"God doesn't give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with special needs doesn't take a special family, it makes a special family."
" Faith makes life possible. Hope makes life workable. Love makes life beautiful."

The Winwards

The Winwards

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Look what I can do!

It was a typical Thursday...... Mom running around doing laundry, cleaning...... trying not to leave me by myself for too long......
So I decided to do something that would REALLY get her attention....... I tried throwing toys...didn't work..... tried turning up the volume on the TV.....didn't work..... tried hitting the dog with my trucks.....didn't work.
Hmmmmm...... It's gotta be something really really really good!
I know....... I'll do this....something that I won't do when it's "mom's idea".... but sounds good now....

Wait for it......


As mom would say "be patient!"

Ok.... I'll show you....

Yes, that's right everyone..... I stood in my walker! And when mom came in, boy was she surprised, and so happy too!
She wanted to take a picture.... so I figure .... why not? She's just going to brag about me..... And that is something that I can handle!

Until Next Time! - Tanner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Was playing around on the web the other day... made this video. Shows how crazy we really are!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Boy and his Dog

When I had Tanner.... I often wondered if he would ever get along with our miniature dachshund, Maple.

This boy who is so fun, playful, and silly. Who imitates the dog by biting his shirt....

And this dog who is a protector, and yet sweet in her own way. She really didn't like Tanner at first, and would always run away when he cried. She has growled a lot at him.....
But now he growls back! :)

It's taken almost 2 years, but they love each other now. Maple protects Tanner, just like she protects me. She is more excited to see him than anyone else,when we come home from being out. She puts up with the hugs, tugs, and "loves".

And even lets him rub her belly now and then......

This boy loves his dog....... and she loves him! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Tanner was a pirate for Halloween this year. He wasn't too sure about his costume at first, but sure looked good in it!

Still likes his baby bouncer..... maybe it's the frog....who knows :)

I wore my pirate goofy hat that I got from our Disney trip back in June...trying to match a bit :)
I was able to find a glow in the dark sword for Tanner at the dollar store! Definitely a hit, he LOVED it!

Also got a pirate banner from the dollar store to hang on the stroller.
The stroller became his "pirate car"

Tanner is all boy.... loves to laugh...... loves to tease...... loves to try to hit Mom with things!
Here he is trying to hit me with his sword

Tanner was into getting candy a lot more than last year. His favorite this year has to be either tootsie rolls or lollipops.... he loves them both! I don't think he really gets the whole concept of Halloween yet, but it was still fun!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture Day?

We had the opportunity to have some family photos taken earlier today! Ray's step-dad, Ken took them. I love how they turned out! It was hard to get Tanner to pay attention at times, but he did better than expected.

It started out with Daddy, Tanner wasn't too interested in posing......

With some coaxing he snuggled up next to his cousin Emily and our mini dachshund, Maple for a couple of pictures.

After awhile, he got the idea and wanted to give Maple a hug!

But, being the curious boy that he is.... he was WAY more interested in the waterfall behind him!

Tanner has become such a pointer! This kid literally points at everything!
He loves anything electronic, so of course he is pointing at the camera. He was also pointing at the cars driving by! He loves and is obsessed with cars, trucks, buses, anything with wheels.

A nice pose with Mom! Looking a bit serious.....thinking....why is Mom making such a funny face??

Posing by himself, Tanner turned on the charm! He is now 22 1/2 months old, and so cute!
He is really photogenic and looks so good!

We ended the day just laughing with each other and Ken snapped a picture! What a fun ending to a fun picture day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Different - But still cute!

The following is a story told by a dad from the spina bifida support group that is my "online family". The best resource out there if you ask me! You can check it out at -


"I watched a movie called "Letters to God": http://www.letterstogodthemovie.com/ . You can check out the link for the story-line.

I usually don't much go in for the overtly-christian-made-for-sunday-afternoon-movie thing. The production quality / acting is usually poor and the message is usually heavy-handed. This movie is all of those things.

However, there were a couple of gems in the story (I had to watch the WHOLE THING as my in-laws were there).

In one scene, a grandfather explains to the boy with lukemia that his condition causes people to think about themselves in a way they have never had to before. When people see a bright, happy, cheerful boy with a dibilitating disease, they are forced to examine the things that they are constantly complaining about that are small by comparison.

People can't always and don't always know how to react. Some will tease, some will run in fear, some will over-compensate in kindness.

Our kiddos rock people's world on a daily basis - in some of the same ways they rocked ours when we first got the diagnosis.

I guess my point is, when I counsel with parents who are expecting an extraordinary child like ours or I pass by a stranger at the mall who stops dead in their tracks when Annie (his daughter) zips by in her wheelchair, I try to muster compassion for themand think to myself, "I know - I didn't know how to react when I heard the news either".

People respond in nutty ways sometimes - and the nuttier the response, the bigger the opportunity for grace."

This really hit home for me as it is so hard to listen to what people say to me or Tanner. Some people say the most ignorant things or just stare.

Tanner is so special!

And cute too!

I guess what I am trying to say is ............. Next time you see someone that doesn't look exactly like you think they should or they look a little different. At least try not to stare, and be nice. Because next time it could be you it happens too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What I love about Tanner

On my online support group from babycenter.com, 1 mom started a thread called "What I love about my spina bifida kid."
The following in short sums up what I love about Tanner.

What I I LOVE about Tanner........ EVERYTHING....from his head to his toes!

I love how happy he is to see me first thing in the morning.

I love that he says Mum, mum, mum, mom, mama over and over and over again until he gets my attention!

I love how his eyes light up when he sees people that he knows

I love all the baby jabberish as he learns to say words

I love how he will eat something one day but not the next

I love how stubborn he is, and how much concentration he puts in to do something hard

I love his smile, and how excited he gets over the fact that Daddy is home!

I love his personality, his laugh, and the fact that he "sings" himself to sleep at night.

I love his determination and strength, and the fact that he always has the courage to try try again.

I love the way he sits and "dances" to the music.

I love that he loves cars and trucks. Points to them when we are in the car saying OHHH WOOK! So cute! Or when he has lost something and finds it, he squeals and says "Dere it is!

I love how he still wants to cuddle, and that when he hugs me he says "Ahhhh". I love his open mouth slobbery kisses, and that he's a mama's boy.

I love that he growls at the dog after the dog has growled at him. I love that he loves his dog. Her name is Maple, but he calls her "Apes"

I love that while he is in the tub, he always has to make sure the floor gets wet enough to be mopped.

I love that he picks up EVERY piece of paper or plastic and wants to throw it in the garbage.

I love that he loves to read and to sing with me.

I love how he gets so excited about things that he is waving his arms and bouncing up and down, while squealing!

I love how he has made my life better and me a better person. I love that he has taught me more than I learned before I knew him.

AND I love that HE is MY SON & that God allowed me to be is Mom!