Thursday, October 31, 2013

Daily Routine

I had a question earlier this month about how I keep it all together, my routine.  Some mamas are struggling with one or two or three and don't have any with special needs!  Inquiring minds want to know, I guess.

The answer is....I don't do it alone!  My greatest blessing in this life is my husband.  I am able to keep it all together, because he is my partner in life and parenting and just as instrumental in making our days run smoothly as I am.  I may be the more visible each day, but he is my greatest help.  My Superman:)

Ideally my days would have a routine...and they have a basic outline, but they are far from the same.  So here goes.

*Morning alarm goes off at 5:45am - though I'll admit, I always hit snooze:)
*One of us heads upstairs to stir the girls and the other gets going on lunches.  It is usually just the 4 girls and Woody, but depending on the day, Emelia and I might get lunch or at least a snack packed.
*By 7, I'm herding them towards the door, so that we actually drive away about 7:10.  Woody usually does the morning drop off.  From 7am-9am, I try to get a little sewing done for the shop.
*The three older girls go our church school in Dallas, so there is a carpool set up and they ride with other families in the morning (I in turn bring other kids home each day).  Drop off is 7:20.

*Aubrey and Dad then stroll the aisle of the local Walmart.  Mostly because it is near school and has a bathroom, cause we can't make it from home to school without a potty break.
*Aubrey gets dropped of at 8, and then Woody and Em are off to the gym together.
*9:30ish, Em gets dropped off and Woody is off to work.  I'm checking email and doing laundry and watching Sesame Street. Or heading to an appointment.
*11-1 I'm hoping Emelia takes a good nap, so I can sew and hopefully make or start dinner.  (if I don't have a menu plan for the week, it gets ugly-so I try to make out a menu on Sunday)
*1pm We're grabbing lunch and packing up orders to head to the postal center.
*2:10 we pick up Aubrey from school and quickly chat with her teacher.
*I have an hour of time here before we pick up the afternoon crew, so we run errands or head to the playground.
*3:15pm we get the big kids, the car is now full of SEVEN kids.  I assure you that only mine are hungry and crabby:)
*4:00 we are home.  Homework, piano, dinner, etc.
*5:30-6:00 we are hoping that daddy is home for dinner and baths
*6:00-6:30pm the littles are in bed, the bigs are finishing up there work
*8:00-9:00 the bigs are going to bed
*9:00 we catch up on the day, get ready for tomorrow and catch up on work

This would be ideal!  But it isn't most days:(
*Mondays after school, Ella has piano and Kate and Alice have choir.  It makes for a larger gap of time between pickups, which is ideal for a quick doctor appointment if necessary.  We get home about 5.
*The 3 big girls have skating lessons Monday nights, so we eat quickly (crock pot meal, leftovers, or salad) and are out the door at 5:45 again and home at 7......which means that at 7 we are then getting a snack and THEN starting homework and bedtime.
{Are you tired yet....cause it's only Tuesday:)}
 *Tuesdays we get home at 4, but then head out the door at 5:30 for Signing Class.  I try really hard to squeeze in as much homework before our quick dinner again. Class is 6-7:30.  This is Aubrey's language, so we all go. Which means that after we get home at 8, we have a snack and bedtime/homework continue.
*Wednesday.....more ideal.....for now:)
*Thursday, Ella has choir after school and Alice and Kate have piano, so we are home at 4:45.  Another ideal day to squeeze in an appointment for Miss Aubrey.
*I LOVE FRIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*The weekends are spent catching up, and trying to get ahead on the stuff that's gonna happen next week.

It's a crazy busy life.  But it's ours.  I get asked all the time, "How do you do it?"  Not sure if they say it because they are in awe of my super awesome mom skills and they want the secrets, or if they think I'm crazy!

Here's my secrets!

I pray a lot, and I take it one day at a time:)

It takes me back to those first days, as a first time mom.  You just weren't sure how you were going to do it.  How do you survive the sleeplessness?  How do you take care of someone who cries all the time and poops on you and throws up on you?

LOVE.  You do it because you love them.  You are personally maxed out at whatever place you are in life.  When I had one kid, I was maxed out at one.  When I had two, I was maxed out at two.  And so on.....

