Check out my ETSY shop!!!!

Check out my ETSY shop!!!!
Click on the photo to see my latest creations at Etsy!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009


The pictures are of our first trip to Guatemala and the very first time I held my baby boy in my arms! He was 2 1/2 months old. This week we celebrated Peter's Gotcha Day but unfortunately, he wasn't feeling very well. Our poor little guy had a terrible cold, fever and diarrhea! You can see from the pictures that he doesn't look very well. We needed to revise our celebration plans as he was in no mood to go out to dinner! Instead we ordered pizza, watched the DVD of his Gotcha Day one year ago, and had ice cream sundaes. Grandma and Grandpa were here to celebrate with us. Grandma just had cataract surgery at Mayo Clinic yesterday so she wasn't really up for going out to eat either with a big eye patch on!!
Thanks to all who left suggestions on how they celebrate their child's adoption anniversary. You gave us some great ideas for future celebrations as Peter gets older and can be more involved in how he wants to commemorate his special day! The winner of the Starbucks Giftcard is Mary Ann...congratulations! Email me and let me know where I can mail the card to.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Starbucks Coffee Giftcard Giveaway

We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of Peter's adoption. I'm wondering how to celebrate the occasion. If you could share your ideas of how you celebrated your child's "Gotcha Day" or how you think we could, you will be eligible to win a $10 Starbucks giftcard!!! Just leave me a comment after this post. Thanks for any ideas you can give us. We want to make this a special day for our special little guy!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Favorite Foto Friday-"NEW"

This week's FFF is a cute one of Hannah enjoying her new ipod. Peter was really interested in listening to the music with her!

To see other Favorite Foto Friday blogs, please go to:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hi/Low Thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Please see other Hi/Low posts on their site by clicking on their link on my list of blogs I read, in the right column of this page. ( ...where laughter lives: The Riggs Family )

This week one of the high moments was at Ricky's conference at school. For those of you who don't know, Ricky has Down Syndrome. It was time for the annual review of his educational plan so we met on Tuesday morning. It was so awesome to hear what a great student he is! His teachers and therapists couldn't say enough nice things about him. He is actually doing first grade math and keeping up with his typical-developing peers. He attends both regular phy-ed and adaptive phy-ed as he is so athletic! He eats lunch with his regular classroom friends and they all seem to love him. Many of the girls tend to "mother" him and I'm sure he enjoys that! Ricky spends part of his day in a classroom with his special needs peers and part in a regular 1st grade classroom. He sees many specialists throughout his busy school week and is always needing to stay on task. He doesn't seem to get any down time. The teachers know they can always count on him to answer questions and they said he is a natural leader. We are so proud of him. I can see how he is so exhausted when he gets home each day...they really work him hard but he is thriving!!

Another high is that our little Peter has actually used the potty for BM's all week...I haven't changed one poopy diaper in over a week...he still wets his diapers but is well on his way to potty training at 20 months!!

A low for this week has been in the area of Taylor's speech therapy for her tongue thrust. She has been seeing a specialist in the hopes of correcting this problem and avoiding surgery. In the one year since her braces came off, her tongue has managed to push her teeth back out of position and un-do 2 1/2 years of what the braces had just corrected. She and I have had many discussions/arguments over her non-compliance with the program and I feel very stressed with the whole process. She's a beautiful girl with a great smile but she needs to be convinced that this therapy is for her own benefit. Until then it's just a waste of time. I love my teenager dearly but we are at odds on this one!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Free Stuff

I don't think most people realize how much free stuff is out there for the taking! Here are some pictures of just one week's worth of the stuff that I got for free!! It takes a little work cutting out coupons and tracking what's on sale but a little hard work pays off. I was surprised to even get free Hallmark cards today! It's always a challenge to see what free things I can come up with. My kids enjoy helping and reaping the benefits too!

Friday, January 16, 2009


My beautiful blue-eyed girl, Taylor...and my handsome brown-eyed boy, Peter!! I think all my children have great eyes but these are some of my favorites! Taylor is 14 years old now so these were taken years ago but she still has big beautiful eyes which are temporarily hidden under bifocal glasses!!! To see more FFF-Eyes, go to: and add your FFF to her blog!!


School was delayed 2 hours today due to extremely cold temperatures. Although the thermometer reads -20 degrees, when you factor in wind, the wind chill temp feels like -40 degrees!!! That's cold! Thank goodness for our garage. It isn't heated but at least the car isn't directly out in the cold and wind. Tomorrow we are expecting a "warm up" to around 7 degrees!!!
Peter was our official for the January blog give-away and the winner was Sig from "Believing in Faith" blog. Congrats! Remember, February give-away is going to be a great gift for moms for Valentines Day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Hi/Lo

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on Riggs Family Blog (

My high this week is one of overall thankfulness for my five healthy children. I know I often take it for granted until one of them is sick and then you remember to appreciate what we have when they are not sick!

