Our Week In Pictures (1/6/14-1/12/14)

This past week Hailey went back to school and Skylar and I eased back into school here at home.

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I finally finished up a gift for Chris’ mom.  

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We had our weekly visits with the chiropractor.  We LOVE this office!  They are like family!

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I started sorting through my craft room to decide which supplies I am ready to send to new homes.

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We spent lots of time at the library, one of my favorite places!

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I had rehearsal for worship team.

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We attended the missions dinner at our church.

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Awoke on Saturday to find Hailey looking through my Project Life album from 2012.

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Sunday was a beautiful day of serving, rest, & family time!

Ready & raring to go for another week of school, therapy, doctor’s appointments, exercise, and family time!

So thankful for my sweet family!

Make it great!

JuJu

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Gracie Goes to Disneyland: The Adventures of Our Elf on the Shelf!

A few weeks before our family left for Disneyland, I asked Chris “How funny would it be if Gracie made the trip to Disneyland with us?” to which he replied “Let’s do it!”.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is game for my silly antics!

Gracie was packed & ready to go the morning we left!

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She sat up front with us.  The funny thing is, Chris and I drove by ourselves as the girls rode with my parents.

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Finally to the state line!

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They didn’t look too scary so I picked these two up!  What do you think the chances were that a bus-load of prisoners would pass us as we were taking this picture? Yep….totally happened!  

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Raring & ready to go the first morning!

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Checking out the crowd while hanging out on Aunt Jenny’s shoulder.

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Happy to be safe & sound with Chris!

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The obligatory photo op by the tree!

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Gracie had no idea that Space Mountain would be as fast as it was!

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It’s a Small World was definitely more her speed!  She was thrilled to see the North Pole! She rode the whole ride on Grandpa’s shoulder…he’s such a good sport!

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The Jingle Cruise was another favorite!

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Ready for our character breakfast on Christmas morning!

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She loved the attention from Rafiki!

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And thought Alice was definitely beautiful!

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Her favorite ride of all was definitely California Screamin’! She was happy to be sitting next to Skylar! (Sorry for the picture of a picture!)

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All in all it was an amazing vacation for Gracie!  She is hoping for a family Christmas cruise next year!  We sent her back to the North Pole with the message to Santa to help make that happen!

I hope you enjoyed Gracie’s adventure to Disneyland!

Make it a great week!

JuJu

*We clearly do not follow the “don’t touch the elf or she’ll lose her power” rule!  We were more than happy to include everyone in on the fun with Gracie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the Magic of Disney!

One of my favorite parts of taking Skylar to Disneyland is her absolute joy when she sees the characters!  She usually spots the characters and says “It’s (insert whatever character we happen to run into)! I need to ask him something!” or “I need to tell them a story!”.  She gets so excited and just can’t wait to ask whatever question is running through her head.  It is an absolute joy to watch!

This trip was no different!  After Peter Pan literally ran into Hailey by the teacups, he stopped to visit with our family.  Skylar was so excited.  She launched into a story about how he fought Captain Hook and how exciting it was.  She was so animated!  The best part was watching the two of them interact.  I was able to capture a bit of their interaction in photos.

It started out with “Um…Hi!  I’m Skylar.  I’m your biggest fan!” and just went from there.

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As we walked away Skylar said “That was AWESOME!  I love him!”

So thankful for the magic of Disney and the absolute joy that it brings my sweet girl!

And thank you Peter Pan!  You are doing it right!

Make it great my friends!

JuJu

If you missed the re-cap in pictures of our Christmas trip to Disneyland, you can see them HERE!

Our Christmas Trip to Disneyland!

When we went to Disneyland in April in conjunction with our trip to see Skylar’s Mitochondrial specialist, never in a million years did we think that we would be going back for Christmas.  However, when your dad calls and says “I’m taking everyone to Disneyland over Christmas break!” it happens.  We went with my folks and my sister’s family so there were 12 of us in all.  I have some specific pictures and series of pictures from our trip that I will share seperately, but today I’m going to share some of my favorites that were snapped by either me or my sister.

I love this picture of Skylar and my niece, Rebecca as they got off the shuttle on our first day.

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The kids were pretty excited to find a short wait to ride the rockets.

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Hailey and Ben have always been close and this trip was no different.

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I love that my sister was intentional about snapping pictures of my mom.  She often steps out of the pictures.

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Our elf, Gracie made the trip with us (more on that in another post) and she hung out with Skylar for the Jingle Cruise, the Christmas version of the Jungle Cruise.

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Waiting for our report time for the Finding Nemo Submarine ride.

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My parents got suckered into going on the Teacups with my niece, Sam.  The other adults were pretty much adamant about not going on rides that spin!

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Peter Pan literally ran right in to Hailey while we were by the teacups so he took lots of time with our family.  He was awesome!  Such a fun personality!

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I love that Chris photobombed Skylar and Hailey’s picture with Rafiki.  We went to Goofy’s Kitchen for the character breakfast on Christmas morning.  The kids loved seeing all the different characters.

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Rebecca took a selfie with all the characters.  It was hilarious!

