Down’s Syndrome

My grandnephew, Lucas Iverson has had to fight for every success in his life, because he is a child with Down’s Syndrome. Nevertheless, Lucas is a fighter, and he looks at each new obstacle as a challenge to be met and conquered. Lucas is an adventurer. He can find adventure anywhere. He is always on an adventure doing something in the house or outside. From Dino toys, to snakes, or to his favorite thing lately, which is playing with plastic hangers, Lucas is a busy boy.

Lucas has struggled with a number of health issues, and it hasn’t always been easy to manage then and keep his allergies and sensitivities under control. The family is on a dairy free diet now for his ears, because dairy causes inflammation. He has had some issues with digestion, and for a time, he had a Gastrostomy Tube (G Tube), but with diet changes and the help of a number of specialists, Lucas in finally free of the G Tube. He is also getting taller and bigger, looking like a little man. These are all signs of a healthy turnaround, and for that we are eternally grateful to God. Much prayer has been sent up, and now comes answered prayer.

Lucas is doing well in school in his new town. Moving from one town to another isn’t easy, especially for kids in school. For Lucas, it could be harder still, but this change seems to have been a good one. He is learning about reading and much more. Lucas seems to be thriving in his new home, and he is always learning. It’s in his nature.

This year has certainly been a year of change for Lucas, and for his family too. Six months ago, Lucas became a big brother again, and his sister, Zoey became a big sister for the first time. Their sister Alicen has been a wonderful blessing to the whole family, but Lucas is especially proud to be her big brother. When his sister, Zoey was born, Lucas was in no position to perform any big brother duties, and in fact, Zoey taught him many things. It was the lessons of his little sister, Zoey that will now allow Lucas to be a great big brother to his new little sister, Alicen, and he is very excited to get started. Today is Lucas’ 12th birthday. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grand niece, Zoey Iverson is an amazing child. Zoey is just 4 years old, but she has taken on a task that is far beyond her years. Zoey is getting ready to start pre-school in the fall, but she is already a teacher. I’m sure that seems incredible, but it’s the truth. Zoey’s older brother, Lucas, who is 8 years old, was born with Down Syndrome. To Zoey, Lucas is her big brother, and she loves him, and that is all that matters. Zoey knows that her brother is older than she is, and she also knows that he needs help with things. Zoey has assigned herself the task of being his helper and his teacher. That is an amazing feat for a 4 year old girl…and nobody told her to do this!! She just has a loving heart, and wants her brother to have the best chance there is.

Zoey’s current project is helping her brother learn how to talk more and to use the bathroom more. At this point, Zoey and Lucas share a bedroom, so they play together all the time. They love to watch movies, hang out on the bed, look at books, cuddle, and play. They love their room. It is a sanctuary for them…their own space to do kid things. Zoey has been such an integral part of her brothers progress. From helping him learn to walk, to talking, to balance, to playtime, Zoey is very active in her brother’s progress.

Of course, Zoey loves to help her mommy, Cassie too. They do a lot of yardwork together, which Zoey really enjoys. And Zoey is not afraid of snakes in the yard either, although, she makes sure it’s ok to pick it up before she touches it. At snakes…I have to draw the line!! Eeeeewwww!! Zoey loves doing things with her daddy, Chris, like fishing. She also has a kitten that she loves to play with and nurture. She has a very loving, kind heart. Her mom also informs me that…once in a while, Zoey likes to talk back and be a total of four-year-old. I guess that is pretty typical of all kids now and then. Maybe it’s because Zoey is such a mommy type, herself. When she is playing, Zoey likes to dress up in her princess dresses and play a lot of pretend games. Like all little girls, being a princess is paramount in their lives. Today is Zoey’s 4th birthday. Happy birthday Zoey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Chris Iverson is a man who largely thinks like me. We agree on so many points, from politics to leisure time. I always like to talk to a person with a logical mind, and that is exactly what Chris has. At the risk of upsetting the “please no more politics” people among my readers, I must say that Chris is a conservative, with a level head, who isn’t fooled by the Liberal media. That can be refreshing when so many of the people you hear from around you are the polar opposite of that. Chris understands that the liberal politicians ideas simply will not work, and will break this nation. Chris gets that.

Nevertheless, that is not all Chris is about. A daddy of two children, Chris, along with his wife, Cassie, takes a hands on approach to parenting. Their son, Lucas needs extra help, because he was born with Down’s Syndrome, but that has never stopped Chris and Cassie from helping Lucas to be the best person he can be…even if that happens to be Batman. They are hands on with his needs, and work hard to help him perform as normally as possible. Their daughter, Zoey also helps her big brother to learn new things. She is one of his biggest fans.

