Busy Bee’s Crochet

c-mama’s crochet journal and ramblings

Tag: Family

A purple hair day

Emily’s been asking me to get her haircut for quite some time. We decided that her birthday would be a great day to do it. She turned 15 yesterday and I took her to my hair salon. She wanted blue and funky. But when we got there, Chrissy told us she didn’t have blue, how does purple sound? Emily loved that idea.

Here’s one before photo. Click on that photo to get to the page where the other photos are. 🙂

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My brother and my sister-in-law

Originally posted May 22, 2007

I just finished watching a video on youtube that was a tribute to firefighters. My brother, 4 years younger than I, is currently in training at the fire fighter’s academy. I’m very proud of him. After watching the video and being reminded of how dangerous that job is, I’m very proud of my sister-in-law as well.

Click here for the link.

But, that’s not all. They also have a daughter with Down Syndrome. Now, Kallie is just about the sweetest little girl you will ever meet. But I can only imagine how difficult things must be with the medical aspects and having to deal with an ignorant, uncaring culture that would rather make fun of people like my niece than to take the time and actually shed one ounce of caring.

My sister-in-law posted an essay that was written by a girl whose sister has Down Syndrome. You see, my brother and sister-in-law have another daughter who is younger than Kallie. She will have to suffer sometimes because of the ignorance that abounds in this society.

Here is the essay:

Christina’s post

FAMILY | Like sticks and stones, words can hurt Retarded by association: When you make fun of my sister, it hurts me

My sister, who has Down syndrome, has a gift for shrugging off your taunts, but I’m not so lucky. By MEGAN McVAY TeenStar

When Caroline McVay left a class wearing a red hat that wasn’t hers, her sister Megan tried to find out why.

I’d sworn to myself I’d never let somebody hurt her in my company. But I had never calculated that I’d get hurt more than she ever would.

Nothing’s funnier than someone with Down syndrome. Really. Have you ever seen EBaums World, where it’s nothing but a two-minute reel of faces of people with Down syndrome? Hilarious.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I know you’re just like me you see a kid smiling dimly with those almond-shaped eyes and flat face and you laugh. Just like everyone else.

You do it because you think it’s funny, because it’s not normal, because it’s not you, because you’re so obviously above that mental stage. No one would think to call you a the r-word, because you’re so obviously above that mental stage. You aren’t the one who deserves it. They do. It’s a commonly known fact, don’t you see? Are you retarded?

Maybe I am. You decide.

My little sister, Caroline, was diagnosed with Robertsonian translocation at birth, a common strain of Down syndrome. She has a disability, one that leaves her just low-functioning enough to be ridiculed but just high-functioning enough to know it. She won the genetic lottery, the one that happens in a split second, months before a baby is introduced to a world that already hates her.

To water it down to teenager-friendly words, she’s retarded.

But because we have the same mother, am I retarded, too?

Scientists say no. Discrimination laws say no. My indignant moral compass says no.

My high peers, however, sometimes say yes. And when that happens, being a the r-word stops being funny.

I remember the first time I became retarded by association. I was picking my little sister up from youth theater class.

Caroline looked up at me and smiled. She does that a lot. Her face scrunches up in a comical lopsided grin big enough to warm any heart. She’s 11 now, a big sixth-grader who says she can do everything by herself.

She’s constantly worrying about her wardrobe, hair and friends, typical of any middle school girl. To me, the only difference between Caroline and other girls her age is that she cares a little bit more about other people than she does herself. That and she’s constantly smiling.

But that day something was amiss. The red hat. She didn’t have a red hat when we got into the car for dance class & she has one now.

Caroline? Caroline. Look at me. Whose hat is that?

Mine.

No, sweetheart. You didn’t bring a red hat to dance. Where’d you find it?

Well somebody gave it to me. It’s mine.

There is no need to finish this conversation. I gently turn Caroline around and tap her to get her moving. We’re walking back into the building to find (and apologize to) the owner of the mysterious red hat.

We don’t walk far. Caroline marches emphatically up to a tall (read: attractive) teenage boy with slightly mussed hair, as if a hat had once graced his head. Blushing slightly, I sauntered up to him and his equally good-looking friends.

Hey, sorry to bother you? This, uh, isn’t your hat is it?

Yeah, he laughed, but don’t worry. I don’t want it back.

Oh. Uh. OK.

Yeah, didn’t you hear? It’s supposed to be National the r-word Day.

My blushing came back. But not the good kind.

Excuse me? My little sister and I have to leave, but we can’t do that with your hat on her head.

At this point, he started blushing a little bit, too.

Glancing at his buddies, he stammered, Oh, well, wouldn’t want to do that. You’ll, uh, probably both be late for your life skills class. I bet you’re counting change today. Ha. Ha.

I wish I could say I slugged him. Or that I had some fantastic comeback that left him speechless. Instead, I smiled tartly, grabbed Caroline’s arm and headed for the car.

