Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hurricane Riley's Adventures

We don't have any pets of our own and Riley loves cats and dogs.  He especially loves my mom's dog Toni's bed.  Apparently it is just the perfect size to cuddle up in and play.  Generally when we are out at mom and dads and it gets too quiet we can find Riley sitting in Toni's bed and on really special occasions he is playing in Toni's water or eating his food.  YUCK!!!  Anyway on Christmas Riley went so far as to drag the bed out in the living room get it up on his new trampoline and cuddle in with his see n say.  Apparently dad was bugging him by taking his pictures. 


But look how fun it is. 

OK Dad enough with the pictures.  Leave me alone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Christmas Whirlwind continues......

We headed out to my parents house for our traditional Christmas Eve sleepover.  We spend the day with my brothers and their families and then after church they head home and Rex and Riley put out the cookies and fudge for Santa.

Rex and my niece Kayla waiting their turn to open a gift

Santa Riley chased the toy pig under the table and did want to share with his cousin so he pulled the chairs around him and hid.

Check out this book Santa brought me mom!

Rex rockin out with his new Rockband game-  Beattles Edition

I'llsit right here and watch my bubba

My lil drummer boy sneakin in some playing time while Bubba isn't watching.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009... The week begins

Our Christmas celebration started with a visit from Gramma Debbie.  She was able to sneak a few days up before Christmas but Grampa Tom wasn't able to join her.  The boys had so much fun with Gramma.  I think she may still be recovering from playing the Wii with Rex.  Gramma brough presents of course so we opend gifts while she was with us.  Then we headed out to see the lights. Coeur d'Alene ID has a gorgeous hotel that goes all out with the light display.  We had a yummy dinner and enjoyed the sights. 

Riley got a new puzzle and Color Wonder so the boys had to test it out.

They had sleigh for the kids to sit in.  Doesn't Justin look excited for this photo op.

Who knew we would get so much use out of the Children's Place sweaters this year. 

The lights were amazing.  Photo's just don't do them justice.

Not often do we capture our entire family, and especially when we all have smiles. 

What a great time we had while Gramma visited!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas 2009- Greetings from the Kibbe family

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been another busy year at the Kibbe house. The boys keep Justin and I busy and we love every minute of our busy lives. As we prepare for Christmas we have much to be thankful for.

Rex is 7 and started the 1st grade in the fall. He is attending All Saints again this year and really enjoys his teacher and friends. It is fun to watch him learn to read and get excited about the books he brings home from the library. He played soccer and t-ball again this year and also has joined the cub scouts. Rex has also become an accomplished bike rider this summer and tossed out the training wheels. The older he gets the more confidence he has in himself. Rex is growing into such a wonderful young man. He is such an amazing big brother to Riley.

Riley is in constant motion and has lived up to his nickname of Hurricane Riley this last year. Riley has a huge signing vocabulary and though he generally is very clear about his wishes we are excited for his verbal skills to grow to match his sign language skills. When he turned 3 in November Riley graduated from the Guild School and has successfully transitioned to the public school preschool program. He rides the school bus each day and loves his new school. We knew he would thrive but the entire process causes Justin and me some anxiety. Riley’s favorite person in the entire world is his big brother. He loves to imitate every thing Rex does and try to keep up with Rex in everything he does. Some days it feels like more of a wrestling match than anything else, but we like to call it “therapy”.

Justin continues to work for EZ Loader. We are thankful that this position provides us with good health insurance so we can continue to provide Riley with the therapy he will need in addition to his preschool class. His schedule has been reduced to a 24 hour week so Justin is able to be home to meet the bus and spend the afternoon with the boys.

I continue to work for the American Cancer Society. It has been a great stable job and allows me the flexibility I need to take care of the boy’s schedules.

This year we have opted to send you this gift of photos instead of the traditional card. I hope you enjoy sharing in this journey through the year with our family. You will see first hand the beautiful gifts that we celebrate each and every day.

