Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Buddy Walk is Coming!

The following was sent to all of our friends and family announcing our upcoming local Buddy Walk! We had a tremendous response last year with barely any prep time. We just know that this year will be incredible!


Dear Friends and Family,

On Sunday, September 30, 2007, our family will be participating in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Buddy Walk and Family Fun Day benefiting the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP. We are writing to ask for your support of this important event.

The Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP supports individuals with Trisomy 21, or Down Syndrome, and their families and healthcare teams by providing educational material, healthcare collaboration and a comprehensive review of developmental, behavioral, educational, psycho-social and medical issues prevalent in individuals with Trisomy 21.

We became involved in the Buddy Walk in 2006 because of Abby. As part of 'The A Team', we are working together to fund research endeavors and enhanced clinical treatment for Trisomy 21, and we hope you'll join us.

Our team has set a goal of $3,000, and any contribution will help. Please register and join us for the event at or donate towards our team goal! Your gift is tax deductible and will help raise much needed funds for the Trisomy 21 Program at CHOP. We hope that you can come to the event. It is a fun-filled day that is truly inspirational.

We thank you for your support, and look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at the Buddy Walk! If you have any questions, please contact us at and certainly pass this information along to others who may be willing to give!

Thank you!

Greg, Megan, AJ and Abby

PS - We ask that you make secure donations online through the link provided above. However, donations are also accepted securely through PayPal ( to or via check to our home address (contact us for details).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What's in your iPOD? A Music Meme

OK, admit it. You have some real cheesy songs on your iPOD (or Zune or other MP3 player of your choice). You know, those songs you only sing in the car when you are by yourself or maybe in the shower.

To say that my taste in music is eclectic is quite the understatement. I enjoy music - plain and simple. If it evokes an emotional response in me or if I can relate to the lyrics in some way, it will most likely find its way onto my play lists - no matter the genre. I have songs on my iPOD ranging from hardcore heavy metal to classical. It's not about liking just one style of music, its about gravitating towards a certain rhythm or reminiscing about a song from your childhood. And that can come in many, many forms and styles of music.

So as Anna Nalick sings in 'Breath (2 AM)' -- which is on my iPOD -- "And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd / Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud / And I know that you'll use them, however you want to" -- I challenge you to list the top 5 songs on your MP3 player that you'd simply prefer to keep to yourself lest you reap the harassment of friends and family . . . and why they are on there.

I'll start. Here goes (deep breath) . . .

1. Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) - That smokey, raspy voice just conjures up memories of 80's music that I grew up on. Maybe the original "power ballad". I crank this one up to 11.

2. Les Mis Soundtrack - Possibly the best musical ever performed (well, at least for the soundtrack). Do you hear the people sing?

3. Glamorous / Fergalicious / Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie) - Maybe another 80's connection for me. You remember Stacey Ferguson from "Kids, Inc." don't you? Seriously, how can you top lyrics like "I'll be up in the gym just working on my fitness"? All I can say, is that it's "D to the E to the L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

4. Celestial Soda Pop (Ray Lynch) - Completely new age and totally synthesized, this instrumental has a hauntingly catchy beat. I would nearly wager my next paycheck that no one has ever heard this song, let alone has it on their iPOD.

5. Forever Young (Alphaville) - If you are a bit of a romantic and went to high school in the 80's or 90's, then you are probably familiar with this tune. You maybe even slow-danced to it at a mixer. Ah . . . what fond memories of being rejected by members of the opposite sex!

Now, let the tagging begin. Let's see. Jeff, Nic, and Amy. You're it!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Day Underground

On Saturday, we wanted to go out and do something different. After Meg nixed the idea of shooting the children with paintball guns, we decided to take a ride out to Crystal Cave in Kutztown, PA (technically it's in Virginville . . . yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun). And despite feeling like we were making a futile trip to Wally World, we actually had a great day.

Founded in 1871, Crystal Cave is the most popular natural structure in Pennsylvania. They offer a 45 minuted guided tour of the cave (which is a pleasant 54 degrees year round!) including an 8 minute movie about formation of the cave and its discovery.

After purchasing our cave tickets ($10.50 for adults, $6.50 for kids 4-11, under 4 is free), we made our way up (and up and up and up) to the entrance of the cave.

Tours run about every 20 minutes, so we had a time to catch our breath a bit at the top and take some pictures.

