It’s Official Melody Jean Fans…She turned Nine!

We are thankful for all the Lord has done in and through Melody’s life. We stand in awe of how well she is doing in her little journey of life.  This past year, Melody has spent time with old friends… …and made new ones. She has grown in her mobility skills and… …had lots of playtime. Melody has grown intellectually. One of the many things Melody’s sister, Hannah, taught her this past year is the Romantic composers (with Glenn Doman’s teaching style). She has taught her their names and various facts about each one. Hannah also plays recordings of each composer’s music while Melody crawls to the card with that composer’s picture. Melody loves that! She is partial to Chopin …

Melody is in Motion in Multiple Ways…

Although Melody has some limits in her ability to get herself around, her repertoire of transportation has expanded in the last few months. Melody got a fancy little wheelchair in the last year that was tailored for her. I have to admit that it was a bit of a surrender to get Melody a wheelchair. I was holding out for her to be able to walk instead. However, I am happy now that she has a means by which she can move herself around independently, particularly when she is at church. It turns out that it has not been a hindrance to her progress in crawling or walking at all, as she has made exceptional progress in those areas. Amazingly, being …

Incompatible with life? Let’s take a look…

Melody was born with full Trisomy 18. We were told she was “incompatible with life”, and she was sent home on hospice to die. She is now eight years old and counting! We are abundantly thankful for how well Melody is doing physically. When Melody was born, she had severe sleep apnea. We are deeply grateful for Sandra Coulson, a speech therapist, who gave us a simple system for remedying that. Within one week of implementing her system we saw significant improvements in her breathing. Within a month she no longer had any signs of apnea. Six years later, she still breathes beautifully and has no evidence of apnea. Melody was born with significant holes in her heart. We had …

Count Your Many Blessings…

As we celebrate our 8th Thanksgiving with Melody, we can not help but reflect on what God has done in her life. There is a song that we sing each Thanksgiving that says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done.” If we were to “name them one by one” we would surely fill a book with all that God has done in and through her life. I certainly will not claim it has been easy. As I have noted before, easy is not our goal. Love is. Often times the greatest blessings and the wonderful works of God stem from our greatest trials. As we contemplate the blessings, one …

One Intelligent Little Girl

Melody is making remarkable progress with her army crawling. At the time of the last post she was cruising along at about 20 yards a day. She has subsequently made it to 30…then 40… and recently 50 yards in one day! That, my friends, is half a football field. That would be a significant undertaking for anyone to army crawl half a football field (in high altitude no less), but especially for one as little as her. I am sure her military fans can appreciate the strength required to do this. 😊 As for Melody’s intellectual progress, she never ceases to amaze us. When she was born we were told she would be “mentally retarded”. I remember asking a nurse …

A Life Changing Opportunity (VIDEO)

In April one of my daughters and I were planning to go to a training at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (Glenn Doman’s method of teaching). Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Institutes had to cancel their class. In 65 years of teaching classes to parents they have never had to cancel. For the first time ever they hosted it on-line, which was ideal for us, as I did not want to leave my little love for a week. I went into this on-line training with high expectations. All of them were exceeded. This was an extraordinary time of learning how to help our sweet Melody progress. And progressing she is doing! We learned that the highest priorities …

No Better Way to Spend Trisomy 18 Awareness Day Than Taking a Spin in a Pink Porsche

Melody, full trisomy 18, turned seven years old in February!  She is healthy, charming, and making remarkable progress lately. When Melody was younger we did patterning with her to help her brain make the connections as if she were crawling. Crawling is extraordinary for the brain. Nonetheless, a few years ago I gave up hope that Melody would crawl. For multiple reasons I was given renewed hope recently and thus started patterning her again.  We are now doing it several times a day. It is a commitment, as it takes three of us to pattern her, but the results have been amazing.   Melody’s army style crawling has improved greatly. She army crawls a much greater distance, more efficiently, and with better …

Melody’s Travel Adventures, Sweet Friends, and Monkey Bars

Our daughter Andrea qualified for the National Bible Bee over the summer.  The National competition took place in Kentucky this November.  We had the opportunity to travel there for this wonderful event. On the way, we met Lilliana Dennis and her family.  Lilliana is the first child with Trisomy 18 we have ever met in person.  This was a precious time! Melody loved Lilliana’s saucer..and her new friend. Lilliana appears to have some serious things to share with her happy-go-lucky little friend. Lilliana’s family had some clothes that Lilliana had out-grown.  They were gracious in sharing those with little Melody. We had a wonderful time at the Bible Bee.  Melody did amazingly well on this trip. I think she remembered her …

Melody’s Debut With the Melody Jean Fan Club

Melody’s latest adventure was a trip to California to see her grandparents.  She loved the beach!  It was sweet to see how much she enjoyed playing with the sand. Sister time in the sand We had a wonderful time enjoying God’s creation of the magnificent ocean. We were able to visit with many relatives.  Melody loves her cousin Jeff! She treasured all the attention he gave her and was delighted to be his little buddy. It was a treat to spend time in Grandpa’s chair. One of the members of the Melody Jean Fan Club When Melody was first born, testing was done to see if she had Trisomy 18.  The day the results came back confirming full Trisomy 18 …

Melody’s Strength Abounds – Long Gone Are the “Floppy” Days!

Melody has had a few sicknesses over the last couple of months, which certainly has provided its challenges. Even in the midst of her trials, she has enjoyed much love and attention as well as tremendous progress developmentally.  One sickness culminated into a 911 call due to what appeared to be dropping oxygen levels.  Thankfully, it was a false alarm, as although she was quite sick, her pulse ox had an inaccurate read.  Melody did not seem to be particularly phased by all the fanfare on her behalf.  She was sitting up when the firemen arrived, she looked around at all of them, cooperated with all their testing on her, and then promptly laid her head down on the side …