Love to all,

Justin, Mary, Rex and Riley

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Future's Soooooooooo Bright!

Yes, I'll admit that I'm a child of the 80's, but doesn't this picture just scream at you:
  My Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades!

Riley and I went to a 1st birthday party for my friend Leyna's little boy Danny this weekend and these great shades were in the goodie bag.  They are a current favorite of Riley's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My little guest at the Inn

The Sunday School children put on the Christmas story today after church.  Rex was a guest at the inn.  I don't think he could have had a less excited look on his face.  He actually yawned through most of it.  Can't say that I blame him much.  The little guys didn't have speaking  parts and the entire thing is always a bit unorganized when 4 or 5 of the angles with the speaking parts don't show up.  The teachers always have their work cut out for them. 

Riley was all ready to watch bubba.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

IT'S OFFICIAL..........

It's official is the child of Elasta Mom.  Grab the button and play along.  Just link back to her blog and its official your are part of the game. 

It's official.........I am not ready for Christmas!

It's official........I have a million things to do and not much time to do them and what seems like zero money to do them with.  Justin's company reduced to 24 hours a week and the cut is paycheck is starting to take its toll.   

It"s official......that about the gifts that I have picked out for my boys.  I think they are going to LOVE them.

It's official..........I am so proud of Rex that he totally understands that Christmas is really about Jesus and not gifts.  He is totally excited for Santa but I know he gets it. 

It's official......Riley has no idea what Christmas is but he is so enjoying the season anyway.  He loves the lights, trees and sparkles of the season.  It is so fun to watch him experience Christmas. 

It's official.......Christmas is coming reguardless if I get my shopping done or not so I'd better get to crackin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa's Symbols of Christmas

I have a hard time balancing the fun traditions of Christmas with the true meaning of Christmas.  Someone emailed this story to me a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  I came across it again this year so I thought I would share it.  I hope you and your family enjoy it as well. 

Santa's Symbols Of Christmas

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. I had just finished the household chores late at night, and was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the living room. Much to my surprise, Santa Claus himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree, and whispered, "Shh. Don't be scared. It's all right."
I started to ask him what he was doing, but stopped in mid-sentence when I saw that his usual jolly manner was gone and he had tears in his eyes. He told me he was sad because children all over the world were not being taught the real meaning of Christmas.
He reached into his sack pulling out a small green Christmas tree. He said, "Teach the children that the evergreen tree remains green all the year round. Green is the colour of abundant nature around us and indicates the everlasting hope of mankind. God created trees to be of great service to people, providing wood to build homes, fires to keep us warm and to cook on, and paper to print books for us to learn from.
Santa reached into his sack again and pulled out a bright, shiny star, and said, "Teach the children the star was the heavenly sign of promise long years ago. God promised a Saviour for the world, and the star was a sign of the fulfilment of that promise. The countless shining stars in the night-sky still give us a reminder of that star so long ago telling of the birth of our Saviour.
Santa put the star on the top of the Christmas tree and took from his sack a glittering red ornament. He said, "Teach the children that red is the special colour of Christmas because it reminds us of the blood that was shed by our Saviour so that we could all gain Eternal Life, which is the greatest gift Heavenly Father can give us."
As Santa returned to his sack I heard a soft, tinkling sound and saw he had a bell in his hand. "Teach the children that in the old days animals were very valuable to people as they provided transport and food for them. They put a bell round the neck of each sheep or cow, so they could hear where they were if they got lost. In the same way God values all people, wherever they are, and they are never lost to Him. In some places church bells are rung on Christmas Day to proclaim the good news of this special day."
Once again Santa reached into his sack, and brought out a candle. "Teach the children that a candle was used in the old days to light the way so people could see where they were going. When it is dark we are afraid, but the light casts away our fears. Jesus came into the world and taught that He is the Light of the World. People used to put candles on Christmas trees, but nowadays we have coloured lights instead as they are safer."
Next Santa produced a candy cane. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. This was a strong stick with a curved end that could be placed around the neck of a sheep that had slipped down the hillside, so the shepherd could pull it up to safety. The candy cane represents the helping hand we should show to others, and reminds us that we really are our brother's keeper."
Reaching deep into his sack Santa pulled out a Christmas wreath and said, "Teach the children that the wreath symbolises the eternal nature of love. It never stops or comes to an end. It is one continuous round of affection. It is made up of many colours, and many different items, and shows how different we all are, but how important each one of us is to the whole creation."
Santa then took from his sack some tinsel and ribbon and said, "Teach the children that tinsel adds brightness to Christmas just as the many kindnesses we do for others brings brightness into their lives. The ribbon is tied into a bow to remind us that our lives are intertwined with each other, and the help we give others is constantly returned to us in different ways."
Finally, Santa patted his sack and said, "There will be many gifts in this sack each Christmas, but the greatest gift we can give, or be given, is love. Love takes time and effort from us to give to others in the way they need it, to bring their potential into being. Love is not an advertising gimmick, but something we learn to do, and we must teach this to our children."
With this, Santa waved goodbye and left the same way he had come in, saying as he went, "Don't forget to teach the children the real meaning of the symbols of Christmas." As I watched him go, I was sure that this would be the best Christmas ever.