Chris makes sure that his children get to spend as much time as possible with family, knowing that some of those grandparents and great grandparents may not be around for much longer. Taking the kids for visits is a great way to let them get to know their family, especially when they don’t all live in the same town. Much of the family also loves to go camping, so they get to see them there too.

The family loves the outdoors, and Chris gets them outside as much as possible. Chris loves to hike, camp, and fish, and he is teaching his children to love those things too. Of course, living in Powell, Wyoming, they have a more limited season to do some of the outdoor things they like, but whenever possible, they are out there enjoying nature. I think that Chris’ outdoor lifestyle is a great way to raise the kids, and keep them strong with exercise, something which is very important for Lucas, for whom these things don’t always come easy. Chris and Cassie are great parents, and their children are very blessed to have them. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

In most ways, my grand-niece, Zoey Iverson is a typical little girl, who happens to be turning three years old, but in other ways, she certainly is not. Zoey loves to watch crafting videos on YouTube, not a common hobby for most three year olds, but one that is likely less annoying to her parents than some of the cartoons these days. Knowing that Zoey watches You Tube is not really surprising, but her taste in videos really is. It is making me wonder if there is a bit of artist’s blood in her veins. I have great respect for those who can do crafts, and if this little girl is learning how to do these things now, she will be good at it.

Zoey also loves camping with her family, and fishing with her daddy. She and her daddy are really buddies, but don’t think that Zoey doesn’t have a girlie side. Zoey loves to dress up as a princess, and she can never get enough bath time. For anyone who loves a nice warm soak, especially with bubbles, Zoey’s love of a bath makes perfect sense. She also loves to play pretend with her toys, and she is learning her animals.

I think her biggest job, and her greatest accomplishment is helping her brother eat and learn new things. Her brother was born with Down’s Syndrome, and Zoey has taken it upon herself to help him learn as much as she can teach him, because Zoey loves her brother, Lucas very much. He is her hero in many ways, and she is a hero to him too…though she may not realize that. Zoey is a sweet girl with a caring heart and she is a great blessing to her family and all who know her. Zoey is growing up very fast, and in many ways, is already wise beyond her three years. Some kids are like hat, and Zoey, loves to take care of others, especially her big brother. I know that she is going to be a wonder little three year old and a great girl, as she grows up too. Today is Zoey’s 3rd birthday. Happy birthday Zoey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

For my nephew, Chris Iverson and my niece, Cassie Iverson, life has not always been easy. The birth of their oldest child, Lucas, born with Down’s Syndrome brought the beginning of a host of future medical bills, but anyone who knows Lucas can tell you that he is just the sweetest boy. His parents and family wouldn’t trade him for the world. Nor would his little sister, Zoey, who loves him to pieces, and inspires him to progress. Chris homeschools the kids, and lately he has been trying to incorporate some extra work with Lucas, because he is, of course behind other children his age, but he has the added handicap of ongoing medical treatments that have plagued him for a while now. Zoey is two and a half now, so she is at just the right age for starting pre-school, so Chris is starting with her ABCs now.

In his spare time…when he can’t go fishing much…Chris is into video games, especially the online gaming. The competition makes it much more fun than just going against the computer. Right now he is into Horizon Zero Dawn. Now, I can’t begin to tell you what these games are all about, but I would assume some kind of fighting game. Chris has also been training the family dogs, He wants to get them well behaved before too much longer, since they are already no longer puppies. Life for the Iverson family has had its ups, and its downs, but now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, it too will come with its share of sadness.

Chris and Cassie are currently planning a move to Tennessee. It’s not that they don’t love Powell, Wyoming, because they do. Powell has been their home for many years, if not all their lives, but with the medical needs of their son, and the opportunity for both of them to get an education and improve their lifestyle, they need to be in a more populated area that has more to offer their special needs son. They have looked elsewhere, but there is nothing out there that is in Wyoming or even the surrounding states, so the move was inevitable. I know that their whole family will really miss them. It is always sad when your kids move away, but if it is the best thing for them, you have to simply let them go. I know that with Facebook, Skype, texting, and phone calls, they can stay close, and visits to Tennessee wouldn’t be the worst thing either. As for education, Chris plans to go to trade school to become a Plumber, and Cassie is planning to become a Real Estate agent…both occupations that will pay well, and provide for their family. While we will miss them, we also wish them the very best. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandnephew, Lucas Iverson is turning six today, and he is proudly getting ready to go to Kindergarten. Lucas is a special kid. He has Down’s Syndrome, but he isn’t letting that or anything else slow him down. He has had to work harder than most kids, just to arrive at the same place, but just because it’s been harder, doesn’t mean Lucas will quit. He’s no quitter!!

