from Chasing Fireflies.


" A few minutes later, Unc walked up next to me and next to me and hung his arms across the fence railing. In his hand he held an empty mason jar with holes punched in the lid. He stood there a long time turning the jar. Inside, a single lightning bug fluttered off the sides of the glass. Every five or six seconds, he’d light his lantern. Unc turned the jar in his hand. “Scientists say that these things evolved this way over millions of years.” He shook his head. “That’s a bunch of bunk. I don’t think an animal can just all-of-a-sudden decide it wants to make light grow out its butt. What kind of nonsense is that Animals don’t make light.” He pointed to the stars. “God does that. I don’t know why or how, but I’m pretty sure it’s not chance. It’s not some haphazard thing he does in his spare time.”
He looked at me, and his expression changed from one of wonder to seriousness, to absolute conviction. “Chase, I don’t believe in chance.” He held up the jar. “This is not chance, neither are the stars.”
I was hurting inside, and the streaks shining on my face didn’t scratch the surface at telling how much.
He tapped me gently on the chest. “And neither are you. So, if your mind is telling you that God slipped up and might have made one giant mistake when it comes to you, you remember the firefly’s butt.”
The laughter walked up behind me, wrapped around my tummy, and ticked my ribs, finally bubbling out my mouth—taking the hurt parts with it. That’s something Unc was good at. He gave me his laughter and took my pain. "

by Charles Martin

winter snow.


Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of heaven in Your flame

But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

You could've swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things we've scarred

But You came like a winter snow
(Yes, You did)
You were quiet
You were soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

Oh, no, Your voice wasn't in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn't in a rushing wind
It was still
It was small
It was hidden

You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

(Oh, yeah)
To the earth below
You came falling
From the sky in the night
To the earth below

(On Chris Tomlin's Christmas CD, sung by Audrey Assad)

labor of Love.




church notes.



1. Does the way you spend your money/resources demonstrate God's love?
2. Does the way you spend your time demonstrate God's love?
3. Does the way you use your words demonstrate God's love?
4. Does your attitude demonstrate God's love?

...God demonstrates his own love for us...
(from Romans 5:8)

old and new.

Things I miss:
kid's church
my old library

Things I love:
my church
my church family
Christmas outreaches
handmade gifts
wearing boots and scarves (although today was WAY to hot to do that)

Carried to the Table.


Wounded and forsaken
I was shattered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone
Summoned by the King
Into the Master’s courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms

I was carried to the table
Seated where I don’t belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love
And I don’t see my brokenness anymore
When I’m seated at the table of the Lord
I’m carried to the table
The table of the Lord

Fighting thoughts of fear
And wondering why He called my name
Am I good enough to share this cup
This world has left me lame
Even in my weakness
The Savior called my name
In His Holy presence
I’m healed and unashamed

You carried me, my God
You carried me

Leeland, Carried to the Table

Hello Christmas break.

College Adventure # 10

I finished my 1st semester at FSU! Took my last 2 exams this morning and I'm ready for a break! Here's my to do list for this week (as of now):

-make Christmas presents
-update my esty account(s)
-pack for home
-get ready for Haiti*
-work on the Christmas outreach stuff**
-get things cleaned and organized

*mission trip to Haiti in the summer...more to come.
**elizabeth and I are working on a Christmas outreach with our church...our back room is packed with presents for families we're sponsoring...possibly more to come.



Here are a few (there were lots) pictures from elizabeth and my Thanksgiving.

dancing :)

We got lessons in cooking...

Chester is our tv. he got dressed up for thanksgiving.

Charis was sitting on the couch cutting a carrot...
Me: Charis, are you bleeding?
Charis: No...
Me: what that red stuff running down your hand?
Charis: oh.

we had lots of butter.

delicious apple pie.


"it's about time for someone to take this semester out behind the barn and shoot it."
-one of my very favorite teachers

Tuesdays Thanks.