-- Author Unknown

Christmas 2008

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry SITSmas to all

Merry SITSmas to all the girls.  I hope I have some new visitors that have come by to say hi to Hurricane Riley.  If you want to learn more about SITS pop on over and learn about how the Secret is in the Sauce!

This was Riley a year ago when we took him and his friend Ella to have Mr and Mrs Claus photo's taken.  I couldn't resist bringing them out again this year to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

These too are going up to be quite the friends and do have an arranged marriage so will some day be
Mr and Mrs Claus for real.  I'm sure they'll appreciate these photo's when they are older.

This year as I count my blessing I have so many friendships to be thankful for.  The one above is just one example of how friends have touched my life.   Ella and Riley have extra chromosomes in common but our familes have so much more.  It has been wonderful to find a friend in Kacey and the rest of the family. 

As we prepare for Christmas this year we have been talking more and more about the real reason for Christmas.  I love that my 7 year old really does understand that when we celebrate the birthday of Jesus that its more than just a reason to get gifts.

I am also counting my blessings of a wonderful family and good health.  I wish that everyone was a fortunate as my family in this department. 

Merry Christmas and I wish your family good health and good fortune as you prepare for Christmas.

A little help from Dad

Say cheese!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Mumbers

I'm bringing Monday Mumbers back.  Good Enough Mama start this funny tradition a while back but since she's a bigger blog slacker than I am she's just going to miss out. 

1 really big one is the amount of REALLY bad news my friend and coworker Lora recieved today.  Her dad has advanced pancreatic cancer. 

1298379872130917 is the number of prayers that Lora and her family needs to help them through this horribley difficult time. 

5 is the age of Lora's son David when he went to live with Jesus after losing a horrible battle with brain cancer. 

2 of the favorite men in her life is too many to have to suffer from this horrible disease

17 is the age of Lora's daughter that will have lost one brother and now have  deal with her grampa that having cancer as well......

3 zillion times I have thought about Lora and her family today and have felt sick. No family should have to lose this much to cancer.  I hate that even though we go to work every single day for an organziation that is dedicated eradicating this horrible disease we are still losing our friends and family all to often.  Lora often tells a very powerful story of why she came to work for the American Cancer Society and while I don't do it justice I am thankful I am typing and not talking.  While her son David was fighting for his life during his battle with a terrible brain tumor Lora promised that she would spend the rest of her life fighting so that other families wouldn't have to lose their babies to cancer.  She goes to work every day and truly does keep this mission the focus of all she does. 

If you or a loved one is battling this terrible disease you will find information and resources at

If you would like to pledge to work towards making a world with more birthdays you can follow the link below.  Every cancer that is avoided by making healthy choices and every battle that is fought and won really does lead to more birthday! 


