"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Isaiah 61:3

The Burckhard Family

The Burckhard Family

Monday, May 30, 2011

Are You Dora?

"No, I BELLA!


While watching Dora together on Netflix, Elizabeth noticed how much Bella looks like Dora. Then, when Bella ran back to her room and appeared with her "Backpack" and had a pink shirt on, no less, Elizabeth had Bella put on her orange pants and voila.....Dora? No, silly, it's Bella!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Trio of Trisomy 21 :)

Yes, my youngest three children have Trisomy 21--more commonly known as Down syndrome--but that is about the only thing they have in common. They are all so unique with their own gifts, talents, likes and dislikes.

First off, we have our home-grown child named Grace. As you may know, Grace is passionate about KETCHUP. So, imagine her delight when I presented her with a special treat tonight......Heinze-flavored potato chips. She LOVED them!
Second in line, is Bella our Ukrainian dolly. She may be a princess, but this girl can take care of business. She can wipe the table, make her bed, fold clothes, and build things. Yes, you heard right, build things! Just last week, you should have seen her help Papa put in a new toilet. She just shakes with excitement and anticipation when she is around tools. Well, tonight our local Bremer Bank put on a community event for the youth to make bird houses. She LOVED it! She got to "pound, pound, pound" (she showed me her hammering actions when she got home). She is definitely Grandpa's little helper--he should take her on his Dakota Plains Construction jobs, don't you think?
And third, we have Nole'. What a gentle, loving little Serbian soul! We have finally made a smooth transition from Lady GaGa to Thomas the Tank Engine. He picks up each wooden train, holds them up for me to name, and then kisses the face on the little wooden engine. When the girls went to the bird house-building session tonight, I took him to K-Mart and he got a "shake and go" Thomas the Tank Engine. I think it is the first toy that I let him pick out and then hand out to the cashier. She handed it right back to Nole'. He LOVES him!
My little trio may have Trisomy 21 in common, but as I said, that's where the similarities end--I love my Trio of Trisomy 21!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nole' Started Preschool.....

And these pictures from his teachers say it all, don't ya think!!!
His teachers say he is doing great! Nole' goes three days a week for a couple of hours a day to Perkett Elementary. Right now we give him rides to and from school, but when his summer school starts, he will get to ride the bus with Bella!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

2011

2010

2009
Happy Mother's Day! This is guest blogger: Daddy-O, brought in on special assignment. That's code for "Paula's taking a nap"! When we last saw her, she had some chocolate, a Diet Coke, earplugs, and her new Ipad II! I think we also heard a distinctive "click" of the lock when her bedroom door closed!
Being the youngest of five children myself, I know now how my parents felt when they were chasing me around when I was 3 and full of energy! (code for naughty) However, they were 43 when I was Nole's age while Paula is within 3 1/2 years of being 50! (So am I, but this a tribute to Paula on Mother's Day, it's not always about me!)
Behold the latest 3 years of Mother's Day pictures for our growing family: our 3 oldest in 2009. Then a family with 4 kiddos in 2010. Now today's shot, sakes alive, we too are a family with 5! (children that is) What next!?!?!?!
"Paula, please come out sometime! There's alot of little people out here, and none of them want to take a nap!" (except for a weary guest blogger)
We love you Momma! Enjoy your special day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Dream Come True.....

Grace had her very first "friend" birthday party yesterday....and I cried!

But, these were tears of joy for a dream realized.

You see, Grace has never been invited to a "friend" birthday, nor has she had one of her own.

With her birthday approaching, Kevin and I talked about our hopes and dreams for Grace as she gets older. We both agreed that we hoped that she will have many friends, both with and without disabilities.

With this in mind, we contacted her regular ed teacher Miss McNally and asked her who would be good to invite to her party. Just a couple of girls; Miss McNally readily gave us the names of two girls who go out of their way to befriend Grace in the classroom, at recess, and during daily activities.

So, with some trepidation, we sent the two girls invitations to Graces big party to be held at our local SplashDown water park. The day before the party, we got RSVP's from both girls stating that they would be coming. In fact, one of the moms said that when her daughter got home from school, she was so excited to share that she was invited to Grace's party and that no matter what was going on this weekend, that this was one thing she was not going to miss!

Grace's party started at 4:00 yesterday. Many good friends of many ages & abilities showed up. BUT, the best part of the whole afternoon was watching three little friends go up and down the stairs a million times to go down the waterslides. There was no "Down syndrome", just friends who love Grace just the way she is!

Yes, I cried.

As we put Grace to bed last night, she kept repeating the same four words "party, presents, swimming, pizza....." We all went to bed last night thanking our heavenly father for his "Grace" in our lives.....

Love, Paula