I am Thankful for:

-a mom who likes to talk to me (and helps me through emotional breakdowns).
-sweet sisters.
-crazy roomies.
-funny friends.
-a happy home.
-frigged (aka 70 degree) weather.
-holiday cheer.
-clean rooms.
-children's crafts.
-Christmas outreaches.
-cowboy boots.
-bald cupcakes (aka muffins).
-layering clothes.

Strawberry Day.


boots for strawberry pickin'

cute strawberry barn.

pickin' strawberries.


Strawberry friends.

our house.



I considered going on a blog break since I can't ever seem to post anything. But really it's that I can't seem to form words. So I think I'll just document my life/thoughts through pictures.

A daily activity at our house.
Mule Day adventure.
Another art project. :)

roomie quotes.


We've said some funny things lately...

Ally: oops...just popped my pants.

elizabeth: I keep having to pick carrot off my computer screen.

Kristen: I'm not in your class...I don't have to pee in a urinal.

elizabeth: I just don't want to beat something to's not my personality.

Kristen: pssh. Hello Kitty doesn't need a boyfriend.

elizabeth: I need to find someone whose bunny just had kittens.



“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
-Marianne Williamson

November 2nd.


Today I am thankful for my roomies. :)
We have some good times together and I love them.
Today was an interesting day full of interesting conversations (with the roomies)...we had lots of laughs (and some reenactments of "swimmers toe", smores in the toaster oven, and we even decided to create our own tv show (where Ally will sing our theme song with a mouthful of smore)). They are some of my favorites. :)

They also don't judge me when I wear a snuggie or bunnie slippers.

Happy Novemeber.


Today I am thankful for the time change. I got an extra hour of sleep and now I won't have to get up in the morning in the dark.


Lets try this again.


Recently I haven't been able to form enough words to blog. I've gotten on several times in attempt to post something new...but after minutes of trying I always gave up. I think I got in over my head with the 31 for 21. When I couldn't find something perfect to write about I got a little discouraged...then I couldn't find anything to say. I also had to take down my last post about Reece's Rainbow angel warriors because I didn't realize but I can't post pictures/blog about the child I'm praying for. After I found that out I immediately deleted my post. That was kind of silly because there was a lot of good information on it about the program...I should have just edited it. (That was onther thing I tried to (re)post about and gave up.) oh well. *
In other news...

Here's what you've been missing:

Pumpkin Palooza (and new friends:) This definately qualifies as College Adventure #8!
Fall Festival treats

lots of art projects

(black and white fan-inverse)
(prints from printmaking)

(my second project in Drawing 2 (I got an A!!!) It's about patience/waiting)

That's all for now...hopefully I'll start blogging more (especially since tomorrow's November(!) and I want to post my thankful things:)

*A quick overview of what I'm doing with Reeces Rainbow: I signed up to be a prayer warrior. Which basically means I am given the information about a child (with Down syndrome in another country) who is in the process of being adopted and I pray specifically for that child. While people can donate money to Reece's Rainbow, there is also an option of donating prayers (well, that's not exactly how they put it, but you get the idea:). You can sign up to do this as well here :)



:( I haven't blogged in a long time. I'm very dissapointed in myself, I really wanted to post every day of October for Ds Awareness...Things got busy and I got behind. I'd like to say I'll do better but I'm not sure if that's true. We'll see.



More pictures from the buddy walk!

Anna Rose :)

Anna Rose, Brianna, Micah, and Emma Cornish




(sorry I haven't posted recently...I was home and it was hard to get it done there)
The Buddy Walk was on Saturday! Here are some pictures :)

more to come :)

My Great Story.


I'm so excited! Today I'm heading home to visit my family :) Saturday is the Buddy Walk which is also very exciting!

I don't have much to say about Ds today, but here's a neat collection of stories (My Great Story)on the National Down Syndrome Society website:

Ximena's Story


Here's a short video about Ximena (the 1st student with special needs at a school in Panama).