I'm surely maxed out most days.  And most days aren't ideal.  But we all get through it.  Appointments change my days and nap times.  Sometimes the paperwork is a day or so late or I have to run it up to the school, but all the important stuff gets done.

They are all alive and fed and loved.....and the other stuff, will get done tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WW: Happiest Place on Earth for Aubrey

{Frozone from The Incredibles - he even signed with Aubrey-she loves when people sign with her}
{Green Army Guy from Toy Story}
{Fist Bumps}
{Put her in line to see his friends Woody and Buzz}
guy spent like 10 minutes just interacting with Aubrey, so sweet!
 {That smile made the LONG wait worth it!}
{Woody from Toy Story}
 {Buzz Light Year from Toy Story}

 {Jake and the Neverland Pirates}

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guest Post: More Alike Than Different

This guest post is from my best friend Brenna.
We affectionately call ourselves the “Minnesota Smiths”, and call the Smith's the “Texas Hollanders”. We constantly find ourselves living “parallel lives” to each other. 

Rachel and I went to college together, and each took a year off to teach before finishing our senior year. There was a small group of us that had left to teach, so those that went back for senior year really bonded. We were both finishing up our training to be teachers and both planning our upcoming weddings. We were definitely good friends, but our friendship really grew over the next few years as we got married and started having kids. 
{Our crew of 10}
 First off, our husbands are A LOT alike and get along very well. Then we started having babies at the exact same time (our oldest girls are only 1 week apart!) and continued to do so for the next 10 years (the biggest spread between our kids is 10 months between our babies).
{Kate and Ella 9 - 2 months apart}
{Alice and Olive 11 - 1 week apart}

Woody and Rachel had girl, girl, girl, and we had girl, girl, girl. 
{Ella and Lilly 7 - 3 months apart}
We’re the same. Always. You can often hear our husbands say “naturally” just after we confirm something happening to each of us at the same time. Rachel and I even have a habit of dressing alike when it is completely unplanned! 

When we found out that we were pregnant with our fourth, Rachel was one of the first to know. Little did I  know that she was suspicious that she might also be pregnant, but hadn’t yet told Woody! Once again, the same. We were due on the same day, and once again celebrated growing our families together. Another set of buddies! 
{Aubrey and Noah 5 - 3 weeks apart}
Now here’s where we strayed from our similarities. Both of us decided to find out the gender of our baby at our ultrasound. The Smiths found out that they were expecting baby girl #4, so we were shocked to find out that we were expecting a boy! A boy?!  We thought for sure that one of the ultrasounds must have been wrong because how could they be different?? 

Shortly before our babies were due, Rachel had a routine ultrasound done just to be sure baby on track and ready for delivery (she had planned C-sections). The ultrasound showed that baby was quite a bit smaller than they would expect for how far along she was, so they referred her to a specialist. This ultrasound revealed that baby girl had a heart defect, a defect that often goes hand-in-hand with individuals with Down’s syndrome. I remember so clearly Rachel saying, “Yesterday she was a healthy baby girl, today she has holes in her heart.”  

Aubrey Elizabeth made her appearance shortly after that (she was two weeks early, and my guy was 1 week late, so they are three weeks apart). I remember Rachel’s phone call so well, “We have a new princess!” Being born early, and with a heart defect, meant that Aubrey had a bit of a rough start. She was in NICU, she couldn’t nurse, she was so, so tiny, she had jaundice…But she was beautiful. And she was indeed a princess. 
{Our "babies" Emelia and Natalie 2 and 1 - 10 months apart}
While Aubrey and Noah may be different from each other, they have a very special, very sweet friendship. They are definitely buddies, and love each other so much! People often comment on how he doesn’t have any buddies in the Smith/Hollander crew as he is the only boy amongst NINE girls! But he is always quick to correct them that Aubrey is his buddy! 

