Friday, July 31, 2009
So, another week draws to a close; it was a amazing one for me. We celebrated my mom's birthday and I was able to spend some time relaxing because I didn't have any appointments. That allowed me some time to recharge for the weeks ahead. Although, I have to admit I haven't done very well when it comes to exercise and stretching my muscles. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do it all, as I have explained in previous posts.. I guess I have to set new priorities.
Today, I had a interesting morning. Previously, I had set the 6: 30 am episode of Joni and friends to tape on my TiVo. Surprisingly, I woke up just as it started to tape. This episode featured a new hero of mine, Robin Hiser who up until today I didn't really know her. You see, Robin was born with down syndrome and like some friends I know, she is doing some remarkable things despite her disability.
But first, let me ask you a question.. What do you honestly think of when the word Down Syndrome comes into question? Mental retardation, low IQ, are some of the common responses when asked such a question. But like most people with disabilities, Robin strives to break down said barriers within minutes of meeting someone.
When she was born, doctors immediately brought up the idea of putting her into an institution. This was the typical recommendation of the times, considering that most people with down syndrome wouldn't be able to contribute to society. Her parents disagreed.
Please take the time to view this story.. I know you will be truly blessed. In fact, I know I was. So much so that I tried to paraphrase her story. But I just couldn't. It's better if you hear it straight from her mouth
I encourage you to visit the website and watch this video
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Over the years, I continue to be amazed at how much God has blessed me in my life. All too often, people go through their life wondering what their to do in this world. I am very grateful that God allowed my gift for writing to surface right away; that way, I was able to harness my craft as well as see my personal growth through it all. I am not the only person to be blessed with this gift. A recent article highlights the remarkable story of a 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who undergoes art therapy. During this process, not only does he discover a God given talent, but realizes the importance of being yourself.
A basic note:Typical art therapy consists of a therapist helping the patient maneuver through the strokes and movements required to complete the drawing. The trouble with this is the therapist finds themselves doing most of the work, while the patient is along for the ride!
Take a look at this story here: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09204/985720-58.stm?cmpid=news.xml
Monday, July 27, 2009
So, I've been thinking a lot about my use of time lately. My daily routine consists of checking Facebook, feeding my virtual pets and then I often get sucked into playing some new game my friends passed on to me. By the end of the day, I am left wondering where the time went. No one is promised tomorrow.. That's why we should value the time we are given.
Just my thoughts for today.. I promise there will be something disability related tomorrow.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Even though it's not Friday, I thought this post was perfect for a simple and sweet lesson on humility. It's quite an eye-opener.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I know it's been a while since I've regularly updated this blog, I'm sorry! I'm just now starting to get a hold on things. Maybe just me, but I seem to be having a hard time getting back into the routine of real-life and I don't know why. It's not like I have these amazing pressures coming back right after the cruise. Oh well.
Now that I have a lot of links that I can feature on the blog. Things should return to normal soon enough!
But back to the question I posed earlier. How far would you go to get people more involved in learning or helping out with your disability causes? According to a recent article, some people would go to great links. Ben Dobson is one such individual. Recently, he participated in the annual Benjamin Franklin Memorial Poker Run. During this event, hundreds of motorcycles gathered and drove around town, stopping at several pubs along the way. This event was put together in a effort to help people with CP as well as other physical disability.
So what makes Ben so special?
He actually rented a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to attend the event!
To find out more, please go to:
Monday, July 20, 2009
So I am not usually one to post news articles on my blog. But I thought this one was quite interesting. Usually, someone can tell if you have autism- unless they are high functioning. So, I don't really see the problem. Maybe it can be controlled. Second of all, why would a higher up officer tell him to lie?
Friday, July 17, 2009
So I know it's been a while since I posted. I've been sick and trying to figure a lot of things out in my life lately. But now I'm back.
Sinc the cruise, I've been thinking a lot about getting a job. I know my dad really wants me to finish writing my book and I do too. But that seems to be a second priority for me now. I just need to find a way to gain and maintain the motivation I once had for my life. I need to feel useful again to someone besides my family. In a effort to change things, I will do my best to write on this blog regularly. But I will be doing other things as well- such as submitting my resume to monster.com etc.
In times like these, I realize I'm not the only person struggling with employment. God must have realized this, because as if just by luck I came across these websites. The first is an introduction to the second website, a site that offers people with disabilities advice and tips on getting the job.
They look pretty helpful to me!
I thought I would pass them along..
http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2009/07/20/site-of-the-day-hire-disability-solutions.htm - a introduction to the website
http://www.hireds.com/index.php- the website itself
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
So my last post made it pretty obvious to me (as I'm sure it do to you) that I had a fabulous cruise with my friend. Although at times it left me tired and frustrated, I wouldn't have changed a thing. I met some amazing people on the Carnival Pride. Soon, it was back to reality though. I was once again reminded how much energy it took me to get through everyday. The training, having the patience to deal with my personal assistant. This was- and always will be - a part of my life. While surfing the web today, I decided to check on the recent updates of one of my role models, Joni Erickson Tada. Boy, am I glad I did.
Joni may be best known for her motivational speaking and radio shows. But, she should be recognized for her use of other people's stories to show the reality of the the glory of God. That's the main goal of her television program Joni And Friends. In one past episode, she features in the life of Renee Bondi- a woman paralyzed by accident after falling from her bed. Despite all this, she married her fiancé and had a son by natural childbirth. Doctors even told her she may never be able to sing again, but here she sits singing the praises of God everyday. Like me, she has the desires of every woman- to be married and with child someday. Like me, she asks God for the patience to deal with complete strangers everyday.