Going to Kindergarten is going to make for a big year for Lucas, but that isn’t the only big step in Lucas’ next year. Over the next few months, Lucas is going to have some tests and procedures at Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. I’m not sure what they are hoping to find with the tests or the procedures, but I pray they will find a way to make his life easier. His young life has already been filled with tests, and therapy to help with walking and such. Most of us would have wanted to quit long ago, but Lucas just keeps plugging along, because, he’s no quitter!!

Hard work has paid off for Lucas, because he is walking now, and that is a very big accomplishment. I think that his sister, Zoey might have had a lot to do with that. Zoey is just a little over four years younger than Lucas, but since she could walk earlier, she inspired him…and she helped him along. Sh has never been the kind of sister to push Lucas away. She loves him with all her heart. When they are in the playpen, they love to wrestle, and that is good exercise too, so I’m sure it has helped to make Lucas stronger. From what their mom, Cassie has told me, it’s quite a sight. It makes her and their dad, Chris laugh. The kids have a great time too.

Like most kids, Lucas live to watch television and movies. His favorite movie right now is Moana. Now if you’re like me, you might have to look that movie up to see what it is all about. Well, it’s an adventure movie about a teenager who sets out to save her people. Lucas likes that sort of thing. He also likes reading his cardboard books and coloring. I’m sure he’s quite an artist. Lucas is growing into quite a big boy, and it s all because he’s no quitter!! Today is Lucas’ 6th birthday!! Happy birthday sweet Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Cassie Iverson is a mother of 2, a wife, and a photographer. She specializes in Wyoming wilderness photography, and her landscapes are amazing. She has such a great eye for color and interest. Her photos draw you into the scene until you feel like you are standing right there next to her, and isn’t that the mark of a great photographer. Cassie has begun selling her photography at Essence Wyoming Photography on Facebook. Cassie and her husband, Chris love to take their kids, Lucas and Zoey camping on the weekends, and it also gives Cassie lots of inspiration for her photography. Sometimes they just go for photography drives into the country to give Cassie a chance to take more pictures, and to get everyone out of the house and into nature.

While photography is Cassie’s forté, her life is her family. She loves her babies with all her heart, and her husband too, of course. She enjoys cooking for her family, and she is an amazing cook. She is a mom of two busy little kids, and they keep her hopping. Her oldest child, Lucas graduated from preschool a few days ago. It was an amazing accomplishment for Lucas. His journey has not been an easy one, with Down’s Syndrome, but Cassie and Chris have done an amazing job of helping him to reach his full potential. Both of their kids are very sweet.

Cassie and Chris love to go camping, and they love fishing. In reality, they love animals…especially taking pictures of wild animals. They have horses, dogs, and a rare Highlander cat. Now, I didn’t really know why this was a rare cat, so I looked it up. A Highlander cat is a hybrid cat. The Highlander cat is a curl-eared variant of the Desert Lynx breed, crossed with the Jungle Curl to achieve the curled ears. As Desert Lynxes, they are bobtailed or short-tailed, have spotted or marbled markings, and resemble the bobcat, however, they have no actual wild lynx or bobcat ancestry, making them completely domesticated. This cat does get to be about 14 pounds, however. Now that is quite a cat. All in all, Cassie leads a busy life, but it totally fulfills all of her dreams. Today is Cassie’s birthday. Happy birthday Cassie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

For years, my brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg looked for the right woman…one who wanted to be a faithful partner to him, like he would be for them. He had been disappointed over and over…until he met Rachel Franklin. Ron was introduced to Rachel by our niece, Machelle Moore. Machelle saw something in both Rachel and Ron, that she knew was compatible. Both of them had been through the same struggles. The people they had been with before just weren’t good enough for them. Those people didn’t deserve Rachel or Ron, because they weren’t faithful, kind, or loving. This relationship was going to be different…better, wonderful. This relationship was going to be blessed by God, and after almost seven years of marriage, I can say that they are both very happy.