We are blessed beyond words by our friendship with the Smiths, and by the many ways we are alike and by the few ways that we are different. J

Missing posts....Pumpkin Patch

Bet you wondered where we went?  I had tried posting from my phone over the weekend....but apparently none of those posted.  Will be reposting those over the next few days to catch up.  They were worth it:)

While you wait....enjoy these from our pumpkin patch adventure this morning.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Guest Post: Parenting II

**Guest Post from my Cousin Kelly.  She was one of the first, as was Dana, to write a post for me to share. It is certainly wonderful to hear how people think we are doing as parents, but so humbling as well.  And well...hard to post "a pat on the back", which is why I've save them I guess.  But it's time to share:)
{Kelly is 3rd from the left in the back - I'm on far right in back with Emelia
and Aubrey is sitting 2nd from left in the red chairs}
"Since I have been given the opportunity, I am going to write about Aubrey’s parents – since I know that this would be something that Rachel may not have an easy time writing herself.

A brief introduction, I am one of Rachel’s cousins from Wisconsin.  Because of the distance, I don’t see the day to day operation of the Smith household.  There are many times I wish I could – sometimes I would like to be a visitor, other times I think it would truly be fascinating to be a “fly on the wall”. 

From the moment that there was an inclination that Aubrey may be born with a heart defect and Down syndrome, Rachel and Woody turned to their ultimate source of strength – their faith.  Like the rest of Rachel and Woody’s family, I prayed and waited.  When Aubrey was born we continued to support the family in prayer and love as we received pictures of the tiniest of babies hooked up to a room full of machines and monitors. 

As Aubrey has grown up there have been many unknowns, however, her family has always been a source of stability. We have heard stories of doctor appointments, various different types of therapy appointments, specialists, hospitalizations, etc.  But more importantly we have heard about the reaching of milestones, the laughter Aubrey brings, and the amazing gift of being able to see the world through Aubrey’s eyes (my personal favorite).  The focus has always been on what Aubrey CAN do, not what she can’t do (yet!) .  

As parents, Rachel and Woody skillfully create life lessons out of not only life changing events, but also daily situations.  I can’t help but think of all of the incredible lessons the girls are learning now that they will grow up and use when they themselves are parents.
{Aubrey with her Great Grandma Alice Olson and cousins}
We know Aubrey as a determined girl, but when looking at her family, this is not a surprise.  She has grown up in a family of amazing strength.  Rachel and Woody encourage Aubrey’s four sisters, each with their own special qualities and talents, to share these gifts with Aubrey each day.  Aubrey is blessed to learn from Alice’s grace, Kate’s intellect, Ella’s silliness, and she gets to learn to be a big sister to Emmie – which is quite special.  Rachel and Woody have done an amazing job of providing each of the girls with the unique tools they need to have a positive future.  They are a family with a commitment to values, faith and family tradition.

I am so proud of how graciously Rachel and Woody have raised their family.  They are a compassionate, loving, giving family that demonstrates to each of us the strength they have within themselves to face all that life will present to them. 

You have shown so many that while Aubrey may have Down syndrome, she is clearly just like each one of us.   

Love you all!

**Pictures were taken last Christmas.  The Olson (Rachel's side) gathers every year between Christmas and New Years.  All told there were 30 of us for 3 days in 1 house!  Thank you to my Aunt and Uncle for hosting us each year and to this half of our family that provides so many prayers and love and support and for being part of our "village".

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guest Post: Parenting

**seams only fitting that today's guest post come from our good friend Dana....since I was busy all day on her Halloween cape order:)

These guest posts have all been about Miss Aubrey. For good reason I suppose. Who wouldn't want to talk about that beautiful smile and kind heart? In the spirit of nonconformity (I believe Ella shares this trait with me) I am using my post to talk about someone else.  A few people actually. Let's chat about Woody and Rachel.   

I left my first dinner with the Smiths and proclaimed them the nicest people I had ever met. At that time they "only" had three girls. Rachel delivered Aubrey a few weeks after our Koen was born. I remember sitting in my living room on a warm September day, holding my 7 week old son, watching the Smith girls play. A few feet away Woody and Rachel sat with my husband (also their pediatrician) discussing what Rachel's ultrasound confirmed. The words heart defect, femur length, Down's syndrome floated through the air and I held my baby tighter. I couldn't reconcile the difference between the happy scene I was watching and the devastating one I was hearing. But if they were scared they didn't show it.

Aubrey came into this world a tiny little blue bundle. Oh, how those early blue days scared me!  Through heart surgery, medications, hospitalizations, orthotics, glasses, hearing aids, sign language, speech therapy ... Woody and Rachel have shown a strength and commitment to their family and each other that I can hardly believe. When they discuss struggles it is about hearing loss or short stature or the logistics of getting 5 kids where they need to be. To them DS isn't something to be endured or overcome. It is simply a fact. No different than saying Emelia has blonde hair or Woody is freakishly tall.