While still in sight of the now seemingly young, immature, hateful little boys, I yanked the red hat off Caroline’s head and slammed it forcefully into a nearby trash can. I wouldn’t remember tearing off my headband to give to a devastated Caroline, who had genuinely wanted that despicable red hat. I wouldn’t remember her giggling as she toyed with it in the backseat, arranging it in different ways on her head.

What I would remember was quietly shutting off my car, letting us inside the house and walking calmly up to my room. I would remember locking my door, picking up a miniature glass horse figurine and, with precision, shattering it against my wall.

It was the first time I had been called retarded.

It wasn’t the first time somebody had made fun of Caroline to my face. But it was the first time something bad had happened to me as a result of protecting my baby sister. That first time is always a shock.

Naturally, I had come to my own terms with the fact that I’d hear people say some pretty awful things to or about Caroline. Of course I had anticipated that people wouldn’t understand. They’d be mean. They’d hurt her.

I’d sworn to myself I’d never let somebody hurt her in my company. But I had never calculated that I’d get hurt more than she ever would.

It never ceases to amaze me that of all the hurtful things people say to or about one another, many are directed toward those who are developmentally disabled.

My little sister has had some heart-wrenching (and unprintable) things said to her, and it has yet to faze her. Whereas I break down at the hint of rejection, Caroline seems to have the ability to redefine it.

Of course, I’ll hear the word ‘the r-word’ in a derogatory sense for the rest of my life. People will continue to use the word to hurt or tear down someone they know.

But that’s all right. Call me crazy, but there are times that the word, in all its low and hurtful glory, reminds me that I, too, am capable of more than simply succumbing to the labels life hands us.

Reach Megan McVay, a junior at Blue Valley North, at teenstar@ kcstar.com. She originally wrote this essay for a class.

Todd and Christina, Kallie and Brittany, I love you guys. May the Lord continue to bless you and protect you as you continue to touch other’s lives. (((hugs)))

What a Day!

Originally posted May 20, 2007

So, Jordan turned 9 today. Scott took Jordan and Levi to the store to get a cake. After we ate cake, Scott took Caytie (number 2 of 6) to the ER. On Friday, she was fooling around and fell off the back of the couch and hurt her arm. We didn’t think it was broken and just had her put a bandanna sling on. But it was still hurting her quite a bit this morning and she was unable to straighten it out. So, after we had cake, Scott reluctantly took her to the hospital. They checked her out and took an x-ray. No broken bones (Thank you, LORD!) but she has a bone contusion. She’s to keep it in a sling for a while. It’s her left arm and, yes, she’s left handed. *sigh* Oh, well. At least it’s not broken.

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Happy Birthday, Jordan

Originally posted May 20, 2007

Jordan turns 9 today.

My kids are separated into two groups. The first four are one group and the “babies” are the other group. The “Four” are all between 16 and 18 months apart. Then, after Jordan was born, there was a four year gap before Kenaniah was born. A little over 9 years ago, the Lord had shown our pastor that the number 9 was significant to our congregation. The word received actually was Benign or Be Nine. We are to be like children with our Father. I remember that well because our pastor’s daughter was 9 at the time. So, now, every year one of the Four turns 9, it’s like a milestone.

So today is Jordan’s turn. Because of Jordan’s birth order in our family, he’s a little difficult to figure out. He’s quiet (when not with his friends) and prefers to stay indoors, avoiding the heat (like his mom). But Jordan is an affectionate child with lots of love to bestow on his parents and his 2 “baby” brothers.

Lord, thank you for bringing Jordan into our lives. He’s a great kid and I know you have many plans for him. I pray that you use him mightily in your Kingdom and that he be a blessing to both you and to others. Protect him, keep him safe and keep him always in the shadow of your wings.

Little Baby Caytie

Originally posted May 6, 2007

My 2nd daughter, who we affectionately call “Little Baby Caytie” turns 12 today. She was such a little baby and is still little today.

During her first couple months of life, I would bring her to work with me. I worked at a Home Heath Care Agency and there were quite a few nurses who worked there. Two nurses in particular would take her from me and make a little bed in a file box for her. So cute!

I cannot believe she’s twelve today. *sigh*

Happy Birthday Caytie girl. I love you.

I am blessed

Originally posted March 29, 2007

Due to damage done to our home from Hurricane Wilma, we had to have our roof replaced, portions of our ceiling in the kitchen and living room and the entire ceiling replaced in one of our kids’ rooms. We also had 2 walls in that room replaced, portions of the living room and kitchen walls replaced. Because of that, we needed to paint the living room, kitchen and the bedroom.

The bedroom was finished last year, but work was being done this week on our living room and kitchen. We chose a brown color called “First Anniversary” (where do they come up with these names?). I cannot remember the brand of paint – we picked it out at Home Depot. We decided to paint the living room and kitchen the same color. When in the living room, one is able to see a kitchen wall and when in the kitchen, one is able to see a living room wall. I wanted the rooms to flow since they didn’t before.

