftover pie for breakfast.

19. We try to eat dinner together every night.  We are pretty successful, even when it is tax season!

20. We are lucky enough that my grandparents, my mom, Jared’s parents, and all our siblings live within 100 miles of us.  That means our kids get to spend time with grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins and even their parents’ cousins and kids!

21. We feel very blessed in so many ways…most especially that we are a family, and because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can be together forever.

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