Once inside, visitors are treated to a magnificent display of nature's awesome work. Some cave formations are created of hundreds of thousands of years. Though but a blink in geologic time, that timescale is nearly inconceivable to us. As oils on our fingers could indefinitely stunt the growth of the stalactites, stalagmites, flow stone, an other nature creations, we are reminded not to touch the interior of the cave - except where and when we are told.

After re-emerging into the hot summer air, we scaled back down to the main facilities where we enjoyed some Amish style fast food (beef and pork bbq and pierogies).

We then tried our hand and "panning" for gem stones and fossils, and AJ walked away with a sizable bag of each. Actually, bags of "loaded" dirt and sand are available in the gift shop in various sizes and prices.

Before leaving Crystal Cave, we had to indulge in one more summer time treat - hand dipped ice cream from Hershey's. Chocolate with rainbow sprinkles for Shane Victorino . . . err . . . AJ, Butter Pecan for Meg, and Denali Moose Tracks for me. Yum. Abby is not so interested in the sweets. Weirdo.

On the way home, we stopped at a farm for some freshly harvested sweet corn. And given the fact that it is quite infrequent that I pass one, we had to make a pit stop at Yocco's Hot Dogs for a Doggie Pac that we thoroughly enjoyed that night for dinner. Double yum!

Friday, August 3, 2007

I've Been Bad. Real Bad.

Friends, it was never my intention to begin this blog and so abruptly abandon it. I truly enjoy blogging, and over the past 2 months have had every intention of doing just that. Life, it seems, gets in the way.

Admittedly, I have spent a vast majority of my personal on-line time working on my store at I hereby and theretofore promise to balance my time more efficiently between the two endeavors.

Starting today.

For now though, please take a moment to offer a prayer for CJ and ManChild and the heartbreaking scenario that's unfolding before them.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Cole Rodgers

Born on April 29, 2007 to Cathy McMorris- and Brian Rodgers, Cole has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Cole is apparently doing well, and the parents are taking things one day at a time (as they should) as they get over their initial shock.


Almost forgot.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers happens to be a Congresswoman from Washington state.

You can read about the story here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Benefit For Parker!

Please take a moment and visit Tammy and Parker at Praying For Parker.

Tammy is promoting a benefit concert on June 29th at the American Fork Amphitheater in Utah with proceeds to be used for Parker's medical needs and a generous portion of CD sales being donated on Parker's behalf. Singer/songwriter Stephanie Smith is performing and donating her time for this awesome event. Please continue reading below for more information.

From Tammy's blog . . .

You can go here to hear selections from this CD.

CD Prices are $15.98 plus shipping. ($3.00 per CD for shipping.)

Concert Tickets can be purchased for a Suggested Donation of $5.00 per person OR $20.00 per family. This is only a suggested amount. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Please use the “Make a Donation” link in our sidebar, to make your purchase. Please note whether or not you are donating, purchasing CD’s, or purchasing concert tickets.

Thank you.

You will receive an email confirmation for your purchase/s.

Benefit Concert for Parker

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My It's Hot

Just a quick, fun post (and a review) of our new Lil' Squirt Baby Pool from One Step Ahead.

First of all, this thing rocks . . . err . . . squirts. At only about $20, this thing is sure to beat the heat. You hook your garden hose up and voila! Once it fills up, you have a few dozen gentle fountains of water, and some stronger ones in the middle. AJ and Abby played in this most of the afternoon -- and that's saying something! Check this out.

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Tagged Again!

Nic at All 4 My Gals tagged me a few days ago! I am now supposed to let you know 7 things about myself. OK then. Here goes . . .

  1. I love to go camping. There is nothing that I find more relaxing.
  2. I'm a science buff.
  3. I have 1 brother, but always wanted more siblings (gee thanks, Mom and Dad)!!
  4. If I could have any job in the world, I'd either be a commercial airline pilot or a cross-country big-rig truck driver.
  5. My favorite movie of all time is The Hunt For Red October. A certain cousin of mine who reads this blog will never have my full respect as she fell asleep in the theater watching this movie. She simply doesn't understand it.
  6. My favorite author is Bill Bryson (with Christopher Moore a close second).
  7. I'm into way too many reality shows.