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Look how far we've come

This evening we had friends over for dinner (a pretty yummy one if I do say so myself) to celebrate Riley and Elizabeth's birthday,  yet again.  They share the same birthday and are just a year a part.  They had fun playing together and are so fun to watch.  The house was busy with the kids playing but now that our friends have gone home and the kids have had baths and are tucked snug in bed I have a few quite moments.  It's crazy to think back to when we first met Nathan and Rebecca. 

Riley had just started at the Guild school and we were still like deer in the headlights when it came to having a son with Down syndrome.  At the time Riley started at the Guild school there was a huge influx in kiddos with Ds and they organized a little meeting at the school so the parents could meet and then organize and exchange information as we wanted.  There were some really nice families there but I've joked about how it was like a bit of a interview to see if we wanted to be friends.  At the time I really really wanted to meet another working mom since the only people I had talked to really had made me feel like I was a bad mom if I continued to work.  Rebecca was the only other mom in the room that worked and I new I wanted to get to know her.  We had all shared emails and I stepped way out of my confort zone and email Rebecca to see if she wanted to get together and let the kids "play" .  I use the word play losely since Riley was about 11 weeks old and pretty much a lump and little Elliot was 3 and had open heart surgery about a month before.  These two weren't going to play much but I badly needed to meet another mom.  We emailed a bit and decided that we weren't too creepy for the other :-)  That first day we got together I brought Rex with me and we headed off to play not really knowing what to expect.  Rebecca and I hit it off but I was still totally overwhelmed.  Elliot has some major health issues and I remember watching Rebecca feed him through his gtube and wondering what Rex would think of the whole situation.  After we left I had asked Rex if he had fun.  He says to me "ya Elliot is a funny boy.  I love it when he *insert rasberry noice* at you.  Not a word about the feeding just loved the great rasberries that Elliot blew.  Seriously at 5 you watch a little boy get fed through his tummy and you don't even mention it????????  Rex just went with it.  NO biggie.  I on the other had was intrigued and a bit overwhelmed with the entire situation.  Thankfully Rebecca put up with me and my zillion questions and we have managed to become good friends.  Its a beautiful low mantience friendship that doesnt' require a bunch of work it just happens.  We have gotten better in the last little bit to schedule coffee or a girls dinner to make sure that we actually get to visit with out kiddos grabbing our attention.  I love that our friendship flows with our schedules.  When life gets a bit overwhelming and to busy we don't have to force in time we can let it slide and pick up right were we left off when things calm down a bit. 

If we fast forward to this evening the kiddos have grown leaps about bounds.  From that first playdate when Riley was just a lump he his now running around playing with their youngest Elizabeth who wasn't even here yet.  Elliot who was just barley walking is now in kindergarten and is talking like a champ.  The gtube has been removed and he sat and ate dinner with us this evening and was a perfect gentleman. 

I had good intentions to take a few pictures of the kiddos this evening but totally biffed it.  Instead I'll share other pictures from this busy weekend.  Rex had his Christmas program at school on Friday so I busted out the Christmas sweaters out early.  Rex loves to wear the matching sweaters and actually requested them this year.  How do you say no to that cute request. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009


My blogging friend Elasta Mom started its official ages ago and I've always wanted to play along but today I just couldn't resist any longer and actually had something fun to share.  If you want to play along you can grab the button but don't forget to link back to Elasta Mom. 

ITS OFFICIAL  That Riley really does have the best laugh ever.  I never get tired of hearing it.  There is something magical about children laughing and then add to it the fact that his entire body gets into the action and there is just nothing that beats it. 

ITS OFFICIAL  That Rex can make Riley laugh quicker, longer, and louder than anyone else in the world.  Rex was always the one that could get the first baby smiles and the first giggles and nothing has changed as Riley has grown. 