I can honestly say the only "low" I experienced this week was the sadness I have felt for little Abby Riggs in her battle with cancer and an aggressive chemo treatment. Being a cancer survivor, I remember how hard the chemo was on my body at age 27. I can only imagine how terrible it is for a precious 4-year old to understand all that is happening to her and all that she is going through.

Please go to the link at the beginnning of this post and add you week's HI/LO to Abby's blog!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's Really Important?

As I sit down with about 500 photos that I have taken of my children this past year, I am really stressed out. What do I do with all of these? Although I do scrapbook, I am so behind. With 5 kids to try to keep scrapbooks up-to-date, it seems an overwhelming, never-ending project. I consider myself a fairly organized (okay, a super organized) person so that is why it's especially frustrating that I can't keep up with all the photos we have accumulating. It was easy with one and then even a second child but now poor Peter will be lucky if I get started on his scrapbook and photo albums by the time he graduates from highschool! Does anyone have any good ideas on how to keep the photos organized? Peter just went down for his nap and I have a few hours before the girls get home from school. I decided to take a break from sorting pictures and read some blogs. Then it hits me as I read the Riggs family blog. This stuff doesn't really matter. Why am I getting all stressed out over photographs. At least I am fortunate to have five healthy beautiful children. I realize that when I go to heaven some day, God won't care about my organized ways, clean house, cute scrapbooks...those things are so trivial in the overall scope of life. Please go to the sidebar on my blog page and read Abby's blog. She is fighting for her life, this precious little girl who was adopted from Guatemala at age 6 months. She is now battling an aggresive cancer that she may not survive. Would you please lift her and her entire family up in prayer. My heart is breaking for them and what they must be going through. But as I read their post, they asked their blog readers what it was that they could pray for truly loving and unselfish of the Riggs!!! This family cherishes the prayers of all of us and have placed their troubles in God's hands. Please continue to remember them in prayer. Believers praying for other that's something important!!! Photos are going to have to wait for another day.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January Blog Give-Away...Planes, Trains and Automobiles!!!

As promised, here's the blog give-away for boys this month. Included in this prize are matchbox cars, a helicopter, and two Thomas trains. (value is over $25!!!) The winner will have these toys shipped right to your house. All you have to do is leave a comment below to be registered. To increase your chances of winning, leave a comment on YOUR blog or a LINK to my blog from yours and you will be entered a second time! We will post the winner on Friday. If you don't have a boy, register anyway for a friend, nephew or even a little girl that would like this prize!!! Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, January 12, 2009

ChuckECheese Party

Ricky has been asking for his own birthday party for over a year now. Last year Greta had a party with her friends at the skating arena in town. I had good intentions of letting Ricky have a party with his friends too. With a Dec. 28 birthday and being a twin, it's tough for mom to swing more activities! Then the holidays and their birthdays came and went and we were focused on getting Peter home from Guatemala so I thought I would have his party after Peter was home with us. Well, fast forward to one year later and he's still asking for his own party so we FINALLY did it!! He wanted to go to ChuckECheese and invited all the awesome children from his class at school. They all had a great time and I am so glad we did this for him. He was so excited leading up to the party and that's all he talked about from the minute he got up this morning. I have to say that this restaurant did a great job accomodating special needs children. I think it was hard on Greta to not be the center of attention but I let her bring a girlfriend along so that helped!! Ricky really has a great group of sweet, caring friends!!!
****Make sure you stop back tomorrow for the blog giveaway!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stay Tuned for Another Blog Giveaway!!!

Coming this Tuesday we will have another blog giveaway. Last month we gave away something for little girls so this month it's something that boys will enjoy...girls might as well!! Make sure you stop back on Tuesday to register for the drawing!!!

Then coming in February the blog give away will be something just for moms!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009


This is a picture from the "archives!" I think it's my favorite picture of Ricky. He was about 3 years old. I loved the photo so much that I entered it in a contest with the Down Syndrome Association of MN and he was chosen as Mr. April in their "2006 Changing Hearts, Changing Minds" calender!! Ricky has always been such a blessing to us. He's not the little boy I always dreamed I would have some day. No, he's even better than I could have ever imagined!! Down's children are so special in a way you can't even describe until you get to know them. Everyone loves Ricky for his great sense of humor and intelligence. He is so capable of doing anything he sets his mind to....sometimes it just takes him a little longer to get there. It's hard to stay mad at him when he is naughty...he quickly asks for forgiveness and melts your heart. Don't get me wrong...this guy is the king of finding naughty things to do and he tries our patience CONSTANTLY!! His latest thing is to blame Peter when he has been into something he shouldn't be but Peter is all over that and he actually points to Ricky as if to tattle on him! Peter isn't talking much yet but he is not about to take the wrap for something he didn't even do!! Those two boys are so fun to watch as they interact. Peter follows Ricky all over the house and the two of them just look for trouble!! Life with 2 boys is a learning adventure for us yet. Before Peter came to us, Ricky didn't have anyone to really play with like boys like to and he so thoroughly is enjoying being a big brother to Peter now! My advice to anyone who has an opportunity to get to know someone with special needs, please do it. Your reward will be great. They have so much to offer in the way of friendship and love! Okay, time to get off my soapbox!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cute Gift Idea