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My absolute favorite picture from the trip was actually the picture that was snapped as Hailey, Ben, Jenny, Chris, Rebecca, and Emily came down Splash Mountain.  I seriously crack up each time I look at it.  Everyone’s faces are hilarious, but my favorite has to be Rebecca!  I’ll just say that she had the most “expressive” response and to top it off, her hair went crazy!  She actually looks like she is trying to flee from the log ride.

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Looking forward to sharing more from our trip to Disneyland along with our experience with the new Disability Access Service Card.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

 

Do Not Fear!

Just had the most precious moment with Skylar as I was in the kitchen making meatballs. 

Sky: Mom, what are you afraid of?
Me: Heights & someone hurting the people that I love! (I also thought to myself that I am afraid that people will never see Skylar for the wonderful soul that she is & that sadly, there will be many people who will just not accept her.)
Sky: Well, you should conquer those fears mom!
Me: I have tried Skylar, but it still scares me!
Sky: Well mom, the Bible clearly says “Do not fear!” It also tells us that we need to trust God and that He will take care of us!
Me: (speechless)
Sky: So even though I am scared of sharks and snakes, I trust God & He takes care of me! You just have to have faith mom! He loves us!
Me: (still speechless, but now crying)

Sometimes I get discouraged because of the things that Skylar has tremendous difficulty doing & I cry out to God and ask Him for encouragement and to soothe my aching heart. I have absolutely NO doubt that God speaks to me and encourages me through sweet Skylar!

I hope that this encourages you today as well!

Make it great!

JuJu

Skylar’s 1st Swim Meet

Skylar swam in her 1st swim meet with her Special Olympics team this past Saturday.  I was so nervous as I had no idea what to expect.  Even though she practices each week with her team, I wasn’t sure how she would do when we were at the actual meet. I prayed fervently for her to just enjoy herself!  

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Shortly after we arrived, I snapped this picture of her next to the pool.  I could hear her talking to herself realized she was repeating the things that her coaches and I have been telling her the past few months:

“Don’t come off your back until you’ve touched the wall!”

“Make sure you don’t push off the lane line!”

At this moment, more than anything, I wished that “Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!” would have been one of the phrases she kept repeating.  You see, in all of my nervousness and hoping that she would have a legal stroke and finish the race strong, I forgot to impart to her the most important advice of all:  Have fun! I’m proud of you, no matter what!

As her teammates began to arrive, I could see that she was relaxing a bit more. Getting excited for the day.  She was excited when they passed out her team t-shirts.

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Shortly before the meet began, one of her coaches walked over and Skylar blurted out “I’m going to FAIL!”  I held my breath as I waited for her coach’s response.

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“You aren’t going to fail!  You are going to do great!”  (Thank you Coach Patty!)

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Skylar was so quiet while waiting for her event.  I stayed close, but tried not to hover (I’m really working on that!).  She did a great job following the instructions of the group that was helping get them all lined up.  I did manage to capture a bit of a smile right before she got into the water.  

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And then it was time!  Into the water she went.

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Her first event was the 25M Freestyle.  I can’t even begin to describe to you the improvement we have seen in this stroke the past 4 months.  

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And you better believe that we screamed like fools!  

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As she reached for the wall, I said to Chris “I can’t believe it!  She’s going to get 2nd place!  How awesome is that?”

And then, when I didn’t think I could be any more emotional, I saw Coach Patty. She was clapping, encouraging her, giving her high-fives, and congratulating her on a great swim!

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Skylar got out of the water, huge smile on her face and went right back to the staging area where she got ready for her next swim.  She only had a matter of minutes between events and I was wondering how she would do with that little rest, but she did great!  She swam the 25M Backstroke, which is actually her favorite stroke.  She struggled with the sun being in her eyes so she was all over the lane, but thankfully everyone else had the same problem.  I’m pretty sure she swam the entire race with her eyes closed! And believe it or not, she came in 2nd place again!

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She got out of the water and said “Mom, I think I’m done swimming for the day. Can we go back to the timeshare?”  I laughed and told her we had to wait for the awards ceremony.  Right about that time, one of the workers walked by and said that they were having pizza delivered for the swimmers right after the meet.  Skylar whipped her head around and said “Excuse me!  Did you just say pizza?  Mom!  We are totally staying!”

As Skylar waited for her name to be called out during the awards ceremony, she had a little smirk on her face.  She fought back a huge smile.  You could tell that she was really proud of herself!  As she should be!

So proud of our girl!

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And Skylar’s favorite part of the day?  You guessed it!

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Thanks for celebrating our girl with us!  We think she is all kinds of awesome!

Make it great!

JuJu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sweet Bond

Skylar and my niece, Sam have a really sweet bond!  They love to be together and no matter where we are, they love to watch Skylar’s iPad together.  

On our recent trip to New Mexico, my sister caught a great series of photos of Skylar and Sam while they were watching something on her iPad.  I loved how they turned out & was thrilled that she caught the genuine joy and love between them.

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So very thankful for this sweet relationship!  It makes this mamma’s heart very happy!

Make it a great day!

JuJu