Fabulous Five

School's out! And it feels good.

I can now do some of the things I enjoy, that I haven't had time to do for a while.

Number one: read some of my favourite blogs. (yes, I'm a geek).

One of my all time favourites is "From the Trenches of Adoption" , written by Valerie Rieben, an amazing mother of eight (yes, 8) children. And we've just heard news that number nine and ten will be joining the family shortly- two boys from Bulgaria with Down Syndrome will be given the gift of love and family.

Of Valerie and Richard's children, three are adopted from Bulgaria, one from Ukraine, one from Uzbekistan and a set of biological triplets of their own. Now that is one amazing family. As if that weren't enough, all of their adopted children have mental or physical disabilities. How this woman has time to blog, I'll never know. But I do know that she is one super human. She has given hope and joy to 5 kids who have been given up on. "When we look at him, we do not see disability. We simply see a precious little boy who desperately needs a family to love him and help him reach his full potential." -Valerie Rieben

Joshua was born with a rare birth defect called phocomelia, which affected the growth of his legs in the womb and left him with legs that end just below his hips. Evan was born with a rare birth defect called Arthrogryposis that is characterized by joint contractures and results in muscle weakness and fibrosis.

Small world, because my good friend Grace Brulotte from the Students Live 2010 crew, also has Arthrogryposis... and she blogs! "Disabled and Living in the Real World" is another one of my favourites.

This post is inspired by an philosophy of Valerie's:
"Several years ago I started keeping a "joy journal." At the end of each day, I would write down five things that had happened that day that made me smile. I called them my Fabulous Five."

What a great idea. I have so many things to be thankful for, but rarely take the time to reflect upon them. Here is my "Fabulous Five" of today:

1. The fact that I was in my pajamas until 5pm today. I normally prefer to be busy and always on the go, but everyone needs those lazy days; especially after 10 straight months of school.

2. Vancouver weather. It was a torrential downpour for a while this morning... but not to worry, 20 minutes later it was sunny and 17 degrees. It's the best of both worlds for our beloved plants and forests.

3. StumbleUpon. Recently a friend of mine introduced me to this fabulous concept of "Stumbling". It's an amazing time waster, but you come across a lot of wonderful things. For example:

Here is a list of popular sayings or “Seuss-isms” from Theodore Geisel “Dr. Seuss”.

1. A person’s a person, no matter how small.
2. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
3. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
4. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
5. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
6. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.
7. If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.
8. I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.
9. So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
10. And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.

I also "Stumbled Upon" this:

Too funny!

Back to the Fabulous Five....

4. New York had news today that made me smile. The NY governor signed the same-sex marriage bill into a law. This new law has doubled the number of Americans living in a state where gay and lesbian marriages are legal! Hopefully other states will follow. What an amazing step towards equality. We are moving forward.

5. Mom and me time. We went shopping today for the first time in a while. Not that I particularly enjoy shopping, but spending time with my mom is always (mostly) delightful. We indulged in the best caramel apple I've ever tasted. We laughed over pick up lines in my French phrasebook. We belted out "Hallelujah" on the ride home- slightly out of tune might I add.

I'm very grateful for all these things. It's the little things that we too often take for granted, so I think I just might regularly record my "Fabulous Five".

Thanks Valerie!


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