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Showing posts from May, 2017

First Cow for Brother

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My brother was about six years old when Dad gifted him with a Brahma heifer to call his very own.  This cow was a bit spirited from surviving a tornado at a neighboring community.  My brother had a patient calmness about him and gradually tamed this new addition to the farm.  The cow became gentle enough to get a hug and eventually my brother put a cowboy hat on her head.  She didn't flinch as long as he was there hugging her.  

This first cow created a passion and love for animals and the farm for my brother.  He felt so vivacious about farm work and learned so much.  The fresh air and open spaces of the rural Midwest enticed my brother to yearn for adulthood on the farm.  He was determined at a young age to grow his own herd, and he began by keeping the heifers his first cow birthed.

At 45 years old, he has his own herd of cows, and every one of them is a descendant of the first cow he had at six years old.  He makes this his business by feeding them, checking for births in th…

Young Life with a Brother with Down Syndrome

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At a young age, I learned to be a responsible person.  The instinct to be a protective sister came naturally.  How could I not?  The love of a baby, in my case a younger brother, came so natural.  I couldn't imagine anyone not loving or adoring this small person.  At this time, I didn't know he had Down syndrome, but it didn't matter.  I think I was too young to understand what this even meant, and society wasn't open to those with disabilities during this time.  
My older brother and I sang, talked, played, and made goofy faces with our younger brother. We loved it when we could get a grin.  He was easy to entertain, and we found him a source of amusement.  How could anyone see this child as someone who doesn't belong in society?  I later learned society generally possessed that attitude.  When my Mom and Dad first held him, they saw a beautiful child whom they immediately loved.  An institution wasn't an option.  
Yes, it was difficult and a big concern of w…

Chronic Climber

After my brother was born, we soon learned he was a happy, vivacious child.  He was alert and quite the climber.  Before he could even walk, he climbed everything.  Mom would be out in the kitchen preparing food for Dad and the hired man when my brother would crawl out to the kitchen and pull himself up on the counter of the cupboards.  He was quite resourceful when he learned if he couldn't climb something, he pushed a chair up to where he wanted to be.

We had two chairs in front of the steep stairway with a beautiful wood banister.  My brother thought it was a game to go upstairs and be chased.  With the chairs in front of the banister, he was unable to take off and go up those stairs.  Guess what he did?  He climbed up on the chair in front of the stairway and swung his body over the banister and sped up the stairs.  He was already at the top and quickly crawling to the rooms before anyone noticed.  

Okay, okay.  You may be thinking of the obvious solution of perhaps having a sa…

Younger brother creates big change in family.

Some of you may have seen my post about the day my brother was born and how proud I was of having a baby brother. I immediately took the role of a "little mom" at five years old.  I coddled him and spoiled him with attention.  He had the brightest red hair and big blue eyes.  He was a small baby- less than 7 pounds.  As a child, my older brother and I didn't know that grief that my parents were experiencing.  They found out that this beautiful child of theirs had Down syndrome.  
This was during the 1970s when many children with severe disabilities went straight to institutions or were kept isolated at home because it wasn't typical to see people with disabilities acclimated into society like we see today. My parents didn't even know what Down syndrome meant, but the words, "Your child has mental retardation," caused much grief.  All the hopes and dreams we all have for a healthy, normal baby were shattered.  Society's skepticism and stereotypes of …

Usborne Books For: Parents of Young Children, Grandparents, Early Literacy

Usborne Books

Hello again. I  have been reflecting quite a bit lately with the graduation of my first child coming soon.  Many memories whizzing through my mind.  My son is an honors student and has been getting so much recognition this senior year.  He told me that 82% of brain development occurs by the age of three.  As my Mother's Day positive, both my teens thanked me for the education they received before starting school.

I can't take credit for all of it.  There are so many resources out there that are good for children to explore.  I want to focus on Usborne Books.  No, I'm not a saleslady, just someone who is passionate about the books they offer for children at a young age.

The first books that caught my eye were the tactile board books.  The board books were thick and each page had a a texture the child could feel.  They were so interactive, durable, and entertaining.  One of the many books they publish is "That's Not My Puppy."  As the story is re…

Welcome Readers

Welcome Readers!  This being my first blog, so I wanted to introduce you to the cafe of entrees you can read about on my online cafe.  As a farm girl, reading educator, mom, and author, I will be presenting a variety of topics.  These include: family farm memories, some of my novel excerpts, early literacy activities I did as a stay at-home mom, and disability topics.  My brother has Down syndrome, so I will share some of my personal experiences about him.  All my topics are personal and based on my ideas and experiences.  Join me as I share with you and please share with me.

A little bit more about me.  Yes, I just wrote a fragment.  My work experience beyond being a mom for over 18 years, has been in education.  Reading and writing are my passion, and I've worked with students of all ages from the preschool years to sixty years old.  I've worked with family literacy to help parents learn activities to give their children an advantage by helping them learn the skills necessa…