There is a ridiculous stereotype that children with DS are always happy.  I have witnessed a few meltdowns that disprove this theory. The truth is Aubrey is happy and content for the same reason that Alice, Kate, Ella and Emilia are. They are surrounded by love, strength, acceptance and peace. Sure, I believe Aubrey will do great things. I believe all of the girls will. Down's syndrome has not made Aubrey who she is. She is kind, absolutely hilarious, smart, strong, independent, sweet and beautiful because she is the daughter of Woody and Rachel. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Kisses from Mater

Lucky for you!  Someone caught Aubrey on camera kissing Mater goodbye!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ground Hogs Day

After Aubrey was born, I remember thinking, "ok....she's gonna have some delays....but what does that mean?  How long will it take her to do things?"

I had accepted her diagnosis.  I had accepted the fact that her life would be full of delays.  But what I was curious about was, WHEN.  I came across a list similar to this one that laid it out for us.
The ranges were HUGE!  But our therapists focused us on progress, and that is where we have mostly stayed.  I remember laughing out loud about the bowel control being anywhere between two and SEVEN years old....not laughing any more.

We have been "potty training" since she was about three.  Here she is just shy of her third birthday, reading in the bathroom.  We had her sitting on the potty at regular times of the day, but she lacked all the other skills to make it happen including toughing the floor while sitting on a portable potty seat.

Her preschool teach finally pushed us to jump forward with underwear this past MARCH.  The first day, she came home with all 7 of her extra outfits....wet.  By Friday, just one!  She does fairly well at school, with only accidents once in awhile, but I would say she is more "teacher trained" than potty trained.  She has all the abilities to TELL us that she has to go.  She knows the difference between wet, dirty and dry.  She CAN stay dry.  But 7 long months later, she still isn't able to put it all together.  Even if she is wet or dirty and we ask her...she says "no".

Her afternoons and evenings are hit or miss.  We have come to understand her schedule a little better, and if I make her go at those times, she usually does, but she doesn't tell us or ask to go.

Setbacks.  This past summer she was sick and in the hospital for a week.  Potty training is hard with a healthy kid, but forget about it when your kid is hooked up to all kinds of cords!  It was THEN that she kept telling me she had to go potty and we just couldn't keep unplugging her to go with such unpredictability.  So a whole week of NOT wearing undies, meant we had to start all the way at the beginning again.  I finally gave up after three weeks of her just not even getting close and just let her wear diapers.  We just can't be frustrated all day, every day.  The teacher gave her a week of pull ups at the start of school and then back to undies.  She did well, but again, she is "teacher"/"schedule" trained.

It's like day two of "typical' potty training, every day.  You know that movie "Ground Hogs Day"?  That would be potty training and us.  It is an extremely S-L-O-W process.  Every day is almost exactly the same as the one before.  It's exhausting and frustrating and hard work.  

You know that first week of potty training, when you don't go anywhere or do anything but focus on potty training?  We're stuck there, except we aren't really.  Time moves on and we have to go places and do things.  Last week we went to Disney....4 accidents right away meant she spent the rest of the trip in diapers/pull ups.  Setback.  Went back to undies today...not pretty.  4 accidents in 1 hour at the doctors office:(  

Hoping that getting back into school tomorrow will help get her back on track.  Hoping that something clicks for her soon.  Hoping that these days of frustration and exhaustion and hard work are over soon and we can move on to new challenges!

Is it a step in the right direction?  ABSOLUTELY!  Are we close to the end yet?  NO.  Will she get there?  YES....eventually!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sugar Coated....NOT!

One thing I want people to understand is that first and foremost, we have a deep love of our daughter, Aubrey....and all of them.  But I don't want to sugar coat our lives, especially during October. 
{sometimes you just want to strap them to a rocket and send them back to the planet they came from}
 Parenting ANY child is hard work.  Having a child with Down syndrome IS hard work.  All the rewards far outweigh the work, but it is work. 
{outside the Finding Nemo ride....which she hated}
Contrary to the myth that kids with Ds are always happy....she's not and she makes it known.  "No" followed by "Away" and that was it.  It is sometimes more difficult and challenging than it is with our typical children.  It can be frustrating to figure her out.  Frustrating to understand her.  She thinks and works differently than our other girls.  It's like being a first time parent all over again, sometimes.

