Thursday, June 30, 2011


Ground Breaking happened on Quinn's House! I can't tell you how lovely it was. Thanks to Greg and Delrae for setting it all up! Thanks to Pastor Lux for saying a prayer for safe construction and inspiration for everyone involved. Thanks to all the board members and home builders and groups helping with the house. Thanks to all our family and friends who braved the heat, as it was 102 on my car's temp gauge. It was a warm fuzzy kind of moment! As one of my friends said, the moment gave her goosebumps and she was not hot at all thanks to being in the moment. Quinn loved it. The Quinn story from the day was when she was hanging out with Chrissy and Annette and Casey and the kids, she was talking and being her talkative self, and as soon as someone else would come over and talk to her, she would not say a word! What a girl! I love her so much! Thank you, thank you thank you, is all I have to say at the moment! Oh,except that it sounds like the real heavy duty digging is going to start in a week or so, as the digger is about an hour away digging levies to keep homes over in the Council Bluffs/Omaha area safe and dry right now, as the flooding over there is pretty bad, so there you go!

Blessings to you all! Wow, with how crazy life is, life is so good for us right now! We do send out prayers to folks who are worried about their homes filling with water, as we are so fortunate right now to start, we pray for all the folks worried about water in their basements, or not being able to live in their home at all right now. We also send out prayers to Quinn's friend Amelia, who is back in the hospital, along with prayers for her parents, I understand how hard it is to have a child in the hospital, it's exhausting! Whew, having a support system is such a big deal, and wow, we are growing our, how humbled and thankful and joyful we are! What a roller coaster live is! So hold on!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


An afternoon of therapy! Not one of Quinn's favorite therapy appointments! (Usually she loves it)
Well, summer has gotten Quinn into the bad habit of going to sleep later then she should, and waking up late, like 8:30 or 9:00, well we have to be up on the bus by 7:15, so Quinn is not loving the new schedule. In fact she is not loving school right now. Shel loves Nadean, loves the bus, loves one of the kids that rides the bus with her, as she is one of the kids from Riley, who would love on Quinn like crazy. Quinn is not loving school. I talked to Quinn about starting school, I however did not think about telling her that school was going to be in a different building with different kids and different teachers. So far Quinn is not loving school, she is getting tight and closing her eyes for most of class. Nice, she is figuring out how to get the point across. Then as soon as she gets back on the bus, she is smiling and happy! OH boy! What a girl. Well today I had a meeting, so Chrissy picked Quinn up, and Quinn got to play with Chrissy, Casey, and Annette. Then she took a good hour long nap, and she did not want to wake up for therapy. So here she is sound asleep, and she slept through teeth brushing and upside down tipping.

She woke up in time for her least favorite activity, working on hands and knees, so having a 4 year old do something she does not like, when she is crabby equals a temper tantrum! Big time, but wow, we heard Quinn say "All Done" crisp and clear!
So we switched over to a new activity, something fun, but a tired cranky Quinn decided to start screaming instead!
As her mom, I have mixed reactions! Part of me loves to see her show her attitude, good or bad! I love to see her get her ideas across to folks, at the same time, she needs to learn to be upset when she is hurt, and not freak out when she is simply grouchy.
So after trying not to work, and trying her best not to do anything, the screaming started!
After everything was done, and Quinn had calmed down, I had a talk with her about how Suzanne and Stacie did not deserve to be yelled at, and Quinn said a very quiet, I'm sorry, and therapy was over! Wow, what a day! Here is hoping for an early bedtime tonight, let me rephrase that, let's hope for an early night sleep, as she will be in bed early, it's up to her as to when she goes to sleep! Phew! I'm exhausted!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I just noticed that our story is up on's website, scroll down a little to see our story. Finally I can share it with you. Hope you enjoy it just a bit! Thanks again gentlemen!


Quinn starts summer school today!

We had to wake up early, as the bus gets to our apartment at 7:15! This picture is not great, but I love to watch her wake up and stretch!
Nadean is her nurse again, and it's so nice to have her. She is easy going, which is what Quinn needs, and wow did Quinn ever give some huge smiles when she saw her! Just look, she can't take her eyes off of her!
I did not think Quinn could get much happier, but as soon as she saw the bus come around the corner, she got even a bigger smile. Just look at that smile in this picture.

This is the first time I got to see Quinn get on the bus and head to school. Part of me wanted to start bawling, while this little bitty spot was saying, oh my, this is the first time you have ever had total you time where you did not have to ask someone to watch Quinn. I'm going to have three weeks of me time for a few hours every morning! Watch out gym, here I come!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Well, we were the entertainment at Sam's today. As I was walking around our apartment, we were running out of everything, so off to Sam's we went, and it's easier to have Quinn sit in the cart, and she loves to hold things, so as I kept filling up the cart, Quinn ended up looking like part of the stuff, we had lots of fun comments and Quinn loved getting out to a new place, although we can't afford to stock up like that very often, we might have to continue to go out there and just walk around.