Yesterday, finishing touches were done and floorboards were installed.

Wow. What a difference a coat of paint makes. Not to mention floorboards. We hadn’t had floorboards since we got new flooring which was almost 3 years ago. I’m not much of a housekeeper. I want to be, I just get sidetracked and want to do something else. But seeing my “new” walls makes it seem like a new house. Maybe I can get into the habit of keeping it clean. Maybe.

But I’m happy. I’m more satisfied with my house. With the high cost of homes in the area equaling higher taxes, I was VERY content with staying in my small, humble home. The “new” walls makes it TONS easier being even more satisfied.

During the offering time at our worship service on Sunday, Mike prayed that we would be satisfied. And the way he said it wasn’t the normal sense of being satisfied. It wasn’t, give us everything we want until we’re happy. It was, help us to be content with what we have – satisfied. I never equated being content with being satisfied. Maybe I should have.

Lord, I want to be satisfied with everything You have given me. I enjoy the “toys” You give me, the “extra toppings”, but I want to be satisfied with what I already have. Satisfied and thankful. And, Lord, I am thankful for what you have given me. I have a loving husband and 6 beautiful, healthy children. I live in a state where I am able to freely educate my children. My state also allows me the honor and privilege to protect myself and my family. We have a home. We have a roof over our heads that You have allowed us to get fixed so it doesn’t leak. We are able to enjoy rain showers and thunderstorms again. (Bring those in, Lord! We need rain!) We have 2 vehicles that are OURS. We have food in the house and gas in the tanks of our vehicles. My husband has a job and I am able to stay at home with the children. We are able to freely choose the house of worship we attend. The list goes on and on and on.

I am blessed. I am loved. I am a Kings Kid.

Mona Lisa Smile

Another W.I.P.

I am watching the movie, “Mona Lisa Smile” with Julia Roberts. Based in 1953, a radical thinker from California comes to the west coast to teach art at a conservative women’s college.

I knew that I would like the movie. I knew that the writers wanted to “liberate” the minds of the conservative, or to show it’s liberal audience how silly and primitive conservatives are.

The audience is supposed to shudder at the thought of young women being pruned to become wives and mothers and not even out of college.

I am a Christian. I am not religious. Well, I don’t want to be.

Conform to what other people expect or you can (our mega conservative character steps in and finishes the sentence) be ourselves.

It is my belief that liberal society expects women to work. Work, work, work, make money, have sex, get an abortion if you get pregnant, fulfill your dreams now while you are still young. Rise to the top, who cares who you step on.

I’m not saying that the conservative society is better. I don’t really know what the conservative society would have women do nowadays. I do know that the choices I have made, the choices my husband and I have made for our family are frowned upon by both sides. 6 children. I stay at home. I homeschool. It’s shocking.

We follow what we believe to be the leading of the Holy Spirit. That is the difference between what I do and what a conservative or liberal woman would do. I don’t follow what a certain party does or thinks. I don’t follow what a religious party does or think. My frame of reference is the Bible. My bible is the Bible. The inspired word of God. My God is alive. My God is not stuffed in a book. I have a relationship with Him. I know that He has my best interest in mind.

Conservatives are all about traditions.

Liberals are all about breaking them.

No one has all the answers.

I agree with what the writers are saying, that one must not blindly follow others. But don’t you dare look down your snooty liberal nose at me, when I tell you that I am a wife who loves her husband. I am a wife who stays at home and homeschools her children. And I want to homeschool through high school. I want my children to be the best at whatever it is they choose to do. But I do think that mothers should be mothers full time. I do not think that it’s healthy for a family when a mom works outside the home. The mother should put her husband’s needs and the needs of her children first. There is time for a woman, who chooses to get married and have children, to pursue her other dreams after the children have left home.

Ok. So I finished watching the movie. I liked it. I liked the characters and I liked the way Julia Robert’s character made the girls think. To not accept something just because it’s been this way always.

I did appreciate the interaction between Miss Watson (J.Roberts) and Joan (Julia Stiles) when Miss Watson approached Joan at Joan’s house to give her some law school information in the city where Joan’s boyfriend was going to be residing. Joan let Miss Watson know that she and her boyfriend eloped last night. Miss Watson was clearly disappointed, but quickly regained her composure and said that Joan could have both. Joan told Miss Watson that being married and having a family was what she wanted. Joan reminded Miss Watson that she told the girls to go after what you wanted. Joan told Miss Watson that what she wanted was to be a wife and mother.

The problem with the interaction was that I was made to believe that Joan wasn’t sincere. That Joan was “settling” because that was what was expected of her and was not really what she wanted. Again, the “conservative” lifestyle was made to look like a compromise and not really following your heart.

We are a diverse nation. We all have our own dreams. Just because I am living out my dream of being a stay-at-home mom and a wife doesn’t mean I compromised anything else. Not a balanced movie at all. But, is there really a balanced movie out there? This one just struck a nerve because I felt that the “family structure” was being attacked.