Rachel is the mother of three children, Cassie Iverson, Riley Birky, and Tucker Birky, and grandma to Lucas and Zoey Iverson. Her children and grandchildren are of paramount importance to her. She celebrates their accomplishments, prays over their needs, and worries about them when things go wrong. I know, that sounds like a typical mom and grandma, and she is, but for the years that I have known Rachel, I have watched her go through a number of things that might really try the average mom and grandma. Nevertheless, when the need arises, she reaches out to a core group of people that she knows will support her in prayer, no matter what the need might be. Rachel’s grandson, Lucas was born with Downs Syndrome and some other health issues that are only now coming to light, and with Lucas health problems have come many trials, and the need for much prayer. Nevertheless, her faith, while shaken, has never failed. And, I know that God will never fail her.

Life gets hectic for Rachel at times, but she always wears a smile on her face, and while her smile might hide a degree of worry, it is always genuine. Rachel is such a loving giving person, that it makes me sad to think that some things are a source of worry for her. Rachel is truly a happy, sunny person, and she makes my brother-in-law so happy. They are perfect companions, and I’m thankful that with Rachel came the family that Ron has always wanted. She is a wonderful addition to his family and to ours. Today is Rachel’s birthday. Happy birthday Rachel!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageimageA baby’s first year is one filled with change. They go from being an infant to an independent little toddler…just that fast. Their parents tend to wish there was a way to slow them down just a little bit, because those infant days are gone in an instant. Still, watching the changes and the emerging personality is awesome too, and soon you find yourself simply going with the flow and enjoying the new little person your child has become.

One thing that few people expect from their younger children, however, is for them to become an inspiration to their older children. Nevertheless, in the case of my grand niece, Zoey Iverson, she has become just that. Zoey’s brother, Lucas was born with Down’s Syndrome, and so is slower at things than she is, but Lucas loves his little sister, and literally follows her everywhere. That has inspired Lucas to work very hard at maneuvering. And for Zoey, that’s not a bad thing either, because she absolutely loves her brother too. Zoey brings out the very best in her brother, because Lucas wants to do everything Zoey does.

Zoey and her brother are best friends. They love spending time together and with their grandparents and uncles…especially Uncle Tucker. They love to go camping together with their parents and other family members. Zoey spends a lot of time in her swing or playpen when camping, but that doesn’t matter. She is outside, and that’s a fun place to be. I’m sure she will take after her parents in camping, fishing, and all things sporty.

One of the main things I see in Zoey though is the love she has for her brother. I have a feeling she is going to be his biggest cheerleader, best friend, and his teammate. It’s amazing to watch a younger child who sees the imageimageneed to take on the role of the older child, but without stepping in their older sibling’s toes and making them feel like they are incapable. I think Zoey will be that kind of child. Filled with love for her brother and never feeling like he is a burden, because he is just her brother and she loves him with all her heart. What a blessing for Lucas to have such a sister. He has a sister who encourages him, inspires him, and loves him always. It doesn’t get any better than that. I know that Zoey will be a very compassionate girl. Today is Zoey’s 1st birthday. Happy birthday Zoey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageMy grand nephew, Lucas Iverson is turning five today. Lucas is a special needs child, who has Down’s Syndrome, but don’t think that a little thing like that slows him down, because it doesn’t. Things are harder for Lucas, but Lucas is a go getter, and the word quit is not in his vocabulary. Lucas is learning to walk, and he walks along the walls and navigates all over the house pretty easily. Of course, there is a motivation for that, because Lucas has a little sister named Zoey, who he absolutely loves, and he follows her all over the house. Zoey is coming up on a year old now, so she is pretty mobile. That is a good thing, IMG_3235because that helps motivate Lucas…not that he needs motivating. Lucas never thinks about whether or not things are hard…much less if he can do it. He just tries to do his very best, and besides that, he’s just having fun anyway.

Lucas is going to pre-school now, and he really enjoys it. He loves people in general, and loves to give everybody hugs and kisses. Lucas especially loves hugging his grandma, my sister-in-law, Rachel Schulenberg. Rachel tells me that when he hugs her, he literally melts into her neck. It makes Rachel feel so loved. There really is nothing like having a grandchild like that…one that just loves to hug you and showIMG_3234a how much you mean to them. Lucas is that kind of kid. He is that way with everyone…but his grandma is special, of course.

Lucas loves to go camping and fishing with his family. Sitting around the campfire listening to everyone talk and laugh is so much fun for him. Some things are harder for Lucas to do, and require the help of his parents, but he is so happy just to be out doing things with them, that it doesn’t seem like work to him. Like any kid, doing things with his dad…like fishing is just fun, and really isn’t that what life is all about for a kid…just having fun. Today is Lucas’ birthday. Happy birthday Lucas!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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