{a runner}
I've got these challenges fresh in my mind, because some weeks are better than other.  Last week we spent time with family and friends in Florida at Disney.  Traveling is not easy.  I have to always think worst case scenario with our Aubrey.  Do I have all the meds we could possibly need?  Do I have all the right phone numbers if we don't?  Where is the closest hospital?

{sometimes you just HAVE to put your kids in a cage to keep your sanity}
Figuring out Aubrey has been challenging.  Her speech delays make it difficult to understand her wants and needs sometimes.  We often drive overnights, and this trip was no exception, but she fussed all night.  And once there, she couldn't get comfortable to nap....until we figured out that she likes to tuck her self up like a pretzel to sleep!  Yes that is her foot by her head.  And on the way home we flipped her car seat to rear facing and tucked her legs up by putting a pillow there....and she hardly made a peep.
She hated so many things last week.  ALL rides.  Fireworks.  Shows.  You name it.  It didn't make for enjoyment for her, or us, or the people near us.  It was hard.  Someone had to sit out all the time or hold a crying Aubrey.
{Kissing McQueen goodbye -- what you don't see is her next, climbing into Mater's mouth to kiss him goodbye}
One of the only things she loved?  Meeting the characters!  Spent most of our day at Hollywood Studios standing in line to take her picture with the characters.  The joy she had being with them was unbelievable....and it made all the other stuff....forgotten.
{I love you James P. Sullivan|
Her only requirement was she had to hold their hand during the photo.  Small request.  Hard to finally figure out.
{brushing teeth with her buddy -- please disregard the mess that is 7 people in one hotel room and the beer next to Aubrey -- obviously that was mine after a long day!}
It's so easy to forget that she is FIVE years old.  She's the same size as her sister who is TWO.  She has similar speech as her sister.  She has similar mannerisms.  She's challenging like a two year old sometimes.  But she isn't two.  She is five and finding a balance between treating her like a big girl and accepting her limitations, is hard work.

Most days, we find that balance.  Most days we figure her out.  Most days are filled with joy.  But I wanted you to be sure to know that there are plenty of days where that balance isn't there and we can't figure her out and we are just too frustrated to try anymore.  

So we turn to our faith in God and our trust that he is our guide and strength.  We pray and we turn to friends and family.  We ask her teachers and doctors countless questions.  

We aren't doing this alone.  She has a "village" helping us raise her.  They help us face those challenges head on and figure them out.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guest Post: 1 of 10

Today, you get the first guest post, from my parents, Aubrey's Grandma and Grandpa Olson.

"To us, two of her grandparents, Aubrey is one of ten. 

We do worry and pray when she is sick. But the same goes for dislocated elbows, braces, stitches in faces and other parts of heads - none of them have had stitches anywhere else (yet!) in the other grandkids, too. 

We see the bike riding, swimming, jumping into pools close to edges and diving boards or to siblings and often cringe.  She likes to try doing what the big girls do, but seems more cautious than some of the others who run full speed into any activity.  We appreciate that about her.

To us, she's just one of ten!"

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Baby

**I've had a few people ask me to write more on our thoughts and feelings about receiving the Down syndrome diagnosis.  Here is a reflection of sorts.
Getting an echo at 2 weeks old.  4lbs 13oz
"Do you want a boy or girl?"

"We don't care....We just want a healthy baby."

A statement I have heard a million times.  A statement I have said through 4 pregnancies.  And then my Aubrey was born.....

When I was pregnant with Emelia, my 5th, I realized what an odd and sometimes hurtful question and answer that can be.  Some people are struggling just to BE parents.  Some people are carrying babies that won't live long.  Some are carrying babies who will be born with holes in their hearts.  

Boy.  Girl.  Healthy.  Unhealthy.  AV Canal Defect.  Down syndrome.  It doesn't matter in the end.  Then answer is, "We want OUR baby."  That's it.  You just can't wait to meet YOUR baby.  We want to finally meet and hold and love OUR baby.  