Hear her story story in her own words at:http://www.joniandfriendstv.org/
It's under Yours for A Song
Monday, July 13, 2009
As you may remember, I said this summer was going to be full of adventure. So far it's turning out to be so much more than I imagined possible. Recently, I returned home from a wonderful cruise to the Bahamas; this one was my third cruise. What made this one so unique, you may ask? Well, for one this was going to be my first cruise without my parents - I invited a college friend, Bethann Bennett instead. This allowed us with a very unique opportunity. Not only could we spend some quality "girl" time together; but my parents were given the chance to go on a vacation by themselves, which they haven't been able to do in a long time.
So it was settled... We would travel the Bahamas on the wonderful cruise ship Carnival Pride and they would travel to Alaska. Looking back, I can't believe the irony of it all. Bethann (“BA”) arrived in Virginia on Wednesday, July 1 to ensure that last-minute preparations went smoothly. We spent the next day shopping for last-minute supplies as well as looking at bridesmaids dresses for Bethann's November wedding.
On Friday, July 3rd, we traveled to the Port in Baltimore to catch the Carnival cruise ship “Carnival Pride”, which we lovingly called "a floating hotel" for the next few days. Being a former cruiser, I was amazed at the improvements the ship had made .Pride was much more accessible than all the others - I could actually turn my wheelchair around in the bathroom! After settling in, we did a little shopping on board and enjoyed The Carnival's opening show, which included songs with the word "fun" in them. This show is unique to Carnival because they are known as The Fun Ships. As we exited the Chesapeake Bay, you could see blasts of color in the distance. What a wonderful way to start the best vacation of our lives! The dinner was great, and we had the melting chocolate cake . We went to see the opening show in the evening; it was GREAT as always.
Saturday the Fourth of July was another day of calm seas and beautiful weather. I went shopping and got gifts for my nieces, Elizabeth and Rebekah! We enjoyed the day sunbathing on the deck and relaxing. The PRIDE is THE PLACE to be with a wheelchair. Our cabin was amazing, much more accessible than the cabins on my earlier cruises. We began getting to know the nice staff and shipmates. Tonight we listened to some karaoke and I actually got BA to go up to sing -- the only catch was I had to sing with her (I hope you dance - LeAnn Womack). And the lovely Donna from London was the karaoke hostess. It was also formal night and we got some nice pictures taken, including a picture of us with the American Flag for the Fourth!
Sunday July 5th was our 2nd day at sea, and we got to know more people and had a relaxing day at sea. Each day we would email my parents in Alaska and they would tell us about their adventures, and we would tell them about our adventures on the ship – the wonderful Internet.
Monday July 6th we landed at the Port of Canaveral for our shore excursion – but it did not go as smoothly as planned. We had to get up way early to leave at 9:30 am, and that was hard because we stayed on deck Sunday evening until 11:30 doing the Congo line. Then, the excursion company did not have a handicap accessible bus when we got ashore! So they quickly called aup another bus and we made it to the excursion – a canal boat trip, but a little late. We got back to the ship and set sail for Nassau Bahamas!!!!! I sang Karaoke on Monday night again. I think it is in my blood now. I even got an encore performance on Lido desk singing with my IPod! Go figure...not sure how that happened!
Tuesday July 7th – We went ashore (in spite of too many people blocking the stairways) and since I realized this was the trip of the lifetime, I had a HUGE shopping day in Nassau!!!! I got some great deals and tips from Luigi (the Cruise ship’s professional shopping counselor). We shopped at Del Sol for changing color shirts, then on to Diamond International, where I bought some wonderful jewelry. We came back aboard and went to the pool; it was neat. We were both really, really tired; so we relaxed watching a movie in our room and eating pizza.
Wednesday July 8th – was ANOTHER busy day. We went ashore at Freeport. Unfortunately we we're able to access the Caribbean beaches. But we could go shopping and shop I did! I bought a few more things, and ran out of cash. I am trying to make the best of my last days here. But I have to say that THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
Thursday, July 9th – was our last day sea and it is was much more windy and choppy than usual. We spent the day relaxing and catching some sun. We have taken a lot of photos. Including some wonderful sunsets! This has been a vacation of a lifetime for both of us !
Friday, July 10th we arrived back at the Port of Baltimore and my dad met us and took us back to our home. BA and I unpacked our souvenirs and BA began a scrapbook while I place pictures on my FaceBook page.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
In reality, this will be my fourth post about Patrick Henry and his book. But my third installment using his book as my topic of "Encouragement". For those of you that have been following, Patrick Henry has explored why we should be grateful in whatever circumstance we are in, do what we can to change what we can, and their definition of "coping". In the next chapters, we will continue to learn about his take on pursuing your passion no matter what it takes.
Patrick Henry has never felt left out when it comes to playing sports like his brothers. He understands that everyone has their talents and should use them. For him, music is his passion. "Music is my key to life. The more I play, the richer my life becomes," Patrick says. Playing music allows him to interact with a world he hasn't seen, as well as transcend the limits of his disability.
A talent developed purely by accident..
As a young father, John Henry remembers the struggle he often had dealing with his firstborn son on his own. It wasn't until his father playing music on the piano that the baby would quiet down. Looking back, he realizes that his own love for music was more than just a way to put himself in the spotlight, but prepared him for this special role with his son. "Preparation to help me raise a special child, a child who would be limited in many ways, except when it came to music.".
Miraculously, at a young age, Patrick Henry was able to find notes simply by hearing them. "After a while, I think dad gave up trying to figure it all out and just accepted that God had given me a wonderful gift," he says. At two years old, he was able to play simple melodies and harmonies along with his father on violin
"This was our our baseball pitch and catch, a father and son enjoying each other. We would never play football, go golfing, or do any of the other sports I have longed for. But that was okay because God had another plan- a bigger and better version of anything I could have imagined," . John Henry says