Here is a great, easy inexpensive idea that would be perfect for gift-giving to a child or even an adult! My parents have 22 grandchildren so this was a nice gift that they could give to all the children for Christmas and it didn't cost a fortune. She scanned baby photos of each grandchild, then copied them onto fabric transfer paper and ironed them to white fabric. She selected colors for the pillows that matched each child's bedding. For all the boys she used denim jeans that were cut up and even left a pocket on the back of those pillows to hold "secret treasures!" It seems like you wouldn't need to be great at sewing to complete this project. I have to say my kids love their pillows from Grandma and we have had many compliments of them! My goal this year is to learn to sew and knit...both of which I need to learn from my mom. She tried teaching me so many times as a child and I just wasn't interested. Now I think it is so cool when people make handmade projects. I'm impressed with some of you and your sewing talents (ie: Mary and your Guatemalan oufits!!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hockey Weekend

Hannah and her hockey team had a tournament in another town about 3 hours away this past weedend. Rich and I decided to take just her and Greta since both play hockey this year. The other 3 stayed home and Grandma and Grandpa were kind enough to come back here from their home in WI for the third time in a little over a week to babysit for us. It worked out well as our hotel room was very tiny and we could not have fit anyone else in there. In the past we have packed our whole family in one hotel room but nobody sleeps well and we are so crowded!! As far as hockey went, they won the first game and then lost the next two but still got 4th place!! Hey, it's better than last tournament when they were 8th out of 8 teams!! Anyway, it was a fun weekend but Rich and I were oh so ready for the kids to go back to school. Two plus weeks was just too long to have off when the weather was so cold and they were stuck inside too much!!! Now I can get back into my peaceful routine with just Peter and mommy at home again!! Today, however, was laundry day with 6 huge loads of dirty clothes!!! Tomorrow should be better!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

To all our family and friends, both old and new, we wish you joy and peace and God's blessings in 2009. Even though this economy and country is in the midst of some difficult times, God has blessed us beyond belief this past year. As I reflect back on 2008, there were so many joys and blessings. Our year started with good news from Guatemala that Peter was finally able to be brought home with us. After 4 trips to visit him, he finally came home to stay on January 30! We have enjoyed many "firsts" with him this past year including his first birthday, Easter, summer at the lake, and recently his first Christmas with his family!! We were blessed in 2008 to do some traveling to Rich's hometown in July and London in August. We welcomed two new nephews to the clan this summer, Ryan and Daniel...pictured above. Our family has been so blessed with good health. My parents are such a blessing to us and we are so fortunate to have them living nearby. Rich is still working so I am able to be home with my children. The kids are all doing well in school and activities and we all have nice friends who care about us! God has truly blessed us and we want to do more in this upcoming year to give back to others.
The group picture above was taken yesterday at our annual Christmas-time get-together with my family. My parents, 2 of my siblings and their spouses, one cousin and many nieces and nephews were able to make it to our home. We had a wonderful day celebrating being together as a family and ringing in the new year. A family is such a blessing and we are so thankful for ours!
Thank you to all who follow our blog and may you experience God's love in many ways in 2009!!!

Our Twins are Seven!!!

It's hard to believe that it has been 7 years already since I was the mother of newborn twins! The years are flying by. They were such good sweet babies and I wish I could say they still are always sweet!!! They have developed into wonderful, stubborn, happy, opinionated 1st graders and we wouldn't have them any other way! Seven years ago I didn't know if I could handle raising a child with Down Syndrome but Ricky is such a huge blessing. He is a loving, adorable and extremely funny guy. His sense of humor is one of the best I have ever seen and he is always quick to forgive or ask for forgiveness. He loves and accepts others unconditionally and has lots left to teach each of us about patience, acceptance and forgiveness. Ricky is an awesome athlete and will be a great competitor in the Special Olympics some day soon. Greta is a fun-loving, funny, sometimes too serious little girl who is trying so desparately to be big like her sisters. I wish she would just stay my little girl for a while longer but she's so eager to grow up. At least she still likes dressing like a girl and likes to cuddle with mom yet! They are so different from one another but also share a bond that the rest of us don't have with them. We thank God every day for our beautiful twins and ask for patience to handle all that they throw our way!!!!