Down Syndrome.


This makes me cry every time I read it. I was going to pick out a section to post, but I couldn't pick just one. (I possibly posted something from or about this before (it's from a while ago)...but it's still good).

The Importance of Trig Being By Michael Gerson

WASHINGTON -- In addition to Barack Obama making history as the first African-American to be nominated for president and Sarah Palin taking her shotgun to the glass ceiling, there was a third civil rights barrier broken at the political conventions this year.
Trig Paxson Van Palin -- pronounced by his mother "beautiful" and "perfect" and applauded at center stage of the Republican convention -- smashed the chromosomal barrier. And it was all the more moving for the innocence and indifference of this 4-month-old civil rights leader.

It was not always this way. When John F. Kennedy's younger sister Rosemary was born mentally disabled in 1918, it was treated as a family secret. For decades Rosemary was hidden as a "childhood victim of spinal meningitis." Joseph Kennedy subjected his daughter to a destructive lobotomy at age 23.

It was the remarkable Eunice Kennedy Shriver who talked openly of her sister's condition in 1962 and went on to found the Special Olympics as a summer camp in her backyard -- part of a great social movement of compassion and inclusion.

Trig's moment in the spotlight is a milestone of that movement. But it comes at a paradoxical time. Unlike African-Americans and women, civil rights protections for people with Down syndrome have rapidly eroded over the last few decades. Of the cases of Down syndrome diagnosed by pre-natal testing each year, about 90 percent are eliminated by abortion. Last year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended universal, early testing for Down syndrome -- not just for older pregnant women. Some expect this increased screening to reduce the number of Down syndrome births far lower than the 5,500 we see today, perhaps to less than 1,000.
The wrenching diagnosis of 47 chromosomes must seem to parents like the end of a dream instead of the beginning of a life. But children born with Down syndrome -- who learn slowly but love deeply -- are generally not experienced by their parents as a curse but as a complex blessing. And when allowed to survive, men and women with an extra chromosome experience themselves as people with abilities, limits and rights. Yet when Down syndrome is detected through testing, many parents report that genetic counselors and physicians emphasize the difficulties of raising a disabled child and urge abortion.

This is properly called eugenic abortion -- the ending of "imperfect" lives to remove the social, economic and emotional costs of their existence. And this practice cannot be separated from the broader social treatment of the disabled. By eliminating less perfect humans, deformity and disability become more pronounced and less acceptable. Those who escape the net of screening are often viewed as mistakes or burdens. A tragic choice becomes a presumption -- "Didn't you get an amnio?" -- and then a prejudice. And this feeds a social Darwinism in which the stronger are regarded as better, the dependant are viewed as less valuable, and the weak must occasionally be culled.

The protest against these trends has come in interesting forms. Last year pro-choice Sen. Edward Kennedy joined with pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback to propose a bill that would have required medical professionals to tell expectant parents that genetic tests are sometimes inaccurate and to give them up-to-date information on the quality of life that people with Down syndrome can enjoy. The bill did not pass, but it was a principled gesture from Rosemary's brother.

Yet the pro-choice radicalism held by Kennedy and many others -- the absolute elevation of individual autonomy over the rights of the weak -- has enabled the new eugenics. It has also created a moral conflict at the heart of the Democratic Party. If traditional Democratic ideology means anything, it is the assertion that America is a single moral community that includes everyone. How can this vision possibly be reconciled with the elimination of Down syndrome children from American society? Are pro-choice Democrats really comfortable with this choice?
The family struggles of political leaders can be morally instructive.

Contrast the attitude of Joseph Kennedy with that of Charles de Gaulle, who treated his daughter Anne, born with Down syndrome in 1928, with great affection. The image of this arrogant officer rocking Anne in his arms at night speaks across the years. After her death and burial at the age of 20, de Gaulle turned to his wife and said, "Come. Now she is like the others."
And now we have met Trig, who is just like the others, in every way that matters.