ITS OFFICIAL  That Riley laughs at strange things and Rex goes out of his way to find new strange ways to make him laugh.  Tonight the name Bob was the winner of the world's funniest word context.  So Uncle Bob this one is for you.  Hope you enjoy!  Warning -  it came out a bit loud so turn your volume down a bit :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Circle Time at the Guild School

I took this video on one of Riley's last days at the Guild School.  I hope he is having this much fun in his new school.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Riley William

My Dear little Riley, 
In the crazy that took over our day I almost forgot to write your birthday blog.  3 years ago and about an hour (7:07 pm)  you arrived into our family and took over our hearts.  It amazes me daily how much you have changed not only our family but everyone we know and meet.  You have such an beautiful soul that shines when you smile.  I love that you smile with your whole body.  There is no guessing what you are feeling. 

You have changed and grown so much this last year.  On your 2nd birthday you were barely walking and now you run.  You have no fear when it comes to keeping up with your big brother.  You are so lucky to have such a wonderful big brother.  You and Rex are such good friends.  I love to watch you play and see how much fun you have together.  The bond you boys share is amazing and strong and has been since the moment you arrived in this world.   Rex insisted we have a cake to celebrate the day you arrived home from the hospital and again today even though we've already had your party he insisted we celebrate you again with cake and singing.  You LOVE it when we sing Happy Birthday to you.  I wish everyone enjoyed their birthday as much as you do. 

You started big boy preschool today at Sheridan Elementary.  While I was overwhelmed by the new and busy room when we arrived you took in all in stride. You were so excited to meet new friends and play and I was busy trying not to cry.  Yet again you are trying to teach me to relax and enjoy the moment.  I'm trying baby I promise.  Mommy is trying to learn the lessons you teach! 

When I sit back and really think about that evening 3 years ago when you arrived I am overwhelmed with joy and sadness.  I am so completely in love with you it makes me sad that I ever doubted you, that I ever worried about how you would arrive.  If you would be healthy or not or if that would even matter.  If only I knew then what I know and understand now.  I certainly wouldn't have wasted a second worring about you.  It doesn't matter if you have a single crease on your hand or almond shaped eyes.  In the beginning they wanted to tell your dad and I about all the things that would be wrong or different.  They pointed out all the things most children with Down syndrome have or how you might look.  I think I shoved the polaroid picture the nurse gave me in every single person's face that first day.  Even the cleaning lady at the hosptial knew how beautiful my baby boy was.    Those first few weeks in the hospital you turned me into a germophobe and a bit nerotic.  Well, the truth be told I've always been a bit of a nut case.  Every day you work to teach us patience.  Maybe someday we will really learn the lesson. 

As we celebrate your third birthday  I am excited to see what the future will bring for you.  How you will grow and change this next year.  I love you my little Riley Roo.

Since today is actually Ri's birthday we had cupcakes at Rex's request.  Not sure why so many shirtless pics as of late but tonights excuse is that we had spaghetti for dinner. 

Its a big bus!

So anyone that knows me understands that having Riley ride the school bus to preschool was a HUGE deal.  I've not been the most comfortable with the stigma of the short bus.  I'll admit I've made some innappropriate comments about the short bus over the years and have to giggle every time some one asks me about the bus that will be taking Ri to school. 

This morning Riley was all set for school.  He took his back pack to the baby sitter's, was all spiffed up with big boy shirt and jeans, and new shoes.  I was having some big anxiety about him riding the bus so I took off from work to meet the bus at the sitters house and follow him to school on his first day.  Well we waited and waited and the bus never came.  After calling we discovered that they mixed up the pick up and drop off addresses since he gets dropped at home after preschool and the bus was at our house while we waited at the sitter's.  So I drove him to preschool and arrived about 20 mins late.  Not a huge deal, but as I'm sure you can picture a preschool room with 12 kids and 5 adults is a pretty busy place to walk into.  Riley had no problems at all.  He ditched me at the door and was off to take his coat off and go play.  I on the other hand was a bit panic striken.  There were so many kids and they were so HUGE.  I'm pretty sure those kids looked as big as Rex. 

