Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Letter from Alexis

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you are having a fantastic summer! My parents (Jason and Kendra) and my brothers and I were busy with vacations, summer school, camps, boating, and trips to the pool. I love nothing more than being on the water, especially tubing behind the boat, but Daddy never goes fast enough and Mom’s a nervous wreck. I was happy to return back to school last week. I love my teachers, and riding the bus is almost as fun and bumpy as being on the tube.
I’m really excited because my mom told me that she’s helping to bring a Down syndrome awareness and education center to Indianapolis called GiGi’s Playhouse.  GiGi's originated in Chicago and now there are about 15 of these centers around the U.S.  It's a place I'll be able to go for therapeutic services and educational and social programs.  My mom is especially interested in enrolling me in the literacy program, but I think the ease at which I'm writing this letter shows I'm really quite advanced for a 4 year old.  I think the socialization groups and activities will by my greatest strength.  They may just ask me to lead the group.

“GiGi’s offers over 20 different types of programs, 15 of which are educational in nature. The program development is very strategic for children with Down syndrome and their families. Each and every program has a purpose with specific goals in the areas of social skill development, speech and language, or academic achievement.”
I’d love for you to go check out their website ( to see what GiGi’s Playhouse is all about!
My mom is excited to help make GiGi’s Playhouse happen for my friends and me by serving on the board of directors.  For now, all the board members are primarily serving as fund raisers. To get a GiGi’s Playhouse built, we need money. I’m sure that in the future there will be grants and fancy galas (I’ve got my ball gown picked out already), but to start, the board is contacting friends and family (or making their children do it) in the attempt to raise the initial money we need to get started. Our family’s personal goal is $2500.
If you are interested and able, we would appreciate any donation that you could make. The easiest way to make the donation is to go to this website: and scroll down and click under the picture of my boyfriend Nolan (He’s cute, no? Thank goodness he likes older women.) and make a donation to the Indy location. You can also write a personal check payable to GiGi’s Playhouse with “Indianapolis” in the memo line. Any support you are able to offer, whether it’s financial support, as a volunteer, or spreading the word of what we are trying to accomplish, is appreciated. If you want any more information about GiGi’s or our fundraising efforts, don’t hesitate to ask. You can also get updates on our progress by following the GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis facebook page. We are hoping to open GiGi’s Indy next summer.  Thank you for considering our cause, and I will make sure to keep you informed of our progress!

Alexis (and the family)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

...because school is back in session!  God bless the teachers!  While I loved our full yet brief summer, I function a lot better with a routine and a few hours every day to miss my kids.

Since our school adopted a balanced calendar for the first time this year, summer vacation lasted only 8 weeks.  We filled that 8 weeks with vacations, camps, summer school, and plenty more.

I think the highlight of the summer for my kids was Holiday World.

We made a trip to Elkhart and fit in a trip to the beach, a baseball game, and a fair.

The surprise bonus at the Silverhawks game: it was StarWars night!
Lexi loves going on rides.  The picture of her in tears here is because she had to get off the ride.

We went to Colts camp for the first time.  Blake liked it for the first 10 minutes and was ready to go home to his Legos, but Nick was excited to be there...not excited enough for my shy boy to approach any players for autographs, but I met Pat McAfee and got his autograph.

The picture on the top right is Pat McAfee signing my hat.  We're like, totally BFF's now.
This past weekend we attended a "Fly-In" with Down syndrome Indiana.  It was a great time and I got to see lots of my d/s mom sisters.  But I was most amazed by my new photo editing skill:
This may not be exciting to you, but I'm quite pleased with myself. It might warrant a blog post of it's own. Okay, maybe not. But maybe.

And then we blinked and summer vacation was over.  We met the kids' teachers and all 3 kids seem to be in really good classes again this year.  Nicholas has several friends in his 4th grade class, Blake has a Russian tortoise in his 3rd grade class, and Alexis now attends afternoon developmental preschool with the same great teacher as last year.
 Time for my nap.