Here is to you having a good day getting out and about!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The blue rose

Jill shared this story with me, and I had to pass it on. How I love those Blue roses!

Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy, I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded proudly.

"Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.

"You're fifteen-years-old, Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him.

I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I said, "There are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God."

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, "Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, "God bless you!" and then I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest, the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to that person or their family.

From an old dandelion! Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Happy Fathers Day to our Grandpa's and to Quinn's wonderful dad. I don't tend to talk about him on here as much as I probably should. He is so good with Quinn and loves her unconditionally, and she comes alive in his arms. It's heartwarming to see them together!
A busy end of the week for us girls. We met grandma and Kaleb in Omaha, hit the zoo, did some swimming, and braved the Amazing Pizza Machine.
Quinn did great! She ate banana's at the Cheesecake Factory. They were great there, asking what they could do for her, and I always say I'm sharing, and sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't when I think she is already overly stimulated. Well, she proved me wrong, as I was not going to feed her in the restaurant, as she usually eats better at home without so many distractions, but our wonderful waitress said she could bring Quinn a bowl of banana's and they were already cut up in small bits and Quinn ate over half of them. Yeah for a great dinner for her. She loved the zoo, and loved watching Kaleb play games as well. It was a great couple days. Kaleb is doing better and better talking to Quinn and figuring out how to get her to talk to him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Hello there! A quick midweek report! Lots of pictures to share.

Two fun stories. First we were at therapy with Diane this morning painting raindrops, and Quinn did a great job either repeating the number Diane said, or saying the next number. That was great to see. The frustrating part about it is that sometimes when Quinn is talking, she wants to keep her tongue sticking out of her mouth, so part of me is amazed she can get her words out with her tongue in the way, while the other part of me wishes she would keep her tongue in her mouth where it belongs. She does not stick it out all the time, just sometimes, and I have not figured out why she does it when she does. The counting however, is wonderful and that is the point I wanted to stress.

Our second story is that yesterday I told Quinn how we would stop by Chrissy's and get some pictures from her house. So after therapy today I told Quinn how we were going to see Chrissy. Then I followed it up with the fact that we were only going to stay there for a few minutes because we had another meeting to get to, and Quinn started crying and yelling. Once we got to Chrissy's she was fine, but I think she was upset that she did not get to stay there. She sure did love on Chrissy when we were there, so that was wonderful to see, and hear. Quinn is starting to get more and more information across to us, we just have to really listen.

It's crazy how I look at the beginning of the week, and it looks like we have a bit of down time, and then after a day of talking to doctors and friends, the entire week is booked up. I'm so thankful to have a bit of time off to get Quinn and I to all our doctor appointments. Oh, I have not talked about John's doctor appointments for awhile! He got great news from one of his many doctors. He does not have to go to his kidney doctor for 4 months! That is a big deal, now if we could only get his blood to the right thickness, past that, his heart and body are doing well.

Well, today Quinn and I went and painted pottery with Tracy. Well, sort of, as Quinn decided to finally take a nap once we got there at 4:00. So I did most of the work, she was awake while we picked out a pot and pick out the colors, then took a snooze, but she woke up in time to do just a little bit. So we will have a picture of her and her pot coming up.

Last weekend we went up to the farm. Grandma read Quinn some books, I love watching Quinn read a book, she gets so excited and does such a good job scanning the pages.
Here is Grandma, Quinn, and Kaleb.
Here are Quinn and Kaleb. Kaleb has always done a great job with his cousin Quinn, but this time he asked more questions about Quinn, and asked me if it's ok that he feels sorry for her that she can't walk and do what we can do. I told him, that's ok, and sometimes I feel sorry for her too, but we agreed that there is still so much Quinn can do and we are both happy to have her in our lives.
Here is a random picture, and Quinn did not even see the baby birds, as we went out to see them when she was in bed, but my mom has lots of bluebird nests, and does her weekly check in's and these guys were so cute. Thought you might enjoy them.
Here is Quinn's newest cousin Kyra, and John is also in there with the girls. Two precious little girls here.
Now for a few pictures from Chrissy's house. Starting off with Quinn and Ben.
Next up are a couple of Casey and Quinn.

