"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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Tanner and Connor

Tanner loved Connor from the very first moment, and their relationship has gotten better and better as the days have gone by.  It is so fun for me as a mom to watch them grow together!  Tanner is such a great big brother, always wanting to hold and/or touch Connor.  Connor puts up with a lot.  He doesn't always stay happy, but he tolerates Tanner well.  Tanner can get him to smile so easily!  It's so cute!

Tanner holding Connor when we brought him home. 

Leaning in for a kiss

Trying to play and entertain

Showing the LOVE

Tanner sharing his trains with Connor

Talking to Connor

Holding Connor while he sleeps.  Tanner would hold him forever if I would let him!

Hanging out with each other

Helping brother sit up!  Notice how big Tanner looks compared to Connor!

Needless to say.... Mom sure loves her boys!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tanner is THREE

Tanner is 3!!  

As I sit here reflecting on how much I love Tanner, my heart is filled with emotion!  He has changed me so much, and I think I've learned more from him than I could ever teach him! 

Tanner is now 3 and I really wonder where all the time has gone!  He is 39 inches tall and weighs approximately 35lbs.  He is getting so big and getting so independent.  He is usually smiling and has the best personality ever!  He loves to tease, sing, and talk.  When he was little I remember saying one time, "I can't wait until he can talk".  Well, he talks now and he talks a lot!  There are times now I wish I would have never said that! :)  Tanner knows his ABC's, and can count to 13. Why 13 I don't know... but he's so cute about it.  He gets to 13 and then he pauses and yells 20!!  He knows 7 colors and all the simple shapes.  He will be starting preschool in January, and I'm so excited for him!
His favorite toys currently are Thomas the train engines.  I was able to find some cheap off of craig's list.  Best purchase ever!  He plays with those trains nonstop. His favorite food is chicken nuggets with ranch & macaroni and cheese. He eats all the typical toddler finger foods.  His favorite snack is chips and dip.  He is a dipper.... if the food is dip-able, he will dip it!  He tells me all the time that he is a "Ranch Boy".  I think he's just a silly boy!

I found this poem online, and it reminded me so much of Tanner......

You weren't like other children,
And God was well aware,
You’d need a caring family,
With love enough to share.
And so He sent you to us,
And much to our surprise,
You haven’t been a challenge,
But a blessing in disguise.
Your winning smiles and laughter,
The pleasures you impart,
Far outweigh your special needs,
And melt the coldest heart.
We’re proud that we've been chosen,
To help you learn and grow,
The job that you have brought us,
Is more than you can know.
A precious gift from Heaven,
A treasure from above,
A child who’s taught us many things,
But most of all- “Real Love”

Tanner is now a big brother!  His brother Connor was born on 11/17/2011.  Tanner loves him to pieces.  He is always wanting to hold him, hug him, and kiss him.  There was a point about 2 weeks after we brought Connor home that Tanner was probably really jealous.  The conversation went like this.....
Tanner - "Mom, take Connor back"
Me - "Take Connor back where?"
Tanner - "To the hockpickle (hospital)
Me - "Why would I take him back to the hospital?"
Tanner - "He too noisy Mom."
Me - "But Mom loves Connor"
Tanner - "Sigh" "Ok, he can stay"

With each day Tanner is getting better and better about Connor being around.  He does have his days where he cries more easily or gets mad easier than other days. But he actually has done way better than I ever imagined he would.  And for that I am very proud of him. :)

This is another poem that I found on facebook that when I read it , it reminded me of how I feel about my Tanner. 

I Still would have chosen you 
- By Terri Banish 

If before you were born, 
I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, 
I still would have chosen you... ... ... 
If God had told me, 
"This soul would one day need extra care and needs", 
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, 
"This soul may make your heart bleed", 
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me,
 "This soul would make you question the depth of your faith", 
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me,
 "This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river", 
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me,
 "This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering", 
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me,
 "All that you know to be normal would drastically change", 
I still would have chosen you.
Of course, even though I would have chosen you, 
I know it was God who chose me for you.