Those are good factoids about myself. Looks like the meme has been pretty well distributed, so I'll be boring and just send it over to about-to-be-a-dad-again Jeff at Out With The Kids!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm Baaaack!

Wow. It's been a while, huh! How have you been? Doesn't look like too much has changed since I was here last.

So, let's see. Where should I start? Well, as some of you might have noticed, I've been adding to my CafePress store quite regularly. This has been quite addictive, but fun nevertheless.

Last weekend, my brother-in-law got married in Pittsburgh. With such inexpensive flights on Southwest to The Steel City from Philly, we decided to fly. Abby stayed with my parents (with her schedule it wouldn't have been practical to take her with us), and AJ came with us for his first plane ride. Unfortunately, air traffic at the Southwest terminal was heavy.

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But once we got in the air, AJ seemed to enjoy himself.

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I'm going to save the "Minivan Story Part I & II" for later, but suffice it to say that my father-in-law was shocked to learn how much the repair job was going to cost.

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Now I'm not sure about the bride or groom, but Meg seemed to be getting cold feet.

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So Saturday was the big day. AJ was the ring bearer and he had a tough job holding everything together.

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Meg and my sister-in-law Lindsay got their drink on well before the ceremony, so they were pretty well toasted by the time we got to the "I do's".

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AJ had to be the adult. Again. He wasn't happy.

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My mother-in-law and the bride's Mom were nervous. Instead of lighting the two taper candles, they lit the single "Unity Candle". I'm pretty sure these two ladies just married themselves by accident.

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By the end of the day, AJ pretty much had enough of the whole ring bearing gig and was ready to crash.

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I Promise

One kid is being shipped off to the grandparents for a sleep over. The other hasn't napped all day, so she's going to bed E-A-R-L-Y, so I'm gonna post tonight. Honest!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Blog-versary, OWTK!

Greetings from Cleveland (and fresh from my first Indians game at the Jake), I wanted to be sure to get this post up now as I'll be traveling all day tomorrow. So albeit a few hours early, let me be the first to wish Jeff at Out With The Kids a happy 1 year anniversary in the Blogosphere!

Please be sure to stop by OWTK today and wish Jeff a hardy congratulations. And as if you needed to be encouraged any more to visit, Jeff's blog-party will include numerous contests where well-wishing readers could win prizes and other cool stuff!

Congrats, Jeff!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some T21 Ink

Meg and I went last Sunday to get some new ink from Billy at Liberty Tattoo. My second, her first. I love tattoos -- always have. I'm a huge Miami Ink fan and I find many tattoos fascinating. Although I admire many of the ones I see, I don't necessarily want them on my body. For example, I may see an amazing rendition of a human skull with a snake crawling through its lifeless eye sockets, but it doesn't mean that I'm going to get one. Likewise, tribal tattoos can have amazingly intricate patterns, but last I checked, I didn't have and Fijian ancestors.

No, any tattoo I have must mean something to me. And the ones we got last week certainly mean something. Down Syndrome Awareness ribbons. Here are some pics. Enjoy.

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Revelations - Coming Full Circle

Tonight, after taking his shower and getting his pj's on, AJ, without socks on, reveals to me the following:

AJ: Dad, do you know why I always want to sleep with my socks on?

Me: No, AJ, I don't. Why?

AJ: Because I'm afraid that you or Mommy might sneak into my room at night and try to cut my toenails.

Me: Well, what would you say if I told you that one night, I came into your room with a flashlight and took off your sock and clipped your toenails?

AJ: Ha! No way, Dad. You don't have a flashlight.

Looks like the kid was smarter than me . . . he was wearing socks long before I took up my covert-ops mission!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Mind Flakes Store on!

You are cordially invited to the grand opening of the Mind Flakes store at! At our store you will find an assortment of products with unique and original designs. And of course, please make sure you visit the Down Syndrome Awareness section.

More designs and ideas are being added daily (sometimes hourly!), so please be sure to check back often!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

And 2 More Makes 5

Just a quick congratulations to our dear, dear friends in Dallas who welcomed twins into their family last week. Both Hudsen and Tate entered our world healthy and hefty (nice job, Ash!). Here's hoping Mom and Dad are hanging in there with 3 kids under 2 (for another week or so anyway). Oh boy!

And girl!

And another girl!

Oh, and thanks for increasing the Eagles fan population of Dallas by two!