 I raced home to meet the bus and get some first day getting off the bus pictures since we didn't get any on the way to school this morning.  I have to admit I was surprised to see a big bus pull up in front of the house.   Riley made it home with no mix up's and immediatley asked to go nigh nigh. He had such a action packed day that he was ready for a nap. Apparently only a cat nap though since he's currently up playing with Rex.

All in all a pretty OK day.  I'm relieved to have him home and have the first day under our belt.  Certainly not what I pictured 3 years ago when I first had Riley.  Back then I couldn't even consider what the future would bring.  What an adventure these last few years have been. 

Riley's first day of preschool

Sayin cheese with Rex

Waiting for the bus

Still where the bus?

The big bus in front of the house

Riley in a rush to get off the big bus...  he was excited to see mom!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close

As this Thanksgiving weekend winds down I feel my anxiety for tomorrow winding up.  Riley has officially graduated from his birth to three program and will be starting big boy preschool at Sheridan Elementary school.  For those of you not familiar with how all of this works once a child turns three the public school system takes over the preschool and therapies for developmentally delayed children like Riley.  I think the preschool part of all of this is great.  We have met his teacher and I like her.  At least I got good vibes from her and she was open and willing to talk through any of our questions so I take that as a good sign.  I worry a bit about the therapy part.  He doesn't get much through the school system so we will be supplementing with private therapy.  I worry about getting the right combination and not going over board but still making sure we give Ri the best start.  We are taking December off since he just graduated and our we are out of visits that our insurance will cover until January.  Hopefully we'll come up with a good plan so we can start the new year off with a good routine. 

Riley's last day at the Guild School was last Wednesday.  Riley has been going there at least once a week since he was 10 weeks old and it was VERY hard to say good bye.  Riley had fun delivering gifts to his teachers and therapists but wasn't so sure why they were keeping them.   He has the gift unwrapping figured out from his birthday but he wants to be the one getting the gifts and doesn't have giving them figured out quite yet.  His little friend Cole gave him a card and they shared big hugs.  It was super cute until Riley's hug got a little big and he pushed Cole to the ground. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Graduation/ Birthday Celebration!!!!!!!

We have had a lot to celebrate around here.  Riley is turning 3 on the 30th and that means he is graduating from the Guild School and transitioning to the public school preschool.  We had his IEP meeting last week and it went pretty well.  I like his teacher and that I think will make all the difference in the world.  I was a bit dissapointented in the amount of  services he will recieved but overall it will be a great experience.  We will be supplementing with private therapy.  Orginally I didn't think we were going to do private PT right away.  I was planning on his school PT along with something like soccer tots being enough for the next few months.  Well, we discovered that he would be recieved 15 mins of individual PT a week and 15 of group PT.   Obviously that won't cover it, so we'll be looking for a PT after the first of the year.  We'll also be adding something with other kids like soccer tots or Gymboree.  Has anyone found some fun ideas to get toddlers up and moving and around other kids with out it being in a formal PT situation?  School should be an adventure.  We decided to let Riley ride the bus to school.  He will be picked up at the sitter's and head to afternoon preschool Monday through Thursday.  They encouraged to do afternoon preschool because of the group of kiddos he will be joining.  The afternoon group  will be all  4 yr olds prepping to go to kindergarten next fall and are more advanced than the morning crowd.

Riley had his big graduation/ birthday party this weekend. All of our friends came to help us celebrate.  My mom and dad bought Riley a table top piano.  It is adorable and a huge hit. Riley was a little overwhelmed when everyone started arriving but he eventually caught on to the idea of gifts in those pretty bags.  He was totally excited to rip in to the wrapping paper. 

My new trucks!!

OOOH Gramma what did you get me?

Gramma I love the piano.  Good think Ella, Elizabeth and I can all play it at the same time.  Oh the sounds of music in the air. 
WOW Everyone is singing to me!
And we are done.........such a fun party.