We didn't love Aubrey any less because she was a girl and not a boy and we didn't love her any less because she was unhealthy at birth instead of healthy.  And we certainly don't love her any less because she has Down syndrome.  Sometimes, I love her more....

I wouldn't say it hurts to hear someone want a "healthy" baby, but it strikes me differently now.  I would never wish and unhealthy baby on anyone.  But now when I hear it, I say a little prayer that that family does in fact receive a healthy baby.  And then I pray that they are surrounded by wonderful doctors and friends and family if they are blessed with one that is not. 

We love OUR baby girl!  We hope you love your BLESSINGS equally.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Guest Post: Love and Laughter

**Guest Post from Auntie Becky and Cousin Jack**
2 things pop into my head when I think of Aubrey - her smile and her capacity of love!

Oh, that smile! Did you see it at the top of the blog page? I bet you smiled just seeing it!  That smile lights up her whole face, and the whole room!  It is often followed by a sweet giggle. It's contagious! I can't help but smile just thinking about it. I can't wait to see that smile and hear that giggle again. 

That smile is often seen because of her love.  Aubrey has a love like no other. Inside that tiny girl is one giant heart! One of her favorite people these days is her newest cousins, Jack. 
Aubrey reading to Emelia and Jack - Charlie Brown Stories

I was lucky enough to head to TX in July, with Jack. I'm pretty sure everyone was way more excited to see Jack than me, but I'm certain Aubrey was more excited about seeing Jack!  We arrived at the end of Aubrey's hospital stay. She spent a week in the hospital, away from her sisters, her toys, normal life. When she walked in the door, finally home, she pushed passed her sisters that were all there to greet her at the door and said, "Where's my baby?" She was looking for Jack. When she found him, there were lots of hugs, kisses and the insistence on holding him! 

Every time she saw him, she wanted him on her level and was ready to shower him with all the love in the world! She even tried him help escape from nap time. Lucky for us, she was too  short to actually get him out. If he did have to stay in there, she at least wanted to make him comfortable, so she gave him a pillow and a pile of books to read! I can't wait for the day when he can actually keep up with her! For now he loves to sit and watch her go.

That big smile and heart have touched the lives of so many people. The people that know and love her as well as so many others! That's why we all love October to hear daily Aubrey stories! So many people that have never met her continually ask about her and pray for her!

We all love you sweet Aubrey!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Guest Post: "It's Okay"

**Guest Post from our friend Jennifer F.**

My local grocery store chain employs adults with Ds as baggers and overall helpers in the store. Recently I was attempting to check out in the dreaded self-checkout lane and I was getting frustrated with the scanner. A sweet young woman who happened to be one of the Ds helpers quietly walked over to me and laid her hand on my arm. She said, “It’s okay.”

That simple action changed my mood from crabby to blessed. I have no idea what her limitations, if any, might be. But I think her extra chromosome was an extra helping of grace – a true gift indeed.

Guest Post: A-U-B-R-E-Y

We're pretty busy....always:)  But this week is especially busy, so I'm sharing some of the "guest posts" that people have sent me.  We often have a very one sided view of our Aubrey and I"m always excited to see what her teachers or babysitters or our friends say about her when we aren't around.  Aubrey has family all over the country, but we don't get to see them much.  So I'll be sharing some of the thoughts that others have this month too, and maybe that will give them and you a whole other, wonderful view of Ds and our girl Aubrey.

**Guest Post from our friends the Crooks**

A: amazing, awe-inspiring, a child of God
U: uniquely created by God, undaunted, unbelievably sweet
B: believer in the one true God, bold, beautiful, blessing
R: resilient, reliable, really great friend, rare gem
E: enjoyable, energetic, easy to love, eager to learn, enjoys life, excellent example for all
Y: You are so very blessed to know her and call her your friend.

There are so many more things we could add but these are a few that stand out to us.  We have enjoyed getting to know the beautiful person that Aubrey is inside and out and can't wait to see what wonderful things God has in store for her.  Also wanted to note that she is the wonderful girl she is because of the amazing family she has.  You are such a great example for her to see and follow. We know our lives have been richly blessed by knowing you all.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others come in, leave footprints on our hearts and you are never quite the same." 

Thanks for all the wonderful footprints.

The Crooks family