Myths vs. Facts.


Myth: Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.

Truth: Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects. The current trend in education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community. Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college degrees.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unemployable.

Truth: Businesses are seeking young adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions. They are being employed in small- and medium-sized offices: by banks, corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants. They work in the music and entertainment industry, in clerical positions, childcare, the sports field and in the computer industry. People with Down syndrome bring to their jobs enthusiasm, reliability and dedication.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy.

Truth: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else in the population. They experience the full range of emotions. They respond to positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and upset by inconsiderate behavior.



Here are some facts about Down syndrome:

(found here)

  • Researchers are making great strides in identifying the genes on Chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Many feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future
  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal abnormality. One in every 800 to 1,000 babies is born with Down syndrome.
  • There are more than 350,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • Down syndrome affects people of all ages, races and economic levels.



It's been a busy day and I almost forgot to blog. I don't have much to say, so here are some pictures of my little sisters (including Anna Rose who has Down syndrome:) The first is from a couple years ago, then Christmas 2007, then a few months ago. :)

oh dear...

dear school,
you make me tired.

dear etsy,
you make me happy.

dear 7/11 slurpees,
I really miss you. A lot.

dear dead frog in the window,
you are kind of gross.

dear Theodore,
you're my favorite.

dear bed,
why are you so far away?

Fall Decorations.


Have I mentioned that I love Fall?


Happy October 1st!!! It's been super nice outside this week and I love it. :)

Well, October (as you may remember from last year) is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! So, I will (try to) write everyday this month and include something about Ds. :) Next weekend I'm going with my family to the annual Buddy Walk.* If you are interested in sponsoring my family (even just a couple dollars) let me know!

The Cornish Adoption Journey blog is doing the same thing (Ds Awareness month and the Buddy Walk) and they had a really good explanation of Ds... so I copied it. :)

"Non-disjunction, or regular T21 accounts for a majority of cases of Ds. I think the number is around 95%. A typical person has 46 chromosomes, which are found in 23 pairs. With T21 there are three (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome. In regular plain old T21 the person has three 21's in every cell of their body. There is no "mild case" or "severe case" of T21, because it is in every cell. It's actually an over-abundance of information that is sent to the body, not missing info. T21 is not a hereditary disorder- it's not handed down in families. It is an anomoly that occurrs during conception, or even is carried within the egg or sperm. Something neat I learned recently is that people with T21 tend not to get cancers other than Leukemia. Researchers are studying the 21st chromosome to see if they can find the cure for cancer!"
you can find out more about the other 2 kinds of Ds or read about the Cornish's journey here.

*The Buddy Walk is "to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome."



College Adventure #7.

For 3 of my classes I have to do "field experience" since my major is art education.* Thankfully, 2 of them can be combined and I just started them last week. I'm going every Wednesday to a second grade girl's house to help her with her English. She is Hispanic and needs a little extra help since English is her 2nd language. I'm really excited because I get to spend time with her and her family. (Last week I got to talk with her mom and little sisters as well as helping her). Right now, I'm trying to come up with some activities for us to do tomorrow...

*even though I don't want to be an art teacher...well in schools. (I'm in the community arts track).

Inspirational Quote of the week.


Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter-in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in the fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in a gentle doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover His loving presence in the world around us.
The Ragamuffin Gospel



I'm starting a new art project and needed some's what I found (and loved).

1.Leonid Afremov

2. Marco Suarez @





quote of the week.

Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don't look at it and wish you had painted something different.
-Author Unknown



So, I just realized that I use more hair products on my artwork than on my hair.
Just thought you should know.
(I'm working on my art project that's due tomorrow morning and I'm easily distracted...)

Happy Fall.


Happy Fall!!!

I'm super excited about fall. I am looking forward to see a real season change...and will definitely need some new clothes.

p.s. look how little Charis is here! Now (although elizabeth might argue with me) she's in 8th grade!