Now here are Justice and Quinn. I love the one of the two of them coloring on the calendar.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Here are just a few of the thank-yous, Quinn and I have been working on for all of the folks helping with Quinn's House.
Here are Barb and Quinn. If it were not for Barb, this whole thing with Quinn's house would not even be happening! Thanks again Barb!
Another week of summer already gone! Oh boy, the time is flying by. I forget how nice it is to spend a little more time with Quinn. Contrary to popular belief, teachers don’t have the whole summer off, but it is nice to have more days off then usual, and nice to get into some classes here and there, to help me keep learning and improving, but we did get to see the Price is Right a couple times this week, as that has always been my gauge to summer, do I have to ability to listen to “come on down”, as I don’t really get to watch it, Quinn as I are busy with her walker, or going potty, or getting stickers for the sticker chart, when she goes potty, or doing her hair, or reading books, or doing tummy time, and working on hands and knees, and rolling. We also try to go on some walks and it was nice a couple of days to do that. We work on eating applesauce and crackers. Right now Quinn likes sweet potatoes again, along with cotton candy, but not at the same time. I could go on and on, with all the things we are working on, but I am trying to keep it a bit short.

I had the best Friday morning ever. I dropped Quinn of at Chrissy’s house, as I was helping a friend move. So Quinn and I go in, and Chrissy was in the other room with one of the kids she was watching, and Casey and Justice were in the living room. These are two more of the girls that Chrissy watches and they are just amazing. Justice (I’m guessing she is about 10 or 11) comes over and starts talking to Quinn about the butterflies on her shirt, and asking how she is, then Casey (who I’m guessing is about 18) comes over and starts mothering Quinn, straightening out her shirt, and giving her sweet pats on the arm. I love talking to these girls, you can tell they are as excited to be at Chrissy’s as much as I’m excited for Quinn to be there. To be welcomed into the house like that just melted my heart, and I almost wanted to skip the moving day of hauling boxes and just hang out in that house. I’ve said it before, but we are so blessed to be able to leave Quinn in such capable hands, and have her surrounded with love from so many wonderful people, adults and kids both, when she is over there. Whew, that is love! (We even have pictures of the fun day, that I’ll share next time, they are still on the camera right now.)

On the house front, we picked out window trim colors, garage door colors, and gutter colors, looked at paint samples for the outside and inside of the house with Delrae, and Quinn and I started making and drawing on about 200 thank you cards to give out to all the folks helping on our house. John and I signed a few more papers and gave them to Greg who is working on even more paperwork to get things going, and Ken is working hard on finding us pocket doors along with all kinds of things I don’t totally understand. These are our three earth bound angels working on our house, Greg, Ken, and Delrae, thanks so much, we are looking forward to an exciting summer and fall. We also want to thank Bryon and Prairie Gold Homes, Inc. (click here to see their website) for being the main builder for our home, and just can’t wait to see all the folks that we will be thanking down the road. If you do look at their website, our house is being built on site rather then being moved, but most of the other information on there is correct. I'm excited to be working with them. We are almost ready to go into Lincoln Federal to sign the final loan papers, and start building in the Woodlands at Yankee Hill neighborhood. We could not have had any of this happen if it were not for Barb for actually asking around to see who could help us redo our old house, and make it handicap accessible, and now here we are about to break ground on Quinn’s House, Built with Love. I never though we could move out of our old house, let alone build, but thanks to great people, here we go. I’m looking forward to introducing Quinn to some wonderful people who are going out of their way to help us help Quinn have a home she can be successful in! Wow, life is good. We are bombarded with negative stories in the news, a few impatient horn honkers here and there, mother natures devastating floods, yet there is so much good in the world. I am thankful for the men and women who hold the door open for Quinn and I when we are going here and there. I’m thankful for the person who says, they were next, when the second checker comes up to check us out. I’m thankful for so many of my students who are always wondering why I was gone, and if Quinn is ok. I’m thankful to see that a few people actually do read this journal, and thankful I can write it in the first place. I’m thankful for spell check, and thankful for those of you who over look my grammar and understand the big picture of what I am trying to get across. It’s a wonderful world we live in, and I’m so excited to share the good, the emotional, the amazing adventure of building Quinn’s House, Built with Love. I’m hoping it will inspire a few folks to accept others for who they are on the inside, and not judge just by the way they look. In fact, thanks to Sarah, Quinn’s aunt, I was reminded yet again, how we need to get to know folks before we judge how they look, if they have the right clothes, the cool friends, or if they are in a chair, or if they drool. There is so much more to a person then their shell. This 6 minute video made me cry, but I cry at about anything, but it’s a great story about two young men and how they work to make their sports teams the best they can be. (or click here to go to the video)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Playing with Quinn and the camera. She is such a good model, and is having so much fun with the camera. We are finally feeling like it's summer. Quinn has a few weeks before summer school starts, so we are having fun!