Mom loves you Tanner & I couldn't be prouder to be your Mom. 

Monday, December 5, 2011


I came across this poem on Facebook tonight and fell in love with it.  I hope that this is something Tanner will always live by, and not let anything hold him back or get him down....


Some say I am disabled, 
But you know that isn't true. 
I simply have a challenge 
A little different from you. 

My slight inconvenience, has taught me 
Things they could not know. 
Each obstacle is a victory, 
Enabling me to grow. 

I'm not really any different, 
I cry, I laugh, I snore. 
I don't want to be treated 
As if I'm not a person anymore. 

Out of good intentions, 
People are afraid to let me try. 
But sometimes I have to fall, 
And sometimes I need to cry. 

God gives me strength and dignity, 
And the courage to be all I can be. 
For He doesn't see me as disabled, 
He just sees me as me. 

Leslie W Ortega

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Connor Jackson Winward

Announcing the arrival of Connor Jackson Winward!!!  Born @ 9:25am on 11/17/11.  Weighed 9lbs 6 oz and measured 20.5 inches long.  

So much like Tanner in so many ways, yet definitely super calm and big personality!

Having a "typical" child after a special needs child is a whole different experience and one that I will cherish always.  It's amazing all the things that are considered normal.  :Things that you don't think twice about unless you experience things differently.  

I look forward to getting to know this new little man.  I'm still amazed at how much you can really love someone you just met ! :)

Tanner loved him from the very first moment!  I was worried about how he would react, but he has been so great about it.  There have been some extra meltdowns and extra whining.  But he loves to hold and kiss Connor and is always asking about him.  I look forward to watching them grow up together and becoming best buddies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bad Day.......

Good day... gone wrong.... went to visit hubby's mom Sunday night.... our car parked in driveway got broken into while we were gone!! We were only gone for 2.5 hours. We have it on video, but the video is in black and white and you can't see a lot due to it being dark! Jerk came 8 minutes after we had left and took about 20 minutes to tear apart the inside of the car!  Due to the fact that he came only 8 minutes after we left makes me feel like he was watching the house for who knows how long!  That fact freaks me out!

The police were able to get some pretty good prints from the car and the stupid guy left his flashlight in the car as well, so prints were pulled from that. I really hope they catch him!

It just sucks so bad that this had to happen 4 days before the new baby! Makes me feel so insecure!  It also makes it so hard to take care of things.

The one thing that I'm thankful for is that the garage door opener was not in the car!!! Cause otherwise he could have gotten in the garage and the house too!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet Kindness

Tonight as I watched my son try to play with his cousins in his chair.... as they are running circles around him....... and he is getting more and more frustrated by the minute.... I REALLY HATED SPINA BIFIDA..... It was so hard for me to watch him want to play so much and not be able to keep up with the other kids. It was heartbreaking. At one point he even started to cry.
But then my oldest niece who is 9 did something so sweet. She asked him if she could push him to chase the other kids. He loved it! Thank goodness for her thoughtfulness. It was still hard for me to watch, but I'm glad he had more fun after that. When I thanked her afterward, she said that he deserves to be included even if he does it in a different way. So touching.

This picture is from last year, but its my favorite one of the 2 of them together.  Tanner sure loves his cousin Emily!

Such A Scary Moment!!!

I just about had a heart attack tonight!! Tanner was in his wheelchair and we were at a church leaving a rehearsal dinner for my hubby's sister wedding. Hubby let Tanner out the door and the sidewalk is tilted downward. Hubby didn't grab Tanner and he went zooming down the sidewalk. At the end of the sidewalk is the curb! The first thing I thought was "Oh no, he's going to fall forward and crash on the pavement....being pregnant and due in 6 days I couldn't run after him.... and was forced to watch helplessly and I screamed for my husband to get him! Tanner jumped off the curb and kept going towards a tree! Luckily my husband reached him and stopped him before he hit the tree! It was so horrible feeling like my son was going to get so hurt and not being able to do anything about it! Thank goodness all that happened was Tanner got scared!!

I truly never want to live through that again!