Saturday, June 21, 2008

An Article from Jan...

Annette made many wonderful friends through the internet community. I have posted in the past about many of the special things they have done together and also in her memory. Jan wrote an article for her local Down Syndrone society. She has kindly allowed me to share her thoughts here. Thank you, Jan, for your beautiful thoughts and reflections. Thank you also for sharing the beautiful picture of Annette. She loved you all so dearly.

Our family consists of three, plus a few hundred or so, since the birth of our son Nash in February 2001 thanks to the members of the IDSF, now DSI family, and those we have met via internet support boards.When Nash was born, and his diagnosis of Trisomy 21 official, we bought books, cried a bunch, loved on our son, and went on-line. My support was my loving husband Jeff, our families, a box of tissues and a group of gals originally on a Down syndrome board, which later evolved into the discussion group. On this board, I was able to somewhat covertly discuss my fears, dreams and issue-of-the-day, share my love of internet research and my findings to all those that will listen, make some friendships that still, to this day, feel stronger than genetic family ties. The strength of the bond among those of us with children with Down syndrome is inexplicable to those not officially members of our exclusive club; those with a family member with Down syndrome. The strength of this bond was evident at the 2007 Buddy Walk.

Annette and her husband Tom became friends with Jeff and me via the internet in early 2001 when Annette and I met on-line. Their son Ryan also has Down syndrome and is Nash’s age, born within a week of each other. Our friendship grew as we shared triumphs and disappointments, and finally met each other in person. These meetings are known as “IRL’s” in the online communities, or “In Real Life” meetings. The IRL’s were held in various locals, and the last one with Annette was at our home in Indiana for the 2007 Buddy Walk. We had over 80 people attend the IRL at our house in Noblesville after the Buddy Walk from all over the country, including Annette and family from Canada. But I knew this was much more than an IRL. It was a gathering of friends for Annette who all share that special bond of having a child with Down syndrome, as we didn’t know how long we would be blessed with her friendship and presence here on earth.Annette was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in February 2006, five years from when her son Ryan was born. She passed away on December 16, 2007, just two months after that wonderful gathering at the Buddy Walk.So you see, the Buddy Walk is a special event for many of us; a place to gather family, friends and those special in our lives. It’s for educators, therapists, friends and family to show their support for Down syndrome Awareness. It’s an event to celebrate, and for us that knew Annette, to remember. And we will be doing just that for the 2008 Buddy Walk Indianapolis. Celebrating and remembering. We hope you all join us!
Annette at the 2007 Buddy Walk- God Speed Annette, we miss you.
Annette and family on the far right, with the rest of the internet group.

Monday, June 16, 2008

6 Months...

Six months has gone by today.

It some ways it seems so fast, and in some ways it seems like so long ago that we got to talk and be with Annette. We all miss her indescribably.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We have been blessed with three of the greatest men and fathers in our lives. Dad has been a loving, solid role model who would do absolutely anything humanly possible for his girls. Perhaps he even spoiled us some over the years. (Did I say that?) We love and appreciate you greatly, Dad. Plus he's been a fabulous babysitter, every day, for the past 8 years. And he doesn't charge.

Steve is an awesome dad who loves to spend time with his kids. All of us are appreciative of all the things you do for us and we love you immensely!

Tom is the super dad of the year. He has really had to step up and take on so many roles this year, and he has done it gracefully and without complaint. He has shown strength and humility, love and compassion and strength beyond measure. We love you Tom, and know your boys do too! Annette would be so very proud of the job you are doing.

Love, Lisa, Kurtis, Sara, Ryan and Connor.

Here are my outdated pictures again. We love our dads!!

Really, Tom did have fun on the car ride!

Happy Birthday Connor!

Our big boy is 6 today! Hard to believe that six years has gone by. The time sure does fly. I was looking through some pictures, and boy, is that fun and tear jerking. I love my babies so much. They don't look like this anymore, but I love these pictures: (Sara is around 5 and Connor is 2, about 4 years ago)
Connor, we love your kind and gentle spirit. We love your sense of humour! You make us laugh each and every day. You have been blessed by God and in turn are a blessing to us. Love you to the moon and back and moon and back!!

Love Mommy, Daddy and Sara

OK, here are some more current pictures. I know, if Iwere a real good momma, I'd have pictures from today. This is the best I can do during report card and getting house ready to sell week.

These are from last fall, Halloween, and when his first tooth fell out (great for drinking out of a straw you know...)

Monday, June 09, 2008

News Bits

Here's what's going on in our lives...
  1. Tom continues the juggling act of life without nanny. He certainly is a man on the run. But he seems to be keeping all those balls in the air, so that's good. There is a new nanny arriving from Hong Kong in about 5 weeks. In the meantime, he has been managing alright, so he tells me. The boys are doing well, probably eager for summer to begin. Tom tells me he might have found "THE" house plans. Annette and Tom have always wanted to build on the current lot they now live on, and Tom continues to keep that dream going for both of them. That would be exciting for him and the boys and keep Tom extra busy! WE'll see!
  2. Dad is getting married! He and his fiancee, Menny, are planning to get married on Aug. 22. Menny is actually Steve's aunt (his mom's sister) so we already knew and loved her and her children. We are very happy for Dad and Menny. They have been busy buying a house, trying to sell 2, buying a motorhome and so on and so on. They just don't stop!!
  3. We made a 5 day trip to BC to visit Steve's brother, sister-in-law and children. Jeff works on an island called "Keat's" directing a Christian kids' camp. His parents celebrated their 40th anniversary and flew us all out there to celebrate!! It was a wonderful time of family fellowship, hiking, reading and loving nature and each other. Thanks, Mom and Dad, and Happy Anniversary!


  1. We are moving too! Spur of the moment, we decided to buy a house! We have always wanted to buy a bungalow on a specific street in our city. It is one street over from where I grew up. So when I saw a "For Sale" sign last Wed. I had to inquire. We went through it, loved it and put in an offer. There was already an offer accepted, so we had to put ours in with no condition, and we got it!! It was very sudden and unplanned (we were NOT looking to move! We love our current house) but it is our dream home so we went for it! So now we have to sell our house by the end of August! Wish us luck!

If I had high speed, I'd show you pictures of all these things. Maybe in the new house!

Thanks for caring and reading about us. We are doing well.

PS: I didn't break anything playing soccer and even scored the opening goal of the season. Happy to still have all my parts intact! Although I was rather sore last weekend!