Happy New Year with My 2017 Blogs!

Happy 2018.  I ran across this quote that I posted on a previous timeline.  It’s a good one for us all to remember as we continue this journey called life.  “You can easily judge the character of a man (or woman) by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” ~James D. Miles

Yesterday I posted TheSassySouthernGal’s #TopTen2018 Blogs.  Today, I want to share my favorite blogs.

I’ll start with Number 5 and it is a repeat of yesterday.  Volleyball, Inclusion, Awareness & Acceptance. There is just so much to love about this blog.  The title says it except for the fact that the influence of a great teacher and a mentor and share high expectations cannot be overstated.  

At Number 4 Ordinary Advocates Matter, Inclusion Works. Typical friends heading out to advocate.  Game changer.

Number 3 Stop Whining and Start Advocating Need I say more? Well, maybe a hashtag #321Advocate

Number 2 didn’t make the top blogs which I primarily chose based on the number of views/comments. It is Powderpuff. Inclusion. Joy. “

And in a way I can’t fully explain and that only some of you will be able to understand, it was as though I heard God say to me through those moments, “You have fought the good fight. You have persevered. Remember, I told you on February 5, 1999 I had the best plans. Trust me.”

Inclusion Works.

Rachel Mast, senior, running to score a touchdown for the seniors at the Powderpuff game.

Honorable mentions:  Finally ABLE to Save for Rachel’s Pink House No explanation needed, I hope.

But my favorite blog of the year is Shakespeare and That Inclusion Thing

Why? For one reason, I think it gives teachers, families, parents and individuals with Down syndrome hope and tools  for making inclusion work. It states the obvious.

I’ve looked into the eyes of all the people who think I’m delusional or one of those mom’s who is still in denial. Those people aren’t important. Low expectations are pretty standard fare unless you are that mom. Yes, me the one who is in denial and delusional.  Some of you will never be able to understand but some of you will totally understand.

I still hear and see the voices and eyes of those who embraced Rachel and us and said, “We’re going to figure this out together.” The one who said “in all my 20 years of teaching Rachel has impacted me more than any other student.” I hear the one who said, “I see the world and my students through a different set of lenses now. Because of Rachel I think out of the box.”

While I still hear and embrace all of that,  I also hear that special education teacher saying “I refuse to sign this kindergarten IEP because she can’t function in the general education classroom.” I still see hear that voice that irks me to this day coming from that principal.  If she hadn’t been included how would we know? If we hadn’t been those parents, how would we know?  Shakespeare and that Inclusion Thing is my proof.

In 2018, think about Rachel’s favorite Bible verse from Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Happy 2018.

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  1. When I see Rachel’s picture on stage, standing confidently with the 3 young men behind her, I think, she IS strong and courageous and I’m excited to see how her future unfolds. Actulaau make me testy. She’s a lot like her mama but Rachel has a spirit that shines and is all her own too. I can see it! You knew it from the beginning! And now she will change the world as they see it too.

    1. Carolyn-
      Thank you. I have prayed for Rachel to be strong and courageous. I appreciate your comments that support that in her. She is definitely my mini-me but most definitely her own person too! Happy 2018!

  2. Indeed. Without the benefit of hindsight how would you know if inclusion worked if you had not experienced it? So excited to follow Rachel’s journey into adulthood! She has already changed the world for so many—and as she goes forth she will continue to change the world for many more!

    1. Thank you Sandra. Yes, as Sean is paving the path, so does Rachel. I am just trying to stay out of God’s way with my ideas and control-freak type A self.

      Have a great year.

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